Diary from China Wednesday-and-a-half, August 3.5, 2005
Yong Nian, China

After the rain, I took a photo of the historic setting where we had practiced.

Excerpted from the Diary:
After we went back to the hotel and rested (and showered!) we met Master Sun and his disciple again at his (Master Sun's) home. He wanted to go back to the Tai Chi center for our daily Tai Chi lesson, but I asked if we could go back to the historic home of the original Tai Chi master instead, and finish the tour.

Well, when we got there he unlocked the door to the courtyard and WOW! It was actually two courtyards, still in great condition, each surrounded with beautiful small Chinese houses that were for the Tai Chi inventor and all his family (as is customary, and this guy was apparently very rich).

As we got into the second compound, it suddenly started to POUR rain, and we ducked into one of the side houses where the man's son and his family lived. We took pictures and talked about the history a little. The original Tai Chi inventor was a scholar and studied many things including Confucianism, martial arts, "traditional" medicine (here, things like acupuncture are "traditional," I forget what they call Western medicine), and I forget what else, and synthesized them all into Tai Chi and its philosophy. I was quite impressed.

It was still pouring very hard, we didn't have enough umbrellas for everyone, so I got brave and asked if we could have our Tai Chi lesson there. Master Sun had said earlier we couldn't do it at his home so I figured we couldn't have the lesson anywhere but at the center. But he said yes, and explained that in fact, this very same room was where he had learned Tai Chi from his teacher! The chair where his teacher sat and corrected him was still there.

It was a great lesson. I felt I can learn it, unlike when I was trying to learn it in Shanghai --I think Master Sun actually is a great teacher. And it was quite a thrill to learn it in the very place where he himself had learned it! We got lots of pictures, including one or two of him sitting in the chair correcting us (though that isn't his style). As soon as we were done, POOF! The rain stopped as suddenly as it had started! It was like a sign, that we were supposed to stay in that room until we got our lesson in that historic place. Afterwards we went to the next house, which is where the Tai Chi inventor lived, where they had a bust of him with incense [see photo to right], and a couple of pads to get down on our knees and bow our heads to the ground and say a prayer. I said I wished for his wisdom, courage and knowledge to be shared and extended to each of us and to everyone. It was quite a lovely experience.

We discovered we were in the same room where Master Sun learned Tai Chi from his master,
in the home of the original Tai Chi Master.

Stephan and I have a Tai Chi lesson in this historic setting. Although it isn't Master Sun's style to sit and correct students, I asked him to pose sitting in the same chair where his teacher sat while he practiced. His disciple also practiced some Tai Chi in this historic place.

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