|> Issue 45||
|The german magazine for qigong and taijiquan|
Mindfulness in school
In schools, Qigong can be very helpful in supporting the learning ability and the well-being of pupils. Vera Kaltwasser has integrated Qigong in a comprehensive concept entitled “Mindfulness in school”, the efficacy of which was tested during the past school year. She explains the various levels at which Qigong and other mindfulness or attentiveness exercises help school pupils to direct their attention, to deal with stress in a more conscious and relaxed manner and to overcome their fears. Self-perception and self-regulation are learned in short practice sessions, anchored through repetition and also reflected in discussions.
Peking Style – special traits and variants
The so-called Peking form may well be the most widespread Taiji form today, although it was first developed in the 1950s. It was intended to promote general health among the population and to make Taijiquan easier to learn. Together with the 32-posture sword form, the 48-posture form and the 42-posture tournament form it led to a new style, which however is oriented strongly towards the Yang style. Jan Leminsky sets out the story of its creation and the possibilities and limitations involved in practice of the Peking form. Here too, variants have already arisen which can principally be attributed to the previous training and experience of the respective teachers.
Taiji in the spirit of compassion
The fact that Taijiquan and Qigong can nowadays also benefit people who live with physical or mental limitations is thanks in part to an exceptional woman – Linda Chase Broda, who as early as the 1980s began to work with psychiatric and geriatric patients. Claus Albermann and Dietlind Zimmermann conduct a conversation in which they recall the impetus that Linda Chase Broda gave to the German Taiji community. In addition to their vivid memories of her as a very special teacher, they also discuss how Linda Chase Broda opened Tuishou up to people who appreciated the meditative and health-promoting aspects of Taijiquan but felt wary about the martial arts dimension – and how she demonstrated in practice that Taiji could also be trained by so-called handicapped persons.
Here and now!
The special feature of Qigong and Taijiquan as a meditation path is that both are usually related intensively to movement. The mental training goes hand in hand with physical and energy-related training. Klemens J. P. Speer has been studying meditation and the development of awareness for a long period and here he sets out the preconditions and developmental steps on the path to experiencing the absolute here and now, to becoming one with the Dao. Beginning with the question “why are we here?” and in the spirit of Ken Wilber, he links individual experience to social responsibility and respect for nature.
Four interfaces between the body and energy centres – a decisive step in practical training
Traditionally speaking, the dantians are associated with various levels of human being – jing, qi and shen. In the course of long studies, Volker Jung has developed a method in which we can systematically store the various experiences we undergo while training, enabling us to draw on them quickly when required. Here it is very important that the area accessed is the “right” one for the particular type of experience. In this approach, the lower dantian encompasses physical experiences, the solar plexus is for energetic experiences, the middle dantian is for emotional experiences and the upper dantian is for mental experiences. These relationships can be examined in self-experiment.
Hara – the earth centre of the human being
Working on the basis of the idea formulated by Karlfried Graf Dürckheim that the hara is the centre of force for human beings, Ingrid Schmid-Bergmann explains the major importance of developing the abdomen for all levels of human existence. Through the practice of appropriate exercises an awareness of the inner centre can be developed, and at the same time a feeling of “coming down to earth”. People can learn to anchor themselves in their bodies and to act from their centre. This process may involve feelings of being abandoned or separated; the fear of grounding may be expressed in a tendency to lean on others or to raise oneself above them. The relationship between the physical exercise and postural training and aspects of depth psychology is also reflected in the grounding concepts, presented here, of Alexander Lowen, Stanley Keleman and David Boadella.