A Record Workshop With Harmony And Joy

Dr Lam Tai Chi for Health Newsletter 
- Issue Number 191, July 2017


In this issue:

The awesome instructors team at the 15th annual USA workshop                            
Hello <<First Name>>

We had a great time at the Pre-conference for Depth of Tai Chi for Rehabilitation with the extra turbo charge. Some of our participants might have been a little bemused to see that three of my MT facilitators had need of some personal rehabilitation themselves. Ralph Dehner suffered a detached retina shortly before the workshop and was not allowed to let his pulse rise over 90 bpm. Cathi Knauf has been undergoing chemo and turned up with a variety of headscarves artfully chosen to match her blue TCHI shirt. Lorraine Novall broke her left wrist the week before the workshop and sported an eye-catching scarlet cast throughout. All three dealt with the inevitable jokes with grace and humour and facilitated and conduct fully in both the Pre-conference and the One Week.

It was a week of extraordinary energy, living in the beautiful YMCA Assembly in the Black Mountains. Squirrels, chipmunks and deer roamed the grounds, plus a black bear and her cub. The weather ranged from misty to raining, chilly to hot and sunny, with the mountains providing a stunning background throughout. We had the largest group ever with almost 300 people attending at various points, but everything ran like clockwork, thanks to the immense support from our wonderful tai chi family. At very short notice we changed our group photo day to Monday because of inclement weather, and everyone gathered on the steps of the Eureka building in record time - as you can see from this photo.

The US Workshop Manager Becky Rahe and her team did a magnificent job. She even found time to join in with the MT Sun 73 demo, the Tai Chi for Rehabilitation demo and a stunning Chen 36 performance.

The very first demonstration by all MTs sharing Sun 73 moved blown me away! Not just their amazing skill and grace, they moved beautifully as one. I can feel the spirit of harmony of our tai chi family through the leaders. I was so proud of my colleagues. Can you feel that harmony and energy with the demonstration?

There are so much fascinating material to share from these workshops, I am starting with Robin Malby's inspiring talk both in text and video.

Great news! Senior Trainers Craig Miller and Ernie Hall are joining the workshop team. Becky will now have more time for her family, and to attend TCHI matters. She will, of course, continue to work with Craig and Ernie on my workshops. They are looking forward to embracing their new roles, and I know our family will give them their wholehearted support.

The Fall workshops are already on the calendar, do check out the list for a workshop near you. Recently I was in Long Island, at a 24 Depth organised by Rosanne Pawluk and Linda Mikell. Rosanne’s husband Michael is a keen photographer and turned up to join us and take photos. A couple of weeks later he sent me a link to this beautiful slideshow which he must have spent a great deal of time working on. Do share it with your friends and participants.  Thanks Rosanne and Michael.

Yours in Tai Chi,

Paul Lam, MD

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This Month’s Extra-Special Special!

America celebrates Independence Day on 4th July. To mark the occasion we are having a very special offer of Tai Chi for Energy, Tai Chi for Energy 2 and the Tai Chi Music CD2 at a 35% discount!  We have decided to make this offer available worldwide for the entire month of July, so please visit this link to place your order. Offer expires 31 July. Not to be used with any other discount.
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Product Review Prize Winner

Congratulations to Erica Bartlett (Australia) and Kim J (USA)!
You have both won 3 DVDs of your choice, value AUD $120. You can see your reviews below, please contact us within one week to claim your prize.

Do be sure to post your review when you make a purchase to win a mystery prize.
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Upcoming Workshops by Dr Paul Lam




September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

January 2018 

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A Letter to Dr Lam

Chris Milton, Senior Trainer, Victoria, Australia


I would like to pass on some of my experience recently while teaching the Tai Chi for Health, Rehabilitation and also my delight  since becoming a Senior Trainer this year.
Firstly, since I have introduced the Tai Chi for Rehabilitation to many of my long term students, (since 2003), the feed back has been tremendously positive. Many students comment on how energized and at the same time relaxed  they feel at the end of class, how they now understand and feel the energy they receive during their practice, along with the benefit of the gentle exercise.
I have passed on Tai Chi for Arthritis since 2003, and Diabetes 2004 to both these students and students first trying out Tai Chi for Health, and all agree...its magic. I'm so glad I have learnt this style to pass on.
And secondly, what a great reception I have received from Senior and Master trainers from around the globe. What a wonderful surprise...our great Tai Chi Family 

Dr Lam replies:

Great to hear you are enjoying your classes Chris!  I do agree with your comments on TCR, so many people have written to tell me how much it has helped them.

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Going Strong at 90 Years Old!

Ann Sheehan, Instructor, Townsville

Lennie Le Masurier has been attending Tai chi here in Townsville for over 13 years, She rarely misses a class and joins in all displays in the community. Lennie drives herself to class over 16 kilometers to class each week
Her inspiration, positive attitude, and willing to take on new challenges is a lesson to all of us.
Lennie thrives on positive chi, we all love her and held a party for her on her 90th birthday.
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Product of the Month Review Prize Winners

Product:  Sun Style 73 Forms
Posted by:   Erica Bartlett
 Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Flowing Style
"I have just purchased Dr Lam Sun style 73 forms and have been learning section one. I have previously learned the 24 forms and loved doing it but I must say I love the Sun style even better. It is so beautiful and flowing and I find I just loose myself in it, there is truly something quite magical about it. I love how Dr Lam also explains the deeper meanings contained within the forms therefore adding another layer and depth to my tai chi practice. I was worried it would be difficult to learn but once again, Dr Lam makes it easy to follow along. I am looking forward to the day I can do all 73 forms but already I feel "like water in a river".

Product:  Teaching Tai Chi Effectively eBook
Posted By: Kim J 

 Rated 5 out of 5 stars

"As a new instructor, I'm finding this book to be an excellent reference guide while starting the business of teaching my classes. I keep it handy and refer to it often. Definitely helps me stay on the same page, with regard to Dr Lam's original intentions of how to bring Tai Chi for Health to my students"

Please contact (Australia) or within one week from now to arrange delivery of your DVDs.

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Helping Keep Tai Chi Accessible By Deepening Our Understanding of the Forms

By Robin Malby

See Robin's talk in video
I was packing for my journey from California to attend this year’s June conference and sharing my enthusiasm over the phone to a fellow tai chi colleague; mentioning I would be taking the beginning level Chen 36 course for the week again…for the second time around.
This tai chi friend is not involved in the Tai Chi for Health organization but is a very advanced tai chi player who has studied for years. She had an unexpected question for me: “You took that course a year ago shouldn’t you already know this level and be moving on? You are a Master Trainer after all.”

I paused at this question. How to convey the amount of growth that takes place at a Paul Lam June Tai Chi Conference in a brief phone call?  I gave her a standard answer of “Yes, in a perfect world I would have studied my Chen diligently and come back for this go around embracing the depth level course. But I injured my foot hiking on castle ruins in Portugal last fall and due to a long recovery, I had to put Chen on a back burner.” I would of course garner no sympathy. Who feels sorry for someone who gets to hike around beautiful castles in Portugal?
That was then and this is now, and I am looking out upon a very willing tai chi audience. Allow me to share what I’d really like to tell my colleague. The vision of the Tai Chi for Health Institute is to help make tai chi accessible to people of all ages, health conditions and levels of ability.

The June conference furthers this vision. This week- long gathering is accessible to anyone who wishes to participate; no matter your health challenges, level of ability or previous amount of tai chi experience.  This conference is stimulating. We learn broader concepts and essential principles to deepen our tai chi form. We start the week from where our tai chi knowledge base is and build upon it daily. No apologies necessary for what we don’t know. We are accepted for what we do know and are willing to explore.

If you are taking a beginning course in a new Tai Chi style you will arrive with a clean slate and will soak up new choreography, which foot goes where and when the heck do you shift your weight along with exposure to deeper concepts. This broadens your tai chi foundation. Many beginner courses taught here feel like depth courses because there are so many hidden pearls shared by the Master Trainers instructing.
Why would I be willing to repeat a beginner course over again? For those pearls. For the joy of the learning process itself. I will put back into my malleable brain whatever I forgot and pick up details I may have missed the first time around. Practicing small steps in the form over and over can be challenging to stick with but it is exactly this perseverance that makes the tai chi  journey the path of a lifetime.

How many of you are already aware that you can be shown just one adjustment in the way you hold your arm in a specific form or a new way to spiral from one heel to the opposite toe and your entire tai chi form changes! Tai Chi players salivate for this hard- earned wisdom! We are ecstatic!! Pearls worth their weight in gold…right?

Which leads me to depth. The more we learn, the deeper we go. Coming to this conference to take a depth course offers numerous possibilities of exploration and understanding.  It could be a new place in the form to focus your intent and energy, a method of delivery, a different direction to turn your dan tien or push off from your foot.  We offer a Push Hands course to further your understanding of the intent behind the forms. There is a silk reeling course to deepen your dan tien connection. Depth of Yang 24 form, Depth of Sun 73, Depth of Chen 36 go well beyond choreography.

The art of Tai Chi is complex and yet simple. Yin and Yang. I think back to when I was a fairly new instructor taking depth of 24 form for the first time. I arrived with an extensive list of what I wanted covered. Imagine my surprise when I discovered we did not cover the 152 specific points I had hopes of pounding in, but instead, took only five or six and studied them all week over and over. Our 24 became a rhythmic, meditative dance. My 24 form flowed eloquently for the first time ever. Less is more in the tai chi depth world.

 We grow and share with others and the vision spreads to more. Relatives and friends who do not practice tai chi puzzle as to why we keep training every June. Surely we’ve already learned all there is to know about this Tai Chi stuff by now?

Perhaps we just smile and nod. How to explain the sense of camaraderie, acceptance and inspiration we gain? And to answer the question in that phone call from my tai chi colleague back home: As a Master Trainer of course I am comfortable coming here and taking a beginner Chen 36 course another time. And if need be another time and another after that. Why not? Whether we are a Master Trainer, Senior Trainer, Instructor or participant taking Chen or TCA, there is always more to learn.  This week I will glean new pearls….I will take those pearls home to practice and share and I will definitely avoid castle ruins in Portugal until I have it down!
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Humor, Laughter and Radiant Health

by Dr Bob McBrien

Meeting old friends and making new friends is one of the high points of the Dr Lam’s June Workshop. On several occasions, new friends told me how much they enjoyed reading the humor essays in this newsletter/ A common remark was how much the humor from children was appreciated. In their innocence children are able to see “punch lines” in their day that adults often miss. What a wonderful opportunity we have to practice using a “beginner’s mind” when we are able to laugh with a child. Here are a few examples of how children brighten our day.

*A physician-mom told this story about her then four-year-old daughter. On the way to preschool, the doctor had left her stethoscope on the car seat.  Her daughter picked it up and began playing with it. “Be still, my heart,” thought the doctor, “my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!” Then the child spoke into the end piece, "Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"

*One day a guy was driving with his four-year-old daughter and beeped his car horn by mistake.  She turned and looked at him for an explanation.

He said, "I did that by accident."

She replied, "I know that, Daddy."

He replied, "How'd you know?"

The girl said, "Because you didn't say 'JERK' after you beeped the horn!"

*A 3-year-old boy’s reply, when his mother told him his shoes were on the wrong feet, “Don’t kid me, Mom; I know they're my feet."

*Following are actual answers to middle school science tests:
- H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water.
- Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.
- Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars.

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Warning: Dr Lam does not necessarily endorse the opinion of other authors. Before practicing any program featured in this newsletter, please check with your physician or therapist. The authors and anyone involved in the production of this newsletter will not be held responsible in any way whatsoever for any injury which may arise as a result of following the instructions given in this newsletter.
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