In 1986 I followed an inner urge to find a healing modality, which lead me to the local tai chi qigong center where I studied for over 18 years, and taught tai chi and qigong there also. While studying there I was immersed in what my teacher was teaching. I did not open myself up to the world of tai chi and qigong. Also, the internet wasn’t available to do google searches. I think this was very helpful for my study since my mind did not get confused by what others taught or practiced.
After I left the center I was missing tai chi people to connect with. I went to visit another tai chi school, but was told to not come back once the instructor heard that I was planning to teach tai chi and qigong. At the time it seemed to me that there was this unspoken alliance to certain teachers, lineages, schools of tai chi study, and rarely did tai chi qigong schools interact.
For years I wondered why some schools were so separated and closed off. Perhaps it was because they were teaching martial arts with fighting potential so there was secrecy, allegiance to one’s own teacher, and competition among schools.
My initial involvement with tai chi and qigong was for the purpose of healing emotionally and spiritually, and it remains this focus today. I was tired of battling the hardships of life. My teacher focused on healing and spiritual aspects.
I am thankful to the teachers who came my way who taught me without feeling that I was a threat to them. They opened up my eyes to the fact that a huge tai chi qigong world existed with different styles, movements, purposes for doing tai chi and qigong. This makes sense to me because there are so many different people with different focuses and needs, so there needs to be a wide range of teachers and ways to approach tai chi and qigong. My way of teaching might not meet the interest or needs of everyone.
What I say to people who are exploring tai chi and qigong is to try it. If it doesn’t benefit you, go seek another modality or another teacher. There is no one way, no allegiance to a teacher, no right or wrong. Just enjoy the search and be true to yourself!
I am filled with wonder, gratitude and awe for the journeys we travel and for the teachers we meet along the way.