Though I did not realize it at the time, he was my first Qigong master.

“Dominus vobiscum” Father Norbert Chateau sang those melodic words with such feeling and with connection to the parishioners in the pews before him. “Et cum spiritu tuo” was their response.

I was eight years old and new to the profession of altar boy, but knew enough in my innocence that there was something happening that could not be seen.

As his arms opened wide, his eyes connected with each of the few in the early morning church. He smiled and they responded with loving acceptance of his blessing. I remember his silence and warmth, he was a man who had witnessed and transcended suffering and sought to bring others on a journey to find an original state of blissful wholeness.

His were the hands that had given the last sacrament to American soldiers in the war just a few years before. It was through suffering that the priest knew how to connect with a Force that comforts the shaken and shakes the comfortable.

If we seek realization, we will find inspiration in the unexpected.

Though I did not realize it when I was eight years old, Fr. Chateau was my first Qigong master.