Sunday, August 30, 2009

Teaching Experience (1) - Being the teaching assistant for the first time.

It was by chance that I began cultivation, it was by chance that I met Master Wang and it was by chance that I became his assistant...

In 1991, I participated Master Wang's seminar as his teaching assistant for the first time, my main responsibilities were daoyin, daigong and answering students' queries.

Daoyin refers to the verbal instruction given by the teacher, the students follows the daoyin to do their practice. The one who gives daoyin is equivalent to a commander, his thought and ability directly influence the quality and levels of the practice.

Daigong means that the teacher use his own energy (qi) to calibrate and control the entire classroom, the teacher's gongfu and technique can directly affect the result of the practice.

Around that time, I had already followed Master Wang for 3 or 4 years, I had received the Master's daoyin and daigong multiple times, Therefore i just imitated Master Wang's way of daoyin and daigong. On the surface, this didn't appear to be that difficult but in reality to achieve a high quality of daoyin and daigong is extremely difficult.

During that first time, I was just imitating Master Wang's style in order to gain experience. My main problem though was my personalities : I was a rather modest and shy at that time, I was a bit intimidated by the prospect of suddenly became the instructor of several hundreds people. To be honest, my confident was a bit lacking at that time. Fortunately Master Wang was always encouraging, he said, "When you daoyin, you are the leader, we will listen to whatever you say." It was difficult at first but eventually I became more accustomed to the role.

The seminar in 1991 was divided into 2 sessions, 10 days each for a total of 20 days. There were 1000 participants in total. I was the only official teaching assistant. There were 2 daoyin per day, each lasted for about 90 minutes and sometimes it could go on for 120 minutes. My main feeling was tired, extremely tired. I was so tired once that I was still napping after the afternoon class began, the students had to wake me up by throwing small stones onto my body through the windows.

Why was I so tired? This is the difference between practice and teaching. To put it simply, practice is the mean to accumulate internal strength and qi, the teacher who daigong helps you to accumulate the qi, the process is very slow. Teaching and daigong on the other hand is to release the internal strength and qi to help others, especially in a large class, in order to really calibrate the entire qi field, the consumption of the internal strength is enormous. As an analogy, it is like you spent more than everything you have saved in your bank account over the years, not only did you lose everything, you also over-drafted. Another reason is that in a large class, when you are standing between several hundreds students, everyone of them was thinking about you and they all want your help and hence they are all draining on your strength, it's not possible to not give up some qi. The way daigong drains on the body cannot be recouped by simply eating some nice food, it needs sleep and it needs more practice. It's hard to accumulate some internal strength, not to say to recoup the loss. No one can really comprehend this type of experience unless they actually try to teach and diagong.

Before I became the teaching assistant, I could feel that I had some internal strength. Once, I was able to break up another person's kidney stones from 1 meter away using my neigong. In 1990, I was able to get into full lotus without hands (my internal qi was full and my joints were flexible). When I got back home after the 1991 seminar, I couldn't feel any qi at all in my body, it felt like my body was a hollow shell. All i wanted to do was sleep. I was like that for almost a year. After I recovered, I felt that my internal strength was much stronger than before, I believe this was because of the huge out flux and influx of qi associated with teaching neigong.

1 comment:

Martin said...

Thank you for your efforts in sharing a bit of your experience! I just came across this blog recently and I am so glad to have found it.
Maybe this isn´t the right place to ask but will there be an English translation of "Walk on the Great Path" in the near future? I would be very interested in it and am looking forward to the upcoming posts.
Best wishes,
Martin