Imago on Wudang Mountain - birthplace of TaiChi
I'm going to have to save a detailed writeup for later but here are a few pictures of my trusty Imago (the 'MAN BAG') up on Wudang Mountain in China. The picture of the bag posing on the sign (which says Wudang Shan) drew a few funny looks. If you look close, the blue roof on the bottom left, very far away, is the hanging grotto temple. It's built into the side of a cliff and that's where the snake scene in Karate Kid was shot.
The pictures were taken on top of Wudang, the Golden Temple, which is a 3 hour hike up 20000 steps. I thought of taking my Empire Builder and Brain Cell up there too but quickly lost that thought once I started the climb.
Thanks TB for great products and lovely customer service
Gosh these pics are HUGE! How do I resize them?
wow! these are just breathtaking! thank you for sharing - keep them coming! :)
Maverick, I've got about 2000 pics to sort through, let alone edit! :) I need to adjust some of these images, they just don't capture the beauty of the mountains. I've got one, somewhere, of Shifu Guan, the head instructor of the school I was at, posing with the Imago. Lets see if I can find it. Yes, I'm a bag geek and a Tom Bihn fanboy... :) :)
There's actually a bag in the picture with the locks and the sunset. Just can't see it.
Few more from the top ...
Purple Heaven Palace ... Almost near the top of the Wudang Range (except to get to THE top you still hike up 20000 steps). I train here, twice a day, every day and while it may sound exotic ... when you're working out 7 hours a day all you feel is pain, hunger and fatigue and it could have been a stinky gym in Chicago not an exotic mountain top with incredible energy in China ...
Ahha ... found a pic of the Empire Builder. The huge smile was because I finally made it to my new home! A flight from Oz to KL to Chengu. Overnight train to Wudang Shan station. Taxi to the base of the mountain. Chinese government bus up the mountain (after hiking a mile up stairs to get there) and I'm finally looking at my destination. There were 200 steps to go down to the school and I practically threw my 2 bags down them. Testament to the EB/BrainCell combo that I'm still typing on my computer!
The panda licking his balls has nothing to do with bags, TomBihn or training .. it's just hilarious!
These are truly inspiring and quite breath taking..thank you for sharing.
And are you going to be teaching there? or taking classes? Not often do we hear of folks wandering away to do this...
More than anything else, this forum has amazing folk who live interesting lives....can't say I can include myself in it!!!
Originally Posted by Shiva
Everybody has interesting lives. Even waking up every day and going to work can be interesting. Life HAS to be interesting, otherwise why bother living? :)
I was studying there for 2 months. I've been on a bit of a quest these last 2 years. Walked away from my corporate career and a arranged marriage in 2008 and have been wandering the world from monastery to teacher researching holistic cures to mental 'illness' like depression and bipolar. I traveled from the States (home) to India to Thailand to Australia and finally China. China was the last phase - to integrate energy/emotions into the body and chi.
Anyway, I'll soon be going back for another 3 months to continue studying QiGong and TaiChi followed by a few months in Thailand to work on Muay Thai Boxing and complete my first book. Boxing has nothing to do with my quest, I just want to fight in a ring once to overcome fear and ... well, it just sounds cool!
Yes, I definitely wandered away from the mainstream. It's been very rewarding on all levels.
What wonderful photos, so beautiful, and I love your story. I admire your courage!
True: all of our lives are interesting one way or the other--thanks for that reminder!
Fascinating what you are doing---do you maintain a blog of any sort? The search for a more holistic way to live life--that is a perpetual quest for me in the work I do, and the way I live; and increasingly, it has become clear that so much of our illness--is mental and spiritual in the deepest senses. Thanks for sharing,
Thanks Ams and Shiva. It's been a challenging journey and a turbulent decade but I wouldn't trade a day of it. I wouldn't be who I am without the diagnosis of being bipolar and then the eventual cure and freedom. Only because I had a defective mind was I able to get frustrated enough to look for something beyond - and realized I am NOT the mind at all. Most people go through lives thinking they are the mind, or the body or what they see around them. Anyone who has been depressed knows that everything could be perfect in the world and they still feel like shit. Anyone who has been hypomanic knows that their dog could have died that morning, the girl left them and their truck broke down (sounds like a country song) but they still feel like they're walking on top of the world. Why? What in the mind causes this? I truly and sincerely believe that people who have any sort of distress or 'mental' illness are closer to finding out their true reality. Enlightenment if you want to call it that.
You're right, so much of our illness is mental and spiritual. But the beauty of it is that once you realize it is in fact the mind and thoughts that are shaping your 'bad' things - it also works the other way. You can control it and change your life and truly be a co creator of your universe just the way it was intended. We are not weak 'humans' bound by circumstance and accident. we are powerful, divine beings choosing to experience life here on earth and have merely forgotten our inherent powers.
Everyone searches for a more holistic and 'spiritual' way to live life. It's not that complicated. Being true to one's nature doesn't mean we have halos and float above the ground with psychic powers and 'a spiritual aura'. It just means that we are happy, loving and peaceful. Period. It means that we are completely present in everything we do and realize we are not just a body and certainly not the mind. That's it. A good way to start, Shiva, is by meditating early in the morning and late at night just before you sleep. Nothing major and nothing too complicated - just 15 or 20 minutes of watching your breath. The mind will wander away. No problem. Watch it wander and bring it right back to the breath. That will teach it, over time, that you are the master and it is the servant. It works for you, not the other way around. One of my favorite books is the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. He's done a fantastic job of putting deep concepts into everyday language and it's a good manual on how to live life.
I don't, right now, maintain a blog. She-who-must-not-be-named has been stalking my whereabouts and until it's done I have been keeping a low profile. Also, a blog might be needless distraction. Too much outward focus instead of looking within. Once I get my the first draft of my story done, I'll think about it. You're the third person in 2 days who's asked me that and usually, that's a nudge from the Universe asking me to move in a particular direction.
From the pictures it's clear that I am Indian American. I was born in India and raised here. Not sure if you know the issues around mental illness in my community but it is NOT raised or mentioned. I made a decision once my marriage failed to find a cure for this and more important, to come public and give others hope that a) it is not the curse of death to be labelled depressed, anxious or bipolar and b) it's curable, manageable and you can live a fantastic life full of happiness, joy and wonder. It's a blessing ... I will be the first person person of Indian heritage in history to come out of the mental illness 'closet'. Exciting and scary so I have to be careful about blogs and public statement. Until I completely live and breathe what I have learned over the last 2 years it would be irresponsible of me to talk to others. It's coming ...
Gosh - didn't mean to write a mini thesis ... :)
cheers - Krish
Great photos and 'mini thesis', glad you are enjoying life and brave enough to lead or hope to lead the life you want/need.
Things happen in 3's.....
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