NEWS

Holiday Schedule: All classes will run as usual except for Monday, December 25 2017 and Monday, January 1st 2018.

Spiritual Development Workshop: December 24, 2017

I know it's a little unusual to run a workshop on Christmas Eve, but here we go. This workshop will run from 2-4pm at my home. Last time, we started working with Taoist chanting. We'll continue to work with this beautiful and challenging practice, as well as to continue to discuss participants' experiences and how they fit in to the big picture of their practice.

This Spiritual Development Workshop is part of a new, ongoing series aimed at helping participants build a better relationship with esoteric aspects of Taoism, shamanism, and their own spiritual path.

You can read more about Spiritual Development Workshops here.

This workshop series is run from my home. If you wish to attend, I need to hear from you by email prior to each workshop. Spiritual Development workshops will represent a more advanced perspective on everything we do, so I reserve the right to let you know if it would be inappropriate for you to attend.

NOTE: if you subscribe by email and hit reply to this message, I won't receive it! Please make sure my email address, smithmk2@gmail.com, is in the "To" field before you hit send. 

Holiday Schedule

All tai chi and qigong classes will run as usual, except Monday, December 25, 2017, and Monday, January 1st, 2018.


Qigong Workshop, Sunday, December 10, 2017, 1-5pm

Now that we've been up and running with regular classes for a few weeks, it's time for us to get back into some Sunday workshops! Workshops are an opportunity for you to sink deeply into your practice, to take time to allow the body to respond to slow, gentle, meditative movement, and to work with some techniques we don't often have time for in class. Because workshops tend to have a smaller population than most of my regular classes, it's also an opportunity for me to work with you one on one, and to offer more detailed individual corrections.

Workshop details:

Qigong Workshop
Location: Regent Health Centre
Date: Sunday, December 10, 2017
Time: 1-5 pm
Cost: $60 / person

This workshop is open to people at all levels of training (including newbies!). Together we will explore qigong movement, sitting and standing meditation, and shamanic trance journey, in anticipation of the upcoming winter solstice. (This year's takes place on December 21st.)

Winter solstice marks the moment in the annual cycle when the night is longest, and the day is shortest. It marks the official start of winter, the season during which yin energies are at their peak. Winter is traditionally a time of low activity in nature, and yet, underneath the surface of things, all sorts of processes start to prepare for the return of spring. Winter is a time for quiet contemplation, and also a time during which transformation can occur seemingly without effort, or without conscious awareness that things are moving forward. At this workshop we'll talk about how to harmonize with the predominant yin energies to effect gentle, natural transformations for yourself, and your qigong practice.

Please let me know ahead of time if you would like to attend. Contact me at (905) 521-0043 or smithmk2@gmail.com

NOTE: If you're receiving this post as an email message, please don't hit "reply"--add my email address to the "To" line, or start a new email of your own. If you just hit reply, your message will disappear into the void! Thanks.

New Spiritual Development Workshop Series Starting November 2017

As I'm writing this, classes at the Regent Centre have just re-launched.

I had a wonderful hiatus, with many insights into our direction for the coming year. I'm very excited to work with new people coming in for Beginner's Tai Chi and Qigong, and to offer ongoing classes for people who have been studying with me for a while, as well as experienced students who are coming in from outside clubs. It's going to be a very good year, as we work deeply on fundamentals, and explore some of the other internal martial arts sets, beyond Tai Chi. 

The great thing about Tai Chi and Qigong is that these physical disciplines lead the practitioner, slowly and gently, into a better relationship with the subtle energies that surround us and permeate our world. You don't particularly have to understand these on an intellectual level in order to work with them. If you simply run through a Tai Chi or Qigong set, and do your best to focus and relax, you'll be doing some very deep work. For those who want to treat Tai Chi and Qigong as a physical exercise class, that option is always open, and is an excellent investment in your wellbeing. 

However, as part of Taoist practice, Tai Chi and Qigong sit in a grand tradition that is spiritual and shamanic at its root. As part of that tradition, these arts can bring wonderful insight to the practitioner, and constitute part of a larger life path.

It's come to my attention that there's an increasing interest and need among some class participants, to discuss and work with the more spiritual side of our practice directly. 

To address this need, I'll be running a two-hour workshop, once a month, on the second last Sunday of the month, from 2-4 pm, starting on Sunday, November 19, 2017. Rather than a fee, I'll be asking for a suggested donation of $10. This will be a less formal meeting than our usual workshops, and will be an opportunity for participants to come and talk about life path, spiritual direction, and using Tai Chi, Qigong, meditation, and the other disciplines we work with, to help open that path. It will be a chance for us to share experiences, and to discuss any blocks to progress. Possible areas of exploration include guided meditation, trance journey, and Taoist chanting. I am absolutely open to suggestion about format or things we might do with this time.

This workshop series will run out of my home. If you wish to attend, I need to hear from you by email prior to each workshop. Spiritual Development workshops will represent a more advanced perspective on everything we do, so I reserve the right to let you know if it would be inappropriate for you to attend.   

The core values of my personal practice include grounding in a positive, open, and benign sense of the universe; using the experiences I've had through my training to gather insight and information about the world of spirit (rather than relying on any authority or book); using any received teachings, writings, or inherited wisdom as a guideline, rather than a statement of the way things are. 

I feel strongly that we need to make up our own minds about how we view the world, and whatever meaning we find in our lives. The purpose of these meetings is to bring clarity to the experiences you are already having, and to offer gentle guidance and camaraderie along the way.

I've already begun to work with some of you in assisting you to connect with nature, and to think of your practice in a broader sense. These meetings will be another chance for us to work together.

***The Spiritual Development workshops will not replace the occasional Sunday Tai Chi and Qigong workshops that I run at the Regent Centre. Those workshops will continue to run as they have in the past. Look for an upcoming announcement about the next one soon.***

Hiatus Schedule

As you all know, I'm taking my annual break from teaching throughout September and the early part of October. During this time, all classes are on hold except for Gillianne Shaver's Wednesday foundation classes. She's offering the following practice schedule:
WEDNESDAY TAI CHI
Gillianne Shaver will be there:
12:45 Sword Set
1-2pm Tai Chi
2:-2:15 Loh Kup set
2:15-2:30 Sabre Set

We agreed on the following payment cycle if you intend to attend Gillianne's classes

Fee: pay Melissa $30/mth for August
pay me $30/mth for Sept
pay Melissa $30/mth when she's back on October 13th
Last Wednesday class will be Oct 11, then Gillianne is gone for two weeks.

If you are not attending Wednesday classes, the fee for October will be half of what you normally pay for a month. 

If you have any questions, please direct them to Gillianne at class, or to me at smithmk2@gmail.com.

Thanks!

Classes are on this weekend

Classes at the Regent Centre will run as usual this weekend, including Friday, August 25, Saturday, August 26, and Monday, August 28.

These are the final classes before I take my hiatus. There will be no classes after Monday, August 28, through September, until the Friday after Thanksgiving, October 13, 2017.

Classes are on this weekend

Classes will run as usual this weekend, including Friday, August 18, Saturday, August 19, and Monday, August 21, 2017.

Classes are also on for next weekend.

No classes this weekend

There will be no classes at the Regent Centre this weekend, including Friday, August 11, Saturday, August 12, and Monday, August 14.

Classes will run as usual next weekend.

Classes are on this weekend

Classes will run as usual this weekend, including Friday, August 4, Saturday, August 5, and Monday, August 7.

*Yes, I know August 7 is a civic holiday, but I decided to teach anyway, as I'm away the following weekend and I wanted to fit three teaching weeks into August.

So, there will be no classes next weekend--Friday August 11, Saturday August 12, and Monday, August 14.

No classes this weekend

There will be no classes at the Regent Centre this weekend, including Friday, July 28, Saturday, July 29, and Monday, July 31.

Classes will run as usual next weekend, including Friday, August 4, Saturday, August 5, and Monday, August 7.

*Yes, I know August 7 is a civic holiday, but I decided to teach anyway, as I'm away the following weekend and I wanted to fit three teaching weeks into August.




No classes this weekend

Classes are cancelled at the Regent Centre for this weekend, including Friday, July 21st, Saturday, July 22, and Monday, July 24.

There will be no classes the following weekend, Friday, July 28, Saturday, July 29, and Monday, July 31.


Classes on this weekend

All classes at the Regent Centre will run as usual on Friday, July 14, Saturday, July 15, and Monday, July 17, 2017.

Note that there will be no classes the following two weeks.

Classes on this weekend

All classes will run as usual on Friday, July 7, Saturday, July 8, and Monday, July 10.

2017 Hiatus Schedule Summer / Fall 2017

As many of you know, I am planning both my usual September / Early October hiatus from teaching and some extra weeks away from teaching in July and August this year (2017, if you stumble upon this post in the future). Hiatus is my time to rest, take care of things that have fallen by the wayside during the winter and spring, and to sink deeply into my own training, so that I can return to you with fresh ideas and renewed energy once we're ready to reconvene full time in the fall.

Please print out this schedule and mark it on your calendars, post it on your fridge, or set up notifications on your phones. I will try to set up reminder notices but I make no guarantees.

There will be NO classes on the following dates:

Friday June 30
Saturday July 1
Monday July 3

Friday July 21
Saturday July 22
Monday July 24

Friday July 28
Saturday July 29
Monday July 31

Friday August 11
Saturday August 12
Monday August 14

I will be on longer term hiatus from Friday, September 1 to Thanksgiving (October 9). Classes will resume on Friday, October 13. 

I will be teaching on any days not noted above.

REMINDER: Classes cancelled on Saturday, May 6, 2017

Classes are cancelled for Saturday, May 6. All classes will run as usual on Friday, May 5, and Monday, May 8.

There will also be no class on Victoria Day, Monday, May 22. Classes will run as usual that weekend on Friday and Saturday. (I'll send out another reminder prior to the 22nd, but please note it on your calendars.) 

***If you wish to respond to this message, please do not hit reply. You'll be replying to the robot that runs my blog, and I won't receive it! Direct all emails to smithmk2@gmail.com***


April Workshop and Class Schedule

With spring finally coming in, we're all a bit busier (yup, that includes me!), and can look forward to reconnecting with the outdoors. This post addresses both of these themes...

UPCOMING CLASS CANCELLATIONS

Regular classes will continue as usual in April and May, but there will be no classes on Good Friday, April 14, and no classes on Saturday, May 6, 2017. Please mark both of these dates in your calendars! 


OUTDOOR WORKSHOP, Sunday, April 30, 2017
1-5pm

Experience required. Only people I have taught previously, and / or those who are currently enrolled in classes at the Regent Centre, may attend. 

Note: the location of this workshop is subject to change, weather pending. You MUST be registered by email in order to join in the workshop. I will confirm the workshop location by email to all participants ahead of time, and reconfirm the night before, but if I don't have you included on the email list, you won't be able to attend. Transportation will be available from various points in Hamilton, if necessary. 

This workshop is going to be a bit of an experiment, so buckle in! 

As those of you who attend my regular classes know, the teachings we work with are a part of a long tradition, the ultimate aim of which is to harmonize the practitioner with the natural energies that surround us abundantly at all times. There is no better way to work with these energies than to go outside and get into direct contact with them. While we can do a lot of excellent training indoors, there really is no substitute for getting out under the sky. 

Participants will spend the afternoon learning general techniques for connecting with natural energies outdoors; paqua stepping / walking meditation on the trails; and working with trees, understanding the specific energies they offer at this time of year. After spending time outdoors, we will reconvene to the Regent Centre for sitting meditation, and to continue the work we have done outside. 

While the trails we will be using are reasonably maintained, there will be some gentle walking (1-3km, depending on the needs of the group) involved in this workshop. Please come prepared to walk up and down some slopes (nothing extreme, just--know this is a possibility) and clothed for the weather. 

Fee: $40

To register or for more information, please contact Melissa at smithmk2@gmail.com, or at (905) 521-0043. Please note, if you wish to register, I will require an email address. 

Qigong Workshop for February 26 CANCELLED--Pushed back to March 26, 2017

Registration numbers are not quite where I need them to be for the workshop coming up this Sunday, February 26. I'm going to push this workshop back to Sunday, March 26th. 

Please let me know ahead of time, preferably by email, if you would like to attend. These Qigong workshops are open to all levels, from beginner to advanced. We work very deeply on the energy aspects of Qigong, sinking into ourselves and connecting with Spirit. 


Sunday, March 26, 2017
1-5pm
Regent Health Centre Studio
Fee: $60 for those who are not regular Tai Chi or Qigong Regent Centre students
$40 for regular Regent Centre students

Open to all

This Qigong workshop will focus on working with the gentle, whole-body movements of Qigong exercises to relax and invigorate the body and focus the mind. We will return once again to shamanic trance journey to help us connect with spiritual and energetic forces that guide all processes of healing and our life's direction. The workshop will include sitting and standing meditation.

Qigong Workshop, Sunday, February 26, 2017


NOTE: THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN CANCELLED. NEXT WORKSHOP WILL RUN SUNDAY, MARCH 26.


Sunday, February 26, 2017 
1-5pm
Regent Health Centre Studio
Fee: $60 for those who are not regular Tai Chi or Qigong Regent Centre students
$40 for regular Regent Centre students
Open to all

This Qigong workshop will focus on working with the gentle, whole-body movements of Qigong exercises to relax and invigorate the body and focus the mind. We will return once again to shamanic trance journey to help us connect with spiritual and energetic forces that guide all processes of healing and our life's direction. The workshop will include sitting and standing meditation.

No Classes Family Day

There will be no classes this upcoming Family Day: Monday, February 20, 2017. All other classes will run as scheduled.

Thanks, and I hope everyone has a great holiday.

TAI CHI / PUSH HANDS WORKSHOP 29 January 2017

Workshops are a wonderful opportunity to set aside an afternoon for focusing on yourself and your practice. The first workshop of 2017--and the first workshop of the new Rooster Year!--will take place on the 29th of January.

This workshop is only open to current Tai Chi students who have completed learning the Tai Chi set. Details below. 



TAI CHI / PUSH HANDS WORKSHOP
Sunday, January 29, 2017
1-5pm
Regent Health Centre Studio
Fee: $60

This workshop will focus on Push Hands and the Tai Chi set.

Push Hands is both a partner exercise, and the sparring form associated with Tai Chi and other internal martial arts. Learning Push Hands is absolutely key to understanding correct Tai Chi movement, as well as the art of dealing with another person's force, and energy. Practicing Push Hands can enormously benefit self confidence, deepen your practice, and teach you how to tell when your technique is correct, and when it needs adjustment. It moves chi, or energy, like no other discipline we study. At its best, it is deeply invigorating and uplifting, and can help the practitioner conquer common fears, and inspire new approaches to daily challenges.

This workshop will help participants master Push Hands fundamentals, and include instruction on how Push Hands practice relates to Tai Chi technique. We will also be working with Qigong sitting meditation, in order to integrate the body and energy changes that accompany Push Hands.

Participants must have completed Beginner's Tai Chi and be familiar with the Tai Chi set. To register, contact Melissa at smithmk2@gmail.com or (905) 521-0043.