Monthly Archives: January 2011
by Dr. Wu Tao-Wei Tai Chi Chuan, as most people know, is that slow motion exercise of the Chinese People. Those Westerners who have not actually seen this exercise method for themselves have probably seen news clips of people practicing Tai Chi on the various TV programs or on video programs about China or Taiwan or Hong Kong or Singapore. Wherever there are any groups of Chinese, you will find Tai Chi Chuan being practiced, usually in the early morning hours by the elderly and in the pre-dawn hours by the Chinese martial artists. That Tai Chi Chuan is an incredibly effective method of self-defense far surpassing Japanese karate, is not generally known nor do the Tai Chi practitioners, themselves, brag about this aspect of the exercise. It takes many years to be able to develop this phase of the art, so most people content themselves with the health aspects that Tai Chi Chuan -- the Grand Ultimate Fist -- offers them. One of the strange things about Tai Chi Chuan is that its benefits are not readily apparent. Neither its health benefits nor its martial arts techniques are easy to perceive by the uninformed observer. The Christian philosophy is to "put your lamp on a lamp stand and not under a bushel", that is, to beam your spiritual light outward for the world to see. For an evangelical movement that strives to bring blessings to others, this is very fine, indeed. This is called teaching by doing and teaching by example. But the Taoist philosophy, from which Tai Chi Chuan derives, teaches by not-doing and teaching by example. Christian and Taoist philosophy are similar in this way and also different. Rather than put your lamp on a lamp stand where someone can knock it off, Taoism teaches to be humble and to "Mask your brightness. Be at one with the dust of the earth." In this way, one can go about their life without attracting attention. And so, those who are the most expert at Tai Chi Chuan, whether having the ability of maiming and killing a drug-crazed street mugger with their bare hands or merely living to extreme old age without illness or disease -- these you vary rarely see even when they are standing right in front of you simply because they are following the humility path of this Taoist martial art. They are standing there smiling, but their skills are hidden. And so, it is not easy for a Westerner to discover the treasurers that are contained in the practice of Tai Chi Chuan. Indeed, it is not easy for the modern day Chinese youths to discover this, either. Whether you are a Western barbarian or a Chinese matters not. But whether you can calm your mind, relax your muscles, breath like a baby and find the Original Essence of the Universe, means everything. Because both Tai Chi exercise and Taoist philosophy can become bothersome to think about, and even more bother to write about, I will try to explain just one aspect of this unique and ingenious Chinese martial art. And that aspect is this: How is it that Tai Chi Chuan can cure old age symptoms? How can youths who practice Tai Chi never suffer from old age and how can people already old become youthful again through the practice of Tai Chi Chuan? All of this is true. Tai Chi Chuan does all of these things. But how? It has already been proven by Western science to be the very best exercise for increasing and maintaining balance so that old people don't fall down and hurt themselves. But how does it cure old age, itself? First, you must think about it for yourself. The Western physicians, being both ignorant and incompetent in these matters, are of no help whatsoever. So, ask yourself what are the first signs of old age? First, the muscles of the body are always under a certain tension known as "muscle tone". And over a lifetime, these muscles become harder and the joints, through lack of bending, become stiff. As Lao Tsu wrote: "A man is born gentle and weak. At his death he is hard and stiff. Green plants are tender and filled with sap. At their death they are withered and dry. Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death. The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life." The three main movement fibers of the body are the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Each is relatively tough to one another. Ligaments, which attach one bone to the next, are the strongest and the least pliable. And if the joints are not fully articulated during one's daily work or exercise, then these harden and make joint movement difficult or even impossible. Thus, a person loses the ability to stand or to move easily. Old age begins when what was once pliable becomes solidified. Tendons, which attach muscles to bones, are tough and medium in pliability. And muscles, which do the actual movement, are attached one to another and to the bones by the tendons. Only the muscles have the ability to move. And they move only by contracting or relaxing. If you look at the muscles, ligaments and tendons of a person, you will see that as we age, all three of these harden and become stiff. But they do not become stiff at the same time. What moves, continues to move. What is rigid becomes more rigid. "A hinge that is used, needs no oil. A hinge that is not used, rusts into a solid mass." You can get an idea of how this system works by using two different rubber bands, one thick and fat and the other of regular size and weight. Link them together and give them a stretch. The thin rubber band is like the muscles in that it stretches the most. And the thick band is like the tendons in that it stretches very little. But when you pull on them linked together, they both stretch. BUT, if you pull them quickly, TIME enters the equation. Try it yourself as an experiment. It is easy to do and the experiment will teach you far more than these written words can. The thin rubber band stretches the most but linked together with the fat one, they BOTH stretch though at different rates. When the thick and thin linked bands are pulled quickly, it is the thin one that stretches. The thick one doesn't have time to stretch. BUT when you pull them slowly, they both stretch. This is how Western exercise compares with Chinese exercise. In the West, the goal is usually to be faster and stronger. The competition of being first in the race or strongest on the weight machine is paramount. But what happens is that the muscles become hard and tight and the tendons become brittle. This is a symptom of old age even in young athletes. But with Chinese Tai Chi Chuan, BOTH the muscles and the tendons are stretched because they are MENTALLY linked together through the concentration of the practitioner. And through the use of MENTAL CONCENTRATION as he moves slowly, ever so slowly, the muscles AND the tendons together stretch in coordinated unison. Try it again with the linked rubber bands. The thick rubber band will or will not stretch depending upon how slow or fast you pull them. The muscles and tendons of your body operate on the same principle -- in unison. Oh, but I mentioned that Tai Chi Chuan was better than karate in self-defense, didn't I? This is also true not only because of the ingenious METHODS that are used but also because of the HEALTH of the practitioner's body. Karate players and Western athletes grow old like dogs, full of pain and misery because their muscles are hard and their joints are stiff. But Tai Chi players grow old like cats, able to stretch out their claws at any time or to relax in the sunshine. The power of Tai Chi Chuan is found in yielding and gentleness. Through gentle movement, it stretches both muscles and ligaments while gently bending the joints so as to stretch the tendons, as well. It dissolves hard ligaments and tendons and makes them pliable once again while tonifying the muscles into a complimentary oneness and unity of health and power. In this way, Tai Chi reverses old age symptoms and preserves health and youthfulness. In this art, the hard and strong muscles of the body are trained to become gentle and soft. But this is NOT the gentleness of a wet noodle, it is the gentleness of silk that we strive to attain. Silk is stronger than steel. The power and "snap" of the fat and the thin rubber band linked together is greater than the power of either one alone. Thus, the practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan appears to be soft and yielding, but contained within the gentleness is the snap of a steel whip. Though Tai Chi Chuan was developed from Chinese Taoist philosophy, it links directly with the teachings of Jesus: "Be ye wise as serpents and gentle as doves". Tai Chi Chuan uses the serpent power of muscles, tendons and ligaments that are pliable as snakes linked with a mind that is as gentle as a dove. Tai Chi Chuan brings Health, Joy and Peace to those who practice it. And it gives Peace to those who watch it being practiced - in the parks, with the glorious sun rising among the singing of birds and the sweet scents of the new day. Ah, Tai Chi is wonderful! -------------------------------------------------------- Second Publication Rights Granted as long as the following is credited: First Published in the Chinese Swaztika Newsletter, for free subscription send blank eMail to: <email@example.com> http://www.bamboo-delight.com/Wu_Files/Taichi_Oldage.txt
By Hamid Waheed
Atrocities against the poor and lower class Hindus, the Muslims and the people from other sects and beliefs, continue under a state of denial by the Indian politicians and state machinery. However, with each incident, Indian initial reactions and the final revelations of the facts the principle of nature keeps denuding the false Indian propaganda and atrocities against its own people and neighbours. Some conscience Indian writers like Arunduta Roy, officials like former Maharashtra IG police SM Mushrif along with human rights organisations keep raising their voices whenever they can under coercive environment of Hindu extremist elements. Today Sikhs, Christian, Muslims and Dalits (the untouchable humans) are victim of state policies and inequality in India. Historically, the exclusion of 65 million Dalits from the Indian society has been on religious and cultural grounds. Still due to pre-assigned duties of the caste into which they are born, many Dalits are destined to do sanitation jobs, transport human excreta manually, clear animal carcasses and human remains. Frequently, subjected to humiliation, often the victims of rape and enforced prostitution, controlled in parts of the country by caste militias, the Dalits are virtually slaves and hardly in a position to choose a profession of their own choice. In this case, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) September 2009 decision to declare discrimination based on the caste system a “human-rights abuse” has stirred up harsh opposition from India. However, the UN’s decision came about despite strong disagreement from the Indian government and its aggressive lobbying to get the council to delete the word “caste” from its draft.
Each passing day discovers new realities about shining India when the truth glitters from the false cover stories . On 18 Feb 2007 at least 68 people mostly Pakistani were killed in a series of explosions and a fire on Pakistan-bound train in the northern Indian state of Haryana, near Panipat, about 80km (50 miles) north of Delhi. Initial investigation blamed LeT and JeM , even a Pakistani national Azmat Ali was arrested. Later it was found by the investigating Police that the right-wing Hindu activists and an Indian army officer Colonel Prohit had a significant role. The confessions of Swami Aseemanand further confirms hindutva redical’s role in terrorism.
In Mecca Masjid Blast on May 18, 2007 ,14 people died and as a natural reaction initially around 80 Muslims were detained for questioning and 25 were arrested. The investigation followed the script till the CBI found evidence that mobile phone-detonated explosives packed in metal tubes were similar to the Ajmer blasts. The bombs are believed to have contained a deadly mix of RDX and TNT, in proportions often used by the Indian army. CBI director Ashwani Kumar told the media that an activist named Sunil Joshi “played a key role in orchestrating the Ajmer blast and a set of mobile SIM cards that had been used in activation of the bomb-triggers in the Mecca Masjid blast was used again in the Ajmer blast”. National Investigating Agency (NIA) filed a case in a court accusing 11 Hindus and members of the ultra-right-wing Sanathan Sanstha, of masterminding and executing the October 2009 Margao blast. Initial suspicion and interrogation of suspected Muslim men, some believed to be members of “sleeper cells of jehadi groups” turned out to be an allegation.
In Ajmer Sharif Blast on October 11, 2007 ,3 people died. In 2010, Rajasthan ATS arrests Devendra Gupta, Chandrashekhar and Vishnu Prasad. Initial arrests of Abdul Hafiz Shamim, Khushibur Rahman, Imran Ali linked to HuJI, LeT could not be proved. Again in Malegaon 2nd Blasts in September 2008 in which 7 died Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Srikant Purohit and Swami Amritanand Dev were found involved. Malegaon 2008 forced the review of the role of Hindutva groups. The ATS investigation led to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, whose motorcycle was used to explode the bomb, and then to 13 others, including Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, the first-ever serving officer to be charged. During interrogation, he had disclosed to ATS investigators that he had provided the RDX in the Mecca Masjid blasts but the ATS was reportedly asked not to make it public as the Hyderabad police had detained HuJI suspects.
This shows a glimpse of investigation handling in India however, the larger story can be summarized in what a human right activist and Mumbai advocate Mihir said,” It is believed that CBI is seeking directions from the home ministry to see the Ajmer, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and other blasts in conjunction after there has been no conclusive evidence of the involvement of Islamic groups”. The fault lines are not only visible within civil LEA but the nuclear security and military issues like abduction and later murder of an important Nuclear scientist Loknath Mahalingam in Jun 2009, sixty one trucks carrying 300 tons of explosives going missing in August 2010 and involvement of top Indian officers and politicians in Kargil soldiers housing society scam are few of the burning topics .In the regional context army under General Kiyani sacrifices its own ration to help flood affected countrymen but General VK Singh says the housing scam will not affect the troops morale. HR violations in Kashmir and refusal of Indian army to implement 25% reduction of forces in Kashmir announced by their own government reflects the oncoming challenges for Indian secularism and security. The secular India may collapse as the hindutva mindset takes over.
Hamid Waheed has done his masters in International Relations, his area of focus is on South Asia, Central Asia and the Muslim World in general. He is a keen follower of war on terror and has written extensively on this. Now he has been writing for past 10 years or so and is a regular contributor to Opinion Maker.