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Author Topic: Orthodox Church's stance on tai chi.  (Read 2761 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ninjaly Awesome
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« on: February 13, 2011, 08:25:02 PM »

Hey guys. I was wondering what the stance of the EOC was on eastern practices like tai-chi and yoga.
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 09:02:55 PM »

Check out this recent ancient faith radio podcast regarding Yoga and Orthodoxy:

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/yoga_and_orthodox_christianity_are_they_compatible

I've practiced the Chinese martial arts (like tai chi) and as long as you don't believe that you are manipulating neutral (unholy) spiritual energies, I think they are fine (If "chi" exists, I would not consider it a spiritual energy; but that's another topic).
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 09:04:04 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 10:47:12 PM »

This has been discussed often. Please take a look at these threads:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24103.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12754.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,2896.0.html

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10220.0.html
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David 2007
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 07:40:22 AM »

I'm glad someone responded, now I can make my joke:

Q. What is the EOC stance on Tai Chi?

A. Crane Style.


 Grin I hope the OP sees my humour as innocent.

God Bless.
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 11:18:36 AM »

I am by no means an authority on matters Orthodox or Tai chi, but I will tell you this...

I practice the kung fu style of Wing Chun (Ng San Lung Fa for those who are interested). So far I have learned three forms being Sil Lum Tao, Sil Lum Fut Ga, and Chum Kiu. These forms teach you the different techniques used in Wing Chun but also focus your qi (or chi). The movements, when slowed down are very much like Tai Chi movements and postures. Focusing ones chi gives themselves better self-control and really helps to relax them, in fact there have been some times after doing three full set of Sil Lum Tao that I have almost fallen asleep from being so relaxed. Any way, my point is that you can do Tai Chi by doing any kung fu style that has forms to focus qi.

I am lucky in that the school I attend keeps a Christian focus (one teacher always opens and closes with prayer). The qi is ones internal energy, like the energy you have through out the day. Doing these forms can help you strengthen you qi (read give you more energy), and keep you healthy (probably by the breathing techniques oxygenating your blood) . Personally I do not see a problem doing something that focuses on your body's energy, as opposed to something like, say, reiki that is supposed to be the practitioner channelling the "universal" energy that is in and around everything.

One thing I like to do is a set of three of any of the forms (usually Sil Lum Tao or Chum Kiu) before my prayers to help relax me and put me into a meditative state, this makes it extremely easy to focus on my prayers. One thing that I have recently read (through the links posted above) is that some people say the Jesus Prayer when doing Tai Chi and that is something that I am going to have to incorporate  during my forms. Again, personally I see no problem doing a Tai Chi form and being an Orthodox Christian, but I am not a priest.

I'm glad someone responded, now I can make my joke:

Q. What is the EOC stance on Tai Chi?

A. Crane Style.


 Grin I hope the OP sees my humour as innocent.

God Bless.

 Roll Eyes  Cheesy  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 04:23:18 PM »

One thing I like to do is a set of three of any of the forms (usually Sil Lum Tao or Chum Kiu) before my prayers to help relax me and put me into a meditative state, this makes it extremely easy to focus on my prayers.
Interesting. You know the old legend about Bodhidharma and the Buddhist monks? It claims that the Shaolin martial arts lineage began as a set of exercises Bodhidharma taught the monks, because the monks would get cramps and lose focus during their stationary meditation and prayer.
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 07:12:53 PM »

Interesting, I may have heard that before because it seems familiar, but I am not sure...
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2011, 07:59:43 PM »

Google it and you'll find polemics against both. I am sure Fr. Seraphim of Platina would rail against it.

The thing is:

"Yoga" as properly understood is certainly antithetical to Christianity, but in the real world of America, yoga is just people taking light calisthenics and stretching wwwwaaaaayyyy too seriously.

"Tai Chi" basically the same, just less serious stretching and calisthenics taken probably even more seriously.

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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2011, 09:30:49 PM »

Tai Chi was originally (and often still is) a grappling and takedown martial art. Are you referring to Taoist overtones in Tai Chi like the Taichi (yin/yang), the abstractions of the Tao, Wuji/emptiness and all that stuff? Greco-Roman wrestling had religious overtones too; you would see yourself as an imitator of Hercules vanquishing the Nemean Lion, or Theseus slaying the Minotaur. But these religious expressions are hardly the practical foundation of the arts themselves.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 09:36:55 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2011, 10:01:18 PM »

One thing I like to do is a set of three of any of the forms (usually Sil Lum Tao or Chum Kiu) before my prayers to help relax me and put me into a meditative state, this makes it extremely easy to focus on my prayers.
Interesting. You know the old legend about Bodhidharma and the Buddhist monks? It claims that the Shaolin martial arts lineage began as a set of exercises Bodhidharma taught the monks, because the monks would get cramps and lose focus during their stationary meditation and prayer.
Osho (formerly known as Bhagwan Rajneesh) taught a form of silent/motionless meditation preceded by about 15 minutes of vigorous activity. He developed this meditation just for us Westerners. Wink
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2011, 10:02:03 PM »

Hey guys. I was wondering what the stance of the EOC was on eastern practices like tai-chi and yoga.
I see no contradiction between Chai Tea, or yogurt, and Orthodoxy.
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2011, 10:02:59 PM »

^ Nice!
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2011, 10:18:29 PM »

Hey guys. I was wondering what the stance of the EOC was on eastern practices like tai-chi and yoga.
I see no contradiction between Chai Tea, or yogurt, and Orthodoxy.

I will give another nod to this post.
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2012, 01:45:08 PM »

I am by no means an authority on matters Orthodox or Tai chi, but I will tell you this...

I practice the kung fu style of Wing Chun (Ng San Lung Fa for those who are interested). So far I have learned three forms being Sil Lum Tao, Sil Lum Fut Ga, and Chum Kiu. These forms teach you the different techniques used in Wing Chun but also focus your qi (or chi). The movements, when slowed down are very much like Tai Chi movements and postures. Focusing ones chi gives themselves better self-control and really helps to relax them, in fact there have been some times after doing three full set of Sil Lum Tao that I have almost fallen asleep from being so relaxed. Any way, my point is that you can do Tai Chi by doing any kung fu style that has forms to focus qi.

I am lucky in that the school I attend keeps a Christian focus (one teacher always opens and closes with prayer). The qi is ones internal energy, like the energy you have through out the day. Doing these forms can help you strengthen you qi (read give you more energy), and keep you healthy (probably by the breathing techniques oxygenating your blood) . Personally I do not see a problem doing something that focuses on your body's energy, as opposed to something like, say, reiki that is supposed to be the practitioner channelling the "universal" energy that is in and around everything.

One thing I like to do is a set of three of any of the forms (usually Sil Lum Tao or Chum Kiu) before my prayers to help relax me and put me into a meditative state, this makes it extremely easy to focus on my prayers. One thing that I have recently read (through the links posted above) is that some people say the Jesus Prayer when doing Tai Chi and that is something that I am going to have to incorporate  during my forms. Again, personally I see no problem doing a Tai Chi form and being an Orthodox Christian, but I am not a priest.

I'm glad someone responded, now I can make my joke:

Q. What is the EOC stance on Tai Chi?

A. Crane Style.


 Grin I hope the OP sees my humour as innocent.

God Bless.

 Roll Eyes  Cheesy  Grin
I practices Gu lao Wing Chun!!! One of my FAVORITE arts so far! now studying Pekiti Tirsha Kali
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