Testimonial – Whispering Palms Workshop, September 2017

Bucharest. Like all cities, I suppose, a place of contradictions, beauty juxtaposed next to decay; the future bound by the past; a people looking forward, yet tied to memories they can’t forget.

The space where we gathered for instruction looked somber, sealed off from the street when I found it the day before class started, but once inside, the building invited one in—a simple sacred space to spend a sacred week.

In many ways, the course was different from other classes I’ve attended. The Whispering Palms movements seemed simpler, easier to learn, but Lujan’s instructions as he taught the movements were much more specific – for example, the emphasis on the breath, the explanation of the six directions, the first introduction to two of the harmonies, and the effect of the micro-movements on the body and the luminous bubble.

Lujan placed more emphasis on the why of the movements, how we were moving the energy, what the hands were doing, the strength that could be felt in the legs, the movement of the Dantien. This meant I was able to concentrate less on memorizing movements and more on the details of the form.

Whispering Palms has a power like no other. It is a core part of my practice now, a beautiful form that takes me into my morning meditation.

As we sat on the floor listening or stood together in movement, this group felt very cohesive, with a fine balance of male and female energy. Perhaps we had a few outliers, but that is life, yes? A sense of commitment seems to be building in those who have followed Lujan for the past few years. We sense the seriousness of this path, and yet feel the simple happiness in it as well. Our eyes are open, and we continue because we see the changes wrought in our beings.

Lujan asks us to believe, but I think what he asks is that we believe in our own experience. This is what Lo Ban Pai does for me. It grounds me deeper in my experience. It forces me to take a long look inside, to be resolute, to take responsibility for my weaknesses and challenges, all the while pushing forward with my desire to change.

It requires me to look into another’s eyes and to see something besides my own reflection. I have become more accepting of myself yet also more demanding. I have changed for the better.

Whether this change has come about through the movements of Lo Ban Pai, through Lujan’s teachings, or through the transmissions of the teacher himself, I cannot say. I suspect, of course, that it is a combination of these.

Watching Lujan perform the gestures of this particular form—and every form he teaches—is always pure joy for me for his joy in what he teaches is palpable. Lujan has a way of bringing the mysterious down to the everyday. As he says, this life is a mystery, “…yet it unfolds itself if we are open enough to receive.” This is what Lujan asks us to do – to stay open, innocent yet aware, guiltless yet unflinching in our search for integrity, to be like children while retaining the experience of the adult within. Tall orders all.

In other words, this path, like all wisdom paths, is full of trials and contradictions, like life itself, like the cities we live and work within, like the world. It is up to each of us to unravel those contradictions that exist both within and without: how pain can transmute into understanding; grief into compassion; suffering and experience into a kind of wisdom.

I wish each and every one of you happiness and success on your path, and I am grateful for the new and renewed acquaintances and friendships made in Bucharest. I hope to see many of you again soon. To those who worked to make this workshop a success, a profound thank you. The setting was beautiful, the food delicious, the time, unforgettable.

Thank you, Lujan, for all you share: your laughter, your wisdom, your being. We are meant to be empathic beings and I humbly accept this challenge you have laid out for us.

Metta
USA

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