Exploring the feeling inside – in person

We embarked on a seven day journey of discovery, exploring working from the inside with the feeling. We were encouraged and reminded to enjoy the move, and that it was not about the external form.

With just a few of the instructions delivered in a gentle way that helped us to let go of the form and worry less.

In the dan-yu we were helped to make the movement much quieter. This resulted in many feeling the effects more deeply, connecting the turning of the hands to the feeling inside.

The feeling and learning gained was then applied to a number of moves, including brush knee, cloud hands, ward off monkey, and part wild horses mane. As the retreat progressed we were able to relax and let go more, feel the movements more deeply, gaining a little more understanding of the internals.

The frequent requests to articulate and reflect on “how do you feel?” and the willingness of participants to share were an important part of this process of working deeper.

We were fortunate enough to join the chanting and discussion zoom session on Saturday afternoon. This was a very natural thing to do and perfectly complemented the retreat content. In fact the whole retreat felt like a natural extension of the Saturday zoom sessions we have been able to share over the last couple of years, including personal storys of how the sessions helped us reduce the worry in our lives. 

It was wonderful to meet in person once again and have the opportunity to explore the Taoist arts together, through the practice, sharing and volunteering. All participants engaged in the tasks supporting the retreat activities, and a number of full time volunteers gave their time to support the event, allowing us to engage and experience this caring aspect of the training.

We all felt that we gained a deeper understanding of Mr Moy’s teachings.

Gratefully Turning Away From Worry

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.

My Self Practice

I came to FLK and Taoist Tai Chi® arts in June 1991, so just 30 years ago.  The time has gone so fast; I feel like I am still a beginner, and I am still a beginner. During the pandemic I was encouraged to practice on my own.  Little by little I learned to stop trying so hard to do it correctly and to just do what I can.  By not trying so hard my balance is better, settling into my very flat feet happens without pain and, despite having COPD, breathing is also more relaxed some of the time.

I have wrestled all my life with anxiety and depression.  Bit by bit my Taoist training has relieved that struggle. I learned that doing dan yus can stop the onset of depression.  Now, on nights when I cannot sleep and get spells of anxiety, doing Taoist Tai Chi®  arts relieves these spells, and they happen less frequently. I am grateful for the weekly international gatherings. The discussion of Master Moy’s teachings has been truly inspiring and has led me to recognize the spiritual path I am on, it is a path that I follow in my not particularly disciplined way, but I have learned to just keep doing it. I am 76 and in fairly good physical shape, but I hope to take my training into the future, learning how to be content with dying. Some days there is a deep sense of joy in being in touch with eternity and the universe.

~ Polly