At the Centre we focus on the training and mindfulness during the week and leave the weekend for you to relax, regenerate and explore the local attractions, local culture and nature.
Typical day at the Centre starts with a morning meditation for those who want to join. Morning meditation (sunrise meditation in the winter months) is a sitting meditation focusing on breathing bring you calmness and charging your battery for the day ahead. We have two 2 hour classes during the day - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Classes start with stretching exercises followed by QiGong and TaiChi practise appropriate to student's level.
During the day you enjoy three delicious meals which you can learn more about here.
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Mindfulness at the Centre
Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is inseparable part of TaiChi. The movements can be only perfected when your body works in unison with your mind. At The Centre we focus on mindfulness as much as on the forms itself. We have organised following activities for you to join. You are always welcome to incorporate as much meditation as you feel you need and we have few places at the centre and the bamboo forest that are prefect for your mindfulness practice.
Standing meditation (Zhan zhuang) is a form of medical meditation and it is practised during some of our TaiChi classes. It increases vitality, internal strength and fitness as well as overall body power. Standing meditation can physically strengthen the body. Standing meditation makes use of five very specific standing postures to deeply release long held stress and tension. The legs, spine and shoulders become very strong yet relaxed. Unnecessary tension is released from the joints and muscles, making them more flexible and elastic.
Standing meditation makes use of specific relaxed abdominal breathing, use of mental imagery, and awareness of the inside of your body. More difficult variation is standing on one leg meditation, which we practise at The Centre.
When the sun rises, the whole of nature automatically wakes up: flowers, birds, animals. The air is full of charged ions making every deep breath a healing and calming one. You can meditate any time of the day, of course, but morning meditation will charge your battery and better prepare you for the day. Our morning meditation isn't always at sunrise but we encourage everyone to get up together with nature and try it on their own.
Sunrise meditation will make more resilient and will allow you better respond to the events of the day instead of just reacting to them. You will become more aware of your body, of your health, your food choices will become more conscience, you will be more intuitive and more in tuned with your emotions.
Other forms of mindfulness
You can practise mindfulness through any activity as long as you are fully present in the moment, free of thought you just experiencing the process. Chinese culture is full of ancient traditions, which allow to practise mindfulness.
At The Centre we have array of new things you can try like gardening, coloring lanterns, bamboo weaving etc., but the tea ceremony and calligraphy it's at the centre of them all.
Did you know that calligraphy can also be a meditative practice, stemming from the breath and control necessary to position the brush? There are many benefits to calligraphy: “Mindfulness – writing reflects that. Creating – you can be utterly creative with what you do. Wellbeing – it actually helps a lot on so many levels if you take time and nurture your skills, because it’s not something you can master instantly.”
Tea ceremony is so much more than just making tea and quenching your thirst. 1200 years of history the art of making tea, usually green, made it full of symbols, rituals and mindfulness. Water is at the centre of Wu Wei philosophy so simply washing a cup becomes a deep spiritual practice. The benefits of tea ceremony are countless and allow cultivating a sense of gratitude, reduce stress and find greater peace and clarity of mind, not to mention all the health benefits of drinking tea (depends on what tea you drink, but many types of tea are very healthy).
It's great opportunity to bond with fellow students and masters thus tea ceremony at The Centre is a daily occurrence.