To start our International Workshop with a set in a large space surrounded by nature felt like a good omen of things to come in the next two days.
But our journey actually didn’t start there. Rather, it began the night before with an extraordinary gathering in our home to meet our instructors and to give them a warm welcome.
One of the things I like the most about the Taoist Tai Chi Society is the spirit of sharing: sharing the practice of Tai Chi, share=ing the process of change (and the happiness that comes with it), sharing the solidarity to help many people in need, and of course, sharing good meals! Everyone brought something delicious that night to greet our guest instructors, David and Nicole. Having two instructors was really a luxury—two life experiences dedicated to Taoist Tai Chi, two people who came with such different and personal styles to help us understand movement and sensation, two spouses who gave us their energy and their hearts.
We were a total of 84 people. This International Workshop in the year of the Water Snake was characterized by having a high percentage of beginner members. This is always very exciting to me because I experience it as a great lesson of humility. As a beginner student, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to go to an International Workshop after having taken only a few classes. It takes pure intention to really let go of some fears (especially those related to making mistakes). It was beautiful to see everyone working hard to improve and learn more.
The first day we worked on the foundations and in the evening we had the opportunity to talk about what we understood of Master Moy’s vision in relation to the Society and also in relation to the people who practice Taoist Tai Chi. The next day we worked on some moves from the set and also had the opportunity to hear some testimonials that were, in Nicole’s words, very inspiring.
Days later, when we asked members how they felt at the workshop and what impressions they had, I received comments like “I thought I would never be able to do it” and “how powerful these arts are’I feel different.” For me, being 8 months pregnant, to participate in the workshop was a wonderful experience. It helped me grow my inner exploration on soft intention (the softest possible) and I could sense very quietly when my mind was working and when my body was work, and the best ,of course, when they where “dancing” together. And in this process, the most incredible thing was the feeling of creating space inside of me, I enjoyed it and I don’t doubt that my little baby really enjoyed it too!
I just would like to end this small letter with one of the best corrections we received as a group and one that I remember with special affection. In different opportunities we heard from the instructors: don’t forget “move 109″! One could see the faces of confusion come over the group. There are only 108 moves, right? And then the relief at clarification: move 109—don’t forget to smile!
Submitted by Melissa Allement