Tenderness of the Warrior

Today was day five of a seven-day intensive qigong workshop nestled in the mountains of New Mexico. The venue is remote, isolated, enlightening and powerful. We spent the day in silence, all 53 of us, from morning until night. Without the distraction of chatter, I actually tasted a blueberry and noticed how it was different from scrambled eggs, distinctions that I am not aware of when I have dinner with Lester Holt. On those evenings my plate miraculously becomes empty and I have no recollection of the layers of flavors that I had just consumed.

The day started with observing a Kung Fu class at 6:30 am. The physical commitment of the students was astounding, requiring enormous stamina, strength and sheer determination. I don’t know if all Kung Fu training is the same, but my teacher emphasized intention which fine-tuned the quality of the movements. Evaluate, continue the energy of the attacking motion to get the opponent out of the way, end with some kind of loving embrace. I saw a parallel in the essence of other relationships – with our adversaries, lovers, family members and ourselves. Be 100% present, listen and evaluate, take responsibility for your action, follow through to the completion. This is the tender side of the warrior.

During the week, I climbed a tree, wrote a poem, did qigong by the edge of a pond, ate more greens than I could imagine, and expressed gratitude in every waking moment. I am home now, my head spinning and every muscle in my body aching from days of qigong and yoga. I am ready for a bath in epsom salts, then giving it another go tomorrow!

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