A Mountain in China is an intriguing account of an English woman’s travels to Song Mountain, in Henan Province, China. Part memoir, part travelogue, Veena Schlegel takes us to the heart of what has made this mountain a place of pilgrimage for millennia. The peaks and valleys of Song Mountain gave refuge to Taoist mystics long before it became known as the home of Shaolin Kungfu. In the sixth century CE, it also gave birth to what we now refer to as Zen Buddhism, known in China as Chan, after the enlightened Indian master, Bodhidharma, meditated there alone for nine years in a secluded cave on one of its peaks.
Living in a small village in the mountain’s foothills, the author explored this little-known part of China over several years, and uncovered some of its historical and spiritual heritage as well as its ties to her own spiritual master, Osho. She learned about the local customs and traditions, and shared the turmoil and joy of daily life in the village. She encountered Qigong and Kungfu masters, students and seekers who had never met a westerner before, and felt the heartbreak many travellers will recognise as modern China inevitably clashes with its ancient heritage. In 2010, the mountain and the religious and historical monuments connected to it, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A Mountain in China is a story of a love affair with a mountain − an intimate and sometimes hilarious glimpse into the inner world of a seeker who has been on the path of Zen for more than forty years.
For more beautiful photographs illustrating the book, please see www.amountaininchina8.com
A rather charming short video was made accidently by a documentary film crew visiting the Kungfu Acadmy. They saw Michael reading Veena’s book and immediately made up a small story around him, my book and the scenic local area, and then filmed it. Veena helped compose the dialogue: https://vimeo.com/170003522
The inspirational BBC documentary called Extreme Pilgrim can be seen here.
A Mountain in China is available as a paperback or an ebook on all Amazon sites. For example: