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14 Hours Retreat With Master Jizhou Yang
Evaluation Comments From Participants

"I was a little nervous about attending the retreat because I have nevermeditated so intensively and didn't know if I could handle it. To my surprise, the first meditation session was very easy--it went quickly and was physically quite painless. No sleepiness, no falling-asleep legs and feet...a little bit of upper back pain which quickly went away.

I was able on and off to really focus on breathing and to sustain that focus for brief periods of time, and when I could--it was a feeling of being altogether whole. During the sleeping ch'an, I had to turn on my back sometimes because I have a bad shoulder and the compression of it became physically painful to sustain, but after resting, I'd go back to the meditation position.

I fell asleep quickly and slept deeply when I slept (waking only to change position and once to go to the bathroom)--I know I slept deeply because I dreamt. I dreamt about sleeping on the floor in a roomful of people!

During the night, Master Yang came by and checked on us, and it seemed so kind and compassionate a thing to do. I appreciated it very much. Second waking meditation was much the same as the first, but I could get into it more quickly. I felt rested even only after five ours of sleep.

Third waking meditation I had a realization about breathing - sounds came and went, I heard the TV downstairs, a woman sneezing outside, cars and traffic, voices, conversations, birds, the wind--all these things were very changeable and eventually disappeared. This made me very very sad and anxious too. The feeling of sorrow was very hot and tight and red, but then I realized that the breathing was constant, sustaining--steadily, in and out. The feeling that came then was a refreshing coolness--clean and blue. This feeling centered me.

Fourth and fifth waking meditation were harder, the pain in my upper back was sometimes very sharp and difficult--then it eased and came back again. I had to adjust my posture several times during each session--I didn't mind this--tried not to attach significance to it, and the pain would go away and I could go back into a very deep, almost sleeping place--perhaps even deeper than during the third waking meditation--even though the last two were, overall, more difficult.

Maybe this is more detail than you need. Blah blah blah!!! Overall, this is what I feel: that a cleansing began during the first level two practice on Tuesday -- I could feel that energy running through me all week The cleansing continued through the retreat. By the retreat's end, at 12 noon on Saturday, I felt empty, calm, completely free of stress and anxiety."

"As you know, I have recently begun having arthritis -- in my knees and in my hands and feet. The knees were already healing, but after the level two practice on Tuesday, I woke for the first time in months, on Wednesday morning, with absolutely no pain in my fingers. Then, after the retreat, no pain in my feet!
Thank you, Master Song and Master Yang! You have done so much good for all of us."

"Thank you very much for having the meditation retreat. This is my short evaluation:

I liked everything about it and would do it again. You had just the right number of people for that house, and i liked the format and content (and breakfast!). I am curious about the other levels of breathing, but am happy to have done what we did.

I found the night part to be the most challenging. The posture in the sleeping chan was not physically comfortable for me, but it took me right into the dantian and the energy there was so dynamic that if i could have stayed there physically, i would have just to see what would happen.

Ultimately i ended up sitting and meditating for awhile because it was more comfortable than lying down on the floor, but at some point, when i realized i could just keep meditating, i worried that my body would get tired during the morning, so i lay back down to see if i could sleep. i was quite awake, and saw Master Yang sit up every so often to check on us, but at some point i finally dozed off.

I fell asleep off and on during the morning meditations, and was physically tired by the evening, but open. Going to work after the retreat was interesting. I was laughing at everything. Thank you and please thank Master Yang. I hope we will be able to do
it again. EWQI and Master Yang, Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. I personally have gained a lot from the retreat and it will help with my qigong practice."

"Here's my evaluation on the Special 14 Hour Life Retreat 9/27/02 - 9/28/02.

The overall view of the retreat is excellent! The Agenda was excellent. The retreat stayed on time for most part. The breakfast was healthy and tasted good. The special herb supplement was tasty and beneficial. All the hot water a person could drink was also refreshing. The participants were all warm and friendly. Everything put together made for a wonderful and enjoyable retreat.

The Teaching was priceless. The information was presented in an
orderly fashion. It was easy to understand. Note taking for me
was distracting so handouts on the subject matter would be good.
Breaks and questions were long enough and frequent enough to keep everything comfortable. Everyone cooperated in using the restroom and moving around.

Meditations were good. Maybe a little more meditations but shorter in duration. That way you could break the subject matter in more detail. Practice it more often and to learn better. Sleep Chan was excellent. Walking Chan was excellent. The room size made it harder to feel the walk and the breathing. A little more practice time would have been good."

More comments:
"I would like the retreat to be a little longer. Two hours longer would be good to cover in more detail the breathing, meditation, sleep chan and walking chan. Increase meditations to seven and cut back time on some of them to 30-45 minutes.
Thanks again."

"I came away from the retreat with Master Yang with a wonderful sense of well-being and connection that has stayed within my awareness. It was a very worthwhile experience. The retreat had a relaxed but stimulating flow to it that made it easy to be there. my thoughts never left the room or the moment at hand, which was kind of a surprise since I didn't know how well I would do with that many hours of meditation. I did wish we had more room for the walking chan - it was a little hard to keep your focus and develop your own rhythm while being mindful of not bumping into the person in front of you!

I deeply appreciate Master Yang's willingness to share his wisdom with us. It is a true gift. Now that we have the tools, we only need the committment to make the time to practice and continue to learn. It should be unthinkable to do otherwise. By the way, I loved the herb. Put me down for a jar when you are taking orders!"

"I enjoyed the 14 hour "breathing meditation" retreat with Master Yang very much. I had a lot of energy the next day even though I didn't get much sleep during the retreat. Whenever I do the breathing meditation that Master Yang taught us or the breathing mediation that you taught us in Level 1 Qigong class before falling asleep, I find that I get a much deeper rest at night. I try to be more aware of my breathing during the day too. (I found that it's not a good idea to do when driving, though. It's so relaxing that it can make you drowsy!)

Also, I wanted to let you know that when I stick to my diet and get enough rest and exercise, my stomach is much better at night. Thank you both for your helpful instruction."


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