Open Letter from Dr. Yang
Dear Friends and Supporters:
Time passes so quickly. It has already been eight and a half years since I moved here. The 10-Year, 9-Year, and 5-Year program students will complete their training in June of 2018. Upon graduation, they will continue to develop their teaching careers and futures.
In 2005, I saw a rare opportunity to make the center a reality and knew I had to give it my best shot. Although I knew that it would be a big burden for me to dedicate so much of my time, energy, and savings to a project so far away and so new, I decided to still pursue it. It was an exciting time of trying to make my dream a reality. However, I greatly underestimated the difficulties of training in Western societies, today’s modern lifestyles, and unforeseen challenges. Contrary to my original vision, the environment and training schedule could not be the same as in ancient times. We had to constantly adapt and adjust to keep searching for the right balance of training, work, and rest.
Although some of their achievements have fallen short of what I had originally envisioned, the core group of students are not without positive results. They have worked together to analyze the material, improve their teaching skills, and encourage each other to grow as students and as people. This center has been one of very few of its kind. I hope the experiences, hardships, and lessons that we endured can help other similar programs and centers develop in a stronger way in the future.
I will continue to offer seminars at the Retreat Center through the summer of 2018. The center will remain open until the 3-Year Program concludes in June 2019. At that point, it will most likely close and the property will be sold.
Truthfully, I don’t want to see the center close. I spent 10 years searching for this location. It is an exceptional place with amazing Fengshui. My life’s work has been dedicated to preserving and passing down traditional martial arts and Qigong knowledge through books, media, and classes. The full time training program has been a dream of mine for many years, and I was hoping to materialize and embody as much of that knowledge as possible in the students of the center.
The bulk of the center’s annual expenses are in facilities maintenance, taxes, and insurance. The majority has been funded by my life savings and seminar income, followed by tuition from students and donations from outside sponsors. If we acquire enough funds to keep the center functioning, I will be able to offer seminars at this location beyond 2019. However, I cannot bear this burden alone, especially since I will soon be too old to travel and teach. With the right staff and support, we might be able to keep the center open for a few more years.
I would like to thank all of those who have supported the center in the last eight and a half years. They have touched all of us here deeply. Without them, we would not have been able to accomplish so much and offer such unique training experiences to our many visitors. We are extremely grateful to all of you.
As I will be turning 73 when the last full-time program completes in 2019, I believe that I should be thinking once again about my retirement. I will keep working and teaching, but I cannot travel and teach like a young man anymore. Whatever I do and wherever I will be, I hope to still see and hear from you.
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming