• Al Bailey

Being present to recognize and receive our gifts...

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

Being present is a gift within itself, it helps in recognition development and the embodiment of our gifts so we can in due time and season share our gifts. A gift can manifest in a moment's notice and often without our recognition we´re carrying many gifts that we're unaware of. Gifts that manifest as a result of being present and maintaining presence. These gifts are recognized as being self generated through personal experiences of being present wherever we are and present in whatever we're doing and even not doing. Know, no attachment and expectation aren't easily practiced in these times we're living in; however, my choice in these practices as a walking meditation are what led me to these insights I share throughout this site. It's been eighteen yrs. since experiencing an intentional three weeks journey into parts of China, unknown to me, that would teach me so much about myself and increase my quality of life.

I was to assist a special friend with a broken arm. I became her extra hand and set my primary focus on being present for her as much as possible. I had become pretty good at observing people´s needs and responding to them before being asked. I had experienced waiting tables for years, worked in the corporate food and beverage service as well as Maitre d´and Flambe-table-side-cooking. My skills and experiences of the past, I could see were going to become handy in my having to observe with no expectation no attachment and respond clearly in the present moment to situations of unpredictability. I see now how this self-training experience has shaped my life, healing practice and Body-work.

Before going any further I'd like to share an example of how things happen for us for reasons not understood in a particular moment; to show we're often right where we need to be, on the right track and headed in the right direction. All we need to do is be present right where we are and remain present in what we're doing... When I got the call inviting me to travel to China, it happened while visiting longtime friends in Philadelphia, Pa. At the time I didn't know what to say right then when I got the call and told my friend I'd let her know my decision in a day or so. Speaking with my friends in Philadelphia, after the call, I said "wow I just got asked to go to China and I froze up". It blew me away and I thought to myself I need a sign to let me know I'm making the right decision. Within 15 minutes, we're outside working under the hood of my car replacing the battery while listening to an amazing gospel group rehearse in the church a few doors down. I mentioned to my friends, the music sounds good and that I had a high school classmate who was a musician of several instruments, who attended and played at a church somewhere here in Philadelphia, Pa. After replacing the battery, putting the hood down on the car, I look down the sidewalk and there was my classmate I had just mentioned a moment ago. Then thinking to myself immediately, no way; this crazy. Moments later it occurred to me that this is the sign I asked for. Right then I knew I was in the right place, right time right where I was supposed to be and I was on my way to China.

Little did I know the gifts that would come out of this experience that would change my life forever and I'd meet a very special being friend brother and someone I would soon call my teacher. With a broken arm, I knew my client could only do so much and I'd be on call at anytime any place. This was my reason for choosing the attitude of no attachment and no expectation, it would teach and allow me to be present without judgement. Being the free spirit that I am and knowing there would be many unpredictable challenges, I needed something to help me maintain balance and focus. I made a commitment to journal every day for the next three and half weeks. As a body-worker-massage-practitioner, my body would be experience working in awkward compromising positions without the use of a massage table.

The biggest challenge was facing all my personal shit that would come up almost every time I was called to assist my client. I remember one time in a Taoist Monastery at Mt. Huashan, I was asked to do a session on a bed while my client was covered in yak skins. There was no heat and no space to move around in the 10 x 10 room, temperature was about 45 degrees. I didn't get much rest the night before and was ah bit under the weather after the overwhelming experiencing of walking the polluted streets in the old capital Xi'an. All my body wanted to do was nothing related to massage and this is where my practice came in handy, no attachment, no expectation.

A few days later while touring an old farming village in Loginti, I was invited to sit in on a Taoist healing session... To be continued...

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