Jon’s Journey

Jon Marshall

I have been learning Tai Chi from Ric Lum for about eight months. I have had strange undiagnosed pains in my knees and hands and was consequently unable to do much in the way of exercise previously. When I started Tai Chi I found it hard to do more than the first couple of movements, and am now successfully performing the whole set(108 sequences) – sometimes twice a day – plus walking and generally leading a much more normal life. Quite early on in my learning I found that at the end of practice I would be greeted by a kind of ‘explosion of peace’, this still occurs. I am, according to my wife, much better balanced than when I began the practice, no longer gripped by panic attacks and the feeling of imminent death. This might be a coincidence, but Tai Chi offers a meditative form of movement, which involves the person at all levels and has undoubtedly contributed something to this benefit. I can heartily recommend Ric as a patient, encouraging and complimentary teacher (he is the first person to ever praise any physical activity I’ve engaged in, anyway). The lessons are superficially easy, but there is always more to extract from them.

Sally’s Compliment


I have always done some kind of dance or yoga classes but it was my poor health which prompted me to learn Tai Chi from Ric. I was living beside Jubilee Park and would see Ric practising most days. It was clear he was a Master, and it was also clear that I was needing some help for my health as I was coming down with one virus after another. Also being in my mid-forties I was beginning to think about aging. I was inspired by my aunt who had learnt Tai Chi all through her seventies.

I wondered if I would ever have the patience to do such a slow practice as Tai Chi- now I find I love this slowness, so much happens within it. Practising in the park I enjoy not only my own slowing down but the sense that the whole world around me in the park also seems to be in slow motion. I feel on much firmer foundations after my Tai Chi lessons and I try and take moments throughout my days to practise a little more to touch base with the grounding, spaciousness and calm I have found through Tai Chi.

Practising Tai Chi outdoors is very important for me as I love to feel the connection with the earth and the natural surroundings. I also particularly love the way that birds and dogs show up to have a look at what we strange humans are doing.

& Beginnings

Learning Tai Chi from Ric Lum over the last four months has been highly enjoyable and very beneficial. I feel much less stressed, my digestion has improved and my energy levels are higher and steadier. I love the spaciousness of the practice along with Ric’s simple yet subtle teaching methods. I always feel I’ve progressed each session and doing Tai Chi alongside Ric is a wonderful experience which clears mind, body and soul. I feel I can look forward to years of learning from Ric; he is a skilled, patient, good-humoured and generous teacher who teaches on many levels at once.
-*30/11/04 *

More Views

*Eva Pascoe*

*Sent:* Wednesday, December 21, 2005 7:46 AM
*Subject:* Re Eva

I have been attending classes taught by Master Ric Lum for the last year. Whilst I have always had difficulty learning new things physically, I found the Tai Chi classes brought an unprecedented level of both challenge and reward.

The most notable were experiences of coming to an edge where the mind had NO IDEA where or what the movement was all about. By traversing such areas I found a landing, a support from the flow of Chi, a song that supported every movement.

I started feeling Tai Chi like a piece of music. Whilst practising some sequences, I felt where the connection to the Chi vanished, where the ‘false notes’ were. It did not have so much to do with the execution of the movement as with its connectivity to the Chi flow.

I have enjoyed the Tai Chi classes. The park and the trees have offered an unprecedented level of references, which my physical body had difficulties with.

In gratitude for the teachings
May the Song Be Heard By All
Eva P.

*Gerard O’Connor*
*Sent:* Saturday, June 04, 2005 1:02 PM
*Subject:* Gerry’s experiences.

A few weeks ago during the warm-up, without consciously moving, my arms followed yours, sort of like a puppet on a string.
Today I found that I no longer felt I had to think about what I was doing, but rather it flowed more naturally. It actually felt a lot more comfortable as well.

*Mrs. Linda Cameron, CYPRUS*
*Sent:* Tuesday, March 29, 2005 11:47 PM
*Subject:* Re: DVD Music
I am slowly practising the Tai Chi from the DVD.
I felt my Chi movements immediately in my hands and upper back.
The DVD is beautiful although as a beginner it takes patience to follow all aspects of each move. Patience is a very good facet of my Being to develop.

Happy New Year Ric
Hope your trip was great.
Well your DVD has arrived and I braved the torrential rain to go collect it from school.

Anyway the DVD was a very welcome distraction and I watched it and did not want to stop it as I was entranced with the movements and the feelings it brought to me over all that distance. I felt I was watching a dance between you and a much beloved being, maybe your Higher Self. It is very beautiful to watch. I have not had time to practise yet as very busy this morning so some time today will play with the moves and give you some feedback.
Thank you so much
Love Linda

*Kathy’s Testimonial*
”I can definitely say that the form of Tai Chi that Ric Lum teaches is beneficial for someone who is not able to do any other exercise. I have not enough breath (damaged lungs) to do aerobic exercise, nor enough muscle power (ME/CFS) for anything more than a short walk, but I can do 35 minutes of this particular Tai Chi and feel more energetic at the end of it. It was fabulous for me to find something that I could actually do with my body that didn’t hurt it more, that was absolutely gentle and non-punishing, and allows me to feel like I am dancing (almost). When I started Tai Chi, 6 months ago, I could do only 5 minutes  without muscle pain. I have gradually built that up to 35 minutes. My  muscles are still fragile, but they are in much better shape than they were 6 months ago, and I feel more healthy in general. Doing a short round of Tai Chi before bed allows me much deeper, better sleep. Ric Lum has been constantly encouraging, insightful and helpful with his advice over this time.”
-Kathy Rose, Mullumbimby

*Amie’s Account*
“I have been doing Tai Chi Chuan with the teacher Ric Lum for 6 months. The benefits from this particular practice of Tai Chi have so far proven to be beneficial in many ways.

When I began Tai Chi I was quite unfit, lacking energy and suffering bouts of depression. Since practising Tai Chi I have felt my overall energies have come into balance and have integrated in a more harmonious and new way.

Through Ric?s guidance and teaching method I have begun to develop a heightened awareness in regards to the positive effects Tai chi has had on the physical body as well as the subtle.

The benefits have included the clearing of negative thinking and the clearing of subtle blockages, becoming one with the flow in a way that makes you feel more energised without over exerting oneself, increased flexibility, muscle relaxation and overall balance.

Six months down the track I can say that Tai Chi classes with Ric have helped me to become more centred in my being, more connected to the flow of things including a newfound enjoyment in mundane activities. It also helps with becoming less reactive angry and I am not as volatile as I used to be. SO whoever is contemplating classes in Tai Chi with Ric Lum just give it a go and prove the benefits for yourself.”
-Amie Zar, Dulwich Hill, Sydney

“I forgot to mention the feeling of immense pleasure and gratitude/deep satisfaction that I feel just after I finish my sessions of Tai Chi. It almost qualifies as a feeling of reverence at what I have been given.”

“Tai Chi put me into such a deep space that it took about half an hour to come back.”

“At night I do one round of section one immediately before bed and find that it increases the depth of my sleep immensely.”

*James Boonzaier
Sent*: Monday, August 03, 2009 11:33 AM
Subject: Culture

PS: I haven?t really had an opportunity to say it-but my experience with Tai Chi to date has been positive and meaningful–and your relaxed and humorous (but rigorous) approach to teaching the Art, is one I?m enjoying immensely. I must add that the ?Class Culture? (if I can call it that)  is highly supportive-I?ve really appreciated that?.