From eastern China's Shandong province, the 28-year-old Wang Yikong (pseud-name) has been living in seclusion on the Songshan Mountain in Dengfeng city located in central China's Henan province for eight years. Practice, meditation and reading besides eating and sleeping are his daily life, impoverished, poor and isolated. He has no contact with the outside world.
Wang has been living in a cave at Junji Peak, 1,491 meters high above the sea making it the highest peak of the Songshan mountain range. It is a very secluded hole with a cliff above it, and also because it is hidden behind wood it is difficult to be found by tourists.
After failing to gaokao, or China's national entrance exam, Wang, born in a village, came to Shenzhen to seek a job.
At first, he worked at a welder factory. He got up there around six in the morning and worked up to ten at night every day. Wang felt very tired and often got sick due to the exhausting 10 hours of overloaded work.
Later, he changed to different jobs several times but the thin and weak guy could not undertake all the overloaded physical work.
Disputes with fellow workers was the last straw which crushed him. A colleague with whom Wang was getting along very well reported to his employer that Wang deliberately damaged the gear of the CNC machine tools and consequently he was fined two-week’s worth of wages. The fact is he did not do this. Things like this happened several times.
Wang began to be tired of the worldly life and he believed there were too many people plotting against him and so he wanted to become a Taoist priest, and to be far from the madding crowd and as well find a way to return to nature.
With several thousand yuan he earned in Shenzhen, Wang first came to Mount Emei, in southwestern China's Sichuan province and then onward to Zhongnan Mountain, in northwestern China's Shaanxi province. Finally, he settled down on Songshan Mountain.
The entrance of the cave is about 1 meter wide and 1.5 meters high. The cave is humid and dark. It covers an area of about 10 square meters and it has a statue and some wood pieces with worn and old bedding on it.
Wang has very simple meals: rice porridge, noodles and wild vegetables. During the first two years he came to the mountain, Wang would go out to buy some rice and flour. But now he has no money and depends only on friend's funding.
Before five o'clock every morning, Wang gets up to meditate for at least three hours. Later, he begins to practice his skills in an open area, squatting and punching while clenching his fists regularly, which actually looks unprofessional yet very forceful.
From afternoon to evening, it's time to read. Daodejing, a Chinese classic text, is one of Wang's favorites.
Wang said there are only more than 5,000 words in the book, he has read it dozens of times, but cannot fully understand it. The mystery in the book needs a lifetime to comprehend.