In this issue we visit another national park located in Utah, Capitol Reef. The poems and vignette are a bit mystical.
Mission: To provide poetical and thoughtful comments on life
Taking a break on one of the ledges at Capitol Reef N.P.
Opening Comments from Bob
This Page: Every national park has its own personality. Capitol Reef is no exception. Enjoy your pictorial visit. The written sections focus on tai chi including the two poems which have a rich flavor of the mystical. The first, Silk Reeling through Life, will definitely have many wondering, which isn't all bad. Inward speaks to the deep level one can enter through tai chi. Both poems have a video accompaniment. The vignette, The Tai Chi Way, speaks to another path, one I have chosen.
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Unless otherwise noted, the pictures that follow focus on the journey to or the trip through Capitol Reef National Park, UT.
Silk Reeling through Life
All hold opposites.
Yin and Yang
Flow like a river.
We are passengers
along this journey
referred to as Life.
The eternal circle
rising from the soil,
and like rain,
returning to it.
as the snake and crane
dual in their eternal battle.
Look into the sky,
a Chinese dragon
its mystical flight.
remains not enough
to grasp the secrets
of this magnificent universe.
Comments: Some of you will read and wonder, "What is he talking about?" I would love to hear from you regarding your interpetation of this poem.
As the tai chi movements flow
the cares of the day
Soon, an ocean of air
caressing arms and feet,
enveloping the body.
In rare moments
as one dwells inward
oblivious to all around,
lost for moments
in the vortex of time.
No matter which journey
the dancer travels,
revitalized and refreshed.
Comment: For those who actually read the poems, you may remember this one from several months ago. However, I have tweaked it a bit and included with it what I believe to be an appropriate video. I hope you enjoy! Also, be sure to view the video.
I created a video to accompany the poem Silk Reeling through Life. You can view on YouTube.
Hiking back to Capitol Dome.
A tourist looking at the sign entering Capitol Reef N.P..
My poetry reading at the national conference.
I created a video to accompany the poem Inward. You can view on YouTube.
Vignette: The Tai Chi Way
Master Jo was forty-three when diagnosed with an enlarged heart. The prognosis was dire. Being of Asian descent, he decided to return to his roots. In a matter of weeks he embraced tai chi and the martial arts, not merely as an exercise program but as a way of life–seeking balance in all things. Within a few years he became a renown master. In fact, his fame spread throughout the world's tai chi community. His workshops held in NYC attracted practitioners from all over the world. At the age of eight-six he died in an automobile accident. The autopsy that followed revealed that his organs, including his heart, were as if they belonged to a twenty-five year old.
Libby, a friend of mine, developed MS close to three decades ago. It was so serious that she received intensive chemo. Like Master Jo, she too turned to Eastern medicine and philosophy. With intensive immersion into tai chi, its way of life, along with the martial arts, she began to regain her health. She has not had a MS relapse for twenty-two years. She also earned her 5h degree black belt.
There are many more stories I could tell regarding tai chi and the health benefits garnered from its regular practice. There are even more marvelous ones that took their practice beyond the mere physical aspects. Practitioners often see improvements in balance and mobility within eight weeks. Those who integrate the principles into their lives also see stress reduction. The awareness that life is full of opposites, yin and yang, allows one to understand and accept the darker times along with the days of sunshine.
If you are interested in learning more about this ancient Chinese practice, check out Dr. Paul Lam's website. On that same page, you can also find instructors in your area.
While in the Portland area, I enjoyed a series of wonderful experiences.
Dr. Paul Lam's workshops cannot be beat. For more information and to find an instructor in your area, go to the link.
Manzana Rotisserie Grill, Lake Oswego, OR: I savored the steelhead trout, cooked to perfection.
Forest Grove, OR: The weekly farmers market, excellent
The Yellow Llama Restaurant is a must if you are in the area. Delectible barely describes the food, served with friendly smiles and ample portions. (Located downtown Forest Grove)
There is a fruit orchard in the park.
I recently spent six days in Portland, OR, with Dr. Paul Lam and Master Instructor Dan Jones. My study focus was on silk reeling, the basis of all tai chi and qigong. Moves and activities focussed on moving the energy, chi, through out the body, thus, fostering good health. In case you have missed the many recent articles, including medical research, tai chi is one of the healthiest forms of exercise known to humankind.