Qigong – My Path to Virtue (1)

18 years ago, I was working myself too hard at a fruit company that produced boxes with an external wire protruding from an end. Love it or hate it, you might have heard of it. It’s currently one of three corporations valued at over one trillion dollars: Apple. At the time when I started it wasn’t viewed with much admiration. In fact, it was commonly labeled as beleaguered and irrelevant at the time. But I was not one of those who saw it that way and I poured my energies into what I believed was a worthy endeavor to fight against that perception.

If you asked me why I worked so hard at the time, I might have answered that it was the love of the company or that I vehemently railed against common perception towards it. Truth be told, it was more fundamental than that. Simply put, my family had gone bankrupt in the early 1990s and we were struggling with survival. At the time in my early 20s, I did not apply myself to anything that would be considered the right path and ended up uneducated and doing menial jobs. But I wasn’t unintelligent. Through osmosis and a little obsession with visual arts, I taught myself, with some good mentors, how to operate and understand computers. Looking back, this was instrumental in my getting into Apple 6 years later. I escaped the low paying jobs I was accustomed to and doubled my earning potential within 2 years of working in the tech industry.

It paid off for me. But at the time, working constant overtime came with a price in the form of unexplained illnesses. Chronic pains, fatigue and even mild depression. Worst of all was psoriasis which can be triggered with exhaustion and stress from anything. This last aspect was reliably reproducible for me since I was 24. Working as I did at the time was not helping. There’s no cure for psoriasis and I’ve tried for years with doctors and various remedies. Anyone who has suffered from this disease know what this is like. Also, another problem from this period of my life was a severely injured lower back. Those menial jobs also came with a price. My back was damaged to the point of making me stand crookedly whenever the injury surfaced. It affected my energy and focus whenever it flared up. I couldn’t run for 2 years and any cough or sneeze was a disaster because it could put my back into a debilitating state. This was sure not the best of times.

My father who had immigrated to Shanghai in the 1990s to join the hyper growth economy in China, returned to the US telling me stories of miraculous healings. I was fascinated but skeptical by how his fractured foot was fixed within hours by a qigong master he met there. Or how his other injuries were also healed without medication or instrumentation. These were all interesting anecdotes and I thought it would be great to meet a qigong master. Years had passed and the possibility of meeting one seemed elusive. When he finally moved back to the US, he happened to meet an old friend who introduced him to a qigong master in the Bay Area. I distinctly recalled the way he described this qigong master was even more incredible than the one he met in Shanghai. He told me Master Zhao didn’t even need you to explain your problems to him. He will tell you exactly what’s ailing you. Not only that, he won’t even touch you and you simply just get better. My father can be very convincing as he’s a business man. Nonetheless, I was glossy-eyed and feeling hopeful in the back of my mind from hearing about his description of Master Zhao.

That meeting did come in later February 2002. Once again, I had worked too much at the office. It was a new project to test high voltages from a new CRT monitor. I was testing a new diagnostic tool for it and was anxious to complete its testing. At about 10 pm, I felt my left arm had weakened to the point where I was having trouble holding the high voltage probe. This instrument just weighed a few ounces. The problem lasted for a good 20 minutes and I started to panic. I drove myself home and slept but called in sick the next day. My director, who was more worried about my health than I was, offered to drive me to the hospital to get checked. She convinced me and I went. I got an ultra sound and found out my liver was swollen. I called my father to see if I can see Master Zhao. He helped me make an appointment and decided to accompany me.

On the ride to see Master Zhao, my father kept telling me to just listen and hear what Master Zhao had to say about me and not to say too much. That seemed odd to me. After the initial introduction, I was delighted to see Master Zhao as a good natured friendly person with a good smile and a powerful enthusiasm behind his words. I was still skeptical so the first thing I asked was: “Could you guarantee my getting better.” Big shock! Without mincing words, Master Zhao gave me a good chastise for not respecting what he and my father was doing for me. He got my attention like no one before and had me aligned to what he was saying regarding respect for elders and a chance to make friends – because he liked me. I’m a good person at heart. Just disrespectful. But he’d still like to make friends with me. It’s the truth he shared that shook me upon meeting this stranger for the first time. I was really touched inside. He was not fooling around. Indeed, it was this moment a pivotal path opened for me. My mind began to be cleared of negativity. The body also followed. Master Zhao’s impressive powers of diagnosis opened me up like a book. He examined within seconds all of my issues and its history. Even my swollen liver was not hidden from him. I had not shared that information with anyone as I just found out at the hospital. As the young people would say today, my mind was blown. What is this he’s doing and how did he heal my ailments?

The initial 5 treatment I was blessed with opened up a new universe for me. I felt the incredible amount of cold Qi leaving not just my feet, but everywhere below the neck. So did everyone in the waiting room (they were all coughing from my cold Qi being expelled!) I was checking for vents to see if the AC was blasting. This was all amazing enough. But here’s the real treasure from this experience. When Master Zhao asked me to stand up, I felt like I had the best productive sleep of my life. I was energized and invigorated. The lower back was totally loose and strong. For some reason, it was easy to just laugh. And Master Zhao laughed with me. I knew this is the real deal whatever it may be. And of course, I signed up for the next Beginning Qigong class.