Cloud Hands

雲 手 Cloud Hands

Taijiquan and Qigong
Guides, Bibliographies, Links, Resources, Lessons



Bodhidharma Lifting the Sky
The great Zen teacher, Bodhidharma (448-527 CE), supposedly created the
Eighteen Hands of the Lohan Qigong

Michael P. Garofalo
Extensive Resource BLOG in English

Hachidankin  気功、八段錦
Daruma Exercises  だるま体操

Scroll down for more English resources.
Or check the ten previous articles.



Daruma Museum, Japan



Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy focuses more on process (what is happening) than content (what is being discussed). The emphasis is on what is being done, thought and felt at the moment rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should be.

Gestalt therapy is a method of awareness, by which perceiving, feeling, and acting are understood to be separate from interpreting, explaining and judging using old attitudes. This distinction between direct experience and indirect or secondary interpretation is developed in the process of therapy.

The phenomenological method is comprised of three steps:

(1) the rule of epoché,
(2) the rule of description, and
(3) the rule of horizontalization (Spinelli, 2005).

In the rule of epoché one sets aside his or her initial biases and prejudices in order to suspend expectations and assumptions.
In the rule of description, one occupies him or herself with describing instead of explaining.
In the rule of horizontalization one treats each item of description as having equal value or significance.

Experimental freedom
Through experiments, the therapist supports the client’s direct experience of something new instead of the mere talking about the possibility of something new.


In field theory, self is a phenomenological concept, and is a comparison with 'other'. Without other there is no self, and how I experience other is inseparable from how I experience self. The continuity of selfhood (personality functioning) is something achieved rather than something inherent "inside" the person, and has its advantages and disadvantages.

... change comes about as a result of "full acceptance of what is, rather than a striving to be different" .

Dan Rosenblatt led Gestalt training groups in Japan for 7 years and Stewart Kiritz followed with public workshops and training workshops in Tokyo from 1997 through 2005.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Robert H. Deluty

This paper addresses the commonalities between the creative processes and products of psychotherapists and haiku/senryu poets. These commonalities exist in the realms of awareness/insight; genuineness; here-and-now experiencing; interdependence of events; humor; use of blank space; and parsimony.
© www.springerlink.com


Blue Puddles [Haiku]

Splash inside puddles ~
Do not be afraid ~
Your own gestalt therapy

Blue symbolic entities
shape your mind and soul
as well as your heart

Feel free and float there ~
Hot foam on cappuccino ~
Bump into the air

Broken promises
disappear before your eyes ~
You really don't mind

Hungry sandworms left on Dune
can't consume you now ~
You are free and clear

You begin (again) today
to see everything
with new perception

Listen to the sound
of the pulse of life
that surrounds you where you are

Beautiful pictures
wonderful feelings
God blesses you (and me too)

© Candy



Daruma Museum, Japan



Ten Minutes Exercises

10 Minute Exercises

some samples


Workout in details

All times are approximate.
0:01 - 1:00 - Begin by walking briskly in place to warm up the muscles. Warming the muscles makes them pliable and will allow you to work longer.
1:01 - 3:00 - Perform as many squats as possible in two minutes.
3:01 - 4:00 - Rest for one minute.
4:01 - 6:00 - Perform as many plies as possible in two minutes.
6:01 - 7:00 - Rest for one minute.
7:01 - 9:00 - Perform as many lunges (both legs) as possible in two minutes.
9:01 - 10:00 - Recovery and stretching.

and so on for all parts of the body ...


Same is here


A team of health care professionals developed Stretch Break to increase circulation, relieve tension, boost your energy level, and help guard against Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs).
Once installed on your hard drive, Stretch Break gently reminds you to take periodic breaks while using your computer. You are invited to perform a series of low-impact stretches illustrated on the screen. Then Stretch Break returns you to your current Windows application.

Stretch Break is simple. With one mouse click, you begin stretching with the figure on the screen, or you can delay or cancel the stretches.

Stretch Break is flexible. You select how long to wait between stretch sessions and how many stretches per session (defaults are 30 minutes and 3 stretches). Each stretch lasts for 20 to 30 seconds, so you are back to work in one or two minutes


Fitness program for 10 Minutes

10 Minutes Solutions



Daruma Museum, Japan



Reading your mind ?

Quote from Slate

Full-Mental Nudity
The arrival of mind-reading machines.
By William Saletan

Years ago, Woody Allen used to joke that he'd been thrown out of college as a freshman for cheating on his metaphysics final. "I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me," he confessed.

Today, the joke is on us. Cameras follow your car, GPS tracks your cell phone, software monitors your Web surfing, X-rays explore your purse, and airport scanners see through your clothes. Now comes the final indignity: machines that look into your soul.

With the aid of functional magnetic resonance imaging, neuroscientists have been hard at work on Allen's fantasy. Under controlled conditions, they can tell from a brain scan which of two images you're looking at. They can tell whether you're thinking of a face, an animal, or a scene. They can even tell which finger you're about to move.

But those feats barely scratch the brain's surface. Any animal can perceive objects and move limbs. To plumb the soul, you need a metaphysician. John-Dylan Haynes, a brilliant researcher at Germany's Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, is leading the way. His mission, according to the center, is to predict thoughts and behavior from fMRI scans.

Haynes, a former philosophy student, is going for the soul's jugular. He's trying to clarify the physical basis of free will. "Why do we shape intentions in this way or another way?" he wonders. "Your wishes, your desires, your goals, your plans—that's the core of your identity." The best place to look for that core is in the brain's medial prefrontal cortex, which, he points out, is "especially involved in the initiation of willed movements and their protection against interference."

To get a clear snapshot of free will, Haynes designed an experiment that would isolate it from other mental functions. No objects to interpret; no physical movements to anticipate or execute; no reasoning to perform. Participants were put in an fMRI machine and were told they would soon be shown the word "select," followed a few seconds later by two numbers. Their job was to covertly decide, when they saw the "select" cue, whether to add or subtract the unseen numbers. Then, they were to perform the chosen calculation and punch a button corresponding to the correct answer. The snapshot was taken right after the "select" cue, when they had nothing to do but choose addition or subtraction.

Until this experiment, which was reported last month in Current Biology, nobody had ever tried to take a picture of free will. One reason is that fMRI is too crude to distinguish one abstract choice from another. It can only show which parts of the brain are demanding blood oxygen. That's too coarse to distinguish the configuration of cells that signifies addition from the configuration that signifies subtraction. So, Haynes used software to help the computer recognize complex patterns in the data. To dissect human thought, the computer had to emulate it.

Each participant took the test more than 250 times, choosing independently in each trial. The computer then looked at a sample of the scans, along with the final answers that revealed what choices had actually been made. It calculated a pattern and used this pattern to predict, from each participant's remaining scans, his or her decisions in the corresponding trials. Haynes checked the predictions—add or subtract—against the participants' answers. The computer got it right 71 percent of the time.

I know what you're thinking: Why would anyone want a machine to read his mind? But imagine being paralyzed, unable to walk, type, or speak. Imagine a helmet full of electrodes, or a chip implanted in your head, that lets your brain tell your computer which key to press. Those technologies are already here. And why endure the agony of mental hunt-and-peck? Why not design computers that, like a smart secretary, can discern and execute even abstract intentions? That's what Haynes has in mind. You want to open a folder or an e-mail, and your computer does it. Your wish is its command.

But if machines can read your mind when you want them to, they can also read it when you don't. And your will isn't necessarily the one they obey. Already, scans have been used to identify brain signatures of disgust, drug cravings, unconscious racism, and suppressed sexual arousal, not to mention psychopathy and propensity to kill.

Haynes understands the objection to these scans—he calls it "mental privacy"—but he buys only half of it. He doesn't like the idea of companies scanning job applicants for loyalty or scanning customers for reactions to products (an emerging practice known as neuromarketing). But where criminal justice is at stake, as in the case of lie detection, he's for using the technology. Ruling it out, he argues, would "deny the innocent people the ability to prove their innocence" and would "only protect the people who are guilty."

I hear what he's saying. I'd love to have put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed through an fMRI before Sept. 11, 2001, instead of waiting six years for his confession. And I wish we'd scanned Mohamed Atta's brain before he boarded that flight out of Boston. But what Haynes is saying—and exposing—is almost more terrifying than terrorism. The brain is becoming just another accessible body part, searchable for threats and evidence. We can sift through your belongings, pat you down, study your nude form through your clothes, inspect your body cavities, and, if necessary, peer into your mind.

FMRI is just the first stage. Electrodes, infrared spectroscopy, and subtler magnetic imaging are next. Scanners will shrink. Image resolution and pattern-recognition software will improve.

But don't count out free will. To make human choice predictable, you first have to constrain it so that it's not really free. That's why Haynes confined his participants to arithmetic, gave them only two options, and forbade them to change their minds. They could have wrecked his experiment by defying any of those conditions. So could you, if somebody came at you with a scanner or an electrode helmet. To look into your soul and get the right answer, science, too, has to cheat. Somewhere, Woody Allen is laughing. I can feel it.


Enough of this metaphysical nonsense from Saletan.
fMRI (and neuroscience for that matter) is a materialist enterprise. I'm getting pretty sick of Saletan coming at us again and again with the "we've found the soul, we've scanned choices, natural selection is shaped by free will.. Did I blow your mind?"

No, dooood, you did not. The reason it sounds so freaky to scan "free will" or "the soul" is because you haven't...no one can and no one will. If these things exist at all they are nonphysical, so, for the purposes of science they can safely be ignored.

What you scan in an fMRI, or an EEG, or measure with a key press are the consequences of the physical events which are thought. Cognition is a material activity. Once you get this concept through your head then you can stop with the mysticism.

For instance, "thinking about faces" is a cognitive state instantiated in matter...thus, it has a chance to show up on an fMRI. The cognitive state that we experience as "the intention to add or subtract" something is also instantiated in matter. The fact that an fMRI picks this up, too, is not a transcendental experience unless you willfully misinterpret what's going on. Who's to say a cognitive "intentional state" is uncaused, separate from the material world, or otherwise special or supernatural? Why cannot an intentional state be caused just like anything else? The answer is "it can".

There's plenty of wonder to be had in the science itself...this is very cool stuff. We don't need Saletan's injecting inappropriate, outdated shorthands and concepts from Cartesian dualism and medieval philosophy muddying the waters in order to hook us.




Daruma Museum, Japan



Health Haven

Body, Mind and Spirit Working Together

Health Haven

"In Buddhism, the wisdom taught in the scriptures is mainly aimed at realizing enlightenment. However, spiritual exercises can also help us find happiness and health in our everyday life. There are extensive discourses in Buddhism on improving our ordinary life and having a peaceful, joyous, and beneficial existence in this very world."
Tulku Thondup -- The Healing Power of Mind

Tibetan Medicine: The Wisdom of Natural Healing
Imagine a medical tradition, highly effective, offering medicines that produce no lasting negative side effects, sustainably using resources of the natural environment, and fostering basic sanity and compassion as the essential basis of health and well being. It seems that several classical Asian cultures embodied such traditions, and elements of those medical traditions, in the form of Chinese herbal medicine, Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Tibetan medicine, are now beginning to gain respect in the West.

The fundamental principle of preventive health care is that one can adopt a style of life that will support health and healing. Diet, exercise, behavior, spiritual practice -- each individual can learn how to be more healthy in all these aspects of life.
Unfortunately, in our modern world of endless change and countless alternativs, deciding exactly what changes in diet and behavior would be appropriate can be a real challenge. Many conflicting sources of advice on these matters are now widely available. The best advice we've heard is to choose a system that appeals to you and stick with it for long enough to see if it really works for you.

"If you loose your mind, come back."
-- Shambhala Buddhist Slogan
The Ancient Wisdom of Shambhala

Malnutrition Harms the Mind

A lot more is here:

"If one meditates on the Medicine Buddha, one will eventually attain enlightenment, but in the meantime one will experience an increase in healing powers both for oneself and others and a decrease in physical and mental illness and suffering."

"[ Healing by visualizing the Medicine Buddha ] can be applied not only to physical sickness but to mental problems as well. If you want to get rid of a particular type of anxiety or stress or depression or fear or any other kind of unpleasant mental experience, you can visualize the Medicine Buddha seated above the top of your head and think in the same way as before that luminous ambrosia or liquid light emerges from his body, filling your body and cleansing you of any problem, whatever it is.
You might think that all of this sounds a bit childish, but in fact it actually works, and you will find that out if you try it."
-- Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche

—Lama Tashi Namgyal
Teachings on The Medicine Buddha


More in the Daruma Museum:

Medicine Buddha of Japan:
Yakushi Nyorai 薬師如来

Medicine Buddhas of Tibet


Daruma Museum, Japan



Finger Counting

指で数をあらわす 。。。二進法


片手で 31 まで、両手を使えば 1023 まで表すことができます。意外と思いませんでしたか? 「0」と「1」のニつの数字しか使わない分、ニ進法は桁数が直ぐに上がっていきますね。

Binary Finger Counting: 1 to 1023

The thumb represents the value 1, the index is double that, so it's 2, and the middle is double the index, so it's 4, etc. This is key to understanding and fluently counting in binary on your fingers.

Remember, a finger UP means 1, a finger DOWN means 0.

To make the number 3 for instance, you have to combine a 2 finger and a 1 finger (2+1=3).

To make the number 11 for instance, you have to combine an 8 finger, a 2 finger and a 1 finger (8+2+1=11).

To make the number 18 for instance, you have to combine a 16 and a 2 finger (16+2=18).

To make the number 23 for instance, you have to combine the 16 finger, the 4 finger, the 2 finger and the 1 finger (16+4+2+1=23).

To make the number 28 for instance, you have to combine the 16 finger, the 8 finger, and the 4 finger (16+8+4=28).


So How Do We Get 1023?

Once you've used all 5 fingers on the right hand, start with the pinky of the left hand. The pinky would be double the pinky of the right hand, so it's value would be 32.

So to represent the number 449 on your fingers:

Copyright 1995 By: John Selvia

Finger Language, Body Language


Daruma Museum, Japan


Challenge of Change

Quoted from the Ladakh Times

The Challenge of Change
by Mick Quinn

If you look closely, you will see that the suffering you experience, as well as the pain and suffering you cause others, comes mostly from your inability to accept change.

We all want to experience true joy, freedom, and peace in our lives, but few of us ever do. One of the biggest stumbling blocks to realizing such an “awakened” state of living is our inability to accept change.

We become worried and stressed when we lose our job; we’re devastated when a lover leaves us; we’re upset even when little things don’t go “our way.” But the fear and pain that we experience are not really caused by things that happen to us; they are the result of our conscious or “unconscious” resistance to change.

We often have a hard time accepting change in our lives—even good change—and feel the need to control, force, rearrange, re-invent, or reinterpret everything that happens in an effort to make our world “safe” and predictable, or to heal the inner torment we carry from experiences in the past.

We also place a high degree of importance on healing ourselves by looking for the “causes” of why we feel the way we do. But, even though psychotherapy may be beneficial for some, real joy, freedom, and peace lie not in the complexities of the past, but in the simplicity of accepting change in the present moment.

Nothing in life is more natural than change. As Buddha said, “All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation.” This means that everything that occurs—whether good, bad, or tragic—also will cease to be. Consider feelings for example. Think back to a time when you felt your absolute best, and to a time when you were completely overwhelmed. You can remember these feelings, but where exactly have they gone? As with all things that arise, they eventually cease.

It is important to remember that feelings are temporary, and are simply illusions created by our unwillingness to accept life’s most natural state: change.

It is your ability to accept the transitory nature of all internal and external occurrences that will create real freedom, joy, and peace in your life. Learning to acknowledge this natural state of change, without resistance, means never having to unnecessarily suffer again, or to be the cause of any more suffering in those around you. It is developing trust in what is that creates the conditions for awakened living in an environment that is in a constant state of flux.

Since nothing could be a more natural expression of life than the change we experience each day, it is important to realize that we have nothing to fear from the process of life. Almost all fear is the result of our resistance to this normal aspect of life. If you look closely, you will see that the suffering you experience, as well as the pain and suffering you cause others, comes mostly from your inability to accept change.

Learning to accept change is a matter of remaining “conscious” in the face of change. When you begin to feel resistance to change in your life (e.g. stress, fear, anger, doubt, frustration, impatience etc.), use the following steps:

- Acknowledge your resistance to the change you’re experiencing.

- Acknowledge that change is the most natural state in life.

- Acknowledge that everything is transitory, including your feelings and resistance to change. They will arise, and they will cease.

- Accept and be thankful for both the pleasant and unpleasant changes in your life, as they are opportunities for your awakening.

Remember, when you resist change, you are opposing the very essence of life that has been looking out for you since the day you took your first breath. Experiencing resistance, and learning to be comfortable with its temporary and sometimes intense nature, is part of learning to create the space for an awakened life filled with joy, freedom, and peace.

Real-life example:
Jennifer did not know how best to create the conditions for her awakening to authentic joy, especially in relation to her job, which she’d had for ten years. One thing she was aware of was that she had to disconnect from the mindless chatter and sometimes callous gossiping at lunchtimes and during breaks.

Jennifer brought an Eckhart Tolle book to work, and instead of joining in the chatter, she would sit by herself and read. When she declined repeated requests to rejoin the group, her co-workers started to become suspicious. She was eventually called to her boss’s office, and after many meetings about incidents unrelated to her reading, she was told that she would have to work with a “minder”—someone who would make sure she was still able to do her work well. Jennifer continued to read on a daily basis, and shortly thereafter, she resigned. The chatter, however, continues unabated.

Let nothing upset you;
Let nothing frighten you;
Everything is changing;
God alone is changeless.
Patience attains the goal.
Who has God lacks nothing:
God alone fills all our needs.

St. Teresa of Avila

Exercise - Be a Master of Change:
Make a list of the top twenty- five situations in your life. Include relationships, work, and hobbies /pastimes. Imagine who you might be if they all dissipated.
If you sense fear or uncertainty now, this is the ego.
But, if there is also a sense of openness and possibility, this is the seed of your own awakening. Twenty-five years ago such a list may have looked very different than it does today. You are a master of change, and you will always have the last word on what is, and is not, in your life.

Mick Quinn
In 2001, Mick Quinn's life was greatly transformed while sitting in meditation with world-renowned spiritual teacher, Andrew Cohen. Mick has been a delivery person, a civil servant, a founding partner in two multimillion-dollar technology companies, and an executive mentor/coach. He has now "retired" from his entrepreneurial career to write, speak, and cultivate the seed of potential and authentic joy that lies within each one of us.




Daruma Museum, Japan



Sun and Moon Yoga Tokyo

Sun and Moon Yoga Tokyo



To provide an uplifting, healing space where people from all over the world can unfold themselves through the study and practice of yoga in a nurturing community.
As Donna Farhi noted, the world doesn’t really need more people who can bend their bodies into amazing positions. What it needs are kinder, more compassionate, generous people with open minds and hearts. Yoga helps us to become those kinds of people, encouraging forth the essence of who we really are. As Gandhi said, “BE the change you wish to see in the world.” We hope to offer a place where people can discover and share their gifts through the ancient practice of yoga.

Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means “yoke” or “union.”
Yoga unifies the body and mind through the breath, opening channels of energy that send the life force-- prana or ki--through the body. Yoga offers us a way of Being rather than Doing. It’s a powerful gateway into the soul, which is why it’s called “the science of conscious awareness.” Yoga allows us to slow down, quiet the mind, listen to and trust our own natural abilities. It affords us a tremendous opportunity to explore our potential for physical and spiritual growth.

Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani
Owners, Sun and Moon Yoga

Read the details here:

Leza's Homepage


Yoga Poems -- Lines to Unflod By
An inspiring, insightful companion to yoga practice, for home or studio

The 60 simple poems in this book are windows into the mind/body/spirit experiences that come about through yoga practice. Each poem is named for a posture or breath exercise, and is inspired by the physical properties of the pose or some aspect of breathing that led the poet to deeper understanding. Listening to these poems read aloud by a teacher, or contemplating them on one's own, will help yoga students better understand their own struggles and inspire them on the way to personal growth and transformation.



© The Japan Times, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2006

Sun and Moon Yoga: 'Within my body, a city'


Trying to find the way in and out of the Sun and Moon Yoga studio in Meguro, Tokyo, is a bit like trying to negotiate an Escher drawing. Do you take the clean way, the dirty way, the back way or the other way? No worry, says owner-director Leza Lowitz, there is no right or wrong way, only the space that awaits.

This is the second time that Leza has lived in Japan. When she returned to her native California in 1994, she was burned out. As a freelance writer, editor and art critic, she had found many opportunities here. But after four years, she was exhausted and "drinking too much."

The crunch point, she says, came at an art exhibition opening, when a woman said they had met before, " 'but that time you were drinking, so you don't remember.' Shocked that I had made such an impression, I knew it was time to change course."

Back in California, Leza began a period of deep self-reflection. Together with her husband and soul mate, Shogo Oketani, she bought and renovated a 1930s bungalow as a coastal retreat, adopted an abandoned dog and began to study with French mime artist Veera Wibaux -- a woman with an energetic personality who also taught yoga. "That was my new beginning."

Many years later, in 2001, Leza found herself at a yoga retreat in Hawaii, and during a meditation asked for guidance. Back in California, she was active -- writing, doing her practice and writing poetry, but "I didn't like the direction the country was going." Much to her surprise, the answer came: Go back to Tokyo to open a yoga studio. " 'OK,' I thought, 'but not yet.' "

It was Shogo who changed her mind. Returning from a trip to Tokyo to see his father, he had decided it was time to move back. "To be honest, I was very unsure. What would I do with myself? It was a very different time economically, and I was that much older. Again I heard a voice: yoga."

But how to start a business? Though she had no road map, Leza recognized that this had never stopped her before. So she began by looking for a studio, a place that people would regard as sacred space in Tokyo: "an uplifting, healing space, where people could unfold through the study and practice of yoga."

What she found instead was a mess. It had been a pharmacy, located right at the back of an ugly concrete building. But the address was just minutes from the station, and "when I walked in, I fell in love with the fact that I could see open uninterrupted sky through the window -- the sun by day, the moon at night."

With land in Magome given to them by her father-in-law, Leza and Shogo had built a small house. "We decided to use the same architect for Sun and Moon Yoga. Even though I had no budget, Yuji (Hashimoto) said he would do it, and knowing I loved tea houses, set about designing the space and the moon-viewing window frame you see now."

The construction crew was an energetic bunch of old men who used to build "sento" bath houses, and they set to work lovingly with handsaws, using bamboo from Leza's garden. "I think you can feel their calm energy when you walk in. . . ." When she opened a month later, she had only a handful of students. But she kept faith with her vision, and eventually more drifted in: members of Foreign Executive Women. Quickly the word began to spread.

" The students who like our down-to-earth attitude are a wonderful mix. Fifty percent are Japanese, and they come, they say, because they feel they can be themselves."

To Leza's surprise, many of the students want to be taught in English. This was not planned, she says, happy enough to allow Sun and Moon Yoga to evolve naturally. "Right now we have eight teachers and some 1,000 students, and things are pretty healthy. People really need a place to relax and unwind, and find community and peace."

She thinks it unlikely that Sun and Moon will expand. "Is bigger really better? I would hate the intimacy to be lost -- and anyway, where would I find another space like this? We are about yoga in community. I love seeing people walk away with smiles on their faces. I believe in service on a spirit level, not an ego level."

There is also the call of the written word on her precious time. Most recently her book "Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By" (first published in hardback in 2000 by Stone Bridge Press) came out in paperback. "The first line came to me one evening in 1995 as I was struggling in The Downward Dog: 'Within my body, there's a city.' After that, as I practiced poses, the poetry just began to flow."

Coauthored with Reema Datta, "Sacred Sanskrit Words: For Yoga, Chant and Meditation" was published in 2005, also by Stone Bridge Press. "In putting together a primer for yoga students, we experienced a deep learning of our own."

As a writer she also collaborates with Shogo. In 2003 the couple was awarded the Columbia University Japan-U.S. Friendship Community Award from the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture, for translation and criticism of modernist poet Nobuo Ayukawa's collection "America and Other Poems." Most recently, Leza and Shogo coauthored a book on "kanji" for Stone Bridge Press and completed an epic novel about a female ninja.

A bottomless well of energy in her own right, Leza epitomizes Simhasana (Lion Pose) in her book of unfolding poems:

Queen of the jungle,
she knows no fear.
In goes the holdingholdingholding
out goes the tongue
fingers, eyes, head, breath
everything reaching
for more space
in which to roam."

Leza Lowitz


Yoga Poems by
© 2005, Lenore Horowitz

Arrow, Utkatasana

My hands hold the wind,
as green shoots pierce the snow
in early spring.

I arrow
towards the sky,
my bow taut with desire
to see my colors spill
in crimson, orange,
ripest, reddest pink.

Feet wet with dew,
I stand,
yet warm
with hope and dreams.




Daruma Museum, Japan



Karooshi Overwork

Hard work takes its toll
As overtime increases, so does hypertension risk. Let's hear it for the 40-hour workweek.

By Melissa Healy, Times Staff Writer

© Los Angeles Times, September 4, 2006

Ponder this as you enjoy — if you enjoy — a few extra hours of leisure this Labor Day: Workers may be a nation's lifeblood, but when too many work too much, the nation's blood pressure will rise.

Combing through a survey of Californians, researchers at UC Irvine have established a long-suspected link between work and health in America — that people who put in long hours on the job are more likely to suffer from hypertension than those who work less. Add that finding to recent studies demonstrating that employees working overtime are far more likely to get sick or injured, that their rates of sudden cardiac arrest are higher and that women who put in longer work weeks smoke more, snack more and exercise less.

All told, the findings are enough to suggest that good hard labor may be a prescription for very poor health. Now that the average American workweek has climbed to the top of the industrialized world, our devotion to work could cost us, big time.

"Americans work really long, and we know this trend hasn't been getting better, it's been getting worse," says UCLA Public Health School Dean Linda Rosenstock, who directed the Labor Department's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health from 1994 to 2000. "It portends a bigger health burden down the line," she adds, and that will swell the nation's $2-trillion expenditure on healthcare.

The latest bad news for workaholics comes from a study, published in the October issue of the American Heart Assn.'s journal Hypertension, that looked at the survey responses of 24,205 working California adults in 2001. Compared with employees in the state who worked fewer than 40 hours a week, workers who clocked more than 51 hours on the job were 29% more likely to have diagnosed high blood pressure. Even just a few hours of overtime — between 41 and 50 hours of labor a week — increased the risk of high blood pressure by 14%.

"Each step up increased the risk of having hypertension," says Dr. Dean Baker, a study author and director of UC Irvine's Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. "It wasn't like you have to work a very high number of hours for this effect to occur."

Among working Californians, overwork is hardly rare either, he adds. About 18% of those surveyed said they worked more than 50 hours a week.

To doctors and public health officials intent on finding and treating the millions of Americans with undiagnosed high blood pressure, the study provides an important new clue. A patient's long work hours are as powerful a predictor of high blood pressure, they now know, as being male or being poor — both of which are significant and well-established risk factors.

The new study also found that clerical and unskilled workers had far higher rates of diagnosed hypertension — 23% and 50%, respectively — than did professionals, even when employees worked the same number of hours. That result, which is in line with established research, suggests that work that gives employees more control over their working conditions and greater mental challenges may have a protective effect against hypertension, say authors of the study.

These findings, Baker says, suggest that physicians should routinely ask adult patients about how much they work, and in what kinds of jobs, as a means of identifying those at higher risk for hypertension. But as the average American workweek creeps upward, the findings also should guide employers and workers in deciding when demanding more or working more becomes too costly.

"It's important for individuals, as they go through their work careers, to be aware there may be adverse effects on their health" from lengthy workweeks, Baker says. "And employers should be aware that if they establish policies that require or encourage people to work long work hours, it may result in higher medical-care costs."

In Asia, long work hours and high job stress have become so pervasive that employees have a name for the phenomenon of death from overwork. One researcher concluded that, in Japan, karoshi may claim the lives of up to 10,000 workers a year. In China, though there is no official count, the number of guolaosi victims is said to be growing as fast as the nation's economy.

A welter of studies on Asian and European workers have linked excessive work hours to increased risk of conditions such as heart disease, sudden heart attack, high blood pressure and depression, as well as habits such as smoking, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. But in the United States, the health consequences of chronic overwork is a subject largely ignored by American researchers and employers and by workers themselves, who either have too much of a can-do mind-set to admit the problem or are too tired to care.

The workweek of American employees has crept up in the last decade. In 2003, the average U.S. employee worked roughly 2,000 hours a year versus 1,650 hours for Europeans and 1,950 hours for Japanese. Only workers in Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea work more.

Though the Hypertension study provides evidence for a link between overwork and poor health, "it's not rocket science" for workers to figure that out on their own, says Joe Robinson, an L.A.-based work-life coach and board member of the national grass-roots movement Take Back Your Time.

Each year on Oct. 24, the coalition of activists — who support more European-style employment practices and encourage Americans to "work less, waste less" — celebrates a day of awareness for workers and employers across the United States, timed to mark the end of the average European's work year relative to that of the average American.

"Clearly there's a connection [between work and health] and it's not only a connection, it's like someone shouting with a megaphone, saying, 'Wake up America!' " Robinson says. "Because we clearly are working beyond the physical capacity of our bodies as well as our minds."


ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

Human Stress-Meter
by Nipro

Japan-based Nipro has developed a portable stress indicator. Just gather a small amount of spittle into the device, and the Cocoro Meter will measure the level of amylase that increases whenever a person is under physical or mental strain.
Results are displayed via numbers and stick figure icons that express the detected stress level.

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

I have been researching the effects of stress on the human body for many years at Heidelberg University, the Myocardial Infarction Center.

One of the results concerning the wisdom that stress is bad for you:
I gave up this stressful research and took home in the mountains of Japan, now leading a SLOW LIFE !

Gabi Greve, GokuRakuAn Japan



Daruma Museum, Japan



Blue Zones

Long Life, Blue Zones


'Blue Zones' gives tips for long life

If you are looking for a Fountain of Youth, forget pills and diet supplements. Adventurer Dan Buettner has visited four spots on the globe where people live into their 90s and 100s and outlines how they add years of good life in his new book, "The Blue Zones."

The answer, Buettner says, includes smaller food portions, an active lifestyle and moderate drinking.

"If someone tells you they have a pill or hormone (that extends life), you're about to lose money," Buettner says.

Buettner identifies four hot spots of longevity: the mountainous Barbagia region of Sardinia, an island off the coast of Italy; the Japanese island of Okinawa; a community of Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, Calif., about 60 miles east of Los Angeles; and the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, in Central America.
(The term "Blue Zones" takes its name from the blue ink Belgian demographer Michel Poulain used to circle an area of long-living Sardinians on a map.)

What Buettner found in his seven years of research and travel were common denominators among the vigorous super-elderly - close family relationships, a sense of purpose, healthy eating habits. He distills them into what he calls the Power Nine that readers can use to create their own Blue Zone.

"Picking half a dozen things off of this al a carte menu, and sticking to it, is probably worth eight to 10 (extra) years for the average American. And you'll look younger and feel younger on the way," says Buettner, a tall and lean 48-year-old who says he hopes to live until at least 100.

Buettner turned to probing the secrets of the longest-living cultures after leading three long-distance bicycle expeditions - from the tip of North America to the tip of South America; across the United States, Europe and the Soviet Union; and across Africa - in the 1980s and 1990s. He also used the Internet to take classrooms on interactive quests to solve everything from the collapse of ancient Mayan civilization to human origins in Africa.

Buettner made his first expedition to Okinawa in 2000 and eventually wrote a National Geographic cover story, "The Secrets of Long Life," in November 2005. That led to National Geographic publishing "The Blue Zones" this March. The book debuted at No. 15 on The New York Times' list of advice book bestsellers but has since dropped off.

Living long - even forever - is a human desire throughout history, says Dr. Robert Butler, president and CEO of the International Longevity Center-USA in New York. But Butler says he's skeptical of claims of places of long-living people.

"There's always been these rumours but they've always turned out to be inaccurate," said Butler, who appears in "The Blue Zones" but has not read it.

Buettner is aware of the skepticism, but says he and his team of demographers, which included Poulain, scrupulously checked birth and death records and vetted the ages of Blue Zone residents in his book.

"We have the numerical data that shows that these places (in 'The Blue Zones') are living longer. It's not just anecdotal," Buettner said.

While ranking populations by average life expectancy is nothing new, Buettner has "done a nice job putting faces to it and looking at some of the special characteristics - be it diet or happiness - that typify some of these regions," said Dr. Thomas T. Perls, director of the New England Centenarian Study and an associate professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. Perls also appears in the book.

Because of obesity and smoking, Americans are living about 10 years less than they should be, said Perls, co-author of the book "Living to 100." He said if Americans embraced the healthy habits advocated by Buettner, the impact on public health "would be huge."

Buettner found long-lived people have a sense of purpose and a strong support network. In Okinawa, women gather in social networks known as moais.

"Even at age 100, they're all getting together in their moai ... at 5 o'clock every day. They sit around, they drink a couple glasses of sake, they gossip, they talk about sex. If one doesn't show up to the afternoon gathering, the other four sort of hobble over to see if she's fallen down or if she needs help," Buettner said.

Women in Okinawa also tend to be spiritual leaders, which imbues them with a sense of purpose, or "ikigai," Buettner said.

Regular attendance at religious services also is a factor, Buettner said. Seventh-day Adventists observe the Sabbath on Saturday, which gives them a weekly break from stress.

"There's no question but having a spiritual sense - a sense of belonging, a sense of personal value - enhances a person's ability to follow good health habits. Out of that arises the longevity," said Dr. Richard Hart, president and CEO of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center.

Limiting food intake and eating healthy also are key, Buettner said. Elderly Okinawans follow a maxim to eat only until their stomachs are 80 per cent full, Buettner said. Centenarians in Sardinia, Okinawa and Nicoya rarely ate meat, and some Adventists stick only to a plant-based diet. Adventists frequently eat nuts while Okinawans eat tofu.

Drinking in moderation can help, Buettner said. Sardinians drink a dark red wine that's loaded with antioxidants, he said.

Exposure to sun - a source of vitamin D - also is common in Blue Zones, where the residents are tan, Buettner said.

"We shouldn't be burning ourselves, we shouldn't be frying. But 20 minutes a day, in the climates or the latitudes that have quality sunshine, it's probably a good takeaway," he said.

Buettner also advocates low-intensity physical activity. After years of biking, Buettner has switched to yoga for his main exercise. He lives on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, where he can skate around the lake in the summer and cross-country ski across it in the winter.

"You identify what you like to do, and you do it, because you're likely to do that over the long run," Buettner said.

Buettner also recommends "de-conveniencing" your home - getting rid of the TV remote or the power lawnmower. Buettner moved up to the third floor of his spacious home "so every time I need a shirt I walk three flights of stairs."

Modern life is threatening the Blue Zones' reputation for longevity, Buettner said. Obesity rates have soared in Sardinia, where young people are eating chips and drinking soda pop, he said.

"The phenomena of longevity is disappearing in all places, except for maybe among the Adventists, and the purpose of this book was to capture it and observe it before it disappeared, and measure it," Buettner said.


On the Net:

Dan Buettner's nine tips for longer life, from his book "The Blue Zones":

1. "Move Naturally.
Be active without having to think about it."

2. "Hara Hachi Bu.
Painlessly cut calories by 20 per cent."

3. "Plant Slant.
Avoid meat and processed food."

4. "Grapes of Life.
Drink red wine (in moderation)."

5. "Purpose Now.
Take time to see the big picture."

6. "Down Shift.
Take time to relieve stress."

7. "Belong.
Participate in a spiritual community."

8. "Loved Ones First.
Make family a priority."

9. "Right Tribe.
Be surrounded by those who share Blue Zone values."


Source: "The Blue Zone," by Dan Buettner.



Daruma Museum, Japan





"Tao" is letting things flow smoothly -- going with the Flow
"Zen" is opening oneself -- Being with Oneness.
When one opens, one flows. When one flows, one is open.

About TaoZen Life Practice

When we open ourselves to the Openness (Nothingness or Zen state), the real effortless stream (or Tao) is coming through us. This is the TaoZen Life Practice; it is a non dual healing practice to bring total health, joy, and strength.

When your body, mind, and soul harmonize ・translucent radiant Spirit can shine into your life like a powerful beam of light ・ through a clear plate of glass. We have all experienced the occasional flash of intuitive knowledge that illuminates The Way with questionless certainty. During these magical moments, your life self organizes with effortless flow ・things feel just right.

How can you develop this rare heightened state of awareness into a permanent condition, accessible at will? Join Masahiro Ouchi (Senior Instructor, Founder, and Director of Healing Tao Center of New York, Founder of the TaoZen Association.), his staff, and the TaoZen Community in extraordinary courses, workshops, and special events designed to help you develop the ever present awareness -- awareness of non dual lucidity that Masahiro calls TaoZen .

Each one of your bodies ・the physical, mental, emotional, and energetic ・is a gateway that leads to a harmonized Spirit. When any one of these bodies is unbalanced the entire Self System becomes disordered. Then Spirit can no longer manifest Intuition consciously. At those times, important decisions are made by rigid logic ・or by animal instinct. Impulsive life choices made in the absence of spiritual awareness are usually misguided and wrong headed.

Master Masahiro Ouchi

Masahiro Ouchi has been teaching Tai-chi, Qigong, and meditation for over 30 years. He is a senior instructor of Universal Tao; a faculty member of the Healing Tao University . He has been chosen as Teacher of the Year. In addition, he has taught Tao and Zen disciplines at New York University, the Open Center of New York, Queens College, Exhale Spa -- as well as in Asia, Europe, Central America, and Africa.

His spiritual journey originated with a childhood experience at a 600 year old Zen temple in Japan. Since then he has practiced Zen Meditation, Shaolin Temple Kempo, Japanese Archery, Esoteric Shintoism, Kundalini Yoga, Taoism, Qigong and Tai Chi. He is an original student of the world-renowned Tao Master Mantak Chia. He is also a student of Li Jun Feng, Wushu teacher to Jet Li. In addition, he has studied under the great Dr. and Priest Hiroshi Motoyama & Mr. Michizo Noguchi.

Masahiro Ouchi's purpose and focus is to teach his students how to bring ancient spiritual and healing practices into their modern lives ・to teach them how to live fully with joy and compassion.




Daruma Museum, Japan


Toothache Yoga


Toothache and Yoga
Varun Mudra
- Water Mudra


 © By cgull8m

The science of Mudras is based on the principle that
"The root cause of disease is the imbalance and improper co-ordination between these elements (water, earth, heaven/ether, air and fire represented by the five fingers) and proper balance between these elements is the secret of good health."

The secret of health lies in hands, fingers and Mudras, which can be performed with the help of fingers.

Human body is composed of five basic elements and the five fingers of our hands represents these five basic elements. Ancient Sages discovered the knowledge of Mudras. By touching of hands to each other or folding fingers in a particular way, we can cure any disturbances in these five elements with the help of our fingers, we can keep the five elements in proper proportion, any disturbances in them can be balanced. So that our body become healthy.

CLICK for enlargement

The guru said if the right tooth portions ache then one is angry with males, if the left tooth portions aches means one is angry with a female. Most of the pain and illnesses are caused by emotions, mind and body affect each other significantly.

Varun Mudra:

CLICK for enlargement

Little finger represents water. And only water can put out the fire. So touch tip of the thumb with tip of the little finger. Water will increase in the body and bring down the fire in the body -- I mean fever.
Is basically used for reducing fever and colds, but also to alleviate the pain. If you have fevers you can also do this one.

You can try this if your tooth aches, but also control your anger.

This Varun Mudra gives you immediate and temporary relief, but check your Dentist also, there might be a bigger problem than what it looks from the outside. Don't take it lightly and wait until the end.

This also helps in curing diseases connected with shortage or excess of water, like blood impurities, skin diseases, dry skin problems etc. This mudra brings shine to the skin and makes it smooth. It helps in (to some extent) of acne and pimples.


Regular practice balances the water element in your body
Enhances physical beauty
Decreases dryness in skin and body


CLICK for more photos

By practicing this posture 5 to 30 minutes for 30 days, it helps to cure skin disease, excessive perspiration; it purifies the blood and balances its circulation, making the body flexible.

© www.jainworld.com/ Hand Postures


God of Toothache in Nepal

More Gods of Japan to heal your toothache !
Yakushi Nyorai and Jizo for your Toothache


toothache yoga -
the secret of my hands
and prayers





Slow Food


Quote from
Living in Season
The official newsletter of School of the Seasons
January 22, 2007


Copyright © Waverly Fitzgerald 2007

There is a secret bond
between slowness and memory,
between speed and forgetting.
— Milan Kundera

Does it seem like time is going by faster and faster? It's not entirely an illusion. There are many signs that we are becoming accustomed to moving at a rapid pace. Gleick has written an entire book under the title Faster, describing the Western?s world?s obsession with speed.

Jay Griffiths provides many examples in the chapter on speed in her marvelous book on time, A Sideways Look at Time. She quotes two childbirth experts in Dublin who write: "Prolonged labour, in this hospital, was defined as 36 hours in 1963, reduced to 24 hours in 1968, and, finally to 12 hours in 1972." She also cites the results of a Harvard survey on Americans Use of Time. In 1965, 25% of the people polled said they felt hurried. That percentage increased to 32% in 1985 and 38% by 1992. Griffiths notes: "The percentage of the rushed has grown, and has grown faster and faster."

In response to increasing time pressure, we've developed methods of doing things even more quickly, like preparing food in the microwave and gulping down missing nutrients in the form of multi-vitamins. In his book, The Slow Down Diet, Marc David talks about the difference between the way the French eat and the way Americans eat. The French take several hours for lunch, drink wine with their meals, eat lots of cheese and high-fat foods, eat smaller portions, insist on fresh and high-quality ingredients and have their largest meal in the middle of the day. They are more likely to smoke and less likely to exercise yet they have lower rates of heart disease and lower blood cholesterol than most Americans.

Scientists observing this phenomenon decided that the polyphenols in the wine the French drank made the difference which is when we started hearing that drinking red wine was good for you. Suddenly polyphenols became available in pill form, in case you were too rushed to drink a glass of wine. Nobody noticed the context of the French meal: the leisurely time, the savoring of the experience and the ingredients, the socializing that accompanied the meal. David contends that a relaxed eater has a better chance of digesting a meal and feeling satisfied afterwards.

He offers one amusing story about an American geologist who was supervising a three-week dig in rural France. She got frustrated because her French crew disappeared into town every day for two-and-a-half hour lunch. So she told them they needed to eat lunch on site. They cheerfully agreed and the next day, a truck pulled into the parking area at lunchtime. Out of the truck came tables, tablecloths, silverware, china, flowers, a portable kitchen and plenty of food. Then the workers sat down and enjoyed a two-hour meal, complete with wine, on site.

Italian food writer, Carlo Petrini, launched the Slow Food movement in 1986 outraged by the opening of a MacDonalds besides the Spanish Steps in Rome. This movement, which has spread across the globe, champions locally grown seasonal food, artisanal production, the preservation of traditional recipes and the enjoyment of leisurely meals shared with family and friends. Carl Honoré describes the influence of the Slow Food movement and others in his book, In Praise of Slowness, which includes chapters on the design of slow cities (where walking is encouraged), the benefits of slowing down on health, the pleasures of slow sex and suggestions for raising unhurried children.

Ralph Keyes in his book, Timelock, offers some suggestions for slowing down:

Take time outs during the day
Choose the slowest route, not the fastest: Walk instead of drive. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Grate your own cheese rather than buying grated cheese.
Distinguish between necessary haste (late for an appointment) and impatience (one-hour photo developing)
Listen to your body
Take a bath instead of a shower
What ways can you find to slow down?

David, Marc, The Slow Down Diet, Healing Arts Press 2005
Gleick, James, Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, Vintage 2000
Griffiths, Jay, A Sideways Look at Time, Tarcher/Penguin 2004
Honoré, Carl, In Praise of Slowness: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed, Harper San Francisco 2004
Keyes, Ralph, Timelock: How Life Got So Hectic and What You Can Do About It

Slow Food www.slowfood.com


Slow Life at the Paradise Hermitage


Daruma Museum, Japan


The Tao of Health

The Tao of Health BLOG

Green tea is supposed to be a very healthy drink.
Just look at all these posts for an idea of how healthy.

As healthy as green tea may be, just think about how cheap it is. You can get organic green tea bags for ten cents each. That means you can have four cups per day for less than fifty cents. I think that is incredible! Where else can you find such a value?

I love to blog; I love to write; and I love to help others.
Ed Bremson
Raleigh, N.C., USA




Daruma Museum, Japan


The Work of Byron Katie

The Work of Byron Katie

Four Questions

1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?

And remember to turn it around.

Katie's first book, Loving What Is, introduced us to The Work.

Quote from Katie

If you want something to be different than it is, you might as well teach a cat to bark. You can try and try, and in the end the cat will look up at you and say, "Meow." Wanting something to be different than it is is hopeless.

We buy a home for our children, for our bodies; we get a garage for our car; we have dog houses for our dogs; but we won't give the mind a home. And we treat it like an outcast. We shame it and blame it and shame it again.
But if you let the mind ask its questions, then the heart will rise with the answer. And "rising" is just a metaphor. The heart will reveal the answer, and the mind can finally rest at home in the heart and come to see that it and the heart are one. That's what these four questions are about.

'How can I smile at the nagging thoughts that seem to take me from presence?'
Read the story.

Quote from the Q and A section

Does The Work work for depression or anxiety?

Before a feeling comes, there is always a thought: "I'm worthless." "I'm wasting my life." "Something terrible could happen." Our depression comes from believing these thoughts.
If you knew deeply inside yourself that these thoughts weren't true, would you still feel depressed? The four questions help you see what's really true for you. Many people around the world find that The Work is the fast way out of suffering. It can complement any other approach you choose.

We don't have to wait for the world to be free before we are free.

The Main Page



Daruma Museum, Japan



Cardiac Wellness

Cardiac Wellness Programs, USA

Endorsing a lifestyle

By Hilary E. MacGregor, June 12, 2006

© Los Angeles Times

LIFESTYLE changes can boost the health and well-being of heart patients, proponents of such programs have long said. Now Medicare has acknowledged that as well.

The federal insurance program will now pay for the intensive cardiac rehabilitation plans created by preventive health guru Dr. Dean Ornish and mind-body medicine pioneer Dr. Herbert Benson — the first time the federal government has agreed to reimburse consumers for specific lifestyle intervention programs.

"This exciting breakthrough could change the face of medical care," said Ornish in a statement.

He and Benson have been working for years to obtain Medicare reimbursement for their cardiac wellness programs because it's seen as a critical first step to making their programs more widely available — and getting other insurance providers to pay for them as well.

Both have conducted clinical research demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes — including support groups; good nutrition and low-fat diets; exercise; and stress management, such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing — may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease without drugs or surgery.

Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease is offered at eight sites in Pennsylvania and at five medical centers in West Virginia. At least one private insurer in each state already has agreed to cover the programs in those states.

Cardiac wellness programs by Benson, who more than 25 years ago wrote the groundbreaking "Relaxation Response," are offered in Indiana, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington and Virginia.

Considered by many to be the father of meditation in this country, Benson has shown that 10 minutes of meditative technique a day can increase concentration and counteract the harmful effects of stress, such as high blood pressure and strokes.

His Cardiac Wellness Program combines these stress reduction techniques with nutrition, cognitive restructuring and exercise to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Patients report fewer symptoms of chest pain.

Medicare, however, will not cover enrollment in the programs for as long as both centers frequently recommend. Instead, it will guarantee coverage for 36 sessions within an 18-week period, with a possible extension to 72 sessions for 36 weeks. The final details of how much will be covered are still under negotiation, Ornish said.

Although Medicare already pays for some cardiac rehabilitation programs, officials hailed the inclusion of both programs as an important shift toward preventive rather than rehabilitative medicine.

As of March, the definition of who can take advantage of the cardiac rehab benefit under Medicare has been expanded from conditions such as acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and coronary artery bypass graft to include patients with less severe heart conditions, such as valve replacement.

"The programs of Dr. Ornish and Dr. Benson focus on a prevention model," said a spokesperson with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "Now we are going to take even individuals with mild cardiovascular disease and show them how to ameliorate it or reverse it to avoid more serious disease."

Although the details of coverage have not been finalized, doctors who run similar lifestyle intervention programs to treat and prevent heart disease supported the move.

"It is just phenomenal that Medicare has decided to cover these programs since Medicare sets the precedent for all of the other insurance companies," said Dr. Mimi Guarneri, a cardiologist who co-founded and runs the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla.

"What's really important is this is truly shifting the paradigm of healthcare from focusing on chronic disease to
focusing on prevention."



Daruma Museum, Japan



Forest Therapy

Forest Therapy  - 樹林セラピー
Forest Quigong、Jurin Kikoo 樹林気功

Something we do frequently at GokuRakuAn.


© Japan Times, May 2, 2008

'Forest therapy' taking root
Researchers find that a simple stroll among trees has real benefits


For stressed-out workers, this may someday be a doctor's prescription: Walk around in the woods.

Scientists in Japan have been learning a lot in recent years about the relaxing effects of forests and trees on mental and physical health. Based on their findings, some local governments are promoting "forest therapy."

Experience shows that the scents of trees, the sounds of brooks and the feel of sunshine through forest leaves can have a calming effect, and the conventional wisdom is right, said Yoshifumi Miyazaki, director of the Center for Environment Health and Field Sciences at Chiba University.

Japan's leading scholar on forest medicine has been conducting physiological experiments to examine whether forests can make people feel at ease.

One study he conducted on 260 people at 24 sites in 2005 and 2006 found that the average concentration of salivary cortisol, a stress hormone, in people who gazed on forest scenery for 20 minutes was 13.4 percent lower than that of people in urban settings, Miyazaki said.

This means that forests can lower stress and make people feel at ease, he said, noting that findings in other physiological experiments, including fluctuations in heart beats and blood pressure, support this conclusion.

"Humans had lived in nature for 5 million years. We were made to fit a natural environment. So we feel stress in an urban area," Miyazaki said. "When we are exposed to nature, our bodies go back to how they should be."

Taking a walk in a forest, or "forest bathing" as it is sometimes called, can strengthen the immune system, according to Li Qing, a senior assistant professor of forest medicine at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo.
Li conducted experiments to see whether spending time in a forest increases the activity of people's natural killer (NK) cells, a component of the immune system that fights cancer.

In one, 12 men took a two-night trip to a forest in Nagano Prefecture in 2006, during which they went on three leisurely strolls and stayed in a hotel in the woods. Thirteen female nurses made a similar trip to another forest in the prefecture in 2007.

NK activity was boosted in the subjects in both groups, and the increase was observed as long as 30 days later, Li said.

"When NK activity increases, immune strength is enhanced, which boosts resistance against stress," Li said, adding that forest therapy for immune-compromised patients may be developed within a few years.
Li said the increase in NK activity can be attributed partly to inhaling air containing phytoncide, or essential wood oils given off by plants.

Miyazaki of Chiba University said forests gratify the five senses by providing the sounds of birds, cool air, green leaves, the touch of trees, wild plants and grasses.

"The atmosphere of forests makes people calm," he said.

Based on studies on the effects of forests, the public and private sectors are now promoting forest therapy.

The Forest Therapy Executive Committee, a group of researchers, other intellectuals and the government-affiliated National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization, started officially recognizing certain forests by granting the designations of Forest Therapy Base and Forest Therapy Road in 2006. The titles are given to forests that have been found by researchers through scientific evidence to have relaxing effects.

Officials from the Forest Agency and the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry participate in the group as observers.
A forest therapy base comprises a forest and walking paths typically managed by local governments.

So far, 31 bases and four roads nationwide have gained such recognition.

Visitors to some of the therapy bases and roads have the option of taking part in various health programs, including medical checkups, breathing and aromatherapy classes, and guided walks with experts on forests and health care.

At the Akazawa Natural Recreation Forest in Agematsu, Nagano Prefecture, which was recognized as a forest therapy base in 2006, visitors can get free medical checkups among Japanese cypress trees on Thursdays. The forest is known as the Japanese birthplace of the concept of forest bathing in 1982.

Some companies have come to use forest therapy for their employees' health care.

The Shinano Municipal Government in Nagano Prefecture, which manages the Iyashi no Mori (Healing Forests) forest therapy base, has contracts with four companies, a town official said.

Visitors to the forest therapy base can take part in various programs, including dietary management, hydrotherapy and aromatherapy.
The formal designations have drawn more people to such towns.

The Oguni Municipal Government in Yamagata Prefecture said 1,280 people visited the Nukumidaira beech forest there in fiscal 2007, including some 100 people who took part in forest walking tours with "matagi" traditional hunters.

"Before we got the recognition (in 2006), there were not so many visitors to the woods. Now we can see some people in the forest even on weekdays," said Juro Watanabe, a town official in charge of forest therapy.

Recognition as a forest therapy base can be a big help, said Shigetaka Harashima, manager of the forest therapy project for the Okutama Municipal Government in Tokyo.
The town received official recognition in April 2008 and is now cooperating with experts to draw up therapy programs that will be available next year.

Chiba University's Miyazaki said he hopes the number of forest therapy bases and roads will reach 100 nationwide over the next decade so people will have plenty of choices when they look for different types of forests.

"Some people like broadleaf forests and others prefer forests of conifer trees like hinoki cypress that give off a strong aroma," Miyazaki said. "I hope people try to find a forest that suits their tastes and visit them from time to time."


Forest Therapy / Further Reference

CLICK for more photos

樹林気功 / Japanese Reference



© 森林セラピー Japan

© 森林セラピー 岡山県真庭郡新庄村



Daruma Museum, Japan




Somatic Wisdom

From "Pure Heart, Simple Mind"® vol. 4, no.8, May 3, 2006
Official Newsletter of Seishindo™ 精心道

Please be sure to read this newsletter at a leisurely pace, while maintaining a soothing breathing pattern and a relaxed physiology. This is the same basic instruction we give over and over again during our workshops.

Start out by taking several deep breaths... Adjusting your posture... And tightening and then releasing various muscles throughout your head, neck, and body... When you tighten your muscles hold your breath... When you release your muscles breathe freely and deeply... When you feel "ready", breathe consciously and begin reading.

Your body plays an important role in maintaining your health and emotional well being.
The language of your body is

- sophisticated
- systematic
- complete

In a literal sense, the grammar of your body language determines the grammar of your spoken language.

Use your body in a more graceful, efficient manner, and you will find you become more emotionally balanced and solution oriented.

You will find that you slip in and out of understanding the meaning of your life. This is just the way things are meant to be.

Please read the rest of the instructions here .

... ... ... Newsletter Archives

In Seishindo we support you in honoring the feelings and intuitive wisdom emanating from your body, heart, and soul. It is through the ups and downs of life that you discover your own unique path and actively live the life you desire and deserve.
When you discover and honor your unique connection to life, how you think and feel winds up matching your true heart's desire.


[著者紹介] チャーリー・バーデンホップ〈Charlie Badenhop〉

another link in the Genkijuju:

. Body language .


Daruma Museum, Japan


Hanya Shingyo Sutra


Hanya Shingyo : The Heart Sutra

..... ..... ..... 般若心経


source : ocnk.net


Each letter of the Hanya Sutra is a Buddha in itself.
When you copy a sutra, you should pray three times, write one letter, pray three times, write the next one letter, pray three times and so on till the end of the sutra.

The sutra tells us not to cling to meanings and regulations, not to worry about a thing ... not to fret about things we can not change anyway, and to try improve things we can, like our own way of seeing things.
It also tells us to take things "yuttari", with leisure and pleasure.
And in the end, it tells us to be greatful to the Buddha for teaching us his wisdom thus.

gyate gyate, I understand now! Oh, I understand now ! Finally I understand the mind of the Buddha. Thank you, thank you for your teaching !

Gyate gyate haragyate harasougyate boji sowaka.
Wakatta, wakatta. Hotoke no kokoro, yatto wakatta! Arigatoo!

See the world with the eyes and judgement of Buddha!















Heart Sutra Tr. by George Boeree

The Heart Sutra by Kazuaki Tanahashi
- reference -

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Gone gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond,
O what an awakening, all hail!
Tr. Edward Conze

"gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond"

"Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond,
Enlightenment hail!"

"Om, gone gone gone beyond, gone completely beyond,
awakening, so be it."

"Go go go together, further than beyond,
beyond the further shore -- Hail!"

"Go, go, go together further than beyond
on the shore of the satori."

- reference -


source : jiritsu/record

ほっとする 般若心経



Copyright (C) 1998-2006 黒羽山 大雄寺 Kurobane San, Daioo-Ji
All rights reserved.
Read the Japanese version ONLINE


黒羽山 大雄寺(くろばねさん だいおうじ)
324-0233 栃木県大田原市黒羽田町450番地
Copyright (C)1998-2006 黒羽山 大雄寺


Copying Buddhist Images ... shabutsu 写仏

Copyright (C)2002-2007 金剛院 Kongoo-In
all rights reserved.

More External LINKS

Shakyoo-Ya : Goods you need for Copying Japanese Sutras

WIKIPEDIA : The Heart Sutra


There are many reasons people practice shakyo. Some do it simply as a means of improving calligraphic skill; for others it is primarily a means of developing focus and concentration; for yet others still, it is a meditative practice - calming the mind and bringing a state of inner peace after the ups-and-downs of a hectic day.

At a yet deeper level, the practice of shakyo is considered highly important as a 'Meritous activity' - that is, the practice of shakyo is a means by which one can accrue Merit - the Spiritual Blessings or Grace of a Buddha - for oneself - or on behalf of others.

Hannya Shingo written in bonji, Sanskrit letters

Copyright © James Deacon


Copying the Lotus Sutra, One Letter at a Time
Ninzan Kyosho Valorie Beer

Copying the Arya Sanghata Sutra


Modern Japanese translation/interpretation by Hiro Sachiya
般若心経 現代語訳









Gyate Gyayte ...




source : www.art-tokyo.net

#hannya shinkyoo hannya shinkyo #heartsutra