This place is of inner healing and higher knowledge, it is an oasis of spiritual conversation among the students and teachers, to which I feel in my heart a sense of belonging.  So much of my thoughts and the way others think, behave, act or are supposed to act have been a product of my own mind.  I find these formless entities of the mind drown in what I experience as peace and happiness here, still, dealing with the 49 barriers are a challenge as are dealing with my desires, how can the height of my ambition be reached if we are taught to release desire? How do I reconcile the pleasure sweetness brings to my tongue, or the happiness a beautiful face to my eyes? Are these truly illusions?  The parts of me I believed to make me, essentially me, seem to be fading, days go by as my identity starts to seem different from what I think is self, who am I becoming? And more importantly, for what purpose? A quest to stillness but how will I know once I’ve found it?  The many of us have much of the same dilemmas; escaping turmoil, seeking purpose, spiritual growth or merely answers to questions.  I find myself somewhere in the middle, it has only been two weeks and I am feeling great change as time seems to move extremely quick.

Days go on here whilst we adhere to a high regiment of training and temple etiquette, Li Shifu says let the dirt and sweat accumulate as to the significance of your hard work and growth, and although my hands get dirtier my spirit feels a sense of cleanliness. As a martial artist I am excited to what is set before me, each day presents itself with a new challenge to be met and overcome, I will not misuse the time I have here, on the first night Li Shifu told us our destiny’s are large, and we have come from the four corners of the earth for his guidance, for this I am thankful.

Written by: Chad Muraj