This, the 10th Taiji on the Holy Island was exceptional. Why? Because we had beautiful weather this time!

As usual, the meeting of smiling faces on the mainland prior the event and the ferry crossings did much to thrill those new to this occasion where as “us veterans” could only enjoy trip across with anticipation on what we were going to learn and experience.

Friday evening provided the opportunity to meet new friends and wander along the beach at the front of the house until “Soup” was ready. The caretakers of the house and residents of the community were charming and helpful.

Saturday started with early morning Qigong at 6:30! But it was beautiful and very oddly warm! The exercises were cut short however due to the “mighty midge” (West of Scotland’s answer to the mosquito – only these have body armour, aqualungs and damn big harpoons).

After breakfast, we were introduced to the exquisite “Daoyin Poem” of Professor Zhang Guande from Bob but inside the conference centre away from the midges (!) and continued after lunch on the shore as by then, it was too warm for the midge in body armour.

Later in the day, and breaking from tradition, that is, normally Bob would take everyone to St Molaises’ Cave and tell stories of the Celtic peoples and Saints in Scotland of that period, he took us for a walk in the opposite direction!

We roamed the hills and were stunned by the beauty of the island, but that didn’t prepare us for where Bob was taking us. Over a few more hills and through small valleys, we were led up the side of a knoll to witness around eleven wild ponies feeding and wandering through the vegetation. They watched us, we watched them, it was a magical moment.

On the way back Bob gave anatomy lessons from bones of animals strewn around the top of the mountain and we tried to guess which animals they were.

In the evening we were all extremely tired but also content and very happy. On Sunday, we continued our learning of the “Poem” in the morning interspersed with breaks and walks as temperatures rose to around 26 – 28 degrees. Like “Mad dogs and Englishmen”, a number of the group started playing football on the shore – front and before long everyone was chasing the ball! To complete the weekend, Bob had us relaxing in what he termed a “laughter train” that was really quite mad but also hysterical.

As always, Taiji on the Holy Island was finished and it was time to go home. Having been to most of these events, this one was by far the best. New “Forms”, new adventures, new faces, beautiful weather all on a fantastic Island with a great Teacher. My thanks also go to Carol for her constant and successful organisational skills.

Looking forward to next year already! ………………………………A.S.

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