If you know something to be true, find the right time to say it
The night the wind howled through the ancient trees of Tao Garden nestled in the green mountains of Northern Thailand, Bill and I lay awake listening – to it and the rain. The air was spiced with the smells of the jungle and rice fields. We had been at our new apartment at the Tao Garden wellness retreat centre for only a few days and were newcomers to the community.
I held Bill’s hand in the dark. He had awakened trembling from a vivid dream and after describing it to me, I spoke forcefully: “You must tell Master Chia what you feel about his plan … what you just saw in your dream!”
Master Chia is the creator and owner of Tao Garden, and at 74, the world’s most acclaimed teacher of the ancient Chinese system of energy movement, Qigong.
Instructors and students travel to Tao Garden from all over the world, to experience his teachings first hand.
Earlier that day, when the sun was shining, we walked to the centre of Tao Garden. In shock, we saw a huge billboard announcing the imminent construction of a massive building right in the middle of the lovely green park where students practise Qigong. The park is sprinkled with exotic teak pavilions and surrounded by ceremonial gongs. It is breathtakingly beautiful with an aura of times long past, and has an almost tangible energy from years of devoted practice.
“No! No! No!" Bill whispered. I gazed at the giant rendering of the building and shuddered.
We went to see the general manager. He shook his head sadly. “We have all tried to talk Master Chia out of it. He brought a famous Feng Shui expert at great expense and he told him if he wanted to expand Tao Garden to build right there. Everyone is upset: the staff, the residents, the returning students … but Master Chia has made up his mind and refuses to discuss it with anyone.”
We left him shaking his head sadly, staring at a small model of the proposed building on his desk.
After lunch, Bill went for a bike ride around the property. He told me later what happened next:
A huge tree limb had fallen in the storm, completely blocking the bike path. I skidded to a stop. Looking to my left, I was startled to see Master Chia standing next to me with his bicycle. He is an imposing man, and reputed to be able to knock opponents off their feet without even touching them, so great is his mastery of Chi (life force energy). He was staring at the fallen tree, and for an instant I wondered if he would move it with the sheer force of his will.
I looked at him, cleared my throat, and nervously ventured: “Master Chia, may I speak to you for a moment?" He turned and stared at me.
His face was impassive.
I blurted out: "This is wrong! Your new building … where you want to put it … it is completely wrong! I had a dream about it last night. I am certain this is a mistake!"
I was trembling with nervousness, and he looked at me for what seemed a long time. I felt a tingling, as if he was assessing my aura.
"What is your profession?" he finally asked.
"Well, for many years I worked as a cinematographer."
He considered this.
"So you are an expert on beauty?" It was more of a statement, than a question.
I nodded thoughtfully. "You could say that," I agreed.
"Come with me!" It was a command, and I did not hesitate.
In an instant, he was on his bike pedalling on the grass around the tree so fast I almost lost him as he crossed the footbridge at the far west of the property.
We came to a huge open field, and dropped our bicycles.
“What about here?” He swept his arms expansively.
I turned in a circle, taking in the verdant mountains to the north, the sunset view over the emerald rice fields to the west and south, and the retreat centre just over the tiny bridge to the east.
I looked him in the eye. “It’s perfect,” I said. He smiled for the first time.
The next morning the massive billboard vanished. It reappeared in the field on the other side of the little bridge that afternoon.
A quiet happiness flowed through Tao Garden and Bill and I slept well that night.
Dear readers, sometimes it just needs the clear ring of truth to change someone’s mind and to help them with a decision that no matter how wise, they cannot see.
If you know something in your heart, find the right time and say it!
Nina London is a certified wellness coach, Qigong teacher and laughter leader. Her mission is to support and help cancer patients and survivors and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with Nina at www.ninalondon.com and follow her on Instagram @coachninalondon