Saturday, 31 December 2016

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Monday, 19 December 2016

Thank You 2016

Thank you to all the people who I met and shared the way this year. It has been very busy both building and working but also fruitful.

I hope to build up classes in Tai Chi Yoga etc at the Forge and elsewhere, continue to teach Sumie and have an exhibition that's ready to hang.

(cartoon and peom by Leunig) see facebook  ..Leunig

Thank you to everyone who has assisted me and given me support along this years way.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas and new year.


Your contribution with thanks

"Oh red rose of love
Your existence gives perfume to this sordid world
Yet aware not are you of the summer breeze
With or without your subtle allure."


If you wish to show your appreciation for what you gained from the blog I do thank you for anything you give in return.


Thank you for your generosity

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Yoga for Upper and lower Back, neck

Exercises for lower back stiffness or injury. Easy exercises to free up the Lumber region suitable for beginners. Based on Indian  and Chinese theory of Yoga.

Yoga for upper body neck and shoulders.

When in the postures breath naturally.
Pay attention to the stress areas in your muscles.
Let go the pain...breath.
Don't over stretch and create more tension.
Relax your mind.
Sit quietly and meditate for some time after the asanas or lay on your back and focus on your breath.

Enjoy the quiet, carry the joy with you and give freely...with love Gerard

by Gerard Menzel

If you wish to show your thanks

All contributions appreciated. Gerard Menzel
BSB 944300 account 016 183 975

Paypal and credit card
click the contributions tag on the right side bar if you wish to show your .
appreciation. Enjoy

Thank you

Yoga 30 min. neck and back

Yoga for upper body neck and shoulders.

When in the postures breath naturally.
Pay attention to the stress areas in your muscles.
Let go the pain...breath.
Don't over stretch and create more tension.
Relax your mind.
Sit quietly and meditate for some time after the asanas or lay on your back and focus on your breath.

Enjoy the quiet, carry the joy with you and give freely...with love Gerard

by Gerard Menzel

Contributions to the making of the video appreciated.

BSB 944300 account 016 183 975 Gerard Menzel

Or Click the Contributions tag for Paypal and Credit card on the right side

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Padmasambhava and Tibetan Yogis

Guru rimpoche Padma Sambhava

Some years ago I lived in India in Dharamsala before it became a great tourist centre 1982 around and I was studying tabla with guruji Dhasbandu Sharma and taking lectures at the Tibetan library and trying to learn Tibetan language.

It was a great time in my life and many things happened.
I had a little routine going, Tai Chi practice in the Himalayan foothills, Tabla lesson Tibetan Buddhist lecture then Lunch in the Dharamsala upside streets ( usually parathas like an indian style pizza or a veg pancake fritter)

On the off days I would go for a walk in the hills above the tree line almost where I could see Triund mountain, the highest place around. The beautiful mountain pines like old sages talking to me along the rocky tracks.  Often I would drop into an old Tibetan womans shack where she sold sly Tibetan jung or barley beer.  Whooo!!!!! that stuff packed a punch and was like jet fuel for the walk.

Later in 2006 after working in Saudi Arabia I took some time to visit Darjeeling again 30 years after I had been there before and I managed to stay at the YHA on the hill for some of the time just like my first visit.  I met the manager who was still the same guy and the place was still as sparse and hadn't had a coat of paint since I was there in '82.

In Sikkim I went to Gangtok and then east and north to the Chinese border for a day then went inland to a few monasteries in particular Pemayangste. Some of the tantric tanka paintings were breathtakingly beautiful.

You have to walk up the mountain to get to Pemayangste but its etheric when you arrive. There is a special feeling in the air there that only walkers and dharma bums experience.

Contributions to the making of the video appreciated.

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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

kali Durgah Namo Namah

Kali Durga Namo Namah

Kali is the female side of shiva or incarnation.

She destroys and rebuilds so is life and death.
She carries many skulls and weapons to destroy the evil in the self and universe. 

She is worshiped by the Tantric Aghori's (see in Calcutta where her Ghat on the Ganges is.

The city is named after her. Kalikat or (grounds of Kali) and was set up and land bought by the British East India Co. for trading.

In the tradition of yoga some yogis say they can be infused with here spirit and become Kali. The "Ma" Amrita anandamay Ma is one of them.  

 She sings and has special puja where she becomes Kali as it were so her followers believe.

Further study

Kawwal music and the Sufi tradition

The Beloved - (the Divine within and without)

The Beloved is the divine within us all waiting to be revealed as we awaken. In the Sufi tradition it is sung (Gazhal  poetry and song) about danced to,in the whirling Dervishes of Konya Turkey.

The love poem strives to come to terms with the feelings toward the divine and also the form or the divine in human form, our lover.

Historically Amir Khusro sis said to have blended the traditions of the Arab,Persians,Turks, Moghuls, and and Hindu poetic traditions to come up with the gazhal. 
see ; Amir-Khusrau 

I first was introduced to these love poems when I played with an Indian singer Mr Mike Panelli (Manek Panvelliwallah) with the Indian music society Adelaide 'Rasik Ranjanee'. In India Urdu language is used and the poets compose cuplets. The poets would have a segment each monthly meeting. 

There are differing definitions of the gazhal and also the spelling (gazal, ghazal) etc... here is one source from Iran where the famous poets Rumi and Hafez made their mark.

"In the 12th century the ḡazal is present in the dīvān of nearly all poets, whether they were poets of the court, such as Anwarī, Ḵāqānī and Jamāl-al-Dīn Eṣfahānī, or mystics such as Farīd-al-Dīn ʿAṭṭār (d. ca. 618/1221, q.v.), who developed the antinomian motives introduced by Sanāʾī. Jalāl-al-Dīn Rūmī (d. 672/1273) gave new dimensions to the ḡazal using it for the expression of mystical rapture as well as for homiletic teachings. The abundance of his imagery exceeded the conventional boundaries. Rūmī’s ḡazals have a quite unique position within the development of the form. The most outspoken poet of the antinomian ḡazal was Faḵr-al-Dīn ʿErāqī (d. 688/1289, q.v.), who seems to have actually lived the life of a qalandar.*1
The rise of the ḡazal to the dominant position in Persian lyrical poetry reached its zenith in Shiraz during the lifetimes of the two undisputed masters of the genre, Saʿdī (d. ca. 692/1293) and Ḥāfeẓ (d. ca. 792/1390). The former is often named as the poet who finally established the technical ḡazal as the standard form. He collected his poems in more than one volume, an example followed by a few later poets, notably Amīr Ḵosrow Dehlavī (d. 725/1325, q.v.) and ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 898/1492). Blending artfully the profane and the mystical strains which had been developed by earlier poets, Saʿdī excelled in the elegant formulation of the con ventional motives. Numerous lines from his ḡazals have reached proverbial status in the Persian language. " 
*1 note a Qalander is a roving spiritual seeker

In the 1990's I saw Nuzrat Fateh Ali Khan (above) at Womad and one year the Pakistani community had a private concert after the WOMAD show at a small hall in the southern suburbs of 'adelaide.
The whole community was there families and all. It was an electric evening of Qawwal and the viewers listerners showered gifts of $ bills on Nuzrat and his party all night. I arrived back home in the early morning riding on a wave of sufi light.

Some years ago in the early 80's and later 90's I was in Delhi and decided to visit the Lodi Tombs area of the city.

Unknown to me this area is heavily Islamic being the site of the famous tomb and mosque of Nizamuddin Aulia a famous Sufi saint of the 13C where Hazarat Inayat Khan's Dhagar is also located. see Nizamuddin Mosque info
There I listened to talks and met people of the Dhagar Inayat and his Dutch followers. Daily there were chants or qawwal singing either in the Dhagar or at Nuzamuddin mosque next door. 

I learnt of the Chisti order see Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer and the Sufi tradition of devotion to the "beloved" 
This took me on a wide ranging journey unbeknownst to me at the time. Since then I have lived in Oman, Saudi Arabia, visited Istanbul Turkey, and the Chisti Khwaja mosque in Rajastan as well as Kashmir, and Aggra a number of times.


Hazrat Inayat Khan in the picture , bless him.

Qawwal devotional song in the sufi tradition.

Dama dam Mast Qalander

teen panina pana panee
Jhule lal, Jhule lal , Jhule lal , Jhule lal 
Chiku charinah jhule lal

Jhule lal x 3  dama dam mast qalander

History Notes 
Jhule Lal was a Sufi mystic from Sind Province.

Jhule Lal / Sayed Mohamid Usman Marwandi 
Hindu incarnation of Deva Varuna water god 
12th C died Sind family from Baghdad originally
He always wore red hence red robe of the saint.
Dama dam must qalander originally adapted from a Amir Khusro poem or ghazal

All rights Gerard Menzel 
tabla harmonium vocal

Contributions to the website appreciated.
Thank you for sharing ...Gerard

BSB 944300 account 016 183 975 Gerard Menzel

Or Click the Contributions tag for Paypal and Credit card on the right side

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Sumie Workshop Castlemaine Creative Artists

On October 4th I was invited to do a workshop for the local artists of Castlemaine Vic. The focus I chose was unity and non duality. The venue was the local golf club.

The day went smoothly with 3 segments to it
1 Painting
2 Talk on Sumie
3 Meditation session on Non Duality

The artists responded very well to the days proceedings and jumped right into the breach from the word go. Being artists already helped immensely as many hurdles to creativity and expectations had been already crossed on a personal level. Many attending were long time artists with creative ability.

During the Practice we looked at Spring and the plum tree as a focus after warming up with bamboo strokes.

The talk looked at the origins, benefits and goals of Sumie.

Meditation on Non duality
As enlightenment and consists of a non dualistic mind I focused a meditation on observing the breath and parts of our body energy centres with the view to breaking down barriers to openness to the world caused by attachments to our ego and self identification.

Here are some of the participants paintings

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

3 Drums

I look at three different percussion instruments and show how we create the 8 and 6 beat rhythm, single, double and fast speed,a fill or improvisation and a repetitive cycle.  The drums are the Darrabakka and Taaz from Persia, Turkey, and the Dolak from India.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Art war and humanity

My teacher Andre Sollier was a war artist in WW2 and obviously was influenced by it although he never spoke of it to me personally. He always just spoke of his art. He was a learned person and one of his satirical exhibitions in Kew Victoria was on the world politics and events.

One image which stuck in my mind was a beautiful bamboo grove obviously far away in the jungle away from a city with a solitary coke can dominating the picture.

In the videos here George Gittoes touches on war and humanity also and the role of the artist, in a way that the artist is a warrior of peace, although I hate this much used and often cheapened idea, it is nonetheless a valid concept.


The Samurai of old in Japan used Sumie as well as Haiku, Tea ceremony to sharpen their minds and make themselves fearless.  Why ? The real courage must come from within, not only how skilled in the arts of war you are.

ABC One Plus One on George Gittoes    Here George talks on the mystic and war

A look at his film the Snow Monkey

4. In Texas

5. Iraq  Exhibition 2004 No Exit @ Maquarie Uni.


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Summer Sumie workshop - The Forge

Summer Sumie Workshop 2016 
14 Feb 2015     11.00 to 16.00
Where; The Forge, Castlemaine

Picture; The Fiddler by Gerard Menzel

Zen painting develops slowly and engenders good posture, relaxed breathing, a clear mind and the Zen effortless attitude to a compassionate way. 

The workshop is practical with explanation on the history and philosophy of  Zen and Sumie. Mental awareness and meditation in art will be a focus. Level; beginners to advanced artists.

Cost Earlybird $65 before 07/1/16 
Class fee $75  $65con      Plus Materials $7 or BYO
Pay by online deposit G Menzel Bendigo bank 633 000 120991815 / Postal order Pay G.Menzel C/O Carisbrook GPO 3464

By your enrolment you have agreed to read and acknowledge the terms / liability, indemnity and conditions as read on the site

Contact Gerard for booking 0407734479

Booking Details see 

Wild Lotus News

Wild Lotus Arts News                                                                                              No 1 2016 Jan                               
Gerard Menzel  mob 0407734479                               
Thank you to all those who participated in Sumie classes and healing in the first year since I moved from the western district.
Classes and healing locations
This year we have started to do massage and will do classes at The Forge in Castlemaine.
This adds to our existing locations of Carisbrook and Newstead.

Planned Classes

At the Forge we plan to start Aikido for kids women and Adults . Aikido is a non violent martial art which focuses on the spiritual development of the person as well as martial skills. It is totally non violent and works on understanding the principles of Ki or life force harmony

Yoga -
will be offered and the style is HATHA Yoga and I will include Bakti Bajaan devotional singing into the classes

Massage and healing - 
will be at the Forge Castlemaine ,  $35 per 30 min. I will try and set an afternoon like Wed and clients can book in by phone. At the moment Wed is quite free, From 1300

Tai Chi  - 
classes in the Yang style will start and classes are at the Botanical gardens.  If there is interest we can do Chi Kung and Tai Chi at the Forge.
Sumie ; A workshop will be offered on Sun 14 Feb 2016 from 11 to 4 at the Forge 341 Barker st Castlemaine. Book by phone 0407734479

Indian drumming and percussion-
 has been in my life since the 1980s and I have worked with bands and toured to national folk festivals and performed in Adelaide with many Indian singers and artists. If there are any serious persons wanting to learn Tabla or  to generally  play percussion with the djembe or darrabaka I can teach. Where? Carisbrook or the Forge. $35 lesson.

Healing and Feedback

Thanks to all those who have given me feedback on the healing that they felt after massages. It is a great blessing to us all and only happens when we open to the unknown and the new.  Healing is a magical thing and the more and longer I am involved with it the less I really know about how it works. Of course we can have theories and systems but often things work outside those parameters. Let’s see what happens this year as we open to whatever the world offers, remembering that not only the good is good for us, for we learn in many ways and pain can be a lightning to the soul.  ......Gerard

I Ching Ancient book of Change

I-Ching Chinese book of Change Readings
I Ching is the ancient book of divination used to aid in making important life changing decisions and planning for events.  We use coins and throw them 6 times and then consult the book after asking a question. The question should be clear and simple For example ; Should I travel to Paris on 16 August to see my family? The book works of the laws of synchronicity, that is all thoughts, actions and points connect in the universe and these points are affected by the law of Yin and Yang.

Gerard has been studying the I ching for many years and consulted in Adelaide. He brings with him years of intense study of Aikido and the teachings of Aiki as well as living in Japan and in various countries all over Asia. He also is a Tai Chi instructor and believes in the power of Taoist learning.

Cost $50 Usually btw 30 and 45min 

Where Carisbrook, Castlemaine , Newstead areas