Friday, 13 March 2015

A pot of tea and a piece of calligraphy

A pot of award winning tea from Wuyi Mountain, Fujian. 
Convalescing from a terrible bout of fever and body ache, I spent an evening after dinner doing nothing but tea and calligraphy appreciation in the comfort of the living room of Mental Cultivation Studio. It has been a while since I last enjoyed such serenity; sipping the best Zhuang Yuan Hong Da Hong Bao (状元红大红袍), serenaded by classical Chinese orchestra while appreciating a piece of calligraphy accompanied by a soft smell of sandalwood incense burning in the distance, that this whole experience is worth a mention.

The intellectually stimulating calligraphy! 
On surface, the meaning of the words written beautifully on this piece of calligraphy sound simple: 静坐常思已过,闲谈莫论人非 loosely translated as: after going through meditation and deep thought, do not talk and debate about other people’s deficiencies.but hidden behind the words are multiple interpretations, depending on which perspective one is reading it from or even one’s mood of the day when one is reading it.  

Honestly, I did not pay much attention to think of the deeper meanings of these 12 words until my dear colleague, Roy, brought up the subject upon seeing it. The calligraphy is a gift from a very close friend and an ardent follower of Zen Buddhism. After having it framed, put it on display and seeing it day in and out for the past one week, this is the first time that I am devoting sometime to read beyond the words. In a short span of an hour, I’ve had 5 different sketchy interpretations. Oh Roy, thank you so much for creating a sudden interest in this calligraphy.

茶中之王 - A brief introduction of Zhuang Yuan Hong Da Hong Bao 
And I have to admit too, I didn’t know that this Zhuang Yuan Hong Da Hong Bao is an award winning tea, until I started brewing it and had my first sip. I was amazed at its aroma, smoothness and aftertaste. My best recollection of this tea was that I bought it for a hefty price in 2011 at the recommendation of tea shop owner, and never taste it again since then. Out of curiosity, I read the label…and oh my…

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