Sakura in Full Bloom

Sakura in full bloom when Grandmaster Wong arrives

The writing below is reproduced from Scattered Sakura Petals in our Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.

Scattered Sakura Petals I - The Miraculous Made Manifest in Minutes

It is the morning of the first course, Generating Energy Flow, and I have arrived after a sleepless night of watching live hip-hop in Roppongi. As I banter with auld acquaintance and new, the building energy is more than palpable. I recognize a co-worker of Yumi's, Akiko-san, whom I'd met only once before. Akiko introduces me to her father who, she tells me, doesn't have the best hearing or the clearest mind given his age. I look up into his gray, ashen face, and we exchange pleasantries and warm smiles. He comes across as much more open-minded than the average geriatric Japanese gentleman. He tells me that he knows nothing about chi kung or what to expect. I tell him that such conditions are ideal and that he should, above all, enjoy himself.

Sifu enters the hall with his ever-expansive smile and warmth.

The course begins. Early on, Sifu talks about the miraculous qualities of chi kung practice, and makes reference to the miracle that occurred in Kawasaki when he came in 2007. The course continues. Needless to say, it goes fantastically well.

Sifu opens the floor to comments and questions for the final time. A few questions and comments later, Akiko's father raises his hand. At Sifu's acknowledgement, he stands up, and begins speaking at great length in a very polite Japanese that is heard less and less these days. What follows is a highly condensed and literal translation of his words:

"This person is called Majima Kosaburo," he begins, introducing himself by family name first. "I am two weeks away from my eighty-ninth birthday," a statement that prompts no small amount of surprised gasps. "I have had lung cancer, for which I had surgery last year. While this seems to have dealt with the problem, I live with the reality that it may again return. What I wish to ask the most respected teacher before whom I'm privileged to stand is: can chi kung help me to overcome it completely?"

Emiko Sije begins to translate this with her seamless ability, but Majima-san, oblivious to this, continues forward with steamroller politeness, "If it is not an affront to ask, there is a second question that this person would like to put forth. I have also struggled with stomach pain and constipation. If the honoured master is not discomfited by this, might it please him to tell me how I can practice chi kung to solve this problem?"

Sifu answers the first question. Emiko Sije relays the second question. Sifu explains that chi kung can certainly help him with his stomach pain and constipation, and tells him that Merry-Go-Round would be an excellent pattern to practice. He then teaches Mr. Majima how to perform Merry-Go-Round, which Mr. Majima begins to do. After three repetitions in one direction, Sifu instructs him to turn the other way. He does. Sifu guides him through a brief chi flow, then instructs him to go to his dantian and to return to the reality of the room.

Sifu tells him that this is a wonderful exercise for him and that he has already received benefits from the few repetitions that he has performed. "Look at your face! It has changed! Please turn around and show everyone!"

Majima-san turns around and his face is lit with healthy colour and a vibrancy that certainly was not there in the morning or during the course of the day. Everyone is stunned - those with some years of practice behind them being more stunned by the short time in which the change manifested, rather than by the change itself. True to form, Sifu opens a course telling us of the miraculous qualities of Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung, and later, over the course of five brief minutes, he shows us concretely that anyone can make these qualities manifest - even an almost-eighty-nine-year-old gentleman recovering from cancer.

A postscript: A few days later, Yumi Sije tells me that she has heard from Akiko that her father's constipation was resolved not long after the course, and that he's tremendously happy.

The Buddha taught that there is no abiding self. To me, this is a wonderful truth... largely because I can't abide the selves of most other people.

Sakura in Full Bloom

Sakura in full bloom when Grandmaster Wong arrives