IN 1992, THE OPPORTUNITY came for me to go to the United States through the American Field Service. I was asked to go to a high school in Minnesota to teach Chinese and Chinese culture for one year. Fang's experience of being in America away from me and our home for a year had not been a good one. So, I had never considered doing this myself.
Besides it was very rare for two people from the same family, a wife and a husband, to be asked to be part of the AFS program. It was a very unusual set of circumstances that led to my being asked to go. Others with similar qualifications to mine had turned down the offer. The college wanted to send someone and I was the most qualified person left. So, they asked me to go.
While I had never before thought about going overseas, just before this opportunity came I got a message in a meditation that I would be going to the United States. It now seemed like something I should do. We decided I should g°.
About a year before the offer came for me to go the United States, I got a message from Master Yau that I would soon find a master whose technique was good and it was time for me to study his technique. There are thousands of different types of Qigong exercises. In China, the bookstores are filled with them. But, a couple of things happened that kept bringing me back to one man, Master Zhang. One day I opened a magazine and there was a story about three Qigong masters. One of them was Master Zhang and his picture just jumped out at me. His eyes were like a real person's eyes. They were just sparkling in the picture.
I got his book and his videotape right away. His teaching was unlike anything else I had learned and his movements were very simple compared to the other styles of Qigong. I liked it a lot and began to practice what he taught. It was very powerful.
From all the years I had studied and practiced Qigong, I knew how powerful it could be to help people heal. But, most of the teachings were very complicated and required so much time and dedication to learn. They said it took years before you could learn to use Qigong to heal another person. Some said ten years, others fifteen years. Some said fifty years. Even then, most Qigong masters kept much of what they knew secret and revealed these secrets only to a select few. In fact, some of what I have learned from some of my masters I am not allowed to reveal to anyone.
This never seemed right to me. From the very beginning of my Qigong training a voice kept saying to me, "Qigong is simple. It is so simple. Anyone can do it.
Everyone can do it." Master Zhang said similar things in his teaching. Now, I was finally beginning to see how simple Qigong really was and how it should be taught.
After I arrived in Minnesota, some people took me around to see some of the lakes. I had never been to the U.S. and knew nothing about the state of Minnesota. Strangely, the land and the lakes looked so familiar to me. Then, I remembered a meditation I had that showed me a land to the north with lots of lakes, lots of water. In my meditation I traveled to this land from China and now here I was. This was that land.
I taught Chinese and Chinese culture during the day at the high school in Inver Grove Heights and at night I taught Tai Chi. There was a lot of interest in Tai Chi and many people came to my Tai Chi classes.
I became very good friends with another teacher named Dennis Schuler. Dennis taught history and was also the hockey coach. He's also coached football and basketball. He's a very talented man, a good man and very helpful to me.
One day we were talking and I told him that what while I enjoyed Tai Chi what I was really interested in was Qigong. Qigong was really my specialty, I said. He had never heard of it so I told him that Qigong is sort of a Chinese breathing exercise, by controlling your mind and body you can control and balance the energy in the body and help the body to heal. He just looked at me and said, "Oh," and started talking about something else.
Dennis did not find Qigong very interesting until one day I went to Dennis' house after school. He went to change his clothes and while I was waiting in his living room I saw a dog lying over in the corner of the room. I called to the dog and waved at it and clapped my hands and the dog totally ignored me. I called out to Dennis and asked, "What's wrong with your dog?" He said, "She's deaf. She's just old and deaf."
I asked him if it was okay if I worked on his dog and he said, "Sure." He didn't know what I meant. He was just being polite. But, I wanted to help. So, I sent a signal to the dog and got her attention and slowly she got up and came over and laid her head on my lap.
I worked on the dog for about five minutes or so, clearing the blockages in her ears and head and balancing her energy. When Dennis walked into the room, I said, "Dennis, your dog can hear." He looked at me kind of strange and said, "You're kidding?" I said, "No. Try it."
So, Dennis clapped his hands and called, "Tory, Tory, Tory," and right away the dog responded to him. She ran over to him, her tail wagging and started running around his legs like a puppy. Dennis said, "Wow," and just stared at me for the longest time.
Suddenly, Dennis grabbed a chair and sat down and said, "Lin, Lin, (everyone called me Lin) try it on me, try it on me, my knees." Dennis had been a hockey player and a football player and he suffered many injuries in his life. He was always in a lot of pain. His knees were so bad that when he tried to enlist for military service he was rejected because of his knees.
I worked on Dennis' knees for about five minutes or so then I said, "Okay, Dennis, stand up and move around." He got up and started to move, then he jumped up a little, then he jumped up a little higher. He was jumping up and down and he said, "Wow! Ninety-five percent of the pain is gone." He couldn't believe it. "You have to teach this stuff," he said.
The next day after school Dennis took me to the com munity center and we arranged for me to teach a Qigong class. We wrote up an announcement saying, "Come learn Qigong - Chinese breathing exercise."
When it came time for the first night of class it was held in the school cafeteria and only five people showed up. There we were, just the six of us, sitting around a table in this big, empty cafeteria. I asked everyone why they came and when they told me I just shook my head and thought this is going to be a very interesting class. (The class eventually grew to seven people as two more joined us later that evening.)
Two of the five were there by mistake. They thought they'd signed up for a different class. Another woman had come in wearing an oxygen mask and wheeling this big oxygen tank behind her. She was an older woman named Esther Trejo and she made it very clear that she didn't want to be there.
When I asked why she was taking the class she said it wasn't her idea, it was her son's idea. Her son was a martial arts student. He'd heard about the class and thought it might be good for his mom who was having serious problems with her lungs. Esther thought it was a terrible idea. She told her son, "I don't need some Chinese man coming over here teaching me how to breathe since I've been breathing on my own for 60 years."
But, her son wouldn't take no for an answer. He drove to his mom's house that night, put her in his truck, drove her to the school and left, telling her he would be back when it was over. It was winter time and winter is cold in Minnesota so Esther didn't have much choice but to go inside. As she put it, she was "stuck."
I started the class by saying, "Let me make a demonstration." I asked if anyone had any pain in their wrists or neck or back or shoulders or anywhere. Esther said, "Yes, in my wrist. I have to drag this tank around 24 hours a day and it hurts my wrist." I asked her to put her wrist on the table, close her eyes and relax. I worked on her wrist, taking out the blockage and the pain and after a few minutes I told her to open her eyes and try using her wrist. To her amazement the pain was gone.
Esther kept coming back to class and by the fifth week she walked in still dragging her oxygen tank but she wasn't wearing the mask. She was doing so much better she only needed the oxygen when she exercised. By the eighth week, Esther was off the oxygen completely and has been ever since. You can read more about Esther's story in her own words on page 249 of this book.
When word of Esther's experience got around, a reporter from the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper came and did a story about my class and soon more and more students were signing up to learn Qigong. During my stay in the United States that year I was able to use my Qigong techniques to help many people, scores of people, to heal.
This was all further confirmation to me that Qigong was supposed to be my life's work. Qigong was what I enjoyed most. Being able to help people, to help remove their pain and help them to heal, is just the most wonderful thing I could ever hope to do.
My wife and baby son couldn't come with me for my year in Minnesota. As a result, I had a lot of free time and spent hours meditating and practicing Qigong every day. I would start at 10:30 or 11 at night and often meditate until the wee hours of the morning. It was during this year that my life's mission was revealed to me. I was to become a Qigong master myself. I would use my knowledge to create and teach a new style of Qigong. A style that was so simple anyone could learn it.
Many people wanted me to stay in the United States when my year was up. They offered me jobs and whatever I needed. But, I always said no. I wanted to go back to China. I knew it was what I was supposed to do. I also missed my wife and baby son very much. However, I had a very strong message within that I would be returning to the United States one day. I had no idea how this would happen. I didn't have a conscious desire to return to America. I wanted to go home to China but the message was clear, one day, for some reason, I would return.
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