I am back! I have been back in Maryland enjoying the comforts of home for about a week and a half. As with every time I come home, I have been dealing with the challenge of balancing two conflicting urges. One urge is the desire to maintain the healthy lifestyle I have in Wudang. The other impulse it to abandon myself to the rhythm of life here at home.
It is always amazing to me just how difficult this balance is to achieve. Life at home generally means eating too much of the wrong foods, drinking too much, and staying up too late at night. But it is REALLY hard to relax and enjoy friends and family while remaining aloof from the unhealthy behaviors.
In this way, I think I am much in the same boat we all are in during the holidays: we want to indulge because that is the tradition of celebration, but we know that at some point soon we will have to do something to correct the holiday excess.
This is the frame of mind I was in when I read an article my Master wrote last month. He explained to my class his thoughts when writing it. Shifu believes strongly in Daoist methods and their ability to improve people’s lives. But he was concerned because only a few people, like myself, were able or willing to come to Wudang for a long time and learn the techniques. So he wanted to distill the most fundamental part of our health practice and provide it in a more accessible curriculum.
That is how this article and the associated course came to be. Reading it myself, a lot of the “why” information was new to me, but the benefits and methods themselves were familiar: this is how Shifu has taught us to live while we are training. I have been learning this by living it for the last few years. But this article is meant to reach out from traditional Daoist methods and appeal to the more analytical western mind. As a bridge, it may seem a little strange to those standing on either shore, but take a look.
I hope people will consider Shifu’s ideas carefully. Even if you can’t picture yourself hopping on an airplane bound for China in April, I think the article contains insights into healthy living that people in our crazy world need to have.
Link to Shifu’s Article: http://www.wudanggongfu.com/kungfu/2013.html