On the Blue Mountain

On the Blue Mountain

I have been trying to write this article since two months ago. It is not easy for me to express what I felt, besides it is very difficult to believe if you have not experienced it. All this makes me to try to give it an aseptic explanation that would devalue the things that “Chi” could drive us to feel.

Sifu Wong has encouraged me to relate it as best as I could without silencing anything, without changing the extraordinary aspect that it had and that is still having in my daily life.

The lovely gift arrived without me expecting it, without searching for it… I have gone to the inauguration of the new Costa Rican Shaolin Wahnam Centre, a magic place with wonderful people to which, to whom I will be always be indebted.

Due to my several previous engagements, I had to arrive there s few days after the Official Opening, with a beautiful fire and offering ritual. I had to miss this but I did not want to miss staying there with Sifu and my dear friends Roberto Lamberti (Rama), Pragata, Jorge and other dear friends.

The whole group of instructors wanted to support this huge and wonderful Centre that Roberto (Rama) and Pragata had built on the highest mountain of Costa Rica, the Chirripó Mountain.

I visited the place last year and I had fallen in love with it. I had felt its energy in the some place where afterwards I have experienced two SATORIS, just standing up, free of thoughts in the Wuji Stance, upright and relaxed, my body started to turn around itself with precious and subtle sensations that I did not want to stop by tensing any muscle and letting it go as my friend Vicky near by turned and turned enjoying her sensations too.

The night was falling and the sunbeams started to glide downwards the end of the valley. We wanted to make these moments longer and it was dark night when we started our way back. We had almost got lost, in a soft high forest, mistaken the path that with de daylight looked different. Relaxed we found a farmer family, kind as their land that opened their home door, in the middle of the night, to show us the right way.

Guan Yin Temple

The Guan Yin Temple

I had arrived home delighted and wanting to come back to see the changes that had happened with the Centre Construction.

Work is impressive with beautiful structures in the common places with unbelievable straight logs of 17mts long, with palm leaves fitted in them, shaping high roofs covering huge open places with wonderful views and skies full of stars that invite us to sleep in the open staying hours looking to the firmament.

One of the structures is the Temple, the place in which to do practices of Chi Kung, Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan, Shaolin Kungfu and Meditation and in which I decided to sleep, in part because all the rooms were full and in part because intuitively I knew that it was where I should be. In the Temple there were small mattresses to sleep on with a sleeping bag in “monk style” accommodation.

On the first day I felt very well and so in spite of a long trip from Madrid, visited Miami, San Jose and then 3 hours later San Isidro Zeledón to spend a night there and early in the morning climb the mountain in a 4 x 4 taxi ride for an hour to the Shaolin Centre in the Blue Mountain. However I had been practising Sinus Metamorphosis and I had felt full of energy. Thank God and the Chi-Kung as I had no jet lag problem.

free sparring

Grandmaster Wong training Laura in Tai Chi Chuna free sparring

The next day we practised a Zhan Zhuang course with static stances to generate internal force that was hard and fantastic.

The night was great. We had been singing and laughing with a group of sensitive, funny and full of creativity people: There were the Parra clan, Colombians, captained by Juan Pablo, a fine artist who did a beautiful and invaluable diary that will remain in the Centre Annals to be a testimony of these days. He is my dear companion of “Intergalactic Satoris”, as he says.

There was Piti, his brother with a beautiful and tempered bass-baritone voice;, and Diego who embraced a guitar and who was our ideas man in the improvised Ronda we were giving that night.

There was Ana Milena, “La Jefa”, Colombian too with a natural unsurpassable grace and also a great capacity for improvising words together with Diego. There was Martha, also Colombian, with a splendid voice when at last she let it go and impressed everybody.

the ronda

First we prepared the Ronda

There was the Hobbit, as we called him with affection, Fran, Spaniard, a computing expert to whom the group owns a great work of gathering, ordering and distribution of digital photos, amusing and charming young man.

There was Juan Carlos in charge of the choreography of the songs, from Medellin, Colombia. Antonio, also Colombian, I did not see him much because he left soon after my arrival. There was Alex, who made us easy to fulfil many of our big or small needs in the remote area of the Centre.

There was Fercho, also Colombian, a funny and easy-going young man, also creative in harrowing song words. There was Lillibet, with a helping torch, coming from South Africa and living in USA with a great phlegm. Ron, an American from Oregon who always was with our group and, together with his son, Grey, was always sleeping under the stars near the Temple, and who, even without understanding a word of my stories and jokes, always laughed and laughed, perhaps understanding much more than the words.

singing songs

Then we sang songs

There were many more people in the big group. But we were preparing a Ronda in Spanish for the couple, Diana and Rafael, Colombians, that Sifu was blessing in a precious Ceremony with the great Bodhisaatva Kuan Yin presiding over in the Temple.

The Ceremony was conducted at 07.00 am. in the Temple and we were going to participate all of us. But as the Ronda was in Spanish, so most of the English-speaking people went to sleep. Many people were sleeping outside on the Blue Mountain, and others were sleeping in the area without knowing of the improvised Ronda that we were preparing for that night.

We were a heterogeneous group but ready to join efforts to dedicate our affection to the new couple. I think that we had gotten our purpose and they received what we were offering them: our best wishes. We have sung waking them up in an amusing set of songs with a little picaresque words sometimes.

And the X day was coming: The 26th February 2004 was a Magnificent day. All started with the Ceremony preliminaries for the New Couple Blessing. The Flowers, the Words of Good Wishes, the Sound of the Roberto-Rama flute, dancing at the same time and that moved us, Hugs and Kisses and the Voice of Sifu from who knows which “dantien” sounding with such an energy that fulfilled all and Kuan Yin Nodh Satt, The Compassionate Bodisattwa who helps us so much…

The day started very well but for some of us it will finish even better… After a sumptuous breakfast, the Restaurant has been 5 stars, mostly vegetarian and so rich and tasty. The Cordon Bleu Cook: Lobo, an American who studied Cookery in Switzerland, I think, and his beautiful and kind Brazilian wife, Maria, together with the kitchen crew , always smiling and ready to help.

looking at photos

A group of friends looking at photos in a computer. Fron left to right and ffront to back: Grey, Piti, Claudia -- Diana, Martha, Jorge (Shaolin Wahnam Barcelona instructor), Fercho, Patricia, Ana -- Juan Pablo, Frankie, Juan Carlos, Diego, Laura, Charlie

We started with the Tai-Chi-Chuan Fundamentals Course at 9.00 am. And at 10.00 many things happened at that place, and things not only happened to me,. Juan Pablo was feeling the same; and I think that Piti was quite the same…

During that hour every time that I closed my eyes I saw Kuan Yin, the feminine manifestation of the Compassionate Bodisattwa, in the most familiar representation for me. When I opened my eyes I saw the aura of Sifu Wong and Roberto-Rama but behind Sifu I saw the whole aura figure of a divine being like backing him and I do not know why, (don´t ask me, please), I was thinking that this was the energetic body of the Inmortal Li, whom Sifu have been talking to us some time ago.

When I closed my eyes, again I saw Kuan Yin and meanwhile I was feeling like floating, been able to perceive everything with clarity. When we remained in meditation, in the moment that my body reassumed the stillness and my mind remained in the emptiness I began to feel chi all over my body mostly longitudinally to my feet that seemed getting longer, to my hands but even projected forward them as if they were much longer too.

The chi in me was like currents that made me tremble and they were going up and down and some time around my waist. At the same time I was feeling that the sensations were overtaking me, I was feeling an immense pleasure, a tremendous joy full of pleasant shivers during an endless time. It seemed like time had stopped. as described very well by Juan Pablo in a poem that he wrote that night:

              In the fall
              Of a water drop
              (Suspended in time)
              With no time
              You are
              In the limit
              Of Infinity
              (Also suspended in your heart)
              And nowhere else
              With no time
              You are  

The sensations was very strong and seemed not to finish. I was doing nothing, only enjoying something wonderful that at the beginning I thought that it could be the Big Universe or Macro-Cosmic flow, the Small Universe or Microcosmic Flow I had experienced many times but not the Big Universe before… But it was more than this… Everybody was completing to finish and I could not stop trembling with shivers and an extraordinary pleasure.

I think that even Sifu was quite moved and almost ran away saying to see us later in the next meeting. I was sure that he was going to thank Kuan Yin for what was happening. He sees and feels everything and he knows when we are experiencing extraordinary moments or not, and he encourages us to speak about, but this time we could not express our experiences in words.

We tried to eat something with some tea, to come down to earth but we could not prevent the tears and we embraced each other in silence. There are many photos of Roberto-Rama, very moved, embracing Adelaida in a very very long embrace.

I was feeling that I wanted to share this energy and I was doing energy healing (from me it happens to be a mixture of Reiki, Chi-Kung, Universal Energy, Sintergetic, many things difficult to explain in short ) to someone that I offered because I was feeling that she needed it in that moment. She was happy at the idea and we both were delighted with the fantastic experience (among other things she told me she saw the Virgin with the Child).

When Sifu came back, he said:

      I know I am a good master, without false modesty, an excellent master, 
      but what is happening here today is not just my work.

We continued practising and every time that I was still or my body remembered the previous feeling, the shivering, the pins & needles and the waves of energy were back. We finished the morning program and I was still in a cloud from which I either could not or wanted to get down. We ate…

The afternoon the practice started and the feelings returned. Again Juan Pablo, Piti and maybe more were indescribably Happy. I was full of a New and Powerful Pleasure that made me more alive than ever. It was like to be far away and, at the same time, very conscious of the place and the moment but feeling like from another level, and again the shivering, the thanking tears…

This time Sifu made us speak, he wanted us to share our Happiness. It was very difficult, almost impossible, to speak. Crying with faltering words I said something and Sifu asked Juan Pablo and he could not speak either, his hands were moving but the words almost did not go out the mouth. I understood him so well that, in an impulse, I stood up and ran to him and we melted in a big hug. That spoke more clearly than thousand words and everybody understood it .

see you soon

See you soon -- Sifu at the back, Attilio (Shaolin Wahnam Italy instructor) carrying my big bag on his shoulders, Rama (resident master at the Costa Rica Centre) waving farewell in front, and a group of friends waving farewell at the back, with Ron taking the photo.

My gratitude to Kuan Yin, to Sifu, to Roberto-Rama, to Life was so big that I was absorbed a long time fulfilled with a deep love for everybody and everything. Most of the group were going to a thermal pool nearby but I wanted to stay untroubled, doing healing and thanking for every breath.

The next day also was magic, every time that I remembered…The pleasure, the Joy the shivering were back while we Pushed Hand in the second day of Tai-Chi-Chuan Course . Next day was the Shaolin Kung-Fu course. I was leaving, so I was not doing the course and I replaced Roberto-Rama for sometime in the translation of the course into Spanish. The Satoris were back; again. Juan Pablo, Piti, their brother Diego and maybe someone else were immensely Happy.

But there were many more things: Eduardo was cured of diabetes during the Chi-Kung course. David experienced things that he never experienced before even practising Zen since ten years ago. I had also the feeling that a lady was cured or on the way to be cured of a very serious disease. And life was flowing….

Having returned home, I feel different in my energetic level, my hands can channel more energy, I feel happy in spite of terrible external events, I do not get crazy or anger at anything… I feel serene in front of daily events and in front of people, with more Unconditional Love and more Compassion for everybody than before going to Costa Rica this year.

Besides I cultivated the friendship that has for me great value. Any of these days I will go to Colombia to visit my new and dear friends…

Laura Fernández Garrido
Shaolin Wahnam Spain
20th April 2004


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