"...one's motherland offered a richer life, no matter how materially abundant it might be elsewhere. The qi of the land, water, and air was drenched in antiquity." - Gong Baozai.
This is what Gong Baozai told his Chinese-American disciple Michael Guen when discussing the importance of his returning to China to show respect and to connect to his ancestors and their spirit. Gong Baozai lived with his teacher Gong Baotian from an early age in their village of Tsing San in Shandong Province in China. Shandong means "East Mountains" and Tsing San means "Green Mountain." I am inspired by the great similarities I find between Gong Baozai's motherland and that of my Lucano ancestors in the Vulture Region (Mount Vulture was a volcanoe which is now extinct) of Basilicata, Italy. Please view the following photos to see what I observe. San Fele sits 2,835 feet above sea level on very "Green Mountains." My genetic ancestors (as opposed to my martial arts ancestors, spiritual ancestors and artist ancestors) going back centuries were all farmers and I am very, VERY proud of that and of them (this farmer lineage dates back to the times that Hannibal invaded the region in the Punic Wars, in which case, they instantly became farmer/warriors as was the custom in Italy before the Romans established a professional army) . They lived close to the earth, and worked under the sun and stars, in tune with nature and Heaven's Way. They also had to deal with extreme poverty and hard work. Life was a struggle for existence for them and they lived in terrible poverty but, as Gong Baozai told Michael Guen: "...one's motherland offered a richer life, no matter how materially abundant it might be elsewhere." When I am there, I truly feel the strong qi from the land, water, air and also from the local food and wine we eat and drink there. I respect all of my ancestors as I would respect my grandparents if they were still alive. I am lucky to have such strong, hardworking and determined mountain ancestors and I know I am extremely lucky that my teacher shared a little wisdom from Gong Baozai with me. Green Mountain people are strong! And connected to nature in a spiritual way, while living in accordance with heavenly laws and in touch with the earth's natural rythms!
Shangdong Province, China
The Dolomiti Lucane, Basilicata, Italy
San Fele (Pz), Italy