One of the new ways I will be sharing my experiences in China with you all is through the discussion of some of the “Chinese Wisdom” I am currently learning to understand and appreciate. For those of you who are Asian, these might sound “remotely” familiar to the “Confucius Says” jokes or even “rants” by your Asian parents and relative. I just hope that doesn’t get in the way of you enjoying my posts and trying to pry open the vault of wisdom it holds.
One of the first concept I learned from Chinese Medicine after I got injured at Shaolin was the intimate relationship with natural universe and our bodies. All the laws of the universe, from it’s patterns of growth to the Circadian rhythms of plants, are all exemplified in the human body in ways both obvious and unfathomable. Like nature, our body takes time to change such as growth in height and of body hair, but change is also happening constantly in our body such as when we produce proteins and renew enzymes every single second. The constant state of change and activity is one of the principle similarities, another is the balance of opposite, the Yin and Yang. Just as our bodies are constantly growing and changing, it is also constantly decaying and dying. For every new cell generated, waste of the dead ones must be transported out of the body, it is always working and striving for a state of balance.
Whenever one has a question about life or about the world around him, one has to look no further than ones own body, because all the answers to questions of philosophical depths to cutting edge science can be answered by observing and understanding our own bodies. Whether you believe that we are creations of Gods or a product of time and constant change, our body is the most intricate and enigmatic object known to man. Even the most advanced computing technology of today is no match for the human brain, a mere part of the human body, though a very important part. Until the day of Singularity comes, when Artificial Technology can reach the same efficiency of human thinking, I firmly believe that all the questions we have today (from chemistry to physics to psychology to math to even bio-fuel) can be answered by further researching and analyzing the human body.
That is how great I think our body is, which is also my reason for respecting all human beings no matter their background, ethnicity sexual choices, income, education, or personal belief. Because I believe the human body is absolutely wonderful and beautiful, almost as beautiful as the human soul. So the next you disrespect someone, think of it as disrespecting yourself, because respecting yourself and your body means respecting others who share the same human body.
Despite the intense cold, lack of indoor toilet, and any heating device. One of the most heart-warming (get it?) amenities I have here is the fact that we have hot shower all day every day because of the solar-powered heaters we have on our roofs.
Because of this I have shifted from “a man of few showers” to “a man who sings in the shower” everyday. But when I sing, I don’t just sing, I perform. It’s like a full out concert, I do like at least 3-5 songs before a small water break to brush my teeth and wash my hair, then I continue with another 3 songs or so.
Sad thing is, the people living around me aren’t so appreciative of my talents, so I have been adjusting and singing more Chinese songs and in a quieter tone than before as a compromise. Hopefully I can actually get a bit better at singing, cause if you know me at all, I suck at singing, even worse than I am at womanizing.
My sincere apologies for not writing anything for the past week, I have been busy preparing for winter. I have never done this before, so it took awhile.
Because we don’t have heating or anything that magically makes you feel warmer in the winter like an AC, we have to prepare ahead of time when the temperature is still above zero degrees Celsius. We got mats to cover the cracks in the front gate and got out all the heavy coats for indoor usage, sometimes I think it’s colder indoors than outdoors because at least there is the Sun out there to bathe you with his warmth. We also collected all the wheat and corn we grew, and prepared the garden for the harsh winter.
There are also some advantages to the cold weather though, because of it we actually have our own fridge now. All you have to do is leave whatever you want to keep cold outside at night, and BAM the next morning it’s magically cold. And if you want to freeze it, just put it in a tub of water and leave it outside. Right now, it is still late Fall, and temperature are ok, ranging from 40s to 60s degrees Fahrenheit, but starting in November there are going to be some fluffy white visitors from the sky and warm-ups are going to get more important.
I heard from my mother that Walnut still has 90s Fahrenheit weather?! so predictable.
I just found out that we DO NOT have heating here in the winter. And it’s only October and the morning and evening temperature are already around the low 40s. Considering that we live nestled between two mountains, the wind isn’t our best friend either.So as the not-so-creative and selectively-eco friendly person that I am, I devised a plan to keep warm without burning anything and creating too much green house emissions.
Drink extremely high alcohol percentage Chinese Rice wine before I go out and do my morning runs and climbs at 5:00am. I am talking about like 65% alcohol or higher, but just half a cup before and after, not too much. Just enough to generate heat all the way from head to toe. I have asked my grandma to open up her 30 yrs old wine cellar and and send me some vintage “spirits” that she saved before the government started managing spirits productions in the 80s. Cause as we approach November and December it’s going to be a whole new experience for me, because I have never trained in below zero degrees Fahrenheit weather.
Let’s see if this works.
For the past wk or so, every day, every moment, consists of “raindrops gently falling on my head”. As a long term resident of Socal, being pampered by the everlasting sunshine made me forget how beautiful the rain can be. Ok, at first I was like “WTF, I want to go back to sleep”, but after a few hrs or so, I started to enjoy the wetness.
I guess the coolest thing about this “constant rain”, is that whenever I train, steam comes out of every part of my body due to the difference in temperature and this really helps me focus my chi to my mid-section because it is actually visible. The happiest guy here would be the Taiwanese dude from Seattle, dude says “hey this is considered warm in Seattle”, and I was all like “that’s why the Sonics left for OKC”.
In a few weeks or so, the raindrops will be replaced by snowflakes, the only constant that remains with the change of seasons is the intensity and the amount of training. We will still wake up about 30 mins before the chickens do, and we will still run the same amount if not more, no matter how slippery or icy the ground gets. I like consistency though, i guess it’s cause I am a boring person.