TCC Inspiration Far & Wide

 

Teachers & students from around the US describe the benefits they've gained from T'ai Chi Chih  practice. The info below is from our free monthly e-newsletter. To subscribe, just send your email address to kim.grant@taichichih.org with a note saying you'd like to receive the free monthly TCC e-newsletter.

August 2018

Inspiration from The Vital Force

This month: Letting Go

As awareness grows, so does joy.

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

____________________

This e-newsletter offers inspiration between quarterly issues of the T'ai Chi Chih (TCC) journal, The Vital Force. TCC is a series of 19 movements and one pose, a moving meditation practice that helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, health benefits and more. To learn more about TCC, visit our website: http://www.taichichih.org/

_______________


Quotations from the most recent issue of The Vital Force
 

Life-changing: "Of all the wonderful lessons T’ai Chi Chih has taught me, let go is the one that has really changed my life. We know the mind alters Chi, and Chi alters the mind. As we learn to let go physically during our TCC and Seijaku practices, our minds are learning to let go too. . . .During my second year of practicing TCC, I was introduced to Justin Stone’s Abandon Hope, that book with the grim-sounding title. I believe the let-go moments in TCC allowed my mind to open to the book’s lesson – a lesson anything but grim." – A student in the West

. . . . .

Calming: “TCC is calming for me and helps create a moment of peace. It has helped me in situations of stress or anger to become more cool-headed and handle these emotions better in the moment. I feel the ground beneath me and the air touching my skin while I practice. The sounds of people and buildings fade away and the white noise of the area comes forward. TCC is helping me become a better version of myself in this world.” – BM, Albuquerque, NM

. . . . .

Grounding: "When I came to T’ai Chi Chih accreditation, I didn’t know I could...
listen with such attentiveness that words reformed into pure, clear thoughts;
observe with precise intention to notice the nest of changes in movements;
feel with grounded balance and stand strong upon this earth;
sense to the core of my t’an tien and find a center of gratitude.
But I could do all of this because I surrendered to the challenge." 
– SC at March 2018 Teacher Training

. . . . .

Connecting: “During the practice of TCC, I am transported to a state where I am not required to think, worry or plan. I am simply me, in my purest, calmest state. I don’t have to think about how slow or fast I am going, because my body knows what’s right for me. My spirit, rather than my mind, guides me. It brings me one step closer, every day, to living life completely in the present and keeping myself as true and connected as I can be.” – JR, Albuquerque, NM

. . . . .

Balancing: "It means you must 'Let go!' Every spiritual path simply asks you to 'Let go!' But this means to ignore your habitual thought patterns, your ingrained energy patterns and that is difficult to consciously do. The circulation and balancing of these energy patterns in T’ai Chi Chih practice can do it for you effortlessly." – Justin Stone

*TCC watercolors by Judy Kistler-Robinson

July issue of free TCC e-newsletter!

July 2018

Inspiration from The Vital Force

This month: Changing consciousness

...every word spoken to you will be a signpost to guide you,
if you let it
.”

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

____________________

This e-newsletter offers inspiration between quarterly issues of the T'ai Chi Chih (TCC) journal, The Vital Force. TCC is a series of 19 movements and one pose, a moving meditation practice that helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, health benefits and more. 

_______________


Quotations from the most recent issue of The Vital Force
 

Simple but not Easy: "As teachers of T’ai Chi Chih we have a tremendous responsibility to complete and carry on Justin Stone’s vision. He believed and taught that a daily practice of TCC – when practiced with integrity and sincerity – could and would raise our individual vibration and increase the speed of our personal evolution. Perhaps it could even speed the evolution for all humanity. This is a pretty tall order. …As I have grown as a teacher, I have come to learn that instead of rules, Justin gave us his teachings and his example. And, I have found, if we follow these guidelines we will not lose our way. Are the guidelines hard to follow? No. However, like TCC, they are simple but not easy. …TCC keeps us grounded and present. It keeps us in the moment and it brings clarity. " – EF, Glenwood Springs, CO

. . . . .

A Way of Healing: “TCC has been my form of stress relief, anxiety relief and a safe haven for about a year. Coming into it, I thought it would be ridiculous, but it proved me wrong. In a competitive school, I’m always thinking about what’s ahead. But TCC helped me be in the moment, slow down, make sure I’m okay. TCC really is a way of healing. I’m much less stressed and I feel like I have control over my emotions. I can feel them and I let them come out, but I don’t have to be scared of them. I’m glad I took TCC this year; it really has helped me.” – AN, Albuquerque, NM

. . . . .

Identification with the Universal: "In a higher state of consciousness, this feeling of narrow, isolated individuality expands and develops into a closer identification with the Universal. At times such a one may feel his awareness going far beyond the walls of his room or the shell of his body and covering vast areas of consciousness. …There is no limit to which consciousness can expand, understandable when you realize that it is not 'our' consciousness. Sentience is everywhere." – Justin F. Stone

. . . . .

Teachers, please forward this email to your students.
Students, please forward this email to your friends.

. . . . .

Want more inspiration? Want connection with the global TCC community? Want tips for a better practice? Join us:

1) Subscribe to The Vital Force at https://www.taichichih.org/subscribe. Our quarterly journal offers engaging stories, hints and insights from TCC teachers and students. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

2) Subscribe to this monthly e-newsletter by sending an email with heading marked SUBSCRIBE to kim.grant@taichichih.org.
 

*TCC watercolors by Judy Kistler-Robinson

T'ai Chi Chih Inspiration

Our free monthly e-newsletter offers inspiration from the TCC quarterly journal, The Vital Force. Teachers and students tell stories about ways they've benefitted from the practice. To subscribe to the e-newsletter, send an email with heading marked SUBSCRIBE to kim.grant@taichichih.org.

June 2018

Inspiration from The Vital Force

This month: Deepening our practice

. . . . .


Chi does not belong to us individually; rather, we tend to share in this universal energy.”

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

____________________

This e-newsletter offers inspiration between quarterly issues of the T'ai Chi Chih (TCC) journal, The Vital Force. TCC is a series of 19 movements and one pose, a moving meditation practice that helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, health benefits and more. 

_______________


Quotations from the most recent issue of The Vital Force
 

Deeper Lessons: “It [TCC instruction at a retreat] was a reminder to slow down and be mindful in all aspects of my life. It was a reassurance to trust my body to support me and to let go of past traumas. It was a reminder that I can find balance in my life if I focus on what is important and what feels right. Each movement became more than a physical activity; it became a reassessment of my life, purpose and inner being. Lessons learned in our TCC practice are lessons that help us live a more full and authentic life. While detailed deconstruction of movements was informative and constructive, the deeper lessons are the ones I value most – balance, trust, being grounded, mindfulness and slowing down.” – GN, Wrightwood, CA

. . . . .

Love in Practice: "The love generated during TCC practice is shared by all. Someone new to TCC feels it the moment he starts moving. Or she may feel it from being in the field of others moving. At the end of the day, no one has more love than anyone else. We all share it. That’s the emptiness we talk about. The more we move we can empty, the more we can feel the love. It 's always there. We have to open up to it." – DB, New York, NY

. . . . .

Healing Effects: "My doctor’s office called to share results of a recent bone density scan. Two years ago tests indicated that osteopenia had begun to morph itself into osteoporosis…. I decided to continue eating healthily and taking vitamins – and made one change. Over the last 19 months I’ve practiced TCC, rarely skipping a day. The message his morning was, ‘Keep doing whatever you’re doing because the osteoporosis is getting better.’ What? Not only has degeneration abated, but bone is building. While I’d done TCC on and off for years, I’ve been doing a daily practice since retiring and becoming accredited to teach. This is the tip of the iceberg of amazing results from our precious mindful, meditative TCC. – LM, Lakewood, NJ

. . . . .

Inner sincerity & integrity: "This is not 'our' Chi; we are a product of this Chi…. To unite with this Chi and to balance it is to return to the Uncarved Block, and this is what is meant  by Centering. In this sense, TCC practice becomes meditation…. It is my hope that TCC instruction will not just be physical. TCC teachers are told that the important thing is teh, the power of inner sincerity and integrity." – Justin F. Stone 

. . . . .

Teachers, please forward this email to your students.
Students, please forward this email to your friends.

. . . . .

Want more inspiration? Want connection with the global TCC community? Want tips for a better practice? Join us:

1)  Subscribe to The Vital Force at https://www.taichichih.org/subscribe. Our quarterly journal offers engaging stories, hints and insights from TCC teachers and students. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

2) Subscribe to this monthly e-newsletter by sending an email with heading marked SUBSCRIBE to kim.grant@taichichih.org.

. . . . .
Where in the World?
Visit our website (http://www.taichichih.org) for photos of TCC practice around the globe. Submit your own to kim.grant@taichichih.org. 


The Vital Force
Subscribe to the quarterly TCC journal at https://www.taichichih.org/subscribe. Learn with our international community of teachers and students.

T'ai Chi Chih
TCC is a moving meditation of 19 movements and 1 pose. Learn more about the practice at http://www.taichichih.org.

 

Minding Our Minds

Experience is subjective - each of us sees a situation slightly differently. How does our relationship to the Chi influence our perspective? 

TCC e-Newsletter April 2018

Inspiration from The Vital Force 

This month: Minding Our Minds

“For each state of mind there is a corresponding character of Chi and, in turn, each aspect of Chi influences the state of mind.”

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

____________________

This e-newsletter offers inspiration between quarterly issues of the T'ai Chi Chih (TCC) journal, The Vital Force. TCC is a series of 19 movements and one pose, a moving meditation practice that helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, health benefits and more. 

_______________


Quotations from the most recent issue of The Vital Force
 

Discipline of Gratitude: “Five years ago my husband was recovering from surgery to save his life from cancer.... His recovery was short-lived, and he died three months later. I have been paying attention to my life's new direction. I have three fabulous children married to wonderful people. I have four amazing grandchildren who fill me with joy. I am thankful for what I have in my life and that I continued to live. Now I have the opportunity to refocus, and live purposefully with a discipline of gratitude, finding the good in life. It's my responsibility to bring light where there is darkness, healing where there is pain, and joy where there is sorrow.” – SB, Richfield, MN

. . . . .

Effort of No Effort: "No thought, no mind, no problems. Focusing on the soles of the feet. Yinning and yanging, one leg in emptiness while the other leg full. Emptiness of weight. Weightlessness in the forward and back movements. Flowing from the tan t'ien. No effort, a slow steady swim through air." – KL with DM, Wildwood, IL

. . . . .

Empty Cup: "In Heightened Awareness, Justin Stone writes: 'For one to follow the methods of the book in working toward heightened awareness ... it is necessary to "empty the cup." A full cup will hold no more.' I considered what I'd like to remove from my cup (fear, worry, envy, resentment, anger, disappointment, busyness) to make room for gratitude, love, sharing. Then i realize my error. Again, my cup fills, this time with anticipation, expectation, a prelude to disappointment. By seeking, I may miss what (if anything) comes. Better to be empty." – GG with DM, Wildwood, IL

. . . . .

Interrelatedness: "It may be difficult for some to understand how the outer and the inner are related and how the circumstances of our lives can be affected by the quality of the Chi. But unless one feels that all life is an accident and all events coincidental and without cause, it would be relatively simple to comprehend..(how) all things are intertwined (and) the interrelatedness of all life." – Justin F. Stone 

. . . . .

Teachers, please forward this email to your students.
Students, please forward this email to your friends.

. . . . .

Want more inspiration? Want connection with the global TCC community? Want tips for a better practice? Join us  subscribe to The Vital Force. Our quarterly journal offers engaging stories, hints and insights from TCC teachers and students. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

Monthly e-newsletter for TCC inspiration!

The T'ai Chi Chih journal, The Vital Force, is published quarterly for paid subscribers. Every month The Vital Force issues a free e-newsletter to share inspiration from the most recent issue of the journal. To subscribe to the free e-newsletter, email the editor: kim.grant@taichichih.org.


This month: Energy in TCC practice

“The circulation of the Chi, and the balancing of the yin and yang,
are the primary goals of T’ai Chi Chih.”

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

____________________

TCC is a series of 19 movements and one pose, a moving meditation practice that helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, health benefits and more. 

_______________


Quotations from the most recent issue of The Vital Force
 

Waking up to truth: “At home reflecting, I read about yin-yang energies, habit energies and about how to ground. Often when searching a topic, I was led to the TCC website to read an article or blog. Then, it happened, I felt a shift. Not like an earthquake, but a subtle shift. I struggled to put it into words but I felt it. I sat with the shift. I let myself be, went to bed, and slept deeply and peacefully. Awakening Sunday morning, I knew – not from my head but from my tan t’ien – that I had found the true path to healing if I wanted to be healed.” – CK, Fort Collins, CO

. . . . .

Renewing energy: "Sinking lower and plugging in (while practicing Anchor Taffy) anchors me in my body and allows my center to be the engine, the power source. When I engage the tan t’ien, it’s like running on electricity, on Chi. It’s quieter, more efficient, with fewer fumes. It’s regenerative. I get better mileage and can go farther. However, batteries for electric engines need recharging or the power source will run empty. To plug in, I need to practice with attention." – LS, Fort Collins, CO

. . . . .

Returning lost joy: "Another saw TCC as a 'path to mental wellness, a path to reintegration capable of restoring pieces of ourselves we’ve lost.' She said, 'The practice can be part of who we are.' One of us observed the deepening she saw taking place “one step at a time” and described being connected to the tan t’ien as 'richer than breath.' Another reflected on her belief that individual and group practice each have equal merit, both having helped her 'find the place of joy and stillness inside.' She has come to appreciate Justin’s awareness that the inner landscape is richer than the outer. One group member said her retreat experience convinced her TCC is the proper vehicle for reclaiming what’s been lost. She sees how, with regular practice, the Chi will illuminate her path and lost joy will return. 'That's the magic of TCC.'" – MP, Santa Barbara, CA

. . . . .

Which world are you living in? "So the quality of our Chi, which makes us what we are, determines our world. There is no reason to think any two of us see the same world any more than to think that any two of us share the same fate. What we see and what we experience is determined by what we are; that is the law of Karma. Isn’t it true that one person sees the world as being filled with darkness and misery, while another person experiences it as joyous and purposeful? Are there two worlds? The difference is subjective." – Justin F. Stone 

. . . . .

Teachers, please forward this email to your students.
Students, please forward this email to your friends.

. . . . .

Want more inspiration? Want connection with the global TCC community? Want tips for a better practice? Join us  subscribe to The Vital Force. Our quarterly journal offers engaging stories, hints and insights from TCC teachers and students. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

May the (Vital) Force Be With You!

This monthly TCC e-newsletter, free to all subscribers, offers inspiration from the TCC journal, The Vital Force. Text from the most recent issue is below. To subscribe, send your email address to kim.grant@taichichih.org. May the Vital Force be with you!

Inspiration from The Vital Force 
February 2018


This month: TCC practice in all circumstances


“As the clouds are brushed away, awareness grows from the inside, and it always goes from the limited individual outlook to the universal.”

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

____________________

This e-newsletter offers inspiration between quarterly issues of the T'ai Chi Chih (TCC) journal, The Vital Force. TCC is a series of 19 movements and one pose, a moving meditation practice that helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, health benefits and more. 

_______________


Quotations from the most recent issue of The Vital Force
 

“TCC For All Seasons: It’s early March in Philadelphia. Twelve degrees and gusty winds. Biting icy snow and sleet still falling on already icy streets…. I’m going to the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. By the time I board my home-bound train later, I’m happily exhausted, fall asleep, and wake to hear the conductor announcing the next stop – not on my route. I had boarded the train heading the opposite direction from home. The next stop is an isolated one with no indoor shelter…. I gather my belongings and am the only person leaving the train.
 
It’s even colder, even windier, and the icy snow is still blowing. Ah...a sheltered bench and enough time to do a full TCC practice. It’s cold, but I’m mostly out of the wind, and Rocking Motion feels like the greatest blessing ever. Bird Flaps its Wings stares a gust of wind in the face. The “Platters,” Bass Drum and the “Daughters” are solid against the elements. Carrying the Ball – of persistence – to the Side. Pushing the cold away and Pulling in the warming Chi…. With the final grounding, I realize I’m warm and centered.” – ND, Wallingford, PA

. . . . .

"Evolution Through ChiAfter 30 years of teaching TCC, I’m experiencing a deeper appreciation of Justin Stone’s approach to ‘Evolution Through Chi’ (1991 booklet)…. I’ve always approached my TCC practice and teaching with as much teh (inner sincerity) as possible, including gratefully accepting movement corrections over the years. I’m still trying to incorporate the many personal suggestions made by Justin. But after four years of teaching at a nursing home, I don’t focus on correcting students doing their very best to follow the movements….

My experiences increasingly bear witness to Justin’s claim that teaching TCC is an important way for us to serve as ‘Divine Agents of evolution.’ I feel that my most important ‘service to mankind,’ right here, right now, is to allow the TCC movements to support the evolution these residents are undergoing in the final years or months of their lives. Many of them are too demented to communicate with others at any significant level. It touches my heart more deeply than I can express when I see the eyes of stroke survivors and people with Alzheimer’s begin to shine as they feel enhanced Chi circulation." – HH, Fern Forest, HI

. . . . .

Boulder: It had been two years since Andy passed. He loved attending the TCC teacher conferences, and we had attended most since our certification in San Antonio in 2000. Since he and I co-taught all our TCC classes, the thought of attending without him was something I couldn’t consider until this year.… It was wonderful seeing old friends, teachers and making new friends. But it brought back many bittersweet memories of the fun and learning Andy and I had together…. I hadn’t taught TCC since Andy’s passing but before the conference, I was asked to teach the residents of The Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. After much consideration, I took this as a sign. Andy would have wanted me to do it.

After the first class I received a request to teach at an assisted living complex, where I now offer standing and seated TCC. Andy and I had never taught seated TCC, and learning more about seated TCC was one of my main focuses at the conference. I am so thankful to have attended. Being with teachers was very healing, and I thank everyone for their kindness and friendship." – BA, Highland, IL

. . . . .

Teachers, please forward this email to your students.
Students, please forward this email to your friends.

. . . . .

Want more inspiration? Want connection with the global TCC community? Want tips for a better practice? Join us  subscribe to The Vital Force. Our quarterly journal offers engaging stories, hints and insights from TCC teachers and students. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

Free monthly T'ai Chi Chih e-newsletter

Inspiration and news for people interested in - or already practicing - TCC is available to subscribers of our quarterly journal, The Vital Force. In addition, we offer a free monthly e-newsletter, May the Vital Force Be With You with excerpts from the journal. Here's an online subscription form for the e-newsletter: http://bit.ly/2kHv1tS - Join us! And here's a sample:

May the Vital Force Be With You - December 2017 issue

Inspiration from The Vital Force

This month: TCC practice tips

"Any muscular tension causes the meridian channels to contract
and the Chi can then not flow freely through them ...
a free flow of Chi, the vital force,
is an obvious necessity." 

--Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

____________________

This e-newsletter offers inspiration between quarterly issues of the T'ai Chi Chih (TCC) journal, The Vital Force. TCC is a series of 19 movements and one pose, a moving meditation practice that helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, health benefits and more. 

_______________
Quotations from the most recent issue of The Vital Force


TCC Movement - Rocking Motion: "From the point in the movement where the practitioner has fully shifted forward and is up on the balls of the feet (heels lifted) and the hands are at shoulder height, the hands turn gently over and begin their cascade downward in sync with the downward/backward weight shift. As the hands pass by the hips, the wrists release completely (this is easy to forget and very powerful). Holding tension in the wrists where it is not necessary blocks the flow of the Chi, just as engaging the wrists where appropriate enhances Chi flow.

Releasing the wrists as the palms pass the hips, the hands do not turn palms up just yet. The body is still shifting backward from the tan t’ien, and so, too, the hands continue to travel back, led by the invitation from the tan t’ien, palms facing the wall behind the practitioner as the toes lift...." (Guidance continued in the Nov. 2017 issue of The Vital Force.) – AT, Albuquerque, NM

. . . . .

Grounding & Alignment: Body alignment during TCC practice "has one of the greatest impacts on our capacity to allow a downward flow of Chi. We know that energy flows best through a straight pipe. We also know that when the body leans, tension is created, and where there is tension, the energy cannot flow….
 
"The only way to get aligned is to feel it. So let us feel our alignment by first feeling our weight centered over the soles of the feet. Now, since most of us have a tendency to move our pelvis forward take your two index fingers and push your hips back till you feel your sit bones over your heels. Now gently tuck your tailbone to level your pelvis. This will naturally bring your shoulders forward but sense in and see if you can actually feel your shoulders directly over your pelvis. Lastly, bring your chin in to align your head over your spine. Note, your core muscles need to be awake and engaged to maintain alignment. You have to be present to stay aligned!..." (Guidance continued in the Nov. 2017 issue of The Vital Force.) – MD, Loveland, CO

. . . . .

Seated TCC: “It’s much easier for seated students to learn grounding into the soles of the feet. Getting into alignment is much easier and moving from two inches below the navel can be experienced quite easily – even though experiencing the tan t’ien may take more time…
 
“‘Less is more’ is a good plan on many levels in TCC. Learning to move from the tan t’ien is so important it’s worth teaching without distractions like leg and arm movements. Hands are either hanging at the side or in rest position during this part of the practice….
 
“The great thing about seated TCC is that you can introduce the hand movements in a tight relationship to the weight shift. ‘Let your hands ride out as you rock forward, let the momentum circle the hands as your weight shifts to the other side, and let your hands ride back as you rock back.’ Tying the hand movements to the weight shift makes the hand movements naturally smaller without being cramped…." (Guidance continued in the Nov. 2017 issue of The Vital Force.) – DK, Sarasota, CA

. . . . .

Teachers, please forward this email to your students.
Students, please forward this email to your friends.

. . . . .

Want more inspiration? Want connection with the global TCC community? Want tips for a better practice? Join us  subscribe to The Vital Force. Our quarterly journal offers engaging stories, hints and insights from TCC teachers and students. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

TCC practice: Grounding by focusing on soles of our feet

"T'ai Chi Chih goes much deeper than merely helping us to be healthy." In this transcription of a taped lecture, excerpted and published in the August 2017 issue of the TCC quarterly journal, The Vital Force, TCC originator Justin F. Stone explains the benefits of grounding during TCC practice by keeping one's concentration in the soles of the feet.

Q: Why is it necessary to keep the concentration in the soles of the feet while doing T'ai Chi Chih?

A: Actually there are three reasons. First, having a point of concentration keeps the mind from wandering and from having extraneous thoughts. Second, the t'an tien, the spot two inches below the navel, is the all-important place Chi is stored. It is the seed of intuition and the most important spot from the Chinese (medicine) standpoint.

In T’ai Chi Ch’uan, the student is asked to keep his concentration in the t'an tien, but this is very difficult and often interferes with breathing. The Tu Mu meridian channel that comes down the front goes thru the t’an tien and reaches the soles of the feet, called the Chu or bubbling spring.

Therefore, by concentrating in the soles of the feet, we serve the same purpose – bringing the Chi down to the t’an tien by bringing it down to the soles of the feet. The Buddha once said, "He who keeps his concentration in the soles of his feet while walking, while sitting, and while lying down can heal a thousand illnesses."

Third, and most important from a health standpoint, we want to bring the heart fire, that is the Yang of the heart, down instead of letting the Yin of the kidneys rise. The great Japanese Zen Master Hakuin Zenji commented on this when he said:

"The essential of the molding of the outer form consists in allowing the inward spirit and vital force, that is the Chi, to penetrate into the space below the navel. Where the inward spirit is concentrated, that is when the elixir of life is made. When this elixir is thus made the outer form becomes firm, and when the outer form becomes firm, the inner spirit becomes perfected. When the inward spirit is perfected, long life ensues.This is the secret. It is entirely a matter of the heart fire descending into the space below the navel."

This gives us a pretty good idea of the importance to health of this practice. And it also graphically demonstrates that T’ai Chi Chih goes much deeper than merely helping us to be healthy. Incidentally, Hakuin made his own breakthrough to enlightenment and totally cured his ailing health by following these principles. After his enlightenment he said, "After this, seeing the things of the world was like observing the back of my own hand."

Reprinted with permission from Good Karma Publishing.

Benefits of Circulating & Balancing Chi

Want to get rid of bad habits? That takes a spiritual approach, says TCC originator Justin F. Stone. Practicing TCC helps balance the Chi and that helps change the ways we think and behave.

The Physical and the Spiritual in T'ai Chi Chih

By Justin Stone    Fall 1987 ©The Vital Force

Most people who come for T'ai Chi Chih lessons do it for physical reasons, either because of ailments or because they feel it will help them in the areas of energy, hypertension, etc. Thus, they think of TCC practice as a form of therapy, which it undoubtedly is. However, they may later find that they have derived much deeper – Spiritual –  benefits, which they did not expect.

How do these come about? How does TCC affect our Karma?

We are the products of our Habit Energies (“Vashana” in Sanskrit), and we in turn have built these Habit Energies. Thus it can be a vicious circle. When these Energies grow too strong they become Tendencies (“Samskara” in Sanskrit), and these may last through many lifetimes. These Tendencies are some of the reasons people have uncontrollable drinking problems – which they don”t understand – explosive temper outbursts, fits of despondency, etc. It is hard to fight against such things when you don't know what you're fighting.

How does all this begin? When there is a release of energy, accompanied by the mental stimulus associated with it, a “Vritti” (Sanskrit) or shallow groove is formed on the brain. Repeated release of the same energy – as when one finds solace in drink and therefore imbibes each time a disappointment is encountered – develops the shallow groove into a deeper Habit Energy. This in turn takes over our lives. If you will introspect, you will find that most of our actions are habitual. We practice piano to develop these Habit Energies so our playing becomes “muscle memory.” We learn languages this way. Some actions become so habitual, such as shaving in the morning, that we often don't remember whether we performed them or not.

So we are a product of these Vashanas, which we ourselves built! We are, in a sense, our own creators! We build our own Karma.

I have often spoken of the “Reciprocal Character of Mind and Chi” (“Prana” in Sanskrit). The character of the Chi greatly influences our State of Mind, and our State of Mind greatly influences “our” Chi. How can we break into that circle to change influences for a more desirable effect? We do T'ai Chi Chih, circulating and balancing the Chi. As the Yin-Yang elements are brought into better balance, this not only balances the Chi but it also influences how we think. Ultimately we are what we think; this creates our Karma.

The state of someone's Chi creates “vibes." as we all know. Sometimes we meet someone and get “bad vibes” when that person's Chi is out of balance. We can't explain it – and we often ignore it – but we are reacting to that individual's energy field. Such reactions are usually reliable.

By changing the quality of the Chi (thru TCC practice) we are actually performing the deepest Yoga, going back to the cause and erasing it so the affect will be improved or will disappear. This is, in a sense, “de-hypnotization.”

In this respect TCC has the same deep purpose as Yoga and Zen, but it is a much easier practice. Few are capable of following either Zen or Yogic life to their deepest levels, particularly in our busy society. But we can practice TCC and have the deepest Spiritual effect on ourselves.

Justin Stone
Reprinted with permission from The Vital Force, Fall, 1987

News reports of TCC's effectiveness spread globally!

Reports of the results of the recent UCLA study showing that TCC helps relieve insomnia among breast cancer survivors have made news headlines around the world. A sample of articles is provided below.

To read even more news reports of TCC's effectiveness, go to the In The News page of the TCC website, www.taichichih.org.

5/10/17
“T’ai Chih Chih Compared With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Insomnia in Survivors of Breast Cancer” 
Journal of Clinical Oncology
Academic research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine shows that practicing T'ai Chi Chih helps relieve insomnia in survivors of breast cancer. The study compared the effectiveness of TCC with cognitive behavioral therapy.

. . . . .

'Breast cancer survivors often don’t just come to physicians with insomnia. They have insomnia, fatigue and depression,' said Dr. Michael Irwin, the lead author and a professor of psychiatry at UCLA. 'And this intervention, T'ai Chi Chih, impacted all those outcomes in a similar way, with benefits that were as robust as the gold standard treatment for insomnia.'

"The American Academy of Sleep Medicine considers cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) the treatment of choice for insomnia. 'While CBT treats insomnia, it’s too expensive for some people and there is a shortage of trained professionals in the field,' said Irwin, who is also a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. 'Because of those limitations, we need community-based interventions like T'ai Chi Chih.'" -- Excerpts from May 2017 UCLA press release

. . .

The UCLA findings have been reported around the world:

6/2/17
“T’ai Chi (Chih) Effective, Affordable Alternative to CBT-I for Insomnia in Breast Cancer Survivors”
OncologyNurseAdvisor.com

5/18/17
“Forscher: Diese T’ai Chi-Übungen wirken gegen Schlafprobleme”
HeilPraxisnet.de (in German)

5/15/17
“T’ai Chi (Chih) Can Help Breast Cancer Survivors Sleep”
NewsMax.com

5/15/17
"T’ai Chi (Chih) Relieves Insomnia in Many Breast Cancer Survivors"
PsychCentral.com

5/13/17
“T’ai Chi (Chih) Bantu Kurangi Masalah Insomnia pada Penderita Kanker Payudara”
MetroTVNews.com (in Indonesian)

5/11/17
“T’ai Chi Chih Improves Insomnia Among Breast Cancer Survivors”
CancerTherapyAdvisor.com