When I was young, I used to observe this practice amongst the Chinese, especially the older ones that when they board the public buses, before they sat down, they would hit the seat a few times and then they sit down. This happened way too often and of course, curiosity got the better of me. So one day, I asked my primary school teacher, why she did that. I was in Pri 6 and took the public bus home. One day she took the same bus as I did and she did just that. She told me that the practise of hitting the seat before one sit down is to ‘buang suey’ or throw away bad luck.
What bad luck? I remembered asking. So she told me that the person before us on the seat may have some suey that we don’t really know of, so it is best to ‘hit’ it out before we sit on the seat, or else we would absorb the ‘suey’. Sure. And I bought it and started hitting seats on buses. Not only on buses, but in most public places I needed to seat, whenever I could remember. The first time I did it after I got married to the husband, I detected a perplexed face from him, and I gave the exact explanation. He then responded with a skeptical look but with the ok whatever response.
It was many, many years later, actually about 7 years ago when I started becoming interested in sufism/spirituality/zenmatters/yingandyang/energy and alternative healing that this practice was again the centre of my curiosity. I attended a course on insanrabbani at the convertsassociation I think circa 2002 and the teacher spoke about the spirituality aspect of our lives and yes, he was the one who brought up about this peculiar Chinese practice. About bad energy, good energy, toxic energy etc and balancing them/attracting them or getting rid of them from our system.
Once a visiting Shaykh came to our hometown and gave a series of talks and discourses. It happened to be a period where I was having too much personal problems which I felt I could’t handle and my mind and my soul, simply put was ‘berkecamuk‘ or in shambles. After one of the talks I wanted to ask the Shaykh to make some prayers for me so that I could handle it better. I just slowly inched my way there and before I could speak, he nodded at me and put his hands up reading prayers for me. I guess he must have felt my toxic energy and my bad aura before I even got the chance to tell him.
Last night, two incidences happened at the dojo. The room we use for training is usually used by the yoga class before us. Usually we had to wait outside the room for them to finish before we quickly go in to lay the mats for our training. Today when the door opened and the yogis walked out and the aikis walked in, we were thrown off by a really bad stench and the air in the room felt ‘heavy’. Basically we had a split moment where we all stood asking what’s so bad in here??? One of the old ‘uncles’ said something like ‘aiyah… yoga itu keluarkan bad energy lah’ ( the yogis expelled their toxic energy during their class and we walked right into it ). So another ‘uncle’ quickly opened all the windows and brought in the fan and had it at full blast. Then we started our stuff. Buang suey… 😛
During training, sensei was explaining to us iriminage. He practiced it on one of our classmate, B -a Dutch slightly taller than the husband and as sturdy as an oak tree. Sensei brought him down. The door to our training room was opened and a young chap was observing our training. He must be in his late teens or early twenties. He called out to sensei with ‘ Sir can I try it? Can you bring me down???’ In all the gusto of an arrogant youth ready to take on the world with brawns and age on his side. The youth asked if sensei could bring him down and what if he is really, really strong and cannot be brought down?
Sensei invited him in. All of us, were seated and smiled at each other. We sensed what was coming. So sensei did iriminage on him, before which he asked again to sensei, what if I am really, really strong and you cannot bring me down? Sensei showed him a thing or two and of course the’really, really’ strong young man got iriminage-d a few times. 🙂
After he left we resumed training and a while later, sensei stopped us and briefed us that if a non aiki asked to be shown some moves when we are training, do not by any chance take it upon ourselves to ‘ye ye orh’ ( in other words, eksyen terar ). Because we do not know who the person may be and what intention the person has. Always refer them to a sensei, we were warned. Sensei told us that he could ‘feel’ the young chap and his (negative ) aura when he came and although he harmlessly wanted to try out, sensei could feel his ( non positive ) energy.
My brother-in-law, in all his smugness of being a medical doctor used to tell me that my interest in all these faith/spiritual/energy/zen things– is nonsensical and a mumbo jumbo because it cannot be explained by science. Everything not explainable by science, to him is rubbish. It is good that he is staying in a different continent from me because him thinking my interest in this field is rubbish is already creating a bad aura. So to that ( or to him rather ), I would say, whatever and OOOmmmmmmmnn. Just to buang suey… 🙂