Thu, Apr 15 at 7 p.m. | 6 weeks
Courses: Participants will be able to engage on their own time with the pre-recorded lectures and curated materials (readings, podcast links, interviews, and film). These will be used as the fuel for the live Zoom discussions with the professor.
This 6-week OlioCourse, will go in-depth in three different aspects of Self-Care based on the Taoist philosophy of Yin Yang and the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine. The three aspects we will cover are; the mind, movement and touch via the Taoist based practices of mindfulness meditation, chi-energy based meditations, Qigong, Zen Shiatsu, and Meridian Touch Yoga practices.
There will be lots of practical “doing” in this course so be prepared to engage the mind/body beyond just conversations of theory. It would also be helpful if you do this course with a partner especially when it comes to Zen Shiatsu and Meridian Touch Yoga sections of the class. Touch is a very powerful Self-Care healing methodology, and even in the age of Covid we can still manage to find safe ways to have human contact!
Between the madness of a wannabe facist ex-president, an intense viral pandemic, economic strains and deprivation, racism in all its evil manifestations, the greed of the governing and elite class, the stresses of not having adequate health care and watching as our planet suffers at our hands due to man-made climate change, one would probably suffer many ill effects due to chronic worry, fear, anger, frustrations, anxiety and depression wouldn't you say?
This is why over the past 10 years the term “Self-Care” has become ubiquitous in almost everyone's daily conversations as we all are feeling the weight of the times, places and spaces we occupy. The Taoist path (The Way of Nature) of dealing with will all manner of pain, stress, sickness, and struggle is one that is thousands of years old and predates both the Sage Lao Tzu and his work The Tao Te Ching, stretching back to our first healing methods coming out of Afrika. These natural ways of harmonizing the body, mind, breath, movement and touch are some of the most profound healing interventions ever and they never lose their potency.
Join us for this unique chance to learn and experience through our 6 week course, some of the basic functional foundations of the Taoist way of Self-Care and healing through engendering, activating and using the mind (Microcosmic Orbit and Taoist 9-Count Breath), movement (Qigong and Meridian Touch Yoga) and human touch (Zen Shiatsu)
Weeks I & II - Mindfulness Meditation | Chi-Energy Meditation
Meditation comes in many forms. During this first module of the class we will be exploring grounding and foundational mindfulness meditation practice as well as two Taoist forms of Chi-energy based meditations; The Microcosmic Orbit and the Taosit 9-Count Breath. All of these practices are easy to access but powerful in their effectiveness to transform and relax the mind/body and serve as a platform of understanding and execution for the upcoming two classes. This will of course include getting a grasp on the basic Taoist concepts of Yin Yang and the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine.
Weeks III & IV - Meridian Cleansing Qigong | Meridian Touch Yoga
Building on the previous class we will now begin exploring movement in conjunction with the concepts of mindfulness, Chi-energy, Yin Yang and the Five Elements. We will learn the beginning forms of the Meridian Cleansing Qigong practice designed to move Chi-energy throughout the body’s meridians, vessels, and vortexes. (For folks not familiar, Qigong is very closely related to Tai Chi). We will also explore Meridian Touch Yoga (Known as the “Art of Letting Go’). Meridian Touch is a Taoist form of yoga that has its root in ancient Chinese Tao-In Yoga and can be done solo or with a partner. (We encourage you to bring a partner for maximal effect and fun!)
Weeks V & VI - Zen Shiatsu
In our final session we will get “hands on” with the power Self-Care practice of Zen Shiatsu. This form of bodywork created by Shizuto Masunaga departs from traditional styles of japanese shiatsu in that it is solidly based on Chi-energy (Ki in Japanese) concepts and the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine. The techniques of Zen Shiatsu are easy to learn and fun to practice. There is no prerequisite for taking or mastering this art, and some of the techniques and philosophies of Zen Shiatsu you probably know already instinctively! This type of bodywork can be done laying, sitting or even standing, and can be self administered or received from a partner. We encourage you to bring a partner to this class, and to have your space set up so you can lay comfortably on the floor. Please also wear loose comfortable clothes you can move in.
*These sessions will meet on Thursday evenings beginning on March 4th and concluding on April 8th.
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.
Zoom link will be sent upon signup.