To the Chinese, the heart is the central life image, and a source of thought and intelligence. A healthy life includes eight essential time-taking activities. In this first post, we will learn about the first matter: repose.

Take time for repose – it is the germ of creation. The Chinese believe that during a deep breath, the energy of heaven is brought in through the nose into the heart/mind. The dictionary definition of repose includes, but is not limited to: freedom from that which excites, disturbs or stirs up; resulting in peace, tranquility, and calm. Synonyms include ease, quietness, peace, and relaxation.

In our busy lives, as we are pulled this way and that by technology; financial worries; and daily annoyances, it is easy to forget the healing power of deep breathing. Breathing deeply through the nose, then exhaling loudly and fully are excellent ways to lose stress and let go of life’s indignities, large and small.

Practice this as you prepare your tea: inhale deeply through the nose, and loudly out of your mouth. With each breath, say goodbye to something in your life that robs you of repose. After the tea steeps, put the cup up to your nose and take a deep draught of the energy of heaven. Rest yourself.

For me, two teas are perfect for repose . . . one is King of Pearls, a jasmine available at T Ching Store that reminds me of a peaceful summer Sunday. Meditative Mind, a well-named blend from the Tea Spot, lends itself to repose as well.

This series of posts were inspired by a lecture on Chinese characters given in 1991 by Chinese scholar and illustrator Ed Young.

Next: Take time to Read – it is the foundation of wisdom.

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