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  • Writer's pictureIrekZareba

The Mindfulness Retreat

Updated: May 18, 2022

As some of you may know, I am a disciple of Grandmaster Sam Chin and instructor of his beautiful art of Zhong Xin Dao Iliqchuan - the internal kung fu.

In this post I wanted to share something about what happened last month of great value for me and I have the privilege to organize - the UK Retreat. This is the main event of our Martial Art of Awareness during the annual visits of Grandmaster Sam Chin and his son - master Hsin Chin here in England which happened on the 4th occasion!

Photo Taken at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in South East England, from the Right: Grandmaster Sam Chin, Venerable Kongyan, Venerable Ajahn Amaro (the abbot of Amaravati Temple), Master Jiru, the Author.

This time the main theme of the retreat was Mindfulness. For that reason we had a special guest - Master Jiru and his assistant Ven. Kongyan. He is a childhood friend of GM Sam Chin. They used to train together the art of I Liq Chuan under the sight of its founder and GM Sam Chin father - Chin Lik Keong. Later as a Buddhist monk, he became an expert of meditation. Currently he is an abbot of MABA temple (which he also built brick by brick) in St Louis, US.

Master Jiru Instructing Students in the Morning Class

What does the Retreat Day look like?

7.30 am every day Master Jiru started the day with a morning Qi Gong session. It's an ancient Chinese energy cultivation practice which has huge benefits for health, longevity and body awareness. He taught us ‘Five-breathing exercise’ and Yi Jin Jing also known as Muscle/Tendon Change. The whole set of exercises is a part of his meditation curriculum.

Afternoon walking meditation with Master Jiru

Later we had two sets of 3 hours of training slots (morning and afternoon sessions) which were split in half between Master Jiru and Grandmaster Sam Chin. Master Jiru part consists of teaching us meditation techniques in ‘Mindfulness in Four Postures’ - Walking, Standing, Sitting and Laying Down.

Morning training session with GM Sam Chin

GM Sam Chin walked us through his family art Zhong Xin Dao Iliqchuan in depth, starting from philosophy, concepts and principles to the practical aspects of basic training in solo exercise to refine bodily mechanisms of effortless movement under gravity force and partner training with main focus on defense and offense line on the point of contact.

Afternoon Partner Training with GM Sam Chin

In the evening after dinner at 8pm, we had a two hour session where students were split into groups to train their current level in depth and prepare for grading. GM Sam Chin was personally guiding groups as well as Master Hsin Chin and other instructors.

Evening Session with Own Training

The main retreat idea is to spend the entire time together - to train, eat and sleep in one place. The main focus is to improve the skill in this accelerated formula of learning. Between training there is time when people get to know each other, making new connections and friendships. Among students we have qualified body workers and in their free time they offer their service to others. This year we had students and instructors from the US, Hong Kong, Norway, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, France, Italy, Netherlands and the UK.

Lunch Time Together

To reassume, there are great numbers of training hours (minimum 9 hours each day!) where everyone will be satisfied with teaching directly from the founder GM Sam Chin, his son and instructors. This time we had a professional chef. Thanks to the PukkaChef guys from Wroclaw (Poland) we have fresh food prepared for every meal, so you can be energized properly for your next training. Plus for an extra boost each morning - I prepare a nice cup of bulletproof coffee for you. We try our best to make you feel like you are among the most loving family!

Making new friendship - Grandmaster Sam Chin and Kayden

As for me personally I am still full of great memories after hosting the last retreat. What an amazing time that was. The time to be able first and foremost to be together again and train after those long two years of separation due to the pandemic was so vital & precious. I love that energy!!! Direct guidance and pointings of GM Sam Chin, Venerable Jiru and Master Hsin Chin altogether are still echoing in my head - so important for the training towards self-mastery. Plus that feeling of touching others and being able to spin and play sticky hands again - priceless!

UK Mindfulness Retreat Group Photo, Felden Lodge, Hemel Hempstead, April 2022

If you are interested in joining our retreat, please stay in touch. There is no previous experience required and everyone is most welcome!!! The next one is already in September 2022!!!

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