Retreat with Jos Hadfield and Louanne Richards
(August 22- 26, 2019)
The Tai Chi and Zen Calligraphy retreat at Roselidden was a rich and deep experience. We were privileged to be a small group who had all met and practised together on the retreat many times before. We were blessed with fantastic weather and experienced a beautiful sunset on the beach. The food was also a highlight, as it always is.
The group all felt that we wanted to become more familiar with the long form. As well as improving our knowledge of the order and details of the moves, we also explored a number of aspects, particularly the symbolism as shared by Tew Bunnag on previous retreats.
The concept of the tiger particularly resonated with me. The idea of entering the tigers cave during the extended brush knee gave me insight and strength. I found that I had the courage to reach further and face my fears more fully than I had done before. My inner strength grew as a result of knowing that I could use my centredness and connection with the earth to bring the energy of the tiger back into my belly. Facing the tiger several times during the form seemed familiar in relation to how we grow by facing repeated challenges in life. Eventually being able to bring the tiger into yourself so that you are able to ride it in the last few movements was also a concept I found very helpful.
During the Japanese calligraphy we experienced ritual and shared focus. As well as drawing new and familiar characters, we attempted to draw in three different sizes and therefore thicknesses for the first time. The calligraphies we produced captured the progression we had each made through the journey of life.