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?
May Hillier (red shirt) celebrated her 99th birthday surrounded by friends in her local class. She began to practise Taoist Tai Chi® arts with the Taoist Tai Chi Society of GB in 2002 and has been an enthusiastic participant since, regularly attending the Monday morning class at St Anne’s Scout Hall in Cardiff and many social occasions such as Christmas and Chinese New Year celebrations. Her favourite move is Wave Hands like Clouds and she even practised foundation exercises in bed while she was in hospital one time. May has said that her greatest regret is that she didn’t discover these arts earlier in her life.
May’s daughter, June is also a committed practitioner and volunteer and instructed for many years. May’s friend Vera (white shirt) is only a youth at 94 years old. We wish to celebrate many more birthdays with them both.
The Buffalo New York Branch of the TTCS USA demonstrated both the standing and seated Taoist Tai Chi set at the March meeting of the National Parkinson Foundation of Western New York. Seventeen TTCS members and most attendees did the first seventeen moves.
Attendees were very receptive; we have been invited back and can’t wait to do it again!
The SF Bay Area Branch gave a demonstration for the members of the Oakland Chapter of the Mending Hearts Organization. All members have or had challenges due to heart issues. The members were enthusiastic and were eager to learn a move or two.
Last weekend in November was dedicated to celebrations of Seniors Day. Already on Friday evening we precooked a “Russian” soup called Boršč (several hours of cooking) and rice for frying, set up a sample roundtable and prepared a few more things to be able for all of us to enjoy seniors and their company fully. We welcomed about 35 seniors with small presents.
A 2-hour class followed a morning of cutting vegetables. Before lunch, we set up tables and played a presentation about Orangeville Centre talking about its 30th Anniversary and a purchase of the Fenway property. After enjoying a delicious 3-course menu marvelous cakes, homemade mostly by seniors, flooded tables resulting in a vote of winners in three categories: sweet, salty, and an overall winner.
An intense experience was a common chanting, namely for one of our esteemed senior who left us last November. Beside his huge support of The Taoist Tai Chi Society he also shared with us his Boršč recipe. Although we all worked together in a harmony whole Saturday, we mainly tried to treat seniors in a way they are very important to us and we can still learn a lot from them. Common cleaning and dish washing finished an amazing Seniors Saturday.
The Fung Loy Kok Toronto Branch in the Central Region, Canada, hosted another amazing Intensive on December 9, 2014 at its Etobicoke location. Over 150 participants attended and enjoyed a great evening of fellowship, and Taoist training led by Tony Kwong. Intensives are 3 hour sessions conducted for education and fundraising throughout the Central Region. As part of our philosophy and oral traditions, senior instructors volunteer their time to lead these sessions and share their insights and understandings.
For the Toronto Branch, this was the final intensive of the year, and at just this Intensive over $3,000 in donations were made by enthusiastic participants to support the organization’s current projects, most noteworthy the Fenway renovation project in Florida. Also, a gift box was donated by the Markham-Stouffville location and raffled. The raffle raised over $300. John Balinski was the raffle winner. He, in turn, re-donated the gift box to the St. Catherines location for an event planned at that location for the following weekend.
The evening commenced with an excellent pot luck dinner.
It was followed by a set (moving meditation) and then standing meditation. Tony then led the group through foundations, with much time spent on Tor- yus and Don-yus. Everyone worked hard and enjoyed the practice and refinements shared by Tony. Tony also demonstrated the first part of the set up to repulse monkey and then Marsha Eberhardt, President of the Fung Loy Institute of Taoism, demonstrated wave hands like clouds. Watching and meditating on the moves assists us in achieving deeper understanding and in gaining enlightenment.
The next Toronto Branch intensive will take place in February 2015 at a Mississauga location.
Participants in Central Region and the Toronto area extend best wishes to all participants worldwide for the New Year and look forward to crossing paths at future events.
What a festive and fun demo evening we had in the cold weather Thanksgiving Friday on the first night of the Botanical Gardens Annual Holiday Lights celebration. All of the Tampa Bay branches were invited to participate and we were thrilled to have more than 60 TTCS participants kickoff the night with a set of 108 moves – that’s really one move, right? Most of the tai chi-ers were from St. Petersburg and Dunedin, since we are closer to Largo, plus did I mention it was cold?
Each of us was given a glow necklace to wear, seasonal red or green, of course. Visiting children were also delighted to wear them, and jumped right into the set with big smiles. They and a number of adults joined in for our mini-class, and then participated in another set.
Patti, our organizer, narrated the first set, while David and Lynne narrated others. The emphasis throughout was having fun and improving our balance. Some of us found the slant of the “floor” a challenge to our “usual” balance! We shared many of the health benefits of the Taoist Tai Chi™ arts, talked about our founder Master Moy Lin Shin, the Society, our area Branches, the mind/body connections and the impact of tai chi on the whole body and mind. We spoke about volunteerism and our goals to become better people with good hearts. We shared information about the upcoming Open Houses and classes, including Health Recovery. Of course, we described what was happening during each set and as we did our standing jongs.
Opening night is the largest attended evening during the Holiday Lights season and we were thrilled at the large number of people who stopped, watched, and listened to everything we did and talked about. During our short breaks many enthusiastic conversations took place between participants and observers.
The Botanical Gardens is always a wonderful venue to have the opportunity to perform a demonstration of our Taoist Tai Chi™ and this year was better than ever. The head of volunteers there could not be more kind or efficient providing us such a nice date, space and audio system for the speakers. If you are in the area next year when we have this annual happening, be sure to join us and bring friends and family. Everyone has a grand time and we get to help make more people aware of the fun we have and benefits we gain from our Taoist art.