A testimony to the Qigong Master Geoff Pike. And how Geoff Pike taught my 2 year old how to do the Eight pieces of Brocade…
In Celebration of Geoff Pike
Geoff Pike is one of most influential qigong practitioners and authors in my life. I have never met him, but his two books ‘Ch’i: The Power Within‘ and ‘The Power of Ch’i‘ are two of the most interesting and honest accounts of qigong I have come across.
I have learnt a lot from his writings. I first chanced across an old copy of one of his books in a second-hand English bookshop in Tokyo. After flicking through a few pages, I knew I had to buy it. I have had a copy ever since.
Geoff’s books are up there along with master Lam’s ‘The Way of Energy‘ as some of the best and simplest qigong books around.
Pa Tuan Tsin videos on YouTube
Out of curiosity, I typed his name into YouTube to see what came up. Fortunately his Pa Tuan Tsin videos, showing his variation of the Eight pieces of Brocade are preserved there for people to benefit from in the future. They are short and simple and get straight to the practice, with no unnecessary talking. You could easily put them on every day for 20 minutes and practice along.
Here is one the videos. The rest can be found on this playlist.
I couldn’t help but be impressed by Geoff’s physique. He had just turned 50 at the time of making these videos, and not long before had recovered from cancer of the larynx using a combination of radiotherapy, daily qigong practice and a ‘quota of guinness’ You can read about this experience in his book ‘ The Power of Ch’i‘.
Teaching my son Qigong
I was watching his videos by streaming YouTube through our TV set. And then suddenly, my 2-year-old son starting repeating some of the movements. He raised his arms to lift the qi to the sky and then brought them back down to the dantian. It was an interesting sight to see.
I know that these days, toddlers seem to be tech-savvy and know how to use smartphones and tablets. My son does too. But practicing qigong? I mean, it took me 25 years before I learnt qigong, yet my son started at 2 years old.
Easy to follow
It also goes to show how simple and easy to follow Geoff’s exercises are. Because if a 2 year can follow, then adults can to.
And in fact, after my son started practicing the Pa Taun Tsin exercises, my wife started following the movements too. She doesn’t even have much interest in qigong.
It was a curious thing to see my son and wife in synch practicing Geoff’s qigong lesson.
Tribute to Geoff Pike
This is also a blog post to celebrate the life of Geoff Pike. I believe he may have passed away this year in March, 2018.
Earlier this year, I visited his website, whilst researching another piece of writing work. He also goes under the name of Pai Kit Fai. His website was active then.
However, when I recently looked for it, it was gone. This is always an onimous sign and shows the transitory nature of the internet. At some point, my website will be gone too and all of my work.
However, there is nothing else about him on the internet so I cannot confirm for sure if he has passed, short of contacting his family, which would be inappropriate. However, he was 89 years, which is a pretty ripe age to get to, so it should not be too much of a surprise.
Jack of many trades
Just to add, Geoff Pike had a variety of occupations in his life, from deckboy in the British navy, Sergeant in the British army, lumberjack, cartoonist, advertising executive, author and qigong practitioner. The twitter memorial doesn’t fully list all his occupations and experiences. I am sure he did much more.
Following your heart
In some ways I am jealous. It seems to me, he knew what he wanted to do early in life. He had a desire to practice his creativity and work at it, so he did that by becoming a cartoonist and author. Apparently, he was drawing and writing from an early age, so he was in touch with his creative side. It strikes me that Geoff followed his heart, even when he did work that seemed to take him away from that. He did not look like a sensitive type, but I wonder if he may well have been.
In my life, it is only recently, that I have unlocked that desire and to start following my heart. I would have liked to have unleashed it fully much earlier, maybe even started earlier at making a living from it. This is not to say, I don’t appreciate what I have done already. It is just that there has always been this creative side of me screaming to fully indulge it. Let me out!
I wonder if any readers have felt the same way?
If Geoff has passed, I believe his work will continue to reach many people. I also believe, his videos and books will continue to teach and guide new generations of budding qigong students in the generations to come.
Unfortunately, his books are out of print, but it is possible to pick up second-hand copies. I would highly recommend that you check out these books.
These books are not just for people interested in Qigong. They have lots of pragmatic advice and common-sense ideas about fitness and health in general. Yet it is amazing how many people do not know or apply these lessons in life.
Also his life was truly fascinating and it is worth checking out his books just to read about his experiences.
By the way, if any reader has a copy of one of his (out of print /out of stock) books – ‘The Power is You‘, I would really like to read a copy.
This is one of the problems with copyright. Out-of-prints books by old masters disappear. Yet in this era of PDFs, eBooks and the internet, it is really quite ridiculous that this occurs.
For example, if there were no copyright issues, his books could be formatted into Kindle versions and made available. I could do it in a week if I had the file and permission. The digital Millennial generation are going to be a large consumer of Kindle material than printed. And as for the generation after that, who knows? So his books need to be updated and re-released.
Lost in copyright
But because these books sit behind copyright, they become lost. The book I mentioned above – ‘The Power of You’ is one good example. There are probably a few copies on some dusty bookshelf somewhere, but what a waste. No doubt it took the author and editor a lot of work to publish it. So why throw that away?
I would love the chance to turn it into a PDF or eBook and make it available for free, just so a new generation of readers could read and be inspired by his work.
An open offer
So perhaps, if a family member of Geoff Pike ever reads this blog, why not take me up on my offer. I’ll turn it into a kindle book and any proceeds will be donated to a charity of your choice. Or I can make it a PDF document, and make it available for free on the internet. The latter, would be the easiest and quickest option and would reach more people.
To conclude, I would like to show my respects for a true qigong master with an interesting life to boot.
Image of Geoffrey Pike. From The Power of Ch’i. Outlet 1981.
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