On April 8 and 9 Winnipeg was thrilled to host a national program. The practice hall was full of positive people and positive energy. Old friendships were cemented and new ones were created as we learned together, dined together and shared our homes as billetees and billeters. There were people who travelled from Saskatchewan, Ontario and from all over Manitoba to attend.
The weekend was led by John Balinski. It was about trying new things, whether one was attending a program for the first time, billeting for the first time, or trying a move differently so that it felt like new! Under John’s guidance we learned to not only be “patient” with our body, but to be “open” and to listen to what our body was telling us and let it really “settle” into position. He challenged us to ensure we finished the moves, and then to “relax … a little bit more.”
There were just over 70 attendees at the program, many for the first time. A few of them are quoted below as their comments really capture the essence of the weekend.
“I was a little nervous about the weekend as I wasn’t sure what to expect. I ended up really enjoying it and met some really wonderful people. I didn’t think I would last through all the toryus but I carried on and was glad I did. There IS a difference between up and uuup! Watching John teach, demonstrate moves and work with people was very inspiring!”
“One thing that stands out for me is the relaxing. The rising and settling and letting it happen. This wasn’t happening for me on Saturday but it did on Sunday. Yes! The tai chi community is always so great! Being together and sharing, I always learn from that as well. As far as coordinating the supper, that was stressful, but I have learned from it and I feel that was important too. So I probably would tackle it again! Learning about Master Moy and the society is so interesting. I feel the whole weekend was a great experience. Was anyone else tired?”
“Like my friends, I was sceptical as to whether I would have the stamina to make it through the entire program. However, in the depths of the toryu and donyu practices, where one major focus was the slow, complete and mindful transference of weight from one foot to another, I found energy building up inside of me. Discussions of participants’ experience during the practices were interspersed in the foundation work and provided the body with rest and regeneration, while the verbal exchanges enhanced the mental grasping of the lessons. Three days after the program, I was still full of energy and could hardly wait to go to practice in my hometown! Exquisite! I am in humble gratitude to the instructor, the participants, and last but not least, Master Moy Lin-Shin. There was so much to learn on the weekend. Things are still surfacing and I am sure they will keep popping up.”
How true! The art of Taoist Tai Chi® can bring you back to your original self. At this national program weekend people took the risk … and enjoyed the reward.