Wudang Mountain

Wudang mountain is revered in the martial arts community and is seen by many as the spiritual and historical home of the internal martial arts. The Chinese say that “China has five sacred mountains, but Wudang surpasses them all”. A distinguished pilgrimage site, Wudang has attracted many prolific martial artists and philosophers throughout history. There are more than 2,000 palaces and temples, making this complex the world’s largest Daoist center.

Traditional Chinese New Year Customs (Part 2)

At one in the morning on the first day of the New Year, we open the doors and set off firecrackers. After the blasting sound finishes little bits of red paper are all over the ground, brilliant like brocaded clouds. This is called “filling the halls with red.” In Chinese culture red represents joy. In ancient times when people “opened the doors and set off firecrackers,” there were no strings of firecrackers or gunpowder, so they exploded bamboo sticks. In traditional culture, setting off firecrackers and exploding bamboo represent eliminating evil, driving off ghosts and monsters, and chasing away pestilence. Thus when the New Year arrives the first thing families do is to set off fireworks, clearing out the old and welcoming the new.

The Chinese New Year

The lunar New year, also called the agricultural New Year or the Spring Festival, is a holiday celebrated in many Asian countries. The calendar used for calculating the lunar New Year is based on the cycles of the moon, which was extremely important in ancient agricultural societies where farmers used the lunar calendar to understand the periods of sowing, sprouting, and growth of crops.

Inner Alchemy/NeiDan

Inner Alchemy/NeiDan

Elixirs (dan) were pills Chinese doctors made in antiquity, objects that in those times were very mysterious. In novels and movies we often see scenes where a person takes one of these pills (an elixir), and is able to come back to life, or attain the Dao and become an immortal.

Saving the Sun

Saving the Sun

Later today, North America will experience a total solar eclipse.  You already know the scientific explanation of a solar eclipse, caused when the moon comes between the Earth and the Sun. But, what did the ancient Chinese say about eclipses?  How can their ideas help you? It should come as no surprise that many ancient…

The Fake Daoist?

Fake Daoist?

Just recently, I received an e-mail asking an interesting question: “How do you know if someone calling himself a Daoist priest is genuinely a Daoist priest. Is there any way to check?” As Daoism grows in popularity, some people may call themselves a Daoist priest as a way of marketing their business.  So how can…

Growing up on Wudang Mountain

In 1994, when I was 14 years old, my parents sent me to Wudang Mountain to study martial arts. There are many schools on Wudang now, but the only school at the time was the Daoist Association’s Martial Arts Academy. It was there that I began my training. WordPress is evil Our schedule was intense.…

Daoist nun – Sun Buer

Early Life Sun Buer 孙不二 (birth name Sun Fuchun 孙富春) was born into a wealthy family in Shandong Province in 1119. She was educated well as a child and enjoyed poetry and calligraphy. In her teens she was married to Ma Yu (马钰) the son of a prominent local family. Together they raised 3 sons.…

How Daoists Say “Hi”

Instead of waving to each other or shaking hands, Daoists says “hi” use a hand gesture called the Zi Wu gesture.  The same hand gesture is also used for devotional practices and in meditation.  But, what does the Zi Wu Gesture mean?  In order to understand the Zi Wu gesture, we need to talk a bit…

8 Immortals

The 8 Immortals

If you are practicing Wudang style martial arts, I am sure you have heard of the 8 Immortal staff and sword forms.  The 8 Immortals are a group of folk heroes who play an important role in Chinese culture. They first appeared as a group in the Ming Dynasty novel Chronicle of the Eight Immortals’…