Labor Day has come and gone, schools have opened again and WNRB has shut down. Time to re-appraise, wind down, and set our direction before the winter sets in. There are a few events around town that seem perfect for that frame of mind.
Thursday, September 7th at 7 pm at the First Universalist Unitarian Church of Wausau, Lama Kalsang Gyaltsen of Silver Spring, Maryland will present a Buddhist Meditation Teaching, “Causes and Conditions for Achieving Enlightenment.”
Like many people, previous to my reading over the past several months, I would have immeidately associated “Buddhism” with “reincarnation” and let it go at that. But of course, as with most religious and ethical systems such stereotypes are not only wrong, but plain misguided. Buddhism propounds an interesting and subtle look at the human condition, of causality and the cosmos. It is a buddhist belief that we all are capable of being a Buddah, that is to say to be fully enlightened, or another translation that I prefer “awakened.”
Huston Smith talked an American student of Zen Buddhism, who had been studying for seven years, and asked the student about his experiences meditating and studying. The student said this, “No supernatural experiences, but the world now seems and incredibly beautiful place.” I am very interested in hearing what Lama Kalsang has to say.
Coming up next week, a joint presentation by UWMC and the Marathon County Public Libary will begin on “Affluenza.” The discussion at the library takes place September 15 and 22 at 1 pm both days in the third floor Wausau Room. Professor Connie Sexauer, from UWMC will be leading the discussion. UWMC is also sponsoring events with several authors coming in to speak. Stay tuned to the Wausaublog for the complete story on all of these events.
Finally, since we have talked a bit about the mind and spirit, we should not neglect the body.
Here in Wausau we have an amazing resource, which perhaps you have noticed in the calendar section of the various newspapers around town. Every Tuesday and Thursday Larry Riddle leads classes in Tai Chi (Thursdays) and Qi Gong (Tuesdays). After Labor Day the classes are held at D.C. Everest High School in the commons area. Larry has been practicing Tai Chi for over 25 years, and provides the classes as a community service to anyone who wishes to learn (although donations are accepted).
Again, I had a stereotype shattered. My image of Tai Chi was of an elderly Chinese person doing some movements in a park and random people coming and following along. Wrong! 🙂
Tai Chi is both decended from and the root of Asian martial arts, and like any martial art, has a steep learning curve as you learn to properly carry out the movements. Tai Chi is mostly an exercise and is generally practiced that way rather than as a contest like other martial arts. But the movement are exact and exacting. It is a moving meditation that takes time, patience and practice to learn, much less master.
A perfect activity for those long winter months ahead. But I will be listening to Lama Kalsang this week, so if you decide to start Tai Chi on Thursday, please tell Larry I will see him next week.