It was a great week-end for the 124 participants who were in Longueuil for the National program last April 11-12. Judy Millen led us through this wonderfull program and once again, was an outstanding resource for our Region. Participants left with a very large number of instructions to practice, and fortunately, Judy mentioned the importance of taking notes during the program, it will certainly be useful for many! In addition to instructions, she shared with us stories and thoughts on our training and our organization, so we truly have benefited from her experience at all levels.
Saturday at lunchtime participants discovered the “sugar shack meal” that was waiting for them! Each of the 12 tables displayed its own stoneware proudly and with the smell of the “fèves au lard à l’érable”, the “fesses de jambon à l’érable cuites au four” and the “poudings chômeurs à l’érable” for desert, you could almost hear the sap flowing from the maple trees!
Chris Lewis took 95 participants through the first 31 moves of the Lok Hup set that left us exhausted but happy.
About half of the participants came to Buffalo from Canada (Ottawa, Toronto, Woodstock, St. Catharines, and Guelph Ontario), and the US (Denver, Columbus Ohio, Chicago, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, St. Petersburg and Hallendale Florida, Ithaca, New York City, and Syracuse, New York).
A Pot Luck Dinner was held at the Kenmore Center on Friday, April 18th. We used the Tapestry Charter School for the program on Saturday and Sunday. Here are more photos from the weekend.
Thanks to all the volunteers and participants for making the National Lok Hup program a success.
We raised $29,000 from workshop donations, which Chris designated to go to the Taoist Tai Chi Society ® International Center – Fenway project.
This weekend we organized three accelerated weekend beginner classes in the Netherlands. In our centre in Helmond and in our clubhouses in Rijswijk and Haarlem we welcomed 126 participants of which 23 real beginners. What a good way to start the Taoist Tai Chi® arts.
95 participants from the Southwest Area gathered at the Southwest Centre in Stratford for an intensive with instructor Andrew Hung. The afternoon began with a delicious pot luck. The Southwest Area locations are learning to work together at our many get-togethers. Each location takes responsibility for part of the event. This is working well as everyone is becoming more familiar with the SW Centre and things run smoothly.
Andrew helped us develop our understanding of the importance of expansion and contraction in each move in the set, with the emphasis on going all the way up as well as all the way down. He talked about the importance of completing the donyu and toryu in the set for developing balance.
By watching Andrew work with individuals we learned about how our practice can help pain.
The afternoon was greatly appreciated by all who participated. We all were anxious to work on everything we learned.
The next event at the Southwest Centre is our Regional Program on May 23. We’re learning to cook for that one.
The Ottawa Branch hosted a National Program on March 28 and 29, with Judy Millen leading 86 participants through a wonderful weekend of practice of the Taoist Tai Chi® arts. The program was packed full of opportunities and invitations to learn. Here is a little of what people had to say about the weekend.
“Wonderful assembly. People want to participate as a team and work together. I recommend this for all. This is fine-tuning for us and our instructors are fabulous.”
“Judy a dit: ‘keep your arms alive’. Elle a dit aussi ‘everything turns when you let go’ et d’autres choses encore. Et j’ai entendu ce dont j’avais besoin pour continuer de grandir at d’éprouver de la gratitude envers la vie.”
“This is a total ‘body, mind and spirit’ experience.”
“Je me sens renouvelée et reconnaissante. ‘Pay it forward’ prend tout son sens.”
“This is great collective learning.”
“First time I have had the time and energy, after a serious illness, to participate in a full weekend workshop. It was inspiring, instructive and transformational, many many thanks.”
Ottawa Branch participants, and we’re sure those from other branches as well, having found their understanding changed in some way as a result of the program, are no doubt sharing lessons from the weekend throughout their classes.
The Vancouver Branch, like the other branches in the Pacific Region, welcomed in Chinese New Year on Saturday, February 21st with a fundraising event for the Fenway. Almost 50 attendees enjoyed a Florida-themed potluck dinner, complete with crab cakes and key lime pie for dessert. The evening’s entertainment included trivia, mini-golf and a skit centered on our “Fenway collage,” created by many class participants in the weeks leading up to the event.
The next day, 30 participants from the Vancouver, Surrey and Chilliwack branches converged on Chinatown in downtown Vancouver to walk in the Chinese New Year Parade on a crisp but sunny day. An estimated 100,000 people lined the streets while we walked, brush knee’d, and waved hands through the 1.3 km length of the parade. Many of those watching waved right back at us as we greeted them with the first jong. Such a unique opportunity for a demonstration of Taoist Tai Chi® arts was surely an auspicious start to the New Year on the West Coast!
Over 70 members and guests were booked in for the Western Region Centre’s Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday 28th February. Volunteers started arriving at around 11am to help with the cooking, laying of tables and decorating the practice hall. The dinner clashed with the Wales versus France Six Nations match but despite this, the ardent rugby fans among us still came along to celebrate with their tai chi family on the understanding that no-one was to check their phones for the score so they could watch it when they returned home.
Members and guests were treated to sesame, or prawn and sesame, toast, beef and green bean stir fry, chicken and cashew nuts, red Thai curry, and tofu in satay sauce, followed by frozen yoghurt cupcakes and fresh fruit. At the end of the meal there was a quiz, a raffle and a demonstration of the Sword set. Greetings from the branch were given by Jo Domin, from the Region by Dominique Coué, and from the National Board by President of TTCS GB Crispin Barker. The meal raised over £300 for the Fenway project and the raffle added a further £87.
After a fantastic evening, in which everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves, many of the members stayed to wash up and clear the practice hall ready for classes on Monday.
Everyone at the Western Region Centre would like to wish Gong Hei Fat Choy to all our tai chi family around the world. We hope you all have a happy and healthy year of the Goat.