Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Testing a Calm Mind

If asked, I’d have to say that the main reason that I study taijiquan is to help cultivate a calm mind.

That it is also an excellent exercise for a man my age (61) which helps with leg strength, flexibility, range of motion and balance is also true, but secondary.

As a man my age has no business getting into fights, self defense isn’t really on the agenda for me anywhere.

The organization I work for was hosting an event over several days at a hotel. We had around 150 registered guests. After our closing banquet on the last day, we had opened a hospitality suite for our party.

As a member of the staff, I was one of the first ones there to make sure everything was going to go smoothly. A couple of our more prominent guests were there and I joined them. Everyone else was still in the banquet room.

I’m standing there talking to our guests when a stranger kind of bursts into the room like he owns the place, grabs a beer and just walks up to our conversation. It was clear that he was quite drunk. He was loud, but he was funny, so we humored him. My idea was to let him have a beer and ask him to leave before our people started showing up in any numbers.

Well, he was loud and sloppily spilling drinks. He started becoming abusive towards the bartender.

When he cracked open another beer, I told him that was enough. He wasn’t a part of our group and he had to leave. He didn’t like that.

So here I am, nose to nose with this guy who is a good twenty years younger and in far better shape than I am. He was really worked up.

I found that I was dead calm. I was firm and assertive. He couldn’t get a rise out of me.

Other people from our group started filing in now. The bartender had his hand on the house phone; to call security I suppose, if needed.

He kept flashing his credit card and a wad of money around. He couldn’t believe that I was kicking him out. He could buy and sell the whole lot of us he said. I wasn’t backing down.

Maybe he became embarrassed by getting faced down by an old man, but at this point, he finally left.

We could hear him at the hotel bar which was across the hall from us carrying on and learned that security had asked him to leave there a little later.

For cultivating a calm mind, I think taijiquan worked.

Addendum: they told me at the hotel that this guy got into a fist fight with someone else later and was  evicted from the hotel. He was there with a work group, apparently and I imagine will have some explaining to do.

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