I drove down to SCA last weekend to attend SCA July teacher training.
On Saturday July 13, I arrived at Irvine Center at 3:15pm, 15 minutes later than the 3:00pm class at Irvine Center. I left San Jose at 7:30am and left enough cushion time, but still under-estimated LA’s traffic.
As I got off Freeway 5 and drove toward Irvine Center, I felt a strong energy shot at my Navel chakra and it continued as I drove closer to Irvine Center. When I arrived, Jingming Laoshi was leading every focusing on Naval Chakra. So this was an interesting connection for me to experience. Then Jingming Laoshi shared about the ten dharma seals, and then we had another sitting. For the second sitting, the energy was more settled and purer than the first one. I felt refreshed after the class, even though I just finished a seven hour drive.
On Sunday July 14 morning, Tongming Laoshi joined me and we went to Walnut Center for its weekly class led by Tracy. We started meditating before the class. At a certain point, my Heart Chakra become very energized, and a few seconds later, Tracy announced the beginning of the class. We practiced on Kidney chakra. It’s a challenging sitting to me because the energy was very unsettled and struggling. Then instead of the scheduled Proficiency class, Brother Tracy shared his silent retreat experience instead.
After class, Tongming Laoshi, Miaolian Laoshi and I shared a bit. Tongming Laoshi shared a San Jose practitioner’s experience in getting freaked out in a un-guided silent retreat and how he used Shifu’s light to help that practitioner to re-center and stabilize. I shared about my perspective in Shifu’s political movement in Taiwan (Sister Viki mentioned many practitioners in Walnut Center were troubled by it), that Chan is not about agreeing or disagreeing with Shifu in a formed way, but to surpass forms and resonate with Shifu in the heart. Miaolian Laoshi shared how she resonated with Shifu’s compassion while looking at Shifu’s political movement.
On Sunday July 14 afternoon, we participated in southern California teacher training.We divided into three groups, each group three participants.
I was with two practitioners L and B in the first hour for Chan Introduction training. When L shared about liberating true self from hindrances, a vision of cloud departing and sunlight shining through came to me, which is a surprise because usually I don’t experience visions. Later L asked about visions during teaching, I shared mine, and they shared that they had a vision of crystals (diamonds).
Practitioner B is more relaxed than they were during the Memorial day teacher training retreat in Sacred Light Mountain and they began to feel energies during others’ teaching and their own teaching. When they were teaching, I felt connected, but in the middle they went silent, and I felt the connection was lost. Then they started talking again, and I still felt no connection. I shared my experience with them. L shared they were surprised because this was the softest B she’s ever seen.
The second hour was training for Chan Proficiency. Practitioners L, T, and I were in the same group. T led three chakra alignment, which I felt the clear flow and my three chakras were naturally and easily activated as they went through them. My teaching topic was fire channel. I found it more challenging than other topics because I got distracted by energies running in my own chakras and fire channel as I led through fire channel, so I needed to refocus back to the heart and connections. When L shared about how Chan practice help one to break through formed or formless hindrances in life, they became emotional and were in tears. I felt the connection got lost and shared with them honestly. They asked what they should do in a situation like this. I suggested re-center ourselves and re-establish the connection before continuing. T offered their feedback that what L shared was abstract and then they got emotional, to which the audience may not be able to relate to and resonate with.
Then all participants came together to discuss a topic proposed by Viki from a previous training session: why we need to keep practicing on Chan Introduction Guidelines points? Why are they important?
Most of us shared our realization on our connection to the guideline points and how to share Shifu’s teachings. I didn’t remember what everyone said, except that everyone shared with sincerity and from our own witness/experience and own heart. It’s a harmonious sharing together and a wonderful experience.
Lastly, Tongming Laoshi and I were given fifteen minutes to share. Tongming Laoshi gave this opportunity to me. I shared that as a teacher, we specifically need to pay attention to what we teach and if we follow these teachings ourselves. I shared my observations from centers/groups in the US and Taiwan and with myself, that if a leader/teacher doesn’t follow a certain perspective of Shifu’s teaching, it’s easy for practitioners to think it’s OK not to follow that perspective and it can really create hindrances in someone’s spiritual journey.
In summary: from this teacher training session, and from last ten years interacting with practitioners and teachers, I realized it’s much more important to harmonize with our hearts, than to argue who is right and who is in the wrong. When our hearts are in harmony, it’s much easier for everyone to receive Shifu’s teaching and evolve/progress together. However, if we get stuck in mind and in the right/wrong, disharmony can slow down everyone’s progress and sharing/spreading Shifu’s teaching.