~ Belonging ~
© Margaret Emerson 2008
One of my T’ai Chi students told me this story. He took a solo hike on his favorite trail, which led through a redwood forest to a bluff overlooking the ocean. He stopped there and practiced the sequence of T’ai Chi. As his hands drifted downward to conclude, tears fell onto his T-shirt in big, heavy drops—“like rain,” he said. Then he heard a voice: “It’s okay, you belong here.” Did it come from inside or outside his head? He couldn’t tell. While he related this story, he kept interrupting himself to impress on me what a practical man he was—as a physician he saw human disease and suffering every day and did not consider himself a spiritual person. Yet at that moment he felt not only embraced by the universe, but “blessed.” The sensation was unique—he was used to being liked and respected by grateful patients, but this went beyond that. The impulse to say thank you welled up in him.