For the last few weeks I’ve had the remarkable experience of being with Master Angela Yan. Although she does not not call herself a Master, other people do. It’s not only because of her remarkable family heritage or because she trained from highly renown Qigong masters; it’s because of how she lives, what happens and how you feel in her presence.
It is said some masters arouse the fragrance of roses in your mind; with Angela, it’s more like tea and dumplings.
There’s this all-pervading delight dancing on the edge of her gestures, her stories zing you while you’re laughing. She doesn’t really walk, she sort of glides and bounces, and when she lands, it’s like a big tiger nipping at your heels, saying, ‘how do you like the feel of my tongue on your feet’?
Every morning she is in our home I wake up with the same smile I fall asleep with. I feel her grin following me like a bell ringing in my ear all day, saying ‘wake up, wake up, it’s time to wake up!’ Her teachings happen anywhere, in the kitchen, the car or the hallway.
On my way to the bathroom, she says, ‘Smile. Too tense.’
I failed to find a good enough reason to do anything other than hang out with Angela during her stay. On one day, as I attempt to leave, my mind ping pongonging between ‘I’ve got to go to the bank’ and ‘hmmm, how about just one more cup of tea?’, I finally manage to get in my car. I made it all the way to the parking lot when I realize my purse is still lying on the kitchen table; so I turn around to head for home.
I didn’t quite get that message though, so Angela hands me another chance the next day. In the morning, I say, ‘Today, I have an appointment at 1:30 and I am going to leave the house.’ Angela smiles with her peculiar twinkle and says sharply, ‘Why you say that now?’ We are having tea. If you want to go, go. Stop this nonsense.’
I actually did escape for that ‘very important meeting’. But alas, this time I forget my phone only to miss the text message saying, ‘Caught in traffic, can we reschedule?’. Driving back home again, I laugh at my folly and my tendency to squirm away from things that are good.
The truth is, I don’t want to miss one of her stories, I don’t want to miss the faces after their sessions with Angela. I want to serve tea, I want to be in my home and in my body
and I like laughing this much, because I feel light, peaceful and happy.
I am beginning to understand why Angela calls herself a ‘life scientist.’ Her Qigong noodle dishes, with ginger, bacon, sugar and greens are as superb as her healing sessions. Each conversation, each cup of tea is precious and full. We talk about the way people eat concepts instead of food. Between mouth fulls of toast, she tells us about a doctor who mixes up his own x-ray with a patients’. The doctor dies six months later, convinced he has cancer, while the patient, upon seeing his perfectly fine x-ray returns to health.
Living, cooking, teaching, and sharing stories this way helps us grow as human beings together. I remember one morning tea when Angela wept over a grave mistake she once made. ‘I don’t know why I cry every time I think of this’ she says, still repenting with deeply felt tears.
Vulnerabilities spin through the net of her life as she continuously preens and cleans her wisdom through chants and prayer. For Angela Yan, nudging, prodding, sometimes jolting, sometimes delighting people towards Dharma is simply what she does.
These are photos of the Qigong workshop and a few of the people
who came by for Angela’s Healing Clinic.
p.s. She will be back!!!
In beauty, Amara Charles
My book, The Sexual Practices of Quodoushka is available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel or visit our shop for Special Holiday Bundles