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Welcome to Our Voice 
Our Australia Dreaming 

Tribute to All Our Ancestors

- Australia Dreaming - 

Tribute to the Ancestors

Sun Style Tai Chi

 

The first formal and original publication of Australia Dreaming: Tribute to the Ancestors of Sun Style Tai Chi (2008) was an article – Sun Style Tai Chi – Tai Chi for Health in a Modern World - which represents a summary of other articles previously presented at the First International Tai Chi for Health Conference on 4-6 December 2006, Seoul, Korea and subsequently incorporated into our Tai Chi for Health Advanced Instructor Training Program first offered in July 2007 at Cleveland, Australia.  Both these conference articles and Tim Cartmell’s endorsement of these articles are also reproduced in the sixth edition of the Australia Dreaming Tribute to Ancestors  publication. Tim Cartmell’s endorsement is very important as he is a recognised authority on Sun Style Tai Chi pioneering Tai Chi for Health in the modern age.

The possible claim of cultural appropriation for Australia Dreaming was thoroughly researched, addressed and was documented in Australia Dreaming: Tribute to the Ancestors Sun Style Tai Chi.  This text was first formally published for the presentation of Australia Dreaming Qigong 15 Form by Elva at Dr Lam’s Tai Chi for Health Workshop in South Hadley in Massachusetts held in June 2008 where it was again received with rapturous applause, breaking down the cultural prison of nonsensical and abusive claims of cultural appropriation from Confucian and Chinese imagery and ownership. 

 

In particular, significant anthropological evidence that cultural concepts of origins and creation myths such as “dreaming”, “guardian spirit”, “rainbow serpent” and so on are universal, creation myths, across cultures, thus rejecting the spurious claim of cultural appropriation by confirming and referencing with great respect and appreciation of First Australian culture in Elva’s Qigong set and the publication as well as all the cultural ancestors of ALL AUSTRALIANS, all people including European, Asian and Indigenous – respect and appreciation across cultures - a tribute to common ancestry of all people, of all of humanity.

 

In 2003 when Elva first presented her Australia Dreaming Qigong 15 Form in Connecticut, she had the “audacity to hope” that it would make it more accessible and acceptable to Aboriginal communities in Australia by including references to indigenous Australians as part of the cultural imagery of the Australian landscape.  

 

She also had the hope that one day that her Australia Dreaming Qigong 15 Form might one day become part of a range of exercise and educational programs at the community and school classroom levels for both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, thus bridging the enormous chasm of knowledge between East and West as well as contributing to improving the appalling health which exists within many indigenous communities throughout Australia.  

 

For those who feel that an Australia Dreaming: Tai Chi for Health can only belong to the descendants of the traditional owners of the secret knowledge of the Kung-fu Tai Chi Chuan martial arts, the Chinese “brotherhood of the boxers” and to the descendants of the First Australians, we offer as the inspiration to find a better world in President Barack Obama ’s own Dreaming, in his own book Audacity of Hope (2006) quoting the prophetic words of Dr Martin Luther King’s Dreaming:

 

I have a DREAM that my four little children

Will one day live in a nation

Where they will not be judged by the color of their skin

But by the content of their character

 

We offer OUR AUSTRALIA DREAMING to all those who seek to find a modern approach to significantly improving teaching expertise, learning experiences and to find creative and safe ways to MAKING A DIFFERENCE to the health and wellbeing of not only all Australians, but to anyone who shares the magic, modern journey of a Tai Chi for Health and the Gentle Way of Self Defence accessible to all people, old and young, regardless of race, creed or colour and which must include those least advantaged in society. 

Australia Dreaming Qigong 15 Form created by Master Trainer Elva Arthy over twenty years ago, links the concepts of Qigong and Tai Chi with movements from Sun Style Tai Chi using breathing and visualisation exercises aimed at health enhancement and relaxation. They are to be performed and shared in a manner highlighting our common humanity seeking peace and harmony using imagery and movements with fifteen different stories from the Australian landscape encouraging the visualising of Nature in a single day from First Light through to Sunset, then Dreamtime, paying tribute to ALL our ancestors:

Time to rest

Time to sleep

Time to remember the past

To light the way to a better future

A tribute to all our ancestors

 

Australia Dreaming Qigong 15 Form is Elva’s own Dreaming for a better and harmonious world.  By utilising imagery from the Australian landscape in Nature more familiar to most Australians thus enhances visualisation and movement being more accessible as distinct from Chinese cosmology, such as lotus flowers and snow rabbits as found in traditional Qigong forms.  The invitation is also out there for all people from all cultures to be encouraged to create their own Dreaming of harmony and peace in NATURE utilising imagery from their own cultural landscape.

 

The first public performance of Australia Dreaming Qigong 15 Form was in June 2003 at Dr Paul Lam's International Tai Chi for Health workshop at Connecticut USA.  The fact that Tai Chi and Qigong had an Australian context of nature which also respectfully referenced the First Australians had a powerful impact on all the participants, with the paradoxical realisation that Tai Chi and Qigong was not something exclusively Chinese owned but was something powerful that transcended cultural boundaries and belonged to the world, to common humanity.

 

The fact that European white folk and a woman could engage in creating a Qigong set that was not driven by Taoist and Chinese imagery was something that blew the minds of those participating and especially those who were also interested in the genius of Sun Lutang, who in the 1930s liberated Tai Chi from the Chinese Confucian tradition of Tai Chi being a man-only-domain, from the “brotherhood of the boxers” not to be appropriated by women, and not by “gweilo” or foreigners.  Every woman and man in this world could now enjoy the beauty and power of nature through Tai Chi Qigong without the racist, misogynistic and abusive claims of cultural appropriation.  

 

The emphasis in OUR AUSTRALIA DREAMING, our modern approach and philosophy of teaching Tai Chi Qigong for Health and Gentle Way of Self Defence, is on providing safe and effective forms of exercise and self-defence in accordance with modern ethical, legal and duty-of-care requirements which affirm evidence based and secular, legal reasoning and a scientific understanding of health and wellness issues.  Our approach is not on a “One Size Fits All” but on safety factors, ethical, scientific and modern teaching principles in the transmission of knowledge about physical education.

We believe that OUR AUSTRALIA DREAMING is about making a difference to the quality of learning, teaching and enhancing the capacity to learn.  Included are our publications some of which are available from this website which can offer valuable resources readily accessible to not only the Tai Chi and Martial Arts teachers in search of better ways of teaching , but to anyone who is looking to make a difference to their own personal health, fitness and well-being through the “magic” and “miracle of a modern Tai Chi for Health and a Gentle Way of Self Defence as being understood in terms of evidence based and legal reasoning and practiced within a modern duty-of-care where safety is paramount.

 

Australia Dreaming: Tai Chi for Health

Advanced Instructor Training Course

First edition published in 2009 in Cleveland Australia

ISBN 978-0-646-51095-8

Second edition published in 2010 in Cleveland Australia

under title of

Tai Chi Dreaming: Scientific Study of Tai Chi for Health as 

Mind-Body Exercise for Health, Fitness & Wellbeing 

ISBN 978-0-646-53323-0

Art Work for Australia Dreaming by Gail Higgins
SEE her WEBSITE www.gailhiggins.com.au

© 2012 by Tai Chi & Qigong for Health Redlands  All rights reserved  

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