A Korean pen pal is practices Kouksundo 국선도. I had never heard of it, but I did practice Tai Chi for many years before I started taking Taekwondo. Read more about Kouksundo at their website.
One of the meditation poems on the Koukosundo website resonated with me. My painful emergence as a Korean language student does feel like I put all my energy into pushing out of the heavy and hard earth as a tender sprout.
A Pain for the Growth
When a bud sprouts,
It needs to endure the pain of breaking and peeling itself.
It needs to put all of its energy
to push and come out from heavy and hard earth.
Just like plants, bearing the pain of bursting, breaking, coming off and tearing for the growth,
To newly begin and grow up,
a great pain always comes together.
Just like babies, falling down innumerably when learning how to toddle and finally walk well,
We need to overcome the pain for the growth
even the reality looks cruel after experiencing many defeats,
And let’s put pain as an opportunity to become stronger and more beautiful.