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Love and Light
I was thinking of Chiangmai and the village of Doi Saket in Thailand. Every day at the Tai chi field in the Tao Garden 15 years ago, I would practice the Classical Yang family system at dawn: Solo 108 slow fist form, Tai chi chuan Chang Chuan (the old form) and the weapons -- Dao/Broadsword, Jian/Straight Sword and gan/spear/staff. Lao Kang Wen, a jolly Chinese Buddhist and Daoist master, would be passing by, dressed in his wu-shu uniform, singing. He would go to the other side and do his own forms. One time, aweek or two later, Lao shifu (teacher) took me outside the Tao Garden, bought some candles, and brought me to a small Buddhist temple that had the statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. He and I lighted some candles and incense. At the altar, he led me through a ritual of worship, the sequence of which I cannot describe. Then, he asked me to keep still and performed some kind of a dance around me. Until now, I do not know why he did it but I felt a strong field of vibration that shook my body. He spoke no English, I spoke no Chinese, but we managed somehow to communicate through the language of qi. On the way back to the Tao Garden, we passed those two giant tamarind trees wrapped in cloth. We sat at one of the stores where he bought two bottles of beer and had a toast! He invited me to his place later and taught me a form of Qigong. I like to believe it was a form of initiation, but it is still a mystery to me.
For my friends, here is a posture from the Shaolin form "The Fairy Child Praying to the Goddess of Mercy Guanyin" that I learned from two Chinese masters -- John F. Chiuten and Lao Kim -- in the Philippines back 50 years ago in the 1960s.