Training camp in Sweden, Valjeviken 2007/Elsebeth KroghDuring a break I got to talk with a man who told me that he suffered from fibromyalgia. My attention was caught, because I have a close family member who suffers from this. The man told me that when he started practicing Biyun Method 7 years ago, he was in a wheelchair, and had been declared an invalid. After 3½ years of practicing, he was able to completely get out of his wheelchair, and after a while on crutches and then with a walking cane he was finally able to walk without any support. Now he walks fine, and is back to work 75 % and in the process of becoming a Qigong instructor. He practices one hour each day, and who knows, maybe one day he’ll be 100 % well!
Training camp Valjeviken, Master Fan Xiulan and Niko Nygren in frontWhat a surprise to meet a fellow instructor at the railway station in Copenhagen! We headed off together to training camp with Grand Master Fan Xiulan in Sweden. We were the only participants from Denmark.
Valjeviken is an impressive activity center with, among other things, many facilities for severely handicapped people. The centre is beautifully situated by the archipelago of Blekinge, in the south of Sweden, and Fan Xiulan told us that there is a thousand year dragon energy in the water surrounding the area. The assembly room was cleansed and enriched with positive Feng Shui, and we practiced in the south west direction, the most powerful direction for this year, according to Chinese calendar.
35 instructors participated in Wai Qi practice day. There were lectures by Fan Xiulan, and we got to repeat, deepen and practice all the movements. Fan Xiulan kept reminding us, that Wai Qi practice is the most important at this stage, because it is our own personal Qigong.
I brought my own food and did not stay at Valjeviken activity centre, but at a campground nearby, past a beautiful old manor. It was a surprisingly good experience to stay at the campground. The site was beautifully situated beneath giant old trees, bordering the water, and at 11 pm there was peace and quiet on the grounds. When I got up before 7 am, hardly anyone was around, and I was practicing Silent Qigong on the landing bridge before people around me got up.
On the second day there was an instructors’ meeting. We were about 50 instructors, an impressive assembly; I had never imagined that there would be that many. There were all kinds of Biyun instructors, many “five-star” instructors, meaning instructors of Jichu Gong, Dong Gong, Senior Qigong, Children’s and Peace Force Qigong. Fan Xiulan has added a new form to the Biyun system: Dolphin Force Qigong and we had a demonstration by a Swedish instructor, who learned this on a trip to China with Fan Xiulan. It is very beautiful.
We were divided into five groups to tell a chosen spokesman about ourselves and our teaching experiences. I was lucky to be in the same group as some of the first educated instructors (from 1993 as far as I remember) and with Gertrud, who is nearly 80 years old, and who has taught at least 1000 people. For the time being she teaches 5 classes a week! The spokesman then presented a resume and summary of everyone’s experiences.
In the evening all the training camp participants arrived, some instructors left, and we were now around 85 people. The evening offered lectures, like all lectures with Fan Xiulan, opening with Silent Qigong. The theme of the evening was
Three important Ingredients for successful Qigong Practice
1. Quality of the training: to relax before we start practicing, drink green tea, create calm environments
2. Concentration again and again Fan Xiulan points out, that the core of the training and very important for good training results, is positive focus and concentration
The following days were organized so that preliminarily Fan Xiulan lectured about the health effects of every specific movement, then Niko showed us the technique of each movement. Now and then Fan Xiulan got up and showed us a movement, and our attention very high as we could not get enough of watching her perfect and gracious movements. We then practiced all together, and little by little we were divided into different groups, according to training level.
It is good to work through these movements thoroughly and repeat what we already know, as – I think – the repetition integrates the movements at a deeper level of understanding.
It was a fantastic experience to be with this many Biyun practitioners, to meet the Swedish instructors, where a significant number of them were women between 70 and 80, good-looking grand ladies, – and not in the least to be around Fan Xiulan, who radiates and smiles and explains so vividly that we almost forget that we don’t understand one word of Chinese! She tells legends about how it came to be named the turtle movement, and about the tea maker, a story about the importance of presence and positive concentration. But these good stories need to be told by Fan Xiulan, and not revealed here.
Niko Nygren as usual did an outstanding job as interpreter, instructor, coordinator, cashier and salesman.
On our last evening we were entertained by Agnete, who through stories and dancing/theatre illustrated the five element theory. Through her performance, that took place on an isthmus next to the centre, and with a rainbow above us, she described the cycle of nature and man from foetus to birth to death and to rebirth. It was a grand performance.
During a break I got to talk with a man who told me that he suffered from fibromyalgia. My attention was caught, because I have a close family member who suffers from this. The man told me that when he started practicing Biyun Method 7 years ago, he was in a wheelchair, and had been declared an invalid. After 3½ years of practicing, he was able to completely get out of his wheelchair, and after a while on crutches and then with a walking cane he was finally able to walk without any support. Now he walks fine, and is back to work 75 % and in the process of becoming a Qigong instructor. He practices one hour each day, and who knows, maybe one day he’ll be 100 % well!