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  • Iklim Goksel

Tai Chi: My Heartbeat, My Language, My Song


Wudang Daoist Traditional Kungfu Academy


There is so much to consider and to ponder about after spending 3 weeks in China and going through an intensive Tai Chi Training program with a Daoist priest. Putting aside the jet lag and fondly immersing myself in the unforgettable memories I made with friends and colleagues, there really isn’t much I can do but think, think, and think again now that I have returned back home to Alaska.


In the month of October, my colleagues and I went through a vigorous workout regimen that required long practice sessions at the Daoist Kungfu Academy in Wudang. We woke up at 5am every morning and started to train at 6am with stretching exercises, squats, and push-ups. Before sunrise in these early morning hours, my favorite ritual was to look up at the sky and to observe how the moon was completely overhead 90 degrees above the horizon. I have always been fascinated with the mystical forces of the moon and this was the perfect timing for me to rejuvenate. In the evenings when our training sessions ended at 8:30pm, I immersed myself in the Chinese dancing rituals in town squares and plazas. Obviously, Tai Chi held high ground between the time I spent gazing at the moon and taking off to dance. I trained hard, really hard through 15-hour days and Tai Chi became my heartbeat, my language, and my song.


Now I am home and all is quiet in this post-training period. I think and notice that the silence is also loud. In fact, it is extremely loud because of the joy that comes out of having pushed myself to the limit and knowing that I have succeeded.


Tai Chi will continue to bring joy into my life and it will offer possibilities that float like clouds up in the sky waiting to be chased and caught. Every day, practicing Tai Chi reminds me that there really isn’t anything that we can’t accomplish in this world. We just need to believe in ourselves and learn to trust others. No matter how much people can hurt us, we have to remember that we do share this planet with good-hearted people. The slow and promising arrival of these aha moments is when I know all is possible.


Hence, Tai Chi is a way of life. It is about readjusting the external body and working on balance, the breath, coordination, and flexibility. And, it is about working on the inner self; focusing on the heart, consciousness, and the mind in order to harmonize ourselves with the universe.


Tai Chi is cultivating love, patience, and understanding. It is a healing art that teaches us to see the potential for goodness, harmony, and peace within ourselves and in others. Master Yuan at one of our training sessions told us that Tai Chi is a way of life that seeks to serve the well-being of all human beings and that it is the path to understanding the relationship between humans and nature.


I feel this all the time.


Let's be in the moment.


Let’s Tai Chi!




Wudang Mountains Daoist Temple


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