Greetings. Here in Port Townsend, Spring usually is thought to show up in February. Some of my fruit trees are already showing color. I love Spring – a time that holds promise of more warmth and light, and of course, love appears all around.

Higher skills equals simplicity
The higher the skill, the simplier it is. This seems to contradict all we have ever learned, but think about this in relation to internal energy. Don’t we want the thought and the action to be one? In martial arts, complexity usually leads to certain disaster, as complexity takes time, and time is the most important element in gaining mastery over an opponent – the other elements are power and technique. Reflexes are the fastest movements and the most simple. They don’t have to be processed by the conscious mind. In Chi Kung, we strive to allow the conscious mind to fall still, so that the healing power of the universe can do its work. The more that we get our thinking mind out of the way, the simplier the technique will become, and the easier it will be to hook up to the ultimate. Meditate on simplicity and you will be rerwarded with certain success.

Important Health Advice
What is the essence of Tai Chi Chuan? Why do most people study this art? My personal experience after 45 years of sharing Tai Chi is that most people are interested in improving and maintaining their health. There is no disputing the many benefits of Tai Chi practice. Tai Chi players are trained to look reality in the eye and act accordingly. What is the situation at present and how can I improve it, if I can.

There is a rarely talked about health issue that I, myself, had never thought about until my wife, Dana, turned me onto it. Let’s call it toilet awareness. Please take this seriously and read on.

We all know that most illness is spread by germs being passed from one person to another. Right now we are having a flu epidermic here in Washington State. Being in a crowded situation with people coughing and sneezing is a problem. Touching objects, infected people have touched, can pass these germs. One area most people do not consider is the toilet. Some simple advice will hopefully go a long way to helping you and yours stay happy and healthy.

Most men, when they urinate, just stand in front of the bowl and pee into it. Some lift the seat up, others don’t. Next time you do this, look carefully at how much liquid from the bowl is splashed outside the toilet. If the seat is down, it goes all over that, and if not, it goes onto the floor and surrounding area. Now, notice where the toilet paper is in relation to the bowl. It is always located close for convenience. So what is happening is that the water vapor, which is composed of water and body fluids, is splashed onto the paper, and the next person to use this paper transfers this vapor onto or into their body. Think seriously about this. At home it is not as much of a problem as using a public facility, but when one member of the family gets ill, it can be spread in this way.

So what I suggest is to use common sense and, before flushing, close the seat cover lid. How simple. Then when flushing, the vapor won’t contaminate the surrounding area. If there is no seat cover, as is the case in most public toilets, be sure to turn your head away from the bowl, and move quickly away after pushing down the handle. And don’t stack extra toilet paper rolls on the back of the toilet. Ugh!

If you share a toilet with members of the opposite sex at home, be courteous, and men, sit on the seat so no splashing is possible. Especially if you get up in the night. One’s aim isn’t that great at that time.

It is not too late to change some habits that are unhealthful. Just like Tai Chi, use judgement to make situations into moments of increased awareness. Be loving and courteous to others.