Brisbane Workshop Series 2020

Background

Da Xuan is a Daoist tradition of practices and philosophy for the complete development of the human being.

The tradition has preserved and transmitted its practices from generation to generation for more than 1500 years. While being Chinese in origin, this rich and unique approach is specifically non-cultural and non-religious. It is concerned with the development of human qualities, and as such is open to anyone of any culture or belief.

The exercises are designed for longevity and so are simple and restorative. They work equally well for the athletic, sedentary, old and young alike, drawing from 1,500 years of experience working with thousands of students. 

Each day below is a stand alone day, however doing all workshops will give you a better understanding of the tradition as a whole. All are welcome and no particular skills or capacities are necessary.

Jump to:

April 19th – Introduction to Da Xuan Daoist Training
May 17th – Basic Hands: Building a Physical Foundation
June 21st – Primordial Breathing: Developing Vitality
July 19th – Shen Gong: Training the Mind
August 16th – Internal Alchemy: Heating the Centre
September 20th – Da Xuan Qi Gong: Training Qualities
October 18th – Static Postures: Gathering Energy
November 15th – Partner Work: Confrontation With Reality

April Workshop (19/04/2020):

Introduction to Da Xuan Daoist Training

We start with an overview of the tradition and learning the basic theory and framing devices. This workshop will introduce Daoism, presenting the overall structure of Daoist training, why it is the way it is, and the basic attitudes to bring to our practice. Following from the overview, we will delve into the most important (and simple!) practices from our tradition that are the building blocks which all the other practices will rely upon. 
 

Discourse and training will be on the following topics:

    • Yin Yang Theory
    • An Introduction of the 5 traditional arts of Da Xuan Daoism
    • The Three Treasures: Mankind between Heaven and Earth
    • How to orient ourselves towards training
    • Basic Physical Exercises
    • Building Energy with Breathing
    • Training the Mind
    • Simple Partner Drills
May Workshop (17/05/2020):

Basic Hands – Building a Physical Foundation

The basic hands of Da Xuan create our physical structure and train our coordination.  The exercises may seem overly simple, but they will confront us to our weak links, align us with gravity, and help us to find deep relaxation. Without the fundamental qualities created by training the basic hands, advanced practices such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Internal Alchemy or meditation will be significantly limited.

Discourse and training will be on the following topics:

    • Coordination
    • Centring
    • Feeling where we are in space, and which direction we are moving in
    • Grounding
    • Expression of force
    • Increasing strength by targeting the weak links of the ligaments and tendons
    • Deep physical relaxation through revealing and removal of hidden tension
JUNE Workshop (21/06/2020):

Primordial Breathing – Developing Vitality

Primordial breathing exercises are fundamental practices in our tradition. There is a very clear connection between breathing and emotions, particularly stress. Nothing brings a greater relaxation than breathing, and nothing brings more energy than breathing. It is the source of our vitality and at the centre of the exchange between mind and body. We often want to start out with quite advanced exercises of internal alchemy, when the truth is we need to first work the simple aspects of the gaseous exchange that is our every day breath.

Discourse and training will be on the following topics:

    • 3 basic breaths: conscious, abdominal and reverse abdominal
    • building full awareness of the breath
    • relaxing the breath using rhythm
    • finding and releasing tension in the breathing structures (diaphragm, thoracic/ribs and scalenes in particular)
    • using the breath to confront, regulate and digest emotions
    • expanding the lung capacity using breath holds
    • building and keeping energy using the breath
    • balancing yin and yang in our breathing
JULY Workshop (19/07/2020):

Shen Gong – Training the Mind

Shen Gong is the work on the mind. The training of the Mind is essential for anyone wishing to truly know themselves and better understand the world. As the mind is our tool to grasp reality, it needs to be calmed, clarified and open to fully perceive the world. We use a traditional set of exercises developed to understand the way our mind works. Since we can only work on what we know, it is crucial to become accustomed to and understand what is in our mind.

Discourse and training will be on the following topics:

    • how to build focus
    • understanding how the mind operates and its various tricks
    • the relationship between mind, energy/emotions and body
    • training the mind to project clearly
    • Yin and Yang aspects of training the mind
    • knowing the limits of the mind
AUGUST Workshop (16/08/2020):

Internal Alchemy – Heating the Centre

Internal Alchemy, called Nei Dan in Chinese (translated literally to ‘Internal Elixir‘) is the practice of using the breath to cultivate the three energetic centres, called Dan Tian. The lower Dan Tian, in the belly, is the source of our energy and vitalit, and can be thought of as the battery of the body. It is naturally open but requires our attention and awareness to bring us further energy. The middle Dan Tian, in the chest, can be thought of as the emotional centre – it’s refinement helps us to regulate our emotions and release ourselves from emotional imbalance. It can be open or closed depending on how safe our upbringing has been. The upper Dan Tian, in the head, is the spiritual centre, is closed by default and can only be opened through practice. It allows a clear perception of the world and opens the practitioner to the infinite and mysterious aspects of our being.

Discourse and training will be on the following topics:

    • Yin and Yang Cycles
    • Using the breath to gather sensation
    • Heating the lower centre
    • Preparation for the circulation of the Small Orbit
    • Opening blocked points
    • Understanding the relationship between mind and energy
SEPTEMBER Workshop (20/09/2020):

Da Xuan Qi Gong – Training Qualities

When practicing Qi Gong, the first and most important aspect of this training is to understand the concrete, “down to earth” mechanisms of energy work. We need to go towards direct experience and common sense, leaving aside our imagination and fantasies of what energy might be. When we dream or visualize energy and imagine sensations, we are not actually practicing. Like any system which is grounded in reality, the understanding and use of energy is practical and effective, experienced and usable. For this, the Da Xuan form allows a solid and real experience!

The Qi Gong of the Da Xuan Family consists of 6 different forms. Each form is divided into three parts comprising each of 3 cycles, making for 9 Cycles altogether.

Discourse and training will be on the following topics:

    • Set up and posture for good practice
    • The importance of qualities over form and appearance
    • Developing the capacity to feel in great detail
    • Uniting the body into a harmonious whole
    • Energetic grounding
    • 9 Palms of Da Xuan Qi Gong
    • Confrontation with the fantasies of the mind
OCTOBER Workshop (18/10/2020):

Static Postures – Gathering Energy

Static postures are one of the principle practices of the tradition. Sometimes referred to as standing meditation, they ask us to hold different postures for long periods of time in stillness.  By remaining still, we will learn how to feel and then control the internal sensations of circulation, accumulating enormous amounts of energy. We will also be confronted with our blockages, without movement allowing us to escape our discomforts, tension will become immediately obvious. Over time we can dissolve these blockages, freeing ourselves to take a posture that is both as light as a feather and as heavy as lead.

Discourse and training will be on the following topics:

    • Setting up a centred posture
    • The 18 points of Da Xuan Nei Gong
    • 9 positions to build up energy
    • Working the 3 centres
    • Using palm positions to change the practice
    • Basic intentions for Nei Gong
November Workshop (15/11/2020):

Partner Work – Confrontation with Reality

Working with a partner is an invaluable resource when training in the Daoist methods. A partner provides an element of chaos and stress that will test whether the qualities we have developed in solo training will hold up under duress. If what we train only works in the ideal environment of the practice hall, it will not at all be useful in the messy and imperfect arena of our daily lives. Partners can provide anywhere from a mild pressure to complete disorder which will put our qualities to the test and reveal where we have more work to do. While this confrontation is almost always uncomfortable, it can stop us getting lost in a maze of fantasy, and so is crucial to our training.

Discourse and training will be on the following topics:

    • Holding our position with physical grounding
    • Coordination drills
    • Martial arts exercises
    • Expressing and receiving force while staying relaxed
    • ‘Listening’ drills that build physical sensitivity
    • Push hands partner games

Workshop Details

When:
3rd Sunday of Each Month
11:30am – 3:30pm (~30 min break for lunch)

April 19th – Introduction to Da Xuan Daoist Training
May 17th – Basic Hands: Building a Physical Foundation
June 21st – Primordial Breathing: Developing Vitality
July 19th – Shen Gong: Training the Mind
August 16th – Internal Alchemy: Heating the Centre
September 20th – Da Xuan Qi Gong: Training Qualities
October 18th – Static Postures: Gathering Energy
November 15th – Partner Work: Confrontation With Reality

Where:
Santosha Yoga
180A Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064

Facebook Event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/2552714928307444/

What to Bring:
– notepad & pen
– comfortable loose clothing

Cost:
Single Workshop Early Bird: $100
Single Workshop Late Registration: $140
Series Pass: $600

Refunds:
If you need to pull out, please contact Craig directly to arrange a refund.  Refunds are not available after the early bird has expired (2 weeks before each workshop), however you may be able to receive credit for a future workshop.

Please register using the form below: