Zhengzhou is a major city in central eastern China where we were picked up by van and driven to Chen Village. Chen and Zhaobao Villages are both old agricultural villages in the same vicinity where Taijiquan has been practiced continuously for over four hundred years. Curiously, these two villages are separated only by a large cornfield. This relationship is important in understanding the dissemination of Taijiquan from even earlier sources.
Chen Village is now a marital art village within a surrounding agricultural village. Zhaobao Village is larger while the Taiji community there blends inconspicuously into the scenes of daily life.
The little red posters on the double doors of the last picture in this series are called "Menshen," or Door Gods. They protect the inhabitants from evil spirits and are renewed each year at the Chinese New Year. The inverse of this name, Shenmen, is the name of an important acupuncture point on the wrist that protects the Heart against unwanted intrusions from others. It works by raising conscious awareness as to what defines appropriate levels of intimacy. The deeper meaning of this name is discussed in Dennis' "Spiritpoints" book.
To learn more about this acupuncture pointname and the importance of the spirit to healing in ancient Chinese medicine