Theology & Religion

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T’ai Chi Ch’üan

Harmonizing Taoist Belief & Practice

In the series Religious Beliefs & Practices

Jeaneane Fowler was formerly Head of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Newport, and later an Honorary Research Fellow. Her publications include Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices (Choice Outstanding title, 1997); Humanism; World Religions: An introduction for students (editor); and Perspectives of Reality – An introduction to the philosophy of Hinduism.

Shifu Keith Ewers is a highly qualified Master of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Pakua-chang and Fungshou Kung Fu, as well as being an established Tui-na Bodywork practitioner, and an Acupressure practitioner. He teaches and practises throughout Europe. He is President of the Lee Family Internal Arts Association and is Technical Director for the Bubbling Springs Association.

This book combines academic expertise and philosophical inquiry with the practical expression of T’ai Chi. The authors combine eastern philosophy and the wisdom of T’ai Chi as expressed through a Master. The result is a harmonious blend of Taoist philosophy and the everyday use of its principles through the Chinese art of T’ai Chi Ch’üan.

The exploration of Taoism and T’ai Chi begins by examining their origins and affiliations under the title of Beginnings. Subsequent chapters take up the themes of Harmony (expressing the duality and interrelation of yin and yang); The Way (which looks at the philosophy of the Tao and the path that leads to its practical expression through T’ai Chi); Change (which examines the influence of the I Ching and the Eight Energies); Direction (an analysis of the Five Elements); and Energy (which explores alchemy and the vital energy of ch’i).

The primary focus is on Movement and Stillness, which harmonizes the softness of movement with the stillness of the inner self – leading to the theme of Unity, the ultimate goal of philosophical Taoism and the practical dimensions of that philosophy in T’ai Chi.

Blends academic analysis with practice

Integrates Taoism and T’ai Chi

Suitable for study and practice

Illustrates the philosophy informing T’ai Chi

Hardback ISBN: isbn13
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-903900-20-8
Paperback Price: £7.99 / $19.95
Release Date: September 2005
Page Extent / Format: 272 pp. / 216 x 138 mm
Illustrated: 16-page colour plate section


Preface and Acknowledgements


1 Beginnings

What is Taoism?
The Chinese psyche
The roots of Taoism in ancient practices
The historical roots of Taoism
The age of the philosophers
Taoism in Imperial China
T’ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan
Origins of T’ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan in gymnastic exercises
Chang San-feng/Zhang Sanfeng
The origins of the styles T’ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan today

2 Harmony
Yin and yang
The origins of yin and yang
The interplay of yin and yang
The wider applications of the yin and yang theory
Yin and yang and T’ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan

3 The Way
Lao-tzu/Laozi and the Tao Te Ching/Daodejing
The functioning of Tao in life

4 Change
The Book of Changes: the I Ching/Yijing
Historical development of the I Ching/Yijing
Reality as perpetual flux and change
The Pa-kua/Bagua or Eight Trigrams
The hexagrams
The I Ching/Yijing and T'ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan
T’ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan postures and the hexagrams of the I Ching/Yijing

5 Phases
Historical development of the Five Elements
The Five Elements as cosmological functions
The nature of the Elements
The theory of correspondences
Wider influences
The Five Elements and T’ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan
Balancing the emotions through T’ai Chi Ch’üan/ Taijiquan
Martial arts

6 Energy

The origins of alchemical ideas
The Golden Elixir
The Taoist anatomy of the body
The Three Treasures
The Spirit Embryo
Harmony of body and mind
Respiration techniques
Gymnastic exercises
Returning to Tao Meditation
The firing process
The transmutation process
Energy in T’ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan Alignment
Fire and Water energy schools
The microcosmic orbit or small heavenly circuit
The macrocosmic orbit or large heavenly circle
The Belt/Girdle Vessel
Breathing techniques
Energy circulation through the T’ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan form
Becoming the Void

7 Movement in stillness
Movement in stillness in the martial arts
Movement in stillness for health
Movement in stillness for prolonging life
The Yang Style Simplified 24-Step T’ai Chi Ch'üan/Taijiquan Form

8 Unity
The Eight Immortals (Pa-hsien/Baxian)
The goal of unity in T’ai Chi Ch’üan/Taijiquan Notes

Further Reading Index

Review Quotes to Follow

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