From April 6 to May 31 it took place the Gong Fu Course 2017. It was attended by 28 students coming from Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, Netherlands and United States. The course schedule was pretty intense and daily routines included morning Qi Gong practice and standing meditation, cleaning chores, offering incense, morning and afternoon Gong Fu training and sitting meditation. Besides, on the spare time before and after meals there were many times where students were required to help on some maintenance work as carrying vegetables from the bottom of the mountain, chop wood and work on the vegetable field.
The Gong Fu training integrated the study of the Gong Fu basics, the Big Dipper Body-Protection Da Gong, Eight Trigram Dragon Heart Palm (Wu Dang Five Dragons Ba Gua Zhang), Wu Dang Five Dragons Seven Stars Sword and Self-defense techniques. During those two months, especially in the rainy days there were also some theory classes about the history of Wudang Gong Fu and Daoism. Furthermore, the students were taught about standing meditation Qi Gong, Sitting Meditation and had classes on basic Daoist Medicine treatment (practical methods to speed up recovery process from traumas and injuries). This year there were also Daoist Medicine classes on the spare time for students that registered for Daoist Medicine Certificate. Five students had put in effort to train GongFu and study the Daoist healing arts, day by day. They completed the course that included theory and practice about acupoints pressing method, Moxibustion, Cupping, Scrapping, Music, QiGong and Fire Healing.
During this course there were some special occasions were the students had the opportunity to join the Daoist Scriptures ritual and ceremonies. One of the special celebrations took place on May 1st : Gong Laoshi, one of the highest Scriptures master of the Purple Heaven Temple of Wudang Mountain attended and led High ceremonies with her disciples. During two days, the students could take part in some Daoist rituals to eliminate disasters and invite good fortune, blessings, peace and health.
Nearly at the end of the course on May 28, we celebrated the Dragon Boat Festival, picking Mugwort in the morning, eating rice cakes and egg soup with medicine.
After all the intense schedule of the course, all the students were examined on their Gong Fu basics stances, Eight step form and Sword form. One by one, each student could demonstrate and receive feedback about their own progress and difficulties. The purpose was always learn and improve oneself. At the very last day, during the closing dinner all students shared their perceptions, insights and internal changes. The balance was tremendously positive.