Monday, June 5, 2023

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Practice


I've been having some great practices in the side yard practice spot with Big Greenie (large maple on the left) front and center. 

I've been focusing on "in every movement the entire body must be light and spirited". With a slight expansion in my hands as the Peng Jin is expressed at the end of the postures. 
I'm also training a slight circling at the end of one posture or straight line and the beginning of the next. I've been using larger circles and refining them as I become more familiar with the feeling, until there is little to no perceivable movement on the outside but a definite feeling of circling on the inside.

Tuesday and Wednesday Practice


Looking east at sunrise from the deck.

Wednesday May 1st is day 7,975 consecutive days of T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong/Neigong

This past week in Leyden, I've been having a string of 'Epiphany Practices'; That's when I get a deeper level of understanding or a deeper level of feeling, while practicing. This usually happens in a flash of recognition and is impossible to determine where the heck it comes from. 

This is probably due to 'where' I'm practicing and that I'm not traveling which is highly disruptive to a daily practice. With much effort I was able to maintain.

I had a personal breakthrough in Oslob, Cebu while scuba diving with Whale Sharks while using breathing/meditation techniques to calibrate my thinking and feeling. Either you can or you can't adjust yourself internally.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

***Recent posts have been sporadic!

Ginnie filming a Whale Shark (juvenile) up close and personal. This one is easy to ID because of the chunks taken off the upper tail fin. 

Diving with Whale Sharks is a Peak Life Experience (PLE)

***It's been hit or miss posting about my daily practices during these past few weeks of travel and diving. I've been on a strict schedule with little to no time to write (a new project for me). I've been doing what I can to just stay on a daily practice schedule. Thanks for bearing with me. I'm going to get back to writing about my practices and what I'm focusing on, along with some posts of my photos and videos from the latest scuba diving trip to the Philippines.

Thresher Sharks Encounter at Kemod Shoals off of Malapascua Island, Cebu...

Thresher Sharks live a 700'. Kemod Shoals is the only place on the planet that you can go and be almost guaranteed to scuba dive with them in their natural environment. Once a day in the early morning the Thresher Sharks come up to Kemod Shoal for a 'cleaning'. Kemod Shoal is the current 'cleaning station' that these sharks are using. It's about a 45 minute boat ride from The Exotic dive resort on Malapascua Island and the shoal starts at about 50-60', making it around an hour per dive. We did 5 dives on the site. Note: Every single day there are dozens of divers in the water with these sharks. We are NOT on their menu. The are seemingly unconcerned about our presence as long we don't use lights (flash or video lights) and do not chase after them. If you do any of those things the sharks will flee...Immediately! It is perfectly safe to be in the water with these majestic creatures. The eco-tourism that they create allows the locals to make a living, otherwise they will have to resort to fishing to feed their families. The problem with that is that there are very few fish left to catch. The only recourse is more protected areas and more eco-tourism. As it now stands without the draw of Thresher Shark sightings there's not enough fish and coral left to attract divers from 1/2 way across the planet. So...Thresher Shark Encounters are the big draw for eco-tourism. Yay!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Sunday and Monday Practice

Some kind of Anemonefish that I captured while diving off Moal Boal, Cebu, Philippines.

*This is a journal of a T'ai Chi Ch'uan practitioner, 

while traveling 1/2 across the world, 

40+ hours of grueling air and bus travel and lots of waiting: 

I did the remainder of the 'Round' that I started in Doha, Qatar, when we arrived back in Leyden at 7 pm. On my clock it was still Saturday late at night (Cebu time). The time difference is:

                                   Cebu 12 noon on Sunday = Boston 12 midnight on Saturday  

I've been having transcending rounds in Leyden - Starting on Sunday (Leyden time) with an even deeper Round on Monday.....I hope to write more about what's been happening once I wrap my head around it and have a few spare moments. 

Saturday Practice

My first nudibranch (sea slug) that I've ever spotted and captured!

*This is a journal of a T'ai Chi Ch'uan practitioner, 

while traveling 1/2 across the world, 

40+ hours of grueling air and bus travel and lots of waiting: 

For me it's 10:25  pm on Sunday night. Here is Doha, Qatar it's 5:25am on Sunday. We gained 5 hours traveling west from Cebu to Doha. It's a bit confusing but I'm doing my best to keep continuity with my daily practice. I may end up doing a Round in the super clean restrooms here in the Al Maha lounge in the ultra modern airport, spare no expense in Doha, Qatar. It's very obvious that there is a lot of $$$ here in Qatar.

I had hear that the Qatar airline was the worlds best, but I beg to differ. Crazy lay over in Davao. It was 3 hours and they locked the bathrooms.....Really?? The food sucked the service sucked the seats were broken but we did manage to make it safe and sound. A bit of adversity is to be expected when traveling. The 'secret' is to adjust your mind, because you cannot adjust what is happening. 

I just did 3/4 of Round on the right side while I was in the private shower room here in Doha. It was a memorable Round mostly because of where I was doing it. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Red and Black Anemonefish


I though this was a Clown Fish (Nemo) but after looking it up in 'the book' I realize this is a Red and Black Anemonefish. There appears to be many variations on the theme. This one was  hanging out in an Anemone where he/she resides. Anemones having stinging tentacles but these Anemonefish are immune to the them. They are very skittish, but will get still if you get still and hang out. This dive had a current making it challenging to get still for long enough. But this one did give me an opportunity (momentarily) to capture it. 

Friday Practice


I'm taking the last day off of scuba diving. I need a break from the rush, rush. This is a photo of the dive boat getting ready to head out for a two tank local dive. 

With a leisurely start I practiced around 10am with a full Warm Up, a little weapons training (Arnis double stick) and a Round on the right side. Afterwards a few minutes of drum rudiments on a pillow to round it out. It felt really good to be 'ready' to practice. In the early am practices I'm mainly getting it in before diving because I'm just too pooped out and hungry when we get back. It felt really, really good to practice on my own schedule, even though it meant missing the last morning of diving. It's also ultra conservative to continue to off gas (nitrogen) before flying home tomorrow afternoon. I'm less inclined to 'push it' as I get older. 

 We had a very nice spread as a end of the week celebration last evening. The lighting show over the mountains across from the channel was an excellent perk!

Thursday Practice


We dove Pescador Island and The Sardines again. At Pescador Island we did a drift dive on the south side (last time we did the north side) there were some interesting creatures (Another Banded Krait).

Then a drift dive from north to south for The Sardines. It's hard to describe the beauty of watching the school of Sardines in their natural habitat. There's no rhyme or reason for them to be where they are on a regular basis. It is a protected (from fishing) area, but other than that...Why??

Thursdays Practice:

Early morning on the deck before diving. I did a full Warm Up and a Round (left side)

This was my last dive of the trip. Friday I'm staying dry.  I'll packing, drying out and having some leisure time in the pool and the cool room today. 

My Practice will also be leisurely and unscheduled. Yay!

More on that later this morning.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wednesday Practice


Super early start to Oslob, Cebu, Philippines to encounter Whale Sharks. An amazing experience.
It was a 2 hour van ride down the west coast of Cebu and around the bend and up the east coast to Oslob. There were lot's of other tourists there to snorkel with the Whale Sharks. They feed them krill to bring them in and can almost guarantee sightings. The water was murky and there was a small current on the second dive. 

The Practice:
I did a full practice out on the deck, in the dark, before we left a 4:45 am.

Scuba Diving Practice:
I did an underwater meditation on the second dive as a number of problems with gear, mask, murky water and current had me needing to change my mind set....i.e. calm the heck down! 

I feel fortunate that I have the skills to overcome what could have been a panic attack. Experience teaches....

When you scuba dive you have many opportunities to Song (release/relax) in real time. Either you have the skills needed or you panic! There's no faking it.

I did get a few usable images from underneath the Whale Sharks. Ginnie got some really good GoPro footage of the vacume cleaning the krill. I'll post that when she works it up.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Monday and Tuesday Practice


Early morning practices on the deck with this view is the standard for my practices while here in Moal Boal, Cebu, Philippines.

I'll write more later when I have a spare minute. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Thresher Sharks


I call her 'half fin'. She's in full cleaning mode with her tail almost parallel with her body. That long tail fin is usually straight up, unless she wants to allow the little cleaning fish to approach her without getting eaten!

Here's another one from a distance. Her tail is not quite parallel to her body...yet! She's a bit larger too.

It's good practice to be able to access deep relaxation while having a shark encounter. Either you can or you can't. There's NO faking it;^) 

Sunday Practice

 The view at our room at Kasai Village, for my morning practices.

I started outside on our deck/sitting area and then finished my Round inside the room with this view. 

Ginnie's not feeling well so she took the day off to recover. I went out with the group for 2 dives. They were drift dives with poor visibility. A little weird at the end of the second dive where we had to swim back into the current to reach the boat. 

Friday and Saturday Practice


Friday I practiced on the deck of our room very early before a two tank dive with the Thresher Sharks. They did not disappoint! Although the visibility could have been better we saw lots of sharks;^)
I did take the 'big rig' out with me but haven't had the time to check to see if'n I got a usable image or not.
Saturday was a very, very long bus ride to Moal Boal on the western coast of Cebu. The bus ride was 8 hours.
 I did a very early morning practice in the room.
 At 9 am we loaded onto a boat for Maya on the northern most tip of Cebu, checking to see if ALL our gear got on the bus.
After a grueling bus ride to Moal Boal, we had to register, do all our dive certification crap, listen to briefings from the restaurant staff, the dive staff and Tony the group leader...Finally we got to eat dinner around 8 pm.
The bus ride was an adventure in and of itself!
The bus ride had some spectacular views.

More bus ride photos.

The view from our room at Kasai Village in Moal Boal, Cebu
Then back to the room to unpack cloths, get our dive gear stowed and tend to the u/w photography equipment. Oy vey!