We are thinking of all of you and praying you are healthy and finding your way gently through this new reality of a world with COVID-19.  Our hearts are with those who have lost family and friends – please reach out for support.  By connecting, we share our strength.

The in-person Kai Chi Do circles that Charles had been leading in local Florida parks and beaches every Sunday for more than ten years have been on hold since mid-March.  As an organization, we recommend you adhere to the COVID-19 precautions required by your community and recommended by public health experts to prevent spread of the virus. For your safety and the safety of those you serve, we recommend the cancellation of in-person classes and trainings, until the need for social distancing resolves.  No one knows yet when that will be.  Even those places that are relaxing precautions are doing so at a gradual pace.  One of the confusing and devastating aspects of this disease is the fact that people can be contagious, and infect others, even when they have no symptoms themselves.  We cannot see nor predict the future.

Our only certainty is that we can continue to support one another even while following recommended public health precautions.   Please be kind to one another, even if you disagree – on politics or evaluation of risks, or what precautions are reasonable or whatever else.  Be kind first.  And if your capacity for kindness fails you, then at least be humble.  There is, after all in life, so much that is beyond our understanding. The vulnerability of those around us is too often one of those things that is hidden from us.

The Centers for Disease Control maintains www.coronavirus.gov as an evidence-based source of current information and guidance about COVID-19.  National Institutes of Health and The World Health Organization (WHO) are two other sources of evolving information and guidance.

Johns Hopkins maintains a map of cumulative cases and trends, and allows you to sort the map by country, state, and county.  The Weather Channel also has a COVID-19 tracker.

While data gathering is imperfect, we consider these to be credible sources of information.

For those who are looking to provide Kai Chi Do classes or trainings online, until in-person classes can resume, we have found Zoom meetings to be easy to use.  If you are looking for Sunday classes with Charles online, please join the Kai Chi Do Facebook group to receive the weekly meeting link.  We hope you’ll join us.  And if you have other online platform recommendations or tips on supporting one another and maintaining our connection in this time, please post them in the Comments section below.

We are here to support you.  Please feel free to Contact Us.

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Bhaktifest 2012 Auras photoWe’re thrilled to announce that the new Kai Chi Do Instructor Training launched on October 23rd!

This new training has been in the making for 2 ½ years, and it makes Kai Chi Do Instructor training more affordable and accessible in more locations.  (To everyone who has been waiting patiently for this launch: Bless You!)  Instructor training is now available in Chicago Illinois, Clearwater Florida, St Petersburg Florida, Warwick New York, Sussex New Jersey, and Allentown Pennsylvania.  Just click the markers on this Locate page for information on how to contact Trainers at any of these locations.

To become a Kai Chi Do Instructor at the foundation Kai Level, the training requirements are an in-person training weekend with a Do (pronounced Doe) Level Trainer, and also completion of an online training course.  The total cost of the Kai Level Instructor training is $256 (meals, travel, and housing are not included).  This includes a $220 payment for the in-person training weekend, and a $36 annual license fee.

The first Kai Instructor Weekend is being held at 411 Princess Street in Clearwater, Florida on December 4th, 5th, and 6th, and is being offered by Do Level Trainers Tina Snook and Tamara Newman.  The schedule for the training is:
Friday 6pm – 9pm
Saturday 9am – 9pm
Sunday 9am – 6pm

Seating is limited to 8 people for the December 4th Weekend training, so grab your spot.  There are just 3 easy steps to register:
•    Click here to register with Tina and Tamara, and pay the $220 Weekend training fee.
•    Click here to accept the License Agreement, pay your $36 Annual License Fee, and register for the online portion of the training.
•    Bring the Receipt for your $36 Annual License fee to the Weekend training on December 4th.   Bring water, and dress comfortably.

Feel free to contact us if you have more questions.

Sending you Blessings,
Charles and Susan

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Kai Chi Do Instructor, Francine Brown, has been providing a series of Kai Chi Do classes for teens in Chicago.  I love reading her posts about it on Facebook!

Francine is so authentic, she just speaks to the vulnerability and the power of love in all of us.  She graciously allowed me to re-post her experience here:

“2nd class with the teens, WOWzerrs! Got some time beforehand to battle some of my own demons of the mind. Can we say teenage angst, was self projecting this morning in the house with my roommates feeling like they were looking at me like I had 3 heads (exactly what my ego thinks when I am in front of a room full of teenagers – so self conscious and worried no one is going to like me).

Thank goodness for the tools I have learned along the way to center and ground me into just being. The teens were even more receptive than the first time and it was a blast! They willingly came out into the center this time, they engaged, they laughed, they sang together, they held hands. Some still were too cool for school, others had some anger come up, it was just perfect.

They created community among themselves, it was so beautiful to be part of that experience. What a ripple of passionate love we created today!

Namaste teachers for the beautiful work that is shared when we step into the flow and Kai Chi Do.

Oh Yeah!

And all I can say is, “Thank you, Francy-pants!”

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Ram Dass and Marty Lehrer

Ram Dass and Marty Lehrer, Kai Chi Do Instructor

 Each of us finds his unique vehicle for sharing with others his bit of wisdom.  —Ram Dass, Be Here Now

We were tickled that Marty Lehrer, Kai Chi Do Instructor from New York, got to spend some time with Ram Dass in Hawaii a few months ago.  I love this picture.  He is such a beautiful soul, and so is Marty. Can’t you just see the glow?  Marty being with Ram Dass feels like a kind of circle to us, complete and perfect.

Ram Dass was my first spiritual teacher.  It began for me when I was 15 years old.  My older brother’s girlfriend wrote a brief note to me, in the back of one of my spiral notebooks.  It said, “When you feel like you’re starting to lose, read Be Here Now.”  Well, I was feeling like I was losing a lot.

When I bought the book, by Ram Dass, and looked at it, I thought, “This can’t be it.”  (Anyone who has ever seen the book will understand this.  It’s sort of a free association illustrated guide to Divine consciousness, wrapped in the story of Ram Dass’s own spiritual journey).  I put it aside, but picked it up again months later.  I thought I should just try reading it.

I was depressed and didn’t feel any clear sense of purpose.  I felt separate from everything and alone.  I’d tried drugs and alcohol a few times, and they hadn’t helped.  I’d get a brief high or just check out.  And sometimes, coming down was even further down than I’d been before the hit or pill or drink.  And beside that, alcohol made me nauseous.  And yes, I was in therapy – family and individual.  And I couldn’t see that it was helping very much.  I still wanted to escape.  Escape my parents, my school, my neighborhood.  Escape my limitations – The ones I blamed outside me, and the ones I couldn’t see and didn’t know how to name, inside.

In Be Here Now I read about Ram Dass’s personal explorations of spirituality and mysticism, yoga and meditation.  I loved his insights about human foibles, his honesty about his own, and his passionate and flamboyant declarations of love for a God that wasn’t Jewish or Christian or Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist, but was all of these. I learned about energy pathways, chakras, and states of consciousness.

And I started to consider that my own thoughts might be a vehicle for change. Drugs and alcohol had been like filters and fog.  I didn’t want to just change the way things looked – I wanted to change reality.

So I started trying to teach myself how to meditate.  Be Here Now was my instructional manual.  Ram Dass shared the mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum.  He said it means, “The All is a jewel that blooms in my heart.” I didn’t understand it, but I just trusted the words and focused my mind on them while I watched the sensation of my breath at the tip of my nose.

I kept returning my thoughts to the mantra, until the mantra was the only thought.

This was different than prayer.  I wasn’t calling on something outside me.  I was evoking something within me.  Letting the words carry me deeper and deeper inside.  And then I disappeared.

There was no “I”.  There was no separation between me and everything else.  There was no mantra. No thought.  There was only One Luminous Unlimited Consciousness, One Big Thing. Not having awareness, but being awareness.  I knew, in that moment, that it wasn’t my skin, or my body, that created a boundary between me and everything else.  It was my mind, my way of seeing life.  And for the first time in my life, I believed in God.  Not a God that judges us like eyes in the sky, but a God that exists in all things, that contains all things.  And every part contains the whole – the All that blooms like a jewel in my heart.

Ram Dass had said that the word Namaste mean, “I honor the place in you where the Universe resides.  I honor the place in you where if you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only One of us.”

In that moment, I knew the One inside me.  And finally, my reality changed.

That’s why I love Marty’s tattoo and I love that it’s part of this photo.  Marty, Ram Dass, and Om.  I can feel it – There’s only One of us.

Namaste.

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Ann Witt, Tampa Kai Chi Do Instructor

There are some people in this world who have a transformative effect, simply with their presence.  Kai Chi Do Instructor Ann Witt is one of those gifted people.  Her insight and intuition are so keen that you feel transparent when you are with her, and the true gift is how safe it is to be recognized for who you are.  You find yourself breathing a sigh of relief.

Ann is one of those unique individuals who brings out the best in the people around her.

She believes in the best in you.  She sees it.  And you begin to see and feel it too.

Ann  has shared her wisdom, compassion, and insights with others for more than 30 years as a coach and consultant to corporate leaders,  helping them to discover professional as well as personal fulfillment.  In addition to her certification as a Kai Chi Do Instructor, Ann is a QiGong practitioner and a mental health counselor.

Experience the magic of Kai Chi Do with Ann Witt in Tampa.

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