Bonfire of the Tribe
Urbana 2010

Growing up in western Pennsylvania gave me a deep appreciation of green mountains, rushing streams, and great hiking trails. It reflected the wood/wind side of my spirit and I was comfortable always seeing rounded peaks off in the distance, easily finding a tree to hind behind or hill to climb over. The tiger I embraced was manageable and returning to the mountain was familiar, though somewhat predictable.

Traveling to Urbana each spring always poked a hole in my comfort zone (everywhere I looked the land was FLAT), but I welcomed the challenges Tai Ji opened up for me and tried to meet them with verve. This year once again offered us opportunities to face ourselves and drop ancient patterns.

We changed workshop space, letting go of the Levis Faculty Center and moving into the Dance Studio facility. Great light and easy on the body… but who knew we would have to face a wall of mirrors! [Now I know why Chungliang laughs so easily…!] On many levels, Urbana offered us nowhere to hide; it demanded that everything be exposed. Seeing something we don’t like in others, and then seeing that same characteristic in ourselves. Oh yeah, that’s a tough one that I’m still working on.

Chungliang gave us an abundance of calligraphy to absorb and feel and dance and brush on paper; and then we let the teaching go, accepting what sunk in to take home and nourish. Powerful stuff.