Many thanks for your interest in this very special journey to sacred Mount Wudang and its peculiar Taoism treasure Wudang Taoist internal alchemy study!
1. Roughly, the flight from the USA to Beijing is 21 hours, at the latest I should leave here midday August 29. Most of the emails I received say flying to Beijing is best, but the more recent ones state only to fly to Beijing. Is this your suggestion for Americans?
The easiest way for you to travel will be to join the people who prefer to travel in a group from Beijing.
2. As I have mentioned I am traveling by myself, but prefer the safest, most convenient, most scenic travels. I am confused about the time between the Beijing Airport and the last bus pick up to Wudang. It is suggested that I arrive at Beijing International Airport between August 28 - early September 1 morning. The recent emails say "to facillate" a collective trip to Mount Wudang at 5:10 pm on September 1, is this from Wudang Shan Train Station at 5:10 pm September 1, by bus to Wudang Mountain?
If you do not want to have hotel costs, your must plan to arrive IN BEIJING AIRPORT by 10.00 am at the latest on September 1. This will give enough time to reach the Jinjiang Inn - West Railway Station hotel, where all students who wish to travel as a group will meet up at around 1.00 or 2.00pm on Sept 1, in order to catch the train together on the evening of Sept 1st. The train leaves for Wudang Shan from Beijing West railway Station at 5.00 pm on Sept 1st.
Someone will meet you at the airport if you arrive on Aug 31st or by 10.00am on Sept 1st, if you wish. Otherwise, you can take the airport bus, number 3, or airport bus number 7. In both cases, you travel to the terminus, which keeps things more straightforward! From the terminus, you take a taxi to the hotel
3. I prefer not to stay in JinJiang Hotel because of the expense. Will this make me very tired? Is it better to stay? I have visited http://www.taoiststudy.com/node/263/ and only feel it is necessary to stay the night if you highly recommend it. I know staying at JinJiang Hotel between August 28 - 31, accommodation fees will cost me CNY 249 per night. A big concern is how to book my airflight so that I may or may not have to stay a night in Beijing, but also make sure I can make the bus to Wudang Mountain at 5:10 pm September 1? (Considering my flight is 21 hours from USA).
It may be worth considering whether to spend one night at the hotel, simply to reduce pressure on yourself. That way, you know there is plenty of time for you to be met at the airport on Aug 31st, as well as time to catch up on sleep after the flight, and have a restful morning on Sept 1s before the train journey.
4. Do you book the sleeping train ticket for me to and from Beijing Western Train Station to Wudang Shan Train Station?
5. There is free pick up service from Beijing Airport - JinJiang Hotel, JinJiang Hotel - Beijing Train Station, between these 3 points in case there are no same day train tickets?
I do not know off hand know if you are responsible for the cost of the airport bus/taxi. That can easily be checked in due course. I do know that the airport bus is around US$2.50 one way. The taxi from the bus teminus to the hotel is about the same, or slightly less.
6. Verifying travel details: From the USA I arrive at the Beijing International Airport, I go to the No. 2 Aerodrome Airport Building ground floor, and take the Airport Limousine Bus No. 3 (30 - 40 minutes) to Ba Wang Fen, or Gong Chu Fen? From there I take a nearby taxi to Beijing Western Train Station. The latest train I should take is the 17:01 pm on August 31?
Our working stuff will pick you up from the Beijing airport and bring you to JinJiang Inn Hotel. You do not need to worry about that unless you want to travel alone.
7. Some directional boards are in English, and I look for the Ticket Office to line up and buy a ticket for train K279 to Wudang Shan, sleeping or first class, preferably leaving that day. What is the difference in price between sleeping and first class?
People seldom have the chance to book the first class train. They are few and can be booked out very soon.
8. I call the school at (0) - 152 - 4242 - 9365 if I cannot get a ticket same day, the school will then help me get a hotel stay at the JinJiang Hotel?
No, you have to book the hotel room earlier, at least 10 days earlier. The rooms often are booked out very quickly because August and September is tourist hey season.
9. Where is the best place to buy a China calling card for this instance?
You can buy a phone card (5 Chinese Yuan, as i recall, whcih is about 75 US cents) on arrival at the airport. You will see the booths where they can be purchased. THere are plenty of public phones at the airport. It is also possible to buy a SIM card if you have a mobile phone, but may not be worth the expense, since you are unlikely to use it often , I guess)
10. After getting a ticket and checking my luggage at the entrance to the Waiting Room for the train, when do I receive my luggage again? Does it cost me to check my baggage?
Don't worry about your luggage. You don't actually hand it over at teh train station. It is put through a security machine like the ones we are all used to in airports, and exactly as at the airport, you r pick it up as it pops out of the machine. So you are never separated from it.
11. I take an auto elevator/escalator to the second floor and look for the electronic Board. The Board will tell me which waiting hall will depart K279 (usually No. 7 waiting hall). Then I go to that waiting hall, there will be a small electronic board showing K279, and line up there to check in. 40 minutes after check in begins, the train departs downstairs at the station platform. There will be train attendants at carriage doors, I show them my ticket with cabinet and berth. I can show them the Chinese phrase on the website attachment stating, "I want to get off from Wudang Shan Train Station. Please inform me when time comes due. Many thanks!" There is a Chinese phrase also to show to others as a tourist, in the cabinet. At Wudang Shan Train Station there will be someone from the school with a paper bearing my name, a driver by bus to hotel in Wudang Mountains where I will stay for the course?
If you decide to make the journey by yourself on the train, a local bus meets the train at the station, and takes you to the gateway at teh foot of the mountain. Everyone is used to people travelling to the mountain, so will help you. From the bus, you follow everyone else into the reception area at the foot of the mountain (you truly cannot get lost. It is small and manageable). You need to buy a Scenery Zone Admission pass for the mountain. This is issued by the 'authorities', and entitles you to stay on the mountain and to travel all over the mountain on free mountian buses. Thje cost of the pass is included in the course fee, so if you are with the group will be purchased for you. If you travel alone, you will be reimbursed The pass has nothing to do with course contents. It is , as I said, a government issued permit to allow you to stay on the mountain.
12. What is the name of this last bus? Is the hotel where I will stay for the course in Crows Ridge Village (Nanyan)? Is this where the last bus for attendees to Wudang Mountain stops? Is this hotel within walking distance from the course?
From the reception area at the mountain gate, once you have your mountain pass, you show it to the driver, and get on the bus going to Nanyan, which is the village at the top of the mountain where the course will be held. I do not recall the name of the hotel off hand, but can easily get that for you in due course. The training hall is in the same hotle. It is not the one shown on the website. That hotel has just been sold, and is being renovated!! However, we will now be in the only other hotel in nanyan that has a big enough training room attached. So, everything is in the one building.
13. In the Village are there food shops or small restaurants? I have not seen many videos of nearby Wudang Mountain.
Nanyan is a very small village...just one street! There are restaurants all up the street, but meals are provided (included in the cost) at the hotel where you will be staying. There are also small stalls with fruit and dried fruits biscuits honey tea, etc. IT is also possible to eat in one of the nearby temples...about 30 minutes walk away...
14. What do the scenery zone admission tickets entail, the afternoon hours each day and which of the special events?
15. After lunchtime on September 18, at what time is the bus back to Wudang town/Wudang Shan scheduled to leave? Should I plan that I might have to stay another night in JinJiang Hotel when going back to Beijing Airport because of ticket availability? Is the farewell dinner for attendees in Wudang town, in Wudang Shan?
The return train from Wudang will arrive in Beijing around lunchtime on Sept 19. So, the earliest you can book your return flight is evening on Sept 19. Anytime after 6.00pm should be OK, maybe after 7.00pm to be on the safe side. Otherwise, you can stay overnight in the hotel, and book your flight for Sept 20th.
16. What is not included in the tuition is: my airflight, Visa, travel insurance, flight bag check, JinJiang Hotel, extra food/shopping/extra sightseeing in Mount Wudang.
For detail please visit http://www.taoiststudy.com/node/80/
19. What about the Limousine Bus from the Beijing Airport, the taxi to Beijing Train Station, any travel service or planned special events from September 4 - 18 with the attendees?
We offer extensive teaching, including thoey and practice. There are too much to learn and we do not think people can digest them very quickly. We plan to add one class at the time after supper. So, everyday we teach 7 - 9 hours. In the afternoon the guides will show people around to entertain them, we plan to listen to Taoist ritual in Zi Xiao Palace and take Taoist food, listen to Taoist music, visit Taoist hermits, visit herbal doctors. In a word, there is enough events to entertain people in afternoon.
20. What do you think the weather there will be? Approximately 65 - 70 degrees, 40% rain? Is it usually wet and hot, or cool? Pants and t-shirts mostly or sweaters? What should I be prepared for?
Re weather, since we are in the mountains, much as in the States, it is difficult to predict weather. THere will almost certainly be rain at some time or other. In September it is not cold (Unless the cloud comes down), nor is it hot Most likely in the 60s. But this year apparently weather has been unusually hot in the early part of the year,so it seems to be unpredictable as in so many places these days. I suggest you bring one warm sweater and /or heavier jacket, a rain jacket (although you can buy a very cheap plastic one easily on the mountain, a few T shirts...in other words, a bit of everything!! Loose pants for comfortable sitting in meditation, of course. You won't need a lot. Life is simple in the mountains. And you can always opt to wear your Taoist clothes. You might also want to bring a sun hat...someties it CAN be hot!!!
21. Who are the English speaking teachers and guides?
Master Hu speak English, other teachers include Master Zhang and Master Guan (teaching tai chi and Taoist Yoga and some kungfu, people can choose)
Guides: Muriel Kirton (from Scotland), Miaon (Chinese translator). Judy (speak English, work part time).
22. I currently work fulltime, and am also teaching parttime, and so my time to practice is very tight. I have the information on Damo Qigong Practice Series: How to Practice by Ourselves, and Mind-Fasting Meditation by Chunag Tzu. (I am hopeful to practice now when I have the time.) I will send my measurements for the Taoist Clothing on the web page as soon as possible. Is paying tuition by Bank Transfer or Western Union cheaper?
23. What is the special air add-on? Which tour fares for departures are subject to change?
Re add ons and fare chnges...they were just alerting people to things like fuel surcharges etc that international airlines sometimes add on. But if so, it will be added on to the original cost, so i think you can safely ignore that bit of advice/information :)
24. Is the sleeper train ticket included in the course tuition? It says it is on the website, or did I misunderstand?
The double trip of sleeping train tickets between Beijing and Wudang is included in the costs and you not need to pay.
25. So at 5:10 pm September 1, there is a group leaving JinJiang Hotel to Beijing Train Station to go to Wudang Train Station and then bus to Crows Ridge? They will stay there for the course to begin September 4?
Yes, you are right. The workshops will begin from the evening of September 2 because there is too much to learn and we fear there is no enough time for the learning. The train arrive at Wudang on 2:00 pm in the afternoon.
26. The course ends September 18. I can also book with you a bus from Crows Ridge hotel to Wudang Train Staion on September 18?
27. Can I book this before I begin the course? Do I book this through you or JinJiang Hotel? Is there going to be a group arrangement to travel back to Beijing Airport also and can I book that through you or the JinJiang Hotel?
It is a group arrangement to travel back to Beijing and from JinJiang Hotel we will see people off and we will help them to take the metro to reach Beijing airport
28. Do I need to speak Chinese to be able to book services through JinJiang Hotel?
You can book through us. Please book the hotel room here: http://www.taoiststudy.com/node/263/ The hotel does not have a English website. You can book the hotel room if you have a Chinese friend. All hotel in this area are very expensive and choose a realtively cheap one with quality service.
29. What is the bus service called that you offer from Beijing Airport to JinJiang Hotel and Beijing Train Station, is it the same pick up service?
You know, we have to bring several people together and bring them to JinJiang hotel by metro or airport shuttle bus. No need to call a special bus for such. The Bejing has quick metra system. Please do not woryy about that! Our working staff will help to arrange. Please only bear the metro cost or bus cost (USD 2.5 - USD 3 one way).
30. Are the Taoist shoes specific for every day practice?
You are recommended to take on it. You can take your clothes if you do not like it.
31. Do you suggest other shoes besides walking and for rain? Do I need to bring bath towels for myself for my stay at Crows Ridge Hotel?
No, the hotel provides all necessity. No need to carry any extra burden.
1. What is qigong (chi kung)?
Both chi kung and qigong are pronounced Chee gong. From the outside, qigong looks like a slow moving or strethching exercise or meditation. From the inside one feels the Life Force is breathing and causing your movements. When one enters the qigong state, it feels like the breath of life is pulsing in every cell of one’s body and beating within the very heart of one’s soul.
Qigong, an ancient science and art of health, is a traditional form of Chinese energy excise and healing art for the body, mind, and spirit. Qigong is ideal for establishing emotional balance in today's stressful lifestyle and for helping to heal seriously illed people--those struggling with chronic degenerative conditions such as paralysis, cancer, asthma, cardiovascular and other more.
People will ask us what the mechanism of qigong is. Generally speaking, like in a rice field, western medicine always have the trend of using all their means to kill the weeds. But in the meantime the rice shoots incur damage, more or less. Most patients know what the results is when they receive Western medicine treatment. But for qigong practice, at beginning it will directly strengthen patients immune system and more deep concerning inner energy system. In a word, it seeks to harmonize the relationship of all internal organs and drop the idea to distinguish which is friend and which is enemy. How to achieve such aim, you may ask? For a tree, at the very beginning there is no division of which is normal and which abnormal for it stays at initiative stage of the very root. But later different branches develop into various forms, and good, bad, long, short, etc. come into being. By adopting special means we can reverse the process of growing up and take the course of sailing against the life current to return back to the very beginning. Once we reach that state there should be no any "branches" possibly existing to wield effects upon our physical existence. Qigong is just the method of how to take the reversing course.
As like to let the rice shoots get stronger and stronger, the weeds will have less and less effects upon the rice shoots. As the process continues, sometime the weeds will have no effect upon the rice shoots. Later the time will come of the rice shoots overpowering weeds. And people naturally know why qigong can prolong patients' life expectancy, at least. If patients can properly proceed with the practice, qigong can bring them much more than they could expect, especially the serene happiness general people could never have the chance to experience throughout their life time. Yes, somebody may ridicule at the theory, but no proper practice for a certain period people will never know what the qigong is. Qigong is the study of practice rather than just a theory. Qigong theory will be always beyond the thinking sphere of the persons who never seriously join the practice for a time.
The mechanism of Qigong practice can be summarized in the following message:
- First, practice to open up the blocked channels throughout the body. All people have their channels blocked to some extent. So, via special practice the most thinnest channels can be opened to provide space for healthy Qi to arise. This may need 5 days to 10 days depending upon practitioner's personal condition and practice
- Second, preserve enough healthy Qi. Continue the practice to have more and more Qi to arise and practitioners can feel warm gradually with the body even in sleep which demonstrates the accumulation of healthy Qi. At this stage, practitioner will be more energetic and many things begin to change. This stage needs 4 days to 8 days.
- Third, deploy healthy Qi to encompass the affected area, to launch attack! This stage requires 20 days to 3 months depending upon patients' practical conditions.
2. I would just like to ask about food at the hotel and generally. Is it possible to have vegetarian or vegan food during the time at the course please. I am wondering if the hotel provides vegetarian or if it is generally available on Mt Wudang.
Yes, it is vegetarian food provided. There is no meat at all. To do Qigong & Taoist alchemy practice people have to take vegetarian food. Otherwise, it is easy to cause problem
3. Some practiioners may experience spontaneous motion. What is it?
Partly it is because practitioners have not freed their bodies to a certain extent or in their mind there still have some stray ideas keeping arising and deceasing. Some people may claim it is the sign that they obtained some special power. But actually, it clearly demonstrates the practitioners have not fallen into deep stillness for further advancement. So, please cleanse the heart-mind further more if there arises such sign.
4. Strongly I felt the motion of Chi inside my body when in meditation. How to deal with it?
There is a popular saying like this: do without becoming forgetful, do without intensification, do without entertaining suspicion and do without being deardfulness. Clearly, you can understand how to deal with such event: just to let it go in its own course and do not deploy any idea to drive it, guide it, enhance it or have feeling arising due to its presence. Let it arise, move, condense and disappear naturally.
5. After long time of meditation before my eyes I can only behold darkness. Why?
It denotes your meditation have not attained a very high level. So, please persisit. Chuang Tzu mentioned that brightness may admit in to shine over the empty room when you dust your mind to make it empty enough. Furthermore, the auspiciousness would come to take abode! How wonderful feeling it could be, you may wonder about!
6. I often behold some light when in meditation. Does it mean the Mysterious Pass is there?
Many books carry the concept of Mysterious Pass and talk about its secracy in the alchemy practice. But, the light most practiitoners behold is psychical light rather than Mysterious Pass which ofter presents its being in advanced meditation. So, please do not mistaken the two concepts and gain the wrong conclusion that they are equal or bear some resemblance.
Mysterious Pass presents its being on the condition the heart-mind combines with breathing. Therefore, it foretells the channel between human being and the nature has come into place.
7. All meditation should be carried out by sitting cross-legged?
Outside formality cannot always reveal something inside. Some practitioners brag about his/her ability of sitting full lotus posture in long time, showing offer their accomplishment in the course. But, the attainment inside matters the most in terms of the advancement. Towards such case, some masters liken it to the effect of "using bamboo basket to spoon moon in the water surface." In format, it is close to the concept of meditation but in fact, it distances from the true value very far away!
8. Dose the direction in which I meditation matter? Some people always talk about to to face south when in meditation. Are they right?
9. To improve my health, how long will it take for qigong to work?
Qigong (chi kung) serves as one of the "self-help" modalities for both the prevention and/or healing of chronic illness as well as the maintenance of higher level of wellness. This includes high blood pressure, heart illness, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis up through terminal illness treatment like cancer. But results vary with each individual, how much you practice, and what kind of health challenges you are facing. Qigong therapy often combines well with herbal therapies and can reduce their side effects of Western medicine or dosages of drugs taken. Some people feel dramatic results from qigong practice very soon, others take a few days of practice to start feeling a new experience of flow. Others may take a few weeks or months to notice health effects. On our website people can find many Qigong course we provided for free for the benefits of practitioners. Please first try them and meet the requirements and continue the practice in a persistent way. People can experience much unexpected changes and benefits if they can follow the course continuously.
Practiitoners need to practice longer if they have a serious illness or emotional, mental or spiritual crisis. The reason is that a deep imbalance has already come to surface, and it may take longer to reorganize its energy pattern with repeated practice of qigong and meditation.
People are recommended to have such view that some people might get positive improvements to their health without tangible experience -- different Chi sensations of tingling, vibrations in various body parts, seeing internal light and hearing internal sounds--- in their physical body of chi flow. A few of practitioners might not feel any chi from qigong exercises yet something has changed spontaneously without causing their attention at all.
10. What is the "Dantian"? Where exactly is it located?
Most people locate Dantian as a portal, an inter-dimensional opening in lower belly. It is not a physical point; if you cut someone open, you won't find anything. On one side of the portal is the external or manifest sea of chi, called dantian. On the other side of the opening is the inner formless sea of unborn chi, called "mingmen" , or the Door of Life.
In alchemy theory Dantian is the inner space where our essence is refined and rebirthed. It receives chi from both the outer manifest world as well as flowing in formlessly through the Door of Life. This is where our "karma" or "destiny" chi is flowing in from our core self or soul.
Dan literally means "elixir" or "pill" and tian literally means "field" or "open space". So it is the field where internal alchemists cultivated the Inner Elixir. The simple idea is that your body-mind contains the raw ingredients of higher consciousness, but that they need to be mixed together and cooked into a more refined state.
There have corporeal Dantian and intangible Dantian. Differenr practice phases or levels bring varying connection intensity with corporeal Dantian or intangible Dantian. In fact, many people gain illusioned concept towards the Dantian and thus go astray from the proper course. For more details please refer to our website.
11. What Taoist Sects in China teach dual cultivation or sexual practices? Is it true or false?
Answer: Due to some adepts in earlier times using it to "vampirize" women, sexual cultivation has a bad reputation in China. All related information lacks verifiable materials to testify its authenticity.
It is not easy to master these methods from a book. You need qigong and neigong (meditation) skills to get very far.
In fact, alchemy practice can so enormously enhance the sexual drive and vitality that it goes far beyond of any words description or masculinity re-build-up bragged about by viagra in terms of its . unparalleled function. But the problems lies upon the availability of the means on how to deal with the side effect of indulgence in sensual pleasures after the successful build-up of the new virility.
12. What exactly is "inner alchemy"? Why do you call it a spiritual "science"?
Internal alchemy is mirrored by external alchemy, which accomplishes the same transformations using minerals, herbs, sexual fluids, breathing exercies, or other external substances.
Internal alchemy, termed Taoist spiritual science, is a set of consistently teachable methods of "knowing" developed over thousands of years, for reversing the normal human life course, achieving the transformation from Jing back to Chi, from Chi back to Shen and from Shen back to living emptiness (or in another term bringing 3 back to 2, 2 back to 1 or the harmonious assimilation of physical body, heart-mind and intention). There is no assumption that everyone will have the same experience of the Tao, or Way. Rather, the process is one of each Taoist using similar methods to realize their unique worldly and spiritual destiny.
Inner alchemy possesses so much rich contents that to detail each is impossible. One condensed saying may make things simple for understanding: the way to release from the bondage imposed by nature and accomplish the transformation from that to be dominated to that to excise dominance!
13. Why is Qigong so mysterious?
Answer: The very source of heart-mind lodges the innate nature, succeeding it is heart-mind, at the end is the emotional and discriminative sense. One can liken such sequence to the water, water current and waves (or torrents). How to trace a course to reach the very resource of water from its variation form of torrents or waves? Do you think it is mysterious or not mystertious?
14. Can I use Qigong to achieve super-powers?
Answer: please read the chapter 6 as follows:
Heaven can exist for an infinitely long time, and Earth for an unlimited duration.
Heaven and Earth can be everlasting because they do not exist for the benefits
of themselves, and for this reason they gain enduring longevity.
Therefore, the Sage takes the last position, but actually stays at the foremost,
never taking any self-consideration, yet their life is well preserved.
Is it because they never have concerns for personal benefits
that their private ends are attained?
15. When the ego is transformed and “disappears” where exists the super-power to be possessed by “ego”?
Do you rely solely upon qigong for healthcare? Do you also use Western or Estern medicine?
We believe in using whatever works best - at the least cost, both financially and in terms of side effects.
Western medicine has made many sophisticated and fabulous discoveries, especially in the area of diagnostics, surgery and acute illness,. But the reality is that most of the gains in life span in the last century have come from improvements in sanitation, public health, or from one single wonder "drug" – antibiotics. Most drugs are just likewise just extracts from traditional herbal remedies.
But western medicine has an abysmal record of either preventing or actually curing chronic illness - most of its wonder drugs are suppressing symptoms, not treating the whole person illness. And because of this, they often have serious side effects that compound quickly if taking more than one drug. Death from side effects is now one of the leading causes of death in the world.
Both prevention and cure of chronic illness is the major strength of Chinese medicine, and qigong therapy is part of Chinse medicine. Medical qigong is standard curriculum at traditional Chinese medical schools. We believe that the principles of Classical Chinese medicine all originated in internal chi cultivation practices, and were later codified and applied out into herbology, acupuncture, massage, etc. But these externally applied methods are secondary, someone else is "fixing you up".
The oldest Chinese medical classics such as the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine were not strictly medical-physical, they were primarily based on Taoist cosmology and thus must be considered primarily medical-spiritual texts.
Admittedly, this combination of Qigong and dynamic meditation based on internal energy pathways requires some discipline and practice on the part of someone seeking to heal themselves. But it is much cheaper that external medicine (both Eastern and Western) and carries infinitely richer long term benefits. For chronic illnesses that are not yet at the acute life-threatening stage, I believe it is far superior than going the way of dependence on drugs, surgery, and buying insurance for expensive hospital and nursing home care.
Chinese communism government prefers to crack down upon the propaganda upon the effectiveness of Qigong practice partly on account of the fear that many state-owned hospital may lose a lot earnings if more people start upon the course of recovery via this means.
16. What are the main reasons people study qigong with you?
Here are five common reasons that attract people to our qigong teaching:
1. They study our course for their health well-being, mentally and physically.
2. They study our course for a final release from the limitations inflicting upon them: to enter the state described by Chuang Tzu as “Happy excursion.”
17. I have been overwhelmed by your site. Is it necessary to learn so many practices?
Voice, hearing, karmar as condition arises, and enlightened by contemplation on dependent arising make up the starting points for enlightenment. Who can be certain which one is suitable for you? By experience in your own way you might have your mind broadened as chance there are.
18. Is Taoism a philosophy or a religion?
It is now widely accepted by most scholars that Taoism is the only native religion of ancient China that has survived into modern times.
For more information regarding the workshops please contact us or by the following means: