A Central Region Program Weekend and Branches Meeting took place at our Orangeville Centre on October 25 & 26. Co-hosted by Peterborough and Ottawa branches, we had record attendance of 170 people! Word must have got out about the talented breakfast crew.
Thank you to the Central Region Management Committee for a wonderful weekend of learning and being grateful. We were led by the dynamic duo of John Balinski and Jim Gazzard. Their clear, simple instruction with tor-yu and don-yu had us laughing and relaxing, and saying ‘thank you’. The opportunity to work in small groups with a seasoned leader was beneficial for both the seeing and the doing.
Two phrases that stood out for me were Relax and Open, and Let It Go, which can apply far beyond just the physical tai chi that we do. At the Branches Meeting on Saturday we discussed the whys and hows around the new donation direction our organization is taking. What do we need to know as instructors and how do we talk to our classes? Much different than a fee-for-service, these arts are taught with the understanding that the culture that Master Moy Lin Shin shared with us is one of giving. We respect and honour this culture by asking for donations and giving people the opportunity to give from their own heart. The discussions and sharing were very heartfelt and a great starting point to filter back to our locations.
It was announced that our usual Central Region Annual Report is going to become part of a larger National Annual Report for 2015, featuring very condensed summaries and photos of the activities of all branches in Canada. This is a wonderful opportunity for local branches to connect with the larger family of FLK TTC in Canada, and to remind ourselves that our individual locations, no matter how small, are a reflection of this larger group to which we all belong and support. We were encouraged to formulate a plan for promotion in 2015, keeping in mind that the number one reason people come through our doors is by word of mouth – which makes perfect sense for an organization that prides itself on its oral traditions.
In terms of Relaxing and Opening we were also encouraged to take that mindset with beginner class scheduling. Let’s be ready for new students whenever they are ready, not just when we’ve planned to receive them on our calendars. Start anytime, come and we will help you learn Taoist Tai Chi™, and much more if you are open to it!
Thank you to all the volunteers who looked after the many tasks of the weekend — really just opportunities to give a little in return for so much.