During the last 12 days of June, a group of 30+ individuals had the unique opportunity of traveling with Grandmaster Hong from the ancient capitol of China (beginning of the Silk Road) in the West to the hustle-bustle of modern Shanghai in the Southeast. Along the way, we berthed in the birthplace of Confucius, lingered in the lingering gardens of Suzhou, bedded in a silk factory, stitched in an embroidery factory, got militant at the Terra Cotta Museum, took in the solemnity and majesty of pre-Olympics Beijing, and much, much more.
Touring with the Master is an unforgettable experience. The journey began before leaving the ground, with the students learning practices for jetlag, how to walk with Qi, and Feng Shui homework.
A trip to China is not complete without experiencing its national treasures, including the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Museum, the National Palace Museum, and the Forbidden City. However, what the Master taught was from a different perspective. What one sees on the surface is the Yang side, the tangible. Master taught the Yin side; the energy under the surface and why these structures were built as they were. These are the inner teachings that even the local tour guides didnít know about. When Master talked about the energy, they asked that his translator interpret while they took notes!
The local tour guides and national tour guide were caught off-guard each time Master would launch into Feng Shui teachings at venues along the way. Master described the difference between Yin and Yang dwelling Feng Shui, and why the design of the structures were laid out in that fashion, bringing into universal and environmental energy, and the intent of the Emperor, temple, or the homes of the populace.
There were lavish meals from start to finish. The fixings were so tasty and the dishes just kept on coming. It was hard to keep oneís balance with all the balanced eating. At every restaurant we went to, there were three bottles of the local beer awaiting us. The beer and soft drinks were cheaper than the water!
In Shanghai we were given a private tea ceremony. The group sat on teak benches, while the hostesses served us several types of tea. Green tea, according to modern research, has anti-cancer properties, black tea helps us to detoxify and lose weight. Tea drinking began in China, was elevated to an art in Japan, traveled to Britain, and became an afternoon ritual, and finally to the States where it started a war!
Another one of the highlights of the tour was a trip to a natural healing clinic. A Traditional Chinese Medical doctor treated each member of the group. They experienced the Chinese way of taking the pulse and were questioned by the doctor. Our group was amazed by how accurate their diagnosis was.
Shopping was a blast. The opportunities were endless, but for some, you can never get enough. Master taught us how to differentiate between the real deal and fakes, and often got into the haggling for us. It was entertaining to watch Master talk them down. Itís hard to turn down a Master. The shopping was so intense that Master had to set aside time for buying additional luggage.
The group had come together through the journey, sharing the knowledge, experiences, and camaraderie being strangers in a strange land. We didnít want the journey to end, and many in the group queried Master as to when the next energy tour would be held. Master announced that he was thinking of having another energy tour toward the end of the year. He cryptically said, ďFood is sometimes the best medicine,Ē meaning the itinerary centered on balanced eating for health. This would entail foods and recipes that we have never heard of, and dining on foods that might surprise us.