Monday, June 21, 2010

Womens Spiritual Leadership Teleconference

Excited to be invited to be a faciliator at the Womens Spiritual Leadership Teleconference..

Perpetual Motion and My Years of T’ai Chi Chih

A great blue heron ruffled its feathers, briefly landing in our yard today, during morning T’ai Chi Chih practice. I felt grateful for its visit, and for the Gulf of Mexico water, still flowing unsullied, as I write this, in the canal behind our home. I felt gratitude, as always, to Justin for having gifted the planet with TCC - which I have now practiced for over twenty years.

One of my favorite memories from our Teacher Training in 1991 was watching my husband Richard warm himself up by doing Pulling Taffy Variation #3, Perpetual Motion. We were way up north in Bemidji, Minnesota, almost in Canada, and the temperature outside was way down below zero. This January training took place within a week of our relocating from New York to Florida! Most of the time we stayed inside, traversing the warm tunnels that connected our room with the meeting and dining rooms at the University where the training was being held.

Richard and I had left behind most of our winter clothing, but luckily the school rented outdoor snow gear, so we could safely brave the weather along the lake. We had heard about Tibetan monks concentrating on the circulation of Qi and various breath practices in order to produce enough “Tummo,” or inner heat, to dry the wet sheets that were placed on their backs, or to make circles around themselves as they sat in the snow. Remembering that, Richard began doing Perpetual Motion. Experiencing it together (I couldn’t help but join him) we became less aware of the biting cold, more deeply in tune with our own inner flow of warmth, and with each other.

I am always amazed at the power of shared practice. For over fifteen years, we have led a weekly, follow-along practice session on the beach near our home. Some of those who attend are new to T’ai Chi Chih. Some have in the past, or are now, attending classes. Practicing TCC alone - or with the company of backyard herons - is powerfully rewarding. Yet as we all know, the awesome shift of energy during group practice supports and magnifies each individual’s experience. The beach session begins fifteen minutes before sunset. Our beach faces west, so that’s a natural gathering time. Nature supplies us here with amazing displays at sunset, and sometimes whole flocks of birds flap their wings all around us.

Richard and I also spend time in Tulum, Mexico, facilitating couples’ workshops at a resort on an east-facing beach. There, he leads TCC at sunrise. (I’m not a morning person, but sometimes even I can’t resist such an auspiciousness moment.)

A black belt in Aikido, I came to TCC after many years of embodied spiritual arts training. I easily felt and appreciated its value immediately. At the time I was also holding meditation classes in our home. Richard liked attending – but would promptly fall asleep. I knew TCC was for us when, while doing Bass Drum in our NYC apartment long ago, Richard said to me,” Now I know why you want me to stay awake during meditation!” His comment, and the writings of others in The Vital Force who spoke of their chi experiences, convinced me that one didn’t need a background like mine in order to benefit from TCC. We began sharing it with everyone we met!

And so the years have passed. We have enjoyed TCC in so many fabulous locations, I can no longer remember them all. I remember daily, however, the serenity such practice provides.

Wherever I am, Perpetual Motion takes me deep into the earth, rooting me, like part of nature itself. Continual movement, shifting weight, yet staying in place, like a tree rippling with energized life. Or a great blue heron ruffling its feathers.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Professional Review: Daffner's book offers hope of increased connection for couples

Contemporary Sexuality, the professional journal of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists has published a favorable review of my book, Tantric Sex for Busy Couples. "The book is easy to follow and offers hope of increased connection for couples." That indeed is what makes a relationship glow, isn't it? Increased connection. Of course, I wouldn't want to encourage a 24/7, joined-at-the-hip kind of connection. Or maybe it IS always there, hovering around us. The trick is to tap into it as the same time as your partner. Both fully present to the moment of connection. Yes! That's what it's all about.