I had a wonderful hiatus, with many insights into our direction for the coming year. I'm very excited to work with new people coming in for Beginner's Tai Chi and Qigong, and to offer ongoing classes for people who have been studying with me for a while, as well as experienced students who are coming in from outside clubs. It's going to be a very good year, as we work deeply on fundamentals, and explore some of the other internal martial arts sets, beyond Tai Chi.
The great thing about Tai Chi and Qigong is that these physical disciplines lead the practitioner, slowly and gently, into a better relationship with the subtle energies that surround us and permeate our world. You don't particularly have to understand these on an intellectual level in order to work with them. If you simply run through a Tai Chi or Qigong set, and do your best to focus and relax, you'll be doing some very deep work. For those who want to treat Tai Chi and Qigong as a physical exercise class, that option is always open, and is an excellent investment in your wellbeing.
However, as part of Taoist practice, Tai Chi and Qigong sit in a grand tradition that is spiritual and shamanic at its root. As part of that tradition, these arts can bring wonderful insight to the practitioner, and constitute part of a larger life path.
It's come to my attention that there's an increasing interest and need among some class participants, to discuss and work with the more spiritual side of our practice directly.
To address this need, I'll be running a two-hour workshop, once a month, on the second last Sunday of the month, from 2-4 pm, starting on Sunday, November 19, 2017. Rather than a fee, I'll be asking for a suggested donation of $10. This will be a less formal meeting than our usual workshops, and will be an opportunity for participants to come and talk about life path, spiritual direction, and using Tai Chi, Qigong, meditation, and the other disciplines we work with, to help open that path. It will be a chance for us to share experiences, and to discuss any blocks to progress. Possible areas of exploration include guided meditation, trance journey, and Taoist chanting. I am absolutely open to suggestion about format or things we might do with this time.
This workshop series will run out of my home. If you wish to attend, I need to hear from you by email prior to each workshop. Spiritual Development workshops will represent a more advanced perspective on everything we do, so I reserve the right to let you know if it would be inappropriate for you to attend.
The core values of my personal practice include grounding in a positive, open, and benign sense of the universe; using the experiences I've had through my training to gather insight and information about the world of spirit (rather than relying on any authority or book); using any received teachings, writings, or inherited wisdom as a guideline, rather than a statement of the way things are.
I feel strongly that we need to make up our own minds about how we view the world, and whatever meaning we find in our lives. The purpose of these meetings is to bring clarity to the experiences you are already having, and to offer gentle guidance and camaraderie along the way.
I've already begun to work with some of you in assisting you to connect with nature, and to think of your practice in a broader sense. These meetings will be another chance for us to work together.
***The Spiritual Development workshops will not replace the occasional Sunday Tai Chi and Qigong workshops that I run at the Regent Centre. Those workshops will continue to run as they have in the past. Look for an upcoming announcement about the next one soon.***