Testimonial: Andy Mack
Teacher of Qigong, Taiji and owner at Dissolve Therapy
"Teachers, masters, sifus, ajahns, imams, pastors – these are just words describing someone who knows how to teach what we want to learn. So when I find someone who is skilled, I want to emulate them. Open up to them. Take their teachings to heart – So, make sure your teachers are also developing skillful qualities, and releasing unskillful habits. If my teacher is still an ass, or an emotional wreck, or flies off the handle regularly, or holds grudges, or is unhappy or grumpy or moody…. it's evident his or her teachings, practice, sincerity or methods are off point.
So when I was a kid I listened to and loved Henry Rollins, and took on some of his qualities. Mostly unintentional. If you listened to Rollins all day, everyday, 3 things probably happened to you – you got jaded, you developed a scowl, and you started doing push-ups. Everything we are, is given to us, we take it in, most of it, we are relatively unaware of the constant absorption of negative traits, and emotional turmoil and all the other unskillful shit people project. Of course not all of it is bad, as in Rollins’ case – the push-ups, Rollins was a beast, and the bassplayer in his band – Andrew Weiss – those basslines were rad, yeah.
But when we take on a spiritual teacher, or kung fu teacher, or yoga or mma teacher, or a reiki teacher or healer or what ever…. we have to look at the way they act, and how they are. Because, like a sponge you will draw "them" into your heart. And those threads go deep, and can be a real bastard to get out!
I am very lucky in this regard... over a decade, watching my own teacher grow and develop into a more brilliant human, martial artist and meditator, has been completely inspiring, and of course chronically influential. He is not a saint and does not want to be, he’s more like a Mahasiddha ! – he is constantly working to refine himself. Working to let go of negative traits, and develop a skillful, open, sincere and light filled heart. And, as time rolls on, the changes are increasingly evident through his actions – from helping in the floods, to donating (very large amounts ! ) regularly to help the needy through temples, to random acts of generosity for complete strangers, setting up people in business and of course offering a seemingly limitless supply of help in all forms to me and my fellow students. From breaking life long smack habits, to dousing the flames of anger, or loosening the crush of anxiety or heartache or depression. This constant giving is happening on a daily basis. And this capacity to help is increasing exponentially – the reason he does this is not for show, but because it makes his heart light, it feels good.
And then, there is his veneration to his teachers , teachers who have let go of the things that cause them pain in life – greed, jealousy, stinginess, aversion – he adores and is devoted to them, because he can see the benefits of becoming like them – and because he is open to their teachings, he progresses at a prolific rate.
Much love and eternal thanks to my Sifu – Adam Mizner, and his teachers.
And of course thanks and love to my crew at Heaven Man Earth Taiji International and Lokuttara Dhamma for all the support and fun. Would be impossible to do it alone! Yo !"