A Circle of ZEN

Aikido, Qigong, Taiji, Meditation


Saturday, May 28, 2022 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM PDT
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Aikido West and Zoom online 
3164 Bay Rd
Redwood City, CA 94063

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Linda Hill 
Aikido-Ai & Hosted by Aikido West 
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Aikido-Ai's 39th Annual Retreat

hosted by Aikido West

Saturday - May 28, 2022 - 10AM to 3PM (PT)

Join us for this daylong retreat,

via in-person at Aikido West and Zoom

A 39-year tradition of Integrative Arts with:  Frank McGouirk, Cyndy Hayashi, Danielle Smith, Michael Smith, and Teja Bell

in Aikido, Qigong, Taiji, and Meditation

Register Now!


"A Circle of Zen," Aikido-Ai's 39th Annual Retreat, is an In-Person & Zoom event. Five world-class instructors will be leading you through the integrative arts of Aikido, Taiji, Qigong, and Meditation. Everyone is welcome. 

Join us in practicing what O'Sensei called, “the Great Path beyond technique.” 

Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts.... Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment.                                 ~ Morihei Ueshiba 

   Meet Your Instructors 





Frank McGouirk, 7th dan, Shihan, Aikido  
Chief Instructor of Aikido Ai of Southern California with more than 50 years in martial arts: Aikido (7th dan), Sifu in Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan, and Chi-Lel™ Qigong teacher.  Zen Priest. Certified instructor in Limalama weapons.


Cyndy Hayashi, 7th dan, Shihan, Aikido  
Daisempai of Aikido West under the direction of Frank Doran, 8th dan; Dojo Cho of Stanford Aikido, with more than 40 years in martial arts. Kyudo 3rd dan. Five Precepts with Zen Master Seung Sahn. Director of the Young People’s Program at Aikido West. California Aikido Association Administrator for 34 years. 

Danielle Molles Smith, 7th dan, Shihan, Aikido
 Began Aikido training in 1973.  Dojocho of One Point Center Aiki Arts and Sensei Emeritus of Aikido of Monterey; Hakko Ryu Jujutsu (3rd dan);Seibukan Jujutsu (4th dan); Iaido (1st dan); training in Tai Chi Chuan and Chi-Lel Qigong, and certified Pilates instructor.  


Michael Smith, 6th dan Aikido  
Dojocho of One Point Center Aiki Arts, with 36 years in martial arts including Aikido (6th dan), Kyudo (2nd dan), and Aikibojitsu (5th dan/Licensed Teacher). 

Teja Bell


Teja Bell, 6th dan Aikido
Began practicing Aikido in 1971. Black belt in Tae Kwon Do; studied Hapkido and practiced Taijii Chuan since 1975; teaches Dharma, Qigong, BaGua, Xing Yi, YiQuan, and Liu He Ba Fa Chuan. Rinzai Zen Lineage Master.

WHERE:  Zoom streaming and in-person training is hosted this year by Aikido West in Redwood City, California, and Aikido Ai in Whittier, California will also stream instruction and have in-person training. 

1.) People can attend at Aikido West in Redwood City, CA. Cyndy Hayashi and Teja Bell will teach at this location.  Space is limited and masks must be worn. Participants must pre-register for the retreat to reserve space. No walk-in's are permitted.

2.) Aikido Ai in Whittier, CA will also have a big screen set-up. Sensei Frank McGouirk will teach at this location. Masks are required, and the first ten (10) students to register may attend the event in the dojo or give their space to another student.

You can participate via Zoom from anywhere you want, with a computer, laptop, tablet, or even smartphone, plus internet access. You can have a friend or family member join you to practice as partners. Your registration will receive one live link and one replay link which will be sent to your email address. 

GROUPS:  Dojos, schools, and individuals can create a family, friends, or class group. We recommend using a large screen so everyone can see and be seen. 
One person representing the group will sign up using the discounted group fee labeled "dojo participation." That person will receive one link to join the live event and one link to the recording for later practice and review. 

If individuals in your group want to view the recording privately later, please invite them to register online in order to receive the links.  

WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?  Aikido and Tai Chi techniques, weapons forms, Qigong and other energy practices, and meditation, much as we have done for decades at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center camp. Our master instructors have been teaching the physical and meditative aspects of Aikido, Tai Chi, Qigong, and Zen in ways that relate to those arts and to your world.  All of the movements can be practiced solo.  If you have someone with you, you can do the two-person activities at whatever level you are comfortable. 

Honor your own energy and abilities. Whether in person or on Zoom, you can join in or sit and watch at any time. Even watching is a path to learning.
You don't have to.  When you register for A Circle of Zen, you'll receive a link to join in on the live event. Join in for whatever part fits your schedule. Your link will get you in any time during the event. 

Afterwards, you'll receive another link to watch the replay as often as you want, just sections or the whole thing, for the next month or so. This will make practice easier. You'll definitely get your money's worth.

We give you a choice of registration fees in a sliding scale. On the registration page, you just select one of the rates.  Pick the option that fits your comfort zone. 
You can join us for $75, $60, $45, or even a group rate of $125 for your entire dojo, school, family, studio, or exercise buddies. Whichever you choose, you will receive the same great learning experience as everyone else on our Zoom event.

We sincerely believe that everyone can benefit from this retreat. For many folks the pandemic has made it a tough 2-3 years. So as in many Zen communities, there is a way to participate without making a cash payment. We call it.... 

SCHOLARSHIP: Send an email to MtBaldyRetreat@gmail.com with the subject Scholarship and let us know if even the smallest payment on the registration form is a hardship. We will get right back to you. We respect the confidential nature of your request. 

Even though we are not training at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center this year, we will be sending a donation to the monks from the proceeds. They have been an integral part of our retreat since the first event 40 years ago. Your generosity at registration will be reflected in that gift.

  • Payment is made online via PayPal.  
  • You do not need a PayPal account in order to make a payment. Just checkout as a guest.
  • Use your choice of credit card or debit card, an electronic check, or even your Venmo account.
  • All transactions are encrypted. 
You'll receive a receipt by email, and we will get a record of your payment amount. 

Note, the dojos are not able to accept cash or make your payment for you. So please register online before the event. 

You'll receive an email before the May 28 event. It will have a live link to jump right into "A Circle of Zen" on Saturday morning.  It will also have a Meeting ID number and a Passcode if you prefer to open your computer, type Zoom.us and click on the "Join Meeting" button. Then enter the Meeting ID and passcode when prompted.

If that sounded like goobledegook, you can visit Zoom.us and watch the free tutorials on how to use Zoom. It's pretty easy.

We will email you the schedule for the day's activities. That day you might want to have handy some water or whatever energy drinks you like. We won't have a big lunch break, but there will be short breaks between the instructors' sessions to grab a bite or take care of needs.  Rest when you wish and participate as desired. 

Send me an email at MtBaldyRetreat@gmail.com and I'll reply quickly.  Or text (714) 595-2672.