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This short Ezine newsletter can give you an idea of just how profound our work together is, and the vast ramifications it holds for the world.
National Institutes of Health states: 2.3 million Americans are doing Tai Chi! AND it's about to MASSIVELY expand in US, WORLDWIDE!
Famed author, Malcolm Gladwell's "Tipping Point" book, described the roll World Tai Chi & Qigong Day has had in a coming wave that will spread Tai Chi and Qigong worldwide on a massive scale ...
AND Why it's important!
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Events Expand Across the Planet!
United States National Institutes of Health (NIH):
Use in the United States
According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, an estimated 2.3 million U.S. adults had used tai chi in the past 12 months.
Wikipedia's description of famed author, Malcolm Gladwell's work "The Tipping Point" on the dynamics of how "social epidemics" spread rapidly through society ... could well be describing exactly how our work together, thru World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, is about to be the source of one of the most beneficial unfolding social epidemics in human history.
WIKIPEDIA ON "THE TIPPING POINT" by Malcom Gladwell
[with added comments on how this relates to WTCQD]
"The Law of the Few", or, as Malcolm Gladwell states, "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts". According to Malcolm Gladwell, economists call this the "80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the 'work' will be done by 20 percent of the participants" (see Pareto Principle). These people are described in the following ways:
Connectors are the people in a community who know large numbers of people and who are in the habit of making introductions.
[WORLD TAI CHI & QIGONG DAY's hub of WorldTaiChiDay.org has worked for 16 years to connect the Tai Chi and Qigong community worldwide with major health institutions, government, and other institutions to expand awareness of Tai Chi and Qigong]
- A connector is essentially the social equivalent of a computer network hub. They usually know people across an array of social, cultural, professional, and economic circles, and make a habit of introducing people who work or live in different circles. They are people who "link us up with the world...people with a special gift for bringing the world together". They are "a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack [... for] making friends and acquaintances". Malcolm Gladwell characterizes these individuals as having social networks of over one hundred people. To illustrate, he cites the following examples: the midnight ride of Paul Revere, Milgram's experiments in the small world problem, the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" trivia game, Dallas businessman Roger Horchow, and Chicagoan Lois Weisberg, a person who understands the concept of the weak tie. Gladwell attributes the social success of Connectors to the fact that "their ability to span many different worlds is a function of something intrinsic to their personality, some combination of curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy".
Gladwell cites Mark Alpert as a prototypical Maven who is "almost pathologically helpful", further adding, "he can't help himself". In this vein, Alpert himself concedes, "A Maven is someone who wants to solve other people's problems, generally by solving his own". According to Gladwell, Mavens start "word-of-mouth epidemics" due to their knowledge, social skills, and ability to communicate. As Malcolm Gladwell states, "Mavens are really information brokers, sharing and trading what they know".
are "information specialists", or "people we rely upon to connect us with new information".
They accumulate knowledge, especially about the marketplace
, and know how to share it with others.[WORLD TAI CHI & QIGONG DAY's hub of WorldTaiChiDay.org has worked for 16 years to put works like "The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi," Ken Cohens, "The Art & Science of Qigong" and all the breaking medical and social research on Tai Chi and Qigong into the hands of Tai Chi and Qigong enthusiasts and teachers worldwide. We have also educated teachers worldwide on how to do Media Work, Social Networking with FB, Meetup.com, Twitter, etc. to expand their teaching and awareness of Tai Chi and Qigong.
- Salesmen are "persuaders", charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They tend to have an indefinable trait that goes beyond what they say, which makes others want to agree with them.
Together, holding mass events and small events in cities and towns in all 50 US States, and worldwide for 16 years, we have nearly achieved a breakthrough that is possible. We likely have in 2015, at least 1% of the entire US population doing Tai Chi and Qigong. While this may not seem like a huge percentage ... there is a phenomenon called "critical mass" where a point is reached, and suddenly a flood of activity follows. We are near that in the U.S.
25 U.S. governors have officially extolled the benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong in official pronouncements for World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, and the Senates of many states, including New York, California, and Puerto Rico.
And together we have gained mass media attention in countries all around the world, Egypt, Israel, Brazil, U.S., Canada, England, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Hong Kong, etc. etc. ... and in the majority of US States, gaining attention for the myriad health benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong and mounting medical research.
WE CAN DO THIS WORLDWIDE!
See this recent "tai chi" article in India's famed "Hindu Times."
Slowing down in a fast world
-- The Hindu Times, June 21, 2015
I joined Tai Chi in 1999. The class was run by Sifu George Thomas, one of the pioneers of Tai Chi in India. I had read an article about him and I was fascinated by the benefits it promised: calmness, strength, flexibility and health.
It was difficult to learn; the free-flowing movements looked easy, but to actually do it took a lot of effort and practice. I didn't have the patience to complete the course and I was not feeling any of the promised benefits, so I left midway. The next couple of years were a blur, and I don't remember much of them, but 2001 is etched in my memory as the worst year of my life ... I was in a state of shock. The tears that ran freely the last six months just stopped coming. I had difficulty sleeping, and would often wake up in a sweat. Day time was no better, as the worries of running the factory in a time of recession were immense. Just getting enough work to meet expenses was difficult. Some months, we would break even and others, not. I knew I needed to de-stress and decided to give Tai Chi another try...
I learnt the rest of the forms and started practising them. Tai Chi movements are hard to learn, and it takes a while to notice the effect it is having on your body and mind, but the benefits are cumulative and immense. The results, for me, were very slow and subtle. It was something as simple as feeling fresher in the mornings before going to work. I gradually noticed that my shoulders were beginning to relax and a chronic lower back pain faded away.
Further into the practice, I noticed things that used to get me tense and angry were no longer having that effect on me. It was different from getting angry and suppressing it. Here, there was no anger at all. It helped me deal with equanimity in certain situations, with much better results. Tai Chi helped me tide over that bad phase which lasted a few years, not by making things better, but by changing how I responded to situations, some of which were beyond my control ...
Read entire article at Hindu Times ...
"When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be."
-- Lao Tzu
The Pope's Encyclical ... and how Tai Chi and Qigong
Could Play a Role in Expediting Its Hopeful Realization ...
It has been said that the hardest thing in the world to change ... is the human mind. Tai Chi and Qigong's mindful meditations not only change the way our minds work in an intellectual sense, but scientific research shows that they change our physical neurology and brain to become more adaptive, calm, and flexible.
In the above Hindu Times story, a man speaks about how Tai Chi changed him, enabling to flow into his future in a clearer better way. He said, "I noticed things that used to get me tense and angry were no longer having that effect on me. It was different from getting angry and suppressing it. Here, there was no anger at all. It helped me deal with equanimity in certain situations, with much better results."
This quality of Tai Chi practice, when done as a mind-body meditation, is common. People speak about how Tai Chi and Qigong practice centers them, makes them easier to get along with, more flexible in mind and spirit, and more able to adapt to a changing future with equanimity rather than panic and irritation.
In this week's globally reported Pope's Encyclical on the social and environmental challenges of the future ... and our need to come together as a whole human family could not be better illustrated than our World Tai Chi & Qigong Day family's example of coming together for health and healing.
But, this quality Tai Chi and Qigong expand through our brain and neurology, the trait of calmness, clarity, compassion and empathy, and open mindedness ... this is a prescription for the future, as these arts continue to expand worldwide.
As millions and eventually billions of people find more equanimity in their lives, more patience, more calmness, more clarity ... the changes required to navigate our unfolding future, be it changing population, changing environment, and needs to change behavior such as energy sources ... are facilitated. Tai Chi and Qigong are evolutionary arts.
As we flow through our Tai Chi forms, using breathing and visualization techniques such as "sinking" and "soong," are an act of continually letting go of our grip on what we are, so we can flow into what we may become.
As this constant practice loosens our body, and makes our Tai Chi forms smoother and more effortless ... so too does it loosen us mentally and emotionally ... better able to let go of old outdated ways ... so we can flow easily into a forming future, adapting in ways required of the changing future to make the most of it.
"If you do not change direction, you
may end up where you are heading."
-- Lao Tzu
REMINDER: Dr. Kevin Chen's upcoming
Qigong Self-Healing Cancer Retreat at the University of Baltimore Medical School is a groundbreaking event:
Dr. Kevin Chen is creating a template that will one day be part of all major oncology departments and health networks worldwide.
Tai Chi LEARNING/TEACHING TIP ...
World Tai Chi Day, Tehran, Iran
Here's a Tai Chi learning / teaching tip that can profoundly change your approach to learning Tai Chi, and to teaching Tai Chi. I have found through nearly 30 years of teaching Tai Chi, with many classes each week with thousands of students ... that the student's "efficacy" is the most important key to helping students stick with Tai Chi. Efficacy is the new wave in education science, which means that "if a student believes in their ability to grasp a subject, like Tai Chi in this case, they are many times more likely to stick with it and be successful at it.
When I see new students getting frustrated with their balance, dexterity or poor proprioception (spacial awareness of the body's positions) ... I remind them that the "dis-orientation" we feel when we play Tai Chi is actually a sensory perception of our body "sprouting new neurons."
I tell them that science shows that Tai Chi increases brain size and makes new neural connections throughout the body, which science calls "neuroplasticity." So, when we feel that disorientation and frustration it is the "sensation of sprouting new neurons."
So, when that voice in our heads starts to taunt us, saying "Your balance is bad! You might as well give up! You don't deserve to do Tai Chi!" We simply tell that voice to "Shut Up!" because we are busy "sprouting new neurons."
I tell students again and again that the voice you feed is the voice that will win, and if the voice of growth wins, you'll still be in this class 2 years from now and your life will have been transformed.
And when you look back you realize that Tai Chi was never really that hard ... what made it seem hard were the battles going on inside our own head ... and as we untangle those mental knots through Tai Chi's journey, we find our entire life changed in profound ways.
-- Bill Douglas, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong
" (Bantam-Penguin Books, 4th edition)
National Qigong Association's Annual NQA Conference Coming Soon! Now's the Time to Register!
OVER 20 Workshops and Presentations taught by leaders in the world of Qigong and Taiji...
This year's Friday Evening Keynote Presenter is Roger Jahnke
The Qi Effect - From Root to Cultivation
Join us for Saturday evening's Entertainment event:
The Great Saturday Tao Wow!
Other presenters include: Francesco Garripoli & Daisy Lee - Jianye Jiang - Vicki Dello Joio - Mark R. Reinhart - Solala Towler - Cari Shurman - Michael Rinaldini - and many, many more!Click
for Complete Conference Session Listing
Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here's how it changes your brain!
Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her - that meditating can literally change your brain. She explains ...
-- Washington Post, May 26, 2015
Tai Chi and Qigong can be powerful mindfulness meditation techniques when practiced mindfully, and Sitting Qigong Meditation can be a profound addition to any style of Tai Chi and Qigong moving practice, to help expand this mindful consciousness into the physical forms.
(4th edition Bantam-Penguin Books)
Tai Chi & Qigong Medical Research ...
See World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's "Medical Research Library
" for links to research articles on how Tai Chi and/or Qigong can help with nearly 100 common health challenges.
ON SENDING YOUR WTCQD REPORTS ...
upload your videos onto Youtube
, and then send us the Youtube link. It is way less work for us that way, plus you get increased outreach for your photos/video. You can use Windows Movie Make
r, a free video editing program, where you can add titles & music to imported photos or video.
Also, if you post your photos on a Facebook page, and send us the link, or post them in your WTCQD Event Listing, and then send us the link. But, Youtube and Movie Maker are great tools to learn how to use for your own local school's promotion!
"Sometimes Chinese culture can be difficult to explain. Sifu
Bill Douglas successfully uses American culture to explain the art of T'ai Chi Chuan. He simplifies difficult concepts, making them easier to understand. This book takes the best parts of T'ai Chi and makes them understandable [to Westerners] without requiring a grounding in Chinese culture and history."
-- Sifu Yijiao Hong, USA All-Tai Chi Grand Champion and USA Team member; Certified International Coach and Judge, International Wushu Federation
"Visionary! If you only buy one book on T'ai Chi, then this is the book ... I have taught T'ai Chi for several decades myself, yet I have now read Bill's book from cover to cover seven times, and still get something new from it each time."
-- Dr. Michael Steward Sr., D.MA, Ph.D., MA, Senior Coach for Team USA, Inductee of the World Sports Medicine and World Martial Arts Hall of Fame