My experience of this past year is probably different from the one of most of our participants. I have been working at home and freelancing since I moved to Europe in 2000. Also due to family necessities it was difficult for me to attend class regularly, I have had a routine at home for a long time but not always daily. To be confined at home was not what made this time so significant.
At the beginning of this pandemic when my wife came home from work with the diagnosis Covid19 it was one day or so after that I also had an attack in the right side of the brain and in the right eye, very painful but mainly very strange, similar to migraine but also not the same. I thought I was losing my eye. I started the same night to sleep flat on the floor.
The first set I did that morning I could not balance. I didn’t stop until I could and I did succeed. I experienced incredibly strange movements on the surface of the skull, in the skull, upper jaw and also in the face and eyes when doing the movements. Those sensations have lessened through the year but are still there today.
We were in quarantine and I was responsible for managing everything in the house with our 3 teenagers, also at home. I had so much to do that I couldn’t waste any time stressing and worrying even though I still managed to do too much of that. I also, the best I could, kept my responsibilities as a L.I.T. including the weekly Saturday sessions. Selflessness, not worrying, using the energy that I would have used worrying, to practice more and better. All those reminders and advice were gold to me.
The Idea of a one percent improvement everyday became a life and death necessity. True or not, I felt I was in a battle for my life or at least my sight. That is how it felt for me in those two weeks or so of quarantine and beyond that. Of course I don’t think I achieved that one percent but my Taoist Tai Chi® practice did improve and also very slowly the rest of my condition did too. Luckily, I could do everything that needed to be done, I thank practicing his teachings for that.
I was tested for months after that day, searching for a cause. All the test results came clear, no damage on the brain or the eye and no antibodies for the covid19, the only thing found was an unusually high blood pressure but not critical. I will never know exactly what happened. For me it was clear that there was an attack of some sort in my head. I trusted what I felt and reacted as soon as possible with the strongest medicine I knew. I can only speculate and I could be wrong but my feeling and personal diagnosis is that whatever it was that attacked me, my practice (however good it is) of his teachings took care of it. There were no serious traces of what had happened left, only for the fine scars and their effects that I can still feel today, nothing to be shown on the scans or radiographies that were taken.
I kept my daily practice from that point on. I worked the best I could with the latest corrections I had received and some corrections that came directly from Mr. Moy that seemed relevant to the area where my problem is. For example I remembered Mr. Moy correcting someone on the timing in the hand and eyes (head) movement in the “move hands like clouds”. He had, through a translator, explained that this timing would bring circulation deeper in the head behind the eyes.
I was saved once when I first started with the help of Mr. Moy and as far as I am concerned I was saved this time again.
Back then I had displaced vertebrae that were on the verge of cutting my spinal cord which would have left me paralyzed. The option that was given to me at the time by my doctor was a fusion of the lower spine and I did not want that. After some research and following my intuition I did find Taoism and Tai Chi in a roundabout way in “The Book of Changes” by Richard Wilhelm. Following that lead I got more information leading me to believe that this was exactly what I needed not only for my physical problems but also for the rest of my problems.
I was specifically looking for “Taoist” Tai Chi. A Tai Chi coming directly from the Taoist tradition.
I found the Taoist Tai Chi Society (now Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism) address and phone number in the yellow pages phone book. That was in the winter of 1984. I started early 1985 with the first available class. I still remember the exact date. Until today I consider this one of the most important successes of my life. I learned later, once a member, about the aims and objectives and the first one; making his teachings available to everyone. I am still impressed by this today how Mr. Moy through simple little bread crumbs made this easy to find for everyone “looking for it”.
I began Taoist Tai Chi® practice for my health at the age of 29, I am now 65 years old. My first movements from that first class were a soft operation on my spine, painful but very effective. It took me about five years to be able to do physical work again and about 10 years to feel internally more balanced. From having difficulty in simple daily movements I recovered the flexibility of my youth and more.
I knew Mr. Moy for 13 years, trusting him was easy. You only had to watch him in everything that he did and how he treated and helped people. This trust is now spread to the directors and the entire organization. Trust does not come easy for me, I will keep working on it, that is also part of my health recovery. For me the Don Yu’s are fun compared to the taming of the heart.
What really marked this year for me was the need to relearn to fight (like I did when I first started) with the tool that I have been given for years. I have to use the word fight. I cannot find another more appropriate word. In that fight I had to learn the power of softness and consistency.
Mr. Moy is still here in spirit, in the leaders that he left. There is no doubt, I am so grateful for that. There are a lot of details that I never got during Mr. Moy’s lifetime that I am receiving now from the directors. It is a continuation of his teaching. That feeling, that is talked about during the Saturday meetings, I will keep on searching for it and refine it for the rest of my life. It is as far as I am concerned, the life that is worth living.
The way is an open road. The lanterns showing the way are the leaders in training. There is so much to learn and there can be so much pleasure in learning. I am also working on that.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience with this incredible art that did improve my life so much and is giving me so much hope. I am writing this to clarify the event for myself and if in any way this can help anyone in their understanding of the importance of what Mr. Moy left to us.