Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Bhakti Yoga devotional bajaan - Hari Krishna Hari Rama

The heart of Yoga

Devotional Bhakti yoga is the path of love and compassion.

The practice of Bhakti yoga is reflected by the direct opening of the heart in devotional practices as ;

  • Darshan prostration and prayer in front of a deity, in this case Krishna 
  • The singing of bajaan songs in devotion to the deity.
  • Dancing in joyous ecstasy  to the deity. 
To practice bhakti yoga find a quiet place and chant the mantra / bajaan or join with some other people and sing together.

If you have an image of the Deity that image is imagined as the real God or Godess and you open your heart to the loving energy of the deity. The aim is for that deity and you to become one as a flow of love flows from the manifestation of the centre of that isht or image. This sparks off the loving devotion of the devotee's heartfelt feelings. Thus the circle of love is completed.

The final stage of this devotion is Samadhi enlightenment as the deity and the bhakta  become one.

This style of yoga bypasses the mind and powerfully ignites the heart chakra.

You can show you thanks
If you learnt something and wish to give something please feel free to make a contribution and show your thanks. Just hit the A contribution tag on the right.  

Monday, 30 January 2017

Aikido for kids

self portrait Gerard Menzel

A Personal view
From my experience as a teacher in schools who has done hundreds of workshops with students in Australia over a 25 year plus period as an artist educationalist I have discovered there are a number or valid reasons for you people to study Aikido or a similar non violent martial art. As a teacher in Primary/secondary/adult and Higher Ed institutions I believe Aikido is a unique way for people to find their inner self and know what it is like to be free of fear and to discover a fuller awareness.

After studying martial arts around the globe and with some of the best teachers possible for me I realise that Aikido and non violent martial arts / arts are of immense value for;

  • the formation of personal values, 
  • the release of negative emotions and tensions,
  • the direction of positive energy in a harmonious way  
  • the understanding of how to view conflict as a challenge or gift that can be transformed into useful energy directives.
  • the realization that love connects and flows through every aspect of the universe  

Formation of early values
The early year of a persons life are important for the formation of life values and personal standards to which the individual will be structured and influenced by throughout his/her entire life.  These virtues include truth, honesty,valor,fearlessness,charity toward others,compassion, to name a few. As we live in an era where real values seem to be less and less visible,or almost impossible to find in our leaders and media iconoclasts it is important for people to be given opportunities to form them. Boys need a realization of peace and the centering of their body first and then their mind and Aikido teaches Hara /earthing techniques and mental direction / understanding.

Boys need to be physical so that they find the balance between power and force for good and the overstepping of that force as it turns into a destructive self and other power.  Boys love to play and to feel their energy as they connect with others and also feel the joy associated with the creative expression of power. They need to experience and not be afraid of their inner force but also to be able to harness it, manage it and kindle it like a fire that is under management of their heart and mental power.

Girls have a natural edge to their physicality in that they do not naturally use brute strength but they 'feel their way' internally in a bid to solve problems.  This is in harmony with the principles of aikido where the circle of power avoids head to head power play and adversarial competition.  Girls need to feel rooted to the earth and centred like boys also and aikido can help create an understanding of their centre of power and harmony. Girls need to respect nurture and love their personal Ki power also and to build on it and control it.

Young people need a framework to base their lives around and direct their energies in the best positive directions and Aikido shows the aikidoka a number of key points.
1. In conflict there are no winners and losers but both can learn.
2. The study of life includes the knowledge that Love or Ai is the basis for positive transformation of events, feelings, emotions, interactions, relationships.
3 Fear is an emotion which can be transformed into creative activity and thought.
4. Looking after our fellow aikidoka partners and ourselves is a paramount rule in training.

The Spirit -Power from inside
Aikido students learn from the outset that power lay in the internal secrets of the Aikido circle of give and take, forward and back, left and right, up and down, ...movements in harmony with the universe. Personal power is a Universal power that does not end with one's body or mind. Aikido is a journey that begins with the body and grows into a journey beyond the physical realms. A journey that has no limits to consciousness.The student becomes connected to the earth, accepts the limitations of gravity and the forces of nature and discovers the keys to harmony and limitless power. The key to Aikido is awarneness and the flow of the universe.

Energy and the cosmos
In Aikido the individual becomes less and less relevant as we grow and understand that the breath of the universe known as Ki force is shared by all humans and that 'the force called Ki' is available if we surrender our ego's.  Then the destructive forces of; control, domination, jealousy, fear, anxiety, timidity inertia etc are no longer. Aikido teaches us that The Way of Harmony or 'AI' is the way to move, feel and think.

See the founder Mr Ueshiba as he practices Aikido.


Kids classes

Time 16.30 to 17.15 Tue Thur

$12 kids 13 & under
$15 adults 14 & over
$48 kids  @ 4 classes a month  
Adults $60 @ 4 classes a month (Costs may be revised during the year)

Annual membership and insurance $75
Family discounts
Family of 2  $135  *Family of 3 $202  *Family of 4 $270

Uniform costs see below

Venue - to be notified
Start Late Febuary 2017

Class sizes limited to 10-15 students
Nikko Menzel 5yrs demonstrating 1991

Weapons - wooden staff or Jo 
         wooden sword of bokken                
wooden knife or tanto

Dogi uniform 
Uniform - martial art uniform called a dogi
Uniform (Dogi) (basic btw $30 and Delux $65 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Yoga for upper and lower back

Preview of the 30 min session for your back  plus sitting.

Full class below

Yoga is more than a physical exercise but it is fully a good exercise if done well.

So how is it more? It is a way of meeting the unity of your spirit and discovering the inner world of peace beyond the ego self, the desires of life and the distractions of the mind.

In this session I discuss the link between Yoga and the duality of this and that here and there and the trinity of 3.  There is much more to discuss than in the video but I just touch on it here.

How to purchase class via a Youtube link


  • Pay online and put your name on the details 
  • Send by email to gmenzel@hotmail.com the proof of payment with your name 
  • Gerard will send you the link to the full class in the next days. mob 61 407734479 if you need to talk.

Pay by bank account
  • Go to contributions tag on the right of the screen for details of my bank account to pay into.
  • Make a deposit and send by email Gerard proof of sale
  • Gerard will send you the link via email

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Yang Style 24 Tai Chi

Beginners form

There are numerous types of forms and styles of Tai Chi and this is a standardized one. That is a cobbling of older complex forms to create an essentials kit for Tai Chi beginners.

This Yang style form can be seen in all the parks around Asia.  It varies interestingly enough in different places."The more you try to fix something the further it wanders"
Wikipedia has an entry on it.

I learned this form as a result of practice in the parks of Macau, Hong Kong Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong Singapore and more.

108 Yang style Tai Chi

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Preview Chi Gong Gerard Menzel

Preview of a 25 min Chi Gong  training.

$15 for Youtube link
$15 Disc plus $5 postage in Australia other countries maybe a little more.

This is a beginners level Chi Gong session

Purchase for meditation health and fitness
A simple set of meditative exercises to do daily for all the joints, back and muscles.
Improve your posture, breathing and mental health.
Easy to do and effective.
Length approx 25min with meditation included.
You can lengthen the session by repeating exercises longer.

How to purchase

  1. Email Gerard at gmenzel@hotmail.com requesting a disc or a youtube link
  2. Make the payment by bank transfer or Paypal and send Gerard the receipt of payment 
  3. On receiving the payment info Gerard will email the youtube link or send you a disc by mail
  4. Postage in Australia is $5

 and get a link to the full video online or by Disc CD / DVD

Payments by bank or Paypal Visa Cost $15 Aus.

Bank Transfer
BSB 9443000
Account  016 183 975
Name Gerard Menzel
Note. Please put your name in the details area so I know the person paying

Contact Gerard
gmenzel@hotmail.com for more info

Chi Gong 1 disc or link

Monday, 16 January 2017

Consciousness and awakening

 Speakers Rick Archer and Shunyamurti from Buddha at the Gas pump

A description of ;

* awakening
* illumination
* enlightenment

Nowadays it has become fashionable to say you are enlightened or have reached some sort of realization. This is due to the  the commercialization of yoga all over the world.

In the past one would never pronounce ones positioning spiritually because it would have been seen as a self promotion.

I go with this maxim, if somebody is telling you they have reached a goal then they probably have a bit more to go.

If you can feel somebody is 'beyond the shore' your either pretty close or there too. If you have to think first then your definitively still got some work to do.

Realization is not something that is easy to put into words by its very nature because words are only a description of something not the real product itself. In the decryption of the word and the reality then lots get lost in mental translation.

Reality ought to be felt from the full body, gut, heart and spiritual self.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Tai Chi fast cutlass or Dao

Fast Cutlass or Dao

The power and spirit of the tiger.

Mr Yao Yee Kay taught me this form in the 1980's.

It requires a level of agility due to the unique kicks.

The feeling is yang and forceful.

Dao or cutlass Tai Chi

Slow Dao or cutlass Yang style Tai Chi
Gerard Menzel

this is a excerpt from the form.

The Dao or cutlass is the spirit of the tiger. Mr Kay taught me this form also in the '80's.

This form is very dynamic and has the spirit of the tiger inherent in it.  It is very  martial in feeling with turns kicks and strikes.

Usually we learn these faster sword forms after a slow form . they develop power and agility and chi.

Its imperative that the teacher is good. The form is as  good as the teacher. Mr Kay was a great one.
He is an acupunturist and runs the Yang academy of Tai Chi in Melbourne.

Xian Long sword

Yang style Long sword or Xian

Mr Yau Yee  Kay from Melbourne taught me this form in the '80's.

Its a beautiful swooping form with fast and slower moves jumps and turns.

This is the spirit of the dragon in this form.

This form will teach you power and grace.

On the sword there is a phoenix and a dragon.  The former symbolic of rising from the ashes and the dragon is the spirit of the animal kingdom and the amalgam of all the positive attributes of enlightenment.

Tai Chi and the Fan form

This Fan form was studied in 1982 from Sifu in New Park Taipei. I was studying with Master Wong and in the evening and Sifu from New Park by day with Rudy and Ria from the Netherlands.

Sifu had this most amazing warmth and an infectious smile.

Each morning we would meet in the New Park in Taipei where all types of Tai Chi and Kung Fu and Chi Gong players would be. There was an elderly lady who was very adept who practiced with us and with sifu. She was steely and really fit yet well into her 70's.

Sometimes other old players would come and do push hands with our teacher and laugh and talk the Tao, sharing theories and tai chi moves endlessly.

Tua sho is a 2 person exercise for feeling chi and learning how to centre oneself and move chi.

Each day this older tai chi player would practice with us relentlessly. She was fiery and tough.

The fan was used as a weapon in old times and carried by women as well as men. It was made of steel as a weapon but even a bamboo fan is deadly when studied and understood.

This form has a Kung Fu quality to it with lots of kicks and turns.

Wu Tai Chi

Wu Tai Chi was developed after Yang style.  It was first began in the north of China around Mongolia.

Here are some parts of the 108 form.

Chen Tai Chi

I learnt this Chen form in a little town called Yangshuo just south of the city of Guilin from Thomas Hu a local Tai Chi and Kung Fu legend.   location and info Yangshuo

A Danish guy named Petr and I both studied together on the river each day. I think it was called the Li river. The mountains and scenery was unbelievable with these Kask mountains jutting up out of the earth all around like a dream vista.

This form feels very yang and powerful when one practices and a lot of the form is in a wide horse stance. Chen style is believed to be the first form then came the other forms Yang, We and so on.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Tea Zen and Chai wallahs

The video
This is the Oriental section in James Bateman's garden Biddulph Grange. 
James Bateman was here for 30 years from 1842, and built 
the house as an Italianate villa and the garden, with the 
help of his friend the famous marine artist Edward Cook.

In 1869 Bateman left the Grange and moved to London 
where he lived in a house rented from Edward Cooke 
close to Hyde Park. Bateman left his son John to sell the 
property, which by the time he left in 1872 had a 
mortgage of £30,000 which in today’s money is close to 
£2 million.

The National Trust of England
To see the full garden go here https://youtu.be/er5J3n8OrAg

Since I was a young 4 year old I had a liking for tea, its ritual and practice.  As usual little did I know at the age of 4 when sitting in the back yard of our simple fibro house in Hamilton that one day I would travel to China, Sri Lanka, Japan and India to walk the back roads of tea plantations.  In fact one of my earliest and most enjoyable early childhood memories is telling mum my brother and I were going into the back yard to drink tea on our little chairs and tables.  We must have had our own pot and tea set so the game of tea was on.

India Nepal Sikkim

My first trip to the Himalayan foothills was in 1978 after I arrived in Calcutta around the festival of colours or Holi.  In this time the streets are filled with revelers with bright coloured dye water and they splash anyone in sight and drench one in color.

At the time I did not know the significance of Holi and was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the people on the streets as I took a taxi to the crowded central station in Calcutta.

What surprised me the most was the uninhibited nature of the Indian population as they danced in the streets, poor people cooked and ate and slept in the streets and sang on trains. Coming from a western background or Anglo German Irish heritage I noticed myself as being very formal, stiff and lacking in patience and seeking physical boundaries, and space.  I soon realized that these boundaries either don't exist in India or are very very different to other nations.

Chai Walla's Tea and meditation

Over the many years travelling India and Asia I have found solace and contemplation in tea shops and tea hideaways.  In India the Chai wallah is a national icon, a treasure in the days before commercialization especially.  The chai in itself is a home made mix of spices including nutmeg,ginger, cinnamon, and cardamon seeds as the most common ingredients. If one wishes to be exotic there is star anise, cumin, black pepper, vanilla, to add.

The tea maker himself in India at best has a certain calm and reflective personality and aura.  In many a hot and dusty day in the streets and bazaars of Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay or any provincial town I have sought the refuge of the Chai shop.

The Chai shop is a refuge from the dust and the noise, the heat and the constancy of traffic and human activity in Indian streets.  Often chai shops are tucked down secluded streets with little traffic and its often not obvious to find them. 
When I set up in a hotel after I have rested and settled my first jaunts in  the area will be to search out the chai shop and its Wallah. Wallah in Hindi means "man of" hence tea man or Chai Wallah.  To be a good wallah one must be fair, patient and able to make many chai's quickly and perfectly.

A good wallah will be very concentrated and only speak when necessary.  The room will be quiet in the middle of the day and he will be stationed there taking all comers day in day out. 

My old friend Ram Prasad from Benares once told me that his father told him that the British banned Indians drinking black tea or China tea in the colonial period and that Indians set up sly tea shops. This is the way his father set up. Indians were expected to only drink spiced tea without the leaves. This herbal tea was an ayurvedic type drink  Here are some recipes Chai  


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Crazy Chi Qong exhibition London 1980's

A death defying and mysterious Chi Gong and  martial arts exhibition in London by All Chinese troupe inn 1980's.

Chi Gong is a mysterious training which can create unbelievable feats of super human force.

It takes years to understand and to become proficient at. Tai Chi and other martial arts create the same powers.

It requires a teacher to learn. Check out the video and see why.

Master Guo is quite amazing here. Its hard to understand how he does such feats of strength.

The secrets are passed down from generation to generation in the family.