In 2012, my daughter and I went to Southern India for an Ayurvedic Retreat and to visit holy places of worship. On our way to India we had an auspicious layover in Hong Kong, a place I have always wanted to visit. We managed in the few days we were there to see quite a bit of this small wonder of a city. Hong Kong reminded me of a beautiful origami, designed with numerously, well crafted folds, showcasing its vibrant, densely populated, studded skyline. It was just exquisite and I hope to return some day. One of the highlights was finding Chop Alley (Man Wa Lane) famous for creating ‘Chops’, a traditional stamp/seal that dates back to the 3rd century. Among the many Chop stalls, we found one that looked and felt right. The chop maker was a 4th generation crafter of this art. With an enormity of patience, humor and gestures, we were able to translate the words I wanted into traditional Chinese symbols that she later etched in stone.
I wanted the chop to be the signature for Inner Health and Stillness. In the translation, the words ‘inner health and stillness’ captured their traditional symbols for peace, good health, joy, inner contentment, and happiness. She felt proud to have understood what I wanted and I couldn’t be happier that the Center’s signature represents all of these qualities. Of course I had to get a photo before gratefully walking away. Just like Hong Kong, it was sweetly packaged into a small textured box, lined with vibrant silk and a typical cinnabar red paste tin tucked next to it for ink.