Year of the Rooster Annual Dinner, Welcome Speech

The Taoist and Buddhist Meditation Centre is a non-profit organization operating as the Tai Chi and Meditation Centre, since Tai Chi and Meditation form our core practice. Together, the ancient eastern wisdom practices of Vipassana meditation of Buddhist origin, and the Taoist martial and healing arts of Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Xingyiquan and Qigong, are a harmonized blend of yin and yang-stillness and movement. Thus, our logo is the Taoist Yin/Yang symbol embraced by the Buddhist lotus blossom, symbolizing clarity and purity of mind.

What we do is isn’t about the pose or movement specifically, not even about how well we do it or how good we look doing it, it is about the transformation that occurs as a result of continued awareness of our internal state of being while undergoing the process of change.

Our work is not easy. Most who come to the practice have an idea that it will improve their health, and it will. That it is beautiful, graceful and powerful at the same time... it is. That we will achieve enlightenment from the stillness of now... and we can. But it takes time and perserverence and years of practice, in fact the practice never ends. It is a life-long learning and transformational process that grows greater over time. It is a journey that starts with yourself and attracts others along the way. We are not alone.

Thus our instructors reach out into the community, to share this profound teaching that allows us to clearly see this truth of oneness, wholeness.

The world we live in is about relationships, you and I, this and that, darkness and light. It is about Yin and Yang. They are not separate, as we often perceive them to be. They represent opposition in harmony and balance, one cannot exist without the other.

It is said “One can only know things through knowing oneself“ and “Know yourself and you will know others”. Understanding and compassion for oneself will lead to the realization that we are not different, or separate. If we do not know ourselves, we are as a dog that chases its own tail, not realizing that tail is of itself. Like two sides of the same coin, head and tail are one. You and I are one. We can fight each other or we can realize we are one together. We must go beyond the false sense of the individual small self... the ego, to the truth that we are one collective force of being that must co-exist in harmony.

Through constant practice of paying attention and awareness to what is, without conflict, each individual can grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, so that collectively we become the light of the world.

Shifu Donna Oliver
Chinese New Year Celebration
February 11, 2017