Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Expanding and contracting

It all went by too quickly.

This year's conference, nestled in the northwest corner of Lake Tahoe, gave Guang Pingers an incredible backdrop to the workshops that filled our mornings and afternoons.

It was one of those conferences, in my opinion, that deeply challenged my practice. It forced me to expand and contract at the same time: Expand the meaning of my practice, expand the uses of my practice, expand the energy of my movements; but also to contract: focus my attention to details, focus my intention and awareness to my movements, focus the deeper foundation, to simplify. To expand my focus...to focus my expansion.

Deep. :)

As I sat on the plane ride home, the first Guang Ping conference I went to 11 years ago sifted forward into my mind. I had only one emotion just before attending: Fear.

I had never studied with a master. I had never studied with a direct student of a master...or even a student of a direct student of a master! Am I going to embarrass myself? My teacher? We all do form together in the morning, am I going to be used as a poster child for what NOT to do in taiji?

And I wonder...are there others who feel this way and hesitate to come to a conference? Are there other people who feel they aren't going gain from the conference because they are too new? It will be over their heads? Or might feel their form isn't up to par when compared to others?

Because when I got up the first morning for warm-up and form, the fear I had vanished. We were just us, just a big group of people warming up, doing form. We all had our variations in style and weren't looking to judge or evaluate anyone else.

So, if you find yourself hesitating to come, let go. You'll only be welcome with open arms and left with a very rich experience.


  1. Beautifully written! I had some fear, too. Will my presentation be good enough, will I humiliate myself. Then I just decided it didn't matter. It wouldn't kill me and if I did humiliate myself, it would give me something to work on. Then I focused on what I could give instead of how I would be perceived and all the fear turned to enthusiasm (with just a tad of nervousness. :-) I had a blast and am so happy I went. I loved it and all the people just rock. Hooray for Guang Pingers.

  2. "Then I focused on what I could give instead of how I would be perceived and all the fear turned to enthusiasm."

    Where's the "Like" button on this blog anyway?

    Jarl, your enthusiasm was contagious...people walked out of your workshop changed. Just so you know...