Wudang Mountains' Shengzhen Rocks
By Liu Kun, Feng Lu,and Wu Shujing ( chinadaily.com.cn )
Qianyuan, of the classicalBook of Changes, means ’Great is the Positive, Far−reaching is the Negative’. Qian is the universe and yuan is the beginning. Judging from the marker, the Shengzhen Rocks are Qianyuan Rocks, reflecting their importance.
Taoists admire Qianyuan as along with emperors, such as Li Heng of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and gave Qianyuan as his reign title, from 758 to 760. The Japanese emperor, Nijō Tennō, used Qianyuan too.
But no one knows why the rocks are called Qianyuan Holes. The name Baiyun Gully comes from its location. Because of its rugged topography, common people don’t venture here, and it’s a good place for hermits. During the Ming, it became a place to worship. After the Qing, the temple was left in disrepair and Taoists lived on the support of local people.
Taoists tell us that Li Chengxin, the 24th leader of the Longmen School of the Wudang Mountains, spent several decades studying alchemy here and there is a decrepit wooden ladder made of two twisted trees, with eight slats and a stick to serve as support.
The second floor has a platform with a circle and an arc like the sun and moon, surrounded by starry holes, so the platform is the universe. How amazing nature is!
There are the droppings of flying squirrels, soya-bean in size, and with a tan color. This is called “Wu Lingzhi”, a type of herbs. Li Shizhen, a famous chemist of the Ming Dynasty, wrote that Wu Lingzhi are the essence of the Wudang Mountains and are tender and sweet, non-toxic and mild, Wu Lingzhi can relieve pain, bites and amenorrhea.
Flying squirrels are just like bats and are good at climbing. They live among the 36 rocks of Wudang Mountains and love stony spaces. It’s a pity that we don’t encounter them. Perhaps we’re trespassers.
The Shengzhen Rocks and Taihe Palace, which face west, add radiance to each other. Seen from the top, they’re an ocean of rocks, with 72 peaks symbolizing the divine rights of gods and emperors.
During a Taoist’s apprenticeship, the Shengzhen Rocks provide the perfect place to commune with nature. This is real development.
Contributed by Wang Liang and Jiang Yuanbo from Wudang Mountains Tourism Bureau