☰ Dong Hai Chuan 董海川 is the founder of modern Baguazhang 八卦掌. From him all forms of Baguazhang (recognised and unrecognised) stem from. And while only scant evidence remains of his life that can be documented, he was a lifelong tea 茶 drinker.
☷ This is most strikingly revealed through baguazhang's tea cup exercise. This exercise builds "fluidity in motion", while promoting "calmness within the liquid vortex". It takes lots and lots of dedicated practice to get good at the exercise. And is a humble reminder that as martial artists we are here to serve others 侍: Whether it be a prince above us or the people below us.
☵ In all my acts I strive as best I can to humbly remember this. Even when I have to really slow down and meditate with a cup of tea beside me, because the realization of my thought gets too much: We are all disciples of Master Dong Hai Chuan.
☲ This is where my own path or Tao 道 has led me. For in the walking of the Tao 道, I see as I practice Tea Time equals Me Time, that I have been on this Baguazhang journey for far longer than actually doing Baguazhang itself. Some things are "obvious" 陽 like doing the I-Ching since I was 15 years old. And some things "not so obvious" 陰 like being a waiter or bartender in my earlier years.
☳ The relationship to Dong Hai Chuan is that in being in service to his lord, he was also a waiter. And it was through serving food to others without spilling was how he got noticed.
☶ The second example relates to a little known story outside of China, that goes (in brief)... Once upon a time, up in heaven, three masters were merrily drinking tea and philosophising on the Way of Kung Fu 功夫道. One of the three masters was Master Dong. All three knew the way; they all had lived it, experienced it. But it had been six hundred years or so, since they had last walked the earth and were keen to find out how things were going on down there.
☴ So with the Jade Emperor's permission, the three masters re-entered this world. From birth to death they lived. And when they returned to heaven, the Jade Emperor asked of their accounts. To which they replied: When we entered the earth, the world was covered in banners. Some follow the way, some do not. Some say they do, but they remain in the material, hence gravity has power over their souls. There is no right nor wrong in what they do. It's just going to take some longer to get here than others.
☱ The Jade Emperor took account of their deeds and in the end, while they drank tea together, asked Master Dong: Knowing all this, was the journey worth it? To which Master Dong replied on behalf of the other two masters: It was a wonderful holiday.
#kungfumastersthatdrinktea #teatime #baguazhang