Smiling faces, friendly greetings, sincere, caring, helpful people, with a sense of well being. This is who you will find at the International Taoist Tai Chi™ Centre beginners’ class. The first weekend accelerated class was held September 19th – 21st.
As you drive up towards the entrance you see statues and flags, several buildings that pique your curiosity, dragons and cauldrons, flowers, and did I mention flags, lots of flags, from several countries. Paths made of different materials, trails to explore, trees, clouds and as you step out of your vehicle: fresh air. There is a sense of sacredness and serenity here.
Even before the first hello is exchanged you feel welcomed.
Arriving for dinner and time to settle into a room allows time for registration before class. A tour of where linens are and directions to the meditation suites are given. Bernice and Sharon are greeters for registration and name tags are distributed. Before taking one step into the practice hall, Delores, Jane, Mar and so many others gave a mini tour of the centre, sharing their knowledge.
Time for class to commence. Do you remember your first class?
As participants file in creating lines I position myself near the front knowing I will need to hear the instructor. Fortunately, the class had many experienced participants as it became clear early-on that memorizing the 108 moves takes time. Ah, acceptance, a good lesson. I was here for the weekend and was determined to enjoy myself. Let go, breathe, and follow along.
The movement, the silence, the collective consciousness, how beautiful is this! Everyone is a mirror image of each other, reflecting a practice that is tremendously powerful.
After class, some stayed on to continue their practice, some stayed to visit and have a snack. The kitchen is always open and you are invited to help with preparation for meals and clearing and washing of dishes. The honour system is in place, all doors open. How refreshing. Yes, the food is delicious.
I settled in for the night feeling relaxed and energized at the same time. Although I awoke with vivid dreams, I was able to fall back asleep and felt refreshed in the morning and ready for a full day. Chanting in the temple, breakfast, three two hour classes with breaks for meals,and a tour of the property.
Each class offered instruction, repetition, tea, biscuits, fruit and story telling. Lots of laughter, some tears, exchanges of emails and and on Sunday, a raffle. I will wear my tai chi hoodie proudly.
Each person has a story, what brought them to this moment, why they sought out Taoist Tai Chi™ and each story has a happy ending. Each story has a happy ending, did you hear that?
Tai Chi equals equanimity, a connection is made, sublte and transformative. As you leave, a realization that the journey has just begun and that you will be back. Tranquility stays with you and can be accessed at anytme.
Tai Chi is truly for everyone.