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Shen Martial Arts Web Journal on Thoughts, Experiences, Tips, Ideas and just about anything relating to the lifelong practice of Chinese Kung Fu - Your comments are welcome!
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Posted by Shen     0 Comments Wednesday, December 21, 2005
The Jow Jumped Over The Moon - Using Lunar Phases to Improve Your Dit Da Jow

This is a very intriguing hypothesis which my friend Rod Morgan is experimenting with as this is written. There is so much that we do not know and our world continues to reveal mysteries to those who will listen. Thank you Rod for your exploration and quest for knowledge. Don't let us forget old knowledge and keep seeking for new.

I have a personal belief that you can use the power of the "waxing" moon cycle to "brew" jow by. This is a personal belief of mine and is not scientifically proven. I will however site my theory. Farmers for centuries have planted crops, castrated animals, weened animals and humans and hunters followed the movements of animals by the phases of the moon. It is a scientific fact that the moon controls the ocean tides, influences the ground water tables beneath the earth and the movement of fluids in plants. Even continental land masses are said to rise 2 to 3 feet in elevation with the changinig of the moon phases. From the time a "new" moon is sited until it reaches the height of it's power as a full moon, makes the cycle of the waxing moon. The moon goes through an entire cycle of waxing and waning about every 28 days. Native Americans believe the moon and it's phases are the clock with which a woman's cycle flows, new moon being the begining, full being the ovulation. It is interesting to note that the human body sheds a layer of skin every 28 days. A common practice in Chinese Herbalism is to cook or brew herbs for use a total of 2 times. This normally applies to herbs for internal use, but I have tried this theory for jow also. The first time the temperature energy is released and this affects you on the qi level. It is superficial or yang in nature. The second is the taste energy and affects you on a blood level, the yin is affected. You should then combine them both for balance for use. I realize this is a litlle more involved than just adding the brewing medium to the herbs and let stand for 12 weeks, however I believe it is worth the extra effort to produce a more potent jow.

Here are the steps:

1. I begin in the new moon. I grind my herbs for use to a coarse consistancy. I add the herbs to the appropriate size container then add 1/2 of the soaking medium ie; vodka, 1/2 gal. for a 1 gal. size, 1gal. for a 2 gal. size. I heat the vodka using a double boiler set up ie; the vodka in a quart jar submersed in a water bath. I bring it to just below boiling. I then add it to the herbs and seal. I agitate it daily for 28 days.
2. On the next new moon, I strain of the liquid from the herbs using a peice of screen door mesh, into a seperate container and set aside. I then repeat the first process, agitating daily for 28 days.
3. At the next new moon, I add the first brew to the second in the orginal container and let set for the last 28 days. 3 moon cycles. The longer it sits the better , however after 84 days you should have some pretty potent jow ready for use.

Not all jow formulas are suitable for a heated method. My favorite formulas are "golden lotus" and "monks fist" which contain alot of hard barks and resins which are suitable for the method described. The same method can be used without the heating of the soaking medium, especially if the formula contains alot of fauna type herbs which sometimes can be harmed by excessive heat. If you have any ?s' Mario is always happy to help. Good luck and happy brewing.

Ron started a batch of Golden Lotus on the last full moon and will be reporting on the results at the end of the 3rd cycle in a couple of months. He is also sending me a sample to test out and compare. Please enter any questions, ideas or thoughts regarding this theory and experiment on the comments section. Myself and Rod will answer to the best of our abilities. Thank you.

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Posted by Shen     0 Comments Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The little things... - 3:00 am Inspiration

Ok, So this is not exactly Kung Fu, but work with me a little and you can see how your training and practice fits in. These thoughts came to me at around 3:00am and I just had to put pen to paper. This happens to me from time to time. So, stay with me and if this makes sense, great. If not, thanks for taking time to read it.

It’s the little things….

They say it’s the little things that count
So why do we long for the big things?
Little things happen every moment, every day
And add up to everything that is great and worthy
In this life

We are on this journey where every step is a lesson,
And each tells a story, a million stories of a life well lived,
Yet we seek to forgo the steps and leap to our end destination, whatever it may be
Not realizing that the destination is determined while on the way

Everything Matters…
Every decision is meaningful,
Every act chiseled in the Heavenly Tablet
Every thought carved in the Cosmic Ether
And every word inked into the Book of Life

It is said that life is but a play
And as actors we must play our part well
But our role is not predetermined,
We do have a choice
To be a Hero or a Villain,
A King or a Pauper
A glorious Redwood or a Thorny Bush

It is the little things that make us who we are
And shape us daily,
Action by action, Word by Word, Thought by Thought

A kind word, a simple smile, a good morning to a passerby,
A heartfelt word of encouragement to someone in need,
A white lie, an exaggeration, a criticism behind your brother’s back,
A secret wish for someone’s lack of success….

Be self true and understand your heart
Lest you fool yourself by good deeds but dark thoughts
It is better to be a good Villain that to be a false Samaritan
Who helps others only for self gain ….
This is a great trap where many fall

Can’t we see the truth before our eyes?
That little things beget great things
And little things are the fabric of existence

So mind the little things, as they will take care of you
As it is the little things done and the small steps taken
Moment to moment, Breath to breath,
Thought to thought, and Day to day
That lead to all things great

Thus is the unguarded secret, in front of us all
It’s the little things that count……….

By Mario Figueroa 12/13/05

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