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Taichi



 Taichi

 
      The site built nearby an old one where Master Shang San Feng, founding father of Taijiquan is said to have his remaining years after his stay in Wudang Mountain.Heming Shan is a lower range,a very hilly terrain with old sub tropical forests. The area has perfect feng shui location for a secure flow of qi:To the north is a high hill with rivers running down on both sides .An island has formed where the rivers meet, and the main temples are situated here ,On the eastern side is a hill symbolizing the dragon ,and to the west a slightly lower one representing the phoenix. The landscape opens up to the south, and the island is connected to it with a broad bridge. Here they have built a massive entrance portal in Han dynasty style, with the eight immortals decorating the walls in huge reliefs .A wide space foe training and assembly lies in front of it, and a thick stone wall guards the southern end, conserving the qi .The final design once it is finished will be grand ,with hotels, car parks, retreat cottages, and even a hug statue of Lao Zu  planned to be put on the hillside. Hopefully it will keep most of its original beauty, and not evolve into a Daoist Disneyland. The benefactor of the project is a successful pharmaceutical ceo who has made his fortune from herbal medicine, taught to him by an old Daoist who lived in this region. Showing his respect for the tradition, he decided to give an offering back by financing the temple restoration and additional buildings.
Great honor was bestowed upon us during our stay in Heming Shan, and master Mei gave a lecture on Bagua to invited journalists, tv-crews and other guest. A grand tea ceremony was laid out for us by the gate, and the delegation became officially adopted students of Master Mei in front of a large audience. Displays of Taijiquan forms and interviews followed.

 
       In the afternoon we got to visit the elder temples where Shang San Feng figures as one of the main deities. He is flanked by Lao Zu and sakyamuni Buddha in the holiest room; another good example of religious syncretism .Above the temple entrance it written:”Welcome immortal Shang San Feng,” and in the sloping gardens of the interior stands an old tree he planted some six-seven hundred years ago. We were also give water from a sacred well there; it had a crisp. clear taste, and is supposed to be most rejuvenating .

 
       During our tour of the place we got to talk with a priest who informed us that the of the celestial masters partly originated here in Heming Shan, and they are now led by the 64 generation. He lives secluded on Longhu Shan, tiger and dragon mountain, further south ,and is not even necessarily present at all the annual religious ceremonies. The family lineage the most important when a new patriarch is to be chosen, but the are economically self sufficient form the state, and doing fine thanks to their ceo patron. Although the party is explicitly atheist ,the now give permission to buy land and erect buildings for religious purposes .National religions seem to be making a comeback in china, as the people rediscover this part of their cultural heritage which had to lay low on the early decades of communist rule. Daoism, wushu and taiji philosophy is in fact being brought to the forefront in china these days as examples of cultural branding and image-building .Norsk Taiji Senter fits in well with the process, as we are a part of this lineage, something we clearly notice from the interest and service given to us by the Beijing people’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. We can hardly express our gratitude enough for all the help and effort the did to make our journey run smoothly and successfully.
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