Free admission for a rejuvenating long weekend in Estes Park!

Last year, I attended the 3rd Universal Consciousness Festival (UCF) in the Dao House in Estes Park, CO. It was a memorable event at many different levels. Now you can enjoy this experience without paying admission.

Previous UCF scene, photoed by Ken Mccray

Previous UCF scene, photoed by Ken Mccray

I was picked up at the Denver Airport by a Dao House volunteer along with few other Festival attendees. As we were driven away, the vast westward sky was painted with amazing shades of yellows, reds, blues, and purples. The ride was winding but smooth. When I first vistited, it was nighttime and we could barely see much of the surroundings. However, on my return trip during the daytime, I discovered the pristine beauty of the Rocky Mountain along the way. When we came to a stop, I stepped out of the van and saw “Dao House Elevation 9200 Feet”. After we checked in to the cozy, spacious lobby, we were ushered into a laid-back dining room with a warm ambiance. The dinner was tasty and I was pleasantly surprised to realize how delicious beans and beets could be. Later I learned that the chefs were students of Daoism (or Taoism) and Wudang martial arts and one of them came from Brazil. They were extremely creative to design each of the meals by using local, seasonal, organic material, and exotic ingredients, i.e. Chinese dates, hempseeds, lotus sees for taste, texture, and nutrition.

Previous UCF scene, photoed by Ken Mccray

Previous UCF scene, photoed by Ken Mccray

The next morning when I pulled up the curtain in my room I was speechless. The panoramic view of the Longs Peak was breathtaking. My room had a large flat screen TV but I did not turn it on once. Dao House sits in a valley between Twin Sisters Peaks and Longs Peak. The location is exceptionally beautiful, tranquil, and spiritual. People can hike to both sides of mountains. I was told that the Longs Peak is about five miles away and probably another three miles up to the top. My eyesight is less than desired; nevertheless I could see the individual trees at the tree line by the mountaintop. It shows how clean the air was.

Wudang Master Chen led a practice, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Wudang Master Chen led a practice, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Founded on the principle that no matter who we are, we all want a healthy body and to live a long and fulfilling life. And the best way to prevent disease is by learning how to eat right, exercise effectively, and maintain a healthy lifestyle and mentality. The Universal Consciousness Festival brings together different religions, healing modalities, and techniques to achieve its goal. Last year, two world-renowned master teachers of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – Dr. Jeffrey Yuen and William Young, L.Ac., along with yoga Gurudev Shri Amritji joined Wudang Master Yun Xiang Tseng (nicknamed Wudang Chen) delivered thought-provoking lectures. Wudang Martial Art Masters David Wei, Michael Xia Chongyi, and Lindsey Wei taught life nurturing Kung Fu and Qigong. Daoist writer and scholar Solala Towler hosted a soothing poem reading session with fine tea tasting. During the four-day festival, I experienced a life-changing moment.

Wudang Master Chen led a practice, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Wudang Master Chen led a practice, photoed by Ken Mccray.

This year’s festival will be held Sept. 8-11. It is a special year for UCF.  They have been seeking sponsorship and donations to make the Festival a free event to all.  To make the goal more attainable, they designed a three level approach: if $21,000 raised, the admission will be free; if $51,000 raised, the admission and lodge will be free; if $81,000 raised, the admission, lodging, and meals will be free. So far, it has collected $32,975 that means free admission for Dao House members and a deep discount for lodging if they don’t reach the goal of $51,000 by Sept. 8. In case you are not a member of Dao House yet, you can join the organization with a low membership fee.

Prof. Livia Kohn (In white top) during a 2015 UCF workshop, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Prof. Livia Kohn (In white top) during a 2015 UCF workshop, photoed by Ken Mccray.

​Professor Livia Kohn is an internationally respected scholar on Daoism. She is returning to the Festival this year. She will present three interesting topics: “The Power of Spirit: Modern Physics and Applied Kinesiology”, “Why Visualization Works: The Inner Smile and Cell Biology”, and “Why Visualization Works: The Inner Smile and Cell Biology”.

Dr. Jeffrey Yuen lectured during 2016 UCF, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Dr. Jeffrey Yuen lectured during 2016 UCF, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Dr. Jeffery Yuen has a wealth of knowledge steeped in Daoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yuen is a captivating speaker with a soft calming voice and a good sense of humor. Last year, he presented a vast amount of information so I had to pay close attention to each word. It was funny that I felt exhausted afterwards yet totally intellectually stimulated. This year, Dr. Yuen will present “Alchemy and Herbs”, “Alchemy and Essential Oils”, and “Transformation from the Shang Qing School of Daoism”.

Wudang Master Chen, founder of the Universal Consciousness Festival and the president and founder of the Daoist Association USA, comes from a direct line of Wudang Daoist priests, a lineage that is over 700 years old and completely unbroken. He will present “Ren vs. Xian: Take Charge of Your Own Destiny” and “Harmonizing the Fire and Water, Uniting Xing and Ming, & Teaming the Dragon and Tiger”.

You can find out details of their lecture here.

During this year’s festival, there will be morning practice of Tai Chi, Qigong, and Dao Yin (meditation) daily, and “Kung Fu, Martial Arts, Qigong and Tai Chi” sessions during the day with Sifus David Wei, Michael Xia Chongyi, and Lindsey Wei. On Monday Sept. 11, there will be whole day martial arts workshops with David, Michael, and Lindsey. You can find out the details here.

 

Sifu Lindsey Wei's workshop during a previous UCF, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Sifu Lindsey Wei’s workshop during a previous UCF, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Lindsey Wei is a 24th generation practitioner of Wudang Chun Yang Sect of Daoism.  She trained under Master, Abbot Li Song Feng of the Five Immortals Temple for 10 years in the Wudang Mountains of China on Wudang Internal Kungfu, Alchemy, Tai Chi, Ba Gua, Qigong, various weapons, and Daoist Ceremony. Wei is the author of “The Valley Spirit —A Female Story of Daoist Cultivation”, published by Singing Dragon in 2012. She will be teaching “Wudang San Feng Eight Immortals Staff”, which has 61 movements.

Sifu Michael Xia Chongyi at a previous UCF, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Sifu Michael Xia Chongyi at a previous UCF, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Known as Taoist Swordsman, Michael Xià Chóngyì received his Taoist name in 2010 at Purple Heaven Palace on Wudang Mountain, under Wudang Taoist Priest Zhou Xuan Yun. With over 25 years in the martial arts, and a dedication to both practicality and tradition, Swordsman Xia offers a glimpse into these specialized practices of Swordsmanship in the Taoist community along a dynamic view of Taoist development through scholarly and academic studies. Michael is the Founder and Maestro at the Academia Wudang De Mexico in Guadalajara Mexico, Founder of Wudang Swordsman Academy, and Director of Taiji Fencing League.

Sifu David Wei during a 2015 UCF workshop, photoed by Ken Mccray.

Sifu David Wei during a 2015 UCF workshop, photoed by Ken Mccray.

David Wei is a 16th generation lineage holder of Wudang Zhang San Feng Pai, and an instructor of Wudang Daoist (Taoist) wellness arts and traditional Chinese acupressure massage. David learned Shaolin Kung Fu as a youngster. He later spent five years and completed 11,000 hours of formal training in internal martial arts, medical Qigong, and mediation at the Wudang Mountain Traditional Taoist Martial Arts Academy so he can help people with health and wellness.

EXTRA: You can also support this great cause by donating to the event. To visit its official website, you can click on here.

(Edited by Doc Luecke.)

 

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