Two Recession-Proof Investment Picks for 2008-2010

Dow Jones Index, January 2008

My Fellow Investors,

These are perilous times, for even the best of us.

A few short months ago, the market analysts were telling us this would never happen…that the fallout from the banking industry’s irresponsible lending practices would be confined mainly to the housing sector, and our broader economy would continue its gentle ascent.

Folks, the hot-air balloon ride is over. Today, we find ourselves unwilling passengers on an economic Hindenburg. The markets are dropping fast. Typically reserved pundits are openly using the R-word—recession—and a few have even mentioned the D-word! Continue reading Two Recession-Proof Investment Picks for 2008-2010

Qi Dao – Tibetan Shamanic Qigong: Book Review

Tsa lung trul khor

After reviewing the training methods of Qi Dao, Kumar Frantzis suggested that such material would be more precisely labeled as shen gong, or spiritual cultivation, rather than as qi gong (energy cultivation). While I cannot disagree with his observation, it seems to me that most English-speaking qigong enthusiasts are in fact seeking self-realization, harmony and peace of mind—not merely a vehicle for increased physical vitality—so some imprecision can be forgiven here.

Qi Dao - Tibetan Shamanic Qigong

Qi Dao: The Art of Being in the Flow is (to my knowledge) the first English book on the obscure Tibetan art of Shamanic Qigong, or trul khor. Written by Lama Somananda Tantrapa, an ordained Buddhist monk and longtime martial artist, Being in the Flow introduces the basics of this unique brand of Tibetan Yoga. Continue reading Qi Dao – Tibetan Shamanic Qigong: Book Review

Qigong and Energy Arts Forum: Volume 1

Ebb and flow – rise and fall by Patrick Parker (Mokuren Dojo)
One of the main philosophical and strategic principles of the ancient Kito school, from which both aikido and judo took root, was the idea that ki (energy) is always rising and falling, ebbing and flowing and changing forms. This article at Mokuren Dojo describes this concept and gives a couple of hints for harmonizing with the ebb and flow of someone’s energy.

Qigong Yiquan Review and Impressions by Jacob (Parapsychology Articles and Blog)
I’ve written before about my first qigong lesson. Nowadays, I still go the classes and am much more knowledgeable on this subject.

Feature articleNourishing the Liver by Joanne Hay (Nourished Magazine)
Cleansing the Liver looks very different when seen through the soft, clear eyes of Nourishment. How do we treat Liverish symptoms that pop up in Spring without falling for the old cleanse, purge, no pain no gain paradigm? Some of our Nourishing recommendations may surprise you. Continue reading Qigong and Energy Arts Forum: Volume 1

Energy Medicine Becomes Front-Page News

Last year, I predicted that Qi Gong and energy medicine therapies would become big business over the next decade, possibly eclipsing both Yoga and the UFC combined.  I also predicted an increase in qigong fraud, where inadequately trained therapists operate expensive, ineffectual energy devices on desperate patients.

Sorry to say, I was right. Continue reading Energy Medicine Becomes Front-Page News

Li Ching-Yuen, The Amazing 250 Year-Old Man

When the Chinese herbalist Li Ching-Yuen died in 1933, newspapers around the world reported the news of his passing. According to his own testimony, he was 197 years old.

An investigation, however, suggested Li had forgotten his actual birthday. Official government records recorded the birth year as 1677, making him 256. Here is a copy of the obituary as printed in the New York Times on May 6, 1933:

LI CHING-YUN DEAD; GAVE HIS AGE AS 197.

“Keep a Quiet Heart, Sit Like a Tortoise, Sleep Like a Dog,” His Advice for a Long Life.

Li Ching-Yuen
Li Ching-Yuen

Inquiry Put Age At 256.

Reported to have buried 23 wives and had 180 descendents – sold herbs for first 100 years.

Peiping, May 5 – Li Ching-Yun, a resident of Kaihsien, in the Province of Szechwan, who contended that he was one of the world’s oldest men and said he was born in 1736 – which would make him 197 years old – died today.

A Chinese dispatch from Chungking telling of Mr. Li’s death said he attributed his longevity to peace of mind and that it was his belief every one could live at least a century by attaining inward calm. Continue reading Li Ching-Yuen, The Amazing 250 Year-Old Man

Get a Tucking Clue: Tai Chi and Your Tailbone

Practiced properly, Tai Chi is among the most beneficial activities for improving one’s health. Unfortunately, some students misunderstand one fundamental alignment principle, resulting in collapsed and contorted postures that are more likely to injure health than restore it. The principle: tucking the tailbone.

A straightened spine is required for most Tai Chi postures, and the proper way to accomplish this is explained the Tai Chi classics. The top end of the spine should be lifted, from the head; the bottom end of the spine should be relaxed and allowed to drop.

Over time, the combined forces of intentional expansion and natural contraction (supplied by gravity) will pull the spine taut, as if suspended in the air. The musculature will automatically adjust to support this straightening—unless it is prevented from doing so. Continue reading Get a Tucking Clue: Tai Chi and Your Tailbone

Pigua Tongbei: Swing Your Arms Like a Great White Ape

An Exercise to Build Flexibility and Coordination

This Pigua Tongbei warm-up exercise is an old favorite of Mike Martello—Director of the Wu Tang Association of Belgium—and a new favorite of mine. It will loosen and strengthen your core: waist, back, shoulders and hips.
Continue reading Pigua Tongbei: Swing Your Arms Like a Great White Ape

Learn How to Meditate: A Simple Guide

Excerpted from Learn How to Meditate by William Bodri

Everyone is looking for a way to still their thoughts, shed their worries, and attain mental peace.  That is the purpose of meditation… 

There are all sorts of meditations in the world that can help you learn how to cultivate a peaceful mind… They work using different principles of mental pacification, but they all involve teaching you how to detach from the thoughts and impulses in your head (and in your body) that normally bother you, distract you and impel you…

Confucius was actually one of the people who taught the steps of this process in the most detail. He said the first thing to cultivate, when dealing with every facet of life–and not just spiritual or character development–was mental “awareness…” 

First you have awareness, then stopping, and then stillness which is almost, but not quite complete. If you keep cultivating this stillness through meditation, it will expand so that you achieve the fourth step of the path, which is a state of true peacefulness…

That’s a state that Eastern sages call “samadhi.” Continue reading Learn How to Meditate: A Simple Guide

A Primer on Dim Mak Pressure Points

by Rick Bauer

Over the last twenty years, a considerable amount of interest has been generated concerning the use of acupoints and pressure points in the martial arts. These include material on medical uses of acupoints (also referred to in certain Western publications as “pressure points” or “vital points”), as well as their use in fighting techniques. The commercially available products include seminars, books, videotape and magazine articles; much of it coming from Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.

Documentation suggests the martial uses of acupoints were first discovered about fourteen hundred years ago in feudal China… These techniques have been incorporated into several Asian martial arts systems.

The term “acupoint” refers to specific spots along the body, all of which are highly reactive to stimuli. These are the same points used by acupuncturists for treating ailments and promoting health. In all, there are 361 classic acupoints sprinkled across the human anatomy. The martial use of acupoints, however, refers to controlled strikes to these same anatomical locations. When executed correctly, acupoint strikes can elicit an array of physiological effects, dependent on the angle, direction, and force of the strike, as well as the specific point(s) used.

The term “pressure point” or “vital point,” as used in the West, is slightly broader (conceptually). In addition to the classical acupoint centers, the Western conceptual view of a pressure point or vital point may also include sensitive anatomical regions of the body, which are unrelated to acupoint centers, but have useful martial applications (such as certain joint-lock release centers).

Acupoint striking techniques where originally developed in the Orient. Continue reading A Primer on Dim Mak Pressure Points

Raving Lunatics of the Twenty-First Century

Based Upon a True Story
Imagine yourself walking through a busy outdoor mall, surrounded by hundreds of shoppers and tourists. Casually perusing the fresh produce and handicrafts, you are suddenly confronted with a disturbing spectacle.


(Photo Credit: Gina Fish)

An unkempt, fifty-something man stands alone in the middle of the boardwalk, carrying on a loud and emotional conversation with nobody in particular. Interspersing pointless vignettes on politics, culture and yesterday’s supper with violent and unpredictable gestures, he manages to draw the attention of a small crowd. They watch and listen from a safe distance. Continue reading Raving Lunatics of the Twenty-First Century