A MESSAGE FROM BILL DOUGLAS
Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
If humanity can "loosen up" and allow our collective imagination to expand open to new
possibility . . . our future is limitless. T'ai Chi & Qigong's loosening movements, breathing
and visualization techniques offer the world a powerful and enjoyable method for cultivating
that skill in ourselves and in our children, who will need it even more than we do. By weaving
T'ai Chi & Qigong into our society at all levels, education, corporate, healthcare, etc., a very
gentle, subtle, and powerful evolution can permeate every action we take as individuals,
communities, and nations. The results can be very desirable, contributing to a balance and
harmony at all levels of local and global society.
World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day is a loose, fun, flowing, and profoundly effective global celebration
and media / educational event that was created by people worldwide who have experienced the
joy and healing of T'ai Chi & Qigong health sciences . . . and now for love of humanity
. . . want to share them.
Thank you all for your efforts, your expertise, and your love. In reality World T'ai Chi &
Qigong Day was founded by a global awareness that it is time for the world to slow, calm,
and heal, and each and every teacher and participant is a Co-Creator of
World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day
Bill Douglas, World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day Co-Founder (About Bill's Neigong teacher, Master Jennifer Booth)
ANGELA WONG DOUGLAS:
World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day Co-Founder, Angela Wong Douglas, grew up in the Pearl of the Orient,
Hong Kong Island's lovely Causeway Bay. Angela's father spoke several languages and Angela was
exposed to a much wider world than the man she'd eventually co-found World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day with.
From her father's hillside home over looking Hong Kong, Angela could stand in her mother's garden and
look down from high above at Hong Kong Stadium where she saw both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones
play as a young girl. However, in that garden she also observed her mother playing her
silent Tai Chi forms everyday.
It was many years later in a college class in Southern California, where Angela would rediscover the wisdom
her mother embodied by taking a Tai Chi class with master Jennifer Booth at Orange Coast College. By now
Angela has learned four tai chi forms, and still observes the wisdom her mother and father passed down to
her about health and life. Through World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day Angela now works to share that
wisdom with the entire world.
Angela's bachelor's degree in business management provided the solid backbone and infrastructural knowledge
that enabled World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day to become the global healing event it is today. By teaming up with her
American husband, who had a clear vision of a void in the modern stress filled world that T'ai Chi & Qigong could
profoundly benefit, but who also had some very pathetic administrative skills . . . a child was concieved and they
gave birth to a global healing event. Dreaming and practicality came together, a union of yin and yang.
Click this for Angela's Event Link
World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day Co-Founder, Bill Douglas, is an American T'ai Chi teacher,
author, and columnist who writes on natural health and global healing issues. He has
founded two global healing events, and works with T'ai Chi & Qigong teachers worldwide to
facilitate the use of these tools globally in health care, corporate wellness, and education.
When Bill married Angela Wong she shared with him some of the wisdom of her culture.
Bill often somewhat arrogantly dismissed what she shared with him, because he had no
cultural context for it and assumed if it were true, Western culture would be telling everyone
about it. Over the nearly three decades of their relationship, Bill grew. He realized that there
were many profound truths about health, life, and family that China had to offer the West. As
he became more aware of the profound health and healing benefits of Tai Chi & Qigong he
became increasingly frustrated with the relatively little attention Western media and culture were
giving these incredible life technologies. He saw that his own experience of dismissing wisdom
from another land, was a microcosm of larger Western societies dismissive behaviour of T'ai Chi
& Qigong. Eventually this frustration led Bill to concieve of World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day, a mass
annual public education event, designed to share information for the betternment of the world.
Websites Worldwide Support
World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day
Efforts with Links
Your website can use the (left) image
as a link to www.worldtaichiday.org
to support our healing work, AND
TO ADD TO YOUR SITE'S VALUE
AS AN "OFFICIAL MEMBER" OF
WORLD T'AI CHI & QIGONG DAY !!
WTCQD has been recognized by the
UN World Health Organization and
Governors of many states, mayors
of major cities, & national Tai Chi &
Qigong Associations worldwide.
Interview with World T'ai Chi & Qigong Day Founder,
by Hong Kong's Acclaimed South China Morning Post
FEATURES, 1.4.2000 A Simple Desire to Make Everyone Healthier has Prompted One Man to Organise World Tai Chi Day from his Kansas Home.
. . . [Bill Douglas] picked up a list of college courses that advertised Tai Chi 101 as being good for stress. "I'd never heard of it - and I thought it was pronounced Tay-Ee-Chy - but I thought I'd give it a go."
This week, two decades later, Douglas is still trying hard not to be stressed - about a world event, promoting China's gentlest martial art, into which he has put his life savings and his full pushing hands energy.
World Tai Chi Day is next Saturday, and Douglas hopes the world - and particularly the world's health organisations and professionals - will join in.
Last year they had 108 events around the world - by coincidence a lucky number in Chinese tradition - and this year they hope to have as many as three times that - from Slovenia to South Afric, from Thailand to Tel Aviv.
He has staked his savings on setting up the website (www.worldtaichiday.org) and getting everything organised - the fax bill alone last month was about 15,000 dollars: what return can he possible expect?
"I don't know: I have no idea," he admitted on the phone from his home town of Kansas City. "I just know I had to try it."
Douglas, now 43, first became interested in spreading the word about tai chi when his mother died several years ago during an angioplasty operation. Already a teacher of the martial arts form, he tried to interest his parents in trying tai chi for their health, but both had rejected it as "too weird."
But afterwards he found a note his mother had written just before the operation.
"She said she wished that a couple of years ago she had paid attention to the exercise I wanted to teach her: she said she wished she had done it so that she could see her grandchildren grow up."
It made Douglas think about how many other people he could help before it was too late: "I wanted tai chi to be so widespread that nobody could think of it as weird."
With missionary zeal he began to teach the breathing and the movements in local hospitals, schools, medical universities and even in prisons where apparently studies showed violence to have decreased by around 70 per cent after tai chi classes were introduced.
"It shows people where they can use that excess energy, so it can be constructive," he said.
But running classes in hospitals and prisons in the local area is one thing. World Tai Chi Day, with all the organising and cajoling and free information kits whizzing around via courier companies is quite another. How did it happen?
"Now that is a weird story," he said.
Douglas had originally had the idea some years ago, just after completing The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong. But after scribbling some notes to himself about how a global event could work he didn't go any further, or tell anybody about it: it seemed too ambitious, too time - demanding, too impossible to do from Kansas.
"Then a few years later, after my mother had died, my sister called me one morning and said she had this dream. She said my mother had appeared and said your brother has been writing some interesting things."
His sister had been described with an uncanny accuracy what those notes had said, and recounted how in the dream his mother had said he shouldn't have self doubt and should follow his ideas.
It was after that phone conversation, and with the blessing of his (slightly bewildered, but supportive) wife and his two teenage children (who "did tai chi until they were teenagers when suddenly everything Dad does is wrong", Douglas said cheerfully) he "grasped the bird's tail" with both hands, and went into the project whole heartedly.
"Does your sister usually have supernatural dreams?" I asked Douglas. "No, actually she's very conservative - she was even on the election team for Bob Dole. She's not one of those flighty new age types at all." And her brother doesn't seem like that either.
His facination with tai chi and qigong is less about the arcane spiritual side then about the physical side, and he is full of anecdotes and statistics - which he can apparently send to anyone interested by email as a database of 1,600 scientific studies - about how this is the best thing for mental and physical health since whole meal bread.
"We had a surgeon who came to the class," he said. "She'd been in a really bad car accident a few years back - and had whiplash and chronic back pain that wouldn't go away.
As a doctor she had tried everything that Western science could offer and nothing helped: after two months of tai chi she went back to normal."
About 70% if illnesses, he continued, are caused by psycho-social stress: "Five million kids are on Ritalin [an anti-stress drug] - if everyone did tai chi and learned how to control stress, then half the Health system in America would be redundant."
His enthusiasm - as he talked about how tai chi and qigong are immensely sophisticated methods of cleansing the central nervous system and getting rid of past pain and trauma, as well as improving things like balance, posture and strength - was infectious.
The next morning, after talking to Douglas, I visited a free tai chi class in the fake Roman amphitheatre in Hong Kong Park. This one - which runs on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays - was mainly for tourists, organised by the Hong Kong Tourist Association, and involved running through the short form - from Parting the Horses Mane to being a Needle on the Seabed - again and again in the sunshine. It was taught by Lung Chi - Fai, a 19 year old computer student at City University who has the advantage of being son of tai chi master Lung Kai Ming, and grandson of another tai chi master from China. "Most people who come to my classes haven't done tai chi before," he said. "So with every class I have to start from the basics. But perhaps it will give them the interest to learn in their own countries. It is a great form of exercise: you move slowly, but you still sweat."
According to the Chinese Martial Arts Association (firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 2504 8164) in Hong Kong, there are about ten thousand people in the SAR who have learned tai chi, and many thousands more who have dabbled. The association hopes that hundreds of them - and some beginners - will come to the Hong Kong World Tai Chi event which will be held at Lai Chi Kok Park (Mei Foo MTR) from 10 am.
Victoria Finlay, SCMP