Tag Archives: tai chi europe

Christmas in Colchester: Taoist Tai Chi™ participants celebrate the holidays at the European Centre

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“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” sang Bing Crosby as over eighty members arrived at the European Centre in Colchester last Saturday for the annual Christmas lunch. Greeted by a delicious glass of Fruity Fenway Xmas Pu-erh Punch, tropical palm trees, the twinkling Christmas tree and the deities looking on, the scene was a perfect example of cultural exchange.

The food preparations had begun in advance with various classes chopping vegetables in their tea breaks and a growing team in the kitchen. As one member later commented, “In how many other organizations would you find the directors, presidents and manager in the kitchen cooking the food for everyone?” And they did a fantastic job with roast chicken and chipolatas for the carnivores and buckwheat veggie nut roast for the vegetarians along with potatoes, carrot and swede mash, peas, brussel sprouts with chestnuts and of course lashings of gravy. After we spent a little time digesting, the desserts were wheeled out and everyone dug into Upside-Down Key Lime Pie and mincemeat tart with custard.

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A call had been put out asking for people interested in entertaining the crowd during an open-mic session and thankfully a few brave souls had signed up. Steve from Chiltern branch led the acts on guitar with a range of festive songs and some classic rock and folk numbers that the crowd sang along to.  Helen from Cambridge played a number of impressive Christmas tunes on her saxophone, despite having only been practicing for six months. Director Kate Mitchell then joined Steve with her recorder for some more beautiful music and singing.

During the lunch each table had also been debating a series of questions as part of the Christmas Quiz. Did you know that Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas in the 1640s? Or that mistletoe is not a plant but a parasite? And Father Christmas has his own postcode in Canada – HOH OHO? The winning table was awarded the surprise privilege of singing a few songs and they rose mightily to the challenge, as did most of the audience.

As with all of our events, the best part was saved until the end – the clean-up. And in excellent spirits everyone mucked in and had the place looking spick and span within no time.

The lunch was not the only event of the weekend, however, two Branches, Mid-Essex and North East Essex, also hosted a Friday night intensive led by Paul Davies, Sam Masters and a number of enthusiastic group leaders. The focus was on the don-yu and tor-yu, working on the connection with the feet and pushing up from the ground. There were lots of concentrated faces and smiles as people found new connections and deeper understandings. The well-deserved tea break included both Branches’ AGM’s, each completed in less than five minutes. A record we believe.

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All in all it was a wonderful weekend with the efforts of so many people enabling us to come together and practice the Taoist Tai Chi™ Arts and chanting as well as the arts of food, drink, music, quizzing and cleaning and of course fundraising – for the Fenway both through the meal and a raffle.

Merry Christmas, seasonal best wishes and a Happy New Year to you all with love from the Taoist Tai Chi Society in Great Britain.

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Filed under Branch Updates, Centre Updates, Events, Great Britain, National Updates, Regional Updates

International workshop in Slovakia, Oct 18 -19

TTCS of Slovakia hosted 2 day workshop in Bratislava on October 18 – 19. The workshop was led by Marsha Eberhardt. We welcomed 184 participants from many countries – Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, England, Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic.

 Our location started to fill Friday afternoon. Seniors cooked wonderful Thai soup for incoming participants. They welcomed each other, sat around rounded tables, drank tea and talked till late evening.

The program started Saturday morning in a school gym nearby. We divided into small groups where people worked together on their Tai Chi and discussed some topics. Groups had also tasks as cleaning, preparing refreshment and tea, serving food and washing dishes, so organization of the workshop ran very smooth.

Because of the great number of participants, lunch and dinner were served in 2 places at the same time – in our club and in a restaurant, which is in the same building. This worked very well and we were able to eat without long breaks.

 We had an interesting experience during Saturday evening session.  The lights went out during one of our Tai Chi sets, so we found ourselves almost in the dark. But fortunately no panic and screaming occurred. People stayed peacefully together in harmony movement, enjoyed the extraordinary moment and continued with the set while the lights gradually started to work again.

 The breakfasts were prepared and served in our location. More than 40 members slept there, so it was pretty lively during the weekend. Moreover, Sunday morning after breakfast we did chanting there. This was a powerful moment. Massive sound filled the whole space and started us for upcoming practice. Then we continued in gym and program finished with lunch at 2pm.

 Many people said this was the best workshop yet in Slovakia. It was definitively our biggest event yet. We did a lot of work, learned a lot and had a lot of fun.

 And yes, of course we did a lot of don-yus and tor-yus 🙂

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Netherlands Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Taoist Tai Chi™

25 years ago, Taoist Tai Chi™ started in the Netherlands. We celebrated this milestone during a 5-day workshop with a celebration lunch on Friday, the 19th of September. The new mayor of Helmond, Mrs. Elly Blanksma – van den Heuvel welcomed all 244 program participants from 18 countries but she also welcomed the Alderman of Health, four City council members and the former mayor who attended the celebrations as a friend of the society. There was also a welcome for the local members and friends who joined just for the celebration.

We enjoyed the speeches, the fantastic food, a moving testimonial and great music. But most of all there was the realization of what a special gift Master Moy gave us by making these arts available to all of us. The last 25 years are just the beginning.

The workshop was led by Andrew Hung, and one of the things we worked on was the constant coiling of the arms and hands. We all realized that we have a life-time commitment to these arts because we are still changing into better, healthier, happier version of ourselves. And this change won’t stop as long as we keep practising the Taoist Tai Chi™ Arts.

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Filed under Anniversary, Branch Updates, Events, National Updates, Netherlands, Society News

Beginner Weekend TTCS Centre, Colchester, Sept 26th – 28th

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After talking to people from many different countries at CIT week, who’ve already helped to run Beginner’s Weekends, we decided we were ready to go ahead in the UK. And we’re glad we did. It was a great success. So a big thank you to all those who’ve shared their experiences with us and helped to make it so.

 There were 29 participants, a mix of completely new people, people already participating in beginner’s courses, some returning after a break and a few continuing students. Some travelled from as far away as London and Suffolk. We had a lot of fun, found our balance and everyone said they would keep coming back.

 Friday 7:30 – 9:30pm

After introducing everyone to Taoist Tai Chi™ and Master Moy Lin Shin we got going with the first few moves. Everyone worked well together and were soon enjoying tai chi.

 Saturday 2-5:30pm

The group just kept soaking up the silent instruction and finding their own balance as suggested and so we just kept going to move 108. During tea break we also watched Taoist Tai Chi™ arts: A moving meditation for body, mind and spirit, which of course we all found fascinating..

 Sunday 2-5:30pm

We practised the set together several times, looked at the first two foundation exercises, talked about health benefits in general, put some more content and detail into the first 3 moves and reviewed fair lady. At tea break we ‘walked the walls’ of the centre talking about some of the items on display; we discussed meditation and other Taoist arts, the international nature of what we do, branches, International Centres, volunteering, fundraising, aims and objectives, intensives, workshops and other events, health, Awareness Day, the internals and the shrine.

 It was quite a roller coaster ride from start to finish but all the participants entered into it whole heartedly and seemed to have a great time.

One completely new member told us on Sunday that the previous day she had knelt to weed the garden when she got home – the first time in 10 years – citing the previous two days of tai chi as the reason. Another said he was already feeling much calmer and many commented on the calm atmosphere in and around the centre. Someone who started in June told us that she can now stand happily on one leg for the first time with a feeling of being balanced. Our youngest new member, 14 years old, said it she found it lovely and relaxing and every enjoyable. Currently studying for exam’s she said that she particularly enjoyed it being non-competitive. Her friend noticed her t-shirt on Saturday night, was shown a few moves and now wants to start too.

A couple of people remarked that the timings were great for them as they could get things done that they needed to before they came out and get back in time for dinner. Some also said the weekend was ideal because their work or studies meant they couldn’t commit to the same evening each week.

 Everyone involved was happy with how this wonderful event went and we look forward to many more.

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Filed under Beginner Weekend, Branch Updates, Centre Updates, Events, Great Britain, National Updates

Long distance Taoist Tai Chi™

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In Helmond, workshop leader Andrew Hung made an online connection with the Wednesday class in D’Arcy Street, Toronto, led by Marsha Eberhardt. We waved and we smiled at each other. Both Andrew and Marsha talked us through the set and after that we all enjoyed instruction from Andrew. Despite the 6,000 km distance we felt the connection. What a great example of Taoist Tai Chi™ around the world.

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Filed under Branch Updates, Canada, Cultural Exchange, Events, Fung Loy Kok, National Updates, Netherlands, Society News, Tai Chi for All, Workshop Watch

Cars out, beds in – Helmond hosts an International Program

You always thought a parking garage is meant for cars, but you’ve got it all wrong: in the parking garage in the Taoist Tai Chi™ Society Centre in Helmond people dream of vehicles. 73 Extra beds make a total of 241 for the IIWS that starts today. But we can always fit in an airbed, for you: just come.

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Taoist Tai Chi™ 20th anniversary in Hungary & 10th in Eger – and a birthday cake of 108 slices…

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The second celebration in the Hungarian Taoist Tai Chi™ community took place on the 23rd of August. The Society, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has been present in the city of Eger for 10 years.

More than 60 members came to join the event, not only from Eger but also from other cities including Sopron, Győr and Budapest, and thus more than 100 people participated in this joyful day’s program. An intensive with 101 participants (a new record in Hungary!) gave the day a great start; foundation exercises were practiced and lots of useful instructions were received. And of course, buffet tables full of delicacies were in focus during the breaks.

The deputy mayor of Eger was happy to join us for the banquet that followed; he said a few words of warm welcome and gave best wishes to the Society. A few additional local members showed up for the banquet and so the birthday cake was eventually cut into 108 slices. It was no mere accident!

After the delicious lunch we lined up, took the flags and walked to the medieval castle of Eger: the first open-air demonstration took place in the castle’s inner courtyard. Even the local television came to record the demo, and small interviews were also shot with members and instructors. Then we walked over to one of the central locations in the town to do another two sets while one of us said a few words about how beneficial Taoist Tai Chi™ is for one’s health and how the Society works. These open-air demos were, in accordance with the Society’s worldwide tradition, organized also as an Awareness Day event.

At the end of the day we greeted each other with a smile that came from the heart, hoping to meet again soon.

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Filed under Anniversary, Awareness Day, Events, Hungary, Society News