Monday, June 24, 2019

Graduation Day, June 22, 2019..

Dr. Yang, Jing-Ming & Dr. Woodbine
Photo credit: Jonathan Chang

Yesterday, June 22, 2019, my classmate, Nona Ikeda, and I officially graduated from the 3-Year Training Program in Taijiquan & Qigong at the YMAA Retreat Center in Northern California! The training experiences were demanding, arduous, challenging, and rewarding spiritually, emotionally, psychically, mentally, and physically. I gave my best efforts and, while I know how much more I need to refine what I've learned and continue to further explore this art, I am confident in what I learned and gained being here. The graduation marks the conclusion of the program, but it is not the end. Rather, it is a new beginning; a new chapter in my pursuit of being at my best in all ways to help others achieve their best...

All of my YMAA Retreat Center teachers, classmates, and visitors helped me appreciate more deeply these arts of Taijiquan and Qigong these past three years. I am honored to have trained with them. I am profoundly grateful to Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming for creating this center and for having chosen me to participate in the program. It is truly a lifelong study and practice.

This journey was precipitated by an unusual experience in a Boston Chinatown martial arts training loft in 1984 followed by my first exposure to Qigong and Tai Chi with Mantak Chia in Braintree, Massachusetts a year later. I have wondered about and sought answers to my experience ever since. In addition to the ten years I studied with Mantak Chia, I have been blessed to have had
Dr. Yang, Jing-Ming, Dr. Woodbine & Nona Ikeda
Photo credit: Jonathan Chang 
Dr. Woodbine & Noan Ikeda

training experiences with other notable teachers in these arts thereafter (Master Wang Qingyu, Heiner Fruehauf,  Fabian Maman). However, these past three years broadened and deepened my understanding of the scope of what Taijiquan is as a viable and effective martial art and to Qigong's intrinsic capacity to tap into and connect with the Source of who we are. Dr. Yang's lifelong study, practice and training in the practical use of Shaolin Long Fist, White Crane, and Taijiquan provided insights about Taijiquan I had not received elsewhere.

This day arrived quickly after seemingly taking such a long, long time. I am not without scars both seen and unseen from my time here "on the mountain." These will all heal in time and with proper rest...

I sincerely thank all of you who believed in me and supported me these past three years. I look forward to sharing what I have learned with you.

I believe that each one of us is a physical manifestation of the Light and Source of all. I wish to play my role in assisting those who are like-minded to assist this Light to shine intently to brighten the dark...

With gratitude,
Dr. Woodbine