The Valley Spirit - A Female Story Of Daoist Cultivation by Lindsey Wei
Singing Dragon, London and Philadelphia, 2013
ISBN: 978 1 84819 131 0
eISBN: 978 0 85701106 0
(First published 2010 by Line of Intent, Inc. Publishing)
Lindsey Wei is a 24th Generation Disciple of the Chun Yang (Pure Yang) Sect of Daoism
(a branch of Dragon Gate). She trained in China for eight years under her master
Li Song Feng.
I was fascinated to read this book which relates Lindsey’s story as she sets out
to find her life path. She starts out in Beijing studying Chinese language and Modern
Wushu at Beijing Sports University. On a short trip to Wudang in the summer vacation,
she fell in love with the place as if she was returning home.
At Wudang she encountered the difficulties of finding a true teacher but eventually
finds him in Li Shi Fu who believes that the Daoist path has more of a future with
Westerners. Her adventures are an interesting read but if you’re looking for teaching
on Daoism or internal martial arts, you won’t find much of value in it. If you’re
interested in reading a personal narrative of pursuing the Daoist path amidst conflicting
emotions, relationships and the pull of the Western world, then you’ll find the story
Another aspect to her story is studying the Apache lineage of the Native American
tradition during her intervals in America.
Her story is interwoven with quotations from Daoist and Gnostic texts. Personally,
I did not appreciate the Gnostic quotations in a book about Daoist cultivation: I
find them too cryptic!
I would have appreciated more pictures of Lindsey. There’s only two, both of her
in martial arts poses and that includes the one on the cover. However, I found a
video of her in training which you can see below.
In summary, an enjoyable read and an interesting snapshot of Daoist cultivation in
China in modern times.