Tai Chi, Chi Gung, Presence Groups and Sessions

Servan has run small and medium sized companies at the CEO and Chairman level for more than 25 years. During that time, leading over a thousand meetings, he developed a dynamic group process approach to project team development. Apart from his corporate career Servan has extensive experience with other forms of group work, presence practices and meditation, he is a long term student and teacher of Taoist arts.


Servan currently runs a small high tec software company, teaches tai chi and chigung, runs groups to develop and explore our authentic presence in the world, as well as coaching on a personal and executive level. His goal is to support optimal health through techniques to enable freedom of expression in our bodies, our words and our actions both in our relationships and our creative actions in the world.


Chi Gung  and Tai Chi

These classes focus on getting into your body and building up your chi. You will get a good grounding in chi gung principals and head toward integrating these into the Wu Tai Chi Short Form.

Testimonials

"Servan doesn't just talk the talk, he truly walks his walk, and in learning from him I have benefited greatly from his deep understanding not just of the forms and practice of Chi Gong/Tai Chi, but of the embodied philosophy that underpins this wonderful art. I thoroughly recommend him as a teacher to anyone who wishes to go deeply into their being."     Hud

"I have been learning chi gung and tai chi from Servan for about 3 years after having done many years of yoga practise (including teaching it for a couple of years). Servan has a highly developed facility to feel blockages in the body or the chi and tailors his teaching to the individual and what he feels they need. I was quickly able to develop the capacity to feel inside my own body and begin to release deeply ingrained patterns and blockages, that many years of yoga had not been able to open up. His sensitivity and care as a teacher provide a space where the emotions that are connected to these blockages can be felt rather than hidden or suppressed.  He has a great enthusiasm for the transformative power of these chi practises, and for anyone interested in their own inner transformation I highly recommend him as a teacher. "    Clare


Group and Interactive Work


Testimonials
"I have found Servan to be the perfect combination of intuitive and pragmatic, able to draw upon his vast and varied experience. As a programmer and physicist, his mental acumen applied in this realm is both unique and grounded, providing tangible breakthroughs that many practitioners might work years for. His observations lead you to question your patterns or thoughts, and arrive at your own conclusions for healing or transformation." Lisa

"As a practicing hypnotherapist, I love to learn new things for healing for myself and for others. I have tried many different avenues, some were great, others were so-so. Working with Servan helped me release so much pent up emotions that I feel much much freer, I am grateful he was able to work with me, I have learnt so much from him." Rebecca





My Training History

Here's a very rough draft of 'My Personal Journey Learning' about this stuff... I have not had the time to go through and edit it at all yet.

Here are some videos from a practice session.

Early Years

During university studying pure physics, I started training in Wing Chun Kung Fu, at the age of 18. I practised intensely for 4 years (it was based under Wong Shun Leung lineage).

After this i took a break for a good few years and lost touch with my body. I was both playing in a band touring the country and spending all the rest of my time programming and running a business. (this is the period  that I created Reality Lab then Direct3D at Microsoft)

The big shift for me came once I left Microsoft and  i picked up training again at 27-28.

I came from a very technical perspective, I felt I had understood computers from the ground up, I wanted a new challenge and I decided to go inward to discover myself. I know that would be far harder and far more complex than any computer situation I had come across.

I had been programming intensely, up to 16 hours a day, since the age of 11, starting with electronics at 7. I knew how circuits worked all the way through chip design and many aspects of programming and computer languages. My brain was high functioning but I interacted in a dyslexic and antisocial way as I was physically and emotionally shut down but underneath very over sensitive.

I decided to take a multi pronged approach I would look at the western mind and psyc stuff and also investigate the eastern traditions.

I soon realized the western stuff was a dead end (similar to experiences I had with Physics the area of the self seemed even more stagnant in the western academic world)

Yoga
I became pretty serious student of Iyengar yoga mainly under Alaric Newcombe  (who I would recommend to anyone interested in developing a really a solid grounding in Asana) and Astanga yoga for around ten years. I also studied various forms of pranayama but found few teachers who i felt had a grasp on it.

It is my view that Yoga is a lost art in the west, it is mainly taught and understood as a form of physical exercise or just the 'Asana'. Asana is one part of eight limbs of yoga which comprise Hatha Yoga as a complete system for transforming the being of a human.

I had developed a decent Asana practice and some Pranayama, but I wanted to go deeper into the whole system the remaining limbs were Pranyam (breath control), Pratyhara (inward directing of the senses) Dharana (concentration, i call the art of returning), dhyana (continued awareness), and samadhi (integrative meditation into the non dual)

Tuning up my Wing Chun
During my early thirties I also did another four years of Wing Chun, learning privately and in classes with Sifu Tam Yiu Ming ( Leung Ting Lineage). Now I train with Stephen Gerrard at the dragon hall in London.


Early Meditation/Shamanic experiences
My early meditation practices were more based on developing what I guess you could call psychic awareness or interdimentional skills as well as doing a whole bunch of healing work on myself. I learnt mostly in the shamanic tradition which involves a lot of visualization. I was not yet very 'in my body' but I certainly learnt a lot from the experiences which included trips to the Peruvian Amazon to discover traditional ceremonial journeys with Ayahuasca and San Pedro. I also pursued a 4 year intensive period of past life regression work, often sessions would go on for between 3 to four hours at a time, it was challenging stuff to face.. who wants to deal with something they took to the grave another time around.

I would now not call much of the stuff I did in this period meditation. I think journeying and visualization is  more appropriate.

Meditation

After 34, my core practice was moving more and more towards the Water Method of daoism. I had already been learning from the lineage holder Bruce Frantzis for a few years, and as I progressed deeper into the water method it became clear I had access to information that was more complete and in depth than other alternatives I could access at that time.

My meditation practice moved solely to the water method. Using this daoist system as my framework, over the coming years i was able to integrate all my other practices into a single continuum focussed around the 16 part taoist nei gung system, and centred everything on further developing my meditation practice.





Martial Arts

As I had many years of external martial art experience from Wing Chun training, I was not so interested in the combat aspects of Ba Gua and Tai Chi. My goal was to first learn them from the inside out, my aim being to discover their chi development and meditation aspects. I felt the martial aspects were simply a useful by-product, but not my main goal.

I got into Ba Gua at 32 with Luo Dexiu's Gao Style Pre-Heaven Bagua. As I was mainly interested from a meditation and chi development perspective, I focused on stabilising my circle walking training and the single palm change.

I trained in Tai Chi from my early thirties both from the wudang style of Dan Docherty's Practical Tai Chi Chuan school, and with Bruce Frantzis. Again I mostly focused on the chi development and meditation aspects and picked up some martial applications along the way.

In the Bruce Frantzis Energy Arts system I am a certified Tai Chi instructor as well as a 'Longevity Breathing Instructor'  Bruce has also given a small group of us a provisional certification to teach Taoist Presence Practices. This is the stuff I am most into teaching, it incorporates and extends the breathing and chi work into building the full foundations for Taoist meditation.


Meditation

As both my meditation and body awareness began to stabilize  I began to look for more experiences that could give me material for meditation. In myself I had become aware of two meditation stages. 1. The ability to 'stabilize' under 'laboratory conditions' (sitting meditation). 2. The ability to start becoming stable in life (or more random conditions).

I started feeling comfortable with the 1st stage once no matter what level of emotional experiences were happen I felt safe enough with my practice to know that if I just sit, I could settle in and become stable with the storm, and from here move through or ideally penetrate and clear the blockages arising. Stabilizing this stage for me was a massive step, I was simply feeling safe with myself. Something I only then realized I had not had much experienced with, ever before, and that maybe some people never do.

I like to use a stricter definition of meditation. Often I have seen calming, breathing, centering or presence practices that help you relax and be present being called meditation. But I prefer to understand these to be only the groundwork for meditation to take place upon. Meditation to me means the ability to enter and transform blocked and fixated places in the body-mind, to get beyond them never to return to those places as they have gone.  Relaxation is great, but you know the trigger can agitate you again, removing what gets triggered for good, in systematic way that can be lent and transferred as a skill, is meditation.

As this stage began to become solid in my day to day life experience, a second stage started to emerge.

I became more interested in how to bring more stuff up, as once i was stable in clearing, meditation became more about how to access more, to work with. Also through this process I felt I gained a deeper understanding of the context of some traditional meditation techniques. These can be hard to understand from a western perspective, as most never even develop the stability stage, so the practice just looks crazy.

I went deeper into both internal and external techniques to 'bring up' or access new content inside me. Once you have access to 'content' you can apply your meditation to that 'content' and release it. There are internal and external methods. Internal techniques to access 'stuff' are applied in sitting or moving practices, external practices are more to do with how you interact with and 'meet' the world to get access to the content, which you can then apply your meditation practice to.

Group Work
Life can give you plenty of access in this way if you start opening up to it with this positive mindset. In particular I discovered group work and interactive practices as an ideal place to further develop and refine these skills. Interactive and group work is the bridge between sitting or moving meditation and the real world, it is where you can start applying what you have learned in solo practice in less controlled more dynamic conditions.

I still run groups and I find them an incredible forum for training many internal practices in an interactive and dynamic way. It can also be a lot of fun.

Spontaneous Truth
One particular practice I have found incredibly useful is based around 'Spontaneity'. If you get even the smallest sense you are holding back with something, you 'put it out' before you bury it, especially if its something embarrassing that you would rather hide. Once its out and visible to others you now have full access to the emotional charges around that thing (the content) and you can deal with them with your practice. (you cant bury it again (the content), people saw you and you have the live reflection in your face, this is an example of great 'access') Its also one of the reasons I write this blog, as my practice to put out whatever appears in me if there is some juice around it so to speak.

This practice can confuse people, sometimes you do end up doing quite the opposite of what is conventional or accepted. But it certainly helps to clear a path to discovering what is more 'natural'. Loosing the charges in life around should and should not, right and wrong and getting OK with the meaninglessness of things certainly has helped me be ok with what is happening right now.

The tools for developing and grounding a real freedom in the present moment - whatever is going on in the external world. This is what meditation means to me now.