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The Lunar New Year has arrived and the world welcomes the year of the Pig.
The Lunar New Year has arrived and the world welcomes the year of the Pig. For all those born this year, accept my congratulations for tradition states that those born in the year of the pig are blessed with luck and fortune.
This curious word “luck” makes for a consuming topic of meditation. Indeed all those in the ITF should feel a certain amount of good fortune for being able to go through life with the sense of a world-wide fraternal bond. Even beyond the ITF, martial artists who craft their skills in earnest share a relationship with their fellow humans that transcends borders, race, religion and ideologies. As we perform Tul, and the mind is able to shed all of the superficial problems that consume us, we can get a sense for our brothers and sisters who are doing the exact same thing at the exact same moment thousands of miles away. The sense becomes almost spiritual in that we realize when we shed all that makes us who we are in the eyes of others, we are just simple people who at the core are all the same. We are indeed lucky to be on a path that brings us to this realization. The accumulation of material fortune cannot provide this sense of fulfillment as is made obvious by the fact that those who have more than they could ever need still try to gain more. They are chasing the wrong kind of fortune. Good fortune or good luck, is it a blessing, or is it a state that is arrived at by those who follow a good conscience?
Myself, I know I am blessed. I have been given Taekwon-Do as a tool to guide me through life. As a young man, my father made me practice Tul after Tul, giving me advise as I performed each of them. No detail was left unchecked, no knowledge was considered too irrelevant to pass on. When he sensed a lack of enthusiasm, he said the things that old men say to young men that young men simply think of as silly things that are said by past generations. “Perform Tul and you will never be alone” or “training will provide you with all the guidance you need”. For love of my father, I focused my mind and carried out the exercises. As I matured my mind was forced to develop a sense of focus that would allow me to digest all the information being passed onto me. Now my father is gone, yet when I perform Chon-ji and my mind arrives at that place of serenity, I can hear his voice, not as a memory but as an audible sound. I can hear the sounds of my childhood home, the unique echo of our Dojang with each breath or footstep. When I perform Tul, I feel my brothers and sisters world-wide moving in unison, I am not alone. When I perform Tul, I hear my father voice guiding me as if he were standing next to me. I hear his words of advise given at the most appropriate times as if he knows my troubles and is responding to them. I am blessed as are all practitioners who can put their hands on their heart and say they train in earnest and with pure intentions. This year of luck and fortune should help us arrive at the notion that those who are blessed with good conscience will be blessed with all the luck they need.
Happy New Year.
Yours In Taekwon-Do,
Choi, Jung Hwa