Seattle Taiji/qigong half day retreats

One of the reasons I moved out to Seattle was that it has relatively easy access to incredible nature spots to practice Taiji and qigong in quiet. Perfect for energy development and communing with nature. Repair, Restore and Re helps release any static and stress stored in the nervous system. Would love to offer small group outings to nature spots close to Seattle small waterfalls, places with amazing trees and hopefully with some good lunch spots nearby. My Tiguan is quite roomy so am happy to bring a few people along. Contact me at

Jean Auray 7/8

Hey everyone it’s been 2 years since I got my dream bass and I finally have time to post photos of the bass and tell you about how we met!

So basically for the last couple years I’ve either been traveling to train Chinese Internal Martial Arts (Taiji and Bagua) and living between New York, Boston and my hometown Wisconsin. I’m currently in Mexico City doing a teacher certification in order to open my own Taijiquan school on the west coast in Seattle.

So back to bass. I was near France on the way back from a Baguazhang retreat with Bruce Frantzis in Ibiza and stopped by Jean Auray’s shop in Villefranche Sur Saone near Lyon. I had emailed and talked to him and his wife briefly to discuss basses and if they had anything that sounded good in their shop. There was a Jacquet, I think an older french bass, a Auray travel bass available.

Jean and his wife were incredibly generous and kind in spirit and had me over to check out the workshop, play the basses and have lunch. We talked about some of the amazing artists he built basses for including Charlie Haden, Matt Penman, Barre Phillips and many more.

I stayed in Lyon for a week to make a decision about buying one of the basses and Jean called and let me know that another bass was actually available. Unfortunately one of his clients was very ill and needed Jean to sell his bass for him. I took the short train from Lyon back to Jean’s and Jean showed me the incredible bass. One of his Master built 7/8th’s models. I really couldn’t believe my luck because to get on a waiting list for one of his Master built basses is around 2 years and here one just popped up. Stars aligned. I had a dream the night before I bought the bass and it felt like getting married. Super incredible and I can tell you there’s nothing like the feeling of having an instrument that feels like “THIS IS IT!”

Xian Tian "Pre Heaven"

This blog will be used to post mind expanding stuff or practices I find fun and interesting!

I just started individual and group coaching online and in person! 

If you are interested in taking some lessons or classes with me I teach Cheng Bagua and basic Hebei Xingyi 5 elements form and applications.  I love teaching Bagua Single Palm Change! There's a LOT of body and movement principles packed into one "change". 

I sit down with students and ask them what their goals are and tailor practices suited to each individual student to help them develop and excel in accordance with their trajectory on their unique journey. 

Anyways this clip is me revisiting Gao Bagua material.  This stuff is pretty difficult to practice without any "Juice" and I found that after doing some standing qigong and getting some energy running it massively helps any form work. Mind and body run in a smooth and positive way. 

Disclaimer: I do not teach Yizong Gao Bagua or Xingyi but can recommend some fantastic teachers if you are interested. 


Aquilina Bertone 5

This is basically a shameless plug and recommendation for Sebastian Aquilina's instruments.  If you get a chance check out his work.  I Recently got an amazing deal on a Bertone 5  bass for under $2,000 used on  and am super excited about it! 

Recorded a short clip on the way out to lunch:

I hope to do a short video review of the instrument soon as well as give a review of Felix Pastorius's new bass book's "Scales from Rhythm and Outer Space... aka Tetra Cocktails" and "Just A.S.I.P. (accenting symmetrical intervallic patterns) of Coffee & The Chromatic Scale"


The luthier Sébastien Aquilina hand builds the instruments from his workshop in Rennes, Brittany:

Checking out the website the list price for the Bertone series starts around $3200 without options.  I believe that this model gives the Fodera Standard series a run for it's money in terms of sound, playability and build quality. 

Recently sold my Fodera Matt Garrison Standard for moneys and was not %100 pleased with the Mayones Jabba Classic 5 in terms of build quality (questionable neck and preamp issues) so was in the market for a high quality instrument for cheaper. Definitely looking for a certain sound closer to Fodera and hopefully something close in terms of build quality.

Hadrien Feraud

Dominique Di Piazza

Richard Bona @ 2:10


Specifically I was looking for specific used basses to show up on talkbass or reverb (a potentially long and frustrating process):

* Fodera Standard series 5 (used no less than $4,000)

*Ken Smith Burner 5 or Sleek Elite's Hadrien Feraud Signature (no less than $3,000)

*David Segals NYBW (no less than $3500)

*Mayones Hadrien Feraud signature ($3200 havent seen one used yet)

*Ken Lawrence 5 (around $3000)


Listed below are some of the specs:

• Mahogany body (with Walnut dust added to yield a richer color)
• Flamed sycamore top
• Maple neck, one piece, with walnut binding; 34" scale
• Flamed sycamore fretboard, 24 frets with zero fret
• Agullar pickups with push-pull coil tapping
• John East preamp, push-pull active/passive
• 8 lbs 10 ounces