Spring Break 2023- HanXu caves

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.

I wasn’t too keen on the fluorescent lighting which made it more of a theme park than a natural wonder but you have to take the rough with the smooth. It’s all part of life’s rich pattern.
The column formed when stalagmites and stalactites meet is like our spine forming the core of our body and our strength

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.

This style of bridge is popular in China
Doing Taiji has improved my balance massively and I felt fine doing the stones across the river. It wasn’t that long ago when I would have given this a miss
This camphor tree is 1600 years old. An Emperor escaping his enemies hid in it and do it is seen as having special blessings.

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.

Look at us. I reckon we will be immortal now! Lol
One of my favorite pictures from the trip. Feeling zen.
A great action picture. Good shot XiaoMa

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