New Zealand held its first one-day National Retreat since the pandemic at the Bay of Plenty Branch’s new premises at the Tauranga Racecourse in the middle of October.
There was a buzz of excitement as participants from across New Zealand arrived and friends greeted one another face to face for the first time in two and half years. There were smiles and tears as we eagerly awaited the day ahead and after starting the day with the 108-move set, the energy in the room was clearly palpable.
The focus for the day was “turning” and we explored this aspect through the first four moves, Wave Hands Like Clouds and Fair Lady Works the Shuttle. After practising each of these blocks of moves, participants reflected upon what they were feeling as their spine was turning and expanding, and as the practising continued, we were encouraged to experiment with the moves to see if the feeling changed and in what way. We were reminded that it is only with diligent practice that we can fully benefit from the Taoist Tai Chi™ arts both in our Tai Chi and our personal lives.
A segment of the day also saw us getting into small groups as we discussed what “letting go” meant to us as individuals - not only in our Taoist Tai Chi™ practice but also our everyday lives - and how much better we feel when we let go of worry, tension, anxiety, getting everything right and just allow our bodies and mind to become more sensitive to our feelings and surroundings.
The day concluded with a wonderful banquet, and as we shared our meal together, laughter and chatter could be heard all around as new friendships were made and old friends re-connected. The Retreat had given us an opportunity to reflect upon the wonderful opportunity we have had through the online International Chanting and Discussion sessions each week, which have helped us to deepen our understanding of the Taoist Tai Chi™ arts and his teachings. On speaking to participants, it was evident that they felt incredibly grateful to Master Moy for the wonderful gift he has given us and entrusted us to pass on to others and how fortunate we were to once again be able to come together and share this gift with one another.