One Hundred Days of Darkness and Light

is the first section in Robert Peng's book,
The Master Key

Installment #27

Chapter Five
Be Xiao yao

I returned to New York the following year, and this time I stayed with Blake and Craig for three months. My connection to the city deepened, and the next year I returned again, this time for four months. Initially I thought I could straddle both countries and just juggle two sets of patients, friends, and students. I planned to travel back and forth every few months, but the sensible truth set in after my third visit. For both practical and financial reasons, I would have to decide between residing in Sydney or New York City permanently.

I recalled Xiao Yao’s premonition about my role in helping spread Qigong internationally, and I surrendered my ambivalence, allowing the flow of destiny to guide me onward. I then bid my Australian friends farewell, and in February 2004, I became a New Yorker. I lived with the Fosters for several months until I settled down in my own apartment and rented a room on East 91st Street to use as a clinic.

In October I returned to Xiangtan to visit my family for the first time in five years. On my way back to New York, I spent a few days in Beijing with an old friend named Luo. She picked me up at the airport, and on the ride into the city she started acting strange. I sensed that she had something pressing to tell me.

Finally she spoke up. “How are you doing in New York, Robert?”

“I’m doing well, Luo,” I replied.

“Are you seeing anyone?” she asked nonchalantly.

“Not really.”

“That’s good, because I want you to meet someone.”

“Really, who?”

“Her name is Dongmei. She works for an American company and is fluent in English. I know her from my tennis club. She’s a really good player, and I think the two of you would get along well.” She cleared her throat. “Would you like to meet her for dinner tonight?”

“Sure, why not?” I replied.

I had loved tennis ever since I was a little boy. There was just one tennis court in all of Xiangtan, and watching the players volley back and forth there was always a thrilling show. Until I moved to Australia the closest I ever came to playing tennis was owning my own tennis ball. But in Sydney I had taken a few enjoyable lessons and learned the basics. Tennis players had always held a special place in my heart, so the fact that Dongmei was a tennis player made me want to meet her.

Dongmei joined us at a small, quaint restaurant. She greeted me with eyes that sparkled from behind her glasses. “Nihao,” she said in greeting, and sat down.

“Where are you from” she asked in a friendly voice. “I grew up in Xiangtan.”

“Where is that?”

“Hunan Province.”

“How about you?” I asked.

I grew up in Baotou, way up north.”

We chatted about our backgrounds and families with natural ease. I enjoyed Dongmei’s bright presence and her animated openness, and I especially delighted in her warm sense of humor, which came out when she placed her order.

“I don’t want to frighten you, but I like spicy food.” “I like spicy food too,” I replied.

“Very spicy!”

“No worries,” I countered, “me too!”

“Then I’d like some mapo tofu, extra spicy,” she told the waiter.

The dish came, and three pairs of chopsticks scooped it up from the revolving tray. Dongmei ate calmly.

“It’s unusual for a northerner like you to eat a hot dish like this without sweating,” I said.

Do you really think this dish is spicy?” she asked and teasingly raised her eyebrows. She made me smile.

As the evening progressed, I grew increasingly attracted to Dongmei.

“Would you like to play tennis sometime?” she asked as we were parting ways.

“Yes, I would,” I replied.

We met the following day and she showed me mercy on the tennis court. We had a wonderful time together and decided to meet up again before I left the following day. The next encounter deepened our connection, and on the flight back to New York I kept thinking about her. As the distance between us grew, I felt my longing for her deepen. I returned home and unpacked my luggage. I lay in bed battling jet lag, but I couldn’t fall asleep. I was still thinking about Dongmei.

I called her the next day, and her voice put a smile back on my face. We spoke daily after my return, spending several hours on the phone each time. Three months later I returned to Beijing and proposed to her. She accepted. We traveled to her hometown to get married, and within three months she had resigned from her position and joined me in New York City. With Dongmei in my life, I felt like a boat in a safe harbor surrounded by calm water. The busy, noisy city full of people rushing around became more peaceful, and New York began to feel more and more like home.

To be continued in the next issue of Catalyst...

Click on the following to read:  Installment #1  lnstallment #2  Installment #3  Installment #4  Installment #5  lnstallment #6  Installment #7  Installment #8  Installment #9  Installment #10  Installment #11  Installment #12  Installment #13  Installment #14  Installment #15  Installment #16  Installment #17  Installment #18  Installment #19  Installment #20  Installment #21  Installment #22  Installment #23  Installment #24 Installment #25 Installment #26 







Robert Peng is a world-renowned Qigong Master, healer, and author of the book, The Master Key: Qigong Secrets for Vitality, Love, and Wisdom.

Click here for a free access of the audiobook, 100 Days of Darkness and Light, which is the first section in Robert's book, The Master Key.

Robert's companion resources include:

The Master Key Video Series (4 DVDs of Qigong practices)

The Master Key Audio Series (5 CDs of Qigong practices)

Qigong Ecstasy (45-minute Qigong practice video)

AM/PM Qigong (Two 30-minute Qigong routines video)

Robert was born and raised in Hunan, China. At age eight, he began an intensive apprenticeship under the close guidance of the legendary monk Xiao Yao, an enlightened master known for his profound healing ability and martial arts skill. At age 15, Robert performed a 100-day water fast in a small dark room at a secluded monastery in the remote mountains of Hunan province. He underwent a radical spiritual transformation and awakened amazing healing powers. Master Xiao Yao encouraged Robert to develop his healing skills by studying with other Chinese masters.

After pursuing his training quietly while attending university in Changsha, where he majored in English Literature, at 29 years old he began to teach publicly, and within five years had trained over 150,000 students all over China, Australia, and the U.S. 

With his deep understanding and practice of Qigong, and with extensive life and teaching experience in the western world, Robert has developed a unique way to teach Qigong that people from different cultures can easily understand and follow while enjoying the real essence of this ancient Chinese healing art of wisdom, love, and vitality. 

Robert has been a regular presenter at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, The Esalen Institute, Integrative Health Symposium, and many other organizations and schools.

Together with Bishop Desmond and Pema Chodron, he was honored as one of "Top Ten Heroes of 2013" for his contribution to transform "the ancient Chinese healing art of Qigong into today's fast-growing holistic practices — in addition to use as a spiritual practice for inner balance and peace, Qigong movement is gaining acceptance as a gentle movement for chronic illness and pain."

Click here to visit Robert’s website.

Click here to watch and participate in Robert’s 8-minute Qigong practice, Scooping Universal Qi to Empower our Wisdom, Love & Vitality.




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This article appears in: 2020 Catalyst, Issue 26: Winter Solstice Fest