Star Date: March 2006
Hello Dear Family & Friends!
(Hello -Danjia ethnic greeting)
"The universe is made up of Qi (Chi). In Qigong theory, Qi is invisible to the human eye, but can be sensed by the human mind. Our thoughts are a unique type of Qi. This kind of Qi is linked to everything in our existence. It affects ourselves and everything around us. Everything in the universe is material, including our ideas. Most of our thoughts are wasting our body energy, but people become more careful to keep the Qi field clear when they realize that our thoughts affect our health, emotions and every action. It's very special once we are able to master the Qi, then we will be able to master our fate."
(Jian She-Qigong master, Hexianju Qigong Center)
One day, while walking down the cold windy streets of Yangshuo, Joseph and I exchanged glances. It was time to search out the warmer climate we had been hearing about on CCTV9 . Hainan or Bust!!!
Without realizing it the first leg of our trip south was spent as stowaways. We walked the rows of buses headed from Guillen to Haikou and offered one driver a price to get us all the way down the peninsula, and across the strait, to the southernmost province of China. The price was considerably lower than the published fare and when he asked us to lay down in the back of the bus and cover up with a blanket we confirmed that he had just picked up a couple of fares for his pocket. When buses leave Chinese bus stations they are usually checked. Afterwards there is always 5 minutes of slow motion 'trolling', as we call it, when official or unofficial passengers catch the bus on the run. Out west we have even seen people taken off the bus or bus drivers fined when the maximum passenger limit is exceeded. Space is different over here and it is nothing to see 8-10 well greased people pile out of a small car. We have yet to top the current record we've observed, a family of 7 on a motor scooter! Paying customers have different rules. We slept fairly well on this sleeper bus and were awakened at 5am for the ferry crossing. As soon as we stepped out on deck a warm breeze caressed our faces. We knew we were heading in the right direction. In fact Hainan Island is called the "Hawaii of China". At 19.5 degrees south it is the same latitude as the Big Island of Hawaii and we were thrilled at the first sighting of a coconut palm. Our initial stop, even before finding a room, was to sit down along the street and have a fresh coconut. We were Home!!
We looked on our map and spotted Dong Jiao, and the beach beyond. Following the river through the largest coconut groves we had ever seen we did our usual trick of riding to the end of the line. We got out at the Hainan Prima Resort, the only place on the beach with all the bells and whistles. Joseph soon found us a family guesthouse next door and after a slow stroll through the streets of this sleepy, out of the way village, we knew this would be a great place to hide away. Dong Jiao Yelin reminded Joseph of Hawaii 40 years ago, when he first visited with his parents. Heading left down the beach we discovered what seemed to be a deserted resort. Simply avoid the hurricane season, July through October, as this island has recorded one each year for the last 50 years. It's a tough way to do business. All of the fishermen's homes are shanties or floating houses, ready to be moved in a hurry or rebuilt in the wake of destruction. Walking up to the deserted front desk we finally roused Foojong, one of the friendliest managers we have encountered to date. He is like the lonely "Maytag repairman", all dressed up and nothing to do. He, his wife and son live off the lobby in a small room, not having to sleep on the sofa, across chairs or under the desk, as is the usual requirement to provide speedy front desk service. Once we even saw a hotel clerk rolled up like a doughnut under a small desk and scared the 'bejeebers' out of us when he appeared like Houdini. These people can sleep anywhere, anytime, any position. Snoring souls are often seen sleeping on their motorcycles, on the cement street, on chairs or steps, or even ,our favorite, sound asleep standing up while on the train, with only their hand against the back of a seat. (Have to admit we made a bet on that one - 15 minutes before falling over! Try it.) We in the west need therapists and sleep clinics. Many Chinese, and Asians in general, understand the eastern concept of quieting the mind Read between the lines!
Foojong, beside himself at the appearance of the rarely seen westerners, excitedly showed us the place. Built in 1994, flaunting a posted price of 488Y to 688Y(we paid 40Y -$5), this resort with a capacity of around 160 rooms, is in need of some maintenance. After all this is China. It is under used because the Chinese in general like to cluster together or noisily swarm to where the action is. This trait is great for people like us. We gladly traded being in the noisy epicenter for our privacy and tranquility. Besides the 15 minute walk down the clean, beautiful, deserted beach was a treat, not a chore. Actually the only time there was any tourist action along the beach was during Spring Festival. Often, strolling through the Prima Resort to use the internet, then walking the gauntlet of tiny shops in search of vegetables or our daily coconut, we were the only warm bodies to be found. And these finally warm bodies were definitely warmer here than anywhere else in the freezing mainland China, even with brief spells of rainy weather.
As we gazed through the large open windows in the front of our new room we knew we had arrived. The 100 feet of coconut trees and sand between us and the surf looks just like Ke'ei Beach, one of our favorite camping spots on the Big Island of Hawaii. We were definitely home, in more ways than one, and this was to become our cherished haven of rest & relaxation. Completely by ourselves, we did have an occasional visit from birds and frisky little squirrels in the palm trees right outside the window. This morning, while enjoying breakfast, a gentle yellow butterfly glided in and landed on us, staying for over 10 minutes. Blue water, white sand, wind rustling the palm fronds, and crashing surf to sooth the soul! No wonder we stayed almost 2 months in Yelin Bay.
It's easy to understand what keeps us busy while taking on the excitement of traveling the open road. But we have been asked what exactly we do? What keeps us entertained for so long, being the only guests at a deserted resort near the end of a remote beach, on the southernmost island of China????
First off, the 'strenuous list of chores' just to maintain the 'unbearable' life style we have chosen is endless!! Just kidding. And the financial burden of a whopping $250 a month for 2, including food and everything, wouldn't strain anyone. Naysayers who proclaim it is so expensive to travel or too dangerous are just fearful of the unknown. This ignorance of our remarkable, loving world leads to global conflict. We emphasize the beautiful people, low prices, and relate our adventures in an attempt to share the world with each of you and encourage you to "Boldly go where no man has gone before!" It is absolutely wonderful out here in the wide world!! You too could be here! What's keeping you?
Meanwhile back to our strenuous
existence. Everyday we do our Tibetan Yoga stretches, I meditate and
work with Qi energy, followed by feasting on a platter of fresh fruit and
ginger tea. We then go for a walk on the beach or just exploring the area.
Afterwards we enjoy reading or working on the computer or both at the
same time, with the computer reading to us. At this moment Joseph is
lying out in the sun on the roof and I'm happily writing, with Andrea Bocelli
singing, accompanied by the gentle waves crashing on the shore.
Recently several people asked us about our health views. This is a simple synopsis. No animal products? You just have to be imaginative and create a variety of taste sensations. Lunch is a salad plate full of peeled and chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, turmeric, sesame seeds, sea salt, and freshly made sprouts, accented with carrots sticks. Besides being colorful to look at it is healthy and tastes great. With 2 plates, a knife and a small bag of fresh vegetables, this meal has been made under every conceivable situation on the open road; bumpy buses, roaring trains, planes, boats etc. Everywhere but on a camel! All the life energy of raw veggies, with the added vitamins & minerals of each item is easily obtained from the local market. Each drinking 3 litres of water minimum, (supplemented with the sea salt), we only eat one cooked vegan meal a day. Cooked restaurant food can be heavy while traveling and 3 meals of that a day can compromise your health. We love our food and look forward to eating it everyday, with different spices or a few variations from the markets. After much research and using ourselves as guinea pigs (see below) this is the simple lifestyle, not a fussy diet, we have chosen. Besides, visiting the markets in every town or large city adds a whole new dimension to our travels. The market people are the backbone of a country and this is where you see a colorful collage portraying the culture of an area.
Our bodies absorb whatever abuse we throw at them for years on end until, as we get older, it's time to "pay the piper." Basically stubborn to change from the western 'good life' it often takes a serious illness, to encourage us to make lifestyle changes. I thank my dance with cancer, 3 months after our marriage in 2001, for opening my eyes and making me put my body & mind back into balance. By- passing the nightmare of western procedures and chemicals I chose to Not Turn My Responsibility Over to a doctor to 'fix me'. I simply stepped outside the box. The only real path is to Heal Ourselves, body & mind, through whatever means we decide on. Alternative methods tend to be less damaging to the immune system. It usually takes us years to mess our bodies up so it takes a while to heal and balance them again. With an optimistic, knowing attitude, once the immune system is provided with the proper tools and nutrients, it always regenerates and heals diseased cells. With the support of my loving husband and a relaxed naturopath, reducing stress, cleansing with juices and a switch to a simple, close to the natural form diet (nothing from a package), finally my body had what it needed. The key element to vibrant health is to clear our minds and connect to the "Source", "Prana", "God's Love", "Qi/Chi Energy", "Nature", "Universe", "Allah", or "Great Spirit"; following whatever path we choose. With this all is possible! These thoughts are shared with love. Enough pontificating.
A favorite quote
Just some ideas to think about. "There are as many truths as there are stars in the sky." Find what your truth is. Research. Try options. We all make our own choices. These ideas are easy, inexpensive and can be done all over the world- even in Inner Mongolia (in the summer that is)But then, who wants to be there in the winter?
Creativity and keeping the mind stimulated are two needs met by having a laptop computer as a traveling companion. A "mad collector", as he calls himself, Joseph has amassed an unbelievable collection of music (26,000 songs from around the world), e-texts (75,000 books & papers ) reference books (Encarta, Britanicca, World Book, etc, 20 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary), the full set of National Geographic Magazines 1888-2001 with all maps, 5 million images and clip art, and all of the best and latest software on the market. Asia is definitely the cutting edge in computer technology and offers collections of the latest programs and movies, on DVD (1 movie 12.5 cents). We carry our computer data on 2 external 500 GB hard drives, for safe keeping, all tucked into a small cooler bag. Like Wilson, Tom Hank's inert companion in Castaway, our 'friend' Mike of At&T ReadPlease reads to us whenever we wish.
The problem isn't what to read but when to find the time. We will definitely have to live to over 300 years old just to make a dent in the selections. Besides many articles, we have recently had Mike read us a wide selection of books such as: Mists of Avalon (Bradley-1982), The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini (from the 1500's-do you know he once punched Michelangelo in the nose? ), The Masnavi of Rumi, (13th century Persia), The Quest of the Holy Grail (Comfort), Women on the American Frontier (Fowler-1876) The Secret Doctrine (Blavatsky-1888) Two Years in the Forbidden City (Princess Der Ling-1911), & The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali (1100AD). Joseph also downloads about 50 websites for us to peruse, offline, at our leisure. Oh, and did I mention fun? We dance to music, relish our lovingly scanned photos from past and digital of the present, watch diverse slideshows of all subjects, and recently enjoy our pick of 300 movies from DVD's obtained in Chengdu. Besides anyone on a 25 year honeymoon is never lacking for things to do.
We didn't just sit around playing on the computer. Every 4 days or so we had to ride the bus, 15 minutes down the dirt road to Dong Jiao. Usually we ended up walking most of the way there. This trip to town included observing town life while sipping tea at a local bakery , mailing letters, sneaking little gifts to the 'ragamuffin' kids of the roadside cobbler, buying supplies from the local shops and the all important selecting fresh fruit from the sidewalk stands. On alternate days we would walk to our tiny ocean side village and buy fresh vegetables from the friendly woman in charge. She got to know what we fancied and would, like a magician, make produce appear out of thin air such as fresh tomatoes, snow peas, lotus roots, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, egg plants, beans, and an endless variety of fresh herbs and greens. After cooking with the chefs ($1.20 cooking charge) and eating at the expensive Prima Resort, it was time for our evening walk and 'smooze' with the locals. First we would enjoy the sunset then climb the path around the lighthouse. This was our time to socialize and after just a few days everyone would greet us and smile the warmest smiles anywhere. The gentle nature of one grandma won us over and we bought our coconuts from her every evening, while getting to know her family and all the neighbors. We even made and enjoyed special treats with their family at New Years. Every day we took turns buying star fruit from the 'guy with the largest smile', incense from the 'seamstress with the limp', and fresh roasted peanuts in the shell from several shops. Before we left, our smiling new friends had shared vegetables, pineapples, coconuts and other treats with us but the best gift was their simple, genuine friendship.
Speaking of friends, we were so happy to have our good friend Stan, from Hawaii, come for a week's visit. Unfortunately the weather wasn't warm & sunny but we had a fun time anyways. Lots of walks discovering the area, good discussions, and a few movies were enjoyed. We explored the northern part of the interior of the island from Wenchang to Qiongzhang, through lush tropical forests and fields growing everything imaginable. We also hiked up to see the misty 900 ft Baihua Shan Waterfalls. Stan's a terrific guy and it was great to have him with us. When are You going to rendezvous with us? We have plans to meet up with Stan again somewhere down the road. Email makes these arrangements so easy. Last we heard he went home, sold everything and moved overseas. Don't get near us - it is contagious!
One day, to our surprise, the door
opened. In walked a teacher of Qigong (Chi Kung). He didn't
think anyone was staying in the resort. When you are ready the teacher
appears. We were invited to visit their school and to share in special
meals for Chinese New Year's Eve and Day. Delicious vegan food was
prepared and we celebrated in the warm family type friendship of 5 Masters
and 30 students of all ages, some suffering from life threatening illnesses such
as emphysema and cancer. We learned a Qi meditation technique and the following day I
returned to learn more. I went to learn and soak up all the wonderful,
healing Qi (Chi) energy, daily, for almost 3 weeks. Qigong, is the training
of the body (xing), mind (shen), and Qi/chi (life energy).
Evolving from the richness of a 5000
year old culture, Qigong, during the Ming & Qing Dynasties,
was interwoven with the martial arts such as Shaolin and various sects of
Taoism. Zineng Qigong was developed by Ming Pang, founder of Huaxia Qigong
Training Center, where over 300,000 students, professors, and scientists
have been trained in the last 10 years alone. The most remarkable benefit is
its ability to prevent and heal disease. Over 200,000 students with
many kinds of life threatening illnesses have recovered with a confirmed
high 95% healing rate. They encourage worldwide experts to perform studies, even giving them free lodging.
Hundreds of books and studies have been
produced and it has been unequivocally proven that Qi exists and has a
profound effect on humans and plants alike. Qigong is used in schools, hospitals
and even agriculture and factories throughout China. Jian She's 87
year old mother living at the center, whose bound feet of her childhood now
keep her close to her bed, practices Qigong and keeps the plants
in her room large and healthy by creating a Qi filled environment. It
is estimated that over 10 million people practice Qigong worldwide. Unlike
the enormous center named above, it is a rare pleasure to learn Qigong in an
intimate setting such as the Hexianju Qigong Healing & Training Center.
They may be moving their center to our wonderful resort in the future. This is a
warm, welcoming group of happy people. Jian She speaks good English and he
is able to convey the necessary ideas and techniques to anyone who is open
enough to receive them. They are also excited to teach Chinese and learn
English. It is a once in a lifetime
experience to learn this ancient energy practice, from the Masters at the
Source, in China. A relaxing, rewarding experience it is easy to grasp the
concept in this nurturing Qi filled environment, if approached with an open
mind. Worth checking out. (See below and click on
Happy Chinese New year! May you have Happiness, Health, and Prosperity in 4074! Our quiet bubble was burst as hoards of frozen souls from the Chinese mainland thawed out in the warmth of Yelin Bay. All of China has a 10 day holiday for Spring Festival and the groups with their gregarious excitement, traded city clothes for matching loud Hawaiian print shirts/shorts and goofy beach hats. Foojang shared traditional puffed rice and peanut cookies they had made and later I made delicious coconut filled turnovers with 'Coconut Grandma', Mom and the kids. That night when we stopped by for our coconut, 6 of these warm treats were waiting for us. It was like making Christmas cookies. Yum!
Inventors of fireworks (remember the west turned the potassium nitrate into gunpowder for weapons.) we never tired of the brilliant fireworks displays. One memorable experience was walking down the dark beach towards our hotel when, Bam, Bam, Bam!!!, 3 different fireworks displays started at once; two behind and one at our hotel, lighting our path. The stars had competition that night. From noon New Years Eve for 48 hours the barrage of noise assailed us. Pop, Pop, Pop!!! The firecrackers never stopped! Bringing in the New Year, attracting Good Luck or honoring ancestors, it was one heck of a party! They say a dog is man's best friend, but during Spring Festival ear plugs are next in line, (besides a dog is too big to stick in your ear for a good nights sleep). Being the Year of the Dog, the dogs keep moving fast as many dishes have these 4 legged friends as the center ingredient. It's a dog's life.
And so it goes...........................................................Next month uncovering more of Hainan Island. Until then Keep Open and take a little time each day to tap into that "Universal Energy". You never know what exciting changes are in store. Take care.
Love, xoxoox Nancy & Joseph
8Yuan =$1 US
Phone number of our resort, in
Dong Jiao Yelin
Medical research favorites:
Lorraine Day www.drday.com ;
(traditional & conservative)
More to contemplate:
99% of our body's cells regenerate in under one year. A totally new liver to help your immune system every 6 weeks. A completely new body every year - create a healthy one!
If you want to know what your mind was
like in the past, look at your body now. If you want to know what your body will
be like in the future, look at your mind now.
Hexianju Qigong Healing & Training
*Source: Life More Abundant (Jin & Marcello 1998)