Friday

Little & often

Rather than train for a lengthy period of time, aim to practice little & often.
20-30 minute increments, with rest breaks in-between is ideal.
Instead of pushing your body hard and putting it under duress, just do a little exercise.Resting will keep your concentration sharp and offset fatigue.
At all the appropriate holidays and celebrations
everyone enthusiastically participates.
At the proper times they go to the proper places,
and eagerly do the proper things.

How can anyone who just drifts and wonders,
who can't even be sure of themselves,
Take seriously all these rituals,
all this herding?


(Lao Tzu)

Thursday

What about tradition?

If you are a Christian, give to the poor.

If you are not, why let marketing and commerce bully you into feeling guilty for not buying presents? People are just trying to make money out of you. They want you in debt.
They want you spending more than you can afford. Your greed finances their greed.

If you recall the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol you may remember that celebrating Christmas traditionally entailed giving gifts to the poor.
This is seldom the case these days...

There is nothing miserly about rejecting consumerism.

Wednesday

A keen new starter may attend 24 classes over a 6 month period.
Sifu Waller took 1500-2000 lessons in taijiquan and baguazhang over a 25 year period. This helps to provide perspective. And perhaps humility?

Then, there's the home training to factor in?



(Rachel)

Tuesday

Is boycotting Christmas the answer?

Well, it is one option. But there are others. Why not consider a return to the essence of Christmas?

Give to those who are genuinely suffering and in need.
Give freely and without any need for gratitude or recognition.

Re-discover Christmas through your kindness and your generosity...

Friday

Popularity

Sifu Waller frequently gets asked to write a book on Taoism, Zen, taijiquan and/or baguazhang... Why doesn't he?

Because the mainstream perceptions of these subjects is quite simplistic. Think of Google or Wikipedia? Which results are favoured? The popular ones.

People want to hear what they expect to hear.

Wednesday

 It would be terrifying to actually confront Sifu Waller - his power is remarkable and I've likely only had a glimpse. More remarkable is that he is willing to teach us his Art.

 (David)
    

Tuesday

You can also understand Sifu Waller's insistence on a certain level of fitness for the martial side. Anyone that thinks Taiji is for old people has clearly no idea what the total art is about.

(Chris)

Monday

Everyday Zen

Zen koan:

One day Banzan was walking through a market. He overheard a customer say to the butcher, "Give me the best piece of meat you have." 

"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You can not find any piece of meat that is not the best." 

At these words, Banzan was enlightened.

(Koan)

What does this mean? Sifu Waller will help you here. The butcher maintains that all the meat he sells is his best. This cannot be true because by definition, best requires worst as contrast; a duality. One defines the other.

It is akin to having 'priorities'. You cannot have multiple priorities since the word priority literally means that which comes first. Everything that comes next is therefore of secondary concern?

Similarly, the phrase 'multitasking' is an IT term adopted by mainstream companies to suggest that a person juggle several priorities simultaneously. As the koan indicates, this is impossible.

In IT, multitasking is the illusion of simultaneity, not the practice of it. Now, that is ZEN.

Saturday

Physical Education

Physical Education at school should actually educate people on physical matters:

 
How to use your body in a healthy manner
 
• Sport is relegated to an after school club for those who are 'sporty'
 
Kids who have postural/gait/movement issues should be given specialist rehabilitation in order to restore healthy body use
 
Personal hygiene and cleanliness should be taught
 
Ergonomics - sitting, lifting, good usage
 
Anatomical knowledge; leverage, balance, strength, stance, poise etc
 
How to avoid strain, discomfort, injury
 
Everyday body use

Friday

Boycott Christmas?

If you have no desire to waste hundreds of pounds on pointless gifts - in a celebration of greed and obedience - then you could boycott Christmas altogether...


http://www.buynothingchristmas.org/

Tuesday

Non-Christian Christmas?

If you are not a Christian, what exactly are you celebrating over Christmas?
Why are you wrapping up all those presents, sitting through family meals and over-indulging?
For what? In aid of what? Tradition? For the sake of it? Why? It is far less expensive not to bother.

If you are having Christmas in order to over-eat, get drunk and indulge yourself, what does that say about your character?
Greetings Sifu Waller: I like your Xmas views.

Margot & I decided no presents for each other this year.
Well that is not strictly correct. I give Margot $210, she gives me $210.
We then pool the $420 & send it to India where a Tibetan Buddhist Monk's father will have an operation and regain his sight.

I think I am starting to get that Christmas feeling again.

(Ron)
4 oz is the result of internal strength. A cat touches lightly because it is already buoyant. An average person, trying to give 4 oz, collapses their frame. Without internal strength, 4oz is conceptual.

(James French)

Thursday

People ask me if I train everyday and act surprised when I say yes. Even Christmas Day? Of course.

To me, the question is akin to asking if I brush my teeth every day.

It reveals the mentality of the questioner. They obviously don't train, see training as being a chore and really don't get it. But that's OK. I'm not asking them to train.

(Rachel)

Wednesday

Recommended reading

Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends & Influence People has inspired all manner of books.
Many of his suggestions seem undesirable/unappealing at first.
This reflects our own stubbornness and unwillingness to change - therefore, an important lesson in itself?
Only through multiple reads (over years) does his wisdom become fully apparent...

Monday

Male oriented?

In martial arts, men usually have a distinct advantage.
Most systems were designed with the male physique in mind and often rely upon innate strength and aggression. 

Women may succeed with any martial art, but why train an art that doesn't favour the female body? 
Why not train an art that prioritises use of the legs, buttocks and torso?
Where composure is encouraged rather than machismo?

Thursday

Relaxation

Most people have chronically tense muscles. This is often the consequence of over-working: the task has ended, but the muscle is still working. Another cause can be weakness in the muscles. The outcome of laziness. But these are purely physical factors.