The resources provided here are intended to support the learning gained through classes.
This is the public page of the Resource Centre. Members can access the Members’ Resource Centre by hovering the mouse over the Resource Centre tab and clicking on the drop-down tab. The Members Resource Centre includes videos of the Short Form and a range of articles written by our members. Over time videos of Long form and many of the Qi Gong exercises practiced will be included. We will also be including further articles exploring the underlying principles of Chi, Yin and Yang, and Metta, as well as articles capturing insights and learning from retreats and general practice.
Every 3 months, a different item from the Members’ Resource Centre will be shown on this Public page.
The current “freebie” is a form called Tian Xiao; it has been adapted from a ‘harder’ tradition of martial arts. The practice of this form is very grounding and helps restore balance to our vitality and composure.
Inspired by T’ai Chi
The practice of T’ai Chi and engaging with its underlying philosophy of Tao, can become profoundly significant in our lives. Our sense of being, our relationships, our work, our art – all aspects of our lives may be informed and inspired by the practice and principles. Ultimately, all can become integrated.
In this section, members of the School reflect on how T’ai Chi and Tao permeate their lives.
– Kristina Gjems: Dance and Choreography
Some books on the Metta T’ai Chi book list provide practical guides, others are information giving and some provide spiritual guidance. All of them are provided to give some idea of the texts which have helped develop our school’s ethos.
Some of the books included are no longer in publication, please contact your teacher who may be able to provide further information on these.
- Symbolism and Myth in the art of Taiji
- Praying the Body
- Sitting Meditation
- The Six Healing Sounds
While we recommend these books, we don’t necessarily endorse the author
- Looking for the Golden Needle, Gerda Geddes
- The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche
- The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
- The Mind Spreads its Wings, Juan Mari Gutiérrez
- 365 Tao: Daily Meditations , Deng Ming-Dao
- Tao: The Watercourse Way; Alan Watts, 1975
- The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan (revised ed); Wong Kiew Kit, 2016
and not forgetting …
- The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff
Translations of Tao Te Ching, referenced in Blog:
- Tao Te Ching – the definitive edition; Jonathan Star, 2001
- Tao Te Ching; Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English, 1972
- Tao Te Ching 3rd ed,; Gua-Fu Feng and Jane English, 2011
- Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching; Ralf Alan Dale, 2016
- The Living Dao: The Art and Way of Living A Rich & Truthful Life; Lok Sang HO, 2002
- Tao Te Ching – An Illustrated Journey; Stephen Mitchell 1999
Symbolism and Myth in the art of Taiji
by Tew Bunnag
This book deals with the symbolism that is embedded in the art of Taiji. It comes directly from the concepts found in the Yi Jing, the Book of Change, which is one of the oldest books in Chinese culture as well as from the early Daoist teachings. The language of Taiji, in its three aspects, as martial art, healing practice and spiritual discipline is based on these symbols; for example the notion of the Yin and the Yang, Form (Yu) and Formlessness (Wu). Taiji is also a practice that contains a mythic element. In this respect the names of the moves, far from being merely exotic or colourful, refer to mythical events that have shaped Chinese culture. The aim of this book is to offer both beginners and experienced practitioners insights into the mythical aspects of the art of Taiji and to help to deepen their understanding of this wonderful discipline.
To obtain your copy (£20), contact Rodney Adams ( [email protected] ) who will provide you with details of how to pay.
Stillness in Action
by Caroline Purkhardt PhD
“Stillness is the meeting of intelligence and experience. It is the meeting of ourselves with a wisdom that is greater than ourselves; a place to listen to our intuition and find the way to integrate this into our actions. Stillness is not the opposite of action. It is the instigator of action: the source from which we act in a way that is true to ourselves and in integrity with the world.”
“This book is an invitation to explore the delight of stillness, and to discover the power it brings to your actions in everyday life. For simplicity, the chapters are organised in alignment with the day, from waking in the morning to coming home in the evening. Each chapter approaches a specific part of the day from various angles: through your experience, through my personal experiences and through the psychological and neuro-scientific understanding of what is actually going on in your brain. With the two minute challenge that goes with each chapter, you are invited to experiment with stillness practice, and be curious about its impact.”
Caroline’s inspirational, beautifully crafted and deeply insightful book is not just another ‘self-improvement’ manual. It is born of her own struggles in finding meaning and purpose in life, and of her own experiences of the clarity that comes from stillness. The book is supplemented by a website, www.stillnessinaction7.com offering videos, audios and articles of simple meditations, guided visualisations and mind-body practices that are specifically designed to go with each chapter.
Tew Bunnag introduces his book, Praying the Body
The deepest level of T’ai Chi is that of prayer, which I would like to define as communion with the universal spirit.
If meditation is the awakening and nurturing of the unconditional awareness that puts us in touch with the reality behind image and appearance , what some would describe as “the sacred reality“ , then prayer is the active expression and affirmation of that connection.
It is not a part of the art that can be taught. It is rather the motivating force, the context in which the practice of T’ai Chi takes place and is very much related to the meditative quality that becomes strengthened and refined in the training. It is also the most difficult aspect of the art to talk about.
To start with there is the obvious inadequacy of words to describe what takes place in the heart, beyond reason and analysis. We do not really understand what we are doing when we pray. But we know that it comes from a deep impulse inside us. Our logical mind may discount it as a childish superstition and yet we know that peace and comfort we receive from the act is real enough. Those who have suffered pain, loss, grief know it’s healing power. When we engage in prayer a certain ineffable energy comes into play. But as much as we may try to capture it, the essence of prayer remains a mystery; necessarily so, I believe, for it is through it that we reconnect time and time again to the mystery and power of the universe that surrounds us.
In the end there is no need to discuss it simply live it daily. And yet it sometimes helps to share this intimate, personal experience, if only because in doing so we may come to realise that whatever path we have chosen to follow there is a common ground be discovered and explored.
Peace and Loving compassion to all!
Tew Bunnag, London 1996
The Long Form demonstrated by Tew Bunnag
Click HERE to see trailer
Yang Style T’ai Chi Ch’uan with Kamal Thapen
Kamal has been teaching T’ai Chi Ch’uan in London for over 20 years. He is also a teacher of the Alexander Technique and this has influenced his teaching style. He trained in T’ai Chi with the European School of T’ai Chi Ch’uan under Louanne Richards and Tew Bunnag.
This DVD is for people learning Yang Style T’ai Chi Ch’uan, as a companion to classes. The chapter sequence follows a typical class lead by Kamal. There is a full commentary and relaxing music to enhance your T’ai Chi learning experience.
1. Warm up
2. Ba Duan Jin
3. Tian Xiao
4. Yang Style Short Form
5. Yang Style Long Form
6. Wei Qi Qigong
Members can purchase for £15 by using the £5 discount code found at the bottom of the Members’ Resource Centre page.
Two More Qi Gong Exercises
LU 1 is in two parts. The first part keeps us focussed on the vertical axis that connects the yin of the earth with the yang of the heavens. The movements of arms and hands reflect the intention of drawing energy down from the heavens and up from the earth. The back is kept vertical and straight. In the second part of the exercise, intention is focussed on the balance of the earth and heaven energies as our arms and hands move in the horizontal plane at the level of our heart centre. This movement also reflects the intention to connect our individual heart with the universal heart.
LU 2 is also about balance: between forward and backward movement; between closing and opening the body; and, of course, the physical balance required to stand on one leg!
Dao in a Dry Stone Wall
It is made and organised from what is there – the very essence of the land itself.
It is balanced both within itself and with the environment – and hence endures (even for thousands of years).
Stones connect and don’t attach (the cementing together of copestones only leads to stagnation and collapse).
It doesn’t “do” anything, but through it many things are done – it acts without action, does without doing.
The space between the stones is as important as the stones themselves (water drainage, stops cows leaning, enables wildlife to dwell etc).
It moves with the natural changes – react to events – and still maintain its integrity.
Echoes From Our Past
In this section (now continued in the Members’ Resource Centre), we will those post News Letters that have managed to survive the passage of time!
Reflections on workshops; thoughts and insights on the principles of T’ai Chi; accounts of how members are bringing T’ai Chi to various aspects of their lives; updates from our charity, The Mercy Centre in Bankok; book reviews: just some of what you will find in these writings.
Five editions can are currently available from the Public Resource Centre: