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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spirituality and Mount Wudang

We are here studying TaiJi and Kungfu on one of the most sacred places in Taoism. Taoism is a major philosophy or religion if you will here in China, very closely akin to Buddhism. Both TaiJi and Taoism began right here on this mountain so it draws people from all over the world. Seekers.

I suppose you might say we came here as seekers as well. For me it was just to get into great shape and experience 21st century China for a bit. But our school gets people often who seem to be seeking some kind of ethereal, quasi-religious, transformative experience. Kind of a "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," floating through the bamboo trees kind of thing.

Of course there is no such thing. Even here on this holy mountain physics rules. No one floats. People get insight, sure, but that can happen anywhere.

Life for us here is very physical. We get up in the morning, train for two and a half hours, rest for lunch, train again another two and a half in the afternoon. It's hard. I've dropped 13 pounds. Gained flexibility. Gotten stronger. But it never lets up. Day after day it's the same program. Winter, 19 degrees Fahrenheit? Outside in the snow kicking. Summer, 85F? Kicking. Rain? Kicking. It never ends (Except Wednesday afternoons and Thursdays).

Still no out-of-body experience.

And yet it's a transformative place. We have looked into our lives and found deeper meaning to who and what we are. But it occurred to me this morning this is not my first time for such a similar experience.

Military veterans of every branch of service from any country in the world will relate their basic training to this experience. I went through Ranger training almost 40 years ago. Yet I carry the lessons learned there with me every day. Now NO ONE in their right minds would try to sell the military as an "ethereal, quasi-religious, transformative experience."

But brother let me tell you, it is as life changing and meaningful as anything one can ever experience.

And I think that's what we have here on Wudang Mountain.

I do like to watch the bamboo swaying in the wind though. From the ground...


Carlos said...

How much does it cost to stay at Wudang montain for about a month?
And how much did it cost you to stay their for 8 months?

mike247worldwide said...

All costs(room, meals and training instruction) cost somewhere in the vicinity of USD$700 per month. It all depends upon the exchange rate. It was cheaper when we arrived last August b/c the Dollar was stronger against the Yuan.