The Central Region and Physiology Weekend was held May 2-4, 2014 at the International Centre with 130 participants in attendance. Participants mainly came from 20 Central Region Branches (we’re counting the 7 Toronto Branches in attendance as one), but we also had representation from Eastern Region, Pacific Region, and the US’ Northeast and Southeast Regions.
Special features of the weekend were the Central Region Annual General Meeting and the Mothers’ Day Banquet held at the Dim Sum King Seafood Restaurant in Toronto. Every mother was presented with a red carnation as we feasted on all the tasty dishes, listened to fabulous music and to the politicians’ expressions of congratulations, enjoyed the “Latin” dancers, laughed and talked. It was a wonderful evening and an opportunity to share and learn from students at other clubs.
We were privileged to have Marsha Eberhart and Andrew Hung teach and inspire us. Among the many teaching points covered, we really focussed on the drop into the front foot. A student who shared his own understanding in our tea circle, once we were back home, put it well: “dropping, dropping, dropping, dropping, smiling, dropping, dropping….” Both experienced and new students were surprised to feel more weight in our feet. Andrew encouraged us to describe the feeling in our bodies. (“Good” is not a complete response Andrew often reminded us.) What did we feel? Where was this feeling? How will we remember it? What were we telling ourselves to get there? He reminded us that being able to clearly describe what is going on in our own bodies is an important part of our learning. There were many ah-ha moments. We also benefitted from the reflections of Jim Nicholson who helped us to gain more understanding of the connection between health and Taoism.
Another valuable learning experience was particularly felt by the participants of the three branches in Northern Ontario – North Bay, Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie – who were asked by the Central Region Management Committee to help coordinate this weekend. We all worked together to help the staff at the Centre register participants and prepare for this Central Region Program. We gained a better understanding of what it takes to put on all the amazing programs that are continually offered at the Centre. It was a real privilege to help and to learn.
One of the many important things we learned was that we should register as soon as possible for programs. If the staff and volunteers have the information ahead of time, it makes the job of assigning accommodations, planning meals and so on, so much easier and more relaxed. This especially applies to CIT week! If it’s your intention to attend a Program, please register early and help new students navigate the easy to use on-line registration form.
It was a fabulous weekend and the North Bay, Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie Branches are especially grateful for this opportunity to learn and help. There are many, many people to thank for our experience; Andrew, Marsha, Central Region Instruction Committee, Central Region Management Committee for their work on the Program and the Annual general meeting, the International Centre staff, the 3 Branches that organized the last Central Region Program and who generously passed on their information, and all the capable people from the northern branches who helped. Thank you to everyone who participated and made this such a wonderful event. See you at the Centre.