My Tai Chi Journey

Tai Chi and Qigong have been instrumental in guiding me as I find my path–my way forward at this stage of life. I have been making art and working as an art educator since 1979 when I completed my BFA in art education at Boston University. What you may not know is how much I have always loved to move, whether it be while attending formal a dance class or just the feeling of walking in nature. This love of movement–being outdoors, being expressive with my body has been integrally connected to my work in the art studio. I can’t create art without moving my body.  Here is an ad I found on the web for the dance studio I attended as a little girl.

Wally Coyle's Schools of Dance advert. ca.1950's

In second grade I moved on to a beginner ballet class at the New Jersey School of Ballet. After a hiatus, I returned to my dance studies during my high school and college years.  I used dance class for stress relief and exercise. I loved modern, with all the different styles and choreographies.

Once I began teaching art to children in a full-time context, I found myself in rural South County, Rhode Island where there were few places to study dance. I let it go for a while and rode my bike, took walks on the beach and swam in the ocean during the summer months.

Tai Chi is a beautiful and ancient Chinese art of balance and harmony that can be practiced with martial, medical, or meditative intent. Here are a few photos from my tai chi journey. Enjoy!

P1040038Tai Chi dance on a cloudy autumn day at Simpson’s Point.

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I am holding the ball of energy at the start of a sunset walk at Simpson’s Point this past winter. (photo credit: Jon Riggleman) 

brooks_lotus pond

I took a whole series of photos of the water lilies in bloom while visiting the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens one hot summer day. The exquisite beauty and peace of these flowers mesmerized me! We can learn so much about inner stillness and movement–a tai chi!–from observing living things.

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Here I am with two IIQTC friends on a brief break from our intense Level 2 training in southern California. We visited a garden center that had extraordinary plantings. Everything seems to grow out there!

eucalyptus tree, peace garden

Looking up with awe at the grandmother Eucalyptus Tree at La Casa de Maria, the retreat center for Level 2. Look up at its branches reaching toward the heavens. It is a living testament to the resilience of nature.

I took this photo while walking one evening at La Casa de Maria, the retreat center in Montecito in November of 2017.

I took this photo while walking one evening at La Casa de Maria, the retreat center in Montecito in November of 2017.

practicing at la casa

Group practice on the patio outside the chapel at La Casa de Maria.

robin holding the chi ball

A sunset hike in the hills above La Casa, playing with the light–holding the glowing ball of energy!
tree huggers

A group of IIQTC friends gathered around the ancient Eucalyptus tree in the Sadako Peace Garden at La Casa de Maria for a photo op.

I have one more week-long training with Dr. Roger Jahnke and the IIQTC to complete my 200-hour teacher certification in Tai Chi and Qigong from the IIQTC. The Level 3 training is planned for April of 2019. Please stay tuned!

 

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