Bill Douglas’ “The Tao of Tai Chi” is the unifying work that pulls together his experience leaning, playing and teaching tai chi with Qi Gong mediation energy work, the Tao and Quantum Physics. I first met Bill in the early 1990’s in my first tai chi class, one fall in suburban Kansas City. In our second semester he introduced Qi Gong meditation. As a Buddhist and counseling psychologist I was pretty sure I knew all there was to know about meditation. In the first of many instances Bill got me past my stuck position to glimpse a deeper truth. It was about this time we shared our common perception that the micro and macrocosmic models were, in fact, identical, “as above so below”. At the first World Tai Chi Day we had no idea what was about to be unleashed on a damaged and needy world. The bigger picture was about to come together. My spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama sent learned lamas to Kansas City and elsewhere to teach the dharma and particular to my needs, the reality of The Void. The Void is described in many ways as an emptiness, a lack of obstruction, a field of foam and bubbles. It is the power behind the Unbendable Arm exercise. The truth, as we now understand it is that the quantum theorists drew a very different view of matter and anti-matter than we had assumed. There is almost infinitely more space than matter in what we think of as “solid”. It was said that when the Buddha spoke of the Void in the Deer Park in India that 10,000 people died instantly. I choose to see this metaphorically, because as a Buddhist joke explains. “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an “I”. So you realize at some level that the device you hold to read this and the foundation your body rests upon are foam and bubbles of sub-atomic emptiness. So, why don’t we dissolve or disintegrate and why does stubbing a toe in the dark hurt so much? The answer is in the Tao. It is called Qi. How do water striders walk on water? How did Jesus do it?. When Neo, in “The Matrix” asked the child adepts how they bent the spoons with their thoughts, the child responds, “There is no spoon”. The Tao which can be described in words is not the true Tao
And that is ultimately what this book is about. There is a pattern; a design in these related but disparate fields of knowledge, all is one in the Tao. Bill weaves these concepts together with skill and humor as well as an uncommon way of making common sense out of esoterica. I’ve known many who teach. I’ve known a few who lead, who glow, who understand their calling. That is Bill Douglas, who never ceases to amaze. The central point of this book, of his many books, is that there really is a “unified field theory” as Einstein thought, but we’ve been looking in the wrong place for it.
“A man asks a cop for help finding his keys After looking for 15 minutes the cop asks, “Are you sure you dropped them here?”. The man says, “Actually, I dropped them over there, but the light is better here”
The place we should start our search is when Master Po asks how we cannot hear our heart beat?
At one level Bill has been my instructor as I continually try to perfect the imperfectable and manifest a more graceful form. At a deeper level he has informed my practice in psychotherapy by giving me tangible and powerful examples of everyday miracles. The Tao of Tai Chi is the book I was waiting for, seeing the common thread that so many wise minds perceive. Tai chi is exercise but not for exercise. It is balance training (in every sense) but is not for balance training. It is meditation but not for meditation. Tai chi is a rabbit hole that will take you, if you wish and you wonder to another view of your life and purpose. Take the journey, you will never be the same and you will never regret a minute
Jeff Miller Ph.D
Certified Health Service Provider
Author ( with Celeste Cooper, RN) “Integrative Therapies: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Myofascial Pain: The Mind Body Approach” “Broken Body, Wounded Spirit” seasonal devotional series of four books