In our recent newsletter, we neglected to mention several of our new (and returning favorite) Spring class offerings. These include:

Yi Quan (literal translation:  Intention Fist) is a unique internal martial art/qigong system developed in the early 20th century, which combines the most powerful and direct methods of all the Chinese internal martial arts and qigong systems--Xingyi, Tai Chi, Bagua, Shaolin, and others. Not forms based, Yiquan seeks to directly and rapidly develop vitality, strength and mobility through an array of "universal and natural" practices, including:

Zhan Zhuang (standing mediation/qigong, in a variety of postures);  Shi Li  (slow, intensified movements, maintaining integrity as changes of shape, direction, and intent are practiced);  Moca Bu (“friction stepping” to develop moving root, leg strength, balance, and moblility); and Fa Li (release or discharge of power.)

Expect a new level of mind-body integration and internal energy.
Open to all levels beyond 102. 

Peng, Lu, Ji, and An are considered the 4 Major Jings (forms of energy) in all Tai Chi styles. Like the primary colors in art, they form the basis for all Tai Chi movements, and for all other qualities and energies. This class will explore the Four Powers separately in a variety of postures and stepping patterns, and also in the 4-move training sequence called “Grasp Sparrow’s Tail”. The 4 Powers are:
Peng: expanding, billowing up and out, opening;
Lu: releasing, flowing down and back, becoming liquid;
Ji: condensing and projecting forward, like the prow of a ship;
An: sinking and flowing forward, heavy and soft.

This class is the "gate" to further progress in Tai Chi, as the 4 Powers are key to making movements come alive--and also can be used to adjust and harmonize one's mind-body state in daily life. (It is also the prerequisite for taking more advanced classes at BTC!)

Open to those who have completed Tai Chi 101/102; or by permission of the instructor.


The Core Curriculum at Brookline Tai Chi has evolved greatly over the past decade. New students (who may have been introduced to our programs through A Taste Of Tai Chi) usually spend the first 6-9 months learning the Fundamentals in Tai Chi/Qigong 101 and Tai Chi 102. Seniors and others with concerns about balance and falling can take Tai Chi For Healthy Aging And Better Balance, a signature program that is currently being studied as an evidenced based Falls Prevention program. This program can be taken for an initial 12 weeks or continuing in a vibrant continuing group for years.

At this point, after the first 6-9 months, the possibilities widen over an array of a dozen different classes, usually starting with The Four Powers (Peng Lu Ji An), which is considered the "gate" into the richer and deeper aspects of the art.

Then, students can take Forms related classes, learning either Wu or Yang Style sequences, or focusing in depth on single classic moves (8 Essential Movements). On a different but complementary track, intermediate students can focus on developing Tai Chi skills, strengths, and qualities (the Chinese term is gong)--through Rooting (a/k/a Rise Up Rooted); Wood Stone Iron Silk (Tai Chi With Objects and Equipment), or the more advanced Twelve Jings.

During non-COVID times, important interactive classes such as Tui Shou (Pushing Hands), Two Person Tai Chi, and Tai Chi Martial Applications are also offered. Something to look forward to again.

Short Forms, usually taking only a few minutes to perform, can be perfected and practiced for many years; or students can proceed to the more demanding Long Forms, which usually take 15-20 minutes to perform a single "round".

Periodically, more advanced "elective" courses are offered, including Yi Quan, Bagua Zhang, Staff Sword Spear Knife (Tai Chi Weapons Work), and others.

Workshops at BTC in many different subjects with visiting masters have included Sun Style, Tian Gong, Kuntao Silat, Tai Chi Jian (straight sword), Marriage Of Heaven and Earth Qigong, and much more. Although our workshops program understandably stalled during the past year, we expect to have some enlightening new offerings in Zoom format (and later perhaps, in person) in the coming year. Stay tuned!

We hope this helps a bit to understand our curriculum. Instructors and the Director are always available to answer questions and help with choices and decisions. We wish you joy and growth on your Tai Chi Journey.

Don Miller


I have been practicing Tai Chi for about 20 years, and have been teaching for several years. I have also learned from some great teachers and masters. What Don Ethan Miller has to offer is at the very core of what the dance of Tai Chi is all about. With an earthiness and clarity that comes from years of mastery, he tunes you in to the very essence of this inner art, channeling energetic practices that can have a transformative effect on our very experience of life. For those who have been hesitant to try Tai Chi, feeling that it is just too inaccessible or difficult to learn, taking a class with Don is like directly plugging yourself into a current  The light comes on and you feel great. If you have been practicing in black and white, it is time to practice in full color.
--Les Fagen 

Seven Keys to Health and Happiness

Practice Silence
Wisdom is a state of emptiness, listening, and attentiveness.  
Learn from Nature
Every tree, every animal, every stone has a lesson to teach.  
Find and Honor Your Life Purpose
Your purpose is a gift from the Great Spirit.  
Respect Your Ancestors and Ancestry
All people have indigenous roots, and no culture has a monopoly on wisdom.
Maintain Emotional Balance
Keep your emotions calm and cultivate humor.  
Eat According to Your Genes
Follow the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.  
Get Plenty of Exercise
Stand and move with dignity, and breathe slowly. 
* * * * *
 ...Seek in walking those elements that have drawn you into Taijiquan and Qigong.  Are you energized by your walking? Are you revitalized by your walking? Are your Taijiquan and Qigong improved by your walking?  Is your breathing improved by your walking? Is your mood improved by your walking? Are your spirits lifted by your walking? Do you find some peace of mind from your walking? While walking, do you sense the Qi, Prana, Ki, vital energies, or life force awakening, flowing, and growing within your being? ... Relax and let the legs, hips, and arms begin their natural work. Don't rush at first. Ease into your pace. Breathe deeply and in a natural manner. Open your heart to the world around you.  Raise your spirits up to the sky and seek some Divine inspiration. Let your feet settle deeply into this Great Earth that is your home, your sustaineryour place and path. --Michael Garofalo

We are Water Way Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
dedicated to movement, balance and wellness.