This article shows that the Qianfeng teachings are open for anybody with a sincere heart and genuine wish to learn. It was originally published in the ICBI eJournal ‘Patriarch’s Vision’, Autumn 2013 edition, vol. 1 nr. 1.
All the Conditions Were Just Right
Visiting Daoist Master Zhao Ming Wang
Saturday 31-8-2013 – Beijing
By Ebele Zuidema ICBI
My plane left with a little delay at around 15:05 from Amsterdam (Schiphol) to London Heathrow. I arrived at 15:10 local time in London Heathrow. The following flight was leaving at 16:40, so I directly headed for the security checks. This went without problems, and I was nicely on time at the gate. There was a gate change; we left again with delay, at around 17:15. The food on board of British Airways was very good; for supper I had pasta with shiitakes and two hours before arrival (around 7:30 Chinese time, 1:30 Dutch time), I got an English breakfast. The flight of almost 10 hours went without problems; I slept through it more or less, besides watching a movie.
Master Zhao Ming Wang and me, holding the certificate of acceptance in the 1000 peaks school.
After leaving the plane I had to fill in a form for the immigration desk, there I passed again without problems. I picked up my luggage, in the hall; Sonia (from the Daoist Workshop organization, www.taoiststudy.com) was already waiting for me, holding a paper up with my name on it. I got some money from an ATM and she put me on a direct bus, line no. 7, to the Jinjiang hotel, stopping right in front of it. The traffic was very busy, it took about 2 hours.
The check-in in the hotel went good and I left for my room. Just as I was wondering how to reach Muriel from the Taoist Workshop organization, to let her know I arrived, the phone in my room rang: it was Muriel. She had just missed me; when I came in the hotel and checked in, she had been waiting in the lobby, but hadn’t seen me. I was travelling to the Damo Qi Gong & Daoist Internal Alchemy Workshop 2013 at Wudang mountain, but because I wanted to visit first Daoist master Zhao Ming Wang in the afternoon, she was willing to go directly with me to Beijing West Railway Station, where I had to pick up in person the train ticket to go to Wudang mountain the next day.
I went back to the hotel again and took my bag to go to see the master Zhao Ming Wang, who is living in the Beijing area. I was wondering where to get a taxi and decided to just start walking. I found a taxi and showed him the address where to go, but he shook his head, no. Then another taxi came by and asked where I wanted to go. The first taxi driver told him, well he said hop in. He pulled over a little farther and I gave him the telephone number of the master, to call him. After a few phone calls we got after a 50 min drive to a point where we were picked up by the master and a few of his students. Also an English speaking Chinese person was there, who later turned out to be a personal friend of the master (and President of the Institute of Chinese Wisdom Studies in the USA), so I could communicate with the master (to come in contact with the master, I asked Shi Da Dao if he could send an e-mail on my behalf. Shi Da Dao was willing to do that and send the e-mail to Zhang Qing Song, the English speaking Chinese, who forwarded it to the master). We went back to his house and started talking, I got some tea. They were very kind. I offered him a little gift from Holland, a tea mug with typical Dutch drawings (a mill, sailing boat etc.).
We talked about Daoist practice and what had brought me here. He said if I came all the way from Holland to see him, there must be something that connected us. Therefore, he was very much willing to teach me the practice of the lineage (1000 peaks school, a branch of the Longmen Pai). I also told him I was very much willing to be his student, actually I wanted to ask this. So he suggested, why not arrange it right away? It had to be done through the formal procedure; with a few of his students I went to the market and bought some fruit, for offerings to Zhao Bi Chen, the ancestral master. Back in the cottage of the master, the fruit was placed in front of the picture of Zhao Bi Chen, there I made my application, which I had written down earlier with help of the English speaking friend and sealed with a fingerprint. I bowed three times, burning incense, and putting it in front of the shrine. Later I bowed three times to the master, to show that I accepted him as my master. I had to go lying down on two little tables, belly down and without shirt. He then gave me a first acupressure treatment along my spine, to help open up the energy channels. Then they taught me some qi gong, specifically from the school, to stimulate and build up the qi.
At 17:00 Dr Zhang Qing Song had to leave, so we had to stop practicing. We decided to continue as good as it was, without him translating, but than after a few minutes, he returned again! They hadn’t needed his car, so he could stay longer. To conclude the visit we all went to a restaurant, where we toasted my new apprenticeship and where I served them all tea and drinks as was the custom. We talked about the school; the master expressed his wish that I continue studying and in time open up a school of the lineage in Holland. In this way more people could benefit and use this Chinese practice to improve their health and life. Dr. Zhang Qing Song explained that they were just starting to give some more publicity to the school. After this, I told them that I was very happy to meet the master and his students, to see the practice alive and not only dead in a book. After returning to the cottage again, we started practicing all together, and the master did a demo which I recorded.
I received a certificate of acceptance in the school, with the seals of the master and the school. They gave me a Chinese name Tian Ma or ‘Heavenly Horse’. I also received a Chinese book and a syllabus with the practice of the school, signed by the master, and a traditional clothing of the school. The master said that first I should practice every day the qi gong exercises they had been showing. We talked further about how to continue the teaching, since an English speaking translator also has to be present. I told them that next year, my Chinese will be good enough, and so we don’t need a translator anymore. This they approved gladly.
Later on the students brought me back to the hotel. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay any longer, because of the upcoming Daoist workshop I was going to do at Wudang Mountain. They didn’t want to accept any money, when I offered them. I feel very grateful and am very thankful for all the people that were involved to make this happen: my wife and daughter, my Chinese language teacher (who called the master just before I went to Beijing), Shi Da Dao, Damo Qi Gong & Taoist Internal Alchemy Workshop organization.
The master with Dr. Zhang Qing Song sitting on the left and me and the students in the back.