MY HEART IS FULL OF GRATITUDE FOR BOTH OF YOU. This retreat was so potent and took me further inside myself than ever before. Yuan Tze’s teaching on anxiety was very meaningful to me.I had the intention prior to this retreat to face whatever patterns were particularly critical for me to work with. I then had the opportunity both before and during the retreat to work with anxiety, as the perfect set of circumstances showed me how alive it still was in me. My consciousness provided me with many childhood memories so I could see the chain reaction associated with anxiety and the damaging effects it has had on my health.As I review and transcribe my notes from the teaching sessions, I can feel my heart soften and I relax and open more fully. I am truly in awe at how much you have given to us, Yuan Tze. Your talk about self love and providing us with a more complete understanding about Anita Moorejani’s extraordinary near death experience was so helpful. Learning about gong jing has left me with much to contemplate and practice. I challenged myself more at this retreat and I have a greater resolve as I am home now to continue identifying my patterns and put into practice what I’ve learned.

Again, my heartfelt gratitude for this life changing retreat and I’m really looking forward to the next one and so happy to share it all with Ralph! What a gift!

Melissa, thank you for your compassion and kindness as I struggled with my anxiety over the test and thank you for all you do to bring Yuan Tze’s teachings to us. It’s huge.

With love and respect,

– Janis Scott

1. DURING THE HEALING SESSION ON “LOVE” I had an immense heart opening, which has continued. The day before the healing I had heard from a friend who was having health problems that she had just gone to the emergency room to have her heart checked out. I wrote her an email telling her I would put her heart in my heart and take it, and her, to the next healing which happened to be the healing on love. I was feeling such love for her.Anyway, during the healing, I felt a strong rush of sensation in the heart area and then was overcome with a very strong feeling of love pouring in. My mind was bringing forth times in my life of deep love- birth of my sons, my father’s death, my husband, nature, etc.- and I was reliving them with a sense of gratitude and surrender. The statement, “love is all there is” came forward and I knew deep inside that this was true. Tears poured out continuously as I was bathed in this shower of love. Then the image of my sister came into view and with that the realization that my love for her was often troubled and conditional. I was distraught for a moment, wondering how I could ever really love her the way I envisioned and then what came next was a self- forgiveness for myself, and a realization that I was doing the best I could (as was she) with our challenging situation. It was ok the way it was, even though it may not be what I wanted. This gave me such relief and comfort, and a letting go. I felt like these realizations were coming from the heart area and not my thinking mind.2. During the group healing session, where we split up into groups, I also had a healing. Andrea was the leader of our group, and we each, individually, got into the center of the circle, and told the group what we wanted them to work on. I sat down and said I wanted to strengthen my thyroid area. (I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease) The group, with Andrea leading sent Qi to the area. After just a short while, maybe a minute, I heard/sensed a click or pop from Andrea’s healing. It was both something she said and did with her hands, but as soon as I experienced it, I knew my thyroid was healed. It was a simple knowing, no bells or whistles, just a knowing. I didn’t say or do anything and kept sitting there, with my eyes closed. And soon after, Andrea, said “OK, you’re done, next person”, and I got out of the middle of the circle, just knowing something had changed with my thyroid. I mentioned it at the end of the group, and Andrea said oh, yes, she felt the same thing. “It was easy and it was healed.”

For the rest of the retreat I didn’t have a doubt about my thyroid being healed, but once I came home, and looked back, doubts came in. I was very disappointed about the doubts but after sitting with the reality that I felt both; 1) being healed and 2) doubts, I realized that I needed to accept both of them, and that it was (is) ok. It is part of the healing process, and it is definitely a process.

Thanks Yuan Tze and Melissa for a deep and profound retreat and healing experience. It has strengthened my commitment to the Qigong and Ren Xue. And thanks Barbara for creating and “holding” our group with so much care.

– Kim Shelton

BEFORE THE RETREAT STARTED I WAS FULLY ENGAGED in several home improvement projects involving heavy manual labor. I enjoy figuring things out, being handy and working hard, and in this case overdid it, depleted my Qi, and strained my body in the process. Subsequently, I began the retreat with low back pain that prevented me from doing squats and bow body in an easy and comfortable way. I also had a very sharp Achilles heel pain that I could live with during the day, but at night when going to sleep I would be awakened at regular intervals with a very hot and sharp stabbing pain. At the retreat I surrendered to every practice session and did my best. Within two days my heel pain had completely vanished and I was able to do bow body and squats with full range of motion because the low back pain had significantly diminished. As the retreat progressed I noticed my body becoming more and more fluid like and flexible and my awareness of the movement of qi in my body increased significantly.
One morning after a practice of the four basic exercises, I sat down to continue feeling the movement of Qi through the Dantian breathing practice. I deepened into an alert relaxed calm and natural state. As I sat in this very good state, a consideration came into my awareness: that each and every moment is an opportunity for healing. Yuan Tze had emphasized this the day before. I recognized that I had a choice: I could sit and remain in a relaxed calm and natural state (and that would have been fine) or I could use this state as a portal to some deeper place within me where healing is needed. I chose to go through that portal.Inside that space, I received a flash of inspiration followed by a disturbing insight. The inspiration was the recognition of the preciousness of my life. I realized so much possibility was waiting for me, so much to live for, so much of myself yet to be discovered. This inspiration was real and strong and felt as if it could carry me through the rest of my days.

The insight that almost immediately followed was the recognition that for much of my life I have been living unconsciously under a cloud of resignation. A condition of being subdued by “just getting through it”, where life is reduced to something that needs to be handled, like a series of challenges where you do the best you can, sometimes succeeding, sometimes not. But there is no real joy, love, or aliveness in that state. It was nauseating for me to feel this dark cloud of resignation coming into my awareness and overshadowing the light of inspiration that I was just experiencing!

I completed the breathing practice and slowly opened my eyes. I acknowledged myself for my commitment to deepen my practice and to face the patterns that get unearthed. I got up and went to breakfast. On the way there I stopped and noticed that I was feeling a warm and pleasant sensation on my face. It was the bright light of the Sun shining on me, nourishing me. Breakfast could wait.

– Michael McFarland

DEAR YUAN TZE AND MELISSA,
I hope this message finds you both very well and enjoying all the beauty that surrounds us. Actually, I have no doubt that is exactly how you are!There is so much that is truly wordless to express, yet you have asked for some sharing of our experiences at the retreat, so I will do my best.First of all, I want to express my very deep gratitude, appreciation, happiness, awe, and thanks for your dedication to, and compassion for, all of us on this ‘voyage to the shore.’ I feel so very, very fortunate to have been able to attend not only the retreat, but also four of your introductory free talks in the San Francisco Bay Area. During one of these talks you said, “open yourself to the possibility of a better life, open yourself to what I have said (about hope, health, healing). What have you got to lose?” At that point, I agreed that I had absolutely nothing to lose, as I was so very desperate to find a way to feel better.

This, I believe, was the beginning of my opening. I believe this decision led me to be more open to the group healing you gave in Berkeley. I had spent the last two years increasingly miserable, in body (pelvic pain from a number of growths in the body), mind, emotion and behavior. I was filled with grief, confusion, and constantly thinking that my life had ended at the physical loss of my family members, at the loss of my health, my security. There seemed to be no way out. After a number of your lectures, I realized that I was feeling better sometimes physically, but even more importantly, in my mind. I was saying more positive things to myself and fewer negative thoughts seized my consciousness.

Before the retreat, I had never done any Qigong before, except an hour at your Mills College Seminar. I had no idea what to expect, but knew I was going to give it my best try. Encouraged by your lectures, and the qifield, I really was able to try my best. What ensued was a miracle. I have suffered from chronic depression for the last 33 years and also from very intense anxiety for the last year and a half. During the two weeks of the retreat, I felt joyful, light and free for the entire two weeks!!

This has never happened to me before, ever! I felt a crucible of good feeling, a deep contentment and joy, firmly planted within me.

During the course of the two weeks, my focus and my desire shifted away from wanting to “fix” my health problem, to just appreciating the experience of being in a joyful and relaxed state where I was learning so much and feeling so connected to life. I felt assured that if I learned more about this state of being, there is no doubt I would be healthy.

During the healings I often felt deep contentment completely fill every cell of the body/mind.

As I look back to review the retreat, I see it as the best gift I have ever given myself. I am changed in many positive ways; how I see my life, the external world, and life in general is profoundly and beneficently transformed to a deeper, wider, happier view. The experiences and teaching and information from the retreat plucked me out of the past and placed me solidly in the present. I am now seeing a bright future ahead, instead of the constant worse-case-scenario thinking.

What’s more, is that when I start to feel less-than-joyful, I have concrete tools and practices to pick up (and the willingness to pick them up, based on the known experience that they work), to elevate my state of mind/consciousness. My relationship towards myself is now a kinder, more appreciative, more encouraging, and more loving one. I am often just filled with love that feels like it’s bursting out of me towards everyone and everything. I see my life as a natural, whole totality versus a string of problems.

Of course, every one of us had a different experience, but as I looked around on our last day together, I saw many, many open hearts, opened to let life in. I am excited and happy to see what’s next and know that when challenges arise I have a new and healthier frame of reference.

Even though it’s almost three weeks since the retreat, I am continuing to receive many gifts and benefits from the work we did together. Noting patterns, their causes and digging deeper has provided some beautiful insights and a very special moment of self-love that gives me hope for more positive changes in my future.

Again, I thank you with all my heart!

With deep appreciation,

– R A