View Full Version : on the trail of a master
07-23-2004, 07:07 AM
soon i will be taking a short vacation to NYC during the course of which i'm very excited to be spending a few hours with Maggie Newman one of professor Cheng's more famous students and will keep you posted as to the encounter.
'Till then i thought i'd open up a thread for those willing to share an anecdote or reflection about encounters you've had in person with taichi masters you've admired.
Was it all you expected?
did they really teach you something?
07-23-2004, 07:25 AM
I had the privilage of studying tai chi with Wolfe and his senior students in new york.
I found a quality of Wolfe's teaching is that he was always there. No matter how I changed my conciousness (raised, lowered, duh or eureka), he was able to communicate with me on that level. I noticed that he was able to communicate to each of his students at their level as well. Same with his push hands. It was always right where it needed to be to show me something about myself. Nothing more, nothing less.
I realized that it was not wolfe's position to actually teach me something, but more for him to allow it to be learned. It was up to me to do the learning.
I suspect that if I had attended wolfe's classes looking for him to reveal the secret, or looking for some distinguishing momento that would signify to me "He has it" I would never have learned a thing. I would have been seeking the far.
Truth is, there are no hollows or protrusions in tai chi. No distinguishing features. There is nothing that sticks out, nothing out of the ordinary. There is only that which is possible right here right now. Possibility has direction. Expectations turn a blind eye to possibility.
Nothing I could have expected would have lived up to the experience of Wolfe and his class.
Nothing I could have learned was beyond his teaching.
It was Wolfe's tao that allowed me to learn.
I apologize for the new thread "Expecations", it was half of an accident, but it does convey my true feelings so I'll leave it as a sign of the self I have yet to know.
07-23-2004, 07:49 AM
I think in this respect it was Dr. Lam who was able to communicate with every student on his level. When you are his student, he'll treat you like a grandmaster. When you are his patient, he'll treat you as though you were his physician- in- chief.
That was what i learnt from him, less Tai Chi secrets, it IS the secret of LIFE.
I would study with you even if you just teach me how to walk your little dog( do you have one?)
07-23-2004, 09:47 AM
I have found that to be true all the time.
the better master is always behind the student and so is better at seeing and training. the silent ' student of the old teachers are always invisible because they comepte with no one but still exert an influence.
As yu said, a LIFE secret in front of our face but no one sees.
Actually, I studied with a terrible student of a well known master and he was no better than many. He knew the marketing environment, taught me a few things and I came away respecting that person more because he created "his own thing" and his name was behing his 'success". Now he has a following-that his truly great.
07-23-2004, 02:05 PM
I havent met any masters yet having yet to study in a class or workshop but I have booked a place on a workshop with Master Liming Yue... cant wait... will let you know how it goes...
07-23-2004, 06:42 PM
the consensus seems to be that the truly great teachers act as more of catalyst to the learning experience,opening up the right channels of wisdom for the student so that he can find his own way;i've found this to be true also but i still get star-struck occasionally.J, thanks for the stuff about Wolf Lowenthal for them whats in the know,he's a pretty big deal;authoring books with Cheng,Bob Smith and the like;Great!! Is he still around? thanks for great contribs,hoping for more soon............
P.S.great things about Paul Lam too soraya,thanks
Not heard of Master Liming,feed us another tidbit when you get the chance,thanks
i'm always ready for more chum whenever you're willin' to toss it over the side,
07-23-2004, 11:51 PM
Great comment about teachers who actually serve as catalysts. An old chinese saying said that the teachers actually opens the door but the student has to walk through. Without the teacher however, nobody would find this door.
Grandmaster Chenxiaowang, Gmaster Yangzhenduo and master Jan silberstorff are such people. Jan is CXW's GErman disciple in the 21st generation, 38 years old.
Gmaster Yang is friendly wammhearted simple, I can't find too many words for him. Gmaster Chen is very close to me, in fact my grandfatherteacher(sigong) who taught me most. I made a few comments about him and are going to make more in different situations. Master Jan my first Chen teacher, famous for his outdoor attitude, he practises 365 days a year outdoors, rain and shine, snow and wind. he said that your body/mind mirrors nature and the outer environment. I fully agree with him.
They are great people in terms of character building, spiritual path and naturally martial arts
07-24-2004, 06:31 AM
yes,it would seem the greater the teacher the more self effacing they appear,(or mabe it's us who think of them that way because we hold them in such high esteem)
at any rate i so greatly admire those who practice outdoors no matter what the weather conditions;snow i can handle,but here in SW Florida the 90 degree heat and bugs proved to be an overwhelming trial for me;i can be found outside almost daily however during the fall and winter months.
It's so great to hear about everyone's teachers!
08-14-2004, 09:13 AM
as promised,an update.
Just firmed up my appt.for a t'ai chi form correction in New York with reknown master student of Cheng Man-Ching,Maggie Newman.
She will be coming to the hotel where i'm staying for a few days and i secured a studio for the day.
great place NYC;the mountain comes to mohammed!
if any of you own the Cho-San video of Cheng Man-Ching shot in the 60's,she is the lovely women fencing (jian) with Prof.Cheng at his old studio in NY
08-24-2004, 02:37 PM
well the moment i've been bibbling about finally came on 8/19 as i awaited with slight trepidation my form correction lesson with Maggie Newman;she arrived late at the Parker Meridian Hotel,studio A;i asked Maggie now a small and rather frail and fragile looking woman of 83 about her impressions of Cheng Man-Ching;she conveyed to me that above all he gave the impression of being very "human";and not one to easily reveal himself as anything other to the general public;Maggie looked so unassuming that two gals walking into the studio thought i was HER teacher and embarrasingly complimented me on my form which they observed me practicing earlier.
a form correction session can be quite revealing,unforgiving and humbling.Certain details can often escape memory and are sometimes shelved in favor of trying to grasp what we may consider the bigger picture.
overall it was nice to work with someone who had such a deep grasp of the art's principles.
I learned much in my short lesson and by yet another perspective on this simple and yet contradictorally complex art.
pls keep this thread goin' so we may continue to enjoy your great stories!
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