|> Issue 44||
|The german magazine for qigong and taijiquan|
Motes and beams on the path to the Dao
The relationship between teachers and students is a theme requiring constant reflection, all the more so in the physically oriented arts of Qigong and Taijiquan. It is normal that projections arise during the learning process and this, when one’s own “shadows” are not integrated, can lead to major problems for both parties. As Paul Shoju Schwerdt shows, things become especially critical when the teaching extends beyond the art itself and moves into “therapeutic” interventions or initiations in deep spiritual areas, without the teaching person being in possession of an appropriate qualification. It seems unrealistic to impose a general ban on intimate relationships between teachers and students. However, in order to avoid situations of abuse it is important that such relationships be conducted in an open and coequal manner and not be justified by any teaching content.
Loved and rejected
The following account, which we publish anonymously by wish of the author, provides a clear example of an abusive teacher-student relationship. It shows the dynamics of mutual projection and of how the teacher exerts an unacceptable, encroaching influence on the private life of his students.
Empathy and sharing
Although we all know that we will die, death and dying are taboo themes in our society. Isolde Schwarz has undergone a Buddhist-influenced training programme in terminal care and she connects this voluntary work with her knowledge and experience as a Qigong and Taijiquan teacher. In the interview with Almut Schmitz and Dietlind Zimmermann she describes her views on end-of-life care and the role that Qigong can play in this. Especially when verbal communication is difficult, positive imaginative images can mobilise energy and reduce fear, pain and insecurity.
The centre and the whole
In Eastern traditions, one tries through meditation to achieve detached observation – either of one’s own thoughts or of other phenomena. In Western thinking the self is at the centre of things, separated from the rest of the world. And as Zuzana Sébkova-Thaller here describes, the self perceives the world in an objectifying manner due to the its historically influenced perspective. The author seeks a conjunction between the two spiritual traditions that aims for a shaping perspective of life based on the awareness of one’s own connectedness with everything. Her path takes one through a profound perception of one’s own character with its three main axes, the live-giving movement of the breath and the heart as connecting point of these axes, and all-transforming power.
In Chinese the term “beauty” refers to that which we like to see, hear and feel – and indeed for as long as possible, which is why we would even like to possess it. Wang Ning shows that beauty is closely associated with power, although many of its aspects are depicted through feminine attributes. At the end of beauty we find perfection.
Understanding life through martial art
At irregular intervals the Linz-based Taiji teacher Rado M. Radanovic conducts what he calls “budo discussions” with notable martial arts teachers. In October 2010 he talked to Luis Molera and Georg Meindl about the significance of masters and master titles, forms and the art that transcends the command of techniques. Both his conversation partners are ultimately interested in understanding the meaning of life.
Xiong Style Taijiquan
Xiong style is a branch of Taijiquan that is little-known outside Taiwan. It goes back to Xiong Yanghe (1888 – 1981) but according to the research of Michael A. DeMarco it provides above all an insight into the early transmission of the Yang style, which is here continued in a comprehensive form. The author summarises the socio-political conditions under which Taijiquan developed in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. This was a time that was marked by civil and inter-nation wars, famines, political unrest and demoralisation – the decay of the once so powerful and culturally superior Chinese empire. In the process he highlights two aspects that were decisive for the development of Taijiquan: the need for effective self-defence and the wish for general self-strengthening. Taijiquan is thus both a martial art and a health practice.