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June 2022 - The Tao of Seeing in the Dark: A Perceptual Approach to Adaptive Tai Chi and Qigong... Beginner's Mind

Program Host: Vicki Dello Joio

June 9, 2022
8:30 - 9:30 PM Eastern

As a visually impaired practitioner and teacher of tai chi and qigong, Larry was interviewed as part of the Shift Network QiGong Summit in September 2020. Ever since then, he has been thinking about how to contribute further to the tai chi/qigong/martial arts/healing arts community overall. In this Qi Talks, Larry will share some unique insight vis-à-vis how a visually impaired person approaches managing their life, their energy, and the learning process—specially tailored to learning tai chi, qigong, and other martial and healing arts. Sighted people can experience greater depth and insight after learning these intricate techniques and skills at a more profound level, including by training blindfolded.

The benefits of a sighted person learning these intricate skills include a greater sense of awareness, balance, retraining of the entire nervous system, mental clarity (awareness, perception, cognition), and overall understanding of the forces of nature and the body/mind/spirit interface...

When people train in this way, some of the benefits include:
- An introduction to echolocation: learning to see with sound
- Interacting with the environment using flash sonar
- Developing an audio and acoustic awareness and vocabulary
- Acoustic imaging
- Movement and balance training and techniques
- Perceptual training
- Extra-sensory perception of the five senses: audio/hearing, olfactory/smell, touch, taste, vision; here we develop the mystic sense of hearing the inaudible, touching the intangible, and seeing the invisible.

In training blindfolded, the practitioner retrains the vision center in the brain, which heightens and enhances all the five senses, as well as the sixth sense or the stomach or “second” brain.

This conversation will provide a wonderful opportunity for sighted people to actually understand the blind or visually impaired community. There is so much misunderstanding about what it is to be blind, and in the martial arts tradition blind swordsmen and practitioners were revered for their legendary skill.

Larry Parker is a certified instructor in the Universal Healing Tao, as well as a certified instructor in the IIQTC in the areas of Tai Chi Easy and Medical QiGong. Larry has over fifty years of experience in the internal arts. In the 1960s he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and spent seven years as a dental technician/paramedic. After his discharge, he earned college degrees in dental hygiene, health education, and community health and went on to study at the Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy and Allied Health in New York City. After graduating from the Swedish Institute, he became a continuing education specialist instructing licensed medical professionals in chair massage and a twenty-first-century protocol for stress management and stress fitness. In addition to being a licensed massage therapist, he trained with the National Speakers Association to become a certified professional speaker. His areas of expertise include holistic health, healing, and wellness with a focus on transcendental and ascension meditation, integrative nutrition, martial arts, and related disciplines.