Qigong Radio with Dan Kleiman






January 2019
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As you cultivate the mind-body benefits of Tai Chi, you will likely focus on solo training and interactive two-person practices like Pushing Hands.

There's a third kind of Tai Chi training, though, that will make the link between the other two stronger, Tai Chi Equipment Training.

Using stones, balls, disks, belts, and other objects you find in nature, you can develop important attributes of the Tai Chi body and mind.

Renown teacher and multiple-time national Push Hands champion Don Ethan Miller explains how to go about using objects to enhance your training in this episode.

Direct download: QR_Ep12_Don_Ethan_Miller_Tai_Chi_Equipment_Training.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 5:00am EST

I'm posting this episode on my annual summer retreat/vacation/recharge, where I assess my practice and teaching from the past year and plan courses for the coming year.

This year, in the midst of big changes at Brookline Tai Chi, I've been wondering a lot about the way qigong practice informs your encounters with change in other areas of your life.

Of course, I always like to think that there's a strong connection, but this year everyone at Brookline Tai Chi is truly testing whether the art of smooth change in the classroom manifests itself in real life as well.

Direct download: QR_Ep11_Practice.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 5:00am EST

In this episode of Qigong Radio, I thought I was going to get a report about the Dragon and Tiger instructor training.

Yes, the six instructors who joined me for the episode talked about the training. If you missed Maui, you'll get a sense of what it was like.

But they also shared some true qigong gems with us, that I think you'll be able to apply to all of your energy practices.

Specifically, we discuss:

  • Relaxation in the West vs. Qigong perspective on relaxation
  • The way stagnant chi impacts your mind and how a tense mind freezes up your chi
  • How Dragon and Tiger helps relax the mind into a feeling state as opposed to a thinking state
  • How Dragon and Tiger's emphasis on chi circulation transforms other practices like Tai Chi and Ba Gua
Direct download: QR_Ep10_Dragon_and_Tiger_Instructor_Training.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 8:19am EST

We just started summer classes at Brookline Tai Chi this week, which means new students are coming in for the first time and experienced students are coming back after a break.

That means there are lots of good questions floating around about getting started, making progress, and the frustrations you encounter along the way.

In this episode of Qigong Radio, I hope to address some of those concerns.

Specifically, I discuss:

  • What do you think is the ultimate goal of your practice, anyway?
  • Do you have a "listening" practice in your current routine?
  • Where is the gel point in your daily practice?
Direct download: QR_Ep9_Expectations_and_Progress.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 8:59am EST

What do we mean when we say we "put our mind inside our body" when we meditate, do qigong, or Tai Chi?

Dr. Cathy Kerr helps us understand this question from the perspective of modern neuroscience. In addition to being a Tai Chi practitioner, Cathy is the Director of Translational Neuroscience at Contemplative Studies Initiative and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Brown University.

Drawing on a growing body of research from mindfulness meditation, her own work on sensory processes, and ancient texts, Cathy explains these Eastern practices develop your Western brain in areas that span physical health as well as mental and emotional well-being.

Direct download: QR_Ep8_Mind_Body_Cathy_Kerr.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 4:00am EST

The Spiraling Energy Body Qigong set is one of the toughest in the Energy Arts system, so I asked Energy Arts Instructor Isaac Kamins to tell us about his experiences with this practice.

In this episode of Qigong Radio, Isaac explains how as a teenager he came to appreciate the counter-intuitive approach the internal martial arts take to fighting and especially how developing the energetic sensitivity cultivated by Spiraling has influenced how he interacts with other people and the world around him, far beyond the martial arts.

Read more about Spiraling Energy Body Qigong.

Direct download: QR_Ep7_Spiraling_Energy_Body_Isaac_Kamins.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 6:00am EST

If you've learned many different meditation, qigong, breathing, and movement practices over the years, you may be faced with the problem of trying to decide what to practice each day.

In this episode of Qigong Radio, I'll show you a framework for thinking about your different modes of practice and show you the single most important goal of an energy arts practice, regardless of the mode or specific techniques.

Specifically, we'll look at:

  • Your spectrum of practice.
  • Bill Ryan's helpful rule: your mind moves your chi and your chi moves your body and vice versa.
  • The pros and cons of a sitting breathing practice.
  • How to use light movement to prime chi flows.
  • The benefits of looking for larger practice patterns.

In this episode, I also recommend that you check out Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford if you want to learn more about seasonal practice.

Read more here.

Direct download: QR_Ep6_What_Should_I_Practice.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 9:12am EST

When learning qigong or Tai Chi, people are often either more tuned into to energy or to their physical bodies. I asked my first qigong and Tai Chi teacher, Energy Arts Senior Instructor and founder of Brookline Tai Chi, Bill Ryan to explain why this is.

More importantly, Bill teaches you how to navigate the experiences of developing your internal energy, regardless of how you first become aware of them. It turns out, you're probably already more tuned in than you think.

If you are very sensitive to energy, Bill also has some great advice about how to become more grounded and balanced.

Read more about Qigong with Bill Ryan.

Direct download: QR_Bill_Ryan.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 6:00am EST

One thing that's been on my mind since Bruce was here teaching a Push Hands Intensive is what it means to follow instructions in your training. He basically laid out a year or longer curriculum during a week. What do you come away with? What should you practice? How do you reconcile "downloading" a whole curriculum at once vs. really upacking it and learning to use it over the next year.

These are interesting problems to have, right?

Read more here.

Direct download: Following_Instructions.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 6:20pm EST

When you spend a month training Tai Chi 10-12 hours a day, what happens when you go home? What does it feel like several months later when your life has returned to normal? Is it a let down? Do you need to be inspired again to continue your training?

What have you continued to discover about your practice? How has the intensive training infused your teaching?

I sat down with several Energy Arts Tai Chi instructors to discuss these issues for Episode 3 of Qigong Radio. Here’s what they had to say. Since we were all together for a Push Hands training, designed to be a follow-up to the Short Form training, we also talked about the ways we were seeing connections between the two topics.

Read more about Tai Chi Intensives.

Direct download: EA_instructors_on_learning_intensives.mp3
Category:Qigong -- posted at: 7:00am EST