Monday, September 10, 2007

Heng Ji's Post Shaolin Retreat Wrap-up

Amituofo! Heng Ji has so graciously decided to share her experiences this past weekend at the retreat with us via a guest entry!

I sit here smiling, trying to stretch out my left hip, my right shoulder blade, my shins, wrist and neck, all of which are aching in response to the first of what I hope will be many Shaolin weekend retreats. Already, I am happily mentally preparing my bags for the next one.

The ten t-shirts and three uniforms I felt would be more than plenty proved to be woefully insufficient by mid-day Sunday when I was already down to two t-shirts and had lunch, another kung fu class, a Buddhism class and a certificate ceremony to go. For lunch I ended up wearing my bikini top under my night shirt, and for the rest of the day, a tank top under my sweaty uniform top.

For the next trip, I will add sixteen tops, six pairs of socks and two different types of training shoes. I will require alcohol swabs, Aleve, band-aids and a flashlight. I will leave the alarm clock, books, iPod and cell phone at home.

As everyone experiences things differently and lessons are learned as they are needed, I will share some I have discovered/rediscovered this weekend:

Lessons Learned:

(1) Shaolin Time is not subject to 9,192,631,770 oscillations of cesium atom's resonant frequency (thank you, Shifu).
(2) Shaolin Time should not be limited to only Shaolin experiences.
(3) Honor the gifts which Shifu offers us by reviewing and living those daily (thank you, Shifu).
(4) Practicing five chi kung movements for five minutes in the morning is roughly equivalent to ten minutes of weight training.
(5) Stopping for cupcakes should be part of the outing (thank you, Heng De).
(6) Creating personal challenges while training helps you experience it in a different way (thank you, Heng Han)...
(7) does focusing on keeping a foot grounded while holding stances during forms (thank you, Heng Wei).
(8) GPS systems rock (thank you, Richu).
(9) Talking to your friends are beautiful meditations and can guide you to answer questions you didn’t realize you had (thank you, Heng Jian, Heng Shang, Heng Li, Heng Fa and Janice).


(1) To work on my strength by practicing five Chi kung movements twice a day.
(2) To be able to take a few steps on my hands by the end of year.
(3) To work toward getting at least 6 hours of sleep per night.


  1. One bad ass picture!! I want some cupcakes right now

  2. So sad I couldn't come! Teach me chi kung!

  3. such a great entry, ji & yeah! what a rockin' photo! let's have a chi gung class in the park next week!
    man, i hope there will be more retreats & soon!

  4. I am definitely going to the next retreat!!!

    hmm...maybe I should start packing too...

  5. how about the food?

    what did you eat?

  6. Food was great! Chef Chang is a Monk from Thailand!

    Congee with Eggs. On the side was Thousand year old egg, Chicken and some kind of salad. He also brought out hot soy milk and beef fried stew. Lots of Juice, tea and water.

    Beef Stew will choice of rice noodles ,flat noodles or both.
    Lots of side fixings like beansprouts, crushed peanuts, chili pepers etc. Juice, tea, water and Thai Ice tea kept coming out, some kind of salad and lots of fruit.

    Curry Mango Chicken. Rice with eggs and chicken. Plain white rice for those who want it. Veggies (zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, string bean) and tofu and some kind of hot beef salad. Juice, tea, and water and also more Thai Ice Tea :D

    Breakfast and lunch the next day was similar but the dinner was different. I forgot what I had. There was plenty for folks who wanted seconds, thirds or even fourths.

  7. Yummy!!!

    That sounds delicious!!!