Situated some 350 kilometres north of Madrid in Spain, secluded in the mountains above the little picturesque and sleepy village of Acebo is Lalita. It is a centre for peace, meditation and inward studies. Seven years ago saw the first International Taiji gathering at Lalita and marked the occasion as an annual event. Now it has become established as an International Taijiquan Festival offering workshops in Taijiquan and Qigong for beginners and teachers alike. The organisers of Lalita are Enrique Alario and Simon Carey Morgan, both longstanding practitioners and Teachers of Taijiquan and Qigong.
Having known both of these reprobates for a good number of years, and accustomed to their laid back attitude, I was honoured to be invited to Lalita for the 2003 International Festival. My invitation was at the request of another friend Bertrand Hamel, and to my surprise and pleasure, my long time “little sister” in Tai Chi, Linda Chase Broda, was also invited. This adventure was reminiscent of Linda and me teaching in Italy some 8 years ago!
Leaving Madrid airport, a 3.5 hour journey confronted me to Lalita. Thankfully I’m really bored with travel and slept most of the way. My first impression of Lalita was one of bewilderment. It was beautiful, but never having been to Spain, I was ignorant of the language and customs. However, as days passed and I settled, Lalita lived up to the expectations entrenched in my mind from stories by pervious visiting Instructors. It is a beautiful Centre that commands a very calming ambience, which is reflected in the peoples attitudes and behaviour throughout the week. In addition to this was the camaraderie of the Teachers:
Liang Puwan (España)
Born in Peking 1956. Liang began his studies in Martial Arts with Shaolin at 13 years old and at 17 in Taijiquan with Lei Muni, disciple of Chen Fake. He teaches in the Círculo del Retiro de Taijiquan – Chen style (Madrid).
Jay Shelfer (U.S.A.)
Jay is a well known Cheng Man Ching practitioner of many years experience and is now based in California. Jay taught spiralling energetic movements, techniques of breathing, and methods of visualisation.
Linda Chase Broda (U.K.)
Linda Chase Broda has some thirty years experience of Taijiquan. She established The Village Hall Taijiquan School in Manchester in 1980 and has been working with students who have special needs. She is a founder member of the Taijiquan Union for Great Britain and the founding chairperson of the Taijiquan and Qigong Forum for Health and Special Needs.
Ignacio Moriyon (U.K.)
With fifteen years of experience teaching classes and workshops, Nacho first began his Taijiquan (Yang Style – Cheng Man Ching) and Qigong studies with Master Tung Kuan Yen (Taiwan) along with the Qigong Styles: ‘Tao Yin’ and ‘The Five Elements’.
Daniel Grolle Moscovici (Germany)
Daniel has some 20 years of practice and 10 years teaching Yang style in the Cheng Man Ching tradition, competitor and veteran of many Push Hand contests.
Mario Napoli (USA)
What can anyone say about Mario? He’s loved wherever he goes, but a demon in Tui Shou! Mario has some 16 years experience at this sort of thing having studied under Stanley Israel, Senior Student of Cheng Man Ching.
Lauren Smith (USA)
Lauren is a long time favourite of many European Taiji Festivals with a 15 year history of Taijiquan – yet another superb practitioner of Tui Shou.
It was a fantastic event providing me with my 7th visit abroad this year, meeting with new found friends and old alike.
My thanks to Enrique, Simon and Bertrand for my invite and experience, to Linda Griffiths for the photographs (she has a beautiful web site), Linda Broda for her company and solace, Santi and Angi, Glenda, Adolfo & Tatayana, David and my Sufi friends. It was a great time.