Shao lin Chan in Berkeley

8 11 2008

kyI received a call a few nights ago, from one of my Zen/Chan sisters. She sounded anxious. She said that she was starting a new Heart Chan group at UC Berkeley. However one of the other sisters from our group was suppose to help , but she had to go back to Taiwan for some reason and could not make it to help her. She wanted to know if I was available to help for the next four weeks.

I thought about the commitment of it for a brief moment then said yes. I’m glad it was fairly close and even though it would cost me some for the commute, it was a worthwhile giving. A path of giving back.

Thursday came and off I went, It was a close timing to get there through traffic, find parking, which was the real big deal and get to the classroom on time. Once I arrived I made the call to Shijie (sister) and I was surprised to see the woman who was suppose to be in Taiwan had come to take me to the room. We chatted a bit, her plans had changed.

We got to the room, there were only a couple of people there, besides the three of us older practitioners. The two guy students from UC Berkeley were new to meditation. One was from Korea, the other from maybe Pakistan or someplace, near. It was an interesting multi-cultural gathering. Two Ladies from Taiwan, the guys and myself. I love those international gatherings…such Chi.

I told Sister P not to be too nervous it will be all good, as she looked uneasy . This was her first time holding a class, that I knew of …and sensed… at least in English. Things did go well. The guys were easy going and open. With the 3 of us helping the new guys, with explanations and our thoughts/feelings it went very smooth. It was also good for me to see how someone else handles a start up class/group. I surprised myself when we were explaining about how to sit, I was able to go into a full lotus easily, I usually just do a half lotus and am very comfortable in that position.  Just the basic were covered of course, but it can be nice to do basics.  It is kind of like doing Horse stance training. The more one works on their foundation the better your Kung Fu will be. There is a certain comfort, sense of security and clam in reviewing basics. I also like being in a group Chan meditation session and not having to travel so far the extra Chi is always helpful for everyone involved. My sisters there mentioned to the guys, that I was a Kung Fu “master” ( I always laugh to myself when being called a master, and sometimes I laugh out loud. Like when someone says I speak Chinese well.), when explaining how Chan came from Shaolin Temple, the home of Kung Fu as we know it. Anyway, they were surprise when i said that doing chan/zen was just another form of Kung Fu, they said huh, oh, really?!?! I said certainly, Kung Fu is not just about fighting, it is training in a way of life on three levels. Mind Body and Spirit. Everything is Kung Fu, everything is Zen training and practice. Sitting is the Spiritual Kung Fu training. Afterward there were Chinese bean cakes offered by the ladies. I had to go and could not stay long so I was given a box to take home for LZ and I.  Oishii deshita!

Skill upgrade…Year of the OX

8 11 2008

I finished up my first week of training today. I’m feeling pretty certain it was a good choice, … worthwhile of the sacrifice to attend. Training is always good…life is training..One or another form of Kung Fu, Zen…constant training. Another Shaolin Chan practice. In this phase of it I’m taking a class on XHTML and CSS. , that is a the web scripting language for those you do not know. It is the way to go in the web design world, when constructing  websites. I had taken a class in HTML years ago It has changed since them with XHTML and CSS in a whole different way of doing things which is cool from what I’ve seen.


Anyway I’m enjoying getting the new knowledge and feeling like I’m moving forward. It is good to be productive and increasing the chance of getting employment. I see more that, of the few ads out there, more are looking for a web/graphic designer, than just a designer.  So with my designer background, my options will increase. Also Sisuk wants me to be more involved in keeping his websites updated. Hmmm wonder should I start charging the Federation for doing theirs.  Sisuk would say, yes. This is a time for business, one can not be so gracious.


The week was a bit of a challenge getting back into an, early up and out the door rhythm. Once in class I had a couple of moments during the day I would be REALLY sleepy. It was good that, whenever I wanted to get up an take a break i could walk outside to stretch, breathe, do some Chi Gong. There is a really great lake and waterfall there on the grounds. Excellent place to break, stretch do a little meditation if one worked in the building.


The course I’m doing is listed to take 6 wks, but that was when the classes were only 4 hours a day instead of the current, 6. Now the average I hear is two weeks. I’m half way through the 14 chapters of the text book. Then it will be advance CSS, I should be able to knock that off in other two weeks. From then on to “Flash“, another web-designer software. I’m hoping to have those things wrapped up by Mid Dec. Then I can at least re-register with some temp firms for some work. Another weapons training art, to aid to my survival kit or… medicine bag it could be called.


How many faces do you see?

I received my official state security card today so that gives me something else to fall on for finding some employment. Sailing season is over now. I was schedule for teaching a class last week but it was canceled due to not enough people.

Year of the Ox will be better, not great but should be better:


So says one description of 09′

“The coming 2009 year of the earth Ox also called 2009 year of the Bull or Buffalo is around the corner. It looks like we’ve got honest, candid and open natured year ahead. As you might guess, coming 2009 year of the earth Ox is dependable, calm and modest. Sun sign horoscope for the 2009 year of the Ox like his animal sing is unshakably patient, full of hard work and tireless though need financial support to fulfill your ideas and make your desires.”

another says this;

Forecast for 2009: the Chinese year of the Yin Earth Ox – 26th January 2009 to the 13th February 2010.

Following the year of the Pig (when we spent too much) and the year of the Rat (when we spend too little) the year of the Ox ushers in a period of methodical, patient hard work.  After the market turmoil that characterised the year of the Rat, life will become more stable, steady and predictable.  It is the year of the accountant.

The Ox is dedicated to long term success.  But this will be an Earth Ox year where creative ideas take second place to practical, industrious pursuits.  Two men born in a previous Earth Ox year exemplify the extremes of dedication to success that are the characteristics of the Earth Ox: – Adolf Hitler and Charlie Chapman.  Who can doubt their respective determination and patience to achieve their goals, even though one was loved and the other hated

Integrity will be valued, and patience the virtue that will drive people in 2009.  Do not expect immediate gains, but steady progress towards the fulfillment of ambition.

Unlike the Rat, the Ox is not a party animal.  Hard work and long hours will prepare us all for the tumultous and unpredictable year of the Tiger that begins on the 14th February 2010.

Property prices will remain flat, and although the stock market will start the year with optimism the uncertainties (and perceived opportunities) of 2010 will soon create more volatile market conditions.  Many commentators believe that property prices (in the UK) will fall by around 35% from their peak in early 2008, but after a 10% drop in 2008, the larger part of that fall will occur in the latter part of the year of the Yang Metal Tiger, and the early part of the year of the Yin Metal Hare (or Rabbit).

Expect international co-operation to try and tighten the regulatory framework to prevent a re-occurance of the banking crisis that started in 2008.


Interestingly Year of the Ox starts near the end of January this time.

I think we will be moving about that time…

I maybe working in a new line of employment about that time…

About the time of the end of the Year of the RAT

We’ll be saying goodbye to the other Rat…

in the white house.

About that time…