Friday, April 6, 2018

Embodying The Principles Of T'ai-Chi



A Lifelong Process
I aim to embody the principles exemplified by the T’ai-Chi symbol, hard and soft in balance, in every area of life, including but not limited to martial arts, as long as I live. This aim leads to a certain kind of life.
If my aim was to see how quickly and how good I could get at the art itself and only the art itself, that too leads to a certain kind of life.

Embodying the principles is a life long process and involves working on things like:
posture and joint alignment
integrated strength and flexibility
suspended and relaxed joints
agility and mobility
power and ease of motion
spatial awareness
responsiveness
listening
As well as things like:
preserving health throughout life
preventing injury throughout life
balance in diet
physical balance
emotional balance
psychological balance
relationship skills
relationships with intoxicants
relationship with everything

Focusing only or mainly on excelling at the art itself, the drills, forms and techniques, tends to lead to channeling most available energy into work that yields results the fastest and that are felt the most directly.
In the process, some, perhaps half of the above areas of life are not explored or worked on. Someone in training for a big tournament is unlikely to be working on being a good friend or exploring his available range of emotion. It’s just the nature of the beast. When getting good as fast as possible is the focus, certain sacrifices end up getting made and this includes an increased risk of injuries. It’s hard to be as safe as possible while trying to go as fast and far as possible.
I’m not knocking this by the way, even though it’s not my way. I have watched and enjoyed a ton of boxing in my life, and I’m pretty sure the guys I was watching and enjoying so much were not looking to make the principles of boxing the guiding philosophy of every area of their lives for the rest of their lives. Both approaches are valid depending on what you want out of training and out of life.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

April News




From Gene Burnett

My latest album “Thunder Moon” is now up on my site. I hope you give it a listen sometime and let me know what you think. It’s available for listening and downloading free or with a donation along with all my other albums here: Musical Recordings Page

On a whim I decided at the last minute to enter the NPR Tiny Desk Concert Contest. This is a thing NPR does every year. In order to enter you have to submit a fresh video of yourself playing an original song…there has to be a desk in the video as this mirrors the way musical acts are featured on the “Tiny Desk Concert Series” on NPR…you can’t be signed, you have to be “undiscovered” as they put it and you have to be over 18. When I read the rules I thought immediately of my song “Undiscovered” and recorded a video of me singing it with my feet up on my desk. This turned out to be harder than I thought! It’s not a good position for the diaphragm, especially when you have a lot of lyrics to sing. But I managed to pull it off after several false starts. It’s very unlikely that I would win this thing, which is just as well, because winning involves flying to Washington DC and I haven’t been on a plane since 1999 and hardly ever travel, but, I am hoping to get a little exposure and maybe turn a few more people on to my music.

Warmer weather is coming to Southern Oregon and that means teaching outdoors is a bit more pleasant, we have more and more tourists here in Ashland, and I have more outdoor shows. But…this being Oregon, winter is probably still packing a few more punches. We have had snow in April in the past but as I write this it’s 70 degrees outside and I’m heading out soon to play a late add gig at the Lithia Artisan’s Market, so no snow today.

My wife Samarra is finally back home after helping out her dad for a few months in Seattle. She was supposed to fly to NYC to do a workshop and visit with my mom, but she got rear-ended just a few days before she was supposed to leave and while she wasn’t hurt badly, she did sustain enough whiplash to have to cancel that trip. She’s been getting lots of bodywork and is making a good recovery. It’s great to have her home. She’ll be doing a couple of short trips in the next few months, including going to NYC, but no long trips in the forecast. She’s going to be teaching a tango class this month…her first since she stopped to go to grad school a few years ago…and this time I’m going to be taking the class. I don’t think I’ll ever become a serious tango dancer…but I am hoping to learn the basics and be able to dance with Samarra without embarrassing either of us. We will see…

I only posted a few new videos last month, one Music and two T’ai-Chi. See links below in Videos section.

So here we go…I’m going to start with local shows in case you’re in the Rogue Valley and then proceed with the usual information about where to find my music, videos, and pictures, including information about new projects.

There is so much to listen to and watch on the net these days…I’m amazed anyone even gets this far in the newsletter let alone watches or listens to anything I’m doing. I’m sincerely grateful for every view, every listen, and every nice comment I receive. I’m happy if anything I post truly reaches even one person. I’m offering all this stuff in a “just in case you’re interested” spirit.


Upcoming Shows:

Wednesday April 4th, I'll be hosting my regular Themed Open Mike at The Wild Goose Café & Bar. Usually this happens on the First Wednesday of every month. This month's theme, in honor of April Fool’s Day will be “Songs About Fools & Foolishness” so musicians and spoken word artists will be doing songs and poems, covers or originals, that mention or are about this theme in any way. We’re never too strict or narrow about the themes for this event. The main idea is to focus our attention a little to hopefully inspire and motivate us creatively. These are always fun community events. No Cover at the friendliest bar in Ashland. Sign-up is 7:30pm. Show starts at 8:00pm.
*A heads up for next month: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018: “Songs About Animals”

Saturday, April 21st, from 10am-Noon, my good friend Jesse Biesanz and I are hosting a Hacky Sack session outside Caldera Tap House on Water Street in Ashland. We’ll be under the overpass. This usually happens on the third Saturday of every month but this month we’re doing it on the 2nd Saturday. We both miss the fun and camaraderie of a good friendly Hack Circle and…more importantly, we miss the practice! It’s fun, aerobic, cooperative, demands balance, coordination, quick thinking and accuracy…So whether you’re new to the game, or an experienced player who wants to brush up your skills, or an expert who just wants to meet some new players, come on by. Hacky Sack basically involves keeping a small footbag in the air, usually leather and fairly soft, using only your feet. When there are more than two players, it’s usually played in a circle. If the circle gets too big, it is split into smaller circles.

The only rules of this Hack Circle:

1. You’ve got to use your feet to keep the sack in the air and off the ground. No hands! (10 voluntary pushups if you do)

2. If you miss or otherwise screw up, you can’t say, “I’m Sorry.” (10 voluntary pushups if you do)

3. No serving to yourself. (10 voluntary pushups if you do)

4. No hotdogging. Meaning this is not about how many tricks you can do before the sack hits the ground, and it’s not about working obsessively on tricks. Tricks are fine but in general, we want to keep the hack going as a friendly group and keep everyone involved.

See you at Caldera rain or shine. The overpass provides shelter from the rain and once the circle gets going, you’ll be plenty warm regardless of the weather.

Saturday, April 21st, I’ll be opening for “The John Dough Boys” at Hearsay in Ashland. This is a new venue for me and I’m looking forward to it. JBD is a popular local band and this should be a fun show. And, I might have a special musical guest playing with me…Show starts at 9pm.

Saturday, April 28th, I'll be at The Downtowne Coffeehouse in Talent, playing original music from 10am-Noon. Great acoustics, super friendly neighborhood scene.



For more info about these and all of my shows, and to confirm that there have been no cancellations, click here: Calendar  


Since I'm putting this newsletter out once a month, it's possible there may be a cancellation of a given show by the time it happens. Please double check with my web calendar if possible to be sure the gig is still happening. I'd hate to have you come out for nothing. Also another gig or two might be added or times or locations might change, so do check the calendar for the latest info.  


Recorded Music

All of my over 30 albums are available for downloading free or with a donation at my website: www.GeneBurnett.com


Videos In General

Overall Mission: I post a lot of videos on youtube, over 1000 so far! I'm not trying to build a fan base...In fact, I'm not trying to build anything. I'm not expecting you or anyone else to follow what I'm doing or watch all of these videos. Posting videos is just part of my overall plan to make my music (and my T’ai-Chi and Nature videos too) as freely available as possible and see what freely comes back. I think of each video as sort of like a message in a bottle...and more I toss out there the more likely one of them will land on a friendly shore and something good will come back to me.

A note on monetization: I won’t be able to monetize my videos on youtube anymore. Monetization seems to be an option youtube wants to reserve for bigger more ambitions channels. I’ve always had mixed feelings about having ads on my videos, so to some extent, this is actually a bit of a relief. On the other hand, it was nice to make a little money from my videos and nice to think of “views” as adding slightly to my income. But such is life. I’m happy to be rolling free and clear of ads. With the help of some savvy facebook friends, I was able to ad this paragraph to the descriptions on all of my videos at once:

I hope this video has been helpful to you or touched you in some way that leaves you a little better off for having watched it. This is not a big time channel and I have no plans for it to become one. I’m too small to have ads on my videos and I’ve always had mixed feelings about them anyway. If you would like to support and encourage what I do here, you can make a donation to me directly via paypal. No donation is too small, (or too big!) and all donations are very much appreciated. https://www.paypal.me/GeneBurnett

So here are some video links in case you're interested:

How to Find My Videos: First of all, I've set up a "Videos" page on my website (www.GeneBurnett.com) with a menu similar to what you see below as well as a digital tip jar in case any of you want to contribute to my cottage industry. Every little bit helps and not just financially. 

I've also set up some blogs that make navigating and viewing my various videos much easier. You can go to any of these blogs and see thumbnails for all of the videos posted there. Scroll across the thumbnails and you will see the titles of each video. Click on it and a page will open that will let you watch the video right there without going to youtube. My latest videos are always in the upper left hand corner.

To see all of my Music videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Videos

To see all of my T'ai-Chi videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Movement

To see all of my Nature videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Nature

For a quick and easy way to sort through, listen to, or download all of my albums free or with a donation, click here: The Unforced Music

To see my regular blog “The Unforced Life”, click here: The Unforced Life

To visit my youtube channel and possibly subscribe, click here: My Youtube Channel

To see all of my youtube playlists click here: My Youtube Playlists 

New Videos

2 new T’ai-Chi videos:


1 new Music video:



Album playlists:



Pictures

I've stopped posting as many pictures on facebook, (for many reasons), and started posting them instead on Flickr, which I like much better.

Here's a link to my "home page" at Flicker: Photostream.

I have many photo galleries there but a few of my favorites are:

Small Miracles (mostly Nature related stuff)

The Dish Whisperer (I started posting a daily picture of my dish stacking work over a year ago. I recently crossed the 2000 straight days mark. I have no idea how long I’ll keep doing this. I’m so used to it, it hardly takes any effort at all to continue. I made a video for my song “I'll Do The Dishes Tonight” that featured a slideshow of the first year.

"Head" and "Boot" (devoted to our two gerbils RIP)






Website

I continue to offer all of my albums for downloading, free or with a donation at my website: www.GeneBurnett.com I started doing this about 8 or 9 years ago and considered it a 5 year creative experiment. Well the 5 years passed and I decided to start calling it my "ongoing creative experiment" as I have no plans to stop. Since I returned to my folk roots and stopped climbing, or trying to climb, the industry ladder, I've been enjoying music in my life more than ever before. And enjoyment, rather than achievement or worldly success has always been dearest to my heart anyway. So now I focus totally on what I love most: writing, recording, performing and sharing what I create. If other people like it, so much the better, but getting other people to like me or what I do is no longer my goal or focus. I'm out to please myself first. I want to do my music exactly the way I want to do it and see who likes it that way, not figure out what people will like and try to do it that way. I put it out there freely and see what comes freely back. So far so good. I've never had more success and appreciation than I have since I started doing it this. Go figure. 


Thanks, as usual, for your support and well wishes even if you don't make to any shows.

GB

Saturday, March 3, 2018

March News



From Gene Burnett

My latest album “Thunder Moon” is now up on my site. I hope you give it a listen sometime and let me know what you think. It’s available for listening and downloading free or with a donation along with all my other albums here: Musical Recordings Page 

As I mentioned last month, I won’t be able to monetize my videos on youtube anymore. Monetization seems to be an option youtube wants to reserve for bigger more ambitions channels. I’ve always had mixed feelings about having ads on my videos, so to some extent, this is actually a bit of a relief. On the other hand, it was nice to make a little money from my videos and nice to think of “views” as adding slightly to my income. But such is life. I’m happy to be rolling free and clear of ads. With the help of some savvy facebook friends, I was able to ad this paragraph to the descriptions on all of my videos at once:

I hope this video has been helpful to you or touched you in some way that leaves you a little better off for having watched it. This is not a big time channel and I have no plans for it to become one. I’m too small to have ads on my videos and I’ve always had mixed feelings about them anyway. If you would like to support and encourage what I do here, you can make a donation to me directly via paypal. No donation is too small, (or too big!) and all donations are very much appreciated. https://www.paypal.me/GeneBurnett

We will see if I get any donations. ;~)

Meanwhile, I’m 4 or 5 songs into my next album project. I hope to have another 10 written in the next several months and record in the fall as I’ve been doing in recent years.

Winter came kind of late to the Rogue Valley this year. We’re finally getting a bit of rain and snow after a pretty dry and warm-ish spell. We’re still in a bit of a drought but it’s getting better. It was pretty convenient for a while there because the city was doing some renovations on the bandshell where I usually teach and I had to teach elsewhere with either less rain protection or less space. For the few months that they renovated, it hardly rained at all and I was able to teach in a pretty workable location. I only had to go into the dry but less spacious place a couple of times. Now that they’re done with the bandshell, it’s started to rain again. So lucky me. I’m thoroughly enjoying both my T’ai-Chi and Non-Classical Gung-Fu training as well as teaching T’ai-Chi. Balance is so important in life, especially as we get older, and it’s a pleasure to help people with this basic skill, whether they’re interested in the martial side of the art or not.
I only posted a couple of videos last month, one Nature and one T’ai-Chi. See links below in Videos section.

So here we go…I’m going to start with local shows in case you’re in the Rogue Valley and then proceed with the usual information about where to find my music, videos, and pictures, including information about new projects.

There is so much to listen to and watch on the net these days…I’m amazed anyone even gets this far in the newsletter let alone watches or listens to anything I’m doing. I’m sincerely grateful for every view, every listen, and every nice comment I receive. I’m happy if anything I post truly reaches even one person. I’m offering all this stuff in a “just in case you’re interested” spirit.


Upcoming Shows:

Wednesday March 7th, I'll be hosting my regular Themed Open Mike at The Wild Goose Café & Bar. Usually this happens on the First Wednesday of every month. Last month we did “Love Songs” so this month's theme, as usual, will be “Love Gone Wrong” so musicians and spoken word artists will be doing songs and poems, covers or originals, that mention or are about this theme in any way. We’re never too strict or narrow about the themes for this event. The main idea is to focus our attention a little to hopefully inspire and motivate us creatively. These are always fun community events. No Cover at the friendliest bar in Ashland. Sign-up is 7:30pm. Show starts at 8:00pm.
*A heads up for next month: Wednesday, April 4th, 2018: “6th Annual Songs About Fools & Foolishness”

Saturday, March 17th, from 10am-Noon, my good friend Jesse Biesanz and I are hosting a Hacky Sack session outside Caldera Tap House on Water Street in Ashland. We’ll be under the overpass. This usually happens on the third Saturday of every month but this month we’re doing it on the 2nd Saturday. We both miss the fun and camaraderie of a good friendly Hack Circle and…more importantly, we miss the practice! It’s fun, aerobic, cooperative, demands balance, coordination, quick thinking and accuracy…So whether you’re new to the game, or an experienced player who wants to brush up your skills, or an expert who just wants to meet some new players, come on by. Hacky Sack basically involves keeping a small footbag in the air, usually leather and fairly soft, using only your feet. When there are more than two players, it’s usually played in a circle. If the circle gets too big, it is split into smaller circles.

The only rules of this Hack Circle:

1. You’ve got to use your feet to keep the sack in the air and off the ground. No hands! (10 voluntary pushups if you do)

2. If you miss or otherwise screw up, you can’t say, “I’m Sorry.” (10 voluntary pushups if you do)

3. No serving to yourself. (10 voluntary pushups if you do)

4. No hotdogging. Meaning this is not about how many tricks you can do before the sack hits the ground, and it’s not about working obsessively on tricks. Tricks are fine but in general, we want to keep the hack going as a friendly group and keep everyone involved.

See you at Caldera rain or shine. The overpass provides shelter from the rain and once the circle gets going, you’ll be plenty warm regardless of the weather.

Tuesday, March 20th, I'll be competing with many other poets at the Rogue Poetry Slam which happens at Caldera Tap House in Ashland. Sign-up is at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8. $5 cover, all of which goes to the winning poets. If you've never been to or competed in a Poetry Slam, I highly recommend this one. Come to watch, compete, or be one of the judges. Some people think of slams as hardcore hip-hop events or places where people are mean and talk trash, but nothing could be further from the truth. All kinds of poetry are welcome and people are very supportive. And it's so nice to participate in an event that is all about the words, or in my case, lyrics. For me it's really not about winning or losing, but just the fun of sharing my words with people and seeing what happens.

Saturday, March 24th, I'll be at The Downtowne Coffeehouse in Talent, playing from 10am-Noon. Great acoustics, super friendly neighborhood scene.



For more info about these and all of my shows, and to confirm that there have been no cancellations, click here: Calendar  


Since I'm putting this newsletter out once a month, it's possible there may be a cancellation of a given show by the time it happens. Please double check with my web calendar if possible to be sure the gig is still happening. I'd hate to have you come out for nothing. Also another gig or two might be added or times or locations might change, so do check the calendar for the latest info.  


Recorded Music

All of my over 30 albums are available for downloading free or with a donation at my website: www.GeneBurnett.com


Videos In General

Overall Mission: I post a lot of videos on youtube, over 1000 so far! I'm not trying to build a fan base...In fact, I'm not trying to build anything. I'm not expecting you or anyone else to follow what I'm doing or watch all of these videos. Posting videos is just part of my overall plan to make my music (and my T’ai-Chi and Nature videos too) as freely available as possible and see what freely comes back. I think of each video as sort of like a message in a bottle...and more I toss out there the more likely one of them will land on a friendly shore and something good will come back to me. So here are some video links in case you're interested:

How to Find My Videos: First of all, I've set up a "Videos" page on my website (www.GeneBurnett.com) with a menu similar to what you see below as well as a digital tip jar in case any of you want to contribute to my cottage industry. Every little bit helps and not just financially. 

I've also set up some blogs that make navigating and viewing my various videos much easier. You can go to any of these blogs and see thumbnails for all of the videos posted there. Scroll across the thumbnails and you will see the titles of each video. Click on it and a page will open that will let you watch the video right there without going to youtube. My latest videos are always in the upper left hand corner.

To see all of my Music videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Videos

To see all of my T'ai-Chi videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Movement

To see all of my Nature videos in one easy to navigate place, click here: The Unforced Nature

For a quick and easy way to sort through, listen to, or download all of my albums free or with a donation, click here: The Unforced Music

To see my regular blog “The Unforced Life”, click here: The Unforced Life

To visit my youtube channel and possibly subscribe, click here: My Youtube Channel

To see all of my youtube playlists click here: My Youtube Playlists 

New Videos

1 new T’ai-Chi video:



1 new Nature video:



Album playlists:



Pictures

I've stopped posting as many pictures on facebook, (for many reasons), and started posting them instead on Flickr, which I like much better.

Here's a link to my "home page" at Flicker: Photostream.

I have many photo galleries there but a few of my favorites are:

Small Miracles (mostly Nature related stuff)

The Dish Whisperer (I started posting a daily picture of my dish stacking work over a year ago. I recently crossed the 2000 straight days mark. I have no idea how long I’ll keep doing this. I’m so used to it, it hardly takes any effort at all to continue. I made a video for my song “I'll Do The Dishes Tonight” that featured a slideshow of the first year.

"Head" and "Boot" (devoted to our two gerbils RIP)






Website

I continue to offer all of my albums for downloading, free or with a donation at my website: www.GeneBurnett.com I started doing this about 8 or 9 years ago and considered it a 5 year creative experiment. Well the 5 years passed and I decided to start calling it my "ongoing creative experiment" as I have no plans to stop. Since I returned to my folk roots and stopped climbing, or trying to climb, the industry ladder, I've been enjoying music in my life more than ever before. And enjoyment, rather than achievement or worldly success has always been dearest to my heart anyway. So now I focus totally on what I love most: writing, recording, performing and sharing what I create. If other people like it, so much the better, but getting other people to like me or what I do is no longer my goal or focus. I'm out to please myself first. I want to do my music exactly the way I want to do it and see who likes it that way, not figure out what people will like and try to do it that way. I put it out there freely and see what comes freely back. So far so good. I've never had more success and appreciation than I have since I started doing it this. Go figure. 


Thanks, as usual, for your support and well wishes even if you don't make to any shows.

GB