Saturday, July 28, 2012

A great honor

Yesterday was an important one. In the morning Master Jesse taught us the Five Animal Frolics qigong forms, explaining the health benefits of each form. This will prove invaluable. In the evening Dr Yibin Wang did a marvelous session on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) giving us some helpful warm up advice for before taiji, explained important energy points for self healing, told us about the health benefits of food (and had brought samples for us to try). She finished with an excellent demonstration of massage (using Master Jesse as a model). It was truly a lot of fun and Dr. Wang packed an amazing amount into the time. All in all a fine day's learning of qigong!

Of most significance yesterday is that I became a formal disciple of Master Jesse and was given the great honor of Chen family taiji lineage, thirteenth generation.

Chen family style taiji is the earliest traditional taiji and can be traced to Chen Wangting in the seventeenth century. The tradition was passed through the family. In time taiji was taught to others outside the family (Yang Luchan, who modified Chen style to produce Yang style, W'u Yuxiang, Quan You, and Sun Lutang who also modified the style). The traditional Chen style was passed down to the eleventh generation and the "Four Buddha Warrior Attendents" Chen Xiowang, Zhu Tiancai, Chen Zhenglei, and Wang Xian. These four have been responsible for a much wider dissemination of Chen style in China and around the world. Master Jesse Tsao is a disciple of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei.

It is into this noble tradition of taiji that yesterday I was accepted.

At Master Jesse's home the simple but beautiful ceremony was witnessed by my good friend Larry Ashley and Michael, one of the attendees at the training. I received a lineage name Chen Cheng Fei. Chen is the family name. Cheng means "sincerity" and is the name given to all thirteenth generation lineage holders. Fei is the name Master Jesse gave me and means "fly like a bird."

I take this as a great honor and will do my best to faithfully pass on the heritage of traditional Chen taiji to my students.


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