Cold Mountain Newsletter by nph20057

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									Cold Mountain
Newsletter:


                      Fall „07
(for information contact stevehiggins@rogers.com or phone
      576-3206)


      The summer is, alas, coming to its end - and so it is necessary to
start looking forward to the Fall. Autumn is a time of yielding Yang and
waxing Yin. As the weather becomes cooler and eventually inclement, it
is necessary to be careful in outdoors practice to protect oneself from
wind and chill. This extends to wearing caps or hats to class, so as to
protect your crown point from chill when you leave the Church after a
vigorous evening class. Long pants may also be more advisable, to
prevent catching “wind” in your knees!


Planning Effectively:
       Since May I have been distributing long-term plans so that you
can see in advance where my focus will be in upcoming classes. To this
point, the experiment seems to have had mainly positive results. I’m
still developing this, but how can you use these plans to enhance your
enjoyment of the class?




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      For one thing, the plans show how I am cycling through the CMIA
curriculum. For example, over the summer we have developed a BIG
chunk of the Yang 54 Sword form. If you have had a particular
interest in this form, then you have been able to use the schedule to
plan ahead and identify those classes you could not afford to miss! This
also applies to those classes dedicated to 54 Sword in the Fall.
Similarly, there has been concentration at various times on fan, sabre,
etc.
      In terms of empty-hand, I’m doing my best to investigate, in an
organized way, aspects of Taijiquan for which I usually do not have
sufficient time in those classes which are primarily concerned with
sequencing. This could be considered advanced stuff sometimes, but is
open to all. Look ahead for these classes as ways to deepen your
connection to Taiji!
      Another issue is that I may go to a particular point in a form, and
then leave it in order to concentrate on other aspects of the
curriculum. This means that I am placing responsibility upon you to:
  (a)   independently practice what I have taught you, so that you are
        ready for the next stage when I return to that form, and
  (b)   identify problems with which you need help, so that I can
        assist you more efficiently.
So watch the schedule and do some planning of your own!
     Also, remember that independent practice is an option. If I am
working on sabre or fan, and you want to work on your sword form, feel
free to bring your sword and practice on your own!


Guest Instructors:
      Over the past year we have hosted instructors to enrich our Taiji
experience. This will continue in the next year. Ed Cooper will be with
us on the 25th, as noted below. Jill Heath will be visiting on September


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15th. I am hoping that we will also have a visit from Sam Masich in
October. There are others I’d like to have in for a taste of their
expertise and perspectives on our art. However, whether this is
possible depends upon your continuing support. This can consist of
several things:
     (a)   Support seminars by attending whenever you can. Most of
           these teachers are professionals who are deriving income
           from their efforts. By supporting them financially, we
           benefit them, the wider Taiji community in which they
           travel and work, our own club, and ultimately ourselves.
     (b)   Try to increase our membership base. We NEED new
           members! Our ability to support the visit of guest-
           instructors depends upon us having a sufficient membership
           base to make their visits financially feasible and rewarding.
           Talk about the benefits of Taiji to others! Bring them to
           class! Share with others the enjoyment you have discovered
           in Taiji! And when “newbies” visit, make them feel welcome!
           Introduce yourself and make them feel at home at Cold
           Mountain!


Acceptance and Seniority:
      Occasionally students, who have been inactive at the club level
for protracted periods of time (sometimes several years!), return to
find that what is being practiced has changed from what they are used
to. This is inevitable, as perfection of Taiji is a moving mark; it is not a
goal, but an on-going process. In a sense, the club is a laboratory where
we work together in an alchemical effort to transmute base metals into
gold! My own Taiji has undergone great change within the past two
years, as a result of my exposure to various teachers. I know that I am
teaching differently now, than I was several years ago. Also, I find




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that regularly I discover new riches in the form – things that have
always been there, but which I was not seeing!
      I would therefore urge senior students to keep up their
involvement with classes, if it is at all possible to do so. There are
several reasons for this:
     (a)   As a senior, it is appropriate that you manifest your
           personal realization of Taiji by helping others. Your
           knowledge should not end with you, but if possible be
           channelled back into the community of practitioners. It is in
           terms of your beneficial effect upon others that your Taiji
           achievement should be measured. So please make a special
           effort and, if you wish deeper involvement, approach me so
           that I can help develop opportunities for you!
     (b)   Also, remember that the club is a theatre, which provides
           opportunities for continued personal growth. We’re not
           doing the same thing over and over! We are continually
           exploring different paths and ways of doing things. It is
           this open-ness to Change that makes our Taiji something
           that is alive and vital. Be open to this process! Be willing to
           rediscover your “beginner’s mind!”


Also, consider starting a Personal Development Program. I am more
than willing to help with this!


Membership dues and other fees:
     First of all - our contract with Calvin Church has renewed at
  relatively favourable rates. While expenses including rent are up a
  bit, I see no reason for a rate increase at this time. Therefore, our
  dues shall continue as follows:




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         Single: $60.00 monthly, $135.00 for three months.
         Family: $90.00 monthly, $200.00 for three months.*
         Occasional drop-in, $20.00
     (*Family rate applies to any number of additional family members.)


Please remember that it is our club policy to be flexible about dues. If you
suffer from an interruption in employment or a financial problem, please
speak to me about it.


In addition, I am now offering private lessons as well. These may appeal to
those who cannot be regular club members, due to constraints on time, such
as employment circumstances, or who require special coaching because of
specific health issues. Private lessons are available to the general
membership as well!
My fee for private lessons is $70/session.


I also find that I am occasionally being called upon to prepare documents for
insurance or other purposes. This can involve formulating Treatment Plans or
reporting upon progress as mandated by the student and their professional
support-staff.
My professional fee for document preparation of this kind is $50.00.


Sensing Hands:
For many years Ed Cooper has been a friend to me and to our club. Ed and
Marsha will be moving from our area at the beginning of October, and his
visit this weekend therefore has a special significance to me. Ed is a long-
term student of Sam Masich and is highly expert in Sensing/Pushing Hands.
I therefore hope that a good number of Cold Mountain members will have
joined us for this workshop.


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The average Taijiquan enthusiast concentrates on form. But form is only one
part of the art. For example, in reading Wu Kung Chow’s essay, it is clear
that he actually spends more space in discussing energy, as it manifests
between two people, than he does on form. There are beautiful depths to
this aspect of Taiji that can lead to inner peace (as also is the case with
form) and that can contribute to the development of friendship. Please be
open to this kind of training!


Teachers’ Training:
Last Spring I offered a series of Teachers’ Training workshops over a two-
month period. Some who were interested in training, were not able to commit
at the time; others were not able to attend all four of them. I’ve therefore
been approached to offer a one-day make-up session covering most of the
material.
This will take place on Sunday, September 23rd. It will consist of a day at my
residence, and will continue over dinner at a local restaurant. Cost: $80 plus
meals. Those who were in the earlier sessions and who want a repeat, can
pay $45.


Schedule for September:
Finally, following is the schedule; I’ll provide the schedule for Oct. near the
end of the month; a lot depends upon how things go in Sept.!


SEPTEMBER:
     Tues.                        Thurs.                       Sat.
4-                          6-                         8-
Qigong Basic                Long F applications        Fan
Yang 16 X3                  Cannon Fa jin              Sword 54 with energies




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(cont‟d)                        (cont‟d)                     (cont‟d)
Yang 108 Begin: to end Strk. Shen Fa jin                     Sensing Hands
Vets and Nov: III Partit.
Sword 1/2 hr. 54
Fan 1 hr. review
11-                             13-                          15-
Qigong Basic                    Long F rehearsed             9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Yang 16 3X                             applications          Jill Heath on “Flying Rainbow
Yang 108 Begin: B. Knees        Cannon Fa jin & soft         Double Taiji Fan ”

Nov and Vets: 4 Corners         Shen Fa Jin & speed
Sword ½ hr. 54
Fan 1 hr. review.
18-                             20-                          22-
Qigong Phoenix                  Long F sequence – soft and   1 ½ hour on Double fan
Yang 16 3X                             With Fa jin.
Yang 108 Begin: to end I                                     1 ½ hour Sensing hands
Vets and Nov: Snakes.           Cannon Fa jin & soft
Fan: 1 hr. review Double
Sword ½ hr. on 54               Shen Soft and speed with
                                      fa jin
25-                             27-                          29-
Qigong Phoenix                  Long F sequencing            Free practice and questions.
Yang 16 3X
Yang 108 Begin: reps of I       Cannon sequencing
Nov: rev. 4 Cors. and Partit.
Vets: 2X whole.                 Shen sequencing
Fan 1 hr. Double
Spear ½ hour
NOTE: Sat. Sept. 15 - Jill Heath – Flying Rainbow Double Taiji Fan.
NOTE: Sun Sept 23 – Cold Mountain Teachers‟ Training.


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Seminars:
In November, on the 17th, I will be teaching the Ba Chang Gong at Sifu
Gloria Jenner’s Phoenix T’ai Chi Centre in London. This is a series of 8
Qigong sequences, which work the energy nets of the entire body. As such,
it is proper to regard the Ba Chang Gong as a Qigong system. Research leads
me to believe that it is be based upon the texts of the monk Da Mo,
legendary founder of Shaolin Gong-fu, and First Patriarch of Zen Buddhism.
In the BCG one finds exercises for joint opening, meridien empowerment,
“Iron Shirt” massage, and brain activation.
I will provide more details prior to the date.


On December 8th, I will be teaching an all-day workshop on the Yang
family short-form of Grandmaster Yang Zhenduo. I learned this 16-
movement sequence from him last summer when he visited Canada. This is
the sequence with which we start our Tuesday evening classes. The form is
done in a larger, more stretched-out frame than most Yang stylists are used
to. However, it closely replicates in shape the T’ai Chi of Yang Cheng-fu,
Yang Zhenduo’s father.
This class will be held at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Kitchener, and will be
an all-day workshop.


Seminar Opportunities:
I very much wish to carry Taiji’s benefits out into our community. This past
year I taught a one-day workshop on enhancing employee-relations. I’ve also
had opportunities to work with groups of the disadvantaged and bereaved, as
well as with professional associations.
If you know of a company or group who are prepared to invest in training of
this kind, or who have needs that can be addressed through Taiji or Qigong,
let me know!
                      ALL THE BEST WITH YOUR PRACTICE!

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