Walk Gently and Slowly
To say goodbye in Mandarin, the expression man zou is often used. Man zou doesn’t just translate to mean good bye, however. Instead, it means, “Walk gently and slowly.” Today, we invite you do just that. Slow down and give yourself permission to breathe and be present. Be more aware as you make and sip your tea, as you eat, as you walk. Give yourself a few minutes throughout your day to stand up and stretch. By slowing down, you might actually find that you feel happier, healthier, and more productive. Slowing down is not about falling behind or moving at a snail’s speed. Instead, it’s a state of mind in which we’re more relaxed and connected with our center. And, when we’re relaxed we actually see more.
Here at Arogya, when we think about slowing down, we’re reminded of pu’er tea and its place of origin, Yunnan province. Both are epitomes of patient life. Yunnan, the southwestern most province in China, is not only celebrated for its fermented tea, but also its diverse ecosystem and culture. It’s here where the relationship between man and tea evolved centuries ago. Yunnan Province is home to the world’s most ancient tea forest and living tea tree, which is 2,700 years old. As Wei has learned from her trips there, the pu’er tea masters esteem slow life and firmly believe in maintaining the intricate balance between man and nature. In their eyes, it’s crucial for a stable, healthy society.
To make good pu’er tea, time and patience is also essential. The leaves must be handpicked from wild tea trees before being left to dry in the sun, a process that takes longer than that of other teas. Eventually, the sundried leaves are pressed into bricks, cakes, or toucha and stored to ferment slowly but surely. Like fine wine and unlike other teas, pu’er becomes richer, more aromatic, and valuable with age. When pu’er is finally ready to drink, brewing it also demands a little more time. Splash rinse the leaves with boiling hot water to awaken them before brewing a cup or pot to sip and enjoy.
So, please go slowly this week. It’ll benefit your whole being and potentially transform your ability to manage a sustainable life in these fast pace, modern times. And of course, you’re welcome to carry this resolution into the rest of the New Year! We’re here to support you. Come and visit us anytime for a good cup of pu’er!