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The Passing of Floyd Patterson
The Passing of Floyd Patterson

Although saddened to read in the New York Times that Floyd Patterson, the boxing Champion of the 1950s and ‘60s died on May 11, 2006, I felt his spirit rise up in me as I recalled a chance encounter I had with this remarkable man 20 years ago.
I was spending a summer in the Hudson River Valley at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. I was running some errands and lost sight of the main road as I explored some of the neighborhoods in Kingston.

Meeting a Remarkable Man
As I started to make my way back to the main road I saw a man up ahead walking around in front of his house. I pulled up slowly and him if he could give me directions back to the highway. Then spontaneously a light shown in my mind and I heard myself blurt out with astonishment: “You’re Floyd Patterson!”. I then found myself bowing my head slightly as I extended my right hand out in friendship, but my whole being just wanted to make physical contact with this man.

I was completely surprise that I recognized him, because I didn’t really know what Floyd Patterson looked like, nor did I know anything other than he was a king in the pantheon of boxers, though one that had come and gone before my time. (I didn’t come of age until Cassius Clay – soon to become Mohammed Ali – fought Sony Liston) But in retrospect, I interpret that overcome feeling to what a meeting with Destiny has been described in literature over the ages.

The Transmission
And with a regal look of someone who was recognized over the world at one time, combined with a humble appreciation of being so well received decades past his prime, Mr. Patterson graciously wrapped his hand around mine, my transformation continued.

I felt my average-sized hand become engulfed in what felt like a huge mitt; my hand ensconced in his, and I immediately noticed how smooth and soft his hand was: like a mother’s hand, gently pulsing with a tenderness; a hand that had battered and pummeled many an adversary into submission as he plied his warrior craft in the boxing ring. And then, he reminded me again which direction to head in to get back on my way, and I drove off, feeling exhilarated, calm, and fulfilled.

I’ve recalled our meeting several times over the past 20 years; not often, but when, looking back, I needed to be reminded of feeling I ‘received’ from him.

When I’m Open I Can Receive
This meeting/feeling was a milestone experience for me in that I felt ‘first hand’ the Chi or ‘Life Force’ of this Master of the Warrior Tradition. Knowing what I know now, this transfer of Chi was able to happen because I was open to receiving it; not that I decided at that moment that there was something for me to ‘take’; rather I was ready, able, and willing through a longstanding, ongoing commitment I made to this ‘growth process.’ So like a wireless computer that recognizes any transmitter in its range, the Chi that Mr. Patterson emitted naturally passed into me, and because I cherish that feeling it nourishes and guides me to this day

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