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.

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  1. Section 3 twice.
    -1st iteration felt like Hand Method or in music just playing the notes; simple, mere mental activity fomenting moves.
    -Starting the 2nd Sifu said “Hold” and we waited. Immediately on starting I felt on my hands like swimming through cool energy, although that doesn’t exactly describe it.
    It was slower, when I was in the lead I slipped back into hand method and went ahead. On turning had to wait but then the feeling in my hands returned. Continued same till the end.
    Thanks, Andrew.

  2. Subject: Dance report
    Sifu’s initial instruction was to focus on ‘Sway’, and then he uttered 2 Chinese? words showing sleeping posture and enjoying sound.
    [“swei” means sleep in Mandarin _ed.]
    Anyhow I remembered “sleep”. Generally nice steady pace, initially usual tendency to go too fast v.v. Sifu & the flow. It was raining most of the time. At about half-way felt a nice internal dryness and warmth in my hands.
    Continued Steady till the end.

  3. Subject: Dance report

    This morning we followed Sifu, initially through section 2, and after a report, Section 3 till the start of Repulse Monkey. This is my second report (first report: “nothing to report”).

    I was following Sifu reasonably steadily, pondering on why in section 2 whenever I had my back to Sifu, I came back to the front way ahead of everyone else, and realising I was in a kind of fast forward, i.e. going through the motions mentally to get them over and done with before actually following again. Also pondering the depth of experiences others in the group reported, but myself not really getting the same depth, really focusing on technique, waiting for movement to occur rather than doing, etc, distractions like the dog scratching on my son’s door, analysis etc. Still very ordinary.

    I decided not long before we were nearly finished in section 3, to ‘Just Stop Thinking’, and almost immediately felt a strong cool flow, and beautiful depth of experience. This lasted a short while, maybe close to when we finished.

    Parvati simply reported she didn’t get very deep today, in similar words. I realised by this time my similar experience in general of section 2 was due to my stubborn habit of thinking… all the time, at many levels. One of my reasons for seeking meditation many years ago, was observing myself thinking mundane thoughts, even whilst saying the Lord’s Prayer. These days thinking during the time I have sat to meditate (stop thinking), however forgotten why I was there.

    I reported that awareness of the obstacle of getting deep experiences had become much clearer to me, and Sifu asked me to pen my experience as I have.

    Sifu went on to explain to Noriko his experiences in meeting certified Tai Chi instructors with significant health issues who were aware of their own lack of depth of experience. In that moment I could see in myself potential to reach similar lack of depth because of my habits of thinking.

    After class I sat to meditate remembering the above. I experienced such strong cool vibrations especially after lighting the incense, that when I started I immediately stopped raising and tying up Kundalini, out of Respect, because She was already There.

    Thanks and regards, Andrew.

  4. Subject: I am Shiva, I am Shiva
    Zheng Man-Ching form/dance today.

    It was initially very slow. Following Sifu I noticed that his steps and stances were easy, not stretched and felt that the focus was on being moved. Speed was more variable or spontaneous. And towards the end a bit fast but not rushed. Outwardly could have looked like cutting corners but was just expression of being moved.

    After finishing Sifu maintained effortless pose and recited the prayer or poem “I am Shiva”{Tad Niskala by Adi Shankaracharya}.
    Feeling and expression was of letting out what was felt inside:
    I am not the doer; I am Eternal bliss and Awareness, I am Shiva I am Shiva.

    Comparing Sifu’s Dance with this eternal poem.. the two things were the same.

    But for myself I was watching or witnessing, but remained the doer although wishing not to be. Enjoyed the play but was not the play.


  5. Dance report today.

    Felt good flow and cool hands through whole form. Whilst following early in section 2 with my back to Sifu from the corner of my eye / or just the mind said “you’re out of step ” but resisted the urge to look back or correct and decided to just continue in the flow ( at least). When I’d finally turned around found was exactly in step. Happened after that but not when the mind was engaged.

  6. Subject: Match Report Mortdale
    Felt very good today. Whole form felt like a journey, lots of quiet timeless kind of sections. The new location does seem to enhance the quietness and the depth of the form.

  7. Subject: Match Report Mortdale
    Date: Sat, 6 Dec 2014 15:28:23 +1100

    Nice flow when doing the form this morning, at one point near the end of section 3 it felt like the chi was going to lift my hat off my head!

  8. Subject: Sword Report
    Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2014 13:27:48 +1000

    Focusing on the hands gave me awareness of what the sword would be doing. Doing sword form without sword reminded me of doing Tai Chi!?@#$%

  9. Sent: Mon, Jul 30, 2012 11:01:22 PM

    I wish to thank Sifu for sharing his depth of experience with us, and when I am more receptive, am conscious that I have the best experiences of strong vibrations (Shen Chi) on these occasions. More recently have been having quite deep experiences of meditation in particular with Push Hands, and as well when trying to imbibe my current lesson .

  10. Subject:MATCH REPORT: Cheng Man-Cheng ‘day’
    Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2012 19:28:39 +1000
    1. Good lessons and more particularly following during repulse monkey and stationary cloud hands, felt the connection between my upper and lower limbs, and even movement initiated around the hands. It felt like my sides or fascia of my flanks connected upper and lower body in such a way that movement energy was efficiently transfering back and forth between them. Especially in repulse monkey it felt like going backwards down hill and not expending any energy at all.

    2. Watching at the end like a child was enhanced by the previous following, and was in that way almost able to feel at least what one could perceive visually, some of the feeling still there.

    3. More perhaps than at previous lessons, Sifu may have been more like how I have perceived him during Push Hands when waiting to be moved.

  11. Thursday, 6 October 2011 Personal Practice Whole Main Form

    ..did whole main form. Focus shifted btw various recent lessons. And remembering mentioning to Sifu about getting a bit jammed up at turns.
    His response was about allowing hips to be relaxed (I remember when following, observing and following Master 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.

  12. Tuesday, 4th October, 2011 Push Hands

    With Sifu – very strong Vibrations. Flow very good, very aware like heightened awareness of the other person.
    Sifu 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.”

  13. 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 > Sifu 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; Sifu’s release only returned me to neutral.

    Later Sifu 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; Master Ric said “very good”.

    Generally as per Sifu’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.

  14. 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.

  15. Sent: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 12:53:43 +1000
    Subject: ‘FOLLOW ME’ this morning

    Whilst following Sifu 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.

  16. Friday 2nd July 2010 CMC Neither assist nor resist

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

  17. Tuesday 29th June 2010 Push Hands

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

  18. Tuesday, 22nd June 2010 Push Hands

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

    At one point Sifu 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.

  19. 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.

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

    From memory the tune Master 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.

  21. 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.

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

    This morning we started a new lesson in section 2. Master Ric explained the topic and then demonstrated mainly using the weight shifting slowly.
    Then Master 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 Master 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 where 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.

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