36 square kilometers of caves, ancient villages and ancient forests. It is filled with stone monsters, strange water and ink fragrances. This visit was an opportunity for Shifu to teach us some natural philosophy.
Notice the shape of the valley and the reflection on the water. In our life we see either the mountain or the reflection depending on your point of view. Both are beautiful.
The chambers in the cave were enormous, carved by thousands of years of cascading water. The rock walls were like the bones in our body and the spaces were like the meridians through which our energy (qi) flows. Both are essential.
In Taiji we aim to move like flowing water. The qi flows through us when we do the routine and when the energy is strong it feels as though your hand is meeting resistance, literally like moving through water. Water is essential to life. It is so innocuous in small quantities yet can be such a powerful and even destructive force in large quantities.
This feature resembled a Ba Gua which is a focal point for meditation and you can see the terrace pools in the out rings which are like the flow of the energy rippling out from our meridian points
Visiting the caves made me appreciate the beauty of slowing down. Like the uneven floor from yesterday’s qi gong practice, you have a choice in life rush along and skim over the surface or slow down and appreciate the detail. It isn’t always easy but it is worth it.
At lunch we stayed in a tiny place just outside the caves where we were the second table and so we had to sit outside. The owner asked if we wanted chicken then went and killed one for us!!! I was given the opportunity to watch but didn’t fancy it. That has to be the freshest meat I have ever eaten!!!
The afternoon saw us meandering back and visiting an old covered bridge and a huge camphor tree.
In China if you walk under an old Camphor tree they say you will live to your 90s. If you touch one you will live to be 100.