I think my entry from a few days ago may have created some confusion. I think a quick story may help to clear things up.
This actually happened outside the really nice library in downtown Phoenix. I gave some spare change to a homeless man. He asked my name, and I told him that my name is Prince. His face straightened, and he looked me in the eye. He says," Prince, you're supposed to be a teacher."
When I was little, I attended catholic school here in Nashville. The nuns were always taking the little kids to the convent on our field trips. I remember being fascinated with everything about the convent and the church. At that time, I was catholic on Monday through Friday and Presbyterian on Sundays. When I moved to New Jersey, I also attended Catholic school. Schools up there were different in that the church and school were separate. The fathers were impressed when I knew about various saints and how to pray the rosary. There wasnt any funny stuff going on up there, but looking back, I am sure that I was being targeted for ministry at a very early age.
My first exposure to other religions did not happen until college when I decided to major in religion. By that time, I started to question a lot of what I grew up believing as other things just seemed to make more sense. I can recall a conversation with a Muslim woman when I turned 20. She said I spoke like I had been studying under an Imam, a teacher/ scholar of Islam.
When I first joined chi factory, I was finishing up my first year at Seminary. At the time I considered myself a Zen Christian. I meditated a lot. I had tinkered in some of everything. Most of my meditation training came from a hybrid system where I learned bits of everything from kundalini yoga, Taoist and Tibetan Buddhist practices. I shared some of this with Sifu when he was here. I've stopped practicing those practices because I had a bad reaction. I could not walk inside the chapel on campus without shaking all over. Some of the breathing practices would cause my blood pressure to skyrocket. As far as psychic practices go, I was developing the ability to become an asshole ate drop of a dime, and I had become extremely reclusive.
Just as with my church members who are trying to figure out why I have pretty much left the church, I am also catching heat from people wanting to know why I have stopped trying to awaken kundalini.
What I am learning through this training is you have to really let go of expectations-- the ones everyone else has placed on you, and your own. A lot of external styles have come really easy for me, but the real internal kungfu....this stuff is hard. For you all who have never met Sifu, when you touch hands with you, he completely has you...and no matter how your try to resist or fight back, he's just looking at you and smiling cause he knows that you know that he has you.
Anyway, I think I've mentioned a lot of background stuff about myself. I don't know if I have cleared things up. What I can say is that this... I Liq Chuan, this is what I've been looking for...I don't think everyone who does this should become Buddhist. Hell, if I wanted to tell people what they ought to believe, I would have stayed at seminary. For me, this is what I've been looking for...something that will make me a good fighter, a good teacher, and a better person. A saying that I want to build my career around is,"train the body; train the emotions; train the mind." I know how to train the muscles..the fast and slow twitch muscles, but people like Fenway Yang and Sifu do not move their bodies the way I do. When they do a Taiji posture, you cannot move them, and they are like a statue one moment and fluid the very next. So there is a different way of training the body...when we do our bitter pill, we train the emotions...and when we meditate, we train the mind.
So this process-- it trains the body, the emotions, and the mind. When we really begin to make progress with these, I guess we become formless and neutral. I can't comment much on that because it is above my level of understanding right now.
Okay, my actual training today... I did bitter pill for a pretty long time in a field. I did not time myself at all. I also worked on my Guang ping form with a focus on relaxation and less thoughts on being crisp in every posture or thinking about applications. I will make a better effort to do bitter pill when I get out of bed and to eat more vegetables this week.