In the early winter of 2021, an event for the body, mind, and spirit that included yoga, gong baths, meditation with singing bowls, sound therapy, and DJ-led dancing was held at Shanyuan Beach in Taitung.
Under the blue sky and against a backdrop of coconut groves, nearly a hundred people from all over the island experienced and relished in physical and mental release.
The Taitung Spirit Festival has been underway since May. Images that poured in are of serenity in the flesh. Backed by ocean view as far as the eye can see and uncrowded greenery, there are all smiles.
Organised by the Taitung County Government as part of a series of recreation and aesthetics for the body, mind and spirit, its long-term plan to solidify Taitung’s position as a unique city for holistic wellness in Taiwan is on par with its concept of adapting a ‘slow economy’ blueprint.
For those who are overworked or seeking blue skies and fresh air on their day away from the office, Taitung has great some great offerings this season.
Upcoming Taitung Spirit Festival venue:
- Taitung St. Mary’s Health Farm (18 Nov)
- National Museum of Prehistory (20-21 Nov)
What has already happened at Taitung Spirit Festival thus far?
Spanning two weekends in October and earlier November, the festival held Purifying the Heart, a journey of deep release and therapy, held at Zhiben Hot Springs and Luye Highland.
Despite a slight delay caused by capricious typhoon sightings, the southeastern coastal town of Taitung, a county facing the Pacific Ocean remains the perfect spot for such an affair.
Attendees participated in walking meditation, hot spring hydrotherapy, stretching, making incense by hand, and eating local delicacies.
There were differing themes for each of the two weekends. The first, Zhiben Hot Springs, Deep Release: Six Ways to Love Yourself, offered six classes: Slowing Down, Introspection, Sense of Ceremony, Trust in Life, Opening Up, and Eating Properly.
Yoga and mindfulness practitioner Wei Ching-Ru, horticultural therapist Eunice Chiu, performing artist Lin I-chi, theater and body-mind art lecturer Queena, and owner of the local brand Tribe Walk & Work Tseng Yu-tung took turns leading activities.
Singing Bowls & Gong Baths
Hans de Back, an internationally renowned singing bowl music therapist from the Netherlands, and Unid Huang, a transmitter of Taiwanese nomadic music, gave people from all over Taiwan four days of classes and immersion in singing bowl therapy in the mountains near the East Rift Valley, on the east coast, and on a farm full of blooms.
Also, local yoga practitioner Monkey Lin and hang drummer ET Chen led a yoga-hang drum therapy experience. In addition, Oneness (a crossover band focusing on sound wave therapy of which Chen is a member), spiritual dance lecturer Lahinna, and electronic music producer Utingling put on a therapeutic music and dance party, giving attendees two days of a fantasy-filled journey of spiritual exploration.
Recently, its Summer Music Healing Festival saw collaboration between local tribes, its communities and visiting experts. They conducted specialized music therapy workshops focusing on the needs of various age groups such as the elderly and social welfare workers.
Taitung – A Retreat Welcomed
Ultimately, the festival aspires to create an enduring connection with travelers, ensuring their return to Taitung time and time again.
In 2022, Taitung achieved the remarkable feat of being ranked second as one of the Most Welcoming Regions on Earth. Blessed with its unrivaled natural environment, Taitung has become the city of choice for hosting activities that promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Taitung Spirit Festival & Partners
Since the first festival in 2021, nearly 130 activities have been held at venues all over Taitung, especially in such places filled with natural energy as the mountains, wetlands, beaches, streams, and hot springs.
Since its inauguration, the festival has seen over 30,000 visitors.
With over 40 communities having participated in related therapy industry empowerment programs, around 100 local businesses have become connected.
Additionally, over 100 local instructors and 200 instructors from other parts of Taiwan and abroad who are experts in their fields have participated.
As epidemics, war, and climate change cause physical and mental anguish around the world, making life increasingly difficult, a return to our simple nature and the pursuit of balance among the body, mind, and spirit has become an aspiration shared by all of humanity.