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Workshop: How to Complete your Soul

I've been reading a lot of things on spirituality partly for a novel I am writing, but it didn't start out that way. I've been on my own spiritual journey for a while now. Tonight I attended a workshop on the things one needs to work on in order to complete their soul. The ChunHwa Centre gives these workshops monthly for an amount you decide to donate ($5, $10, whatever you feel like). He said you have to be scientific and methodical about it. Meditation can help you get there, but only if you are focused.

He talked about good and bad stress and how much of the time the stress is necessary for growth or is simply a result of natural bodily function (eating causes stress on our digestive system). We talked about how the key to stress was understanding the underlying cause. After that it's all about good coping techniques. He liked to joke around a bit and would say things like the only way to get rid of stress was to die.

We talked about health as a goal for meditation and how most people equate health with lack of pain whereas a person who is working on completing their soul seeks to attain mastery of their body. That person wants to have as much control as possible over their body so the movements are intentional. This could be a martial artist who is looking to exert the proper force in a technique. It could be a dancer who wants to be so beautiful and expressive that they move their audience to tears of joy or sadness. It could be a surgeon who wants to last through lengthy surgeries.

He had five things that are needed in order to complete a soul:

1. Honesty
- He talked about honesty in terms of how we all think we are being honest and we are, but we are limited in the amount of detail that we can remember, so we don't remember everything and our recollection is more of a perception or phenomenon than it is a true representation of reality. He kept saying phenomenon and sometimes that word didn't jive to me, but it may have been my own limited perception. What I took from this is that due to our limitation to see how we may be unintentionally causing pain in others due to our words or actions, we must be open to hearing how we are affecting them. Our single view is not enough to paint an accurate picture of reality.

- We also need to be honest about what our goal is and it shouldn't be small like the toy we loved as a child because as we grow the value of things change and we should care more about things that are not so superficial. We should want to share our good fortune with others.

- This is scary because we recall pain from past attempts at doing this. We may have been physically harmed or our pride was or someone took advantage of our generosity. We need to be able to heal from the past or we will stay stuck where we are.

2. Diligence

- We need to work for it. We need avoid comparing ourselves to others. Just because we saw someone study forms for 10 hours and they passed their grading does not mean it will be 10 hours for us. Just because we saw them do 10 hours does not mean that was the only practice they did. We also have no idea what quality of practice they did. Did they stand around lost for most of it or were they focused?

- If we practice something for 100 hours and we don't get the desired result, it means we need still more practice and perhaps we have to tweak something, but many times people just give up. Dedicate yourself to your goal and do whatever it takes to achieve it.

3. Responsibility
- Responsibility begins with the self, but we are part of something much larger. We are connected to each other through energy and so we must all take responsibility for our part in how society is. If your neighbour is in need of help, do you help them or do you say it's not your circus, not your monkeys?

4. Etiquette
- We must be kind and courteous to one another. Be respectful and you will receive respect in return. If you live alone, do you still wash and make yourself presentable? Yes, because you work with others. Etiquette is all about relationships. We cannot achieve true greatness alone. We must work with others to make dreams happen.

5. Faith
- We need to love and believe in ourselves. We also need to believe that there is something bigger that we are a part of. We all have a place in the universe and need to step up and accept our roles. At the same time, this doesn't mean abandoning reason and scientific evidence.

- Roy Iaidoka

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