Saturday, November 20, 2010

Delivering a tea seminar to OWO

I was invited to deliver a tea seminar to the Ohio Women Organization. The topic I gave was:

On the Aesthetics of Tea Arrangement 茶席的美學

(details forthcoming...)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pawpaw Sandwich

September is the month of a feast on autumn wildness tastes! Persimmons, Eastern Black Walnuts, and yes, the Pawpaws are some of the mother nature's gifts I'm gratefully accepting. Well, certainly you have to "search" for them, as they will not show up in the market. The discipline is, however: Don't take too many. You won't have time to process (and digest) them all at once if you come to be too greedy.

This morning, I made pawpaw sandwich, another way to enjoy this locally grown but exotic in taste fruit. I call it Vegan Butter!

This fall, I found a six-fruits-in-one - They are multiple fruits produced from a single flower! This really looks beautiful and interesting. It is said that "pawpaw fruits often occur as clusters of up to nine individual fruits." (source)

It's hard to describe the taste of pawpaws... To me, it's mango but no acid; banana but more fragrant; persimmon but not that sweet; pear but with custarda... A serious reader might want to consult the web sources and below are a few pages to begin with. However, if you are really serious about pawpaw, you should consider attend the Ohio Annual Pawpaw Festival!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Morning glory

I love morning glories! and I'm particularly in favor of those purple or blue ones. They just add a wonderful refreshment in the morning, really. These are a light blue variety I found at roadside, Beijing, when I was traveling to there last month. The color is just so touching!

One thing about morning glories is that they are so modest in nature, and they thrive everywhere there's decent light and moisture. The trumpets of beauty sing the glory of the sun.

This dark purple one is in my patio. I took this picture a day after coming back from Beijing -- it's still in the season of morning glories!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Siddhasana problems

The importance of Siddhasana (Siddhāsana) does not need to be repeated here. One benefit in practising this asana is openning the hip joins, which is a prerequisite for Padmasana and other lotus postures (such as Ardha Baddha Padmottanasan). Some say that this seating posture is easier than Padmasana for in Siddhasana, you don't have to put the feet higher on top of the opposite thighs as required in Padmasana. In fact, it only looks easy but not so especially for beginner like me. Specifically, I find the following difficult points in siddhasana practice.
  • What is the right position of the inner or lower foot? Should it be placed right below the perineum, the groin of the opposite leg, or touching the pubic bone of the same leg side?
  • What exactly is achieved in terms of hip joint opening in this posture? In other words, what range of motion is improved?
  • The relation of the (male) genitals to the two feet, and related concerns?


Friday, April 23, 2010

Lecture on Chinese Tea Culture

I gave a lecture (with demonstration) on Chinese Tea Culture which is in the series of "China in a Global Context" hosted by the Institute for Chinese Studies, the Ohio State University.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Way of Tea to be presented on 2010 Ohio Chinese Festival

I have accepted, with honor, an invitation to perform "The Way of Tea" (茶道 or "Tea Ceremony") at the 2010 Ohio Chinese Festival. Not only I'm going to demonstrate the traditional way of tea, but also I intend to introduce some easy but proper ways of enjoying tea on a daily base (in other words, occassions such as when you are working at your office, or on the way to go).

Session I. Tea in the Way of Tradition (Modified Kongfu Cha style)
Here you will see how teas are prepared and shared with friends in a more traditional manner. Such an event is called a Tea Gathering (茶會/茶席). Aesthetics is revealed through the communication with tea, tea wares, and with people. Calm down and awaken your mind in the dialog with tea! We are demonstrating something called "modified kongfu cha" style. As the name applies, we will use tools adopted in the 功夫茶 kongfu cha traditions, but with add-ons and changes.

Session II. Tea the Easy Way
Tea is not only for leisure. Tea is first a healthy beverage. But the point is how to drink tea in a healthy way! We will bring some modern tea utensils designed for convenient tea making. These utensils are widely available at the market. Using these tools, we can enjoy a cup of tea any where any time, and receive the health benefits of tea with ease and with grace! Improper manners of tea making and some heath concerns in tea drinking will also be discussed.