Palace of memory glyph

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Palace of memory glyph
Originally uploaded by anselm23

More visitors to my blog seem to come for insight into Palace of Memory technique than anything else, so I figured it was time for an update. Reading through the scripts is not necessarily an easy way to learn the system, so on the train into New York City today I sketched this quick diagram of the “entry hall” of the system I’ve been using for a while, and that I try to teach my students.

You can see the tessellated pavement, and the two tables for math and architecture, with the globe and globe-stand between them. You can see the four walls painted different colors, and the four different doors. What I can’t include are the data points for each shelf, or the key figures atop each shelf, like the statue of William Shakespeare,

One of my students has used it so extensively that I’m planning an expansion for him, out the east door. It will be two rooms — a space rather like a Roman Atrium, and a space beyond that rather like a Renaissnce or Baroque-era library. I’ve gotten inspired by the library at the place where I’m staying in New York City, and I think it will be useful to you all.

Assuming you’re still interested. Are you?

Time to Move?

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http://xkcd.com/1043/

As XKCD notes today, tumblr may soon become more popular than blogging (I don’t know what to say about Pinterest)… So, I’m opening a Tumblr account, because it’s become my experience that first these things seem extraneous, then they seem dull, thenthey seem  necessary.

Taiji day 43: Small Spaces

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I’m visiting my parents today, and for a variety of reasons I decided to do my daily practice in the small room that used to be my bedroom. My parents’ name for this room is really, “the room that used to be Andrew’s” but really it’s the tv room: the living room is much more formal these days, and this room is for watching movies or whatever. It’s also the room where Mom gives in to her insomnia, reading or writing until she’s tired enough to go back to bed.

This means that the room that used to hold a twin bed and a dresser and a shelf of toys and books now has a couple of large comfortable chairs and a tv rack in it instead. I did the windmill kick perilously close to the tv screen, and I had to back up to do one of the snakes creeping down, or else run into the big blue chair.

If you can’t generate the power of tai chi in a small space, you’ll never be able to do it in a large space. And if you can generate it in a small space, you can learn to generate it in no space, when there’s no maneuvering room at all. My taiji teacher Laddie said that the most powerful martial arts maneuver of all was a proffered handshake and the words, “how do you do? I’m _________,” and he’s right. If you don’t even have that much room, sometimes a smile that comes from your tan tien will have to be enough.