VOICE AMERICA BIOGRAPHIES
VOICE AMERICA HOSTS
Jackie Blunt, Kathy Fogarty and Bill McMillan
The three of us are very different and, although we all have professional careers (Kathy as a Naturopath, Jackie as an M.D., Bill as a Marriage and Family Therapist), our real expertise is simply as human beings whose lives have been immeasurably improved by Ren Xue.
For us, and many others, Ren Xue has been a path to a more meaningful life, greater health and happiness and an enhanced sense of harmony and wellbeing. Along the way, physical ailments have disappeared or greatly improved, and our relationships with others have changed.
So through this show, we wanted to share with you our experiences, and those of others, to introduce you to Ren Xue: the theories supporting it and the practical aspects to getting started.
VOICE AMERICA GUESTS
I am a holistic therapist in Ireland, and only really found my calling to this type of career when I found myself. I had traveled all over the world for many years seeking excitement and new experiences, but when I was introduced to the teachings of Ren Xue I soon discovered that my greatest adventure would be to explore the world inside.
Ren Xue has given me the tools to empower myself and take real control of my health and my life. I have experienced monumental changes and improvements in the health of my physical body, energetic body, emotional body and more fundamentally, the consciousness.
And through this process of self-exploration and getting to know myself better, my life has transformed from ‘Life in the Fast Lane’ to ‘Cruise Control’. Life has become simpler, full of contentment and joy.
Ollie Clifton & Vanessa Lukes
Ollie Clifton is a project manager, a Ren Xue and Yuan Gong teacher, an ex-mountaineer and a tiny house enthusiast. He was active, healthy and very happy with life prior to Ren Xue, and has found that the practice is making his life even better.
Vanessa Lukes is a Ren Xue and Yuan Gong teacher who has experienced the full benefits of the practice through her recovery from cancer. She loves living simply and can often be found gardening or experimenting with alternative do-it-yourself energy ideas at home.
Ollie and Vanessa live in a tiny house in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Bill is a retired Marriage and Family counselor with over twenty-five years working with adolescents, families, end of life issues, trauma and military veterans and their families.
He is a Level II trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing for trauma (EMDR)
Practitioner, has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to the public and in
high school, was a school counselor for several years, and was co-founder of The Welcome Home Project, a program for returning veterans and their families.
For the past five years, he has immersed himself in Yuan Gong Qigong and teaches classes in the San Francisco Bay Area to the general public. He has also started a program to teach qigong to Cancer survivors, their families and caregivers.
Diana has practiced and taught Yuan Tze’s Yuan Gong and Ren Xue methods
since 2009. She had studied various other Qigongs for 12 years before that. She has
taught various forms of social and individual healing since 1975. She was empowered
as a meditation teacher through Spirit Rock Meditation Center; is a Nonviolent
Communication (NVC) trainer; and was the founding Director of Buddhist Peace
Fellowship’s Prison Program, where she worked for 8 years.
Dorrie van Roij-Houtappels
Dorrie is a holistic lifestyle coach, and does healing work and animal communication. She
has a passion for helping clients find peace, and feel complete and safe within. Knowing that no
single approach is right for an individual, Dorrie has trained in many areas such as teaching sports, self-defense, therapeutic massage, family constellation, reconnective healing, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Reiki, Zen, Tai Chi and Kempo. This has enabled her to work effectively with individuals, and to teach Yuan Gong, Ren Xue and Yuan Ming Medicine.
I am an osteopath with over ten years experience, and a Ren Xue and Yuan Gong Qigong teacher in Melbourne, Australia. During my high school years I was very active playing most sports, and thought this was a healthy way to be and live. In my 30’s I started to realize that maybe I wasn’t as healthy as I should be. My body was tired with many old injuries, my mind was overactive, I was stressed and getting sick often, and my sleep was not good at all.
When I started Ren Xue and Qigong it totally changed the way I looked at life, my behavior, and the way I lived. This was a total transformation of sorts for me, and exactly what was needed in my life. Today I bring this experience and knowledge to the people that come to me for help, passing on to them what may benefit and help them to find better health and happiness within themselves.
While I was born in Los Angeles, California, and currently call the San Francisco Bay Area home, I have traveled the world far and wide enjoying the beauty and diversity of faraway places. For seven years, I lived in Rome, Italy where I had a stained glass studio and became a connoisseur of fine pistachio gelato. I’ve owned a retail clothing store in LA, been a realtor in Arizona and prior to teaching Yuan Gong Qigong, taught yoga. I could say that I have always been a seeker. By the time I encountered Ren Xue and Yuan Gong, I had had so many varied life experiences and occupations that I was beginning to feel like a cat that was on the last of its nine lives.
When I found Ren Xue, I felt like I had finally come home. The path of Ren Xue has led me through enormous transformation that continues today. My personal growth and development is supported by teaching Yuan Gong, attending Ren Xue teacher trainings and global retreats, as well as continuing to pursue my creative side, which now includes photography.
Dr. Mark Libow
Mark is a retired cardiologist from Boca Raton, Florida. He also has training in integrative holistic medicine, herbal medicine and acupuncture. He practices and teaches meditation, and is a certified Ren Xue / Yuan Gong teacher. He is currently writing a book on stress and meditation to address the dangerously high levels of stress seen in the medical profession and offer solutions.
Helen has been rubbing up close to death, dying, and all things vulnerable since she was very young. Her whole life she has tended to hurt animals, birds and humans. Having had some significant losses in her teens, she experienced the lack of understanding, education and support relating to dying and grief in our culture. Determined to embrace this unavoidable part of life she became a Hospice Nurse, providing care, advocacy and education for those who are dying, and has been working in that capacity for 25 years.
Death is often seen solely as a medical event. This view does not allow for the possibilities for
growth, deepening and transformation, for both the dying person and their loved ones, which are available at the end of life. Helen is committed to broadening the conversation about death and dying with her patients and the community.
Helen is a graduate of the Metta Institute End of Life Practitioner Program and a Ren Xue teacher. She lives in Oakland, CA.
I had spent most of my life contemplating the nature of love and consciousness, and couldn’t get very excited about worldly success, so I went to various teachers and then ‘went bush’ with Manfred. It was a privilege to be held by the nature and love of a good man in the state of love. Then I had a baby girl, Maniana, and the picture changed because of fatigue.
Ren Xue has totally renovated and refreshed my quest for love and consciousness, and I apply the elusive laws of the universe on a daily basis to my ordinary, but very privileged life.
Being raised in a rather dysfunctional family, my life’s focus was on finding peaceful, functional relationships. Whether in my family relationships with Ana for the past 26 years and our daughter Maniana who is now 20, or in my relationships with the world at large, Ren Xue has made a difference in helping me move from Chaos to Calm in every aspect of my life!
As I am working with a lot of people from all walks of life and internationally as their Wellness Mentor (www.TheWellnessMentor.com) it is so helpful to draw on the Ren Xue teachings of Yuan Tze combining the ancient Chinese Wisdom Teachings with today’s Western lifestyles. I am helping people get their life in balance on all levels, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually as well as financially and socially; so not only has it made a big difference in my life and my family life, but it has also helped me help thousands of people, and with that, the future generations.
A familiar question looming in my head is ‘But why’? It could be in response to my own situation,
someone else’s or just the way life goes in general. Studying Ren Xue has offered a set of tools
to explore this question with a greater sense of stability and clarity - especially understanding my own self better and how to relate to the rest of the world. With more understanding, my
relationships to myself and others have improved and my appreciation for life has expanded.
Sharing this with others is a big cherry on top!
My background is in International Studies, I’ve taught English in Thailand and worked at a
software company before finding my home teaching Ren Xue at a center in Seattle, called Ren
Xue Northwest: Uplift Yourself. I work with a wonderful group of teachers, including my husband.
Natalie lives in Nelson, New Zealand with her husband and two daughters, aged 13 and 15. Natalie started her path with Ren Xue and Qigong 10 years ago and has found that
the real learning is in the integration of the teachings into her daily life. Natalie works from
her home-run centre “Heart Wisdom” where she teaches Qigong, and does individual
healing and life cultivation sessions. She is also involved in running retreats in the Nelson
and broader New Zealand area. Her background is in counselling, alternative healing,
sustainable community development and group facilitation.
My path is as a seeker into the mystery. My formal education culminated in an honours science degree in chemistry and geology, plus a master’s degree in geochemistry. My professional career has been as a geotechnical instrumentation specialist. By contrast I began a 12-year yoga practice when I was forty, picking up an interest and personal practice of Ayurveda along the way.
Qigong (introduced by my wife) then displaced the yoga, which had become too physically
demanding. My personal discovery of Qi, after many years of practice, continues to fascinate and amaze me; I now suspect Qigong practice offers infinite possibilities in human growth, some of which I will no doubt manifest. What a joy to enter into the mystery of life.
I worked in civil engineering during my 40-year career. I enjoyed the outdoor life and as an
engineering geophysicist I thought I had the best of all worlds; project planning, carrying out
the field work, analyzing the data and communicating with the client. The job was exciting
and challenging; travelling to remote parts of NZ to work on dams, roads, bridges, levees,
rivers and in mines and tunnels, working from jet boats, jumping out of helicopters, setting
and firing off shots of gelignite, working on construction sites etc.
It was in this job that I met my husband Nick with whom I study and practice Ren Xue. Now I lead a quiet, but no less interesting life, seeking internally to find peace, joy and contentment – studying, practicing and teaching Ren Xue, growing fruit trees, vegetables, flowers and native trees, doing hard landscaping around our home and enjoying more time, with my family and friends.
As a Yuan Gong teacher, I experience great pleasure observing students dedicate themselves
to a Yuan Gong practice and watching them radiating with joy and wonder as they realize
Sally is a retired administrator with a wealth of experience. Career positions included Chief
Operating Officer for a non-profit organization working with Russia where she was responsible for personnel (staff of 80) and operations; and running the electronic toll collection program for the Golden Gate Bridge.
Sally currently serves as president of Ren Xue of the Americas. In her own words: “Ren Xue has something for everyone. Whether confronting illness, wanting more energy, or strengthening the mind and heart – Ren Xue provides the tools. My goal is to keep getting healthier and stronger for decades to come, following the Ren Xue path to wellbeing!”
She holds a master’s degree in psychology. Prior to enrolling in the Ren Xue teacher training program in 2013, Sally pursued a variety of interests including astrology, dreams, Native American spirituality and rites of passage. In her spare time, Sally enjoys dancing Argentine tango and hanging out with her husband and grandkids.