On May 31st, 2016 I locked up my qigong and tai chi studio for the last time.
As I returned the keys to the landlord, my eyes were not dry. Not even a little bit.
Since 2008, the Flowing Zen Studio in Gainesville Florida has been my baby, my mission, my everything.
With little more than a dream, I somehow managed to build one of the most successful full time qigong and tai chi studios in the country. Over 2000 people have come through those doors.
Now the doors are closed.
I’m not done teaching, not by a long shot. In many ways, I’m just getting started.
I believe that qigong and tai chi are about to explode in popularity, that we are witnessing the tipping point for these arts.
I believe it so strongly that I just finished certifying 20 wonderful instructors.
And yet – I’m closing my studio.
I shot this video before turning in the keys. It probably does a better job of conveying my complex emotions on the subject:
If you don’t have time to watch the video, then here are the major themes:
- I’m being called to teach globally rather than just locally.
- The studio demanded a ton of my time and energy.
- I now have 20 certified instructors who will carry on my teaching locally.
- The world is now my classroom.
My local students (and some of my long-distance students) have known about the closing for a few months. In that time, I’ve received a lot of thoughtful emails, many of them with the same theme:
“When one one door closes, another opens.”
I totally agree with this sentiment. I’m excited about the future, and I’m thrilled to be bringing qigong to a global audience.
And yet — I’m still heartbroken.
I can feel grief and excitement at the same time. As Whitman said, I contain multitudes.
The future may be bright, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have put my heart, my sweat, my blood, my tears, into a studio that is now closed.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, grieving is healthy. It shouldn’t be stifled.
I’m grieving. Perhaps you’d like to grieve with me?
Here are some pictures to help you (and me) remember the Flowing Zen Studio: click here.
If you ever spent time in the studio, then you know that it was a beautiful, healing space. Wonderful things happened in that studio over the last 9 years.
Wonderful things are on the horizon, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
But the studio — its wonderful energy, its safe, nurturing environment, and its ability to connect people to each other to the qi of the cosmos — all of that will be dearly missed.
Do you have any fond memories of this space? If so, I’d love it if you shared them in the comments below. From the heart, Sifu Anthony