Tai Chi Class

Welcome to WholenessInMotion. Tai chi is a whole body and mind exercise that combines meditation, martial art and health tonic in one. This particular form is the Yang style, 37 posture short form as taught by Prof. Cheng Man-ch'ing. This fascinating and intricate exercise has many benefits and just about anyone can practice it.

Take a look at this site and consider the study of relaxation and how it can benefit you in your daily life. I look forward to working with you. Tom Daly


Archive for August, 2013

Tai Chi Chuan – Why is Push Hands So Difficult and Confusing?

Posted By Tom Daly on August 20th, 2013

Tai Chi Chuan – Why is Push Hands So Difficult and Confusing?

Many a beginner and even many a more experienced tai chi player is confused by Push Hands practice.  Many think they don’t need it.

There is a fundamental and deep reason Push Hands is confounding.   It goes like this: we are biologically programmed by evolution for Fight or Flight.  We can all see why that worked in a world full of tigers or marauding invaders.  Push Hands is based on Relax and Respond.  We are not programmed for Relax and Respond.  Furthermore, in order for Relax and Respond to have any functional effectiveness, you need to learn the skill of fusing with your partner without being invasive, controlling or manipulative.  Hence, it takes our complete attention to make this shift.  It takes great inhibition of our evolutionary instinct.  It takes ongoing practice, trial and error, and lots of failure.  Little wonder we want to avoid it.

In terms of the tai chi form itself, Push Hands deepens the functionality of the form.  You begin to understand where the functional use is on many levels, why the sinking into the feet is needed, how being relaxed and light in the upper body allows you responsiveness and agility. 

Professor Cheng Man-ch’ing told us that we should do the form as if we are defending ourselves from an attack (or something like that) and practice Push Hands as if we are alone.  The sense of this statement is that you want to let the form have energetic and functional meaning, and you don’t want to get too involved in having an intention in your Push Hands (which leads to strength.)

So even if you haven’t “gotten it” yet, and you think you never will, there are many jewels to be discovered in the process.  It is a study worth studying. 

I have come to believe that looking for an end point in Push Hands study is futile and limiting. Once you have one level of mastery, you can always aim higher by letting the game become more energetic and spontaneous, your push softer while generating more power, your listening more acute.  Most likely I will never be able to handle a real fight using tai chi.  It doesn’t matter to me.

“Why do we climb the mountain?”

“Because it’s there!”

But that is not the truth of the matter.  We climb the mountain because of the many lessons to be learned in the process.  We grow as a result of the very effort itself in climbing.

Imagine pushing someone without force!  How magical!  If you have the patience and the dedication to engage this practice, Push Hands study is pure gold!  Not because you can push someone without force, but because of the many many many OTHER lessons it has to teach.

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Being Open To Growth – New York Times article

Posted By Tom Daly on August 13th, 2013

Of interest.  Tai chi-ers MUST be committed to growth.  And that is what you get!  Tom


New York Times

July 6, 2008

If You’re Open to Growth, You Tend to Grow


WHY do some people reach their creative potential in business while other equally talented peers don’t?

After three decades of painstaking research, the Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck believes that the answer to the puzzle lies in how people think about intelligence and talent. Those who believe they were born with all the smarts and gifts they’re ever going to have approach life with what she calls a “fixed mind-set.” Those who believe that their own abilities can expand over time, however, live with a “growth mind-set.”

Guess which ones prove to be most innovative over time.

“Society is obsessed with the idea of talent and genius and people who are ‘naturals’ with innate ability,” says Ms. Dweck, who is known for research that crosses the boundaries of personal, social and developmental psychology.

“People who believe in the power of talent tend not to fulfill their potential because they’re so concerned with looking smart and not making mistakes. But people who believe that talent can be developed are the ones who really push, stretch, confront their own mistakes and learn from them.”

In this case, nurture wins out over nature just about every time.

While some managers apply these principles every day, too many others instead believe that hiring the best and the brightest from top-flight schools guarantees corporate success.

The problem is that, having been identified as geniuses, the anointed become fearful of falling from grace. “It’s hard to move forward creatively and especially to foster teamwork if each person is trying to look like the biggest star in the constellation,” Ms. Dweck says.

In her 2006 book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” she shows how adopting either a fixed or growth attitude toward talent can profoundly affect all aspects of a person’s life, from parenting and romantic relationships to success at school and on the job.

She attributes the success of several high-profile chief executives to their growth mind-set, citing an ability to energize a work force. These include John F. Welch Jr. of General Electric, who valued teamwork over individual genius; Louis V. Gerstner Jr. of I.B.M., who dedicated his book about I.B.M.’s turnaround to “the thousands of I.B.M.’ers who never gave up on their company”; and Anne M. Mulcahy of Xerox, who focused on morale and development of her people even as she implemented painful cuts.

But Ms. Dweck does not suggest that recruiters ignore innate talent. Instead, she suggests looking for both talent and a growth mind-set in prospective hires — people with a passion for learning who thrive on challenge and change.

After reading her book, Scott Forstall, senior vice president of Apple in charge of iPhone software, contacted Ms. Dweck to talk about his experience putting together the iPhone development team. Mr. Forstall told her that he identified a number of superstars within various departments at Apple and asked them in for a chat.

At the beginning of each interview, he warned the recruit that he couldn’t reveal details of the project he was working on. But he promised the opportunity, Ms. Dweck says, “to make mistakes and struggle, but eventually we may do something that we’ll remember the rest of our lives.”

Only people who immediately jumped at the challenge ended up on the team. “It was his intuition that he wanted people who valued stretching themselves over being king of their particular hill,” she says.

People with a growth mind-set tend to demonstrate the kind of perseverance and resilience required to convert life’s setbacks into future successes. That ability to learn from experience was cited as the No. 1 ingredient for creative achievement in a poll of 143 creativity researchers cited in “Handbook of Creativity” in 1999.

Which leads one to ask: Is it possible to shift from a fixed mind-set to a growth mind-set?

Absolutely, according to Ms. Dweck. But, “it’s not easy to just let go of something that has felt like your self for many years,” she writes. Still, she says, “nothing is better than seeing people find their way to things they value.”


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