Daoism is a multi-faceted tradition including not only martial arts but meditation, medicine, philosophy, music and more. At the retreat centre we teach various aspects of Daoism alongside our martial arts including meditation, Nei Gong and medicine. It is hoped that from this rounded approach each student can more effectively be led into the deeper levels of Daoist training; cultivation can come in many forms.
Nei Gong / Qi Gong
No internal Daoist training would be complete without the study of Qi Gong. An exploration of the nature of ones own energy system provides the basis for internal strength development (Nei Jin) as well as the evolution of consciousness. Medical, martial and spiritual Qi Gong is studied at the centre whilst more advanced students move deeper into the arcane art of Nei Gong. The retreat centre location is ideal for the study of internal energetic practices as the Qi of the surrounding area supports and nourishes the students who practice in the area. Away from the distractions of outside life we can experience the profound stillness which sits at the very centre of the human soul.
Meditation / Alchemy (Nei Dan)
Early each morning students begin with sitting meditation to cultivate the mind. Foundational practices progress into the alchemical Daoist practices which have been practiced high in the mountains of China for hundreds/thousands of years. This practice often continues into the free periods for dedicated students who become absorbed in the oldest form of internal cultivation known top man. At night we often head into the forests high over the nearby lake to continue with our meditation practices and much of this takes place at midnight depending upon the phases of the moon which we utilise within our practices.
Every student studies some aspects of Chinese medicine including massage, acupuncture and energetic medicine as appropriate. The philosophy and Yang Sheng Fa teachings of Chinese medicine are intertwined with all Daoist arts including Gong Fu. Understanding Chinese medicine can lead a practitioner deeper into their martial arts and it was often stated that nobody could ever understand internal martial arts training without also studying Chinese medicinal practices. In order to encompass as much of the Daoist arts as possible Damo and some of his students who are qualified in Chinese medicine run classes throughout the time at the retreat centre.
Damo is a very organic teacher and often completely changes the course of the day to suit the energy of that particular time. It is normal for elements of other Daoist arts to be studied spontaneously including such arts as Feng Shui, Shen Gong and more. These teachings are very much dependant upon the day and the needs/skills of the students present. It is hoped that these studies allow for the rich tradition of Daoism to be studied in as much depth as possible. Visiting instructors may also add to these teachings on occasion.