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Kung Fu is about more than combat and self-defense. The essence of Kung Fu is the way of health revitalization and mental purification.If you are interested in what Chinese culture has to offer, and wondering how traditional Kung Fu can help with self-healing, internal and external balance, and stress release, look no further. Come and join our “Kung Fu & Zen" 7-day retreat in the suburb of Beijing. We are an hour outside the city, but a world away.
Accommodation will be in a shared room with 2 persons with a shared toilet and shower within the Kung Fu Zen Garden Retreat.
As we all know, taking care of our bodies is essential; and caring for our mental well-being is even more important in a modern world, with its trials, temptations and stress. However, many of us ignore looking after our hearts and minds. As a matter of fact, the long lineage of Shaolin masters was aware of the importance of both body and mind, that is why they brought up the philosophy of “Chan Wu” which means Kung Fu and Zen.
In the “Kung Fu and Zen” retreat program Kung Fu Zen Garden Retreat places great emphasis on balance in life, health and mental strength. Health revitalization is so important in the day-to-day battle to counter the harmful effects of modern day stress. Past retreats have shown that the exercises in the program are very helpful for those suffering from problems with their back, neck, and shoulders that resulted from long hours in the office.
The academy has designed a series of exercises for health preservation and seminars to illuminate the ancient Chinese philosophy. Master Paul Wang and Master Xingxi’s program uniquely expresses the essence of “Chan Wu” with a focus on healing, based on their deep understanding of Zen Buddhism and many years of meditation practice and dedicated study of traditional Kung Fu.
Arrival, Meet and Greet at a Tea Ceremony
Orientation and introduction to the program
Pre-meditation: Settle down body, breathing and mind
Consciously Guided Breathing Technique 1
Shaolin Internal Cultivation & Stances 1
Classics -The Teaching of Great Learning (DaXue)
Internal Cultivation Calligraphy 1
Stretching & Basic Step Work 1
Consciously Guided Breathing Technique 2
Shaolin Internal Cultivation & Stances 2
Classics – Cultivation of Middle Qi, The Teaching of Doctrine of
the Mean (ZhongYong )
Internal Cultivation Calligraphy 2
Stretching & Basic Step work 2
Vipassana Meditation & Wholesome Living
Consciously Guided Breathing Technique & Internal Cultivation 1
Step Work with Body Movements 1
Classics–The Three Treasures of a Wholesome Life Teaching of LaoZi
Great Wall Kung Fu Training
MoZhao Zen Meditation & Staying clam with noise
Integration of Breathing and Internal Cultivation 1
Step Work with Body Movements 2
Classics –The Way of Health Preservation,Teaching of ZhuangZi
Internal Cultivation Calligraphy 3
Martial Applications in Actual Combat 1
Koan Zen Meditation （Koan mind）
Integration of breathing and Internal cultivation within stances 1
How to Generate Internal Strength
Classics – Relation between Body, Mind and World - Teachings of Heart Sutra
Internal Cultivation Calligraphy 4
Marial Applications in Actual Combat 2
Summary for Meditation
Integration of Breathing and Internal Cultivation within Stances 2
Summary on Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism
Farewell--Tea party, talks on the concept of healthy way of life
Everyone summary and sharing experience
Wuguluns teaching is very ancient, placing less emphasis on pure physical development and sports, while emphasizing more spiritual development by incorporating breathing and developing internal energy resources. Rather than forcing the students into a certain mold or paradigm, Wugulun works with the unique characteristics of each individual, and thereby allows students to experience a deep personal cultivation.
In addition to the learning of the essence of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu - Chan Wu (Zen martial arts), they have designed several retreat programs consisting of experts to give talks on Chinese culture. These talks will cover Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism in order to provide students with a deeper understanding of the philosophical foundations of their practices and of Chinese culture. To complete this holistic approach to self-development, they have included insight calligraphy and meditation courses in the retreat program.
Unrestricted by space, Shaolin Kung Fu footwork is not restricted by space. When the body, mind, and qi are united, the whole body will become highly coordinated. Hence, punches will become natural and powerful. The most important part of Kung Fu training is building a good foundation and this comes from the good flow of qi. Therefore, the practice of Kung Fu is the cultivation of qi, and this arises from the heart and mind, thus, the cultivation of qi is also the cultivation of heart and mind.
Zen martial arts practice accentuates the absence of desire, ultimate stillness which gives rise to motion, and through motion one reflects upon oneself (body, mind, and qi), so as to keep body, mind, and qi integrated. Thus, it is necessary to achieve a pure heart and a clear conscience. A serious Kung Fu practitioner must be vegetarian. Understanding the importance of adhering to a healthy diet, together with exercises will help open up all apertures, encourage good metabolism. The body becomes relaxed and natural.
According to traditional Shaolin Kung Fu principles, Kung Fu training is also the training of the mind. If the mind is not focused, it will adversely affect quality of ones training. When the mind is at peace and the heart concentrates, the body will be relaxed, and your breathing will be smooth, training will achieve better results. Training is about perseverance, dedication, and diligence. Behold the spirit of constant effort brings success. Haste makes waste and dedication brings success.
Shaolin Wugulun style Kung Fu is the orthodox Shaolin martial arts. It consists of practical fighting techniques created in the last thousand years by warrior monks of Shaolin Temple through actual combat. Through generations of refinement and extraction, Shaolin Martial Arts grew into a system of martial arts, which integrates Zen practice and practical combat. The unique training method has also turned this system into a brilliant health maintenance, and convalescence tool.
Kung Fu emphasizes on power, forges the coordination of the whole body through the integration of heart, mind, and qi, the synchronization of hands and feet, as well as swiftness and the agility of the body without brute force. One must seek lightness, agility, adhesion, and rotation in practice; start from elementary to complex, from complex to simple, and ultimately return to the core values and true principles.
Founded in 2004, Kung Fu Zen Garden Retreat is dedicated to teaching the ancient internal and external aspects of Shaolin culture, comprising 3 complimentary disciplines: Chan (Zen) meditation, combat skills, and healthy diet.
In addition to learning the essence of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu - “Chan Wu”(Zen Martial arts) - they have designed several retreat programs with experts giving talks on the building blocks of Chinese culture. Talks will cover Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism in order to provide students with a deeper understanding of the philosophical foundations of Shaolin practices. To complete this holistic approach to self development, they have included 'internal' calligraphy and meditation courses within the retreat curriculum.
The academy was founded by an early disciple of Master Shi Dejian, and was originally located in a village at the foot of Songshan Mountain, right behind the world famous Songyang Academy in Dengfeng, Henan Province. They have now relocated to Xiangtang Village in the lush countryside surrounding Beijing, very close to the Great Wall and directly beside the ancient Shen En Chan Temple. They have brought a superbly talented team to the new Academy, with all classes personally supervised by Shaolin Master Xingxi and professor Paul Wang.
A trip to the Great Wall is included in the program.
Master Xingxi was born in 1980 in Hubei Province. In 1998, he became a disciple to the great Master Shi Dejian. He quickly stood out because of his intelligence and diligent approach to training, becoming shifu's most trusted student. From 1998 to the end of 2007, Xingxi studied traditional Shaolin Kung Fu under his master at San Huang Zhai monastery, a branch school of the Shaolin Temple. In 2008, he left the monastery and came down from the mountains, where he became engaged in a wide range of work and activities, such as an overseer at a mine and as a bodyguard for VIPs.
Professor Paul Wang, as a chief master, is now teaching meditation, insight calligraphy, and mindfulness Tai Chi at the Live Zen Center of the China Culture Center. As an invited instructor, he also teaches traditional Chinese thought for international programs at Capital Normal University and the Institute of Education. He has taught international students for over 10 years. His study and practice includes the principal classics of Confucius and Laozi, and three types of Buddhism meditation systems - Southeast Asia Buddhism, Chinese Zen Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism.
Zhang Wei Feng
Zhang Wei Feng was born into a Martial Arts family and has been training in Kung Fu since he was 10 years old. He learned and trained in the Wudang Temple and Mountains for more than 10 years. After learning the Taoist style Kung Fu, he turned to the Shaolin Temple to learn Kung Fu under the Shaolin Wugulun lineage. He received many Gold Medals and achieved champion status in various competitions. He is now the Kung Fu Master for Wu Dang Tai Chi, San Huang Pao Chui and Xin Yi at Kung Fu Zen
Kung Fu Zen Garden Retreat is located within Changpin district near Beijing in a prosperous rural village with all amenities. The Great Wall of China is visible on the jagged ridges of nearby mountain ranges, and ancient temples are within strolling distance. The school itself is housed within a traditional Beijing-style courtyard with red wooden pillars, sloping slate rooftops, and the murmurs of birdsong. The setting is ideal for the study of martial arts. The school is just close enough to the modern / international world for convenience, but far enough away to act as an authentic, first class retreat.
The academy only provides vegetarian food 3 meals a day. In traditional Shaolin culture, the vegetarian diet that the students eat at Kung Fu Zen Garden Retreat is believed to cleanse the body from impurities in the blood, while making the qi tranquil, and helping to create a peaceful state of mind.
Shaolin Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple. Shaolin Kung Fu and a vegetarian diet have always been part of its culture. Traditional Kung Fu training is about saving and storing energy for every organ. We eat in order to get energy. Energy in natural food comes from the sun, the air, the water, and the earth. By going directly to the earth for their food, vegetarians receive the purest, best-quality energy straight from its source, not already processed by another being, such as an animal.
It is believed that this energy, of a finer quality, can be used for a higher purpose like Kung Fu and meditation. During the Ming Dynasty, the Manchurians were trying to seize China by force while the imperial government of the Ming Dynasty was corrupt and incompetent. At that time, scholars who were trying to save the country wrote books expounding theories on how this could be done. They also advocated the practice of martial arts.
When the Manchu's finally invaded China, many people with high ideals and integrity did not want to be slaves under a new regime so they fled to the mountains and lived in seclusion. Some entered into a religious life. They focused on martial arts intensively in order to acquire the fighting skills to regain their country. Many of them already had good Kung Fu skills and brought together their collective knowledge of various local styles of Kung Fu to create a refined form.
As time went on, Shaolin Wugulun Kung Fu constantly improved and developed. Another important factor in Shaolin Kung Fu reaching such a high level of skill and importance is the vegetarianism of the Shaolin monks, who were all Buddhist and followed Buddhas teachings of eating no meat. The monks saw vegetarianism as a means of reaching a high level of training. In addition, being a vegetarian can aid the practitioner in achieving a higher level of endurance while training and fighting.
For example, animals like horses and buffaloes are vegetarian, their main diet consists of grass and they have a tremendous amount of stamina while running, even when encumbered with heavy things. On the other hand, tigers and leopards, with their diet of meat only are only able to maintain short periods of power. From a scientific point of view, when an animal is killed, it is known that in their state of shock, an animal undergoes a process, by which its cells alter and create poisons in the flesh.
Buddhists believe that these poisons represent anger and fear, and remain trapped inside the animals flesh. When people eat this meat, the poisons and impurities enter their body, and people can easily get sick, angry, and depressed. When the mind and the body are in this unbalanced state, people cannot continue training on a regular basis. For traditional Shaolin culture, therefore, vegetarianism is not only important for religious beliefs, it is important for maintaining a healthy body as well.
Vegetarianism is a necessary foundation for attaining a high level of Kung Fu skills. Without a healthy body, ones Kung Fu cannot improve. In addition, vegetarianism helps to cleanse the body from impurities in the blood, while making the qi tranquil and helping to create a peaceful state of mind. Morality, ethics, and honor are other related issues. A Kung Fu practitioner spends his life studying something that in a split second, without a second thought, could be used to harm or kill someone. This ability has to be controlled.
The answer is the cultivation of a caring heart for all living creatures. A first basic principle should be to refuse to kill and eat animals. The anger that is brought out by combat training must be balanced out with a conscious effort to treat all people with compassion, understanding, and tolerance. Such principles of caring help create a balanced and healthy mind in which there is no threat that a Kung Fu practitioner will consider criminal wrongdoing.
As this level of conscience develops and expands, it helps to diminish negative feelings and behavior such as greed, anger, violence, and criminal acts of all kinds. This in turn allows the conscience of the Kung Fu practitioners to rise higher, and for them to eventually reach a state of enlightenment. An enlightened being has total awareness of his or her own self, body, and surrounding environment.
Enlightened Kung Fu practitioners are aware of fear and danger before ever seeing or knowing the source of those feelings and their reactions to danger, whether in training or in real combat, are much faster. This is essential for mastering high-level Kung Fu skills and vegetarianism is a vital element in reaching this state of total and complete awareness.
It is a concern for many people that vegetarian food does not supply enough nutrition to the body. This is, in fact, not the case. When eating a balanced vegetarian diet, the body will receive ample nutrition for vitality and health. Master Shi Dejian and his disciples are living proof of this. Vegetarianism is essential for those who are serious about mastering the highest levels of Kung Fu.
Visit touristic sites
When you arrive at Beijing International Airport, take a subway (airport express) to Dongzhimen.
Transfer to subway line 13 to Xiergi.
Transfer subway line to Changping, and get off at Naoshao Station.
Naoshao station, Exit at B2 where you can catch a bus (No. 59 or 870) to Xiangtang Village within 7 stations.