Friday, April 3, 2009

Tea in Liberia

I am posting this note from overseas, at last. I travelled to Liberia for work in the development field. But that is not why I am posting here. I am posting to state an observation I made recently, or perhaps more appropriately, rediscovered. Until very recently I found myself working too much to set aside the time to drink tea as I have over the course of the past several years. As I worked I found my energy flagging mid-morning and again mid-day, so I started drinking tea again, in a cannibalized version of the gong fu cha tradition. This of course means taking time out of the busy workday to meditate over cup after warm cup of sublime tea. But I immediately noticed a difference in my energy levels, and it's been progressive. Of course I knew this would occur, so it's hard to believe I'd forgotten, however, I've since made an additional re-discovery.

Every morning I used to wake and greet the day with a rare form of internal kung fu I was fortunate to learn while in Taiwan. Like any truly excellent Chinese martial art, it focuses on building one's chi energy, and over time this has a snowball effect on the body. Kung Fu is, I must confess, something else I had neglected of late. However, now that I've restarted kung fu and started drinking tea again my energy levels are soaring. Furthermore, my productivity has increased dramatically.

So, a note for those whom think that drinking tea is simply about flavours and aromas: it's not. Consuming tea means to consume chi, which builds one's own inner chi. And if one practices chi kong (qi kong) or a martial art to build chi as well, the effects on the mind and body are nothing short of miraculous. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself. A note of caution though, unless you've been building your energy for some time I do not recommend pairing qi kong with tea drinking back to back, particularly vintage pu erh teas. The effects can be unpredictable on the body, and if you don't know what you're doing, potentially downright dangerous.