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.



What do you know?  Have you found that knowing bars you from knowing more?  Have you ever wondered that what you may know may not be as it really is?

By Victor Amenta Posted in balance

A Union Of Opposites?

When I first began working Tai Chi Chuan, the first book I read spoke of a union of opposites as expressed in the Yin with Yang symbol.  It also gave me a clearer understanding of the meaning of mind over matter, explaining that the better interpretation would be the mind with matter.  The mind and body are not really in opposition to one another other as I had learned in church.  No, the mind worked with the body.  And, I actually began to see our society is most often looking for  oppositon, looking for the difference.  How often have we looked for the sameness in something? 

Tai Chi Chuan began to accompany me every where I went.  Followed me into relationships, into other sports activities, and even conversations.   Still,  it invaded my thinking when I studied the bible, or other “holy” books.  I could understand certain things with a new clarity.  With greater clarity now, I could understand the depths of teachings such as “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head…”  (Proverbs Chapt 25 verse 21-22) I was able to see a union of opposites at work in this teaching.

The same thoughts entered my mind as I listened to Wael Ghonim, a marketing manager of Google for the Middle East.  What stood out to me most, was what Mr. Ghonim said about his arrest and detainment during the revolution.  He was handcuffed, and blind folded for twelve days.  He was asked if he was hit and he said he was.  That it was not the police that hit him, but the soldiers that hit him.  He said he understood them, in that these are simple, uneducated people and he understood they believed he was harming the country.   Ghonim said “he’s hitting me because he thinks he’s the good guy not that he is the bad guy.”  He said, at the end of 12 days, he removed the blind fold, hugged and kissed each soldier.  Ghonim said “I wanted to send a them a message you know…”

When I Was A Christian…III

I truly believed in the power of God through his son Jesus. I, however, was not a bible thumper per se. I didn’t memorize chapters and verses. I didn’t praise the lord in every conversion, but I knew God was real and his son was our savior. But, I had to study. I had read and re-read a lot of the bible and discovering things that, even though I had read this verse or that chapter before it seems there was something new each time I read it.

I found I had to pick up a dictionary to gain a greater understanding about what I was reading since the bible we had used words like victuals and betrothed. These were words that were no longer used in everyday language in my neck of the woods. Not only did I begin to use a concordance, but also a bible dictionary for clarity. I needed more since it occurred to me, though the bible was “inspired of God” my dictionary told me that the word inspired did not mean what the preacher and Sunday school teachers alluded to.

Into the library is where went and I would spend quite hours over the next few years. I wanted to know who God was and where did he come from. Where did Jesus come from. And Mary, where did she come from. The answers I received were not satisfactory prior to emersing myself in learning what I believed. At the library I bumped into Joseph Campbell and the Golden Baugh. Then there was Sigmund Freud, the psycho analyst. Freud had a strong commentary about God, stating the God of the bible was only a desert mountain God worshipped by desert nomads, and that the people of the bible were simply nomads worshipping a tribal mountain God and we were only following their God. This information threw me for a loop. I was a little distraught. I was now thinking I was only worshipping some tribal God from nomads and not the God of he universe. I could never reveal this to my parents. I couldn’t disclose the distress I was feeling from learning all this.

For a short while I felt lost. Felt that somehow I had made a mistake. The mistake was believing so deeply in God, and now finding out the God we worshipped on Sunday was no greater than the Egyptian’s God Moses had defeated. Then, I discovered that Moses was not a name, but a title. This was almost too much for a 19 year old. I felt I had to keep studying, I had to keep going. It was not only the opinion of Freud that caused the mental trauma, but a culmination of all the things I had been reading.

Surely, there had to be some truth in the God I so believe and trusted. I had felt this spirit move in me. I had seen the work of God in my life, so I know it was true, so I HAD to keep studying. Eventually, after studying further, studying books written my Jewish Rabbis, and authors and academics like Cheik Anta Diop, Richard Friedman, Irving M. Zeitlin and Dr. Ben Jochonan I was able to fully rise again in greater knowledge, understanding and belief. George G. M. James author of Stolen Legacy then put the icing on the cake.

No longer could I believe that Jesus was the only way. No longer could I accept the dogma that all one has to do to evade punishment for all the wrong they’ve done was to “confess Christ” and all would be forgiven and they could live forever in heaven happily ever after. I knew from this point I could no longer call myself a Christian. I had now moved away from seeing only one way. I learned that God is one and many at the same time and could not be for only one group having created all.  I could no longer call myself a Christian.

Georgia Sunday Afternoon SupremeUltimate Boxing #22: The Dragon

Tai Chi is consuming me.  Waking up every morning around four o”clock to play Tai Chi is giving me a new and fresh feeling daily.  Lately, it’s dragon that is taking my concentration.  She is very whimsical and flight of foot.  She sends me to work every day feeling as if I could fly, yet remain so grounded, rooted if  you will, as I take each step up the train platform steps to my daily ride to work.  She has not let me down and she is guiding me.  I can feel the snake coming on behind her.  I feel their presence approaching, I must not resist.  I will soften and yield, and absorb.  I needed to post this video in commemoration of my time spent with the dragon.