The benefit of working together in harmony in our Northern European Center in Helmond

Helmond, November 23-25, 2019

“There was a nice and special atmosphere, it felt very quiet right from the beginning”,  said a participant after the first day. Indeed, the atmosphere was very relaxed and helped us to focus and better integrate the instructions. We all worked intensively and with goodwill to experience the ground force, the extension and contraction as well as the turning of the spine.

All together we were 90 participants from 12 different countries and 9 additional volunteers from 6 countries. The Taoist Tai Chi Society of Germany and the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Switzerland organized the 3-day retreat. It was a real “working together in harmony” experience that helped everyone to realize that the Center in Helmond is truly a European center.

Below a few additional testimonials reflecting the atmosphere, the instruction and the potential one can find when practicing Taoist Tai Chi® arts:

“After a single day, my way of walking was different and I discovered, like a 3-month old child, that I have feet.”

“I am experiencing a better connection with the ground, and it gives me more confidence.” 

“I realize that this is more than a set of moves, it is a school of life.” 

Taoist Tai Chi® arts feel like an enormous wealth that integrates, yet in simplicity.”

„In the 3 years that I have been practicing Taoist Tai Chi® arts, I have reversed some of the damage that was done to me by a brain tumour some 20 years ago. I can now move more freely and with less pain. The tumour destroyed my pituitary gland and I therefore fail to make some hormones. Since I don’t start to make the cortisol from about 5.30 a.m. the way most people do, I usually wake up with a struggle and in a ‘fog’, and have to take cortisone in tablet form to become properly awake, 20 to 30 minutes later. The latest change was qualitatively different and quite startling. On the 3rd morning of the retreat I woke up fully alert. It was actually quite a shock, though a very pleasant one.”

The same participant got in touch with us after the program to tell us, „Waking up fully alert happened to me again this morning, now that I am at home. It sounds such a small thing but it feels quite dramatic and I am extremely grateful for the passing on of the teachings of Master Moy that have allowed for this transformation to take place.”
   

Reflections during the International Workshop in Helmond, September 11-15, 2019

Ida (26) and Isidora (27) from Denmark were attending their first workshop. They have both been practicing tai chi for less than a year.

„There is a strong sense of openness and community at the centre and among the other participants at the workshop. 

– The practice works differently than in the regular classes at the centre in Frederiksberg. Here there is more talking about the movements and people asking questions that can be used as examples for everybody. It is nice to experience the generosity of people, when they show their difficulty with a movement and then are being helped by the workshop leaders in the safety of the group. Their specific difficulty or wondering becomes a common lesson for everybody”. 

 

International Workshop 2019 in Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland

In the first week of September, the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Ireland hosted a 5 day International Workshop on the banks of the River Moy in Ballina. There were133 participants from 9 countries, some who have been practicing Taoist Tai Chi for over 30 years and some for 7 weeks.

Everyone benefitted from the stories and experiences that long time participants shared. It was wonderful to hear how Taoist Tai ChiTM arts spread from Master Moy in Canada to Scotland and England and eventually to Ireland. A seed was planted, cultivated and is growing strong, or as one participant put it, “There’s 400 participants in TTCS Ireland and 40,000 worldwide so we are 1% of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society!”

Understanding the instructions of the workshop leader, participants noticed what they have been doing in their tai chi practice and they changed how they moved their bodies.

I really enjoyed doing everything slowly. It gave me time to focus inward and concentrate on the movements.”

I now realize that remembering the set is not as important as trying to put in the Dan Yus and Tor Yus.”

Using my arms less, makes the movements more calm and relaxing.”

For me it felt like discovering another layer as I continue to journey deeper into my tai chi. I felt my body become stronger and looser as a result of the workshop. My mood is so good too!”

I always start dropping first and then start bending my knees straight away which I’m working on.”

A lot of transformation took place both physical and mental. I learned a lot about myself.”

Tai chi truly gives one strength and balance and is a joy to behold.”

I felt the workshop was a rollercoaster and one of the most intense experiences I’ve had in my life.”

One aspect of the workshop that I really enjoyed was the mental side of things. I felt this came from the top down and made for a very enjoyable and relaxed 5 days. As a coordinator I was trusted and allowed to get the job done with a good and happy team around me.”

We are looking forward to next year and celebrating 50 years of the Arts that Master Moy made available worldwide.

 

Awareness Day in the Netherlands

On Sunday May 26 we celebrated Awareness Day in Helmond in the Netherlands. We started the day with an instructors meeting where we had some good talks together. Then, after lunch, we walked with about 60 people to the town centre and did ourTaoist Tai ChiTM arts demonstrations. We did quite some sets in a happy mood and were seen by many. When we returned to the Centre, volunteers had cooked a delicious meal to finalize the day. It was a lovely day for everybody!
 

Consistently applying circular movements

 

[rl_gallery id=”13625″] In Helmond Andrew Hung guided 77 participants from 8 countries in their search for opening and roundness in every move. We practised together in harmony and consistently, this helped us to enhance our understanding and make a step towards the next stage.

During the evening sessions we practised more circular movements while going through the moves of the first half of lok hup.

As the days flew by we felt  that we gradually made the movements better from the inside out. Step by step we experienced the feeling in our spines that comes with finding space and working with circular movements. It brings so much relaxation and also a lot of joy. In this workshop we got a taste of how effortless practising the moves can be.   

From Liz Scott from Great Britain we heard what the health benefits are for her. She had severe pain in her shoulder since September last year. Playing with the circular movements in the partition wild horses mane the pain was nearly gone. Liz was so delighted. She said: “Practising without sharp angles but with the roundness gave space and opened my shoulder. No pain! It was a huge learning curve”.

A group of volunteers helped to make the workshop a great experience for everyone. To 'keep playing with circles until the next program’ is the homework Andrew gave us.

30 years celebrations kick off in the Netherlands

Thirty years ago, the first Taoist Tai Chi® arts class started in the Netherlands. From that moment on, our learning and development started. And last Saturday we came together to do 30 sets in a row as a kickoff of the celebrations of our 30th anniversary. What a fun day was that! Lots of members from locations around the country came. There was an open house, to which all neighbours were invited – we did 5 guided tours through our beautiful centre. Members were cutting vegetables, cooking went on, and food came continuously out of the kitchen. And there was live music on the piano. There was a lot of movement, but together and in harmony. It was a wonderful day.

When two ideas melt to become one!

The Dutch Seniors committee liked to organize an activity to celebrate International Seniors Day in which they could sing together songs from the old days. And the Belgian board liked to organize a Christmas lunch. So why not combine these two? We did – on Sunday December 9th there was a Sing Along Christmas lunch in the TTCS Centre in Helmond. The day started with an Intensive which was attended by 85 members from The Netherlands and Belgium. Meanwhile, while the rest was sweating out in the practice hall, the kitchen crew which comprised of Belgian and Dutch members was preparing a festive Christmas lunch for everyone. For every course of the meal, a sing-along  was organized. Over a hundred voices sang in harmony French, Dutch and English songs. It was truly a cultural exchange. Before the lovely dessert was served, we summarized the afternoon with Christmas songs medley. Then, like a cherry on the cake, every member received a red envelope with an origami crane, folded by the members, with a nice Christmas wish. We were one big happy family!  Merry Christmas  to everyone!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nNKFQx65fs&w=560&h=315]

Exercising the bones while playing with circles

International Program Helmond in The Netherlands 26 -30 September 2018

During the 5 day program  in Helmond we were helped to experience the power of dropping the elbows and coiling the hands and arms. As Andrew Hung said these moves work on the bones and make  us forever young.

Our understanding of the power of the circles in the set increased as we practised. More and more we are developing the internal feeling instead of just doing the moves externally.

Birgit Wendt, a member from Germany, is very thankful that Taoist Tai Chi® arts has helped her to regain flexibility and find balance after an accident. Andrew worked with her to apply the dropping and coiling in the first few moves of the form. With a big smile she exclaimed “I feel the bones turning!”.

Andrew encouraged us to practise the circles diligently until the next workshop. Having experienced how wonderful these feelings can be, we look forward to what will come next. Just like the circles our path of practise is never ending.

 

Once upon a time in China …

… there was a little boy whose name was Moy!

And this was the beginning of our interaction with a group of dynamic children in a downtown neighborhood primary school in Lisbon on July 4.

After the school invitation we immediately started constructing a plan for the activity which we considered very exciting: we consulted and asked for advice from our instruction committee and gathered insights from members with more experience about how to reach out to such a specific young group! Then, we started getting our members involved and finally a range of six of us had the opportunity to participate in this activity with about 40 children aged between four to nine years, in two different sessions, also with the participation of some of the school teachers.

Based on a storytelling around „little Moy boy”, his care for the health and well-being of the people he met while travelling and his sharing of special movements based on nature and animal images, we were able to explain how our association came from China growing into a big international organisation of 26 countries all over the world.

We practiced with the children some foundation movements and also some of the suggestive movements of the set helping them to connect with its health benefits. We related „white stork spreads wings” with expaaaaansion (and of course getting taller!), „wave hands like clouds” with tuuuuurning (moving inside while drawing circles), „parting wild horse’s mane” with experimenting weight shiiiiifting (smooooothly), and finally we practiced „golden cock stands on one leg” for them to test baaaaaalance.

To smile was very easy for everyone!!! And it was impressive how girls and boys kept attentive and receptive during around 50 minutes (each session),  asking questions, making comments but also very concentrated on the movements. And… we still had time to drink pu-ehr tea which was very much appreciated. FUN!

It was really a very lively afternoon and the members who participated felt so happy with this new experience … so, so happy … that afterwards they decided to have a super delicious ice cream in one of the super famous stores in the nowadays even more super touristic downtown Lisbon on that super marvellous sunny summer day. And with a super big smile on their way home!!!