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)


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.


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?



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...



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.


 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.



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.



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.


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.


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


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...


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.

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)


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.