Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 15th, 2009

Peet’s Coffee happens to be one of my favorite blog inspiring hang out’s. And today it is again. I have just returned from:

  1. 15 minutes ago – meeting with my friend, Lisa
  2. 4 hours ago – lunch with my sensei, Richard, after two hours of training at the new Aikido of Tamalpais
  3. 2 days ago – spending forty-eight hours with my two oldest children, Pete and Cari, and their respective clans numbering six kiddo’s of their own … and soon to be increased by one (that’ll be Cari’s third)
  4. 6 days ago – returning from a few days in Yi-lan County, Taiwan, conducting my seminar, Developing the Warrior Within™ - which happens to include The Samurai Game®

Seems like I’m always returning from something, doesn’t it? My friend, Lisa, tells me I’m “a travel’n man.” Well, whatever; I guess she’s right. Fact is, the past twelve days have been full, full, full.

Stopping for a few minutes here in Peet’s I’m reflecting on just how prejudiced I can be. You know, the kind of prejudice that means I’ve already made up a story which becomes a reality that doesn’t match what is really the reality.

On my way to Taiwan, March 3rd, I didn’t know exactly what I was in for. I still didn’t know by the time I had arrived into Taipei on March 4th. But on the ride across the island and through the tunnel that links Taipei to Yi-lan County I started to get the idea that this trip was going to be beyond my imaginings. I had heard I would meet a zen master … a nun who is known throughout all of Taiwan aka Formosa aka The Republic of China. What’s her name? I still don’t know. Everyone just calls her “Sherfu” (teacher). But soon I came to understand that she was the driving force behind my taking that trip and wanting my work to help influence her students and followers – many of whom study meditation, flower arranging, calligraphy and tea pouring as practices in mindfulness.

I was somewhat aghast at the prospect. What could I possibly bring to them, given the sincerity of their already established practices? And, with respect to the three other nuns who make up the core group at their temple, how would they receive such a thing as “developing the warrior within” given their peacefulness? When finally I met Sherfu I told her my concern and asked her point blank. She smiled … a wholly (and holy) delightful smile … and replied, “Oh this and you are just what I want. We need to study leadership and decisiveness and taking a stand and how to fend for ourselves.” As another person, Kay (translator and main link person) put it, “Sherfu wants to toughen everyone up around here. They need to not be so reliant on her. Gotta make ‘em stronger!”

Well, well, well. We had a terrific time together we had. And warriors they were – especially the four nuns - were they ever!!! Surely put a psychological poke in my eye that reminded me to not be so short-sighted in my thinking (what can I possibly bring to them, remember?)

A few years ago I stood at and walked on the Great Wall of China. Last week I stood before four nuns and students on Formosa Island. Which do you think was bigger? The answer is clear to me. Never underestimate a Sherfu.

1 comment:

Lance Giroux said...

sorry about the incorrect url for Tamalpais Aikido. go to -Lance