Good fortune gathers at our door

18 02 2010

Good fortune at our front door

The Lunar New Year of the Tiger began on Valentine’s Day. That Sunday I spent a joyful time with some girl friends — eating Chinese jai, noodles, and dim sum from the cart; and exchanging Valentine surprises.

During the lunch my Reiki teacher Lori placed her hand on my back for the most awesome Reiki healing I have ever experienced — a strong warm vibrating energy. When the vibration stopped, the channeling ended, it was enough.

I feel well! Pretty amazing.

It was opening day for the sailing season at the yacht club, so afterward I went down to watch the festivities. The race had started, by handicap rating, and DH was crewing on the yacht Mariah. When I got to the starting line at the bulkhead, the boat had not yet cast off, and lucky me, I was invited to climb aboard for a ride. It was a beautiful afternoon on Kaneohe Bay, and owner Ken skippered Mariah to a first-place win!

Then DH and I drove over the pali to share dinner with our extended family, including David and Cherie from Anchorage, Alaska. David, retired and my contemporary, and his wife Cherie, who still works but apparently can do it from anywhere as long as she has her computer and her cell phone, are crisscrossing the country to check in on their adult kids, grandkids, and help their aging parents. As experienced travelers, they planned to drive through the winter snow and not hassle with airlines for their next travel leg on the continent. (Visions of our December travel delays!)

A cute card arrived in the mail from Seattle — an original brush painting of a smiling tiger’s face by artist-poet Alan Chong Lau with a wish from him and his wife Kazuko for a Happy New Year of the Tiger! Since becoming China travel mates in 2005 we’ve received a drawing of the zodiac animal each new year. Every time I look at this year’s smiling tiger, I smile back!

My neighbor across the street and up the hill, Thomas, teaches kung fu. Yesterday while I was watering the orchids, he stopped in his truck and asked how my tai chi practice was going. Obviously passionate about tai chi, he got out of the truck in the middle of the road to explain the whys and to show the hows of some postures. I was so grateful to learn a bit more about the life energy.

I feel I’ve had such good fortune these first few days of the new year. May all good fortune gather at your front door too.

Copyright 2010 Rebekah Luke

To read more about Reiki, click on Reiki Healing by Oelen in the menu bar.

Taiji for health

18 11 2009

The WCC Taiji Class had a lovely visit from its master Alex Dong this week. He is a fourth generation Taiji master who was born in China, moved to Hawaii as a boy and attended school here. From Hawaii he moved to New York City and opened schools in many parts of the world. He travels from school to school.

I’ve been attending the class at Windward Community College in Kaneohe on the island of Oahu for only about three years. Class is twice a week and tuition is $40 a month. Once or twice annually, Master Dong returns to teach weekend workshops from which we learn the finer points of the Taiji form, that is “Dong Style Orthodox Taiji” evolved from the Yang and Hao styles.

When he’s not in town, his senior students or appointed teachers lead the class. Students may advance their study during the various workshops taught by Master Dong wherever in the world he gives them. Many combine the workshops with vacation travel abroad—New York, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Czech Republic, Brazil, Great Britain, China, Hawaii, for example.

To become more acquainted with Taiji, I’ll refer you to the website There I read that Alex Dong comes from a family of Taijiquan masters. His great-grandfather, Grand Master Tung Ying Jie was the national champion of China for many years, and he was a leading disciple of Yang Cheng-Fu, the main proponent of the modern Yang Long Form. Tung Ying Jie also studied with Li Xiang Yuan who was a disciple of Hao Wei Jing founder of the Hao style Taiji. Alex Dong’s grandfather, Grand Master Dong Hu Ling, spread the art in Southeast Asia and the United States, and his father, Grand Master Dong Zeng Chen, is world famous for his skills, especially in Taiji push hands.

Taiji had been recommended to me for exercise, and I do think my health has improved since I began. Balance, concentration and memory, strength, breathing (I am asthmatic, but less so now), energy, grounding, flexibility, posture—these are just some of the aspects of mind, body, and spirit that Taiji addresses.

To give you an idea of how whole Taiji is, I asked the master sifu (teacher) what he did to cross train. He replied, “Nothing. Only Taiji.”

So far I practice all three sections of the slow set and the sabre (knife) set; I practice between classes, read articles and books, and watch the videos of the master performing. My first Taiji teacher Lois explained that learning Taiji is like peeling away the layers of an onion. That is so true! A warm “Thank you!” to all of my teachers.

At this stage of my practice, I have a personal interest in relating the energy work of Taiji to Qigong to Reiki and healing.

For related posts, please see my 9/3/09 entry “Learning about energy healing.”  From the menu bar, Reiki Healing by Oelen, tells about my Reiki practice.

Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke

Flowing like water

28 08 2009

I visited the People’s Republic of China twice, once in 1978 with my father on a special cultural tour from Honolulu, and again in 2005 with my Sunset foodie friend on, what else?, a custom eating tour! Like all first-time visitors to China, we were impressed by the modes of transportation, the humongous population, and the bad traffic in the cities.

In 1978 the people traveled by one-speed bicycle, I recall. Valerie of our group arranged to meet relatives of friends outside the Friendship Store where only tourists were allowed to shop, and where the goods were of export quality. They gave her some money, she went inside, and in a few minutes she emerged wheeling a brand new bicycle. The family was overjoyed and so grateful. It was like getting a new car, I guess, or, perhaps greater, getting one’s first car. At that time, even if I knew how to ride a bike, I don’t think I would have, for fear of getting smooshed or yelled at in Chinese in the peloton. Except unlike a peloton, the Chinese didn’t seem quite as orderly, so how would I merge into the traffic in the first place? Let’s just say all those bicycles were awe inspiring.

In 2005, things had changed, of course. Capitalism and automobiles had arrived. Not as many bicycles—although still enough for darling husband’s jaw to drop. Like describing the ocean surf, I informed, “You should have been here when”— and where were all the people? Answer: In their cars! We were chauffeured by bus with a good view of the traffic below, and all we could think of was, yikes! so many first-time drivers! Some of our travel mates/side-seat drivers actually closed their eyes. In China, it seemed, there was no regard for lines or arrows on the street. No one really stopped or reduced speed. My heart skipped a beat when the tourist bicycle rickshaw we were in crossed in front of a bus.

China traffic

All types of transportation are mixed up together: cars, trucks, bicycles, taxis, carts, motorbikes, three-wheel minis, rickshaws, pedestrians, you-name-it. The amazing thing is, we never witnessed a crack-up. Traffic there is like water. It just flows. How do they do it?

A better question is, why? I think it has to do with the practice of qigong. Masters of the art taught just a few others in ancient China, passing it down from generation to generation, but back then qigong was somewhat of a mystery.  Since the mid 1950s qigong and tai chi forms have been practiced widely by the Chinese. The Communist government endorsed it for health and healing. In 1978 I watched young and old alike in parks of the places we visited as they engaged in the slow moves of this exercise. Their hands, arms, legs, feet, and entire bodies moved gracefully and at a steady tempo, one movement flowing into the next as they replenished stale energy with fresh energy.

I started practicing tai chi and qigong (“chi” or “qi” are the same words meaning life force energy) with the WCC Tai Chi Class only a few years ago. It’s the same energy as the “ki” in Reiki that I do for others and myself. My understanding expanded when I read about qigong in a book my cousin gifted me. There is a way to heal, harmonize, and balance one’s mind, body, spirit, and emotions. There is a way to remove blockages and have your energy flow like water for your highest good. The technique is available to anyone. Anyone can learn to do it, provided they have an open mind and are willing to receive. As a Reiki Master and practitioner, I can show you how. ~ Rebekah

Copyright 2009 Rebekah Luke

For more on Reiki, click on Reiki Healing by Oelen on the menu bar. From now through November, we are open for Reiki Fridays.

Suggested reading: Orr, Katherine. Beautiful Heart, Beautiful Spirit Shing-Ling-Mei Wudang Qigong. Kaneohe: DragonGate Publishing, 2005. ISBN 978-0-9765178-0-1

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