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According to surveys, the #1 reason students drop out of Tai Chi classes is because of "a lack of patience on the part of the teacher."  From my over 20 years of teaching experience, I believe that the #1 reason students drop out is because of "a lack of patience on the students part." This isn't an article about making the student or teacher wrong or right, it is about discovering the most effective ways to help students stick with Tai Chi or Qigong, by looking at what goes on in students and teachers minds during the learning/teaching process.


When I began teaching, I would offer explanations on various things like postural alignment, body positions, sinking, Qi, Qigong Breathing, etc., and would get frustrated when students didn't seem to "hear what I was saying," often over and over again. I eventually began writing things down, and eventually made videos they could look at to give them support in their learning journey, which of course I now share with all teachers/students worldwide. Referring students to effective books and video resources can take a lot off of a teacher's shoulders.

Dan Tien & Vertical AxisQigong BreathingSinking Your Qi

Over two decades of teaching I realize, its not that they weren't listening or trying, it was because they get overwhelmed with information. They are trying to learn new body movements, and whole new ways of thinking about their posture, breathing, and sensing their own being. It is like we are teaching juggling, and we throw a whole bunch of balls to a student struggling to just hold one ball, learning the physical movements. They get frustrated, so the last thing they needed was for me, their teacher, to get frustrated.

My own Tai Chi and Qigong Meditation practice over these decades has made me more aware, and more patient. It has rewired my brain to be more open-minded and patient, so that I could better comprehend student's struggles. My teaching has become far more patient over the years, and my student teachers are very patient as well due to my own insights and sharing them with my student teachers about the importance of "being patient," "always being supportive," and knowing that students may not hear what you are saying the first time, or the 3rd time, or the 8th time ... because they are juggling a lot of balls.

I also learned how to teach "in layers," giving students a wide leeway, letting them fudge details on movements a bit so they can just experience the gross physical motions a few, or many times, and then as their mind and body acclimates, slowly adding deeper insights and details over time. I also refer them to these WorldTaiChiDay.org newsletters filled with discussions like this on the challenges of learning TC and QG. When I give students new details, I tell them, "I am only giving you more nit-picky details because you are doing this very well. If you were struggling, I wouldn't give you such details. So, when I get nit-picky it is because you are doing really well." And this takes some pressure off of them.

Now, having said that, I still see a lot of students drop out, just as all teachers do over the years, and my experience has shown me what this next discussion topic is about.


Everyone these days is in a big hurry, the world is moving fast, and everyone feels 6 steps behind of social changes, technology changes, etc. etc. Change is good, but everyone is feeling a quickening in their lives because the world is changing so much faster than ever before in history, and we are all being a bit rattled by this rapid change, which accounts for so much of the modern plague of stress disease (which by the way is what is driving a lot of new students to Tai Chi and Qigong.)

Here's how I see most new students dropping out. When they begin a new Tai Chi or Qigong class they are going to feel bewildered. This is unavoidable, and bewilderment is part of the Tai Chi and Qigong journey. Sifu Arthur Rosenfeld of New York released a brilliant book titled "Tai Chi -  The Perfect Exercise," and in it he points out that the #1 quality that will insure a new student's ability to stick with and learn Tai Chi is not physical prowess, strength, dexterity, or any of the things we normally associated with success in sports or physical endeavors ... but what will secure a new student's success in Tai Chi is "their willingness to be okay with a sense of bewilderment."

Arthur Rosenfeld's Tai Chi Book

Sifu Rosenfeld hit the nail on the head from my experience. I will see new students get so frustrated with themselves sometimes because they cannot fully understand and grasp everything that Tai Chi and Qigong, even beginning Tai Chi and Qigong involve. These are new ways of seeing themselves, their bodies, their minds, the relationship between the two.

In my advanced class I was teaching Push Hands to some new advanced students, and one expressed great frustration after about 3 minutes of instruction, and exasperated exclaimed, "I don't get it!" and I could see her frustration.

I explained, "Now, if you could get this in just 3 minutes, there really wouldn't be very much to it, would there? Let's just relax and play at it for a while, let your body acclimate to the motions for a while, and then your mind will be able to sense other factors over time. It will come. Just breathe, relax, and be patient with it. It will come in time."

I saw a light go off in her eyes, this made sense to her once I enunciated it. It took me 20 years to get here, years ago her frustration would have just frustrated me, and we'd have endured a very frustrating Tai Chi class :-)

So by reminding students that they are not "going to get everything right away," and that they need to be okay with that and just play at the Tai Chi and Qigong and don't hold the outcome so tightly, because "it will come" over time. Just remember to "breathe" and "relax" and "play at it," and "it will come."  I also recommend Sifu Arthur Rosenfeld's brilliant book above to many of my students as well, as he so clearly articulates challenges students may face.

TO TEACHERS, one thing that has helped me profoundly, is my Sitting Qigong energy meditation practice. My teacher, Jais Booth, taught me a wonderful exercise to practice while sitting in my car before I enter the class every day. It involved a Nei Gong exercise where I open to the energetic field of my being, and then think of allowing all the loads, worries, expectations ... just lift off and out of me ... and even letting go of any plans I had for the class ... released into the expanding energy that is unfolding through us. I let go of everything and think of letting the group energy or consciousness of that class flow us as a group to where ever we will all flow that day. I let an uncontrolled lightness expand through me, and by the time I walk into class, I don't feel the burden of being a teacher anymore, I feel as though I am coming to the class just like the students are, to enjoy and have some fun. I am no longer the leader of the class, but a fellow student (who happens to have decades more experience in Tai Chi and Qigong, and am ready to share my insights, just as any good friend or fellow student would do). It lightens up everything, taking pressure off me, and loosening the class experience for everyone.

by Bill Douglas

Bill was the 2009 Inductee to the Internal Arts Hall of Fame in New York; author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong (4th edition, Bantam-Penguin Books, New York); recipient of the Extraordinary Service in the Field of Qigong Award (National Qigong Association); and of the Media Excellence Award (World Congress on Qigong).  Bill has taught Tai Chi and Qigong Meditation for many of the world's largest corporations and health networks; and in pubic schools and special education, prisons, drug rehabilitation programs, and for churches, synagogues, and government.

I have just three things to teach: simplicity,
patience, compassion. These three are
your greatest treasures.

-- Lao Tzu, father of Taoism


Here at World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's WorldTaiChiDay.org's FREE All Things Tai Chi & Qigong Ezine Newsletter, we like to explore all aspects of Tai Chi and Qigong in all ways.

Over the last nearly 2 decades of organizing World Tai Chi & Qigong Day in over 80 nations, working with both Tai Chi and Qigong teachers and other mind-body teachers, of all styles and cultures ... we have become acutely aware of debates in the larger Tai Chi and Qigong world.

One source of constant argument, and if you spend anytime on discussion boards on the Internet you'll know this, is the debate about "whether Qi is real."  Many Tai Chi teachers will vehemently deny its existence, while others have Qi right at the core of their practice and teaching.

So, here we ask 2 questions:
1) Is Qi real?

2) Does it matter if it is real or not, as far as getting benefits from using the concept of flowing Qi in our practice and teaching?

I'll address the 2nd question, "Does it matter if it is real?" first. Based on my own nearly 2 decades of teaching Tai Chi and Qigong in major hospitals. My answer to that is that 

"It does NOT MATTER if Qi is real.
The imagery or visualization of Qi flowing through us in our forms and
practice will trigger profound health benefits in people whether the
actual reality of Qi exists or not. Therefore, even if Qi were an imagery
that is not real, the use of that imagery can still result in huge
benefits to the Tai Chi or Qigong practitioner."

Let me explain. A study was done using hypnotic suggestions to people who had been hypnotized. The pink eraser of a pencil, the hypnotized subjects were told was a "lit cigarette end."  And in some subjects in deep hypnosis, when that pink pencil eraser was placed on their arm ... a blister raised. Their consciousness created a reality in their body that had a huge flesh and blood effect, even though the eraser was not, in fact, hot, nor was it a lit cigarette.

So, if we choose to use Qi imagery in our teaching or study of Tai Chi and Qigong it can have great benefits, whether Qi is real or not.  In fact, if Qi were not real, one would come to the conclusion that Chinese mind-body researchers (Tai Chi and Qigong masters of old) were brilliant, because they had created a highly functional vehicle, based on illusion.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a saying, "the blood feeds the Qi, and the Qi feeds the blood." It took me years to understand what that meant. Here's an example I came up with to explain to students. When you sit on a bent foot long enough it falls asleep. When you finally get up and realize it is asleep, and begin to move it, the tingling in it is almost unbearable. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, what you are feeling is the blood re-circulating through that tissue that had had blood flow cut off from it ... but also, you are feeling the re-establishment of the flow of Qi ad a tingly lighted awareness expanding through that area of the body.

I use this example to help students experience a sense of what the body starts to feel like as Tai Chi and Qigong wake us up to the sensation of Qi flow. However, even students who do not consciously experience a sensation of Qi tingling or flow, still get amazing benefits from the Tai Chi or Qigong.

In one of my University of Kansas Hospital Tai Chi and Qigong programs for people dealing with Heart Disease is a lovely man named Bill, who started the class for Heart Health to help with his Heart Disease ... and it profoundly helped him ... so much so that he arranged for him and his wife's Foundation to finance the University of Kansas Hospital's Tai Chi Meditation for Heart Disease program. Bill told a PBS affiliate covering the program that "If a dollar value had been placed on it, it would be like a pill that was worth millions and millions of dollars." Bill does not experience the sensation of Qi--yet--but his heart has benefited from the imagery in huge ways.

Tai Chi & Qigong's imagery of Qi allows students to relax at deeper levels than they normally think they can, all the way down to deep skeletal muscles, and the deepest capillaries. You can't just
think the words "relax my tissue and capillaries," and FORCE it to happen consciously. That is left brain, or Yang, consciousness (see earlier newsletters for details on left/right brain and yin/yang). Our language happens in our left brain. Imagery is more of what is often called right brain, and in Taoism it is a Yin perceptive function. 

THEREFORE, you can invoke images of "sinking your Qi," or other poetic references like "let your muscles exhale and go liquid on the bones moving underneath them," and phrases like that go
part of the way, but then if followed by phrases like "allow the body to relax out of the way to allow the movements and the Qi to flow through you," and then imagery like "allowing your Qi or energetic nature to expand on Green Dragon Rising or sinking on Grasp the Bird's Tail"  --- and this will allow those deep muscles to let go more, and allows capillaries to relax open more, lowering high blood pressure and oxygenating the body. [Note: I generally use words like "energy" or "lightness" or "tingling" rather than "Qi," because so many of my students have zero reference for the word. I feel my job is to help them "feel the sensations" to enrich their practice, more than to teach them Chinese. I'm always seeking better ways to convey the internal experience.]

So, Chinese imagery of Qi is at the very least a brilliant visualization technique that works when used, and like a placebo ... the more we "believe" that Qi is real, the better it works. It is like we are "creating a reality" by believing it. Which becomes profoundly intriguing when you
consider research showing that people who meditate are better at "actualizing" the image of the life they want. The process of playing at Qi, and eventually believing it is real, may be a vehicle to practice at creating our reality.


Qi imagery also offers profound psychological emotional benefits as proven by programs held in penal institutions, and in medical research in major universities.  Does it matter if the Qi is real, or imagined? Again, not really, as you get the benefits either way.

I experienced a living example of this with an Emergency Room physician I was giving private lessons to because of his erratic schedule. After a few weeks of practicing a Nei Gong Sitting Qigong Meditation, he confided to me, "Bill, I don't really get this energy work. I don't know if I'm doing it right. I don't know what it is I'm doing, exactly."

The next week when I came he told me, "I think I get it now."

I replied, "What do you get now?"

"This Qigong Meditation, does something. This week my ER staff told me, "We don't know what you've been doing, but KEEP DOING IT, because you are WAY easier to get along with."

I had been invoking images of our Qi field, which is all we are when you get down to it, energy that is. The Nei Gong images of allowing your tight energy field to open, to exhale, to let go, at the deepest fibers of our beings, had begun to ungrip the physician physically, mentally, and emotionally, and the results were profound. Whether Qi expanded through him to make his body relax open, or whether it was his mind using that visualization as a vehicle to let go deeply, doesn't matter in the practical application of Qi imagery in Tai Chi and Qigong teachers.

However, I believe that the more we actually "believe" that Qi, or life energy, permeates us and animates us and can expand or flow through us, the more we can sink into that sensation and enjoy its benefits. So, in this spirit, I'll share some personal experiences that have convinced me that Qi is real and present within and throughout us all the time, only waiting for us to ... relax open to it.

To the 2nd question: Is Qi Real?

Speaking from my personal experience, I have to confide that I am convinced and have felt on a real visceral level that Qi is absolutely real. It can be felt or sensed by some, and even visually perceived by some. Can I prove it? Not necessarily, but others are striving to do so.

One study detected a combination of infra-red or photon emission and a magnetic force in External Qigong emissions, cited at Vanderbilt University's psychology site.

Spring Forest Qigong's site offers info on a Mayo Clinic study showing that External Qigong, or allowing your body to open up to a flow of Qi so that it can flow into another human being, can help with chronic pain conditions. (Read more on External Qigong at the International College of Medical Qigong site.)

I explain to my students that it does not matter if Qi is real or not, because if you let yourself pretend it is real it will provide mega-benefits as it helps you let go deeper in your mind, heart and body to augment circulation, immune and biological systems throughout the body.

But, I confide to them that from my experience it is absolutely real and one day science will become subtle and evolved enough to detect it. I believe that one day humans will see flowing images of Qi, or life energy, on video screens using detection devices not yet discovered. But, I believe, based on my experiences, that Qi is real, so the ball is in sciences hands to validate it.


I have. I have had students feel my Qi when I project it to them. Could I replicate it in a laboratory? I don't know. The atmosphere of a test could affect me or the students if we did it in that setting. But, I wish I had the money to do some testing, and allies in science who would like to know as well. On two occasions in my classes, we did an activity after our Sitting Qigong Meditation where one student stood in the center of the room and put on a blindfold. The others sat on the edge of the room patting the floor to make noise so the blindfolded student could not hear me as I walked around the blindfolded student. I opened my palms to face the student, and allowed them to open to the flow of energy. Then they stopped and the blindfolded student was supposed to open to their field and to "feel," and if they had to guess where I was to point to me using that feeling. In both instances the students pointed to me. 

Now, I've only done this 3 times in my 20 years of teaching. I was blindfolded in class once and the students did the same as above clapping the floor, while an advanced student projected Qi from open palms toward me. I heard a sound at about 10 O'Clock, and almost pointed to it, but then thought, "Naw, I'll tune in and see if I feel something." And I did feel something, kind of a disturbance in the field, or presence, or energetic pressure or something. So, I pointed to it at about 2 O'Clock. The room erupted in laughter and I froze, thinking I'd really blown it. But, when I took off my blindfold, I was indeed pointing directly to that student, and that is why they were laughing.

Again, the only other 2 times I did this "energy sensing exercise" was with students blindfolded.

Why don't we do this all the time in class? Well, as a teacher we want to make students feel more confident, and if they did it and it didn't work, they might lose confidence, so I play it safe and don't do it :-)   Also, when I did it myself with the blindfold and the class erupted in laughter, and I thought I'd blown it, that was a stressful feeling as a teacher, too much pressure :-)  What if my sense was off that day and it didn't work, would they lose confidence in the classes? Qi is not something we control like our bankbook or car. It is something we can play at "opening to," but we don't wield it with control like a hammer or a baseball bat.

I would love to study these exercises in a laboratory though. Again, the lab vibe could change the way it works. Plus, perhaps I was drawn to do it on those 3 occasions because on those days the energy or field seemed more tangible. Qi, like the Tao, is ever changing and nebulous. We can feel it and flow with it from time to time, but we do not control it. We can only open to ride it like a surfer by letting go around it and opening to it.  Whether it comes when we open to it is not up to us, it is up to this nebulous ever changing field of energy beneath all things, part of which can sometimes be tangible to us ... and we call it Qi..

Below is a Nei Gong or Sitting Qigong experience I was trained in, and have taught to thousands and thousands of people. I put this out as a free gift to the world a few years ago online, and its had nearly 100,000 people use it. Within this experience is a section where you can play at "feeling Qi."

Nei Gong, Sitting Qigong Experience
with a "feel your Qi" exercise.

CAUTION: If you don't "feel your Qi" when you use this, do not give up on it. If you do this experience enough times eventually you will start to get a sense of the Qi on your hands, but just like my ER physician student, you will be getting major benefits from it long before you might actually "feel" anything. 

On a few rare occasions I've done External Qigong on students or loved ones, or pets, and have seen really amazing results on several occasions, and I can tell my dogs have "felt the energy" and my loved ones and students I did it on "felt something." Generally though, I prefer teaching Tai Chi and Qigong because ... well, you know, better to teach a man to fish kind of thing ... and when I teach students External Qigong I encourage them not to chronically treat people, but rather encourage those people to begin their own Tai Chi and Qigong practice. I enjoy teaching much more than doing External Qigong, and I believe in empowering people with awareness of their own energetic nature and ability to play with that.

But, on the occasions when I've done it the receivers felt various sensations: heat, tingling, lightness, gentle pressure, etc. and I don't touch them, but hold my hands a few inches away from them when allowing the Qi to flow. 

When I'm doing it, I'll often feel a sensation of "turmoil" on my hands. I did External Qigong on a stroke victim whose brain was swelling because of it, and did several hours of External Qigong. The next morning he came out of the coma he had been in, and left the hospital the next day. Recently a student teacher turned his knee at home, so I did External Qigong on his knee after class was over.  In both cases there was great turmoil, edema in the case of the stroke, and inflammation in the case of the knee, and I could feel it as I did the External Qigong, it felt like the air was "boiling." Not heat, but like the air was roiling beneath my fingers and hands. In time that roiling began to calm, and that was when I knew I was done.


I believe that some people may have the skill to "see Qi," just like some people have the skill to run and move and throw a baseball at a high level. Practice may be part of it, but if you are going to reach the major leagues, you had to be born gifted with an incredible athletic ability. However, I am not one of those people. I have heard some people claim to be able to, and I do not know one way or the other if they are accurate.

So, why am I convinced that some people see Qi? Because I saw Qi, once. I only saw it one time in my life where I could stare right at it and know without a doubt that I was seeing something amazing that changed me forever. Now, occasionally, depending on how much I practice my Nei Gong Meditation, Qigong and Tai Chi, I have seen glimpses of "shine" coming off my hands when flowing through my Tai Chi forms on my back porch. But, there was only one day in all my nearly 60 years on this planet when I "literally saw Qi."

I was in Hong Kong near the beginning of my Tai Chi Qigong journey nearly 40 years ago, to meet my new father-in-law. I had never flown outside the United States and the jet-lag kicked me in the butt. I slept for 2 whole days when I got there, and then after that I would fall asleep early and then wake up at about 4 am every day. My in-laws had a home on a mountain overlooking Hong Kong. When you stood in their garden it felt like you were in the country, lush with plants and jungle around. But, when you turned to the gate, over the gate you could see the grand canyons of fast sky scrapers that make up Hong Kong.

Because I was waking up 3 or 4 hours before everyone else in the house, I started going out in the garden to look at the city. Coming from Kansas, I'd never seen a city like that before. But, I also began to do Nei Gong, Sitting Qigong, Moving Qigong, and Tai Chi. I started doing Universal Post or Standing Post for 30 and then 40 minutes every morning. I had never been that dedicated before, nor have I been since. Standing Post for 40 minutes is not easy. And I was doing Sitting Qigong Meditation, Moving Qigong, and Tai Chi in those dark hours in my in-laws garden as the sunlight slowly illuminated the sky, and this went on for weeks while we were in Hong Kong.

One day we were on the docks waiting for a ferry. It was a grey day and the grey water and grey sky were almost one solid background. Suddenly, I looked up and saw a person walking by with a long stream of energy tailing off the top of their head, kind of emanating from and just above the top of the head, an energy point known as The Thousand Petaled Lotus.

Stunned, I looked around and EVERYONE had these plumes of energy emanating from their heads, streaming off and behind them as the walked. Some were large and bright, some were smaller and tighter. I began to notice that those who were "in the moment" and really enjoying the day or their conversation partner had large flowing plumes, while those clutching briefcases and wrapped up in plans in their heads had tighter energy plumes.

Now, I had glimpsed Qi before this amazing day, but only as a just beyond my direct sight passing out of the corner of my eye type of seeing, which had only happened occasionally when finishing Single Whip in my backyard. It only happened when I did Tai Chi in nature, and I could not look right at it. If I tried to turn and look right at it, it would go away. It was only visible on the edge of my vision and only when I was doing Tai Chi in nature, usually on my back porch.

But on this day in Hong Kong, after a couple of months of Universal Post, Meditation, Tai Chi for 3 or 4 hours a day each morning, I was looking full on at these plumes of silvery shining mists of energy over and around people, mainly their heads though. I stared and watched until it became so common to see, it started to be not such an amazingly huge deal to me, and I guess I started to think I would be able to see it forever. But, once I was no longer absolutely impressed by it, I couldn't see it anymore, and have never seen it like that again since, although, as I said I do feel Qi, and in a way am aware of my energy nature constantly after almost 40 years of practice on a sensory level. I feel when my energy body tightens, and using Qigong breathing and Qi visualization techniques, I can to some extent allow those tight spots to let go and open to more energy expanding through them, and that feels nice.

My nearly 40 years of practice have shown me that we are energy, and our energy being or field can get tight with worry, fear, anger, prejudice, or it can relax open as we exhale, allowing a lighter sense of being to permeate our mind and body and heart.

Looking back, I realize that so many things that used to "fire me up with upset or anger" don't have the same effect on me. Those tight tension knots in my psyche or energy field, over years of Qigong practice and Tai Chi have helped me let those trip wires in my field start to let go and evaporate over time, and the mine field that is me has far fewer tight trip wires than it used to, and my explosive reactions to life don't happen with the same frequency or ferocity that they used to.

Does that mean I'm a lipid sloth who doesn't care about the world around me? Nope, quite the contrary. As I spent less consciousness stewing about my own internal wars by relaxing open to Qi, I also became more grounded in the fact that all beings are connected by the same energy field, and that what happens to our brothers and sisters around the world affects us in sometimes intangible ways. So, when I see injustice and unfairness in the world, I'm more prone to act to try to alleviate that suffering.

Scientific research on meditation shows how this effect may be observed, in studies where meditator's brains enlarged in their empathy/compassion centers, while actually shrinking in their stress/fear centers, which may explain partly why I and my student who was the ER physician are now so much easier to get along with.  Over the years hundreds of my students have experienced similar benefits in the way they relate to the world, become more nurturing to everyone around them..


Our past All Things Tai Chi & Qigong Weekly Ezine has discussed how Taoism, which for many teachers is an integral part of their Tai Chi or Qigong practice whether they realize it or not, is really a study of the ebb and flow of the energetic nature of existence through the microcosm of our own internal experience. When you "feel that flow" in Tai Chi's advancing/yielding, expand/root, you are touching into a sense of this experience of energetic flow.

Feng Shui emerged from Taoism's observance of the energetic nature of the universe. Feng Shui is an attempt to maximize the energetic flow through homes and businesses. My wife and I do our own home decoration and gardening, and we believe that it follows Feng Shui principles. We are not experts in Feng Shui, but we follow what "feels good to us energetically" when creating our home environment, so that we feel the most relaxed and content when in our home or garden.

When you look at Feng Shui through the lens of modern emerging science, it becomes fascinating. For example, most traditional Chinese restaurants have a "water feature" of some type near their entrance door, could be a fountain or just a fish tank. This is prescribed by Feng Shui, as a tool to make people feel more comfortable, so they'll have a good experience and memory of the restaurant, and keep coming back with their business.

Years ago I came across a book on the "ionizing effect," which pointed out that much of our developed world is way over balanced in "positive ions" due to all the electrical features of modern buildings and society. It pointed out that some location can naturally be over-positive-ionized, and even whole regions citing both Southern California and Israel.

You can purchase "ionizing air filters" to balance your home's energy, but also the book pointed out that "running water" will charge the air with "negative ions" as well. We often "sleep better" when it rains or snows, as this charges the air with negative ions. Balancing the ionization can help with allergies and other health issues, and from my experience it just "feels nicer," "more relaxing and soothing."

So, were ancient Chinese Taoist observers touching into the science of particle ionization by "feeling and sensing" with the scientific instrument of their mind and body? I believe so. The Feng Shui books were probably concieved of by people doing just what my wife and I do when decorating our home or garden ... they "felt" how arrangements made them feel, and eventually wrote it all down to become what is now known as Feng Shui.


After nearly 40 years of playing Tai Chi and Qigong, I find that when I flow through my Tai Chi forms they almost feel like they are flowing me through the swirling rhythms and patterns of the movements. It reminds me of the old "Hot Wheels" race car track I had as a kid. When you let the little race car go on the track it flowed and swirled around the corners and through the loops of tracks, and it felt cool to watch it do so.

You cannot see the tracks and flows of Tai Chi, at least I can't, but you can "feel them," and it is as if you can "let go" and let yourself be flowed through them. Why do these Tai Chi tracks feel so tangible? Of course, partly because I've practiced for nearly 40 years of Tai Chi. BUT, there may be something more to it. I may be touching into the several hundred years of Tai Chi practice that has flowed through so may people beginning with the Chen family, and then eventually in my style's case, through Yang Luchan; Yang Pan Hou; Wong Jiao Yu; Kuo Lin Ying; Gil Messenger; Jais Booth; ... and last but not least :-)  ME!

How could all those people's practice of Tai Chi have a physical impact on my Tai Chi, and my sense of being flowed by the rythms of something larger than me?

A brilliant biologist named Rupert Sheldrake has written many books, and in them wrote about a phenomenon which he called "morphic resonance." What is morphic resonance? Monarch butterflies do not live long enough to make their Canada to Mexico migration each year, their life span is too short to complete it. Yet, their descendents each year end up in the same location in Mexico and Canada. How is this possible? How do the descendants know the route and destination?

Rupert Sheldrake believes that our actions form energetic patterns when repeated again and again and that is left behind in the universe, even though we can't see it with our eyes or touch it with our hands. Could the centuries long lineage of Tai Chi movements being practiced and passed down from generation to generation enable us to touch into a flow that is larger than us and our own practice?

I believe that if Dr. Sheldrake is correct about morphic resonance, there would be no more effective human practice than Tai Chi to be able to tune into it, because Tai Chi is all about letting go and opening our senses to the flow of Qi or energy that moves through us and our world all the time.

This isn't something I talk about in my Tai Chi classes, because if you freak out students, they often stop coming. But advanced students are, because of their years of practice, are more calm and open minded and less judgmental (scientific research shows that meditation can change brain function to make us more open minded and open to new ideas) generally. So, I do delve into these concepts with advanced students on days when it feels right to do so.

Why? I just find it fascinating to see possible collaborations between these ancient arts and emerging scientific theory and insights about the nature of our being and our universe. Hell, we're only on the planet for a few decades, might as well loosen up and chat about what we find fascinating, right?

But, if Dr. Sheldrake is right that energetic highways flow throughout existence, and if Taoists were right that by becoming conscious of these ebbs and flows of energy we can learn how to sail and surf them and perhaps even affect the way they flow for future generations ... and we continue year after year to spread the use of Tai Chi and Qigong worldwide so that millions and even billions of people learn how to surf the ebbs and flows of the energy animating the universe ... what a profound legacy we would have left behind one day :-)

What we know for certain, is that Tai Chi and Qigong are powerful health tools that can save our healthcare systems worldwide trillions of dollars in saved health costs. So, we can all agree that that is reason enough to organize WTCQD events and connect this global Tai Chi and Qigong family more and more year after year ... but it is fun to consider and ponder what may be even larger possibilities woven within the deep and endless ocean that is Tai Chi and Qigong.



So, what does that have to do with Tai Chi and Qigong?

South China Morning Post on WTCQD
South China Morning Post on World Tai Chi & Qigong Day              

This week's China selection for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games will once again cause the entire world's eyes to look ... to the East. This will give all Tai Chi and Qigong groups, teachers, schools, authors, DVD producers, associations, etc. a great opportunity to "hook the media's interest" in Tai Chi and Qigong, as media professionals turn their attention toward things that are thought of as "Chinese."

Is this opportunistic of us at WorldTaiChiDay.org, and for groups worldwide? Of course. Is that a bad thing. We don't think so. A very wise human being once encouraged us to 'Be as innocent as a lamb, but as cunning as a snake.'

Tai Chi and Qigong are at their heart of hearts a continually benevolent act. They heal and nurture everyone they touch, and they bring the world together each year to celebrate personal and global health and healing.

The best [way] is like water.
Water is good; it benefits all things
and does not compete with them.

It dwells in [lowly] places that all disdain.
This is why it is so near to Tao.
-- Lao Tzu, father of Taoism

Media is often fear and tragedy focused, which isn't a healthy mind-set to be saturated in. Not saying that these things are not important and shouldn't be covered, they are and they should. BUT, the media needs POSITIVE things to cover, for their own piece of mind as well as the larger world's. When you've done as much Tai Chi and Qigong related media interviews as I have, you start to see how news reporters, cameramen, and set people in TV studios always feel more relaxed and calm after they cover Tai Chi and Qigong performances. It has that affect on people that watch their reports too.

Media Coverage of WTCQD

I've done media work for nearly 40 years, for years as a political action activist for human rights and environmental organizations, and then for nearly the last 20 years as Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day. Together, as a World Tai Chi & Qigong Day family with pioneers all over the world, we have gained countless millions of dollars worth of television exposure for Tai Chi and Qigong by organizing events and doing media work.

At WorldTaiChiDay.org I give away all my 40 years of media work experience away as a free gift to the Tai Chi and Qigong world ... because Tai Chi and Qigong offer the world a profound gift to heal and calm billions worldwide as they continue to grow and expand out. I want to live in a better world, is why I do it. Tai Chi and Qigong and the continual immersion in Qi leaves me knowing that we are all connected.

Note: We also give away free Event Organizing Kits, (and many other free resources) based on my decades of organizing political events professionally, and now as a volunteer for World Tai Chi & Qigong Day. WTCQD events as part of a worldwide wave give you a tremendously inviting ... MEDIA HOOK.

REPORTERS, EDITORS, MEDIA COVERAGE SCHEDULERS ALL "NEED HOOKS" in order to be able to cover a subject. You might reach out to local media for decades and never get much coverage, but being part of WTCQD's global wave each year, GIVES YOUR MEDIA CONTACTS THE HOOK they need to justify their coverage of your event, your group, school, classes. These schedulers have bosses who may ask, why did you think that business or that group there was newsworthy, and they need a reason like, "Well, they were part of a huge worldwide wave of events."

So, as 2022 builds up and gets closer, we have time to really build this global family of WTCQD events, and the convergence of our growing WTCQD (and it is, many new events in Africa just began in 2014 and 2015), with the coming China Winter Games ... is a place where hope and history can rhyme. 


In last week's newsletter we reminded everyone that the OFFICIAL T-SHIRT PHOTO CONTEST IS STILL OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS, see article below on Official T-Shirt Photo Contest, and how to enter with your WTCQD Event photos. The Prize Packages offer several hundred dollars worth of DVDs and books from many of the world's top Tai Chi and Qigong teachers.

In that newsletter article we wrote the Keith Jeffery (who generously donated several valuable Tai Chi DVDs for the "Official T-Shirt Photo Contest" prize package), had an upcoming Symposium and Teacher Training in November, but got the dates wrong.

Keith Jeffrey's upcoming symposium and training is actually Nov. 13 - 15. 

"I love your World Tai Chi & Qigong Ezine
Newsletters - they are always filled with terrific information. Thanks!"
-- Dr. Keith Jeffery, Founder of " Easy Tai  Chi "

"How precious your newsletters are--a great gift
to the global family of Tai Chi and Qigong!

WorldTaiChiDay.org's "All Things Tai Chi & Qigong"
weekly newsletter with photos, videos, events,
articles, medical research, that we receive in your
newsletters every week are a treasure that lights
the path of our Tai Chi and Qigong journey.

Due to your global efforts for almost two decades,
organizing WTCQD on the last Saturday of April,
the world has gained a new history, and become
a better place. There are no words to express
the meaning of this inspiration your ongoing work
provides ... One World ... One Breath.

All I can say is, on behalf of the global Tai Chi and
Qigong community, THANK YOU SO MUCH!" 
-- Professor Jose 
Milton de Oliveira, Brasilia, Brazil



Here at World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's WorldTaiChiDay.org's FREE All Things Tai Chi & Qigong Ezine Newsletter, we like to explore all aspects of Tai Chi and Qigong in all ways.

Some Tai Chi styles are more familiar to the global Tai Chi and Qigong community than others, so we like to feature examples of all styles, because the fundamentals of Tai Chi carry over to ALL styles ... and often we can learn something from viewing other styles, even ones that are different than the one we practice.

Style Demonstration of the Week:
Pai Young Taiji 

Grandmaster, Dr. Daniel K. Pai was born in Hawaii of Chinese/ hawaiian ethnicity, in 1930 and passed in 1993...he was the Founder of the Pai Lum system, a huge system of internal and external styles, his training began in hawaii as a small boy under the direction of his Grandfather, the previous head of the families kung fu and taiji systems...Dr. Pai was the Founding resident of the U.S. Koushu Federation, and a V.P. for the International Koushu Federation, as well as one of the National Chief Instructors of the original national martial arts org. in the USA, founded by GM Robert Trias...my teacher is Lao Shr David J. Everett, former live-in lineage disciple of Dr. pai and Chief Instructor of the Pai Lum system

This is a demonstration of the rare Pai Young Taiji, one of the Pai Lum lineage styles of Dr. Daniel K. Pai, performed by Sifu Mike Fuchs in 1992.

Sifu Mike teaches in the Central Connecticut area, and is Chief Instructor of Butterfly Martial and Healing Arts. Arts taught include: Butterfly Reiki System, Butterflt taiji System, Butterfly Min Zin and Qigong, Five Form Fist Shaolin, and Filipino Kali. Sifu Mike can be reached at mikesf321@yahoo.com, and see him on Facebook/ Michael Fuchs/ Hartford.

The old Inside Kung Fu magazine, in their end of the century edition, had Dr. Pai listed as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century in martial arts, and described him as an, "American kung fu legend." this set is a true one from his system. Sifu Fuchs' teacher was his live-on lineage disciple and Chief Instructor of the Pai Lum system for years


University of Kansas Hospital's Turning Point Center of Hope and Healing now FEATURES Tai Chi success stories on their website.

Tai Chi hospital group performs at gala fundraising event for University Hospital's Hope and Healing Project ...
Tai Chi hospital group performs at gala fundraising event for University Hospital's Hope and Healing Project ...

We post these breakthroughs for Tai Chi and Qigong in mainstream culture and health care as a vision of where the world Tai Chi and Qigong community can go ...



Joinville, Brazil WTCQD 2015 VideoMontreal, Canada WTCQD

Further down in this newsletter, find a Video Gallery
of other 2015 World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Event Videos ...


Native American Newspaper Features FREE Tai Chi and Qigong
presentation for war veterans, their families and caregivers.

Returning from military service can be a difficult transition. Many who have served our country return with Traumatic Brain Injuries and PTSD. Returning veterans struggle with chronic pain, depression, and feelings of isolation.


To serve those who have served us, the Learning Center at Red Willow is proud to offer the Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program to offer effective, evidence-based mind/body medicine such as Mindfulness, Meditation Training, Equine-Assisted Therapy, Tai Chi, and Qigong. It is FREE of charge to all veterans, their families, and caregivers, and is proven to help our veterans optimize their lives ...


Read entire article at Car-Koosta News,
The official news publication of the Flathead Indian Nation ...





NOTE from Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day:


I grew up in a PTSD household, my father was in 3 years of frontline combat and was damaged for life. I was moved to discover Tai Chi and Qigong in my search to heal from my own PTSD which came from my childhood.


I eventually taught my father a Sitting Qigong Meditation when he was in his 60s, and he felt great relief from it.  My only regret is that I wish I could have taught him these tools many years before, because it would have changed his life and made my childhood and my family's lives much more calm and enjoyable.


I have taught Tai Chi and Qigong Meditation for stress management and health for our local VA Hospital, and offer Sitting Qigong CDs for free to war veterans. We try to feature Tai Chi and Qigong across the nation and world who use these internal arts to help war veterans heal.


My personal wish is that by connecting the world through World Tai Chi & Qigong Day's images of global connection in 80 nations worldwide, viewed by millions and millions of people worldwide year after year, will add to a change in global consciousness that will lessen the incidence of wars in the future.


One World ... One Breath.




Bill Douglas, Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day





Vogue Magazine advocates Qigong!


Beauty Wellness
5 stress-relieving apps to download

Qigong is a traditional, moving form of Chinese meditation-a holistic therapy that involves coordinated body posture and movement, breathing and meditation techniques for spiritual and health improvement. 


Read entire article at Vogue Magazine ...



Professor Jose Milton de Oliveira, Brasilia, Brazil
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day organizer in Brasilia ...

José Milton de Oliveira, 1953, born in Surubim, in the northeastern state of Pernanbuco, Brazil. In Brasilia since 1974, where I built my family and worked for 38 years in the  Central Bank of Brazil, most of the time in the international affairs area. 

" Here at WorldTaiChiDay.org we want to wish Professor Jose Milton de Oliveira a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  FELIZ ANIVERSÁRIO!!!!

Sifu de Oliveira has been one of the world's most effective and dedicated WTCQD organizers, a man dedicated to spreading hope, health, and peace in the world through the mind-body practices of Tai Chi and Qigong. He has taken his beautiful teacher, Master Woo's, teaching to heart and helped expand it into Brazilian government, media, and throughout society. His work in Brazil has been one of the corner stones of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, and has inspired Tai Chi and Qigong teachers and WTCQD organizers all over the planet.

Here we share this extraordinary human being's Tai Chi and Qigong journey."
-- Bill and Angela Wong Douglas, Founders of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day

National Brazilian Media Covers WTCQD in Brasilia,
due to the tireless efforts of Sifu de Oliveira 

"When I started practicing Tai Chi in the late 90's, I could not imagine that the art would become my philosophy of  life. Sometime later I became a teacher, I dared to wrote a book (Tai Chi-Health of the Being, edited in Portuguese, 2009), and attended to a two years technical course in Acupuncture, in order to explore better the energetic process, the routes of the meridians in our body. 

Today I can say that my life is divided into two periods, before and after Tai Chi. Both Tai an Chikung lead us to take a new look to the existence. In my journey into this global family of  WTCQD, I made many friends, and I can not fail to mention some very striking meetings who represented them all: (i) Alice Uchida, the Professor who introduced me to  the first moves of Tai Chi Chuan; (ii) Shizue Naka, the Professor who produced the DVD attached to my book; (iii) Master Moo-Shong Woo, who welcomed me in Square of the Universal Harmony -SUH, where he has been offering for 41 years the free and daily practice of Tai Chi Being Tao; (iv) Teresinha Pereira, representant of the  Being Tao Association, who gives strong support to the work of Master Woo, e (v) Bill Douglas and his wife Angela Wong, who in 2010 gave us the honor and  joy to visit to Brazil and joined us to celebrate the World Tai Chi & Chikung Day. 

I get paid for a few lessons, but what gives me more satisfaction are the free practices that drive: (i) to the community of the SUH, including the practice of each second Sunday in the Square of Tree Powers - place where are the palaces of the Executive, Legislative and Justice, activity that completed 7 years this July, (ii) to a small group of women prisoners and more recently (iii) to a small group of mothers of Ishmael's House, a home for children in Brasília."
-- Professor Jose Milton de Oliveira 

Official award ceremony from the government of Brazil for the work of Sifu de Oliveira and Master Woo, and the other Being Tao member's work in Brasilia.

Brasil Natl 5
Sifu Jose Milton de Oliveira performs Tai Chi for the
National Congress of Brazil in their official chambers

Brasil Nat'l 2
Brazil's National Congress Deputies observe Tai Chi being performed at the official recognition of Professor de Oliveira and Master Woo's work in Brazil

Brasil Natl 1


Unique and insightful articles on Tai Chi and Qigong, breaking TC / QG Medical Research, and TC / QG News from all over our beautiful planet ... One World ... One Breath ... reporting on and celebrating the work of Tai Chi and Qigong professionals worldwide ...

Also, see gorgeous videos and photo montages of WTCQD events held worldwide.

WTCQD, Iran, Children

What Makes World Tai Chi & Qigong Day the Most Profound Human Event?

We Provide FREE Banner/Flyer/Poster artwork, Organizing Kits, Media Kits, and more to help you expand TC & QG into your community.

New Research: Tai Chi Treats Heart Disease!

Hong Kong Event Dr. Luk

Hong Kong World Tai Chi & Qigong Day organizer, and renowned martial arts champion, Dr. Luk speaks on how & why she now focuses her energy on healing Qigong ...

Breaking Research: Tai Chi Benefits Those with Arthritis!

The Science of Kindness and Compassion ...

Click to read newsletter ...

Did you take a single person photo of someone wearing an Official WTCQD T-Shirt? 
And a large group photo of people doing Tai Chi or Qigong at your WTCQD event?

If so, you can send in the "best 2 photos" (one each of the above) by replying to this newsletter, and putting "WTCQD OFFICIAL T-SHIRT PHOTO CONTEST" in the subject line, with photos attached as jpeg files.

We are looking for one intimate close up of a person doing Tai Chi or Qigong in an Official WTCQD T-Shirt at your WTCQD event, and then a wider vision mass group photo of your larger WTCQD event as they do TC or QG with the world.  Reply to this email w/ 2 photos.

T-Shirt Montage

SPECIAL THANKS TO DR. KEITH JEFFERY, creator of Easy-Tai Chi systems, for his generous donation to the several hundred dollar Prize Packages of DVDs, Books, from some of the top Tai Chi and Qigong teachers worldwide.


Dr. Keith Jeffery will presenting a weekend Mindful Meditation retreat, Sept. 19 and 20.
And his annual Easy Tai Chi Symposium and Teacher Certification is Nov. 13 and 14th.

How T'ai Chi can help with chronic health issues
KCPT Television: How T'ai Chi can help with chronic health issues

See below video gallery of 2015 World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Event Celebrations worldwide ...

In 100s of cities in over 80 nations mass Tai Chi and Qigong Day exhibitions and teach ins are held to educate the world about mind-body internal arts benefits, and to provide a beautiful example of the world coming together across all boudaries to celebrate personal and global health and healing.


WTCQD Torino, Italy

WTCQD Honolulu, Hawaii

WTCQD Cameroon, Africa

WTCQD University of Utah

WTCQD Riga, Latvia


 Click to view WTCQD Video Gallery of Past WTCQD Events Worldwide ...






CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that under well-designed conditions, Tai Chi exercise training could decrease blood pressure and results in favorable lipid profile changes and improve subjects' anxiety status. Therefore, Tai Chi could be used as an alternative modality in treating patients with mild hypertension, with a promising economic effect.

Read more at NIH:





They located 26 relevant studies including 9 randomized controlled trials, 13 nonrandomized controlled studies, and 4 observational studies. Among the studied reviewed, 85% reported reductions in blood pressure in those who practiced Tai Chi, but the study quality varied, and 2 of the most rigorous studies showed that blood pressure was not affected by Tai Chi practice. - Medscape Today, from WebMD, 10/26/2010

Read entire article at:





A growing body of evidence suggests Tai Chi practice, even over short periods of time, may improve cardiovascular health. Depending on how it is practiced, Tai Chi has been characterized as a low to moderate intensity exercise. Three studies are briefly discussed to illustrate the types of evidence available to evaluate the impact that Tai Chi may have on components of cardiovascular health. Young et al. [4] conducted a well designed, randomized controlled trial with 62 subjects that compared the effects of aerobic exercise versus Tai Chi on blood pressure in mildly hypertensive older adults. Over the 12-week study period, Tai Chi was observed to be equally effective as aerobic exercise in reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

-- Tufts University





CIG 4th Edition

A Tai Chi & Qigong Standard Used by Students AND TEACHERS of all Styles of TC & QG

From the Founders of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, a TC & QG standard that promotes all teachers of all styles in its FREE Appendix A Schools Directory, and is highly useful to all styles ...

"Visionary! If you only buy one book on T'ai Chi, then this is the book."
-- Dr. Michael Steward, Sr., D.MA, Ph.D., MA, Senior Coach for Team USA, Inductee to the World Sports Medicine and World Martial Arts Hall of Fame


Link to Additional Resource and Reviews of this Book

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day
913-648-2256 | billdouglas@worldtaichiday.org | http://www.worldtaichiday.org

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