This week was the third of the third (third day of third month of the lunar calendar), the Peach Immortal Festival, when the goddess Xi Wang Mu “ Queen Mother of the West” is celebrated, she is said to live in Mount Kun Lun, the western paradise, and to oversee the gardens where peaches of immortality grows. Every thousand years she makes a banquet where the guest she invited will receive the peaches, she also passed on the the scripture of purity and tranquility which she received from Jin Que Di Jun (Sovereign of the Western Wach Tower) who received it from Dong Hua Di Jun(Sovereign of the Eastern Florescence). Besides this is also the day when the Five Immortals are celebrated.
Together with the Chinese New Year Spring Festival this is the busiest time in all year in Bai Ma Shan for the great amount of worshipers who climb up the path to place incense ask for advices and to take a break from the busy life in the peaceful environment of the temple.
This year the atmosphere very joyous, many old friends came to help us and the visitors where numerous, we shared food with all of them and we had the occasion to meet many from old worshipers to young couples, from the countryside and from the city, each one coming with their friends and family.
We have all been very busy in this days in our duties of taking care of the temple to protect this environment and to welcome the people. Especially when there are no courses, this is a big part of our life and a very hard task, especially because at the same time we are all working hard to achieve improvements in our areas of study and it requires a lot of time and constancy. This may be frustrating sometimes but on the other side what kind of cultivation would we ever achieve if instead of taking care of the worshipers we would hide to practice? Li Shifu always says that worshipers are number one and to put ourselves in the last place, he also uses the example of a stone smoothed by a river to explain the character cultivation: we are the stone and time and difficulties we have to endure is the water. In fact the aim of practice is in the end to improve our character to help as many people as possible and this is an occasion to do so, in small affairs of common life. In the process of elevating oneself, mastering the method is only one part while the other one is to increase our love and compassion, one could also say that the method is like knowing how to tune to the right TV station while love and compassion is the power of the signal, the television receiver is your life.
The weather has finally stabilized and now we are finally having a period of warm weather and all the flowers are blooming, the temple is surrounded with beautiful colors, the sun rise in the crystalline sky and a delicate breeze make the atmosphere clear and fresh. The life is getting more active and we train jumping kicks lower stances and review our forms, especially water and fire Tai Chi.
Since the weather is warmer we can now perform fire healing without the risk of cold entering the body This is a wonderful method for stimulating the movement of qi and blood and get rid of stagnation of the old, we are now specially using this method to heal from old injuries of joint, bones, tendons and muscles. It is very practical and effective and it combines the power of fire to the power of our medicinal alcohol and the power of methods from the old masters. It can expel what has been stuck for years and heal chronic illnesses that seemed incurable, the student who has received the treatment says: “The Fire Method is a part of the process of healing that Li Shifu gave me. My entire body and nervous system has to be balanced, as it has been weakened and disrupted from old injuries and a long stressful time. The process of recovery is a slow process as we must let go of our old thoughts and habits. But it is also a deep process and I understood that I have to communicate more, fully trust the master and open my heart if I want him to help me to get rid of this old blockages and retrieve a strong and healthy body, stable and emotional state and a quiet and clear mind.”
At the same time the works for the front of the temple continues and now is the time for the building of a new praying paper burner which will be much bigger( more or less 5m) but with the same shape as the old one, here some pictures of the construction.