Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 448

Excuse Me Sir

In 1978, I was on my way to New Zealand to teach a series of Tai Chi classes, and stopped along the way in Fiji. A beautiful country. I was staying in a small guest house in a quiet part of Suva, one of the main cities. The house had a lovely, walled in courtyard, with enough space for me to play my form. The wall was about 4 feet high, so people could see in and I could see out. It was early morning, the light just appearing.

One of my favorite things about traveling is the opportunity to practice in different places. It always affects my practice in ways that surprise me. I was enjoying this place, the warm, quiet morning, the birds starting to stir. At some point, I caught a movement, and noticed a person had come up very quietly and was standing, watching me play the form. I was perhaps half way through the long form, so I continued, and he just stood silently.

When I finished, I stood for a couple of minutes, just absorbing the energy and relaxing. I then glanced over, and the fellow was still there. I walked over to the wall where he was, and noticed he was of Indian decent. As I approached closer, he brought the palms of his hands together, placed in front of his heart, as a form of greeting. He then said something that I will never forget, and I like to pass on to Tai Chi players.

‘“Excuse me Sir. What form of worship is that?’”

We ended up having a lovely chat and we both went our ways with a smile in our hearts.