Ken Cohen – Cultivate a Tai Chi Mind & Life 2022

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Cultivate a Tai Chi Mind & Life 2022Ken Cohen – Cultivate a Tai Chi Mind & Life 2022

Study the ancient Chinese tradition of Tai Chi (‘medicine in motion’) with a renowned Grandmaster — and build a graceful, flowing practice that brings peace and wellbeing to your daily life.

Thousands of years before Western medicine emerged, Chinese masters perfected a system of gentle movements and meditative postures that channel Qi (life energy) into the body for detoxification, vitalization, and healing.

To this day, this ancient system’s many benefits include better balance, boosted immunity, increased power to cope with stress, deeper levels of relaxation, a more compassionate view of the world, and much more.

The practice of Tai Chi — now used in hospitals around the world and esteemed by Harvard Medical School as “medicine in motion” — holds this age-old power.

Tai Chi’s simple breathing techniques are potent tools for soothing the kind of hyperventilation many of us don’t even realize we’re experiencing (described by some as “the epidemic of the West”). These breathing principles enhance energy as they deliver higher levels of oxygen to cells.

The true meaning of Tai Chi relates to the intricate balance of complementary opposites…

… and now’s the perfect time to bring its profound healing elements into your life.

Join us for an enlightening 7-part training with Ken Cohen, Tai Chi and Qigong Grandmaster and founder of the Qigong Research & Practice Center.

In The Shift Network’s first-ever Tai Chi course, you’ll learn ancient techniques for harnessing the massive power of Qi, the vital breath and energy of the universe.

As the movements you learn from Ken build upon each other in each module, you’ll experience Tai Chi’s intricate choreography, bringing everything you’re learning into one seamless, accessible practice that you can easily return to anytime you’d like.

Ken, a world-renowned Tai Chi teacher with more than 50 years of experience, is beloved by students around the world for his friendly and energizing teaching style — and his way of making ancient healing arts easy to grasp and a joy to practice.

Ken teaches each movement slowly and carefully — with attention to every detail and plenty of time for review.

He’s taught more than 40,000 students and stays attuned to each group’s learning pace, slightly adjusting the number of moves as necessary. Each class will be formatted a little differently, customized to flow with the specific needs of you and your classmates.

In this 7-step online training, you’ll discover:

  • How to build your own Tai Chi sequence to release tension, calm your mind, reconnect with the natural world, and cultivate joy
  • How to relax deeply by “sinking” through your feet into the ground, like a tree with deep roots
  • Ways to preserve the health of your joints and create more ease in movement
  • The secrets of a stress-free, aligned posture — including correct weight distribution, releasing the shoulders, positioning the lower back and hips, and more
  • The difference between fragmented power and whole-body power — and the secrets to conserving rather than wasting energy
  • The benefits of maintaining postures as standing meditations — including increased strength, improved balance, and gentle joint stretching
  • How yin and yang are more than philosophy — they’re guidelines for healthy living
  • How Taoist philosophy enriches Tai Chi practice
  • Feelings of unity, confidence, peace, and wellbeing through slow, deep Tai Chi breathing
  • The powerful truths that slow movement is the basis of quick movement and relaxation builds inner strength​
  • The secrets of the 8 Core Tai Chi Skills, the basis of all Tai Chi forms
  • Ways to harmonize mind (Yi), force (Li), and Qi (internal energy)
  • How Tai Chi deepens your harmony with nature
  • The fascinating connection between Tai Chi and energy medicine… and how practicing Tai Chi can help you become an energy healer

What You’ll Discover in These 7 Modules

In this 7-part transformational intensive, Ken will guide you through the fundamental body-mind-spirit skills and competencies you’ll need to successfully create your own Tai Chi practice — to lower anxiety, increase your vitality, cultivate joy, and move through life with greater physical ease.

This course will feature teachings, training sessions, and experiential practices with Ken. Each session will build harmoniously upon the previous ones, so you’ll develop a complete holistic understanding of the practices, tools, and principles you’ll need to cultivate a Tai Chi mind and life.

Module 1: Introducing Tai Chi — Strong as the Mountain, Supple as Water

Tai Chi arises from a boundless state of emptiness; it’s the mother of yin and yang.
— The Taiji Principle of Yin and Yang

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And as you begin your Tai Chi journey, this first step is important.

In this opening session, you’ll learn the foundational principles and first movements of Tai Chi.

You’ll discover the elements of Tai Chi posture — including simple ways to relax more deeply, the importance of bending your knees to put spring in your step, how to release constriction in your spine, and the role of your abdomen in deep breathing.

You’ll learn to step with the centered strength of a mountain, yet remain relaxed, balanced, and as supple as flowing water.

Most importantly, you’ll experience how meditative movement can empty the mind of worry and chatter.

For this opening class, the first 20 minutes will address frequently asked questions such as: What is Tai Chi? Is it a type of Qigong? What time of day should I practice? Does facing a certain direction enhance practice and enjoyment? Should I eat breakfast before or after practice? How can I combine Tai Chi with my workout at the gym?

Then you’ll move to the heart of the matter — practice. You’ll move through a Standing Meditation for grounding and building a reservoir of energy.

You’ll learn the first three movements of Tai Chi: Opening, Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail, and Ward-Off Left — and close class with a tranquil breath meditation.

In this session, you’ll discover:

  • The inner meaning of Tai Chi and how it relates to Qigong
  • How to relax deeply by “sinking” through your feet into the ground, like a tree with deep roots
  • How the body can transform the mind
  • Ways to preserve the health of your joints and create more ease in movement
  • The secrets of a stress-free, aligned posture — including correct weight distribution, releasing the shoulders, positioning the lower back and hips, and more
  • How to awaken your inner Tai Chi master as you practice the opening movements of Tai Chi

Module 2: Wu Wei — Effortless Action

For this class, you’ll enjoy a traditional practice-based teaching.

You’ll begin by reviewing the Standing Meditation, using it to go more deeply into the elements of Tai Chi posture — standing like a tree with deep roots and tall branches that reach toward the sun.

Ken will guide you to review the first three movements of the Tai Chi form: Opening, Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail, and Ward-Off Left.

After several repetitions and some gentle corrections, you’ll continue with Ward-Off Right, Roll-Back, Press, and Push.

You’ll delve into the important principle of Zheng Ti Jin, Whole-Body Power — that the body is used in an integrated, connected fashion. The gentle, whole-body workout of Tai Chi is based on this powerful truth.

Another tenet of Tai Chi is, When one part moves, all parts move. In Taoism, this is called wu wei, the power of effortless action, or what is popularly known as “going with the flow.” Ken will show you how to apply this principle in everyday life so you can move more efficiently, accomplishing more with less force.

In this session, you’ll:

  • Discover the difference between fragmented power and whole-body power — and the secrets to conserving rather than wasting energy
  • Learn how Taoist philosophy enriches Tai Chi practice
  • Discover the core movements of Tai Chi: Roll-Back, Press, and Push
  • Explore the Single Whip movement, in which the arms and torso turn and wind gracefully like a flexible whip in slow motion
  • Close your practice with a guided meditation on the body’s primary energy center in the lower abdomen — the dantian, known as “the field of the elixir of longevity”
  • Ask Ken your questions during a 15-minute Q&A

Module 3: Coiling Silk — Unwinding Energy Knots

During this class, you’ll review the Tai Chi techniques you’ve explored so far and learn details of the Single Whip, a posture noted for opening the joints and promoting free flow of Qi, life energy.

You’ll explore the Raise Hands movement, which may be held as a standing meditation to develop inner strength. From Raise Hands, you’ll flow into Kao, Shoulder Stroke, fine-tuning alignment so power moves through your whole body.

Then comes the beautiful White Crane Spreads Wing, inspired by everything the crane in nature and in Tai Chi teaches us about balance, alertness, and longevity.

In this session, you’ll:

  • Practice and review movements including Single Whip, Raise Hands, Shoulder Stroke, and White Crane Spreads Wing
  • Discover the benefits of maintaining postures as standing meditations — including increased strength, improved balance, and gentle joint stretching
  • Learn the principle of Pulling Silk (gentle continuity) — and sense Tai Chi as a continuous, flowing river of silken energy, the Qi
  • Apply the principle of Coiling Silk — turning and spiraling to dissolve tension and untie knotted energy
  • Appreciate how Tai Chi can enhance your skill level in sports and athletic activities
  • Practice all the movements from this session and previous classes, then move into 20 minutes of Q&A

Module 4: Storing & Releasing — The Yin & Yang of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is often described as meditation in motion, but it might as well be called medication in motion.
— Harvard Medical School

During this class, you’ll move, as the Chinese say, from the skin to the bones, from surface to depth.

Ken will guide you to slowly and carefully review the Tai Chi form — with plenty of time devoted to the movements from the previous class.

You’ll continue with Brush Knee Twist Step, Play the Guitar, and a repetition of Brush Knee Twist Step. Brush Knee Twist step improves coordination and has a profound effect on brain health.

You’ll find a new level of inner balance by exploring the hidden dimensions of yin and yang in Tai Chi. And you’ll discover how some movements receive and store energy, putting you in a state of potential, or yin. Other movements, considered yang, give or release what’s been gathered.

Life requires both yin and yang. We can’t be always on, without a break or rest time. Nor can you find contentment if your resources and gifts are always held within and not expressed. Knowing how to store and release energy is the secret not only to Tai chi, but to a happy life.

In this session, you’ll:

  • Accurately practice Brush Knee Twist Step and Play the Guitar movements
  • Discover Tai Chi as a brain gym that develops and refines coordination skills
  • Realize that yin and yang are more than philosophy — they’re guidelines for healthy living
  • Learn new ways to coordinate your upper and your lower body, and your right side with your left side
  • Explore the Tai Chi principle of Store and Release, and how to build a reservoir of energy and then express it — these are keys to personal wellbeing and balanced interactions with others
  • Close with 20 minutes of Q&A and discussion

Module 5: Cultivating the Breath of Life

Qi, life energy, develops naturally when you move in an aligned, relaxed, and fluid manner.

During this class, you’ll explore why Qi is linked with the breath, and you’ll learn the 4 Signs of Qi Activation: warmth, rootedness, vibration, and expansiveness.

As you’ll discover, healthy Tai Chi breathing moves both the diaphragm (lower abdomen) and the lower back, an area known as “the gate of life.”

Each breath massages the internal organs, reduces stress in the connective tissue, and helps restore balanced functioning.

Continuing with the Tai Chi form you’re building, you’ll review from the beginning as always — then add in new movements: Step, Parry, and Punch.

Ken will explain why Tai Chi includes slow-motion punches and is lauded as a superb martial art.

In this session, you’ll:

  • Continue with the Tai Chi form, while slowing down the pace of learning to focus more on quality rather than quantity
  • Get better and better at movements you learned in the earlier sessions, as they flow effortlessly from body memory
  • Practice Tai Chi as meditation in motion, finding stillness in movement
  • Experience how slow, deep Tai Chi breathing creates a feeling of unity, confidence, peace, and wellbeing
  • Understand the powerful truths that slow movement is the basis of quick movement and relaxation builds inner strength​
  • Explore Ken’s presentation, A Brief History of Qi, where he’ll offer a dynamic commentary on the understanding of life energy among ancient cultures around the world, including the meaning of Qi in Tai Chi, shamanism, and modern medicine

Module 6: The 8 Core Skills of Tai Chi — Themes & Variations

During this class, Ken will lead you to refine and correct all the movements you’ve learned in previous classes and add Withdraw and Push, as well as Cross Hands and Close.

You’ll discover how Tai Chi ends the way it began — with balance, stillness, and emptiness. The one produces the many, then the many return to the one.

After multiple repetitions, you’ll explore an essential, yet often-overlooked aspect of Tai Chi training, the Ba Shi, or 8 Core Skills.

As you’ll discover, every movement in every form of Tai Chi is based on the Ba Shi: Ward-Off, Roll-Back, Press, Push Down, Pluck, Split, Elbow, and Ram.

Once you understand these skills, you have an important key to improving your Tai Chi practice.

As you incorporate the Ba Shi into your practice, you take a significant step toward one of the goals of Tai Chi, called Dong Jin, or Comprehending Internal Energy. To Dong Jin is to become a more empowered and alive human being.

In this session, you’ll:

  • Review, refine, and correct previously learned movements
  • Complete your Tai Chi short form by learning Withdraw and Push & Cross Hands and Close
  • Discover how practicing Tai Chi is like performing music — the slow movement (andante) is the most difficult, and there is delight in practicing variations on familiar themes
  • Learn the secrets of the 8 Core Skills, the basis of all Tai Chi forms
  • Explore how the 8 Core Skills can train your body and mind to function more efficiently and friction-free in everyday life — and help you discover strength and inner resources you didn’t know you had

Module 7: The Journey Begins  In a Circle, the End Is the Beginning

To travel hopefully is better than to arrive.
— Robert Louis Stevenson

In this final class, Ken will lead you through a grand review of every movement and detail in your Tai Chi form.

You’ll feel the powerful truth that there’s never an end point, because there’s always room for improvement and greater enjoyment.

You’ll learn various ways of practicing the form: slowly and fluidly, like pulling a silk thread from a cocoon, or just a bit more quickly so you can feel the momentum generated by the shift of the weight and the turn of the waist.

Ken will guide you to feel the flow of Qi in your body as you practice. Or you might prefer to visualize your practice as being supple as water, rooted as a pine tree, and elegant as a crane.

He’ll also introduce and demonstrate how the various postures may be used in energy medicine to remove obstructions and transmit healing energy to a client… perhaps the most hidden aspect of Tai Chi.

In this session, you’ll:

  • Review every detail of the entire form you’ve learned
  • Harmonize mind (Yi), force (Li), and Qi (internal energy)
  • Experience how Tai Chi deepens your harmony with nature
  • Learn about the fascinating connection between Tai Chi and energy medicine, and how practicing Tai Chi can help you become an energy healer
  • Explore ways to continue improving the quality and joy of your practice
  • Enjoy a closing 20-30 minutes of Q&A and a tranquil seated meditation

What People Are Saying About Ken Cohen…

— Michael Lightner: “Ken’s Connection to Students Is Just Amazing”

— Gillian Carmody: “The Passion Ken Brings Is Absolutely Palpable”

— Andrea Malik: “I Have Never Had a Teacher Like Ken Cohen”

— Ling Chang: “I Am Able to Focus Much More and I Get Much More Accomplished”

— Daniel Mroz: “Meeting Ken Made My World a Much Richer and Much, Much Deeper Place”

— Kathy Gill: “Ken Is An Authentic Person… and Fun!”

“His Qigong movements express true mastery and a deep cultivation of the spirit of China.”

Without actually being in Ken Cohen’s presence, it would be very hard to believe that an American could have such profound and detailed understanding of traditional Chinese culture. His Qigong movements express true mastery and a deep cultivation of the spirit of China. Professor Kenneth Cohen’s dissemination of Chinese culture to the Western world is an enormous work and a glorious achievement.
— Tu Xinshi, Editor-in-Chief, Chinese American Post

“For the first time in 30 years, I am able to walk free of pain.”

Thanks to Ken’s Qigong instruction, my post-polio syndrome is under control. For the first time in 30 years, I am able to walk free of pain. There are no words to express my gratitude.
— M.G., Retired Spanish teacher

“My movements are easier and quicker.”

As a student with Parkinson’s, I have been significantly better since the workshop. My movements are easier and quicker.
— R.L., Nurse

“… the floodgates of Qi opened for the first time…”

I can honestly say that the floodgates of Qi opened for the first time and it has been an experience without words.
— M.W., Student

“Blood markers for the tumors [I had] are nonexistent!”

When I began studying with Ken eight years ago, I had widely metastasized stage IV bone cancer and doctors gave me little hope. I know that Ken never claimed to be treating cancer or any disease for that matter. But I know that Qigong saved my life. Blood markers for the tumors are nonexistent!
— B.C., Accountant

“… much less pain and greater ease of motion…”

I had to deal with knee pain for many years and steroids were of little help. Because of this, I was hesitant to take [a Tai Chi course with Ken]. Miraculously, not only did my knees not bother me, but the postural corrections have resulted in much less pain and greater ease of motion in the six months since! Thank you!
— R.J., History professor

About Ken Cohen

Kenneth S. Cohen (Gao Han), MA, is a world-renowned Tai Chi and Qigong Grandmaster with more than 50 years of experience. A former collaborator with Alan Watts, he’s the author of the internationally acclaimed book The Way of Qigong and more than 200 journal articles on spirituality and health. Ken received his teaching certificate from the William C. C. Chen School of Tai Chi Chuan in 1974 and continued training with B. P. Chan and Madame Gao Fu. He eventually became the apprentice of Taoist Abbot Huang Geng Shi (1910-1999), an acupuncturist, Qi healer, and martial artist from China’s sacred Xi Qiao Mountain.

A leader in the dialogue between ancient wisdom and modern science, Ken was one of the first to teach Qigong in North American medical schools. His sponsors have included the Mayo Clinic, the Menninger Institute, the American Cancer Society, and numerous cultural organizations. He is the recipient of the Alyce and Elmer Green Lifetime Achievement Award in Energy Medicine. Ken is known for his friendly and engaging teaching style, making ancient healing arts easy to understand and a joy to practice.


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