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Meet Karl

Although he didn’t fully realize it at the time, “life” began for Karl Thunemann on the summer morning (let’s say, in 1973) when he was initiated into Transcendental Meditation. He recounts that experience in the first entry in the log. His allegiance to TM lasted only a few years, but meditation became an important marker in his life’s progress.

Maybe he would be devising a new meditation, maybe learning an old traditional practice. Maybe he would be in between practices, licking his wounds from the old and wondering when (and sometimes even whether) his next practice would materialize.

His life changed again in 1984 when, at the age of 40, he began to study Yang-style tai chi.  It would become a new life passion, not withstanding a seven-year estrangement from tai chi, triggered mostly by his resentment that the tai chi form was immersed in bisymmetry and made little allowance for people who, like him, were notably asymmetric.  Eventually he so missed tai chi that he made peace with it and began to think of himself as a tai chi heretic.

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In the late 1970s, Karl began recalling his own dreams, and has been interested in the study and theory of dreams ever since. Sometimes his interests in dreams, tai chi, meditation and post-Jungian psychology would fuse, and he could scarcely tell where one left off and the others began.

He worked as a journalist for more than a quarter-century. The task of writing editorials and columns helped create his “voice.” He’s been married for more than 50 years and has two children and two grandchildren.

He’s also been shaped by the presence of dementia in his family. His parents were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease on the same spring day in 2001, and Karl was responsible for their care for the next 8 ½ years. His older sister also had Alzheimer’s. She died in 2018. For more than four years Karl worked half-time answering phones for the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. These experiences left him with much sensitivity to cognitive impairment. If you feel compelled to point this out, please do so gently.

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