Friday, April 27, 2007

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head!

So the weather's kinda misty and grey out. Various thoughts are swimming through my head...

Last night, went to train as usual. At the end of class, instead of making us do mabu-gonbu, Shifu used the few minutes left as an opportunity to talk to us. A lecture, if you will. Those of us who have been training for a while are familiar with what Shifu says: Polish your body, polish your mind. Be honest with yourself. Push yourself. Why are we here? No talking during class. Pain is life. Respect yourself, respect others. Life is bitter, sour, sweet, etc. Et cetera. Perhaps this was for the benefit for the newer students, but it all got me thinking as well.

After class a small group of us went to Thai Son to grab some good eats, and it was a fun time as always. One of our newer friends was curious about discipleship -- what it entails, the significance, how does one become one, and so forth. As none of us at dinner is currently a disciple, perhaps we were not most knowledgeable in providing information regarding such a process, but we still had a decent conversation, I thought.

And on the subway ride back to Brooklyn, Sucheela and I talked quite a bit about our earlier experiences meeting people at Temple. How quickly each of us integrated ourselves into the community. What got us really motivated to go regularly.

What I love about being a part of this crazy journey in addition to making my body stronger is meeting so many different people with all their different ideas and thoughts. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has his or her own reason(s) for being there. And it is this richness of diversity that makes it all so compelling. This also means everyone will have a different approach to life, to training. It is what you make of it. We are all adults who are capable of choosing to engage however we wish. But it is up to us as individuals to make that commitment and push ourselves.

We learn pretty quickly that training at USA Shaolin Temple is not just another gym membership, like how I "donated" so much green chi to New York Sports Club for years. Being at Temple, meeting all these wonderful people, writing this blog -- it all has gotten me thinking and has made the whole thing a much more active process beyond merely exercising my body. I've learned that Shifu ain't gonna hold my hand through this journey I've chosen for myself. I am not accountable to Shifu. I am accountable only to myself, in the grand scheme of things. I am deciding where I wanna go and how far. I can either limit myself and say no way, or keep pushing forth and surprise myself. I ascribe meaning to my life however I choose. I will keep fighting because I want to, and because I can. Because it's all about me, baby!


  1. beautiful entry. i have often thought the same thoughts especially about training & the limits i place upon myself. moreover, quan tuo & i often discuss how we are so very grateful to be lucky to be among such a great bunch of folks. i've never enjoyed being part of a group before. the temple is a special place!

  2. Wow. That is very inspirational. You should write it in a book. You can sell the proceeds to the Temple Upstate!


  3. I love your entry.

    :* :* :* :* :*

    I love you too.

  4. I really enjoyed this entry especially the last two paragraphs.