Jeffrey J. Guiffre was a man with many names. Studying under Grandmaster Daniel K. Pai in the Pai Lum Family he was Grandmaster Jeffrey J. Guiffre. His Pai Lum disciple name was Bai Quan Li. Studying under Great Master Wang Pei Sheng in the Yin Cheng family he was Master Jeffrey J. Guiffre. His Yin Cheng disciple name was Dan Guang. To me, he was always “Master Jeff”
I was blessed to be placed into Master Jeff’s life in late 1999. I knew immediately he was a man of great honor and integrity. Little did I know how much he would influence my life.
He started as my Tai Chi teacher but grew to be my mentor and spiritual advisor. Most importantly he became my best friend. At the time of his passing, I was still meeting with him for private lessons twice each week. We explored deep principles of meditation, Tai Ji Quan, The Tao Te Ching, The Buddha and many other profound topics. The lessons were scheduled for 90 minutes but sometimes went as long as 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Master Jeff always made sure he never left me with any big unanswered questions remaining from the day’s session. These sessions were precious to me and were invaluable to my growth as a person emotionally, physically and spiritually. Master Jeff placed great importance in the teachings, traditions and legacy from his lineage. His teacher Great Master Wang Pei Sheng (Yin Cheng) commissioned a set of Chinese characters specifically for Master Jeff’s school Motion Health Institute.
The characters in the banner convey the following meaning: “When people assemble with a commitment to truth, the motion that ensues will generate good health to themselves and to the universe”.
Another literary piece he considered precious was the Chinese character for Heaven (Qian). Chinese characters are actually pictures and are meant to convey a group of ideas and principles, not just one word. In an especially deep lesson, Master Jeff relayed to me Great Master Wang’s teachings on the ideas and concepts that lie within the Qian image. It was quite a profound lesson and one we will pass along to others.
Looking back over the last few months and reviewing the lessons and messages he gave me it is obvious that somehow, someway he knew his time on earth was drawing to a close. I will share a few of these anecdotes so that we might understand and find comfort and peace with the timing of his passing.
Motion Health Institute’s Curriculum – Going Forward Master Jeff has a huge curriculum of material that he teaches, more than any normal person can learn in a lifetime. Recently he revealed to me the three essential pieces of our curriculum. He considered this the ‘Holy Trinity’ of courses within Motion Health Institute. He said that anyone learning and practicing these three forms at a high level will experience the utmost balance in life and reach an extremely high level in Tai Ji Quan. These three forms will enable a person to ascend to the highest possible levels emotionally, physically and most important – spiritually. He said “This is all anyone needs”. He was instructing me on what he wanted me to carry on.
Self Correction A rather deep u0026amp; profound concept within our arts is “Self Correction”. Self Correction is the process by which one can continue to improve when his teacher is away. It is easy to make corrections when your teacher is right there to reveal and explain your mistakes. It is quite difficult to find and correct your mistakes without a teacher. Master Jeff had alluded to the concept of self correction many times over the years but never provided me with the details. In one of our last lessons together, Master Jeff gave me precise instructions on the complete process of self-correction. This one lesson ensures I can continue to identify and correct the weak areas of my life without his physical presence.
Divine Coincidences The last year Master Jeff had become such a Godly person. When I was with him I felt nothing but pure Love. He carried the presence of God with him wherever he went. It was apparent to me he had ascended to a new level and I felt deep in my heart he was but a small step away Heaven.
Two events occurred in my life that some would label as “divine coincidences”. I like to think of them as divine guidance or divine reassurance. These events confirm to me it truly was his time to go and that everything is in perfect order and as it should be… I recently purchased a book of Buddha stories to share with my daughter. These are all the classic Buddha stories specifically written for children. I try to read her a story every night before bed but sometimes am not at home around that time. The book has about 25 stories and I was simply reading them in order from front to back. The day I found out about Master Jeff’s passing my daughter asked me to read her a story. Of course I was more than happy to. The story we read that night was about a student who’s teacher had died. The student was very angry with the teacher as he had left him with many unanswered questions. The student went to his teacher’s grave full of grief and anger. He shouted at the gravestone “Why did you leave me?! I have so much left to learn, so many more questions to ask you?!”. The teacher answered back from the grave. “I have taught you all that you need to know. It is my time to go.”
Master Jeff’s work was done here and it was time for him to go.
My last text message from Master Jeff: Over the last year Master Jeff was sharing with me scripture from The Bible. Our spiritual studies over the years primarily focused on the Eastern traditions, however, recently we were beginning to explore the roots of Christianity. I did not own a Bible so I asked him which version I should purchase for my personal study. He directed me to two different versions. I ordered the Bibles from Amazon immediately after a Wednesday lesson. 2 days later, on Friday, we met for our regular session. After the session ended, I walked him to his car. We noticed there was an Amazon box on my doorstep and both got a chuckle. It seems Amazon visits both of our homes quite often. 🙂 I gave him a hug goodbye.
This would turn out to be the last time I would see Master Jeff.
As he drove away, I went inside the house and opened the Amazon box. It was the two Bibles I had ordered on Wednesday. I had a big smile on my face as I was quite happy to receive them and was looking forward to studying them with Master Jeff. I immediately texted him a picture of the two bibles. The below image is a screenshot of that text:
If you look at the bottom left of the image you will see the text I received from him in a gray colored box. If you are not familiar with texting this is called an emoticon. This particular emoticon is the symbol for an Angel. That was the last text message I was to receive from Master Jeff.
These events, these “Divine coincidences” and everything in my heart tell me it truly was time for Master Jeff to go. Any sorrow or loss that I feel is purely selfish. And this Angel is a constant reminder that he really hasn’t gone anywhere. He will always be here with me, with all of us, offering his guidance and support. We should all rejoice as Master Jeff is in the hands of God. I Love you Master Jeff and will dearly miss your physical presence.
William L. Betts President, CEO – Palm Beach Tai Chi, Motion Health Institute Instructor – Yin Cheng Xing Jian Zong Hui Dan Guang Disciple Long Tuo