A Lychee Nut in the Big Apple

There will always be something intrinsically “Asian” in everything that Adam Quang turns his hands to; whether it’s his signature lychee martinis with friends, his fashion designs or the manner in which he brings his own philosophy on living a good life through the sharing and practicing of the arts of meditation, yoga, tai chi and yogalate. One cannot help but be taken in by Adam’s energetic, cheerful and easy-going manner, always accompanied by his smiling face. There’s an element of calm Zen, but always accompanied with the laughing Buddha.

Says Quang: “I try to live by this quote of Thich Nhat Han: The Buddha has advised us that we should not accept any teachings as true just because a famous master teaches them or because they are found in holy books. This also includes the Buddhist canon. We can only accept teachings that we have put into practice with our own awakened understanding and that we can see with our experience to be true.” After a recent trip to New York, Adam spoke to me about his aim of creating and promoting acts of kindness in order to better society and ensure that succeeding generations are given a better start in life. Adam points out that kindness starts at home and should be extended to ourselves first – to our own health and wellness. Whether we injure our self sitting on a private jet or picking up after a child at home makes no difference – pulling a back muscle results in the same pain. Adam explains that our industrialized, chair-sitting, high-heel wearing lifestyles do not lend themselves easily to yoga poses that were designed for bodies that squatted and sat on cushions in their daily lives (circa 3300-1700 BC.) So, this is the challenge: living our modern-day lifestyles and finding means of incorporating ancient wisdoms into them. Like the domino effect, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant a stress may start out, the accumulation of small stressors could build, compound and create great discomfort in our lives. Learning to let go of small things helps with becoming more compassionate and accepting of ourselves. Adam uses yoga practice as an exercise of “accepting and letting go.” He states that this same concept can be applied to any aspect of life. Cultivating the mind, will ultimately help towards cultivating a healthy vital life.

The World Karma Project (http://www.worldkarmaproject.com/about/ ) is a private corporation created by Adam, with no political agenda or association, which reflects his simple belief of creating better communities – one person at a time, on a personal level. Part of the money from sales goes directly to an individual or organization to help create a better life- directly, at a local level. Helping to empower women and children is a priority; with the aim of helping them become financially independent by bettering their education, finding a job or starting a business. His latest project is an adventure yoga retreat to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, where a portion of the retreat cost will provide a Vietnamese child with school tuition for one year. Imagine two weeks of rejuvenating the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of yourself through yoga and meditation, while travelling through ancient UNESCO World Heritage sites on a dragon boat, while at the same time building kinder and more compassionate communities through your contribution! Now that’s what I call a fusion of creating and promoting acts of kindness (to yourself and others) in our modern world with ancient wisdom!

“Not a charity. Not a big organization. Just a guy, trying to create better communities – one person at a time.” Adam Quang