Taoist Hermitage - Ecuador

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Above the Sacred Valley of the Incas, near the crest of the Andes Mountains

Come here to learn and practice Chi Kung, Tai Chi, and high energy meditations. Detoxify with pure food, air, water, and to acquire deep relaxation that comes from secluding yourself in a beautiful natural place.

A Taoist hermitage is like a Buddhist monastery, but more casual, in that some people can come to live here for a fairly long time in order to master the path. Students live in relative solitude in small meditation huts, surrounded by natural beauty where they can practice what they learn in the privacy of their cabin or at the center.

Instructor Steve Gray has been dedicating himself to studying Taoist internal arts of cultivation and meditation for over forty years. He was very lucky to have been accepted as student by many dedicated and advanced masters of the old school. Around the age of forty his tai chi teacher gave him to his chi kung teacher, Mr. Yueng. Mr. Yueng was a powerful qigong master (Taoist wizard), who was in a class completely above the other masters and grand masters that Steve has known. He had no idea what he was getting into at the time, but his training in Tien Shan chi kung, taught as a full and rich system of Taoist alchemy, is when the magic really started. Tien Shan is a vanishingly rare type of nei kung, the type which was kept secret till just this last generation, and it resulted in Steve achieving enlightenment in only five years. This was followed by many other wonderous things, including realizing that he had been following this same path for previous lifetimes and that his spirit had been reborn in a very foreign land.

A frame cabin

Accommodations are simple, natural, and eco friendly. There is a small one room wood cabin near to the practice center. There is also two little wood "A" frame cabins with metal roofs. It is a little like camping, with a dry composting toilet. To get to the camp, which we call Indian Village, you need to walk about five minutes down the mountain to a beautiful secluded spot in the trees with nice views and a really quiet peaceful energy, students love it there. Keep in mind that it is kind of primitive and very close to nature, if you haven't been backpacking before then you may not be ready for it. We are building a communal kitchen there which includes a sitting and dinning table area. Until that is built we have another kitchen just outside the practice center for students and vollunteers. The little wood shed near to the practice center is a little more civilized than the A frames.

After my book is published we will be building a few more A frame sheds and also building some nicer, regular little adobe cabins closer to the center which will cost a little more to stay in.

Cost We are offering two price levels for students. The only difference is in the food service. In order to offer an inexpensive stay we have the basic student package, and for those who want to have superfoods and the more exotic foods we have a Gourmet Student offering. We all eat the same delicious lunch together. The difference after that is that the basic student gets deliciously prepared basic foods like bananas, oatmeal, rice, beans, pasta, potatoes, carrots, etc prepared with wonderful sauces and spices. The Gourmet student, on the other hand, can have oatmeal with lots of fruit and nuts, spirulina, etc, or eggs and bacon, or superfood smoothies for breakfast, and a rather wide assortment of the more costly kinds of dinner foods with dessert.

Yolanta also offers food catering and classes, so for example you could order an amazing raw vegan chocolate cake made with really nice expensive ingredients and learn how to make one yourself too. Catering and classes are additional cost.

Security and Safety - This is a safe place. The side of the property the cabins or on has a high cliff with no access. No one can come here without being seen by the three German Shepherd guard dogs. There is a locked gate down at the highway. If you hike up into the mountains then you are going away from civilization on a private road so the chance of seeing another person is remote. If you go hiking you can take some of the dogs with you.

In the morning you can make your own tea or coffee and help yourself to a selection of wonderful tropical fruit. We serve elegant lunches and dinners cooked by our master chef and certified vegan food preparer.

Due to uncommon weather conditions for lowlanders and the wild high altitude nature of the place you should come with certain supplies. Supplies to Bring

Travel Directions - In order to get here you fly in to Quito or Guayaquil, and then take a short flight via Tame Airlines to the Loja city airport, in Catamayo. From there we can send a taxi to pick you up.

Trails - You are invited to go hiking on our many trails that go from mountain and ridge tops to secluded valley streams, to explore and discover secluded peaceful places that are ideal for mediation. Guests who are sensitive to energy remark on the marvelously clean sparkling energy they feel here.

This area of mountains, valleys, and volcanos along the crest of the Andes Mountains is laced with ancient trails that are still in use. You can hike and backpack in the nearby Podacarpus National Park along the crest of the continental divide, and it is possible, but difficult, to hike to the continental divide from here. The Podacarpus National Park has more biodiversity than any other place on Earth.

There are several natural springs that supply our water, and since the springs are close to the ridge tops the water has an amazing purity of around 28 ppm, which is nearly as pure as distilled water, an important tool for health regeneration.

Also living here is a master chef, certified raw food educator and nutrition expert, Yolanta Mordas. So even here, far from civilization, you have a chance to eat delicious meals. Nutrition

No alcohol drinking here, you can go to Vilcabamba for that.

The center house / temple is built with it's back buried into the mountainside, feeling like a cave, and imitating, in a way, the high mineral density of the crystal laden practice caves of the ancient sages of China.

Only a few people will be here at any one time in order not to change the natural wild energy of the place.

Student Information

Supplies to Bring

Center House - Practice Center