(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/discussion-2/charles.html)
The old monk in his golden robe sat across the low tea table from me, held up a fist, and spoke softly in Vietnamese. Slowly he opened his hand so the fingers stretched out and his palm pointed up towards the sky. The translator explained: “He says that your heart is closed like this fist, but that in ten years in will open.”
I felt my heart sink, because I knew it was true that my heart was closed, and I was shocked to imagine ten more years of suffering and unhappiness.
Thankfully, I was soon to meet my dear Sifu (teacher), Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit, and amazingly, my heart blossomed in an instant. It was the most incredible experience of my life. I felt my worry, sadness, fear and anger instantly washed away, replaced by an unprecedented, almost overwhelming happiness.
The last eight years of my life, since I learned Shaolin Chi Kung from my sifu have been positively joyful. I have done things, and enjoyed things I never would have if it had not been for my practice of the Shaolin Arts. I have become, in every way, a better person.
I have enjoyed many benefits from practicing our chi kung and kung fu, but for me, the heart opening was and remains the greatest gift of our practice.
Simply put, I am a happy man.
Thank you Sifu, from the bottom of my heart.
Sifu Charles Chalmers
The above discussion is reproduced from the thread Heart Closed Heart Open in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.