T’ai Chi Chih is a mindfulness moving meditation practice that’s easy to learn. The series of 19 movements and one pose helps circulate the Vital Energy, the Chi. Practitioners experience peace, improved health and many more benefits. Our free monthly e-newsletter offers inspiration between issues of the TCC quarterly journal, The Vital Force, in which teachers and students tell stories about ways they’ve benefitted from the practice.
Great secrets lie in the space between breaths. – Justin F. Stone, TCC Originator
From a recent issue of The Vital Force:
In these wildly divisive times, I’m discovering that the only place of peace is deep within the center of my being, which requires a connection to breath. It’s one thing to know the physical location of my body’s center: two inches inside and two inches below the navel. It’s another thing to arrive in the center of my being via inhaling and exhaling … and remain there in tandem with breath. We know that TCC has no breathing instructions outside of Joyous Breath. But what is the first thing we do to ground ourselves as a prelude to practice? Exhale into the soles of the feet. Then we step left into Rocking Motion with its unspoken invitation to our inner essence to settle, peacefully, into center. No breathing instruction, yet the movements beckon us towards a quiet gentle evolution into stillness that elevates the quality of personal peace. – JC, Canton, GA
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Breath and thought are connected. When, in deepest meditation, breath seems to cease, there is no thought. Conversely, worried thoughts will bring on a harshness of breathing. So we can affect our state of mind by working with the breath. Observing the breath is a good way to note the thought process. Carried to an extreme, one will note that thoughts seem to have a life of their own and can be observed dispassionately without disturbing them. In deep concentration on a problem, or when the mind becomes one-pointed in meditation, we tend to hold the breath, making it easier to keep the concentration. Before entering into important work, or before creative endeavor, one might be wise to regulate the breath a bit. – Justin F. Stone
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Accreditation: “As I look back on teacher accreditation week, I’m amazed at the variety of candidates and teacher auditors who attended. We came from all over the U.S., some young, some old and many in-betweens. We came from all walks of life and beliefs. We all had stories of how we ‘found’ TCC….Each day we focused on different aspects of practice and on being mindful, connecting to the earth, weight-shifting and flowing from the center. Our teachers helped us find words so we could pass along what we learned to our students. I treasured each moment.” – EM, Bainbridge Island WA
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Circulating the Chi that is within and around me during my practice provides an opportunity for everything to reconnect. I become empty of a separate self but full of everything, becoming one with everything: earth, sky, water, soil, plants, animals, you and other beings. I exist outside of and beyond the confines of my physical form. This brings me renewed life. Flowing from emptiness allows me to be more open to receiving – like the empty cup. It allows me to learn about myself and the impact that actions, non-action, words or silence may have. It’s like a butterfly flapping its wings: it ripples the air throughout the universe. This brings me a closer connection to my feelings and a greater consciousness. Flowing from emptiness is a truer sense of letting go: of ego, angst, fear, perceptions. Flowing from emptiness gets me closer to working from a center of inner sincerity (teh) and, as Justin wanted with T’ai Chi Chih, finding out who and what I truly am. – DB, Cave Creek, AZ
Want more inspiration? Want connection with the global TCC community? Want tips for a better practice? Join us:
1) 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.