“A man with inner courage dares to live.”

says the Tao Te Ching, which is full of reminders to embrace life, and the occasional little adventure.  I read the Tao Te Ching, several times to try to deepen my awareness of the richness of China’s amazing culture and history, which lead to planning a little adventure, near Chengdu.

Qingcheng mountain, near to Chengdu was home to Lao Tzu the sage who wrote the Tao Te Ching.  It stands 1260m with 36 peaks, with many temples dotted like serene surprises in beautiful woodlands.  It looked like a great place to visit after a solid weeks work with some fantastic colleagues in China. So with limited time available, my friend and I made the trip.

Slowly ascending, step by step, through multiple endless steps through the woods, leads to amazing surprises, that suddenly appear around a corner, like serene lakes…

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The park closes at 6PM and as the mist rolled in, cooling the heat of the day, my friend and I climbed slowly, and discussed our appreciation of the deceptive simplicity of the Tao Te Ching, which can be read on multiple levels.

As we climbed the clock rolled on until we reached a choice point.  At 5PM we had to decide, to go on to the summit or turn back.  Everyone else on the mountain decided to turn back…..except us.

My friend, correctly figured that there would be no one at the summit, and our effort would be rewarded, and it was worth risking the park being closed.  At 5.25 we arrived at the highest peak, the summit.

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And we were rewarded with fantastic views.

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After the peace of the summit, we had a mad dash to the exit, about 5k and down several thousand steps.

We had a number of friendly reminders from wardens that the park was about to close.

And we made it just in time……..to miss all the transport at 6.25.  (Which continued the adventure).

Was the adventure to the summit worth it……absolutely.

What I learned is planning little adventures, then putting in the extra effort, to go to the summit, even if it’s late in the day, can pay off with great experiences.

Like the Tao Te Ching, the mountain experience, was great on many levels (no pun intended), and I’m looking for ways to create adventures, and summit experiences for learners in my work.

What little adventure or summit experience can you find today?

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