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Tai Chi Taoist healing at The Commons at Central Hall

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — At The Commons at Central Hall, there exists a Tai Chi weekly program that aims to put health in your hands. Wayne Ripley, Tai Chi Master, wants everyone to view their body as a garden to be nurtured in every way every day rather than as a machine to be worked until it is broken.

Taoist healing embraces the body, breath, and intent. The slow, yogic dance movements of your body linked with the breath and the intent to nurture yourself, all work to achieve balance and healing in the Taoist way. Ripley teaches this pure form of Tai Chi known as Tai-Ji-Chuan.

Commons Central Hall Dover-Foxcroft

Contributed photo
TAI CHI — Wayne Ripley in the “Emperor’s Chair Ancient Taoist Meditation Posture.”

Many people think of Tai Chi as physical exercise. It is, but it is so much more. It is gentle. It challenges the mind as movements are learned. Once the routines become easy to do, you can experience meditation in motion. With practice, the body becomes stronger and balanced, the emotions become stable, and the intent is more focused and connected with everything in the universe.

Ripley explains, “Although most Taoist standing postures are meditative, meditative movement is more powerful.”

He studied in China to learn the Tai-Ji-Chuan discipline. He travelled to many ports as a boat captain, lived in nine countries over 22 years and for nine years lived in the West Indies. Following years of work and travel, he settled in Guilford on his Alder Brook Farm. Since coming to Maine, Ripley has taught Tai Chi for lengthy periods of time in Bangor, Waterville, St. Albans and Guilford.

Ripley has a deep sense to help others improve all aspects of their health — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual — using Tai Chi. To his advantage, there have been many studies in the medical field in recent years substantiating the health benefits of Tai Chi, particularly for improving physical balance, thereby lowering the risk of falling.

“Proprioceptive feedback (position in space) is the most affected by Tai Chi,” Wayne told me. Many other studies reported by the Harvard Medical School support positive impacts such as pain relief, mood improvement, lowering blood pressure, stress reduction, strength building and mind sharpening practicing Tai Chi.

You can join the gentle, ancient Chinese Tai Chi Taoist Healing class at The Commons at Central Hall to improve your vital energy (qi) and your health each Thursday at 10 a.m. and/or 6 p.m. The suggested donation is $7 per hour-long session. Scholarships are available. For further details, call 343-3018 or write info@centralhallcommons.org. You may find the ancient secret to a healthier, happier life.

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