Fishing for Pearls in an Ocean of Sky.
What’s in it for you?
Images say it well
I’ve been teaching for over thirty years. This photo, taken in 2015, was the first time I had tried chi gung with children. It was spontaneous and delightful. Believe that children can teach us without words, animals too!
Over the years I’ve worked with thousands of students, usually in retreats at Tourné or, before 2003, at Annan Farm in England.
This is how my dojo looks with people in it:
What’s on Offer?
There are a number of programmes on offer. All retreats involve some body movement most are forms from Tao tradition, others from yoga or Buddha lineages. They are practical with profound possibilities for change, contentment, realisation through experience. Above all the emphasis is on improving health and staying healthy in old age.
I’ve been teaching on retreats since 1997, at last count, approaching one hundred retreats, many of them silent.
A little about Ram
Stories define us. I’ve worked as a professional storyteller, it was and remains my favourite way to point out. It’s the story that points, the teller just lends the story a voice and a throat.
My teachers all had authentic lineages. Authentic in this context means truly concerned for the well being of others. It also means that their teachers and their teachers teachers were known and can be traced. I’ve worked with many masters, some very closely. My method is eclectic but honours the discipline inherent in martial arts and all yogic practices. It is gentle in accordance with the Tao. It is authentic in accordance with the Dharma.
I let the forms be your teacher as they have been mine. The teacher shares the form, suggests how the student might listen, feel and open. The more quiet inside, the more clearly will things reorganise.
My meditation teachers have been: Dadi Janki, Khyongla Rinpoche, Sepa Dorje Rinpoche, Yeshe Kaytub (Lama Lena). I also worked very closely with Burgs in his early years when he was establishing himself as a teacher of meditation.
Here they are: Dadi Janki, Khyongla, Sepa and Lama Lena [with Wangdor Rinpoche]
My Tai chi, qigong, ba gua and other Taoist art teachers have been: Jim Si So, Brian Cooper, Dr. Lieu, Rose Li, B.K. Frantzis. Jim So first introduced my to the Chinese Taoist way of moving the body. We worked together for nearly ten years. Dr. Lieu was a curious one. I only worked with him a few times yet his Tai chi form work with me was influential. The same with Rose Li, described by author Robert Smith as China’s best female boxer, I met her in London in the late 1990’s. She gave classes in central London, but my good fortune was to meet her privately in Primrose Hill Park. Brian Cooper is B.K.’s senior Tai chi instructor. I worked with both B.K. and Brian between 1991 and 2009 during which time I was certified to teach certain Taoist practices like tai chi, ba gua, breathing and meditation, qigong.
I have also worked extensively and for over forty years with Professor N.G. Charalambous, a dear friend with whom many secrets of internal energy and external presence have been shared. A champion of many arts, he is a visitor to Tourné both as teacher and student. In the 1980’s in London, we would train together in the local park, running there together carrying a 50 kilo punchbag.
What might you do?
Ideally, you will find what you need in the proposed programmes both in terms of the practices you might learn and the levels of relaxation, restoration and revitalisation they make available to you.
You will rest and relax and then you will move your body in accordance with the form we have chosen, between us, according to your needs, age and overall health.
- Tao yoga-softness, opening the body gently, learning to deeply relax. I teach a series called the Waking Dragon. It is dao-in, which means energy conducting exercise. It makes smooth emotions, clear the mind and open the body. I first learnt to stand on my head aged 8. No one called it yoga. I’ve never stopped!
- Opening the energy gates of the body qigong. One of B.K. Frantzis’ forms. He certified me to teach this form in 1999. I first learnt it in 1991. A core Tao water method practice. Includes standing meditation, basics of practical tai chi tu and spinal column work.
- Eight Brocades and 5 Zang organs qigong. These are basic qigong forms to tonify the organs of the body and to improve mindfulness of overall health condition. I learnt these forms from Paul Lundberg, founder of the London Shiatsu College and with my acupuncturist and friend Jim Si So, an expert in energy and form. Ideal for those who want to have a daily 20 minute maintenance routine. A great foundation.
- Marriage of Heaven and Earth qigong. Another of B.K.’s forms. a single continuous movement, it has great potential as a training aid for meditating in the physical body. It is especially useful for neck and back problems.
- Ba Gua Circle Walking. It’s becoming more famous, it may even become fashionable. above all it is dynamic mediation and great fun. My favourite.
- Tai Chi chuan. I teach both Wu style and Yang style.
- Marrow washing qigong. Increase power and clear the mind
- North Star qigong. Increase power and clear the mind, just more gently and with reverse breathing.
If you have read this far, congratulations. Pearl fishing is a dying art. My great grandfather, Tejbhan Chatlani was a pearl fisher. The people who do the diving are usually young. If they are lucky, they are well looked after. Being well in the body is so important, especially with a rapidly growing ageing population. One of my mottos is ‘grow old into good health.’ That is one of our challenges. I was born in 1958 and have had immense good fortune to have mastered the movements and practices I now offer you. It doesn’t matter when you start the journey, if you can walk, stand and sit, you have the basic physical ingredients to begin to move with grace and age into good health. Get in touch!