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On Survival and Fulfillment

I write from the top-top bunk of a sleeper train as we glide away from Kunming, city of eternal Spring, with bellies and hearts full.

Days ago now, I was struck by the exquisite succinctness of Lu Yuan’s assertion that “we’re here to learn how people have organized themselves to answer the question of survival and fulfillment.” Today we learned a bit about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which I think beautifully addresses elements of both survival and fulfillment, in thought-provoking ways.

Tindy—TCM practitioner, Kunming yoga studio owner, and Dragons instructor—spent hours sharing her expertise. In addition to sharing theoretical teachings and shifting perceptions of TCM, she actually demonstrated acupressure and acupuncture treatments on pleased volunteers from our group. Tindy is perceptive and generous with her energy.

Our rumination over daily habits, mental health and expressions of care/love continue.

After another family-style lunch together—gorgeously presented whole fish and a blended edamame soup were highlights—we tucked into various corners of Kunming to live the “self care is group care” concept before checking out of our home for the last four, beautifully full days.

Leaving this city (after yet another meal, this time at a restaurant situated within the walls of traditional architecture that survived the Cultural Revolution) felt especially bittersweet because it meant saying goodbye to Carter, who’s contributed so much to our group. Thanks to WeChat, the (somewhat alarmingly) indispensable everything app that facilitates texting, link-sharing, paying, photo-posting and beyond, Carter will continue the journey with us from a different time zone.

We’ll awake in the morning having been transported to Lijiang.

With all the gratitude,

Stef