China Trip 20-29 September 2016

Chi kung training under the watchful eyes of Bodhisattva Guan Yin in Xiaolou

On 25th September 2016, a day after the Olive Cultural Festival on Er Long Shan when we presented a public kungfu performance, we went to Xiaolou, which literally means “Little Pavilon” but is actually a small urban area just outside a huge gate leading to Er Long Shan.

I was not prepared for this impromptu change of plans ; I thought we just stopped for breakfast before proceeding to Er Long Shan for our VIP Chi Kung Course. The time was almost 8.00 am and we were supposed to start our VIP Chi Kung Course at 8.00 am. As Roeland mentioned in our Discussion Forum, everything in China was flexible.

We did not complain as the breakfast turned out to be very delicious, which was to be expected in all food in China. During breakfast, a pretty Chinese lady, who turned out to be our tour guide, apologized to us for starting the tour late, probably realizing that Westerners, who formed the vast majority of the VIP Chi Kung class, were not as flexible as the Chinese in China.

I told her that the tour could wait because we came here for the VIP Chi Kung Course, and not for the tour, although we would certainly welcome it. So we had our chi kung practice after breakfast,.

At first I and probably all other members of the Chi Kung Course, except Tony, who was the co-organizer with Anton, and some local Chinese, thought it was just a restaurant where we had our breakfast. But the restaurant, or what appeared to me as a restaurant from outside, had a huge scenic area behind it with a statue of Bodhisattva Guan Yin, a large practice area with chairs, shady trees and a rustic pond which reminded me of classical China and its kungfu knights.

During our chi kung training in the lovely, shady area, a Chinese woman brought in three huge joss sticks and asked me whether she should light them. I told her that we did not order any joss sticks. Just then, Alex from Russia told me that he ordered the joss stick to pay homage to Bodhisattva Guan Yin. So not only we had a beautiful environment, we also had a beautiful aroma in our chi kung training.

After our chi kung session, we visited the He Xian Gu Temple in Xiaolou. (Please note that in Romanized Chinese, “he” is pronounced like the English “her”, and not the English “he”.) He Xian Gu, which means Lady immortal He, is one of the famous eight Taoist immortals. He Xian Gu was born in Xiaolou during the Tang Dynasty and became an immortal in the early 8th century.

The He Xian Gu Temple was large and majestic, buiilt in classical Chinese architecture. Behind the temple high on a mountain was the He Xian Ku Pagoda. As we climbed up the pagoda floor by floor, I recalled the pagoda at the Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang, Malaysia where many of our Shaolin Wahnam Family must have ascended. On top of the pagoda we had a panoramic view of the surrounding area with the Zhen Jiang or the Zencheng River.

In the afternoon we visited Ba Shui Zai, or White Water Waterfall. As we arrived, Mr Lin, who joined us in the VIP Chi Kung Course, was waiting for us Mr Lin is a successful businessman now, with a string of travel agencies and restaurants under him. He was a former general in the Peoples’ Liberation Army. When he learned that I had 60.000 students in our Shaolin Wahnam Family, he expressed his amazement at the number. I told him that the number of soldiers under his command was much bigger.

Mr Lin told me that Bai Shui Zai was one of the biggest waterfalls in the world. At first I thought there was nothing very beautiful about the plance, with a large lake and a high waterfall in the distance. Then Mr Lin led us to the entrance of Bai Shui Zai. And ho and behold, I found Bai Shui Zai one of the most beautiful places I have seen in all my travels.

There were a lot of hawkers selling a great variety of wares at the entrance. I saw some hawkers selling persimmon, a kind of round fruit that is smaller than an apple, and is yellow in colour. When I first visited China about 20 years ago, I tasted some persimmons and found them to be the sweetest fruit I had eaten. So I didn’t miss the opportunity to taste some that day.

Bai Zhui Zai is really beautiful. I saw a series of beautiful waterfalls at the Tvindefossen in Norway just a month ago during my fabulous King’s Road trip. But the scenes before me were even more impressive. There were pools of water all around, with connecting wooden bridges. There were, of course, hundreds of revealers, including children, enjoying their Sunday holiday.

We found a spot to have our chi kung practice. But there was some music blaring out from high loud=speakers. Mr Lin said the music could stop for our purpose, and sent out orders. It showed the power and influence of a general, even a retired one. We had an enjoyable chi kung session with singing waters in the background.

Before we teturned to our hotels, we had another chi kung session in a lychee garden. But the lychee, which is one of the best known fruits in China, were not in session.

Mf Lin wanted to give us another sumptuous dinner before we returned to our hotel. But I explained to him that we had a long way to travel, and thus had to decline his kind offer. As a compromise he suggested we should have tea.

So we adjourned to a restaurant owned by a former soldier in the army commanded by Mr Lin. It was supposed to be tea, but it turned out to be another sumptuous dinner. Anton commented that it was an excellent use of the 36 strategies, which wasn’t surprising as the Chinese Liberation Army, despite its gigantic number of soldiers, is well known for intelligence.

It was quite late by the time we reached our hotel in Zencheng. After a short rest, we went for supper in the old town area of Zhencheng.

Regarding food in China, the best wanton soup I had ever taken was that in Zhencheng, when Tony took us for breakfast before going to our chin-na or chi kung courses. "Wanton" literally means "cloud swallow". This wasn't poetic. The poetic meaning was that when you swallowed the wanton, whcih were meat balls wrapped in layers of flour, you were like drifting in clouds.

But the first time I really felt drifting in clouds was when Tony took us to the wanton shop. I used to complain that despite its poetic name, the flour wrappers were too thick, and the meat too little. But in Zhencheng at last I found the wanton that could enable you to drift in clouds.

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit,
11th October 2016.

China Trip 20-29 September 2016

Shaolin Wahnam family members with Mr Lin at Bai Shui Zai or White Water Waterfall


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