The journey_ the Tao

“Accept life as it is. As it is, whatever life is there, accept it. Don’t retaliate, don’t get angry, don’t get upset, just accept, and you’ll enjoy the same life which was irritating you. You will see the enjoying part of that, and it will be so beautiful the way you will see that you’ll get over all your problems, you’ll get over all your enemies, and a kind of a very fresh beautiful existence you’ll have.”
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Sahastrara Puja 1999, Cabella Ligure, Italy

A month before knowing by e-mail Master Ric I had this dream:

I was in Villa Ada, in Rome, seeking a Sahaja Yogini who practised tai chi chuan. (During this time I was, in real life, a Yang family’s tai chi chuan student but seeking a deeper knowledge and experience of the taoist way.)
At the beginning of the dream starting in the lower zone of the park I was climbing up to the high end of the park, very near a bar/cafe.
I met a woman dressed in white who was practising a bit of tai chi chuan movement. I asked her if she knew the inner mechanism of tai chi chuan.
She answered that she didn’t know well but the only thing she could tell me was that during the movements of the form the Earth absorbs the thoughts.This was in my dreams..

…several months later I was in Villa Ada, in real-life with Master Ric, in the same place as in my dream!

Ivan Alibrandi
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2012 13:07:18 +0200 (CEST)

Ric didn’t explain much but..what came after was totally amazing as John’s and my arms floated up without effort or muscle contraction and with a 90 degree turn of both palms, my arms would slowly descend back to the starting position. After achieving the arm lift for numerous times, I felt revived and my vision became very bright and I was able to see objects clearly into the far distance.
Master Michael Lee
December 18, 2004 at 10:01am

As for my Southern Mantis Tong Long and Choy Li Fut Gung Fu, well, I
have to say that I have taken a giant leap forward, by that I mean my
students could see that I have roundness and internal power even within
my linear Mantis forms. As for Choy Li fut, well those low stances feel
effortless to do now. This is one amazing journey of true Tai Chi, and I
must thank Ric for sharing his knowledge with me and my brother Michael.
Master John Lee
November 20, 2004 at 6:24pm

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  1. 3rd lesson 7 Oct
    Felt really fortunate today, how can it be I´m receiving such martial arts lessons? And I felt the answer was – it used to be your desire in your past lives, so now it´s getting fulfilled. Simple.

  2. Dynamic Tai Chi, legs high in repulse monkey, felt like deep water in a small boat, floating, bouncy, the rhythm was dynamic. Deep connection with the core earth. Swirly, and then there were pockets of shallow water on small rocks, bumpy. Felt like I was in a kayak and aware of the bottom of the boat. Beautiful wobbles from the magpies. It was great fun.

  3. “Be gentle, become soft, dancing, some blocks, some resistance, then let go again.
    This is the Tai Chi that opens your heart, give you serenity, only for a little moment sometimes, but it comes,
    and then you flow a little bit more than before; spontaneously become harmonious, and the mind understands, but only after the experience,
    what Lao Tze meant when he indicated that life is soft, pliable, but death is hard, contracted….like a chubby, soft newborn…or a stiffened body when life is gone…”

  4. Subject: *Sat.9th Oct.,2010*

    During the form this Sat. my hands and arms felt much lighter as I glided through the movements, making these upper movements much easier and effortless than normal. I don ‘t know why this would be although I did put more focus on appreciating and following the Chi energy through the form as a result of my current step that I have been practising over recent weeks. I am quite excited with this as I feel I am making real progress in getting closer to mastering the true Tai Chi that we practise.

    Although I still get easily distracted during the dance by people and dogs passing by etc., especially outsiders practising very close to us now who become quite vocal at times, despite all this I am feeling a growing peace and tranquility throughout the dance. Could this be due to a closer connection to the invisible Chi as a result of my progress?
    I feel very sure that it is.

  5. Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 1:36 AM
    Subject: doyerownting!

    On a related note: Danusha and I have observed on a number of occasions squirrels hanging out as we (or I) practice. There were 2 or 3 occasions where there was a couple courting one another, and we did see for a moment, you-know-what – but the interesting part was that the squirrels stayed together afterward, cuddling and playing and preening each other for the rest of our time at the park. They also stayed right in our area. I’ve never known squirrels to be so loving with one another, it was almost like a dream! I looked up mating/courting behaviour of squirrels later on at home on my computer, and found nothing about such behaviour.

    Gregor: “Idiosyncrasies reflect people’s ability, where they are up to in Tai Chi Chuan. In due course there’s a right way of doing it.”

    I have learned through time what details to let go and which parts are necessary to correct. I stick to the grossest movements of the form, for instance, orientation. I noticed that some people, those who have spent a lot of time previously paying attention to moving their bodies (in dance/martial arts/yoga) have an easier time picking up the gross movements and even some details, but may lack the flow, and I’ve had a few who got the flow quicker but lacked the coordination/body awareness to get those details and some of the grosser movements. One person didn’t have experience with the previously mentioned forms of movement, but was the most resistant of all the people I’ve tried teaching – this person couldn’t even get past the Chi-raising bit in the beginning!

  6. Subject: Toe Curlings

    * 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

  7. Subject: Catch-Up

    -In Repulse Monkey (funny, I thought it was “Pulse Monkey” until recently) especially, my hands feel as if they are connected to each other by a sort of magnetic force. Have you ever done the trick where you press two rocks together as hard as you can for a certain length of time, and then let them go, and the rocks feel like magnets afterwards keeping your hands together? It’s sort of like that, but less extreme. The sensation is hard to describe, but that’s my best try 🙂

    -In general, I feel less like my hands/arms are pushing in various moves than they are being drawn out from my body.

    -In Cloud Hands, I feel much less awkward than I used to. The sequence of moves flows so that I can feel what Cloud Hands really is, or at least the beginning of it.

    -Often I notice that my breathing naturally comes out in the sound form of a gentle “shhhhh”, which feels very soothing. That sound happens to be one of the Taoist Yogic sounds taught to me when I was briefly studying Chi Nei Tsang years ago, and the sound is that of the liver/gallbladder and the color green. Interesting! It happens without any forethought on my part, and I feel stress/liver chi stagnation being released as it happens.

    -Recently I’ve been aware of a continuity between my hands/arms and a sensation of Earth energy drawing up through my feet. It feels very strong.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. *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…
    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.

  14. Master John Lee
    Choy Li Fut
    Southern Praying Mantis

    *Subject:* John’s Tai Chi feeling

    Hi Ric,
    Just written a few sentences of the Chi effects that I felt in
    practising Tai Chi today.
    Today I was working on “parting the wild horse’s mane”. I began feeling
    the chi moving my body to the right place, the circle steps landed in
    the right place and my body and arms “flow and sink” on their own. Also
    the figure eight chi flow is apparent in my body as I part the mane.
    Pretty “Wild” Stuff!

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