A Student Practicing a Martial Arts Posture

Through the practice of Tai Chi, I was able to achieve an enhanced sense of balance and how I moved in the world. My Tai Chi practice is the thing I do that makes everything else I do go better.

“What I find in classes with Don Ethan Miller at BTC that makes it worth the trek from Ohio to Massachusetts is a teacher whose knowledge is beyond any previous exposure I have enjoyed, and much more of a guide in exploration of the core principles underlying anyone’s style of Tai Chi than a teacher presenting information to interpret and absorb. To me, classes are fun, informative, understandable, and invigorating. The things I learn in Brookline inform my personal practice of Tai Chi and Qigong in Ohio, and impact my approach to teaching my senior citizens’ classes in ways that they appreciate. More I cannot ask.”

–Michael Rhoades,  28 years Adult  Parole Officer, 15 years Certified Self-Defense and Field Tactics Instructor for Ohio Adult Parole Authority,   2nd Degree Black Belt ChangMooKwan Taekwondo, 3rd Dan Kwanmukan Karate, 3rd Dan Int’l JuJitsu Federation, Certified Teacher of Tai Chi since 2006/ Cleveland Qigong Academy

“I was fortunate to have met Don Miller and Brookline Tai Chi at a Massachusetts Falls Coalition Meeting this past summer.  Don guided the meeting members through the basic principles of Tai Chi.  Having never practiced, I was most stunned by how I mentally felt after completing the short session–I felt stronger, empowered even.  As a physical therapist, it was enlightening to me to realize that Tai Chi works on teaching the body the basics of balancing, versus challenging impaired balance which is often the therapeutic approach.  Since taking that brief session, my organization, Rehab 365, has begun incorporating the Brookline Tai Chi basics into our community outreach program, Brains, Balance & Breakfast.  Many of our participants have previously experienced falls and often note a lingering feeling of fear associated with having another fall.  After participating in our Brookline Tai Chi-inspired exercises, many participants echo my sentiments–they feel stronger and are less fearful of falling.  I am so fortunate to have met Don Miller and the Brookline Tai Chi team.”

Dr. Renee (Noel) Keimig PT, DPT, Director Partnership Services, Arete Rehab and Rehab 365

“Your concept of exercise changes at BTC. It takes awhile to realize that you can relax and still get things done”

“In Saturday’s seminar, Don revealed the five energies–rooting, billowing, fluidity, tenacity and condensing–through simple, easily followed exercises, which produced those qualities in each of us to varying degrees. This was not a subjective experience. Don did not leave the results to our imaginations, but probed each result by having us test our performance with a partner before and after each experiment. 
 I experienced an upgrade in my Tai Chi during Saturday’s seminar that exceeded all of the progress that I’ve made in the past forty years. I was able to root to the ground so that I was immovable. I could effortlessly float a heavier partner, and became functionally invincible to all efforts to disrupt…Don has unlocked some of Tai Chi’s most intriguing promises, almost universally unmet, and has developed a method of teaching them that simply works. Like many of us who were there, I left feeling elated with new physical powers that I never dreamed I’d possess.”

  –Ted Box, Vineyard Haven, MA.

“I have been using many tai chi moves as I clean the house, cook, walk to the store etc. I think mindfully about what joints I’m using and try to use them in the way we’ve been taught. This has saved me much loss of strength and flexibility during this confining time I am sure. In addition of course it has helped with mood and anxiety.”

“The atmosphere is very nonjudgmental. It’s OK to be skeptical of anything, even “chi”; you don’t have to adopt a certain philosophy; there’s no hocus pocus.”

“I had taken some bad falls. Don’s classes are all about balance. I’ve learned to place my feet, to use the vigor of the bubbling well of the earth, and to keep awareness clustered in my natural energy centers. If I had met Don earlier, I would not have thrown a ball like a girl, and I would have developed stability and trust in my physical self. But with Tai Chi it is never too late. I feel rescued and rejuvenated, able to take on the challenges of travel, raising grandkids, and my garden. He has made a difference in my competence, resilience, and general well-being. And I am learning, learning the forms of the ancient and empowering art of Tai Chi.”

 –Judith S.

“I have been practicing tai chi on and off for 40 years and have studied with several teachers, but have been taking classes with Don for only a year or so. In that year, my understanding of tai chi has deepened tenfold. Each class brings fresh insights and revelations: So that’s why doing it this way instead of that way is more powerful! No wonder that move never felt right to me! Who knew that practicing with a rock or a stick could make such a difference? Even when I begin one of Don’s classes feeling tired, tense, and distracted, I always come out of it feeling energized, relaxed, centered. I can’t recommend his classes highly enough….I feel more connected to the origins of Tai Chi and the way the ancient masters must have practiced.”  

–Zelda S.

“This class has been extremely helpful for self-care. I’m now 72 years old and my studies in Tai Chi have made my body considerably more flexible than when I started. I can twist more easily, bend more deeply and my sense of my body – my relationship with my body – has greatly improved. Simply the recognition that the body is very malleable and can continue changing/evolving no matter what one’s age is has been inspiring – we can continue deepening within our bodies for the rest of our lives.” 

–Tim K.

“Like Wang Xiangzhai before him, Don has distilled the most potent kernels and truths of taijiquan, baguazhang and xingyiquan – many of them his own insights and discoveries – and explains them in plain language.  He eschews traditional Chinese dogma and obtuse poetry, instead always looking at principles with a neutral and critical eye, asking the question, “Does it work?” He is extremely generous with his knowledge, hiding nothing and holding nothing back.  He shows you structure, technique and application, but also dives deep into energy, mind and spirit.  Whether you learn from him exclusively or enhance your other studies with his transmissions, Don has absolute gems to offer any serious student of the Chinese internal arts.”

–Stanwood Chang, founder and director, Sun Tai Chi Institute of Boston, founder and director, Silk Reeling School (Chen Tai Chi).

“I have been practicing Tai Chi for about 20 years, and have been teaching for several years.  I have also learned from some great teachers and masters.  What Don Ethan Miller has to offer is at the very core of what the dance of Tai Chi is all about.  With an earthiness and clarity that comes from years of mastery, he tunes you in to the very essence of this inner art, channeling energetic practices that can have a transformative effect on our very experience of life. For those who have been hesitant to try Tai Chi, feeling that it is just too inaccessible or difficult to learn, taking a class with Don is like directly plugging yourself into a current   The light comes on and you feel great.  If you have been practicing in black and white, it is time to practice in full color.”

–Les F.

“It’s been a blessing of the past year that I, living at a distance from Boston, have been able to study with Don and my classmates, on line, how to “rise up rooted.”   Despite the small screen setting, Don is observant, imaginative and persistent – he won’t let any of us slide along because he really cares that we “get it.” He draws from a deep well of lifetime study and practice, which he shares without self-importance or stinginess, but his real gift is his determination to pass on to us what he has understood. For years others instructed me to “be rooted,” but now actually finding, exploring and nurturing my root has transformed not just my tai chi practice but also the way I go about my days.   A few of the unlooked for skills I’ve developed this year are: staying steady on slippery slopes and steep stairs; tossing, stacking and carrying many cords of firewood effortlessly; safely navigating the mire of materials which necessarily litter my studio floor; strengthening and opening my physical structures so that I am much more relaxed and hence able to regulate my rather volatile energetic system, all of which leads to way less fear and much more happiness. I find myself almost standing upright which also improves my outlook. I am currently working on putting on my socks and pants while standing on one leg, a self-amusing trick! My dogs think I’m more fun to be around. I am more alert to my relationship with my environment, especially trees. And I can’t not add that Don may be one of a very few people with whom I can talk with heartfelt delight about dragons.”

–Eve P., Pownal, Vermont