Story 4

May 10, 2007

One rainy day about 30 years ago my teacher, Yang Ch’eng-fu, grandson of Yang Lu-ch’an, and I were crossing the Outer Paitu Bridge in Shanghai. A large sturdy man walking very quickly ran smack into Yang and promptly recoiled several feet onto his back. He rose and stared angrily at the quiet Yang but, apparently so surprised that he had failed to move him, walked away without speaking.

Tai Chi Chuan
A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health & Self Defense
Cheng Man-ch’ing


Story 3

May 10, 2007

One morning my reacher’s father, Yang Chien-hou, the third son of Yang Lu-ch’an, was approached by a servant who told him that a dead rat was stuck on the bedroom wall. Did the master know anything about it? Yang thought and then said “It must have been that the rat tried to get at the peanuts in my pocket while I slept. I must have caught him and thrown him at the wall with such force that he stuck”.

Tai Chi Chuan
A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health & Self Defense
Cheng Man-ch’ing


Story 2

May 10, 2007

Another time my teacher’s eldest uncle Yang Pan-hou , the eldest son of Yang Lu-ch’an , was napping one summer evening in the yard while awaiting dinner. A servant nudged him to announce that dinner was ready and Yang, still sound asleep, kicked the poor fellow nearly to the level of the roof.

Tai Chi Chuan
A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health & Self Defense
Cheng Man-ch’ing


Story 1

May 10, 2007

When my teacher’s grandfather, Yang Lu-ch’an first walked into the Palace during the Ch’ing Dynasty he was attacked by two dogs who bit his legs and then, with strange barks fled. Mr Yang paid no heed and followed the eunuchs with a quiet smile.
The eunuchs were amazed at his non-chalance. Later it was learned that the dogs, who refused to eat that night, had left some broken teeth at the place the attack occurred – so strong were Yang’s legs.

Tai Chi Chuan
A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health & Self Defense
Cheng Man-ch’ing


The gift of insults

May 9, 2007

There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him.

One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent. He would wait for his opponent to make the first move, thus revealing a weakness, and then would strike with merciless force and lightning speed. No one had ever lasted with him in a match beyond the first move. Much against the advice of his concerned students, the old master gladly accepted the young warrior’s challenge.

As the two squared off for battle, the young warrior began to hurl insults at the old master. He threw dirt and spit in his face. For hours he verbally assaulted him with every curse and insult known to mankind. But the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm. Finally, the young warrior exhausted himself. Knowing he was defeated, he left feeling shamed. Somewhat disappointed that he did not fight the insolent youth, the students gathered around the old master and questioned him. “How could you endure such an indignity? How did you drive him away? “. “If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it,” the master replied, “to whom does the gift belong?”

Unknown Author


It will pass

May 9, 2007

A student went to his meditation teacher and said, “My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. It’s just horrible.

“It will pass,” the teacher said matter-of-factly.

A week later, the student came back to his teacher. “My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It’s just wonderful!”

“It will pass,” the teacher said matter-of-factly.

Unknown Author


Egotism

May 7, 2007

The Prime Minister of the Tang Dynasty was a national hero for his success as both a statesman and military leader. But despite his fame, power, and wealth, he considered himself a humble and devout Buddhist. Often he visited his favorite Zen master to study under him, and they seemed to get along very well. The fact that he was prime minister apparently had no effect on their relationship, which seemed to be simply one of a revered master and respectful student.

One day, during his usual visit, the Prime Minister asked the master, “Your Reverence, what is egotism according to Buddhism?” The master’s face turned red, and in a very condescending and insulting tone of voice, he shot back, “What kind of stupid question is that!?”

This unexpected response so shocked the Prime Minister that he became sullen and angry. The Zen master then smiled and said, “THIS, Your Excellency, is egotism.”

Unknown Author