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Eulogy for Simu Min Ou-Yang
by John Cole

As a student of Simu Min Ou-Yang, I am here to Thank her and to Honor her.

Simu has been an important part of my life for the last 22 years. Although we will all miss her dearly Simu would not want us to feel sad, but rather to celebrate her life.

While we are honoring Simu today - I am also thankful for the love of her family. Your love and care insured Simu’s continued teaching. When other teachers would have retired many years earlier, Simu was able to provide more years of benefit to those around her, than anyone I have every known. Mimi, Bebe, Shao Hong, Yun Yun, and Pei-Lin, ~ thank you for all your love.

I have always admired the steel in Simu’s resolve. When Professor Yu Pen Si went home, Simu was left in the United States, past retirement age. Many of the martial art masters who were studying with Professor Yu left, not wanting to study with a woman teacher. She bravely redefined herself and accomplished what very few could. She improved the lives of her many students while earning a good living and bringing her daughters here to the United States.

Simu dedicated her life to helping us find quality in our own lives. She accomplished more than any individual I have ever known. Her greatest gift to her students was to help them attain Tong Qi.

For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of Tong Qi, I’ll digress for a moment. In Qi cultivation Tong Qi is a benchmark of development that very few in the world ever attain.  After the student invests years of diligent practice, Simu, with a great investment of her own personal qi, helped over 40 people attain Tong Qi - a state where the Qi penetrates the entire body. Simu also said that Tong Qi is really the beginning of Qi Gong practice.

When Simu would visit Shen Hua, the abbott of Ten Thousand Buddhas, they would first exchange red envelopes and then the Abbot would invite Simu to sit beside him. They would often speak of each others health. Shen Hua would tell Simu to stop helping people attain Tong Qi, because of the toll it had on her health. And Simu would tell Shen Hua, he needed to exercise more to improve his health.

One day while they were talking the abbot’s disciple asked me how I happened to be there. I replied that Simu had arranged it. The disciple speaking about Simu said, “It is great to be with an enlightened being.” I couldn’t agree more!

Simu persistently taught, extolling quality. Simu knew we spend our lives acquiring knowledge, experience and hopefully wisdom. When we are ready, each one of us at our own individual pace, according to our wishes, will progress to the next level of awareness. Some people will progress further than others, depending on persistent diligent practice, interest, and ability.

Simu encouraged each student to aggressively train, but she applied no yardstick to the achievement of learning. She did insist that her students continue to achieve higher levels of understanding and knowledge. Simu did everything with love.

Simu accomplished all this with a sharp wit, a great sense of humor, and a contagious laugh that would start with a “ha” and a giggle that would shake her to her toes, with her feet kicking like a small child, experiencing the thrill of laughter throughout her entire being.

She threw me on several occasions and I would find myself in a no-hands headstand waving my arm frantically and trying to get down. Simu would start laughing with tears in her eyes shaking and giggling, and finally relaxing her qi concentration so I was able to get down.

This sense of humor extended into lunches after class. Simu, enjoyed getting out. Sharmon, Dick, Joana and I would often be sitting around a table with Simu. Sometimes we would be at the all-you-can-eat Sizzler. Simu was always one to get her moneys worth and would sometimes fill her plate 5 times. I, on the other hand would attempt to eat just a little. Simu would then say, “John, eat more”, or say, “You have to help me”. Then she would start moving food from her plate to mine, with a straight and serious face. She would then start giggling as she enjoyed my predicament of a student who should not deny his teacher’s request for help.

Simu always used what was available to bring home a lesson. She would say that for a new student you cannot say enough or answer enough questions. For the old student - just a word or a look is enough.

One day, after an exceptional class, we were again at a restaurant and I was very hungry and in what seemed to be a hyper state of awareness. I was so hungry that I was almost drooling with anticipation. The colors were vivid, bright, and abundant. The aromas heavy, and bursting with flavor. I was ready for food as the waitress placed the meal in front of me.

Simu stunned me by saying, “Meditate”.

I looked at the food and said to myself, “Alright, I can do this”, and immediately focused on meditating, and was gone. It seemed like just a moment later that Simu called me out of the meditation. I looked around and saw where I was with the food in front of me, without any sense of hunger. Her smile said it all.

Another lesson learned!

She achieved longevity by continuing to practice her Qi Gong. She wants us to follow her example.

Simu, you have accomplished immortality by living on in the hearts and minds of your family and students. When we meet later for a meal, and swap stories, the legend of Simu will continue.

I know Simu will be looking over my shoulder, encouraging me “one more time”.

Thank you, Simu – from ALL of your students.

August 18, 2007