Saturday, April 22, 2017
I must say was not surprised after watching this well researched show on "Brain Hacking" seen on 60 Minutes. The show interviews a ex google designer by name of Tristan Harris explaining how you don't even have a chance to not get addicted. It bothered him so bad in which he has found another calling to educate society on the dangers of the technology. I am not going to go on and on about this but you should really watch it and spread the word to your love ones. There are several mini segments as well you should see here.
In the past few years I have encountered quite a number of students hooked on Smart Phones. In many cases it has been so bad that several students cannot even last 20 minutes in a basic Qigong class without getting the shakes, cold sweats etc. from being away from their smart phone. This is very alarming to say the least and it is not going to get better until it get's even worse, until their is a large public outcry on it.
In the special you will see that there is even a company tracking how to jack up peoples Dopamine levels so get hooked even stronger. Again watch the special. There are two links the CBS Special and Tristan Harris website in which you would also should Check out.
CBS Link : http://www.cbsnews.com/news/brain-hacking-tech-insiders-60-minutes/
Tristan Harris Website: http://www.timewellspent.io/
Friday, April 7, 2017
A common question often received in email is "It possible to do too much Tai Chi, Qigong or meditation? Every now and then students will ask me in classes, “How much practice is too much?”
Introduction: A long time ago in a different place of time and space...It was the 1980's when I was learning these practice's. Beginning in Junior High School it was a vastly different culture and focus on standards of practice. It was very common to practice several hours a day, 3-6 times a week. There were very few Americans in these groups; it was mostly us guys in the classes as well. Many Masters did not allow women in the groups. A over the top dedication to your Sifu and the school was mandated as well. Students cleaned the school, helped the Master out with whatever they asked. Looking back I was young, fortunate and free from worldly obligations to fill up my day with practice in various forms. All information and techniques was personally and physically taught in person. We had to memorize practices on the spot, there were no video tapping or note taking as well.
So it was a sink or swim game; we practiced more because everything was memorized and we had no Video Tapes, DVD's, Internet or handouts to fall back on. Was it better than today? I would say no, it was just different and each generation has it's value on how to educate for next generation of students. Today with fast pace of life, everything wired for speed many students just are not equipped to "woodshed" it out as in the old days. Many just don't see the value as well.
With that being said I do believe that each generation should focus on "Qigong of today, Tai Chi of today or meditation standards of practice today". A worthwhile note as well is that typical in our culture, where we feel that if a little is good, more must be better. It is a common paradigm for Americans, to try and re-engineer anything we can get or hands on. This can be true with these traditions, but will only go so far.
Cautionary Note for Eager Novice Teachers: A common problem is that many practitioners and teachers of today is they mis-appropriate practice, create their own video tape and water down way too many things. All good systems are well informed and documented in today's world. If you teach - promote your Teachers material, skills and all the great things you have learned along the way with them. There is nothing better than the original! Indigenous traditions should be honored in this way. Make no mistake about it, if you cheat your students out of crucial information and technique, they eventually will find out, and lose faith in the tradition. Many people in many areas have made many videos and books now and claim skills and backgrounds that they do not really have. This continues to be a problems filled with false and misleading information. Don't become part of the problem, be a genuine person focus on leading an example of quality and tradition.
Less is More!
The Science in the study of Qigong, Tai Chi and Meditation says that as little as 20 minutes delivers very tangible results. One of my Master teacher's is now 80 years old, I asked him during a practice in May of 2016, "how much does he practice"? He said with his busy schedule he practice's still no more than one hour per day. He also practices what he teaches as well.
There is no need to practice for hours a day, and when people report doing so, often times they are not really accomplishing much better skill as well. The purpose of these practices is to help us to balance ourselves and engage more fully and healthfully in life. If we do too much of anything, we cannot find balance. I will concur that for a modern person practicing up to an hour a day is more than sufficient. We can do two twenty-minute sessions, or one longer session, per day. I recommend that you start with only five to ten minutes a day accomplishable goals because it is easier to set aside such a small chunk of time every day, no matter how busy your lifestyle or daily schedule.
The advantage of starting slowly and following "less is more" as bendable guideline is that as you begin to feel the effects, your desire to practice increases naturally. When that happens, there is no need to force ourself to practice and, in fact, forcing ourselves to practice rarely leads to an quality, long-term practice. In closing for us that engage in these traditions as a "way of life" take an honest look at your schedule and plan accordingly. It is best to set yourself up for success, rather than setting goals that will be hard to achieve. Sometimes more is just more; it which is not better. :)
Sunday, April 2, 2017
On Saturday April 29, 2017 is the annual World Tai Chi & Qigong Day. Anyone is welcome to join my weekly Saturday Class at 10:00am - 1130am in Sterling heights Michigan. In our group we practice Tai Chi Energy Cultivation, which teaches posture, energy flow, imagery meditation and proper breath technique.
For over 40 + years the technique of Taiji Qi Liu (太極氣流) commonly refereed to as Tai Chi ~ Chi Flow is intended for the common citizen for the promotion of good health. The first practice is intended for any health level and was originally designed as a rehabilitative sequence of movements. Perfect for people who like stretching of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Vastly improves blood circulation and strengthen's the immune system. The practice is soft and flowing, and with tangible results. Every class you feel your energy, peace of mind and joy of Tai Chi and Qigong.
The class will be hopefully outdoors depending on weather; if not we will be at my studio. For previous, or serious students that would like to practice email me below:
Gary W. Abersold