TanDao


Happy New Year!

year of the horse

May your spirit gallop wild and free…

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Photo by Toni Tan


“Be formless, shapeless, like water,” said Bruce Lee, echoing the words of the ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu.

Written over two thousand years ago, Sun Tzu’s classic treatise Art of War uses water as a metaphor for strategies in managing conflict.

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is Water Cooperation.

We are facing growing issues surrounding water, conflict and survival. March 22 is World Water Day, and the start of World Water Week. The focus is to promote peace in transboundary water management through cooperation, not conflict. International waters are key natural resources ensuring our global future. Where they touch on more than one country, or are intercepted by a nation upstream, they are also a source of tension.

Conflicts arise among leaders, as these transboundary issues are deeply rooted in emotions –- water is necessary for survival. And it defines a culture’s opportunity for advancement. The challenge is not only to provide a sustainable clean water system, it is also learning to manage and share resources in an equitable way. Understanding historical water disputes and related treaties provide signposts for conflict resolution and aides in developing strategies for the future. Focusing on cooperation and joint action is essential to vital transboundary waters.

The resolution process requires a tremendous effort, great skill, programs and money. It also calls for awareness. Here’s how you can get involved

Lao Tze said, “The highest good is like water. Water nourishes the ten thousand things.”

Both water and cooperation are precious. Water is life. Communication is the path. No fighting.

Toni Tan

World Water Day

In TanDao, we use this famous zen tale as a metaphor for long and winding path to martial arts mastery:

The Master’s Three Sons

Once upon a time two old kung fu masters were in a teahouse. One master asked, “How are your three sons progressing with their martial arts?”

“Let’s test them,” said the host. He took a heavy vase and placed it over a door so when opened the vase would fall. He called his youngest son, a strong youth who demonstrated powerful punches and kicks with fierce shouts.

“Pay your respects,” his father said. His son strutted over and shoved the door open. The vase crashed on his head but when it hit the floor he shattered it with a punch.

“Your boy is powerful,” said the guest. “He is young, one day he may understand power,” said the host, placing another vase over the door. He called his middle son, a tall youth who performed graceful and ferocious animal movements. When the youth pushed open the door he dodged and caught the vase as it fell. He bowed.

“Your second son has power and control,” complimented the visitor. “If he perseveres he may one day achieve true power.” the host said, putting up another vase. He called his eldest son.

After doing a slow moving meditation form, the son calmly walked towards the door. Noticing the vase, he reached up and took it down. He held it out while bowing, “Pleased to meet you, sir.”

“This is my number one son,” his father smiled. The visitor said, “Indeed, he is on his way to becoming a master”

Photo by Toni Tan

Three Stages of Mastery: Technical. Strategic. Intuitive.

The sons correspond to three different stages: technical (youngest son), strategic (middle son) and intuitive (eldest son). Each stage is a different mindset and focuses on a particular way of problem solving (the falling vase). The three sons express three alternative options reflecting their stage of development: the youngest son aggressively confronts the problem, the middle son strategically defuses the problem and the eldest, avoids the problem through mindful awareness.

Think about it.

Lawrence Tan

Photo by Toni Tan

Managing cancer or crisis?

Listen to our ENERGY WARRIORS book interview with Bob Ellal on Chris Springmann’s Body Language show at Radio MD.

ENERGY WARRIORS
is Bob Ellal’s journey from four bouts of cancer to healing, along with simple how-to qigong exercises by Master Lawrence Tan. It also includes Master Tan’s signature exercise, The Universal Form.

Energy Warriors is a sign post for the future of medicine — the bridging of eastern and western paths to healing and health.

IMG_1730a 9.57.47 AM

Kung Hay Fat Choy!

Today begins a new cycle in the lunar New Year calendar…the Year of the Snake.

Looking back: The dragon, an ancient Chinese symbol of nature’s primal power, controls winds, water and weather unleashed destruction with Hurricane Sandy and ended the year with the blizzard of 2013. The Year of the Dragon 2012 was a helluva roller coaster ride for the world economically and geo politically with challenging reverberations in everyone’s private lives. Whew!

In the East and in many native traditions, the snake, which sheds it’s skin, is a symbol of spiritual transformation and rebirth. With all the challenges we face these days, many of us need to reassess and revitalize ourselves. Let this be a year of renewal for all.

Happy New Year from your friends at TanDao,

Lawrence and Toni Tan

MAY YOU FIND A JOYFUL SURPRISE AND PEACE IN THE MOMENT….

Into The Light

Photo courtesy imgur.com



In astronomy, the seasons move in celestial cycles. As the earth rotates around the sun, it also spins on its own axis, which tilts towards the plane of its rotation (about 23.5 degrees). The northern hemisphere receives less direct sunlight. Days of less and less light, moving towards the birth of winter and a new year. The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, unmoving on the horizon solstice translates from latin “sun” and “standing still”. The northern hemisphere experiences its annual winter solstice. This marks the shortest day. It is also the longest night. Then, the sun will again ascend in the northern sky as the days begin to grow longer. It is the Earth returning to light.

In the days growing shorter, with darkness falling around us, we enter into our own dark time of sorts. The darkness is considered the space where secrets lurk, and creatures stir –- the vampires and monsters, the underbelly’s destructive and chaotic forces. Our own fears and failings are in that darkness too. It’s a time for assessing who we are, and where we are – in our selves, in our homes, in our community, and in our world. It is a burning and bruising time to examine our collective spirit.

It is an intensified time of natural disasters and man made crisis. In a year of endless suffering – hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, fiscal woes, foreclosures, job loss, war, and violence, it seems that what lurks in the secret, dark corners, at great expense, is being flushed out. Many of us have been knocked down and heart broken in the process.

On the darkest day in the celestial cycle, today is a day of mourning for the loss of lives at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

During the shortest day and the longest night of the year it is a time for illumination. Turn on a lamp, light candles, build a fire: it is a time for rational conversation, compassion and change. The sun, from its lowest point, will follow night and make it way back up into the northern sky. There will be a little more light every day.

And so, light warriors — the question is: will we use it wisely?

Toni Tan

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