The second weekend in October 2021 I was in Götzens in Austria where for the first international Tai Chi group training in almost two years. Students came from Austria and Switzerland. Teachers came from Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France. With Covid 19’s safety restrictions, it has not been possible to have in person group trainings. This has led to a feeling of isolation for a lot of us. So the theme of the tai chi weekend was to reawaken the feeling of connectedness and unity between us and others and to vitalize our life energy.
It is hard to find words to express how good it felt to meet with my fellow teachers in such a wonderful location as Götzens. To have the opportunity to teach together, meet new students and to be welcomed by existing students. All who were present were delighted with such a special occasion and to feel part of an international community – our tai chi family.
The programme was varied, including B1, Fundamentals and Intermediate Form. We also had guided meditation, relaxation sessions and of course Time in the Art. This was special, with each teacher bringing their own ideas, inspiring students and fellow teachers alike. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to share in this experience and see the enthusiasm and enormous appreciation from the students. It was delightful.
We also had time to explore the local culinary delights in the restaurants together, where there is something for everyone. The food was excellent, not expensive, and the ambiance charming.
We took advantage of the ski lifts and went hiking in the mountains. It was such a lovely time of year to see all the colours of autumn. The greenness of the slopes not yet covered in snow, contrasted against the beauty and sheerness of the snow topped mountains stretching thousands of meters into the sky. Breathtaking!
An enormous thank you to Maria Gandler for organizing this training in a time when everything was uncertain and could have changed at the last minute. A true warrior. To be able to find such perfect teaching locations without knowing for sure how many would be allowed to participate was super. Thanks also to the Götzens apprentices for their help in setting things up and especially for their warm welcome. To my fellow teachers, Barbara Carlisle and Danyal Sattar (UK) and Bas Offerman (The Netherlands) whose joy, enthusiasm to share, and eagerness to travel in this unsure time made this a most memorable event, many thanks. The buzz and excitement was tangible both for the teachers and students. It was unforgettable!
I take away from this training, as I always do, a feeling of having truly deepened my tai chi through teaching with such great people, and also the feeling that there is no separation. We are all one.
If you get a chance to go to Götzens for a tai chi weekend or perhaps some future Winter Training, all I can say is Go! It is highly recommended for the friendliness of the people, the awesome beauty and gravity of the mountains, and to get a chance to meet Maria who is a fountain of positive energy even in these challenging times.
Keep an eye on our website for future trainings both in Götzens and other locations in Europe and the USA.
Erica Montheard (a student coming from Switzerland) wrote :
“The Tai Chi weekend was the first in person seminar I attended in a long time. At the end of it, I felt happy, nourished and inspired. The instruction was outstanding. My heartfelt thanks to the very patient teachers. But mostly, it is the warmth and kindness of all the participants that made it a very special event.”
Peter is an apprentice teacher with Tai Chi Foundation. He is also a member and the Secretary of the Tai Chi Foundation’s Board of Directors. He lives in France.