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Technique is not the Art

The idea that the technique is not the art might sound odd. Of course the technique is the art. There are certain techniques we use in taiji. There are other techniques we use in bagua.…

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Five Birds Over The Ocean

Classes, Cameras, and Math

I've been talking about some changes that are coming up in January 2022 during my morning classes. Back in May, I'd made a plan for what I was going to do. It was very ambitious.…

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Mirror And Reflection

Becoming Ourselves

Who we are is a process of becoming ourselves, of making choices that determine who we are. We each have a background, a history, a culture, and sub-culture that has shaped us. The trips to…

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Staying Home

Staying Home

Today, so many of us are staying home and keeping away from others. Most of us aren't used to that. We're used to being out, meeting friends, sitting with family for Sunday dinners. Staying home,…

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Two Wolves

Don’t Fight Yourself

Being mindful is about being present, now. here. In this second. It’s also about turning down the noise. If you engage in “battle” to do this, you cannot succeed. Why not? Because you are fighting…

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What We Give Away

What we give away

What we give away merges into who we are. I just sent away some comic books from the 1960's. DC Comics. Superman. Batman. Legion of Super Heroes. Wonder Woman. Detective. And more.... They were mine.…

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Calm Waters In The Morning

What is Qi (气)?

What is qi (气)? Literally, it means air. It also means breath, not the act of breathing (呼吸), the breath itself. But that's not quite accurate either. Qi is pervasive. Every living thing and some…

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Suzhou Gardens

Trust Your Intuition

In practice and in basic self-defense, it's important to trust your intuition - about your surroundings, about your circumstances, about those you meet. When we are in a familiar place, we tend to not be…

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Currents Like Taiji

Being fully present

We don't often think about being present, being fully present in this place at this time, now. Most of us are busy thinking about how to solve this or that problem at work, picking the…

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Gemini Springs Park 11/2/2019

Remaining calm

Remaining calm is a central tenant of taiji practice. The effort is within. The outward appearance should always be relaxed and flowing. The inner work requires strength and concentration. 内固精神,外是安逸 Nei gu jing shen, wai…

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To Do Nothing

To do nothing is far more difficult than to do something. Doing nothing requires the ability to embrace stillness, to be able to quiet the mind and calm the body -- even when there is…

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Calm Waters

What is Xin (心)?

What is xin (心)? Literally, it means heart. It can refer to the physical organ (心脏) or to the center of being that is most attuned to feelings and emotions. I'm not referring to sentimentality,…

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Being here now

Most anyone who has studied any art that requires focus, be it rock climbing or theatre or martial arts, has heard some version of the phrase "being here now." It may have been in the…

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Terra Cotta Warrior

Nothing will happen today

Deciding that nothing will happen today seems counter to what most of us want. We like new things to come into our lives. But what about when you don't want something? There's a connection to…

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Spring Iris In Bloom

Not being angry

There are good kinds of anger that can spur us to act, as when we become angry if we see something wrong. We may feel angry that whatever it is has happened and try to…

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Old Ghosts

Taiji and forms solo practice is sometimes called shadowboxing - fighting an imaginary opponent or your own shadow. It's how we develop ourselves, learn how to move, and engage qi through the movements. But the…

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