What do you give a 106-year-old Qigong Grandmaster?

What do you give a 106-year-old Qigong Grandmaster?

That was the question I was asking myself in May of 2002, before my journey to visit Yang Mei June, 27th Generation Grandmaster of the Kunlun Da Yan Qigong System. I wanted to carry with me something from Scotland. But what do you gift to such a woman?

A week later in Beijing I unpacked my rucksack. They had made it through:

A blooming root of purple mountain heather, picked from the summit of a Scottish munroe. Its root wrapped in moist tissue and then again in foil. And a stone. Gneiss. Washed and tumbled by the sea, off the coast of Arbroath, for ages, into a perfect egg shape. Mountain & Sea.

“It’s heavy!” commented Yang Mei June, taking it in her hand. The stone filled her palm. The gneiss - 3 billion years old - predating all life on earth. Her skin so thin, paper-like, transparent, without age spots.

The purple blooming heather made its way into an oversized plant pot. Filled with soil from a nearby...

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