Far far away, behind the Lost Coast mountains, far from the bustle of the cities of progress and productivity, Javier and Nona have been quietly exploring the hidden Universe Within; the internal realm of themselves. Separated as much as possible from the modern world, without actually leaving it, they live at the YMAA Retreat Center, created by Master Yang, Jwing-Ming, who's three Grandmasters in Taiwain, Grandmaster Cheng, Grandmaster Tao, and Grandmaster Li, shared with him the art of White Crane, Taijiquan, Shaolin Gongfu, and the martial and healing arts of Qigong.
The Retreat Center was Master Yang's dream. After teaching for decades in the real-world setting of the Boston metropolitan area and in workshops worldwide, he yearned for a place especially designed for passing down the knowledge of gongfu (kung-fu) and taijiquan (tai chi) in the traditional fashion of an immersive experience. Dr. Yang searched all of over the States in order to find the perfect location, with the right feng shui, and after much trial, came to Humboldt County to discover a piece of land with all the elements. The land possessed a peak, high, but not higher than the encircling peaks, to ensure adequate energy flow, while at the same time being protected by the surrounding landscape. The water element, a babbling creek, ran perfectly from west to east, to balance the fire element of the sun. The water element flowing in the same line as the path of the sun, allowed for sunlight to reach the bottoms of the riparian gullies, resulting in moisture without stagnant dampness. And then there was the volcano, Bear Butte, located not exactly south, but a perfect southeast. All of these elements combined fostered an energetic swirl of shorts. A perfect place for contemplation and practice.
Dr. Yang, began the journey by starting an ambitious 10-year gongfu discipleship program. A rigorous and strictly scheduled program for young men, involving long days of meditation, conditioning the body, studying bare-hand and weapons forms, practicing partner drills, agility log training, running the mountain loaded with weights, Mandarin language and video production study, chores and more.
During the creation stage, Javier heard whispers of this program and Center while living and working in Florida. A life-long dream of his, he was determined to gain the experience of living with a master. He was resolute. Unshaken, even when he was not accepted at first due to age, he continued to train alone for a year in Florida with focus and was ready when the invitation came during the second year of the program. He accepted and joined the group up on The Mountain in 2009.
Nona made her move to The Mountain when Master Yang created a shorter three-year program dedicated to the study of Meditation, Taijiquan and Qigong. She had been studying these arts as a pathway for healing and personal growth, and yet, when she began her time at the Retreat Center, could not have known how deep the practice could get. It was a continuous path, one to be traversed each day, with no real destination, yet with so much reward.
Javier and Nona invite you now, to start your own journey.
Come, listen to the quiet whispers of the body, and discover the hidden Universe Within.