One of the questions I asked my leader in training when I started Taoist Tai Chi® practice was how long it was going to take me to learn it. He told me, “Three to four months and then the rest of your life.” I heard what he said but was a little baffled. I focused on the three to four months and tucked the rest of my life idea in the back of my mind. I thought I would learn Tai Chi and then move on to practicing it on my own. I wouldn’t need any more instruction. That was my plan. Was I ever wrong!
When I finished my beginner session, I wanted to move on. I could see there was more to learn, so I started going to a continuing session. I was still “going through the motions,” but I could feel changes and a strengthening in my body. Then I attended my first intensive and was exposed to some different leaders who provided more guidance, more insights. Then someone suggested going to a 5-day Taoist retreat and I thought, “OK I’ll do this once and get that experience.” I remember being asked what had brought us there and I said I was looking for the next step in my life. I had my first exposure then to chanting and I was intrigued. I didn’t know what I was saying but I liked working with the group and the way it felt.
Needless to say, that first Taoist retreat only made me want to keep going. Each Taoist retreat provided new insights into the practice, my body, my spirit, and myself as a person. Then came leading sessions, as well as learning new disciplines, Lok Hup Ba Fa, Sword, Sabre, and Hsing-I. I’ve taken these steps one at a time, without a grand plan to accomplish anything specific. Each step has brought me new learnings about my body, my heart, my mind and who I want to be as a person.
I have my Masters in Management and spent thirty plus years in the corporate world. I’ve had to adapt to a different way of doing administrative tasks here. This is a collaborative organization. We work as a group and ask for guidance. I never feel like all the responsibility sits on my shoulders and that I’ll be hung out to dry if something goes wrong. It may take longer to get to a decision, but the decision is well-informed and if it doesn’t work, it’s a group mistake. That makes it easier to let worry go. That’s something I never felt in the corporate world.
When I started, it was about exercise, helping to manage stress, and going through the motions. It is so much more for me now. It is a way of life. Now I understand that this learning and its practice will take the rest of my life. It’s added a richness to my life that is a wonderful gift.
It’s a journey that I am very happy to undertake.