Hot Water

VestmentsPart of my Daoist transmission was on ritual bathing. Proper bathing is very important to good qi circulation. In Chinese the word shou, (the character is in the sidebar) means long life. But another Chinese word is sometimes translated as long life too, yangsheng.

Yangsheng (nourishing life) is actually a catagory which includes many different types of practices. It is in fact the idea that gongfu, nutrition, herbs, incense, bathing, resting, stillness, qigong, bodywork (tuina), and proper sleep, are all connected and meant to be practiced together, as one thing. Sometimes scholars call this daoist hygiene practice. The practice of just one of these with out the others really has no precedent in Chinese history.
Today I went to a new Koren style public bath in San Francisco. It has a great hot tub with jets, a steam bath with herbs(my favorite), and a sauna. There is a great spot to sit down and scrub your whole body. They supply everything including a toothbrush, q-tips and a razor. I got a foot acupressure treatment too. Ahhhhhh! It's called Imperial Spa, there is parking at the KFC.  To be honest, I'd driven by the place several times thinking "mafia," but turns out it's really nice. I bought 10 entrance passes for $120.
Last weekend I went to Tassajara Zen Mountain Hot Springs for the annual NoRace. I hobnobbed with the big mucky mucks of Californian Zen, the food was great the the baths are the best in California. Highlights: Impressed by Ernest L. Brown of the San Francisco Goe Institute, he said, "You are entitled to half the board. Anytime you consider taking more or think about defense, you have created an opportunity to lose territory." And of course my childhood role model David Chadwick was his usual buoyant self.