If you are interested in Daoism and go to the capitol of China, Beijing, there is one place that you must go to visit. This is the famous White Cloud Temple. This temple is very old with 1000 years of history. Many famous Daoist monks have studied there. One famous monk was named QuiChuJi. He is one of the "Seven Masters". In the Yuan Dynasty he had visited to ask to learn the long life method. Qui Chu Ji has been mentioned in many Chinese novels.
Daoism is one of the philosophies of Chinese culture which has widely influenced the lives of the Chinese people. The Dao De Jing is Laozi's desciption of the philosophy. He suggested everything should follow nature and let everything happen naturally. You should be like water that flows down over everything, but does not need any reward. If we can follow nature, then we can reach a high level of human development, which is what Chinese people call immortality
In Daoism, the monks somehow believe that if you can reach the level of an Immortal, when you die you do not need to come back to this world. Whether you believe this is not important, but there are many religions that believe in something like this. However if you believe in this, then you will work your entire life to reach the level of immortal.
White Cloud temple has a lot of history about the monks who lived and studied Daoism there to become immortal.
However, since the Cultural Revolution, the White Cloud Temple has become more of a Tourist attraction.
In the Tang dynasty there were over one thousand people living there. It was normal for there to be around 500 people living there at other times. Today what we can see is only a small part of the White Cloud Temple. This is because of the Cultural Revolution. The communist part at the time did not believe in any of the old Chinese culture like religions and philosophies like Daoism and Buddhism. So they forced everyone to leave the temple and go back to normal society and only follow Communism. As a result a great deal of the Temple was destroyed.
In old times, people could come to the temple to study Daoism but of course they had to have permission from the Chief monk. Back then the temple was like a school. People could go there to study Daoist skills such as Dao De Jing, Yijing, Chinese Astrology, Chinese Medicine, Martial Arts, Qigong, Catching Spirits, Male and Female Qi Cultivation etc.
Master Wu Baolin is a student of the White Cloud Temple and studied there from the age of four years old. Master Wu Baolin was born into a traditional Chinese medical family. His grandfather Wu Xi Zhi was a famous Chinese doctor who
worked in the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City was palace for the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Master Wu's grandfather Wu Xi Zhi treated the royal family in the Forbidden City and so he was one of the best doctors as only the best medical doctors and therapist were employed in the palace.
When Wu Baolin was four years old, he suffered from "White Water" Disease. His parents were very nervous and took him to western hospitals in areas such as Er Dong and Ren Men. These hospitals were very good for at treating this disease, however they could not do anything. The little Wu Baolin was getting weaker and weaker day by day.
This was in 1954. The Qing government had just come to an end and the KwokMan Tang had moved to Taiwan Island. The mainland was now ruled by the Communist Party lead by Mao Ze Dong.
Everyone who worked in the Palace was sent home and so Wu Baolin's grandfather was returned to his family in Beijing. When he saw how ill little Wu Baolin was, he tried to cure him and used so many different herbs on him, but none of them worked. The western doctors in the hospital also began to give up. Suddenly Wu Xi Zhi remembered that when he was in the Forbidden City he had heard other Chinese doctors talking about a famous Daoist monk who was the Chief of the White Cloud Temple. He used Daoist Qigong and had healed many people, even those that Chinese medicine could not help.
So Wu Xi Zhi told his son and daughter-in-law to visit White Cloud Temple and try there. There is a Chinese saying
"There is a Chinese saying - treat the dead horse as if it is living.
"Treat the dead horse as if it is living." Which means you have nothing to lose, so there was none else who could help the child. So the parents decided to try and took Wu Baolin to White Cloud Temple for treatment.
When they arrived at White Cloud Temple it was very quiet and there were a few people worshipping the statues of the Daoist immortals. They told the receptionist why they were there and finally a Daoist monk came to see them and little Wu Baolin. Wu Baolin was lying in a basket as because of his illness he was now very tired and weak. The Daoist monk said, "I am sorry, I cannot help your child." The parents were very upset and disappointed. They did not know what to do.
Then Wu's mother said, "It means our son will die. Then I will let him die in your temple as there is nothing else I can do." After she had said that, the monk did not know what to do as well. But the parents insisted on leaving their son in the temple and left.
The monk saw the situation. He was a very kind and felt compassion for the child and so he decided to try and help the child.
The Daoist monk was called Du Xin Ling. He was very well known for his Qigong. Master Du had become a monk when he was just a child. Right up until the day he died at 106 years of age, he never married and remained a virgin. When he was young he grew up on Wudang Mountain and learnt all the Wudang Qigong and martial arts skills. Unfortunately we do not know who his teacher was due to the time. Wudang Mountain is famous as a Daoist temple in the South of China. White Cloud Temple is famous in the North of China. So Master Du Xin Ling was very high level in both the Southern Daoist skills of Wudang Mountain, lead by Zhang San Feng, and the Northern Daoist skill of Quan Zhong Sect founded by Wang Zhong Yang .
After Master Du had completed his Wudang Mountain Daoist training he went to the north to visit the White Cloud Temple. Eventually he stayed there and learnt all the skill and became the Chief Monk of the White Cloud Temple.
White Cloud Temple was the same as other martial arts schools throughout China, from time to time people would come to challenge them.
On one occasion, a young man came, who was very good with g
the sword. He had heard that Master Du skill was very good with the sword. So he came to White Cloud Temple to see him. Of course he also wanted to challenge him and see if he was very good.
When he arrived at the Temple, he asked to see Master Du Xin Ling, but Master Du did not want to see him. However the young man kept insisting and would not go away. He said he had come a long way to see Master Du and if he did not see him, he would not have the face to go back home.
Finally, Master Du came out to see him. At the time Master Du was between 60 and 70 years old and the young man was in his mid twenties. Once they met, the young man said he would like to see how good Master Du sword skill was. He once again insisted. Sometimes you can understand how eager a young man can be. He said he had brought along a very sharp and valuable sword so he could compete with Master Du.
Master Du politely refused, but he could not change the young man's mind. In the end, Master Du said, "Can I have a look at your sword?" The young man handed over the sword to Master Du.
Master Du held it in his hands. Then after a while he returned the sword to the young man without even drawing it open. The young man looked at Master Du who said, "You can home now." The young man did not understand what Master Du had done, but he still insisted they have a competition. However, Master Du had already begun to walk out of the room.
Now the young man could not stand Master Du's behaviour and so he pulled out his valuable sword. Suddenly he heard the sound of pieces of metal hitting the fall. When he looked, his sword was broken into pieces. He was shocked and did not know what to say. Then he realised that it was Master Du's Qi that had broken the sword. As he had held it he used his Qi to break it.
Then suddenly the young man felt his whole body was wet, as if he had just had a work out. Then he realised that if Master Du had touched any part of his body, he would have been severely injured and his bones might have been broken.
Now he was happy they did not fight. He was satisfied and could go home and tell everyone that he had met a really high level master
This is one story that has been passed around the White Cloud Temple and outside in the martial arts world of Northern China.
There is another story and many people saw Master Du do this. He placed a brick across two bricks, so there was a gap underneath the brick. He then put a thick piece of Tofu on to of the brick and put his hand on the Tofu. The brick would then crack, but the Tofu was not affected. This is also a high level of Qigong.
When your Qi is very high you do not need physical strength to damage things. Master Du had reached that level because he had devoted his life to developing his Daoism and Qi.
to be continued... by Michael Tse
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