‘Be not deterred,’ says Dr. Baolin Wu of the Nine Palaces tradition from the White Cloud Monastery of China. ‘Always practise your Tai Chi outside, in nature.’
Not only was it raining this morning, but it was also rather cool. But, remembering Dr Wu’s words, I resolutely put on a hat and jacket and made my way to the jetty.
There was a certain beauty in the soft mistiness that shrouded the cliffs opposite. Doing the sequence ‘Playing with clouds’ took on a new meaning. I could feel energy flowing into me as I did my Tai Chi in the rain.

The rain increased, and I moved to this little platform under a spreading pohutukawa tree. This photo was taken on another day, when the tide was in. The tide was well out today, and the sea’s colour had drained away. But the platform gave me a little shelter.

 Underfoot, little squelches as my bare feet rolled over rain-soaked pohutukawa seeds. On my head, pitter patter of the rain. “The more you focus your attention on your inner warmth, the less you will notice the weather,’ says Dr Wu.

It was true. My inner warmth was fueled by the sense of this great tree sheltering me like a mother, giving me her refreshing green energy. I was glad I’d ventured out.
‘Being outside in the open air, around trees and plants, will surround you with fresh, lively Qi that can be used to nourish the body,’ says Dr Wu.
I’m feeling it. Every day my sense of well-being increases, and doing my Tai Chi through the changes of tide and weather keeps me on my toes, aware of the constant flux and flow in this wonderful environment where I live.