“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
I found this quote on the blog of ontheroadtoinkrichment, http://www.inkriched.wordpress.com, and it just sums it all up, doesn’t it? The majority of us, just don’t make a sack of money from writing. There are exceptions of course. So why do we invest all the time and effort, if money isn’t our goal?
Enrichment. One simple but powerful word. It holds the word rich in its grasp, but means so much more.
So on the subject of Enrichment let me share with you my road to enrichment! I have been practising Taoist Tai Chi for several years and it never ceases to amaze me how I am always learning something new. The original Tai Chi master of the group that I belong to, Master Moy Lin Shin, was a sickly youth, who was sent to a monastery, with ill-health. There he trained in the teachings of the Earlier Heaven Wu-chi sect of the Hua Shan School of Taoism and regained his health. He studied the religious and philosophical side of Taoism and acquired knowledge and skills in Chinese martial arts. In 1949 Moy moved to Hong Kong, there he joined the Yuen Yuen Institute, in Tsuen Wan district in the New Territories, continued his education and became a Taoist monk.
Moy was sent overseas with a mission of spreading the understanding of Taoism and its practices. After some travel, he settled in Montreal, Canada, and in 1970 began teaching a small group of dedicated students. In those early days, Moy taught both the health and martial arts aspects of Tai Chi. Upon moving to one of Toronto’s “Chinatowns” a few years later, he changed his focus, emphasising the health and personal development aspects of Tai Chi, although Moy still placed a strong emphasis on Tai Chi push hands practice and sometimes demonstrated other self-defense aspects of Tai Chi as well.
Moy started with a standard Yang-style t’ai chi ch’uan form, and mixed in elements of other internal arts, and taught it to enable students to learn Lok Hup Ba Fa later. Moy called this modified form Taoist Tai Chi. Moy emphasized the non-competitive nature of his style of teaching and of the form.
A teacher of Taoist Tai Chi is asked to conform to and live by Moy’s
“Eight Heavenly Virtues”:
Sense of Shame
We are often told Master Moy’s life story at classes. One particular story remains with me. Master Moy
did not place much emphasis upon the importance of money, in fact he had very little. He would sometimes come to class with not enough money in his pockets for his bus fare back. His pupils would gladly give him money so he could get home.
He began practising Taoist Tai chi as a means to manage a severe health problem. He succeeded, and not only did he improve his ailing health but his legacy is an organisation that is now in multiple countries across the globe. His original Tai Chi set has been handed down, more or less in its original form, and teachers give their time for free, volunteering to teach pupils Tai Chi. There is a spirit of cooperation, and friendship, within the whole Taoist Tai Chi culture. I so admire this ideology and the selflessness of the instructors. This means that each local group works together doing the Tai Chi set as a team. As I said, Master Moy didn’t have much money but I expect he was happy and fulfilled. The older I get the less I think we really need. I know that some people may say, you have more than most, and I would say this is true, but I don’t believe that material things make us happy. All we really need are the basic things in life: a roof over our head, enough food to eat, and the knowledge that our families are safe, in good health and above all else enjoying a full, and happy life. Everything else seems immaterial.
Here are some links which you may find interesting:
Master Moy doing the Tai Chi Set:
Taoist Tai Chi Society of Great Britain, Canada, and USA:
Well, as you can see Stephen King is right, enrichment is the goal. Oh and if you take up Tai Chi, and write, I can definitely say you will be happy! I know I am. Go for it!