Yin-Yang, Stress, & the Western Mind

Darryl Aiken-Afam at Strand Bookstore

Mon, Dec 9 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

Join us at the Strand as Taoist practitioner, Darryl Aiken-Afam, explores with us some ways to loosen up our western conditioned minds to accept a more fluid, dynamic and hopeful approach to navigating the waters of ​stress​ in our lives.

Anxiety and stress ​in modern life​ seem to just be a part of the deal​​. Whether its business, romantic, family, or social relationships, navigating your self-identity on social media, hearing about the unchecked political corruption and corporate greed on the news, or the myriad of personal issues or global crisis’ were faced to deal with​ -​ anxiety is an unwelcomed ​and ​ever-present entity in our midst. The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual damage from both acute and chronic anxiety is on the rise, and prescription drugs, self-medicating, and embracing maladaptive behaviors of avoidance are really not helping matters much.


It doesn’t have to be this way. Although personal, societal and global pressures are high, there are still wonderful natural tools and teachings from the past that can help us​ individually and as a collective to​ function healthily among the madness. How can a 3000-year-old ancient Asian philosophy of thought and perception concerning life’s changes and challenges positively impact and improve how we relate to anxiety today?

In this Olio we are going to explore the power of the ancient Chinese Taoist concepts of Yin, Yang, and the Five Elements as they relate to reducing ​stress. Speculated to have arisen in Nigeria, Africa with the Yoruba people as “Ifa Divination” around 20,000 BC and migrating over time to China, the binary concepts of Yin and Yang form a foundation to understanding all types of relationships and interactions in the world. The philosophy of the Five Elements came along many years later and added nuance and depth to the understanding of the changes and interactions of life and how to successfully manage them in healthy, supportive non-destructive ways. We are going to learn how to loosen up our western conditioned minds to accept a more fluid, dynamic and hopeful approach to navigating the waters of ​stress​ in our lives. You will come away with new ideas that can potentially revolutionize your life in unimagined ways and last you a lifetime!

Teacher: Darryl Aiken-Afam

Darryl Aiken-Afam is CEO of AFAM Consulting and a martial artist and a practitioner of the Taoist healing and meditation arts, Meridian Cleansing Qigong, Zen Shiatsu and Taoist psychology. Darryl created his own system of Chi energy-based yoga called Meridian Touch back in 2000, derived from Chinese Tao-In exercises and blended with Zen Shiatsu, Athletic Training, and Martial Arts philosophy.


Venue: Strand Bookstore

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

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Other Upcoming Olios


Seeing the Subconscious: Mindfulness, Psychology, and the Road to Healing Racism

Location: at Online

Teacher: Darryl Aiken-Afam & Robin Schlenger

June 7, 2020, 7 p.m.

Regulating Business in a Capitalist Society

Location: at Online

Teacher: Lawrence Cappello

June 9, 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Escape From The City

Location: at Online

Teacher: Ted Barrow

June 10, 2020, 8 p.m.

Progressives, Radicals & Well-Meaning Liberals

Location: at Online

Teacher: Angie Beeman

June 11, 2020, 8 p.m.

Press Start to Begin: A Survey & History of Video Game Music

Location: at Online

Teacher: Whitney George

June 12, 2020, 8 p.m.

Plato Goes East: The Republic and The Bhagavad Gita

Location: at Online

Teacher: Vishwa Adluri

June 14, 2020, noon

Socialism, A Day in the Life

Location: at Online

Teacher: Danny Katch

June 15, 2020, 8 p.m.

Government Action and Inaction in Response to Covid-19

Location: at Online

Teacher: Andres Bernal

June 19, 2020, 8 p.m.

Internet Omnipresence & Critical Thinking

Location: at Online

Teacher: Jeanne Proust

June 22, 2020, 8 p.m.

New Toys and New Tyrants: Capitalism and the Rise of Platform Economics

Location: at Online

Teacher: Rob Larson

June 30, 2020, 8 p.m.


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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.