In early July of this year, I had the good
fortune to be introduced to Dr. Marilyn Moy, a noted Pulmonologist in Boston. Dr. Moy has multiple Hospital
Affiliations including Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Veteran's Affairs
Health system. Dr. Moy was visiting
the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, where I teach 12 classes a week in Tai Chi,
Qigong, Dao Yin and Neigong.
Dr. Moy had been invited to speak at Burke on the
topic of Tai Chi for COPD patients and the upcoming study. The study is to be in cooperation
with Dr. Peter Wayne. I had the
opportunity to spend some individual time with Dr. Moy and she was kind enough
to give me an introduction to Dr. Wayne.
Dr. Wayne is the author of the book, "Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, 12
weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart and Sharp Mind". Dr. Wayne is a well-respected and
leading researcher of Tai Chi and its effects on various health related topics
with more than 2 dozen published, peer reviewed papers (
www.treeoflifetaichi.com/publications.php). He is an Associated
Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of Research at
Osher Center for Integrated Medicine
Within 15 minutes of Dr. Moy's e mail
introduction to Dr. Wayne, I received an email from him. This started a 3 week email
correspondence with us both trying to work our schedules so I could visit him in
Boston. During this period, I began
to appreciate his wonderful sense of humor and willingness to share his vast
amount of knowledge on the subject of Tai Chi.
When asked what my primary interest was when we would meet, I said I
wanted to hear his words, how he transmitted information to his Tai Chi
students, as this is a passion of mine.
His response was "This is going to be fun".
And indeed it was!
During the visit, I had the opportunity to attend
two classes that he taught at his school in Boston. These were not classes geared toward
studies but rather at his own school.
Dr. Wayne began the classes with about 20 minutes of what I call "total
body awareness exercises". These
exercises are described in his book which I had read several times since it was
first released. I have not only
incorporated these exercises and the concept into a deeper level within my own
practice but also start with these exercises in every class I teach at every
His relaxed and welcoming style of teaching
simply draws his students into a process of total mind-body involvement without
making the process more difficult than in needs to be. There is no emphasis on "what's
next". Every movement naturally
becomes highly qualitative and extremely energetic without the often over-used
jargon like Qi and energy. He places
emphasis on experiencing and feeling instead of "looking for", which connects
people to the core principles of Tai Chi in a natural and relaxing manner.
After the classes, we spent several hours over
dinner and spoke about all manners of Tai Chi. Teaching, History, Push Hands,
Qigong, Mindfulness, etc. One might
anticipate that when meeting someone with Dr. Wayne's academic and practical
experience, you would be attending court.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. By the time we started chatting, I
felt as if I was sitting with an old friend discussing things of a mutual and
Dr. Wayne and I have stayed in touch and I look forward to my next visit to Boston.