Tai Chi in Temple of Heaven Park
One splendid day last September, I visited Temple of Heaven park in Beijing. I was deeply moved by how people came together to "play Tai Chi", practice ballroom dancing, and to write beautiful Chinese calligraphy and poetry. To move their bodies and experience nature in community.
The man in the center above is a friend and former Tai Chi instructor of Dan, our tour organizer (black t-shirt, below). Our group was encouraged to try Tai Chi, and the combination of cool breeze, warm sun, gently flowing body and energy, kind encouragement from new friends...well, truly it was like being in the temple of heaven!
Practicing push hands, a technique that encourages attention, awareness and coordination
I met the DH (dear hubby) in a ballroom dance class 17 years ago. Dancing holds a special place in my life, and I'm always interested in observing other dancers. Much to my delight, people in China practice dancing in the parks! I've thought many times in the past year about trying to get something like this going where I live. My educator side also noticed how the instruction was being done. Dance was being taught like a martial art - make the form, hold it, repeat, repeat, repeat. It wasn't about constant movement but about body learning of the correct forms.
Dancing in the Temple of Heaven Park
Below, a gentleman writes in beautiful Chinese calligraphy. Notice the large brush. He is writing with water; this work of art is fleeting. Joy in the doing.
My experience in Temple of Heaven park has returned to me often. There are things to be learned here, and I am grateful for the opportunity.