British Health Qigong Association Instructor Training May 2016
I was really delighted to be able to attend the workshops again this year with visiting Masters from China. It was my fourth year. Rather than add a different routine, I decided to repeat Ba Duan Jin.
Some of the other participant seemed surprised that anyone would repeat 4 days of training on something they had already ‘done’. Having been involved with external martial arts, Taiji, Xing Yi, Bagua, Qigong and meditation for over 45 years, I know that one pass through the training of anything is barely enough. Not if you really want to get to grips with the subject. Four days immersion in something you think you already know when you have the help of top masters is always very revealing. I enjoyed the workshops and learned a lot. Very, very worthwhile. As always, all the Masters were super, with each having different expertise to contribute. This year included Ms Lai Jian Hui who we met last year. It is always nice to see old friends. I plan to repeat Yi Jin Jing next year, if it is on offer.
My aim in studying all these arts has always been to strive for quality and not quantity. It is all too easy to waste money and chunks of your life pursuing unsubstantiated health exercise systems of dubious value, especially if enthusiastic amateurs are teaching them. The way I look at it, life is too short to waste it on anything but the best available.
For me, the work that has gone into the Chinese Health Qigong Association routines is nothing short of amazing. Not only in choreography of the sets, but more importantly in the validation against the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and corroborative research work done in conjunction with Chinese universities and teaching hospitals. My views came out during an informal a chat with Ms Gao Lan Jie, Vice-President of Chinese Health Qigong Association and Secretary General of International Health Qigong Federation.
Our course was part of the first phase of the training programme. This year, it was adapted to incorporate a talk by Daoist Master Professor Mei Mo Sheng and a public demonstration in Telford Park by as many BHQA members who could make it.
As the demonstration was coming to an end, I needed to leave in order to catch a London bound train. While picking up my jacket, I noticed Professor Mei and Ms Gao sitting on the embankment watching the demonstration so I decided to say ‘Thank you for coming, and a goodbye’. I thought it would be a quick 30 seconds and I would be on my way. Not so! I soon found myself being quizzed by Ms Gao about my interest in Qigong and martial arts in general and a whole range of things. She seemed surprised that meditation had been part of my martial art training for over 45 years. I confessed that Xing Yi was my first love and that I enthusiastically practiced the CHQA sets because of the work that had been done to validate them. I explained that confidence in the material was the most important factor for me before committing time and effort to the practice. She seemed pleasantly surprised by my comment. I reinforced my comment by comparison with some Buddhist texts in which the first chapter explains the lineage and history of the teachings so that practitioners know that the content is authentic and can be relied upon. “You Buddhist?” she asked. ‘Yes”, I replied. It generated another look of surprise. Professor Mei then gave some advice about Daoism and Buddhism.
Time was slipping by and I had to pick up my bag from the hotel before catching the train. They were such nice, friendly and open people. It was a real effort to force myself away, saying “Thank you and goodbye”, then dashed of – kicking myself for not going to chat to them both sooner. I had answered their questions but I never got to ask any myself….
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