"The Hard, the Light, the Soft, the Bright; The Many Faceted Way"
An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung onto the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full for a full two years. This went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the women one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. The old women smiled: "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path but not on the other pot's side? That is because I have always known about your flaw, and so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walk back, you water them. I have flowers to decorate the table. Without you not be this beauty to grace the house."
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it is the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.
Chun Seh Turned to the boy. "Why should I teach you Kung Fu?" he asked. The boy paused, searching his mind for an answer profound enough to impress his teacher. "Because the rain falls to fill the lake Master." he replied. The old man struck the child across the forehead with his long wooden pipe, turned and walked away. The boy knew the question would be repeated. He spent the rest of the morning preparing possible answers. In the afternoon Chun Seh approached the young one again. "Why should I teach you Kung Fu?" he asked. "To develop my potential" the boy said. The old man's pipe expressed his displeasure for the second time that day. The question was asked again later. "So your knowledge does not die." The boy replied, knowing it was not the correct answer even before the blow struck. That night the boy had a dream. In the dream Chun Seh was dressed in a long flowing black satin robe, he was surrounded by the seven fires of Hell. The young boy tried to call out to his Master but was unable to make a sound. As the flames roared around him Chun Seh began to perform the five star pattern. The boy watched as the old man turned and leapt, rolled and somersaulted through the Tiger and the Snake and then the Crane forms, after each section one of the seven fires was extinguished. Chun Seh doubled low into the Monkey stance as another fire grew dim and died. The Eagle technique completed the fifth point of the star as the fifth fire went out, now there were only two fires left. The old man sat cross legged on the ground and extended a hand towards each of the fires. The flames engulfed his arms, travelling towards his heart, as they met there was a blinding flash. The boy shielded his eyes, when he looked again the old man was standing in a satin robe of pure white, he stood in the centre of a large circle split down the centre with an "S", one half black the other white each containing an eye of the opposite colour. Chun Seh half walked, half floated out of the large symbol towards the child, it was as the long wooden pipe was about to hit him that he awoke. The following morning Chun Seh walked up to the boy and said: "Why should I teach you Kung Fu?" The boy leaned towards his Master and softly whispered in his ear "Because it is your life!" They never saw the tears in each others eyes, but for one priceless, eternal moment their spirits were as one. The only true answer is one that leads to a better question. I Frederick Grandmaster
Written by Grandmaster Frederick in dedication to his Master, Grandmaster Chun Seh.
Chun Seh Dau School of Shaolin Kung Fu, Leicester
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