Highlights from TCA XV

Sedona, Arizona September 11-13, 2009

I’m not sure what happened but I think I overdosed from compassion and inspiration. I can’t think of a similar experience…and I’ve attended a lot of meetings! – Mark (Kim) Setton, Professor of Martial Arts at University of Bridgeport

The fifteenth annual Tai Chi Alchemy in Sedona returned to the place it all began, Sedona Mago Garden (“Sedona Fellowship Retreat” back in 1994). It was an amazing, transcendent event in a wonderful location.

It’s hard to imagine that anything gets done in the presence of the eye-popping vistas, but somehow space/time gets a little bent at Tai Chi Alchemy. When dozens of openhearted explorers of terra incognita get together to whip up a little magic, magic happens. TCA challenges those who make presentations to do something quite difficult: make it fresh and interesting to people with decades of training AND at the same time accessible to absolute beginners. Somehow they pull it off.

Here’s a sample of last September’s offerings

Sifus Lynn Sharp and Nick D’Antoni (from Walla Walla, Washington!) took us through “Spinning your inner gyro: moving internal energy outward.”


Sifu Bob Messinger showed how the laogung energy gates can be opened in Taijiquan form practice (“Dancing Palms”). He also taught “Dry bath Qigong”.


Sifu Valarie Gabel used music to explore “stillness in motion/motion in stillness” in one of the most exhilarating sessions.

Sifu Andrew Hahn (the “Kirtan Rabbi”) talked us through the internal dimension of his Yiquan practice, illuminating the touchstones for everyone.

Rebbe also led the group in singing Kaddish for Rev. Roger Millen who passed away last year. We joined his wife Heidi Crockett in celebrating his life. We will miss Roger’s love and laughter.

Guru Mike Casto took us to the softer side of Indonesian martial arts, using consciousness rather than muscle for self-defense.

Kim Setton (Professor of Martial Arts at Bridgeport University) and Ric Meyers (contributing editor of Kung Fu Magazine) led a lively discussion of martial arts in culture, philosophy, and film.

Somehow we were also able to include midnight walks under the Milky Way, hours in the hot tub and pool, great conversations, impromptu push hands sessions, lots of healing, and spontaneous joyful hugs. Our hosts at Mago were terrific, the energy of the place was amazing, and magic permeated the weekend.

Has this piqued your interest in coming?