The Winter Teacher Online Intensive was a remarkable training. Thanks to Zoom, 95 teachers were able to gather online Jan. 5-9, 2021 for 3-4 hours/day. The main focus of the training was the study of the more internal quality of tai chi. Each day started with a half hour of deeply relaxing, quietly focused tai chi followed by 2 hours of form work and an hour of either advanced sword or TIA in the Art. It was lovely to work deeply with the principles of tai chi and not worry about learning something new.
The use of breakout rooms of three people for giving and receiving feedback was very popular. We were all amazed at how much we could see on screen and at the excellent quality of the feedback. These small groups also brought us closer together. It was wonderful to work with people from all over.
We also had 20-minute breakout rooms for rest and social. These breaks allowed for more informal interaction, allowing us to connect in real time with fellow apprentices in all time zones.
Midway through the training we had an interactive session with the TCF Board and LH which morphed from a Q&A into people expressing how the training was going for them. At the end of the training we had our usual treasure chest and people were full of praise and gratitude for the training.
The teaching was led by the Legacy Holders and included Matsu, MO, Greg, Gerrie, Sherry and Jon. In addition there were contributions to the teaching and meditation sessions by Edna Brandt, Paul Campbell, Hal Caswell, George Kormendi, Tina Curran, and Patrice and Patrick Wooldridge, and Mark Preston.
Many thanks to the tech team, inspired by Kate Mansfield and led by Anna Teeples, that made things go so smoothly. The team included: Vanessa Costigan, Steve Shulman, Michael Braudy, Michael Barnhart, Sean O’Neill, Dennis Smyers, Patrice Wooldridge, Bob Chausow, Ed Johnson, Claudia Gebhart, George Kormendi, and Jesse Leinfelder.
I still don’t know what this year holds for us in terms of in-person trainings. But we are grateful that we could gather online and experience a winter training that had all the joy and unity of previous winter gatherings.