By Ai Liang, South Korea
From the age of seven, I began learning Taekkyeon, a traditional Korean martial art. I was determined to realize my dream of being a celebrity in the world of Taekkyeon before the age of 20.
Price of Chasing Fame
I underwent five to eight hours of training daily. The long hours of training coupled with competitions resulted in various physical injuries, including joint dislocation and pain in my shoulders, knees, and lower back. Knee dislocations were frequent occurrences to the point that when I stood up, my knees would suddenly dislocate. Sitting cross-legged caused excruciating pain that would rapidly spread all the way up to my head.
Every night I reached home exhausted and longing for a good sleep. However, on numerous nights, I was abruptly awakened by stabbing pains. Sleeplessness followed.
During the day, I could not focus on listening to lectures. My attention span was shortened to less than 10 minutes, affecting my reading and learning. My life was lackluster, no longer filled with vitality. Visits to the hospital to undergo physiotherapy became part of my existence. Suddenly, I realized that a sports career was not as glamorous as I had once envisioned; there are extreme hardships and pains which are unimaginable to non-athletes.
My mother constantly tried to persuade me to join her at Busan Haeundae Bodhi Meditation Center. In February 2014 I finally stepped into the center. The easefulness I felt in my body and mind prompted me to go to the center whenever I could. In December 2015 I started practicing Energy Bagua. Initially, the joints of my entire body ached but emotionally, I felt much calmer and more at ease. After three weeks, I was surprised that my knees no longer felt painful. My body became very relaxed and that strengthened my motivation to continue the practice on a regular basis.
After a month of the walking meditation, the pain in my shoulders and lower back was greatly alleviated. My sleep quality improved and I hardly woke up from pain attacks. With my new infusion of energy and improved concentration, my grades got a boost and my wish to obtain a full scholarship came true.
Joint injuries occurred less frequently. With less pain and muscle tension, I made fewer errors during training sessions and no longer needed physiotherapy. My life is filled with energy and passion once more.
Gratitude in My Heart
Practicing Energy Bagua gives me stronger aspirations. I am more optimistic and cheerful now. Pursuing fame as a Taekkyeon fighter is not my goal any longer. Having gratitude in my heart is what I value most.
Nowadays, I go to the park near our meditation center where we practice Energy Bagua. I invite joggers and passersby to join in this exercise. I want others to regain good health and happiness in body and mind, just like I regained mine.
It is possible for unexpected positive transformations to alter one’s entire outlook and direction, and to fill each day with the hope that once seemed permanently lost.
My experience has given hope, not only for myself, but for everyone.