Student's Viewpoint


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 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 Tai Chi in March 2004.


My Experiences of Tai Chi Chuan, as taught by Ric Lum.


Thursday, 6 October 2011 Personal Practice Whole Main Form

..did whole main form. Focus shifted btw various recent lessons. And remembering mentioning to Ric about getting a bit jammed up at turns.
His response was about allowing hips to be relaxed (I remember when following, observing and following Ric that the whole pelvis kind of floated or bobbed around above the legs).

One nice experience felt a bit like having all the cogs (like different lessons) mostly present, and everything literally flowing almost effortlessly like clockwork.
Another was noticing timelessness, and not being aware of when my eyes were open or closed. This was apparent when I saw someone walk past whom I hadn’t noticed approaching.

On finishing I stood still for a while, then got in the car and drove easily to work near by. I noticed when driving that turning my steering wheel was a bit like the turns in the form.

Tuesday, 4th October, 2011 Push Hands

With Ric – very strong Vibrations. Flow very good, very aware like heightened awareness of the other person.
Ric told me “ Remember this Feeling. It’s the stream - the rules and lessons are the sides of the stream or boundaries, but the real Push Hands is the stream in between.”

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 Push Hands

“inertia vs force” Funny stuff – part of story.. you do nothing. “If I am not myself, who/what is the other?”…then “ what does the Divine leave UnDone?”

..I held back and allowed Danya to slip and won? 2 times consecutively > Ric said Danya had right attitude – implied I broke rules to win. Difference ? Force vs the Way.

..(I always give and don’t receive, my default position, saves me from catching negativity from others in my line of work.)

Next time asked to try Inertia not resistance and felt very grounded like connected to the Earth; Ric’s release only returned me to neutral.

Later Ric stood in middle and asked 3 of us to stand around him and to “neither resist nor assist” . I found I succeeded in loosing balance several times; Ric said “very good”.

Generally as per Ric’s remarks felt my perception of push hands etc. at a new level. I am yet to fully recognise when I am applying force, ie my default position remains, but starting to be aware of it.
Parallel to meditation, is not realising when one is thinking, i.e. the Ego gets sneakier the deeper one goes.

Walking with Danya we were discussing in Push Hands apparent winning / avoiding being pushed over is not necessarily the goal, but the learning comes more when one is pushed over / apparent defeat.

Here are my experiences of Sunday 7th August 2011:

"Walk With Me"
On first following I tried to mimic the way you were walking, which felt / looked slightly comical very uncontrolled, something of "Drunken Master" feel about it. Like a without purpose walk which reminded me of one those mechanical toys that wobble side to side and walk driven by gravity down a slope. Therefore it was kind of effortless.
I noticed tension / tiredness / aching in my walk but when I was able to "Follow", the slight pain and tiredness disappeared.
At some point I realized the tiredness in my legs was associated with something in the "normal" gait of my own personality.., which when I could let go, all the tiredness would lift.

"See me, then Follow Me": On following you this time it became easier to remain thoughtless.

Meditation Practice
Sitting in the van, we were in a circle facing each other.. You suggested "no crutches" meaning  to not try to do anything, or use bandhan etc. I soon noticed nice easy attention just above Sahastrara and cool vibrations. When you then said we can meet above Sahastrara, I think perhaps the vibrations increased.

You asked at the end, what did we have as take home lesson or experience? 
When walking, I hope I can remember to let go of the "normal" gait of my personality. And similarly to let go of the effort in "Trying" to be in meditation, i.e. the "crutches".

Thanks for a most enjoyable day together.

Sent: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 12:53:43 +1000
Subject: 'FOLLOW ME' this morning

Whilst following Ric in Cheng Man-Ching form I felt I was able to do things to a higher level than I could otherwise do on my own.  Also there was a deep focused silence as in meditation which was easier to sustain.

Friday 2nd July 2010 CMC Neither assist nor resist

Ric asked me: “What am I doing?” My answer was: Nothing, just witnessing, attention on Sahastrara. Following rather than trying to cause movement.

Tuesday 29th June 2010 Push Hands

I thought of Shri Jesus words “Turn the other cheek” related to Tai Chi – Surrender.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2010 Push Hands

-1st decided to be in meditation. Favourite Exercise (etc ):

At one point Ric actually said something like.. Watch my posture and see if I can show you a secret, but even after 3 or 4 tries, I still don’t think I got it.

Friday, 18th June, 2010 CMC form

  • "Islam is Surrender” > Swaying – is Mother Kundalini > Is there anything the ParamaChaitanya cannot do?
  • Get the art first before the science. Same as getting Self-Realisation - need to know nothing.

Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 12:13 PM
Subject: Reporting

From memory the tune Ric was singing / following was the Ganesha Stuthi... The qualities in relation to constancy would therefore be maintaining a steady constantly focused path without being distracted easily.  One of His qualities is the quality of easily maintaining a rhythm.

Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 2:26 PM
Subject: Report add on

Yesterday evening when I went to practise Tai Chi I noticed my quadriceps (front thigh muscles) were sore.  Today they hurt just to walk.  This shows me they really had a workout in class yesterday.


Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 10:23 AM
Subject: Report

This morning we started a new lesson in section 2. Ric explained the topic and then demonstrated mainly using the weight shifting slowly and with an apparently strained expression.
Then Ric said (as before) we were to concentrate only on the lesson at hand, not previous ones. I felt a bit like he had both shifted the goal posts, and asked me to go out on a limb. I am a bit obsessive and worry about forgetting everything.
So we then followed Ric. My experience was (as I stated), heaviness and difficulty. Subsequently we practised following Danya through a part of section 2, focusing on the lesson. Initially I felt a sense of wobbling, but gradually I seemed to get the hang of the changed emphasis, albeit still controlled and a bit difficult.

Then we did section 2 together, with myself at right wing. I usually prefer to follow, because when leading I have to remember the form and tend to forget the lesson, concerned I might forget were we are, which has happened. 
Anyway, as we went through the form, when it was my turn to lead, I concentrated less on the lesson and more on not misleading through getting lost. As soon as Point was leading again (relief), I noticed that I wasn't controlling, but there was the sense of my weighted limb feeling very strong and steady. I subsequently surrendered effort and control gradually, but nevertheless in a more effortless way whilst maintaining Attention on the lesson (but without concentrating).
I enjoyed it much more and by the end of section 2 felt the transition from heavy and difficult, to effortless and light, yet earthed and strong.

I have slipped (on slippery or loose surfaces) and fell over about 4 times in the last 3 weeks (unusual for me). Also I noticed when practising there was a sense of less substance, and the novelty of the previous lesson seemed to have gone (I suspect a bit right sided - yang in me). On my way home I hoped and kind of felt the change in lesson may bring back the substance, earthed ness, and heart in my practice.


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 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 (Ric's suggestions), and settled for "close enough". This however hindered my progress in Tai Chi (according to 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 security duty for.
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.



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