Re: Paul Kang Sensei Passes Away
(I am going to ignore the political correctness of using non-gender specific nouns/pronouns in what follows for the sake of clarity and free expression).
Whenever I come across a notice of a teacher passing, I feel a pang of grief for his students and family. I know how much that teacher may have meant to those around him (from what my teachers mean/have meant to me) and feel something of their loss: it's impossible to know exactly the impact of his death. And for this, I also feel a little guilty, being lucky that my teachers are healthy and will be around forever.
In the thread I've read the kind words of friends, acquaintances, and strangers, sensing their thoughtfulness, admiring their tact, and wishing I had something to say, knowing at the same time there is nothing I could say to help make the hurt go away. You can guess, and empathize, but one can't really know what the grieving are feeling.
When tragedy hits someone close to me, I believe, and always try to convey, that somehow, someway, something good will come of it. I always try to look for a positive outcome and also, be aware of the harsh reality of life. This makes room for a positive thing to be realized.
But sometimes, there is nothing positive about it.
It's true that all of us at Bond Street feel our time with Paul Sensei was too brief. We're all kind of numb; no one can believe he's really gone and won't come back. We've heard from many people who shared the impact Paul has had in their lives; these words have been very comforting. It's a mix of familiarity, inspiration and sadness. Beyond that I can't broadly characterize we're feeling.
But on the mat, the classes have been well attended. Folks are practicing with a renewed interest, and an increase in focus and intensity is tangible. The moving mediation with members, and old friends, has given us solace. We have to continue practicing. This is what Paul Sensei would have wanted.
I am trying to practice in earnest and in spirit what I have learned from Paul Sensei, in the hope that the essence of what he meant to me will be around for a long long time.