Spirituality in Internal Arts: United Tai Chi digest 9/18/13

  • Spirituality.  A loaded word, a hot button topic, as spirituality means so many different things to different people.  Tai Chi and the internal arts leave a door open for spiritual pathways and often cultivate a greater appreciation for the divine.  Several books have touched on this topic.  Tai Chi: Health for Life (Bruce Frantzis): “Spirituality involves the process of exploring, finding and remaining in a divine or spiritually open state all the time—often referred to as enlightenment. The capacity to concentrate deeply is one major essential ingredient needed to become enlightened. In this regard, tai chi helps you develop extremely subtle concentration abilities.”  The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi (Peter Wayne) lists one of the eight active ingredients as Embodied Spirituality – “Tai chi creates a practical framework for practicing living with more holistic Eastern philosophy that integrates body, mind and spirit. It can also be a powerful vehicle to add spiritual dimension to your life. Also the ritualistic practices of Tai Chi may help amplify and sustain its therapeutic benefits.”  The Wandering Taoist (Deng Ming-Dao) talks about the humility/selflessness component of spirituality; “Use your knowledge in the service of others, but expect nothing in return. Never seek a reward for your labors, for that is a sin.”  Likewise the naturalism bent (communion with the outdoors and studying the meditative and self-healing nature of animals) inherent in Tai Chi lends itself to the devine. Chang Tao-Ling and Lau Tzu speak of the energies of heaven, earth and man as The Three Pure Ones and “by receiving these spirits into the microcosm of the body, one becomes a child of the Tao” (Mantak Chia, Awaken Healing Light).  The Taoist view of spirit, or Shen, is related to one’s attitude or emotional energy.  How have your internal arts practices impacted your exploration of spirituality?



  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Several opportunities to expand the depth of your practice these past few days. Discussing heaven’s bridge and the unbroken circle. Finding answers to a posture in the martial application of it. Stories about the Phoenix and how each of us in the warm-up circle represents a feather that has been dropped by the mother-figure; then we in turn drop feathers of new students we bring.  Reasons to augment your Tai Chi practice with complementary arts like Bagua and Hsing-I.   Of course, topped off by our on-going Tai Chi studies including how to find room for your tuna sandwich under your armpit by turning the elbows out (armpit = the kwah of the shoulder). Growing like a tree Qi Gong.  Eight Pieces of Brocade. Relaxing the knee of your weighted leg for balance.  Ten breaths discussion/tips/movement explanations. Harmonies –e.g., the elbows and kidneys are “cousins who are good friends.”  Kidney breath. Dragon tongue kick. 
  •  Student News and Upcoming Events:  Welcome new students Wanda, Gloria and Alma; and welcome back Ellen and Jay.  John C saw his son off into matrimony this weekend. Christian’s next Qi Gong workshop is Saturday September 28, 2pm –invite friends, all levels welcome  (Kerr Park, $25, or $5 discount if wearing our United Tai Chi shirt).  If you bought course # 13FFH710 through Chester County Night School, Christian starts those Monday night sessions on 9/23.  Internal arts DVD Night –coming soon. TaoistHealingEnergetics.org in Berkeley is a new Twitter follower, try and check out their site if you are curious about Chi Nei Tsang.  Some people don’t like a birthday acknowledgement, so an early Feliz Cumpleanos to one who’s name rhymes with “Ron”. Likewise a happy belated to Deb, and an (early) Bonne Fete or Joyeaux Anniversaire to Chris S!  Glad to hear there is renewed interest in the night class at the natural pharmacy via email inquiries and current afternoon students—excited to share that with those looking to augment and broaden their study. Ray thanks for the LinkedIn endorsement.  And hey, I got a reminder on this auto health tip this weekend –car batteries don’t last forever.  Martina, Liz and Claudia: thanks for the advice, praise and/or social engagement these past few days.
  • Etcetera:  Let me know which of you would like that Lyme disease treatment report from local chiropractor Dr. Ned Culbertson. I will get an E-distribution-list together and spot send to just those interested.


  • Weekly Schedule:


Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM


Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM


Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

[90 minute, small   class attention, *separate fees apply]


7:00 PM


  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco

TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi     

PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi


Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice       unitedtaichi@gmail.com     


2 thoughts on “Spirituality in Internal Arts: United Tai Chi digest 9/18/13

  1. Claudia Pietzner

    Ah, very interesting question.
    It has always been more important to me to think about how my internal efforts are impacting my life, inspiring and completing my daily activities. But how has TaiChi and QiGong impacted my internal practices?
    It has brought a lot of joy into my practice. I have a love of movement and fluidity and to be in the experience of transitioning from one posture to the next throughout a practice session helps me to deepen my relationship to change. For a long time internal work was a chore for me. Now I can’t wait to get to it. Moving meditation has liberated my thinking about spiritual/internal practices. I know now that there are many ways to meditate and how important it is for the meditant to find his or her angle or chanel and how important it is that it is a joyful experience.
    And how has it impacted your spirituality, Kathleen?

  2. Pingback: Reboot: United Tai Chi Digest 9/16/14 | United Tai Chi

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