Saturday, 25 February 2012

Qi Gong Eight-Piece Brocade, accompanied by an Excerpt from Dante's Paradiso

A beautiful demonstration of the eight-piece brocade in qi gong, accompanied by music of Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: "Mary's Song", and "The Water Song", the latter forming the background to a reading of "Journey to the Moon", an excerpt from Dante's Paradiso, starting at 02:55 in. (from Danto's "Paradiso, Canto II", trans. based on Cotter)

O you who are seated in your little boats,

Eager to listen, following in the wake

Behind my ship that singing plows her way,

Turn back to look again on your own shores:

Don't put out on the high seas, for, perhaps,

In losing me you may run far adrift!

The waters I take were never crossed before.

Minerva blows and Apollo pilots me,

While the nine Muses point me out the Bears.

You other few who stretched your necks on high
In time to taste the bread of angels which
People here feed on, but never have their fill,

You well may put your boat out on the deep
By staying in the furrow of my wake
Before the waters flow back smooth again.

Those glorious men who sailed the sea to Colchis,
When they saw Jason turned into a plowman,
Were not as thunderstruck as you shall be.

The inborn, boundless thirst for that kingdom
Created in God's image swept us onward
Almost as swiftly as the skies you see.

Beatrice gazed upward and I gazed on her;
And in the time perhaps it takes an arrow
To strike the bull's-eye, fly, and leave the bow,

I saw myself arrived at a thing of wonder
Which drew my sight to it, and therefore she
From whom my close concerns could not be hidden

Turned towards me, as glad as she was lovely,
And said, "Direct your mind with thanks to God
Who here has made us one with the first star."

I thought we were enveloped in a cloud,
Shining, solid, dense, and highly polished
As a diamond struck by the sun would be.

The timeless pearl took us inside itself
In the same way that water can receive
A ray of light while it remains intact.

If I were body (and here we can't conceive
How one dimension could contain another,
Which has to be when body enters body),

All the more should longing then inflame us
To see that Essence in which we may see
How our own nature and God join in one.

There shall be revealed what we now hold by faith:
Not proven to us, but known on its own,
Like the first truths believed by human beings.


  1. My roommate won't stop talking, I'll come back.

  2. Oh no, I'm the one talking over this video! lol

    Just to clarify for others in case it isn't completely obvious, the guy doing the eight-piece brocade in this video is not me! I'm the guy mumbling the above poem by Dante in the background, lol, I wish I could be clearer.

  3. I recognised you voice, Okei, so I knew it was you.

    Surely the 'guy' doing the QiGong is a girl? Whichever - it is the most beautiful exposition of the form I have ever seen.

    All in all, a truly lovely video.


  4. Yes I'm sure it's a woman in the video. Lovely all round dear. I hadn't read that before, I've read The Inferno, but that's it. So beautiful as well as the music. The lady doing her moves made me want to do it too, it looks like a good practice to take up. And you weren't mumbling! lol I thought you did well.


  5. Yep! Small feet, wide hips and an interestingly shaped chest. Definitely a girl. :-)))

    Lovely isn't it, Catherine.

  6. Ok, thanks Jon & Catherine! And for the clarification also... I said the same in my comment to the original video by crazytaichiman, that it was the most beautiful and inspiring version I'd seen on youtube.

    I just saw your link in my e-mail, so I'm opening this up to networks

  7. Absolutely beautiful! Nice work, Okei - and now I have another challenge I would like to do--learning how to move like the lady in the video. (P.S. I think I have the tippy toe part down. The rest is going to take some work. LOL)

    I very much appreciate how you brought this together--you have made my afternoon very enjoyable. Namaste ~ Blessings!

  8. Thank you Kathy! I really want to learn the eight-piece brocade too. :) Compared to the various forms of tai chi, it's relatively short, only eight strands, and of course you don't have to do the various leg-raises and squats that embellish it. She's amazingly strong to be able to do those.

  9. Beautiful work, Okei. You have a wonderful speaking voice for making videos. Well done from start to finish. :)

  10. Thanks Carrie! I still wish I could be clearer. Namaste!

  11. I learned the Eight Strands many years ago and have seen many versions practised by many teachers. This is, without a doubt, the most beautiful and the most spectacular. Her grace, poise and athleticism are extraordinary - and she must have enough Qi to float a boat.

  12. Must learn this (((♥)))

    And Jon, I know you'll like this also...

  13. Fantastic, Okei. Such a tragedy that one so talented should die so young

  14. You read in such a relaxed way to carry people to the words, keep it up, beautiful, and thanks...
    As to those squats- all I can say is wow, that is truly difficult.

  15. Thanks! :)))

    Have a great week, Hille!