- Paperback: 266 pages
- Publisher: BookSurge Publishing; 3 edition (April 5, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1419663127
- ISBN-13: 978-1419663123
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,488,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Drawing Silk: Masters' Secrets for Successful Tai Chi Practice Paperback – April 5, 2007
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About the Author
PAUL GALLAGHER has been researching and practicing Chinese health arts for the past 45 years. Paul is an advanced degree graduate of Harvard University, then went on to study Taiji, Qigong, Chinese medicine, movement therapies, and philosophy with a number of eminent masters including Sophia Delza, Grandmaster T.T. Liang, B.P. Chan, Professor Kenneth Cohen, and Sifu Ray Hayward. A Master Herbalist, Paul was also a founding faculty member of the prestigious New England School of Acupuncture near Boston, where he taught Chinese medical history and philosophy. He is the author of Drawing Silk, a collection of writings and translations on T'ai Chi and Taoist practice, has written numerous articles, and edited T'ai Chi Ch'uan for Health and Self-Defense with Master T.T. Liang. (Published by Random House Vintage Series) Paul has taught Taiji and Chinese health arts at Hampshire College, The University of Massachusetts, OMEGA Institute, Digital Equipment Corp., The Pfifer Wellness Institute, and at many Taiji and internal arts studios across the U.S. Paul was a Marketing Protege and Winners' Circle Member with Marketing Genius Jay Abraham. And he completed the Excellence in Speaking Institute training with speaking trainer Ty Boyd . Paul started teaching Taiji and related arts in 1972, and has taught several thousand students since that time. His present interest centers around practical usage of the connection between intention, qi, mind, and spirit--and how to combine these to enhance the total life experience. In 1997, he started the Total T'ai Chi Center in Asheville, NC, where he taught Chinese life and health arts, as well as classes in achieving positive mental focus, realizing your dreams and goals, and savoring the ongoing process of Mastery--creating the life you'd really love to live. His current interest is using the energy generated from Taiji practice to explore the "law of Attraction." Now semi-retired from active teaching, Paul presents occasional seminars and coaches a few select private students.
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Master Gallagher creates an atmoshere, simultaneously, of authority, authenticity, generosity, caring, guidance, inspiration and reflection which significantly impacted me.
This volume helped me identify gaps in my personal Tai Chi curriculum and provided direction for addressing those gaps. I can offer no greater recommendation. Enjoy...and benefit.
As said by the other reviews here,this book is not as much a how to, more like in my opinion, a travel companion accompanying you along your journey offering up a rich variety of perspectives not immediately obvious to those outside of Taiji's sphere of appeal.
You cannot learn Taijiquan (Tai Chi Ch'uan) from a book. You need to find a teacher, learn the choreography of one of the family forms, and practice it until the form starts teaching you. Learn why the form has you move the way you do. *Then* a book such as Master Paul Gallegher's becomes invaluable.
Drawing Silk is not a manual or a single narrative. It is a book of Master Gallegher's insights from the 1970's through 2007. It contains a collection of his translations of the Chinese Taijiquan Classics, with annotations and explanations from his own experience. It contains articles he and his teachers have written about Taijiquan. It contains explanations of a number of hand and weapon forms. It contains letters he has written to new students. So it is all of these things, and more - an episodic whole that you can dive into over and over again for new insights.
Master Gallegher teaches some seemingly simple things, such as how to find a good Taiji teacher (see paragraph 1, above). And he describes the proper etiquette for martial arts classes, something often forgotten in the rush to check in, hurry through a lesson, and bow out again these days. He evenhas a whole chapter dedicated to questions his own students have asked him.
He also digs deep into the concepts and practice of Taijiquan. Starting with translating and explaining the classics by Zhang San Feng and Wang Zong Yue. Talking about the "String of Pearls" concept in whole-body movement. Gathering ideas from more recent sources such as Yang Ch'eng Fu's "10 Essential Points of Taiji Quan". Wherein he dissects such crucial points as "differentiating between substantial and insubstantial", one of my own teacher's favorite topics to dig into in a class. (It has to do with where your balance and weight are, and how you move your whole body from point to point like pouring sand from one jar to another). Read through these chapters again and again over the years to deepen your insights.
He includes descriptions of a number of forms and Qi Gong exercises such as the Five Animal Frolics. Which I found that my own teachers had learned from him a number of years ago!
All of this sounds like it could be disjointed, but it's not. It is a wonderful book that, as I recommended above, I have been dipping back into for the 6 years I've owned it. I heartily recommend, "Drawing Silk".
Disclaimer: as I noted above, my own teachers from the North Carolina Magic Tortoise and Black Bamboo Pavilion Schools have learned from Master Gallegher. Drawing Silk is one of the two books Lao Ma recommends to all students, along with Master Jou Tsung Hwa's "The Dao of Tai Chi Ch'uan".
In this, Gallagher abides by the desire Yang Chengfu expressed in his introduction to *The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan*:
I hope that later students will not merely chase after the externals, but will instead pursue what is internal. If you
want to attain the highest achievement, have some patience and it will come. The important finer details of the boxing
postures cannot be obtained in the appearance of form, but must be sought in the idea that unites the whole. (12)
I very much appreciated the various angles through which Gallagher approaches the challenges of carrying a tradition into the future while remaining flexible enough to weigh and respond to a changing world if one's goal in studying and practicing taiji is, as he puts it in his chapter on etiquette, to become "a cultivated human being in the best sense of the term." As the book's subtitle suggests, in *Drawing Silk* Paul B. Gallagher shares translations of the Taiji Classics, personal experience as both a student and as a teacher, and tales--the integrated wisdom of body and heart/mind and spirit working in concert--to point the way.
Most recent customer reviews
The author describes this book, even this new edition, as a compilation of materials gathered together for himself and his students over...Read more