CK10 Means Integral Tai Chi
By: Jackie Bong-Wright
Hiep Lowman, a chronic asthma patient, said that she had to get away from the Washington area during the winter and live in warm places. “But ever since I began practicing the CK10 movements, I am happy to say that I’ve been staying in my own home, braving the cold season, without any of the asthma attacks I used to have.”
Remarked Mong Hoa Le, a community activist: “I have had permanent damage in my spine and suffered a lot of soreness in my back, but now, I can walk easily without the pain I had in the past. After 14 months of regular ITC exercises, I feel energized and enthusiastic. I can maintain my workload much better than before.”
Venerable Hang Truong, creator of the Ten Forms of CK10, or Integral Taichi explained, “Integral Taichi is a comprehensive method that helps us transcend the dualities of yin and yang, right and wrong, good and bad. It’s not just martial arts, it’s a method combining many dimensions of life.”
He added: “These ten forms train the body to be more flexible, increase energy and blood flow, and open our chakras (inner centers of energy). The ultimate goal is to sustain the consciousness and enlightenment obtained via meditation.”
CK 10 in Vietnamese means the ten forms of Can Khon (Heaven and Earth). They relax the body and mind, and bring inner peace and serenity. Like a ballet dancer flying on air, Truong teaches the ten soft movements of heaven and earth and of a tortoise, butterfly, tiger, dragon, phoenix, crane, buffalo, and frog.
These exercises assist in transferring the seven chakras stored inside our physical and spiritual being from our productivity system up to the cranial system.
Truong demonstrates the first form of heaven by holding a virtual basketball at waste level, circling the hands from left to right with feet apart, toes pointing straight ahead. This technique shows that truth is infinite and also within us. It strengthens our immune system and guides us to become more optimistic and positive.
By lowering the hands held together, with eyes looking down to the legs, and circling the hands on both sides of the body, then finally bringing them up above the head, the Venerable teaches the second movement, of the frog. The location of this chakra number one lies in our productivity system. The benefit of performing the frog is to transform our limited mind and thoughts and expand them to a boundless vision.
The third movement is the buffalo. Moving the hands and legs forward and backward with eyes looking straight will remove our emotional attachments. It also transmutes negative desires and maintains emotional stability as well as intellectual awareness in the chakra number two, located at the navel area.
With arms above the head and hands curved down in front, then moving one leg after another up and down at knee level, this movement imitates the form of a crane. It means to enable us to be freer, more humble and more caring. This movement brings balance to the liver and the spleen at the abdomen where chakra number three dwells.
Chakra number four lies in the heart. It’s the domain of the dragon. Holding hands up above the head and turning them sideways around the shoulders, then lowering them up and down and zigzagging to the left and right, this exercise looks like a kite twirling up and about the sky. This is a silent mantra that transcends language and concepts. The dragon movement balances our circulatory system and builds up our tolerance and self-confidence.
The tiger exercise touches chakra number five at the neck region and shifts our biases and prejudices by opening up our creativity as well as our view of the world. The butterfly, situated on our third eye (between the two eyes), is in the chakra number six. It lets go our attachments in life and formulates our spiritual development.
The tortoise occupies the highest place as chakra number seven, which is at the crown of our head. With the hands making a total circle from the head to the feet, then on the left and the right side, the tortoise maximizes all the channels of energy and unfolds a higher form of consciousness and truth.
The tenth and last form is the Earth movement. The hands make reverse circles in front of the chest, synchronizing with the feet moving back and forth, show how to retire from the world and forget one’s ego, which leads to total awareness and awakening to non-duality. Man, nature and universe are becoming one form.
Holistic Approach and Personal Evolution
Born in Vietnam, educated in the U.S., and ordained under the tutelage of Master Hsuan Hua, the world’s enlightened Master of the Chinese Zen lineage in China, Venerable Truong embraces multicultural, multi-disciplined and global values.
He is well known for his holistic and integral approach to modernize Buddhism with the fast pace of the changing world.
In 2002, he founded the Compassionate Service Society (CSS), a non-profit organization that helps heal the body, mind and spirit. In 2003, he co-founded Hana Spiritual Retreat in Maui, Hawaii, a spiritual center that aspires to bring key leaders of world religions to dialogue and understanding.
In 2004, he began teaching Integral Tai Chi (ITC) and training ITC instructors, who have been teaching worldwide, including California, Texas, Hawaii, Canada, France, Hungary and Taiwan.
Truong’s vision is to restore health and spiritual guidance to members of society. He wants to engender hope in the hearts of people in need and facilitate a healing process through dharma lectures and educational programs on television (Khai Tam TV) as well as radio. He aims at serving both the Vietnamese and American communities in the many ITC centers he has established throughout the U.S. and overseas.
ITC is also a self-healing system designed to increase balance, concentration, endurance and energy transformation. It can be easily learned and practiced by all ages and all body types. It relaxes all parts of the body and has a significant mental effect, focusing on positive attitudes, doing away with frustration and stress.
ITC was introduced to the Washington Metropolitan area in November 2007. It has rapidly grown into a network that offers 10-20 classes per week in both Maryland and Virginia, training up to hundreds of students every week. Classes are taught by over 25 CK10 volunteer instructors, who have been certified by Truong. Classes are free.
Essentially, the ten forms combine yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and meditation into one holistic system that integrates body, mind, and spirit, not just simple movements.
This approach addresses the physical, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions of our lives. With this level of consciousness, we also practice meditation, which looks inwardly by understanding ourselves more deeply, thus becoming more receptive and tolerant towards others, transcending borders and boundaries. It’s also a means of cross-cultural communication and conflict resolution.
CSS also engages in charity activities world wide. In addition to donations to the poor in Vietnam, it donated over $100,000 to Sri Lankan victims of the 2004 Tsunami and is currently engaged in a partnership to bring water filtering equipment to victim of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It also engaged in “Green Projects” to heighten awareness about our impact on the environment through the annual World Peace Gathering, held in Orange County every year.
Fortunately, Truong will be conducting classes at Oakton Unitarian Church on October 29, and at McLean High School in Virginia on October 30 and 31. He will also be introducing “integral Meditation”, a new methodology, based on his experience over 20 years observing the difficulties practitioners have in practicing meditation.
Integral Meditation’s big advantage is that it can measure a practitioner’s progress and integrate all aspects of life. In a scientific way, Truong incorporated old traditions with new knowledge, and designed a standard training program with ways to measure levels and key points. For more information, please go to www.csseast.org