Back in the early eighties, just before I started Taiji, I visited an osteopath for a bad back. He had recently completed a course on craniosacral therapy and prosperity consciousness, and fancied himself as a bit of a New Age guru. He instructed me to compile a list of the ten things I most wanted in life. "Like what?" I asked. "Like a great well-paid job, a beautiful girlfriend, a nice apartment in Islington… But don't be greedy…" I found the whole exercise rather distasteful and childish but I completed it. "Now, each evening read through the list aloud ten times, and the energy of the Universe will bring those things to you." I only had to do this once to realise that it was an exercise in pure selfishness, with zero spiritual content. Then I thought, maybe instead of wishing for these things I should wish for a mind that no longer wanted such trivia. And then I realised that what I most wanted in life was not things, not material possessions, but a destiny, a direction, a lifelong course of work and devotion that would consume me until it eventually killed me. A couple of weeks later I met John Kells. So, I guess, in its way, the exercise worked.

1 comment

Pat Francis said...

I had always hankered after religion but not felt able to believe and could find no satisfactory belief to order my life by, so I finally resolved to forget Quakers, Hindus etc and settle for historical materialism. Within weeks Tai Chi presented itself (when I was trying to join a class on mathematics) via a student of John's (Christian).