From the topic archives:

Taoist Meditation

Is tai chi a meditation tradition? Or is it that one part of tai chi is not a meditation tradition, but one part of tai chi is a meditation tradition?

These are pretty common questions. I think there are a lot of misconceptions in general about this both in the West and even in China. I think this has arisen because  many see the movements of tai chi and think, “Tai chi looks so meditative and graceful, it must be a moving form of meditation.”

This may or may not be so. Let’s look back historically. Read More

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How can you flow with the changes every day brings and stay present within any maelstrom life chooses to send? This is the challenge of what you eventually progress towards when you practice tai chi and bagua as methods of Taoist moving meditation. Equally important is: Can you flow with change without having an agenda? Sometimes changes happen that you are powerless to affect. And yet even in such situations, you still know the general direction of the flow somewhere inside yourself—even considering the unpredictable currents you may encounter.

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Hi folks,

Its has obviously been a big year. The biggest thing about the holidays in my opinion is to be kind and share your love with others.

Forgive everyone you can in every way so that the time the New Year comes you won’t be holding onto anything.  This is a great meditation. If you can let go and forgive what has happened in the last year your life will clearly be better moving into the next year. This includes both forgiving yourself and others.

Maybe you will have to take steps regarding the craziness that you have forgiven so it does not happen again. That is all good to do and remember that forgiveness helps you be free from the burdens of old creating space for the new to arrive.

Happy Holidays,

Bruce Frantzis

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Bruce Frantzis at Bai Yuan Guan Temple in Beijing

From an insider’s view, Bai Yuan Guan, or the White Cloud Temple, is considered the meeting point for Taoists to connect from all over North China.  The complex is the main Taoist temple in Beijing.

Over 25 years ago, from 1985-6, my Taoist master used to send me to White Cloud once or twice a week.  He gave me meditation practices, which I did at two spots here.  At the time I lived only a 15 minute walk away. Read More

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Photo of Iceberg By natalielucier

Dissolving the physical body and relaxing it is not the same thing. Often to explain this, I use the image of going from ice to water.

Relaxation in the West is mostly understood as a mental or an emotional mood change. When we’re going from ice to water in Taoist dissolving practices, we’re talking about the body physically softening as well as your mood softening.

Of course, there is a general emotional sense of relaxation, but more specifically, the tissues of the body are physically relaxing and becoming softer. The blood in the body begins flowing better, which comes from blood vessels being less constricted. Read More

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Picture by nsgbrown

If you could grant just one wish to most people who recognize their faults or problems, they would wish for them to be gone.  They know that they have low self-esteem, some negative thought pattern, grief, inertia or fear, and they would like nothing more than to be done with it.

Most people don’t really want to live with pain and suffering, but they just haven’t figured out how else to relate to the world.

People want to let go, but they don’t always have a method for doing it.  How do you let go of a loved one who passes away?  How do you let go of an important relationship after a break-up?  How do you let events come to a natural conclusion so you can start all over again? Read More

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Bruce Frantzis in the Tai Chi Single Whip Posture

Tai chi can be used as a powerful form of Taoist moving meditation, which starts with balancing the emotions—that is, the emotional energy body. Tai chi can also be practiced to acquire martial arts skill and as a health system.

The latter is what you might see people doing in the park. Although tai chi can also be practiced as meditation, almost all forms widely available are NOT directly connected with a meditation tradition. So if you practice tai chi, you will want to be aware of these distinctions.

Since the Wu Style Tai Chi Instructor Training is coming soon, I thought it would be useful to talk about tai chi and how it connects with emotional well being and specifically the Taoist meditation tradition.

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Photo by morning_rumtea

Spring is the time of the year when all is awakening, new and fresh. Having just come out of the winter, you plant the seeds that will sustain you for the whole year. So springtime gives you the energy to do.

The spring brings out the energy of the liver, which can bring up one of three possibilities:

  • The neutral aspect of really getting out there and doing things, getting things done–whatever they may be.
  • The negative aspects of anger and frustration–sometimes to a great degree–because you’re not getting things done.
  • The positive aspect of taking the energy to do and turning it into compassionate love. Read More
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Tai Chi for Meditation

March 8, 2011

Tai chi can be used as a meditation to calm down your nervous system and smooth out all the deeper energies of your emotions, your mind, your psyche, your karma and your essence. The energy in your body creates the energy upon which the waves of your mind ride. If the chi in your body ... Read More

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Effortlessness and Taoist Meditation: Discovering the Joy Inside Yourself

March 1, 2011

Wu wei , or effortlessness, is the very heart of the Taoist Water Method and Taoist Meditation. This concept of “doing without doing,” is very tricky to understand from a purely mental point of view. Wholly understood, wu wei is not “non-action”, but action that operates by simply following the natural course of universal energy as ... Read More

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