When I arrived on the doorstep of my Kung Fu teacher, a lost, angry, and self-destructive young man, he said two things I will never forget, “It’s a lifetime course.” And “The secrets right under your nose.”

Both of these statements proved prophetic as I am still on course after a lifetime of practice, and yes I found the secret under my nose, and no it was not my mustache!

I remember early in my training when he took us to a full-contact tournament. As I watched the best of the best taking turns rendering each other unconscious, I said to myself “I could knock any of these fools out!” I closed my eyes for a moment and saw my picture on the cover of black belt magazine. My vain glorious imagination was fully awakened. I began rehearsing my pitch to our Grandmaster. I knew in my heart I would have to noble-ize my goal. I would be a champion and win trophies for the glory of “Shaolin Kung Fu” and I would create a legacy for my beloved teacher!

As if reading my mind and before I got a chance to give voice to my noble proposal, he began the next class with “We do not enter tournaments or competitions! The only trophy you will win here is the one you place within your on the mantle of your own heart!”

In one shot, my vainglorious dream shot out of the air like a duck at a bird dog convention! I surrendered to his leadership and as I look back now, to his wisdom. As of now, my greatest personal achievement has been knocking out the inner opponent that had been attacking me my whole life. So, ith the secret under my nose revealed, the lifetime coarse still in progress, and the trophy firmly centered in my heart, I travelled back to the school in Tucson that is a living reflection of all my teacher taught me over the years.

The message that emerged during my visit this past week was “Make sure you find the treasure living in your heart and give it before the time runs out on the clock of life.” I explained to students from 5 years old to Sixty-somethin that very few people find the treasure buried in their own hearts? This is because we have been taught that we must obtain our treasure “out there” in the world. Whether love, money, fame, or power, we will always feel empty trying to fill up a treasure chest that is already full. Yet as we begin to give out of what we already have and the essence of who we are, our inner treasure grows and all that we desire comes to us effortlessly.

“May I build a better world by giving the gift of myself”

(Excerpt from the Master’s Creed)

Good news, the spirit of my teacher and all that he taught is alive and well and thriving in the desert in Tucson, Arizona. New trophies are being mounted on the hearts of the next generation. The teachers and the students are receiving the invisible rewards. The ones that echo into eternity!

The secret’s right under your nose and it’s a lifetime course

Hint: It has nothing to do with facial hair?

Peace, Si Gong

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