In the late afternoon of the first day of my first workshop with Master Chen, a wave of remorse and sadness swelled up in me, seemingly out of nowhere. Earlier in the day, two other workshop participants talked to me about decisions they were faced with that reminded me of a difficult period in my life, but there were no other obvious reasons why these emotions would well up.
I was not exerting myself in that moment, most of us were standing in a circle watching Master Chen demonstrate something on one of the other participants. The feelings were intense, but not overwhelming. I continued to pay attention, participate, and enjoy the workshop. There was also a degree of detachment from the feelings, a sense that they were somehow taiji-related and would pass. The feelings moved from foreground to background after a few minutes, but became strong again after the workshop had ended for the day and I was on the subway alone.
They faded for good the next morning after a restful sleep. I have since been told that Master Chen recommends being unmoved by feelings that occur during training or that take us away from training. I feel I did a reasonably good job of this at the time. I find it encouraging that training remained my priority in the midst of a potentially powerful distraction.