Un monde de différence | A World of Difference

Entre l’avant et l’après-pandémie, un monde de différence!

Quelle est donc cette différence? Comment mon chemin Fung Loy Kok® parcouru durant l’épreuve humaine inouïe de la pandémie m’a-t-il aidée à changer? Comment cette voie me prépare-t-elle à aider d’autres personnes, le temps venu?

Par où commencer! Le chanting et la méditation font maintenant partie de ma vie. Avant, je psalmodiais lors des évènements de l’organisation, peut-être huit fois par année, pour ma santé. Je ressens maintenant ses bénéfices autant que ceux des mouvements, et parfois davantage, sur ma santé physique, mentale et spirituelle. La période des fêtes qui s’amorce m’offre l’occasion de m’y adonner seule – ce serait une première. De plus, depuis la pandémie, la méditation debout et assise est devenue une partie de ma pratique individuelle quotidienne. Discuter de ces pratiques avec mes co-leaders m’aide à les approfondir. J’ai d’ailleurs aussi changé mon vocabulaire… Cependant, il ne faut jamais prendre un tel changement pour acquis.

L’harmonie qu’il nous a transmise et que j’ai observée chez nos directeurs fut l’un de mes changements ressentis les plus importants, depuis le privilège qu’on m’a accordé d’assister à leurs réunions du mercredi à l’été 2020. Leur exemple d’harmonie en action fut d’une aide inestimable à notre section locale, alors que notre groupe de leaders éprouvait des difficultés à traverser la pandémie. La phrase, « L’harmonie est plus importante que d’avoir raison » m’a marquée. Plus largement, cette leçon me fait prendre conscience de mes rapports avec les autres, l’harmonie se glisse dans mes relations familiales, sociales et professionnelles. J’essaie d’être plus sensible, plus à l’écoute, j’ai l’impression de devenir une meilleure personne. L’« école de la vie » prend ici tout son sens. Ma voie Fung Loy Kok®et les contingences de la vie se catalysent mutuellement. Cependant, il ne faut jamais prendre un tel changement pour acquis.

Plus récemment, j’ai eu une autre révélation. Une simple phrase captée durant une séance du samedi m’a permis de changé ma pratique. Elle a déclenché la sensation inattendue et indescriptible d’un équilibre renouvelé au plus profond de mon être. Avant, je cherchais un équilibre extérieur. Maintenant, je retrouve parfois cette précieuse sensation profonde qui ne dure qu’un instant, dans un mouvement et durant ma méditation. J’ai compris que bien au-delà d’une stabilité externe qui m’empêche de tomber, cet équilibre profond se transpose jusque dans les autres aspects de ma vie : l’intention d’un équilibre entre ma famille, le travail et l’engagement dans ma pratique, entre le calme et les situations de stress, un équilibre dans mes émotions. Il s’agit en fait d’un équilibre qui se marie avec l’harmonie, le dévouement, la sagesse. Comme quoi les vertus sont toutes imbriquées, tout est dans tout! (all is in everything!) Cependant, il ne faut jamais prendre un tel changement pour acquis.

Les Directeurs nous ont déjà demandé de réfléchir à ce qui nous retient dans l’organisation. Un aspect de nos enseignements reçus depuis mars 2020 qui résonne très fort en moi touche à une meilleure compréhension de l’identité même de notre organisation. Ses enseignements sont accessibles à tous et à toutes, inclusifs, et basés sur la transformation et l’ascendance ou la lignée (plutôt que sur les croyances). Honorer ses enseignements qui remontent à des siècles résonne en moi depuis mes premiers jours de pratique. C’est un aspect fondamental de l’organisation qui fait que je suis toujours là, que je la protège et que je continue ma pratique.

Pour boucler la boucle, je comprends qu’il ne faut jamais prendre pour acquis mes changements internes, car ils sont si forts et pourtant si fragiles. Pour maintenir, renforcer et améliorer les changements ressentis, ma pratique Tai Chi Taoïste® quotidienne ancrée dans tous les aspects de ma vie est essentielle. C’est la seule manière que je peux contribuer à la vitalité de la grande organisation qu’il nous a léguée, tout en en bénéficiant personnellement et en en faisant bénéficier d’autres personnes pour des générations à venir. Il ne faut jamais prendre pour acquis l’Institut de taoïsme Fung Loy Kok.  


Before and after the pandemic, a world of difference!

How is it different? How did my Fung Loy Kok® path during the unprecedented human ordeal of the pandemic help me to change? How is the Fung Loy Kok® way preparing me to help others when the time comes?

Where should I start! Chanting and meditation are now a part of my life. I used to chant at events at the centers, maybe eight times a year, for my health. I now feel its benefits as much as those of the movements – and sometimes more – on my physical, mental and spiritual health. The upcoming holiday season offers me an opportunity to do it alone, for the first time. Furthermore, since the pandemic, standing and sitting meditation have become part of my daily individual practice. Discussing these changes with my co-leaders helps me to deepen my practice. I have also changed my vocabulary… However, one should never take such a change for granted.

The harmony that he passed on to us and that I observed in our directors was one of the most significant changes I have felt since the summer of 2020, when I was granted the privilege of attending their Wednesday meetings. Their example of harmony in action was invaluable to our branch, as our leaders’ group met challenges through the pandemic. The sentence, “Harmony is more important than being right” has stuck with me. More broadly, thanks to this lesson, I am more aware of my relationships with others and harmony is gliding into my family, social and professional relationships. I try to be more sensitive, more attentive. I feel like I am becoming a better person. The “school of life” takes on its full meaning here. My Fung Loy Kok® path and the contingencies of life catalyze each other. However, one should never take such a change for granted.

More recently, I had another revelation. A simple sentence captured during a Saturday session helped me to change my practice. It triggered an unexpected and indescribable feeling of renewed balance deep inside, within my whole being. Before, I was seeking an external balance. Now, I sometimes find this precious deep feeling for a short moment, in a move or during my meditation. I have come to understand that, far beyond an external stability that prevents me from falling, this deep balance is transposed to other aspects of my life: an intention for balance between family, work and commitment to my practice; between calm and stressful situations; a balance in my emotions. It is in fact a balance that goes hand in hand with harmony, dedication, wisdom. All virtues are intertwined, all is in everything! However, one should never take such a change for granted.

The directors have also asked us to reflect on what keeps us in the organization. An aspect of the teachings received since March 2020 that resonates very strongly with me has to do with better understanding the very identity of our important organization. His teachings are accessible to all, inclusive, and based on transformation and lineage (rather than on beliefs). Honoring his teachings that go back centuries resonates with me since my earliest days of practice. It is a fundamental aspect that makes me stay in the organization, protect it, and continue my practice.

To come full circle, I remind myself to never take these changes for granted, because they are so strong and yet so fragile. To maintain, strengthen and improve these changes, my daily Taoist Tai Chi® practice anchored in all aspects of my life is essential. It is the only way that I can humbly contribute to the vitality of the great organization he passed on, for my own benefit and for that of others for generations to come. The Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism should never be taken for granted.

Overcoming the Most Difficult Challenges

Difficult times give us new opportunities. Thanks to modern technologies, Saturday online sessions became a place for me to deepen my understanding of his teachings. More than two years of conversations, sharing experiences, chanting, self-practice of Taoist Tai Chi® arts have strengthened my body and mind, helping to be able to face the challenges. They became a tool for me to overcome anxiety, stress, and worries, first during the Covid-19 pandemic, and later during the war.

In the first days and months of the war, I was very worried. I woke up from explosions. There were missiles arriving in Lviv and near Lviv. The most terrifying for me was the night when I was tossed up in my bed by an explosion, and a fragment of a missile fell 1.5 km from my house. Air alarms were frequent and at different times of the day. It is already a part of our life. I can’t change that. It was necessary to accept it and learn to live on.

In the morning, while the coffee is being prepared, I manage to do some Taoist Tai Chi® practice. This is a good start of the day for me. And I also feel happy to receive an on-line question “how was your night?”, as well as to ask someone “how are you?”.

Daily household works help me to distract from worries: cooking, cleaning, working in the garden, petting cats and dog. I am lucky to live in a village. But the village life also requires for me to have enough force, health and courage, so I have to take care of myself. My house is near the forest. This is a favorite place to come for my friends from the organization. The closeness of nature, trees, grass, flowers, birds, wind, sun and rain, changing seasons and the daily practice of the teachings of Master Moy bring harmony and peace to my life. Yesterday, practicing the movements in the rain gave me an incredible feeling of balance and unity with the world.

I want to thank the Board for the support and the ERC (European Regional Committee) for listening and crying with us when we just wanted to share our pain and stress, explaining us what we did not understand or miss on Saturdays, and giving advices and examples how to overcome stress. I also want to thank the Polish, Czech and Slovak branches for the possibility to participate in their meetings for better understanding of the Saturday sessions. I am happy with all my heart to be a member of the organization.

Applying the Principles

Now, during the last almost year and a half of COVID restrictions, with no sessions to lead or attend, practice at home has become an important cornerstone for my day. One of the benefits this has given me is the opportunity after the set to work on any movement that didn’t feel quite right. I have seen how even small shifts in my posture or timing, where I am looking, or the positioning of my feet, or how I hold my head, can make a big difference to my balance and stability, particularly with the separations and kicks.

And these changes have also helped me when out walking which I do for at least an hour and a quarter every day. I stand straighter and pay attention to where I am looking (not down at the pavement) so I am more balanced much less likely to trip and fall (as I have done in the past)! I have also applied them to how I sit when working at my computer. I have adjusted the angle of my screen and the height of my chair, so I can sit straighter and have greatly reduced my neck pain. I am seeing how much small things matter and am looking forward to sharing them with others when we come back together for in-person sessions.

Compassion, Forgiveness and Release

My parents were divorced when I was 9 and I grew up with my mother. When I was around 11, she developed an alcohol problem and as the oldest child I took on the responsibility of trying to keep her sober. For long periods she was a non-drinking alcoholic, but there were also fallbacks. And being addicted, she could not be trusted when it was about alcohol, leading me to mistrust her and becoming more of a guardian than a son. So this was a part of my life until she died 20 years ago.

Both my mother and father were troubled souls, kind and loving, but also both with a deep feeling of not being adequate parents and generally not too happy about life. So last year I decided to get each of them a plaque for All Souls. Basically I had tried for many years to forget about them, not visiting the graveyard and telling myself that I did not have any need for it.

A few months after All Souls, I was meditating and I got a feeling of great compassion for my mother with myself as a child, and through the compassion I found forgiveness. Through this forgiveness I was able to feel the love I had for my mother again. I am now able to remember my mother and my childhood without pain. I would not have been able to say how deeply I have been impacted by growing up under these circumstances, but the relief of letting go of this pain, experiencing compassion, forgiveness and love is profound.

After that I was able to visit the graveyard and I see both my parents as well as my younger self in another light.

So naturally this year I got plaques for both of them again and enjoyed being able to chant for All Souls with the wonderful feeling of love and compassion. I really feel that All Souls can benefit the living as much as the dead. I am sure I would never have experienced this release, without his teachings and practise of all the Taoist Tai Chi® arts.

Acceptance is not Resignation

For those of us who have health conditions that give us chronic pain, we often hear ‘you have to learn to accept this’, ’well get over it’, or ‘don’t let your condition define you’. Hearing these phrases, (which usually come with no further deeper insights or explanations), when you are in unrelenting pain are triggers that cause bitterness, anger, and depression, as well as a deepening a sense of failure and increasing anxiety.

The result is people shut down and stop listening or participating. Many people who suffer from chronic pain conditions, just want relief from the pain and are not helped by a simple catch phrase; people with chronic pain need tools, and the understanding of how to use these tools, to help themselves. All people with chronic pain suffer at some level from anxiety and worry. The tools that reduce pain also reduce anxiety. The practice of the Taoist Tai Chi® arts addresses both perfectly. So what do we say?? How do we convey this understanding and help new people coming in to trust the process?

I think the first thing that needs to be said is that acceptance is not resignation.

We are not using the standard definition of acceptance which many understand to mean ‘just give up- this is your life from here on in’. We are not saying you must be resigned to this life of pain. Instead we asking people to understand that acceptance is looking at your condition and acknowledging that what you have done so far hasn’t worked; that by trying to focus on the short term, which for many of us is simply getting some relief from pain, might make you lose in the long term.

One example, is putting trust in a medication that relieves pain in the short term but gives terrible side affects in the long term. I am not saying that medication does not have its place. Many people must take daily medication to live, and shouldn’t be made to feel lesser because of it. Medication can be a good tool, but shouldn’t be the only tool.

This brings me to another aspect of our practice – the practice of self reflection. This helps us understand ourselves so much better. It helps us acknowledge when we may be looking for a quick fix – when what we really need is to make a change in our lifestyle. This is quite a different thing and quite a different relationship to have with medication, our health providers, our lifestyle choices and the other tools that help us live longer and live well.

I believe our practice invites us to take responsibility on a deeper level for our own health, which in turn makes us better patients for our primary health caregivers. They become part of our team, and as we take responsibility and become more empowered, we relieve some of their burden as well. I think this may have been the first lesson the directors gave us at the very beginning of COVID. Such an important message to share with participants.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the benefits that my practice has given me, and how to help others find these benefits for themselves. Preparing to welcome newcomers has really got me examining just what I can say to help people understand that these benefits come with a long-term commitment, and to not worry about learning the moves in the short term. Worry and anxiety take such a huge toll on our health and well-being, and worry is so universal… I doubt there is anyone in the world who can say they have never worried about something. Many carry chronic worry for years; little wonder that our mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health diminishes, particularly as we age.

Investing time in learning Taoist Tai Chi® arts, is beginning the journey for controlling the pain/anxiety cycle and bettering every day life in the long term. I think newcomers need to understand that their investment in time, their patience in persisting with something that may not give results immediately, is going to give them control over their health in ways they never could’ve dreamed. Sadness and anger are the friends of chronic pain; many, many chronic pain suffers take medications to also control their anxiety and depression which comes as a result of pain… pain which is constantly telling the brain ‘you are in danger!’

Our brains are hardwired to understand that pain is dangerous to our very life. Our brains go into a fight or flight mode which floods our bodies with hormones and chemicals, triggering anxiety which then feeds our pain. The cycle is endless and debilitating. What better tool than a system that addresses mental, emotional and physical pain? I am thinking that helping people understand the long-term gain that practising Taoist Tai Chi® arts will give them… well that is something to talk about! They need to hear words like ‘make it a habit’, ‘take control of your pain’, ‘this is a tool you can trust’, ‘this practice will not let you down’, ‘consistency of practice plus time is a formula for decreasing your pain’. It is putting power back in the hands of pain suffers who have been in a state of anxiety and loss for many years.

People who are already anxious and acutely sensitive due to chronic pain, will pick up on any worry or perceived judgement from us immediately. I have been thinking about how our positivity and the simple joy we take in our practice is the first step to interrupting the pain cycle in our participants. When we ask our participants who suffer chronic pain how they feel at the end of a session, and they reply, usually with a bit of surprise, that they feel better, we can plant the seed for how they can have give themselves the gift of this short term pain relief with daily practice on their own at home. Why wouldn’t you want to feel better every day and not just on the days when you attend a session?! We can help them understand that they may have setbacks, but if they trust in the process, they will come to understand that they are training their brains to learn that the pain they feel is not life-threatening. This will cut the flight or fight dynamic; there will be a reduction in that horrible state of chronic anxiety.

We are asking our participants to step into a daily practice that will teach their brains how to manage chronic pain, (whether it is mental, emotional or physical), which will in turn result in a better quality of life. Better function comes before pain reduction, and so we must be prepared to reassure our participants that with persistence of practice and with time, they will feel better. I think I can testify that you can have daily pain and have a good life as well, if you develop a consistent personal practice.

I may accept my pain, but I am not resigned to it!

Trova Tesori | Finding Treasures

Ho iniziato a cercare il Tai Chi consigliata dal mio medico e fortunatamente ho incontrato il Tai Chi Taoista più di 25 anni fa. Ho provato benefici fisici per la mia salute fin da subito e la pratica mi ha aiutata molto negli anni a superare diverse situazioni incluso il tumore al seno.

“Pensavo” di essere consapevole di quanto questa pratica ha fatto per me e “pensavo” di conoscerne i benefici fisici e mentali. Ma come si dice, il percorso è lungo e nel tempo si percorrono anelli di una spirale di crescita che ci fa scoprire via via cose sempre più profonde.

Talvolta mi piace descrivere il mio percorso di pratica come la caccia al tesoro (un gioco a cui giocavo da piccola), ti dai da fare a scoprire gli indizi e poi trovi il regalo!

All’inizio della pandemia il primo tesoro che ho trovato è stato la parola opportunità. Ne abbiamo parlato uno dei primi incontri del sabato, mi è entrata nel cuore. Ho cercato di tenerla sempre con me ogni giorno in ogni situazione.

Così è iniziato un percorso fatto di tante piccole scoperte ma due sono per me particolarmente profonde.

È stato un anno in cui la mia famiglia ed i miei cari sono stati colpiti da malattia e perdite. Ho trascorso diversi mesi avendo cura di mio fratello e sono riuscita ad accompagnare un mio caro amico nel suo fine vita. Ad aiutare lui e la sua famiglia.

E la cosa, che onestamente mi ha sorpreso è il fatto che dentro di me c’era ovviamente molto dolore ma anche una sensazione di calma e stabilità che non avevo mai provato prima.

L’altro riguarda il rapporto con me stessa. Il mio senso del dovere che non mi faceva mai essere soddisfatta di quel che facevo. Ho cercato di far tesoro del non preoccuparsi, del lasciare andare, dell’1%, dell’imparare dagli errori e poi la chiacchierata sulla pietà filiale e sul concetto di maternità ha prodotto una svolta.

Riflettendo su questo ho capito che tutte le mie insoddisfazioni erano frutto di aspettative del mio ego, alla ricerca di una insana perfezione, e non erano certo ciò di cui avevo bisogno.

Sto mettendo un’intenzione diversa nella pratica, nelle attività della giornata. L’amore per la persona che cresce, la consapevolezza che non ci sono successi buoni e insuccessi negativi ma c’è un percorso. Le madri sono capaci di sorridere quando un bambino cade perché sanno che sta imparando a camminare.

Così so che posso cadere, che ci sono e ci saranno alti e bassi, perché la vita è la vita! ma so anche che c’è un porto calmo nel mio cuore a cui posso tornare ogni momento.

Penso che la mia vita non avrebbe senso se non potessi coltivare me stessa, diventare una persona migliore e poter aiutare gli altri.

Sapere che con l’impegno scoprirò altri tesori, potrò imparare altro, mi rende fiduciosa e grata di aver incontrato gli insegnamenti che il Maestro Moy ci ha lasciato, grata all’organizzazione che le custodisce e le tramanda, grata alla comunità di persone che si dedica ad aiutarsi gli uni gli altri.


I started looking for tai chi after my doctor recommended it and luckily, I met Taoist Tai Chi® arts more than 25 years ago. I felt physical benefits for my health right away and the practice has helped me a lot over the years to overcome different situations including breast cancer.

“I thought” that I was aware of what this practice has done for me and “I thought” I knew its physical and mental benefits. But as they say, the path is long and over time we go along rings of a spiral of growth that makes us gradually discover deeper and deeper things.

Sometimes I like to describe my practice path as a treasure hunt (a game I used to play as a child); you are engaged in discovering the clues and then find the gift!

At the beginning of the pandemic the first treasure I found was the word opportunity. We talked about it at one of the first Saturday meetings, it got into my heart. I’ve tried to keep it with me every day in every situation. So began a journey made of many small discoveries but two are particularly deep for me.

It’s been a year when my family and loved ones have been affected by illness and loss. I spent several months caring for my younger brother and was able to take care of a dear friend of mine at the end of his life. Able to help him and his family. And the thing that honestly surprised me is the fact that inside me there was obviously a lot of grief but also a feeling of calm and stability that I had never experienced before.

The other is about the relationship with myself, with my sense of duty that never made me happy with what I was doing. I tried to make use of the not to worry, the letting go, the 1%, the learning from mistakes; and then the discussion about filial piety, the reflection on the meaning of motherhood produced a breakthrough. Reflecting on this I realized that all my dissatisfaction were the result of expectations of my ego, searching for an unhealthy perfection, and were certainly not what I needed.

I’m putting a different intention into practice, into the daily activities. The love for the person who grows up, the awareness that there are no good successes and negative failures but there is a path. Mothers are able to smile when a child falls because they know they are learning to walk.

So, I know I can fall. I know that there are and there will be ups and downs, because life is life! but I also know that there is a quiet harbor in my heart that I can return to, every moment.

I think my life wouldn’t make sense if I couldn’t cultivate myself, become a better person and be able to help others.

Knowing that with commitment I will discover other treasures, I will be able to learn more makes me confident and grateful to have met Master Moy’s teachings, grateful to the organization that keeps them and passes them on, grateful to the community of people who are dedicated to helping each other.

Milestones

When the pandemic arrived and NZ was in lockdown, because my work is in health information systems, the demands were frantic. I couldn’t practise without being interrupted by phone calls and after a while it became just “snatches” of practise. During the last year I hurt my back more frequently, damaged my knee and shoulder, and spent much time at physiotherapy. Finally I made the connection between the two. Now I don’t interrupt my practise to answer the phone. Because of the pain in my arm and shoulder I’m discovering how important simple things like hand position affect how much the shoulder moves and opens. Everything is connected. 

There have been a number of signposts in my Taoist Tai Chi® path that lead me to this point.

  • First day – I told someone that the leader could not possibly have meant the example of alignment that was shown and pointed out. My body was not able to line up ankle, knee, hip and shoulder as shown and I thought the leader must be wrong because our bodies don’t do that. It was probably the first time in my life of awareness of my body movement.
  • First local retreat before I had finished learning the movements. I felt like I was being swept around in the current of the room full of people turning, and discovery of a half step and weight shifting which we looked at over 2 days.
  • Dropping down to a cupboard at home and realising that Taoist Tai Chi® practise changed the way I move in everyday life.
  • Being able to remember the movements and doing my own practise at the end of each day during multi-day hikes. Taoist Tai Chi® practise in many remote places gave a sense of peace, calm, stillness and beauty within the set.
  • Realisation that there is more to it than just body exercise.
  • First national retreat – who were these people who were so excited about a place called Orangeville. It seemed to be a whole different, larger FLK world that I was not aware of until then (even though it had been talked about.)
  • Being corrected because I didn’t attend a “training retreat” for leaders in training when I had been invited. A glimpse that there is behaviour etiquette and virtues that we practise.
  • Becoming part of the branch governance and the gift and privilege of leading – delighting in people’s learning and thinking that watching them was almost like seeing a mirror. But not seeing further than that.
  • First international retreat and repetition of one small movement for such a long time – dropping/opening the base of the spine and the sudden realisation that my arms were moving without any conscious intervention.
  • Ongoing involvement and leadership at the branch and invitation to take on more responsibility in continuing leadership. Strengthening the connections with others in the local and national then international oraganization, and feeling that I was part of a family and a way of life.
  • Asking about some specifics of the a particular movement foundation and being told that it was a mystery.
  • Hearing Master Moy stories.
  • Glimpses of understanding about the inherent opposites in the learning – yin and yang, soft and strong, drop and rise together and the circles that move throughout the moves.
  • First retreat at Orangeville and practising many movements that felt like just one move afterwards at Toronto airport. The incredible and definite feeling of the energy within as if it is a separate almost physical movement both inside and outside of me at the same time.
  • Being told to just “notice those feelings and move on” – letting go.
  • Being asked to join the national board and take on further administrative responsibilities and learning that the more governance I was involved in the more open my practice felt.
  • Responding to major mistakes made in a personal building project with calmness, clarity and compassion and deeply realising that Master Moy’s teachings also affect my character in a positive way.
  • Developing stress related health issues due to pressures of work and experiencing an epiphany moment where my sadness and concern about this almost physically lifted out of me during practice on the deck at Orangeville. Accepting that I couldn’t know how that had happened but knowing that it had occurred and the anxiety was gone.
  • Small groups at international retreats and realising that reflecting only what the international leader in training had demonstrated was much better for participants, and they improved more by emphasising a few simple points and letting them practise – just watching and not taking responsibility for their learning but leaving them alone more. Not being so emotionally involved when they get it or when they don’t, and learning to be more simple in instruction and say less.
  • Being given a firm correction that I was not listening and attempting to be a better listener as a result of that.
  • Reflecting how the international leaders in training will tell us a different way to do the moves and understanding that everything we have learned is in there and there is always more and deeper levels, no matter where we are in the journey – as long as our heart is in the right place we are on the path. Even though I am getting older there is a joy of knowing that his teachings help my neuroplasticity and gives me resilience and an attitude to embrace change.
  • Even though Taoist Tai Chi® arts lifts my spirits, for me it is not my religious faith and I am grateful that FLK accepts participants at all levels and is willing to allow us all to learn and take into our hearts as much as we are willing and able to do. I know that this is a journey with no destination and am extremely thankful that it is being made available to me.

Relaxing the Heart

Due to recent health hurdles I cannot stress enough how Taoist Tai Chi® practice has helped and enriched my wellbeing and life.

Zoom discussions with members of the international board and leaders in training have been illuminating through these difficult times, for our branches and participants, and with their guidance we have committed to see ourselves through. They have encouraged us all to cultivate our minds and strengthen our bodies. They have discussed things we have heard before in sessions – ‘how does that feel’, ‘relax’ – and you know what, doing that at home without any performance anxiety, you can feel this and go deeper with the many intrinsic parts of just one move. As such, I have continued my physical and mental journey by relaxing my heart.

Every day is a new day and a chance for exploration of self, and through our Taoist Tai Chi® practice at home we can all do this. The benefits of joining Zoom sessions will enrich all aspects of your journey.

Opening the Heart

Before the pandemic, I had practiced Taoist Tai Chi® arts for many years, but I can see clearly now that I was only surfing on it, staying on the surface of the learning and the transformation because I was afraid to go deep into my heart. The fear to dig in the pain that I had accumulated during all my childhood and my youth had made me very rigid. While reflecting on my journey and writing it down, I discovered that the desire to stay connected with our organisation was the essential thing that made me progress. This community is healing me.

I was 30 years old when I began Taoist Tai Chi® practice. Right at the beginning I felt that I had found a new family. I loved participating in retreats, but every time that a little window opened in me, and I could take a look at the deepness of Master Moy’s teachings, I was also seeing my deep suffering and it was making me afraid. My unconscious reaction was to immediately shut the window or the door… until the next time.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my husband was diagnosed with the recurrence of a cancer. We were very sad and in panic. I immediately took the decision to listen to my small inner voice that was telling me: be more engaged with the Fung Loy Kok, it’s there that you need to be. I needed support; I needed the community. As the leader of Quebec City Branch, I was invited to join the Eastern Region Board meeting every week. Another leader was reassuring me that anytime I would need to take a rest or to take more time in order to take care of me or my husband, I would be free to take some time off. But I realised that I didn’t need time off, because I discovered that helping the organisation was helping me.

This training is the source of the transformation I’m feeling. It helps me to keep a clear direction in my life to navigate through the difficulties, obstacles, and suffering.

In addition, I followed the instructions of our senior leaders eighteen months ago; I undertook an everyday routine of Taoist Tai Chi® practice in which the local, regional, and international meetings every week was included. My daily practice of foundations, regular chanting and chanting ceremonies (Lunar and Festivals) have led me to a new world. I discovered a brand-new inner force as well as a source of energy and a great stillness. All this helped me let go of everything difficult: the fear, the sadness, the anger, the pain and so on. In fact, I was really surprised to discover a great joy. The joy of living, of helping, of listening, of learning, of moving without a constant burden.

This joy and lightness were accompanied with a new clarity of mind; my brain has started to function more efficiently and more intuitively. The solutions to my everyday or professional difficulties were coming by themselves more easily. It is like I was reaching to an unconscious universe from where I could draw the solutions to my problems. Now that I am able to put my heart in what I do as well as in my training, the healing effect is multiplied a hundred times.

I wish to thank Master Moy and the FLK leaders from the bottom of my heart for their help and wisdom.

Letting Go of Anxiety

I’m coming to understand the role anxiety plays in my life. When I was pretty new to the organization, I’d sometimes go to a session after a particularly bad day at work. Like as not, the practice would feel clumsy. But by the end of the session, I’d notice that I was much less anxious. The tension must have been leaching out of me as the session was going on, but without me noticing as it was happening.

In the early days, my Leader in Training talked to us about Master Moy’s teachings, but despite her efforts I had very little concept of them. I see now that my understanding was limited in some obvious ways. Sure, the session is great for stress relief, but I didn’t really think about applying the principles outside of that. And I was forever assessing how well I was doing the practice.

The next stage was seeing how my anxiety dropped when I went to retreats. But that too was a story of substantial anxiety followed by big relief. And I was doubly concerned with how well I was doing the practice.

Now I recognize that anxiety has frequently been present- albeit to a smaller degree. And that it isolates me from other people. Even when the level of anxiety is modest, that lack of connection has a substantial impact on me and on the people around me.

Sometimes I bring anxiety on myself, and by acting differently in these situations I can reduce it little by little. Recently I needed to set up a discussion with a few people. It wasn’t supposed to happen for several days, so there wasn’t a pressing need to draw up a list of topics and send an invitation. In the past, I probably would have put it off- for any number of reasons- and would have figured, in the absence of obvious consequences, that waiting didn’t cost anything.

On this occasion, I gave myself a nudge to go ahead and send the topics and the invitation as a courtesy to the others. Right away, I noticed a feeling of relaxation. This tells me that in the past, when I had time to do a task but put it off, there has been an “anxiety cost”.

How is it that I’m only learning this now after so many years in the organization? During the pandemic there’s less clamor, so it’s easier to notice subtle things. And when people have talked about anxiety in the Saturday morning zoom sessions, that’s been very helpful- making me realize that just about everyone deals with anxiety; helping me understand that I need to work on it steadily and thereby reduce anxiety little by little, rather than expecting to conquer anxiety once and for all. For weeks I was thinking maybe the experience I cited with the meeting agenda was too trivial to share. But the Saturday morning discussions have also given me the sense that this is how it works: find a way to be 1% better, day after day.

Menici se Perspektivy | Changing Perspectives

Keď sa pozriem späť na posledný rok a pol, veľmi výrazne dokážem rozlíšiť tri oblasti alebo veci, ktoré som začal oveľa viac, intenzívnejšie vnímať:

    1. Na začiatku pandémie, keď sme ostali doma, som nemal žiadne obavy z toho, čo bude. Keď som si to uvedomil, prekvapilo ma to. Po hlbšom zamyslení sa nad tým som si uvedomil, že na obavy nie je dôvod. Rodina bola v poriadku, svoju prácu som dokázal robiť aj z domu a uvedomoval som si, že moje praktizovanie Taoistického Tai Chi nie je viazané na miesto a čas, v ktorom bežne chodím viesť naše stretnutia. Trénovať môžem kedykoľvek a kdekoľvek. Práve toto poznanie mi dodávalo pocit pokoja a istoty, že mám poklad, z ktorého môžem čerpať a žiadna pandémia ma nemôže obmedziť. Myslím, že práve táto analýza mi umožnila uvedomiť si vplyv dovtedajšieho tréningu na moju reakciu na pandémiu. Jednoducho som reagoval tak, ako keď na retreate dostávame inštrukcie, ktoré sa snažíme aplikovať, ale nie sme na ne fixovaní. Prijímame ich, pracujeme s nimi, ale zostávame flexibilní. A keď inštrukcii porozumieme, necháme ju ísť. Takto som asi podvedome pristupoval aj k zmenenej situácii – o.k., došlo k zmene, prijmi ju, prispôsob sa a choď ďalej. Fascinujúce je, že som to nepotreboval vedome analyzovať, jednoducho sa to udialo. Ak nemáte obavy, vaše okolie to vycíti a tiež nebude mať obavy.

    2. Veľmi skoro po začatí sobotňajších stretnutí s lídrami FLK som začal vnímať silný pocit jednoty a silu našej komunity. Dovtedajšie fyzické stretávanie s členmi a lídrami FLK na retreatoch, v centrách a na mítingoch boli síce osobné, ale menej časté. Možno práve preto človek nevnímal ten kontakt, hoci osobný, tak intenzívne. Ale teraz, keď sme sa nemohli fyzicky stretávať, ale začali sme sa stretávať pravidelne v online priestore, som začal vnímať všetku tú obrovskú snahu a energiu, ktorá bola vložená do toho, aby náš tréning zmysluplne pokračoval. A to ma zároveň naplnilo ešte väčšou dôverou v organizáciu a jej lídrov. Mám pocit, akoby sme predtým boli síce blízko, ale trochu oddelení a teraz sme síce navzájom ďaleko, ale viac spojení. Napadla mi taká paralela s časticami pevnej látky: ak sa častice dostanú k sebe navzájom príliš blízko, prevládajú odpudivé sily medzi nimi a keď sa príliš vzdialia, prevládajú medzi nimi príťažlivé sily. Tieto silové interakcie umožňujú látke existovať v pevnom skupenstve.

    3. Pravidelný kontakt s chantingom počas sobotňajších stretnutí mi umožnil zväčšiť hĺbku vlastného tréningu. Už to nie je len teória alebo niečo výnimočné, s čím sa stretneme iba niekoľkokrát do roka na retreatoch. Stáva sa súčasťou tréningu rovnako ako vykonávanie fyzických pohybov. Je to ako pridať ďalší kamienok do veľkej mozaiky, čím sa celkový obraz s názvom „praktizovanie umení Taoistického Tai Chi“ stáva zreteľnejším a nadobúda novú kvalitu a hodnotu.

Looking back on the last year and a half, I can very clearly distinguish three areas or things that I have begun to perceive much more, more intensively:

  1. At the beginning of the pandemic, when we stayed at home, I had no worries about what would happen. When I realized that, I stayed surprised. After thinking more deeply about it, I realized that there was no reason to worry. The family was fine, I was able to do my job from home, and I realized that my Taoist Tai Chi® practice was not tied to the place and time I normally go to teach sessions. I can train anytime and anywhere. It was this knowledge that gave me a sense of peace and security; the knowledge that I have a treasure from which to draw, and no pandemic can limit me.
    I think it was this analysis that allowed me to realize the impact of the training so far on my response to the pandemic. I simply reacted as if we were given instructions at a retreat, which we try to apply, but we are not fixed on them. We accept them, we work with them, but we remain flexible. And when we understand the instruction, we let it go. This is probably how I subconsciously approached the changed situation. It was like “O.k., there’s a change, so accept it, adapt to it and move on”. The fascinating thing is that I didn’t need to consciously analyze it, it just happened. If one’s not worried, her/his surroundings will feel it and will not be worried either.

  2. Very soon after Saturday’s meetings with the FLK leaders started I began to perceive a strong sense of unity and strength in our community. Before the pandemic situation, physical meetings with FLK members and leaders at workshops, centers, and meetings were personal but less frequent. Maybe that was why one didn’t perceive the contact, albeit personal, so intensively. But now when we couldn’t meet physically but started meeting regularly in the online space, I began to perceive all the tremendous effort and energy that was put into making our training continue meaningfully. And this filled me with even more confidence in the organization and its leaders.
    I feel as if we used to be close, but a bit separated, and now we are far apart, but more connected. As a parallel, an image of the particles the solid matter consists of emerged in my mind: if the particles get too close to each other, repulsive forces prevail between them, and when they move too far away, attractive forces prevail between them. These force interactions allow the substance to exist in a solid-state.  

  3. Regular contact with chanting during Saturday’s meetings allowed me to increase the depth of my training. It is no longer just a “theory” or something exceptional, which we met during retreats only a few times per year. It becomes part of the training like 108 moves. It’s like adding more stones to a large mosaic, making the whole picture called “The Art of Taoist Tai Chi® practice” clearer, giving it a new quality and value.

Balancing Work in Progress

I was caught in the turbulence of anger, anxiety and fear about something I could do nothing about. At one point I acted rudely. Then I experienced the effect on my body, feeling unwell and very tired. I was ashamed of my actions. I didn’t think I was susceptible to such strong emotions.

Taoist Tai Chi® practice, including chanting, helped me and my body return to calm. I reflected on the virtues, especially sense of shame as it connects to filial piety. Would I have acted thus if my parents or Master Moy had been present? The practice and discipline of meditation is also becoming more important. I thought of the reminder, ‘don’t go there’, using it over and over again but in a soft way, gently letting go. This is a hopeful and balancing work in progress.

Connected to the Source

Today at the All Souls Festival chanting on Zoom I was overwhelmed by emotion.

During the Three Seasons Scripture, Repentance and Lighting Ceremony sutra, I thought of how grateful I was that Master Moy Lin Shin had brought these teachings and formed this organization to help us. Every time I thought of him my voice would break and tears came streaming down. I felt connected to our source and ever so grateful that he was always there.

I am going through a stressful and chaotic time of change. The release while seeking reconciliation was what I needed. I was so happy to take part in the Festival For All Souls online as in previous years I gained so much by attending in Calgary. The leader’s beautiful voice taped for the online chanting was a comfort to follow along with in the chanting. I know I will always have a family in Taoist Tai Chi® arts wherever I go.

Letting Go of Anger and Grief

Die Taoist Tai Chi® Künste zu üben, hat mich zu meinem innersten Inneren gebracht. Ich habe während vieler Jahre viel Trauer mit mir herumgetragen. Das tägliche Üben während der letzten zwei Jahre hat es mir möglich gemacht, meine Trauer und meine Wut über den Verlust meiner Tochter, die ich bei einem Unfall mit einem Auto verloren habe, loszulassen.

Auch das Chanting an den Samstagen und die Gespräche helfen mir. Obwohl ich in Englisch nicht viel verstehe, verstehe ich viel mit meinem Herzen. Ich habe viele Verletzungen und körperliche Schwierigkeiten davon getragen vom Unfall. Diese werden durch das Üben der Taoist Tai Chi® Künste immer weniger. Dafür bin ich sehr dankbar.

Darum bleibt mir nur noch herzlichen Dank für Alles zu sagen!


Practicing the Taoist Tai Chi® arts has brought me to the innermost part of myself. I was carrying a lot of grief with me for many years. The daily practice during the past two years has allowed me to let go of the anger and grief I felt about the loss of my daughter through an accident with a car.

Also the chanting on Saturdays and the talks help me. Although I do not understand a lot of English, I understand a lot with my heart. I have many injuries and physical difficulties from the accident. They are getting fewer and fewer through the practice of the Taoist Tai Chi® arts. I am very grateful for this.

So all I can say is a heartfelt thank you for everything!

Resting in Openness

Over the last year, it has become part of my thinking to look at myself in a calmer manner, with more distance from my emotions. The mutual respect I saw and felt during the Saturday sessions helped me a lot in many ways. I started to open up, practicing and building self confidence and trust. I see that I have changed, and it is great pleasure not wishing it, but to feel it in myself.

Now that the reopening has started, I recognized how much I tire myself out during the sessions. When I am leading, I can get annoyed when someone does not pay attention. I also did too much thinking after the session of what I could have done better. On the other hand, by being a participant at a session I tired myself out by watching, evaluating other people and myself. In the first month of the reopening, I caught myself looking for achievements. I was sad as I felt losing the calmness, self-confidence and softness of my practice during the lockdown.

So, I reflected on how I did things and how I felt. I made a decision to aim on not to tire myself out. As LITs we got clear instructions during the Saturday talks on how to lead a session. I take part in a group where we tell the stories of the Saturday sessions in Hungarian. There the task is so clear to pass on the talks. So, I decided to try this attitude when leading a session.

I reflected on what helped me to progress during the last two years. Firstly, I identified the trust in the organization and in his teachings. Secondly a feeling of an individual journey arose in me, a feeling of hope, lightness and freedom opened up. These feelings came from my experiences during many events where changes happened, like All Souls festival, listening to Saturday talks or working with other LITs in group.

I tried to prepare Saturday topics for the session and then I told the story as it was without hesitation. I also tried to think of the participants’ 10-year long term Taoist Tai Chi® journey and how I can help it. When I could practice these, I saw that my tasks became straight forward and few. There was more freedom, less control and worry. The session becomes restful this way.

As part of this slow shift in my LIT practice, my personal practice became more natural and deeper. I use curiosity to try what I saw during the session or to test the instructions myself. Somehow details get less important. My focus is not to tire myself out with thinking and trying, but to stay open. I started to enjoy the opening in my palms. Other times when my movements are stiff, I can reach back more easily to the trust of the FLK community.

I still have a hard time applying this lighthearted approach of resting during the sessions when being a participant, though I am searching for it. Maybe I could look for a restful feeling for the group, not for myself. I keep searching, and I am grateful for the advice to write reflections.