Sifu and Mrs. Waller,
I'm an admirer of your work, living in New York City. I was sad to see that you've suspended the large website, but I understand your reasons and sympathize. It's been a number of years since I've read your work, but there was a time when I eagerly consumed it, sometimes for hours every day. I searched for your material today on a whim -- it has left a lasting impression on my way of thinking, and you're often on my mind -- and when I learned of the suspension of the large website, I felt a need to write.
I wanted finally to express my gratitude, since your website led me almost directly to my present circumstances, which are fortunate. In 2009, I accidentally found your articles on neigong, which were so captivating to me that I spent the entire afternoon clicking through your labyrinth of hotlinks. I must've read 50 pages that day. It is an immensely exciting website.
The most exciting part of your work, to me, was the syllabus. Your approach is highly professional, with a view of tai chi as an entire field of study worthy of a lifetime's work, not just some exercise regime. I knew that I had to train at your school. Inconveniently enough, I'm American, so my original fantasy of moving to Newcastle-upon-Tyne gave way to a more realistic, long-term approach. If I couldn't train with you directly, I would study other fundamental issues as a preliminary practice. Meditation, body work, etc. You mentioned Alexander technique in your site, so I enrolled in a seminar.
The seminar was so interesting that I continued lessons, and eventually enrolled in a training course. I was happy for a time, but your work kept reminding me about basic quality issues in a school. I was earnestly practicing, but not learning. I looked around at other students, and they weren't learning. I felt more and more like I was rudely interrogating my teachers, and finding that they couldn't answer my questions. Your work was like a gold standard for me. It helped me weigh the substance of a school. I continued searching.
When I found my present teacher, I knew immediately that he was of the same gold standard as Newcastle Tai Chi. Your criteria for a good school were in my mind as I evaluated his program. The quality of his program, the clarity of understanding it represents, and the passion with which he approaches the work so far surpass other Alexander training programs that he may as well be from a different dimension of reality. The past two years has seemed like no time at all. I'm learning every day, slowly gaining insight and the skills I need to help others, and look forward to a lifetime's work. My life has been immeasurably enriched.
I would not have found this aspect of my life's work if it weren't for you. I can't thank you enough. You have been teachers to me, and I hope someday to meet the two of you, and to be able to take the time to learn some of your art directly from you.