Relaxed easy day today, recovering from 22 hours in transit yesterday. The weather is cool and wet with unrelenting drizzle all day.
After sleeping in and a leisurely breakfast I walked under the umbrella for 4 hours, covering some familiar ground, but noting the appearance and disappearance of businesses. In a back street I found an excellent fresh food market with all sorts of live seafood and amphibians, meat, eggs, fruit and veg. Would be handy if I had a kitchen.
Had lunch at a little eatery, 12 RMB (about $2) for more than I could eat spicy chicken, tofu, beans, celery, cauliflower and rice.
Taking advantage of the wifi in my room to study Mandarin and stay out of the rain for the afternoon.
The pagoda in the picture is in a heavily builtup area with elevated motorway on the left and shops all around, in a spot I’ve been many times at night and never noticed it before.
Our World Tai Chi Day event at Kings Beach Amphitheatre was a great success with around 50 Tai Chi Practitioners from across the Sunshine Coast attending. Thanks to all those who attended, performed and assisted to make the event possible, especially our sponsor Caloundra Community bank Branch Bendigo Bank, St john's, Sunshine Coast Council, Bev Murphy and her Tai Chi For Health group, Nathan Coxon and his Chen Tai Chi group, Ahtee Chia from The Tai Chi and Chi Gong Centre Maleny, Peter Watts who shared his Chi Gong forms, and of course everyone from the Australian Niu Chunming Tai Chi Institute and our special guest Master Paul Li from the Zhejiang Chuan Zhong Martial Arts Research Institute, Hangzhou, China. Everyone seemed to enjoy the morning and support for organising the day again next year was solid. Hopefully we cah make this an annual event.
Warm morning with a cool breeze off the lake. Very slow practice this morning, aiming for long form to take more than 50 minutes with continuous circular movement. Last day of push hands training with much review and still more new information. A very happy day for all of us. Teacher Liu is pleased with our work ethic and tells us we have improved very much in our 7 days of training.
The afternoon was extensive practice and discussion with Mr Lang Jinchang. Several times on previous visits to Hangzhou I have met and practiced with Uncle Lang Jingchang. Today we learned that he is a Tai Chi brother to Master Li, having spent many years learning from Meng Xianming. Mr Lang has been following Mr Liu for 2 years now and it is through him that Master Li knows Mr Liu. We are very grateful to him for providing the connection which has given us such a source of information. Our session included much discussion of concepts and stories of the history of Tai Chi. The assistance of Kevin Hu with translation for the duration of our training has enabled us to form very personal relationships with Teacher Liu and Uncle Lang. We all look forward to meeting again in the future to continue our exchange of Tai Chi culture.
The early morning at the Lake was clear with a slight breeze. The natives seemed fascinated by our practice this morning as we used a fairly quick pace.
More instruction in our session before lunch with a couple of new insights shared. In the afternoon 3 of teacher Liu’s followers came in to practice with us. They were very helpful, each with their own style, and we performed much better with them than with Liu. The week has definitely produced improvements in our skill.
In the evening we ate at a Japanese restaurant in the city. A good diversion from our usual fare.
After another full day of hand pushing we caught a bus to a very big eco-preservation Park on the outskirts of the city. We walked about 5 km through forest to the Hangzhou Cuisine Museum which exhibits the rich history of local food culture.
We were hosted by Lin Guoqing, and several other of Master Li’s Disciples. The food was sensational to say the least. We started with a tea flavoured cake to celebrate Kieran’s birthday, and feasted on a vast range of dishes.
The warmth and generosity of our hosts is eyond description and we hope to return the hospitality in Australia in future.
On top of a hill, below a mountain, surrounded by cultural heritage gardens and other cultural exhibits is the Research institute established by Master Paul Li. We were welcomed very warmly by the Chairman and the Executive Director, Vice Deans and staff. Our day included tea ceremony with tea from Hunnan Province I had not encountered before, calligraphy, and excellent collections of paintings and ceramics. There was a real centuries old sword we handled. The entire area was done in the style of the Song Dynasty. We demonstrated our Push Hands and shared a magnificent feast. Teacher Liu insisted Kieran and I finnish a bottle of the best Rice Wine with him. Later we wlked in tne surrounding National Park which included Bamboo forest and many natural and constructed features.
The entire experience was relaxed and pleasant and went all day. The setting was beautiful and peaceful. The exhibits rich and captivating. The people warm and the conversation relaxed and natural.
It is a great achievement for Master Li to have established such a institute and a privilege for us to be associated with it.