I am a native Staten Islander who spent many years living abroad and recently returned to my birthplace. The painting of Sailors' Snug Harbor above was made by my grandfather, Otto Looft, in 1962. Now officially Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, this beautiful environment has always been one of my power places on the earth, lovely to visit in every season, for many reasons. How grateful I am now to offer Zhineng Qigong classes here, in one of Building G's renovated dance studios with its tall arched windows, natural light flooding in and polished wooden floors!
My first significant introduction to Eastern Arts was in the 1980's with Sensei Gerald Orange and his "Orange Sun Inner Light System." We trained outdoors year round, in New York's Central Park - Goju Karate and Taijiquan - learning about life, respect for ourselves and others, and self defense. "Should I be forced to defend myself, then these are my weapons, my empty hands." Thus began every training session. Sensei instilled "tysabaki" in us - if you see trouble coming, get out of the way (the best defense)! Sensei continues his teachings in Central Park, full of love, light and inspiration.
Some years later I was living in Greece when Zhineng Qigong came to me through Teachers Genevieve Tsobanoglou and Xi Xiaofeng. From the very first class at the seaside I experienced deep changes in my psyche, powerful challenges to my physical strength and stamina, emotional release and rebalancing. Training in Greece led to extensive teacher training with the Daohearts group in the Qingcheng Mountains of China's Sichuan Province, and eventually back to the USA, coming full circle to share this incredible practice for which I have the deepest love and respect. Now Zhineng Qigong is a way of life for me. Indeed, all of life is practice. With immense gratitude to my many life teachers for sharing from their hearts with all of their students, for encouraging us to go forward on our paths, we continue to learn together, for the benefit of all.
I am fortunate to have been raised by exceptional first teachers, my parents, who loved and supported me non-judgementally through my 'unconventional' choices. I live next door to my dear mom now, and we continue to help one another, every day. Though my father has moved on from this life, his love lives in my heart and his reminders to "Carpe Diem," reverberate in my mind. Extended family, old and new friends, our whole qi family, everyone, every animal, tree, flower, sunset, moonrise, starshine, is a precious teacher. Most especially my dear husband, George T. Rozos, who made his transition from this earth after a lifetime of influencing thousands of university students to - "Find what you love, and do it." Yes, love, thank you for that, and for your own sweet love, support and encouragement during our many years together on earth. Do what you love, people. And may ALL beings live with love - my most heartfelt wish.