Wellness


Photo by Toni Tan


“Be formless, shapeless, like water,” said Bruce Lee, echoing the words of the ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu.

Written over two thousand years ago, Sun Tzu’s classic treatise Art of War uses water as a metaphor for strategies in managing conflict.

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is Water Cooperation.

We are facing growing issues surrounding water, conflict and survival. March 22 is World Water Day, and the start of World Water Week. The focus is to promote peace in transboundary water management through cooperation, not conflict. International waters are key natural resources ensuring our global future. Where they touch on more than one country, or are intercepted by a nation upstream, they are also a source of tension.

Conflicts arise among leaders, as these transboundary issues are deeply rooted in emotions –- water is necessary for survival. And it defines a culture’s opportunity for advancement. The challenge is not only to provide a sustainable clean water system, it is also learning to manage and share resources in an equitable way. Understanding historical water disputes and related treaties provide signposts for conflict resolution and aides in developing strategies for the future. Focusing on cooperation and joint action is essential to vital transboundary waters.

The resolution process requires a tremendous effort, great skill, programs and money. It also calls for awareness. Here’s how you can get involved

Lao Tze said, “The highest good is like water. Water nourishes the ten thousand things.”

Both water and cooperation are precious. Water is life. Communication is the path. No fighting.

Toni Tan

World Water Day

Faith is the bird that feels the light
and sings when the dawn is still dark.
~Tagore

Mockingbird, Toni Tan

In TanDao, we use this famous zen tale as a metaphor for long and winding path to martial arts mastery:

The Master’s Three Sons

Once upon a time two old kung fu masters were in a teahouse. One master asked, “How are your three sons progressing with their martial arts?”

“Let’s test them,” said the host. He took a heavy vase and placed it over a door so when opened the vase would fall. He called his youngest son, a strong youth who demonstrated powerful punches and kicks with fierce shouts.

“Pay your respects,” his father said. His son strutted over and shoved the door open. The vase crashed on his head but when it hit the floor he shattered it with a punch.

“Your boy is powerful,” said the guest. “He is young, one day he may understand power,” said the host, placing another vase over the door. He called his middle son, a tall youth who performed graceful and ferocious animal movements. When the youth pushed open the door he dodged and caught the vase as it fell. He bowed.

“Your second son has power and control,” complimented the visitor. “If he perseveres he may one day achieve true power.” the host said, putting up another vase. He called his eldest son.

After doing a slow moving meditation form, the son calmly walked towards the door. Noticing the vase, he reached up and took it down. He held it out while bowing, “Pleased to meet you, sir.”

“This is my number one son,” his father smiled. The visitor said, “Indeed, he is on his way to becoming a master”

Photo by Toni Tan

Three Stages of Mastery: Technical. Strategic. Intuitive.

The sons correspond to three different stages: technical (youngest son), strategic (middle son) and intuitive (eldest son). Each stage is a different mindset and focuses on a particular way of problem solving (the falling vase). The three sons express three alternative options reflecting their stage of development: the youngest son aggressively confronts the problem, the middle son strategically defuses the problem and the eldest, avoids the problem through mindful awareness.

Think about it.

Lawrence Tan

Photo by Toni Tan

Managing cancer or crisis?

Listen to our ENERGY WARRIORS book interview with Bob Ellal on Chris Springmann’s Body Language show at Radio MD.

ENERGY WARRIORS
is Bob Ellal’s journey from four bouts of cancer to healing, along with simple how-to qigong exercises by Master Lawrence Tan. It also includes Master Tan’s signature exercise, The Universal Form.

Energy Warriors is a sign post for the future of medicine — the bridging of eastern and western paths to healing and health.

IMG_1730a 9.57.47 AM

Kung Hay Fat Choy!

Today begins a new cycle in the lunar New Year calendar…the Year of the Snake.

Looking back: The dragon, an ancient Chinese symbol of nature’s primal power, controls winds, water and weather unleashed destruction with Hurricane Sandy and ended the year with the blizzard of 2013. The Year of the Dragon 2012 was a helluva roller coaster ride for the world economically and geo politically with challenging reverberations in everyone’s private lives. Whew!

In the East and in many native traditions, the snake, which sheds it’s skin, is a symbol of spiritual transformation and rebirth. With all the challenges we face these days, many of us need to reassess and revitalize ourselves. Let this be a year of renewal for all.

Happy New Year from your friends at TanDao,

Lawrence and Toni Tan

Sifu Al Simon


In addition to being the founder of ChiFusion, his modern, effective approach to tai chi and qigong, Al Simon is the author of:
To Float Like Clouds, To Flow Like Water: Tai Chi As A Zen Path to Mindfulness.

Great title!

Al Simon’s book integrates two separate, though related, Chinese traditions: Tai Chi (taiji), a prearranged sequence of slow and flowing body postures and Zen (chan) meditation, a way of awareness through sitting. He links Tai Chi’s way of movement with Zen’s way of stillness.

Through his personal experiences and clear descriptions he succinctly conveys essential Tai Chi principles based on the Daoist philosophy of balance and harmony and Zen Buddhist mindfulness awareness. His writing distills complex Eastern concepts and creatively updates and makes them relevant with clear, practical information and tools to help you relax, become aware and cultivate the qi life force energy.

For those of you who would like to get a modern master’s creative insights on Tai Chi and Zen (and a perspective on our own Universal Form and TanDao Energy Snacks), read Al Simon’s book. It flows and nourishes.

And please join us in wishing Sifu Al Simon a Happy Birthday.

Float, Flow

To Float Like Clouds, To Flow Like Water

Happy 2013 Everyone. We wish you good health, peace, and magic…


Many of us are coping with the devastating Sandy Hook tragedy. Unbearable sorrow, loss, confusion, anger, horror – are some of the mixed feelings overcoming us during the day.

There is no simple way to alleviate the profound grief except time, but we would like to share these breathing exercises as an empowering breathing technique that may help us cope and restore balance when we are over come by thoughts and emotions. Concentrating on unifying rhythmic breathing with your arm movements will shift your awareness and provide temporary respite from over whelming feelings. This works. But you have to do it.

During the day when you need to calm and re-balance, face the screen and follow along. The more you do it, the more you will experience temporary calm and relaxation. Doing it is it.

Please give it a try and share this with others who would like a tool for coping and healing.

From Toni and I, our hearts and thoughts go out to all those effected by this tragedy.

Lawrence Tan

Photo by Toni Tan, cover by Johnny Ink

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF ENERGY WARRIORS, A BOOK COLLABORATION WITH BOB ELLAL.

Got crisis? Get ready to fight.

Learn to draw on something deeper during impossible times. It is not what happens to you that defines you, it is how you manage it. Calm and clarity come through finding balance. This is a journey to inner strength.

Energy Warriors is two books in one:

THE STORY

In a literary account, Bob Ellal chronicles his battle with cancer, not once, but four times. He won. It takes courage to fight when all hope seems lost. Stress and crisis were part of the struggle. Qigong was a part of the healing. The quality of his prose is indisputable, as he becomes the energy warrior, Beowulf. Bob shares his story with intelligence, humor, and truth. He has been cancer free for over 16 years.

THE MANUAL

Master Lawrence Tan presents an introduction to the ancient art of Qigong, traditional Chinese life force exercises, for health and healing. Learn to relax and de-stress by aligning breath movement, and awareness.

These simple exercises are for everyone and can be put into practice immediately.

The manual complements the text and Bob Ellal’s Qigong practice, with posture illustrations and descriptions. Photos by Toni Tan.

As Lao Tze said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

The book is published by Divine Arts. Props to our Publisher, Michael Wiese, and our Associate Publisher, Manny Otto. And to our Copy Editor, Matt Barber for his eagle eye and good cheer…and to Bill Morosi for the book layout, Johnny Ink for the cover design.

Our gratitude to Dr. Mark Cheng and Jean Raffa, who took the time from their busy schedules to read the book and provide comments.

GET THE BOOK on AMAZON

VISIT US:
Facebook
Google+
Pinterest

tandao wellness

THE STUDY

A new study showed that a stress management program can help people contain an illness.

The American Academy of Neurology published a study of 121 people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who participated in a course of 16, 50 minute sessions over 5 – 6 months. Each person spent time with a therapist, exploring positive coping mechanisms – including relaxation techniques, healthful and social activities — along with elective sessions (such as fatigue, anxiety and pain management).

HOLDING STEADY

77% of the participants not only felt less stressed, but the study also showed a halt in the progression of the disease (meaning there were no new lesions or brain damage). This is encouraging news. We can, to some extent, play an active role in our well being when managing an illness.

However, once the training ended, so did each person’s practice with their new found skills. And with it, so ended the positive effects of the training. What happened?

GROUP HUG

While further studies are needed to explore the reversal, we could speculate.

Having support through a difficult period is, in many ways, its own good medicine. Losing a support system eliminates an important variable in managing illness:  nurturance.  Learning the skills wasn’t enough to sustain a continued wellness practice. The shared experience of community may have played a strong part in everyone’s stress reduction. Along with stress management skills, community AND continuity seem to make for a better balm.

Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing.  To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation. ~Wendell Berry

TanDao Wellness

Learn more about the study at Science Daily

Check out our new book Energy Warriors: Overcoming Cancer and Crisis with the Power of Qigong

Next Page »