By January 3, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

ZenView-Jan 2013

ZenView By Mary Layton

There are many exercises that are centered on the body and mind connection. One, from India is Yoga, based on Buddhist philosophy, another is T’ai Chi Ch’uan from China based on Taoism. T’ai Chi Ch’uanwhich means ‘Grand Ultimate Fist’ was founded during the Song Dynasty (960-1127) by Chang San Feng,a Taoist philosopher. One day he observed the fight between a bird and a snake outside his window. Every time the bird tried to swoop down to the snake and make it’s strikes, the snake would turn its head right away and dodge the attack easily. As Chang San Feng kept observing this fight he noticed that the snake’s feigning weakness was what incited the bird to be even more daring with its strikes. Yet each time the bird tried to strike at the snake with its beak, the snake would respond with its ready and waiting defense. Finally frustrated, the bird flew away and the snake was left in peace. Chang San Feng was very inspired. He applied the T’ai Chi principles of the firm and the yielding – the Yin and Yang forces of nature – and created a unique martial art for both self defense and self cultivation. He alternated Yin and Yang in a continuous set of movements, the idea being that the quiet can control the active. By embedding within these movements special techniques to strengthen the mind, focusing the concentration, and increasing perception, he was able to generate harmony between thought and action, thereby achieving that “tranquility even when under attack” that he had admired in the snake.

For more information on T’ai Chi or about classes, visit our website at: Or call (209) 572 -4518



Posted in: outdoor, stage & art

About the Author:

Mary Layton has practiced T'ai Chi for 35 years and co-founded T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy of Modesto in1995. She and her partner have taught hundreds of students. Mary travels frequently to learn from her teacher Grand Master Kai Ying Tung. Interested in every aspect of health Mary likes to follow a natural path. She loves writing, painting, gardening, hiking and playing piano.