Rumspringa: United Tai Chi digest 3/18/14


  • In many Amish communities, not unlike that of nearby Lancaster County PA, there is a time of year when teens participate in a period of Rumspringa (or from the German, rumschpringe). A time for them to at least temporarily explore other cultures outside their own –automobiles, movies, nightclubs, etc., before deciding if they would like to remain within the realm of the Amish church afterwards, or venture afield. A sort of ‘suspenders gone wild’ step of un-focusedness it may seem like to us outsiders.  The advent of springtime (landing here in the US on March 20th) likewise evokes that kind of abandon or breakout of cabin fever mode. Spring Break.  We are outside the window letting our mind run amok.  This is where I bring in my ‘living the art’ analogies and talk about the phenomenon of what the Chinese call “Monkey Mind” as we come to know it in internal arts.  Spring is a season when a “young man’s fancy” (or woman’s) turns to love, cars, baseball, lawnmowers, deck parties, St Patrick’s Day pub crawls.  Things like work, or internal connections and mindfulness, have a harder time maintaining some headspace. Jangled or disassociated thoughts, or stress, rise to our upper tan tien. The slow motion practice of Tai Chi and other internal arts “enables you to consciously and deliberately access how your mind, body and energy work. It gives you the needed time to accurately perceive and comprehend the full ramifications of what you are experiencing when you do the tai chi form.  It slows down your neurological speed enabling you to obtain your awareness to notice subtle changes and become conscious of deeper and deeper levels, and helps you become aware of and control your monkey mind.”  [Bruce Frantzis, Tai Chi: Health for Life]  Perhaps this is why our own instructor Christian recently had us do a focusing, calming breath before the opening bow in the Tai Chi Yang 108 long form, to ‘clear out our monkey mind’ and just stay within our breath. Where have your thoughts been traveling this week?


  • Shares/Finds: Fascinating young lady Chen style Tai Chi video clickable here  And Bruce Frantzis has a new audio podcast series starting with this link What Is Taoism    Vote for Vaughn Ripley, a tai chi practitioner using internal arts to combat HIV, to be on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine.


  • Wrap-up of recent classes: Some shaking and 8-piece brocade qigong warm-ups, one handed Tai Chi part I yang 108, martial application and occipital point considerations of Look/Gaze in the 13 Postures. And then its All About The Kidneys. Bones like water, spray house, working on transitions between Split & Ward-off in the 13 postures (importance of heel of the palm, bubbling well, mind intention, heaven and earth hand, etc.). Ten breaths. Five colored clouds surrounding the mountain (did you ‘see’ your skeleton?). Ward off drills.  Keeping monkey mind at bay. Some hsing-yi principles discussion and practice at the Sunday Dragon Gym session.  Golden Lotus Qigong practice with a small snowy St. Patrick’s Day Monday audience. 


  • Student News & Events: Lots of great news to share this week! Join our new Tuesday night 7.30p Tai Chi class at Blue Buddha Studio on Rte 100 near Ludwigs corner.  Master Wei Lun Huang (“Sifu”) will be conducting a local 2-day workshop at Dragon Gym in Exton on May 17 & 18 –for those of you who didn’t make it to his session at Boston Healing Tao recently or to Wakulla Springs last fall. Details here One of our students Jose is conducting a multi-session Ikebana workshop at Neil Hazinski Pottery in Phoenixville, dates and pricing info at phone 610-551-2796.  Welcome new spring session students at Chester County Night School. Locals, I also mentioned last week, student practice sessions drop-in (sans instructor) Mondays at 1.30pm at Lionville Holistic Health Center in Exton. April 26 is the annual celebration of World Tai Chi Day, stay tuned for more related news. In the Twittersphere, thanks @mashiahvaughn for favoriting one of our tweets. Facebook fans (and local students) HAPPY BIRTHDAY soon to John C and Martina S.  WordPress supporters –thank you for bigger jump in readership the past 30 days (Feb18 to March16) than in the previous 30!


  • Publishing note: I’ve been asked to move the newsletter frequency to bi-weekly. See you around April 1.


  • Weekly Schedule:   NOTE: Any Non-YMCA class offsite = FREE to Military Veterans!



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

Tuesday Night

Blue Buddha Studio

1247 Pottstown Pike    Glenmoore PA

Price point = ___? TBD


7:15 pm

Thursday Night

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

 90 min., small class attention, Tai Chi &   mixed

 *$25 drop in   rate



7:00 PM

Monday night


Chester County Night School, Tai Chi class

820 Frank Rd in West Chester

Pre-pay, multi-week   . Started on 3/17



7.30 PM

Thursday   morning

Tai Chi classes at Eat Drink OM Yoga Café

124 E. Gay St in West Chester

 $15 drop in rate each class



7:30 AM


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



WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog


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

Kathleen Rice    


One thought on “Rumspringa: United Tai Chi digest 3/18/14

  1. Pingback: The Crossing: United Tai Chi digest 4/1/14 | United Tai Chi

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