Jai Banquet 2015 preparations well under way! 

The Lantern Festival  is one of the most important fundraising events of Fung Loy Kok. Traditionally, clubs and individuals from around the globe participate by requesting lantern blessings and purchasing lanterns.

At the International Centre on the day of the festival, lanterns are blessed by Fung Loy Kok Taoist chanters in the morning. This is followed by a banquet — nine courses of the highest quality traditional jai (vegetarian) dishes, made by chefs with decades of experience.

Join us at the International Centre on Saturday Feb 28th. 

Chanting starts at 9am, blessing of the lanterns is at 11.30am, the Jai Banquet starts at Noon.

All are welcome to observe the chanting and partake in the wonderful feast!

 

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Record number of participants at the Beginners Weekend at the UK National Centre in Edinburgh

Beginner weekends are growing in popularity in Great Britain and here’s why:

“I felt so welcome” – Marzena (38)

“Perfect environment” – Maggie (63)

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The first Beginners Weekend at the UK National Centre in Edinburgh started on Friday 13th February (lucky for some!) with a warm welcome to all. There was a total of 66 participants, from all five of the branches in Scotland, Edinburgh, Aberdeen Angus, Highlands and Islands, Scotland West and Strathtay. We were delighted to have the opportunity to share Taoist Tai Chi®  arts with such a positive group.

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Friday 19:30 to 21:30

Arranged in rows and columns – new beginners in the first few rows, assistants to the sides, and leaders at the front – we did the first 17 moves. It was lovely to see the beginners making such positive progress throughout the evening. The leaders and assistants made quite an impact in their red t-shirts. Towards the end of the evening we had a taste of the next 17 moves, in preparation for the morning session.

“Utterly relaxing and tingly” – Fiona (27)

“Loved the relaxation and sense of calm” – Jane (59)

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An atmospherically foggy day was left behind for a bright practice hall full of relaxed, smiling people. Throughout the session we progressed to move 54, with a break to watch “A Moving Meditation for Body, Mind and Spirit’’ giving first-hand accounts of the many different ways Taoist Tai Chi®  arts have affected people’s lives.

There was plenty to talk about during the tea break, and beginners and experienced members chatted away happily. You can see how well the orange t-shirts stood out in the photographs.

“I feel as if I’m walking better” – Peter (60)

“I like the focus on helping each other – whatever stage you get to, you can always help someone” – Sarah (40)

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Sunday 10:00 to 13:30

Carrying on to move 73, we looked more closely at Brush Knees in particular, with an emphasis on keeping the tigers mouth open – a good reminder for all. There was an opportunity to see the movie “Motions of the Tao“, based on the opening of the Temple at Darcy Street in Toronto, and gain an idea of the richness of the culture and history available in the Taoist Tai Chi Society. This was further highlighted in a “walk the walls” session, where groups were given a guided tour of the hall. As with all good things, we soon ran out of time, but clearly the weekend had made quite an impression of all of those attending.

“This great foundation will allow me to drop into different classes to suit my schedule” – Teja (35)

“It’s been really good not waiting a week between classes – it sinks in better and flows” – Jody (34)

We hope to run another Beginner Weekend later in the year – bring your friends!

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Atlantic Region Celebrates Chinese New Year

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Participants from the Atlantic Region gathered at the Regional Centre in Halifax to celebrate Chinese New Year. The planned week-end event was shortened to one jam-packed day because of an impending storm. The day was filled with Tai Chi practice and instruction. We chanted the North Star Sutra together, a first time experience for some of our participants. Perhaps that is why the chanting seemed to us to have extra power and spirit, and our first-time participants felt uplifted and energized, and all of them wish to continue the practice.

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A banquet was held in the evening with 56 participants and guests attending. The meal was served in traditional banquet style, one course at a time. The star of the meal had to be the traditional whole fish served to each table: in this case, a large and succulent sea trout. It was very clear that the diners more than appreciated the culinary efforts and expertise demonstrated by our participants who cooked all day so joyfully and fed us so well.

We were privileged to welcome the Nova Scotia Minister of Finance, Diana Whalen and her daughter. Minister Whalen spent a good deal of time happily conversing with people as we made the rounds to wish everyone gong hei fat choi

ACNY onet the end of a very full day and evening, those members who had some hours to drive were sent off to get home safely before the blizzard hit. The local folks stayed behind to clean up, and got everything set to rights in short order –

 

a perfect ending to yet another joyous time of practicing and working together.

 

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International Program: February 7/8 in Rome, Italy

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The weekend of the 7th and 8th of February a happy band of Taoist Tai Chi® arts practitioners gathered in the elementary school in  “Hero’s Square”, Rome – Italy, to attend an international workshop led by Carmen Capilla with Paul Davies, both members of the FLK Board of Directors and of the ERC.

Sarah Taddeo (member of the National Board and President of the Florence branch) welcomed the gathering on behalf of the President of the Italian Association, Lucia Tiribilli, who could not attend.

Micaela Bonavia (President of the Rome branch) greeted all participants and introduced the workshop leader Carmen Capilla.DSC_3464

We welcomed those from the eight participating countries, especially those who had travel from abroad: Czech Republic, Denmark. France, Great Britain, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland and, of course, Italy were represented.

The main focus of Carmen’s teaching for the weekend were  “three magic words”

1.Relax
2.Shifting the weight
3.Eyes straight

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After a morning of practice there was a demonstration of the set outside the school, overlooked by the magnificent Dome of St Peters and watched by passersby (couple of them joined the club for starting to practice, the following week!).

After a sustaining lunch, we continued to work focusing on the three aforementioned concepts until supper. After supper some questions were answered about the activities and the projects of the Society, including the new International Center in Dunedin, Florida.

On Sunday morning, under a blue Roman sky our group of 75 reformed for chanting and then more practice.  At noon we went outside into the sunshine and practiced  “parting wild horse’s mane”, concentrating on transferring of weight fully.

Later, in the summing up, Carmen explained that the three magic words are magic but that it isn’t all “magic”, rather a “question of practice”!

Many thanks were conveyed to our leader Carmen and to all the organizers and participants helping out with tasks: without all of them we would not have had this chance to improve our understanding of the Taoist Tai Chi (set and Society).

Our short time together had passed so quickly and after eating together and celebrating our Society once again, we went our separate ways.

 

 

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Chinese New Year at the Wong Dai Sin Temple, Steeles Avenue

The new year was enjoyed by the multinational team from FLKTTCS

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The University of Essex and the Universe of Tao

The University of Essex Student’s Union invited the Taoist Tai Chi Society to join them on campus to celebrate Chinese New Year.

As we celebrate our 45th Anniversary this year the University of Essex celebrate their 50th, which added to the sense of occasion and celebration.

The main squares of the campus were adorned with red lanterns and dotted with market stalls which gave the feel of being in a Chinese market place. There were students of many nationalities and cultures and an atmosphere of festivity, fun, enjoyment and togetherness all adding to a sense of all cultures moving together in harmony. We added our own banners and flags to the colourful surroundings and the pleasant bustle and energy in the square. We felt honoured to help open the celebrations at 9:30am.

In the bright morning sun and sharp cool air we were joined by many people for an open class. Everyone entered into the spirit of the event wholeheartedly, with good humour and we all shared a very enjoyable experience. We were able to reach appear to close entrance together and share information about Master Moy and Taoist Tai Chi® arts. IMG_6254small

The Vice-Chancellor of the University joined us for the first session and intimated that he would like to learn more. We very much hope he will take up our invitation to come and join us at our centre in Colchester.

After mid-day there was a small group doing a dragon dance but they were very inexperienced and welcomed and benefited from the input offered by one of our instructors who has trained with the dragon at our International Centre. If only…

Another one of our instructors was enticed to join a dance session and what a dancer! They did us proud.

Just before we were due for another session there was a gap in the proceedings. The students began to disperse so we quickly organised ourselves for a set to hold their attention. We were soon joined by some brave people who just couldn’t wait to try it out. Then, unfortunately, the rain began to drop and many left for the warmth and dryness of inside. IMG_6203small

However, we were able to encourage a small and hardy group to join us to learn a few moves and something about who we are and what we offer. Again the group was a lot of fun and really gave it there all. We were so impressed by their willingness to learn. As we felt the floor becoming a little slippery underfoot we decided it was time to close but gave out many leaflets and cards.

We had a great time and everyone we met was extremely friendly and helpful and made us feel welcome. What a great advert for the University of Essex and start to this year of the Ram.

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Gong Hei Fat Choi! Happy Chinese New Year!

Pictures from Chinese New Year’s Eve at the Wong Dai Sin Temple on Steeles Avenue.

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