The joy of becoming a TCC teacher

Learning TCC is more than learning a set of movements. It’s also welcoming a growing awareness of the movement of the Chi and the wonderful cumulative effects of practice. Below, two newly accredited TCC teachers translate these unique experiences into words to inspire us all.

TCC Accreditation in Pennsylvania, June 2016   Compiled by AL, Prospect Park, PA

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My intention at the start of this accreditation week was to: be open to peace and joy; allow softness and continuity; be friends with my Chi and the Chi of each who is helping and hoping for growth; and be in balance of giving and receiving.

During the humbling first days, I let go of insecurity and expectation. All the countless hours of practice were represented in its raw reality. I let it be and accepted all that was offered in feedback. Then I discovered that my intention to make friends also applied to the Chi of each movement and I was finally able to make a fuller flowing connection with Carry the Ball to the Side. Making friends with this new favorite movement has softened all of my previous favorite movements. So I recommend learning to love the one movement that challenges you – to overcome the hidden blockage in your practice.

I am thankful for every minute of driving (including some great distances) to TCC classes; the extra months I gave myself to prepare for accreditation; the indoor and outdoor practices; the practices when I felt sick or healthy; the time studying Justin's videos; the time reading and listening to Justin’s other sources; and (most of all) helpful clues from multiple teachers. All of it, it was all necessary beforehand.

Even so I arrived without a pre-set presentation. It percolated until the day it was done. The Chi flowed and I let it write itself in a succinct testimony of balance. This sounds idealistic but I am a scrappy-rewrite-it-again speechwriter so this seemed like a crazy miracle of spirit. I think my presentation ended up giving a glimpse of how TCC has brought balance to my life.

I completed accreditation full of joy and peace. I really can feel the bubbling springs

beneath my feet, in my heart, head and soul. I am letting go of rigid control and allowing gentleness to flow in my knees and joints. I honor my core truth daily with more awareness than before I arrived. Plus I met my tribe in the TCC community and you are absolutely wonderful. Looking forward to our next in person reunion. – JS

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It was surprising and enriching in ways I suspect will unfold little by little. When auditing teachers shared on the first day how much fun we would have, I was skeptical, my vashannas (habit energies) firmly in operation.

The breakdown came on the second day, with the first correction. The noise in my head began; I made a panicked call to my instructor for reassurance. Did I really belong here? Was I a worthy candidate? Prajna comes (softly as it tends to), inviting me to trust and let go. And then suddenly it comes rushing in, surrounding me, connecting me, making me a part of it. I find warmth and laughter, joy and love, in everyone. – LL

Reprinted by permission from the August 2016 issue of the TCC journal, The Vital Force.

We're All Healers

"My brother Patrick was terminally ill with multiple myeloma. He needed an outside donor for a stem cell transplant. I was a genetic match. If he could just get well enough for the transplant of my stem cells into his marrow, and survive the procedure, he would be cured.

 "One day during my personal T’ai Chi Chih practice it came to me: the Chi circulating in my body, with a certain vibration in my stem cells, not only was nourishing and healing me with the Vital Force every second of the day, but could also heal somebody else – my brother. I realized in the most profound way, that I could share the Chi, and that I was, in that sense, a healer. I suddenly understood that each of us (whether we recognize it or not) share in this gift of healing.

"I became an accredited TCC teacher in November of 2013 and began teaching classes in January of 2014. The day after I had this realization I was teaching a class. It was the fifth week of teaching my first group of students. In the middle of class two women entered the studio. The first woman used arm braces like the ones I had seen kids use with polio. The second woman appeared physically strong, and although she was nicely dressed and groomed, she had the look of someone who had seen very hard times.

 "I asked how I could help. The woman with the braces wanted to buy a yoga gift certificate for her husband and asked to sit quietly during the rest of the lesson. She found being in our presence during the movements and surrounded by the energy made her feel wonderful and relaxed. She sat on the carpet and meditated for the duration of the class. Afterward she shared how wonderful it was to be in the presence of such beautiful and healing energy and thanked us. As she remained seated on the floor I noticed how thoughtfully she assisted one of the students, who just happened to be using a walker, get into her shoes.

"Once everyone departed we took care of the gift certificate and I asked her about her legs. As a long time yoga teacher I tend to see physical disabilities and injuries as things to be dealt with – and so I can be a little bold in my inquiry. She didn’t seem to mind, explaining that she became disabled in the military, and that usually she is in a wheelchair. Her sister (her companion today) had become her primary caregiver, and was willing and able to provide the extra support she needed for balance, so now, she could spend more time out of the chair and in her arm braces. She said, “I love my sister, she is my angel.”

"She said, “It really doesn’t matter what happened. This is my body now. I accept this completely. I do everything I want to in life except two things; rock climbing and sky diving, and I can live with that. I hike, I ride a motorcycle, I do everything I want to do. I love my life. I’m happy.”

Her sharing about how she felt about her body, her acceptance of her circumstances, and this being her life, were things I really needed to hear. She was not saying she was happy in spite of her circumstances. She was saying, “This is my body. This is my life, and I love my life!” I felt a healing take place in me as I felt the inclusiveness of these ideas: We have one body, we have one life, no rejection, no exclusion. We can have the whole of life in whatever body we have right now." 

First-person story by JR, a certified T'ai Chi Chih teacher in Oxnard, California. Excerpted with permission from the TCC quarterly journal, The Vital Force.

New Podcast: What 17 Years of TCC Practice Brings

What motivates someone to practice this moving meditation for so many years? Marie Dotts of Colorado tells what brought her to Tai Chi Chih and the many benefits that keep her going, year after year. Thanks to Peggy Freeh at for this interview. Download or listen to the podcast here.

From the website:

Starting as a teenager, Marie has been on a lifelong journey to answer the questions, “Who and what am I really?” and “How do I flow from that truer center within myself?”  In this interview, she shares how that process has unfolded for her over the years, and how her two current practices support her in her ever deepening journey.

Marie has studied and taught Tai Chi Chih for over 17 years.  Even from the moment she walked into her first class, she recognized Tai Chi Chih as home for her.  That recognition helped carry her through her resistance to the practice, including panic attacks as she started to move energy down into her body.  Tai Chi Chih is not just a practice Marie does now.  She lives the principles every day in all areas of her life. 

Marie is passionate ... finding the support for her lifelong quest to learn how to find what is true in her and flow from that center all the time.