" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

December 20, 2010

Swimming with the Dragons on Salt Spring

Intuition. Mine works pretty well. Especially when it comes to people. Friday I found myself walking down the path of this 7 acre property, through a gate, into an old orchard and in the distance I see this unfinished round building.

A conversation with someone whom I have know superficially led to me agreeing to meet with him as a means to help me focus on my physical health.

He teaches Qi Gong. He's a carpenter who specializes in Asian-style buildings and in rammed earth. He's also done rigging for concerts in the city.  From the first time I met him about two years ago, I knew that he was a very unique individual. His whole way of being radiates gentle, respectful and accepting.

The conversations I've had with him have always been in my office and have always been oriented towards the spiritual. Whenever he drops by, which hasn't been often in the past 6 months, it's a breath of fresh air compared to my usual interactions throughout the day. He's just come back from Hornby Island for 7 weeks where he was building a rammed earth house.

He's  a very soft spoken guy who stands very straight. Slight of build but very fit; lithe might be the word. He wears his long blonde hair in a chignon atop his head. He usually walks around town in clothing that seems very Asian even though he's Caucasian. He's got an extremely calm, centred energy.

When I arrive, I find him at his "outdoor kitchen". We enter his place which is one round room on the main floor with a lotus flower cutout that leads to the "loft" where his bed is. There's a wood stove and a beautiful round skylight at the top where you can look up and see the sky and evergreens as if the natural world is being offered to you through a magnifying glass platter.

There are lots of windows and he is proud of a door he's just finished building. There's a poster of a tiger on one wall which has a significance that he explains to me.  Sprouts are growing in shelves in front of a window. (I never have seen the attracton of sprouts. Blah).  The woodstove has a kettle on it and the fire is crackling. He hands me a cup of green tea. A beautiful large Buddha with a turqouise patina sits atop a bookshelf full of books on nutrition, spirituality, martial arts.

We sit cross legged on the floor. 

I was facing the window, he was facing me. The light streaming in was framing his blonde hair like a halo. I was soaking in the visual effect savouring the way the light seemed to accentuate this "sentient being". (I say that half jokingly because a former friend, Anu, constantly would use the term "sentient beings.")

We talk about the three pillars of health and "plan the work, work the plan". He talks about clear vision and laser beam focus and he leads me through a series of questions he wants me to spend time answering on my own.I must come up with 20 possibilities for each.

As our conversation unfolds I am blown away by the knowledge he has and his ability to impart that using analogies and metaphors. After quite a long time, we get up and do some exercises.

He starts with a guided meditation called Coming Home. We begin beating ourselves down one side of the body and up the other like in former yoga classes I've taken. We are awakening our inner smile.  And finally, we do a movement called Swimming Dragon which starts with us standing on our toes, our palms together above our head, and then we try and draw an S curve with our arms and our body.

I am standing behind him so I can mimic him. I have to keep bringing myself back to the moment because if not, if I'd see myself as others might have if they had been observing, I'd probably have wet my pants laughing.

I felt like Shirley Valentine and instead of being on a boat with a Greek player named Kostas, I was with some Germanic "Ninja" healer in his Yurt-styled abode like I had just been transplanted into that book The Secret.

I'm trying to move a spine that is more used to sitting stationary in front of a computer than one that can bend fluidly like the winds bend willows. I know from being around Colleen all these years (and just from my own knowledge gained by taking Sandra's yoga classes in the West End) that keeping the spine limber is the most significant way to maintain mobility hence youthfulness.

Can't you just see me? I was pretty happy. I had a big smile on my face that he couldn't see and I stood behind this beautiful man. He was moving as fluidly as a dancer. It goes without saying, I don't. Move like a dancer, that is. I move more like the tinman in The Wizard of Oz. But, there I was.  Seeing the humour in the situation and wishing I was about 10 years younger.

Something to look forward to in the New Year to be sure. :-)

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