Tai Chi for Health Community

"One Hundred Days"

  Anne BowerBy Anne Bower

  (Originally published in the Spring 2014 issue of the TCHC newsletter.)

One hundred days

to prove yourself worthy

accomplish the task

the master set --

some difficult exercise

or long meditation

before undertaking

tai chi learning

in ancient China.

 

But when the masters came to our shores

heard the crash and clatter of our daily lives

saw the startling traffic and frantic trade

humans dashing from work to home to gym

to store to theater or second job,

 

they said,

 

we'll need a different way to teach these jangled people,

no way they'll maintain discipline

just to show themselves ready for instruction

no way they'll fill days with study,

concentration, dedication to tai chi.

 

They need more time, they need our patience,

they need a sense of time flowing without

expectation. Let them take classes--

 

give them

one hundred years.


Anne is a tai chi teacher and writer from South Pomfret, Vermont.

www.annebower.com

One Hundred Days
By Anne Bower

One hundred days
to prove yourself worthy
accomplish the task
the master set --
some difficult exercise
or long meditation
before undertaking
tai chi learning
in ancient China.

But when the masters came to our shores
heard the crash and clatter of our daily lives
saw the startling traffic and frantic trade
humans dashing from work to home to gym
to store to theater or second job,

they said,

we'll need a different way to teach these jangled people,
no way they'll maintain discipline
just to show themselves ready for instruction
no way they'll fill days with study,
concentration, dedication to tai chi.

They need more time, they need our patience,
they need a sense of time flowing without
expectation. Let them take classes--

give them
one hundred years.

Anne is a tai chi teacher and writer from South Pomfret, Vermont.
www.annebower.com

 

One Hundred Days
By Anne Bower

One hundred days
to prove yourself worthy
accomplish the task
the master set --
some difficult exercise
or long meditation
before undertaking
tai chi learning
in ancient China.

But when the masters came to our shores
heard the crash and clatter of our daily lives
saw the startling traffic and frantic trade
humans dashing from work to home to gym
to store to theater or second job,

they said,

we'll need a different way to teach these jangled people,
no way they'll maintain discipline
just to show themselves ready for instruction
no way they'll fill days with study,
concentration, dedication to tai chi.

They need more time, they need our patience,
they need a sense of time flowing without
expectation. Let them take classes--

give them
one hundred years.

Anne is a tai chi teacher and writer from South Pomfret, Vermont.
www.annebower.com

 

One Hundred Days
By Anne Bower

One hundred days
to prove yourself worthy
accomplish the task
the master set --
some difficult exercise
or long meditation
before undertaking
tai chi learning
in ancient China.

But when the masters came to our shores
heard the crash and clatter of our daily lives
saw the startling traffic and frantic trade
humans dashing from work to home to gym
to store to theater or second job,

they said,

we'll need a different way to teach these jangled people,
no way they'll maintain discipline
just to show themselves ready for instruction
no way they'll fill days with study,
concentration, dedication to tai chi.

They need more time, they need our patience,
they need a sense of time flowing without
expectation. Let them take classes--

give them
one hundred years.

Anne is a tai chi teacher and writer from South Pomfret, Vermont.
www.annebower.com

 

Hall of Happiness
By Anne Plyler

I always include poetry related to Tai Chi in our classes. One of my favorite poems, “Hall of Happiness” was written by Chen Man-ch’ing (29 July 1902 - 26 March 1975) and posted in his NYC Tai Chi Studio in 1973. This has a special significance for folks in Asheville as his son, Patrick, owned and operated a wonderful Chinese Restaurant here for years, The China Palace.

It was in this restaurant that health care professionals and martial artists collaborated in early 1999 with Dr. Tingsen Xu, the grandmaster who led the successful FICSIT trial at Emory University. This trial brought Tai Chi for fall prevention to the attention of the medical community. This brainstorming focused on how to increase Tai Chi’s presence in Asheville, NC. Out of this event, the first Tai Chi for Seniors program at our local hospital evolved. Here’s one translation of the poem:

May the joy that is everlasting gather in this hall. Not the joy of a sumptuous feast, which slips away even as we leave the table; nor that which music brings - it is only of a limited duration. Beauty and a pretty face are like flowers; they bloom for a while, then die. Even our youth slips swiftly away and is gone.

No, enduring happiness is not in these... We may as well forget them, for the joy I mean is worlds away from these. It is the joy of continuous growth, of helping to develop in yourselves and in others, the talents and abilities with which we were born - the gifts of heaven to mortal men. It is to revive the exhausted and to rejuvenate that which is in decline, so that we are enabled to dispel sickness and suffering.

Let true affection and happy concourse abide in this hall. Let us here correct our past mistakes and lose preoccupation with self. With the constancy of the planets in their courses or of the dragon in his cloud wrapped path, let us enter the land of health and ever after walk within its bounds.

Let us fortify ourselves against weakness and learn to be self-reliant, without ever a moment's lapse. Then our resolution will become the very air we breathe, the world we live in; then we will be as happy as a fish in crystal waters. This is the joy which lasts, that we can carry with us to the end of our days. And tell me if you can; what greater happiness can life bestow?”

Anne is a teacher from Asheville, North Carolina.
www.wnctaichiarthritis.com

 

Hall of Happiness
By Anne Plyler

I always include poetry related to Tai Chi in our classes. One of my favorite poems, “Hall of Happiness” was written by Chen Man-ch’ing (29 July 1902 - 26 March 1975) and posted in his NYC Tai Chi Studio in 1973. This has a special significance for folks in Asheville as his son, Patrick, owned and operated a wonderful Chinese Restaurant here for years, The China Palace.

It was in this restaurant that health care professionals and martial artists collaborated in early 1999 with Dr. Tingsen Xu, the grandmaster who led the successful FICSIT trial at Emory University. This trial brought Tai Chi for fall prevention to the attention of the medical community. This brainstorming focused on how to increase Tai Chi’s presence in Asheville, NC. Out of this event, the first Tai Chi for Seniors program at our local hospital evolved. Here’s one translation of the poem:

May the joy that is everlasting gather in this hall. Not the joy of a sumptuous feast, which slips away even as we leave the table; nor that which music brings - it is only of a limited duration. Beauty and a pretty face are like flowers; they bloom for a while, then die. Even our youth slips swiftly away and is gone.

No, enduring happiness is not in these... We may as well forget them, for the joy I mean is worlds away from these. It is the joy of continuous growth, of helping to develop in yourselves and in others, the talents and abilities with which we were born - the gifts of heaven to mortal men. It is to revive the exhausted and to rejuvenate that which is in decline, so that we are enabled to dispel sickness and suffering.

Let true affection and happy concourse abide in this hall. Let us here correct our past mistakes and lose preoccupation with self. With the constancy of the planets in their courses or of the dragon in his cloud wrapped path, let us enter the land of health and ever after walk within its bounds.

Let us fortify ourselves against weakness and learn to be self-reliant, without ever a moment's lapse. Then our resolution will become the very air we breathe, the world we live in; then we will be as happy as a fish in crystal waters. This is the joy which lasts, that we can carry with us to the end of our days. And tell me if you can; what greater happiness can life bestow?”

Anne is a teacher from Asheville, North Carolina.
www.wnctaichiarthritis.com

 

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