September 7, 2007 at 7:37 am #24315
Note: I am posting this opportunity for early signup for Forum readers. It will not go out the national elist or be posted on main site until the end of the month. If you want to attend, please send me a confirming email at email@example.com and call wendy in my office at 888 999 0555 to make your $600. deposit.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the places and moments that take our breath away.
China Dream Trip Mission:
To experience the spiritual essence of China. To meet & study with spiritually powerful Taoists. To do qigong in its most sacred and beautiful landscapes and connect to its ancestral chi. To deeply taste Chinas ancient culture and peoples, and feast on its local cuisines at sumptuous banquets. To share the very best secrets I discovered on ten previous trips to China before it disappears in Chinas madly modern rush to forget its rich history. In short, The Dream China Trip I would give to myself, if I could only visit China once.
This 2008 trip will explore new riches not offered on previous Dream Trips. The mission of these trips is to keep the door open between Western and Chinese Taoist adepts, and to deepen the ground of our personal practice. If in your heart you feel drawn to Chinas mystery, I advise you to follow your soul instinct, and trust the Tao will supply the time and resources to GO.
— Michael Winn
See below for photo links to NEW photos of 2007 China trip.
A few succinct testimonials from earlier Dream trips:
(more cave testimonials below):
“I am still unpacking the chi from my unforgettable experiences doing qigong in China’s sacred mountains. This trip gave me continuous ecstasy, amazing landscapes, superb food and powerful sacred temples and monasteries – all with a crazy bunch of warm-hearted western adepts accompanied by a premium group of Tao immortals! Thank you all for such an extraordinary experience! – Aurelio, from Mexico
The Qi (chi) I experienced in China was simply mind blowing. I got a transmission from being in those mountains that has totally opened up new levels of my inner vision.
– Mark, Fla.
“Thanks seems extremely insufficient to express my gratitude to you for making this trip to China possible – but, anyway, please accept my sincere gratitude. It was the most powerful experience of my life and continues to have a palpable moment-to-moment effect upon me.”
Very Happy Camper
“I can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoyed the trip and what a profound effect it had on us and our practice”.
– Couple with minimal previous qigong experience
Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have been the gateway to what my soul was seeking for. This China trip is a milestone in my life, a profound spiritual development. Each time I think about you and the group my heart beats faster and a big unstoppable smile takes over!
The outer trip was set up perfectly, to make our inner spiritual trip go perfectly! From start of the trip to the end, it was like yin and yang making love it was so beautiful! Poetic simply magnificent!
– 2nd generation Chinese man, living in Toronto
Dear Seeker of Spiritual Adventure,
Are you Dreaming about going to China?
NOW is the time to let me know if you are serious about waking up in the dream of China’s most powerful sacred mountains. The 2008 trip promises to be the best ever. It will be lead by myself – Michael Winn – and assistant trip leader Barry Spendlove from Wales.
A critical factor that makes these China Dream Trips so special, and different from other tours, are the fabulous group of Tao-minded adventurers it attracts. These are not mere curiosity seekers, a.k.a. typical tourists, but folks who are excited about literally following in the footsteps of Lao tzu and doing powerful qigong ceremonies in China’s high spiritual energy spots. After every Dream Trip, I hear the same refrain: “the incredible people I met and grew to love were as important as China itself”.
A large number of people have expressed interest in the 2008 trip to China. It may be that this advance list alone will fill the trip, without any offering to the public. This means that to secure your place on the trip, you’ve got to put down a $600. deposit NOW or possibly find yourself waiting for a cancellation later.
If trip is over-subscribed, priority goes to my students first, then to earliest responders. I will count your reply email to me as the “post-mark” of your intention to attend while waiting for your deposit to be cleared.
2008 DREAM TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
Please note that while I have worked out the daily itinerary and price for the trip, I do NOT have final dates yet. The reason is that I’m waiting to schedule the trip around an exciting event, the opening of China’s first College of Lao-tzu in Eastern China, in Shandong province, near where Laotzu was born. It’s about halfway between Beijing and Shanghai, in a beautiful mountain setting, in an area famous for its high level Taoist adepts. Many Chinese feel this area is where Taoism was truly born in China in ancient times.
This opening ceremony is sure to attract hundreds of Taoists from all over China, from all different sects, including mountain (non-monastic) lineages similar to the Taoist hermit One Cloud, who transmitted the Seven Formulas for Immortality used in the Healing Tao. So instead of chasing all over China to find Taoists, they come flocking to you – very convenient! My group has been invited to attend this opening ceremony as honored guests.
At the ceremony, I will introduce you to Jiang Nan, one of my teachers in China, a non-uniformed Taoist in the tradition of Ni Xian Pai, or Path of the Female Immortals. Jiang Nan designed the fengshui of the new Lao Tzu College, perfectly sited at the base of White Cloud Mountain (Bai Yun Shan). Powerful dragon ley lines of the surrounding mountains embrace the temple and college complex. I’ve seen photos of the site and it is not only beautiful, but has a profoundly peaceful energy.
After the opening ceremony, Jiang Nan will spend a whole day teaching us a very special ancient shamanic ceremony, “Seven Step Big Dipper Qigong”. We will practice this form, along with the wuji gong (Tai Chi for Enlightenment) form that I teach, for the rest of the trip.
This Big Dipper shamanic qigong generates a very special and powerful chi field. It was used in ancient times to build a protective field around one’s community or before going into battle. The Pole Star- Big Dipper stars are said to control human destiny. Are you ready to take control of your destiny?
Following our training with Jiang Nan at Lao-tzu College, we will ascend nearby Mt. Tai (Tai Shan), perhaps the most famous sacred mountain in China. This is the mountain that China’s emperors traditionally ascended in their quest for immortality. It is the sacred peak of the East, and counterpart to Hua Shan (Flower Mtn), the spectacular sacred peak of the West that we will ascend later in the trip.
Because of this fantastic and unique historic opportunity in eastern China, I am dropping Wudang Mtn. from the 2008 schedule. Wudang is quite remote and takes extra travel days to reach, and cannot be fit into the 2008 schedule along with Tai Shan. I prefer to keep Mt. Qingcheng and Mt. Hua as the other two sacred mountains on this trip, as they have more coherent and focused chi than Mt. Wudang, which is really 72 mountains spread out over a wide area.
So if you were coming in 2008 mostly for Wudang Mountain, I suggest you wait for my 2010 trip to visit Wudang. Or consider the 2009 trip, which will focus on Taoist sites in my favorite part of China – Yunnan province – and includes a visit and training at Tao Garden in northern Thailand. This remote area of Yunnan in southwestern China and northern Thailand also have interesting tribal peoples and magnificent landscapes.
The 2008 trip will still include the highlights in Beijing of the Temple of Heaven and doing qigong on the Great Wall, the terra cotta warriors in Xian, and an optional add-on week to stay on Huashan in either a monastery or a cave. This optional week concludes with a journey to Louguantai, where Lao tzu transmitted the Tao Te Ching.
Near Louguantai is the most powerful and ethereal energy vortex I’ve found in all of China: Lao Tzu’s Ascension Site. In this way we follow Lao Tzu’s own life journey from his birth site in Shandong, his journey to the West where he was royal archivist at the capital in Xian, and his ascension as celestial immortal at Louguantai (to believe this last part, you have to feel the chi!).
If you want to increase your resonance with all things Taoist, this is the trip for you!
To summarize the 2008 China Dream Trip:
Delivers China as a life-changing spiritual experience. We visit the must-see highlights of China but focus on developing a profound earth chi connection in mountains where Taoist adepts have cultivated for thousands of years.
Regular qigong training in China by Michael Winn and Barry Spendlove and by master teacher Jiang Nan.
Learn and practice 800 year old lineage Primordial Qigong from Wudang Mountain, an amazing form that combines qigong, inner alchemy, feng shui, and tai chi. Get free video/DVD in advance.
The Primordial qigong feels different in China! Along with 7-Star Big Dipper Qigong, our chi will rock China!
See a collection of previous top China Dream Trip photos at:
For NEW PHOTOS from recent 2007 Dream trip, see:http://www.healingdao.com/china_2007.html
DATES: the group will be departing on Air China from Los Angeles PROBABLY between May 9 and May 16, 2008. I’m waiting for Master Jiang Nan to finalize the opening ceremony date – he is considered one of China’s top feng shui experts, and is the feng shui consultant for the new College of Lao-tzu. He has also has been empowered to choose the most auspicious time for the opening ceremony, which may be pending, due to myriad political and construction issues. Jiang Nan did the feng shui on the new Beijing airport, and his clients include the wife of China’s premier. He may have time to do a few private chinese astrology readings for our group.
The core trip will be total of 16 days, which is one day longer than previous core trips; with optional week the full trip will be 22 days. This means trip dates probably between May 9 – 24 ( May 31 including optional week), OR at late as May 16-31 (June 7 including optional week). Note these are TENTATIVE DATES, I hope to confirm them sometime in September 2007.
COST: The 16 Day (core trip) cost is USD $4495. This INCLUDES airfare from Los Angeles + all domestic air (six flights) and all land costs within China, at 4 star hotels where available. (Note: the 6 flights within China cost as much as the international flight. For perspective: our flights within China are equivalent to flying from New York to Maine, from Maine back to New York, New York to San Diego, San Diego to Denver, then back to New York. Price will not change even if itinerary changes.
I’ve done my best to keep this trip affordable. It is priced about $2000. below comparable quality tourist trips to China, which don’t cover the same range of exotic locations. High inflation – increase of 15 % a year in the cities – higher airfuel costs, and a strong Chinese currency are driving up travel costs. The 2008 Olympics, whose crowds we will completely miss, is widely being used as an excuse to raise prices. In the travel market, this trip is a good bargain given all that is packed into it. Given what you’ll experience, the trip is priceless!
SINGLE ROOM Supplement $495. (core trip only, but no singles when staying in mountain lodgings).
$100. DISCOUNT to my personal students, Healing Tao instructors, past China trip members or any attendee of Healing Tao USA summer retreats in the past three years.
RESERVE YOUR PLACE in the line of applicants with a $600. deposit (fully refundable up to Oct. 31, 2007. Credit cards accepted for deposit, but I ask that if possible you pay the balance by check or bank wire.
NOT INCLUDED: travel to Los Angeles (low cost round trip airline connections to LAX from domestic US cities may be available); visa fee, porters-drivers-guide tip pool (pre-pay $75. per person for main trip, or $100. for full trip to remove hassle of daily tipping), optional medical/cancellation insurance ($150 -$200), and any jet fuel surcharge imposed by airlines above quoted fare.
FLY TO BEIJING ON YOUR OWN: $3995. for travelers NOT meeting group in Los Angeles, you meet us in Beijing hotel.
Cost of OPTIONAL WEEK in Temples and Caves: $835. covers all expenses (meals, lodging, travel, coolies to carry gear up mountain, extra guides,, and donations made to support Taoist monasteries in appreciation for their teachings and loan of caves for meditation. No Single Supplement available. This week is offered only to those attending the core trip.
BALANCE DUE by Feb. 15, 2008. All checks payable to trip organizer: Dao Alchemy Research Institute (or its educational branch, Healing Tao USA). Please contact me if extended payment plan is the only way you can attend.
TAX DEDUCTIBLE. As an IRS approved 501c3 non-profit activity, you may claim 40% of total trip fee as tax deductible for US citizens. Depending on your tax bracket, this may substantially reduce the actual cash cost of trip (in 30% bracket, over $500. in savings).
MAIL deposit check, payable to “Healing Tao USA” to: 19 Merrills Ridge, Asheville,, NC 28803.
To pay deposit by credit card, call Wendy at 888-999-0555. Safe to leave card info on the answering machine. Or send card number in two separate emails for security.
DONT DELAY in making an advance deposit. Public announcement of trip will be made by October 1 if there is still space available. I expect trip to sell out. All deposits are 100% refundable until Oct. 31st, 2007. Cancellation policy listed at end. All trip attendees will receive a free copy of my Primordial Qigong (Tai Chi for Enlightenment) DVD so you can practice the form before the trip.
Questions? Contact Wendy at 888-999-0555 or email me. Note I will be teaching a Kan & Li alchemy retreat in UK, travelling Sept. 14-23 and may not be available to respond immediately during that period.
TENTATIVE Daily Itinerary May June, 2008. Exact dates to be announced by Oct. 2008.
This schedule does not have talks on Taoism or qigong practice times in it.
Day 1: Travel day to Los Angeles and Beijing. Since plane leaves LAX early in a.m., its your option as to either arrive early, take a layover day with L.A. hotel at your expense and visit the beach until its time to go to the airport. OR get an evening connection to LAX, individually check in at Air China at 9 pm, and then hang at the airport until 1:40 am next morning for the Air China #984 flight to leave. The plane is kept dark for most of the way to facilitate sleeping. The flight is 12.5 hours.
Day 2: We arrive Beijing 5:20 am (one day later due to International Date line). Stay at 4 star Tiantan Hotel, near the wonderful Temple of Heaven park. The Qi in Beijing is very powerful, partly due to good feng shui from the ring of mountains surrounding it. You will have powerful dreams here.
We immediately visit the Temple of Heaven (Tien Tan) park, the most sacred place in Beijing. Morning at Temple of Heaven park, Beijing’s largest and most colorful potpourri of people. It is filled each morning with qigong & tai chi players, ballroom dancing, gambling, folk singers & musicians. Qigong class in park. Tour the magnificent Taoist open sky Altar of Heaven with its white marble stones in patterns of 9, and the Temple of Heaven, an extraordinary three tiered circular temple that looks like an antique spaceship built without a single nail. The Emperor, as Son of Heaven, had to visit here twice a year to receive Celestial instruction. Afternoon free, or optional trip to Forbidden City and Tianmen Square. Beijing.
Day 3: Qigong early morning in the park next to hotel. Morning visit to the White Cloud Taoist Temple, headquarters of the Complete Perfection Dragon Gate sect. This is a powerful place to meditate & practice qigong. Drive to Great Wall of China. The Wall is very impressive, a wonder of the World, part of a 2500 mile long wall. Well hike and do wuji qigong on the Wall at sunset. Evening banquet and talk on Taoism. Beijing.
Day 4: Fly to Jinan, in Shandong province, and transfer to White Cloud Mountain outside the city to attend the opening ceremony of China’s first College of Laotzu, a non-denominational Taoist university for the study of Lao-Tzu’s principles of chi cultivation. Expect this event to attract both Complete Perfection and Celestial Master Taoists, as well as pure”Lao-ists” and non-uniformed mountain hermit Taoists of all stripes. There will undoubtedly be Taoist musical ceremonies and rituals of empowerment. The creme de la creme of Taoist-dom will be attending this event, as it is being co-sponsored by the China National Daoist Association headquarters at White Cloud Temple in Beijing. If available, we will stay at the College, otherwise in a hotel near Jinan.
Day 5: Training with Master Jiang Nan in his Female Immortal Path lineage, in the ancient shamanic Seven Star Big Dipper Qigong ceremony. This form is unlike any other form I’ve ever seen, and generates a completely different chi field from any I’ve ever felt. It feels really ancient. It’s movements look like a kind of “brain gym” of alternating hand and foot movements while walking a big dipper star pattern. It forces you to stay very centered while invoking different energetic frequencies – which may be challenging for some of us (smile!). Jinan.
Day 6: Drive to nearby Tai Shan, the sacred Taoist peak of the East visited by many emperors seeking to enhance their admission into the ranks of the immortals. It is a four hour climb to the top, with optional cable car going up half way. There are many famous calligraphy inscriptions carved into the stone. We will stay in one of the guesthouses on top, and practice our Big Dipper and Wuji ceremonies there. Mt. Tai.
Day 7: Rise early for sunrise ceremony atop Mt. Tai. Free time in morning to explore the mountain and its many temples. Descend in afternoon and transfer to airport to fly to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, on the opposite side of China, bordering Tibet. Transfer to “Dream Mansion”, a traditional Chinese courtyard style hotel situated in the heart of Chengdu’s “old city” with traditional Chinese architecture. Chengdu.
Day 8: Walk to nearby Qingyanggong Green Goat Taoist Temple. Its one of my favorite temples in China, with lovely feng shui on three hills and a powerful sequence of temples. It has a magnificent I Ching pavilion and printing presses for ancient Taoist alchemy texts, which can also be purchased in their bookstore (texts are in Chinese, but the vibe still transmits). We’ll feast at a nearby restaurant on Sichuan’s famous cuisine.
Afternoon free to practice qigong in Chengdus lovely parks, shop, or hang out in the many teahouses. Another option is to visit the School of Chinese Medicine to get medical massage, acupuncture, and moxibustion. Or visit the wonderful Panda Preserve, the largest collection of captive pandas (about 30) in a natural habitat of refreshing bamboo forest. They play, chomp on bamboo, and have tiny adorable babies kept in incubators. Well see smaller red pandas (related to the raccoon). We’ll enjoy the lovely bamboo forest, and visit interesting museum on these bear cats (pan-da in Chinese). Evening banquet, followed by the fabulous Sichuan Opera, with its amazing mask-changing technique and dozens of performing artists (far superior to Peking Opera). Chengdu.
Day 9: Bus 2 hours to one of Chinaa most famous Taoist Holy Mountains: the lovely, magical Qingcheng Shan (Azure Mountain), birthplace of 2000 yr old Celestial Masters Taoism. Covered with soft forest trails and temples tucked in caves, this Taoist holy mountain has a lot of nature spirits present in addition to its 150+ Taoist monks & nuns. If available, we will meet with the female abbott and head of the local Taoist Association. She is,very open about sharing her Tao practices.
Mt. Qingcheng has a very soft, yin quality that invites you into the fold of endless layers of peaks. it is somewhat akin to being in a “waking dream’. Well take the cable car up to save time, and share simple but delicious begetarian meal with the Taoist monks and nuns at the Supreme Purity Temple near the top of the peak. Nearby is a 60 ft. high bronze Lao Tzu riding a buffalo, over looking a vista of endless mountain peaks. Its an easy one hour hike down where we will stay in the extremely peaceful Celestial Cave monastery for two nights. Porters will carry our bags to the monastery separately. There is a powerful 1800 year old ginkgo tree here. Rooms are recently renovated to 3 star level. Mt. Qingsheng.
Day 10: Morning qigong. Day free for relaxing and meditating, or hiking to various temples nestled within the soft valleys. We will meet with local Taoists, perhaps hear a talk on the Complete Perfection Taoist sect approach to immortality. Perhaps a musical concert on the gu zheng (zither) or flute by my monk friends (if they havent wandered off to another mountain!), or some demonstrations of local martial arts. This is a powerful place to practice qigong, and we’ll spend extra time training here.
Day 11: Morning Qigong. Easy 45 minute hike down the mountain. Return to Chengdu airport. Short flight to Xian, arrive mid-afternoon. Our hotel is in the very center of Xian, Chinas ancient capital from Han to Ming dynasty (200 b.c. 1400 a.d.). Immediately behind our hotel is the Taoist “City God” temple, which has a very powerful chi field. Afternon free. After dinner, walk to the nearby lively Moslem Bazaar, which has the best craft bargains found anywhere in China, and delicious local foods. Xian.
Day 12: Free day exploring and shopping in Xian. It was the ancient capital of China for fifteen hundred years, and is a giant outdoor museum, with Chinas many ancient layers of history exposed. We’ll visit the enormous city walls and famous gates, and the 1400 year-old Taoist 8 Immortals Temple, still one of the most revered seats of Taoism in China. The temple dedicated to “Doumu” the Ancient or Primal Mother, is especially powerful. Time to meditate and do qigong inside the temple compound, and visit its Taoist gift shop with paintings by local monks.
Next to the temple is a colorful flea market filled with curiosities, sculptures, jade & Han dynasty antiques dug up by farmers from their fields (another chance to sharpen your bargaining skills!). Xian has the best bargains in China, and we’ll visit a Jade factory, a silk carpet/clothing outlet, and a freshwater pearl outlet, which has beautiful low cost cultivated pearls of all colors. You can leave your purchases and extra baggage in Xian while we journey off to Mt. Hua. Evening free. Xian.
Day 13: Visit the impressively vast Terra Cotta Army of Emperor Qins tomb (the size of 5 football fields), the #1 tourist attraction in China. Then a short drive to visit the oldest and most famous Taoist sacred mountain in all China, Hua Shan. Check into hotel at base of Huashan. Tour nearby Jade Spring Monastery where, according to legend, the famous Taoist adept Chen Tuan did dream practice for 3 years continuously. Chen Tuan is the designer of the famous “tai chi” or yin-yang symbol. We may catch the local Taoists doing their evening ceremony and arrange a teaching on the Huashan tradition of Taoism with one of my longtime monk friends. Huashan village.
Day 14: Take the spectacular cable car ride (the highest in all of Asia) half way up the 7,000 ft. Mt. Huashan, and spend rest of day hiking on its five summit peaks, which form a giant 5-petalled flower (Hua shan means Flower Mountain). The views are stunning, with many temple shrines (mostly female deities) built in caves along the trail. There are thousands of stone-carved steps, which also make it impossible to get lost. The precipitous granite cliffs have the majesty of Yosimite Park, but this is far more amazing for its feeling of human will carved into the granite since ancient times.
Those attending the core trip only will descend by cable car and return to the village below. Those staying for the extra week will stay in a monastery atop Mt. Hua or hike to the cave area where they will stay. Huashan peak or Huashan village.
Day 15 – FOR THOSE ON 16 DAY CORE TRIP: Morning transfer by van from Huashan village to same hotel in Xian. Afternoon free in Xian for last minute shopping or visiting other historical sites. This group will have its own guide. Those staying on for the additional week, see Optional Itinerary below beginning with Day 15.
Day 16 – FOR THOSE ON 16 DAY TRIP: Depart Xian in late morning for Beijing, then connect to Air China #983 at 8 pm, arriving in Los Angeles at 5:15 pm same day (miracle of International Date Line).
Optional: Taoist Cave & Contemplatives Week
NOTE: For Michael Winns experience of living in a Taoist cave at Huashan for a week with no food or water, see article Taoist Alchemy & Breatharians originally published in Qi Journal: http://www.healingdao.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl (you must be subscribed to “Tao News” on homepage or articles page to enable reading of articles).
Also read the intense experiences from previous cavers following this itinerary.
Who should attend this extra week? It is open to everyone with the time and interest. I’ve kept the cost minimal to encourage you to stay – you’ve come all the way to China, why not go a bit deeper?
The core 15 day trip gives everyone exposure to three sacred mountains and the highlights of Chinese culture. It’s a pretty action-packed travel itinerary. The extra week is time to stop moving around, to go within, to digest the powerful earth chi that is unique to these cultivated mountains. This week gives us time to relax, to sink in deep and attune ourselves to the spirits of Taoist masters who merged with the spirit of the mountains, opening an earth-centered portal to immortality.
For people who have already developed a serious meditation practice, it is suitable to spend part of this week fasting in caves on Huashan. For others, it will be far more comfortable and useful to sleep in a monastery atop Mt. Hua and explore its peaks and caves for shorter periods of meditation and qigong.
To sleep in the caves requires bringing special camping gear (sleeping bag, pad, extra warm clothes). It is a hassle to schlep this extra stuff across China for just a few nights in the caves. So you really have to deeply DESIRE this experience to go through the extra hassle. It also requires extra hiking up a steep mountain opposite one of Huashan’s peaks. The caves can be cold even when its hot outside. You are not given any food (you can bring your own if you are not comfortable fasting). But basically it is a physical hardship to live in a hard cave.
I’ve designed the extra week to satisfy the needs of both paths of contemplation, one staying in monasteries, the other spending part time in caves. Let me know which you feel called to follow when you put your deposit down. There are limited cave spaces and I may have to figure out a complex schedule to satisfy everyone.
Priority for reserving caves will be given to 1) my Kan & Li alchemy students 2) date when firm deposit is made, 3) general virtue and commitment to meditation, 4) willingness to explore bigu (fasting on food while feasting on chi) in the cave.
The Extra Week Itinerary:
Day 15: Those staying atop Mt. Hua after climbing on the peaks (see Day 14) will already have divided into two camps.
The cavers will have hiked down for one hour from the cable car landing area, and then hiked up for 1.5 hours to the Pole Star cave area. So today they will be waking up in a cave. There is a wonderful Taoist hermit, whose spiritual name is “Master Stone of Perfection”, living in the cave area and maintaining the caves physically and with meditation. Even though you are there to fast, he will undoubtedly offer to feed you in case you’ve had enough of fasting.
The rest willl be waking up in a monastery atop Mt. Hua, next to a temple dedicated to the “White Ruler God” of the mountain. White refers to the metal/white gold element; this temple is the ruler of all the gods and immortals who are attracted to this mountain.
The monastery group will stay for a total of three nights in this Taoist monastery nestled beneath Huashans peaks and giant old pine trees. It has superb feng shui. There is a great courtyard for practicing qigong or talking to the Taoists living at the temple about their life as mountain adepts. In one corner of the courtyard is a cave, open for meditation with a small shrine inside it. The cave is said to have been used by San Simiao, a famous Chinese doctor from the Tang Dynasty.
The food at the monastery is excellent. The rooms are shared dormitory style, with two, four, eight or more beds in each room. The rooms will be divided into men and ladies rooms. By this point on the trip, we will be quite intimate after traveling for two weeks together, so this will feel somewhat like a spiritual slumber party. The monastery will be reserved exclusively for our group, not open to the streams of tourists who visit Huashan. Well have electricity, but no running water or heat. Hot water buckets available for bathing, and simple latrine. Mt. Huashan
Day 16: After spending two days in the cave, some of the cavers may wish to hike up to the monastery (four hours hiking) and join that group atop Mt. Hua in order to explore the peaks. And some of the monastery folks who are scheduled to stay in the caves may want to hike down (and back up, total 3.5 hours hiking) to the cave area. This exchange will depend on how many people are seeking the cave experience. We have a total four days atop Mt. Hua, and cavers may be limited to two days in caves in order to allow others to stay there. Usually some people end up loving the caves and stay all four days if there is room.
These caves have been used for hundreds of years by Taoist adepts, are carved from solid granite, and thus generally free of mold, dampness or water seepage. Their location has been kept secret, and thus energetically protected from the polluting influence or desecration of caves found on the main peaks by government and tourists. No cooking or heating fires permitted. Weather should be warm, even hot in June, but can still be cool at night. Come prepared for sudden changes in mountain weather (equipment list is provided). Some caves are large and may be shared by two people, both expected to maintain respectful silence.
Those staying at the monastery atop Mt. Hua will find plenty to occupy themselves exploring its different peaks and sheer cliffs. Many Chinese climb Mt. Hua to view the sunrise from the East Peak. The sunsets off the West Peak are amongst the most sublime I’ve found on planet earth, and strange paranormal events have been known to occur here (flying immortals showing up, etc.)
For the more adventurous, there are steep ladders and a “board walk” across the backside of the South Peak cliff that leads to a cave carved into the sheer side of the cliff. See photos of this on my photo page (one has me sitting on a tree growing out sideways from the mouth of this cave). This group will also have the opportunity to practice the Primordial Qigong and Seven Star Big Dipper Qigong in a very powerful place. Mt. Huashan.
Day 17: Those staying atop Mt. Hua at the monastery will descend to Huashan village where they can get a hot shower. You have the option of leisurely hiking halfway down the mountain and then taking the cable car, or continuing to hike down the other half of the mountain. This is a very beautiful hike, through a valley with a river filled with giant boulders and magnificent views of Mt. Hua in the background. It will take an extra three hours, more if you stop to explore caves and play in the river.
Day 18: The group that has already descended to Huashan village can either relax and explore the village or the Jade Spring Monastery at the base of Mt. Hua. If enough are interested, we can organize a morning trip to Huashan Temple a few miles from the village. This large temple is laid out atop a ley line that connects directly to Mt. Hua, and was the temple the emperor (and most pilgrims) would first visit to pay his respects to the mountain.
Any remaining cave dwellers will descend to Jade Spring Monastery (baggage assist by porters), about a three hour hike. They will shower in the rooms of the other group. The two groups will join together at a lunch banquet. Then we will drive 4 hours across the Shaanxi plains to the smaller but exquisitely beautiful Zhongnan mountains.
Well stay at Louguantai, the Taoist monastery built on the spot where Lao Tzu is said to have written the Tao Te Ching after being stopped by the guardian of the pass to the West. The modern guest house here has hot baths & showers, and good clean food. There is a possibility we will stay up a nearby valley at a resort with waterfalls, about a half hour’s drive from the main temple complex at Louguantai.
Day 19: Rest, explore, meditate at Louguantai monastery or its nearby Lao Tzu Temple. The vibration here is soft but intensely spiritual, very different from Huashans strong yang rock & earth. A nice balance, and a good place to digest and internally cook the powerful Huashan experience. We may have a chance to meet with my friend the Abbot, Ren Fa Rong, if he is available. One of the most famous Taoist adept-scholars in China, he is very busy these days as he is currently the president of the China Taoist Association. We may spend some time with the vice abbott Ren Xing Zhi, who is also very accomplished in meditation and Taoist esoterics of the I Ching.
In the afternoon we’ll visit the Lao tzu Ascension Site. The chi is very ethereal here, and it takes a while to quiet down the mind enough to be able to entrain with it. We will also hike the small mountain behind this site to a temple atop the hill, with a special cave dedicated to Lao tzu. This cave is famous for healing many people of illness. Louguantai
Day 20: Relax, another free day at Louguantai to meditate. We’ll tour the famous large temple and statue dedicated to Lao Tzu. Or hang out and do qigong or tai chi in a beautiful courtyard with red lanterns hanging from the Palace of Lu Dong Bing, the Taoist immortal who is the patron guide of inner alchemists. Another option is to rent horses and ride a short distance (or hike) to a majestic 10th century pagoda built by Nestorian Christians. The Taoists were generous and open minded to allow them to build near their most sacred site. Louguantai.
Day 21: Depart in the morning to Xian. Two hour drive, then check into same 4-star hotel where we stayed previously. Time for final shopping spree in Xian’s wonderful bazaars and crafts shops, or explore the rich history of China’s ancient capital with its city walls still intact. Evening free in Beijing for packing. Xian.
Day 22: Depart to Xian airport in late morning, take afternoon flight to Beijing, connect to Air China #983 at 8pm, arrive in Los Angeles at 5:15 pm same day (miracle of International Date Line).
See a collection of previous top China Dream Trip photos at:
For NEW PHOTOS from recent 2007 Dream trip, see:http://www.healingdao.com/china_2007.html
Some testimonials from cavers on previous China Dream Trips:
OPENING TO SPIRIT IN THE CAVE-TEMPLE
This past summer on Michael’s trip, I spent 3 days in a Temple “cave” near Bei Tou Ping (Big Dipper Portal). Sharing a Temple cave with a close friend, we spent the days and nights in deep appreciation for our presence there. We called on many spirits as always and we felt completely supported and always safe. I have not written about this previously because the time spent there is so sacred and special to me.
We made a proper Temple out of the cave again, giving the space total respect and appreciation. We swept it out, placed pine cones, bird feathers, fresh incense & lit 3 candles that burnt the entire stay. We said a prayer, played a Tibetan Singing Bowl, agreeing not to vocally speak to one another for three days.
I did Primordial qigong in there several times. Each time was a deeply moving experience. The ceremony was always preceded with hours of prayer & mediation & soul sounding. One day, we spent from sunrise to sundown inside the cave meditating together. We had gods and angels visit. They were quite supportive of our practices.
Cooking might be a good word to describe that temple after a day of activation. At some point I realized we had the temple so incredibly vibrant and the ethereal spirits all called that we really did not have to do anything active. Just go deep into the presence that deep inner light, where our souls sing infinity.
I did not see any foxes, but I did see a Spirit Goat! And what a cool goat it was. I went out for a walk above the temples on the first day and there was a goat just above me. He took off and guided me for a couple of hours all the way to the top of the mountain. This goat was obviously a high spirit in physical form. Once I got there I found a set of three pinecones in a very cool display. After taking a roll of slides I climbed back down and added the pinecones to the shrine.
Ohhhhh and just for the record we did not fast. I tried for one day and made it until lunch time, oh well, i just like food too much it was very funny. We ate apricots, dried nuts and chocolate scored in the village below. We were fresh and charged as ever after 3 days. Good chocolate is the most expensive thing you will every buy in China, stock up!!!!
It was a very special privilege to spend time there. I’m still baffled that anyone would call them “caves” as they are clearly temples. Something to keep in mind. You are sleeping in a space that was carefully crafted for spirit. I dont think you could be surprised to find some spiritual visitation when you perform powerful practices and sleep in such a sacred/activated place.
You attract what you ask for or resonate with. We asked for love, light support and received nothing but love, light and support. It was quite a celebration.
The morning we left we gave a thanks to the temple & its spirits …. & left the offerings and the candles burning…. If I every left, I certainly want to return.
For more photos of the inside of one of the Huashan caves, visit Mike Teeter’s Photo Gallery. Photos taken on two separate China Dream Trips.
MAGIC, MYSTERY, AND POWER HIDDEN WITHIN FLOWER MOUNTAIN
Hua (Flower) Shan (mountain) is a mixture of danger, magic, and high spiritual force. It has smooth curving rock faces, pine trees and impossibly high cliffs anchored deeply in the heart of a mountain rising up from the plains of red earth into five mysterious granite petal-peaks.
A south face cave is my warm up for the longer cave experience on the sheer West face. I sit on the edge of emptiness in soft, powerful and refined energy, with the warm smoothness of a tree and wind spirits playing in the air. I dissolve inside the womb of a small cave, lost in the depths of internal thunder.
Finally, the great initiation. Inside a large domed cave for three days, slowly being inducted into the collective self of Hua Shan. I feel the presence of the immortals, the deep earth energy and the primordial self, all being pulled into the dark womb of the mysterious female, the portal to the Tao that Lao Tzu wrote about. My deep collective inner self is slowly filled with the shimmering sound of crystal light.
The Huashan experience for me was the most powerful meditation I have ever experienced. It is a connection with the collective consciousness of all the humans that have cultivated there, and with the deep earth: it gradually drew me deeply into a dark womb of shimmering light-sound that took a focused intention to sustain. My outer self was resistant, and constantly trying to get my attention. But the cave proved to be a powerful container for it.
This trip gave me the incredible opportunity to connect with the land and people in places of the world where there has been an ancient and continuous presence of powerful meditation practitioners.
The result of this has been that I have developed a deeper connection with my inner self. These experiences inspired me to go on Michaels Dream Trip twice; it became more powerful with repetition.
I am considering a third trip.
note; Chris got addicted to the caves and came back on a second Dream Trip.
CONVERSATION WITH THREE GOLDEN SPIRIT BEINGS ON HUASHAN
To preface my experience: I am a hardcore – 25 year Kriya Yogi. I added chi kung to the mix 5 years ago for grounding reasons and now consider myself a Taoist Yogi???! My profession is brain science, brainwave biofeedback, research as well as being a clinician and teacher. So with my hardcore yogic (jnana) background and scientific investigative tendency, I usually have to see and/or experience something before I buy into it.
My Huashan experience of three days in the Cave of Sun & Moon went like this:
First night I realized I could not push any practices – the place had it’s own energy which I simply opened up to and surrendered. What happened next was on an inner plane. I was fully conscious of where I was and of my physical body – I even narrated the events as they unfolded to my partner. I did lose awareness of time and space at a certain point but I will explain that in a minute.
These three gold adorned beings came to my inner vision as clear as a bell. I immediately ‘mentally’ said, “I don’t acknowledge ghosts, disembodied beings, etc. – it (you) is all one thing: it’s all the Tao!”.
To this statement there was what I can best describe as a resounding applause – like, “allright! he’s one of us!” So, I thought, “I’ve lost it now! This altitude, fasting, maybe even some acid I took 30 years ago, has made be hallucinatory!”
Then I decided to engage in back and forth communication just to see and sure enough it was really happening. The interesting thing was that I believe they could have easily known everything there was to know about me but they were respectful or non-intrusive enough to ask (telepathically) me questions.
MW is me.
DB is disembodied beings
DB, “What is you lineage?”
MW, “Mahavatar Babaji of the himalayas is top guy in my lineage – I am direct disciple of one of Yogananda’s last living disciple’s.”
DB, “Oh! Babaji visits here often!”
(this was like some guy was there with a clipboard and they had a checklist of questions to go through!)
DB, “What would you like? A new house, car, money, better job?”
MW, “No, I want full liberation!” (I should have asked for lottery numbers!)
DB, “Okay! – this you’ll have.”
DB, “Anything else we can do for you now?”
MW, “Yes, two things: One, please show me the nature of the universe and, two, please reveal the true alchemy of the human journey.”
And just like a “GOOGLE” search I got a download that lasted several hours – not ‘knowledge about’ the universe but ‘Experience of’ the universe – this is where I lost physical body consciousness – I went into other realms.
Then alchemy was revealed on all the scales from elemental to human to planetary to universal (this was before I knew about Kan & Li) and I really got the “as above, so below” thing.
The next two days were spent going in and out of this experience. I have only shared this with a handful of friends.
Now, the access to this plane remains. I spend 3 hours every AM in practices. It has also made me quite clear about my mission and purpose this life (which is service to humanity on a large scale).
I’m going back to Huashan next trip with Michael – I may ask for the Big Dipper cave/temple this time!
TESTIMONIALS from earlier CHINA DREAM TRIPS
I asked the question: How did the China Trip change your life? Names withheld for privacy. I will note that two of the thirty six trip members moved to China as a result of the trip! As you can tell from these letters, this trip is not for simple tourists. Its for people who are open to intense alchemical transformation. Michael Winn
A. How did China change me? That is too difficult a question, I will stick with, What did China change in me? My practices, I seem to have acquired a much stronger Chi field. Meditations have a lot more depth and in some meditations what were just words or thoughts are now strong physical/energetic/spiritual feelings, experiences. I have a much deeper understanding/connection with my bodies.
Same with Qigong my arms are moving through a much denser chi field. I find myself experiencing a much deeper experience of Tai Chi. I find it easier and easier to connect with the energies of the cave and various monasteries. I have had some great experiences connecting with Lao Tzu’s ascension site then taking it into the cave.
I have been working on converting my garage to a practice place. My father pointed out that I was sawing timber in straight lines and hammering nails without bending them (and without hitting my thumb) This Is most unusual and my father noticed right away. Was it worth it? Absolutely undeniably yes. A great group of people. I look forward to the next trip.
B. Your China Dream trip changed my life. One experience in particular comes to mind. On our first day on Mt. Huashan, I crawled out on a rock ledge and sat there drinking in the beauty of the incredible vista before my eyes. I was looking down on the tops of clouds. I didn’t have anything particular in mind, just a little rest and a few moments of solitude to drink in the beauty before me.
I easily settled into meditating and immediately began to feel so light. Quite spontaneously, fears, the existence of which I had never fully acknowledged, surfaced and were released down into the emptiness in front of me along with more than a few tears. In that moment, on that ledge up above the clouds, I knew I was no longer able to settle for less than living my life fully. ..
Days after returning from China, I filed for divorce, something I had been trying to do for years. It was a peaceful parting. Thank you so very much for all you did to make that trip an incredible experience for everyone involved. You did a fabulous job!
C. Just writing to thank you for organizing the trip to China. I had an amazing time! I met a lot of fun and interesting people, ate a lot of great food, and the places were powerful and spectacular. Thanks to you my entire life is about to undergo a huge change. I will be moving to Chengdu in Sichuan province in January, and living in China for at least a year to learn the language at Sichuan University. After that, who knows, the possibilities are endless! Thank you Michael, I hope to meet you again. I hope your life has changed for the better as radically as mine.
D. China was an extraordinary trip for me! I am still swirling in the experience and richness of it all! My world feels much bigger and at the same time, the exquisite sameness of all people is resonating throughout my being. I will try to get some words down to describe some of it before too long, but meanwhile wanted to thank you!
E. I do think about the group often. I don’t take it lightly. Our time together was important to me. Being a novice at these practices. I wish I had consulted with you more on your experience. Our time together was short but intense. There wasn’t a person on the trip that wasn’t an inspiration for me. But I do feel lucky with my roommate, as he was my greatest inspiration. Nothing bothered this guy, and I found myself doing meditation on that. What kind of attitude would a person need to have this positive way of looking at things, events, life? Thanks!
F. Now for my life changes after China:
1. immediately after the trip I began to realize that the JUDGMENTS I have are just my judgments. I can now feel the separation they create. And now know that its not the way things and people really are.
2. my main Tango dancing partner told me I was DANCING better because I am softer and more relaxed!
3. several friends are saying that my VOICE on the phone has become softer, slower, somehow changed.
4. the shaman I sometimes see says I am “more myself” – whatever she means by this. I can feel what these feedbacks are referring to and I’m happy about it.
There is no penalty for cancelling before midnight Oct. 31, 2007 (full refund of deposit).
Note: Low cost travel insurance is made available to all trip members. (Last year it cost average $150.- 200. depending on your age & trip length). You are strongly urged to obtain it. If you do NOT obtain it, you must sign a legal release.
SARS has been officially eradicated in China according the World Health Organization. If SARS or some other killer bird-flu virus should it break out before the trip date, I personally believe the trip will still happen. Two reasons.
1. During the last epidemic there were virtually no cases where we are spending most of our time.
2. Chinese health system is much better prepared and alert this time around.
3. Extensive instructions are given to all trip members on how to stay healthy before and during the trip. These are my time tested travel methods to keep immune system at peak operating level. This strategy has proven very effective on previous trips.
Fees for cancellation are as follows:
1. if cancellation notice is received between Nov. 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2008 – $250. fee.
2. If cancel Jan. 1 to Feb. 29, 2008 – $500. fee.
3. If cancel between March 1, 2008 and departure date of trip, full trip cost is forfeited (NO REFUND). This is why it is essential you get trip insurance.
4. No refunds for termination of travel AFTER trip begins. If a member must involuntarily cancel for physical health reasons AFTER the trip within China has begun, and does not use a portion of their already pre-paid services, no refunds will be made. It is simply too difficult to collect in China, and not worth the trouble. No refunds are made for unused excursions and special program activities.
We will supply you with a reliable and inexpensive travel insurance option (or you can choose your own). Check the terms and conditions of the issuer of your travel insurance policy as they are defined in the policys cancellation clause, which outlines your coverage, its limitations and exclusions. Usually written medical excuse from doctor or proven death in family are accepted.
I hope to hear from you soon!
Love, chi, blessings,
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