Tai Chi as a Oprah Fad?

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Tai Chi as a Oprah Fad?

Postby sysop » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:46 am

From the News/Events link of the YMAA website:

"Tai Chi and Qigong will play an important role in global awakening"
June 25, 2008
In his latest book, "A New Earth" visionary Eckhart Tolle writes "Tai Chi and Qigong will play an important role in global awakening." Eckhart Tolle proposes that "transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world." As evidence that Tai Chi and Qigong are now reaching the mainstream, Oprah Winfrey offered a 2-part program about the benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong on the Oprah show in Nov. 2007. The book "A New Earth" quickly became the New York Times #1 bestseller and the #1 bestseller on Amazon.com, so this positive message is reaching far and wide to the general public. You can expect to see some new faces in Tai Chi class.
[Emphasis added.]

Is this really such a good thing?

So much of this type of hype ends up as a trend or fad that eventually dissipates into past memory as a newer trend/fad replaces it. Just look at how many personal/life coaches Oprah has been through over the years herself. Isn't Mr. Tolle just another in a long line Oprah has espoused as being "the next one"?

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to see some positive light shed on the practice of Tai Chi, but won't turning Tai Chi into an Oprah trend/fad hurt Tai Chi's reputation in the long run? Won't the "new faces" in Tai Chi class leave as soon as Oprah finds something better? :?
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Postby Dvivid » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:55 am

Hi.

I understand your point. It would be bad if tai chi became a trend that got a cheesy mainstream image. But, the main point is that the more people who learn to turn their attention inward, the better off we will all be.

Some people discover Tai Chi by searching out an authentic teacher and delving deeply into the art...others start with something mainstream like Oprah or a David Carradine video...either way its a good thing.

As with any new students, some of the 'Oprah-people' will stick around and others will move on to something else...
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby Yatish Parmar » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:57 am

Funny you mention that.

I was at an outdoor taiji thing in the square outside the Royal Festival Hall in London this morning. The guy was a *joker*. His posture was not all that, his students sucked and they were all saying some funny stuff. But you know, it it gets old people out and moving around then wonderful, I'm all for it.
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Postby Dvivid » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:15 am

Yes. Taiji and Qigong can sometimes attract, as we say , some flaky "moon people"...

"Don't be a jedi too soon"...

All we can do as YMAA practitioners is lead by example: humbly train and improve, and teach and perform your taijiquan with as many people as possible.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

http://www.ymaa.com/publishing
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Postby green_thaddeus » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:10 am

One thing that I've noticed, at least around here, is that most people don't recognize Tai Chi as a martial art, but rather like yoga. I'm all for the spreading of teachings etc, but shouldn't it be given the honor it deserves? Tai Chi is an ancient martial art, and I know to many people who view it as a new age trend. This makes me sad. :cry:
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