World Tai Chi Day.org: News for People Changing Their Lives and Their World w/ Tai Chi & Qigong ...
TOP STORY: The American Academy of Neurology Praises Meditation's PROVEN Benefits
This Week's Featured Articles:
Why is Meditation so Difficult? The Physics of YOU
Angela Wong's "Healthy Recipe"
Get Involved in the Tai Chi & Qigong Online Community Discussions:
* Getting the Most Out of T'ai Chi and Qigong Classes
How to Utilize Our Medical Research Library
Your WTCQD Moment of Zen: The Tao of Pooh
Utilizing the World Tai Chi & Qigong Day / World Healing Day Online Social Community
MORE WTCQD 2012 photos & videos!
Dear World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day Supporters,
Below is an article in which you'll find a link to an amazing article from the American Academy of Neurologists extolling meditation as a powerful life habit.
It segues perfectly with an article Bill (WTCQD founder) just released, entitled: "Why is Meditation so Difficult? The Physics of You." It explores what the source of the angst meditation can produce is, and suggests that by becoming aware of that we may find it easier to meditate, and to release the tangles from the energy field we are.
Bill and I are releasing a 4th edition of our globallly published T'ai Chi & Qigong book. See the below article on how this book will help readers find local classes and local teachers in their area. As we have for 15 years through our work organizing WTCQD, our goal with the book is to educate the public about the myriad benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong, and to connect our readers with local teachers.
BECOME PART OF THE TAI CHI-QIGONG MIND-BODY "ONLINE COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS" ON THESE AND OTHER TOPICS:
I heard a great joke at an NQA conference years ago, from a fellow Tai Chi teacher. It went like this:
"How many Tai Chi teachers does it take to screw in a light bulb?"
"Just one, but it takes 99 others to stand around and slowly shake their heads while saying, "That's not the way we do it."
I thought it was a pretty funny joke, but its more than that. It gives voice to the reality that Tai Chi and Qigong are too huge for any one teacher or style to completely understand. Therefore, you may have much to add to these online discussions, as well as seeing things from angles you may not have thought of.
We are all constantly learning from each other. World Tai Chi & Qigong Day can provide a global consideration of tai chi and qigong issues and concepts. We can be a transformative part of the multi-thousand year evolution of these profound mind-body arts.
Even as we continue to massively expand global awareness of these arts through our annual global organizing efforts and media work. Tai Chi and Qigong are at the heart of a global health evolution that can save the globe trillions of dollars in future health costs.
Would you like to weigh in on one of these Tai Chi discussions?
Or create your own? When you get our newsletters check each article for a link to a discussion in the WorldHealingDay Online Community, or create one of your own there on any topic we cover or ones you create.
JOIN OUR WORLD HEALING DAY ONLINE COMMUNITY, and then pitch in on coming discussions (see below articles or go directly). http://community.worldhealingday.org/
Angela Wong-Douglas and Bill Douglas
Founders of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
BREAKING NEWS! The American Academy of Neurology EXTOLLS Meditation as a PROFOUNDLY VALUABLE LIFE HABIT.
WTCQD event in Hawaii
Tai Chi is often called "Moving Meditation," but may more aptly be called "Moving MEDICATION" for all the myriad health issues it is proven to prevent or even treat.
-- Harvard Health Publication
In the spring of 2000, Cassandra Metzger was working as an attorney at the PBS headquarters in Washington, D.C., attending night classes for a master's degree at Johns Hopkins University, and training for her first 10K race. At 34 years of age, her life was full and fast. But during that spring and into the summer, she became unable to get out of bed because of unexplained pain and fatigue. By the fall, she had to stop working.
A year later, Metzger was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder of the central nervous system that seems to distort the body's normal response to pain. Some researchers believe fibromyalgia causes pain signals to misfire.
Metzger was prescribed painkillers, muscle relaxers, sleep drugs, mood stabilizers, and other medications to manage her pain, insomnia, fatigue, and resulting depression. None of these worked very well. Then she discovered meditation, an ancient practice of focused attention designed to silence the brain's default thought patterns and increase awareness of the present moment.
"Meditation saved me from despair more than once," Metzger says. "During episodes of acute illness, I was saved by knowing that the experience of pain was just one moment in time-maybe an excruciating moment, maybe a long moment, but still a moment. I learned this by meditating. The concept of impermanence-that everything passes away-may seem scary, but for someone who is vomiting from a pain medication on which she pinned every last hope, impermanence is a beacon."
Meditation: The Basics
Meditation has aptly been described as "thinking about not thinking," ideally for 20 minutes or more every day. During this uninterrupted time, you calmly become aware of your thoughts and distance yourself from those thoughts. It's normal for your mind to wander. When that happens, as it inevitably will, gently detach from the distracting thoughts and bring your attention back to your breathing, a word, prayer, or an object.
Read entire article at
Neurology Now, Healthy Living for Patients and Their Families
Why is Meditation so Difficult? The Physics of You
Meditation is not the problem ... the only problem is thinking there's a problem ...
Quantum Foam: The field from which all matter comes, the foundation of the universe.
One of the common problems people have with meditation is that when they close their eyes and let go of the distractions of the world, their mind is flooded with thoughts, and their emotions roar with feelings, and these cause physical tension and angst that makes it difficult to sit still and continue.
This is not a problem. It is often a natural aspect of meditation. It is turmoil and tangles we've collected in the fabric of the energy field that we are. When you get down to the small bits of what we are made of, it is energy taking the form of tiny particles, but mostly empty space.
When meditating and feeling that urgent desire to do anything in the world ... except be right where we are right now, doing what we are doing right now, arises, it is showing us tangles, memories, static tension that we've held in the field of energy we are. These feelings don't come out of nowhere, they were in us all along.
A great zen line is: "No matter where you go ... there you are." It describes the reality that the turmoil we feel inside cannot be escaped from. It is in there, inside you, affecting every action you take in life. Your words are sharper, your vision is narrower, your reactions have an edge when unaddressed turmoil or stress is bubbling beneath your surface.
If you tell yourself "I'm not stressed," you are in denial. Our planet is going through change faster than any time in human history. Change is stressful, even good change. If you feel turmoil when you meditate, it does not mean that meditation doesn't work, it means that your stresses are being revealed. Its the first step to learning to unload some of them.
The myth is that these feelings of urgency come out of the ether, and if we'd just open our eyes, get up, turn on the tv, or get busy with something ... this turmoil would just go away. It doesn't. Thinking it does is analogous to a child thinking that if they cover their eyes, then something they don't want to see ... will just go away.
This turmoil has collected in the energetic fabric of our field energy, or cells and particles if you prefer. Cellular biologists have found that trauma and stress is communicated chemically to every cell of our body through enzymes, neuropeptides, etc. We hold old scars and agitation in the cells of our body. It is like static that impedes our body's natural healing functions, like static in a tv signal reduces the quality of the image and sound.
Meditation very effectively creates space where it can begin to discharge or evaporate these collected tangles and knots from this field of energy that we are. Much of it evaporates during meditation without our conscious awareness of it, but some of it comes through our conscious awareness, and that part can feel disturbing.
The key is to tell yourself, "yes, I'm having all these feelings, and they are making me feel urgent, and that's okay. I can sit here and breathe and observe these feelings welling up in me, and on each exhale I can let go of my grip around these feelings. You may think the word "peace" or "release" or "lightness" when you exhale and practice letting go again and again.
It may more may not cause some of those feelings to subside. If it doesn't and they remain, that's okay. There is not judgment or expectation. When feelings seem intense ask yourself "What is the worst thing that can happen if I feel this?" And your answer will be "nothing." Nothing will happen if you feel it.
Then, as you exhale and let your shoulders relax again and again, remember the proverbial truth, "And this too shall pass."
This will, over time, create a "relaxation response" that will enable feelings and thoughts to come through you when meditating, without the accompanying panic, the gripping, and the holding of breath that often accompanies such experiences.
Also, over time, the roar of turmoil within will begin to dissipate, especially if you dedicate yourself to meditating 20 minutes morning and evening each day for several weeks. Its good to do all your life, but you'll notice a significant smoothing of your consciousness in a few days or weeks. Turmoil will still arise, but less, and it will be feared less, resisted less, and its power will subside over time.
The medical research on Qigong, Tai Chi, and other mind body meditations prove they are powerful life tools.
However, when we have problems meditating, we can often think that by simply avoiding the slow mindful internal awareness, we can run away from what we hold inside.
This is akin to a youngster who gets a splinter stuck in his skin, but after running home to tell Mom and she gets out the Zippo lighter and needle she'll use to dig it out, thinking, "I think that sticker is better off left stuck inside me."
Of course its not. The discomfort of her digging the sticker out is far preferable to the long term ramifications of letting it stay in and fester.
70 to 85% of illness is caused by unmanaged stress, according to a 20 year Kaiser Permenente study. Most of our illness is because we ignore stress build up by staying busy and distracted all the time ... with no space in our lives to become aware of ... and begin to discharge collected stress.
Meditations have evolved over thousands of years that can help us discharge our stress on a regular basis. But, often, an initial part of meditation sometimes is becoming conscious of what we hold inside. Then the tools of breathing, visualization, exhaling surrender and release, can help us gradually loosen up around it, and ultimately, little by little, layer by layer, begin to let a lot of that go.
When you slow down and meditate, just let go of the idea that there is something wrong with what you are feeling ... let go of the idea that there is something wrong with meditation ... let go of the idea that there is something wrong with you ...
Over time, if you stick with it, you will look back and realize that meditation was always easy, and that there was nothing at all difficult about sitting still with your eyes closed for 20, 30, 40, 50 minutes ... it was only the constant panic you squeezed around the experience that made it seem hard ... meditation is easy.
A simple transcending meditative experience taught by Harvard researcher and author, Dr. Herb Benson, is a "peace" mantra meditation.
Sit quietly with your eyes closed and breathe easily and relaxed, while observing whatever comes through your awareness. If thoughts or feelings come through, tell yourself "That's okay," and then repeat the word "peace" in your mind over and over again.
I would add that it can help to accompany the word "peace" being thought with an exhale, as an exhale is a feeling of surrender and release. Sit comfortably repeating the word "peace," and reminding yourself that its okay to feel what you feel, whatever you feel, over and over again for 15 to 20 minutes. When you open your eyes, you'll feel better, clearer, calmer.
Don't watch a clock, set a timer, so you can let go of time. And dont' fall into the trap of getting agitated about what comes up and being angry at yourself, your meditation, or the teacher, book or video that taught it to you. Just be okay with feelings that come up, while breathing letting go, and not gripping and holding onto them.
The stomping bucking bronco of your mind will eventually smooth out and gallop, as you stay on its back, breathing and loosening. Tight bronco riders get bucked off. The ones who breathe, and loosen, and flow with the ride stay on until it smooths out.
TIP: After a disturbing sitting meditation it is good to go through some Moving Qigong warm ups to cleanse the grit and tension from your loosening body through movement.
Another TIP: Don't take meditation too seriously. It can do you some serious good, but you should play at meditation, and hold it lightly, otherwise you'll end up resenting yourself, meditation, your book or teacher, etc. Breathe, loosen, and play. Your emotions and thoughts and experiences are a precious miracle to be enjoyed and appreciated, even when meditation brings up discomforting things ... its okay ... you're okay ... breathe ... practice the art of letting go ... enjoy your existence.
There is no where you can rush to that will be better than this moment, right here, and right now ... breathe ...
Stress Relief Relaxation Calming Sitting Qigong Meditation
MORE WTCQD 2012 Event Photos/Videos
See more beautiful Tai Chi and Qigong family photos from events worldwide ...
Brazil's Niteroi 2012 WTCQD events:
See more Brazil event photos from their 2012 WTCQD event at:
Angela Wong's Culinary Adventure
in Healthy Recipes
Just as Tai Chi & Qigong relieve stress from the body,
so can whole foods choices further that relief ...
A handful of blueberries
1 big heaping tablespoon of unsweetened coco-powder
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened chocolate almond milk
2 tablespoons of cashew butter
2 handfuls of mixed greens or mixed baby greens
1 cup of ice
You may think the greens will not go well with this, but you'd be wrong. This shake won't taste green at all, yet the greens will add to the body to make this shake a rich thick tasting treat, while loading it with anti-oxidents.
COMING IN 2013: Angela Wong Douglas's culinary life journey, in the form of a cookbook entitled: "My Mother's Garden"
In her coming book, Angela will share images of Hong Kong and the world where her recipes come from, along with stories about her mother, Sheng Oi Chan, who taught Angela the art of "food as medicine."
Tai Chi & Qigong TIPS
for Beginners & Teachers
WorldTaiChiDay.org's newsletters offer tips that can help people new to tai chi and qigong get it easier and more profoundly, and also these tips are used by teachers worldwide who have found them beneficial to utilize in their own classes.
NOTES FOR NEW TAI CHI & QIGONG STUDENTS:
Getting the most out of tai chi and qigong
When we first come to tai chi class, we often have a preconceived notion of what the teacher's supposed to teach us or the class is supposed to be like. We may have seen someone doing some beautiful, graceful tai chi form or qigong form on the internet or TV, and we want to do what they did because it looks beautiful.
But, when we start the class and the teacher begins teaching us the breathing work, the meditation, the stances, the posture, etc. so that we can have the building blocks to build that beautiful form we saw ... within ourselves we get anxious and urgent. In our minds we may be saying "This isn't what I want, I want to get to the other stuff, the important stuff!"
When you go into that mode, you no longer hear, or enjoy anything the teacher is teaching you. You have brought the urgency of the world into the class with you. Take a breath, and let go. Let go of every one of your 50 trillion cells. Let your mind and heart ungrip and let go of their urgency.
There is no "perfect place" you will get to by hurrying up. What you are asking your teacher to do is to teach you astrophysics without first learning simple math. Its like you're saying to the teacher, "Show me the astrophysics stuff, but skip the number and addition stuff. Just get right to the good stuff."
I'm not pointing fingers at you, because I did this too, I dropped out of tai chi several times, and changed teachers, until finally realizing that my original teacher was great, and it was my own urgency that was causing me to feel unsettled, not her classes.
We live in an age of speed and short attention span entertainment. We give each show about 10 seconds of attention before flipping the channel, and we zoom from class to class, seminar to seminar, book to book, barely skimming the information before moving on.
Tai Chi and Qigong meditation are the opposite of that 'constantly rushed' way of life. When you begin it, it will often make you feel anxious to slow down at first, but when you hang in there, you look back a year or two later and are so glad you did.
Remember to breathe, and to let go of expectations.
I always tell my students to come to class for only 3 reasons:
1) To breathe
2) To loosen up
3) To play
Whatever goals you have for tai chi, improving balance, breathing, immune system, sports performance, well-being, whatever ... just let go of that goal.
There is only one reason to do Tai Chi and Qigong ... because it is FUN to do. It feels goooood to slow down, and to feel the pleasure sensations of the body breathing, loosening, and being massaged by effortless motion.
All the myriad benefits are just gravy. They will come ... just let go of your grip on them ... breathe ... loosen ... have some fun ... and all the benefits will come.
I have classes where people come to have fun, and they keep coming, and their tai chi gets better, their sleep improves, their health improves, their sports performance improves ... and then I have classes where new students come with the idea that I am going to "hurry up and get them to relax and fix all their problems in a one hour class." Guess what, they don't get fixed in one hour, and they change the channel by rushing off to some other class thinking that will fix them in one hour.
When you go to class, let the teacher's teaching wash over you like a form of entertainment. Lighten up on the class and the teacher, and on yourself. You'll have fun, you'll breathe, and you'll loosen, and months from now you'll look back and be so glad that you lightened up and had some fun as your life continues to expand and change in your tai chi and qigong journey.
Bill Douglas, Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
Author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong" (Penguin, New York)
2009 Inductee to the Internal Arts Hall of Fame
In the coming 4th edition of Bill's best selling tai chi book, the Appendix A - Tai Chi & Qigong Yellow Pages will offer a global directory of Tai Chi & Qigong teachers and schools. If you or your teacher have not listed your classes in the WorldTaiChiDay.org events/classes directory, do so now, so that readers of Bill's globally published book can find you.
Do you have a Tai Chi or Qigong TIP as a teacher, or QUESTION as a student? If so, post it on the World Healing Day mind-body Online Community and send us the link. We'll post one issue in each upcoming newsletter so the worldwide Tai Chi and Qigong community can share information with each other.
Medical Research on Tai Chi & Qigong
For 20 years WorldTaiChiDay.org has collected breaking media on Tai Chi and Qigong medical research?
Why? To help you create a healtheir world, and to bring down global health costs by the trillions.
When Tai Chi, Qigong, and mind-body meditative practices are taught in public schools worldwide, in 12 years we will have a world of mind-body masters and save trillions in future health costs.
HOW TO USE THIS FEATURE:
At the below link, you can search 100 common health issues and find links to medical research articles on how Tai Chi or Qigong may help.
By utilizing all this work we've done, by bookmarking our Medical Research Directory; sharing this research with friends, family, local health and media professionals, etc., you are making a better, clearer, calmer world with affordable healthcare.
Our world is what we make of it. WorldTaiChiDay.org makes it easy for you to change the world. Bookmark and share widely the below Medical Library link:
WTCQD Founder's New Book to Promote Tai Chi & Qigong Teachers!
In October of this year, 2012, World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Founder's new book, his 4th edition of his globally published often best-selling tai chi book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong" will be released worldwide.
Why is this of interest to Tai Chi and Qigong practitioners and teachers? Because his coming 4th edition will have an Appendix and a Web Page that will promoted classes and teachers worldwide.
This edition will direct readers to the WorldTaiChiDay.org Events/Classes Directory to search for teachers in their local area. So, if you are a student or teacher of Tai Chi or Qigong, make sure yours or your teacher's local classes are listed in the directory.
We expect all groups and schools who list at WorldTaiChiDay.org to hold local WTCQD events, because we are educating the world of these mind-body tools together to create a healthier, calmed, clearer world.
"Alone we can do so little ... together ... so much."
-- Helen Keller
YOUR WTCQD MOMENT OF ZEN
Excerpt from The Tao of Pooh
Tai Chi Groups, Schools and Teachers:
Have you updated your WTCQD Events/Classes Listing in the New State-of-the-Art Directory? It is IMPORTANT that you do!
Did you know that WorldTaiChiDay.org's directory has connected over one-million of our visitors to local Tai Chi and Qigong teachers and classes!?
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Founder, Bill Douglas's, coming 4th edition of his globally released book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & QiGong" (Penguin/Alpha Books), will provide an appendix titled "The Tai Chi & Qigong Yellow Pages" which will direct readers to the WorldTaiChiDay.org Events/Classes Directory to help readers connect with your local groups and classes.
Add, Edit, or Check your listing at:
Become Part of a Global Mind-Body Online Social Community!
Get connected with Tai Chi, Qigong, and mind-body seekers, teachers, etc. in our World Tai Chi & Qigong Day / World Healing Day facebook-like online community.
Post thoughts, tips, notices and announcements, and build a community online.
Get connected with the world of mind-body healing, let the world know you are here!