Scholarships, Charity, and Karma

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A student recently asked me if I would continue teaching if I won the lottery.  My answer was, “Of course.”  The student then asked me if I would teach for free.  My answer was, “Of course not!”

Over the years, I have given away tens of thousands of dollars in free or discounted lessons.  And you know what?  It was a mistake.  

Why?  Because students who don’t pay don’t get good results.   Ask any professional healer, and they will tell you the same thing.  There’s something deep in our human psychology that blocks us from valuing things that we didn’t earn.  I sincerely believe that one must value these arts in order to benefit from them. 

This is why traditional masters required that students do menial chores, often for years, before even beginning to teach them.  If these arts come too easily to you, if you don’t earn them somehow, if you don’t have to pay for them let alone travel halfway around the world like I did, then you won’t value them and your results will not be good.  But if you view these arts as a treasure, like I do, then you’ll treat them as such and you will benefit tremendously. 

Tough Times

However, I recognize that many Americans are going through tough times right now.   I want to help.  I don’t want people to miss the opportunity to learn life-changing arts simply because they are having financial problems.

Obviously, this creates a dilemma.  On the one hand, I don’t want money to block people from learning these arts, but on the other hand, I don’t want them taking these arts for granted either. It’s a tricky problem to solve, especially since some people will try to take advantage of my generosity.

If, for example, you pay $100/month for a mobile phone plan, $100/month at the hair or nail salon, and $100/month for cable TV, please don’t tell me that you can’t afford my classes. But if you are genuinely having money problems, if you’ve already cut expenses, if you are struggling to make ends meet, then here’s what I can do:


If you cannot afford my classes, then you may earn credits by volunteering or giving service to local charities.  You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, at an animal shelter, or any other organization that has a pre-existing volunteer service set up.  Simply have the organization email me proof of the hours that you worked.

For every hour of service you do, I will offer you $10 worth of credit toward my classes.  In other words, I will pay you $10 per hour, which is well above minimum wage.  Of course, I make no money from this arrangement.  What I do get, however, is a sincere student who is willing to work hard to learn these arts.

With this arrangement, you will benefit in several ways.  In addition to valuing the arts that I teach, you will also receive the intangible blessings that come from giving charity.  Karma is a natural law of the universe — the law of cause and effect.  If you give, you will receive.  It’s really true.  As hard as it may be to believe, the truth is that if you are having trouble financially, then one of the best things you can do is to give. 

If you can’t be bothered to give a few hours of community service in order to learn these arts, then I don’t want to teach them to you.  Simple.


This is a win-win-win offer.  You benefit from good karma as well as from these incredible arts, the organization benefits from your charity, and I benefit by helping another sincere student.  Everyone wins.

Let’s take an example.  Let’s imagine a college student who has very little money, can’t afford my classes, but is sincere in wanting to learn from me.  So he volunteers for 5 hours at the local soup kitchen.  In exchange for his service (which he enjoys more than he would have imagined), he receives $50 worth of credit  at my studio.  This is enough to buy a spot in a Flowing Zen 101 workshop.

After the workshop, the student wants to continue learning from me.  So the next month he volunteers for another 9 hours, earning $90 of credit, with which he can buy a 5-class pass.  And so on. 

By practicing Qigong and Tai Chi, the student’s luck will also improve.  The Chinese word for “luck” is a combination of three words.  When translated, the words are: good-flow-energy.  In other words, when your energy is flowing well, you will be luckier.

I’ve seen this countless times in my students and myself. As you learn these arts, your luck improves dramatically.   Of course, it’s not just blind luck.  As you practice these arts, your mind clears, your energy levels increase, your discipline improves, and you become happier.  Obviously, these are important factors in improving one’s luck.

If the above arrangement appeals to you, then please contact me directly for details.  If you know anyone who is down on their luck, then please share this page with them.  This may be exactly what they need to get back on their feet.

Mindfully yours,
Sifu Anthony

[hr] I’m Anthony Korahais, and I used qigong to heal from clinical depression, low back pain, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. I’ve already taught thousands of people from all over the world to use qigong for their own stubborn health issues. I teach online courses, and also lead in-person retreats and workshops.
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12 Responses to Scholarships, Charity, and Karma

  1. Alex James May 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Wow that’s a great idea and very generous.

  2. Jeffrey Segal May 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Excellent post, Siheng and an excellent idea. I hope that many people will take advantage of your generous offer.

    Greetings to the Flowing Zen Family from your brother/uncle in Melbourne!

  3. Fred Chu May 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    This is brilliant! I’m surprised an idea like this isn’t more popular, especially amongst qigong, meditation, and kung fu schools.

  4. CR May 16, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    I will lead by example and follow this model in the near future.
    Thank-you for the reminder and the Great insight. = )

  5. Judy Garis May 16, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    I love the stories of students of all kinds vying for the privilege of sweeping the steps, polishing the brass or watering the garden in a places of learning. Your idea extends this privilege beyond traditional boundaries.

  6. York May 16, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    It was no mistake to give discounts.

    • Sifu Anthony May 16, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Unfortunately York, people often ask for discounts even when they don’t truly need them. Rather than saving money by cutting out the $4 lattes at Starbucks, the premium cable TV channels, or the unhealthy habits, these students prefer to take a discount from me. It’s a mistake to give discounts to students like these because they don’t value the arts.

  7. Yvonne Woodson, RN, AP May 16, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    You know, I have heard all of this before, but I must say that I really “get” your approach! I think this is a wonderful idea and truly a win-win for all. Brilliant!

  8. Karen Slevin May 16, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    I work for a local charity and this will be a great blessing for them. Great volunteers make it possible for us to serve as many people as we can. Thank you for thinking of us.

  9. John May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    An excellent and very generous offer (and hopefully a good way to improve the community too).

  10. Linda Pence May 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Great Idea, Sifu!

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