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About Rara

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  1. I went back up today We took a cable up to Golden Summit but walked back down. Even now my legs are sore because of all the training! I revisited Nanyan and saw much more as it was a clear day. I didn't try the tea shop this time around but I may get another chance to go up again before I leave. I managed to take a walk around the wall of Purple Heaven, around the back of the palace, but I didn't go with anybody that knows the area, so didn't find the cave. I will ask my teacher and maybe I will locate it one day. But yes, I saw Thunder God cave last week. I walked down some stairs opposite Purple Heaven and found a martial arts school - I assume it's yours. I took a photo so will try and send it to you. So our schools must be related, just located elsewhere? As mine is Dragongate, but not in the national geopark... About injuries, a fellow student has been using something called moxa on her knee. We have various rubs for muscles that I have been using but I have nothing too serious. My elbow has been in pain for a long time from hard martial arts though. My teacher knows and I may get something for that.
  2. Hey! And I meant "Plum Ditch", not "Plum Valley" Yes, I've been up the mountain once and seen Nanyan Palace (I especially love the Dragon Incense - How on earth did they build that?!) Purple Heaven, Carefree Valley (with all the Monkeys) and Taizi Po. We only get Mondays off so I hope to go again next Monday to see Golden Palace and back to Nanyan again, because it was very cloudy and misty last week. I would like to see some more views if the weather will be clearer. Still, it was very cool looking around with all the clouds and mist. Life at Dragongate is nice with a good community. Training is tough though, my legs have struggled and I've even pulled a muscle in my left calf. 5am start with a 9pm finish, it isn't what I expected at all. BUT, I should have learnt all of the Taiji 32 Form before I have left and a qigong sequence. Being here, in answer to the OP, no, I don't think being a Taoist is for the well off. In fact, my stay here is very cheap and I am fed 3 meals a day. I believe the school (and all others in Wudangshan) have all lost popularity over the years, yet they make do with what they have. They look after about 20 kids here, like a boarding school, and they have some incredible skills. It's difficult to keep up with their energy but they are keeping me going. They're fantastic people, and very courteous
  3. Not mixing

    I am currently mixing and am at my absolute limit. I live and learn...
  4. WMJ, where did you go? I am at Dragongate now! Plum Valley.... One week in, three to go
  5. I never feel that I am truly aligned, until I have done something in the day that has challenged me physically. This can be a cardio workout, external or internal martial arts training, making a meal or guitar practice. Sometimes it is nice to sit after...this can be quite humbling and I can feel a better connection to myself and my universe. I don't know, maybe it's because we all have different make ups that we can achieve enlightenment in our own way. Some are built for mass hours of meditation, some for military, some for being a nomad etc etc....
  6. 3 TTC translations and 2.5 ZZ translations later, I've realised this. The common ground between them all becomes less and less, and now, I've probably whittled my own understanding and practice of Taoism to a handful of definitive ideas. That's probably all there was meant to be!
  7. Zhuangzi was clearly roaming around sticking his fingers up at officials haha. Yeah, maybe worth checking out TTC for a little more order
  8. I think you've landed yourself in the wonderful realm of Thinking For Yourself. Unfortunately, politics is black and white. Either you bat for one set of principles or another, and it's very easy to be drawn into rhetorical devices used by the educated/politicians/media to end up in a certain camp. Just like your Taoism, your political views will get looked down upon by serious conservatives and liberals alike. It's not worth the energy getting too caught up in, imo.
  9. Strengthening the Blood

    Qi can be like oxygen or food nourishing the blood. Good eating and breathing practices should do the trick
  10. When I say Pu'er or Sichuan to the Chinese people that I know, they get so puzzled. I end up going further with my descriptions until they understand and correct me. It's all good us saying yin yang to each other, being western and having our own "dialect" for these things, if you will. I've given up trying to pronounce things correctly when speaking with the Chinese for now haha. I'll be over in the country in a few weeks. That should be even more fun!
  11. Ah, well that makes more sense! It's hard to read sarcasm sometimes haha
  12. Basic questions

    Good point. Here in the west, doctors or anyone that cares for us like family and friends always recommend a good balanced diet and exercise before anything. Breathing techniques to manage stress etc. Natural wellbeing is promoted way before pharmaceuticals. They will know some basics to get you on your way. I've often found the "take time out and count to ten" when getting stressed is very practical advice. Sometimes that is much easier to adopt and more effective than some meditation therapies that seem a lot more complex.
  13. How exactly do you mean that people make a difference? That part confused me...
  14. Absolutely. It certainly does feel like a popularity contest over susbstance. I remember once, when Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair over here. I was constantly hearing "the guy is SO boring". Who cares if he can get the job done? He couldn't get the job done, but my point still stands.
  15. I might drag myself to the polling station to pick "the least worst", then just shut up and forget about it.