Engaging Leads to Transcending

Apr 29, 2024

Saturday, April 27, was the 25th anniversary of World Tai Chi and Qigong Day (WTCQD). Tai Chi and Qigong practitioners around the world practiced and shared their good ‘Qi’ (Chi) at 10am, starting in New Zealand and ending 26 hours later in Hawaii.

The main downtown event in SLC was canceled due to rain 48 hours before the event. My first thought—really?—I have been doing this annual event for years, and we showed up in the rain and sometimes snow. And I have already let you, the Chi Tribe, know that I will be there, rain or shine.

I understand the choice of staying home and not wanting to be outside in the rain. Especially when we can do our own pause, breath, and movement on our own.

For me, the annual theme of “One World—One Breath” says it all. When we take the time to engage with others, we realize we are more alike than different. We want to be seen and understood, to connect, and to live in peace and harmony.

I did follow through and meet people outside downtown in the rain with a few brave students of mine and two friends who are also Qigong teachers and who had invited their students.

Another reason I followed through was because of Bernie Hart, co-founder of SLC Street Tai Chi, and his wife, Marita. They have created a community/street Tai Chi program—an outreach program for those experiencing homelessness and for others within the community. Their non-profit is Understanding Us.

I had heard of Bernie for many years, and on Saturday, I had the privilege to meet him and Marita.

Bernie came over to where we were originally meeting and let us know that he had moved his group a few blocks to the SL Public Library because there was an awning that helped with the rain coming down.

I introduced myself to him, and he asked if I knew anyone that could lead Tai Chi today because he doesn’t consider himself a formal instructor. Of course, I said yes. We waited to see if more students were coming to the park before our small group moved to the library.

When we arrived, there were about 30 people in his group, and they were sharing in conversation, coffee, and some food.

I led everyone in some Qigong warm-ups, and then we practiced the first half of Tai Chi a couple times. Although I had not practiced with any of them before, they followed and showed their own natural expression of what they were learning. They were very grateful to have the experience, and I was very humbled by the experience we all shared as a community of human beings.

When we left, a few of us returned to our cars and turned on the heat. We shared in conversation how blessed we are to have a car with heat as we were headed to enjoy breakfast before our afternoon event. Bernie’s group was not headed to their cars, was not going home, or would have a bed to sleep in to give the body rest.

So, why am I sharing this experience with you? Because getting out of my comfort zone on this day and engaging has transcended me. It has reignited my passion for why I teach and share the modalities of Qigong and Tai Chi. It is changing the inner alchemy of what I thought was possible. What does that mean exactly? At this moment, I do not know, and I am open to the possibilities for the highest well-being of all.

As I wrap up this insight, I wanted to invite you to Saturday’s event with my teacher. We will engage together as a community, explore shifting our focus from the outside to the inside (inner alchemy), and transform into the essence of our true being (change).

We will do this through Qigong movement, soft yoga stretches, and breath work, allowing us to center and ground within. Because when we are centered and grounded, not only are we engaged in life, we also LIVE life instead of simply getting by.

I promise the time and money you invest in yourself for this 3-hour session with a master teacher will be more than you can imagine. And no experience is necessary; simply being willing to engage—are you in?




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