Tai chi is called meditation in motion. I love moving through the beautiful forms. Being intentional about the movements slows the stream of thought racing through my mind while increasing the energy flow throughout my body. I’ve had the privilege of taking tai chi lessons from instructor Becky Browne. Joining the class twice weekly, in the evenings, I learned the Yang 16 form, the Yang 24 form and attended another class that I think we called, simply, The Scoops. Tai chi is not only beautiful and centering, it also improves my flexibility, core strength and balance.
My very busy schedule this year has prevented me from taking part in tai chi classes this spring. However, I was thrilled to be invited to take part in World Tai Chi Day, held locally at the Center Creek Park in Carl Junction, MO. Officially called World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, this is an annual event held toward the end of April. The special day began in 1999 and is held in 80 countries and hundreds of cities around the world, commencing in each location at 10:00 am. The goal of World Tai Chi Day is to bring people across racial, economic, religious and geo-political boundaries to join together for the purpose of health and healing, providing an example to the world. Last year, millions of people around the globe joined together in demonstrations of tai chi.
This year, I got to be one of those people. Becky began the day with meditation at 9:15. In spite of rain and the rumble of thunder, a small group of us gathered under a pavilion in the park to practice a standing meditation. I have to say, that 30 minute meditation was the most powerful one I have ever experienced! As we breathed and centered ourselves, focusing inward, mother nature provided the background music, at first with a soothing, gentle rain, and birdsong, and then a full blown thunderstorm, with lightning, thunder, torrential rain and hail. What an amazing and startling contrast, the quiet and peace pooling within as a tempest raged without. We all completed the meditation and marveled at the experience.
Becky Browne, amazing tai chi instructor
More and more people gathered as 10:00 approached and the rain ceased. We all moved out onto a grassy area in the park. Becky led us through warm up exercises and Qigong to loosen muscles and joints. After a few photos by a local photographer, we moved slowly and in unison through the Yang 16 form. This is the power and beauty of tai chi, individuals shifting together, focusing on each movement, stepping, dipping, arms and hands flowing, the group moving as one. We then moved through the Yang 24 and The Scoops. Most of us watched as Becky and an advanced group moved through the kung fu form called the Chung-I-Chaun and a beautiful Wu form. I sat entranced, watching. Tai chi truly is meditation in motion and grace in motion as well.
I so enjoyed a morning of meditation and tai chi. What a wonderful first, really two firsts, for the day: participating in World Tai Chi Day and practicing tai chi outside in the park. I feel centered and energized. And I think I could count another first for the day as well. I’ll never forget doing a standing meditation outdoors during a thunderstorm!