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You are here: Home > Audio-Visual > The Spiritual Origins of Taijiquan

Return to the Mountain: A Tàijí Journey

I am excited to announce the preview of our new Feature-Length Film documentary called Return to the Mountain: A Tàijí Journey. In July 2005 I spent a month in China making a movie on the Mythical, Cultural, and Spiritual Foundations of Tàijíquán with his eldest son Jud, a filmmaker living in China for twenty years. We toured from the modern cities of Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Beijing to the remote countryside of Chen and Zhaobao Villages (where Taiji has been in continuous practice for over 400 years) and the magnificent and immensely significant Daoist mountain of Wudangshan. Throughout this journey we tried to unravel the worldview that produced and continues to sustain this wonderful Body, Mind, Spirit exercise by connecting it to its roots in ancient Chinese medicine, ritual, meditation, art, and Daoism in general.

Where and When

The showing will occur at the opening night of the first day of the ninth International Conference on Daoist Studies at Boston University from 7-8:30 PM. The specific location is at the Boston University School of Theology, 745 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA, which is next to Marsh Chapel, directly across from the “BU Central” stop on the MBTA “B” Green Line Train. Please come at least thirty minutes early.

International Conference on Daoist Studies

For the last ten years, the series of international conferences on Daoist Studies has been instrumental in enhancing the study, application, and awareness of Daoism throughout the world. The only major Daoist conference series, it follows a tradition that began in Boston (2003) and continued through Mt. Qingcheng (2004), Fraueninsel in Bavaria (2006), Hong Kong (2007), Mt. Wudang (2009), Los Angeles (2010), Mt. Nanyue (2011), and Ammersee Lake near Munich (2012). In honor of its great success and as a tribute to Boston University for the initial conference, the 9th International Conference on Daoist Studies will take place once again at Boston University.

This year’s conference theme is “Daoism: Tradition and Transition.” The focus is on Daoist thought, history, and practice—with particular attention to the impact Daoism has exercised in Chinese history and the contemporary world. Panel topics include Daodejing, Zhuangzi, Huainanzi, Comparative Philosophy, Daoist Ritual, Daoist Ethics, and more.

Registration and Opening Ceremony: College of Arts and Sciences, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room B50. The College of Arts and Sciences can be found directly east of the School of Theology, across Marsh Plaza. The auditorium for the Opening Ceremony can be found in the basement of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Panel on Daoist Psychology

I will also be on the panel for Daoist Psychology at the conference, which will take place on Saturday, May 31 2014 between 5-6:45 PM. My paper will be on “The Foundations of Daoist Psychology. I will be joined by Jerry Alan Johnson (chair & discussant), Reggie Pawle (“The Application of Daoism to Client Concerns in Psychotherapy”), Donald Davis (“Daoist Practice and Human Flourishing in Positive Psychology”), and Andrew Lambert (“Daoism and Disability: alternative models of personhood and agency in disability studies”).

I have been attending this conference since the very beginning and made a presentation at the last one as well. It just keeps getting better and better. I you are at all interested in Daoism, this is your chance to meet with the top Daoist scholars from around the world. I am happy to say that it has been one of the high points of my life. Please refer to their website for complete information about other speakers and their topics at

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