Good kung fu! Marvel at the amazing expression of human excellence in this video: The Incredible Power of Concentration with artist Miyoko Shida. Be warned, there are no kicks or punches or fighting techniques, but this is an artistic and athletic example of real kung fu – great skill that demands discipline effort over time.

This feat epitomizes supreme mental concentration and expresses the zenith of balance and control of the human body. Although there is no apparent martial application, think again. If you can cultivate the equivalent mastery of mind, body and spirit, you will invariably become a superior martial artist what ever your style.

This video is for everyone. We urge impatient young warriors to slow down and watch the entire video to appreciate the great power of softness.

Be inspired,
Lawrence Tan

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Faith is the bird that feels the light
and sings when the dawn is still dark.
~Tagore

Mockingbird, Toni Tan

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