In December 2000, after a couple of Cornell degrees and a 25-year career in hotel and restaurant consulting, my life changed in an instant. A malignant brain tumor made its presence known in the form of a massive seizure.
Sometimes a door opens when another one closes. A team of remarkable physicians, healers, friends and family—and a good deal of plain luck—combined to restore my good health.
Early in the process of recovery, an almost-offhand comment about qigong (“This might help you.”) led me to the qigong for cancer survivors class at UCLA’s Simms/Mann Center for Integrative Oncology, taught at the time by Master Wen Mei Yu. When Master Yu retired in 2006, her replacement was Grand Master Tang-Wei Zhong, without whom (as Master Tang says about HIS teacher) I would have “spent the rest of my life chasing my shadow.”
For the last 15 years, I’ve been leading qigong classes for Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, Cancer Support Community Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Tower Cancer Research Foundation, and weSpark Cancer Support Center.
I currently lead a daily online Zoom qigong class in Master Tang’s form from the home I share with my wife, Kim Baer, in Santa Monica. “Daily” means daily.
I have a long-time meditation practice heavily influenced by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Norman Fischer, Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Tara Brach. When not doing qigong, I’m reading about mindfulness and neuroscience, watching anything with Phoebe Waller-Bridge attached to it, and gardening and cooking up a storm.