Tai Chi Academy

Tai Chi & Meditation Retreat

Tai Chi & Meditation Retreat April 2024
Relax the Body, Calm the Mind &
Renew Your Energy

Flow Like a River and Be Still as a Mountain
Conducted by Chief Instructor Brett Wagland & Fontane

5pm Saturday 13 April to 12.30pm Wednesday 17 April 2024
This is our 16th retreat at SIBA!
Suitable & beneficial for everyone.
No pre-requisite necessary. Everyone is welcome.

The Tai Chi will be taught according to your current level. If you are a beginner, you will be taught separately in the beginner’s group with no experience necessary.

Rates:
$900- per person for motel style en-suite room (twin share)
$760- per person for camping site (toilet & shower amenities included)

Accommodation, delicious vegetarian meals and Tai Chi and Meditation teachings are included in the above cost.  Great value!

The creative cook in SIBA is happy to cater for special dietary requirements (such as gluten free, dairy free, etc.).  Please specify in your booking.

Bookings are essential as numbers are strictly limited.  Book Now! 

Please confirm your booking by paying the full retreat fee or
a $480 deposit for twin share motel style room or $340 deposit for camping,
with the balance due by 21 March 2024.

Retreat twin share, $900.00

Retreat camping, $760.00

Retreat twin share deposit, $480.00

Retreat camping deposit, $340.00

Tai Chi Academy

Devote a few days to nurture yourself at our Tai Chi and Meditation Retreat, an opportunity to explore ancient methods for inner and outer cultivation.  The Taoists have always celebrated the sacred connection between humanity and nature.  SIBA, this purpose-built retreat centre enables you to enjoy the soothing embrace of the natural world.  The sheer spectacle of countless stars sparkling in the night sky evokes a sense of wonder and awe.  What a refreshing respite from the daily ups and downs that impede inner serenity!

Within this sanctuary, unburdened by the complexities of everyday life, your focus on your well-being can remain undivided.  Beginning at 7am, our day unfolds with a dynamic Wudang Mountain Qigong, delving into the rejuvenating practices of Yang Sheng Gong.  These invigorating movements awaken the spine, purify the lungs, enhance joint flexibility, stimulate vital energy and blood flow, massage acupoints and synchronize with the qi of the natural world.  The sequence concludes with a standing and sitting energy cultivation practice, leaving you revitalised and serene — a perfect commencement to each day.

Following a nourishing breakfast, immerse yourself in meditation practices guided by Fontane, a gifted teacher with extensive training.  Meditation serves as a gateway to being present with oneself, an ability often overshadowed by the distractions of modern life.  Embracing whatever arises during meditation cultivates patience and compassion, essential qualities for personal growth and harmonious relationships.  In this peaceful haven, discover contentment and gain insight into your true nature under the expert guidance of a skilled practitioner.

The third element of our retreat seamlessly integrates meditation and Qigong through Tai Chi. The Hun Yuan Tai Chi system harmonizes body, mind and energy, offering a graceful embodiment of holistic well-being.  We offer an inclusive environment that welcomes beginners and advanced practitioners alike.  Tai Chi, with its layers of complexity, becomes a lifelong practice, unveiling the profound principles of relaxation, energy (qi), mind-body coordination, smoothness, calmness, awareness and sensitivity.

For those seeking deeper enrichment in Tai Chi, our optional evening sessions delve into the functional aspects of the Tai Chi system through two-person exercises such as Push Hands and chin na, providing a tangible understanding of the principles behind the art and its yin yang philosophy.  Alternatively, opt for serene evening meditation if a more contemplative practice aligns with your preferences.

Our immersive retreat will leave an enduring effect, offering a blend of knowledge and practices that will resonate throughout your life.  We look forward to welcoming you to share our wealth of experience and insight from a lifetime dedicated to these transformative arts.

Tai Chi Academy

The style of Tai Chi that the Academy teaches is the Hun Yuan system developed by Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang (1928-2012).  His teacher, Chen Fa Ke (1887-1957), spread the Chen family Tai Chi to Beijing and eventually, to the outside world.  Chen Fa Ke was famous for his martial power, humble character and martial virtue.  Another teacher of Grandmaster Feng was Hu Yao Zhen (1879-1973), a famous traditional Chinese medical practitioner, a Taoist master skilled in the art of Xin Yi Chuan (Heart Mind Boxing).  Hu became known as the father of modern Qigong in China.

Grandmaster Feng combined the teachings of his two teachers to create the Chen style Xin Yi Hun Yuan Tai Chi system.  The characteristics of this system are circular, flowing movements which relax and open the body’s joints and tendons.  The movements promote the smooth flow of blood and qi throughout the body.

The principles of the Hun Yuan system are based on these Taoist principles:

  1. Train the internal as well as the external.
  2. Focus on stillness while moving.
  3. Nourish jing (essence), qi (energy) and shen (spirit).

In other words, we learn to conserve energy, not waste it.  We train the mind or intention to lead the energy through the body which then guides the Tai Chi movements.  In this system, cultivating the gong or internal energy is emphasised from the very beginning.  Grandmaster Feng often says, “Without gong, one’s training is only empty forms.”

The Tai Chi will be taught according to your current level.  If you are a beginner, you will be taught separately in the beginner’s group with no experience necessary.

Meditation – the Way to Perfect Contentment

Apart from the moving meditation of Tai Chi, Fontane will present an in-depth sitting meditation practice.  Meditation allows you to look into the different layers of the mind, eventually experiencing an oceanic sense of spaciousness which is our natural state.  Another dimension of the meditation is the development of insight into our patterns of reactions to changing circumstances in life.   The style of meditation is non-denominational.  It focuses on relaxing the body and calming the mind.

In the retreat, the following areas will be covered:

  • the causes of frustration brought about by some common meditation techniques
  • getting in touch with the natural effortless calm within
  • turning daily activities into a practice of meditation
  • maintaining a successful meditation routine
  • the difference between meditation and mindfulness
Tai Chi Academy
Tai Chi Academy

Fontane will take you on a journey of self discovery.  Being aware of the rich tapestry of experiences during meditation will enable you to accept yourself and others.  This allows you to transform negative situations into positive experiences.  The effortless calm you will discover within will become part of your daily life.

        One of the unique aspects of this retreat is the combination of sitting meditation with moving meditation.  This will enable your body to feel good while you experience a sense of deep relaxation, peace and calm from both practices.  The skills learned and insight gained here will serve and inspire you for your whole life.  We warmly invite you to experience the awakening and healing for yourself! 

Tai Chi Academy

Chief Instructor Brett Wagland established the Tai Chi Academy in Canberra in 1982.  Brett has over 40 years of teaching experience.  Brett’s teachers include Grandmaster Fu Sheng Yuan, a world recognised authority on Yang Style and Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang, the founder of the Hun Yuan Tai Chi system, who is known universally for his amazing feats of internal power.

        Brett is the creator and presenter of the television series “Let’s Get Fit”, an innovative exercise program of 65 episodes, based on Tai Chi.  This most popular program on Foxtel’s Lifestyle channel is the first of its kind in Australia.  The series is also broadcast in South America and Europe.

Fontane Ip is the assistant director of the Tai Chi Academy.  Fontane specialises in energy cultivation and meditation practices.  She has 34 years of teaching experience in relaxation techniques.  Fontane’s method of teaching meditation makes it easy to learn.  She speaks about significant aspects which are rarely discussed.  This knowledge is usually not taught openly.  She explains the relevance of this wisdom as it applies to our daily lives.  Through her elucidation, she is able to bring people’s attention to their own intrinsic nature.
Tai Chi Academy

Retreat Venue

SIBA is a purpose built retreat centre ideal for meditation and healing.  This 108 acre site is located in the mountains of East Gippsland, Victoria, surrounded by Australian bush.  The property grows its own organic vegetables.  All meals are prepared and cooked on the premises.  Just staying in this peaceful setting for a few days will calm your mind and renew your energy.

Tai Chi Academy


Duration of Retreat: 5pm Saturday 13 April to 12.30pm Wednesday 17 April 2024

Venue:

SIBA Retreat Centre (formerly known as ONTOS)
2592 Gelantipy Road, W Tree, East Gippsland, VIC
(25kms north of Buchan Caves)

Tai Chi Academy

Cost:

  • $900- per person for motel style en-suite room (twin share)
  • $760- per person for camping site (toilet & shower amenities included)

Accommodation, delicious vegetarian meals and Tai Chi and Meditation teachings are included in the above cost.  Great value!

The creative cook in SIBA is happy to cater for special dietary requirements (such as gluten free, dairy free, etc.).  Please specify in your booking.

Bookings are essential as numbers are strictly limited.  Book Now!

Please confirm your booking by paying the full retreat fee or
a $480 deposit for twin share motel style room or $340 deposit for camping,
with the balance due by 21 March 2024.

Retreat twin share, $900.00

Retreat camping, $760.00

Retreat twin share deposit, $480.00

Retreat camping deposit, $340.00

Tai Chi Academy

Retreat Schedule 2024

Sat 13 Apr
Please arrive by 5pm to settle in.
6.00pm Dinner
7.30 to 8.45pm Welcome and Introduction – Brett and Fontane

Sun 14, Mon 15 & Tues 16 Apr
7am to 8.30am Qigong
8.40am Breakfast
10am to 12.30pm Meditation and Talk (morning tea at 11am)
12.55pm Lunch
2.30 to 5.20pm Tai Chi Workshop (afternoon tea at 4pm)
5.40pm Dinner
7.15pm to 8.45pm Meditation and Talk (alternative option – Body Mechanics & Inner Structure)

Wed 17 Apr
7.00am Qigong
8.00am Tai Chi
9.25am Brunch (a late breakfast and an early lunch combined)
10.30am Meditation and Talk
12noon Tea, Coffee & Cake – can be takeaway for those who wish to leave earlier

 

Reflections on the 2018 Tai Chi & Meditation Retreat
Reflections on the 2016 Tai Chi & Meditation Retreat

Directions to SIBA

By Car from Canberra:
At Cooma, turn left at the roundabout to Bombala.
After Nimmitabel, turn right to Bombala.
Monaro Hwy A23 – 244km south to Cann River.
Turn right on Princes Hwy A1 110 km to Nowa Nowa.
Turn right at Nowa Nowa, then follow Bruthen Rd 7 km to Buchan turn-off on the right.
After Buchan (29 km), SIBA is 26 km north on the right hand side of Gelantipy Rd.
Tibetan prayer flags at the SIBA entrance.

By Car from Melbourne:
Princes Hwy M1/A1 – 294 km east to Bairnsdale.
Omeo Hwy A195 24 km to Bruthen.
Then follow Nowa Nowa Rd 22km to Buchan turn-off.
After Buchan (29 km), SIBA is 26 km north on the right hand side of Gelantipy Rd.
Tibetan prayer flags at the SIBA entrance.

By Train and Bus from Melbourne:
4 hours from Melbourne by train to Bairnsdale and
2 hours by bus (Mon, Wed, Fri) to W Tree.
Contact SIBA (ph 03 5155 0329) to confirm the bus timetable.

 

Everyone is welcome.  Reserve YOUR place – Book Now!

Tai Chi Academy
Tai Chi Academy

Notices

Tai Chi Classes at Aranda, Weston and Curtin begin the week 30 Apr.

Suggested Reading:

“The Art of the Straight Line : My Tai Chi”, by Lou Reed

“No Fight, No Blame: a Journalist’s life in Martial Arts”, by Michael Dorgan
Grandmaster Feng Zhi Zhang, founder of our Hun Yuan Tai Chi system, is featured in the book.

“Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us”, by Michael Moss

“The Web that has No Weaver : understanding Chinese medicine”, by Ted J. Kaptchuk