Finding Health, Happiness and
Harmony with Life through Tai Chi
Chief Instructor Brett Wagland
the book, “Hidden Messages in Water”, Japanese scientist, Dr. Masaru
Emoto, points out the power of thoughts. Whether positive or negative,
each thought has the ability to affect both the quality of the molecular
structure of water and the quality of our health and happiness. Dr.
Emoto conducted an experiment in which he placed labels expressing
negative thoughts, for example, “I hate you”, and positive thoughts such
as “love and gratitude” on frozen distilled water bottles. He then used
high speed photography to capture crystals formed before and after the
positive and negative statements were applied to the bottles. He
discovered that a beautiful crystal was formed in the positive
environment and a deformed or no crystal was found in the negatively
labelled bottles. These ideas are nothing new. Great Indian yogis and
Taoist and Buddhist masters have been telling us this for thousands of
years. The mind, body and speech all combine to make our lives heaven
When we practise Tai Chi, we are bringing our consciousness to a higher
state. The movements of Tai Chi are emanating from a state of peace and
harmony. So, the more you practise Tai Chi, the more peace and harmony
you will experience. This state gradually becomes part of you and the
world around you. Looking for happiness on the outside is temporary and
conditional. Gradually, we learn that our world is more a reflection of
the state of our minds. If we think grateful, happy thoughts, we
experience gratefulness and happiness. As the Buddhists tell us, “Your
thoughts make the world.” At first, you might not get the full
benefits. It could be that positive thoughts are being overpowered by
negative thoughts or doubts about this new attitude. The more we
practise, the more we tune the mind and body to a more positive
vibration. People around you can also sense the change in your energy.
We have all experienced how one person in a negative mood can influence
a whole group of people. When Ba Gua master, Ma Chuan Xu,
visited some friends, they were amazed that he was not attacked by the
guard dog. He was calmly patting the dog, wondering what all the fuss
was about. Animals are known for their sensitivity to human emotions.
As we learn our movements, we become aware of our tension and blockages.
With regular practice, the body becomes more supple and alive as the
tension begins to melt away. The deeper we relax, the more refreshed we
feel. We may feel energy (qi) running through the hands and body during
practice. We become more alive and vibrant than ever. Taoist
philosophy speaks of the relationship between humans and nature,
and the importance of respecting this relationship. Living in harmony
with ourselves and nature can bring us happiness, good health and long
life. In the practice of Hun Yuan Qigong, we learn to connect with the
environment by drawing energy to various points of the body. The
meaning of the term, “Hun Yuan”, is mixing the external qi with the
internal. Students who practise this qigong regularly begin to
experience a wonderful sense of calm and joy. You will realise how
alive and conscious our world is. It is an animate force with which we
are intimately connected.
With so much information available to us through radio, television,
newspapers and now the internet, we can become overwhelmed by the
problems our world faces. This gives us even more reason to practise
everyday. If not, it is easy to be drained mentally and emotionally.
Training renews our energy and nourishes the mind and body. Dr. Emoto
also talks about the negative effects of modern technology on water and
therefore on our bodies. If we think positive thoughts, eat healthy
food and take in the beauty of nature, we can restore the imbalances of
the modern world. Once we learn to adjust our imbalances, we realise we
have much greater power over our health and well being than we are led
to believe. Taoists say that “your health is in your hands.” It is the
choices we make that determine the outcomes. The more we practise Tai
Chi, the greater awareness we develop to know what is and is not
beneficial to us.
In Tai Chi, the intention guides the qi which leads the body.
Ultimately, it is our thoughts that govern our lives. Choose your
thoughts well and you will live well. Tai Chi training calms the mind
and settles the energy. This prevents our emotions from becoming too
unruly. It gives us space which gives us time to think clearly and take
the appropriate action or non action. Our speech is a powerful tool.
When used in a negative way, it can hurt and ruin lives. When used
positively, it can inspire and transform lives. Dr. Emoto speaks of the
power of words as follows: “The vibration of good words has a positive
effect on our world, whereas the vibration from negative words has the
power to destroy.” (The Hidden Messages in Water, by Masaru Emoto, p.xxv.
Hillsboro, Oregon : Beyond Words, 2004.) The Tibetans have a saying,
“When you are with others, watch your mouth. When alone, watch your
mind.’’ Most of us are not aware of the effects of our thoughts and
words on ourselves and the world around us. It is only through training
that we become more mindful and skilful in communicating with others.
Being optimistic is a skill that can be learnt and eventually mastered.
Be aware of the wonder and beauty that surrounds us even in difficult
times. See that a good attitude can make the best of a poor situation.
Learning to choose the good in life will empower us. Doing good changes
us and becoming the good will ultimately free us. Ill health and
unhappiness are signs that we are no longer in balance. Look into diet,
feelings, thoughts and attitude. Make conscious choices, instead of
acting out of conditioned beliefs. Seeing the good in our lives and in
others is important in the relationship of harmony with life and its
Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang (founder of
the Hun Yuan system) states that Tai Chi is about cultivating the heart,
intention, essence, energy and spirit. Cultivating one’s life means
integrating mind, body and spirit with ethics or good behaviour and
positive thinking. It develops over time and students can sense what is
or is not beneficial. Tai Chi practice is cultivation. It is
practising the big Tao. It overcomes negativities with relaxation and
peacefulness. If you are in harmony with life, you are in harmony with
the Tao. Ultimately, to practise Tai Chi is to cultivate the positive
in life, so never stop practising!