Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Tao’

Friday’s Poem: Basho’s Frog

October 13, 2017 Leave a comment

I read an article recently describing the difference between Buddhist and Taoist meditation. The premise is that Buddhist meditation seeks to quiet the mind while Taoist meditation seeks to merge with the Tao, to find peace and tranquility, for example, in nature. Maybe I’m not a purist, or maybe I’m just missing the fine points the article attempts to make, but I find my meditations can go both ways, from quiet thoughts of nature into utter stillness, silence, empty mind; and then back again. Perhaps I am mixing two forms of meditation, but if so they both serve me.

As I thought about this, wrote about it in my pages, the world famous Japanese haiku by Matsuo Basho popped into my mind. So I took the liberty of riffing off his amazing vision:

Basho’s Frog

The pond clears as a cool mist
Settles on the surface
Undisturbed by breeze or current.

The mind holds a vision of quiet peace
Settling into stillness
Undisturbed by random thought.

The frog croaks, singing his love
Settlilng over his mates
Undisturbed by his call for response.

He leaps, “kerplunk”, rippling the surface,
Raising the mist
Disturbing the stillness, if not the peace.

Gratitude rises as a cool mist
And settles over the surface
As ripples fade into the undisturbed peace.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

And then this happened…

October 4, 2017 Leave a comment

Once again there’s been a delay between posts here. And I haven’t written any poems lately. Many of you already know why:

Sometime, just after the “Lion’s Gate” event on 8/8/2017, I had a heart attack. I am a bit vague about exact time here because my symptoms were pretty mild – no great drama, no race by ambulance to the hospital, no life-saving actions by first responders. No, just a few days of chest pressure and a restless, mostly sleepless night on 8/10.

On 8/11 I taught my Friday morning Qigong class. This felt good, but the pressure in my chest continued and began migrating to my back. Hmmm! Between Rosemary and me we decided to give our local “urgent care” a try. Good experience. They sent me to the emergency room with EKG, chest X-Ray and instructions to Rosemary to get me through triage fast.

Long story short my troponin level, a protein marker for heart attack, was through the roof. By early morning on 8/12 I was on my way via ambulance to Washington Hospital Center for catheterization to determine the cause of this heart event. In at 8:30; by 9:00 they knew I had blockage that needed CABG (the cardiology short-hand for Cardiac Artery Bypass Graft) – three of them in fact.

My CABGx3 got scheduled for Tuesday, August 15 (Mary’s Assumption Day, so I knew I was in good hands!). I spent the rest of Saturday through Monday in the hospital under acute observation; I had this time to prepare.

I continued my Qigong practice. There was this lovely atrium window on the fourth floor where I could go through my morning routine in nice light. I knew at this point that Qigong had saved my life, kept me healthy and strong enough  to endure/survive the heart attack. I certainly wasn’t going to stop practice now, especially prior to surgery!

Surgery was routine, as these things go. I suspect splitting open a person’s chest to access the heart’s arteries is never quite routine. My care at Washington Hospital was stellar! I can’t imagine my experience going any better. (OK, the food was not gourmet but it was edible!). By Saturday, 8/19, one week after admission, was released with new drugs and a few restrictions. No Qigong for a few days! But I walked out with the “heart of a 20-year old” (according to the cardiologist who read my echocardiogram) and new plumbing.

And I have been on a fast-track to full recovery ever since. I started my Qigong classes up again on 9/22 – added two make-up classes to cover the missed August classes.

And now I am launching my next series of classes for the Fall 2017; they run from October 6 through December 29, 10:30 am in West Annapolis. And these classes are available LIVE via internet. You can find the details on my website (linked below).

Qigong saved my life. It continues to speed my recovery process. And I am committed to bring this ancient, life-saving technology to as many people as I can reach.

Join me for this life-saving practice! QigongistheWay.com

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?”

sig

New Moon in Scorpio I Ching

October 24, 2014 Leave a comment

This New Moon yesterday evening (here on the East Coast at 5:56 pm) was a powerful one and brought with it a solar eclipse. We had western clouds obscuring it here but here’s a picture of the eclipse from Griffith Observatory:

And the New Moon signals me to bring out the yarrow stalks and sit with them to cast a I Ching Gua (hexagram of yin and yang lines) to “read” the energies brought in with this New Moon in the Astrological sign of Scorpio.Yi-Increasing

Here is the resulting Gua:

I am please to report that this is an auspicious sign for the coming month (moonth) and it is a steady one, i.e. there are no changing lines in the cast so we can expect “steady increasing” through the month.

My main reference for the I Ching  is The Complete I Ching by Taoist Master Alfred Huang. His book is deep, thorough and clear. My favorite segment of the text for this Gua, Yi, is the last verse of Confucius’ Commentary on King Wen’s Decision:

Increase means with gentleness and mildness.
It proceeds daily without limits.
Heaven bestows and Earth accepts.
Thereby things increase without restriction.
The Tao of increasing always proceeds in harmony with the time.

The picture here is Wind over Thunder. The gentleness comes from above, from the Wind trigram. And the power, the “daily without limits” comes from below, Thunder. The image of “Heaven bestows and Earth accepts” suggests this receiving of gifts without restraint – gifts from Heaven!

This interpretation comes from a transformation of another Gua formed by the Heaven trigram (three solid, Yang lines) above and the Earth trigram (thee open, Yin lines) below. By moving the fourth line in this hexagram (which is Pi-Hindrance)  to the bottom we get our new hexagram, Increasing. The gift flows down from Heaven offering increase to the Earth!

We are in a period of change, rapid for some. Rosemary and I have been writing about this all week; the theme has been “change, transformation, transition.” Today’s I Ching divination supports this with good news! The transition phase we are in is bringing increase, steady increase that is both gentle and mild. Let’s enjoy this period of positive growth!

This Gua does come with a warning in the form of that top Yang line; the Yao text says: “No increase, but a strike. Not keeping the heart steady: misfortune.” The top line is at the extreme end of the Gua and is Yang. From here it is likely to shift unless close attention is given – “keeping the heart steady”! If we are consistent in our approach, remain aware of our purpose and proceed accordingly, steady increase is our reward!

PS: The Astrology supports the I ChingMy friend, Gloria Hesseloff offers a New Moon newsletter each month and I am always tickeled (not surprised) with the mutual support between what the Yarrow Stalks tell me and the Astrology tells Gloria. Here’s a snippet from her MAGNETIC MOON NEWSLETTER month:

This month take the Pluto/Scorpio Path of Self-Empowerment. This is a vital part of this Great Shift. Be part of the movement where folks like us, seeking higher consciousness, are practicing right use of power for the higher good. Be especially diligent about what you are thinking and feeling. What are you broadcasting to the Field and what are you praying for through your thoughts and feelings?

Be aware that we are also experiencing a Solar Eclipse which is offering us the opportunity to jumpstart our consciousness, asks us the question, “Are you ready to move to a higher octave?”

Thanks, Gloria!

 

Problems? Be a Solver! – Richard’s Commentary

July 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Rosemary posted her “Exploration” on this subject the night of the New Moon in Cancer. As I do on the New Moons I cast an I Ching Gua – a six-line hexagram consisting of open, yin, and closed, yang lines. I posted my results and my interpretation of this I Ching divination on Monday this week (Link). The initial Gua I obtained was “Hardship” – it appeared that I may be in for some “problems” during the month (I use the I Ching to give me a sense of the incoming energies for the month ahead from New Moon to New Moon).

Here is what Divine Mother Mary channeled through Rosemary had to say about problems and how they might be solved:

When people seek solutions to problems, answers to questions, they do not realize that they are seeking help in making a change in their life. They want something outside themselves to change without changing anything in their interior life, and they want that one thing in their life to change without their having to change anything else in their life.

I am fascinated by this Mary quote because here is what Taoist Master Alfred Huang, quoting early 3rd Century BC philosopher, Mencius, offered to help us understand “Hardship” –

If one loves others and they do not respond in the same way,
one should turn inward and examine one’s own love.
If one treats others politely, and they do not return politeness,
one should turn inward and examine one’s own politeness.
When one does not realize what one desires,
one must turn inward and examine oneself in every point.

The message is clear from both Mother Mary and the I Ching: if you want to solve a problem look inside yourself for the solution. How do you need to change your perspective? What do you need to change to be a solver?

One must seek a solution to a problem by asking this question FIRST: “WHO do I need to BE in order that this problem be solved?” –Mary

Turn inward and examine oneself in every point. –Mencius

And the good news for this month is the “Hardship” doesn’t last! There is volatility in the I Ching and it changes to “Union.” I like that energy much better. It also suits the Cancer energy much better!

Enjoy your month of “Union.” Enjoy your problem solving by questing inside for the changes, the appropriate responses, the new perspectives that lead through the lessons to the positive outcomes you desire and deserve!

MONDAY’S POEM: It is What it is

June 23, 2014 Leave a comment

I am an Enneagram Type 1. This type is sometimes labeled “The Perfectionist.” Anger is often the first emotional response of a Type 1 person. In the Chinese and Taoist approach to “labeling” people they offer a “five-element” system. I am predominantly a “wood-type” person. Anger is often the first emotional response of a Wood-type person. Yes, I have been known to feel and display anger. But what’s the knowing that can be revealed by these systems that point at me with the same label?

My spiritual path coming out of this introspective approach and the tools I use for self-knowing is acceptance. As a perfectionist I need to accept the way things are. As I wood-type I need to learn to be flexible (like a tree bending with the wind). Acceptance, forgiveness, patience and letting go are the key words that I pull into me and work with toward resonance.

It is within this spirit of resonance that I wrote today’s poem:

It is What it is

Acceptance, letting go, realizing
It is what it is.
This is no easy row to hoe,
And yet it is the only path home.

Breath, inhaling deeply, noticing
What is, this natural state.
Open posture, belly breath
And relaxing on this path home.

Choice, accepting, admitting
There are options, nothing’s fixed.
Relaxed, deeply at peace
And knowing this is the path home.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

MONDAY’S POEM: Medusa

February 24, 2014 Leave a comment

This past Friday I started another Qigong class; I’m offering a morning class for those finding it difficult to make it to my Monday evening classes. I am enjoying these opportunities to share one of my loves, ancient Chinese wisdom, the Tao and Qigong. Today I mix up a bit of the East with the Greek to explore common understanding.

Medusa

Death to Life.
Composted negative energy
Through the death process
Creating positive energy.
Vital Life Force – Qi!

Medusa’s dark blood births
Pegasus, the Flying White Horse:
Instinct, wisdom, imagination,
Intuitive understanding – Vital Life Force.

Flying Wood Horse Year,
Pegasus rising from Water Serpent,
Medusa. Negative to positive, dark to light,
Death to Life.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.