Practicing his teachings is my medication!
I hesitated to write down my thoughts since I had already shared them with you on 3 different occasions. I didn’t want to repeat what you had already heard, but since then, I had time to continue to reflect on what this unique and exceptional period brought us and how looking back has helped me to deepen my understanding of his teachings and all of the benefits we receive.
Some background: I started practicing his teachings at the age of 35. I was in a difficult mental state because for 10 years I had been experiencing very intense emotions of panic and anxiety without knowing what they were. I thought I was a bit “crazy”… When I got the diagnosis, then I thought, I’m not crazy, and I can do something to help myself. First, the doctor prescribed antidepressants. I wasn’t thrilled about taking medication, but I wanted so badly to stop suffering. Plus, I had two young children and a full-time job, so I had to be functional. Other than gaining weight from the medication, I didn’t feel too many positive effects.
So, I started Taoist Tai Chi® practice through the city of Montreal. It was 1h30, once a week, walking distance. At first, I thought that I would find it too slow, but I quickly realized that there were many moves and that as a perfectionist, it required a lot of work! I realized that for 90 minutes, I didn’t think of anything else but following the movements and that in fact it is so beneficial. It frees the mind, instead of having a 360 degrees mind, thinking about all kinds of things at once, all of a sudden, it’s like a focus, a laser that narrows down the field and focuses on one thing: following the group and the leader in training. Finally, after 2 series of satellite sessions, I decided to register directly with the organization.
I was learning the form, the foundations, I participated in all the activities I could. When I look back at this period, I realize that gradually I felt better, less and less anxious, less panic attacks. I felt at ease in this environment where we are welcomed without judgment. I was impressed by the generosity of the leaders in training who gave without expectations. I was comforted and soothed by the values transmitted, the virtues, which reached me and called me. However, I didn’t really realize what was happening. I did it because it made me feel good without thinking of obtaining a result.
After a year, I decided with the doctor’s approval that I didn’t want to take any more anti-depressants and that for me practising his teachings was my medication! I gradually stopped the medication over a period of several months, but I knew deep down that it was the right decision. Anxiety and panic attacks are not like a broken bone; after a while you are 100% healed and you move on. It’s more subtle, there are ups and downs, but with practice, my downs are no longer as low and it’s much less frequent. I can face fears, and I accept that the path sometimes is difficult, but I decide to move forward anyway.
At the time, I was not able to recognize that, but if I look back at myself 23 years ago, I realise that the trust in the organisation grew stronger every year. Trust is a major part of healing for someone with anxiety. I see how much I have grown with each hurdle, each victory, each lesson. To be able to help by participating as a leader in training, to be active within the branch, the region, with our organization, is a privilege for all the learning received and I am grateful and thankful for the trust placed in me.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, with all the meetings, all his teachings and personal practice, I now have a much better perspective on how profound the heritage of Master Moy’s Taoist tradition is. Our organisation is so unique, and it deserves my unfailing support. My mission is to continue this Taoist training so that others can benefit from it. I see the connection between taking care of the altar to take care of ourselves, the internal and external universe. Taking care of the organisation to take care of ourselves and to take care of others. Being at the service of something greater than oneself.
Thank you to all those who have guided me by giving me lessons that sometimes took me a long time to grasp the compassionate wisdom behind it. I know today that I don’t know, that I should not rely on the illusion of knowing, but to remain open to transformation, in a learning mode all the time. I trust the feeling, learning from the heart, all the teachings from the directors, the virtues that are so profound but also so challenging. I need to keep working on humility, propriety, sense of shame, among others, in order to tame the heart and to become a better person. Thank you for reminding us of the spark of goodness in each of us. It is so easy to forget it or to hide it.
Thank you so much to the directors who have carried on his rich and deep teachings. My understanding is improving at least 1% a day! I am sincerely and deeply grateful and indebted.