In Memory of Dharma Master Tan Run Huan (谭润华)

October 18, 2018 | By More

By Ivy Xie-McIsaac, E-RYT200, YACEP

It has been 12 years since my first Yoga teacher passed away. Dharmapala Master Tan is my first Yoga teacher. He was born in 1913 and learned Yoga in Hong Kong when he was young. When I met him, he had already retired from teaching work as a biology teacher and had over 70 years practice experience with Hatha Yoga.

I believe in simplicity and directness. But most of time we make a simple thing complex. When I was young, to die meant to go to heaven and didn’t understand why I could not go to heaven at once, but had to stay living to suffer. Death and the meaning of life has always been a consideration in my mind.

Right after my first travel to Tibet, in November 1996, at my first Yoga class in China I met Master Tan. Even in his eighties he was still full of vitality like a youth. In the class he didn’t talk very much. He played Yoga music and let us meditate. I felt the magic of Yoga at once. A bliss that I had never experienced before came to me. A place with no worry, no arising thoughts. An empty place, a place where I felt totally free.

In such a place, I don’t have to contemplate life or death. Just be my Self. I didn’t know how this happened, but I knew that this way of Yoga could lead me to the answer. Master Tan not only taught by words, but set an example by his manners. He used plain language to guide me to look into my heart, my Self instead of something else. I never felt being judged by him.

Master Tan didn’t teach. He offered freedom. He offered a space, a space where I could fly. I could BE.

Master Tan gave me a grounded understanding of Yoga: Yoga is more than stretch and strength; more than having a relaxed body and calm mind, it’s a life attitude. Yoga will help to connect with the power inside. Through in-class and daily life practice, Yoga gives balance to body, mind and spirit.

Ivy’s geography background and travel have given her a unique perspective. Her book A Complete Yoga Manual is a bridge between east and west, modern and ancient, theory and practice. A Complete Yoga Manual by Ivy Xie-McIsaac is available at Singing Pebble Books. Ivy will have a book signing, along with chanting at Singing Pebble Books, 206 Main Street, Ottawa on Sunday, November 18 from 2 to 5.


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Category: Articles, Fitness & Bodyworks

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