I started qigong primarily because I was captivated by the energetic vitality of a friend at a breakfast meeting one day. I asked what she did that contributed so much to her good health and well being, and she answered, “Qigong!” So I googled the word and found a class in San Francisco at the American College of Traditional Medicine (ACTCM), taught by Bob Rosenbaum. Bob also impressed me as being a pretty healthy individual, so I started his class and I liked it. That’s when the “happiness” episodes first started for me, and I was hooked.
After Bob’s class I started taking classes at Wen Wu School, in El Cerrito, and studied the First Set and Second Set form various marvelous teachers. When the teacher-training class was first offered, I thought perhaps I was not sufficiently prepared because I had not practiced the First Set long enough. But a friend encouraged me to apply for the course anyway, and just try taking it to broaden my knowledge. I am so grateful for that suggestion, because I really enjoyed the challenges of learning the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), studying the First Set intensively, and learning about meridians and acupuncture points.
The primary reason why I practice Dayan Qigong now, however, is because it makes me happy. It used to make me happy only immediately after a two-hour class. Because I practice more regularly these days, I find that I have patches of happiness every day, sometimes two or three times a day. All of a sudden I realize that I am really happy with my life. This awareness stays with me a number of seconds and then dissipates. But I recognize that the “happiness” experience comes directly from my qigong practice. I also find that after my morning practice I am in a much better mood to handle the day and interact with people around me.
I like teaching the Form primarily to deepen my understanding of the dynamics of the Form and its effects on people and myself. I enjoy helping people and working with others who are different from me. I want to share the Form with others. But really, this path that we are on is not one from the head or intellect. It is a path that is dictated by our spirit and soul; we are just trying to listen to that as carefully as we can. Something inside me is urging me to teach, so I am listening to it and will see where it leads.
I grew up in western Pennsylvania, the youngest of four children. We lived on a farm until I was in the second grade and then moved to a small university town. I went to the University of Pittsburgh for undergraduate school and then volunteered for the Peace Corps in Southeast Asia. I lived in Thailand for almost four years before returning to the U.S. to go to the Graduate School of Public Health at Cal Berkeley, and eventually to law school at Cal. Nothing in my background prepared me for the surprising riches of what I am discovering from the practice of Dayan Qigong.