Joy is Our 'Natural State'

The Vital Force, the quarterly print journal of T’ai Chi Chih, is available by subscription. We also publish a free monthly e-newsletter, below. You’ll also find info below on how to sign up for the free newsletter and how to subscribe to the journal.

March 2019

Inspiration from The Vital Force 

This month: Gifts of TCC


"Joy is your natural state....”

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

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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, theChi. Practitioners of TCC experience peace, health benefits and more. 

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From a recent issue of The Vital Force:
 

Gifts of Presence: "I gave space to let my heart feel into what was important to share before sitting down to write this. The words 'powerful field of Presence' kept arising. Something very beautiful and miraculous happens when we gather together, especially over the course of a TCC retreat or Intensive. A powerful field of Presence is activated by the grounding in our practice. There is nothing we need to 'do.' TCC itself carries with it the intention of opening up Presence. This field we create together through TCC is so holding and supportive. It opens us up to the gifts of Presence: love, courage, strength, wisdom, inspiration, joy and lots of laughter. Presence creates a safe space that welcomes everything – including tears and pain. This compassionate space has the power to deeply heal and transform our soul." – MD, Loveland, CO

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Gifts of Practice: "I learned to glide; to let my heels gently rise, rather than lifting them; to let my knees and elbows let go and move; to settle my shoulders, and to begin to feel the energy in my hands. Personal one-on-one guidance helped me discover new ways of making room for spirit in my body, offering cathartic emotional releases and glimpses of ecstasy." – RGB, Livingston, MT

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Gift of Relief: "Two years of TCC practice has proven to be a tremendous healing power in my life. Extreme foot pain and insomnia have vanished, my balance improved and my creativity expanded and deepened. Two months ago, my left knee was replaced and the first three weeks of recovery were wicked. It was extremely difficult and painful.  In week three post-surgery I woke up in tears and cried out, 'I can’t endure this pain one more day.'My inner voice said, 'TCC will help.' I finally put on Justin Stone’s DVD, played it over and over, fell in and out of sleep, trying to do some arm movements. After a while I was doing the movements in my mind. I fell gently asleep – my first good sleep in three weeks." – JW 

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Gift of Joy: "Joy is your natural state, although it is usually clouded over. When the Mind returns to its natural condition, you are joyful. Such Bliss is not the result of anything. 'To the Mind that is still the Universe surrenders.' The Life Force itself is joyous. All we have to do is get ourselves out of the way and enjoy it. This is not difficult for animals and plants, but few humans achieve the natural and the spontaneous." – Justin Stone, Climb The Joyous Mountain 

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

. . . . .

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

1) Subscribe to the 24-page The Vital Force at http://www.taichichih.org/the-vital-force. Each issue offers 40-45 engaging stories, hints and insights. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

2) Subscribe to this monthly e-newsletter by emailing us here.

Flowing & Growing in Chi

The January 2019 issue of our free e-newsletter shares inspiring stories from people who practice TCC.

Inspiration from The Vital Force 

This month: Flowing and growing in Chi


"Secure in faith, one can wait patiently and the inevitable will arrive.”

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

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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, theChi. Practitioners of TCC experience peace, health benefits and more. 

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From a recent issue of The Vital Force:
 

"Justin always flowed. This was especially evident when he did T’ai Chi Chih. He flowed doing the movements, and joy poured forth. Flowing means moving in sync with the natural flow of the energy – not trying to make the movements happen, just going with them. Going with the flow. You might ask, ‘How do you do that?’ By grounding. Grounding is absolutely essential…. Grounding is the key to flowing. That's when T’ai Chi Chih is doing T’ai Chi Chih.…

“Now that we have an idea about how to flow, what is emptiness? In short, one might say that emptiness is void of our self-made limitations. Emptiness is full of love. It is wholeness, limitless possibilities, all the goodness there is. With this awareness, flowing from emptiness (or you might say flowing through emptiness) is exciting. There is no lack. There is wholeness and connection, abundance and gratitude. What a great way to practice TCC, flowing from emptiness." – DW, Albuquerque, NM

. . . . .
 

“This has been a long season of loss. Within the last three years, I’ve experienced the deaths of my parents, the destruction of our home by fire, and the long illnesses and death of my dear husband Jack. I have such gratitude to Justin and my teachers for the gift of T’ai Chi Chih. It has given me life throughout the turmoil: grounding and calming, allowing better judgement, decision-making, perspective and energy. TCC allows me to feel gratitude and to rest in love. Justin’s observations speak to me profoundly." – DA, Arroyo Grande, CA

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“Live in the present with gratitude.”  – Justin F. Stone in Spiritual Odyssey

“Nothing is permanent ... change is inevitable.” – Justin F. Stone in Heightened Awareness

“To want what we cannot have, to ask that we sustain what is unsustainable, and to demand that the law of continuous change be somehow annulled is to invite unhappiness.” – Justin F. Stone in Climb the Joyous Mountain

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

1) Subscribe to the 24-page The Vital Force at http://www.taichichih.org/the-vital-force. Each issue offers 40-45 engaging stories, hints and insights. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

2) Subscribe to this monthly e-newsletter by emailing us here.

Inspiration: Being present, taking time

To receive our inspirational free monthly e-newsletter, send a request by email to kim.grant@taichichih.org. To subscribe to the quarterly TCC journal, The Vital Force, visit this page. Here’s the information from our December newsletter:

December 2018

Inspiration from The Vital Force 

This month: Being present, Taking time


"Live in the present with gratitude.”

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

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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, theChi. Practitioners experience peace, health benefits and more. 

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From a recent issue of The Vital Force:
 

“Day by day, I slowed down Push Pull when I practiced it so I could really feel all the parts of the movement as flowing from inside the Chi, rather than from a more mechanical understanding of it imposed externally by the mind or how I thought I understood it. As thetan t’ien shifted the body forward, I paid particular attention to the slightly downward-pointing curve of the ellipse that the wrists traced, the subtle tug in the wrists as the fingertips pointed upward. An exquisite awareness began to infuse each millisecond of Push Pull as a fuller embodiment coaxed the vital energy to circulate more strongly and teach me about itself. What was happening, what was felt at the final moment of the return? Ah, the return. The energy of love poured into the front of the heart as the hands released more and more gently into the chest area ….” – AT, Albuquerque, NM

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“Not so long ago, someone asked me how long I had been doing these 19 movements and one pose? 'Quite a long while,' I answered, adding that I was still learning. The quick response was, 'Oh, you must be a slow learner.' I laughed and agreed. Then I remembered what someone else said to me once: 'Les choses qui en valent la peine prennent du temps,' meaning 'things that really matter take a long time.' Maybe discovering the Chi in our own body is worth all the time it takes to do so.” – CG, Lake Charles, LA

. . . . .
 

“I was at death's door when I began my T’ai Chi Chih journey in September 2012. I was very sick and tired all the time. It took everything I had just to make it to work every day. That was all I could manage. In the beginning, the movements were difficult to learn, but I just kept going to classes at the TCC Center, which became a lifeline for me. I practiced as much as I could. Gradually I began to feel alive again. I wasn’t exhausted all the time.Fatigue and irritability changed into energy, love and light. The unfolding lessons, physical vitality, mental clarity, spiritual blessings and awakenings are so sweet. Life is no longer something to dread or endure, but something to behold, something to create and something to be grateful for…. This practice and these teachings of Justin Stone’s are a tremendous and a powerful gift to the world. ” – CL, Albuquerque, NM
 

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"Although we are tossed around like tumbling tumbleweeds ... by our feelings, and our lives are shaped by the direction of our state of mind, we do not generally ascribe any significance to what happens to us or the sensations and feelings we have. We rationalize them but do not really cognize them. He who is mindfully aware of the tactile stimuli and of the mental reaction to a given stimulus has taken a big step forward in understanding life. – Justin Stone

. . . . .

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

. . . . .

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

Subscribe to 24-page The Vital Force at http://www.taichichih.org/the-vital-force. Each issue of our quarterly journal offers 40-45 engaging stories, hints and insights from TCC teachers and students. We also highlight wisdom by, and photos rarely seen of, originator Justin Stone. 

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

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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/

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

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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

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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

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

– Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

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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. 

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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

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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.

 

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

 

UCLA research: TCC helps relieve insomnia for breast cancer survivors

A group of prominent academic researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) this week announced study results showing that T'ai Chi Chih (TCC) works as well as the "golden standard," cognitive behavioral therapy, in relieving insomnia symptoms among breast cancer survivors. The article was published by the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Oncology online on May 10, 2017 with print publication to follow.

Lead author of the paper Michael R. Irwin, MD is "one of the world’s foremost experts on the psychoneuroimmunological pathways by which psychosocial and behavioral factors influence health and disease," his UCLA web page says. Dr. Irwin, second author Richard Olmstead, PhD, Helen Lavretsky, MD and other researchers at UCLA have published several papers about TCC since at least 2003. Their research has shown that practicing TCC improves immune system function, can help relieve depression and, now, that TCC can help relieve symptoms of insomnia.

Below you'll find an abstract describing the new insomnia research. To learn about other research documenting TCC's effectiveness, visit our website.

ABSTRACT

FROM: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28489508

Tai Chi Chih Compared With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Insomnia in Survivors of Breast Cancer: A Randomized, Partially Blinded, Noninferiority Trial.

Purpose: Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and Tai Chi Chih (TCC), a movement meditation, improve insomnia symptoms. Here, we evaluated whether TCC is noninferior to CBT-I for the treatment of insomnia in survivors of breast cancer.

Patients and Methods: This was a randomized, partially blinded, noninferiority trial that involved survivors of breast cancer with insomnia who were recruited from the Los Angeles community from April 2008 to July 2012. After a 2-month phase-in period with repeated baseline assessment, participants were randomly assigned to 3 months of CBT-I or TCC and evaluated at months 2, 3 (post-treatment), 6, and 15 (follow-up).

Primary outcome was insomnia treatment response - that is, marked clinical improvement of symptoms by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index - at 15 months. Secondary outcomes were clinician-assessed remission of insomnia; sleep quality; total sleep time, sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, and awake after sleep onset, derived from sleep diaries; polysomnography; and symptoms of fatigue, sleepiness, and depression.

Results: Of 145 participants who were screened, 90 were randomly assigned (CBT-I: n = 45; TCC: n = 45). The proportion of participants who showed insomnia treatment response at 15 months was 43.7% and 46.7% in CBT-I and TCC, respectively. Tests of noninferiority showed that TCC was noninferior to CBT-I at 15 months ( P = .02) and at months 3 ( P = .02) and 6 ( P < .01). For secondary outcomes, insomnia remission was 46.2% and 37.9% in CBT-I and TCC, respectively. CBT-I and TCC groups showed robust improvements in sleep quality, sleep diary measures, and related symptoms (all P < .01), but not polysomnography, with similar improvements in both groups. Conclusion CBT-I and TCC produce clinically meaningful improvements in insomnia. TCC, a mindful movement meditation, was found to be statistically noninferior to CBT-I, the gold standard for behavioral treatment of insomnia.

 

 

Best Reason To Practice TCC

People who practice T’ai Chi Chih regularly often report feeling more joyful, experiencing considerable health benefits, and more. How does this happen? Justin F. Stone, originator of TCC, explains here how balancing and circulating the Chi, or Vital Force, brings about such change.

The Best Reason To Practice

by Justin F. Stone

Karma is an important and frequently used word, so it is important to understand what it means. In the Sanskrit language, karma means “action,” that and no more. So, when we glibly speak of “our karma,” we really mean the fruit of our action, not the action itself. Even this is not totally correct. The motivation behind our action is what establishes our karma – that is a result and not blind destiny.

Usually the motivation that causes us to act is the result of our established “habit patterns” (vashanas in Sanskrit). This is cause and effect. We establish patterns of thought and reaction, and these – formed by ourselves – coerce us into acting in certain ways. So we have created the very force that molds us. Should we not be careful in our thoughts and the habits we create?

There is always a result, neither “good” nor “bad” (which can be seen as “favorable” or “unfavorable” from a personal viewpoint), which is appropriate to the action. When a gun is fired, there is recoil commensurate with the force of the shot. This adequately explains karma for us. People usually believe not what is logical, but what they want to believe. Thus their actions are rationalized. This has no effect on the inexorable karma, which is not concerned with sentiment or rationalization. As one practices T'ai Chi Chih, the quality of the Chi definitely changes. So many say, “I really can‘t remember what I was like before TCC.”

As the Chi is circulated and balanced, habit energies tend to fade and one no longer feels compelled to follow dubious paths of action. One now feels more in control of (and responsible for) his or her actions.

This is “burning the karmic seeds.” It is the best reason I know to practice TCC, aside from the joyful feeling such practice brings. The serenity and better health are the results of this balancing and circulation. And it is so easy to accomplish.

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Reprinted with permission from the February 2017 issue of The Vital Force. Original public in the December 1992 issue of The Vital Force.

10 Ways to Know TCC Practice is 'Working'

 “…if lives are enhanced, that is enough and no more has to be said.” – Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator

 [T’ai Chi Chih] is not meditation, though it seems to bring the serenity of the most successful meditation – a serenity that teachers often notice in the faces of their students near the end of classes. Indeed some students who come to class under a lot of tension are then embarrassed to begin yawning, [which is] obviously a release of tension. One who is tied in knots does not yawn. 

 And T’ai Chi Chih is not exercise, though it seems to be the easiest and most effective form of exercise. It is one of the few practices that exercise the internal organs. …

One is naturally gratified to receive these benefits from regular practice of T’ai Chi Chih, but there are deeper effects that must be experienced personally. The practicing student will first notice a tingling in the fingers, and soon a slight shaking of the fingers as the Chi spreads. Heat may appear at points where there is blockage or has been an injury. And often this heat (which is very healing) will appear sometime after practice – while walking down the street or engaging in some other activity. A surge of energy is common, and students are advised not to practice T’ai Chi Chih after the evening meal, as the heightened energy may interfere with sleep. 

 The tingling in the fingers may appear in the very first practice session of T’ai Chi Chih. And the inadvertent trembling only confirms the flow of the energy, which the student feels quickly. This is the first manifestation of the circulation of the yin and yang Chi, which separate when we begin to do the movements, and then come together when we rest.

If we practice regularly and get the habit of doing the movements when we arise in the morning, we will probably continue faithfully because we will notice the effect in our lives, and experience the ‘joy thru movement.’  As we continue we should one day have the ecstatic feeling that nobody is doing anything, that the Chi is flowing by itself, and T’ai Chi Chih is doing T’ai Chi Chih. I first had this experience at dawn in a Japanese garden. And it was almost like a Satori or enlightenment experience. It will take some time before this occurs.

The third confirmatory sign of our success in T’ai Chi practice will come only after we have been doing T’ai Chi Chih for a long time, to the point where the balanced Chi begins to flow the moment we lift our hands – and probably flows through us most of the day while we are carrying out other activities. Then we will be surprised to learn that we can do T’ai Chi Chih mentally. We can be sitting at a boring lecture or on a plane and, closing our eyes, begin to do the movements in our minds. The Chi then begins to flow just as if we were standing and moving. No one around us will even know we are doing it, but we are getting the benefits of T’ai Chi Chih practice while sitting quietly.

Starting at the point of the circulation of the Vital Force we have now arrived at the point where it is completely influenced mind. I leave you to imagine how wonderful such a realization will be, but it will only come after considerable time. One of the first effects we will notice is the absence of fatigue in activities that usually tire us. 

 I remember hearing from a former student, a nurse, who said, ‘I don’t seem to yell at the kids anymore or kick the cat. And when I come home from work, fixing the evening meal doesn’t seem to be a chore. This doesn’t have anything to do with T’ai Chi Chih, does it?’

‘What’s the difference?’ I replied, ‘As long as it’s happening.’

I’m not going to burden her with the information that I’ve heard scores of such comments. If lives are enhanced, that is enough and no more has to be said.

* * *

From Justin Stone Speaks (a CD), transcribed from an oral talk; excerpted and reprinted with permission from Good Karma Publishing.

Reprinted from the November 2016 issue of the TCC journal, The Vital Force. To subscribe to The Vital Force, click here.