Bigger isn’t Better

I’ve just got my latte and it’s so small…. compared to the array of all the other cup sizes. It’s so small it’s not even on the price menu. But the only reason I am here is to work, type actually, and it is nice to sit in a nice environment while doing it.
I’m not against all the size options. I’m not even against servers trying to super size me or up sale me. This is business and if they don’t do that I might not have this nice coffee shop to sit in, or would I?
More to the point is that I didn’t get taken in by comparison shopping.
“Why have this tiny little cup when you can have this bigger cup for only a few dollars more?”
“Because I only want a little cup.”
I only need a little cup to enjoy the taste of my latte.
Plus if I drink too much coffee it makes my ass sore.
Plus I only gulp it down anyway.
Plus if I drink too much it makes my sweat stink and I want more money to spend on other things in my life.
That being said sometimes I do enjoy choosing the larger size coffee. However I want it to be my choice driven by my need or desire as opposed an split second decision made by the brief impression that “hey yes, that is pretty small” when in fact it is actually quite normal.

Circles and Change

On my last post I talked about getting back into a tai ji routing again. It continues.
On the first day I was at the park with my friends I watched a person doing an intricate dance. I realized that it wasn’t tai ji and that it may have actually been Bagua, confirmed by my friends student. I thought I should talk to this guy doing Bagua but left before I had the chance to.
I bumped into him the next day while I was at hospital getting my dressings changed. He was there visiting his father.
I saw him at the park again the next day and then we did talk. While I’ve met a few people who do Bagua and even know of some teachers where I live, I never had the urge to really try despite the fact that I wanted to learn. Watching this guy practice I realize that I was perhaps waiting for the right teacher, the right person and even the right style to learn and learn from. I seemed to have found it.
Interesting enough my new found friend is interested in yoga, or at least in getting more flexible, and so we talked, me about yoga for a while and then he about Bagua and we both learned in the process. We had a true exchange of information.
And all of this happened seemingly without effort on my part. Well I did have to drag myself out of bed but the thing was it was easy because I had something to pull me out of bed, the idea of doing tai ji and perhaps now even the idea of doing (well first learning) Bagua Zhang.

And it all started with me on my ass doing sweat nothing while wondering what I was doing with myself. That wasn’t time wasted, it was time for me to get back into the swing of things here in Hong Kong, perhaps even time for me to sync in with life here. Next time I come perhaps I’ll be a bit more ready.

Doing Nothing to Think of Something

I’d been in Hong Kong for a week and done nothing. Well I did teach a couple of yoga classes but apart from that I haven’t seen much of the city. Oh yes, I ride the Ferry nearly every day but I still haven’t done that much.
On my one day off I took an extra long ferry ride to Lantau Island, in the process bumping into a fellow traveller for the day which was very nice, but apart from that I’ve done nothing.
What a downer. A week left to go and all I can think of is getting back to my baby. (She’s 8 months old).
Thinks got worse when I discovered I had bursitis of the elbow. Don’t know how though I have some suspicions. Anyway, my arm started to swell so the doctor cut a hole it it so all the juice could bleed out. Hole is still there.
A fellow teacher told me to come with him to a Tai Ji class next day. Wasn’t too sure about that but decided to join anyway. I’d have to get up at 630.
That’s a thing too. All these days I’ve been sleeping in till 8. No reason to get up early.
I had to drag myself out but I did, even did a meditation practice and a Conscious Movement practice. Wow I was starting to feel better.
Had breakfast which is sad because the only reason I eat breakfast at the hotel is because it is free. How lame and very sad. Still I had my two pieces of toast (there is more to be had but to be honest I can’t stomach it, so much of the same) then walked to the park.
I’d forgotten the bustle of early morning city life. Kids of to school. One school is run by a convent. Girls line up neatly and politely to be let in. Climbing a foot bridge I look into the schoolyard and kids are standing around or sitting at tables talking. I don’t get the idea that school is like that in Taiwan. Maybe they work them hard here in asia but it looks like they get to enjoy socializing which I think is great.
A few minutes more and I am at the park. I arrive early and my friends arrive late. It is to my advantage. I get to watch various groups practice Tai Ji or dance or exercise of one form or the other. I find my self a spot and stretch.
The joy of stretching outdoors surrounded by other people doing the same.
My friend shows up and takes me to his teacher. He lets me join in with a comment of not bad. Then he asks if I can do any sword routines. I can but alas I have no sword and so he lends me mine. I’m rusty (the sword isn’t) but it still feels good to be doing tai ji again even with a forearm twice its normal size, skin hanging down like a bag of water.
Afterwards I sit with my friend and his teacher who is visiting from india. He feeds me raw legumes, tells me to chew well to generate saliva.
I think of bringing raw food into my diet.
I was reminded of my first time in Taiwan, practicing every morning in Eighteen Peek Mountain park and even though I had no close friends, I had people to practice with and be with. I belonged. And the rest of my day felt better because of it.
And so now even without being with my baby, I feel my life returning again because I have something simple to live for. Practice in the park.