The Board of Directors would like to thank everyone who has joined us so far in welcoming our new Executive Director Nate Hribar. In classes he is currently teaching and in our recent potluck, there has been an outpouring of excitement and support.
As we prepare to welcome Nate into his new role and say goodbye to outgoing Director Dan Kleiman, we want to acknowledge that making smooth transitions is at the heart of our shared practice. In many ways, it affirms the choice we made ten years ago to form a 501(c)(3) non-profit, which grew out of a communal desire to continue to exist as a school even when lead teachers or directors move on, and even our location changes.
At the time Water Way Arts for Health and Energy, Inc. formed and applied for non-profit status, Dan was on the Board of Directors and training to become a Tai Chi teacher with BTC founder Bill Ryan. In a few short months, he moved from teacher in training to Managing Director, and within the first year, he was teaching almost all of our introductory Tai Chi and Qigong courses.
Sixteen years ago I thought I was going to have to move to China. I had been trying to learn about meditation and energy and I came across a magazine article describing Bruce Frantzis’s learning journey. He talked about his teachers, what he had to do to train with them and all the things he learned.
I was ready to pick up and move, just like he did, until I read a small footnote at the end of the article. One of Bruce’s senior students ran a school in Brookline. I was just down the street.
I arrived early for my first class at BTC and Bill Ryan stepped out of the class he was teaching to greet me and put me at ease. What I remember most about those early classes was leaving energized in a way I had never felt before. There were moments during the form where I could feel my pulse and my heart beating, the rhythm of my breath and the cadence of the form all running over each other, distinct but intertwined.
Every summer break and between semesters in college, I would come back to the school and drop in for a few classes. When I decided to move back to Boston after college, returning to BTC was as strong a reason for me as any other.
I came back to the school in a time of transition. First, I was asked to train to teach. Eventually, I took a big leap and applied to become Managing Director of newly created Water Way Arts.
For the last 9 years, all I’ve set out to do was to create that same welcoming, enveloping experience I had on my first night at the school.
During our first transition, in 2005, the community raised $70,000 to move forward into lots of unknowns. Now we are much more familiar with how the school thrives as a nonprofit. In addition, we are fortunate to have in Nate a director and lead teacher who is much more experienced than I was when I started.
And even though some parts of this change feel familiar, I hope you’ll join me in supporting the school through new changes and inevitable challenges. You can make the transition smoother and easier for all our staff and teachers by giving them the kind of financial cushion I had when I started out.
If, over the last decade, Dan’s work at Brookline Tai Chi has had a positive impact on your life, making you in some way feel more grounded, present, and connected to those around you, consider making a contribution in his honor:
Checks, payable to Water Way Arts or Brookline Tai Chi, can be mailed to:
Brookline Tai Chi
131 Cypress St
Brookline, MA 02445
We look forward to an exciting new stage in the life of our school community!
On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you for your continued support.