Learning Levels Overview

Introduction to Dragon & Tiger

To learn Dragon & Tiger qigong at Brookline Tai Chi or at Toward Harmony, you may first take a weekly class Introduction course. You learn the basic way to do each of the seven movements of the set, along with foundational alignment and movement principles. You also are introduced to key practices for developing your chi, i.e. your life energy.

You can also learn the basic movements through a weekend workshop at Toward Harmony, our 10-week online course, our teacher Bruce Frantzis' book and DVD's, or another instructor near you.

Upon learning the movements you can then begin to take refinements courses or workshops, such as the ones we are offering in this Sunday series.

Sunday Series Workshops: Two Levels of Refinements

The workshops we are offering are organized within two levels of learning and practice of Dragon & Tiger qigong. Each level of study involves learning more subtle and powerful refinements - both physical and energetic - for how to do the seven exercises.

These levels of learning are designed to allow you to learn and train Dragon & Tiger qigong in a systematic and progressive manner.

One of the beauties of Dragon & Tiger qigong is that you can study and practice at any level and gain benefits. And the more you advance, the more benefits you gain. But there's no hurry to get anywhere; every little bit that you deepen your practice gives you a richer experience.

You can read about our levels of instruction in order below or click on any level of particular interest to you.

Level 1a Refinements

We are not currently offering Level 1a Refinements workshops. Brookline Tai Chi offers courses at this level, and at Toward Harmony we do as well, which we call Refinements Series 1 courses.

We encourage you to take these courses if you have not learned the Level 1a material. But if you are not able to take these courses or if you otherwise wish to participate in our Level 1b workshops, you may, as long as you know the basic movements.

In Level 1a you learn refinements of both the physical and energetic aspects of the exercises.

The physical refinements you learn primarily focus on relaxing, opening, and balancing your physical body. By doing so, you naturally gain more chi. You also become ready to learn the more advanced chi development practices that we'll teach you in later levels of learning.

Physical development is very important because your life energy flows through your physical body like a river flows in its channel. If the river's channel is deep, wide, and stable, then the river can swell enormously and still follow its proper course. If not, if the river rises, then it quickly overruns its banks and is lost.

Similarly, if your physical body is relaxed, open, and balanced, you can increase your life energy greatly with positive results. If not, your efforts to increase your chi will result in chi leaking out of and jumping between channels. Your efforts will be wasted and may even be counter-productive.

In Level 1a Refinements, we teach specific methods for helping you learn to feel your chi as it flows in your hands, along your body, and in the field that surrounds your body. The better that you can feel your life energy, the easier it is to develop it more fully.

Your energy development goal at this level is to acquire the ability to feel chi in and between your hands, and between your hands and as many of the various parts of your body as you can.

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Level 1b Refinements

Our Level 1b workshops are organized with multiple workshops that you can take in any order that you like.

The major 1b themes are to learn how to use the exercises to:

• greatly improve your physical balance

• balance your chi

• gain greater continuity and flow, both physically and energetically

• develop deeper, longer, more relaxed, and continuous breaths

• circle every joint of your upper body continuously

• consciously turn and connect all of the muscles of your arms and upper back and chest

• explore the "gears" of your upper body and how they all work together

• deeply relax and release all the muscles of your legs, feet, and lower back

Your energy development goal at this level is to acquire the ability to maintain continuous awareness of energy on the surface of your skin as you trace the energy pathways in each exercise.

Through supplemental exercises we also will teach you how to push and pull chi with your hands along the energy pathways of key sections of your body.

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Level 2 Refinements

Our Level 2 workshops also are organized with multiple workshops that you can take in any order that you like.

We teach you how you can:

• consciously turn the muscles of your arms and legs to move all parts of your body as one

• explore the "body gears" of your lower body and how they affect your upper body gears

• extend and elongate your breathing and chi flows, and let your breath become softer, more quiet, stable, and circular

• better and more clearly connect to the energies of earth below you and heaven above you

• draw in energy from and release energy to the earth below, heavens above, and environment around you

• use the seven movements to more strongly and fully circulate blood throughout your body

• bring energy into and release energy from your eyes

• pull and push energy with your feet to bring them fully alive

• use your chi to move your physical body

Your energy development goals are to learn to:

  1. "push" and "pull" energy with your hands in an unbroken fashion along the skin of - and eventually the wei chi within - your physical body. This should be done so that your energy flows continuously in every movement to and from the top, bottom, and sides of your chi (or etheric) body.
  2. "push" and "pull" energy in and out of your feet continuously in every movement to and from the bottom of your chi body.

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