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Tai Chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits; it is known for its relatively slow movements.
A while ago, I auditioned for the role of “someone doing Tai Chi,” but I didn’t get it. As a result, I became interested in learning, and I eventually joined a group where the Tai Chi master, Ms. Li, would teach us during the weekends. In 3 years we have learned many different styles, getting to the point of mastery. Recently, she decided to teach us Tai Chi with the use of a fan called “Tai Chi Fan” or “Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan.” We were so excited to be considered to learn this advanced form of Tai Chi, because it means, to some extent, that we are ready to move forward, that we are advancing to a higher level.
Once we started to practice Tai Chi Fan, I constantly thought about the words “higher level.” One day, while meditating, I thought about how I could do the same in my life, on a spiritual level. When I thought about it, I imagined myself levitating from the ground, not physically but spiritually or mentally. As I searched, I heard **the Voice ask, “What is a higher level?” I responded by saying “The higher level as I imagine it would be free from the attachments that hold us back and prevent us from moving forward.”
“How?” the Voice continued to question. “How do you reach that?” I murmured, “It is from the love.” The Voice answered, “Yes, it is very simple. It comes from love. First, you love yourself. That is the first and the basic level. The next, you have to go beyond yourself and love others. Moreover, you put others ahead of yourself.” At that point, the Voice seemed to disappear. I didn’t understand it at that moment. I didn’t think about it much because I was making an herbal juice concoction for my children, who all have high cholesterol. I don’t want them to take medication if they don’t have to, so I make this juice for them by using a recipe that a friend had used, which helped her.
That day, I was tired, but I knew that I only had an hour and a half to prepare the juice before I would see them. As mothers, we will do anything for our kids. So I gathered all the ingredients and went over the tedious procedure consisting hand squeezing lemons, chopping garlic and juicing ginger. I had finally finished, and I gave it to them before the end of the day. As soon as I got ready to bed, I could feel the soreness in my arm, a recurring injury from an old car accident because I had been laboring over the juice.
When I finally laid in bed, the pain was more than I could bear and I started to cry. While I was crying, it dawned on me what the Voice had said about putting others before myself. Yes, it took the unconditional love a mother has for her children to be able to do it. It is simple. We just need to go an extra mile to give love to others. The pain I experienced helps me to understand how to reach this higher level… I need to have this unconditional love for not just my children, but for others as well.
Yes, indeed, it is time to ascend to the next level. It will certainly make it easier if we know that we are all part of the universe. Everyone in this world is somehow related. If we regard everyone in need as our children, we can easily enlarge our love and put others ahead of ourselves thereby to bring us to a higher level.
“For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35