Welcome to the loose leaf tea lifestyle or for the more actively inclined: 武俠茶道.
It has been pointed out to me that our front page says TEA TIME = ME TIME. And here I am as a guy writing about tea in the hard-nosed martial way.
What is the relationship between taking time out with a cup of tea and martial arts?
Firstly, I wish to say thank you for the question. And secondly, keep the questions/feedback coming.
How best to clarify?
About 10 years ago, I used to work my ass off in my business like everybody else trying to chase the money as we all do. This thing of chasing the money was not the reason I got into the tea business. I wanted a life and to be in charge of my own destiny in my own way etc. But like most things, a little thing called paying the bills had a thing or two to say about it.
At that time I was also very much still a coffee drinker. I grew up in a family that drank coffee by default. And I am a flat-white with mixed spice dusted on top person. Mixed spice being cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. No sugar. I did the morning coffee ritual thing. Always at a cafe with newspaper and never-to-go. All class. You can picture it.
It was during that time I noticed a peculiar sensation within me. Perhaps it was the baristas or perhaps it was me. But it started coming to pass that I was finding my coffee getting more and more bitter. To the point I had to start reducing the strength of it. In the end I found weak quarter strength decaf too bitter.
Something was wrong but I didn't know what it was until the fateful day I collapsed in my own backyard. No stroke, nor heart attack. I crumpled. And it sucked. You can imagine my wife getting upset since we just had our first baby. These things always come at the wrong time. So I waited for an hour or two in the backyard, doing mild breathing (qigong) exercises until I got enough strength back to get up and go inside to tell my wife what happened.
I was bedridden for two weeks. Severely dehydrated, needing those electrolyte salts to help me absorb water. And promising my wife it wouldn't happen again. I meant it but my actions time and time again said otherwise.
Why did it happen?
It happened because deep down inside I was trying to prove myself to my wife and the world that I was a good husband, a good father, and a good provider. And it was all because of the shit I picked up along the way growing up as a kid. I had seemed to resonate with low frequency stuff quite a bit.
Thanks to my martial arts training however, the situation was far easier on me than had I not been doing martial arts. FYI: My style is called Baguazhang.
It was from that time, that I believe my real martial arts training began. Now, did it happen again? You bet it did. In total about five times. But each time less severe and the recovery time quicker. The last collapse, thankfully, lasted half a day. And that was about a year ago.
It should not have happened. Until one takes into account that my body was trying to get me to rest and really do the Tea Time = Me Time thing. I took time off my own business. Delegated work to others more capable more than me. And started being a true boss. A true boss of my body, my work and my life.
In that week of recovery, I did things I hadn't done in ages. I read a proper novel. Drew some pictures. Did my baguazhang. Returned to my path of reconnecting with the I-Ching. And made myself some much needed tea. Not just tea for drinking. But made in the KungFu tea way.
As a martial artist of higher learning, this 武俠茶道 is important. Unfortunately we are so busy trying to prove ourselves that we ignore the very thing that will help us the most. The situation can be so bad that we deliberately dismiss anything soft or easy as sissy-talk... Until it happens to us.
So to round it off, tea is now an essential part of my martial art Baguazhang. It is liquid chi. And a symbol of me taking care of myself when things like going on holiday, getting a proper massage or watching a funny cartoon isn't possible.
Tea time equals me time.
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