This journal concludes my final reflection on 2015 Seattle Paida Lajin Workshop. Although it was 7 days long, I attended the last three days of the event due to my work schedule. Invited by the event organizer Yezi, I flew to Seattle for the first time. All my impressions on the city came from two romantic films "Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Beijing Meets Seattle." Today, my memory about Seattle is more than the love stories, it ties closely to the people who are on their self-healing journeys.
和陽光明媚，尚處“秋老虎”的賓州截然不同，八月底的西雅圖早已是秋意濃濃，細雨連綿。週六凌晨一點多到達營地，倒頭睡到了六點多。聽說大家早上六點半開煉，到点我便下樓去找團隊。因外面正下著雨，蕭老師帶着大家在室內練扭腰功。聽說開營的第一天參加人數多達三、四十人，這期間有先走的，也有後到的。 我就算是週末來湊熱鬧的幾個人中的一個。傍晚時分趁大家圍坐一起討論時，我數了數人頭，大概有二十五人多吧。一天下來，我開始掌握了體驗營日規：晨起扭腰、禪跑，禪坐，拍頭以後便開始一天的拍打。一天拍打結束後，營員們還要禪坐，最後分享當天的感受和體會。中午休息一到兩個小時，晚上很早就回房睡覺去以 便身體修復。按體驗營“全身地毯式轟炸”之規劃，在我抵達以前他們應該已拍了手臂內外側、腿外側、後腿，腰、臀和後背等部位。我所經歷的最後三日裡，週六 （體驗營第五日）三人一小組拍打了腿內側和胸部；週日（體驗營第六日）二人一小組拍打了腳背和手背；週一（體驗營最後一日）則拍打了腿部的胃經等處。
Unlike the sunny Pennsylvania's Indian summer, the last two days of August in Seattle reminded me of the late autumn and that winter was approaching soon. I was "showered" every day, jogged on the wet ground and wrapped in my light winter jacket. I arrived at Dumas Bay Center in a taxi around 1:00 a.m. Exhausted, I finally caught up a few hour's sleep before joining everyone in the morning exercises at 6:30 on Saturday morning. "Stretch out your fingers......" Master Xiao walked around to correct the individuals. I quietly swirled my waist like everyone else until Master Xiao noticed my appearance. I was told that there were almost 40 people on the first day of the workshop, some people left earlier, some people arrived later. I was one of a few joined the workshop during the weekend. There were over 25 people on Saturday as I counted. It was not that difficult to figure out the daily routine, which includes morning exercises (such as waist twirling, hitting wall), meditative jogging, meditative standing, meditative sitting, slapping head and face, paida and lajin (mainly focused on paida), napping for one or two hours before paida again in the afternoon, then the day is waning down with meditative sitting, lectures and sharing. According to "carpet bombing" paida approaches, and from the sha on the individual's bodies, I guessed that they had already done jobs on arms (inside and outside), legs (outside and back), entire back, waists and hips, etc. In the last three days when I was there, we did paida inner legs and chest in groups of three on Saturday; feet and hands in pairs on Sunday; and the front of legs (stomach meridians) on Monday, the last day of the workshop.
Although I can't speak for everyone that "the workshop was not that much enjoyable," the life there was very isolated and simple. We drank ginger dates tea, vegetable soup, ate millet porridge and bread, watched no TV, did nothing entertaining but paida and lajin. But people were glad that they went to the workshop and accomplished many impossibles, such as fasting, heavy and long time paida all over the body, healing crisis, and simple life style. All of these attributed to the group efforts and the positive encouragements from each other. It is not unusual to make friends once they have the "physical contact." Paida has brought people closer. Once, I made a joke to a Caucasian woman by telling her that her messy long hair looked like a bird nest. She shrugged her shoulders, shook her head and said to me that she didn't care that much because all she wanted was to vomit. She felt dizzy all day long. It was their 5th day of the workshop, 3rd day of the fasting. Looking around, I noticed that many of them looked quite pale and ill, they wore either PJ's or loose clothes., were silent in most time or spoke in soft voices. They definitely were not in their best shapes to meet late arrivals, but who cared. Everyone was focusing on their own body reactions during the paida and lajin, and dealing with their own healing crisis. On the last day of the workshop, many of them suddenly became energized or "recovered," as if they have finally walked out of their own little worlds, they became open and more social. As you can imagine, people had much to talk/chat with each other before their departures.
週六是體驗營的第五日，也是營員們斷食的第三天。除了喝薑棗湯，其他什麼都不吃。我從隔夜晚就基本沒吃什麼東西，便很輕鬆地斷了一日食。週日宣告斷食結束。不少營員很 驚訝自己居然堅持了三日斷食，並沒有特別的飢餓感。週日早上開飯前，蕭老師叮囑大家一定要細嚼慢嚥，餐時禁語。我和其他人一樣靜靜地用着餐，一口小米粥， 一口麵包，沒有交頭接耳，自顧自閉目享用着每一口食物。麵包在口腔裡從左嚼到右，再從右嚼到左，直到在嘴裡像化了一般。從沒覺著原來這種麵包這麼甘甜可口。
Saturday was the 5th day of the workshop, 3rd day of the fasting. Campers ate nothing but drank the hot tea that was made of ginger and dates. Since I was on the airplanes right after the work on Friday, I chose not to eat anything on the road, which naturally started my fasting on Friday night. Saturday went on smoothly without any solid food. Many first time campers surprised that they lived through 3-day fasting without feeling starving. Sunday morning after the usual meditative jogging, sitting and slapping head, Master Xiao reminded everyone to eat the breakfast (bread and millet porridge) silently and slowly with small bites. Like everyone else in the room, I took my time to bite and chow the bread, tossed the bread from side to side in my mouth until it melted, then I swallowed it. I have never enjoyed eating so slowly or appreciated such simple food, it was so tasty.
對任何人來講，放下手頭事，告別親朋好友去參加一次“七日營”實屬一個大決 定。在我與幾位營友的閒聊以及聽了幾位的營後總結發言後，我發現有相當一部分人重返體驗營，用實際行動來肯定參加體驗營的積極意義，他們也都期望體驗營能 再次給自己全身掃毒“治病”。正是，倘若無效，焉有回頭客？不過，蕭老師在每晚的開示問答中，希望參加過體驗營的同學們能在生活中認真貫徹自愈法，不管工作生活有多繁忙，一定要多愛護自己，因為我們每天都在造病，別等到了體驗營，指望別人給自己修整調，這樣未免太被動了，養生應該是積極、主動的。
另外，也有一些已經在家拍打拉筋的自修者，希望通過參加體驗營學習更多有效的手法和心法，同時也很想了解學習對如何應對“氣沖病灶”，從而增加自愈自信心。我所經歷和看到的幾次氣沖病灶就有這麼幾例：經過一日斷食及大幅度的拍打，週日清晨醒來時，我覺得有些噁心，後來慢慢就好了，比起其他人這是在算不了什麼；有幾位“病” 得太重，不得不用棉被把她們裹起來，其中一位糖尿病患者因反應嚴重，經與其本人商榷，最後提前兩日回家了；和我一起搭檔拍腳的那位從紐約來的女孩，突然成了“打嗝机器”，嗝聲不止，長達一日之久；還有一位只要一打坐就哈欠連連，這對我們這些打坐時還常常胡思亂想、定力不足的人來說真是一個很大的考驗。不管是何種情形，大家對待“氣沖病灶”都能處事不驚，淡定而為，沒有亂服藥，而是要相信所有這些不適或“病狀”都是身體自愈過程中的一種外相表現而已。參加體驗營的這些人中，不得不提那些被家人拖來的營友。我印象最深的是那位高個女子，她是被姐姐強拖來的。據說之前因久治不愈，早已對自己的身體心灰意冷，言行 消極抵觸得很。她臨走前，非常感恩地說了一段話（錄像裡有些許片段），覺得生活又有希望了。真心祝福她從此走上自愈之路，積極快樂地生活下去。還有一個年 齡最小的叫“八月”的混血女孩，是被她媽媽拉來的。一個13歲的女孩更願在家玩遊戲，和朋友一起；但她卻也走完了“七日”體驗營，並表示今後她和媽媽可以 經常互拍。多麼幸運的一家人啊。我很佩服這位媽媽，在家居然有這麼大的影響號召力。因為她，他們一家五口都成了素食者，也因為她，家裡有兩人參加了自愈法 體驗營，養生當從小就開始。衷心祝福這家人幸福安康。
To anyone, it is a big commitment to set things aside, and say bye to families and friends before coming to a 7-day health workshop. From what I heard, I learned that quite a few people were returning campers --- they attended the similar workshop at least once before. Their coming back has made a clear statement that paida lajin did work. The reason for them to return is either they wanted to continue thoroughly working on certain parts of the body or they were so caught up in every day's life and work, that they barely had any time to do the paida lajin on their own, so attending the workshop provided them another chance to cleanse the body in their busy lives. Master Xiao welcomed these experienced campers, but he also kindly urge them to be good role models to surroundings, actively practice paida and lajin self healing methods in the daily life because there are so many things that can trigger our poor health. If we don't act on our own, but wait till to be slapped by others in the workshop, it is against the principal of self-healing.
Some first time campers have learned paida lajin from books or websites already, but they felt that they could learn more techniques and theories, to educate themselves on recognizing healing crisis and how to deal with them at the workshop. Workshop is a wonderful place to learn such things, because almost everyone has experienced certain degree of the healing crisis. After one day's fasting and heavy-duty paida and lajin, I felt nausea on Sunday morning. The uncomfortable feeling went away as the day went by. Compared to others, my symptom was just a piece of cake. Several ladies were so "sick" on Saturday that people had to wrap them up in quilts, feed them some fluid, apply paida lightly on their inner arms. One of the ladies who is diabetic patient had to be sent home because of her reactions; The girl who was from NYC found herself burping non-stop like a machine for an entire day; We were also greatly challenged during the meditative sitting when a lady kept yawning. Anyway, there were many examples like this, but people all took them at ease, no panic, and no one took pills to stop the symptoms, because we all understood that it was fortunate to discover what troubled us inside was able to manifest itself through disease-like symptoms. Among last a few day's campers, there was a tall lady that I would not skip. She was forced to attend the workshop by her elder sister. The lady has suffered from diseases and operations for years. When she arrived at the workshop, (in her own words) she was a very negative person, by the time she left, she was very grateful that she felt the hope again. People applauded her speech, because people all noticed her changes in the attitude. The other remarkable camper was the youngest 13 year old girl - August, who was dragged by her mother. The teenager admitted that she would rather stay home and play video games with her friends, but meantime she was glad that she had spent seven days with her mother in this health workshop. I admire this mother, she has such strong power over everyone else in her family - according to the daughter, because of her mother, one day everyone was forced to become vegans; now she foresaw more paida and lajin will take place at her house. I sincerely wish the tall lady and August family find the happiness and strength on this self-healing path.
Those who have attended paida lajin workshops know that paida and lajin are not the only two activities campers do in each workshop. During the daily lectures and FQA sessions, Master Xiao has stressed a lot more on cultivating a proper attitude, a healthy life style (e.g. to have a daily routine in the pulses of nature) when maintaining our health. Nothing is too small to be neglected if it contributes to our good health. He also taught the campers several Kungfu moves, such as wall-hitting, squatting while facing the wall, waist twirling, meditative jogging, standing and sitting, etc. Some people might feel overwhelmed after learning so many different methods for good health. They are puzzled more on which one to start off than how to work properly. Instead of trying everything at one time in a monkey mind, it is better to focus on one method only, be persevere with it and become an good about it, wait till the practice benefits both the body and mind.
正如蕭老師所言，此次西雅圖七日體驗營多虧了熱心人士葉子的大力張羅。主辦這麼一個大型的活動，其投入的精力 和人力可想而知。之前我除了蕭老師以外，未曾和任何人謀過面。非常感恩有此機會遇見了從溫哥華趕來助拍的Yen 和Bill，還有來自各地的營員們。
最後我特別想提及的有兩個人，因為沒有她們默默的付出，眾人便不能那麼安心專注地過體驗營生活。她們是Melody 和 Kim. 為了做好義工，Melody 專門請了一個星期的假。她是屬於那種“進得了廚房，出得了廳堂”的主心骨——負責每日的三餐和茶飲，交通運輸等內外部事物，平時只要一有空就給其他人拍 打。另一位叫 Kim, 是拍打拉筋方面的元老。我們初次見面時，她誤把我當成了另外一個人，後來聽蕭老師介紹後，忙說，原來你就是那個寫博客的“哈城幽蘭”呀。每天 Kim 大姐是拍打現場的靈魂人物。如果群體拍打速度快了，她會用口令或擊掌的方式調慢速度。別看她喊口令時聲音洪亮，平時給別人示範拍打手法時卻總是輕聲慢語， 擔心會因為說話聲太大影響了別人，並且時常提醒愛講話聊天的營員們少說話，多拍打。她從來都是滿面春風，沒有絲毫教訓人的樣子。而真讓我感動的是她那張充 滿暖意的笑臉，看到她，就像看到家人摯友一樣讓人感覺親切。記得有次我們三人一組拍打腿內側，Kim 在示範完如何拍打後，對躺着的那位輕柔地說，閉上眼睛，好好休息一下，哦。要知道拍打時的疼痛是鑽心的，但除了安定心神，盡量忍住痛外，其他還真不能有什 麼作為。那一幕，令我久久不能忘懷。因為體驗營裡需要的正是像 Kim 大姐這樣具有安撫力的人。
As Master Xiao commended that without Yezi's hard work and passionate effort, the 7-day Seattle Paida Lajin Workshop wouldn't run so smoothly and successfully. Before this workshop, I had met none of them except Master Xiao. I am grateful that I had this opportunity to meet Ye and Bill who came to help with the workshop from Vancouver, and many other campers from all different locations.
Two ladies are worth more ink at the end. They are the true heroes behind the scene. Melody was in charge of all outside transportation and 3 meals a day. Whenever she got a free time, she volunteered to do paida on other people. In order to do a better job, she took one week off work. She was a backbone. When we met first time, Kim mistakenly thought me as a different person. After Master Xiao introduced me to her, she immediately called out, "you are the one with the penman name 'Hacheng Youlan.'" Kim is indeed a very experienced paida lajin practitioner. She was one of the key figures in the workshop other than the master and Yezi. When the group sped up or slapped in different speeds, Kim would synchronize the paida speed by commanding out loud, or clapping her hands. I found it amazing how such tiny lady had so much power and energy when she called out loud, yet whenever she spoke with someone, she always spoke softly, seemed to be afraid of disturbing the paida atmosphere with her voice. She often reminded those chatty campers to keep silent during the paida. Her presence was very pleasant and comforting to every one, she was more like a closed family member or best friend. Even today I can still recall her soft tone voice and smiling face vividly. One time when we were divided into groups of three, Kim comforted the one who was being slapped on the inner side of the leg by telling her "close your eyes, and just rest." The pain was real, but nothing we could do about it. So the best thing was to remain calm and focus more on the inner dialogues between our own body and mind. I found Kim's methods very effective, hope we will have more coaches like Kim in the future workshops.