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Complementary Corner

Lessons from Master Oogway

Renee Lehman

(3/2015) Have you ever watched the movie, Kung Fu Panda? If not, I highly recommend watching it. I love this movie! It is an animated martial arts movie about a clumsy, chubby panda bear who becomes an unlikely kung fu hero when a dangerous enemy spreads fear throughout China. Po, the panda bear, works in his father’s noodle shop during the day, and dreams of becoming a martial arts master at night. He is chosen as the Dragon Warrior (the only one who will save the countryside from the enemy) by Master Oogway, and then undergoes martial arts training by Master Shifu.

Master Oogway (Oogway is the Mandarin word for ‘Tortoise’), is the senior martial arts master who is depicted in the movie as a turtle. He is well-regarded for his wisdom, knowledge and experience, and is considered to be a sage. Master Oogway is greatly respected by Master Shifu, all other martial arts masters, commoners, and all of China. In the movie Master Oogway has many wise sayings that are timeless, and from which we can all learn.

Saying #1:

"One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it."

You cannot run away from your destiny! Have you every chosen a path to get away from someone or a situation, only to find that the path takes us toward what we tried to avoid in the first place? Destiny is unavoidable. You will end up running into the very thing that you were trying to ignore.

We all have a destiny, a purpose for our life. We are all destined to do great things, we just have to overcome whatever is holding us back and move toward that greatness (remember that each of us can and will define greatness differently). This reminds me of a saying by Marianne Williamson:

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

So, take action to fulfill your destiny, even if others may think that you are ‘crazy,’ or even if you are not good at "it" yet. You need to believe that you are special. You need to believe in yourself. As you pursue your path, you may just discover how awesome you really are!

Saying #2:

"Quit, don't quit? Noodles, don't noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present."

Yesterday is history means that yesterday is in the past. Don't worry about yesterday because there is nothing you can do about it. Also, realize that your past is not necessarily what your future will be!

Tomorrow is a mystery means that you have no idea of what will happen tomorrow. So, stop worrying about it! Besides, most of what we worry about regarding the future never happens.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the Present means the moment at hand or "right now." Live in the moment. This moment, this "right now" is a GIFT, in that it is a space for us to be appreciative for what we have in our lives. We need to be thankful for being alive, for the people in our lives, and for anything else in our lives. Finally, you cannot change your past, and the future is out of reach. Remember that all we have is "right now," and so the point is to live in the moment and embrace your journey in the Present. And, who doesn’t like gifts? So enjoy your present (gift), and make the most of it.

Saying #3:

"There is just news. There is no good or bad."

There is an ancient Chinese Taoist story that provides a wonderful example of this quote:

A farmer lives in a poor country village. He owned a horse which he used for plowing and for transportation. One day his horse ran away. All his neighbors exclaimed how terrible this way, but the farmer simply said "Maybe."

A few days later the horse returned and brought two wild horses with it. The neighbors all rejoiced at his good fortune, but the farmer just said "Maybe."

The next day the farmer's son tried to ride one of the wild horses. The horse threw him and the son broke his leg. The neighbors all offered their sympathy for his misfortune, but the farmer again said "Maybe."

The next week enlistment officers came to the village to take young men for the army. They rejected the farmer's son because of his broken leg. When the neighbors told him how lucky he was, the farmer replied "Maybe."

All situations are neutral. It is our reaction to them and our interpretation of the situations that makes them "good" or "bad." How many times in your life has a "bad" situation turned out to be "good" for you in the long run, or vice versa? When things happen to us, we don’t have a high enough vantage point from which to really see the long-term impact on our lives.

By accepting things just as they are, and not judging them, we can stay in a more restful and peaceful place within ourselves.

Saying #4:

"There are no accidents."

Everything happens for a reason. This reminds me of the quote by Deepak Chopra, "There are no accidents... there is only some purpose that we haven't yet understood." Regardless of whether or not we can see the higher purpose, we can be sure that there must be something that our soul needed to experience in every one of our life situations.

If events do not go according to your expectations, then learn to stop fretting over your suffering and misery. This event happened for a reason. It may just be a life lesson that you need to take. Learn from these lessons. Then, you will find yourself moving on, becoming a more evolved and higher Self.

Saying #5:

"Your mind is like this water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle ... the answer becomes clear."

No further explanation needed!

So, if you have not seen the movie yet, please watch it! AND, if you have already seen it and are a fan of the movie like me, go ahead and watch it again to discover many other words of wisdom that you may have missed!

Renee Lehman is a licensed acupuncturist, physical therapist, and Reiki Master with over 20 years of health care experience. Her office is located at 249B York Street in Gettysburg, PA.  She can be reached at 717-752-5728.

Read other article on well being by Renee Lehman