Tribute to Li Ying, my Taoist Teacher

Frans StieneArticles, English 14 Comments


It is with sadness that I say goodbye to Li Ying, a real Taoist master. 

The first time I met Li Ying, in 1999, I felt a very strong connection with her, which deepened over the years when she started teaching me ancient Taoist practices.

The way she taught was amazing as each session was completely based on the moment. Sometimes we would just talk and discuss things, other times she would do Taoist healing on me, yet other times she would teach me old Taoist practice. Each session was also timeless, sometimes it was 10 minutes, sometimes 2 hours, it would all just depend on how she felt what was happening at the time. 

However I have always seen her teachings and healings as a way of deepening my Reiki practice. The first thing she would do, when we met, would just sit opposite me and look at my energy to see how I was doing with my Reiki practices. The way she looked was so deep that often I felt she could see my past, present, and future. After this she would decide what we would do.

One of the other interesting aspects was that during almost each session I had the most interesting experiences. Most of these are beyond words, as words do not do them justice. 

She taught me an ancient Taoist way of connecting to the dragon, which in turn helped me to go deeper with the Japanese forms of dragon practices. I still remember the second teachings in this, the room was quiet and suddenly it felt like the whole room was transformed, it seemed like the windows rattled with the amount of energy and swirling wind which came out of nowhere! As we practiced, it became stronger and stronger until finally, poof, it all disappeared, leaving an intense silence in its place. It took me weeks afterwards to assimilate what had happened that day.

She helped me to connect to the Sound of Heaven (Yu Zhou Ge). These teachings helped me to get so much more out of the mantra practices within the system of Reiki. These teachings are so beautiful that only a direct experience of the sounds can express it. 

She started to instruct me in Zi Ran Qi Gong (Natural Qi Gong – Zi means from/self, Ran means so-thus, or in other words that which is so of itself – it is a practice without the addition of anything) which helped me to become freer in all my other practices, more natural and free flowing.

After 10 years of practicing this form of Qi Gong she said: Frans I give you now permission to teach this, but I will not give you a certificate as they do here, because a certificate doesn’t prove anything. It needs to come from your energy and your mind, not a piece of paper.

After the first time I taught overseas, she asked me: Did you have fun?

I said: Yes, I went to see this museum etc..

She said: No, that is not what I asked, did you have fun in the class? This is very important. Be real, don’t pretend, be yourself, have fun, laugh. Many teachers start to become too serious and lose the flow of the universe, always remember this.

I learned so much from her, I will be forever grateful.

Li Ying has passed away, but now she is free, free to dance with the dragons.

Free to fly
Free to dance
Free to be
Merged with the eternal Tao
Her light shines forever 


The Chinese word for Reiki is Ling Chi

Ling-chi (spiritual energy). Ling-chi is the subtlest and most highly refined of all the energies in the human system and the product of the most advanced stages of practice, whereby the ordinary energies of the body are transformed into pure spiritual vitality. This type of highly refined energy enhances spiritual awareness, improves all cerebral functions, and constitutes the basic fuel for the highest level of spiritual work, such as gestating the ‘Spiritual Embryo (ling-tai) of immortality, attaining the enlightened state of mind and achieving the body of pure light known as the ‘Rainbow Body,’ which serves as a vehicle of entry into the astral realms of existence beyond the material world. ~ Daniel Reid ~ A Complete Guide to Chi Gung

As we can see from this quote and from the traditional perspective, Ling Chi is not easily accessed. We need to practice and work hard to transform our ordinary energy into Ling Chi. This is, of course, also the traditional Japanese way within the System of Reiki. A few attunements/reiju/initiations are not enough to do this, it is a life long practice. And therefore we all still need teachers. Li Ying was one of my teachers for 14 years and I hope to work with my others teachers for the rest of my life.

Comments 14

  1. Avatar of seema

    Hi Frans ,
    This is a heart felt emotional tribute !..every word is soaked with love, respect and admiration you have for your teacher. You have summerized your 14 years of learning , her wisdom and teachings in this on how one needs to practice, what it means to be a teacher , what it means to practice Reiki from spritual perspective. What are the qualities of a true master , a dedicated student is…how one needs to have a teacher throughout their life get deeper in their practice and why few attunements doesn’t do any thing ..It’s a life long path of personal practice, energy and mind…
    I feel so great ful and fortunate to have you as my teacher , who has these great masters as teachers and who continue to learn and deepen his practice and share with his students . The short time I have known you I see all the above qualities manifested in you . Yes, she is free to dance with universe…my eyes are moist …as I see her through you…!

  2. Avatar of Zeynep
  3. Avatar of Elly
  4. Avatar of Kris Azzarello

    A beautiful tribute from one teacher/student to another.  She is always present in the teachings, both yours and hers.

  5. Avatar of Joe

    “…Li Ying was one of my teachers for 14 years and I hope to work with my others teachers for the rest of my life.”

    ME TOO!

  6. Avatar of Alice Risemberg ~ Reiki Pulse

    Frans, thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. Through you, I feel honored to be a tiny part of her lineage of teaching.

    “Free to be merged with the eternal Tao.” Yes, exquisite.

    May the depth of connection and joyful play in your classes and life be a living legacy to Li Ying.

    Much love as you continue to say goodbye to this special teacher who clearly was an indescribably large and loving influence in your life.


  7. Avatar of Liesl
  8. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,
    Thank you for your beautiful notes, it touches me deeply.

    Just received a hand written letter from Li Ying in the post, which I wanted to share with you.

    “Dear Frans, Bronwen and Bella,

    Dream what you want to dream,
    Go where you want to go,
    and be who you want to be.
    You have the great force guide you,
    watches over you.
    Everything you do, everywhere you go.”


  9. Avatar of Liesl
  10. Avatar of seema
  11. Avatar of Paula Michal-Johnson
  12. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  13. Avatar of seema

    Hi Frans,
    Thanks you sharing .

    It said that Li Ying passed away in her sleep.
    Growing up I used to hear people who pass away in sleep have very peaceful transition.

    I see that she was/is a dear friend to her students and had made a lasting impact on them to shape their lives.

  14. Avatar of Late Latino

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