Master Tse’s visit to Vancouver Island, Canada in May 2009
I write from Canada, as a student of Sifu Jessica Tse and grand-student of Master Tse, studying and teaching both Wild Goose Qigong and Chun Yuen Quan.
Here on Vancouver Island, excitement has prevailed before, during and after Master Michael Tse’s visit in May this year.
As growing plants so look forward to the rain, our excitement was in knowing how much we would all benefit from the presence of our Great Grand teacher. We would stand taller and feel more deeply connected to this powerful skill and knowledge that slowly transforms our lives with health, well-being and stronger connection with Nature. A good handful of students had not yet met their ‘Great Grandfather teacher’, whom they call ‘Tai Sigong’, as it has been three years since he last visited us. So it was exciting for them, as well as for the brand new students who jumped into the fold at the last minute. Beginners and more senior students happily learned alongside each other, comfortable in Sigong’s well-honed teaching methods and his generous patience.
On the first day after his arrival, Sigong kindly squeezed in an extra Polishing Seminar for Damo Staff in the Chun Yuen Quan syllabus. We were delighted to again be able to enjoy the hospitality of a small-aeroplane pilot who has a lovely, grassy landing strip, surrounded by beautiful Douglas firs and cedar trees with cows watching from a nearby field. As for the whole visit, the weather was glorious, warm and sunny.
That night, students and their families and friends, along with some people from the public, came together at the Mercury Theatre in Duncan to watch and listen to Sigong. Many times during the evening he had us all laughing at both simple things, like how the skill might help you open a jar of jam, to deeper issues to ponder. For example, notwithstanding all that research done by medical scientists, the simple practice of regularly standing on one leg prevents strokes! We watched the invigorating Chun Yuen Level I warmup, the relaxing, spirit-rich Balancing Gong and then Swimming Dragon with its expansive movements and dynamic surprises. Students also demonstrated Healthy Living Gong I, which always comforts and impresses onlookers, who can easily picture themselves as one of the group.
The energy rose even more when Sigong talked about his great love of Martial Arts and his own story, beginning with seeing his first Bruce Lee movie ‘The Big Boss‘ in 1971. He emphasized that his interest lies in the health benefits and the development of awareness and sensitivity, rather than in competition or fighting which can damage the heart. A good healthy person’s energy is settled. He demonstrated the Wing Chun form, Chum Kiu, and by the end of his visit, there were quite a few people who were interested in pursuing the study of Wing Chun. (As I don’t teach this skill, we are thinking of ways that we could make that happen.)
And finally, he brought out the ‘Green Dragon’ Sword with its bright red tassel and opened the eyes of the audience as he filled the room with intense and beautiful movement from the Beijing Opera that he feels very honoured to have learned from Master Wu Chun Yuen. In that same style, Miju Quan was on the agenda for Friday evening. The Chun Yuen forms are very important for us in Canada because, in the cold climate, we need to know how to create heat in the body and make our bones stronger so that we have more Qi. We learned the beginning part of the form which was graceful and powerful and we could really feel the benefits for our posture, upper body and joints as we repeated the unusual movements. It was easy to feel transported into historical Chinese Culture as we practised as a group.
Saturday and Sunday was 28 Constellation Gong in the Kunlun Dayan Qigong System, with its roots in Daoism. Sigong talked about how everything relates with Nature and the law in Nature is Balance: Yin and Yang, Heaven and Earth and how important it is to make time every day to connect with the Earth and also to see the Sky. Today, we spend a lot of time indoors but we need to also see the stars, as each star gives you energy. As we relax, we can receive it. As we walk on the Earth in the large formations in this form, we connect with what is always up above, as a part of us.
And finally, the gold comes in the Polishing seminar when we, little by little, absorb more details and more understanding which helps us to more effectively develop the flow in the movement and gain even deeper benefit.
Sigong is such a wonderful human being that it is always sad for us when it is time for him to leave. His presence is constantly with us as we practise and learn more, as is that of Sifu Jessica Tse and all of their teachers. We know that we are never alone as we are all part of a family of people all over the world who are happy to be becoming healthier and healthier. Our excitement, as he leaves, is that we have much to digest and bring in to ourselves and that, one day, he will come again. We are truly grateful for his time, attention and commitment to helping us to grow stronger.
By Lee Masters