One Hundred Days of Darkness and Light

is the first section in Robert Peng's book,
The Master Key

Installment #23

Chapter Five
My World Opens Up

So that summer of 1992, Wuhui and I set out on an exploratory trip to Hainan Island. We boarded a train for Zhanjiang at the southeastern tip of China. When we arrived at the Zhanjiang railway station, dark gray clouds churned above as fat raindrops fell from the sky.

“We’re expecting a typhoon,” one of the locals warned us, “and they say it’s gonna be a bad one.”

Wuhui and I decided to continue our journey despite the foul weather. We boarded a bus and headed for the seaport to catch the ferry to Hainan Island. The sky howled as the bus rolled toward the port. The heavy, battering rain slowed us down, and the bus arrived just as a ferry was leaving. I had never seen the sea before, or a typhoon. The waves swelled as high as two-story houses and battered against the cement dock, creating a fine mist of saltwater droplets that surrounded the port.

“Sorry, boys,” the ferry ticket clerk said, “that was the last ferry.”

“When will the next one leave?” I asked.

“Two, maybe three days.”

“Three days!” Wuhui cried out. “What are we supposed to do in the meantime?”

“Find a place to stay right away. Once the typhoon gets going, coconuts fly through the air like cannonballs.”

The winds picked up. The streets emptied. We found a small hotel with a vacant room. It was a mess. It hadn’t been cleaned after the previous guest left—even the sheets were still soiled. The owner charged us an exorbitant rate for its shelter. We spent the whole day and all night inside as the rain raged outside. But we couldn’t afford another day and the owner wouldn’t lower the rate, so Wuhui and I had to leave in the morning. When we stepped outside, the wind pushed us around like rag dolls.

“We can’t stay here!” Wuhui screamed. “We’ll be killed.”

“The worse it gets the bigger our success will be!” I screamed back. We managed to secure a ride that took us farther inland. The storm wasn’t as violent once we got away from the shoreline. We found an empty school building and got permission to camp out in one of the classrooms until the weather calmed.

On the third day we went back to the seaport and boarded a ferry to cross the deep blue waters of the South China Sea to reach Hainan. Once on the island, we stayed with a friend I knew from the university who lived there. He showed us around the tropical paradise, which was carpeted with lush vegetation and bordered by white sandy beaches with pearly cliffs. Everyone he introduced us to was optimistic, open-minded, and driven by high hopes.

“The seafood is delicious and the fruit is sweet,” Wuhui said with a grin. “I love this place.”

“Me too. Even the air tastes sweet,” I replied.

We returned to the university a week before the start of fall semester with the intention of resigning our teaching positions. But as soon as I got back, I began to doubt the move. At the time I was involved with a second-year student named Ling Ying. She was beautiful, charming, and kind, and we were very compatible. We spoke hypothetically about her joining me on Hainan Island after her graduation in two years, but I realized that a separation might challenge our relationship.

“I did it—I resigned,” Wuhui proudly announced shortly after we got back.

I turned inward for guidance, and the message I received from my meditation was clear: Follow your destiny to Hainan Island.

I broke the news to Ling Ying.

“I’m going to do it,” I said, welling up with emotion.

Her eyes moistened but she stifled her tears.

“It’s important for you to follow your heart,” she said tenderly. “I’ll support whatever you decide to do. And if you do go, I’ll visit during winter break and get to spend my first warm winter beside you.”

Next I made my decision official by reporting it to Dean Huang. “This is a huge move, Robert. Are you certain you want to do this?” he asked.

“Yes, I am,” I replied.

“Before making a final decision, hear me out. You’re in an enviable position. In a few more years you’ll be promoted to associate professor. I don’t have to tell you what that means: a bright, risk-free future. Although some people at the university still frown on Qigong, you can still continue to practice and teach it discreetly and have the best of both worlds. But if you quit now, you’re on your own. You might strike it big, or you might fall flat on your face. You’d be paying a high price for an uncertain future. So let me ask you again—are you sure?”

I knew Dean Huang was looking out for my best interest, but something larger than my own personal well-being was at stake. I was responding to the call of destiny. I knew with certainty that my days as an English teacher were behind me. It was time to openly assume my role in the world as a Qigong master.

“Thank you, my friend, but I’m sure. I’ve made up my mind. Whatever happens, I’ll be fine,” I told him.

“In that case, Robert, I wish you good luck.”

He shook my hand sincerely.

To be continued in the next issue of Catalyst...

Click on the following to read:  Installment #1  lnstallment #2  Installment #3  Installment #4  Installment #5  lnstallment #6  Installment #7  Installment #8  Installment #9  Installment #10  Installment #11  Installment #12  Installment #13  Installment #14  Installment #15  Installment #16  Installment #17  Installment #18  Installment #19  Installment #20  Installment #21  Installment #22 


Robert Peng is a world-renowned Qigong Master, healer, and author of the book, The Master Key: Qigong Secrets for Vitality, Love, and Wisdom.

Click here for a free access of the audiobook, 100 Days of Darkness and Light, which is the first section in Robert's book, The Master Key.

Robert's companion resources include:

The Master Key Video Series (4 DVDs of Qigong practices)

The Master Key Audio Series (5 CDs of Qigong practices)

Qigong Ecstasy (45-minute Qigong practice video)

AM/PM Qigong (Two 30-minute Qigong routines video)

Robert was born and raised in Hunan, China. At age eight, he began an intensive apprenticeship under the close guidance of the legendary monk Xiao Yao, an enlightened master known for his profound healing ability and martial arts skill. At age 15, Robert performed a 100-day water fast in a small dark room at a secluded monastery in the remote mountains of Hunan province. He underwent a radical spiritual transformation and awakened amazing healing powers. Master Xiao Yao encouraged Robert to develop his healing skills by studying with other Chinese masters.

After pursuing his training quietly while attending university in Changsha, where he majored in English Literature, at 29 years old he began to teach publicly, and within five years had trained over 150,000 students all over China, Australia, and the U.S. 

With his deep understanding and practice of Qigong, and with extensive life and teaching experience in the western world, Robert has developed a unique way to teach Qigong that people from different cultures can easily understand and follow while enjoying the real essence of this ancient Chinese healing art of wisdom, love, and vitality. 

Robert has been a regular presenter at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, The Esalen Institute, Integrative Health Symposium, and many other organizations and schools.

Together with Bishop Desmond and Pema Chodron, he was honored as one of "Top Ten Heroes of 2013" for his contribution to transform "the ancient Chinese healing art of Qigong into today's fast-growing holistic practices — in addition to use as a spiritual practice for inner balance and peace, Qigong movement is gaining acceptance as a gentle movement for chronic illness and pain."

Click here to visit Robert’s website.

Click here to watch and participate in Robert’s 8-minute Qigong practice, Scooping Universal Qi to Empower our Wisdom, Love & Vitality.




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This article appears in: 2020 Catalyst, Issue 22: Dreamwork Summit