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March 26, 2016


May 19, 2012
  1. I have a hard time breathing with the video.  Why is the pace seems so slow?

answer:  The video is paced properly.  The breathing rate is about  5 seconds in, 5 seconds out.  This is approximately the body’s resonant frequency: when one’s blood pressure rate, heart rate and breathing are in sync.  The autonomic nervous system is in harmony producing relaxation and positive emotional benefits.

If you are having trouble breathing at this rate, chances are you are not using abdominal breathing which allows one to breathe deeper and slower.  Keep practicing; your capacity will increase.

2. What is the best way to improve balance?  I have difficulty when lifting my heels in moves 7, 15, also with 17.

answer:  Please check your posture in the mirror.  Most difficulties arise when the spine is not straight and you are not standing erect.  Make sure you are not leaning, your pelvis is slightly tucked, your feet are parallel, and your  knees do not extend over your toes.  Bend your knees and look down.  When you can’t see your toes you could injure your knees.    It is better to keep the heels planted, than to practice off balance.  Look straight ahead and gradually raise your heels in very small increments as your balance improves.

3. Do you have to do each form as instructed or can you skip forms?

answer:  Each Shibashi set was designed to open various meridians and facilitate qi flow. The first set is for relaxation and opening the upper meridians, and the second works primarily on the legs.  If you want to get the full benefit of the practice, it should be performed as designed.  The movements are designed with particular attention to order, direction, # or repetitions etc.  The masters know what they’re doing.

4. My arms get tired in move 13. Why? 

answer:  If your arms get tired, chances are your shoulders are not relaxed.  If your shoulders are tensed, the chi (qi) will be blocked causing fatigue. 

5. Sometimes I’m just too tired to practice, any suggestions?

answer:  Try practicing at a different time of day.  Personally, I find practicing Shibashi is refreshing.  Try it – often fatique is caused by chi blockage.

6. I have a problem back.  Should I just skip the bending moves?

answer.  One should never ‘push’ themselves or do anything which causes pain.  For those with back problems: do not bend forward – but continue the breathing with arm motions and weight shifting.  For knee problems: do not raise and lower your body.  Just continue to coordinate breathing with arm movements and weight shifting.

7. My husband suffers from neuropathy in his legs and he will be doing it with me sitting down. OK?

answer:  If you are unable to stand, it is fine to do Shibashi sitting. For those w/ physical limitations, stress the mental… another words, one can use the mind to visualize body movements.  The mind is very powerful.

Those in wheelchairs should coordinate breathing with whatever movements they are capable of and visualize whatever movement they’re not capable of.

8. I follow his 18 step on the web in the mornings..Is getting his DVD better?

answer:  The new DVD is excellent and includes detailed explanation of form and common mistakes.  The web version is performed at a quicker pace for beginners who are not familiar w/ abdominal breathing.  It should take you about 20 min to finish.  To maximize benefits,practice morning and night twice in a row.  When doing it twice, skip the final movement (18 pressing palms) and go right into repeating the 1st movement.

Benefits of Qigong

May 15, 2012

Qi (chi) is the universal force which permeates all things: living and non-living.  For health purposes qi refers to one’s vital energy.  Qigong involves the cultivation, and circulation of this energy throughout the body and mind.  The practice of qigong can increase and accumulate qi resulting in physical benefits such as health, vitality, weight loss and improved balance.  In addition, there are the mental benefits of tranquility, clarity, contentment, and positivity.

Qi moves in the body via meridians which are the pathways.  Along these paths are specific accupoints or gateways.  These are spots where qi may be absorbed, released or stimulated.

One’s emotional or physical health is jeopardized when qi is disrupted, stagnated, insufficient, or imbalanced.  Qigong restores health by cultivating and circulating qi to clear blockages.  The mind/body can then progress to it’s optimum state.  Advanced inner techniques  refine qi.  Mastery of qi results in healing and purifying the body as well as connecting one to the universal qi; thus awakening and realizing one’s physical, mental, and spiritual potential.

There is a certain amount of time and effort necessary to effect change.  However,  the  methods can be fairly simple.  The program developed by Sifu Cheung is both effective and easy to learn.  He explains:

“As a means of self-healing, qigong can be very effective in treating the many chronic and degenerative diseases.  Through qigong individuals learn to open meridians and direct qi themselves!”


Realizing Benefits

The keys to realizing benefits are having  1) positive attitude and 2) consistent practice.  Our habitual mind may find this challenging, so here are my suggestions:

Positive Attitude = over-coming doubt

The first challenge is mental.  Practicing the inner arts is based on what may be a new belief system.  Some find it difficult to accept the concept of QI, something which is invisible and usually not felt by the novice.  Until one has the experience of qi, one must have faith.  My suggestion is simply be open and confident.  The mind is a very powerful tool.

Consistent practice = dedication

Finding time to practice seems to be the greatest challenge for my students.  Most systems of qigong, whether for health or martial arts recommend 3 months or 100 days of consistent practice.  Why? because if you practice daily your progress will be maximized.  Most likely you will realize results before the 100 days and not even think twice about fitting it into your life.  However, if you don’t practice consistently, progress will be slower, and you may not realize the benefits.

We are not talking hours a day.  Think of how much time you spend challenging your body . . with junk food, lack of sleep, over indulgence, and stress.  Where’s the balance?   The amazing thing is that it requires so much less time to fix things then it did to mess them up.  How cool is that?   My suggestion: Take the leap – try it 100 days!

How fortunate we are!  If we are open, positive, and practice consistently; we gain benefit.  This is a given – available to everyone!  The benefits are immense and as profound as one is willing to realize.  Practice will definitely be rewarded.  There is no pressure and the path will not disappear.  So whenever you’re ready. . . .

The gift has been offered – Now, It’s up to YOU!


April 22, 2012

Chi kung / Qigong is a safe and effective means of addressing today’s health challenges.  This system of wellness integrates body postures with breathing techniques.  Specific physical movements are combined with breathing, mental focus and sometimes sound.   These forms are designed to support health, spiritual or martial arts practices.

I have been a surfer, diver and hula dancer for decades and began to learn qigong as a means of preserving and insuring health.  Like most people, time to acquire new skills was limited.  Though there are literally 1000’s of techniques, I found those taught by  Sifu Wing Cheung ( to be among the most effective and easy to learn.

Do not be fooled by simplicity.

If you are familiar with Zhan Zhuang, you understand that standing in one posture for an extended time can develop ‘internal force’; that mysterious power which enables elderly masters to control robust younger opponents.

The benefits gained from Sifu Cheung’s system are numerous and profound.  This training in qigong also includes various meditation techniques.  It is my honor to be able to share his teachings with you.

As instructor, my goal is to Bring out the Best in People.   I will teach skills which allow the individual to support  his/her own mental and physical health.  Together, we will work to initiate positive change and restore mind/body balance.

~ May you find peace, health, and happiness ~

Training the Mind

April 21, 2012

photo: Paul Potash

From the Buddhist perspective meditation involves training the mind.  In The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, the vernable Sogyal Rinpoche explains that it is necessary to see how the mind functions; “then you can use that understanding to tame the mind and work with it skillfully, to make it more and more pliable, so that you can become master of your own mind and employ it to its fullest and most beneficial end.”

According to Matthieu Ricards a Buddhist monk, “Mind transformation, that is the meaning of meditation.”  He explains, “Mind training is based on the idea that two opposite mental factors cannot happen at the same time. You could go from love to hate. But you cannot, at the same time — toward the same object, the same person — want to harm and want to do good.  You cannot with the same gesture shake hands and give a blow; so there are natural antidotes to emotions that are destructive to our inner well-being” 

Now, it’s up to you,  you choose . . . .  choose to be positive – train your mind;  when you realize you’re doubting, angry, or pessimistic . . . STOP! and think of something nice, or simply smile (even if it’s fake studies show the body will produce positive chemicals).

If you repeat this exercise over and over, with time you will train your mind.  The brain is plastic, not fixed and mind training works.

A L O H A !

April 19, 2012

Most are familiar with ‘aloha’ meaning love or as a greeting: hello or goodbye.

Do you know the true meaning of ‘aloha’?  . .  Like Spirituality, it refers to breath, the breath of Life.   ‘Alo,’ meaning sharing, presence, front or face;  ‘ha,’ meaning breath, life energy.  It signifies connection/a sharing of vital breath or energy;  yes, a sharing of chi.

“Aloha is sending and receiving a positive energy.  Aloha is living in harmony.  When you live the Spirit of Aloha, you create positive feelings and thoughts, which are never gone.  They exist in space, multiply and spread over to others.”

 so .  .  .  A  L  O  H  A  ! ! !  

Taming the Monkey Mind

April 19, 2012

When I first began to meditate, I thought, “how do I not think? . . . . How do I gradually diminish thoughts to. . . . zero . .?/?”

Well, I found that really hard, because I was always thinking of how to do it.

My monkey-mind was so easily distracted.  Yes, I could slow my breathing; yes, I could relax my body . . . but my mind was something else.  In the quiet, it searched for noise, something to observe: the rustle of the wind; distant voices were especially hard to ignore. Close my eyes and the other senses woke-up.  Fragrances,  sounds, even tastes, and so sensations became the subject of thought.

Aiyee! this was not easy . . To think of nothing was, to me, fairly impossible. I settled for quieting my mind and focusing on just a few things . . . then w/out realizing it drifted into problem solving.  I did this every morning for 20 or so minutes.  It felt good: to think calmly about how to handle this situation or that.  . . And I admit, wanting to get it over with so I could put my thoughts into action.

I did this for almost a year.  Then Sifu Cheung asked how meditation was going.  I answered, “not too well, but I said (a little louder) “I practice Shibashi twice every day.”   Then he said ‘the meditation is more important.’  . . .  . . “uh? . . . ohhhhh . . .”  Oops, time to change my ways.

Well, I found one can get beyond the quiet-thinking stage . . . it is possible not to think, to empty the mind.  BUT, (and this is very important )  – – ONE MUST PRACTICE CONSISTENTLY ! ! !

There are methods which strengthen the mind in meditation.  What you are doing is training the mind . –  If you don’t practice everyday, it is very easy to slip back into old habits; progress will be slow, maybe negligible, and then you may even give -up.

However –

Consistent practice tames the mind . . .

Be patient . . .

Eventually that wild monkey will be bringing you gifts.



April 15, 2012

Qigong and meditation may be practiced sitting or standing.  Correct posture is necessary for proper chi flow.  The body should be comfortable and relaxed so that there is a slight bend in all the joints.  No part of the body is ever tight or tensed.


  1. Stand upright with feet parallel and shoulder width apart.
  2. Very slightly bend the knees.  Knees face the tips of the feet.
  3. Slightly tuck the hips.
  4. Back is straight, but not stiff.
  5. Shoulders are relaxed.
  6. Chest slightly concave. (This opens the back.)
  7. Leave a little space (enough to hold an egg) between your arms and body.  Arms at sides in slight arc with palms facing each other.
  8. Chin is slightly tucked
  9. Imagine a silver thread from the top of the head pulling up very gently.

With the chin and hips tucked, and the head pulled very slightly upward, the spine straightens.

Sitting on a chair:

  1. Sit on the edge of the chair.
  2. Feet are flat on the floor – parallel and shoulder width apart.
  3. Knees bent at 90 degrees so upper and lower legs form right angles.
  4. Make sure spine is straight, but not stiff. Do not lean forward or back (may use a cushion to support the lower back)
  5. Slightly tuck your chin so the back of your head is straight.
  6. Relax the shoulders.
  7. Leave a little space (enough to hold an egg) between your arms and body. Arms form circle w/ hands resting in meditation mudra in front of lower Dan Tian.

Sitting on a the floor:

  1. Sit on a cushion (2-3″ high) cross-legged, or in full or half lotus.
  2. Make sure spine is straight, but not stiff. Do not lean forward or back.
  3. Slightly tuck your chin so the back of your head is straight.
  4. Relax the shoulders.
  5. Leave a little space (enough to hold an egg) between your arms and body. Arms form a circle w/ hands resting in meditation mudra in front of lower Dan Tian.

(above instructions derived from the Sifu Cheung’s instruction manual)

Remember the smile . . . If you think of anything, simply desire the BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME.  Stay in this mode as long as you like.  The relaxed state will help give you a fresh perspective and the strength to tackle challenges.  It will become a haven from the stress of the day.

Science & Spirituality

April 15, 2012

Science now speaks the language of spirituality  ‘inter-connectedness, unified field theory, wave/particle duality, etc.’. . . As science speaks, the world listens because these concepts are what drive technology and innovation.  . . . People recognize the overlap of science and spirituality by virtue of this common language . . . . BUT will science acknowledge spirituality?

The word “spirituality” is rooted word spiritus, Latin meaning vital breath / energy.  Spirituality is based on the science of inner energetic arts.  Indeed a very old science, developed over 1000’s of years.  It acknowledges a reality beyond the concrete, material, and relative world:  an Ultimate reality which transcends the limits of time and space.

Modern science, the science of the relative (outer) world is merely a few hundred years old . .  and the developments unfolding from relativity and quantum theories are merely decades old.  Isn’t it time for the new to acknowledge and learn from the old?

This is the challenge of our times as well as the solution for tomorrow.  When Life is viewed as an integrated, interconnected whole, action must be guided by mutual benefit;  Any self serving at the expense of others will come back to bite us. Science and industry must adopt the precepts of spirituality and act with a heart and conscience.  A new era will unfold which will benefit mankind and preserve earth for future generations..

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest–a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  

Albert Einstein


April 13, 2012

rainbow spot


Visualization is a method of relaxing the mind and body.  Our qigong and meditation practice begins with the visualization of a beautiful, sunny, spot in nature.  This image replaces the constant chatter of thoughts.  Visualizing a beautiful, serene scene transforms thoughts and brings one’s focus inward.  The mind links the mental image with the energy of  the beautiful spot; so that the beauty and peace of that spot are felt within.  With practice this visualization will become a haven from the stress of the day and the doorway to deeper meditative states.

When you begin the visualization . . . remember the  ROSE

          Relax the body     Open the mind     Smile from the heart   Enter serenity

* for visualization instructions –  use ‘contact’