TQJ 4/2020, issue 82
November 2020 – January 2021
Can the practice of Taiji and Qigong help us to deal with the coronavirus?
By Prof. Dr. Wilfried Belschner
In the last-but-one issue, two articles already addressed the theme of how our life arts can help us to deal with the coronavirus. Now Wilfried Belschner puts the focus on ›beginner’s mind‹, which lets us remain open and flexible also when faced with changes and thus enables us to flow along with approaching transitions. With such a life philosophy of change we can perceive ourselves as being woven into cosmic events and so realise that life manifests itself directly in us. Seen from this perspective, egocentricity and the desire for permanence and deceptive security grow more moderate; we can no longer ›miss out‹ on things.
Paths to individuality, personality and spirituality
Qigong with older people
By Ralf Jakob and Maria Christl
As Qigong becomes better known, it is also increasingly being offered to elderly people. Maria Christl and Ralf Jakob of the working group »Qigong with older people« have been gathering experience in this field for over ten years; here they share significant insights about what aspects are important when working with elderly people. It’s essential here that we don’t focus on deficits but instead reach out to the participants on the basis of their distinct individuality, promote their contact to their own body and also underline the meaningfulness of existence.
Retaining the centre
By Dominic Schafflinger
A well-centred stance or posture is a key theme in our arts, especially in Taijiquan because in martial arts one’s own stable structure is the basis for all further actions. Drawing on his ex- periences with Chen style Taijiquan in the tradition of Chen Xiaowang, Dominic Schafflinger describes how this can affect one’s overall life feeling and health. In particular, the widespread practice of zhanzhuang and the silk-reeling exercises prepare one for dealing with the vicissitudes of life in a more relaxed way.
Putting the focus on permeability
Interview with Lie Foen Tjoeng
Drawing on his decades of experience, Lie Foen Tjoeng has developed a new Qigong set known as TongJing XingQiFa. This set focuses above all on making the meridians more permeable. In this interview with the TQJ editorial team he explains his goal and the special features of this new Qigong. In addition he discusses the changes he has observed in recent years among Qigong students, on the one hand in Europe and on the other in China.
Corona is changing our teaching. In the long term too?
By Dietlind Zimmermann
Since our arts are usually communicated through direct contact, all teachers and students have immediately been affected by the contact limitations of the corona pandemic. Dietlind Zimmermann summarises the various new possibilities that teachers of Taiji und Qigong have developed in response and examines their pros and cons. In an interview with Isolde Schwarz she highlights what needs to be considered so that online teaching can be a satisfying experience for all those involved.
Two Shoes Prod. 2019, 54 min
Movies in which Qigong appears are very rare. And films specifically about Qigong are even rarer. So it is all the more exciting that now we have such a film. „Already Free“ features Norberto Rodrigues from Portugal, and Dorrie van Roij-Houtappels originally from the Netherlands. Both, but for different reasons, found their way to Qigong. The film is not only about Qigong and the two personal stories, but also addresses the cultivation of life as a whole.
At the age of five, Norberto saw a Bruce Lee film that awoke in him a passion for martial arts and later also meditation. After suffering a severe spinal injury, he began a quest for healing and eventually discovered Yuan Tze.
When Dorrie was 17 her mother suffered a stroke. This experience brought an end to Dorrie’s sense of safety and security and started a period of anxiety, doubt and depression. It also launched her on a search for meaning which eventually led to Yuan Tze.
Dorrie and Norberto alternate in recounting their stories, including how they came to Ren Xue and to their present teacher. They reveal various experiences and personal changes resulting from their Qigong practice. They also express their desire to pass along their understanding in order to help others. They describe impressively how they could really open their heart and recognize and transform their patterns. Eventually, each reached a state of perfect connection with the ‘True Self’ and with everything in the universe – the experience of enlightenment. Both assert that what they have achieved is nothing special, but rather the most natural thing in the world. This naturalness and simplicity comes across convincingly as they tell their stories. We also hear from family members who describe the changes in Dorrie and Norberto from their own points of view.
Of course, their teacher Yuan Tze appears in the film. He learned martial arts and Qigong as a young boy. He began teaching Qigong at the age of 20 and became a member of the Chinese Qigong Science Research Association. In 2002 he emigrated to New Zealand. There he established Ren Xue (human learning), a system designed to improve health and more importantly to elevate all aspects of life.
Yuan Tze impresses through his calm presence and his quiet, almost whispering voice. He appears clear and convincing as he states that achieving „enlightenment“ not only promotes the individual, but also the whole of humanity.
The film impresses with its calm and clarity. We see numerous sequences in which the two of them are doing Qigong. If would have been great if these sequences were even longer, because they were simply beautiful! At the end of the movie these sequences are really artistic: close-ups of the hands, arms and upper body, recorded in the studio with optimal illumination. Beautiful. I also liked the very economical and therefore effective background music.
Conclusion: an impressive and touching film that reminds us what is really essential in life – the unity and connectedness of all living beings and all things of this world.