Tai Chi Easy coming to Hendersonville NC in 2022!

Henderson County Recreation Department and I are offering Tai Chi Easy in January, 2022 at the Edneyville Community Center, 15 Ida Rogers Road, just off Chimney Rock Road twenty minutes north of downtown Hendersonville.

A FREE INTRODUCTORY CLASS will be given on January 11 at 11:00AM, followed by six weeks of classes every Tuesday for $55. Participants will learn a complete five-movement form (plus opening and closing gestures.) Wear loose comfy clothing and good walking shoes.

Register online at https://henderson.recdesk.com/Community/Program or drop in for the FREE introductory class 1/11 at 11:00AM.

Moon Festival and Equinox

The Autumn Equinox is today, following the climax of a full moon. The Chinese Moon Festival is a celebration of harvesting and gathering. Family reunions are emphasized. I am grateful for my Qi Family.

We are entering the Yin time of year as nights will grow longer, days will grow shorter until the Spring Equinox concludes and reverses the cycle. Seasonal cycles are the wheels of life. The energy of Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) is obviously that of new beginnings. Summer is the hard work of growing and bearing fruit. Now, Autumn is the time to harvest and assess the harvest. What went well? What might be better? What lessons have been presented? What is worth keeping, and can we let go of the rest? These questions are suitable meditations for Autumn until the Winter Solstice, when the energy shifts to a time of resting and dreaming, preparing for the rebirth of Spring.

The annual cycle of beginning, climax, ending and resting is reflected in our daily cycles of waking, working, assessing and sleeping. The same cycle is occurring with each breath as well. Take a deep one now, inhaling fresh energy until it reaches a peak that calls for change of direction, release, exhaling, relax and ready for another breath, another day, another cycle, another season. Wheels within wheels, circles within cycles. May you have much to celebrate!

New teacher, new student, new home!

My Sifu Dimitri Mougdis introduced me to Anisha DeSai Fraser and encouraged her to teach me Vincent Chu’s Returning Taiji form. My personal practice is invigorated as I learn what this form teaches, and I continue to learn from Dimitri and the Medium Frame for that I have been practicing for the past four-and-a-half years. My new home in North Carolina has an indoor sunroom, and outdoor porch and a front yard that are exactly the right size for a full practice. The butterflies outside are constant reminders of proper form. The photos are Medium Frame Needle at Sea Bottom. The front foot must be so light that “you can hold a butterfly down without killing it” according to Sifu’s instructions. “You’re killing the butterfly!” was a comment frequently heard at the Internal Arts Institute as we practiced and played together on the floor.

Today I am visiting with the Program Director for Henderson County Parks and Recreation, to see if I can offer Tai Chi Easy classes at the local rec centers. I teach Tai Chi Easy, and practice Tai Chi hard!

Tai Chi Easy and Classic Taiji Principles

The weather looks good for our second Tai Chi Easy Meetup, Sunday, Jan. 10 at 2PM at Highland Park, corner of Zillicoa and Montford Avenue, in Asheville, North Carolina.  Last week we focused on a Qigong movement called the Flowing Motion.  It is a prime example of how to “turn on” the body’s natural healing resources.  Slow, relaxed movement + deep breathing + a clear mind (which is obtained by focusing on relaxing the body and deep breathing) is a formula for creating the “healing elixir within.”  Stress is the number one cause of disease – we can only heal when we relax. 

We also practiced Tai Chi Walking, which is Number One exercise for balance, and not at all like normal walking!  It takes babies a year to learn to walk, and it can take much longer to master Tai Chi Walking.  

We learned the first Tai Chi Easy movement, called Harmonizing Yin and Yang (a.k.a. Parting the Wild Horses Mane.)  These three things are a lot for a first-timer, and we will repeat them.  Experienced Tai Chi players know that these movements are profound and meaningful, as they express the Tai Chi principles that inform all schools of practice.    

A Corona Virus Response

We are being encouraged to “wash our hands” as we receive reports that millions of people are being quarantined in other countries.  Some of us crossing borders on cruise ships are being quarantined, and some of us are finding our flights and public events being cancelled.  What are we to think?  “Wash your hands.”

Pontius Pilate washed his hands, but he is forever stained.  What else can we do?


As usual, there is no single silver bullet to solve the conundrum.  There is only a menu of best practices in order to purify the self and purify all.  Practice to purify body, breath and mind.  Purify to be healthy and to share good health with others.

How do we purify the Body?  Avoid processed foods, especially sugars and sucrose products unless coming directly from a fresh fruit in your hand.  Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.  Seek out products that are grown locally and with great regard for Gaia, the integrity of Mother Earth.  If you have underlying weaknesses and ailments, seek help.  You may need immunization or isolation.  If you are not well, do not carry your illness into public.  Rest, recuperate, and seek intelligent help.

How do we purify the Breath?  Breathe deeply of clean air.    Engage your diaphragm to breathe deeply, since it activates the lymphatic and immune systems.  Be selective of the air you breathe, avoiding chemical “fresheners” and off-gassing when possible.  Don’t contribute to foul air with unnecessary emissions from driving, flying or using chemical products.  If you are ill, please don’t breathe on others.  Anyone, whether well or unwell can benefit from deep breathing practice.  The ability to hold the breath indicates lung health, and the practice of holding the breath tones the vagus nerve and baroreceptors that emit positive hormones.

How do we purify the Mind?  Discipline the mind with meditation and a dedicated practice of yoga, tai chi, qigong or other forms which strengthen body-breath-mind harmony.  Practice and discipline are a choice – a time tested means to an end.   By entering these practices, one may even enter the unified field and find communion with countless others who are practicing for the benefit of self and the benefit of all.

Body, breath, mind – these are the gifts, the Three Treasures of our existence.  May we realize and utilize these gifts abundantly so that we may share them freely.  And wash your hands.

photo of people near wooden table

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Light and Darkness

Winter Solstice Celebration Qigong Friday, December 14, 2018, 10AM at Unity of Fort Pierce, 3414 Sunrise Blvd.  

Light and darkness, life and death, on the right and left,

these are children, they are inseparably together.

But the good are not good, and the wicked not wicked,

life not life, death not death.

Each element fades to an original source.

But those who live above the world cannot fade.

They are eternal.  — The Gospel of Philip

abstract blur branch christmas

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Giving Thanks

I feel so grateful for my life of abundance.  While it may be ridiculously modest compared to many, it is full of so much luxury and security relative to the other end of the human spectrum.  I never tire of running water, and the gift of A/C in Florida!  A car that stops and starts, legs that go and eyes that see.   The amazing beauty of the earth and sky, the landscape and the living things.  The other souls on my journey, my teachers, my students, my family, friends and neighbors, and the people I meet by chance every day.  I’m grateful for public servants, all the workers and workplaces that bring food to my table, furnishings to my home, fuel to my car.  For local and global leaders who are willing to pull the cart of history down the road, for followers that make choices based on compassion and egalitarian ideals.  For written words, for art and music.  Grateful for my coffee in the morning, wine in the evening, all the ups and downs in between, and the Tai Chi that helps it all make sense.  20170119222822
Photo courtesy of the ShanghaiDaily.com

2018 The Year of the Earth Dog


“It is said, by Chinese Wisdom Teachers, that the Year of the Earth Dog (perhaps the Earth Wolf) will be a time when the insights arising from the happenings and breakthroughs of the Year of Phoenix will be actualized for the common good.” So says my fourth teacher, Dr. Roger Jahnke, in the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi February newsletter.  He continues “Wolves, hybridized to be Dogs, are loyal, they are tribal, they work together, they care for children and elders – they understand the common good.”

By all prognostications, the year of the Earth Dog is a year to work for the common good; a year to be steadfast, observant and obedient, cautious, even ordinary.  Perhaps this is a time to assess your tribe.  Who do you love?  Who do you serve?  And how?

A Happy New Year

130As we approach this brand new year, filled with possibilities and hope, may our intentions be rooted in love for ourselves and others.  Set reasonable, attainable goals.  Surround yourself with a community who supports and encourages you on this path.  Create meaningful rituals for a healthier lifestyle.  And remember that every ending offers a new beginning, so if you fall of the routine you have set for yourself, simply begin again, being present in the moment, just as it is.  This moment, too, is filled with possibilities and hope.  May your intentions be rooted in love for yourself and others.  This passage was copied with gratitude from the Asheville Community Yoga  January Newsletter: Freedom through Service.