The Tao of Tai Chi Chuan
2:30 -5:00 PM
194-200 Meeting Street
On Tuesday, April 3, 2012 from 2:30 to 5pm, Taoist Priest Zhou Xuan Yun and Brown University Library East Asian Curator Li Wang discussed Chinese internal arts and the influence of Daoist philosophy and practice on Taiji Quan in the Crystal Room of Alumnae Hall. This interactive workshop, co-sponsored by the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, was free and open to the public.
Dr. Li Wang introduced the workshop with a talk entitled “The Way for Energy, Harmony and Well-being: Philosophy, Principles and Methods of Chinese Internal Arts.” His talk highlighted traditional Chinese internal arts and their benefits, including self-cultivation in modern life. Taoist Priest Zhou Xuan Yun then shared his experiences growing up in a Taoist temple and taught sections of the Wudang Mountain traditional Taiji form.
Taiji Quan (T’ai Chi Chuan, Supreme Ultimate Fist) is approximately 1,000 years old, and the most popular Chinese martial art in the world. Many people today practice Taiji mainly for its health benefits, and as a kind of moving meditation. Taiji philosophy predates Taiji Quan. The “Taiji diagram” (known as the Yin/Yang diagram in the West) explains the dynamic way in which one thing changes into another through a “great ultimate” process, which makes a balanced and interlocking natural world possible. Taiji philosophy is one of the central concepts of Taoism (Daoism), which is the study of the Dao, or the Natural Way.
Taoist Priest Zhou Xuan Yun (pronounced Joh Sh-when Yoon), grew up in a temple on Wudang Mountain, China where he was a student and later an instructor of Taiji and Kung Fu. He belongs to the Orthodox Unity sect of Taoism, and is trained in ritual arts, chanting, divination, and internal alchemy. He is formally recognized as a disciple of Li Guang Fu 李光富 the Abbot of Wudang Mountain (武当山道教协会会长). Now based in Boston, he offers classes and workshops on the Taoist arts and teaches the traditional arts in classes around the world. More information about Zhou Xuan Yun is available on his web site www.DaoistGate.com
Dr. Li Wang, Curator of East Asian Collection in Brown University Library, is a specialist in Chinese philosophy and religion, especially Daoist history and inner alchemy. He is also a veteran master of Chinese internal martial arts and Qigong (meditation). He began to practice martial arts as a young man and studied from several famous Chinese masters. For the past 30 years, Dr. Wang has taught Chinese internal arts to hundreds of students in China and the United States. The programs he has taught include Chen style and Yang style Taiji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan), Taiji swordplay, pushing-hands, Xingyi Quan (Hsing-I Chuan), Bagua Zhang (Pa-Kua Chang), Dacheng Quan (aka Yi Quan) and Zhanzhuang Qigong (standing meditation). All these are known as internal arts that share principles and methods derived from traditional Chinese philosophy, martial techniques, and medical theories.
The Year of China explores the rich culture, economy, and politics of Greater China, investigating its past, examining its present, and contemplating its future. Throughout the 2011-2012 academic year, Brown will host public lectures, cultural events, academic conferences, and exhibits in an integrated exploration of China. For more information about the program and upcoming events, please visit: www.brown.edu/yearofchina
The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is Brown University’s teaching museum. A resource across the University, we inspire creative and critical thinking about culture by fostering interdisciplinary understanding of the material world.
Brown University Library is home to more than 6.8 million print items, plus a multitude of electronic resources and expanding digital archives serving the teaching, research, and learning needs of Brown students and faculty, as well as scholars from around the country and the world.