Grand Celebration for the Emperor of the Nine Levels of Heaven
九皇会 / 罗天大醮 祈福庆典
October 6 – 19, 2018
We have been invited back to Qing Cheng to participate in a very auspicious event celebrating the Emperor of the Nine Levels of Heaven. You are invited to join us.
This event is being sponsored to make it affordable for international Daoists to attend, and many of the attendees costs will be covered by the sponsoring associations.
During the celebration, there will be Blessing Rituals taking place which will focus upon the protection of humanity, fostering virtue, and promoting peace. Of the 13 active altars, one of them has been dedicated to the United States.
The Nine Emperor Festival last for 9 days beginning on the eve of 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Devotees turn vegetarian in order to purify their bodies during this period to achieve ritual cleansing. Devotees pray for blessings during this time, and ask for assistance in dispelling misfortunes and bad luck.
The festival begins on the last day of the eighth lunar month with the raising of the Jiu Qu Deng (九曲灯), which refers to the “nine wicks in oil lamp”. The lamp is raised to invite divinities to the temple grounds in celebration of the festival. It will stay lit throughout the nine days as a sign of continuous divine presence.
The welcome ritual is usually held the following day, the first day of the ninth lunar month. A street procession begins at the temple and proceeds to a nearby river or sea. There the gods are invited to join in the ritual.
At the river, the priest invokes the spirits of the Nine Emperor Gods and invites them to descend into the urn. When the sacred ashes in the urn burn vigorously, it is a sign that the gods have arrived. The urn is then carried back to the temple and kept in a private place from public view.
During the nine days, worshippers visit the temple with offerings to ask for the blessing of the Jiu Huang Ye. A bridge-crossing purification ritual takes place during this time. In this special ceremony, participants receive charms, yellow threads or a Jiu Huang Ye seal stamped on their clothing in order to ward off the evils of the past year.
Sending Off Ritual
The ninth day of the festival is its climax. Scores of devotees form a procession to help send the deities back home.
Many devotees turn up for the final prayer and journey together to the beach or waterway. Included in this entourage is a dragon boat made of paper that will be alighted and set adrift, dramatically symbolizing the dispersal of bad luck and misfortune.
The festival officially ends with the lowering of the Jiu Qu Den (九曲灯) on the tenth day. This is followed by the ending of the vegetarian ritual, and meat dishes are laid out to thank the heaven guards. These dishes are later shared among worshippers to signify the ending of the fast.
Qing Cheng Shan
Qing Cheng Shan is a famous Daoist mountain in Sichuan province. Many famous Daoists have cultivated at Qing Cheng Shan. Zhang Dao Ling, the founder of religious Daoism, spent many years on the mountain before moving to Long Hu Shan. Wang Chong Yang, the founder of Northern Daoism (Quan Zhen) established the monastery in 1200 A.D. and remained as the resident Abbot until his death. Also, the Immortal, Lu Dong Bin, achieved the “Dao” and became an Immortal while meditating in the Immortal’s Cave at Qing Cheng Shan.
Known for its lush green environment, the mountain exudes a profound sense of yin. If you open yourself to the mountain, you may forever be changed. People have said training at Qing Cheng Shan is a “journey of the heart”.
This event is being organized and sponsored by:
• The China Daoist Association
• The Mount Qingcheng Daoist Association
• The United States Daoist Association
These organizations are all helping to offset the costs so that many international Daoists can attend. Sponsors will be covering the cost of accommodations, food and domestic travel within China. Attendees will only be required to pay a $450 registration fee to attend.
Dr. Bernard Shannon is an internationally recognized teacher of Daoist cultivation, alchemical and mystical practices; medical qigong therapy; and martial concepts. He has trained in martial, medical, and spiritual qigong for over twenty years.
Dr. Shannon began his studies of internal alchemy and mysticism in the late 1980s with one of his martial arts instructors who was a master the Profound schools of alchemy and mysticism. Since that time, he has had many teachers, and he regularly travels to China to continue his training in both Northern and Southern schools of Daoist alchemy and mysticism.
Bernard has been taken as a formal Disciple (Dizi) at Mao Shan with the Shang Qing Branch of Zheng-Yi Daoism, at LongHu Shan with the Tian Shi Branch of Zheng-Yi Daoism, and at Qing Cheng Shan with the Long Men Branch of Quan Zhen Daoism. In 2005, he was ordained as a Daoist Priest at the 900 year anniversary of the Tian Shi Fu (Celestial Master’s Mansion). In 2009 at his root Monestary at Qing Cheng Shan, he was bestowed the post and title of Abbot (Zhu Chi) of the Temple of Peace and Virtue (An De Fu Shen Gong).
Since 2001 he has been to China over a twenty times and has lead many trips studying Medical Qigong, Daoist alchemy, and Daoist mysticism.
Abbot Zhang Ming Xin Abbot Zhang Ming Xin (Bright Heart) has been practicing Daoism since the age of 15. She is a 20th generation Long Men Sect (Dragon’s Gate Sect) of the Quan Zhen Branch (Complete Reality) of Daoism; the Chief Master at Jian Fu Gong at Qing Cheng Mountain; the Director of the Cheng Du (city) Daoist Association; the Director of the Si Chuan (provincial) Daoist Association; and the Deputy Directory of the China Daoist Association. Her knowledge, compassion, and willingness to share have made Abbot Zhang a sought after resource for Daoist thought, alchemy, and mystical training. I am honored to call her one of my teachers.
This event is open to anyone interested in Daoism or Daoist culture.
October 6-19, 2018
- When: October 6 – 19, 2018
- Leave USA: October 6, 2018;
- Arrive Chengdu International Airport (CTU): October 7, 2018
- Registration and rest: October 8
- Ceremonies: October 9 – 18
- Depart Chengdu for USA: October 19
Fax, email or mail the Registration form to:
Temple of Peace and Virtue
PO Box 1435
Palm Desert, CA 92261
Fax (800) 848-0649 or (760) 228-9474
It is strongly recommended that you fax or email your application.
If you mail your registration form in, you MUST also email our office to notify our administrative staff that you have done so.
What is Covered:
- Travel to and from Chengdu International airport (CTU) to Qing Cheng.
- Hotel accommodations during the events
- All accommodations are double. If you wish to room with someone specific please list their name on the application.
- Single accomodations will require an additional $500 charge, for a total of $950 registration.
- Food during both events
- Vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.
- A Teeshirt commerating the event
What is not covered:
- International flights to Chengdu
- Chinese VISA
- Anything else not specifically outlined above
What you need to do:
- Send us your Registration Form and payment by September 1, 2018
- Purchase your international ticket to Chengdu.
- Leave USA: October 6, 2018;
- Arrive Chengdu International Airport (CTU): October 7, 2018
- Recommended flights may be posted here at a later date, please check back.
- Get a passport
- SIGN your passport. You will not be allowed to use it if you do not.
- Get a Tourist visa to China (China now offers 10-year Visas for the same price as 1-year Visas for US Citizens.)
- To get a VISA you will need copies of your Passport, proof of airline ticket, and hotel reservations.
- Once we receive your Registration, we will send you hotel information to use for this purpose.
- To get your VISA, take the following to a Chinese Consulate or send to an online service:
- Send us your flight information as soon as you have booked tickets (Fax or email)
- Send us a copy of the image page of your passport (Fax or email)
Sponsors will be arranging a limited number of shuttles from the airport to the hotel. To simplify this process, attendees need to arrive and leave from Chengdu on the appointed days.
- Arrive Chengdu International Airport (CTU) on October 7th, 2018
- If you are leaving from the US, this means leaving October 6th, 2018
- Return flight to US departing Chengdu on October 19, 2018
Dr. Shannon will be taking the following flight:
Flying from San Francisco to Chengdu, SFO - CTU on UA9 departing Sunday, Oct 7 at 12:50 AM arriving Monday, Oct 8 at 5:55AM
Returning flight Oct 19 9:50AM from CTU - Arriving SFO 8:10am Oct 19
Because this flight leaves in the early morning, you must search for it on United Airline's website by entering a departure date of October 6th, NOT on October 7th. This flight leaves later than we had previously recommended, but it is a direct flight.
Please take special note of the luggage weight restrictions within China, which are more strict that the weight restrictions to China. On flights within China, you are allowed two (2) checked pieces of luggage (50 lbs maximum, not per bag), one (1) carry-on, and a personal item (purse, laptop, small backpack).
Please also note that we strongly recommend that you get trip cancellation insurance.
Plan on dressing in layers. It may be cold in fall, and very hot in spring. It is often raining at Qing Cheng.
Please note that there is a dress code within the Temples. Conservative clothing is required. Shoulders must be covered—no tank tops. Pants and skirts must come below the knee.
If this is a trip for Daoist students, it is expected that you will wear Daoist uniforms. This includes Daoist jacket, pants, and "scarf" hat. Robes are to be worn if you will be participating in ceremony.