26-month-old Valentin has already started on his Taoist path, volunteering at the International Centre at Orangeville for several months over this Canadian summer.
With his parents Nicoline and Ted, he arrived from France last month and has already been helping with the temples, gardening, washing dishes, cleaning, taking out the recycyling and compost bins, and entertaining the other volunteers and centre staff.
Valentin has also helped our tai chi; we can observe his good posture and watching him roll around on the floor we can see where the movement starts in his spine.
Thursday April 16th found sixty-four of us squeezed into our Bowen Road location in Nanaimo, BC for a seniors intensive.
We began the day with a set, which was a bit of a challenge with so many participants however it was very good practice to make sure we were all moving together. Achieved by extra Monkeys and fewer Horse’s Manes; we are nothing if not adaptable! After the set we worked on our jongs, tor-yus and dan-yus, allowing ourselves to become open and light – lovely!
Lunch was delicious with a soup and home made buns from a local participant, plus all the fixings for a very tasty sandwich, and the best apple crumble we’ve ever had! After lunch, we worked on applying the morning’s instruction to moves in the set which resulted in all of us feeling much lighter and more open. Everyone agreed it was a wonderful feeling!
A big thank you to all attended, and who helped make this program a success!
Outside the wind blew and snow lay on the ground but there was plenty of warmth found, for 87 participants, in the Danyus and Toryus led by President of Fung Loy Kok, Marsha Eberhardt.
For break times, Pu-errh with cool melon, strawberries, grapes, apple and orange, were carefully prepared by each task group. With three delicious hot meals each day, cooked and prepared in our own kitchen, the dragon inside never went hungry!
We spoke about the internal structure.
Wrapping and Unwrapping the form.
Keep chest open, push from the feet.
We spoke together about the 8 Virtues and how we can apply them in our daily lives.
Sacrifice – Doing the tasks without expectation of gratitude.
A new Dragon was assembled ready for Awareness Day 2015 at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto.
Booked your flights yet?
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!
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.
Twenty-seven participants attended the Newfoundland and Labrador Branch Regional workshop on March 27th – 29th with Steve Dingwall, President of the Atlantic Region instructing.
It was a great opportunity to come together to improve our knowledge of the Taoist Tai Chi arts, chat with members from each location in St. Johh’s, Mount Pearl, Conception Bay South and Holyrood as well as enjoy great vegetarian food.
We look forward to the next workshop on May 23rd – 24th.
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.