The marvelous Wudang Mountains are a natural gem. The idea was to stay for one year to learn Tai Chi and Qi Gong in this stunning mountains. When ever I had time off and sometimes even when I was supposed to attend class I went into the woods. At some point I simply feed up with the training at the temple as the hordes of tourists are just too much! For this reason and my passion for the wild forest up here I start to build what I call THE GAIA GARDEN, for private training in the nature.
The day I found this spot I'll never forget ... it was so beautiful I really felt I wanna share my energy with this place ... so I start the hard work. Often I begun at 6 in the morning to be back for morning training at 9 and afternoon again used my lunch brake to carry, dig, saw, tie and gardening. It took me 8 weeks to finish what never will be completely finished, but now the big goals are achieved.
Now I take you on a little journey through the history of this magic place. It all started on a afternoon I really feat-up and took of into the green and that's where I found peace and a gift from Mother Earth. I immediately started to work not knowing how detailed it will be at the end...
At the beginning my goal was a flat aria to train, but soon the project grew and I planed to make it comfortable to chill as well. One reason which inspired me was the fact that I did not wanted to kill any bigger tree or bush and so my space was limited. One corner really offered a nice triangle which I pictured a bench in the middle. The mission was on, first thing ~ I need tools and rope! My colleagues at the school thought now I am completely crazy, when I came back up the mountain from shopping with a ax.
Just before I wanted to tie the whole thing together I had another idea, I need a storage room over here. That's the right moment to integrate it into the bench. Once this was done it was time to tie the whole thing together to make it strong and last for a while.
As mentioned before I am not willing to kill bigger plants for the sake of this creation. You may wonder about the wood for the bench, well its cut off many different plants so they will keep on growing. In the middle of the aria I cleaned was this small tree which really disturbed the freedom of movement necessary for Tai-Chi training, but I feel not good about taking him out of the ground. Instead I created a small garden around it and placed a few rocks in between its branches.
I found this glass bowl somewhere on my way and thought if would make a great drinking bar for birds. I figured out later on that they prefer to use it as a bath, quite luxury I think...
There is no Gaia Garden with out a Gaia Inukshuk . Up to this date this was one of the most serious and detailed towers I build, it was actually not the tower itself who mad it so special but the foundation it was placed in and of course the whole garden around it. After choosing a spot I created a rock circle and filled it with loamy soil which I than pressed very hard. I had a couple of bags with sand which I carried each time I visited my building side, that was good training for muscles as well as balance since the way is partly very steep and I had no hand free to hold on if it gets slippy.
I am sure if no one violated this place badly the foundation must be like I created it even after all this years. At a later point I added gravel above the sand layer. My first idea was to create a Karesansui (dry zen garden) where I could draw in but I liked that very flat surface in middle of the forest very much. The four rocks in the corner symbolize four of five elements, the Inukshuk itself will be the fifth.
One day I found black rocks which I collect and brought with me to create this Yin/Yang as you can see on the image below. Another time when I visited my garden the Inukshuk was broken, a storm in the past night was so strong the tower could not stand it's ground. The damage was little and soon after he was standing in its previous glory.
Slowly we I am getting where I wanted to go with this place, but because I leveled the grounds beside the center to have enough space to do my TaiChi forms I got now a big amount of soil which I need to replace.
During the many hours I spend here I had several surprise guest such as birds, monkeys, lizards, a dear, butterfly's and several other insects. One night there must be a wild boar around as well during this hours the Wudang Mountains are also full of uncountable moths of many different shapes and colors, some bigger than a adults hand, simply stunning! Check out this photo album on Globetrotter Photography . In general the Nature up here seams to be quite balanced and super diverse, its amazing!
After the bagua terrace was finish the work was complete but there was always some gardening or decoration work going on after that. The last addition to the bagua been two branches I mounted between the trees one on hip height for stretches and one about on two meters high for pull-ups.
The whole garden was placed at the top of a cliff, there was a hidden spot where up to two people could sit just slightly under the top and enjoy a great view. I had many great moments at this spot!
I collected many plants and seeds while wandering around in those incredible mountains and brought them back to my oasis. It was also a great pleasure to see how nature adapted to my creation and each time something else was blooming.
I am curious how it would look today!
And as it often is in life, one day comes the moment to let go. If something is bothering me to leave the Wudnag Mountains its to leave this oasis behind me! I hope good energy will protect this awesome inspiring place of beauty! My heart will remain connected!!!
The last thing I did is seeding many flowers in and all around the Gaia Inukshuk, the bench and the bagua. I collected all those seeds the past months since I was able to walk again after my accident I had in training. I hope it will bring many colors to this place and attract good souls to enjoy it!