The Dragon's Head Blog: Lantern Festival – International Centre
Recently we were asked, “how can we take better care of the Taoist Tai Chi® arts?” This year, as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, there are opportunities to reflect on the uniqueness of our teachings.
The International Centre in Canada, in the winter, offered a ‘quiet’ that seems harder to find in the bustle of everyday life. Working in harmony with others to upkeep the beautiful property in our care and help prepare for the lantern festival ceremonies presented many gentle occasions to practice.
When unaccustomed to ice and snow, an ‘empty step’ was important to maintain balance and connect with the ground. While shoveling snow towards the doors of the three religions temple, a distinct path gradually emerged, providing time to appreciate what lay ahead. There was a diverse beauty when entering the temple with its colourful interior in contrast to early morning’s black and white. Preparing new and replacing older fruit at the altars in preparation for the Lantern Festival helped with accepting change as a necessity to stay healthy.
Like the coiling snow on a sturdy evergreen shrub, every task was connected. Whether scraping carrots and helping to prepare meals, doing dishes, taking out the compost, cleaning the bathrooms, answering the phone, moping the floor, making a bed or taking care of any other need, it was all part of the circulation and link keeping us connected. Everywhere, the sparkling snow like crystal and diamonds reminded of the precious gift we have been given. How lucky we are to be living in a vision that started 50 years ago, with its recipe for a healthy lifestyle.
Perhaps it is keeping an open mind, a confidence to practice with good intentions for no personal gain (in and outside the class setting), combined with the light burning within each of us that makes a collective beacon and will ultimately take care of the arts.