Ba gua zhang is recognized as one of the three major internal Chinese martial arts, alongside tai chi and xing yi. Of the three, ba gua is the most powerful because it is the most flexible and dynamic. It is based on responsive, continuous, and changing movement. Ba gua translates as “eight trigrams", a reference to the symbols of the ancient Chinese text of divination, while zhang means "palm", and refers to the fact that this martial art emphasizes the use of the open hand, rather than a closed fist.
Eastover is a retreat center sitting on a 600 acre sanctuary located minutes from downtown Lenox, Tanglewood Music Center, Shakespeare & Co., Kripalu Center, and other cultural venues in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. Dedicated primarily to the holistic community - holding regular Qigong, Taichi, Yoga, Chinese Medicine and Nutrition retreats, we offer spacious workshop and program rooms with multiple meeting and studio facilities for teachers, groups, corporate training and retreats. The mansion estate is designed around an evocative “Summer Cottage” and immerses you in a contemplative, holistic environment from the moment you enter its grounds - from its courtyards and terraces overlooking English and Japanese gardens, to its sun-drenched Terrace Café, inviting mix of manicured greens, meadows, woodland trails and breathtaking views of the Berkshire Mountains. Eastover offers a wide variety of spacious and comfortable overnight accommodations to fit any budget, from rustic, to luxurious; not your typical hotel or resort, our rooms are set up more like dorms for workshop attendees - they are simple, clean, and comfortable. With the exception of rooms located on the third floor of our mansion and on the second level of the Tally Ho building, all rooms have a private bath. Tally Ho is our entertainment venue, an iconic gathering place loved for decades by people from the Berkshires and beyond. It is the largest indoor space in all of Berkshire County that is suitable for receptions, weddings, performances, workshops, lectures and corporate retreats. Newly renovated, it's equipped with a full kitchen, bar, state-of-the-art sound system and theatrical lighting.
Being distinctly unique in style from a conventional hotel or conference center, on the Eastover grounds are five separate buildings, each with comfortable New England cottage-style rooms with "simple elegance" and varying amenities. In East Colonial, for example, we have eleven Deluxe rooms with amenities such as televisions, air conditioners, mini-refrigerators and hair dryers. On the other end of the spectrum, with many room styles in between, is our Bunkers facility, available during the summer months only, offering reduced amenities and air conditioning in each room. In addition to these choices, there are multi-bed dormitories, rustic three-room cottages, and very lovely accommodations available in our mansion as well. We have a beautiful heated indoor pool, sauna, massage facilities, Qi Gong, yoga and mindfulness meditation classes. Fresh fruit, coffee, tea and a cold breakfast is included with your stay; a la carte hot meals can be ordered as well.
Eastover has recently built a remarkable state-of-the art greenhouse water reclamation system - a major undertaking exhibiting respect not only for personal health, but for planet health as well. In addition, on-site organic gardens provide herbs and vegetables for daily meals
Sheng Zhen means "Sacred Truth" and in this transformational Qigong training, Master Li teaches a method of self-healing that involves a series of movements specifically designed to remove unwanted negative energy from our bodies and to collect instead, the true and healing energy (qi) of the natural world. The movements and contemplations offered with Sheng Zhen Gong help create the deep sense of inner peace akin to what many of us experienced as small children. Simplicity replaces complexity - the body softens, the negative emotions are released, and one experiences a feeling of perfect harmony with the universe.
Ba Gua Zhang is recognized as one of the three major “internal” Chinese martial arts, including Tai Chi and Xing Yi. Of the three, Ba Gua is the most powerful because it’s the most flexible and dynamic. It is based on responsive and continuous, changing movement.
The words Ba Gua translate as “eight trigrams”, a reference to the symbols of the ancient Chinese text of divination: The I Ching, or “Book of Changes”. The eight trigrams are arranged in a circle around the Dao (Ying-Yan) symbol. The concept of Ba Bua is used not only in martial arts, but also in other areas of Chinese culture, such as Daoism, feng shui, navigation, and predicting the future. The I Ching is one of the treasures of Chinese culture (best translation: Alfred Huang).
The word Zhang means palm, and refers to the fact that this martial art emphasizes the use of the open hand, rather than a closed fist.
Walking the circle is the basis for all existing Ba Gua styles. The practitioner walks in a circle, while holding various postures with the upper body, or executing palm changes – patterns of movement which train the body mechanics, generate Chi (or energy), and form the baisis of Ba Gua’s fighting technique.
Master Li was head coach of China's national martial arts team, winning over one hundred gold medals with the children he coached. The master has also directed and acted in several martial arts films. Junfeng Li is one of those highly cultivated martial art and qigong masters capable of receiving teachings and messages from divine spirits in meditation. He currently travels the world to spread the word of “opening the heart with unconditional love”. Master Li is one of the true living qigong masters and the driving force behind bringing sheng zhen gong, the qi gong of unconditional love.
This retreat will take place in Lenox, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, in the United States. Centrally located in the cultural hub of the Berkshires, minutes from Tanglewood, Kriplau, and many other cultural venues, Eastover is a 600-acre estate and retreat, exclusively dedicated to facilitate holistic, personal growth, and environmental workshops and programs. It is the ideal location for teachers, groups, organizations, and companies seeking retreat and training.
It is cradled east by October Mountain and Housatonic River, and provides stunning majestic views of Mount Greylock. With its one hundred year old summer cottage perched on the crest of the hill, surrounded by miles of open meadows and forests, the energy at Eastover is well centered.
The retreat center is not affiliated with any specific spiritual tradition. Its eclectic open-hearted receptivity to a broad array of groups and teachers aims to support the continuing emergence of holistic and ecological ideas capable of renewing the culture and leading the way to a sustainable planet.
Daily meals and drinks are included in the price. The menus are based on group preferences and budget. You can choose between delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals which typically include raw salads and hot vegetable dishes. Upon request, the chefs will gladly prepare unseasoned blanched or steamed dishes for lunch and dinner.
Gluten and dairy free needs can be easily accommodated, and many of the seasonings and oils are provided on the side for guests to season meals to taste. Several rooms have refrigerators, so guests are welcome to bring food that suits their needs, if they have issues that cannot be otherwise accommodated. Please note that Eastover Estate and Retreat is unable to reduce meal costs due to food allergies.
There are many extra activities to do in the Berkshires area, including visiting fine history and art museums, attending music and dance festivals, going to quality live theater, and visiting an educational center.
You can also hike the Appalachian Trail over Massachusetts’ two highest mountains, Greylock and Everett, or explore the numerous state parks. You can also go golfing, downhill and cross-country skiing, biking country roads, whitewater rafting, boating, swimming, fishing or just relaxing - the Berkshires are best for all seasons!
If you choose to spend all or part of your day on Eastover’s beautiful grounds, you can enjoy delicious natural cuisine and choose from a variety of daily movement classes and workshops, ink brush calligraphy practice, outdoor activities and spa services - all against the backdrop of Mount Greylock, October Mountain, and the Appalachian Trail. Your time can be as structured or as unstructured as you desire.
The Berkshires offer surprising treasures of rich cultural attractions, and the area is one of the cultural centers of the country. A crossroads of culture, the Berkshires attracts chefs and restauranteurs who are artists in their own right.
Dining in the Berkshires is a series of undiscovered surprises that often surpasses the highest expectations. Berkshire County's restaurants feature a variety of American and international flavors, including Chinese, Continental, French, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Thai. Many of the Berkshires' restaurants are award winning, and all provide a distinct experience.
But that’s not all there is to see. Make time for shopping and antiquing too; the Berkshires provides shopping for both one of a kind items as well as your everyday desires. You will likely find exactly what you were looking for, regardless if it is art, crafts, specialty foods, gourmet cooking wares, antiques - it doesn’t matter which items are on your list because chances are one of the Berkshire’s myriad specialty shops offers exactly what’s needed.
Even better, this diversity makes shopping here an adventure in itself, whether it’s taking a trip to a quaint out-of-the way country store, poking around a shop full of antiques and collectibles or visiting a museum store filled with handmade or exotic wonders. Add to that the Berkshires’ full complement of seasonal and cultural events, along with recreational activities, and you have an unsurpassed combination.
Spa services are available for an additional fee. There is also a sauna and a heated indoor pool that you can use, as well as a changing area with showers for your convenience.
Please book your flight to arrive at Albany International Airport (ALB) in Albany, New York, at Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Hartford County, Connecticut, or at General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport (BOS) in Boston, Massachusetts.
Buses come in approximately two times daily to and from Boston, New York City, Albany, and more often from Springfield.
Please contact the individual bus lines. Peter Pan Trailways and Bonanza service the Lenox area.