The second stage of finding enlightenment through Martial Arts Training can work for some but it most certainly did not work for me. This is a humourous story of the next step I took to find enlightenment and how it was a step to look back on and giggle.
GETTING IN SHAPE PHYSICALLY WILL CLEAR MY MIND
“JUST FOLLOW THE PATH”!
One of the greatest lessons learned from my meditation experience was knowing that my physical body needed to be in shape. So I moved forward by entering into a Tai Chi class. I knew this course would be of great benefit to me, as I would not only be learning self defence, I would also become physically fit and may be able to sit through a meditation in a contorted position and be comfortable, should I ever decide to do so again.
I researched and found the perfect Tai Chi Master. The day of the first class came around and I was filled with anticipation. The Master was a 79 year old Asian Man who had the body of a 20 year old. He modeled his art well. However, there was one great difficulty……………..he had mastered his art, but his command of the English language was in question. I decided that this would not be a barrier for me: I would observe, follow his movements, get in shape, and feel confident that no one would mess with me physically again in my lifetime. This man referred to himself as SEE FOO,(teacher) and today I am very aware that this name was very appropriate for me at that time, as it is spelled here. He definitely saw right “FOO”me. I wanted soooooo..badly to get it right, I watched him, listened as closely as I could to his instructions while in the back of my mind I believed that this was definitely what I needed to become the enlightened and lighter human being that I wanted to be. I really started to get into the course after four sessions. My body was moving, I had the hand gestures down pat, so I thought and my feet and legs were now moving in sync with my hands, I was finally getting it right………WRONG! Out of the quiet huffing, puffing and contorted physical positions, which I decided was moving with the flow, “the chi of my body” I heard the little old SEE FOO seeing foo me once again. He kept saying to me over and over NO FORCEE…….NO FORCEE….NO FORCEE…….NO FORCEE which I did not understand. What could No Forcee be? Finally, I stopped moving and watched while he was showing me physically to not use FORCE. So I decided that I was just trying too hard to get it right! Then I decided that I would just put half of the effort I had been exerting into the movements and before long I had a very irate master standing in front of me swaggering around like a limp rag doll. He wore a very frustrated and disgusted look on his face which told me that I definitely had not yet come to the place where my CHI was moving the way it should be, so in my frustration I sat on the floor, crossed my legs and shook my head. He walked away from me to regain his composure and then proceeded to model the drunken swagger for the whole group to show us how to protect ourselves by pretending to be drunk and then attacking. After watching his display of NO FORCEE, and the limp rag doll and then seeing how easily he had shown me how to use force with the limp rag doll and turn it into a drunken swagger to achieve full control of ones body and use antics as a means of self defence, I realized a few things that have helped me in my life on the path to becoming an enlightened human being.
1. Like meditation, Tai Chi was only one step on my road to becoming a better, stronger and more enlightened human being.
2. Tai Chi was not for me.
3. Discipline was never my strongest suit.
4. From failure comes a means to rid oneself of frustration.
5. Getting it right from someone else’s perspective is only their perspective.
6. Frustration is born in lacking what you perceive is perfection.
7. Acceptance of my imperfection as a human being is important in my life.
8. It’s O.K. to withdraw and retreat.
9. Strength can arrive from imperfection, because I knew how to use the drunken swagger to protect myself.
10. If it doesn’t work one way, two ways or three ways, try another way.
11. It’s much easier to see FOO (through) yourself when someone physically shows you how “FOO” does and doesn’t work for you.
That was the end of my Tai Chi experience with See Foo. I did go back to Tai Chi many years later with Tai Chi Terry. My experience with Terry was better, but in my heart I knew that Tai Chi was not the route for me, but it has helped me to understand that everyone has a vehicle that fits for them in finding enlightenment. One way is not the only way. There is always another path that will mesh with what I have learned from being on a path that didn’t work for me.