Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tragedy unleashes a great unifying force

This article is taken from the Star Newspaper of Malaysia.


http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?col=beijingexpress&file=/2008/5/25/columnists/beijingexpress/21359507&sec=Beijing%20Express

Beijing Express

By CELESTE FONG

THE May 12 Wenchuan earthquake is a tragedy that few of us will ever forget and most of us will remember how this tragedy became a great unifier in China.

We are with you (Wenchuan quake victims)!

Almost everywhere we went in the affected areas of the quake zone or Chinese cities, we saw this slogan.

People often say tragic experience can be a crucible and this devastating magnitude 8 earthquakewas one, for both the people and their government!

Two hours after the massive earthquake struck Sichuan, Premier Wen Jiabao flew from Beijing to Chengdu.

He reached the Sichuan capital around 7pm and rushed to Dujiangyan by 8.30pm.

The ruined city was in inky darkness and the Premier and his team relied solely on a diesel-powered engine for lighting.

Wen has been leading the relief operations since and making numerous trips by various means to reach the people in the affected areas.

When I left for Beijing on Friday, Wen made a second visit the quake zone even though he had earlier covered most of the places to check on the situation.

On May 16th, President Hu Jintao joined Wen and called for a meeting on rescue operations again despite passing the 72-hour rescue window.

Saving lives is still the top priorty of their work, the leaders said.

Many affected areas remain unsafe and when aftershocks struck again and heavy rain poured, the rescue team had to leave but a rescue worker kneeled down and begged: “Please let me save one more life before we go.''

A group of ex-soldiers broke down in tears as they were leaving Dujiangyan where they had been stationed in during the rescue operations, when I met them on Wednesday.

“It (the quake) has killed so many lives,'' cried one of them.

China Mobile technician Liu Jian Qiu was the first to notice the rolling boulders when the aftershock struck.

He was in Ma'erkang county leading a team of over 20 members to repair broken cables restoring communications in Wenchuan.

He could have run for his life but he shouted loudly for his team to run and he used his life to save a colleague by trying to block the blouders and push his colleague away from danger.

“Our team leader (Liu) saved my life,'' Li Wei Xiang recalled.

Before Liu gasped his last breath, his last words were: “I want to go home.”

Touching stories of how teachers sacrified their lives to save their students overflow the media.

As teachers drew their last breath, they gave their students the last lesson and showed them the most beautiful language in the world - love.

I see everyone, leaders or ordinary people, jian shou gang wei (remain dutiful in their respective roles.)

I see strength in the people.

I see unselfish love.

I see hope.

The list goes on.

It's simply very humbling and very tragic. As tragic as the May 12 Wenchuan earthquake can be, I learnt that tragedy can be a means of grace.

It can be a wake up call in a very serious and profound way.

A lesson to everyone.

And it can also be a force for bringing people together!

It reminds us to appreciate the chance that we too often take for granted - the chance to live another day.

Tragedy can be a blessing if we let it. “Don't cry,'' said a friend who is still in Wenchuan.

And let's remember the silver lining of the tragedy instead.

Friday, May 23, 2008

SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY...

I got this through the email.... Though everything is an illusion, some illusions are truly BEAUTIFUL!

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

"Jack, did you hear me?"

"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.
"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.

"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.

"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said

"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said.. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said..

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no chil dren of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly.

"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.

"The box is gone," he said

"What box?" Mom asked. !

"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside.. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most ,'" Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom." !

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. "Mr..... Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There insid! e was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett.. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unl! atched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

"Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser."

"The thing he valued most was...my time" ! ;

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.

"I need some time to spend with my son," he said.

"Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!"

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away,"

Think about this. You may not realize it, but it's 100% true...

1. At least 2 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.
2. At least 15 people in! this wo rld love you in some way. !
3! .. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
4. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
5. You mean the world to someone.
6. If not for you, someone may not be living.
7. You are special and unique.
8. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you prob ably won't get It, but if you trust God to do what's best, and wait on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better.
9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.
10. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.
11. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.!
12. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.
13 . Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know and you'll both be happy..
14. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

To everyone I send this to "Thanks for your time"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Qi gong state (of mind)

The effectiveness of qi gong depends to a large extent on the ability of the practitioner to "relax" or "fang song". This relaxed state is also known as "entering the qi gong state". Learning the forms of zhineng qi gong at level 1 is fairly easy and one can learn it within a short period of time of one month or less.
However to effectively enter the qi gong state and gain maximum benefit, the practitioner has to be able to use his mind or "yi" during the preparation stage to relax each and every part of his body from head to toe. According to the founder of zhineng qi gong, Dr. Pang He Ming, the eight verses or "ba ji kou jie" if practiced correctly constitute towards 30% (in terms of practice effectiveness) of each practice session.
Practitioners of zhineng qi gong will understand that after the initial relaxation stage brought about with the help of verbal directives from the teacher, the eight verses serves to enable the practitioner who has now entered the qi gong state, to expand into the heavens and at the same time stay firmly rooted to earth. In this state the practitioner is close to what is known as "tian ren he yi" or unity of man and heaven.
For practitioners who are initially "insensitive" to qi or unable to "feel qi", entering the qi gong state is no easy task and they end up struggling through their qi gong session... instead of using their minds to attract qi into their body effortlessly.
In my own experience, after 5 years of perseverence, I am now just starting to experience the true meaning of "xing song yi chong..." or "body relaxes... mind expands..." This is the result of supplementing my own practice regimes with a set of simple warm up exercises used by "tai chi" practitioners. These exercises methodically loosens the practitioners' legs, hands, neck, shoulders, waist, knees, etc. Thereafter it becomes much easier for me to concentrate and follow the teacher's verbal directives to enter into a profound qi gong state or "qi gong tai".
How precisely does one know that one has entered into a profound qi gong state? In my own opinion, this is highly subjective and depends on each individual's understanding as well as level of progress. What is considered by an individual to be successful entry into qi gong state at a certain level may turn out to be different when he progresses into a higher level. A good gauge would be for the practitioner to check that during his practice, he can truly keep his mind inside his body. In my own experience, I employ "yi shou dan tian" or focusing mind in dan tian to gauge how effectively I have entered into the qi gong state of mind.
For instance, if during a session of LCUPCD, I am able to "feel a connection" to my lower dantian at all times and in all my movements, I will be able to feel that my movements are all initiated or comes from my lower dantian and hence the yi or spirit is in all the movements and conscious use of muscles is minimised or even eliminated.
Hun yuan ling tong!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

SHARING

Kian Tee,
thank you so much for staying with us, I so much appreciate and learn from your entires!!!We can learn all we want from books, and even lectures. It is for us to truly be one with these concepts which are beyond words!!
HYLT,Fay
May 11, 2008
Thanks Fay.
The destiny of humanity is an endless march from ignorance to enlightenment and if we recognize this it is natural for us to share and help one another in this quest...Like Blythe who is faced with her husband's "incomprehension" I have my kids tell me: "Dad... why don't you go and stay in a monastery..." when I speak about TAO and spirituality.I blog to pen down my thoughts and I am "attached" to this forum... where I can share/exchange with my fellow travelers.
Hun yuan ling tong!
Kian Tee

Friday, May 09, 2008

May 9, 2008

Hi Dawn, Blythe,
Nice of you guys to pay me a visit. Don't feel so lonely anymore....
Dawn,
I think the "first thought" is a manifestation of TAO. For that matter everything that happens after the first thought has TAO in it. TAO is everywhere but ... because of its metaphysical nature we can never perceive TAO with our physical senses.I post this because because I realized the connection between the scientific fact of an "electric current being generated when a conductor is moved through a magnetic field" and the "infinite ripples generating qi in the presence of... TAO (field)?"We note also that out of "Nothingness" came a "first thought" Can Nothingness think? It can only mean that nothingness is not really nothingness but is also something. In our realm A is A and B is B but in the realm of spirituality A & B are two sides of the same coin. TAO is both being and non-being.I wonder in my lifetime if I will ever be able to expereince this unified state of "being and non-being" Work hard my fellow qigongers... work hard!
Quote:
My husband can understand and share ideas and experiences about many things - being present, letting go, being in the moment, quieting teh monkey mind, the transience and greateer reality of some experiences like those that occur during qigong...but then I try to explain physically expanding to infinity/the Void within, and there is utter incomprehension, and even incomprehension of the fact that he's not comprehending what I am saying.- Blythe
Unquote
Blythe, I know what you mean. We fail everytime we try to use our limited system of language and symbols to explain something beyond this dimension...Even if we understand... it is only a knowledge and being knowledge, it is only a pointer to the door and until we manage to open this door (the mysterious pass?) and enter it our knowledge will never be complete...
Hun yuan ling tong!
Kian Tee

IN THE BEGINNING

It feels kind of lonely out here....

Being out here alone made me realize that one year has passed by since I joined the class and it feels kind of lonely...... I would like to share this piece on TAO which is taken from a book by Deng Meng-Dao:
In the beginning was Nothingness. Out of Nothingness came a random thought. A thought that generated infinite RIPPLES within the stillness. Movement gave rise to qi, vital breath. Breath congealed into the five elements: water, metal, fire, wood, & earth symbolic of matter. Then this chaos became organized by yin and yang. Breathing knew inhalation and exhalation, the universe was ordered according to duality; for only in the interaction and tension between polar opposites could movement and evolution arise. The interaction of all these things finally brought forth gods, humanity, and all myriad phenomena. That first thought was like a stone dropping into a pristinely still pond. All that came after may be called TAO. TAO is therefore not that which is totally irreducible, for only Nothingness qualifies for that definition. TAO is only a shade away from Nothingness....
Hun yuan ling tong!
Kian Tee

Saturday, May 03, 2008

STAYING CENTERED DURING PRACTICE

I was reading a book on Tai Chi and came across the meaning of "Yi Shou Dantian" as mind being focussed on our lower dantian or lower energy center. The author went on to say that every movement starts with the dantian and in this way our spirit will manifest in all movements. I realized that this is what I need to stay focussed within during my practice and tried it out during this morning's session of ZBE. From the start: "Duan sheng cheng zuo..." I placed my "Yi" in my lower dantian and at the directive of "bai hui shang ling... sia ke nei shou..." instead of using my neck muscle I used my mind to think qi from dantian rising to lift up my bai hui... Thus the movement has originated from dantian. The effect was surprising.... an almost effortless movement of bai hui being lifted and chin following inward to my chest.. spine pleasantly stretched...

During establishment of qi field: "Siang qi kong... (think space)" A momentary affirmation of yi on dantian and then gently shifting yi towards "chi kong" produces a sensation of outward expansion which is being controlled from dantian acting as the center.

During ZBE1 I felt a relaxation in my abdomen and lower never felt before. Breating in I can feel qi being drawn seamlessly into dantian with concurrent relaxation of the lower back and lumber bones to accomodate the qi. Towards the end of the breathe in cycle I felt the need to intervene with a slight muscular action to change the cycle to breathing out. This muscular action caused a momentary loss of connectedness with dantian. Not perfect yet as I know the changeover should be a seamless transformation from in to out. More work needs to be done here.

The overall effect of employing "yi shou dantian" is a continual feeling of connectedness with dantian at all times... Whilst employing this mode of practice I am aware of my thoughts moving back to a week ago when I was at my son's school science fair. At the fair I had the opportunity for the first time in my life to peer into space through a telescope to look at the planet Saturn. It surprised me how beautiful Saturn looked in "real life" as opposed to seeing it in pictures and in photographs in the internet. I could not stay look at it too long as there was a long queue behind me. I felt that I need to look at her again and re-joined the queue right at the back for another opportunity. When my turn came again I am more prepared for it... the same sense of awe struck me at how beautiful the planet can be and this time I noticed that it is gliding across space from one side of the scope towards the centre... wow! I had to stop again as it would not be fair to the others waiting in the queue.

While this thought was re-playing itself in my sub-conscious, it dawned on me that it is TAO that is moving Saturn and all the planets and stars in the entire universe! TAO is the center of this motion... it is a point about which everything revolves around and yet it is not static for it is at the same time the origin of all movements of the planets and stars. A sudden inspiration strikes me:

WHEN WE DO OUR GONG WITH MIND FULLY FOCUSED ON DANTIAN AND ALLOW ALL MOVEMENTS TO ORIGINATE FROM DANTIAN...

WE ARE EMULATING OR IN TOUCH WITH TAO!