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Category: Daily Inspiration Page 1 of 14

The Circle of Life

Here are some basic traditional interpretations for the change of seasons in the Nature which is same as change in life according to the Daoism philosophy:

Spring : before welcoming the warm breeze, we still need to pay attention to the coldest time of the year; the first thunder awakens the Yin energy in the Nature, all lives start to whistle with cheerful melody

Summer: definitely is the time to enjoy the heart bumping meanwhile should  remain calm, to avoid wild fire burning

Autumn: the wind changes from warm to cold, the nature can be uneased, some extreme can still happen, it’s time we need to learn what and how to adapt to the change; certainly on how the heating Yang energy could rise when encountering the cold Yin energy. When facing the change of energy, it’s time to prepare, to repair and to restore before winter comes

Winter: Even though the sky is dark but still there is light behind darkness, so it’s not completely hopeless; even if little grass are forced to bend down by snow, but they will rise their heads higher in the coming spring. Winter is the time to rest with ease and prepare self for the next awakening of life circle.

The change of four seasons means the change in life, two constract energies rotate but are not disappearing when we are able to keep the warmth and hopeful energy from within.

mei lan hsiao
There is time to awaken, time to joy, time to adapt and time to rest; needless for surprise or stress out. The taller and stronger you want to become, then grow your roots deeeper and enhance the strength from within.

What can we learn from tea?

What can we learn from tea?

Tea leaf has limit in size, tea cup has limit in capacity

the learning through tea in life is unlimited

Mei Lan hsiao

What we can learn are more than various types of tea drinking or performing of various tea arts or tea ceremonies.

Tea leaf.has limit in size, tea cup has limit in capacity per cup, but the learning through tea in life is unlimited.

When we are willing to open our minds and taking actions to implement basic morals in life through tea, it’s not difficult to enhance the learning by doing to improve the living quality:

  • learn to respect to the Nature, community and the planet
  • learn to respect and accept the own responsibilities with clear consciousness
  • learn the values of humanity with respect to those hard working nameless people
  • learn what and how to practice of equality without preconceived judgement
  • learn to appreciate from heart to self, learn to show earnest respect to others and to the world
  • learn when and how to lay down egoism, enjoy and appreciate the simplicity and tranquility from the moment
  • learn to put priority right by recognizing own responsibilities to the Nature, people, cultures and the world.

Of course there are more than the list, perhaps you can add on some based on your learning journey with tea. Let the carpet of tea full of kindness, love, respect and harmony.

#lifetimelearning #love #respect #people #kindness #learning #culture #quality #equality #ecobalance #earnest #tranquality #purification

©Mei Lan Hsiao, Belgium Chinese Tea Culture Association, Antwerp, Belgium 13/8/2022

Lesson for parents




不管我们有多爱孩子,但是孩子不是我们的财产; 是我们生命的延续,但是他们有他们的世界去开创,有自己的路要走,有他们的天空需要他们展翅翱翔。

Filial Piety

From an ancient Chinese idom we learned the utmost kindness begins with filial piety。 百善孝为先 (bǎi shàn xiào wéi xiān)

The sustainable leadereship style is in question if one does know its meaning, actually the reason is quite simple:

How can you expect someone who honestly loyal and respectful if s/he does not even show the same attitude to respect her/his own moral ‘responsibility” to her/his parents?

How can you expect someone know how to behave as a team member if s/he does not even has a brother or sister? or does not know the respect to her/his elder brothers/sisters and kindness to her/his younger brothers/sisters?

Active Retirement

Am I still interested to find a job even at the age of 67?
Well, the answer definitely is YES

Why not? I am still pretty healthy in body and mind, I still full of positive energy in life and I appreciate every opportunity to share knowledge and experience in life.

However, I do have clear direction in coaching to senior managements who are willing to make a change in work and life.

When I help others, it gives me a chance to help myself; sharing experience and knowledge with others help me to deepen my own learning and reflections.

There is nothing more important than maintaining positive and healthy eneregy in body, mind and emotionally. Continue learning and sharing are the best remedies in the healthy lifestyle. All of these are easy to obtain, free of charge !

From Tea to Know a Person

In the modern world. trust is critical for any kind of relationship, in either personal or professional environments.

Here is a simple tip for you to consider:

One who can not even distinguish whether tea is authentic or flavored, what’s her/his ability to identify truth from false?

One who does not know how to appreciate authentic flavors and tastes from mild and gentleness, how would s/he value honesty in relationship?

One who likes to show her/his ability to tell which tea is ‘the best’ or not without knowing there are plenty ‘good teas’, the best is not judged by own judgement but based on other’s perception and acceptance, how can be a fair leader if s/he has impulsive prejudgement attitude?

One who can’t even demonstrate respectful behaviors in preparing or drinking a cup of tea, what make you think that person knows the essence of ‘respect’? Without respectful mind, how can that person be a good leader?

Positive Energy in Life

Am I still interested to find a job even at the age of 67?
Well, the answer definitely is YES
Why not? I am still pretty healthy in body and mind, I still full of positive energy in life and I appreciate every opportunity to share knowledge and experience in life.

However, I do have clear direction in coaching and consultancy; because

The greatest satisfaction is not about what I can achieve but watching what others can achieve with ease, peace and happiness.

Mei Lan hsiao

When I help others, it gives me a chance to help myself; sharing experience and knowledge with others help me to deepen my own learning and reflections.

There is nothing more important than maintaining positive and healthy eneregy in body, mind and emotionally. Continue learning and sharing are the best remedies in the healthy lifestyle. All of these are easy to obtain, Free of Charge !

What Does Artisan Tea mean?

UN has declared 2022 as “International Year for Artisanal Fisheries and Argiculture”. This declaration would be a great news for many Chinsee tea farmers who devote their life and energy in preserving the artisanal quality tea in tea based on the accumulated wisdom, methods and traditions that we inheritant from our ancestors in the past thousadnds of year in China history.

Anyone who appreciate tea knows tea is a natural agricultural product but not industrial product, accumulated wisdom and traditional know how are hardly be replaced or duplicated by modern machinery processes. Appropriately manage the biochemical and micro environmental factors are critical foundation for the sustainability of tea farming.

Artisan tea basically means tea involves with skillful works and manual (or semi-manual) processed, and that is the critical quality standards for many Chinese special famous teas from China today. The tea quality classification standards in China are still stick to the ancient traditions which heavily involves with manual efforts in tea picking to production.

China has been through many changes in history but the living wisdom and cultural traditions have been accumulated without breaking up. Artisan teas are still considered as the best quality teas in China today and here are some basic principles of Chinese special famous teas:

  1. Started from ecological balanced conditions in the tea growing region (in practice, it means use only natural composed fertilizer, maintain the healthy soil conditions by not over doing the fertilization, forestry coverage in the tea growing regions is in the priority for the sustainability development program in China.
  2. Manually grass removal by respecting it to complete its life circle is important to protect tea trees, in the Autumn grass grow in the tea farm will play a protector role to against the cold winter and to prevent drought under the threat of global climate change. 
  3. In the framework of sustainability development, the collaboration relationship with the local community to arrange the tea picking, it helps to improve family income and living conditions of the local community;
  4. tea production manually by respecting the traditional methods and wisdom are playing critical role to ensure the quality 
  5. Geographic indications are critical.  Today there are many countries grow and produce tea, tea trees can be migrated, production processes can be learned and copied, but not the ecological and micro-environmental conditions, i.e. air, water, latitude/altitude, sunlight, temperature differences in day vs. night, shadowing, moisture in the air….etc.
  6. Artisan teas definitely should be pure in its flavors and tastes, freed from any additional flavor or other addictives.  Artisan tea is as if a natural beauty, her beauties are from within without additional ‘make up’ or ‘make over’.

In Chinese tea culture, tea is more than craftmanship of tea, it prevails how Chinese traditional moral standards based on “earthy”, ‘honesty’ and ‘respect’ are actually lived through actions despite all those political and cultural changes that happened in China in the last nearly 5000 years. Tea is more than enjoying fine and pure flavors in tea, it is about how we can enjoy a moment with tea when to implement the fundamental respects, to the Nature, to others and mostly not to forget the respect to self, without preconceived judgement and differentiation mind. When we enjoy the pure and authentic quality tea, our mind and emotion are also enlightened by its devine spirit in tranquility. Mindfulness is more than a attractive buzzword or fancy demonstration but how we truly enjoy living through a cup of tea.

A coin has two sides

What is freedom?

What does freedom mean?

What and how to practice freedom ?

The world peace needs you, me and they.

If freedom only meant “I can do what I want”, then it is not freedom but lawless mind that leads to chaos.

Freedom, indeed, means to recognize and able to claim own rights, but meanwhile it also means to embrace and to recognize own obligations to follow the basic laws and order that can create calm and peaceful society; it also means one is able to take action to show how s/he willing to respects the rights of other parties.

If you quickly jumped to the decision that the other parties who do not follow your decision means they against you, then probably you are far from knowing what freedom means or even against the practice of freedom.

When follow what are covered in the media that you can easily access to, the hardest process and decision will be are you willing and able to see the truth from your heart.

The practice of freedom means to build peace but not conflicts or wars. No matter what, freedom is not excuse to deny the rights of other party/ies, certainly is not the excuse to practice racism, discrimination or bullism.

GongFu Cha? Gongfu Cha!

When tea and tea culture are booming worldwide, more and more people like to talk about Gongfu Cha. But what is the difference in Gongfu Cha (工夫茶)vs. Gongfu Cha (功夫茶)?These two share the same Chinese PinYin, but not all teas can be classified as GongfuCha.

A lot of people are confused by Gonfu Cha in 工夫茶 or 功夫茶. Hopefullly the following brief outlines are useful for you to distinguish few fundamental differences based on Chinese definitions:

Gongfu Cha 工夫茶

Gongfu Cha 工夫茶 started from Chaozhou,Santou and Southern part of Fujian in the Soong Dynasty, it was named as 工夫茶 because of its unique manufacturing methods. In the Wuyi Tea Song writen by Zen Master Shi ChaoQuan in the late Ming Dynasty: 如梅斯馥兰斯馨,大抵焙时候香气,鼎中笼上炉火温,心闲手敏工夫细, the poet clearly mentioned fine quality tea that has gone through complex manufacturing processes and time consuming. It is named as Gongfu Cha because the selection of tea leaves, withering, baking, rolling, fermentation and roasting, storaging and brewing require very particular attention.

In short, Gongfu Cha 工夫茶 is attractive because of its unique complex fraquence, the refinement in the delicated roasting process and most importantly the refinement in the workmanship in the manufacturing and the brewing process.

In the “Qing Dai Tong Shi” edited in 1915 by Xiao YiShan, it mentioned famous teas exported to the West were “Gongfu tea, Wuyi tea, Souchong tea & Pekoe tea”, from it we understand the Gongfu tea were meant for various fine quality black tea, i.e. MinHong Gongfu (i.e. ZhengHe Gongfu, TanYang Gongfu & BaiLing Gongfu from Fujian), Keemun Black tea and Dian Hong; Gongfu Cha is no longer to name Wuyi Rock tea.

Gongfu Cha 功夫茶

The most direct interpretation of Gongfu (Kungfu 功夫)is “martial art, skill; “Gongfu Cha 功夫茶” refers to tea making, tea brewing techniques and the way of tasting and drinking. The unique brewing from Chaozhou played a crutial role to lead the development of Gongfu Cha 功夫茶 mainly to brew traditional Oolong tea。Places known for Gongfu Cha 功夫茶 are Chaozhou, Xiamen/SanTou & Taiwan, among those regions, Gongfu Cha in Chaozhou plays the most influential role.

There are many different disciplines in Gongfu Cha 功夫茶,but few characters are in common:

  1. Brewing with with boiled water
  2. Small tea pot with small tea cups
  3. More multiple brewings are permitted
  4. Complex brewing procedures allow tea lovers to appreciate its complex layers in fraquences and tastes from each brewing

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