"An ancient Chinese artist Huang Binghong was said: 'All landscapes are natural things, but paintings are artificial things. If you want to paint the landscape into your painting, you must try to avoid leaving any manmade mark on your painting. Keeping your painting as natural as you can is a requirement of the art. That’s why mountain paintings look more beautiful than real mountains. The mountains in the painting that have been created by artists should reach a level that not even nature can attain.'
This also applies to traditional Chinese martial arts. We created tons of different martial arts that are all based on animals’ movements. We study how animals fight, incorporate animals’“martial arts” into our martial arts, and make it natural as we integrate it with our body. There are some famous martial arts we created based on studying nature, such as tiger palm (Learn from Tiger), Tanglang Quan (Learn from Mantis), and Hou Quan (Learn from Monkey).
In Chinese medicine, there are many examples that fit this theory. An example: Hawthorn is the most common food used in Chinese medicine for healing different types of disease. Fresh hawthorn is used in Chinese medicine to improve circulation of the blood. When fresh hawthorn is sun-dried, it becomes an effective medicine for reducing fat in the liver; when fresh hawthorn is fry dried, it becomes an effective digestive aid; if fresh hawthorn is fry dried to a brown color, it becomes an effective medicine for diarrhea. So as you can see, the ancient Chinese used natural methods to make hawthorn into different medicines for healing different diseases. This is the perfect example of how human beings can use natural methods to artificially change things to improve ourselves, which doesn’t hurt nature at all.
Tea is from nature, so when we make it into a drink, we should do the same as draw traditional Chinese painting – don’t leave too many manmade marks on your cup of tea, and try to go about it in the most natural way possible. That’s why the traditional Chinese didn’t create milk sugar tea or some other tea with flavors that are so strong you can’t taste the tea itself. But we are still able to create different varieties of teas without those things. You can see how differently the Western way goes about creating different varieties of tea compared to the traditional Chinese way: the Chinese way is based on using natural changes to create different varieties, such as oxidizing the leaves and drying the teas in different ways, all of which use nature’s energy to change the leaves into different varieties without culling out the tea’s original nature. The Western way is to add milk, sugar, bergamot or other essences to change the tea. It is like a bad Chinese painting that has too many human marks on it. The tea leaves have lost their nature and changed into completely different things that are no longer tea, but just some manmade beverage."
Read more at The Wild Truth of Tea
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