Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wait...Is that ME I'm looking at?

As I walked through the Temple's doors on Saturday, I was immediately struck by two things -- Number 1, there was a PBS television TV crew for the Program Religion and Ethics at the Temple doing a special on 師父 (Shifu). And number 2, there was nobody in class. Well, I think the final number was around 20, but only FOUR Level 2's (Heng Bao, Me, Heng Po, and Aubrey). 師父 obviously would like to have a huge class to show our chi and so I was pumped for class because I knew I would be responsible for not "losing face." (丟臉) When we have guests, 師父 seldom takes the time to introduce them before class starts. This time, they were introduced right after we lined up. You can tell from 師父's face that this was important to him.

I immediately jumped to the front of the line with Heng Bao leading the other side. We walked quite a bit. ( I lost count how many times.) 師父 wanted good technique instead of speed. I don't know how well I did in this department. I am quite comfortable being in front of a camera for my acting, but when the camera was at Temple, I got all flustered and my eyes kept darting towards the camera. And perhaps being too vain, I messed up a few moves. It just goes to show that I have a while to go before I can be comfortable doing Kung Fu in front of a camera. Hopefully, they didn't notice too much or at least can edit my stupid looks at camera out. I'd bet they thought I was some amateur. Sigh...well...luckily, we had Heng Yu pumping everyone up with his chi.

After basics, while in the changing room, one of our temple brothers said, "Nothing like Vanity to pump up your chi, eh?" Class was supposed to have been difficult. I was still sore from the Level 2 class the night before. But class felt invigorating. I had a blast. The best part was at the end when they interviewed 師父 for about 30 minutes. The topics the interviewer tossed were intriguing, and 師父's answers were enlightening. I especially remember this:

Interviewer: "Is there anything difficult that you do?"
師父: "Nothing is difficult. Nothing is easy."

師父 went on to explain that if you want to do it, difficult is easy. If you don't want to do it, even easy things become difficult. This statement really hit home for me. Too often, I rank tasks by order of difficulty, not by whether or not I want to do it. Take my obsession with the Tornado for instance. It is a difficult move, but because I really want to get it, it is almost within reach! Every time I fall, I feel I am getting closer. I look around my life and I definitely don't do that enough. It's time to break this bad habit. If I don't, sooner or later, my life will be surrounded by difficulties too challenging to overcome.