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92-Year-Old San Jose Tai Chi Master Boosts Community Mental Health Through Meditation


SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month and American Seniors Month, and seniors’ mental health is a growing issue that requires special attention. In San Jose, a man works to strengthen the spirit of his community through the art of meditation.

At a time when seemingly so much negativity surrounds us, the senior citizens of Atria Almaden Senior Living are finding a sense of calm.

The CDC reports that approximately seven million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from depression each year, in part due to a lack of physical activity.

Meditation classes are just one of many resident-led activities for seniors to build community and boost their mental health.

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“It’s important to get involved with other people, to socialize,” said community member Lisa Poyser. “In general, workouts make you feel better, make you feel stronger, and make you feel safer.”

Activities director Candi Warren says it’s important to let community members lead the class to give them back that sense of control they sometimes feel they’ve lost.

One of the most popular instructors is 92-year-old Master Pui Tsang.

“It’s not just relaxing,” he said. “This exercise, you work on it. It’s called Qigong. This meditation and this exercise started in China, 2,000 years ago.”

“Everyone knows Pui,” Warren said. “If anyone has a question about meditation, about Tai Chi, Pui is the right man for you.”

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A man of intimacy and not very talkative, Master Pui declared that he preferred his class to talk rather than to do an interview.

The Tai Chi master earned six degrees and learned the art of meditation in China.

The community says its classes boost the morale of residents and staff.

“Pui is extremely important, let me tell you,” Warren said. “A lot of the staff here have also learned a lot from him and it’s all about our mental wellbeing and our physical health because the two go hand in hand. Without one it’s hard to have the other. .”

Master Pui hopes to teach mental toughness so that his community can continue to live active and exciting lives.

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