Chan retreat 09…Pomona CA

11 09 2009

Labor day weekend was the Heart Chan meditation Group retreat in Pomona CA. I had not planned on going but the way opened, so I went for it. Another way of putting it was God said “I got this” so I took advantage of the gift.

I drove down on Friday, and had a smooth trip even with the holiday traffic. Before making the Chan connection I stopped and met up with “M” a 5th Dan in Kyudo and his wife. We had been connecting via phone and Facebook. This was our first time meeting face to face. Interestingly, when I stopped to call him on his cell he happened to be only a few blocks away. After dinner I was off to pickup someone flying in from Texas then we went off to the retreat location. My Cousin coming in from Atlanta, originally was to land in LA but got switched to Ontario, thanks United Air…


Rather than give a blow by blow of the events I will give a few highlights. We, my Cuz and I got to stay at a group member’s amazing house. All I can say about this place it was like a Hollywood home, and off the hook!



The retreat was held at Cal Tech Poly, a very nice campus with a large farm animal population. So one got the sense of being on a farm when going to the conference hall. Mornings sessions started at 7:30. We did our morning Motion Chan practice. for the three days we had three different instructors doing warm ups. I was the lead for Sun. That was day my  to lead the class. I took them through 30 minutes of Kung Fu /Tai Chi /Chi-Gong warm-ups. Reports said they liked it. I wore a shirt, that day that was given to me from one of my classmate’s  students who has a kung fu school. There is a Praying Mantis on the shirt with some bamboo. I was walking with one of the Chan brothers and suddenly I spotted a Praying Mantis on the side of the building pillar. It was just hanging out. I came up next to it for a picture, it started waving it’s claws and checking me out. I thought whoa Koolness.

tonglong me

There were kids in the retreat as well they had their own section and a some games. One of them was finding certain people. I was quite surprised when I was approached and asked if I was the Kung Fu master and to sign a sheet. That went on several times, I thought it was amusing. I always find being called the Kung Fu Master amusing.


The topics for retreat lectures were as follows:

True meaning of Spiritual Practice

Karma & Merits Part 1 & 2

Spiritual Practice, Life, and Work

Chan School History & Koans

Most of this retreat was lead by our Shifu’s number 2 man, who came in from Taiwan and Shifu’s main person in the states.


Brother Zong Ming is also a Feng Shui master, I was able to speak with him briefly on that topic. He spoke on Feng Shui more in depth after the retreat at one our practicioner house, SADLY I had to miss that! Bummer!

Additionally there was a video from the Shifu and another on the Dalai Lama. All very cool, but I did have some trouble staying awake. from the lack of sleep. We had two big challenge sittings the 1st was 1.5 hour zazen, the second was only 1 hr. I’m talking no breaks here folks, straight through. That took some serious effort!

Another high point of the retreat was on the last day. Some people were giving testimonies, that is always a teary eyed event. A senior member was there he and his wife are real brainiacs, rocket scientist, in real life. They are retired University physics professors. The old guy, Ogii-san had figured out mathematically what was the 5th dimension and was busting at the seams to share it with us. As well as how it was proven by someone, that the Universe goes in two directions and then basically folds on its self sort of… Like the symbol for Zen in Japan.


Another over all high point. I do not and have not had much interaction with my family since childhood. I have always been “out there” with my ideas , beliefs, the like and walked a different path. To be doing this and hanging with my cousin is an unexpected treat. When she was a little munchkin I would have never ever dreamed we would be doing something like this together. Also now thinking of this I would have never spoke of it to her if my sister had not asked if there was something I could suggest to help my cousin with her stress levels.  I was quite surpeise when I told her about it and she jumped in with both feet. Life is interesting with the path that open from one thing to another, ne!


Over all it was an excellent trip, I’m glad I went. It was a nice break , more considering the drama and a cold I had to deal with when I got back. However that is another story I will not go into.





One response

11 09 2009

Sounds like a great weekend. Wish we could have seen you again, but know this was the focus. My hats off to you again for your dedication to the path. Inspiring.

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