by Brett Wagland
illustrations by Bernie Slater
Paperback - 94 pages
210x145mm (A5 size)
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Today, Tai Chi is practised by a steadily growing number of enthusiasts in almost every city of the world. Unlike many conventional forms of exercise, Tai Chi is a complete and holistic approach to health and self defence. Its early development can be traced back thousands of years to a time when Taoism flourished in China.
Taoists studied the workings of the universe by observing nature and contemplating the meaning of existence through various forms of meditation. In time, this knowledge evolved into a sophisticated system of developing the mind, body and spirit to their full potential. A glance at the subjects studied by Taoists reveals the breadth and depth of their knowledge. They were medicine, health arts, philosophy, military strategy, I Ching, herbalism, feng shui, martial arts, acupuncture, painting, poetry and meditation. The art of Tai Chi can be said to be a precious jewel in the crown of the Taoist health and martial arts.
Over the years, I have studied Tai Chi and other martial arts with many different teachers. Some were good and others - not so good. I feel very fortunate to have a teacher such as Wang Chang Fei here in Canberra. Wang Chang Fei is a traditional Chinese medical practitioner and Qigong expert. His guidance and friendship have been invaluable to my development in the internal arts. My traditional Yang Style Tai Chi teacher is Grandmaster Fu Sheng Yuan, 5th generation ambassador and a world recognised authority on Yang Style Tai Chi. His depth of knowledge is immeasurable. I also have had the good fortune to train with the founder of the Hun Yuan Tai Chi system, Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang and his daughter, Feng Xiu Qian. Grandmaster Feng is an inspiration in both his training of the Hun Yuan and in his focus on the Tao in daily life. Ms Feng's generosity of spirit and her expertise as a teacher of the art are very much valued and appreciated. I feel truly blessed to be able to learn from teachers of this calibre. They helped me to distinguish the wheat from the chaff. I am very indebted to their kindness and their generosity in passing on their knowledge to me.
Since 1982, a group of dedicated instructors and I have been promoting the rewards of practising Tai Chi. Because of the benefits we have gained from Tai Chi, we are very strongly motivated to pass on this precious art to others. I am delighted to share this art with you, so that your lives will also be enriched by these teachings.
This unique Tai Chi manual has been produced to enhance the progress of all Tai Chi practitioners, as they travel along the Tai Chi road. It is filled with fascinating articles and helpful training tips which will be of great interest, enjoyment and benefit, not only to beginners, but also to advanced students. It also provides very interesting reading for others who may have an interest in the art of traditional Chinese training.
The manual offers you information in many different areas of Tai Chi and Qigong. Each article contains so much material that the reader can return again and again, and find yet more helpful suggestions to incorporate into his practice.
Beginners will be delighted to find details about training which will help to make their practice more effective and enjoyable. As you develop your Tai Chi training and knowledge, you will find a much deeper meaning in the principles and philosophy of Tai Chi that are explained in the manual.
Through the inspiring words of wisdom, guidance and encouragement given in the articles, advanced students will find renewed effort in further developing and refining their Tai Chi.
You are ensured of many hours of enjoyable and informative reading. The insight realised from this manual will bring much enrichment and greater understanding to your Tai Chi and Qigong practice, and enable you to gain numerous benefits which you can enjoy for the rest of your life.
– Brett Wagland
Table of Contents
Introduction to the History and Development of Tai Chi
Relaxation of the Mind
Learning to Let Go Attachments
Centring : Stillness in Activit
|Breaking the Cycle of Stress||16|
|How Tai Chi can Help You to Relieve Stress||18|
|Tai Chi and its Many Health Benefits||20|
|Strengthening the Lower Back||24|
|A Look at the Various Stage of Tai Chi||26|
|Staying on the Path||28|
|The Ten Important Principles of Tai Chi||30|
|Why is the Hun Yuan System so Effective?||34|
|Experiencing the First Stage of Hun Yuan Tai Chi||37|
|The Many Faces of Yin Yang||40|
|The Philosophy of Yin Yang||42|
|Tai Chi : A Study of Equanimity||44|
|Learning to Relax||46|
|Flow like a River and Be Still as a Mountain||49|
|Living in the Moment Brings True Happiness||51|
|Ming Mun : the Gate of Life||53|
|The First Step in Tai Chi||55|
|Get the Right Feel!||57|
|The Never-Ending Path to Mastery||59|
|Develop Your Potential||61|
|The Tao of Learning||63|
|Empower Yourself through Tai Chi||65|
|Your Guide to Stress Relief||67|
|Learning Tools - Tai Chi DVDs||67|
|Tai Chi Warm Up Exercises||68|
|Cultivating Your Internal Energy through Qigong||70|
|Calming the Mind||74|
|Training Tips : Regular Practice||76|
|Your Tai Chi Training Program||78|
|Keeping Your Practice on Track||85|
|Components of the Hun Yuan Tai Chi System||89|