Dragon & Tiger Qigong as
Saturday, November 9, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
(Optional Taoist Philosophy Discussion from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.)
Special Topic - Physical Body Presence:
The Tops of Your Feet and Your Ankles
If you choose to practice Dragon & Tiger qigong as meditation with us, we will teach you three aspects of doing so - mental focus, relaxation, and spiritual exploration.
You can choose which of these aspects are more important to you at any time.
(For background on Dragon & Tiger qigong as a part of the Taoist Water Tradition of meditation, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.)
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
This workshop is part of a monthly series. In each monthly workshop in addition to addressing a special topic, we also explore and deepen:
our foundation practice of becoming more and more present to our feet when we stand and move, as taught in our Introductory workshops; and
how to develop better presence when doing the entire set.
In this workshop, our special topic of focus will be Physical Body Presence: The Tops of Your Feet and Your Ankles.
In our Taoist Water tradition of meditation and qigong, there is a concept related to relaxation of your body that you could call “the yin before the yang”.
This refers to the general principle that it is easier to learn to relax any part of the body if you start with relaxing its yin side and then learn to relax its yang side.
One way to get a general sense of the yin and yang sides, areas, or surfaces of the human body is to picture a person squatting on their feet with their hands supporting their upper torso, like an animal such as a dog or cat.
If the sun was shining brightly directly above them, then all surfaces of their body in the light would be considered to be yang surfaces. All surfaces in shadow would be yin surfaces. Light = yang. Shadow/dark = yin.
For most people yin surfaces are generally naturally more soft than yang. For example, one’s belly is generally softer than one’s back (unless of course you harden the belly by developing “six-pack abs”). Hard = yang. Soft = yin.
What Taoists have observed over time is that in general it is easier for people to learn to relax the yin sides of areas of their bodies than their yang sides. For example, we encourage people to relax the fronts of their shoulders or the palms of their hands, before trying to relax the backs of their shoulders or hands.
Taoists additionally observed that if you learn to relax the yin side of an area of your body, that relaxation will naturally lead to greater relaxation of the yang side.
One reason our foundation practice focuses on feeling - and relaxing - the bottom of your feet is that the bottoms are the yin side of your feet.
In this workshop we will turn our attention to developing better presence to - and thereby relaxing - the tops of your feet, i.e. their yang side, and extend that presence to your ankles.
We'll also spend some time on how your presence to the tops of your feet can naturally extend from and combine with your presence to their bottoms - with time and practice and as you "sung" (relax, open, and enliven) your body and mind.
This will be another way to help you learn to “open” your mind to feel multiple things at once.
In general, we offer a workshop every month in which we explore various aspects of Dragon & Tiger qigong as Taoist moving meditation.
To participate you do not have to attend each workshop in the series. You may attend when you can.
Each workshop builds on the information and practices presented in our Introduction to Moving Meditation workshop, which you must take first in order to participate.
Bill Ryan has been practicing tai chi and qigong since 1980. In the late 1980's - over 30 years ago - he began learning Taoist Water Tradition meditation, including tai chi and qigong as moving meditation practices. Moving meditation has been a primary focus of his study and practice ever since.
You must have attended one of our Introduction to Moving Meditation workshops.
Ideally, to participate you would know all seven movements of the Dragon & Tiger qigong set well enough to do them without thinking about how to do them. Please click here for how you can learn them with us, in person or online.
But if you wish to come and don't know the movements yet, you may join us. Bill will teach you a few simple moves from Dragon & Tiger qigong with which you can explore the meditation principles and practices that he'll teach.
Saturday, November 9
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with optional discussion of Taoist philosophy led by Bill from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
The focus of the optional discussion will be Chapter 7 of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laotse). We will read Chapter 7, listen to audio commentary by Bruce Frantzis (the teacher of the teachers of our school - see the Background section below), and discuss among ourselves what we read and hear.
REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT
Please click here to register online and pay by credit card through our website.
Or you may pay in person at our studio by check, cash, or credit card.
Or you may mail us a check with a registration form. Please click here for instructions and to download a registration form. If there is sufficient interest, we will offer another section of the workshop on the following day, Sunday, November 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (with optional Tao Te Ching discussion from 1 to 2 p.m.). Please indicate on your registration form if you would switch to the Sunday workshop if it is offered.
Please note that enrollment is limited, and we will not save you a space until we receive your payment.
If you pay for the workshop and are not able to attend due to an illness, emergency, or other circumstances beyond your control, then we will refund the fee you paid, minus a $10 administrative fee.
If you pay for the workshop and decide not to attend for any other reason, if we are able to fill your space with another student, then we will refund the fee you paid, minus a $10 administrative fee. Otherwise, we will not refund any of your fee.
In any of the above circumstances, instead of issuing of refund, we will be happy to hold your full fee as a credit to be used for classes or workshops with us in the future.
Possible Future Workshop Subjects include (in no particular order):
Continuous Presence: Physical Balance
Physical Body Presence: The 5 Phases of Your Breath
Physical Body Presence: Your Hips and Tailbone
Physical Body Presence: The Tops of Your Feet
Chi (Etheric) Body Presence: Feeling the Pathways
Emotional Distractions: Wu So Wei and You Suo Wei
Open-Minded Presence: Simultaneous Awareness of Many Phenomena
Continuous Presence: Strategies for Reducing Your Gaps in Presence
Physical Body Presence: Your Head and Face
Chi (Etheric) Body Presence: Feeling Below Your Feet
Chi (Etheric) Body Presence: Feeling Past Your Hands
Chi (Etheric) Body Presence: Feeling Your Lower Dantian
Continuous Presence: The Importance of Rhythm
Continuous Presence in the Set: How to Use the Transition Movements
If you would like to be notified about future workshops, please click here to join our email list.
She learned Dragon & Tiger from her uncle, who was a high-ranking monk in the Shaolin Temple. He told her that the set had been practiced there since not long after the Temple's founding around 500 AD. Dragon & Tiger was used at the Shaolin Temple as a complement to the Chan (Zen) Buddhist meditation practices and the Shaolin kung fu martial arts that originated there.
Bruce shared the set with his Taoist Water Tradition teacher in Beijing, the Taoist Sage Liu Hung Chieh. Together they explored the set and ascertained that its design was of Taoist origins, given its emphasis on softness, relaxation, and directly feeling qi. They were not surprised that a Taoist set had found its way into the Shaolin Temple because the Temple historically was known to be a place where many people shared and exchanged practices with each other.
Liu and Bruce adapted the set to be fully consistent with Taoist Water tradition qigong and meditation practices.