Farewell to a Teacher
Recently I got the opportunity to say goodbye to one of my most treasured spiritual teachers, Li Ying.
Since my early 20s I have been lucky (or perhaps destined) to have some great spiritual teachers in my life. I started with a yoga teacher, Mary, who brought to my life a kind of yoga that I desperately needed, and now share today.
I stayed in Mary’s yoga class for nearly 10 years. During that decade, I read about Reiki, and then luckily (again, destined?) won a Reiki Level 1 course with the International House of Reiki. There I met Reiki Master Frans Stiene and developed a strong foundation for meditation. I went to his Reiki share night (students practising Reiki on each other) every week without fail for about 3 years.
At this point I decided to try QiGong. Again, I had read about it and was keen to give it a go. When I asked Frans if he knew a teacher, it was luck again! Yes, there was a teacher using this same Reiki room to hold a QiGong class weekly and he had been her student as well (read this touching blog).
When I called Li Ying to enquire about the class she asked me to have a private session with her first. Not knowing much about this ancient Chinese Taoist practice, I had no idea what we were going to do. She gave me a QiGong healing (energy healing). The energy was strong, and when I got off the massage table and walked over to a chair, I could feel strong pain in my right knee. She said the energy was moving down the right side, my Yang (masculine energy) was low.
Li Ying gave me three simple exercises to practice. I walked out of there with a limp and lot of excitement about my first class. The class was nothing like I’d been to before – the energy in the room was strong and carried me into places I’d never been in this life. I anticipated each class, as we delved deep into meditation and learned practices for self-healing.
For another year I went to both Reiki share nights and QiGong class. When I decided to become a yoga teacher (some 8 years after my first class!), I had to let something go. QiGong stayed.
My yoga teaching course was helping to transform my inner world, and so was QiGong. I was leaving Li Ying’s class in a pretty foul mood every week, despite entering the class excited to be there. I was releasing so many old emotions, a lot of fear, that the class was bringing it up and I was stomping it out of my feet as I walked home.
One day Li Ying told me that the cloud or fuzziness around my energy had gone. I felt it had too. It was many years of disciplined practice and it finally worked. Li Ying helped me to become who I am today – more fearless, compassionate and confident of who I am. She gave me practices that I still call on when I need them.
The main thing that Li Ying taught me is to listen to my heart, not my mind.
After several years of having cancer in her throat, Li Ying was ready to pass on from this world. She called all her students to visit one by one so she could say goodbye – she considered us friends. Despite the apparent pain she was in, she still had her sense of humour intact.
In early January Li Ying passed away in her sleep.
Li Ying was my teacher for 10 years on this earth, and she will continue to be my teacher from the spiritual realm.
Molly Furzer has been practising yoga since 1999 and teaching since 2007. She teaches gentle yoga to adults and Kids & Family Yoga in the Rainbow Kids Yoga method. She also teaches Laughter Yoga and offers Meliae Intuitive Healing and Past Life Regression Therapy.