Our 10th Annual Scholars Garden event is just weeks away, and do we have a good one planned! Stephe Watson and I began it in Staten Island (Lo, those many years ago!) and it has now found a permanent home at Stephe’s Someday Farm in Killingworth, Connecticut. Sunday, June 15 11:00-5:00.
If you haven’t been to Someday Farm yet…well, it’s worth the trip all by itself! Stephe and Ritu have carved a little chunk of paradise out of the Nutmeg State, as Stephe’s students will eagerly attest. It’s a pleasant train ride to New Haven, where you will be picked up and escorted to idyllic day in the country.
Stephe posted created an event page on FaceBook you’ll want to check out.
But this is not just some buccolic escape from urban blight. Oh no! Some top-shelf internal arts poop is going to get laid down…stuff you won’t want to miss. Once again, Stephe and I will be joined by the lovely Mrs. Barrett, proving that one yin equals two yangs (about the ratio of yin to yang in a decent taijiquan form). Last year she blew some minds by using spatial configurations to release physical pain. (You can’t make this stuff up!)
And Stephe! What can you say about Mr. Watson? The man is a force of nature, luckily using his powers for good, not evil! Stephe has an astounding breadth of knowledge…only surpassed by his eagerness to share it. He has a highly developed sense of play and that enters into whatever he presents. Ask him to play push hands. He can be a mountain or a cool breeze. And you will smile.
And here’s what I have planned to share:
What is Vibrating Qi, you say?
I touched on this in an earlier blog, Power From Polarity, and we’re going to up the ante significantly at SG.
When we first start our practice of taiji most of us are happy to be able to calm down and get relaxed and centered. And that is still an important part of what we are doing. Taiji as a moving meditation for health and relaxation.
When you want your taiji to become a quan (meaning “fist” or martial art), then you need to be able to amplify and direct your internal energy while maintaining a calm center. The Taijiquan Jing (attributed by the Yang family to legendary founder of taijiquan Zhang San Feng) puts it this way:
The qi should be excited (gudang); the spirit (shen) should be gathered within.
(Translated by Barbara Davis in her excellent The Taijiquan Classics.)
Gudang means to excite or vibrate. You want the qi excited and excitable. Riled up. But the spirit must be calm and centered-gathered within. Two apparently opposite states.
So, how do you get the energy crackling while you maintain a serene center?
It is actually easier to do than you might think. And you can do it anywhere. The answer is worth a plane trip, bus ride…even a journey on your favorite donkey.
The cost of this delightful visit to paradise? $133! And that includes a sumptuous catered lunch by Chef Hedy Watrous of the Whistle Stop Cafe!
But we can cut you a deal. If you pay by June 8, we can get this done for $108 USD! Just let me know soon because we have to get our order in with Chef Hedy. (You don’t want to get the chef all cranky.) PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org works just fine, but we also accept cash/check (payable to Rick Barrett).
Come celebrate our 10th anniversary!