THE JOURNEY OF MY HEART
Shaolin Wahnam England
25th June 2011
The Journey of My Heart
Dear Shaolin Wahnam family,
I painted a picture in my heart of how I would like my life to be enriched and when it was beginning to be formed I would then post how attending the Small Universe course and putting it into practice has changed my life, and now the time has come to share my story and I hope you enjoy it as much I have enjoyed the journey so far.
During the silence at the Zen course with Sifu in London, the universe showed me three images: one was of paintbrushes, second a plane flying East and third a diamond within an unfolding lotus flower . A few weeks later little did I know I was going to embark on the journey I held as dreams in my heart and catch that plane to Malaysia, attend the wedding celebrations, meet so many Shaolin Wahnam brothers and sisters and Senior members from all over the world, get a taste of ‘Cloud Hands’, attend Small Universe course and achieve it! and so much more along with overcoming deep rooted blockages.
Riding on chi flow led me to spend four months travelling around Malaysia and learning the flowing arts of Batik painting with two masters and then sharing the skills learnt with warm hearted children at the Borneo Special Needs School and lastly but not least spending precious moments with the loving Kissey family in Sabah.
Upon arriving in Malaysia I carried a weight of anxiety in my stomach and fear in my kidneys and the moment I saw Sifu the healing began. Being in Sifu's presence, listening to his wisdom, soaking up the nourishing chi transmitted flooded my heart with joy and I knew at that moment I was meant to be there. The special courses as part of the wedding celebrations were certainly special. I thoroughly enjoyed Tai Chi Chuan and the many added benefits such as watching Siheng Robin get 'thrown aroun#’ by Sifu, hehee. Singing and dancing in the evenings with the Shaolin Wahnam family brought with it much laughter and joy.
Thank you to Sije Kirsten for the singing workshops as you would be pleased to know a once timid voice has now become loud and tuneful. A special thanks has to go to Siheng Piti for the 'Merengue transmission' at the wedding celebrations for I have never felt such an overwhelming wave of laughter fill a room that even Sifu was in 'tears' . Thank you to Sije Fleur for the late night conversations for they brought a special bond. Thank you to Siheng Mark for the Kung Fu workshop. Being a part of the wedding celebrations at the evening dinner and tea ceremony at Sifu's house was an honour and an unforgettable insight into a Chinese wedding. Thank you Sifu for welcoming us to such a happy occasion. (I took many photos of the celebration for all to enjoy and they can be found on my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/PKK.Artist ).
Time has no limit at Shaolin Wahnam courses and it is amazing how a day can feel like a week full of richness, and making our way to Langkawi to attend the Small Universe course was one of them. I'm sure many would agree that Langkawi is a stunning island with breath taking views. Thank you to Wei Foong for organising the day trips around the island for they were great fun particularly the island hopping where I overcame a fear of being in a speed boat at sea and visiting the craft cultural complex where I reignited my passion for the arts. Thank you to Chun Nga for the advice shared on pregnancy which has been noted for when I have my own children.
The Small Universe Course was like no other course I have attended, many few words can describe it but if I had to use one word it is 'exceptional'. Being in a room with 99 other Shaolin Wahnam students all doing a chi flow was 'wow' I would have been more than happy if that was the course but no Sifu kindly transmitted many teachings and they got more 'wow' over the period of time. Rereading my diary entries from the course the words I wrote were "inner peace, my spirit soaring with happiness, no conception of time or space, no past no future just now, no dualism, no separateness, such beauty -- trees, sky, clouds, you, me, sounds, feelings all flowing in one, breathing one with the cosmos, moment of stillness -- no sound -- no one -- no I -- everything is nothing and all is one".
I recall the Prajna Paramita sutra/Heart Sutra recited over and over in my heart during the course and I felt Quan Yin Bodhisattva's compassion filling my entire being. When I first came across 'The Art of Chi Kung' my purpose to pursue the arts at the time was to gain spiritual fulfilment and to reconnect with God, Universe, Tao etc. and after the experience at the Small Universe course I can happily say this was achieved and how thankful I am to you Sifu for transmitting the skill for every day I feel spiritual joys which shower over all aspects of my life.
Graduation dinner by the sea was truly magical -- it felt like a floating dream. Everyone looked beautiful, all faces happy, beaming and shining and our hearts all as one. Even the appearance of a sword to cut birthday cakes delivered by Sifu was dream like.
I have to reveal how I really knew the Small Universe was activated when I had the 'desire' to eat ice cream. Now this may sound a little odd to most but I had a severe allergy to dairy products which restricted my diet. I ordered the largest ice cream with every flavour on the menu and a cherry on top it was the most enjoyable and delicious food I had eaten and I can tell you I felt like a child who had just been given the keys to a candy shop! I had overcome my food allergies which I had for years within a few days and to this day I can enjoy all my food, yep I can eat Pizza and bread too!
I have always wanted to do a charity project with children with needs and learn about different tribal cultures through travel and be surrounded by family. I had many obstacles blocking this realization and after learning the art of role playing with Sifu, problems were no longer problems and a solution was found. Fears melted away and before I knew it I was living day by day, moment by moment, travelling across Malaysia. I was applying the principles of kung fu to my actions/decision making without realizing it. A once indecisive person who had no faith or believe in herself or her abilities and could not make a choice could now with mental clarity, confidently make a decision and carry it through.
'Obstacles' were no longer problems and by believing and trusting in the 'universe' one step at a time got me directly to where I wanted to go and in this case learning batik with masters in an artist colony in Langkawi, Kuala Lumpar and Sabah thus overcoming a creative blockage, continuing journeying alone with new friends crossing my path and guiding me to learning about the native Borneo tribes and way of life, and organizing along with managing a creative project with teachers and children with various disabilities such as Autism, Downs Syndrome etc at a special needs school in Sabah.
And it led me to being surrounded by the Kissey family who took great care of me. They opened their hearts and shared many inspiring stories. They let me in to their family homes and showed me a way of life I had once longed for with my own family and can now have. We enjoyed fresh chi filled coconuts chopped from the garden and cut open in the traditional way with a machete. I was shown the world of Chinese delights such as the 'pow', yum yum.
It was a pleasure meeting the Kissey parents and they did make me giggle: 'Father Kissey' was telling me how he practiced Chi Kung twice a day and he was very pleased but he pointed at 'Mother Kissey' and said she only practiced once a day and in a true Shaolin way 'Mother Kissey' deflected the words and responded with how 'Father Kissey' did not practice properly for he could not stretch his arms fully and in true spirit she demonstrated to 'Father Kissey' the correct way!
It was a pleasure to meet the rest of the Kissey family: Dorreen's family, Jude's family, Maria's family along with Damian, Rosalyn, Emanuel, Terrenz and sister Bernie who showed me how to embrace my spirit and have fun. Thank you to all the Kissey family for taking me on a journey into your childhood memories, thank you for your encouragement, wisdom, gifts and music.
I'll share a couple of stories where the skills I have learnt through the Wahnam arts were put into practice. I was staying in a guest house in Langkawi on my own and I was thinking of home, England. I had a thought I would really like some chocolates especially Ferrero Rochers, an English movie to watch and a friend to talk to. Later I got a call from Yogesh, Shaolin Wahnam brother who took me to a beautiful restaurant and we shared wonderful conversation, he presented me with a very large box of Ferrero Rochers which his wife had sent and later when I returned to the guest house the owner gave me a basket filled with English movies! (Thank you to Yogesh and his family for welcoming me to Diwali celebrations in their home).
The second story: I decided to practice Tai Chi Chuan one early morning on the beach near the special needs school and during chi flow I saw a wild dog staring at me and revealing its sharp canines. It began to bark and another dog joined. These dogs were large and they began to charge at me. In the past I would be panicked and ran in fear but this time I stopped my practice, sat in crossed legged position and I smiled from the heart and meditated. Moments passed and I opened my eyes. The dogs were not charging at me, no longer in an attack mode but now docile, playful and then they disappeared. I could not believe it, it worked, 'smiling from the heart' in all situations really works!
This skill was practiced again when on the return flight home a lady seated next to me was annoyed that I had not shut the window and complaining about the bright light. I closed my eyes and smiled from the heart and enjoyed the views outside and her face changed from annoyed to happy, she was laughing, now interested in the views outside through my window and also kindly passing drinks and food to me and clearing my rubbish, although I did not ask for this. It was a kind gesture -- compassion prevails all.
When returning to U.K. I had noticed that during my stay in Malaysia I was no longer taking my medication. For 15 years I had a severe form of anaemia which overruled my life as I would faint often, I could not sit for too long for I would begin to get cold, numb and blue, I had poor concentration and worried a lot, my menstruation was very heavy every month and brought with it much pain and often trips to the hospital and blood transfusions and I was dependant on injections, and medication. It had all healed along with my fears in life. I have not seen the doctors for over 6 months now and have been told I am fully healthy -- yep no longer anaemic woohoo! I no longer depend on medication.
I can sit for hours and focus, I am full of energy, filled with creativity and can articulate my thoughts and words. Instead of being a person in constant need I can now take care of my own well being and most of all be a much happier and brighter person around others. Many doors have opened and a once locked creative passion is now used and shared at art markets, gallery shows, teaching children and I'm sure a successful business will unfold soon. I look forward to each day and know that I have a wonderful life to enjoy with my loved ones.
The simple yet profound teaching of "Don't worry, Don't intellectualise and enjoy your practice" taught me a deeper meaning and by applying it daily in all situations allows me to open my heart and forgive, a shift in perception has enabled me to live in the present and enjoy each day and all the riches it brings. The Shaolin Arts have aligned my whole being with the universe and shown me a glimpse of non duality and there is our teacher, our Sifu, to thank for this blessing.
I express my deep gratitude for the compassion you have shown, Sifu, for sharing the wonderful arts and thank you to the loving Shaolin Wahnam family, my partner Joel who has supported me, my family and particularly my mother who has taught how to be honest and caring and to my grandfather who would always recite this mantra: Be Cool, Calm and Collected. Thank you to Quan Yin Bodhisattva and all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for guiding me each day through all forms.
I would like to share the Buddha's words, a sutra which appeared on my screen last year -- "The Diamond Sutra" -- it has guided me to this very day along with Sifu's teachings:
So I say to you:
This is how to contemplate our conditioned existence in this fleeting world:
Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;
Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream.
So is all conditioned existence to be seen.
Thus spoke the Buddha.
I would like to end this post with a dedication to Sifu Wong and in my way I would like to present a painting from above which is called the 'The Jewel within the Lotus' to express my gratitude for all that you have given -- thank you Sifu.
The above discussion is reproduced from the thread Small Universe in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.