John Kells R.I.P.

It is with sadness that I write that John Kells died today, 6th January 2017.

John Kells was a pioneering T’ai Chi Ch’uan teacher in the UK. Born in 1940, he started T’ai Chi in 1967 and opened the British T’ai Chi Ch’uan Association in London in 1970, teaching in the basement of his father’s house in Upper Wimpole Street. In1977 he started teaching full time with classes every day and it is thought that 10,000 students were taught by him between then and 1993.

John Kells was passionate about T’ai Chi, training day and night to investigate and understand the principles passed on by his teachers, who included Liang Tung Tsai, Chi Chiang Tao, Chu Gin Soon and Yang Shou-Chung (with whom he studied for one month in Hong Kong and gleaned much about spirit).

John Kells inspired many to go on and teach T’ai Chi Ch’uan themselves and make it an integral part of their lives. His unrelenting drive eventually led him to go beyond the forms of T’ai Chi Ch’uan and explore deeper connections from 1991 to the present day which he came to call Heartwork, focusing on the Thymus centre as an indirect approach to the Heart. This came about through the fusion of T’ai Chi Ch’uan and the internal instruction he received from an ancient European lineage.

John Kells cared little for the politics and posturing of the T’ai Chi Ch’uan community, just wanting to get on with his own work. He was once challenged to a pushing hands contest by another teacher and his response was magnificent “No thanks, I’ve got enough problems with my own Ego”.

He will be deeply missed by his family , friends and students.


The Gathering

The Gathering

The Time before is here now

There is no infinity because there is no beginning

There is no now because there is no then

Life happens before you think

Remember the future

Forget the past

What you are will find you if you are true

Thymus finds the between in all that live

Life comes and goes here [Johns dad his own thymus with his left hand and Johns with his right]

The Thymus contains all the teachings

Time is not alive

Forwards undoes fear until it smiles

Time cannot be found so you cannot lose it

Truth is what we are meant to be

I will be your touch in all your proof

This burn [Johns dad touched Johns thymus and his own] is how we stand

Walk straight into it

The bell of change rings a few times in your life

Tonight is your second the others will also be sudden

New directions bounce off you

Be ready when some are frightened

You are already working with all the changes

Do not let the important people escape?

Do this duty

As you see me

Heaven is under your hand

The world is what you are when true

Be true

No direction

But true

The above interaction between John and his dad occurred when John was 5 years old

Heart philosophy

Heart philosophy is a gentle, complete term. The truth behind what happens is simple but confusing. The part it plays seemingly as an emotional instrument has engineered its own word, love, this gives a general impression you need to clasp someone to your heart to express it, but the strength of emotions, and the instincts and needs they deal with are always strange for the first time and therefore confusing. Also, some are unique to certain situations, such as hunger, fear, but none more so than what you feel for another person.
The deal is a spiritual exercise involving partner-work without intensity that is too strange or novel. It is important to retrieve knowledge from the gifted few, especially not made too difficult for beginners.
This struggle has been core to mans’ development, major religions/philosophies have developed to meet the need. Each seems to have built-in limitations. Going back to mans really ancient history is the way I have found, with a root 4,200 years according to shaky tradition, but the bones of this new pre-Celtic way are there if you wish to put them through their paces. The hint of a taste is enough for the good, avid student what man is doing at the moment, the intensity, scale and depth of it is not working.
This way is an infection that passes from one to another. In this case the supreme ultimate ease, and perhaps for you the ancients did not see the human body in the way we do. They did not make the distinction physical and energetic. In other words, we have energy structures as well and physical ones inside and outside the body we inhabit. An introduction to this world, usually from a teacher, and understanding friends, take you through the first and beyond. The truth of it is the experience in a moment all is change and that change rooted in the very existence of others through and with them you share the miracle of life, and in a natural way you will affect others. In the fullness of time, a plague of fulfilment and positivity may overtake the world, but first it is you who must pause and care to care, such a treasure. Who would you not give it to?
Where would your gaze not light?






The most important teaching I received that can be described in words is from Grandmaster Dr. Chi Chiang-Tao, namely, to open the heart. That echoed inside my nine hours of daily practice for 17 years before it began to connect with the family teaching, and another 28 years to reach now, the stage Dr. Chi described “ No man is a stranger.” I can only teach one who is part of my family. The teaching already resides within, ready to be unlocked by the me/you combination.