The New Dharma Bums project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
  • Off
    • English
$1,601 pledged of $5,000 goal
By Michael Byrne
$1,601 pledged of $5,000 goal


Sixty years after Jack Kerouac went on the road with the Dharma Bums, I've discovered a new breed of Taoist "soft" martial artists who are just what the doctor ordered for millions of Baby Boomers entering retirement.

I'm going on the road to track them down, to learn more about how people are using these exercises for health, and for martial arts. I'm creating a regular blog and will give voice to all the visions and big ideas I can find -- inviting readers to share theirs. These adventures will be retold in a book at the end of the project

I've been practicing the "moving meditation" of Tai Chi and Qigong for about 28 years, about half my career as a daily newspaper, magazine and advocacy journalist. I'm uniquely qualified to tell this story.

My journey will allow me to touch hands with friends and teachers, and to explore the metaphysical as well as the physical dimensions of this ancient Chinese art that has drawn many Western practitioners. I will bring you along for the stories and invite feedback. I may help to promote some community events, and the local participants.

My intent is to create a literary adventure as well as a regular report on the art and its missionaries. It will be open to discussion.

Risks and challenges

My challenge will be to faithfully translate an ancient Chinese martial art form and practice into an accessible and healthful exercise for both the old and young. My 28 years of practice will help, as well as my 40-plus years of journalism experience. I am also a Chinese linguist who has lived in Taiwan and studied the culture extensively.

I believe I can minimize any risks by carefully drawing up a road map of where I will find the best stories, and instruction, preparing my subjects before I set out on the adventure. I've already begun this process, putting out feelers to teachers about their programs and upcoming events.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ


  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    I will send personal thank you letters and offers to help inform the blogs as well as acknowledgements of individuals in the final book version.

    Estimated delivery
    11 backers
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (45 days)