Edinburgh folk say there’s only two types of weather: airy and close. One week off mid-summer, June 14, 2011, to be exact, close is what we’d expect. And with 153 members packed into the hall for a one-off International Intensive in Scotland, close is exactly what we got! Members travelled from all five branches in the region to attend—some making a four-hour journey (each way) to be there.
Karen Laughlin, president of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society, is based in Tallahassee Florida, but has been spending six weeks in London on a university teaching assignment, accompanied by Sean Dennison, a director of Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism. While Karen has been working, Sean has toured England and Wales, leading Intensives in the East Anglia and Western regions. Scotland was lucky enough to welcome them both on a sunny summer evening.
The focus was on finding our feet, putting intention in our palms, relaxing, and letting “the bit in the middle” take care of itself. Karen spoke of how Master Moy had said to her, years ago, that the back is made up of layers and layers and layers of muscles—and in tai chi you’ve got to get through them all. “So let’s find another layer tonight!”
Later, working on putting these principles into the set, participants were invited to play with the strength of the structure in some of the moves, demonstrating that the strength comes not from muscles but from alignment. Lexa (77) from Scotland West branch quipped: “Watch out—the little old ladies are getting harder to push around!”
By the time the night drew to an end, with light still in the sky, everyone was that bit warmer, and that bit closer.