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Return to the Mountain

“The Dao that can be spoken is not the true Dao.” This famous Chinese quote is from the book, Dao De Jing. That writing is attributed to Lao Tzu and the title translates as the book of virtue. It is probably the most famous of all the Chinese classics and is comparable in influence to the Bible.
So, if speaking of the true Way (Dao) is not the true Way, then why am I bothering to speak about it? Well, it seems as though expressing one’s direct inner experiences is a necessary and inevitable outgrowth of the power of those experiences. Expression is a way of documenting, map making and sharing of one’s inner journey in relation to these many realms. Those experiences can then be checked and balanced with the outer world in a way that can foster more inner growth and outer traction.
Of course, maybe I am just justifying my verbose tendencies. If so, then what about my Taiji Teacher, Grandmaster, Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming and my friend and Acupuncturist, Dennis Willmont? They are leaders in the translation of ancient Chinese traditions. We have each dedicated over four decades of our lives to representing our knowledge via print, video and teaching. Have we wasted our time and energy? Are we misguided and misguiding by speaking out? And what about Lao Tzu and other scribes to whom we ascribe? Are we just attracting Sheeple? Does one’s sharing of one’s passion produce laziness and blind following in our students? By keeping in mind that the best teacher follows (the Dao, God’s will) and we teach best what we learn the most, I feel permission to continue the mission of tapping the type of the letters of light and maybe be bright.
Hence, with undaunted courage, tempered by the taste of tart humble pie on occasion, Dr. Yang, Dennis and I continue to answer our call. Specifically, Mr. Willmont recently requested me to review and write a recommendation for his video, “Return to the Mountain – A Taiji Journey”. By Dennis’ own words, the video “documents Dennis’ own journey throughout China… on a quest to find the origins of Taijiquan. (It is) an effort to unravel the worldview that produced and continues to sustain this wonderful Body, Mind, Spirit exercise by connecting it to its roots in ancient medicine, ritual, meditation, art and Daoism.”
In the movie, Dennis, his son Jud et al, take us from our U.S. coastal culture here to there. We arrive at the international coastal city of Shanghai, then, go to the capital of Beijing and the Forbidden City and onward and upward to Wu Dan Shan – the birth place of Taijiquan. “Return(ing) to the Mountain” of Wu Dan Shan represents Dennis’ inner life-long trek through the ancient Chinese Arts. “Return to the Mountain” also provides the viewer the opportunity to possibly reflect on one’s own spiritual journey through this physical life.
Of note, World Taiji weekend is celebrated here at my school with a free Taiji class Saturday, April 30 from 9:30-11 and a Dao De Jing study group Sunday, May 1 from 2:30-4:30. All are welcome and please feel free to come early and stay late. Surfers can ride the wave of our info and wave to us at, or “Return to the Mountain”(top) – that place where heaven and earth meet at your core.