Chris Forte’s reflection on a trip to China.
This trip to China has truly been a great experience in many ways, as I write this I have two days left. I was able to do many of my daily spiritual fitness practices. The only thing I missed doing daily was my one hour hot vinyasa yoga class. I did yoga when I could in either the hotel fitness center or in my room. It was difficult as we were up at 6am everyday and returned to the hotel at 10pm. I was able to get my physical through walking or hiking many miles per day at places like Tiger Leaping Gorge, The Ancient City Wall in Xian and The Great Wall of China.
The last two weeks we covered a good chunk of the country. We visited Shanghai, Lijiang, Chengdu, Xian, Luoyang, Shaolin, Kaifeng and Beijing. As I reflect what was the biggest impact on myself from a spiritual perspective . I have two: First, when we visited a local elementary school in Lijiang. The school were grades 1st through 6th. Some of the kids lived at the school. The conditions in which they lived in were not what we would expect to see in the US. The kids were packed into one room, very, very tight. Also the school itself, the classrooms were fine, the bathrooms and outside grounds could use upgrades. We got to spend an hour at the school and spend time with the children. We sang, danced and played basketball, etc. What struck me was all the children and faculty were full of big smiles. Everyone seem to be content. What I learned here was live simply.
The second and the biggest impact is time spent with my daughter, God’s child. Throughout this trip I have soaked up these two weeks being in the present with her and this experience. What was amazing was how many Chinese girls wanted to take pictures with her. I was told blonde hair is what attracts these pictures but her hair is brown. Lots of people would come up to her and say you are so beautiful. One day as this was happening I heard the “voice” enjoy your precious gift. I knew immediately the teaching. All my daughters are a gift lent to me by God. This voice came early on the trip and enhanced the experience as I consciously was aware to be present and just not be present but enjoy the present.
As I walk this path of life, I’m living the life of a spiritual being having a human experience. I need to continue the pursuit to live a simple life, be present, enjoy the present. In addition to cherish the time with my children, they are truly gifts.
This article was originally published on The Humble Warrior.