4/14/1999 Wednesday 11:45pm Taipei, Taiwan – I’ve just climbed in bed after a very long day. We arrived in Taipei (not sure of spelling) around 6pm after trying to shove 40 people and all their luggage on a tour bus, not a travel bus, and drove to the city instead of the resort. You know what I’m too tired to write. More tomorrow.
4/15/1999 Thursday 11:30pm – Traveling was a lot yesterday even though it was only an hour and half plane ride…. we left the hotel in Hong Kong around 8:30am in a coach and had a tour of Hong Kong Island…. exactly what we had done on Monday’s tour except we saw the Governor’s Mansion which they no longer use because the Sha Chi, negative Feng Shui energy, from the Bank of China.
Anyway, onto the airport where 40 of us checked in and boarded a plane. We arrived in Taiwan and were greeted by our Master, his wife and Assistant and our tour guide. They had a huge, beautiful bouquet of flowers to present to us. We all then waited for the bus to pull up. When it did, we realized it was going to be really hard to fit 40 people and all their luggage. We ended up piling the suitcases on the back two rows of the bus all the way to the ceiling. We were all packed in quite nicely. By this time, it was a long travel day…it was around 5pm and we had left early that morning.
Then last minute the tour guide tells us we’re going into the city of Taipei for dinner. It takes about an hour to get there and then we have a traditional Chinese dinner, fish, veggies, rice, some soup, and tea of course. Then after dinner we all pile back into the bus and head an hour in the other direction to Howard Beach Resort Hotel.
When we arrived, our entire luggage had to be unloaded by the group. The men created an assembly line and emptied the bus. By the time we got in the room it was around 8pm. I took a bath, threw a change of clothes on, and headed to the bar. The resort seemed like a ghost town and not much was finished in this brand-new hotel on the southern most tip of Taiwan, the opposite end of Taipei.
Since we seemed to be the only guests there, they extended the hours of the bar for us which normally closes at around 9:30-10:30pm.
By this point most people needed to do so after the day we had. After a while I left the bar and come up to bed. Michele and I are roommates again in Taiwan. The next day we start our lessons with Master Ho who speaks no English.
Mr. Ho Chin-Chung: The founder and director of the Heaven and Earth Feng Shui Design Society based in Taipei. Mr. Ho will be teaching aspects of Feng Shui that are totally unique to his school, including a system of Feng Shui luck descriptions based on the flow of water directions from your house. He has requested that all participants in his 5-day workshop bring a scaled floor plan of their house and he will personally analyze it. The system is called “Diagnosis of the House in Terms of Destiny, Career, Health and Finances.” Mr. Ho on the last day of his seminar will accompany us on site visits around Taipei including the study of the Yin Zhai, or burial grounds, where a lot of the Feng Shui knowledge was developed in the past. Mr. Ho is considered a national treasure by his government, as he is from 65 generations of Feng Shui Practitioners!
My Class Notes from Mr. Ho:
4/15/199 first day of class…Mr. Ho’s been studying Feng Shui for 20 plus years.
-Fu His (spelling) one of the 1st founders of the Ba Gua – he lived until he was 168 years old.
-The Yellow River and another river nearby came together to form the sign of the Ba Gua.
-Human beings have both male and female, both Yang and Yin.
-Criteria for Feng Shui; 50% has to do with ancestors’ burial and 50% is where you live.
-1/3 of your time in life is spent sleeping in bed so bed position is the most important in Feng Shui.
-Heaven stems and Celestial stems.
-PinYin is a spelling of sounds in this system of sounding out the Chinese
(5 days of notes taken through translation so I will leave it at this for now :O)
Most of it has been going over the Ba Gua and things I know but one can pick up a little here and there. He’s doing a lot of examples of houses and what will happen to the people in the house, but not how he’s necessarily got to that conclusion? Anyway, class is from 9-5 with 2 – ½ hour breaks and a 2-hour lunch. It’s in this secluded room in the bottom of this building on the resort with very dark walls, and horrible lighting…not digging the Feng Shui…so now that that’s out of the way…
After class I went to the gym to workout. I ran a mile and did some weights then showered and went to dinner which is buffet/cafeteria style serving. This resort is very beautiful…I can hear the crashing of the waves as we speak but it’s very remote and much like a ghost town. Nothing seems to be open here. The bar closes early, the discos only open Saturday which is tonight. I can’t wait to see what kind of music they will play. I went for a walk all along the beach and the property as much as you can do, it’s not a very big beach.
4/16/1999 Friday – I get up and go to workout at the gym before class but it doesn’t open until around 8:30am…Class starts at 9:00am so that’s out. I meet Shani, this woman I’ve noticed hanging out with Michael our interpreter, one of Rodgers friends from Australia. Michael translates ancient Chinese Feng Shui texts into English. Shani is really cool. Shani is originally from New Mexico, now living in London. She says they are all doing Chi Gong with RD Chin, the guy from NYC I called before I left. So, I join the group for Chi Gong, it was quite nice actually. Then I went and got dressed to go to breakfast. Of course, everyone has run to the room and saved seats already, so I get a crappy seat in the center in the back. BUT…it was fine. Class is hard with a translator; it goes VERY slow with Mr. Ho Chin-Chung.
Friday’s class was very much similar in class to Thursday, and I could sense people feeling discouraged about that, including myself. It seems the Easterners really don’t want to let the Westerners have any secrets and class got tense at the end with people starting to voice those opinions. I hope the Chinese or Taiwanese people and teachers don’t feel disrespected because I don’t think that was the group’s intentions.
The group is all a pretty good bunch of people. I really like Sue and Roy from the UK and Michael the interpreter, Shani is cool, then Stefan, Gabriella. Andre and Michele, who have been quite remote since we got here, don’t really come to class and they hang in their rooms and smoke and drink. No thanks, not when I’m at a beach resort, I only want to be inside to sleep, and well I guess to go to class too. I must admit I feel like I did when I was a freshman in college and the weather is nice but I’m here to study.
Anyway, after class I worked out again and then we up for dinner with Shani and Michael and ate with them. Then the 3 of us went into town. By the time the cab picked us up for town Michele and Andre had joined us. We got to the open-air market, and it was basically like a small nighttime flea market with lots of Western things like plastic bowls and such. Some of the locals were playing, what looked like bingo, and a whole bunch of video games, some were Mahjong. When Andre, Michele and I turned around, Shani and Michael were gone, must have gone to the 7-11 where Michael wanted to get some cigars. We walked in that direction and hailed a cab and went back to the resort. When we went back to the resort Shani and Michael and some others were standing at this stage listening to this Chinese Band. Andre went back to his room; Michele and I did the same.
4/17/1999 Saturday 1:50pm – I’ve just come back from lunch break to my room to freshen up and write in here. Ended up going for a long walk last night and then hung out on the pier they have there by the water…the moon was full, it was amazing. There is an island off the coast out there and it’s such pretty Feng Shui on the exterior of this resort…. not too sure about the buildings. Those types of Islands can be considered the “Pearl in the Dragon’s mouth” in Feng Shui, also taking into consideration the mainland landscape.
4/18/1999 Sunday – Just got out of class it’s been a long 4 days of seminars and classes…
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