As students of the work/study program, we have been encouraged to keep journals, and provide written insights into our journey. Below is one students account of how things are going…

As we approach the halfway mark of WSP 2015, it feels like a good time to reflect on what I’ve learnt and take note of how I am feeling.

Our group is smaller now, there are only 4 of us and we have become very close. Everyday we share how we feel, where we are at and we always take the time to ask after each other. There is a feeling of family… we are all in this together!

Each day presents its own challenges. That’s the same no matter where you are right? But I think I am more sensitive to it here. Part of what we are learning is how to be open to these challenges and see them as gifts rather than shutting them out, or ignoring them all together. Challenges are opportunities to learn and grow. The WSP program feels like an intensive course in the school of life!

My practice is developing and carving it’s own path. I am feeling a much deeper sense of inner strength at the moment, and I know that has come from what we are learning. There are the physical sensations of Qi, which get stronger the more we practice, but there is also a more spiritual feeling of Grounding. I find it so easy to get caught up in where I ‘should’ be or what I ‘should’ be doing… but right now I know I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. I feel connected. Seated meditation is still challenging for me, and recently we have done a few longer meditations, up to an hour and a half. We are working towards 2 hours. That feels like a long time! But even though its hard, the interesting thing is how meditation changes after an hour or so. It’s almost like it takes me that long just to settle down. For my mind to sink. And then a very different feeling takes over. I don’t know how to explain it really. It’s kind of like being at the beach. You know when you put your feet in the sea, and you feel the waves rush over you? And then the pebbles pull from under your feet as the tide moves in and out? Meditation feels like that for me.

I’m also starting to realise just how powerful emotions are, and how they stay with you. When I was younger, there were a lot of things that happened in my life that I had no idea how to process. So I shut down my emotions, thinking I was being strong, thinking I was ‘coping’ as I should. But the reality is that by not meeting those emotions and letting them go, I trapped them inside and they are still there now years later. So I feel grateful to be here, in an environment where I have space to rediscover those old tensions and start to let them go. Healing is happening right now, and that feels good!

I am enjoying the work side of the program a lot. When I arrived, Daniel gave me the role of Communication, which was definitely a meaningful coincidence! I have lived in Asia for over 5 years now, and I have often been really rubbish at keeping in contact with friends and family back home. One of my goals when I decided to do the WSP was to make more effort to stay in touch with back home. And then I arrived, and my job is literally an expression of that! I write blogs, I take photos, I post information about Wandering Dao. I am communicating whats going on here with the outside world, including my friends and family. So that feels good.

It’s not all a walk in the park. Sometimes after work, the idea of sitting still for an hour feels like the last thing I want to do! Sometimes I come across a block or trigger during training that I really don’t want to confront right now. But that’s why I’m here. Like everything in life, WSP is a gift, and it’s one I feel very grateful to have received.