Yesterday I attended the funeral of someone who has been a source of great inspiration to me in studying Chinese Medicine and the culture behind it and as a result it has deepened my understanding of the human body and Medicine from a completely different perspective.
I was able to visit China with him and experience acupuncture and Chinese medicine as practised in a General Hospital in a China. He facilitated my completion of a diploma in Chinese herbs and acupuncture as approved by the University of Beijing.
His lectures were animated, frequently amusing as he shared his knowledge with great enthusiasm and passion. He treated everyone in the same manner and it was difficult to know if he was introducing you to a patient, fellow student or visiting professor! On one occasion he introduced me to the Dalai Lama when I was in the middle of buying needles in the clinic as apparently he had asked him to pop in to the clinic in Camden whilst he was in London.
On many occasions we have not only talked about medicine but shared the things that make us really appreciate our health and enrich our lives: art and culture; music and poetry; food and song as he felt that these are the things that can bring cultures closer together and lead to fruitful integration.
He worked passionately with boundless energy aiming to integrate Eastern and Western medicine for over four decades. Professor Mei was actively involved in many leading academic and clinical institutions in developing a global integrative model for medicine. His passion inspired his vision for a globalised medicine that cares for humanity and a new paradigm of medicine and health.
He revolutionised modern Chinese medicine through his invention of the world’s first disposable acupuncture needle and designed the earliest range of micro-processor electro acupuncture and TENS apparatuses. He also pioneered the systematic approach to Chinese herbal medicine by developing the TCM Classic range of capsulated Chinese herbal extracts.
As you can see I am only one of many who have been inspired by his contribution to medicine
When he wrote this letter last month little did anyone know that he would pass away so suddenly and not be able to share the Chinese New Year of human enlightenment on February 1st 2014. However, many of us reading this letter including his family feel that they must be energised by the work he has done and to continue with the same fervour.
Farewell 2013, Welcome to the Year of the Wooden Horse!
Many of us may have experienced a year of change caused by the dynamics of the Black Water Snake. As 2013 is drawing to a close we look forward to the year of the Wooden Horse that will set the milestone for the next decade to come. According to the Chinese zodiac, this is the energetic cycle of Qi that will manifest itself in a qualitative manner that will influence our health, personal relationships as well as the social and natural phenomena. All the knowledge of the human race will be needed to help us move towards the next horizon in enlightenment.
At this defining moment in history, science and philosophy will engage in a dialogue that will shape our future reality. This may be a sober thought for the new year festivities, but I myself am looking forward to the burst of new energy and to share with you the hope and the excitement of the arrival of a new axial age.
Let’s enjoy this moment of festivities with the tea of life and the wine of wisdom. The Chinese Taoist notion of “wu wei er wei zi (无为而为之)” which means “doing as if you are not doing” is a pearl of wisdom for this moment. As the natural environment is being increasingly damaged by our deterministic actions, we need to learn to act within the ways of nature, rather than recklessly changing it according to our own image. Ceaseless economic growth should be in tune with the ecology of our earth. To me, meaningful living is to be at one with nature.
Goethe once said “The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.” This brings me to an important principle in Chinese medicine regarding the ‘heart’ in relation to the mind and body. In many ways we are all artists in life. As we cultivate our heart to achieve clarity of mind we may be feeling alone. But are we really alone? The heart is not only affecting our physical wellbeing but is also affecting our relationship with our surroundings. Our relationship with nature, our loved ones and society at large are all affected by our actions stemming from our hearts and minds.
I mention this because I think by cultivating our heart we can get ourselves ready for the next stage of human enlightenment. A human being with a noble heart, in a noble society, will not need the strict governance that the law makers are endlessly fabricating in modern times. We will then be free, harmonious and engaging in the essence of living.
At this celebratory moment I wish you peace and happiness in your heart.
Man Fong Mei
at the AcuMedic Forum, London
老子云“无为而无不为”和孔子说“无为而 治”，都表达了一种“无为而为之”的境界，即强调凡事顺其自然，不多一分亦不少一分，力求平衡！ 中国人的哲学智慧是人生不是什么都不做，而是做出来的东西不违反自然规律。
He finished the letter with this poem he wrote which I found very appropriate and was reproduced on a bookmark and given to everyone who attended the funeral. He was an artist, poet, philosopher, physicist and Chinese physician.
The bookmark also had a drawing of plum blossom….
The Chinese word for plum blossom is known as the meihua (梅花) : you may be familiar with drawings of these in Chinese paintings. Mei is Chinese for plum.
This is the moment
I am in your presence
You are in my presence
Together we sip our tea of life
This is the moment
Together we indulge our imagination
The sweet memory of the past
The excitement for the future
The hope we share
In this winter air
Our presence together,
Prof. Man Fong Mei
5 December 2013