Every Teacher is A Student and Every Student is A Teacher
by Pastor Rick Tate,
ATCQA Certified Tai Chi Instructor (Level II)
and member of Professional Development Committee.
I began my journey
with the practice of Tai Chi back in 2006. After several semesters of
instruction, I began teaching the form at my church where I serve as pastor. I
have been teaching several classes at various locations since 2008. Over time I
have seen how the practice of the form has changed my way of living as well as
the lives of those who come to the classes.
Personally it led me on a journey to begin
making better lifestyle choices concerning my health – diet, exercise,
relaxation, etc. And at 55 I am in the best physical condition I have ever
I have seen many students come through the
classes over the years. Some are curiosity seekers. Some are looking for a
quick-fix to major health problems which took decades to develop through poor
health practices. Some do not have the patience it takes to learn the form much
less to take an hour to simply relax and breath and be in the moment and move to
some beautiful music.
But then there are those who understand
that Tai Chi is not something you learn and then every health problem you have
is solved. Tai Chi is not a quick-fix. Tai Chi is a lifestyle. Tai Chi is a way
There are those who come back to class
faithfully enjoying the moment – enjoying the special community that we have in
fellowship together as we strive to move in unison and share the mysterious and
wonderful aspects of this "communal dance" – this corporate moving meditation.
From the beginning when I learned the
form, I saw it as a gift that was given to me. It is a gift that by its
possession I am obligated to share with anyone who has the interest and desire
to experience the wonderful healing properties of Tai Chi.
I presently teach four classes a week –
two at my church and two at another church in my community. These classes are
offered to the community for free as an extension ministry of the churches.
I am humbled by the opportunity to share
this wonderful experience of Tai Chi to anyone who is interested in exploring
the beauty of the form – the beauty of a breath – the beauty of a moment – the
beauty of simply being present and engaged in the ever present – ever eternal –
ever changing and unchanging – NOW.
I do not know if I work wonders for my
students or if they work wonders for me. I think there is a beautiful reciprocal
relationship at work here. I tell my students who are always willing to help the
new students who come into our class encouraging them to be patient and enjoy
the moment. "Every teacher is a student and every student is a teacher." .