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Looking Back

I first joined the organization when I was 26 years old, 34 years ago.

I was a skinny and nervy guy. I remember being frustrated and impatient to learn the movements. Nevertheless, I learned the movements quite quickly and moved on to a continuing session. One of the first physical changes that I noticed was that my stomach relaxed. It actually hurt a bit as my insides sloshed around when I walked home after a session.

I remember enjoying the playfulness of learning the movements and a similar atmosphere during sessions. I had an eagerness to learn and to exchange with the group. I was often at my location practising with those that were there.

I remember two physical issues from that period of my life.

I suspect that they were tied to each other. For the first, I felt I had a void in my solar plexus region. I remember making a drawing of myself and pencilling in a big hole in the middle of my torso. The second issue was when I would walk, I would often look down at the pavement. It annoyed me to no end! I would try to straighten myself out and, as my thoughts wandered, I would find that my head had tilted down, and I’d be looking at the sidewalk again.

I’m not entirely sure when looking down at the pavement stopped but I haven’t done it for years. I’m sure that this change occurred gradually due to my practice and involvement in the FLK.

As to the hole in the solar plexus, my old friend is still there :-) but it has mostly filled out now. This change was slow, tugging at my insides over the years. Regular practice during the pandemic further helped to open the solar plexus region and open up the chest.

It was maybe three months after I had become a participant that I travelled to Toronto to meet Master Moy.

It was the spring, and in the fall, I would be leaving my home town Montreal to travel to Poland to start my film studies there. The week or so that I spent in Toronto following Mr. Moy was transformative. To this day I’m not even sure I understand the depth of learning that occurred during that short period. At the time I was unaware of this importance of this learning. I was naïve and innocent to what was going on around me. I would attend all the sessions where Mr. Moy taught where I met many of the participants that were the regulars at the time.

I remember practising being easy, fun, and playful. As I think about it today, there was a lightness about how I moved. I remember in particular practising push hands during a session where it would seem that any push would just roll off me like water off a duck. It was a bit of an unreal feeling and I remember feeling kind of giddy about it.

There were several profound moments during my stay in Toronto when following Master Moy in his daily activities. I kind of went along for the ride not really knowing fully what I was experiencing. However, those memories are still very much alive in my mind today. I have only given them anecdotal consideration until now.

I am grateful for the encouragement to "chew" on these memories. I realize that they are a bit like an anchor for lifelong change and how to understand that change. The reflection on where I started from, what it was like, what I was like, helps me understand the change that occurred and continues to occur within me. But more importantly, it gives me a sense of firmness or depth to the learning. I feel like I’m growing small roots in my feet. And these tentacles strengthen me in all levels of my practice.

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