CIT Week Day 2—Report from Orangeville

A little rain (okay, maybe a lot) didn’t dampen the spirits of the 600-plus members here in Orangeville for CIT Week. But it did require us to all be in the practice hall in the morning and forgo the deck until the sun came out. To accommodate the large numbers we split up to do the set and then watched members do the first 17 moves broken into groups based on how long they had been practicing tai chi: less than five years, five to 10, 10 to 15, and so on all the way up to those that had been practicing for more than 25 years. As each cohort moved through the beginning of the set, it was inspiring to see how many people continue to practice this art throughout their lives.

To understand what keeps people engaged with tai chi and with the Society, Karen Laughlin asked a small panel of people who had been doing tai chi for different lengths of time (yours truly was one of the “under five years” folks) to describe a transformational moment in their tai chi path. The stories ranged from seeing a particular person move in a particular way to receiving help with a personal injury that profoundly changed the way they felt. What’s your transformational tai chi story? (Tell us in the comments below.)

After lunch the sun broke out, the deck dried, and we were back to working with Tony Kwong on toryus, danyus and the first four moves of the set. That took us through dinner, right up past 10 pm, when it was time to crawl into bed to ge ready for more.

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Filed under CIT Week, Events, Health Recovery, International Centre Events, Tai Chi for All, Workshop Watch

5 responses to “CIT Week Day 2—Report from Orangeville

  1. Sounds better and better….
    The rain brought something so valuable to you all..
    Sounded amazing…….
    Lovely account….Lovely pics……..
    Wishes and thanks from Ireland…..

  2. Transformational moment/s

    A way in which you can Grow….., with practice……..,
    Into a better human being…..

    Seeing examples of this……’People Walking There Talk’

    A Safe place where you cl’d learn without judgement….or worse…….

    Fault was Okay…….

    Mistakes were better…….

    Seeing and being part of peoples growth…….

    Being instructed to sit..on carry tiger to mountain….Then this mechanism took over and almost machine like i moved to the non insteping and strong place at the end of the move…That machine/mechanism…was My Body….

    The first time i achieved a meditative stage in my life …with ease…….

    The realisation that after all these years i can actually Feel my feet on this Earth……is really quite amazing to me……

  3. Wendy Mackay

    Thanks so much for these reports. I feel connected to you all and included in CIT week as I see the photos and read what you are working on.
    Wendy from sunny Haida Gwaii.

  4. Wendy Mackay

    Transformations are ongoing. Looking back I feel that the first five years of Taoist Tai Chi took me through an amazing journey of healing as my quality of life improved dramatically. The many painful symptoms associated from living with the liver disease Hepatitis C that I experienced years ago are mostly a thing of the past.This happened gradually over the five years as my body/mind gleaned health benefits from TTC.Now in my 8th year of practice I continue to experience improved health plus a lovely contentment that enables me to accept the reality of living with this deep disease yet able to enjoy an even deeper feeling of wellness and vitality.

  5. A Lyon

    Having heard the stories last week, I share my own:

    I started taking Tai Chi as a physically healthy 25 year-old, yet managed to cause myself immense upper back pain during the first arm jong which lasted throughout a class. I spent all my time concerned about what the other students & the instructor thought of my Tai Chi, craving personal attention and corrections, and comparing myself to other students, in addition to being jealous of anyone close to my age. At my first week-long workshop (Lok hup in Orangeville) the third day was spent crying in addition to suffering this self-inflicted pain which prompted a concerned volunteer to ask of the workshop leader why he wouldn’t help me when he could see I was miserable. His response to the volunteer, in my presence, was “she has too much intention”. What!?

    Two years later after a seemingly tragic, at the time, event occurred in my personal life I learned what he’d meant. I can see that any assistance he would have offered me back then would have been a waste of his time because I was not open to receive any benefit from it. Essentially he gave me the best correction anyone could and in the most effective way. I am so grateful.

    Unlike some students, it never occurred to me to quit Tai Chi because of the pain. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I am so glad I stuck it out and went through all that I have in this International Society. I continue to learn so much about myself as part of a healthy family whose focus is on helping others. I can relax knowing I will be knocked back on course should I head in the wrong direction. It is up to me to recognize why I’m being re-directed and to alter my course to insure my own continued health improvements–emotional, psychological balance. (How ironic that a path to cultivating our mind and spirit is taken through being present and experiencing our bodies. We spend so much time in western culture judging bodies, our own and others, for their outside form, that we revile having to inhabit them until a practice like Tai Chi leaves us in awe of what the human body is capable of by feeling it from the inside and hearing others’ stories.)

    So, in addition to trusting the form of both the Society and the teaching, I will also practice trusting my healthy body. In the years since the pain left me I have experienced hives which make me stop and sit out when practicing, foot swelling that makes me lie down and put my feet up during breaks, dehydration to the degree other people had to take care of me, and food poisoning that prevented my attendance at two days of a workshop and took both human and financial resources away from the Society. I have learned that sometimes the “other” that Master Moy wanted us to help is the one we are least prone to. Oftentimes I am my own other. It’s about balance after all.

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