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The actual title of the event is "Chinese Taoist Retreat Experiencing Camp and Inner Alchemy Seminar" therefore we will experience the taoist life in the temple and will perform the advanced inner alchemy seminar at the same time. The following is an account of the first part, i.e. the description of my findings about the taoist style of life...
We arrived in China and we are still one day ahead of the first advanced seminar I got in longmen practice. This is done for the first time in the temple for us, the foreign students. Of course there were foreign students there before but the way it is organized now is new for us...
I heared today about some of the retreat rules: No speak. No look. No interact.
No speak means to keep quiet at all times. If master says hello the student should remain quiet. Or he gets punished by kneeling while an incense stick burns out, which takes about 45 minutes 🙂
No look means do not stare at others. If you intersect someone on your way just lower your sight.
No interact means to try to help yourself with your living. Wash your own clothes, clean your own room and bed. Do not complain. (Thanks God/Dao they have a cook already!)
We will wear some Taoist outfit, already prepared for us by the monks.
Our group is very intersting, we are from many European countries (Holland, UK, Germany, Sweden, Bulgaria and Romania) but we have one colleague from Brazil as well. Tommorow our group will join a North-American group to fill up the 20 seats advanced seminar in the taoist temple situated in Jinhua, Zhejiang province...
We arrived at the temple in Jinhua. The high speed train ride was smooth and comfortable and the people at the temple waited for us with few small cars and drove us about 30 minutes away on the mountain where the temple is situated.
Here we found very nice rooms, the whole building is new, all furniture is new an nice. As we already knew, in this province buildings lack the heating system so we live at the nature's temperature, between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius, keeping the warm inside only requires to close all windows. It is true, we have enough thick blankets on the bed. Oh, on the wooden bed - some of them must go under!...
Food is strictly vegetarian but the quality is good and everyone seems to like it. A little rain in the evening brought us umbrellas and rechargeable torches - those will come in hand for the cave practice.