Shaolin Temple
Kids Kungfu, Adult Tai Chi

September 15-25, 2012

We begin our journey at the world's most famous Buddhist Monastery, the Shaolin Temple. Nestled amongst the majestic Song Mountains of Henan, Province, China, it is here where the 1st patriarch Bodhidharma established the Zen School one thousand and six hundred years ago. Though kungfu had already been practiced in China since ancient times Bodhidharma taught Zen and esoteric breathing exercises to his disciples, which greatly influenced the development of Shaolin Kungfu. Shaolin means youthful forest, and is the name of the temple in China where kungfu comes from. Currently there are over one hundred thousand Shaolin kungfu practitioners in and around the Shaolin Temple. Besides being featured in many films it was the Ta Gou school of the Shaolin Temple that performed the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Kungfu means to achieve your highest potential and use it in everything you do physically, mentally and spiritually. It means to cultivate a strong body, intelligent mind and compassionate spirit. Martial arts is only one of the basic training methods Shaolin practitioners use to develop a strong body and mind. Practicing kungfu uses the mind to discipline the body, and the body to discipline the mind so that perfection can be achieved in everything you do.

Stagnation, imbalance, excess and deficiencies are the main causes and conditions of disease, which can easily be developed in an overly sedentary, cognitive, emotional and stressful life. The practice of kungfu not only develops strength, flexability, coordination, compassion and wisdom, it prevents the causes and conditions of disease from ever arising in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Developing a healthy life style that includes physical exercise, deep breathing and meditation promotes energy and blood circulation that relieves stagnation and harmonizes the five visceral organs, the six bowels, the seven emotions and the spirit.

Every morning our kids will sharpen their kungfu skills while the adults learn Tai Chi, qigong breathing exercises and Zen meditation. In the afternoons we will all explore the temple grounds and hike around the mountains breathing in the fresh air and purifying our spirits. We will see some of the local kungfu shows and visit Luoyang and the 100,000 Buddhas of the Longmen caves. We will also visit the White Horse Temple which is the first Buddhist temple in China named after the two white horses that brought the scriptures from Afghanistan during the first century.

From Luoyang we will take one of China's high speed trains to the capital of the Central Kingdom, Beijing. In Beijing we will continue our morning kungfu and Tai Chi practice in the royal gardens of Beihai Park. We will also visit the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and many of the great sites of Beijing. This is a great chance to explore traditional Chinese culture and enjoy real Chinese food.

In ancient times Beijing was just a small village but during the Yuan Dynasty of the twelfth century the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan built the Forbidden City and established Beijing as the capital of the Central Kingdom, China. From there he conquered all of East Asia, Tibet and half of Europe becoming the largest empire in world history. The Forbidden City still remains as the largest emperial palace in the world. Not even the emperor saw the entire city. With giant red walls and golden tiled roofs it is a wonderful site to see.

itinerary still under construction

What to expect and what to pack: We will be living in 3 star accommodations. Dress casually and travel lightly. A light jacket for the airplanes, trains and mountain peaks. T-shirts for training outside. Our days will be filled with kungfu practice in the mornings, sight seeing in the afternoons, reflexology, massage and Chinese medicine in the evenings with an occassional show in between. Every day we will explore traditional Chinese Culture, health practices and medicine and serious Chinese food.

September 15, - Arrive in Beijing capital airport, check into the hotel. Beijing style dinner, explore Wang Fu Jing the Emperor's personal shopping street, evening reflexology and massage.

September 16, - Morning kungfu practice in Beihai Park, high speed train to Zheng Zhou and bus to Shaolin.

September 17, - Morning kungfu practice for the kids and Tai Chi for the adults. Visit the Shaolin Temple.

September 18, - Morning Kungfu practice for the kids and Tai Chi for the adults. Climb to Bodhidharma's cave.

September 19, - Morning kungfu practice for the kids and Tai Chi for the adults kungfu show.

September 20, - Morning kungfu practice for the kids and Tai Chi for the adults kungfu show.

September 21, - Morning practice visit Long Men Grottos and White Horse Temple evening train to Beijing.

September 22, - Morning practice in Beihai Park, visit Houhai district and the Forbidden City, The Front Gate District, evening dinner at the Tea House and variety show, body work.

September 23, - Morning practice in Beihai Park, visit The Great Wall, evening dinner Beijing Duck, and body work.

September 24, - Morning practice in Beihai Park, visit the Temple of Heaven, .

September 25, - Return to USA.

Shaolin Temple
The Shaolin Temple The 6th Patriarch
The 6th Patriarch Huineng two finger Chan
two finger Chan Iron head practice
Iron head practice
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