The first couple of months of 2020 had brought a number of difficult issues for close friends and family, all of whom looked to me for physical and emotional support. Each one needed totally different skills and all together were a difficult mix. But, having discovered Taoist Tai Chi a couple of years ago, I was able to get strength from attending my first International Retreat in Colchester, going to Continuing Classes and once again, experiencing the joy of instructing a group of beginners. Having confided in a couple of Tai Chi colleagues, about the issues I was dealing with, I immediately received proof of what I tell beginners at Open Evenings – “ Only nice people do Tai Chi”
Then lockdown started, with the prospect of many months without developing my own Tai Chi or helping beginners to develop their skills, and the added complication of still supporting others. Having never been a big fan of social media etc, the thought of Zoom catch up’s and Whatsapp communication didn’t fill me with joy. Then, largely through the encouragement of Continuing Instructors and my own in-built desire to help others, I started to give Zoom a try, and also set up a Whatsapp group for the beginners class I lead, to provide a forum for us to communicate regularly .
Nine weeks later, I now do 4 Zoom catch-ups a week, and through regular Whatsapp messages the beginners group is fully intact. I’ve also fulfilled the 50th Anniversary Danyu Challenge – 50 dan yu every day for 50 days.
I have also learnt something which I feel is far more important: whilst I miss classes, I have developed the art of practicing on my own, going at my own pace, and for the first time feeling the full meditative benefit of doing a set , or parts of it, in the garden, with birds singing in the background. Regular reference to sections of the Master Moy videos, and then discussing them in Zoom sessions, has helped me to think of areas where I need to improve.
If I have a day when the Tai Chi isn’t going so well, or others need a lot of support, I think of the gentle words of support of my Continuing Instructors, I visualise other people doing Tai Chi. I also remember the 5 underlying values of our Society and the 8 Pillars. I think of the support given to me over recent months by Tai Chi colleagues, and all of this reminds me of the words of a song.
Once you are part of our Taoist Tai ChiTM community, “you’ll never walk alone”