In China, a School Trains Boys to Be ‘Real Men’

Tang Haiyan runs his school with a clear mission in mind: He will train boys to be men.

Mr. Tang founded the Real Boys Club, which stands at the forefront of a deep conversation in China about what it means to be a man. It’s a debate that has been stirred by worries about military effectiveness, an embrace of traditional culture and roles, disappointing academic performance among boys and echoes of the defunct one-child policy.

On one recent Sunday afternoon, 17 boys from the Real Boys Club blocked, sprinted and tackled one another as they learned about American football. Wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, Mr. Tang led the boys in a call-and-response chant.

But China’s preoccupation with strong men has taken on a political dimension, feeding concerns about whether young Chinese males are in trouble. State media has said video games, masturbation, and a lack of exercise have made many young men ill-suited for the military. “Erasing the gender characteristics of a man who is not afraid of death and hardship,” Peng Xiaohui, a sexology professor at Central China Normal University, said, is tantamount to “a country’s suicide.”

Mr. Tang was also inspired by a 2006 trip to Oakland, Calif., where he saw American parents teach their boys “to overcome challenges and dangers” through physical training.

“He used to like to cry, but now I think he has a much sunnier disposition,” she said. “I feel his tolerance ability has improved, and he now knows how to deal with failure and frustration.”

Some in China blame boys’ lacking behavior on a lack of male role models. Fathers are rarely involved in their sons’ upbringing, according to government research. Even pop culture figures have sparked complaints: A number of parents were outraged when China’s state broadcaster, China Central Television, in September featured a boy band whose members wore makeup. The parents complained that these pop idols could cause their sons to “behave in a feminine way.”

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Shakti Gawain, author and co-founder of New World Library, dead at 70

Shakti Gawain, co-founder of New World Library and a New Age seeker who became a pioneer in the Mill Valley self-help movement of the 1970s with her breakthrough book “Creative Visualization,” died Nov. 11 of complications following hip surgery. She was 70.

Gawain had long dealt with Parkinson’s disease, and her health deteriorated after she fell at her home in Mill Valley. She died at Marin General Hospital.

She had been an international name in the world of personal growth and consciousness after she appeared as a guest on one of the first episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” when it went national in 1986. After that, Gawain became a national brand in her own right, as a consciousness teacher, workshop leader, publisher and author, with more than 10 million copies sold of 12 books in 38 languages.

“So many people have said that ‘Creative Visualization’ was the first book they read to start their journey of self-discovery,” said Kim Corbin, social media manager of New World Library, based in Novato. As evidence, Corbin noted that a posting of her death on Gawain’s Facebook page reached more than 200,000 people.

In a 1993 interview with The Chronicle, Gawain described the impetus for “Creative Visualization,” published in 1978.

“I thought I was just going to write a little booklet that I could pass out to the people who came to my workshops,” she said. “I published it with a friend, and we didn’t know anything about what we were doing. … We were just following our creative energy.”

That energy led to the growth of New World Library, which she had co-founded with another metaphysical explorer, Marc Allen, in 1977. The first location was in the kitchen of the Oakland apartment they shared. Back then, she went by her given name, Carol Louise Gawain. Allen nicknamed her “Shakti,” which is a Sanskrit for “the divine feminine creative force.”

Now in its 41st year, New World Library publishes 35 titles a year and does $10 million in annual sales. Last year, it published a special 40th anniversary edition of “Creative Visualization.” Her other bestselling titles include “Living in the Light,” “Developing Intuition” and “Creating True Prosperity.”

In 1992, Gawain left New World Library to form her own publishing company, Nataraj, and to open the Shakti Center, where she conducted classes and workshops in Marin. She ended up closing it, and Nataraj became an imprint of New World Library.

In the late 1990s, Gawain was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and slowly withdrew from the big public events for which she was known. But she still gave intimate workshops at her waterfront apartment in Tiburon. About five years ago, Gawain received an additional diagnosis of Lewy body disease, and she made the decision to stop teaching in 2015.

“She had a wealth of spiritual tools in her toolbox,” Corbin said. “She stayed positive and in love with life despite her diagnosis.”

Gawain is survived by her husband, Jim Burns, of Mill Valley. Services are pending. Contributions in her name can be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road SW, Lilburn, Ga. 30047.

Sam Whiting is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Instagram: @sfchronicle_art


Imagine each and every Prosperos teacher and student having totally mastered Zoom in all its capabilities. (It’s not that hard to do.)
Imagine Prosperos teachers and students frequently in spontaneously-arising conversation with two, three, even more Prosperos members and friends.
Imagine more frequent Zoom conversations happening with no more preparation than one person inviting whoever they would like to come to the event on whatever day and time they chose.
Imagine officially planned Prosperos Open Meetings and Classes happening live-and-Zoom simultaneously, bringing in Prosperos people and new people from around the world.
Imagine all such events recorded and converted into YouTubes prime to send out worldwide showing people who we really are through audio and video Zoom presentations and spontaneously occurring Zoom conversations.
Imagine that much communication happening, and maybe even more!
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Father Helps Daughter Deal with Anger

This father is helping his daughter deal with her anger

Parenting done right ❤️

Posted by VT on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Your Horoscopes — Week Of November 27, 2018 (

Sagittarius | Nov. 22 to Dec. 21

You’ll have no choice but to eat the other passengers after your plane crashes into an Armour Hot Dog Processing Plant this week.

Capricorn | Dec. 22 to Jan. 19

Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering “what if?” Dress the dog in full military regalia before it’s too late

Aquarius | Jan. 20 to Feb. 18

Turns out it was the butler, in the study, with the candlestick. But enough about your love life.

Pisces | Feb. 19 to March 20

You’ll turn to religion this week, dislocating your neck, both shoulders, and most of your tendons in the process.

Aries | March 21 to April 19

You’ll feast on the flesh of your mortal enemy, which is lucky for you, as your mortal enemy is the orange-braised duck.

Taurus | April 20 to May 20

Friends will soon discover the secret ingredient to your world-famous lemon bars, though they’ll lack the necessary motor functions to tell others.

Gemini | May 21 to June 20

You’re no art expert, but you know what you like, which explains all the meatball sandwiches hanging on your walls.

Cancer | June 21 to July 22

The stars fucking give up—if you want another slice of blueberry pie, just go ahead and have another slice of blueberry pie.

Leo | July 23 to Aug. 22

While it’s true that every man has his price, yours is the only one clearly labeled at the top of a pancake menu.

Virgo | Aug. 23 to Sept. 22

It might not be today, and it might not be tomorrow, but you’ll soon come to regret staging a pie-eating contest to select a new wife.

Libra | Sept. 23 to Oct. 22

You’re about to go through a real messy divorce, thanks in large part to the Philly cheese steak you’ll refuse to put down.

Scorpio | Oct. 23 to Nov. 21

The stars apologize for last week’s prediction of “money problems.” Looks like they forgot the “k” in there.

Why Zoom?

The Prosperos has the best Teaching and the best people.
The only thing lacking is a powerful enabler of communication. That’s Zoom. Zoom is ideally both audio and video.
It can do Open Meetings and Classes with up to 50 people around the world.
And a new potential opens up: The ability for any spontaneous get-together of Prosperos students to create something wonderful. It may be two people, five, or more.  With nothing more planned than just to get together
Let’s say Zoe Robinson and Heather Williams get together on Zoom and have a spontaneous conversation about what The Prosperos offers, on Zoom. It can be recorded.
If that sort of thing happens between various pairs or small gatherings of students, eventually and inevitably one turns out to be really good. The recording can be converted into a YouTube. And right there you have one of the most interesting, engaging and effective pieces of promotion that can be shared worldwide.
Over time this will happen again and again.
Unplanned conversations have the greatest potential of being spontaneous, and spontaneity has the greatest potential of being interesting and engaging.

Hemingway on getting away from yourself

“Listen, Robert, going to another country doesn’t make any difference. I’ve tried all that. You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that.”

-Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises

The Sun Also Rises, a 1926 novel by American Ernest Hemingway, portrays American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received mixed reviews upon publication. Wikipedia

NASA’s InSight successfully lands on Mars

The unmanned lander will help scientists learn more about the interior of Mars and the development of rocky planets.

  • The unmanned spacecraft touched down on Mars without problems shortly before 3 p.m. ET on Monday.
  • It was a precarious landing that NASA engineers had described as “seven minutes of terror.”
  • InSight will study the interior of Mars, and could help scientists discover the presence of liquid water on the red planet.

NASA’s InSight—a robotic lander designed to study the interior of rocky planets—successfully landed on Mars Monday afternoon, marking the agency’s eighth successful deployment of a spacecraft on the red planet.

It was a precarious landing process that NASA engineers predicted would be “seven minutes of terror.”

“This vehicle is very, very complicated,” Rob Grover, InSight’s entry, descent and landing (EDL) lead, during a NASA live stream on Monday. “It uses 12 engines, each of those engines are pulsed 10 times a second, producing these little tiny impulses, almost like little bullets that keep the vehicle going at a constant velocity as it approaches the ground.”

Grover said the agency had to rely on an algorithm to guide the unmanned lander to the surface.

“We can’t joystick the landing, so we have to rely on the commands we pre-program into the spacecraft. We’ve spent years testing our plans, learning from other Mars landings and studying all the conditions Mars can throw at us,” Grover said in a recent statement.

The practice paid off. A few minutes before 3 p.m., the mission control room erupted in cheers as “touchdown confirmed!” played over the speakers.

“This is what we really hoped and imagined in our mind’s eye,” Grover said, adding that engineers still have to check the data to confirm how smoothly the landing really was.

After making the 300-million-mile voyage from Earth, InSight landed at a site called Elysium Planitia, a flat plain on Mars’s equator about 370 miles from where Curiosity touched down in August 2012. The mission, led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, aims is to help scientists learn more about the early development of rocky planets, and possibly discover the presence of liquid water on Mars.

“The lander uses cutting edge instruments, to delve deep beneath the surface and seek the fingerprints of the processes that formed the terrestrial planets,” NASA wrote on its website. “It does so by measuring the planet’s “vital signs”: its “pulse” (seismology), “temperature” (heat flow), and “reflexes” (precision tracking).”

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