How to read this blog

If you're looking for stuff about me and my journal click here. If it's techie stuff you're after click here or career stuff is here. Meanwhile, my world of warcraft news are here. Finally I have stories about my pets and my interest in T'ai chi. If you want to read the whole lot go here. The archives on the right will take you to my old stuff. Creative Commons Licensed

Archive for November 2003

misty goes a journeying

written by CraigBeattie on November 27th, 2003 @ 10:54 PM. edit (admin only)

Off she trots up north bless her. The birdies are fine, fish too – dinky and muffin are fine too.

Another practical wu-dang class

written by CraigBeattie on November 27th, 2003 @ 10:53 PM. edit (admin only)

Attended another class today. Was quite a challenge tearing myself from work to go. The act has benefitted that as well as me, giving me time to think and resolve some of my frustration. Duty is an odd thing. The class itself was fun. Odd mixing fighting drills and t’ai chi. I am still a poor student though. I am reminded of the story of the philosopher who went to the master to learn from him. The philosopher sits as the master poors his tea – asking questions and talking through what he knows. The master sits silently pouring tea, eventually filling the cup and allowing it to overflow. The philosopher cries out in alarm that the cup is already full. So the master replies “How can I teach you, if your mind is already full?”

So it is with me, I have learnt bits of yang style, lee, chen and read a great deal. I have fought and sparred with wing chun and karate – although I was never adept at the old fighting malarky.

Now I find that in the fighting I fall back to the wing chun drills when I am unsure, I also find myself assimilating knowledge with what I already know, rather than accepting all that is before me, what I am taught. An interesting task, simply learning. Simple yet so hard.

Still, learning I am despite myself. I hope that fortune allows me to continue with the class.

Zen, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism...

written by CraigBeattie on November 25th, 2003 @ 12:12 AM. edit (admin only)

As with any philosophy and group of people that are together at a time, all influenced each other. As with stories, ideas, any thing that can be passed from one to another, people take what is pertinent, fit for purpose, useful and combine all these into ones being. The writings of a philosopher is a view on this I guess. A two dimensional picture seen at a certain time. Taoism it seems is quite neutral, or was. The influence of other philosophies introduced the idea that the Tao, the common consciousness is benevolent. Not sure where I’m going with this. I am just wondering about the source of right and wrong, its definition. What makes a good person? What makes a good culture? A good nation? A good entity? What makes a thing an entity? Confucianism is quite close to something I dislike. I don’t know it well enough to really comment, but when has that ever stopped an English man. It seems like a set of rules, a code of conduct, something that on the face of it is where Christianity is today. Perhaps this is what people see of Christianity these days, not the mystical/spiritual side of the religion. Perhaps this is how Confucianism complemented Taoism. From what I have read it looks like zen strengthened the ideas around the development of the mind and the diminishing of ones desires. Taoism was initially most interested in longevity and immortality and concerned itself with changing and strengthening the body.

I must find out about the wisdom out there, come up with my own philosophy. I like the idea that if we clear our mind, our ego – then what is left knows the difference between right and wrong. This is hard to prove I suspect, although so many people can’t be too far off wrong. The major sticking point is that I don’t really want to rid myself of my desires. How does one tell the difference between right, wrong and desire???

Practice I think…

T'ai chi class with fighting drills etc.

written by CraigBeattie on November 21st, 2003 @ 11:38 PM. edit (admin only)

Great fun throwing people around and getting chucked about.

The practical Wudang class out of town was worth the journey.

history of taoism and stuff

written by CraigBeattie on November 21st, 2003 @ 11:35 PM. edit (admin only)

It is quite an interesting book. Quite bizarre how the philosophy has been turned into a variety of texts. One thing I found quite odd is the adoption by the ‘taoist’ community of the study of longevity. I think this goes to show the range and number of influences on taoism and the taoist practitioners. Taoist alchemy is well known area and used in the martial arts and arts of longevity. This is based on cultivating internal energy and using it to alter ones mind, body and spirit.

This however, seems inconsistent with quelling ones desires and living in a non-acquisitive way. However that sentiment comes from the karmic and action sects of the taoist tradition. Where does modern taoism come from?

Interesting book – thoroughly recommend it.

alls not so well

written by CraigBeattie on November 16th, 2003 @ 10:19 PM. edit (admin only)

Newt seemed to be active although was floating at the surface this morning. now, not long after he is dead. poor fellow.

he was cleaned out on tuesday the eleventh and we noticed he was shedding a little skin. We worried that this was an illness but found no references to newts shedding their skin anywhere. He wasn’t eating as much as usual last week but was still active. Thursday we cleaned him out as he was floating at the surface. The fresh water seemed to leave him happy and active again as he was until this morning.

In hindsight I should have taken him to a vets earlier. Today I rang round almost all those in south london, with only one in richmond being helpful. It seems the shedding is ok, but the floating is a bad sign. All too late now.

We found him as we were cleaning the wee mammals out, so misty, dinky and muffin are happy. The birds had a run around last night for the first time as they were cleaned and they’re out now courtesy of sammy.

oh, their names are tweety and quizzy by the way.

Taoism n' stuff

written by CraigBeattie on November 15th, 2003 @ 08:05 PM. edit (admin only)

just reading eva wongs book on the history of taoism. Have a look here. Not sure what to make of it all yet, although it is an interesting book. I’m certainly more interested in the philosophy rather than the religon although the shamanic side is interesting. Could shamans talk to animals? That would be handy. seems unlikely to me though. hmm… could one intuit what an animal is thinking/wants? i guess thats plausible. hmm.. proof would only come by experience i guess. Haven’t got to t’ai chi yet. There are references to taoist yoga-like movements, which interests me immensely. I practiced some of these when studying lee style at the croydon buddhist centre. I could find no texts on these at the time and since joined the wudang school.

I wonder if what they share with yoga and/or pilates if anything. hmm….

alls well

written by CraigBeattie on November 15th, 2003 @ 07:51 PM. edit (admin only)

newt wasn’t too well, but seems to be doing ok now. rabbit has a new tube. birdies settling in.

Two new additions

written by CraigBeattie on November 10th, 2003 @ 11:27 PM. edit (admin only)

We have two new additions to the house hold. Ones a Quail and the other a canary. Neither can fly and they’re getting on a little bit so they have decided to retire from their outdoor accomodation to costa del sammy. Both seem a little dazed by the journey having arrived only earlier this afternoon but seem healthy and happy enough. Misty has taken some interest, but is now happily running around etc.


Wicca fest

written by CraigBeattie on November 9th, 2003 @ 12:57 AM. edit (admin only)

Today I visited witch fest as a couple of pagan friends came to visit. It was an odd event for me, quite different. Nice to see so many people not quite conforming to the normal view of how one should look. Haven’t seen quite such a display since my university days I suspect. There were a few things that interested me there. One in particular was a workshop on moving magic. Looking at it from my perspective (i.e. not with my head being completely empty) it seemed like a bit of group energy work, with bits and pieces in common with all energy working practices. An interesting observation and odd to see this idea of some “energy” tied up with ritual practices (by that I mean following some sort of order). However this wasn’t struck me most. The big part that struck was that watching this I saw people of many generations, different backgrounds all working together, having fun and laughing with each other. Rarely have I seen teenagers having fun with older folk in modern english society and actually wanting to be there and contribute. If nothing else I like some of these practices for their greater sense of community. I am personally still unwilling to commit myself to a religon as yet, though so its unlikely this blog will turn to paganism. The day brought me an interesting insight though.

Birthday meal

written by CraigBeattie on November 7th, 2003 @ 12:01 AM. edit (admin only)

Went for a friends birthday meal this evening. Fun was had by all.

newt back flips

written by CraigBeattie on November 4th, 2003 @ 12:41 AM. edit (admin only)

He was cleaned out tonight, a little too eager to get in his tank too. So eager in fact he nearly ended up leaping on to the floor, but instead dove into his water. bless. rabbits happy, muffin and dinky seem to be too.

Reiki 2

written by CraigBeattie on November 4th, 2003 @ 12:38 AM. edit (admin only)

I recently did the reiki one course to essentially see what this was all about. I note now that the reiki 2 course (i.e. practitioner level) is available and I would like to attend. However it is a considerable amount of money, especially this close to christmas so I fear it will wait till the new year. If you’re interested the guy who taught me reiki 1 has a website at An interesting art.