Adrian Observes

I became a student of Andrew Rohowyj in 2012. My enjoyment of tai chi has evolved, quite accidentally (or intentionally), over a number of years. I practised yoga for a number of years and enjoyed the peace that it brought. I then decided to practise meditation for a number of years and experiment with a more passive form of exercise. This led to my discovery of Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan, a wonderful coming together of the two.

I now find myself on a patient yet potent journey to achieve a heightened state of awareness which, I believe, tai chi will bring. I feel as though I am at present only scratching the surface. As a primary school teacher, my commitment to tai chi seems to be directly proportionate to my capacity to create engaging learning experiences in the classroom.

Blue Mountains Tai Chi “Walkshop”

BOOK NOW

LOCATION:
Wilson Park, Wentworth Falls.
http://goo.gl/maps/QdbPM
DATE:
SUNDAY 14th April 2013

SESSIONS:
1st: 10:00AM – 11:30AM,
2nd: 12:30PM – 2:00PM,
3rd: 3:00PM – 4:30PM.

COST:
$25 Session 1 only,
$45 Sessions 1 & 2 only,
$60 All 3 sessions.
(Break time is also valuable, so included in the $45 and $60 options is much more than just the 1 1/2 hour sessions!)

CONTENT:
The Spontaneous Way; Dance, Energy, Walk, Talk, elements. Enjoyment!

GO BEYOND MERE FORM?

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Chris B Professes

I am a teacher, researcher and writer and have been so for over twenty-five years during which time I have worked in a number of schools and universities in both England and Australia.

I have long enjoyed physical activity like running, cycling and swimming which I find beneficial from both a physical health point of view and in terms of mental wellbeing. However as I get older – I am 57 now- I am aware that there are limits to how much of these things one can do without injury. In addition, although I like exercise, I am a touch uncoordinated and awkward in my body. My initial motivation for joining a Tai Chi class then was to find a gentler form of physical activity and one in which I might find a better sense of balance with my body. I have also been involved in meditation (in the style of Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Naht Hanh) for many years which is relevant to my involvement in Tai Chi since I approach it with a sense that Tai Chi has a dimension of what we might call ‘meditation in motion’.

I have been attending Tai Chi for over 18 months now and I have learned the basic 108 moves but I know that there is a way to go before I approach the level of grace achieved by Master Ric and the senior students. That said, I do feel that I have gained more surety and confidence in my movements as the months have passed by and I have a confidence that I will continue to grow in that way.

However, perhaps the biggest challenge in Tai Chi for me- and the also the greatest reward – has been mental, that is, in terms of thinking, attitudes and personal qualities.
Tai Chi does not come naturally to me, I have to work at it and much of this effort and my frequent mistakes took place under the eyes of others so that at first I felt under scrutiny as if I had farted at the Queens dinner table. And however much people might say that everyone makes mistakes, or there no mistakes in Tai Chi, it is all a learning process and so forth, that ain’t how it felt. My head can fill with thoughts while I am doing Tai Chi which is a distraction and so I have had to learn to overcome the desire to run away and hide.

I have had to stick with it and trust I would get there (wherever there is, because there is no ‘there’ to get to) in the end. I think then that as much as I have gained an improvement in physical balance – which I have – I have also gained a certain resilience and inner strength of character through perseverance in which, as long as I try my best, then I accept that whatever I do in Tai Chi is OK. And indeed, there are times when I feel relaxed and at ease as if I was in a state of meditation and at least in my mind I can float like a butterfly.

Chris Barker
19/03/13

Sara’s Sagacity

sara1Last year I started drinking tea, and I began to read about the history and culture that surrounds it. One of these books introduced me to the idea of Dao, and I found the rhetoric compelling, this in turn brought me to Tai Chi Chuan.

I originally come from the country, and spent my childhood and teenage years doing classical ballet, so I can safely say that Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan is unlike anything I have previously tried or been exposed to. Instead of rigid structure, which made me feel like a disjointed collection of parts, I feel as if my body is one piece. The effect that each move has on the whole and the way the movements connect and flow from one to the other is magical.

I am studying science at university, so my life is generally overwhelmed by stress and the need to be doing, to be done. These classes leave me feeling peaceful and removed from the stress and the push to be doing. I feel like myself rather than a tool for completing tasks.

Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan is one of the few things for me that isn’t an obstacle to surmount or an objective to complete, it just is, and I am enjoying being carried along by it.

Sara Rose
13th Feb.’13

Gerry’s Experiences

gerryDespite “dabbling” for a few months several years ago, I only truly discovered Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan recently, joining Master Ric Lum’s class in January 2013.

As a scientist and an artist I felt drawn to Tai-Chi for its beauty, its diversity and a sense of curiosity and wonder.

So far, I have come to see Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan not as a set of tasks and goals to be rushed through (of which life has plenty) but as a journey to be enjoyed at its own pace, and one which I am only just starting. This has proved a wonderful stress relief and an escape from the world of deadlines and commitments. Additionally, Tai-Chi is giving me a new awareness of myself, those around me and my environment.

*Gerard O’Connor*

Master Michael’s Musings

Master Michael Lee

My brother John and I attended one of NSW Chin Woo’s annual Christmas parties in Sydney’s Chinatown back in the 90s, and we were fortunate to have sat at the same table as Ric Lum Sifu. During the party, many fine masters displayed various styles of martial arts on stage. When I asked Ric why isn’t he performing tonight, Ric being very humble but humorous (with a smile) said that he’s not up to the high standards and didn’t feel like performing!!! It was very interesting and calming to converse with Ric that night. John and I have kept in close contact with him ever since.

A few years ago, during a profound and valuable conversation with the honourable Lum Sifu in person, being inquisitive (as I started training martial arts at a very young age, CHI “internal gung” in my interpretation feels like a warm sensation that travels through my body at control of own mind/will), I questioned about how the sensation of CHI would feel like from a Tai Chi practitioner’s point of view. Ric didn’t explain much but led us to a tree near the side of a street and showed my brother John and I the starting posture of Tai Chi Stance and instructed us to relax our shoulders and roll them forward; what came after was totally amazing as John and my arms floated up without effort or muscle contraction and with a 90 degree turn of both palms, my arms would slowly descend back to the starting position. After achieving the arm lift for numerous times, I felt revived and my vision became very bright and I was able to see objects clearly into the far distance. It was great feeling CHI for the first time, but regrettably this experience wasn’t enough to broaden my mind to learn Tai Chi Chuan as I devoted most of my free time to other sports.

My brother John had an accident 6 months ago and wanted to practise Tai Chi with Ric to aid his injuries. I volunteered to drive him twice a week to Ric until he could drive again. My first Tai Chi lesson came the same day when Ric kindly invited me to learn with John.

John and I were trying to perfect a Tai Chi hand movement called the “Tiger’s mouth” at the office when John unconsciously emitted a strong cool breeze to my forearm about 10 inches away as I was trying to show him what I thought was the correct way. I didn’t tell John what he had done straight away because I needed to confirm if it was something else, so I turned off the air conditioner and closed all the doors and windows and asked John to try it again, YES, the cool breeze was so apparent this time it felt like a small portable fan was blowing from his palm.

Approximately three months ago, I was in front of a shop with a group of friends when my friend’s neighbour was walking her dog (an Alaskan Malamute “full-grown”). The dog seemed so friendly when it came to me, so I sat down and stroked it a few times when to my surprise, without warning the dog lunged at me. All I heard next was a vicious growl from the dog, loud screams from my friends and all I could see was the dog’s mouth wide open, teeth and two protruding fangs inches from my face. I was trapped in a sitting position with a friend crouched beside me and a glass sliding door behind me. At that moment I instinctively protected my face by palming the dog’s neck with my left hand, but it jerked back sharply and bit into the index and middle fingers of my left hand. At this instance time had almost stood still as I felt the crushing jaw and the sensation of teeth sinking into my fingers; what followed next felt like I was practising very slow Tai Chi with options and plenty of time to handle this situation. I formed a fist to grip it’s fang with my injured left hand to prevent the dog’s teeth from further penetration of my fingers, pulled it’s head towards me and simultaneously circled my right hand over my left and knocked it’s head. It felt like I had only connected with the dog’s head lightly but the dog seemed to retreat rapidly. Afterwards a friend drove me to the nearby medical centre and I told her how disappointed I was that I couldn’t hit the dog hard enough as it had moved too swiftly to teach it a lesson. However, when we got back to the shop, a group of friends who saw the whole event couldn’t believe how quickly I had intercepted, tapped then bounced the dog a metre away. Funnily enough, I had experienced the effect of ‘slow motion’ in a couple of dangerous situations and while training Gung Fu intensely before; the dog attack only lasted a split second or two but definitely felt like 30 seconds of Tai Chi to me.

A month ago, I had a sore lower right back and leg pain from excessive bicycle riding and Mantis Gung Fu training but after a session of Tai Chi with Ric, my leg joint had loosened up and my lower back pain was gone. Strangely these types of pain usually linger on for nearly a week.

Ric is a brilliant teacher with such talent to analyse each individual’s capabilities and apply the relevant or necessary method to harness the correct posture for better understanding of CHI flow in each position of the Tai Chi form. Learning Tai Chi from him is so effortless and joyful that every session is treasured.

18-12-04
Master Michael Lee
Nam Fong Tong Long

Andrew’s Account

Andrew Rohowyjcliffsme

The interpretation of my experiences is influenced by my background as a long time practitioner of Sahaja Yoga Meditation (SY), and as a physiotherapist.
My interest in learning Tai Chi originally came from hearing that the founder of SY had said Tai Chi was invented by a realized soul, although as with all the great spiritual paths had lost much of its purity over time. When Master Ric (who’s judgment I also trusted as a practitioner of SY) told me he was teaching a very pure form I decided to give it a try. I started Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan in March 2004.

Wednesday 18th January 2006
Initially my experience was of a pleasing sense of relaxed movement. Within the first couple of lessons I noticed my attention was more focused for meditation after practising Tai Chi. I ended up having to travel much further for classes, but although at the time I really didn’t have a definite reason why, decided to continue week-to-week, then month-to-month.

I have had no bad experiences, and so can only relate positive ones. At times when practising I would get a sensation of shimmering vibrations on my hands, and lots of cool. This experience is well known to practitioners of SY as the flow of Kundalini (the subtle desire and mechanism of our evolution within) becoming stronger.

Because I wanted to get my children to do exercise (they tend to be a bit lazy), I asked Master Ric about martial arts, and he recommended Kung Fu. I wasn’t at the time able to find a teacher of some of the purer more balanced forms (Master Ric’s suggestions), and settled for “close enough”. This however hindered my progress in Tai Chi (according to Master Ric), but I continued for the sake of my kids. I was however surprised and really enjoyed being able to get fit and flexible much quicker than I expected. This was certainly at least in part due to the Tai Chi.
I have had the experience of running upstairs with the ease of feeling as going downstairs, and of running (kind of a shuffle) completely without effort after practising Tai Chi.

Only a few days ago I was practising my Tai Chi on the lawn in front of a big statue of Shri Ganesha (the elephant headed deity of innocence and Wisdom) at the SY centre. I experienced the feeling of many parts of the form expressing the dance of Shri Ganesha. Immediately afterwards, when I sat down, my previously good state of meditation (just before the Tai Chi) became a very deep state with lots of divine vibrations flowing. All this whilst the Founder of SY was staying in the house I was doing voluntary sentry duty for.
Master Ric has been at me for a long time to write my experiences down for him, as probably rightly, many are soon forgotten. I have tried to do them justice for now.

Thanks and best wishes, Andrew Rohowyj.

Gregor’s Tome

Gregor Ptokgregor

I started learning Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan under Master Ric Lum in November 2005. It has weaved its way into all aspects of my life, providing immediate benefits in my day-to-day life and health, whilst also allowing me to catch glimpses of the eternal, ever-changing, un-changing energy of life. Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan to me is a craft so rich and intricate it will provide years of learning and development. I enjoy sharing it with others. Below are some of the experiences I have had along the Way.
– Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:18:40 +1100

Gregor's patch
the Melbourne “patch” is in the far shade of the two gum trees, facing the “wall” of the houses.

Infant Ivan?

Ivan Alibrandi

Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 13:07:18 +0200 (CEST)
A month before knowing by e-mail Master Ric I had this dream:

I was in Villa Ada, in Rome, seeking a Sahaja Yogini who practised tai chi chuan. (During this time I was, in real life, a Yang family’s tai chi chuan student but seeking a deeper knowledge and experience of the taoist way.)
At the beginning of the dream starting in the lower zone of the park I was climbing up to the high end of the park, very near a bar/cafe.
I met a woman dressed in white who was practising a bit of tai chi chuan movement. I asked her if she knew the inner mechanism of tai chi chuan.
She answered that she didn’t know well but the only thing she could tell me was that during the movements of the form the Earth absorbs the thoughts.This was in my dreams..

…several months later I was in Villa Ada, in real-life with Master Ric, in the same place as in my dream!