What's in the Winter 2020-2021 Issue?

Understanding the Hips and the Waist (final parts)

Sam Masich

Continued from part 1 in our Summer 2020 issue and parts 2 & 3 in our Autumn issue: Thoughtful investigation of the practices and writings of the past masters of tàijíquán (太極拳) reveals that success in the art is contingent on correct understanding and employment of the hips and the waist by the taijiquan practitioner. Understanding the hips and the waist is one of most difficult yet most rewarding challenges encountered within taijiquan training.
By Sam Masich


Winter and the Water Element

Winter is a time of year that, after letting go in autumn, we have shed all that is no longer serving us and have gotten back down to our essence. We can look around and see the people and practices we know and love. It is a time of year for reflecting on what is most important to us, a time for slowing down and spending quiet, intentional time with ourselves. By Mindi K. Counts


The Quest for Internal Energy

A detective story about our search for "internal energy." In our search, we will ask questions that pertain to the mind-body energetic force known to the Chinese as qi, to Koreans as gi, and to the Japanese as ki. We will consider scientific research that investigates this phenomenon, and, as good analytical sleuths, we will compare and contrast various methods by which many believe this power—this "life force"—can be accessed. By John Bracy

 


Qigong is Much More than Life Energy
or Universal Energy

When I was studying Chinese history 40 years ago, I came upon one of the few books on the Oracle Bones in the USA at that time. It was so rare, I had to return to the library daily because they would not lend out the book. But it was worth the effort because not only was it a rare glimpse of the earliest writing of the Chinese. It was the only time I saw an original sketch of the word Qi. By Mark Johnson


Departments:

For departments, "Meditation Basics" by Corinne Chaves gives us a roadmap of how to begin meditating and what to expect. Melinda Kashuba shares "Building a Taijiquan Community in Challenging Times" which describes how to not only maintain, but to grow a community in even the most difficult times when most teachers and schools are struggling. "Much Ado About Chi" by Terry Dunn looks at the growing fascination with qi (ch'i) in the West and describes some basic concepts to help us understand such an esoteric concept. While everyone is concentrating on the Chinese Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), Steven Luo describes a lesser-known ancient celebration called the "Laba" or "Rice Porridge" festival.

I hope you enjoy this, our 120th issue.

 

What's in the Spring 2021 Issue?

The Quest for Internal Energy (part 2)

The Quest for Internal Energy

 

A detective story about our search for "internal energy." In our search, we will ask questions that pertain to the mind-body energetic force known to the Chinese as qi, to Koreans as gi, and to the Japanese as ki. We will consider scientific research that investigates this phenomenon, and, as good analytical sleuths, we will compare and contrast various methods by which many believe this power—this "life force"—can be accessed. This is part 2 of a 2-part article starting in our Winter 2020-21 issue. By John Bracy


Using Medical Qigong Therapy and the Qi of Healing Herbs

Herbal medicine is the historical precursor to modern pharmaceutical medicines. And even today, herbs still provide the source and inspiration for the majority of the pharmaceutical products used in modern Western Medicine. This includes those specific herbs still utilized for the treatment of viral and bacterial diseases, pain, tumor formations, chronic diseases, internal and external tissue regeneration, and many other infirmities. By Professor Jerry Alan Johnson


Living T'ai Chi

 

The physical health benefits of T'ai Chi (Taiji) are well documented. What is often overlooked, though, is how it creates a healthier, more balanced relationship with the ebb and flow of everyday life, and this focus upon the dynamic aspect of life is absolutely vital to the heart of T'ai Chi Chuan. Or to state it more boldly, it has the potential to illuminate the deeper textures of life, generate best practices for addressing the processes of living, and solidify a richer sense of purpose. By Dr. David Clippinger


Aung Medical Qi Gong: Healing from a Micro-cellular Perspective

Life starts with a single cell and then multiplies into many, creating a larger more complex organism. This more complex organism's cells then work together harmoniously to ensure the survival of the whole. Each cell has its own role; some cells help regenerate and heal, others act as communicators between each cell, and some keep the body, mind, and spirit balanced. To understand how the body controls Qi, one must first understand the basic concepts of the heart, kidneys, chakras, zang-fu organ systems, meridians, and acupoints. By Steven KH Aung, MD, OMD, PhD, FAAFP and Francis HY Green, MBChB, MD


Departments:

Departments include: "Healthy Eating—A Chinese Medicine Perspective" by Daverick Leggett which lays out some easy dietary recommendations that anyone can follow; "Qingming Festival" by Steven Luo gives us a little more details on the famous festival; "Becoming the Cause of Healing" by Susan Drouilhet with Master Mingtong Gu helps us empower ourselves to become masters of our health and lives; and "Memories of Yang Zhenduo" by Jan Gyomber Ph.D. as he remembers his interactions with the late Grandmaster Yang.

I hope you enjoy this, our 121st issue.

 

What's in the Summer 2021 Issue?

Integrating Qigong into Healthcare

The Quest for Internal Energy

The American healthcare industry is in a challenged state because it is an expensive system focused on financing medical intervention for treating disease after people are sick and not on safety, cost effectiveness, prevention, and actual health care before people get sick. The pandemic crisis with COVID-19 has exposed the need for personal and public health-care practices to enhance immunity and resilience. The nation has an opportunity to reimagine health care. By Tom Rogers and Josie Weaver


The Theory of Taiji Pushing Hands

2

Taijiquan pushing hands theory is deep and wide and covers many related subjects. The basic concept of taiji pushing hands is to master the skills of eight basic jing patterns and the Five Steppings (ba men wu bu, 八門五步). Once you have learned and mastered these skills, you will be able to perform pushing hands actions effectively and eventually you will be able to develop your skills of freestyle sparring.
By David Grantham & Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming


Sorting Out Taiji, Bagua and Xingyi

3

Generally, people think traditional Chinese martial arts can be separated to two big groups: Waijiaquan (i.e., external martial arts) and Neijiaquan (i.e., internal martial arts). Usually Taijiquan, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan are considered the traditional internal martial arts. Even though these arts were generated from different places at different times, each had its own principles and ways of training and all won great reputations. In the late nineteenth century, senior practitioners of these arts met together and influenced each other. This article attempts to scratch the surface of some of the similarities and differences between Taiji, Xingyi and Bagua. By Zhang Yun


The Five Taxations

4

The word taxation (勞) is a medical term that refers to some sort of physical exertion, or fatigue resulting therefrom. It also can describe some sort of significant wear and tear on the body. Thus, the Five Taxations describe five different overuse or overexertion injuries and how they affect the organs of the body. They track closely along Five Phase theory and also allow the reader a deep look into the various interrelationships that Chinese medicine sees in the body. Let’s explore these Five Taxations, looking at the various levels of meaning and how they can deeply illustrate Chinese medical concepts. By Dr. Henry McCann


Departments:

5

Our departments contain “Mr. He’s Black Hair” by Luo Shi-Wen who explains how one of TCM’s most popular and powerful herbs, HeShouWu, got its name. “7 Tips to make Qigong Practice a Habit!” by John Munro is a great article for anyone having trouble sticking to a practice schedule or for those who want to incorporate qigong in a daily routine despite having an already tight schedule. “5 Quick Tips for a Beginning Tai Chi Teacher” by Williams Phillips is a guide for anyone starting to teach others. It is often difficult to remember what it was like when we first starting learning, so these tips can help you communicate with students of various learning styles. And of course we have our usual news from around the globe and other tidbits of interest.

I hope you enjoy this, our 122nd issue.

What's in the Autumn 2021 Issue?

Wuji-The Fist; Wuji-The Dao

Wuji-The Fist; Wuji-The Dao

This past year of 2020 was marked by chaos and restrictions. In the deep meditative practice of Wuji Quan, when I embraced each moment that the Dao intends for us, my heart went to the millions of people who got swept up in the emotions of fear, panic, anger, and anxiety, and as a result were left feeling heartbroken, helpless and powerless. I wished they could have the tools and practices that would support them to bring their troubled hearts back into the flow of life. Practicing Wuji Quan and cultivating the inner state of abiding in Wuji, we gain deep trust in the universe, knowing that it will always have our back and is forever on our side. By Helen Liang


What is Qi?

What is Qi?

Qi is an energy concept born of an age-old non-science era, under the auspices of the Taiji Theory of Yin-Yang, but not of an alternate universe. The challenge has been to explicate Qi without being entangled in the esoterica of its ancient wrappings. Qi is pervasive in the Chinese culture, from fengshui, geomancy, and cosmogony to food, health, and medicine. Colloquially, Qi means “air, breath, or vapor,” but in technical use, it takes on the meaning of a “refined substance” or energy, distilled in the essence of a life-force or vital energy that animates all things. By C.P. ONG. Ph.D.


Yangsheng and the Way We Live Now

Yangsheng and the Way We Live Now

Taking care of yourself and knowing how to do it has been a part of Chinese culture for thousands of years. As a way of life, Yangsheng is something broader than Chinese Medicine, although Chinese Medicine contributes to it, as do Buddhism, Taoism (Daoism), Confucianism and the traditional ways and rhythms of an ancient people(s) who studied nature in its seasonal transformations and drew lessons for themselves. Practiced by all ages for many ages, Yangsheng is both a set of principles for healthy living and a guide to the good life. It's a set of practices and a world view—a world view more holistic than ours and one that hasn’t been shaped by nor is dependent on consumer culture. For centuries, it was just how one lived. By Rebecca Pope

 


The Body is the Temple for the Spirit

The body is the temple for the spirit

The quality and condition of our life is heavily affected by the quality and condition of our body and vice versa: the condition of our body is heavily affected by our experience of life. Both hereditary and environmental factors affect us: our genetic structure, and where and how we live, can activate the pre-dispositions of the body. Daoist tradition has held that through the practice of Qigong and Tai Chi we can alter both the post-heaven and the pre-heaven conditions of our body. By Corinne Chaves


Departments:

Departments

Departments include “Tai Chi and Sensitivity” by John Murney. It is said that a taiji master can read and interpret an approaching force with a mere touch, but how do we attain such an awareness? Bernard Seif shares “Frankl’s Logotherapy, Zen, and the Quest for Human Identity” where he compares a Holocaust survivor’s story with Zen traditions and how both are paths to the same goal of relief from suffering. And finally Steven Luo shares “I’d Rather Be a Happy Turtle”, a famous Chinese parable about an encounter with the Daoist Zhuang Zi.

I hope you enjoy this, our 123rd issue.