I found myself recently in the city of Guangzhou where I decided to be spontaneous. I had a one day free of any entanglements, so I decided to pick a bus and get off when I spot anything interesting. But almost forty minutes later, nothing caught my eyes. That’s when I thought my plan wasn’t going to work so well. So I got off when I felt like I should. I walked around to find any restaurant or a place to sit in. Unable to cross the street from all the fast going bike, I turned and walked along a wall to get to the other side and cross safely. And that’s when I saw it.
This is a Taoist temple that I’ve stumbled upon by Chance. And in that place I learned one of my most valuable lessons in life. We all try to achieve enlightenment differently, but it should come from a common place.
I came across of two people, one who was responsible of taking care of the place, and the other was a Taichi master from the pictures above. He explained to me what that place was for. I speak Chinese Mandarin but there was one word I didn’t understand; “Qifa: 启发”. He was explaining that this is a place where he comes to to find “Qifa”. The lady with him took her time to find the right English word and then said “Enlightenment”. It made sense to me, one would seek a temple to meditate and eventually get out with something inspiring afterward.
So I turned toward the Taichi master. I understood what he meant by Qifa and I wanted him to know that I understood. I said Qifu and pointed to my mind, made some sort of a gesture that can only be described as a universal explosion of my mind. That’s when I realized that I didn’t really understand the right meaning of that word. The master shook his head negatively, and pointed not to his head, but to his heart, and copied the same cosmic explosive gesture that I made. saying “Zhen de Qifa” Which meant “True enlightenment”.
I was enlightened that day. Soul searching is something for the spirit, your heart. It is not just something for the brain to process, but for your spirit to sync with. I’m glad I got lost there, cause that’s how I was able to find myself again.