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A Cicular Ceremony

by Richard Farmer

The Summer Solstice has just passed and today it is a very hot day and for once I do not want to write a leading article about the practice of Tai Chi Chuan, instead I would like to address the time we live in and are approaching.

In times past the solstice dates were far more important than they are today and to those still in touch with the ancient Celtic traditions it is an important time. In the summer I go and visit the RDTC Scottish School and each year we create a ceremony around the summer solstice. I found those ceremonies to be both
simple and rewarding and I would like to share this years ceremony with you.

As we approached the solstice I asked the participants to feel towards what they wanted to walk away from, what they wanted to leave behind, and to consider what they wanted to walk towards.

I asked them to find an object and be mindful of where they saw it and bring it to the meeting room. There, in small, groups they shared why that object attracted them and what it was they wanted to walk away from. I then asked them to walk back to where they found the object, put it down and walk away, literally walk away, both from the object and more importantly, the thing in their lives that they wanted to leave behind. At some point it was clear as they came back to the meeting room they would be walking not away from something but towards something and I asked them to be aware as they arrived of what it was they wanted to move closer to. With a toast of cognac each one celebrated and shared this aspect. It was simple, powerful and very moving.

We as a planet are not just past the summer high point, we are moving to the end of the millennium. Tai Chi students come in all shapes, sizes and ages - we are all moving out of one age and moving to another. We have all realised something that is no longer appropriate, so what is it that you are ready to walk away from as we approach the end of this time? In terms of your practice what has been not helpful? What has got in your way that you are now ready to put down and move on into another stage? In this stage of your life what are you moving out of? What is Life asking you to walk away from?

You see I think so much will be happening in December 1999 that a lot of this will be drowned in more ways than one so to take time now to feel into it will find you prepared.

What do you need to walk towards in your Tai Chi practice? What would be really helpful and possible? To ask for the impossible, if that’s what you want to do, is not a bad thing because it shows the intention, if not the practical reality. I would suggest it is better to look at something attainable. So what positive quality do you feel ready to take on, to own, to make yours? In your life what step are you willing to take to meet Life half way, a new job, a new approach a willingness to engage with..........? What would you like to walk towards as the clock ticks into 2000? Unlike the solstice it is a man made passage but for much of the planet it will mark a passing that we can use.

If this catches your attention and you feel ready to walk away from something, it means you are ready to walk towards something and vice versa. If you are, and you like the simple ceremony that I outlined, then why not use it, just for yourself or with others. To have one’s wish witnessed is a powerful signal to the universe. If a group of you are meeting why not suggest this as another way of marking the time as well as that big glass of Cognac!!

With the thanks of the RDTC Scottish group, I offer this to you. Use it if it pleases you. Have a great summer.

Back to index page: Summer 1999