Tilapia, Worse For You Than Ever Before?

We really need to be cognizant of what we purchase as food these days.  We’ve all heard that eating fish is touted as being one of the best foods for our health, because fish provide the needed Omega 3 fatty acids required by humans for optimum health.  But, what cost do we pay attempting to absorb healthy Omega 3 fatty acids by eating fish?  Taking supplements of vitamins and minerals by mouth have proven to be effective to a certain level however, the body assimilates vitamins and minerals best by eating.  Because, people tend to shop for food by price more than the benefit the food may offer, and tilapia fish don’t smell fishy or have a fishy taste it has been a big seller even to the tune of almost 500 million pounds consumed each year in the United States by people attempting to get the desired Omega 3 fatty acids the fish may offer.

Tilapia has also proven to be one of the cheapest fish to purchase in the super market, but there is a reason the fish is so cheap.  One reason its cheap is that it lacks the proper amounts of Omega 3s believed by the population to be present because it is fish.  And,  according to Michael Doyle Director of the Center for Food Safety  “While there are some really good aquaculture ponds in Asia, in many of these ponds — or really in most of these ponds — it’s typical to use untreated chicken manure as the primary nutrition,” he told MSN News. “In some places, like Thailand for example, they will just put the chickens over the pond and they just poop right in the pond.”  

Due to these living conditions the fish are treated with large amounts of antibiotics as a prophylactic against salmonella and E Coli.  In turn, when people eat the fish  and these same antibiotics are absorbed into their bodies, and linked to the ever growing antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria among us.  Yet, there is a much more sinister aspect to the eating of this fish and others.   AquaBounty has petitioned the Food And Drug Administration to introduce “designer” genetically engineered AquAdvantage® salmon into the food chain.  These GE salmon will be the first (known) genetically engineered  fish to be sold onto the U.S. market.  Their genetically engineered salmon grow faster and bigger than the natural fish  in a shorter amount of time. 

AquaBounty, which designs the genetically engineered salmon eggs on Prince Edward Island, Canada and sends the eggs to Panama where they raise and farm these animals.   AquAdvantage® “lost” several of its GE salmon during a storm in Panama in 2008.   According to Outsideonline.com “an unusually severe storm” in Panama, as AquaBounty revealed in an August 15, 2008, memo to their investors…”  These “lost” AquAdvantage® salmon are now free to mate have been mating with natural salmon (and create a new species?)  So, what has all this salmon talk have to do with tilapia?

AquaBounty is now designing genetically engineered tilapia fish.  Tilapia fish are a vegetarian fish that will grow (even in a garbage can) and consume almost anything (including chicken manure) other than flesh, which makes them one of the easiist  fish to farm on the commercial side.  AquaBounty has designed the tilapia to grow faster than “traditional” tilapia (notice the word natural cannot be used here.)  And yet, they will not go into detail concerning how they cause this super growth.  At any rate, tilapia will be managed genetically and sold over into the U.S. population and an unwitting public may become more manipulated since people give no thought about what or how animals are prepared for their consumption.  AquaBounty has plans to design trout along with their AquAdvantage® salmon and tilapia.  Like the TV commercial that says whats in your wallet?  Ask yourself whats in you stomach?

Fukushima, Japan And You.

“And the second angel trumpeted [And the second angel sang in trump]; and as a great hill burning with fire was cast into the sea…and the third part of [the] creatures was dead…”

It’s all to easy to forget something if the news does not continue to bring that thought to the top of your mind.    The nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan is still leaking radiation into the Pacific Ocean.  Comic fun has been poked at what’s happening off the coast of Japan by the posting of fake mutant turtles coming ashore.

However, this is in fact a serious matter that’s being ignored by the news and of course this means the general population is unaware of possible effects the radiation is bringing to the West Coast of the U.S.  There is a natural jet stream of air that flows around the planet.  Have you ever noticed when you’ve purchased an airline ticket that when flying from west to east the times are shorter than flying from east to west?

In fact during World War II, the Japanese army sought to exploit the westerly jet stream by attaching bombs to balloons, launching them into the air and hoping  that the jet stream would eventually carry them to the United States on the wind.  It was their hope that the bombs would explode somewhere in the States without having the expenditure of utilizing their navy and aircraft.  This same westerly jet stream is bringing the radioactivity from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plants to the United States as I write these words.  Be not alarmed as there are ways to protect yourself when you know what’s going on.

When the nuclear bombs exploded over the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima there were many, many horrible deaths that took place immediately and incinerating people into nothing.  But, the long-term effects of the nuclear blasts lasted for decades.  Though thousands of people died of radiation poisoning in the decades to come there were many more that lived without any effects of the radiation.  It was found that those who survived without radiation poisoning were heavy consumers of fermented soy or Miso and these survived with little to no effects.

We can protect ourselves right now by consuming Miso in our diet.  We can add organic seaweed to our diets to protect against the coming radiation (coming because each time it rains radiation falls on us.)  By adding these products to our regimen and avoiding as much produce grown on the west coast and fish from the Pacific Ocean as possible, we can combat the ill effects of radiation and protect our space suits or what most people call our bodies.  There are more fermented soy products other than Miso.  There is Doenjang from Korea, Douchi from China used to make black bean sauce, and Tauco from Indonesia just to name a few.

Be Healthy!

STANDING IN HONOR; A ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF TAI CHI AND SOCIETY

One of the greatest tenets (it I can really call it that) is building good character.  Encompassed on good character is honor. Surely, character is a sum of qualities, and yet one could develop and build bad character but I wonder how many people of sound mind actually work at building bad character.  But, honor would be a byproduct of good character.  Today thee doesn’t appear there is a societal emphasis building good character to nurture honor.  

Even our leaders (I use this term very lightly) in Washington DC display less honor in their positions than the general public that have elected them.  When people go to the polls to vote the general consensus is to elect people who will represent them in the capital.  Good character and honor are ingredients people admire and require however, based on the actions of many in office including shutting down the government are based on less than honorable character.  This shutting down the government came at the expense of the people who elected them and not the elected officials.  All of congress will be receiving their pay.  The public  (federal workers) will not.

Each and every congressman and woman,, and senator will be able to continue to feed their families.  This includes the president of the U.S. A few members of congress want to appear to maintain some form of honor will be donating their pay to a charity, but most will continue to receive and enjoy their salary.  This attitude is an actually living our Marie Antoinette’s statement of “let them eat cake.”  Cultivating good character is essential in becoming, and becoming an adept in Tai Chi.  Cultivating good character is essential for formulating a positive peaceful society.  I wonder if those elected to “lead” really want that?

AVON WHAT THE HECK IS SEA OAK???

All to often there’s some new and quirky product coming onto the market appealing to a particular demographics senses.  The health and wellness industry has fashioned our thinking into searching out products that are “organic” or “natural” to somehow improve something or other we humans perceive as a flaw.  Correcting this flaw naturally is the appeal as opposed to unnatural whatever that may be.

Avon recently introduced a product line they call Avon Elements.  Avon, seems to go out of its way to show how you can improve your skin by using their “natural” based product line.   Avon Elements Moisture Boost Daily Moisture Lotion is made with Sea Oak.  Immediately, I thought to myself that this is some ish they made up.  Sea Oak???  I thought this is another product being made with something that is supposed to be natural from an “element” that is natural that no one has ever heard of before.  So, of course to Google I go.  I typed in Sea Oak, and noting of value came up.  Sea Oak.  Really?  After a bit more searching I finally located something on what turns our to be actually something many of us know of if you have ever done any reading and research on herbs and natural healing..

After a bit more searching I in fact found that Sea Oak was actually a sea plant.  Fucus Vesiculosus, or Sea Oak is commonly known as Bladderwrack.  Bladderwrack is found in the North and Baltic Seas.  The Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  I suppose this means it’s not found in the Indian, Arctic Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico or the Mediterranean.  However, there are several minerals in Bladderwrack, but the over whelming mineral is iodine.  But, iodine working in the body is great for thyroid function, but I wondered how Bladderwrack was good for the skin.

Living Strong writes that Bladderwrack (Avon calls it Sea Oak) powder “…is filled with minerals that help nourish and cleanse the skin of toxins that cause dryness, wrinkles and excess fluid retention…”  Seems Avon has in hit upon something natural that is good for the body that comes from the Earth, her seas and oceans that will help make you look rested and healthier.  This however, should be used along with a proper liveit as opposed to diet to bring out the best in your natural beauty within.  Always augment the use of any external products with proper amounts of water and fresh live fruits and veggies.

LIFE IS ONE BIG ROAD WITH LOTS OF SIGNS…CAN YOU READ THEM?

 

 

Viet Nam was a far away land that most in the States had never heard of before.  In the 1960′s the world was huge, no internet or cable to link us.  The fortunate among us that could travel the world at that time could see what the rest of could not see.  In his April 4th, 1967 speech Beyond Viet Nam made at Riverside church in New York City, Rev. Dr. King broke with many in his camp and outside of his camp.  Dr. King in his speech says that he was queried by his people “Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent?” “Peace and civil rights don’t mix,” they say. “Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people?”  Dr. King could read the signs that others could not (or did not want to for their own agenda) and as he says “Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.”

Clearly, the people could not read the signs.  Clearly, the people did not understand that our struggles of that time were interconnected to the struggles of others the world over.   Today we are at this same crossroads and such the same mental delimna still exists.  That old and visible enemy of racism is still with us, but now racism/white supremacy are revealed as  only one of many in this theater of war against the people.  The landscape has changed and now our bodies are on the line.  Putting you right back into slavery.  Today we face off with the industries of death, the food and wellness industries.

The difficult task of attempting to awaken people from the slumber of chasing down racism/white supremacy is that these two creatures are obvious to those that know and understand what they are seeing, but the enemy that is first and foremost is cloaked behind your own tastes and wants.  The industries of disease (medical practice/big pharma), wellness (diet industries) and death (biochemical/agricultural/insurance) have been exposed as they major chronic enemy of human life.   The focus on racism/white supremacy keeps one deluded and facing away from the real enemy of the people.  If I could imagine that  Dr. King and El Hajj Malik El Shabazz were alive today, I believe they would understand that the demons of racism/white supremacy are only little players in the denigration of our lives.  They demonstrated their understanding of a changing battle field and would adapt and teach the people how to overcome our current state.

LIFE IS ONE BIG ROAD WITH LOTS OF SIGNS…CAN YOU READ THEM?

When I first heard Bob Marley singing “Life is one big road with lots of signs…” I was young and only of the impression that he was being poetic.  It never occurred to me he was giving a lesson.  When I was growing up most entertainers were eight to ten years older then me unlike today it appears most musical entertainers are chronological peers of their audience.  But, Bob Marley was teaching.

Life is one big road with lots of signs.  I wonder though, as to how many of us can read them or understand the signs set before us.  We live in an age that requires that we evolve, else we will stagnate and perish.   During the Civil Rights era we were faced with a visible and common enemy.  Out right and blatant racism.  Old customs hung over from the Jim Crow era folding into a coming age.  The age of television sounded the death knell of the time of Jim Crow.  Television offered scenes of brutality to the world, showing America eating her own.  These were the images spread around the world.  Jim Crow had to go.  America could not afford to be the leader of the free world with images of black bodies being destroyed spreading across the globe.

The world was changing.  A shift had taken place and our vaunted black leaders of the time Malcolm Shabazz and Dr. Martin Luther King, also shifted and rotated with the cycle.  By 1964 brotha Malcolm had come to see it was not racism that was the actual enemy of black people in the States and black people world wide, but something bigger appeared to be the problem.  As he had sat with men of every color in peace and harmony during the time he had made the hajj and becoming El Hajj Malik El Shabazz. It seems he came to know that it was the lack of unity rather than racism that was a real culprit.

The lack of a unified force, an international black unified force, that was our problem.  If Afro Americans could organize and link with black people of other American nations, then an international force would be a force to recon with and could be mounted against the U.S. government starting in the U.N.  Black people in the States could use that force to enter into the political system and run our neighborhoods and communities ourselves using the political system already in place.  Thus he founded the Organization of African American Unity the OAAU, modeled after the Organization of African Unity.  However,  it was the hubris of the white man in the States that held racial hatred rather than the white world at large as he had come to realize.  Mr. Shabazz rightly held that he would defend himself against white hatred, but he understood what the ailment truly was that held us back.

By 1967 brother Rev.  Dr. King had come to see that something else greater than racism was at play in our collective .  Rev. Dr King also had the opportunity to travel the world, spending much of his time on the island of Jamaica to contemplate and to write.  During these times of sitting still and analyzing the war in Viet Nam, Dr. King began to see there was a something deeper was at play  and not simply racism…

To be continued…

A Cutting Away

I am a student in this life.  It’s a blessing to learn and I have learned by experience, reading and observation mostly.   Yet, it’s a  curse as well.  As I observe and learn, there arises in me the urgency  to put into action the lessons I’m learning.  It’s well and good to study a thing in a book, a paper, or a treatise, but another to put into daily action the lessons learned.  Putting into action the good things we learn can cause you to remove yourself from your comfort space and face what you would rather not.

“In one’s life. there are levels in the pursuit of study. In the lowest level, a person studies but nothing comes of it, and he feels that both he and others are unskillful.   At this point he is worthless.”

Upon my recent return to my home town I took noticed that a lesson was in order.  Before I made the journey, I felt such heaviness that hung around my neck as if wearing a slave collar popular for 17th and 18th century Europeans to adorn their slaves with.  Not that I felt some oppression by returning home for as a child I had a happy life.  But, a feeling of foreboding as if I should become aware of something.  I needed to see my aging mother since so many miles separate us and it had been more than a year since I saw her last.  This time, however was to be different since there was a lesson in store for me.

“In the middle level he is still useless but is aware of his own insufficiencies and can also see the insufficiencies of others.”

My father transitioned almost five years ago and my mother has carried the household with the heart of a warrior.  While she and my father were married she was the traditional June Cleaver 1950′s – 1960′s house wife, taking care of us and the house while my father brought home the bacon.  She attended all of our school functions, made dinner and found time to even play with us  children.  When she worked she never held a job long since my father really didn’t like her to work.  Be clear, my father made sure she would have funds to take care of herself financially.   Bu,  as her eldest child, when my father transitioned I felt it my duty to provide as much as I could to assist her in maintaining her living standard.

So, as I stepped into her abode, I could see there were small repairs that needed to be handled, painting, and just general upkeep.  I spent most of my time there taking care of these household requirements for any home owner.  In just a few days the house was bright and shiny again, and I could see on her face the pleasure she took in looking at her newly painted walls.  So, how could one who does this for their personal God, the living God that gave you life and not only by giving birth but by giving you life more abundantly be scorned?    My mother wiped our tears, cleaned our bodies, healed our wounds (mentally and physically), fed us good food and gave us the truth and rights on how to live as an upstanding being.  How does one lose friends and be scorned by siblings for giving back as one should?

“In a higher level he has pride concerning his own ability, rejoices in praise from others, and laments the lack of ability in his fellows. This man has worth. In the highest level a man has the look of knowing nothing.”

Lesson learned.  Yeshua said he came not to bring peace, but a sword.  I understand now this a time of harvest for me in that it is time to cut away the tares.  I am sure I appear as a tare to some, it’s their duty to cut away the tares from themselves.  I have been asked by friends back home when I will return for a visit and when I reach they find very little time to commune, verse, or spend any quality time.  Those were the actions of former friends.  Yet, when your sibling treats you in the same manner it becomes a deeper matter.  Surely, such behavior would be understandable if there were some riff between us,  argument, or falling out of some sort.  Nothing ever occurred as I would never allow such to happen.  But, this is the road and I fully accept.  On this trip I was able to get clarity on so much.

“But there is one transcending level, and this is the most excellent of all. This person is aware of the endlessness of entering deeply into a certain Way arid never thinks of himself as having finished. He truly knows his own insufficiencies and never in his whole life thinks that he has succeeded. He has no thoughts of pride but with self-abasement knows the Way to the end. It is said that Master Yagyu once remarked, “I do not know the way to defeat others, but the way to defeat myself.”

DJANGO; ANOTHER WAY TO VIEW

 

We just don’t seem to learn.   I’m specifically referring to the behavior of Spike Lee, Katt Williams and Dick Gregory.  I do respect Mr. Gregory as a bonafide freedom figher and nothing less unlike Ski Davis of Zuri Speaks Dynasty Network referred to Mr. Gregory as a coon.  However I  balk at the verbal fencing conducted between he and Mr. Lee in publc.  This deminishes any intellectual conversation to just to media hype.  In the case of Katt Williams, I will just say he needs to concern more with removing the beam from his own eye before he speaks on the speck in the eye of someone else.  At any rate, Django Unchained has sparked quite a bit of conversation in all forms of media.  No matter the issue, in this coming era we have to be cognizant of the images being displayed of us and who is displaying those images.

 

Django Unchained has proven to be a boon for the aboriginal melanated people of the Americas.  Finally, the black hero does not die and in fact not only has a love interest, but in this case he has a wife.   I am aware Quentin Tarantino is given the credit for the film. However, I do remember how the Wachowski brothers were given the credit for the Matrix films and in the end Sistar Sophia Stewart won in court proving she is the mother of the Matrix story and not the Wachowskis.  I could be wrong, but we may see that another aboriginal is being usurped by the “Pinks” this time, but in the name of Quentin Tarantino.  Still, at this time Tarantino will get the credit for covertly telling us that Django is the incarnation of Shango.  The film appears to be a choclate version of Brynhildr, who in Norse (north) mythology is a valkyrie, the female Diety that decides which men live and die on the battlefield..  We who know, understand that Norse (north) mythology is only the pink European’s reinterpretation of abriginal myth.  Or a Europeanization of aboriginal wisdom.

Django is joined with his pink brother King Schultz.  A schultz is one that is a collector of dues and taxes for the lord of the manor.  In this case King Schultz is a collector of corpses for the sherrif or marshall of territories. In short a bounty hunter.  King Schultz says “I sell corpeses…” in this movie the sheriff would be the “lord of the manor.”    The word sherrif comes from one who is the representative of the king. The Schultz buys his brother from slavers and immediately manumits him into freedom.  In a way, Django is given a new life and in fact can carry out his mission to find and recover his wife.  Surely, for those that profess to know and love our people, but never do the research to realize people sold into slavery could and did marry.  Django was on a mission to get his wife back.  Django like Siegfried in the Brynhildr poem, had to overcome great odds to rescue his wife from the mountain of shields.  In this case Candyland.

 

Make no mistake Django evolves and is revealed as Shango by the end of the movie.  After receiving his freedom, Django immediatly dresses in blue and white.  Yemaya, the mother of us all, the Spirit of the sea, her color in the Americas is blue and white.  Django indicates his new birth by saluting Yemaya in his becoming.  At this stage he is not carrying weapons as such, only what appears to be a tiny two shot Derrenger which he uses to kill a slaver, one of the Brittle brothers on sight.  After utterly destroying the Brittle brothers he moves into his next evolution.

 

Django changes after being given life, he justly takes lives and transforms to his next evolution.  That of Ogun, the Spirit of iron.  Shango is a Spirit that wields the double headed axe.  Not all males can ascertain the strength to arch over to the feminine to have the crown of ultimate power bestowed upon them, however Shango is the male Spirit that has arched over and displays his connection to the feminine by outwardly weilding the double axe.  The Labrys (Labia) is a symbol of worshipping the Divine Mother.  Django changes clothes to the colors green and black, that of Ogun (Ogou) and sports six shooters on both hips, double weapons symbolizing the double headed axe,  on his side.  At this juncture he begins to come into the fullness of a bounty hunter and kills to sell bodies to the sherrif.  Remember it is Brynhildr (Broomhilda his wife) that determines who will live and die on this battlefield.

Finally after several trials and tribulations and gaining proper status as a Freedman, Django and his Schultz reach the Mountain of Shields or Candyland in this case, in Chicasaw Couny, Mississippi.  Chicasaw means one who is a rebel, one from Chicsa.  Repeatedly we hear the pinks in the movie say to Django “I ain’t neva seent a ni**er like you b’foe.”  They have never seen Ogun from Chicsa, the rebellious one before.  Utiliazing the misdirection of Legba, Ogun or Django plays his role to the hilt, even unto the death of a slave of Monsieur Candy’s that is torn to bits by dogs.  Again, the mission is to save Broomhilda (Brynhildr a Spirit which decides who lives and who dies on the battlefield not Django as many of you think.)  In the proper context we can now see that it was not truly Django’s call to allow the slave to be pulled apart by dogs, but Broomhilda’s. 

Finally, Siegfried (Django) reaches the summit of the mount – Candyland, loses his brother King Schultz as he has completed his destiny and begins the process of saving his wife.  Django must make the final evolution into Shango.  After surmounting great odds, even at the risk of being sold back into slavery Django, this time, frees himself and returns to Candyland to rescue his reason for living, his queen of heaven, Broomhilda.  He then has to become his destiny, and become Shango.  He again changes his wardrobe into a black jacket, burgundy (red) vest and a white shirt.  Wielding his double axe or two six shooters thus begins the final solution for Candyland by killing the mistress of the manor Mosieur Candy’s (lover) sister and tormenting Stephen the house ni**er (played by Samuel L. Jackson who does a masterful job.)  He then collects his wisdom (the valkyrie)Osun and fitting for Shango the Spirit of thunder and lighting, blows Candyland to bits with HN Stephen still alive inside the manor when the explosion occurs.

 

Shango and Osun, fittingly ride not off into the sunset, but ride into the moonlight. 

ITS SOUP WEATHER AGAIN. NOT YOUR ABUELA’S MENUDO

Menudo.jpg

My new eating regimen has opened me up to the fact that I am feeling well fed by consuming soups.  In fact I think I have become a soup fanatic, much as back in the day when I learned I was a french fry fanatic.  Now, as my eating evolution continues, I can confidently say I am officially a soup fanatic.  Not only desiring to eat them but, create, and make my own soups.  Some are age-old and well-known but, with my particular spin and others are solely my own creation.  One soup in particular I learned to love was Menudo.  Menudo is a soup served in Mexico on Saturdays.  Much like other cultures, as in Jamaica cow foot or red pea soup is served on Saturday, so in Mexico its Menudo.

Growing up in So Cal, much of the Mexican  cusine, specifically Baja style cusine, greatly influences everyone living there no matter their state or country of origin.  Baja style food enveloped us all and my mother became quite the Menudo maker (my mother’s version of Menudo was closer to the Sonoran blanco style not the more common red chile based variety.)   Beef feet (Jamaicans call cow foot), beef tripe, pig feet, pig tails and hominy filled the pot.  Besides that she added in all those special Mexican herbs and spices that just gave the house this special aroma and the finished soup made our mouths so happy.  Over time, my diet regimen no longer could take the eating of the beef feet and never really liked the tripe (cow stomach) and surely did not ever eat pig feet of pig tail (floppers, pig tails and ears and trotters as my father called them) but hell I still loved my menudo.  I had to come up with my own version of the Mexican souper Saturday meal.

I was in the farmer’s market one day, passing the Latin aisle and saw a can of Menudo on the shelf and it hit me.  I would mimic all the flavors of Sonoran blanco style Menudo, but make it vegetarian.  What was most apparent to me that I had to do, was to keep that authentic Mexican flavor, but leave out the tripe,cow foot and pig’s feet.  I start by  washing and soaking cannelloni beans for about 30 minutes.  Put them on the stove with the fire on high to bring the beans to a boil.  Never add salt to your water, this causes the beans to be a little tough and take longer to cook.  You can add salt after they have become softer and you begin to add your spices.  After the beans have cooked for about 30 to 45  minutes, I will add some tomatoes and bring them back to a boil.  Then comes the good stuff.

To this I add fresh corn off the cobb (of course you can use frozen corn if you cannot get it fresh in your area),  a chopped yellow onion, green, red and yellow bell peppers, one mild serrano chile, a roasted poblano and a 28 ounce can of hominy.  Let that boil  together for about 15 minutes, add in sea salt to taste, black pepper, garlic and onion powder and the final coup de gras, a nice pinch of Mexican oregano.  Now, Mexican oregano is not the same as your common Greek or Italian oregano, it has a distinctive flavor and aroma of its own.  Bring everything back up to boil again for about ten minutes then turn off the pot leaving the lid on to steam the flavors down.

After about 15 minutes, take the top off toss in a hand full of cilantro chopped fine and cut a lime and squeeze half a lime directly into the pot, and recover.  This will allow the flavor to emit from the cilantro and allow the lime to seep into the food.  On the side chop and make some Mexican Salsa (Pico de Gallo), chopped scallions for garnishing along with a few lemon wedges.  Next, warm a few flour tortillas up and get ready to chow down.  I love to drink a nice cerveza with a warm bowl of vegetable Menudo and some Tapa Tio hot sauce.  Enjoy!

TAI CHI HEALS NOTHING

Over the last few mornings I have awakened to TV infomercials about Tai Chi.   Since it was an infomercial, sadly it was someone selling the health benefits of “doing” Tai Chi.  Let me reverse a little here and be clear about what I mean when I say selling the health benefits of Tai Chi.  No doubt I believe, no, let me be correct   myself.  I know the health benefits of playing Tai Chi.  Tai Chi, like her big sister Yoga, offer specific health benefits and I have been fortunate enough to experience the healing power of  my own vital force healing certain chronic pains I suffered from previous athletic injuries.  I know surely that by circulating vital force within the body, we can help our bodies overcome injuries and illnesses.  However, while selling Tai Chi, the idea of vital force is never explored.  The idea of building good character is not part of the sell.  It is Tai Chi that heals us according to the sellers.  Just by doing Tai Chi, be thou healed according to  lord god, TV.

When I first began studying the Way, my teacher instructed us to read as much about, primarily Chinese martial ways, (since this was the base of our style) as we could.  And, go on to read about all martial forms, from boxing to Kali to Capoeira.  And that we should reverence each in their own right.  After he decided he had taught us all that we needed to  know in the Way, he pushed us out like a mother eagle pushes her offspring to fly.  Since that time I went on to study Aikido and then settling into Tai Chi Chuan.  Keeping to the teachings that were the foundation of my martial studies, I read book after book on first Aikido then immersed myself into the study of Tai Chi.  I studied, read, and observed Tai Chi long before I began to “play” it.  I was well within the light of understanding the art from an esoteric stand point.  Yet, I had not felt the effects of this  martial art form.

Tai Chi Masters and Salesmen

As I began to “play” Tai Chi my body began to change.  People would see me and ask if I had been lifting weights, that I looked very toned.  In fact, at that time I had not touched weights. I had combined what I learned from my teacher and incorporated those lessons into what I was then learning and practicing.  Sure enough, as one of the books stated my body began to change.  I was beginning to understand and observe how thoughts come and go or more aptly cycle through your mind.  And still, I could see how developing breath was actually reshaping my physical body.   As I began to learn about myself I could see and feel that this was a connection to something much greater than myself, yet such an integral part of my total being.  It was as if I were connecting to the land, air, sounds and animals around me.  The more I began to gain understanding about these things I was beginning to understand something about breath and breathing, thinking, meditating, noting this change going on was not something that could be harnessed only tapped into.  Of course, the thought had occurred to me how could someone master sound?  Master wind?  Master the vital force that encompasses our universe let alone sell it?

People in the west are in fact microwave people.  They want it now.  So, the sellers of life will sell it now. They are the masters.  They can sell you health. Simply do this move and that move, and be thou healed.  This is so similar to the Queen Mother Witches giving out rituals over internet radio airwaves to people that need to rid themselves of demons.  Never once do they ever consider the one they are talking to may be the demons themselves.  They tell the people put this powder down, sprinkle that salt out there, turn around three times before entering your house to rid your self of evil.  Never once do they advise their callers to clean up themselves mind and body before they can put positive intention into the ritual.  Much the same with the Tai Chi masters and salesmen.They teach grasp the birds tail and move like this and you will lower your blood pressure. Move like that and cure your depression.  Tai Chi “masters”  can sell you on stopping a marauding dog from attacking you by pushing your chi out at the dog.  Selling a product and not teaching the essence of the ritual or Tai Chi “move” is related to giving someone aspirin for a cancer attacking their colon.  Just do it and it will work.

If one wishes to delve into the esoteric, into the world if Tai Chi, understand you will never master chi.  Let me be clear.  There are masters.  But, understand, the master is a master in the eyes of those of the student.  The student has not achieved the level of the one he/she is calling master/teacher.  Surely, the master/teacher knows there is much more to learn and accomplish and would always deny being a master of anything.   As people were awe struck at Jesus walking on water, Jesus knew walking on air was the goal.   Those that have the audacity to call themselves master are full of ego and have never attained the heights of what vital force can do and does.  The selling master/teacher/Queen Mother Witch is a seller of something that cannot be sold.  Tai Chi Chuan is a healer and a killer.  It is a subtle balance of life and death. It is primary that one work steadily to build good character and cleanse the body of impurities in this evolution.  It is by circulating vital force that we may be healed.  If there is no circulating of Chi or vital force, then this is not Tai Chi.