Once upon a time, when I was a child, I used to look up at the puffy white clouds and wonder about what life would be like from up there. Those clouds, as they brought the rain, looked ever-so-tempting.
Many years later, I quietly discovered Baguazhang 八卦掌 and learnt that the way of martial arts can sometimes be very mysterious. Maybe too mysterious. It ought not to be, but compared to the ordinary everyday it usually is.
I sometimes wish that there could be a better way, but the moment a person decides to truly go into the tao, the majority of the people we know and hold dear stop “getting it”. And we somehow become remote like living in those puffy clouds.
I love my Yunnan red tea quite a lot, I realise now. With a slight smoky accent it can be a great alternative improvement to what is typically offered as (English or Irish) Breakfast tea. It goes particularly well with those deliciously sweet mini lotus mooncakes.
Yunnan Red tea or Dianhong Cha 滇紅茶 as it is known in China, is one of those rare Chinese tea that can be drunk with milk; it sets the tone of the day just so, before I go off and do my Baguazhang.
To do Baguazhang is to do what is not popular with the masses - living differently, even in the face of social pressure. A person only has to browse the internet and compare it to MMA or Tai-chi to get a picture of what I mean. No criticism on them. I am aware that it is a two-way street.
Only recently have I started mastering the internal stuff that lies beyond the typical physical mechanics. Most of what I deal in now, is typically sidelined as fiction or myth, and could not be believed by a person unless that person has experienced it for themselves.
For example, what would a person make of it if I said that Yunnan red tea has a lot of chi in it from Yunnan itself and that to drink it is to bind one’s chi with the place? And that to drink it is to manifest the same Yunnan weather for a day and night over one’s home? Without searching deeper into the true mystery of what has been actually prophesied, this last paragraph would most likely be rejected. Perhaps for most people it is better to live a life of working, shopping, taxes and debt.