He has a tendency to throw a wrench in my system from time to time. When we first met I asked him about seated meditation. He laughed and told me that he would sit to meditate when he is old. He is now 65 years old and he is still not meditating. But I get it.
When the physical body is capable of being trained, it should be trained. The idea is to develop mind through training body. Mind cannot develop itself through thought alone, at least not in any sustainable growth-oriented way. It has to be pushed physically in order to achieve betterment in old age (when the muscles atrophy but the mind continues to cultivate). The physical training, and when I say this I mean intense physical training (profuse sweating, out of breath – the kind that makes you feel bad about yourself and question your purpose) challenges the mind to break free from debilitating belief systems and move into larger more workable perspectives. Physical training teaches us to believe in our bodies and essentially learn to maximize our potential.
For me, at age 38, it’s still time to bust ass and develop my physical body. The same goes for my teacher, Master Zhang Yu Fei. He is still training body using Qi Gong and Tai Chi (but obviously not with the same intensity as someone my age). He told me that he would start his meditation practice in his 70’s. And that is why he is telling me to stop meditating for now.
But I know he doesn’t really know what I am doing. He probably thinks I’m trying to calm my mind or something like that. I was taught early on from him that emphasizing the mind without physiological accountability wouldnt improve my quality of life. But training the body does. It teaches us to move deeper into our intuitive bodies and experience consciousness beyond our mental limitations. This is where the real work gets done.
And this is what I am doing. I’m working the body even though I am seated. He would approve if he knew, but even still he would want me to do so standing up. He is a hard case.
So there you have it, word from China. Always a beautifully poetic punch to the face. Looks like I am back to standing meditation once again – Ding Ding goes the bell.