Wednesday, August 26, 2020

MMTCA September Newsletter 2020


"As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Marianne Williamson

I hope you've had a good Summer and continue to enjoy good health, and being outside. Practices in the park have been really enjoyable on many levels. Keep your health, mentally, spiritually, and physically in good shape. Your strong immune system, relaxed body, and calm mind will go a long way to preventing illness' and sickness. Eat a little less, walk a little more, worry a little less, do Tai-Chi a little more, and keep reading!

Speaking of reading, I have two books ready for publication this month. The first is the revised, expanded edition of Real Gold, my book about the teachings of Grandmaster Wai-lun Choi. It has many new articles, notes, photos, and a new biography with many new details about the master's life.The second is a re-release of my book I wrote for the late Grandmaster Gin Foon Mark on his style, Kwongsai Jook Lum Southern Praying Mantis kung-fu. You will find my books a both and Amazon. I'll provide an extensive info list at the end of this newsletter.

I'm also working on my pushing-hands book, a project that has on my mind for years. I have a rough draft and will keep you posted about its progress and publication.

A big THANK YOU to Fred and Leo Sparks, who cleaned out the Academy and stored lots of equipment for our next space!

Another THANK YOU, a really big one, to Julie Cisler! Julie is working on two books for me, a t-shirt, mails out the newsletter, sends out the videos, and keeps so many aspects of the Academy alive and well. I am so blessed to have her running things and keeping us all informed. Namaste!

And yet a third THANK YOU to Margo, Julie, and Jane for filming and sharing. I will finish the Small Heavenly Circle series, and do a few lessons on "Jailhouse" practices for Tai-Chi, Pa-Kua, Hsing-Yi, and weapons. Sword and Saber with names, a knife throwing tutorial, and a few more changes for Pa-Kua sword.

This month I am launching my Youtube page, Patreon page,and I'm now on Instagram. I'll be launching 9/9/2020. Look for an email as well as a few blogs as reminders. Covid19 has been a curse, and also a blessing in disguise. It gave me the chance to slow down from in-person classes, and get my online teaching up and running. When this passes, I will be again teaching all your favorite subjects, and lots of partner work, and will have my online lesson and materials as an addition to help you progress on your Tai-Chi journey.

Book suggestion= The Study of Bagua Sword by Sun Lutang trans by Franklin Fick

With my immersion into the world of cyber teaching, social media, and how to use a smart phone, I'd be lost without Matt B, Diane, Matt C, Bryan, Jane, Julie, Paul Gallagher! Thank you all for your help and patience!

I'm looking for a room (or couch) to stay at one night a week, near the cities. Let me know if you can put me up,or put up with me.

Each month, as your tuition checks, personal notes, and support comes to my house, I am humbled by your care, gratitude, manners, concern, appreciation, and generosity. I hope you will continue to support me and this amazing art. Patreon will make that a little easier. I just want to say that whether you are supporting me now or in the past, if you can continue or not, or at what capacity, I appreciate the energy, care, and love you have shown me. Thank you seems so small compared to the emotions I'm feeling right now, but it's what I have. Thank you. I bow from the waist...

-Sifu Ray

"Small minded people habitually reproach others for their own misfortunes. Average people reproach themselves. Those who are dedicated to a life of wisdom understand that the impulse to blame something or someone is foolishness, that there is nothing to be gained in blaming, whether it be others or oneself."


OK, here is a lot of contact info:

my phone (new)- 12183419894

address= 1721 Jefferson St, Duluth, MN 55812




facebook= Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy

                Ray Hayward Enterprises

Youtube= Ray Hayward, the Inspired Teacher

                 Mindful Motion Tai-Chi Academy

my books at Lulu=

my books on Amazon=

my Patreon page=

Instagram= Ray Hayward, or, ataoistsufitemplardruidviking

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Mid-month Check-in, August 2020

 "People are thrifty in guarding their private property, but as soon as it comes to wasting time, they are most extravagant with the one commodity for which it's respectable to be greedy."


I hope this check-in finds you and yours health, safe, and fed. We now have practices at East River Flats Park:

 Friday night -6-7:30

Saturday -9-11:30

And Mondays- 11:30-1:00 at Thomas Lowry Park with Julie Cisler

Come and practice outside, keeping socially apart and masking up at your discretion, and do Tai-Chi together by the river!

Check out the guest blog by Master Paul Gallagher, on studying with Master B.P. Chan. Master Chan was my first Hsing-Yi and Pa-Kua teacher.

I'm launching my Patreon page Sept 9th, that's only 28 days away!! To kick off my launch, I plan on having the 2nd edition of my book, Real Gold Does Not Fear The Fire, the Teachings of Grandmaster Wai-lun Choi, available for purchase. I'm also re-releasing the book I wrote with the late Grandmaster Gin Foon Mark about his style of kung-fu, Kwongsai Jook Lum Southern Praying Mantis. More later!

Speaking of books, check out my authors page on Amazon

Thank you Matt Barrett for all your help!

I'm making a new t-shirt and will take orders soon. In the Sept newsletter I'll unveil the new look and take orders. Stay tuned. I'm looking into hoodies and sweatshirts next.

Book suggestion= Art of Living by Epictetus,trans by Sharon Lebell  ( thank you Mark!)

FYI I have a new phone number, and a smart phone! 1-218-341-9894

Thank you all so much for your continued support. Your tuition and gifts are supporting me and my life. I will have lessons for you on my upcoming youtube page, and Julie will continue to send out newsletters, videos, and notices. I am adapting to new ways to teach and share. Some day we will get back to studying and practicing together, when it's safe. Feeling huge gratitude attitude towards my patrons!

In my vocation and role as a Sifu and teacher, I am called upon to not only teach, but give advise and guidance. I saw Master Liang listening, advising, counseling, and guiding students before and after class. I knew that was part of it, and as soon as I started teaching, I was also called upon to guide, help when I could, sometimes just listen, and to silently help bear burdens.  Well, I'm still in that role and with CoViD19, I'm hearing some sad stories. 

People are losing their jobs, some their sobriety, and some are losing their houses and homes. Families are under great stress, problems are multiplying, and the country and world are bearing huge loads of stress, worry, and tension. There is nothing I can do except this, ask you to be a little more patient with those around you. We don't know what burdens people are going through, and maybe their anger, bad manners, or temper is not really about you. 

I ask you to be more patient with yourself.  You really don't know what levels of stress, worry, fear, tension, and anger you are carrying, or working through.These are extraordinary times and we need extraordinary internal power to remain calm, patient, and centered. If you need to talk, or to be heard, or are feeling alone, I am here for you. Never forget that!

With every good wish for you and yours,


"What you aim at determines what you see."

-Jordan Peterson

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Guest Blogger, my big brother Master Paul Gallagher, enjoy!!!


How I Finally “Got” B.P. Chan’s Real Teaching

B.P. Chan was a remarkable and memorable teacher.  I was blessed to have private lessons in Bagua with him for 4 ½ years, which required my driving from Massachusetts to New York City every Sunday morning. I would rise at 4 AM, leave the house around 4:45, and arrive in NYC just before our scheduled class at 9 AM. Then, after my private class, I would stay at his studio for most of the day attending public classes in Bagua and T’ai Chi Ruler.

Chan was an extremely demanding teacher, correcting every little flaw in my form over and over until I “got it.” Initially, I studied with him for almost 2 years just to learn 8 moves!  Not the eight application palms which one often sees in videos or demonstrations, but eight inner cultivation palms in which I walked the circle for an hour holding each of eight static postures. Chan insisted I learn these thoroughly before I could start on the eight application palms.

Notwithstanding his strictness as a teacher, Chan was also a “warrior with heart.”  Years after I stopped formally studying with him, he would often call me late at night, usually around  1 AM just to ask how I was and how my life was going. He never failed to give me some invaluable training tips during those calls.  And he never failed to send me cards for Chinese New Year and other holidays. He was truly a “gentleman of the Tao.” There are a few anecdotes of my study with him here

But it wasn’t until many years after I had stopped formal study that I finally understood the real core of Chan’s teaching---at least for me.

This came about during a private coaching session with one of my prosperity mentors, Robert Kiyosaki. 

He was relating a story about his experiences in the US Marine Corps.  After graduation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kiyosaki joined the Marine Corps. He went to basic flight school training in Pensacola to become a helicopter pilot. After he got his wings, he was transferred to San Diego for his combat flight training.

Kiyosaki, now a newly commissioned Lieutenant with his shiny pilot’s wings was somewhat full of himself, as were his fellow flyers. But combat flight training was an entirely different experience from basic flight training. There Kiyosaki and his fellow fledgling flyers met their new flight instructor, Major Denny. Denny was a fanatical disciplinarian who would let no infraction or moment of carelessness go unnoticed or unpunished. Almost immediately all of his trainees hated him and called him numerous vile names behind his back. But on the very last day of flight school, just before they would be sent to Vietnam, he told the students that he was such an “evil SOB” because he saw his real task as "taking the Loser out” of his students.

He said, “in combat there is no 2nd place; You are either a winner, and you live to fight another day, or a Loser; and you are dead. There is no ‘consolation prize.’  That’s why my whole job here is to take the Loser out of you. I want to see you return after your combat tour is completed.”

 When I heard Kiyosaki's story I was reminded of a few of my experiences with Master Chan. Suddenly they took on a whole new meaning. 

Lesson #1

One Sunday, in the dead of winter I awoke with a terrible case of "flu."  I was nauseous and feverish with my body in total pain. Obviously, there was no way I could drive 4+ hours, and then take a grueling day of classes, followed by another 4+ hour drive home.  So I called the Master around 8:30, explained my devastated condition and apologized for missing my class. I thought I might get a few words of sympathy:  "take it easy , rest,  just take good care of yourself until you are better...."

To my amazement, he started reprimanding me for not practicing hard enough!  "If you really trained the way you were supposed to, you would never get sick. You have not been practicing hard enough.  Now get up and start training---and don't ever call me again to tell me you are sick!"  And the phone went....CLICK!  

Lesson #2  

I awoke at 4:15 AM. There had been a forecast of snow the previous evening, but no specific amount of snowfall had been announced. Now when I turned on the radio, the forecast was for a 14 inch snowfall in MA and CT. It would be quite impossible to drive the 225 miles through such a snow and over the hilly terrain of western New England to NYC.

So I again called Chan at 8:30 AM and told him I could not make it to my scheduled class. I was in a bit of trepidation after my previous call described above. This time I didn’t expect any kind words, but at least hoped he would understand my predicament and realize that there was a good reason for my canceling the session. 

            Instantly, he began upbraiding me:  “ You are supposed to be a martial artist. Are you going to be defeated by a little bit of snow? If you are a real and devoted student of the arts, you would let NOTHING stop you from reaching your goal.”   


These were the only times I ever missed a class with Master Chan.

             Lesson #3:

After taking morning classes and having a break of an hour or so, I would usually get back to the Master's studio toward the end of his noontime class to warm up a bit before the afternoon sessions

On this particular day, I was standing in the corner doing some warm-ups rather casually, and watching the final moments of the previous class. All of a sudden the Master came charging across the room with the eyes of a tiger, yelling at me and criticizing one of the moves in my warm up exercise. He demanded to know WHY I was doing it incorrectly.  I said, it was "just" a warm-up and I didn't think it was that important.

That really set the Master off..."EVERYTHING I teach you is important!  There is NOTHING I teach you that is unimportant. Do you understand??"  “Yes, sir,”  I mumbled... He went on, "Nothing in LIFE is unimportant. If you are a true martial artist, you will realize that EVERYTHING is important. Always remember that!"

And indeed, I have remembered to this day...


              Lesson #4:

My private lessons were grueling; the Master let no mistake go by unnoticed, and compelled me to practice the moves over and over again. There was no time or allowance for resting. One morning, after an hour of training, I was feeling exhausted and sweating profusely. The Master indicated that I could pause for a few moments.  A welcome relief, I thought.....

But, to my surprise, he came right in front of my face, looked into my eyes and said, "I will take your money, but I will never take your life."

I had no clue what he meant and just stood there.

He repeated what he had just said, a bit louder this time.  I still drew a complete blank and my face must have revealed my confusion. After a few tense moments he said, "I teach you only the very best that I know. I hold nothing back. I know that these techniques, if applied correctly, can save your life in an emergency. I will teach you only what is correct and what really works---that's why I will never teach anything that can 'take your life.' And you can only get it by practicing as intensely and honestly as I teach."

" Since I have a family to support, I will take your money for the classes."

Years after I had stopped studying formally with Chan I finally understood that the real core of his teaching was “taking the Loser out.”

Sunday, August 9, 2020

A Murder of Crows

A Murder of Crows
( seen or heard )
One crow ( or caw) for malice,
Two for mirth,
Three for a funeral,
Four for a birth.
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a story
That should never be told.
Eight for the Summer-lands,
Nine for Healing Hands,
Ten for the Goddess
Who blesses our lands.

I didn't write this. I merely reworked a few lines to fit my ideas and experiences of crows.