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Posts Tagged ‘Ancient Wisdom’

A poem for the summer solstice: High Sun Days

June 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Our longest day of the year, here in the northern hemisphere, was yesterday, June 21 at 12:24 AM EDT to be exact. Huge crowds gathered at Stonehenge, one of our oldest calendars of human design, to witness the solar event. There are many ways to mark and celebrate this time of high summer when days are long and the sun is high in the sky. I wrote a poem to remember to remember:

High Sun Days

Long shadows persist
Pointing southwest
Toward the hot desert
In the early morning haze
Creating a ghostly dance of light.

Long shadows persist
Pointing southeast
Toward the humid swamp
In the late evening haze
Creating a lingering dance of light.

These are high sun days,
Long lazy days of floating light,
Shadows creating two edges
Of a butterfly wing,
Creating a sense of peace and long life.

The rising sun of summer
Dances on the edge, shimmering.
The setting sun of summer
Lingers at the edge, remembering.
Life and love float on wings of butterflies.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Update and a Poem: Testimony

June 20, 2017 Leave a comment

I have not posted here in a while but I have been busy! Personally I have been deepening my study and practice of Qigong to become a better teacher. The more I study, the more I realize Qigong is not only my life-long practice for health, happiness and longevity, but also my passion to share this health-giving, life-saving technology from ancient China. And it is so simple, so easy, and FREE!

One of my teachers, Jeff Primack, came to Baltimore in early April for a three-day intensive. It is always great to be with a teacher; and I had a profound experience of energy rising during the closing “breath circle.”

In late April Rosemary and I traveled to Sedona and the Mago Retreat Center for an amazing experience with Teacher of Soul, Katye Anna Clark and about 30 other travelers from all over the country. The retreat was a four-day intensive immersion for “Living from the Heart.” Wow! Another transformational experience of opening the heart to live more fully from the soul. And I had the distinct honor of teaching Qigong every morning of the retreat in the beautiful settings of Mago.

And in mid-May I traveled to Daytona Beach to spend another three-day intensive with Jeff Primack, this time at his National event: QiRevolution. And I met another of my teachers, Dr. Roger Janke who offered profound insights into health and wellness from his 40-year perspective of teaching and practicing Chinese Medicine and Medical Qigong.

It was a magical spring. I am honored and humbled to have experienced profound shifts. I am grateful for my further awakening. And I am motivated for share my insights.

And with that I offer:

Testimony

Health is a personal thing
And it is a choice.
It’s personal because it comes from inside;
And only you can make the choice.

Look to the outside;
Visit the impersonal health-care facility,
The hospital near you, the place
You would go if seriously ill or injured.

Do you see health there?
Oh, there is plenty of care.
Sickness, disease, crippling injures
Are within the realm of care here.

Look rather to the inside
If you are seeking health care.
There is where your health lives;
It is in your heart, your mind, your soul.

Your body is a walking, fluid, pharmacopeia.
Visit is often to find wellness.
Breathe, meditate, seek inside
The magic pill of health, happiness, longevity.

Be the testimony to your free choice.
Breathe the richness all life offers.
Move inward to seek the Light.
Balance in the flow of boundless Love.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

New Year’s Eve: Out with the Old!

December 31, 2016 Leave a comment

One of the teachers I am working with has asked us, as part of our year-end review, to release all the old habits, feelings, beliefs, thoughts that are not serving us. I’ve spent this week reviewing the year, in fact the past nine years, to dredge up and lever out the old “stuff” that’s “down there!” As another of my teachers would say, “it is time to metabolize that “stuff” and turn it into compost for new growth!”

2016 is a 9-year, a year for completion. 2017 is a 1-year, a year for new beginnings! Today is a great day to release the old to make room for the new.

Here is my poem to reflect on this process; a riff on the five elements of Classical Chinese Medicine and Philosophy:

Release—

Anger through forgiveness:
Grow through the lessons,
Rise with the lengthening days,
Draw on all the resources,
Create your own destiny!

Anxiety through surrender:
Expand through the lessons,
Allow engaging relationships,
Mature in thoughts and actions,
Manifest inalienable joy!

Worry through service:
Serve from the lessons,
Share from the heart,
Engage in all life offers,
Adapt to the Way of life!

Grief through acceptance:
Transmute through the lessons,
Balance loss with gifts,
Release emptiness for fullness,
Purify life through praise!

Fear through trust:
Contemplate life’s lessons,
Believe in your own power,
Feel free and confident in life,
Flow through the currents to Wisdom!

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©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Happy Halloween! A poem for Samhain

October 31, 2016 Leave a comment

The veil between worlds thins at this time of the year. Samhain is the holiday in Celtic tradition that celebrates this special cross-quarter day, half-way between Equinox and Solstice. It is the new year! A time of letting go and resting as we approach the long nights of winter.

Feeling the Other Side most clearly at this time I offer this as my treat:

Thin Little Veil (with apologies to Bob Sima)

The season drifts toward the dark;
Slanting rays glance lower, shorter.
The bright light of high summer fades
To the sadder shade of yellow tinged with gold.

The cold creeps slowly along the road;
Longer nights hold it to linger there.
The warmth of high sun is but remembered
As the chill settles deeper in the bones.

The veil ‘tween here and gone shreds;
Thinner now, revealing more it drifts.
Gossamer, hiding nothing, not even shadows
As it wisps away as fine mist.

This Halloween the thin little veil
Opening the way to the Other Side
Stands as a welcoming sign
And beckons us to listen well.

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©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Love is Health

July 5, 2016 Leave a comment

I am reading Martín Prechtel’s most recent book, “The Smell of Rain on Dust.”

Martín is one of my most revered teachers. When the world is fortunate enough to receive another of his gifts of writing, I immediately acquire the book, and then I savor it, sometime putting off reading for a time knowing I have it, but delaying the incredible gratification I get when I read his lovely words.

I studied with Martín for a few years almost a decade ago now; I sat with him in his Bolad’s Kitchen, cooking in the soup of his stories, his character and his wisdom. Now whenever I get to read one of his books, new or old, I can hear his voice, the cadence and timber, the melody, the harmonies as he speaks with reverence for life, nature, the indigenous soul of humanity.

I am in the middle of this current book, published in 2015 but current to me. When I am finished I’ll post a complete review here. But for now I want to quote the end of Chapter 6: “Paddles of Tears, Canoes Made Out of Old Songs”. This short quote summarizes in a tidy nugget where I am right now in life and what continues to carry me forward into my 8th decade:

The eloquence of our own affection for one another keeps the world healthy. Praise and the depth of our grief expressed for one another keeps the world in love. Love is health.

Words from The Way

June 21, 2016 Leave a comment

Yes, I’m coming “alive” again! Welcome to this magical time of maximum Yang, Summer Solstice; and Full Moon on the same day, yesterday. We are still in this powerful energy so be sure to make good use of it.

I have been absent from this blog for a bit; maybe hiding out from myself and getting familiar with this new and transforming energy 2016 has brought to us. Do you feel it? It is palpable. And we are experiencing it as at no other time; just take a peek at current affairs and this wacky presidential election time.

So, with all of this in mind I read a passage from my latest “medical Qigong” book I was “given” for Fathers’ Day (I ordered it with Rosemary’s blessing!). Here’s the passage:

If chaos is eternal, the order introduced into chaos of the universe has an end, as it has a beginning. This is because slowly names given cease to fit; political systems invented in simpler times cease to function; old irrigation ditches get choked with new vegetation; the waters of chaos begin to mount.

–from J. Lagerwey, Taoist Ritual in Chinese Society and History (1987) as quoted by Lonny S. Jarrett in Nourishing Destiny, The Inner Tradition of Chinese Medicine (1998)

Maybe you get the idea of why I became motivated to post this today. With maximum Yang energy pouring down on us from Heaven, both from Sun  and Moon, the “waters of chaos” seem to be mounting. I don’t have to innumerate all the crazy events we are in the midst of or name them – “names given cease to fit”! But I do want to consider this quote from the perspective of growing up in the ’60s, another time of chaos, anguish, but also hope and dreams.

We were ready for change in the 60s. Some of us worked hard to bring it on. And I believe we did to a degree. And then the “waters of chaos” seemed to subside.

Now the waters are rising again. There is a new movement for change in these ‘teens’ – the “ditches” began to fill in 2012. And now it almost feels like “political systems invented in simpler times” are beginning to come apart, “cease to function.” How will the “revolution” end this time?

I don’t pretend to have answers. I only hope to pass along some wisdom from ancient China. Can we find some answers in the lessons once learned long ago and far away?

Or, “when will we ever learn?”

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NEW MOON IN SAGITTARIUS I CHING GUA: SHI-MULTITUDE

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

The New Moon in Sagittarius appeared on Saturday morning, November 22, 2014 at 7:32 AM EST. That morning, shortly after the Moon was exactly conjunct with the Sun and newly in the sign of Sagittarius, I sat with my yarrow stalks and cast an I Ching Gua (a six line hexagram) to determine the energies for the coming month. And the result is an interesting one that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to.Shi-Multitude

It’s pictured here: only one Yang line at the 2nd position. All the rest are Yin lines. And there are no changing lines; this is a stable, some might say “stagnant” energy for the month.

My primary source for interpreting my I Ching practice is Taoist Master Alfred Huang’s The Complete I Ching. While most English translations of the Shi is “Army” Master Huang goes back to the older meaning, “Multitude.” In ancient China there were no standing armies. If there was a need for an army – only two reasons required one: defense against invasion and to overthrow a tyrant – military units were assembled from among the peasants who had some training in military action while they were idle during inactive farming seasons. I too prefer the older interpretation of the word and this Gua.

For me this hexagram represents a community. Rosemary and I both have been writing and thinking a lot about community, how important it is for human evolution. Humans are social beings. We have survived and evolved through gathering together in groups of mutual support and aid. In our modern world we seem to have lost this concept. We have turned to a “dog-eat-dog” world of competition, everyone for themselves, “whoever dies with the most wins.” We also seem to have lost any recognition or respect for leadership. With the “me first” attitude so prevalent there is no trust of anyone who might propose a movement toward progress.

This Gua, Multitude, speaks to this modern social dilemma. Note the second line is the only solid, Yang, or strong line in the hexagram. The Yin lines seem to pivot about this second line, the leader of the multitude. “He” derives his authority from the Yin line at the fifth position, a line representing feminine energy. There is excellent balance between masculine and feminine power in this Gua and the other Yin lines represent the community.

It is time for all of us to find our communities. If we are not in community we can either find one to join or build one. There is stability in this Gua, no changing lines, to emphasize this message. The key meaning is in Confucius’ Commentary on the Decision:

Shi is a multitude.
Persistence is for righteousness.

One who is able to lead the multitude
To persist for righteousness
Is able to bring peace to the world.

Firm and central,
He obtains a response.
Taking the risk of dangerous action,
He confronts no hindrance.
Relying on this,
He maintains public order,
And people follow him.
Good fortune.
What mistake should there be?

Fu-Turning BackThis month I also want to offer the Mutual Gua to shed more light on this energy of “Multitude.” This Gua is formed by taking the inner lines to form a new one: the second through fourth lines form the bottom trigram and the third through the fifth lines form the top trigram. This yields Fu which means “Turning Back.”

Master Huang says we should always look at the Mutual Gua: “The hidden meaning of any Gua lies in it’s mutual Gua; it should not be ignored.”

Turning back means to return to the beginning; to repeat a cycle. The Gua is said to represent the eleventh month in the Chinese Lunar calendar and the bottom Yang line can represent the Winter Solstice and return of the Sun. The Decision for this Gua says it all:

Turning back.
Prosperous and smooth.
Going out and coming in.

No harm.
Friends arrive.
No fault.
The Tao of falling away and turning back,
In seven days comes the return.
Favorable to have somewhere to go.

We look now toward Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Enjoy community. Find community. Build community. Thrive and evolve. The energies of this time support you!

Many blessings and gratitude for you, kind readers!

PS: Sorry to increase the length of this already long post, but I wanted to add this from Rosemary about the energies of Sagittarius:

According to The Mountain Astrologer magazine, ‘Sagittarius is the sign most associated with discovering the meaning of life and our role in it.’ Are you ready to begin a new cycle of living your purpose? Can you commit to evolving your consciousness and shining your light more brightly?