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Amazement, more amazement, then gratitude and contentment

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  • Amazement, more amazement, then gratitude and contentment

    Dear Family and Friends,

    I have just read a wonderful article on Sifu's website:, which I wanted to share here on the forum.

    I particularly loved Sifu's description of what really makes the difference in the making of a Master: gratitude.

    Originally posted by Grandmaster Wong
    “If [an aspiring master] is successful,” I answered, “which constitutes a rare minority, there will be amazement, followed by amazement, followed by more amazement, then gratitude and contentment. The great majority, which constitutes more than 95%, will be unsuccessful. This is especially so today when learning a genuine art from a real master is so very rare.”

    “But there is a point,” I continued, “where many would-be masters fall. To them, the progress is amazement, more amazement, even more amazement, then disappointment, and then arrogance.”
    I realized that disappointment can take many shapes: being disappointed with oneself, with (seemingly) slow progress, with the teacher, with brothers and sisters, with one's family, with life in general, with the weather, with unexpected circumstances, with the taste of that weird apple, etc...

    What struck me too is that disappointment is what precedes arrogance. It made me look back on times when I was disappointed in something (not necessarily related to training), and how indeed this led to very deceptive arrogance. After all, I can only be disappointed in something if I think it should be different, and therefore if I think I know how it should be.

    The heartwarming fact is that there is one simple antidote: gratitude. It is very hard to feel disappointed by anything when we feel grateful.

    Originally posted by Grandmaster Wong
    The crucial difference between a fallen would-be master and a successful master is disappointment and arrogance on one hand, and gratitude and contentment on the other. If, instead of feeling disappointed, a student feels grateful to his teacher and to God or whatever term we call the Supreme for the wonderful benefits that he receives, he will have a good chance to progress to become a real master. More important than becoming a real master, being grateful is a sure sign of good health.
    Thank you Sifu for yet another profound lesson!

    With love and respect,

    Last edited by Hubert; 21st January 2015, 08:36 PM.
    Hubert Razack

  • #2
    Ah! So wonderful!


    Thank you so much for bringing this wonderful teaching of Sifu's to our attention. Thank you also for illuminating it with your own personal experience, and your observation of how disappointment will engender arrogance. Your examples--the weather, the funny apple--has helped me better understand this very important lesson.

    Gratefully Yours,

    Charles David Chalmers
    Brunei Darussalam


    • #3
      Dear Siheng,

      Thank you for bringing up the importance of gratitude, and of how disappointment and arrogance can manifest subtly in many different forms.

      As I write this the saying "Just follow Sifu's instructions" comes to mind. Simple yet profound!

      With Shaolin Salute,
      Lee Wei Joo


      • #4
        Disappointment and expectations

        The core of disappointment for me, is when expectations are not met. Sometimes these expectations are reasonable and sometimes hmmm, maybe not.

        Irrespective of whether they are reasonable or not, they are still expectations. Often I think it is just unreasonable to even hold expectations. This may go against so-called conventional thinking - aren't setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) nothing more that setting up expectations? Maybe the ideal way of managing expectations is to reassess them or just let them go when they are not met. Disappointment is far less fun than gratitude and contentment and we don't need to go into denial about what would have otherwise disappointed us in order to experience gratitude and contentment.

        Bring on more weird apples, please.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael Agar View Post
          Bring on more weird apples, please.
          I guess you call those kiwis, eh?

          Charles David Chalmers
          Brunei Darussalam