The 23rd Annual Tai Chi Alchemy is just around the corner, September 15-17. There is still time to save $50.00 by registering by August 1. Early registration helps a lot. The nice folks at Mago have to plan ahead and so do we.

It’s $500.00 for a shared room, $600. for a private after August 1. Cost covers tuition, room, and meals from Friday dinner to Sunday 3pm.

This theme this year is SuperConscious! I have been exploring how to move quickly and easily to transnational/transpersonal states and how to deepen them in your practice. It’s an idea I presented at the Society for Consciousness Studies Conference in June and have been sharing in classes and seminars for several months. I’m excited to take it even deeper at Tai Chi Alchemy! If you have wanted an excuse to visit Sedona and/or TCA, this is the time to do it.

Check out this interview I did recently for Mago.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that I cobbled together. (Please add to this list if you think of any others.)


How do I get there? What should I bring? What is the climate at that time of year?

Check out Mago Travel Guide for logistical information. And don’t hesitate to ask if you need clarification.

I don’t do tai chi, but I am interested energy and personal transformation. Am I going to feel out of place at TCA?

Tai Chi Alchemy draws a wide range of participants, from those who have never heard of taijiquan to teachers with decades of experience. All are welcome, but you’ll enjoy it most if you come with an open mind and open heart.

Will we be learning a taijiquan form? 

No. The focus is on exploring principles that might be valuable across disciplines, not in memorizing specific forms. TCA participants come from many backgrounds and skill sets. The “Alchemy” comes from sharing information and experience from so many diverse sources.

I don’t do taijiquan, but I practice jujutsu. Will there be something for me? 

TCA is attractive to martial artists of many styles. We embrace a “love-based martial art” that seeks to find the universal principles that enhance any practice. Renowned master of Indonesian and Philippine fighting arts, Guru Mike Casto, calls it “the best martial arts weekend I’ve been to.”

Are you open to newcomers? It seems like your group has been together a long time. 
You get to be a “newcomer” until you get your first hug. After that, you’re a full participant like everyone else. You will be quite amazed at how fast you are embraced for who you are.

A few years ago Ethan remarked that he had been attending for five years before anyone asked him what he did for a living. The only thing that mattered was, “Who are you right now?”
I’ve always wanted to visit Sedona. I hear it’s quite magical. When should I arrive to be able to look around? 

Sedona IS quite magical, particularly when you get off the beaten path. People start arriving as early as the weekend before the actual event to make sure they get a healthy dose of Sedona ju ju. Hikes, vortexes, jaw-dropping vistas, impromptu push hands, supercharged qigong. You can spend a very productive afternoon in conversation with a rock or steeping in a hot tub.

Once we check in at Mago Garden Friday afternoon we enter a time warp and pack about a year of experience into a weekend. We finish there Sunday afternoon. It’s best if you don’t rush away. Plan to stay at least until Monday. We have a post-TCA celebration in town Sunday evening and group breakfast Monday morning.

So plan an extra day or two if possible.

Where do people stay other than Friday and Saturday nights?

If you do come early or stay later, try to book at the Sky Ranch Lodge in Sedona. It’s a great local motel near the Airport Vortex and has spectacular views. People migrate to the overlook there at sunrise and sunset to soak up the visuals. We love to hang out at the pool and hot tub. Prices are moderate and a good value by Sedona standards. Call the local number if the website says they’re booked. (They always keep a few in the drawer.)

There are also less expensive options not far away.

What is the Sunday night celebration about? 

This is a tradition going way back to the another century. Dinner, drinks, laughter at some Sedona eatery that will have us. Esteemed poet and Cosmic Muse Linda Addison leads us in our after-dinner poetry/music exploration. More than a few get gussied up for the occasion (optional).

What are these famous Sedona “vortexes”?

Feeling the vortex at Mago Garden

Sedona has an international reputation for some energetic hot spots called vortexes. I like to think of them as acupuncture points for the earth, places of high conductivity between earth and sky. There are some very popular ones, like Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock, and others that you get to discover for yourself. Some, like Bell Rock, have a yang, or upward pull. Others, like Boynton Canyon are yin, and downward. Some, like Cathedral are mixed. There are some smaller ones at Mago that you can indulge in yourself.




Qigong on Vortex

What is the schedule for TCA? 

This comes up a lot. We organize generally around mealtimes and sleeping, beginning Friday evening after dinner and ending Sunday afternoon around 3. Qigong before breakfast. Tradition keeps Saturday evening for energy healing of various kinds. The rest of the time is like a jazz improvisation, there’s a theme and people take their solos.

Let me know if I missed anything.