0524_1Living on a mountain without any road connection or infrastructure only with a few hundreds of steep stairs which connect you with the world and above it nothing but the blue sky might sound very much like in a fairy tale these days, hard to imagine because of all the hardships that we may think of, but it turns out to be that the hard things are much easier than we imagined and the small details much greater than we expected.

The most obvious requirements are that one has to be open minded to try and accept new ideas, make real changes and reorder priorities, here one is more close to nature, to the earth and the stars than any place else, here you’ll find out that losing is gaining and the more the better, I feel I gain a lot by losing a lot, maybe a lot of disturbing thoughts, plans and carving for more and more luxurious life, when I can live with the basics I think I’ll be most rich, our needs are in general very basic but we sacrifice most of the time even our very basic needs in order to please or impress others, we end up neglecting our physical, emotional and mental needs trying to adapt to society’s norms. So for me the biggest question in the last time is to determine what I’m really doing for my self and what I’m just automatically obeying to please others, not an easy question at all knowing that even if I knew what that is the biggest challenge remains if I would be able to do something against it and without really having bitterness all the time trying to fight against well established patterns of social interaction.

 A lot of people will think that going to the mountains is a kind of escape, withdraw or even hiding, I feel it is for me like a step forward, sometimes we just need to rethink deeply everything we cherish and admire to check again and again our goals and intentions, if we could just stop comparing ourselves to others and stop doing everything in a competitive way we might find out that what we are just doing might not be our way at all and it will lead us to nowhere, the problem is that we are conditioned just to win without thinking if it is our fight the first place or not.

 We always find it very normal to burn ourselves out, our health and emotions trying to get more and more money but find it very weird and awkward when we are ready to burn our money in order to get healthier and clearer in mind, again it is one of these norms of society the makes me want to rethink everything again and again.

It is hard to determine what I have gained from being here because the change comes to you in a very subtle way, you just surrender to the nature around you , do your exercises diligently and from time to time take part in ceremonies in the temple and you feel your mood and states of mind inside of you going in around and at a point you can feel some detachment from them, you are in a state of watching your self and emotions and maybe at some point you understand this process to a degree that you are not anymore dependent on it. My understanding is that real change is the change we do not really feel because it happens and integrates it self so naturally that we don’t consciously take note of it.

Before I decided to take part in the Kungfu course I wasn’t sure because nowadays I’m more interested in Taiji, Qigong and Meditation than Kongfu, but now I’m very happy I did because this Kongfu is something unique and very deep, the Forms which are taught here, the Eight Trigram Dragon Heart Palm and Wudang Seven Stars Sword, are much more than mere physical exercises or fighting skills but more interconnected with the Daoist Philosophy and View of the Cosmos, very Demanding in Performing for Body Mind and Spirit, the deeper meanings are still to come after many Stages of refinement when all the Movements are stored in the Body Memory to give the Mind a good rest and let the Spirit flourish with every Movement and every Rotation, both of the Forms are very related and contribute to each other like forming together a total whole. I am very confident that after long diligent practice there will be much more to discover in these Forms also the very accurate and non compromising Instructions of Li Shifu lets me understand how important and meaningful every movement and hand form for keeping the deeper meaning of the forms. One day I have to leave here and go back to my ordinary life with a new perspective and new orientation that is after all the main goal of undergoing such an experience, I feel now that what I learned here will form very deeply my path for the days to come.

Cheng Lan