Finding a Home Through the WWS Retreat

picture: Sheh-Chin trying taiji movementBeing visually impaired and having just learned 1st Set Dayan Qigong for the first time, I was considering whether or not I could attend the WWS retreat this year. One day, WWS assistant teacher, Linda Gustafson asked me,” Are you going to the retreat?” I took that as an okay sign to attend. I emailed Erlene to make sure that it would be appropriate for me to be there, and she said,”No problem.”  

When I arrived I was amazed at Erlene's thoughtfulness. She had assigned me a room with a private door to an accessible bathroom. Staying among the redwood trees, in a place where cellular phones do not work and people do not need to lock their doors, made me feel completely relaxed.

picture: Paul Taylor teaching taiji in the redwoodsEven though I could only participate in 1st Set qigong, I enjoyed admiring the sleek movements of the 2nd Set. The possibility to try taiji and shaolin activities also broadened my horizon. Erlene’s kitchen provided delicious and healthy food. I hope she will teach a cooking class at the next retreat. And it was a wonderful surprise for me to find myself eating at the same table with Grandmaster Hui Liu.  I was so happy to chat with her and asked for advice in Mandarin. Shimu’s teaching was very inspiring, and Erlene and Sam’s Mandarin-to-English translations absolutely blew my mind. They so fluidly demonstrated their mastery of both the linguistic and cultural nuances of both languages.

picture: 5-minute breakI had been searching for different ways to exercise as a blind person. After this retreat, I know that I am rooted to qigong. I might try taiji or shaolin someday too. But from the retreat I began to realize that my involvement with Wen Wu School is not just limited to martial arts.  It is a way of life.

 

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