Northampton, MA Workshops
Tai Chi as Moving Meditation
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Tai chi was developed within the last few hundred years as a martial art based on qigong movement principles. Today most people don't know of its martial applications. Instead, it is widely practiced as a form of qigong for its health, balance, and relaxation benefits.
It was a natural progression that some practitioners of tai chi would begin to explore their tai chi as a form of moving meditation. For example, Wu Jien Chuan, co-founder of the widely practiced Wu Style of Tai Chi, became more and more interested in health and meditation as he grew older, and in the 1930's adapted his form to facilitate both.
Wu's disciple Liu Hung Chieh took this interest in meditation further when he moved to the mountains of Western China to study with adepts of the Taoist Water Tradition. He adapted his Wu Style tai chi to conform with meditation principles embedded in long moving qigong sets developed and practiced by these Taoists.
The moving meditation tai chi practices we teach come from Liu and this Taoist Water Tradition. We learned these practices from Taoist Lineage Master Bruce Frantzis, who learned them in China from Liu.
If you choose to practice tai chi and 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 most important to you at any time.
The Workshop Series
Our plan is to offer a workshop each month in which we will explore various aspects of tai chi as Taoist moving meditation.
We will schedule more workshops based on the success of the June event.
To participate you will not have to attend each workshop in the series. You may attend when you can.
You must have attended one of our Introduction to Moving Meditation workshops.
You also must know a tai chi form which is performed in a slow, steady, and smooth manner. This includes most Yang style forms and the Wu Style forms we teach, whether the Mini, Short, Medium, or Long form.
What You Will Learn
In each workshop we will explore:
- a particular meditation principle of the Taoist Water Tradition.
The core principle we will explore in all workshops will be to develop your ability to remain continuously present (mindful) while you are doing a tai chi exercise or form. We also will explore how and to what ends you apply that presence as you develop it. Key possibilities in our tradition include: balance; relaxation; opening your mind to be present to many things simultaneously; and aligning yourself with gravity, the energies of the seasons, and other natural flows of energy.
Principles specific to Tai Chi practice include: learning to feel the insides of your body while seeing and being aware of what is around you; establishing steady, rhythmical patterns of movement to smooth your mind, emotions, and nervous system; training your mind to become more nimble and flexible to flow with change; moving your body as a connected whole; developing a strong physical and psychological center within you; sinking your chi to sink your mind; and developing a "long mind" so that you stay present through all the yin and yang changes of a tai chi form.
- a practice in which you foster presence to an aspect of your lower body, such as how you step or turn
- a practice in which you foster presence to an aspect of your upper body, such as how you move your hands or how you breathe
- a practice we do in each workshop to help you assess your progress over time in developing and expanding your presence capacities
- your experiences while practicing - at the physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.
Bill Ryan has been practicing tai chi and qigong since 1980, over 35 years ago. In the late 1980's 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.
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
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.
Please note that enrollment is limited, and we will not save you a space until we receive your payment.
If we have run out of space when you try to register, as soon as you can please email us (email@example.com) to let us know. If there is sufficient interest, we will offer another section of the workshop on the same day.
If you would like to be notified about future workshops, please click here to join our email list.
- 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.