Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In memory of my friend Si Kit

We do not see intelligent people everyday. Yesterday when I was searching for some old emails, an unrelated email dated 20 Jan 2010 from a now deceased old friend suddenly popped up on my screen. Reading it still touched me. I do not believe in Divine intervention. But no matter what reason (there must have a synchronized legit physical reason) that the email popped up my screen, I decided to write this post.

Si Kit's instant grasp of the concept of chi kung shocked me when I gave him a zhan zhuang lesson some five years ago. Here is Si Kit's email sharing his medical report and his enlightened view on life with his friends (I have omitted private information relating to his medical reports) :

Dear friends,

Yesterday, I returned to QM to see Dr xxx. He said that the tumor continued to
decrease in size. In the letter he wrote to TCM Practitioner, he said that
there is partial response of tumour to treatment….
I guess I can live longer than expected…..

There is another Chinese saying: Oldman Choi got his horse, isn't it a misfortune?

Mathematicians like to generalize. The following is a "generalization" of the
philosophy in the two stories of Oldman Choi:

Not happy for matter; not sad for self.

By the way, I have put some math materials in the website

You are welcome to use any material there (if there is anything useful to you:)

Si Kit

In his email, Si Kit had in mind this popular Chinese story Oldman Choi lost his horse, isn't it a blessing? 塞翁失馬,焉知非福. He was referring to the second story which is less popular: Oldman Choi got his horse, isn't it a misfortune? 塞翁得馬,焉知非禍。Apparently he was referring to the "encouraging" test result. And he generalized the story, as he said as a mathematician (he taught the subject in the University of Hong Kong), as Not happy for matter; not sad for self.

"Not happy for matter", he spent his time organized valuable learning materials in mathematics for the free consumption of the public. Now the site http://math.schung.info is still maintained by a good friend of his. He was a great teacher and I find his materials highly useful for people who are interested in understanding the conceptual system of modern mathematics.

"Not sad for self"- he didn't waste his time trying to find miracle cures from "miracle healers" and "miracle potions" in China and South East Asia (like some folks did). None of these was his cup of tea. I was delighted that he was willing to listen to me and spend a session learning zhan zhuang chi kung from me.

He was still physically strong when he had his lesson. I did the usual routine to ease him into meditative state (between asleep and awake). With his eyes closed, I helped him generate chi with the classic finger touch and elbow ease (or support). He quickly got into the zone.

When he opened his eyes again, I could see him feeling relaxed and had experienced the internal sensation of chi. "Now you know what is chi" I told him. And he replied, "Yes I do, and I also know what is chi kung now". I was very surprised and asked "So what is chi kung?", not without a tiny feeling of disbelieving amusement inside. His answer shocked me "Chi kung is to use every possible means (in Chinese it is "Thousand means and hundred tricks" 千方百計") to make this chi sensation strong and to make it occupy every part of your body".

He was absolutely right! And it was his first lesson. This conclusion can only come from an intelligent person with a heightened sense of internal sensation. He had entered the inner door of chi kung on day one. He will always be in my heart - my friend Si Kit.

"His quiet courage and clarity of purpose inspired all who knew him at his final moments."

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