Sacred Mountain Summer Retreat 2017
Nourishing Life and Studying Classical Chinese Medicine
Qigong, Meditation, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Zen Tea Wisdom, and Huangdi Lineage Acupuncture
With Heiner Fruehauf, Wang Qingyu, and Liu Lihong
August 30 to September 16, 2017
Study at Puzhao Buddhist Temple at Mt. Qingcheng, near Chengdu
Heiner Fruehauf, Wang Qingyu, and Liu Lihong
Traditional culture, in the quantum age, is being rediscovered as an immensely rich fountain of personal and scientific inspiration. China is one of the world’s great quarries of traditional knowledge. Chinese wisdom, however, is highly personalized and can rarely be found in an institutionalized setting. It is still primarily through oral transmission that the gnostic arts and sciences of China are passed on.
Prof. Heiner Fruehauf designed the Sacred Mountain Retreat Program in 1994 to facilitate a direct contact to this source, and has been bringing motivated groups for travel and study to China ever since. Because of the drastic environmental and socioeconomic changes that have taken place in China during the last decade, there have only been a few of these unique journeys in recent summers. This year, however, Heiner jumped at the rare opportunity to co-teach a retreat with Liu Lihong, China’s most active guardian of the diverse traditions of classical Chinese medicine. Dr. Liu has been instrumental in introducing forgotten lineages such as the Fire Spirit School of Sichuan Herbalism and the Shanren Dao system of 5-Element Emotional Healing to the Western world. His best-selling book Sikao zhongyi (Rethinking Chinese Medicine) will be published this year in English under the title Classical Chinese Medicine by Hong Kong University Press.
The Sacred Mountain Retreat program has purposefully been designed around the sacred mountains of China. Due to the protected setting of these sites, many traditional arts have survived more unscathed here than anywhere else in China. In particular, Sichuan province in southwest China is recognized as one of the ancient cradles of Chinese medical culture, where tribal shamanism evolved into the complex system of Daoist hermit practice. Laozi is said to have spent the last years of his life there, and Zhang Daoling, the founder of Daoism as a monastic form of practice, lived on several of its revered peaks.
The “base camp” for this year’s trip will be on Mt. Qingcheng, a sacred Daoist mountain that forms the cultural and geographic border between the Chinese mainland and Tibet. It is one of China’s primordial sites where the Chinese quest for perfect health and longevity once began. Since time immemorial, the lush yin energy of this archetypical mountain has attracted many seekers of the Way, and many Buddhist and Daoist cultivational lineages trace their origins back to this Chinese outpost of the Himalayas. Our group will have the rare opportunity to stay in the inner courtyards of Puzhao Temple, a Buddhist institution where Heiner first studied Qigong in 1990 and where he has since cultivated a close relationship with the current spiritual leader, Abbess Guozheng. Puzhao Temple is surrounded by tea plantations and prepares some of the best vegetarian food in all of China. We will also have ample opportunity to hike up the mountain and explore some of the many Daoist monasteries and teahouses nestled into its flanks.
During the first few days of the trip, Prof. Wang Qingyu, Heiner’s main Daoist medicine teacher and one of China’s few officially recognized authorities in the field of “Nourishing Life,” will conduct regular practice sessions in Qigong movements and meditation. More specifically, Prof. Wang will transmit the intricacies of one of the esoteric long forms of classical Jinjing Qigong that has rarely been taught before in a public setting. The Fourteen Movements of the Jinjing School (Jinjing Shisi Shi) blend the effervescent spirit and the animated movements of the Shaolin “Transform Every Fiber in Your Body Classic” (Yijin jing) with the age-old art of life-spring renewal known as Daoist inner alchemy. In the evenings, Heiner will lead meditation and chanting sessions drawn from a variety of classical traditions.
During the second part of the trip, the group will have the unique opportunity to study with three master teachers of Chinese medicine. Most of the time will be reserved for the sophisticated teachings of Prof. Liu Lihong, who is planning to initiate the group into a classical form of daoyin meditation. Since he has recently become the designated lineage holder for a gnostic system of classical acupuncture, he will most likely also share with us some of his insights into the fields of acupuncture and herbalism. Guest appearances are scheduled for Prof. Deng Zhongjia, China’s foremost expert in the field of Chinese herbal formulas (fangjixue), and Prof. Hu Changjiang, the designated lineage holder and primary instructor for the Sichuan lineage of Chinese herbal processing (paozhi).
Altogether, it is our hope that from this dense fabric of lectures, practice sessions, tea tastings and sacred mountain walks will emerge a deep feeling for the way of Eastern thinking, as well as a sense of the profound value of traditional culture in general.
Download the retreat flyer to learn more about cost, accommodations, and registration.