On my last day of vacation, while on a cruise celebrating my mother’s 90th birthday, I had the great fortune of meeting a young man, Jeanbaptiste, age 11, who immediately understood the deep connections between practicing the Tai Chi Animal Frolics and appreciating its relationship to caring for the earth. and all of its creatures
When I first met him and asked him if he wanted to learn a Tai Chi-like form based on symbolic animal movements, he immediately said yes. He told me that he meditated as a relaxation practice and he had a profound concern for animals and wanted to protect them. I was so impressed with his awareness of a mindfulness practice and his commitment to helping animals. We practiced the form together in an amazing space mid-ship in an open room with an enormous globe of the earth. It had a beautiful, multi-storied, living tree and a backdrop of video screens that played short films about the devastation of the earth and the animals, plants, and people who are who are in danger unless we do something now to turn things around. I had been practicing in this space every day of the cruise and it was visible from the bank of elevators carrying people to all parts of the ship. It seemed like the perfect place to do the Tai Chi Animal Frolics.
After we practiced together, he left to get his mother and have her learn the form. She was so happy when she discovered what he had just learned and how it fit so perfectly with his world view and personal dreams. I taught her the form and she purchased my DVD to take home so that they could practice together. I felt such a profound feeling of joy to have made this wonderful connection.
As if our practice wasn’t enough of a special experience, Jeanbaptiste told me that he loved to draw animals and so I asked him if he would like to make a drawing of one of the Tai Chi Animal Frolics animals. Without hesitation, he said he’d like to draw the Pouncing Tiger. I told him that if he’d like, I’d post it on my website, so here it is………….
Thank you so much Jeanbaptiste.