Newsletter #100 - December 2009
--Imagine a World Filled with the Spirit of Tai Chi, Pam Kircher
--Can the Spirit of Christmas Relate to the Spirit of Tai Chi, Bruce Young
--What is the Tai Chi Spirit? Caroline Demoise
--Adult Learners Week Awards, Tamara Bennett
--Never Quitting, No Matter How Old, Debra Leonard
--Humour, Laughter and Radiant Health, Bob McBrien
Click on the title above to read the articles, this link to read all previous newsletters and here to subscribe.
As tai chi becomes more popular, the trend is to help the community by using outcome from the research studies. In order to maximise the benefit from these studies we will continue to apply the effective tai chi components to deliver the most efficient results for specific conditions. This will give a new dimension to the improvement of future tai chi programs.
Dr Kircher shares her theory of “living from tai chi principles” is the Spirit of Tai Chi
For Rev Dr. Bruce Young, the Spirit of Tai Chi is the spirit of health and well being.
Caroline Demoise relates the Spirit of Tai Chi to the international tai chi greeting which signifies “strength, friendship and humility”
Tamara Bennett’s 204 students have won the Adult Learners Award.
- Debra’s inspirational story of her 92 year old student, Paul Randall.
Tai Chi for Arthritis DVD –12 virtual private lessons with Dr Lam, suitable for people with or without arthritis to improve health and wellbeing
Tai Chi for Beginners DVD - introductory tai chi for health for anyone
Tai Chi @ Work DVD - secret to manage stress for busy people
Tai Chi for Osteoporosis DVD - designed for older adults to improve health and wellbeing
Tai Chi Music CD Volume 2 – 8 tracks of specifically composed music for the Tai Chi for Health programs and other styles of tai chi.
Limit to one order per person. Click here for more information or to place your order.
December 14 - December 15, 2009. Seoul, Korea
Tai Chi @ Work Instructor Training
January 4 - January 9, 2010. Sydney, NSW, Australia
One Week Tai Chi Workshop
June 7 - June 12, 2010. Tacoma, WA, United States
One Week Tai Chi Workshop
July 15 - July 16, 2010. Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Tai Chi 4 Kidz Instructor Training
July 17 - July 18, 2010. Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Exploring the Depth of Tai Chi for Arthritis
Yours in Tai Chi,
Pam Kircher, Master Trainer, Durango, CO, USA
The regular practice of tai chi leads to improved physical health which in turn leads to uplifted spirits.
People would come from their centers with full awareness of the environment both inner and outer. Responses would be more thoughtful and heart-centred.
Breathing from the Dan Tien would be the norm. In stressful situations, the slow abdominal breath gives time to think before acting. It slows the heart beat by stimulating a parasympathetic response. The typical stress response of the sympathetic nervous system response resulting in fight or flight would transform into a more productive response. The abdominal breath creates the space for peace.
Confrontation would be seen as an opportunity to listen to the incoming force with the goal of understanding the “opponent’s” needs. From that understanding, a solution would be found that embraces the needs of all involved and creates a more creative outcome than either one alone would have imagined.
More and more people would practice tai chi together. When people practice tai chi together, they naturally begin to move as one and the sense of self expands to include the whole practice space. Individual centres remain quiet and solid as consciousness expands outside the self.
Increasing awareness of sinking into the Dan Tien and transference of weight distribution will take people out of their heads and into their bodies where considerable wisdom resides. The swirling head filled with ideas and schemes begins to quiet into an attention on now, moment by moment. That attention on now leaves no room for meanderings into thoughts about yesterday or tomorrow. Only the moment matters.
How will the world change as the Spirit of Tai Chi increases?
Peace begins one person at a time—breath by breath, thought by thought, and action by action. As individuals experience more personal peace through the Spirit of Tai Chi, they will influence the people around them. As the number of people who practice tai chi regularly increases, peace will increase exponentially because of all of the people influenced by the tai chi players. Without conscious effort, peace will flow over the earth.
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Rev. Dr. Bruce M. Young, Senior Trainer, Lincoln, ME, USA
Both the Spirit of Christmas and the spirit that moves in us as we practice Tai Chi have to do with life and breath. Both in many ways give the gift of life and health to those who allow these spirits to flow in and through them.
For many folks the Spirit of Christmas brings a renewed feeling of peace and joy. Christmas celebrates the coming of God’s gift to all humanity in the form of a child who would heal the sick, make the lame walk, and ultimately fulfil the promise of a more abundant life for all those who believe; a child who would encourage each of us to share God’s Spirit with others. Christmas is more than the gifts given, the parties attended, or the gatherings of friends and family. It is a faith and belief in the movement of God’s Spirit from one person to another; and it is in the sharing of this spirit that the love, joy, and peace which God sent to the earth over 2000 years ago brings an opportunity for renewed life, breath, and health of all people.
For many folks engaging the practice of Tai Chi allows the life force which we call chi to move in and through them. Its practice brings opportunities for renewed life, breath, and health. Many find a sense of peace and joy as they practice, and many know the importance of sharing this knowledge with others.
At Christmas we share the spirit of the season with those we meet that they may feel the love and peace it brings. As we practice Tai Chi we understand how important it is to share with others the spirit of health and wellbeing which this practice provides, that they also may discover a better and healthier life.
My wish for each of you at this Christmas season is peace, joy, good chi, and good health.
Caroline Demoise, Master Trainer, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
When I think of the spirit of tai chi, my mind is drawn to the international tai chi greeting, which has been explained as “strength, friendship and humility”. The greeting is formed by making a loose fist with your right hand, putting the four fingers of your left hand together symbolic of peace, bending your left thumb as an indication of humility and placing your left hand over your right fist to acknowledge and honour a fellow tai chi brother or sister. I have heard the tai chi greeting explained another way. In this version the greeting is described as representing “all the continents” and “all the seas” united together in peace through tai chi.
This is a beautiful vision that represents the integration of mind, body and spirit expressing in the world. Learning tai chi choreography cultivates the tai chi spirit in everyone receptive to the deeper meaning of tai chi. As you practice, your physical body becomes stronger, your mind becomes more aware and you develop softness and inner strength. As you integrate mind and body with spirit, you open to the strength of humility. Practicing the underlying principles that the wise masters have described throughout the ages leads to integration and the ultimate goal of harmonizing with Tao.
It is interesting to reflect on what kind of person you would be if you embodied a spirit that included strength, friendship and humility in balance expressing through your personality and actions. How would you recognize someone with tai chi spirit? When someone has the tai chi spirit they know how to nourish themselves in a healthy way. They live a life in balance between doing and being. The practice of tai chi has taught them how to cultivate a healthy body, develop inner strength and seek a quiet, silent mind. You would see in the eyes of someone with tai chi spirit, a kind, gentle soul looking back at you who naturally includes your best interest along with theirs. Aggression and competition are not as appealing to them as cooperation and reconciliation.
Tai chi spirit flows from the stillness within that resonates with universal consciousness. When you slow down enough to see your actions and underlying thoughts clearly, this perspective informs future behaviour, invites your beliefs and opinions to resonate with mindfulness and allows spirit to work through you in the world. People with tai chi spirit are creative and enthusiastic, seeking solutions to problems and ways to unite people in positive action. They are natural leaders who would never resort to force to accomplish their intention in the world. Instead, they have learned the art of wu wei and flow with the Tao of life. The life of a person with tai chi spirit has integrity. Their actions reflect a thoughtful awareness and wisdom that comes from placing their egos in service of spirit in the world.
"He Tangata Matauranga - Adult Learners Week Awards" Counties-Manuaku Celebration Awards
Tamara Bennett, Auckland, New Zealand
In July of this year, I was asked by the local college coordinators to nominate one of my students, for an “Outstanding Learner Award”. I decided to nominate all 204 Smiling Dragon Tai Chi Students!
The award criteria included the following parameters: that the student learns with enthusiasm, has an infectious determination to learn, supports and encourages others to engage in adult learning, willingly shares new skills, knowledge and abilities with others and uses learning as a basis for improving his/her personal or professional life and/or the lives of others.
This diverse group is aged from 30-90 years, attends classes in Waiuku, Pukekohe and Tuakau and has an average age of 70 years!
The reasons they participate may vary, whether they joined for health reasons, to gain knowledge, or to simply have fun …they have a perseverance and commitment to indeed be lifelong learners and improve the quality of their lives. They have demonstrated an infectious determination to learn.
I wanted Franklin District and NZ to know all about these amazing 204 students in our community ...they are humble, caring, motivated, sharing, supportive and a lot of FUN!
On the 10th September, eight Smiling Dragon Tai Chi students representing all 204, accepted an "Outstanding Adult Learner Award" at Aorere College in Auckland.
Debra Leonard, Osceola, IN, USA
I’d like to introduce a new friend of mine. He is Paul Randall and Paul is in my Tai Chi for Arthritis class.
One of the great perks of teaching Tai Chi is the people I’ve met. Paul is 92 years young, and what a history he has had (thus far!). A WWII pilot who survived 65 missions over Germany, married for 63 years to Dorothy, sold insurance for 41 years and helped raise six kids. Active in various community organizations, giving his time and talents, .all the while, Paul made sure he was physically active.
For ten years Paul ran marathons and 10Ks until a different competition called. In 1988 he took part in a stationary rowing competition. He was hooked, even winning his own rowing machine in the bargain. Paul has competed nationally, winning many times over. He has even competed internationally, attending trials in Germany. Paul still fills out a daily journal of his practice and times, breaking his own records over and over, he has six journals full!
After all Paul has accomplished, he felt the need to try Tai Chi, something completely different to anything he had done before for physical fitness. As hard as he pushes himself (Paul rows a few hours each day), Paul said he felt his balance going and that he’d had some falls. Evidence that he pointed out when I asked him what made him want to take Tai Chi, evidence that still showed on his knees and shins the day we met for our talk. On the rower he moves and flows with ease, but walking now is a little stilted. In time with Tai Chi practice, Paul hopes to regain that flow again in walking, reducing his falls and regaining his balance. The Tai Chi for Arthritis class is a perfect compliment to his aggressive daily workout on the rowing machine and I’ve no doubt he will fulfil his goal with the incredible dedication he gives, body, mind and soul. May we all be as motivated at 92! He has no doubts about anything. Paul knows this can take time, and he tells me: “You can’t ever quit! You must keep moving or you’re done.” His terrific attitude and good humour inspires, I find myself looking forward to my own future and what I can do, what I’ll be able to do.
Dr Bob McBrien, Salisbury, MD, USA
Recently I read an article focusing on positive psychology, the benefits of positive emotions and the power of healthy humor and joyful laughter. The author described the creation of a personal, or family, humour library. What a good idea!
It involves collecting various media containing uplifting humor. Sources include humorous fiction, joke books and books that are collections of comics. An example: A library of Peanuts books. Collect DVDs of humorous films or performances by comedians and humorists. My DVD library includes Bill Cosby and Benny Hill. I also have audio library so I can have some laughs driving. Start building your library today. If you find a resource you would recommend to others send to me at: [email protected]
Actual Questions Asked of Librarians:
Do you have books here?
Do you have any books with photographs of dinosaurs?
Can you tell me why so many famous Civil War battles were fought on National Park sites?
Do you have a list of all the books I've ever read?
Librarians’ bumper stickers
Librarians know where it's at!
Back off! Or I'll cross-reference you!
Librarians Know the Answers... Do you know the Questions?
Middle Graders answers to library quizzes,
Information on dragons can be found by asking one of them in the office. Reference books cannot be checked out because they are too big and heavy. You can find words with similar meanings in Rogers Brontosaurus
A bibliography is the cast of characters in the Bible.
Use “author search” if you don’t know who wrote the book you’re looking for.
Copyright is using the photocopier the right way.
Plagiarism is when you copy someone else without them finding out.
The New York Library has lions at the door to stop folks from stealing books.
Literature is long stories in tiny letters with no fun happening.
Warning: Dr. Lam does not necessarily endorse the opinion of other authors. Before practicing any program featured in this newsletter, please check with your physician or therapist. The authors and anyone involved in the production of this newsletter will not be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any injury which may arise as a result of following the instructions given in this newsletter.