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2009 Annual Clinic – Asilomar, CA

January 16-18, 2009

The 12th Ki Gong Clinic, sponsored by the World Ki Gong Club (WKGC), was held again this year at the beautiful and picturesque Asilomar Conference Center, January 16-18, 2009.

This was my third year attending, and altogether there were thirty-eight participants, many coming very long distances: Alaska, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and further afield, Great Britain and the Netherlands. Most were returnees, but there were a few newbies, and seeing new faces means that word is spreading about the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of Ki Gong!

The weekend weather was absolutely amazing, lending itself well to the contemplative early morning walks on the beach, and enhancing more than one evening meditation that caught the beauty of the sun’s setting rays. The combination of springlike weather in the mid 80’s and the intense focus on positive meditative practices made these three days magical.

The clinic begins on Friday afternoon with check in and introductions and goes through the evening until approximately 10:30 PM. Then, it’s up before the sun the next morning at 6:00 for a warm up of Hyang Gong followed by an hour of silent meditative walking on the beach.

Day Two also goes late into the evening, eventually ending with a long meditation from 9:30 to 10:30 PM. Day Three begins like Day Two, with coffee, tea, a snack and a warm up at 6:00 AM before the meditative walk on the beach. Sunday ends for the practitioners with a lunch, and the celebration of those who are graduating from one level to another. This also marks the end of the clinic.

The agenda varies with each day, and sometimes the group is broken up into levels for receiving instruction and/or to practice one of the Ki Gong forms.

For the second year in a row Mrs. Becky Rupp made the Ion Cleanse foot baths available for participants. First-time users were free, but the returnees’ fee of $25 for each half hour went to the World Ki Gong Club.

While the wonderful weather was admittedly a bonus, the content of our twenty-two hours of focused work was further enhanced by the presence of Mrs. Shin, Grandmaster J.C. Shin’s wife and partner in the practice of the healing art of Ki Gong. The few times I’ve had the privilege of observing Mrs. Shin with a group of people, either Ki Gong or at a Tang Soo Do event, it is amazing to watch her healing touch at work.

The knot in my left shoulder can attest to the power of that healing touch. It was gone in just a matter of minutes, and all she did was locate it and apply a bit of pressure! But, while there is no arguing with her healer’s hands, it is the pleasure of her presence and her lovely personality that truly heals.

This year’s agenda also included guest speaker Master John Miyata, whose expertise is Ki Gong, and has a practice in the Lake Tahoe area. Master Miyata was the guest of Master Tim Schroeder, the Chief Administrative Officer of the WKGC. The group was able to observe Master Miyata work on Polly Parker, which was quite fascinating. He also led us through a meditation that he called the “Sitting Buddha” meditation. The descriptions for each of the positions were so perfect that it was easy to remember this particular meditation once I got home.

The agenda for each day is usually packed with something different virtually on the hour. Beginning each day with a Hyang Gong meditation and warm up; a beach walk and silent meditation (don’t forget to walk heel to toe, NO DUCK FEET, and walk backward for 100 steps at least!) while you are contemplating the nature of the universe; reviewing and practicing the higher forms of Ki Gong such as Ki Cho Ki Gong (led by our East Coast Director, Sandy Lipstein on the beach at sunset); Tae Keuk Ki Gong (also outdoors on the beach at sunset) and Yong Moon Gong (learning and review for levels 1-3 with Grandmaster Shin); Grandmaster Shin reviewed the significance of Five Elements (Oh Hang Gong) Meditation and theory; and, let’s not forget the much anticipated SO JOO CHUN (if you’ve never done this meditation, you should try it. You will never forget the experience!).

This year Mrs. Mary Hall-Mars walked us through a really beautiful meditation called “Healing Sounds.” Each healing sound correlated with a specific movement and area of the body that you should focus on during the meditation.

While it was hard to write down what I was doing while I was doing it, the experience was so memorable that the next time I have the opportunity to participate in Healing Sounds Ki Gong, I think some of it will come back!

One of my personal favorites, Kinesio taping, was also one of the presentations on this year’s agenda. Master Michael Inoshita demonstrated some taping techniques that he commonly uses in his practice as a physical therapist.

We had the opportunity to work a bit with Tai Chi as presented by Mr. John Robertson. The motion he taught us was quite hypnotic, soothing, and fun in its complexity. I brought it home and used it with my students as a whole body warm up for PE. Thank you, John.

Pendulums were in motion for a portion of the second evening as participants worked with a variety of tools in their binders, using pendulums made of semi-precious stone or metal. Radiesthesy is the sending or perceiving of energy, and the use of the pendulum is one way of demonstrating this technique.

Grandmaster Shin introduced us to a new Ki Gong form, Spring Forest Ki Gong. A DVD was used to help us see the moves and forms in action, and we followed along.

Following final discussions and closing, the participants packed up and checked out, but it wasn’t yet time to say goodbye! Each clinic ends with a luncheon held in a private dining room, followed by a graduation or promotion for those who have completed the necessary clock hours of Ki Gong participation and readings, and who have demonstrated competence in the required Ki Gong forms for their level.

WKGC C.A.O. Master Tim Schroeder and West Coast Director, Mrs. Becky Rupp each said a few words about the participants, the clinic itself, the WKGC, and then they turned the floor over to the members of the group, who had a chance to share their impressions of what they learned, their experiences, and what they will take away from the clinic to share with others back at their Dojangs.

Lastly, we heard from the person who is the reason that each of us is present in the room at that time: Grandmaster J. C. Shin. It is really an honor to be present when Grandmaster Shin has a moment to share his own special brand of wisdom with those who love and admire this great man for the many contributions that he has made for the betterment of the world.

Each clinic is memorable not only for the wealth of information that he brings for our learning but also for the nuggets of wisdom, humor and truth that he drops along the way and if you’re not paying attention you might miss one!

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