04 July 2008

Plants and Animals, Fire and Ice

Guess what we did on last Wednesday?

That's right, we had a culture class on Chinese medicine, including, but not limited to acupuncture. Our presenter was an MD from China who told us about Chinese nutrition, exercises to aid in digestion and fatigue, and lastly, showed us acupuncture and a more extreme form of meridian stimulation:

You may not be able to tell, but that's a flaming hot pile of mugwart on my foot, burning a clear path for the Qi to flow through my immune system. The look on my face did eventually turn into a dapper grimace, but I think this one illustrates the pain pretty well. 

LI-3 point is good for decreasing
 headache and general inflammation.

In other news, I went to 淡水 (Dan Shui) this weekend to check out the ocean. I didn't see much of the ocean, as we didn't get out too far until later, but did catch a glimpse of some interesting Taipei county fauna:

S. Scrofa Domestica

This little beaut had a smaller amigo just out of the frame above. A little black squirrel was leashed to a small stump and was doing his best to look cute.

And speaking of cute, here's Joey just ticked pink over his mountain of an ice-cream cone at 淡水漁人碼頭 (Danshui's Fisherman's Wharf). More pictures of less quality can be found at the link to my Picassa Album for the Taiwan trip, also found on the side of my blog page.

Elation never tasted so good.

Tuesday a couple of different students and I went to Bao An Temple, my second time. I remembered that in writing a previous post, I couldn't find any pictures of the process of 擲筊, throwing the moon blocks. Remember, you toss two of them, so there's plenty here for lots of people to ask lots of questions at once.

Moon blocks

And should you get your question answered, it would come by way of drawing a stick from a barrel...

Numbered sticks

...and the number on the stick corresponds to a script of classical poetry, at this temple, on a board:

Classical poetry, for your interpretation

Last time, I wrote about how the poetry was in a circular chest of drawers, but this temple does things differently. Same basic concept, though. I was glad to have a chance to return to this temple. There were plenty of pics that I wanted to take that I only thought of after leaving the first time.

Little Giants; bonsai guarding the main alter

Yesterday, our group went to 貓空 (Maokong), a mountian area in the Southern reaches of Taipei. To get there, you take an half hour long gondola ride up the mountain, which offers some amazing views...

Taipei Basin from Maokong Gondola

One could see the whole taipei basin. And a pink sunset. It was quite nice to get such a beautiful panorama.

Atop the mountain, we were served a meal of delicious food, with every dish using tea in some way. After dinner, we sampled different types of tea from around Taiwan. Education by contrast. Lots to learn.

Of course, there's more to write, but at the moment I'm feeling quite ill. I think I should rest. Comments welcome.

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