Light My Path

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My second visit to Singapore has been yet again an enriching experience. Initially unwilling to return, my hand was forced by a recruitment agency which had successfully arranged a number of interviews with some very large banks based over there. Though I was successful for one of the roles, I decided not to take the offer. My decision came suddenly albeit with plenty of soul searching. Aside from job interview, this second trip was an opportunity to visit my friends and Si Dei (Kung Fu brother). Inadvertently it was also an opportunity to spend some good quality alone time – Even though I’ve been loathing those lately. Staying at a backpackers hostel also allowed me to interact with a few people, all of whom were from different parts of the world and were of different walks in life. The combined effects were eye opening and valuable self questioning sessions ensued – from which I think I’ve learnt/determined a great deal.tao

For my own cognitive requirements I’m going to ‘chunk’ these self question sessions and my conclusions into categories based on the people I met during that week.

I met with my ex colleague and good friend, Wesley. To this day, Wess remains one of the few positive memories I have from my time as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Sydney. Blessed with infinite patience and a real love for coaching, Wess is someone I’ve always had time for. Wess himself is going through his own period of transition. He is a talented accountant, but wants and has more to offer this world. He has recently been reading maniacal quantities of self help literature and because of his passion for sharing knowledge, we had a lengthy (4 hour) discussion about my own journey of self discovery.

Wess asked me what I wanted to do as a profession, right there, right then. I answered without much hesitation ‘Advertising or PR’. I am happy with this answer because I think I’d also enjoy this career.

Wess followed up with another question – What are my emotional drivers? I found this incredibly difficult to answer. I actually don’t even know what an emotional driver is. I know what it is not though – It is not an external factor.

An external factor is something that is out of my control. Such things as how I am perceived by others. So what could these internal factors be? Desires? Wants? What are the PULL factors?

I don’t know if it is this current time and place that I find myself in this life, but I have arrived at a point where I realise that money cannot be the determining factor in your life decisions. In fact, it cannot even be one of the determining factors. It cannot even appear in that ensemble of determining factors. My motivator is my desire. Desire to exercise my creative brain as well as utilise my technical and numerical skills and to create a life from these. I need to emphasise ‘LIFE’ because I do not mean ‘career’. I want my life to be something that ‘I’ am proud of. I no longer wish for internal satisfaction by way of seeking approval from external sources.

Pak Mei Kung Fu – Si Dei Desmond and Si Bak Tsang
Kung Fu for me is the totality of the high ideals of Confucianism boiled down and concentrated into a subculture. The relationship between a Master and Student is akin to that of a Father and Son. Similarly, the relationship between two students is equal to that between two brothers. Tying into all of this, my style of Kung Fu, Pak Mei, is also heavily influenced by the indigenous Chinese religion of Taoism (If you know Star Wars, then you will sort of understand Taoism, since George Lucas borrowed heavily from it). Over time Taoism also absorbed many facets of Buddhism and within its pantheon of Deities, many Buddhas are represented. Within both Taoism and Buddhism there is the concept of fate. From the Buddhist perspective this relates to karmic relationships.

I’ve known Des for a number of years now. I’ve always had a soft spot for him. We met in Sydney while he was a student. Approximately 5 years ago, Des came down to Jubilee Park at Glebe to train in our style of Kung Fu. My Sifu and Brothers practice Pak Mei Kung Fu every Saturday (from 2-4pm). We have been friends ever since. Under Confucian guidelines, I therefore consider Des as my little brother, and I do.

Without going into great detail, I believe Des and I are karmically tied to one another. I don’t say this like some Sydney-Eastern-Suburbs-Yoga-Practitioner talks about karma. I truly believe Pak Mei Kung Fu, Des and I are tied to one another. Through Pak Mei Kung Fu, I met Des. Through Pak Mei Kung Fu, Des met one of our Singaporean ‘uncles’. This Uncle, Si Bak Tsang, also happens to hold a direct lineage to Pak Mei school of Taoism. Through Des I have now met Si-Bak Tsang.

Through Si-Bak Tsang I have experienced the Tao in its most purified form. The interesting aspect to all of this is that for as long as I can remember, I have always held a deep fascination with Taoism, to the point where, as a 10 year old I bought a copy of the Tao Te Ching.

One of the key tenets of Taoism is ‘Doing without Doing’ or Moving with the Tao (Wu Wei – 無為). This behaviour then simply flows through us, therefore letting nature take its course – It is the right action, appropriate to its time and place, and serving the purpose of greater harmony and balance.


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