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The Dragon's Head Blog: A Three Day Retreat in Isolation

Cultivating self-discipline with Taoist Tai ChiTM arts

Lockdown does not suit me, and after a few weeks of only leaving the house for a bit of exercise and shopping, I was beginning to feel like a caged tiger.

Each day I was doing a Tai Chi set, the foundations, and the Dan Yu challenge, but I was on a downward spiral. All I was doing was going through the motions. I had totally disconnected.

One day, for some reason, I remembered how good I felt each time I had gone to a retreat, and decided that I needed to try to recreate that feeling. I spent a couple of days thinking about it and planning how I could make it work at home, and finally I talked myself into doing it.

For the next three days, other than some exercise and cooking and eating, I did Tai Chi all day. No radio or television, and only spoke to a couple of people who phoned. I did sets, and foundations, and practised the first 17 moves. I re-read my notes from previous retreats and classes, and tried to put all that into my practice. Focusing on this was so hard to start with, but at the end of the first day I felt that my concentration had improved. What helped me most was chanting. I did this each day, morning and evening, and found it really calming. Each day I spent some time reading about Tai Chi, exploring our website, and did 30 minutes lying meditation.

By the end of the three days I felt much better; my connection to my Tai Chi both physically and mentally is much improved. My concentration is improved, but not perfect. The three days have taught me that Tai Chi is so much more than the 108 moves, and I need to get much further into it to really understand what my journey is about.

The retreat hasn’t worked a miracle for me, as I still struggle with the lockdown, but it has given me some inner peace, and taught me that a deeper isolation can be refreshing.


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