It’s a funny thing, the say when the student is ready the Master will appear. He did appear; his name is Chik Mason. He is a wonderful, devoted, wise, skillful, passionate, giving person & Master from who I learned the most sacred things in my life.
That would be how to live in harmony with myself & others, how to quiet the mind, how to still the body, how to create strength & openness simultaneously, how to create form, how to align my mind, body & spirit to unite, how to look at the world outside the ego, how to think in a more universal way, to have compassion & understanding & love for all others, to move like the wind, to flow like water, to breath fire (at times), to care for myself & others, to be a healer, to be a teacher, a student of the Eastern Way. I am sure there are many other things that I gained from being his student & friend for many years.
His presence was/is sacred & that is why you know he is a Master. His time & energy revolved almost solely around Daoism & practice of the Eastern Arts & teachings. He had little time for anything else; other than vegetarian food, dance, performance, coffee & tea with students & friends. Having never been around a person so focused & devoted to what appeared a limited amount of activities or philosophies in life; I was confused. He was kind & gracious enough to personally help me figure out why. So, I hung around him for his humor, grace & poise, tremendous ,powerful, clear energy & I felt like a sponge trying to absorb all that he encompassed.
Daoism is that complete & perfect of a science, a philosophy & craft that you could spend the rest of your life trying to cultivate it in every sense of the word in every aspect of your mind, body & spirit. Having done that successfully you would reach enlightenment & this would be heavenly!
So, whether I knew it or not.. I got on the path. Lao Tzu says, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with one step.” Well, I took the step & I keep taking them. For me, the path was not so direct or committed at first introduction. As I look back , I see following the path more closely would have yielded more benefits & less hardships in my life. But, I am a bit of a hard ass, a self destructive person & a rebel. Thank G-d, these traits have minimized themselves through my practice & teachings. I think I was always willing to change & learn just not more than I wanted to which was one of my problems!
The great thing is that until you are no longer living in your body you have another opportunity! This is very useful to those who need to learn through experience!It became clear to me after some time of practicing yoga that there was more to “it” than just yoga.
Starting to know my Master & hang around him, I could immediately tell he was “different” & this intrigued me! I couldn’t get enough of him & “his way” . I knew it was much different than mine! If you hang around another person enough they kinda rub off on you & so he did! I took more classes & studied intensively at his workshops.Eventually , he left Philadelphia & I was left to teach & learn & grow on my own. How scary in the beginning! Because of the uniqueness of my training it appeared I could not go study with anyone else. I studied Chinese yoga & Eastern Arts & most yoga is Indian.
Until my knowledge was so strong & concrete within me I dared not study with anyone else!Now that so much time has passed I have begun to study with people I admire & feel are going to provide me with some, new & different knowledge. I have studied with Rodney Yee, Shiva Rea & Sean Corn. I am, also, about to go to a Being Yoga conference in November & I will be back with all the wealth of knowledge & experience!
Totally Zen became a vision of how I interpreted my learnings, how they affected me & how they continue to help my evolution. I believe I can help convey some of my learnings to anyone who is interested & help bring some of these benefits to people I cross paths with on my way! I have made it my passion & devotion to accomplish this in a way that interprets life through a combination of my psychology training, my Eastern studies, my life experience & my quest to stay on the path!
I believe it takes a lot of “work” & it encompasses more than yoga. It means training your mind, your breath, opening your spirit! Using natural foods, natural products, herbs, massage, candles, incense, music & whatever else you can to layer the effect of the universe on your being into your soul.From here, it is your choice..