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,


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