Wudang Blog / Knowledge

The Wudang Mountains

Wudang Mountains are one of the most famous Daoist holy mountains in China. The palaces and temples on Wudang Mountains were all built into the actual mountain face, adhering to the topography of the land, which dictated the scale of the buildings, the spaces between them and their layout. Palaces appear on the tops of peaks, in the middle of ravines, on the edges of cliffs and nestled within rock faces.

Wudang Mountains

Apart from its unique architecture, Wudang is renown for its wealth of cultural relics.Throughout its history, but most especially during the Ming Dynasty, Wudang was the recipient of numerous religious gifts. Feudal rulers and Taoist devotees provided funds for the molding of thousands of statues of gods and the crafting of thousands of musical instruments made of gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, jade, pearl and stone.

The first temples on Mount Wudang were constructed during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). By that time Taoism had become a state religion, coexisting with both Buddhism and Confucianism as one of the three great religions of China. Taoism is essentially a reinterpretation of an ancient tradition of nature worship and divination. Taoists believe that the Dao (or Tao , meaning "way" or "path") is the origin of all creation and the force behind all the changes in the natural world. Simplicity, harmony, peace and retreat into nature are some of the basic principles of Taoism.

Taoist culture has existed on Mt. Wudang since the East Han Dynasty (AD 25-220).The movement began with a few early Taoists settling on the mountain in order to practise their worship of nature. As time passed, more Taoists converged on the mountain, making Mt. Wudang a Taoist holy place in central China. During the Zhenguan period (AD 627-647) in the Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong constructed the Wulong (Five Dragons) Temple , the purpose of which was to spread Taoism on the mountain. The temple structure is one of the ways of expressing Taoist culture in physical form. A temple provides a container for the integration of the various elements of Taoism. Mt. Wudang remained a sacred Taoist site for several hundred years. The buildings were enlarged during the Song and Yuan Dynasties, but many of the buildings from this period were destroyed during warfare and battles at the end of the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongols invaded China.

The greatest period of development was during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644). In AD 1413 Emperor Yongle (AD 1403-1424) sent more than 200,000 soldiers and laborers to transform Mt. Wudang into the largest Taoist complex in the world. It took thirteen years to complete construction, which included nine palaces, seventy-two temples and halls, thirty-six nunneries, thirty-nine bridges, twelve platforms and countless stone steps winding their way along the entire mountain. The floor space of all of these complexes came to over one million square meters, although now, with the destruction of many buildings the floor space totals 50,000 square meters. In 1994 the ancient building complex in the Wudang mountains was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Wudangshan is located in a quite mild area of China. The Temperature in the summer usually dos not rise over 37 degree, while in the winter it will not sink under -5 degree. It is a very green mountain with a vast flora and also fauna. Therefor it has since ancient times always attracted people, who want to practice Martial Arts, meditation or any other kind of self cultivation or arts.

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Cleaning Your Body With Internal Practice

Detoxing has always been a popular topic for Wudang Taoist practitioners. Cleaning your body from the inside is important for living a long and healthy life. Since the blood flow interconnects with the flow of Qi. Having good blood quality and healthy organs increases the potential of internal power and raise the awareness of your health. Once your body is cleansed your mind can be at ease and your body can save energy.

Our bodies are no super machines and once we overdid it the process can hardly be reversed. Most people do not realize how serious this problem can be, toxins in your body will not show immediately but can be very problematic in years to come.

What is toxic to our bodies?

The first thought should be how to utilize your energy: eating, drinking, breathing. Being mindful of only one of these things and neglecting the others will not lead to becoming healthy. Eating, drinking and breathing are all equally important, and should all be equally prioritized. All of these involve a different section in your body and therefore has a different detoxification process. For example: smoking and eating junk food are still toxic for the balance of your energy, even though they both involve their akin bodily function (breathing and eating).

Changing your life style is important when you know the way you are living is not healthy. Your body will not compromise with your habits, thus will react accordingly to what you put in it or how you treat it.

Be patient and be mindful

The body is a very strong and has had to develop a lot to come to where it is now. Most of the damage can be undone if you're patient and give your training the time that it needs. The Taoist secret to detoxification is no magical formula and can be learned through natural understanding by allowing yourself to feel the impact of your actions on your own mind and body. The Taoist way is self experience through the changes on your body under the current circumstances.

Modern times are difficult and a lot of things will try to fool your body. Chemical substances, food/taste enhancers, stabilizers and genetically modified foods are often used today to make people eat food from big brands and companies. Some have additive properties, some are superior in some way to their natural competitor. Do you simply ignore the fact that this food is unhealthy because everyone is eating it?

Don't make it harder for yourself

Most food is making digesting harder for you than needed. The key is to eat "light food". Spices, salt, fat in excess can make the digestion process harder on your organs; the way you cook is important for your stomach. Don't overcook, but rather, keep your vegetables lightly cooked instead - especially in preparing steamed meal. This type of cooking is very popular in Wudang and also very effective in making digestion easier on your stomach.

Take in mind:
  • Drinking a lot of water while eating will reduce the stomach acid and delay your digestion.
  • Avoid combining a lot of sugar with alcohol. Doing so will make your pancreas happy.
  • Don't sit in a chair too often or too long. Stand up and stretch once per hour.
You should consider:
  • Consume more alkaline based foods, especially if you have hick ups or bad breath in the morning. Certain foods are considered acidic, alkaline or neutral: Acidic: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and alcohol. Neutral: natural fats, starches and sugars. Alkaline: fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables.
  • Make an effort to expose yourself to clean air as often as possible.
  • Daily Qi Gong exercise to increase the blood flow/quality and improve your body's natural ability to detoxify itself.

Putting additional stress on your internal organs will reflect on the outside as well, and if totally ignored can even make you sick.

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