Monday, October 13, 2008

Beginner's Chinese

Because I live in an area that does not offer any formal training in Chinese language I have, over the years, bought many books to study on my own. Two books that I've picked up recently that I like a lot and would like to recommend to you are the Beginner's Chinese and Intermediate Chinese books by Yong Ho (published by Hippocrene Books, Inc.)
The first book, Beginner's Chinese, comes with two audio CD's. Each chapter starts with sentence patterns, such as saying hello (Ni3 hao3 [I've put numbers in for tone marks]), then a conversation,, vocabulary and supplementary words, language points, which are an explanation of the grammar, exercises, and finally a brief introduction to certain aspects of Chinese culture.
I think what I like most about the textbook is the Language Points and Exercise sections.
The Language Points give clear explanations of the grammar and examples of use - which I find extremely helpful. The exercises are very good too because they give answers to the questions - something that also is very helpful if you are studying on your own.

The book isn't perfect though. The type is too small for my liking but in the intermediate level book they have corrected this problem. Also, the CD's would be more helpful if they slowed down the pace. The spoken sentences or dialogues are too fast for a beginner. For its minor faults though I still highly recommend this book.

The second book, Intermediate Chinese, as mentioned, has corrected the problem of the small type. Its strengths though, lie in the clear explanations of grammar and usage. Other books explain grammar but for some reason Yong Ho does a better job. Over the years I have had several Chinese people tutor me but unfortunately they were not trained language teachers and did not explain the grammar to me so this book is very helpful. And as in the first book the exercises do have answers which is very helpful also. A CD also comes with this book but I still feel the conversations are too fast on it - at least for me at my level of learning.

Look for these books at your bookstore. Once again, they are:
Beginner's Chinese by Yong Ho (published by Hippocrene Books, Inc.)
Intermediate Chinese by Yong Ho (published by Hippocrene Books, Inc.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sifu Lew's Cloud Hand Workshop

Sifu Share K. Lew's Cloud Hand workshop had a warm reception in Redding. Even though there was only a short notice that Sifu Lew would give a workshop, the class was quickly filled. Some students came from as far as San Francisco, Red Bluff, and Weaverville to attend. Sifu Lew taught several workshops in Redding over 10 years ago when longtime students and friends, John and Janet Price hosted the seminars and introduced many of us to Sifu Lew's teachings.
Despite the outside temperature hovering at 102 degrees and the inside temperature about 90 degrees in the studio, Sifu Lew and his wife, Juanita, generously shared their knowledge with over 30 men and women who attended the workshop.
We all look forward to Sifu Lew and Juanita hopefully returning to Redding when the weather cools down and helping us refine what we have learned and teaching us more.

Top Right: Sifu Share K. Lew (center), Sifu John Price (right), Michel Czehatowski (left)

Below (left to right): Michel Czehatowski, Steve Lauderdale, Sifu Lew, Juanita Lew, John Garland.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cloud Hands workshop filled

Sifu Lew's Cloud Hands workshop now has the maximum 25 people signed up.
If you are still interested please contact us so we can get your name and contact info for future workshops and we can put you on a waiting list in case someone cannot make it this workshop.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sifu Lew Cloud Hands Workshop filling fast!

As of this date, we have 20 people signed up for Sifu Lew's Cloud Hands workshop. If you are interested in taking it please sign up as soon as possible. The class is limited to 25 people.
See previous posting for workshop details.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sifu Lew Cloud Hands Qi Gong Workshop

Sifu Lew Cloud Hands Qi Gong Workshop taught by Master Share K. Lew
will take place Sunday, August 24, 2008 in Redding, CA
The exercises that Master Lew teaches are part of the "internal system" of the martial arts, known as Nui Kung or energy cultivation. These exercises strengthen the circulation of the Chi (vital energy), which increases vitality, health, and sensory perception. All of these exercises have traditionally been kept secret. Daily practice of the exercises will give the student a tangible experience of Chi energy.
The Cloud Hands set is the beginning set of Nui Kung (internal energy cultivation) which builds a foundation for both better health and further Nui Kung. The Cloud Hands consist of five relatively non-strenuous movements along with quiet seated meditation. These Taosit exercises help the body maintain good health and increase vitality. The time required for practice will fit into anyone’s schedule.

The Instructor
Share K. Lew, now in his nineties, is a Taoist priest with over 70 years experience in the traditional Taoist arts. Master Lew received part of his education at Wong Lung Kwan, a Taoist monastery on the Luo Fo mountains near Canton, China.
Master Lew studied at Wong Lung Kwan monastery for 13 years. During that time he trained in the full range of Taoist healing and martial arts. At the core of his training was the secret system of cultivation known as Qigong (Chi kung). Master Lew was the first person to openly teach authentic Taoist Qigong to non-Chinese, beginning in Los Angeles in 1970. Master Lew’s monastery style, the Tao Ahn Pai (Taoist Elixir Style), dates back over 1300 years to Lu Dung Bin, who was born during the Tang Dynasty, and became one of the Eight Immortals of Taoism.
For information and reservations call (530) 223-4849 or email:
Date: Sunday, August 24, 2008
Time: 10:00 to 4:00 pm, with lunch break from 12-2:00 pm
Location: Redding Ju Jitsu Academy
3092 Bechelli Lane
Redding 96002 (behind Village Cycle)
Fee: $100

Reservations: Pre-registration is recommended. A deposit of $100 will reserve your space. Class size is limited.
• Bring a small pillow to sit on
• Make checks payable to Share K. Lew.
• You can sign up in advance at:
East Earth Trade Winds
144 Hartnell Avenue, Redding (in the Raley’s shopping center)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Beijing - the last stop

We left on Saturday morning from Shanghai on a flight to Beijing. Once in Beijing we had a two hour layover in the airport before heading home and we had time to explore the airport.
Top Right: On the tarmac at Beijing airport. Passengers disembark from the plane and then take a shuttle to the terminal. This airport is huge and is set up to handle the immense crowds they expect for the 2008 Olympics in August.
Top Left: View inside the Beijing Airport. When Hannah, my son, Seth, and I first landed in Beijing in 1998 the airport was just dull, gray, plain concrete. It is now a world class airport and probably one of the best in the world.
PS: This is the last entry of our Buddhist Mountain tour. You can read older posts by selecting "older posts" at the bottom of this page or you can click on the small black triangle next to "May" or "June" at your left to see any other entries.

Friday, June 6, 2008


We took the fastboat back to the mainland, followed by a two hour drive to Shanghai. Once in Shanghai we met up with some other friends at dinner, Susan Zhang and her husband David. I met Susan in the summer of 2007 when she taught an immersion class in Chinese language in Redding. Afterwards we took a stroll on the Bund and also in a shopping area.

Shanghai's crowds, traffic and lights were the total opposite of what we had experienced during the two weeks in remote mountainous areas of China but we enjoyed it just the same and it was nice to be able to finish the trip just the way we started - with friends.
Top Right: Right to Left: Hannah and Michel Czehatowski, Susan Zhang and her husband David.
Top Left: View across the river from the Bund.
Bottom Right: On the Bund. The skyscraper on the opposite side is like a huge television screen with commercials played out on the building.
Bottom Left: Mark Van Loan in a Shanghai shopping district.