Parkour is like Cat Style Kung-Fu

Some days when it gets just too cold to move, I tend to stare directly in-front  for a prolonged period of time. Yesterday while I was “freezing” outside, I observed a stray cat moving with lightning fast speed through the rocks and plants in the ravine, it was something like D-wade in the 05-06 season before the hurt shoulder, back, arm, knee. etc. But further observation of the way the cat accelerated every time it got past an obstacle  reminded me more of Parkour, the modern urban-sport built upon the idea of getting from point A to point B in the shortest time with the utmost athletic skills and “balls of steel”.

So for all the parkour-loving folks out there, it won’t do you too much harm to watch some action-packed cat videos once in awhile or just observe those living around you. But  do NOT emulate the way them fall, because unlike cats, when humans fall we don’t always land on our feet.

Midnight in Paris…..

Remember I told y’all that there was a French dude who is staying here to “experience our lives” for a week, well apparently after translating for him, I not only improved my French by miles, but I also made a great friend. I mean the guy just brought out the best of me, and to me that’s what a friend is for. His name is Michael, a dude of 29 working in Paris, who is also extremely interested in Buddhism ideals. He has been practicing martial arts for 3 yrs, and is now coming to Shaolin Temple to learn more traditional techniques. I don’t know why, but we always seems to have these conversations about race and society. It is only after he has left, did I begin to recall our talks.

I taught him about Mexican gangs and Korean BBQs in socal, he taught me about the different Muslims and Algerians in Paris. He told me that though Australian chicks are hot, they are also “bitchy af”, I told him that though all the monks here are Chinese, not all Chinese know martial arts. I complained about the Christian faith’s need to “convert” and he complained about his Muslim co-workers’s “selectively permeable interpretation” of their holy book. We did agree upon Buddhism’s intelligence in remaining inquisitive and always seeking out answers instead of followers. Our talks went on and on into the night (I normally sleep at 9:00pm, but we spoke till midnight) I spoke with my mix of 5th grade French and 11th grade English( cause I didn’t learn anything senior yr academically) and he responded with his flashy French and unfathomable English.

After some compassionate babbling  we reached this point of lucid pity for the first world nations of today (US, FR, GB), especially the youth of those nations. Because we realize that society today is too comfortable, too nonchalant, and sometimes even too care-free. And that impression of comfort and stability on the outside helps hides hideous and dangerous problems within. The problem? The problem is that there hasn’t been a big enough problem or disaster yet to make people realize just what’s wrong with themselves and our society. Back in the 70s, we had the grueling war in Vietnam that dragged on for yrs as a constant reminder of what’s wrong, in the 60s we had the struggles for civil rights that continuously screamed out what’s wrong, and in each of those cases, whether you like to call them “liberals”, “black-lovers”, or “hippies”, the youth or young people were extremely demonstrative and vocal in their protest of what they thought was wrong and in demanding answers and action from their government. But sadly, the youth of today seems overly concerned with watching the last part of Twilight, getting a higher SAT score, observing their favorite college football team, or getting $2 chipotle on Halloween than to actually perceive whats happening in their society and to take action in attempt to better it. Yes, some do act, but it is not enough. Individual actions matter and have a possibility of changing the world, but that possibly is rather low in comparison to what generational actions can do.

We are called the “Internet Generation”, or “iphone generation”, but whatever it is that we are called, it is about time we start making use of the “vast array of technology” in our hands to do more than to facebook stalk that girl you have a crush on. It is about time for us to use our iphones and macbooks, facebook and instagram, for more than ourselves. It is about time to clean your lenses and see the world for what it is. Well, at least that is what I think, for now.

Transcending Limits: 1st Time Sneaking Meat

Today my friend, who is also the leader of our group, went down to the town to get some heavy cloth for the winter cause it’s really cold here in the winter (like NYC cold with more wind) and we have no heating. Luckily for me, on his way back, he was able to get some delicious roasted chicken and sneak it up here to the temple for me. I consider this to be a transcending moment, because according to my master and his master before him, a very high level of Buddhist behavior is “To have meat and alcohol pass through your intestines, while always having Buddha in your heart”. (it sounds much better in Chinese than translated though) I humbly believe after today, I am a bit closer to that level hahaha. But then it might not be so transcending, because my actions really didn’t break any rules, because we just don’t “have” any meat here, there is no strict prohibition saying we can’t eat meat. It was my first time eating meat in month, and I am again reminded of why there are so few vegetarians in this world (excluding my Indian friends).

Doesn’t that chicken just look so attractive though?

 

Speaking French and Bees

Yesterday was a pretty damn eventful day for me.

First I woke up and thought that CCTV-Sports was gonna show the Spurs-Clips and I was like “yay!!”, turns out it was freackin billiards, I mean who do you know that wakes up in the morning and watch billiards? Someone obviously did not do their consumer interest research.

Then I went to practice to welcome the new French student who is here for a wk to “experience” our life, as if it’s so different from his, and it is. His English is like that of some African American professional athletes, it’s intelligent and fluent, but you don’t know what he is saying. So I had to resort to speak French with him, it was my first time translating in French since like never. I guess all those days getting hit on by Madame Jacquot in French class and cursing in French and English turned out to be pretty useful.

Then as I was practicing, a bee thought it was funny to die and sting me right below my left eye before he did, leaving me with a swollen eye as I walked back home, only to find out that my Spurs has just got blown out by the Clippers. With my eye swollen and mind irritated, I decided not to read and just slept the whole 2 hrs of break.

Afternoon practice was even more interesting as I had to practice on my own and be part time French translator, and just as I was walking back another bee stung my left eye again (right next to the first one), causing it to swell twice as much. I don’t know if my eyes are that beautiful or what, but according to the French dude, I seem ” to have flowers in my eye” cause that would explain why I keep getting stung in the same spot.

I look even more like a delinquent now with my left eye swollen for bee bite, two stitches above my right eye from getting socked, and a big cut below the chin from not defending the uppercut.

We All Need a Lil Bit of Humor in Our Lives

Other than teaching English and attempting to instill some “Jerry Wisdom” to the kids here , lately I have embarked on a new mission to paint some smiles on people’s faces. If you didn’t know this, martial arts training is very boring just like how going to classes everyday can get a little bit boring. It’s the same idea of doing the same stuff over and over again, even though you might be learning (or not) and improving (or not) as time goes on. Inevitably,  it’s a process they all have to go through here, so why not have some laughs and fun along the way.

At first it wasn’t working so well, for example I would have a witty and funny reply to something , but I would end up being the only one laughing while everyone else stares in silence with a “WTF” face.  Then I have to say, “oops my bad, I guess that wasn’t funny.” But humor is infectious and more importantly my dedication to humor is infectious, and as the days went on, people started to laugh. I would tell them laughing is good for your abs, and they believed me. LOL.  So some kids would start laughing for no-reason when we do ab workouts, and when I finally told them it doesn’t really help that much, we all just laugh together again. Hahaha

I even tried to get the elders here to laugh, though that has been a tougher project than the kids. But it’s definitely working though, I just have to add a bit of sarcasm to a really serious subject and it would work (except for the 70 yrs old monk, I don’t think he understands what I am saying most of the time). Everybody benefits with this new fun-loving environment, people aren’t so uptight all the time as if  a stick  was up their ass, training goes by even faster, and everyone seems to enjoy the training more (even though the temperature really makes it hard to enjoy).

First 10 wks in #s

I remember I did a “first 10 days in #s” when I first got here, now if you are really lazy or busy, you can just multiple those numbers by 7. But if you have a little bit of time, I hope you can read through these.

 

Number of hair on my head: Probably the same as yours (just a lot shorter)

Number of times I think about Boba milk tea everyday: 3-5

Number of times I shower a day: 0.5-0.6 (when it’s like below zero, you don’t like to take your cloth off a lot)

Number of times I have been asked to sneak marijuana seeds for the Taiwanese dude: The same as the number of rejection I gave him

Number of packs on my abs: I say 8, but it varies depending on the time of day

Number of hours of training per wk: 65 hrs, we don’t train on Sundays

Number of shoes I have gone through: 4 (they cost about $3 USD each, so the quality ain’t that high)

Number of times I freeze to death per day: Every time the wind blows (So-cal has spoiled me bad)

Number of Calories consumed per day: 4,000-4,500 ( I’m always eating)

Number of Injuries on me: 7 (hand, ankle (both), right cheek (face), right shoulder, crotch, right cheek (the other cheek))

Number of movies watched: 23

Number of books read: 0 (currently reading 4 though)

Number of Tears at the Lakers’ 11 straight losing streak: 0

Numbers of pounds gained: not enough

Number of times I check fb every wk: 2-4 times

Number of times I eat shit during practice: Every other day (big improvement from the previous everyday)

Number of times I miss my friends back in the States: Always missing them

Apologies for going AWOL for like 14 and a half days, the wind blew away the wi-fi wire I stole, so I had to “find” another one.

Life’s Two Tragedies

A really old dude told me yesterday that there are two tragedies in life, one is not getting what you want, and the other is getting it. I didn’t understand it, but here is what I think. If we are constantly stuck in these two states (the state of wanting, and the state of getting), then logically we are constantly living in a tragedy. But if our whole life is a tragedy, that means our whole life is not a tragedy. Because it is the happy moments that make the sad ones seem sad, without contrast to present relativity that is no distinct happiness or sadness. So try to think more on the positive end the next time you think “life sucks”, cause if it really is a tragedy, at least you get to choose the ending cause you are your life’s own screenwriter, right? unless you are living a life already written for you by someone else.