Ray’s Find

Ray Hampton

Ray Hampton

On 5/05/2015 10:23 PM, Ray Hampton wrote:
Healing through Tai Chi
On my journey of Yuan Chi Tai Chi I have discovered internal therapeutic benefits in our style.
Whether it be push hands, our Dance, CMC or sword forms.
‘It’ starts with a connection that activates from within and becomes an undulating ebb of nurturing, healing, connecting flow that emanates from within and flows outwards as far as we are able to let it go or surrender. This energy is the all pervading power that physically flows through us and resides in us all.
Under the instruction and teaching of Master Ric Lum I have experienced the physical benefits and health benefits of this all pervading power or Chi energy. It works from within and is the true connection and meaning of the Chinese term ‘Tai Chi’.
I strongly recommend a class with Master Ric Lum to gain this experience.
sincerely
Ray Hampton

Subject: match report 2/14
Date: Sun, 16 Feb 2014 23:32:25 -0800 (PST)
Tai Chi

Tai Chi develops the subtlety of character.
Tai Chi and the meaning of its moves and depth of connection reveal themselves as person becomes more subtle.
I have seen “grasp birds tail” in other martial arts performed by evil people, I mean evil in the sense that there is no sense of kindness or ability to have discretion of when it is appropriate and not appropriate to use or teach this knowledge. Such techniques of potential lethal use should not be taught to whomever wishes to learn them. UFC is the ultimate expression of gross physical.
In Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan, in our school, the meaning and variables of each move reveals itself as a person becomes more subtle, gentle, understanding and compassionate, i.e. they experience the genuine all pervading Chi and change internally and externally as a result. Reveals as a person becomes worthy. Genuine Tai Chi develops the subtlety of character.
Ray

..previously…

I am a Sahaja Yogi who took up Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan 3.1/2 years ago. To me it made sense to do exercise that would complement what I have been doing in Meditation for some years now. Prior I was doing a lot of running and Judo and many other martial arts. These clearly were not the way and I experienced great frustration having done Judo since I was six and knowing that what we have inherited is not the gentle soft way that Judo was originally supposed to be.

There are two levels at my stage of progress that I wish to comment on:

1 The physical/Gross aspect:
Core strength and flexibility have greatly improved and injuries for which I took treatment often no longer require that treatment.

The biggest blockage physically that I have always experienced is tension. This is now peeling away layer by layer. As part of the process I am becoming more aware of that tension and therefore more needful to be rid of it. However the step by step approach is the essential one as trying to achieve the goals prior to readiness will only create more tension. Physically I have noted other subtle changes such as once upon a time always feeling hot. This heat has now gone to the point where I now overcompensate to dress warmly. I have also become aware of the extensor muscles at the back of the neck continuously in a state of overwork and the head being at a point of unbalance thereby irritating this situation. Awareness is the biggest step to fixing the problem.

Whilst I do not go out of my way to stretch there is more flexibility. With each new step physically I discover more movement internally and externally.
Weight wise I have become more aware of what I am ingesting and aware that the losing of weight is about sensitivity/awareness of what we consume, not the unsustainable damaging exercise that we must keep up in order to keep poor health and weight at bay.
Each time we go through “the Dance” new aspects reveal themselves and each time is different both on the subtle and gross physical levels.
I have become aware of the “Flow”, and that this “flow” has its own time and speed that is like a groove that you fall into and the movement moves by itself.

2 The Subtle/internal aspects:
As a Sahaja Yogi I am already aware of the connections that we have to the Param.Chaitanya. What I have experienced internally is the benefits of the physical moving in conjunction with this internal knowledge thereby helping me from inside and out. “Meditation as movement in stillness and stillness within movement” the two are one and the same: being meditative in stillness as well as in moving .

Throughout these past few years of practising Yuan-Chi Tai-Chi the subtleties of the internal and external have been revealing themselves in each new step. One particular experience is that of the power of Mother Earth actually coming up through the entire being and actually making a real connection with the Earth as opposed to an unrealised superficial connection of standing on the earth.

Another one was the experience of the Adi Guru area of the void actually physically rippling as the Kundalini came rushing up. This had me ruminating that the actual origins (like many things) of the belly dance may have actually been auspicious as opposed to its common modern portrayal.

One thing is certain. Everything is in constant change of improvement. I am not sure where this will go but I am enjoying the journey of discovery that I suspect does not end but results in a better version of me than the one the moment before.
Lets see….

Ray Mon, 5 Dec 2011 04:42:19 -0800 (PST)

Previously..

Sent: Saturday, June 13, 2009 11:42 PM
Subject: Tai-Chi Experiences…

I started Tai-Chi with Ric Lum one year ago. After doing Judo for 33 years and a variety of other sports including long distance running I found that physically nothing was improving with regards to flexibility and old injuries. I started looking for something that would complement Sahaja Yoga, the vibrations and spiritual growth but from the physical side. I knew nothing like this existed but did try to find it in the gentle way of Judo. The club I was at had practitioners regularly suffering from injuries that seemed second only to that sustained in car crashes.
A Sahaja Yogi suggested I try this form of Tai-Chi he was studying with Ric Lum. I went along to a session with all the reservations that a yogi would have with regards to something which may not be categorized as pure knowledge. Ric asked us to only judge on our vibrations what he said and taught. As we started to move I felt the vibrations flow.My personal feeling is that Ric has found a way of plugging this form of Tai-Chi back into the main frame – The Paramachaitanya-.

One of the most profound experiences was that of experiencing becoming aware of moving the feet very lightly and gently on the living, loving, supporting Mother Earth.
I am enjoying this form of exercise not only because it is much more than that but also found meditations more surrendered as some of the physical blockages are opening.

Our youngest daughter at ISPS had suffered from debilitating knee pains since the age of two and were not abating at 10 years of age (to the point of not sleeping due to the agony) No doctors could fix it and one podiatrist/orthotics specialist wanted $500 for an insert which she would need for the rest of her life without any cure possible for what she perceived the problem to be.
Last ISPS holidays we took her to Tai Chi classes with Ric and the problem was fixed within 2 months.

Mick’s Surmise

Mick Smith, Mascot

I have been doing Tai Chi Chuan with Master Ric since December 2007. After studying for a short time for the Catholic priesthood, my direction in life changed when I decided to get married. I then studied industrial chemistry and worked in the cement industry for 15 years.

After a life crisis, I developed an interest in meditation. During this time, I was informed about the potential benefits of Tai-Chi. After many years of searching for a Tai-Chi master, I accidentally bumped into Master Ric at Glebe while he was filming an instructional DVD.

I have now developed a love of Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan and have experienced wonderful moments of inner peace and stillness.

Parvati’s Light

Parvati Lum

*Sent*: Monday, May 31, 2010 6:35 PM
Subject:BeginningsZia

My husband persuaded me to learn Yuan-Chi Tai Chi Chuan. To begin with, the slow movement was difficult for me as I have no patience. And I so wanted to connect with this Energy.
It was wonderful…for the first time I felt no gravity when I moved! And with joy in my heart.
It is hard for me to advance at the moment as my husband is so far away.
But once we are reunited my voyage in Tai-Chi shall deepen.
JSM

Kyle’s Contemplation

Kyle Powderly

*Sent*: Sunday, May 30, 2010 8:28 PM
Subject: Kyle’s Contemplation*
*29/5/2010
hmmm… interesting how much resistance I encounter right now as I sit to write about Tai Chi? perhaps I have already done too much thinking this weekend?!
but also, there is something in me that wants to enter into Tai Chi practice without words?to experience it as it is, not as I think it is, or say it is? this is my honest feeling? perhaps it suffices to say:

in learning Tai Chi I feel a strong and subtle shift in the fabric of life … a delightful sense of awareness that arises spontaneously in relation to everything else: how easy it was to stand and make 200 dim-sum for my friend?s birthday party after class last week, how much fun.

Namaste Master Ric, and thank you for your kindness.

Ss

S

I began Tai Chi in October 2007. I chose Tai Chi partly because I wanted something where the moves were as complicated as the style of Okinawan karate I used to train in so I wouldn’t get bored, and yet low impact so my body could withstand the training.

By the time I started Tai Chi, I had experienced various sports and martial arts–soccer, athletics, boxing, American football, Okinawan traditional karate as well as mainland karate–and accumulated a host of injuries. More recently I’ve tried Capoeira, Latin dancing and yoga, but didn’t last long–due to past injuries, surgery and other unknown causes, I was in constant pain. I had become dependent on pain killers to get through the day, and I often took them before class during the first several months of Tai Chi, to keep the pain at a bearable level.

One day in class, about two months after I started training, I noticed a lack of pain for the first time while doing the form. With the help of Tai Chi, along with physiotherapy, the constant pain has decreased both in frequency and intensity. 18 months later, while I still take pain killers, they’re usually for the occasional headache.

Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2010 9:02 PM
Subject: “limp hands on outstroke”

“Outstroke” as Ric defines it, is where energy goes out. There is a metaphysical aspect to this… “Outstroke” also has a martial aspect to it, where it is understood to be the position where the body exerts extreme force.
Usually the martial and metaphysical aspects overlap at each “limp hands on outstroke”. However, at my stage of understanding, I have noticed places where there’s energy going out with no apparent martial application. There are also many moves with martial applications that are not considered to have energy going out.

When I reported to Ric about the weird sensation in my wrists at the end of “grasp bird’s tail”, Ric said, “now you understand limp hands”.
Assuming that that sensation had been my first glimpse of “limp hands”, I can say that it is a physical sensation.
The initial “weird sensation” occurred spontaneously. It was unexpected and I did not will it to happen. But now, at ALMOST every posture where there is supposed to be a “limp hands on outstroke”, I can feel an undeniable sensation that is not present at other times.
It feels like the wrist has become one solid but malleable rod of metal, without any joints or layers. Kind of like soft lead. Bent easily if gently pressed, hard and solid if hit with abrupt force.

Furthermore, this sensation was no longer localized to the wrists. I could feel it deep in the neck just below the jaw bone. It is in the same area where you normally feel a contraction in the deep neck flexors. The “soft lead” sensation is strongest there and in the wrists, and to a lesser extent in-between, in the shoulders and arms.

Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2010 1:46 PM
Subject: Weird sensation

As we were following Ric perform the styles in section 1 and section 2, I had a strange sensation which I don’t remember having felt before. This happened as we stretched our arms out and lifted our hands up at the end of “grasp bird’s tail” and “appear to close as if to seal”.

The fleshy base of the palm of both hands felt soft but firm, warm and slightly numb. It felt as if the tissue in that area, several millimetres thick, had turned into a firm, foam rubber-like substance.

At first I didn’t think much of it, but I felt it every time I did the above two moves and not at other times. But as I was walking home after class, I noticed that I could still feel the sensation in the same location. It gradually faded away in the next 20 minutes.

Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2009 3:43 PM
Subject: Lightness

My arms felt extremely light today when we were doing “all pervading ultimate manifests” with the two new girls. I wouldn’t say they were moving automatically by themselves, but they felt light and yet not powerless (quite the opposite) and under control/well rooted. The lightness continued throughout “around the world”. It felt good.

_*Sat 9 May 09*_

While we were having coffee after class as we often do, Ric posed this question: “Follow me–what does it mean?” I explained what it meant to me and Ric seemed to like what I said. The following was inspired by that conversation.

By following Ric I’m able to move with so much more detail than I could if I were practising alone. When I watch Ric and then try to do what I just saw, there would be a lot of omissions. By following Ric, I can concentrate on moving exactly the way he’s moving, attempting to reproduce all its intricate detail.

When I’m practising the form alone, my brain is sending out the signals to move my body. My attention is on myself. When I’m following Ric, however, my attention is mainly on Ric. Instead of my brain telling my body how to move, I try to use the image of Ric’s moving limbs to move my body in exactly the same way. It is as if my brain is putting all its efforts on relaying every single bit of visual information in front of me to my muscles, trying its best not to interfere. The locus of control has shifted from myself to Ric. At this stage I try not only to imitate the superficial movement of the limbs, but also to feel how Ric’s muscles are moving, how his weight is shifting, searching for the thing that propels Ric to move the way he does, so I too can move that way, even when I’m on my own.

Unfortunately, though, when Ric asks me to show him what we just did, my mind often goes blank. As if waking up from a dream, the sense of competency that I had just experienced has all but faded, and I am once again the novice. The conscious connection between the way I moved and my brain is not there yet. So when I follow Ric, I’m also hoping that my “body” would “remember” some of the moves that it’s performing. A type of reverse feedback, where the body is moved in a certain way, and hopefully, the brain would remember how it moved and be able of reproduce it.

 

Miranda

Miranda

Nearly 4 years ago I started Tai Chi classes, beginning with once a week, which soon became twice a week, and which I have continued since.
For some time previously I had been observing Master Ric Lum with his students as I walked in the park, but had been unable to make the time before for lessons. I now wish I had made the time earlier.

My original reason for starting was to help with post-sport injury arthritic pain, particularly in my knees, which wasn’t being helped by me getting older. Though I work in the mental health area and am by nature very verbal and a thinker I soon learned to go with the flow of class, including accepting my physical incompetence, which meant I learnt not to be bothered by being unable to remember all the movements of the Tai Chi form. I think that having an approach of going with the process as it unfolds has helped me with Tai Chi as it is quite different from the usual western way of thinking and being, at least in my experience. One time Ric Lum told me that when I make a mistake I shouldn?t worry too much as making mistakes is part of learning Tai Chi Chuan, which has been a comforting thought as I continue to make mistakes.

After about 6 months of Tai Chi class I coincidentally decided to make yet another attempt at losing the extra 15 kilos weight with which I had been battling for more than 20 years. The only difference in this particular weight loss attempt was the Tai Chi which to me is the only explanation as to why I lost the excess weight at this attempt, and have been able to maintain the weight loss since.

Other benefits which I have gained from my Tai Chi practice have been increased strength and muscle tone, significantly improved posture and balance, and a decrease in emotional reactivity when I am under stress.
I have no doubt that Tai Chi has been of inestimable benefit to me and that I will continue to attend class and to practise Tai Chi indefinitely.

December 2008

*Sent*: Monday, July 13, 2009 5:27 PM
Subject: 1.6?

I am wondering if when we are in sync and the Chi feels stronger then perhaps our heart rate/breathing are also in sync, and I wonder how this perhaps links to Jung’s collective unconscious.

*Sent*: Thursday, July 09, 2009 1:26 PM
Subject: Constant?

When I was doing the form on Tuesday I was conscious of our lesson and how I was feeling the form.  At the time I  found myself thinking of slalom skiing and how it would be impossible to do this if there were not to be a constant rhythm of the skiing.  Like so many things once the rhythm goes, or gets jolted or out of sync, then the smoothness and efficiency goes.  In slalom skiing this would mean that the skier goes for a tumble etc. So in terms of Tai Chi for me constant rate means that the snow is like the flow of chi somehow and the constant rate rhythm leads to a smooth ride (for want of a better term).  I later on pondered how one?s individual constant rate is or isn’t connected to another’s doing the form at the same time, which perhaps moves the metaphor to water skiers and am still pondering what this means re echoes of chi.

I forgot also to note the hand clapping which was somehow like a metronome, but I wasn?t able to link it to my rhythm or go any further with an understanding of it, other than that it was constant.

*Sent*: Friday, March 13, 2009 3:15 PM
Subject:Healing Hands

Dear Ric,

Thank you very much for your healing hands.  I have actually been experiencing significant pelvic pain and discomfort over the past few weeks, and have tried all sorts of things to help, none of which made a significant difference.  You and your Tai Chi master healing touch however have made a significant difference and I have a much more manageable level of discomfort, which I will keep working on during Tai Chi practice.

Thanks again,
Miranda

 

Sharon Expounds

Peking Noodles...?

Sharon Smith

My first experience of Tai Chi was about 17 years ago through a community college in Sydney’s deep west. Life intervened and I didn’t continue with it – but it had awakened a curiosity.
A friend told me about Ric’s class about 2 years ago. Ric is a very precise teacher, which my joints, alignment and posture have all benefited from. Ric is also concerned with more than the outer ‘dance’ aspects of Tai Chi – which I appreciate.
The shifts, for me, have been more than physical. Beyond the dance, I have learned about myself.

 

*Sent*: Monday, December 08, 2008 10:49 AM
Subject:  Teaching Westerners?

…and, btw, one of the nice (and, at times, drives-me-potty) things about learning Tai Chi as a Westerner is learning a different way of learning…
*Sent*: Saturday, May 03, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: yak

I was having fun playing in the “spaces” between styles there is more “movement” in them than I had noticed before, LOADS in fact and a lot of “force”/”springiness ”

*Sent*: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 10:16 AM
Subject: Toe Curlings

Notes from this morning’s class;
* my right hip really really doesn’t like Bow Arrow at the moment – when it’s the one taking weight – and especially not when the move is setting up the left foot forward
* when I manage to uncurl my toes (!), there is a springy-ness underfoot – the ground feels almost elastic, like a trampoline
* at first the sensation was like the sole of my foot disappeared and there was only the ground and then it felt as if I had snow-shoes on – like my feet extended beyond their physical size by about 6-8 inches all around each one (still quite springy as above)
* 1/2 way below my navel I was aware of an expansion – like the front of my pelvis was opening up – a little like a flower blossoming, or a ripple in it’s first forming – and then of a band linking the inside of my left hip joint to the inside of the right

*Sent*: Friday, May 18, 2007 12:49 PM
Subject: “aha” addendum

And it was&is bigger than this – I was&am the palms leaves lifting in the breeze and the red of the bushes along the road – and they were&are also me…
I was&am the breath and heartbeat…
And still it was&is more than that…
It is&was quietly powerful…
It is&was expansive and expanding…

And today I noticed that there is something in being fully present /thoughtlessness (awareness) that allows one to continue in the awareness of all of that – and the chatter in our heads is the illusion that clouds that awareness and shuts the door on it…

The ‘art’ is to be in that awareness more constantly (perhaps even while I am thinking…  (o;  )

*Sent*: Thursday, 17 May 2007 12:21 PM
Subject: “aha” moments

It’s funny the sensations that happen when something flips from head knowing to Knowing, innit?

This morning driving to work (and listening once again to Voices of Gaia) it occurred to me that there is no need for us to ‘step into’ elements (earth, air etc) ‘cos we *are* them already – in very real and tangible ways – we are earth, we are air etc….
And then I felt dizzy and it was like the light went brighter (as happens occasionally during class) – colours were more vivid and a man walking down the footpath felt like a ripple that is me – and I am the same ripple that is him… and the traffic felt more like I knew what it was going to and when people were about to put their indicators on to change lanes etc. I felt like I was the same as the road…. everything felt more obvious and fluid… and I felt vast…

*Sent*: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:01 AM
Subject: *a few more things*

What struck me was that the ‘trick’ is to stay solid and connected in a way that is lighter than air – to keep root while having lighter than feather touch/responding… and then it ripples out… wow…

*Sent*: Thursday, May 10, 2007 6:08 AM
Subject: *{ Surrender? }*

“Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?
They fall and falling,
they’re given wings”
~Rumi

Now THAT?S my experience of surrender?

*Sent*: Thursday, May 10, 2007 6:03 AM
Subject: *Introspection+*

AND I’d love to do more on Tuesday;
* what you were doing with Gregor when I arrived (and what I’ve watched you do with Holly)
* “follow your …” (that was amazing)

*Sent*: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 8:54 PM
Subject: *Introspection*

For me, this journey is about; exploring/experiencing more the deeper parts of Tai Chi the parts beyond the “dance” ? the bits that the surrender stuff hints at exploring/experiencing what Tai Chi has to show/teach me about my “Self” as well as my “self” exploring/experiencing the healing/balancing that is possible ? (healing the world begins with healing yourself   (o:   ) incorporating those lessons/experiences into my everyday interactions with people and places (years ago I once prayed “make my life a prayer”  it’s still relevant) to make it part of my walking and breathing to be in more constant awareness of Divine/God/Spirit

Looking inwards is a part of looking outwards?
These are the things which come to my gut when I contemplate “stepping up” they’re what I understand it to be

*Sent*: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 5:40 PM
Subject: *a few things*

Some observations from this morning;

* WOW! that was really really different! I really really enjoyed that!  :oD
* I was able to follow my left hand more easily and consistently (and with no thoughts rattling through my head other than ‘ha! how about that!’!) than my right * my attention wandered more with my right hand and I needed to keep refocusing/drawing myself back from chatter in my brain more often – I could hold it for a few repetitions and then I’d wander again…
* my hands know what to do all on their own!
* my feet followed my hands all on their own!
* my weight felt lighter on my feet – a bit like I was floating slightly
* when I left my house my right heel/instep was sore where it’s been paining for a while – it stopped hurting all through class and it is still not sore.
* .. Also, on this day , I am usually dragging myself around trying to keep up with what I need to do with my day – today was quite busy – we’re interviewing for a position – and my energy was consistent and available…
* I mentioned the ‘jittery’ sensation to you this morning – it’s why I try not to drink coffee anymore…. but not this sensation – it was more like being tickled ? it was fun/a giggle… your choice of ‘quickening’ this morning felt like the exact word for it!

*Sent*: Wednesday, April 11, 2007 7:17 PM
Subject: *Surrender?*

I’ve been wanting to tell you about an experience from the Saturday before last  I still don’t have the words to describe it, though, here’s the best I have;
I learned that there is a universe of difference between “letting go” and “surrender?”
I spent most of class attempting to let go of stuff that was happening for me that was distracting and distressing? It didn?t work ? it kept flashing back into my head ? I was chasing my tail and it was taking a lot of effort?
Then somewhere I gave up and just let it happen ? it felt like I had fallen over a big hole, but I wasn’t falling, more like floating, there was nothing around me but space ? it all washed over and around me like a wave and grabbed my breath for a few moments?
And then it was gone and I was present again ? and the struggle with it was gone?

*Sent*: Monday, March 12, 2007 2:32 PM
Subject: *Random Thoughts*

Sore feet?About 2 months ago I bought a new pair of sandals ‘cos my other ones (after two years) are finally wearing out.  Since I bought them, I had worn them twice ‘cos they didn’t quite fit and turned out to be very uncomfortable to walk in (they were probably a little too small/tight, and pushed my feet back out of them over the heel)…
Yesterday I put them on again and they fit perfectly – and were actually a teeny bit too big across the top… I walked around Hurstville in them with some friends and they were still comfortable… so it appears that my feet have changed shape!

I drove to Griffith and back on Thursday and Friday – my pelvis and lower back recovered much more quickly than usual and were all fine by Saturday morning (it’s previously taken a week or two plus a trip to the osteopath).  My right shoulder/neck was fine by Saturday afternoon…  YAY!

*Sent*: Monday, February 26, 2007 12:58 PM
Subject: *More Randomness*

Last Tuesday, when we were doing the form together (in the early part while we were facing west), I could feel an ‘urge’ to go faster.   The sensation is a little hard to explain. It wasn’t physical, like being pushed, and it wasn’t like a mental anxiousness or anything like that. It was like being part of a current – but not a physical sensation. So I just kept up with it

On Saturday I had an ‘AHA!’ moment… I started to have a stronger sense that all the things in my last random email to you ARE, in fact, connected!
And then, while we were doing “Wild Horse Parts Mane” – my head began to feel a lot like those scenes in movies where there are loads of 1 second flashes of scenes from earlier and things then either fall apart or make sense…and then I *knew* that they ARE all connected/the same thing…

*Sent*: Saturday, February 24, 2007 8:31 AM
Subject: *Random things+*

A few weeks ago, you indicated that “Earth flows into Air” they’re connected and not separate. Since then I’ve been exploring an awareness that I feel very comfortable in “Earth” and in “Water”, and even in “Ether”.

*Sent*: Friday, February 23, 2007 9:54 AM
Subject: *Random things*

Ø      Lately when you’ve said to me something like “very good!” or “now you’re seeing it” (during class), I’ve been simultaneously contemplating this quote;
“There is the thought, and then there is the knowing of the thought. And the difference between being aware of the thought and just thinking is immense. It’s enormous. Normally we are so identified with our thoughts and emotions, that we are them. We are the happiness, we are the anger, we are the fear. We have to learn to step back and know our thoughts and emotions are just thoughts and emotions. They’re just emotional states.
They’re not solid, they’re transparent. One has to know that and then not identify with the knower. One has to know that the knower is not somebody. Instead of finding some solid little eternal entity, which is “I”, we get back to this vast spacious mind which is interconnected with all living beings. In this space you have to ask, where is the “I”, and where is the “other”.  As long as we are in the realm of duality, there is “I” and “other”.?

Ø      {We experience confusion when we move from being unconscious to consciousness}

Ø      I am beginning to notice more often that there are lots of layers in each posture/progression. And that it’s hard to see them all at once ? I can only concentrate on one part at a time ? when I attempt to shift my awareness to more, I can’t see any of them.

*Sent*: Friday, December 15, 2006 10:36 AM
Subject: *Masters*

“Until you can bring forth a flower,
Breathe life into that which is dead,
Summon or subdue the elements,
Transport yourself through time and space,
And heal with a single thought,
a single touch,
Can you call yourselves Masters?

And long before you achieve these things,
Titles shall become meaningless to you,
and you will come to understand.”

*Sent*: Thursday, June 29, 2006 10:04 AM
Subject: *more stories*

This morning someone ‘cut me off’ and I got angry…my head rattled on with lots of chatter about how what they did was stupid and that they were stupid and how some people need to learn to pay attention when they’re driving – blah blah blah….

After a few moments of this, I noticed something somewhere go ‘anger ? fire energy’ and my body go ‘oh!’ and then it left… I could feel the energy of the emotion – a bit like a vapour – leaving my muscles and skin – I hadn’t realised how tense my muscles had been while I was busy being angry…and then I felt good about the world again…and then I understood! – how my mind can trap energy by holding on to it/blocking it’s movement…

So what comes first – the thought or the energy?  I think – energy is constantly moving and balancing, and our thoughts interfere with that free-flow… we can just notice it and let it move through or we hold it/focus on it which blocks it and then we feel that energy blockage in our bodies (as tension, or elation, or whatever…)

*Sent*: Sunday, June 25, 2006 8:15 PM
Subject: *Some stories*

I?ve had a bit of a radical turn-around in my diet for the last 4-5 weeks and I’m eating MUCH better than I have for a very long time? the upshot of that is that I’ve felt less claggy and lethargic and MUCH more interested in moving (goodness knows I could hardly have moved much less!)?the upshot of THAT is that I’ve been walking more than I have for an equally long time AND I’ve even been enjoying it! (rather than dragging myself to and from the car and then plopping myself down somewhere to await the next trip to the car?.bleuch..). As I’ve been walking, I’ve been noticing that my knees really don’t like my boots very much (they have a small heel ? about 1½ inches?) ? time to get some new winter shoes! I?ve also noticed that I have a tendency to roll my right ankle out and my left ankle in when I walk ? I notice my weight on the inside of my left foot and the outside of my right?

Last Friday I was visiting my brother. Rather than catch the bus home as I normally would, I decided to walk home (which, the way I walk, took me an hour). It was late and dark (funny that, being night and all!) and it was raining and a little chilly (I was rugged up and felt cool but not chilled)? about 1/3 of the way home I crossed a road. Half way across my right foot found the edge of a small hole in the tar and my ankle rolled. A few VERY quick steps and a teeny bit of panic later I was on the other side of the road and still upright! AMAZING! But it HURT!  I’d twisted and jarred my right ankle, knee and hip as well as my back. I must’ve done some pretty spectacular acrobatics! A few minutes later the pain subsided and I was able to continue walking? a few minutes after that, I felt no discomfort at all. I got up yesterday morning and felt no after-effects. I walked to catch the bus and then
walked the length of Glebe Point Road to class – still nothing noticeable. About ½ way through class, all the joints began to ache – just a little – as well as the outside of my right calf and especially my hip and lower back. Today it’s been my lower thoracic (on the right) and the outer part of my ankle (where it rolled). On the walk home from the station tonight (about 30 minutes) the inside of the arch on my right foot was really sore _ I had to stop a couple of times, it hurt so much_ but it stopped completely about 5 minutes from home and was replaced by a dull ache in the soft part of the inside of my foot between my heel and ankle. As I sit and type this, it?s my hip and back.
I figure the Tai Chi has pushed the injury out so now I’m feeling it! My poor right side_ always in the wars- and my knee was doing so well and everything. It’s not excruciating now, just a very dull ache? it’ll probably pass in a day or so – it *was* a bit’ve a tumble in the cold?

I was sitting on the train coming home from work tonight humming a song I’ve had rattling around in my brain all day (Afterglow by INXS – I think it’s very pretty) – you know how that happens when it’s the last one you hear?  Sometimes, when that happens and I have some down-time (like sitting on a train) I shut my eyes and go with it and feel myself moving with the song (even though I’m not actually physically moving )?
this one feels swirly- a crescendo swirls out and I held my arms out and then it swirls back in and I found myself in a Tai Chi stance ? HA! that made me giggle.

*Sent*: Saturday, June 03, 2006 4:23 PM
Subject: *Yay*!

Remember that I had complained that my right knee had begun to play up again (old problem), that I was having problems with stairs again and that it really really didn’t like the dip bit at the (“Snake Creeps”) thing? It was a “watch out or you’ll break it” kind’ve pain?
I’ve been practising that move for a few weeks to try and find the way of doing it that doesn’t produce pain and trying to get habitual with my toe/knee alignment, but not much had changed – it still hurt regardless of how I was doing it (unless I held on to something and went really slowly!).  I’ve been very worried that I’d tear something before it righted?

Anyway, today when we pushed you, something in my right knee really really “went” and it really really hurt – but it was not a move that usually hurts – I can walk forward without any bother, usually? It was as I stepped up and it threw me a bit so that when we were in contact my whole body felt out of whack ? like I might lose balance and collapse – and the contact didn’t feel comfortable?

This afternoon while I was waiting for a client to change, I did the move again – NO PAIN! And I was using different muscles (which don’t have any strength in them at all so that was a bit tricky!!)? PHEW!
I’ve done it a few more times since and my knee feels a bit tired, but there’s still no pain in the joint-Yay!

*Sent*: Thursday, December 01, 2005 2:27 PM
/*?WILD HORSE PARTS MANE?
*/You’ll remember the bit where I was having trouble with which way…etc….You’d showed us (again!) and I tried it again… and again… after a few times, something shifted – it was HUGE.
The sequence flowed ‘obviously’ at last (!) and it was suddenly clear and then – ‘it’ began at ‘hold the ball’ and built until the release at the end of the ‘move’.
It was like being in a vortex – with the energy of it building as I went further through the sequence and my body felt swept along with it. The first was VERY powerful and I felt dizzy and almost knocked off my feet by it.
I could feel it rushing through and around my body – like being part of a building whirlwind…

Miranda noticed my reaction and stood near the release point and said she wanted to watch – I was worried that she’d end up getting the full force of whatever the build-up was – I told her that I didn’t want her to stand there!
The next time through was not as dramatic, but this time I also had a rush of heat (and, no, I am still NOT menopausal!) and needed to take off my jumper…

Eventually – after a few more repetitions – the strength of it settled down to gentle but it was still there and I still have an awareness that there’s potential there for it to be huge (I can feel it even just sitting here typing about it!)…

*Sent:* Sunday, June 12, 2005 11:23 AM
*Subject:* RE: last Friday?s experience
I enjoyed the private class last Friday. I came away thinking ‘THAT’S IT!’ I value working with this ‘angle’ of Tai Chi Chuan. I’ve been telling people that part of my doing Tai Chi Chuan with you is because you (Ric) actually connect with the ‘energy’ part of it – it’s what attracts me to your classes more than anything… So there were a few interesting bits…
When I was following you there was an area at the top where I got stuck. My body seemed quite happy to just do what it needed to do and then when we got to that bit, it couldn’t work out which way to go…Anyway, the sensation was different to the one I had previously. Before, the sensation was like I was pushing against a resistance, but that resistance was more like putting the same ends of two magnets together.
This time it was more physical/anatomical – like the joint had reached its limits.
Then there was the balloon thing. (You enclosed my right wrist softly with the insides of your fingers; and then my arm began to rise on its own). I didn’t know what was happening, just that I was going with it.
And I felt like that I could be a balloon – that if I lifted my feet off the floor that I’d float. (I was actually about to lift my feet off the floor when we stopped – the sensation was that ‘real’). Since then, I’ve become fascinated by Miranda’s comment at that moment; ‘You LOOK like you could be a balloon!’ – so it wasn’t just my experience!
I don’t have too many reference points to hang this experience on – just that it’s an ‘energy thing’.
I’m resisting the urge to analyse it too much – just to experience it.

Amy’s Anecdote

Amy Brookes, California, USA

I had my first taste of Tai Chi Chuan with Ric in October of 2005. I felt so drawn to the art that I never felt that I ‘should’ go to class – I wanted to go, every single time. Wonderful! Now that I am back in my native country, I practice on my own and receive guidance from time to time from Ric over email.

As for other parts of my life, I am a true Northern Californian and love to be in nature. I studied Marine Biology and music as an undergraduate in Santa Cruz (receiving my Bachelor of Science degree), and recently finished a Master’s course in Sydney in Quantitative Marine Ecology. I am also a music lover, and continue to pursue playing piano, keyboard, drums, and singing and dancing for my own enjoyment.

Steffi Says

Stefanie Fleishhaker, Salzburg

*Updates:

*Sent*: Monday, July 09, 2007 2:01 AM
Subject: Real Tai-Chi?

Met a (family)friend whohas beendoing Tai Chi for a long time already.So
we did it together once.
It was very interesting. The moves were quite the same, but also totally
different.
Hard to describe, but it was as if the forms were not clear, not
exact… maybe without purity. I cannot find the right words.

I understandnow what you mean, when you talked to me about real Tai Chi
Chuan! As I saw this kind of Tai Chi, I knew what it meant to practise
“real” Tai Chi.  🙂

Happy greetings from Salzburg to Sydney,
Steffi

*Sent*: Sunday, September 24, 2006 2:47 AM
Subject: *Intensive*

…now I really appreciate the last one-two months in Sydney, when we
did all the intense Tai Chi lessons.
We did it so often , that I still have it like a picture in front of me.

*Sent*: Thursday, April 20, 2006 11:05 PM*
*Subject: *Tai Chi*

Today is such a beautiful day, sun is shining and it is really warm.So I
decided to go outside and do some Tai Chi in our garden.
It felt really good to be able to do it outside again!!!
I did sectionsone and two. Then I decided to do section one again.

But this time I closed my eyes and it was sooo nice.It was as if my body
movedby itself. I could feel every little movement in my body. It just
happened….And the best was that I DID NOT THINK AT ALL.
From time to time my whole body trembled, especially my hands…but it
felt soooo good.

I hope you are doing fine, fall is coming to Sydney, right? And here
summer arrives (slowly).Now it is so beautiful here, warm and green.

“Liebe Grüße”   (best greetings)
Steffi

*Sent:* Saturday, June 18, 2005 4:33 PM
Subject*: poems*

Hi Ric
These are some thoughts which came into my mind…from what I have
learned in life since I came to Australia and also since I started the
Tai Chi.

Be wise, not smart.
Don’t judge, just speak the truth.
Don’t discern reality through thinking,
Discern it through experience.

True Love gives because She does,
And needs no answer.

Only the wise recognizes the fool,
Who tries to understand his life through his thinking,
But does not learn from his experience.

Our search,
For the answer to our questions-WHY?
The meaning of our lives,
The reasons for joy and sorrow.
All that is a search,
At which end we find our answers,
Through God within.

The one who wants to understand God with his mind is a fool,
Because he will never find Him.
But who tries to realize God with his heart is wise,
And will meet Him on the way.

The power of our minds to heal,
When connected with the Almighty Love,
Shows itself as what we call a “miracle”.
-*Steffi*

Susanne Heuberger

Susanne Heuberger

*Sent*: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 1:03 PM
Subject: Exquisite Harmony?

Imagine a crisp Sydney winter morning. You are in a lovely park close to
the harbour and a kookaburra is laughing. You settle into your section 2
routine and you are point, as there is nobody else there at this stage.
After a while, you feel movement on the right; Master Ric has taken
right wing. The movements flow, the feeling is exquisite. As you turn to
the left, there is Sharon now at left wing. Nothing is said; no word, no
disruption, just moving in and out of the flow and with the flow. You
realise that you are doing something really worthwhile; something I
started some 16 months ago. Tai Chi is now such an important part of my
life, it?s hard to imagine life without it. This agreeable feeling
continues, the harmony in the movements is beautiful, the Chi energy
connects us with each other and connects me to myself. We change
positions, now I am right wing, then we do the whole routine again and
finish off with me at left wing. Then we move on into our daily lives
having had the best start to the day you can imagine.

*Sent*: Monday, April 30, 2007 8:55 AM
Subject: *experience*

(At class) I felt that the Chi was flowing very quickly after having
raised arms only once or twice. Usually it takes longer, or it might not
happen at all. I felt a warm strong feeling of contentment, no pain and
no time.

*Sent*: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 9:09 AM
Subject: *I feel good*

I arrived at practice with a lower back ache and I left feeling good.
What more can I say? Thanks for another wonderful start to a good day.