Butterflies and Softness in Winnipeg, Canada
Eighty-one people gathered together as the Winnipeg branch hosted a national program from March 23-25. The room was full. There were smiles all around. Our instructor, Joé Thibault, built on our understanding of the set and the many ingredients needed to maximize the benefits. She reminded us to consider an increased level of softness — to move in such a gentle way as to not disturb a butterfly that may have alit upon our fingertips. In addition there were some wonderful teaching moments for the instructors in the room as she showed us examples of how important it is sometimes to just let the process be where it is with students.
A new participant who started tai chi less than three months ago due to a back injury shared his experience of the weekend. He shared that he was moved by the three participants who shared their tai chi journey. Their stories helped all of us better understand that this art is about being open to change. The positive energy of our program leader and the experience of being billeted with new friends brought home the feeling of how this is family. For him, and many of us, the chanting on Sunday morning opened a door to wanting more.
The weekend wrapped up all too soon. Many of us conferred with others as to when we were going to be travelling to Orangeville this year. Thank you to Master Moy who brought us this art, and to Joé for sharing her understanding. As one participant said while doing danyus: “Let’s stay together. If we share the timing, we share the relaxation.” After all, for many of us, that is what it’s all about.