HEALING TAO Authors: Michael Minn and Others 04/5/2007
Table of contents Tao of Balance and Harmony Song of a New Heaven on Earth
.................................................... 1 Inner Smile, the Secret to Being Simple and True
.......................................................................... 2 Daoist Internal Alchemy: A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature’s Intelligence
... 3 Alchemy Formulas, Qi Field & Language Theory
................................................................... 3 On Alchemy, Iraq, and the Metal Element
..................................................................................... 4 To your inner gold and a peaceful heart,
......................................................................................... 5 On the Taoist “Pure Water Method” vs. “Water & Fire” Method of Alchemy
........................... 7 Taoist Alchemy & Breatharians
........................................................................................................ 8 Becoming the child
.......................................................................................................................... 13 On Immortality, the Body, & Wuji
................................................................................................. 13 State of the Universe Address
......................................................................................................... 14 Looking for Taoists in China, Mortal and Immortal
.................................................................... 16 Story of Mantak Chia Meeting Taoist Adept One Cloud
............................................................ 18 Mantak’s Chia’s Story
................................................................................................................ 18 Clearing the Confusion Over Fusion
..............................................................................................18 Healing Tao goes Breatharian
......................................................................................................... 21 Studies on the Fundamental Theory of Bigu (Food Abstinence)—Preliminary Experimental Observations of Cellular Bigu
....................................................................................................................................................................... 21 What Bigu Means to Me
................................................................................................................. 21 Some background
....................................................................................................................... 21 Abstention from grain
..................................................................................................................... 21 SUMMER 1999
......................................................................................................................... 22 Bigu begins
..................................................................................................................................22 What is Bigu?
............................................................................................................................. 22 The golden rule of bigu
............................................................................................................. 23 Tea
............................................................................................................................................... 23 Having big goals towards the beneﬁt of humanity
................................................................. 23 Dr Yan Xin
..................................................................................................................................23 I CHING on LAW (Original Shen) and Unfoldment of CHI
Tao of Balance and Harmony Song of a New Heaven on Earth
These three core layers of tonal patterns are vibrating simultaneously in everything in nature, creating the seasons, the flow of chi inside our body meridians and organs, the spin of galaxies and atoms. Five Elements Pattern at Core of Every Human The 5-pointed star in the center also represents a Completed Human Being. This is any human being who has internalized the five sacred directions/elements/tones within themselves. When this happens, there is no boundary between their body and the body of Nature. This is a human being in perfect harmony and balance with its environment, they have expanded their awareness to become one with the universal natural flow. It is a state of consciousness that is simultaneously transcendent (multi-dimensional) and immanent (physically present). The star expresses the principle of five elements/five phases, which, along with yin-yang theory, is central to all Chinese culture. These principles are the foundation of Chinese medicine, feng shui, qigong, inner and outer alchemy, astrology, face and palm reading, martial arts and war strategy, city planning, the Chinese calendar, etc. Five Elements is also a universal pattern, found in all ancient cultures as the sacred four directions and the Center. Flipping Yin-Yang Poles to Rejuvenate Life The mirroring of the eight trigram tones also suggests a timeless equilibrium of cosmic musical forces that are all held in the Unnamed center, as a 9th tone-force. This is also known as the Fundamental, or Original Tone that sings out all the tones of creation. The eight tonal-trigrams in my arrangement have been changed from the normal Early Heaven arrangement: each pair of trigrams has been flipped or inverted twice. Heaven (three solid lines) used to be on top, now it is below. Earth (three broken lines) used to be on bottom, now it is on top. Fire (yang-yin-yang lines) and Water (yin-yang-yini) lines have reversed their positions o the left and right. This flipping of the eight trigram-tones naturally occurs the “refining” process of inner alchemy meditations. When we meditate, we dissolve our fixed sense of duality/separation by “flipping” the energetic poles inside our body-mind. This produces a refreshed state of consciousness, and one that is more stable. This is similar to life and death cycles in nature rejuvenating each other. The flipping or inverting of any two polarities creates a new awakening of the third force in the center, the Original Breath of Humanity. Paradigm Shift: A New Heaven on Earth What does “a new Heaven on Earth” mean? The Chinese term is “zhong tian”. It implies the sexual coupling of Early Heaven (formless plane) and Later Heaven (physical plane). It also reveals that humanity is in a major paradigm shift, a major birthing process, a critical point in the turning of the great cosmic wheel. Heaven, the formless, is below Earth, the embodiment of form. Heaven supports Earth (vertical axis), and Fire is stabilized by Water (horizontal axis). This represents the free flow of chi or subtle energy between these poles – the state of wu wei manifested. Wu-wei is the “no-resistance” state of grace natural to every being. It was made famous by Lao Tzu in his 2500 year old classic, Tao Te Ching (daodejing). Qigong and Meditation as Best Tools for Personal Change Tao inner Alchemy and qigong (chi kung) are the meditation and movement aspects of an ancient spiritual science. Healing Tao USA has as its mission to make these wonderful spiritual tools available to you. They can help each of us to speed up the process of unfolding our Natural Path. Alchemy is the ancient term for the natural way to speed up evolution. It allows us to more easily and quickly merge with Nature and the formless Oneness of the Tao while preserving our individual will and responsibility for shaping creation. Note: This logo was created with computer assistance from Mike Teeters. See his photo and image art at arrowofmoonlight.com. This logo will eventually be produced as a poster that can be hung in your
By Michael Winn
Tao births the One. One births the Two. Two births the Three. Three births the 10,000. things. - Verse 42, Tao Te Ching This Healing Tao USA logo is a map of Higher Consciousness based on Taoist cosmology. I designed it based on decades of exploring the secrets of Taoist internal alchemy meditation, deep experience of qigong (chi kung), and study of the ancient classic - I Ching: Book of Unchanging Changes. Are you ready for a quick journey deep into Taoist cosmology? The logo maps an image of a vibrational experience: flowing consciousness is being “sung” into physical form through a pattern of subtle tones. A subtle tone is just a vibration moving in a particular pattern, that can be known by the shape of what is created. Just as Nature sings itself into existence, we each sing our human body-mind into existence. But humans are generally not aware of how we “sing-vibrate” the shape of our reality. This image expresses the principle of balance in the yin-yang pulsations of the chi field. Chi, also spelled “qi”, is the subtle breathing of Nature. Yin-Yang is any polarity - male-female, positive-negative, etc. - flowing dynamically in equilibrium within a matrix of neutral or Original Chi (yuan chi). Tao as Musical Cosmology Each of the eight trigram tone-symbols has three lines or notes that form a musical chord. The eight trigrams are from the Early Heaven (formless) arrangement, in which each trigram-tone is the mirror opposite of the trigram-tone facing it. This creates four pairs of musical chords that represent the primordial Tao or Nature “singing itself into creation” as the four sacred directions/ cardinal vibrations. The fifth direction – the Center – is symbolized by the fivepointed star emerging from the “vesica piscis” or sexually coupled large red (fire) and blue (water) spheres. Three forces are coiled inside this geometric vesica piscis – the black and white spirals of primal yin-yang chi force, and the golden glowing sphere of Original Breath, or yuan chi. In the center of the star is a tiny circle, representing the Original Breath emerging from the Supreme Mystery, or Wuji. This center can never be fully known, it is the Mystery beyond all other mysteries. Yet this Mystery lives inside each of us. It divides itself out three times into: 1. The Fundamental Tone of Oneness (yuan or Original chi field).
The chi field of Two-ness (Yin-Yang polarity).
The Five Phase cycle (five-ness called Fire, Earth, Gold, Water, and Wood).
meditation room or home. It can help you to alig with the paradigm shift to a New Heaven on Earth filled with balance and harmony. This bagua logo is currently available on a custom ordered basis. This work of art is a beautiful hand-made eight-sided dark rose-wood frame, size 19 inches x 19 inches. The image is printed on three different levels to add visual depth. Each one is hand made by a meticulous craftsman. Cost: $199. + shipping/handling.
general may be more sensitive to chi than the average Chinese person. But I perceive a general weakness in your dan tiens. If you build the lower dan tien, then all the other channels, the orbit, healing ability, etc. will easily follow. Taoist neidan (alchemy) is very simple this way.” I have taken his comment to heart. In my Chi Kung Fundamentals course, I spend a long time from the very start doing a very simple chi kung movement I now call Ocean Breathing, a brilliant term coined by Senior Instructor Walter Beckley, who was experimenting with similar simple breathing methods. The secret in these methods is to get “mindless” as quickly and directly as possible, while still focusing on the lower dan tien. The image of water gets you out of the heady concept of breathing air, and into the deeper watery rhythms of your blood and jing. I link in a heart centered Inner Smile with this state of floating in waves inside the dan tien, and being aware of a vast ocean inside the body, an inner ocean of chi, bigger even than the outer ocean. The dan tien is no longer a tiny, hard to find point inside a dense little physical body -- it is immense, and from the very start the source of all pure chi used in the Healing Sounds. I teach students to see their bodies filling with clouds of different colored chi from this inner ocean filling their vital organs and entire body, before they breathe it out using the Healing Sounds. And I give them dynamic movements to help release the chi, by integrating the Six Healing Sounds with the oldest chi kung movement known in China, the Five Animals Play. In between each sound & animal movement, I have them internally breathe between the vital organ and the dan tien. I never let the students get away from this inner ocean of chi in succeeding practices like Fusion and Healing Love or a new course I teach called Internal Chi Rooting and Breathing, my simplified version of Iron Shirt (different postures learned in China) and neutral force breathing. To make sure spiritual values are reinforced, I begin training them from the very start to contact not just the chi of each vital organ, but the shen (spirit, or “natural intelligence”), as well. This opens up a different kind of communication internally, in which you have to open your innermost heart in order to talk with the spirit of each organ. I introduce the Five Shen as “my inner family” or “inner children”, each with different needs and abilities. It also paves the way for a shen (and “te”, or virtue) based practice of the Fusion and Kan and Li formulas. I’ve found this an effective way to simplify the Healng Tao practices. Chi can be manipulated using outer will or ego. Shen, as your inner voices, will only relate to your inner will or spiritual intent. Anytime a practice starts to feel complicated or too pushy or too heady, I tell students to drop all the techniques, go back into the Inner Ocean, and invite one or all of their their Five Shen/ Inner Family to take an internal vacation doing nothing but smiling and riding the pulsing ocean waves. In short, drop back into empty mind, but an emptiness that is grounded in one’s inner oceanic essence and the sensuous, primal orgasmic pulsations of the life force. I encourage every instructor to find the Way that speaks to you personally and feels most true, as this felt sense of truth is what ultimately gets transmitted to students. If you cannot find the Simple and True inside yourself, how will your students find it? The Simple and True ultimately can only be apprehended in Silence and Stillness, where the monkey mind cannot bring its endless techniques and concepts/images and words. This is constantly stressed in the ancient Tao teachings. In the Tao Canon text of the Zhonghe Ji, it puts it thus: “Silence is the Word. Fundamentally in the place where the Word exists there is Silence. The world is silent; that is the secret formula of alchemy.” We have the secret formula under our noses already in the Healing Tao, and it is called the Inner Smile. But I rarely see it taught as a high level shen practice, only as a beginner or warm up to a meditation, or tied into an ever more complicated technique of manipulating chi. But once technique has used the polarities of yin and yang to change the balance of chi in any moment, that is the moment when our Original Being has a new opening to come into Presence. Techniques open the gates, then we must leap quickly to ride on the invisible back of yuan (original) chi between the waves of dragon and tiger, of yin and yang. So really, I think all the Healing Tao techniques should be seen as warmups for a Simple and True Inner Smile. Control of Chi must each time be followed by Surrender to Shen. Practically speaking,
Inner Smile, the Secret to Being Simple and True Published in the Immortal Child, Newsletter of the Healing Tao Instructor’s Association, in 2000 Michael Winn http://www.healingtaousa.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl
In April 1999, a dozen Senior Instructors and old time US students from the 1980’s were waiting in Masahiro Ouchi’s New York office to meet with Master Chia, who was delayed by half a day. This was the core group that had launched the Healing Tao and supported it in its uncertain early days. There was some gloom, caused by the divorce of the Chias’ and its surrounding dark aura of rumor and lawsuits. We decided to each share our vision of what we wanted the Healing Tao to be, with the benefit of 20 years of hindsight. The visions that emerged were spoken from the heart, in a circle of old friends. Many felt the Healing Tao could be more heart centered in its teachings, less manipulation of chi by technique. Some called for more balance between the male and female approaches to teaching, more “yin” practice focused on receiving and nurturing chi and cultivating virtues of love and compassion, instead of “yang” methods of commanding and projecting chi. Others asked for simplicity, greater focus on the ultimate truths of the Tao, less attention to myriad ways to energetically change yourself or the world, more attention to cultivating “shen” and spiritual values. Since then, I have received many letters and had many conversations with HT instructors from around the world. I sense there is a genuine shift occuring in the Healing Tao, a yearning for core simplicity and truth and silence. The HT has made its fame with the many sophisticated methods for managing the energy body, and this has perhaps been its first necessary step to achieving acceptance in the West. Master Chia has been a superb emissary for accomplishing this mission, and our collective impact worldwide has been tremendous. One of the reasons I myself supported the HT from the very start was its practicality in everyday life, its immediate benefits, the very tangible opening of personal chi flow. This was my prime motivation in spending years writing & editing its many books filled with techniques, and encouraging others to do so. I was well aware of other paths that focused more direclty on other-worldly, transcendental approaches to meditation. I had close connections to other highly achieved spiritual teachers in the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, but chose not to promote them because of what always seemed to me to be excess religious baggage. But now, 20 years later, on the brink of a new millennium, I find my own teaching style has dramatically changed. I want the Simple and True in my own life, and have seen too many students drop away from the Tao because they could not keep up with the perceived necessity of doing so many techniques. Techniques can become a way for the Ego to hide its fear of losing control behind a mask of accomplisihed skills. I am concerned for the future growth of the Healing Tao, and ask myself, if we put on a simpler face, would the teachings achieve even more widespead acceptance, more devoted adherents? Do we need to fear Simplicity? The key is to emulate nature, and Nature always seems to favor the simplest way of doing things, even complicated things. As the current President of the National Qigong/Chi Kung AssociationoUSA, I have had the opportunity to exchange teachings with dozens of other schools of the Tao. When I co-lead an NQA trip to China last year with 30 sophisticated western qigong healers, I was especially impressed by a comment made by Dr. Cai Jun, the head of Qigong Medicine at Shi Yuan, a major Beijing hospital: “It seems you Americans are well trained in qigong techniques. Some of you are on the edge of being really good. Actually, I think Americans in
appropriate time and emphasis must be given to allowing our inner heart virtues of love/acceptance (fire), kindness/compassion (wood), integrity (gold), wisdom (deep water) and trust (core earth) to merge with this Inner Smile. In my experience, this deeply felt natural virtue is what attracts the Tao Iimmortals. They are not faked out by the concept of virtue, by words imitating virtue or the techniques trying to control or force virtue. But when natural heart virtue and method unite in focused spiritual intent, they must come to assist their human brothers and sisters in cultivating the Elixir of immortality. As a Healing Tao-ist, are YOU ready to embrace the Simple and True?
and migrated on foot to the mountains behind Hong Kong. He healed local people and taught neidan to a few students. He was a simple man who constantly smiled; his only complaint was that eating some bad food after he came down the mountain would cause his early death. He died at age 96 in the 1970’s. His formulas resonate with writings attributed to Lu Dongbin, one of the semi-legendary “Eight Immortals”, around which the “Zhong-Lu” neidan tradition first flourished in the 10 and 11th centuries. Some of his formulas also resemble the teachings on nei dan of the Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) tradition. Historically, it is not clear if the practice of internal alchemy adopted by temple schools of daoism like Quanzhen originally came from scattered “mountain dao” practitioners like One Cloud’s teacher. One Cloud told Chia that he had “given him the best from all his teachers”. The seven formulas by title and brief summary of their practice are found in appendix A. Today in China there are thousands of qigong forms and many different neigong and nei dan systems of internal mind training. At first this is bewildering, as if it were a spiritual labyrinth with too many paths. But now, looking back after 20 years , it is easy to see all methods as expression of a single common deep energetic language. Whether the life force, qi, is moved using body language or is shaped by the intention or imagination of a particular aspect of mind/spirit (shen), it is still the same language of qi. Just as one can produce many different word combinations in English, all comprehensible because of a common grammar and vocabulary, so one can create many qigong and neigong forms, each movement pattern having a unique effect on the body-mind’s qi field. Nei dan (”inner elixir”) is a special class of neigong (”inner skill”) that trains one to “speak” the deep language that silently pulses through the medium of a universal qi field. One of the meanings of the chinese character for “Dao” is “to speak, to tell”. (3) Hence in the famous first line of the Dao dejing (Tao Te Ching),”The Dao that can be spoken is not the true Dao”, the word “spoken” is the same character as that used for “Dao”. The line could even be translated, “The speaking that is spoken is not the true speaking”. So the idea that the Dao exists as an unspoken, or silent language, is emphasized in the very first line of this classic. Linguists generally agree there must exist a “deep language” structure that allows every child born to speak “natural languages” such as English or Chinese, or to create “formal languages” such as computer programs or symbol languages such as the I Ching or mathematics. Noam Chomsky posits a “universal grammar” that is deeper even than the “transformational grammar” he thinks underlies each natural spoken language. But no linguist has been able to describe the structure of this deep language other than to say that it is what defines intelligence itself, and all power of thinking and organized perception. Some linguists admit this deep language may best be explored by religion.(4) Neurobiologists, unable to locate a deep language structure in the brain, have theorized that memory and intelligence are held in some kind of holographic field. Physicists like David Bohm, Erwin Lazlo and Mae Wan Ho posit a holographic quantum field filled with selfcreating organisms that communicate via energy fields with a superconscious universal organism. (5) This organic quantum field theory (not accepted by most physicists, who view space/time as mechanistic) bears some similarity to ancient daoist alchemical ideas. One major difference is the daoist ideas have gone through several millennia of practical testing and application to the evolution of humans. My thesis is that a deep language ability is stored in the qi field, and that One Cloud’s nei dan formulas are a good example of how it is possible to train oneself to directly perceive and communicate with Nature’s intelligence in a mostly non-verbal and non-ordinary language. Daoist alchemy allows us to approach closely the Mystery of our Inner Voice. Whether we hear these voices inside our head as audible voices or as silent thoughts, or instinctual feelings from our gut, who is speaking to us? Alchemy answers the question: where do intuition and inner guidance arise from? By learning the alchemical process of commmunicating through resonance with different dimensions of the qi field, we can systematically get in touch with the origin of those voices. I define qigong (”skill with energy”) as a natural body language arising to the “surface” from neigong’s deeper grammar of qi patterns.
Daoist Internal Alchemy: A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature's Intelligence By Michael Winn When qi returns, Elixir spontaneously crystallizes
in the cauldron pairing water and fire.
Ying and yang arise, alternating endlessly,
the sound of thunder everywhere.
White clouds gather on the summit,
Sweet dew bathes the polar mountain.
Having drunk the wine of long life,
You wander freely; who can know you?
You sit and listen to the stringless tune,
You clearly grasp the mechanism of creation. -Hundred Character Tablet of Ancestor Lu Dongbin (1) Daoist internal alchemy is one of the most difficult aspects of Daoism for westerners to penetrate. This is partly because few Chinese themselves can grasp its essence. The alchemical literature is fascinating but maddeningly obscure. It wears two masks simultaneously, one promising mystical illumination and immortality, the other promising a spiritual science, a systematic approach to bridge the dark gulf between a fragile human mind in a mortal body and the vast eternal life of the cosmos. My thesis will necessarily wear both of these masks, veering between intimate accounts of my experience with alchemy and my attempt to find an objective ground for understanding daoist alchemy as a deep language available to anyone willing to learn to speak its silent patterns. May the Dao Immortals smile within the hearts of all who read this.
Alchemy Formulas, Qi Field & Language Theory When I was first initiated into daoist qigong and internal alchemy (nei dan) practice twenty years ago, I began having exciting and profound experiences. Mysterious hidden inner worlds were suddenly revealed to me. The interior dimensions of my body became a vast playground that I had somehow overlooked in my previous spiritual explorations. As I progressed through “Seven Alchemical Formulas for Attaining Immortality”, I gradually came to recognize the nei dan formulas themselves reveal a deep language by which Nature communicates with the different dimensions of its own intelligence. This universal field of intelligence in alchemical terms is the mind of the Dao. Physical nature would be the body of the Dao. These seven formulas were transmitted to my first daoist teacher Mantak Chia by One Cloud, a daoist monk who searched with limited success in various monasteries for thirty years for the secrets of internal alchemy. An abbot finally told him to “go into the mountains to find a teacher”. On Long White Mountain in northern China near Manchuria One Cloud met another daoist who had left his monastery, and who HAD found a true teacher of internal alchemy. He transmitted to One Cloud these nei dan formulas. One Cloud practiced these methods and entered into the breatharian state (bigu) for some years, meaning he fed his body on qi alone. (2) During the Japanese invasion One Cloud left his mountain,
(6) Practicing qigong (in which I include taiji, bagua, and xingyi internal arts) is like learning the strokes of the qi alphabet and their “meaning” or expression in physical reality. By calming the mind, regulating the breath, and moving one’s body in particular patterns, the qi field governing the meridians and energetic centers of the physical body is activated and “speaks back” to one initially as different feelings of energy. Qigong and neigong are not something that one “does” in the ordinary sense of action; rather they are methods of shaping how one communicates. The shape of the qi patterns being communicated then shape one’s reality. The qi field is the field of all possible relationships. Every relationship involves communication; communication requires a language, and as Ludwig Wittgenstein demonstrated in his famed treatise on “private language”-- every language by definition is public and accessible. The seven neidan formulas I learned give a coherent public structure and sequence to a human language process for speaking with and listening to the deepest levels of Nature’s intelligence. I believe alchemy is a process of learning to speak with this universal intelligence using the entirety of one’s personal being -body, qi, and spirit fused into one.
civilians will all die off and be forgotten in short order. However, Nature as a whole, and its disconsolate child Humanity, will have to deal with the consequences of this “corruption” of the metal element, basically forever. Which is why this war is not ultimately about politics, but about the spiritual evolution of humanity, and about whether we can refine and elevate our relation to metal specifically and to technology in general. This potential war is about the inner will of humanity, and whether the demon of metal technology controls us or we control it. Not a final decision, but an important marker, because of the global focus and the completely voluntary nature of the pre-emptive war being proposed. To get the sobering details of the effect of depleted uranium in the last Gulf War, read the interview (at end of this essay) with Major Doug Rokke, the top military physicist and officer in charge of monitoring biological, nuclear and chemical safety during that 1991 war. The most astounding fact he delivers is that the US military, ostensibly the bloodless victor in a quick war, actually had a casualty rate of thirty percent! After the war over 221,000. Veterans were discharged, basically “wounded” by radiation illness from our own weapons of mass destruction. So who really lost the war? What is this global crisis really about? It is not about whether the UN inspections will work to stop Saddam. It is about humanity “inspecting” itself, all the nations and all the billions of humans now connected through metal technology (computers, tv’s, satellites) getting to witness their own desire for and revulsion against using metal for violence and revenge. Essentially, it is an ancient drama about the demonic vs. the divine in metal, enacted in the theater of ancient Babylonia. Its about, will humanity stop itself from destroying itself with metal technology? The layers of psychic history going back to Babylonia are all present to the global psyche, even if we as individuals have forgotten. This will intensify the depth of penetration of this war into the global psyche. What is the spiritual significance of metal in this drama? Taoist alchemy clarifies this best: metal is ruled in the human body by the “po” soul, the Spirit of the Lungs that represents the personal metal element in the human psyche. The Po is the least evolved soul, the most prone to greed and narcissism, to “me” consciousness, the most attached to earth and body. The Po becomes a ghost after death, if not transmuted into “gold”, i.e. Integrated into the original spirit of ourselves and humanity. The Po is constantly at war with other elements/souls in our body, our heart spirit, etc. It doesn’t trust Heaven, or the celestial soul aspects of us. It is prone to use its metal chi demonically, to “cut” or wound its enemies in an age old cycle of revenge. If you cut the metal element in another person, it means you have cut their lung spirit so they can no longer breathe. (Depleted uranium particles ironically kill by being absorbed into the lining of the lungs). Metal also has the power to cut skin (considered part of our metal boundary in chinese medicine) to open up the blood. Blood holds the ancestral patterns of revenge feeding the killing impulse. If you kill someone in battle with your sword,you must look into the eyes of your noble brother. Killing a face-to-face human enemy soldier may allow for some spiritual redemption. It’s possible in that moment of killing there is a soul exchange, even though you have violated the Life Force by killing what your species has birthed. If, by absorption in the moment of death, you “eat” the soul of the killed person, and accept your responsibility in killing, some soul transmutation in both soldiers may occur. The blood sacrifice forces some soul movement. A painful path to change, but a path. What is truly evil or demonic about modern warfare is the spiritual separation from the act of killing that metal technology in weapons now allow. Modern soldiers and their pentagon guides never really kill anybody. The metal bombs and bullets and missiles do the killing. That is the only reason the US is even contemplating this war -- the naïve belief one can technologically kill the enemy at a distance without paying for it with a soul debt. That is true separation of actor from his act. It’s also a good working definition of evil -- I didn’t do it, the Devil pulled the trigger. Or the trigger somehow got pulled to killed the devil enemy. The devil, of course, is just our own demonic ego, hiding behind metal armor, separated from the rest of our soul consciousness and thus from humanity.
On Alchemy, Iraq, and the Metal Element Michael Winn Dear Lovers of Inner Peace, Spiritual people are often at a loss as to how to respond to political events. This essay is about looking beneath the surface, as that is where spiritual focus can leverage itself most powerfully, not in outer struggle. Both inner work and outer action are needed, but put inner work first as it will determine the direction and quality of outer action. This essay is a meditation on the transmutation of the metal element that is currently occurring in the global psyche around the issue of war in Iraq. At the end I offer a short sample meditation of how the individual adept can help the global mind process this crisis. I believe this inner alchemical work is extremely important, whether before or after a war in Iraq. Metal is the main element used in weaponry, and is the focal point of all alchemical work, both eastern and western alchemy, and in both internal and external (laboratory) alchemy. The transmutation of “lead” into “gold” is seen as both a psychic and material process. Like everything and everyone else, metal is considered to have both a divine and a demonic aspect. For the last month I have been on retreat on an undeveloped island near South America, meditating and writing a book on internal alchemy. This remove made it easier to examine the underlying layers of what is really Spiritual people are often at a loss to respond to pressing political issues. driving the current crisis over Iraq. I am not speaking of the conflicting national greed, power, and ego (disguised as moral superiority) that are present in any war as its surface cause. I am speaking of the deep global psyche of humanity and its relation to metal. Reading Mircae Eliade’s history of alchemy ( The Forge and the Crucible), I was reminded that it was on Iraqi soil, in ancient Babylonia, that alchemy is recorded as the first human effort to speed up the evolution of the metal element. Metal was mined, its ore an “embryo” pulled from the womb of the earth, and refined by fire, to bring out its “gold”, i.e. true higher nature. (I will ignore for simplicity’s sake the probability of much older civilizations that practiced alchemy, like Atlantis, and the pacific civilization that preceded Taoists in China). Metallurgy, along with agriculture, was the turning point in human history, as it led to the development of nearly all modern technology, from plowshares to swords to cruise missiles. Five thousand years later, the US is threatening to deluge Iraq with metal munitions, from bombs to bullets, but most notably the metal uranium in the form of depleted uranium. Uranium would be considered by alchemists to be a volatile metal that is being “forced” open to do its dirty work. And dirty it is; besides being toxic (to humans and tanks), it has a half life of 4.5 billion years. Whoever wins or loses any war in Iraq will be historically irrelevant -- the stupid politicians, proud generals, greedy bankers & oil companies and the horribly suffering soldiers and innocent
Can we escape this struggle within the two sides of our metalarmored ego, and transmute globally our heavy lead ego into gold this time, what we couldn’t do in Gulf War 1991? Or will it merely be another global spectacle, “ US Military gladiators brandishing cruise missiles over their sacrificial Iraqi victims in the coliseum”, played for our convenience on CNN? Sanitized by the media of course, because the public wouldn’t watch if they really saw how gruesome war is. How evil all war is, even wars of “necessary evil”. And I can tell you my experience, from watching the killing in African wars, the lifeless bodies stinking in the streets, that war is the greatest sickness on this planet. It’s too early to say, but there are positive signs. The Germans, with their memory of nazism, declining to support this hyped up war; the millions demonstrating worldwide. The smaller nations at the UN sticking together, refusing to be bullied by the big guns of the US. Maybe the US needs to express its excess yang, its aggression, and be witnessed by the global community, in order to see itself clearly and feel remorse. A new stage in the evolving global personality of humanity? I did have a lucid dream about Saddam Hussein down on my island retreat that was a bit shocking to me. Saddam was cornered in a valley, fighting to the very end, and suddenly he surrenders. He walks away unscathed, wearing spiffy casual civilian sports clothes. I am a lucky journalist who happens to get an interview with him. He is friendly, gregarious, buys everyone a drink and charms the house. He takes a liking to me. He is coarse in his personality, still smells from all his killing, but I can feel his real heart opening. I awake. Of course, this dream could be solely about the surrender of my own personal, or an ancestral, internal dictator. If so, it just means the “fire” of the global conflict is transmuting my internal metal element. But in my many years as a war correspondent in Africa and the mideast, I never had a single dream about a political leader. That’s why it was shocking to me. So the dream raises the possibility in my mind that the intense global media scrutiny of Saddam Hussein, and the antiwar protests, may be rapidly transforming him and us, the spectators. Saddam is a human being, stuck in a centuries old role of medieval Islamic politics. He is probably discovering that he genuinely likes the novelty of being the global underdog championing his nation’s right to peace. That feeling may be his ticket to feeling a different kind of internal security. Not to suggest Saddam should escape justice for his numerous crimes. I just want to highlight that dramatic and unexpected shifts in global consciousness may be occurring, bigger than all of the players involved. Anyway, the self-appointed job of alchemists is to speed up the transmutation of the metal element in man and in nature. The metal element - symbolized by our breath -- within each of us offers us a fulcrum point to change the demon of metal into divine gold. So I hope you will all join in the alchemical process this Friday, where ever you are. And everyday thereafter, or every breath you take thereafter....as metal is the dense octave of air. If we transmute our breathing, and soften it with the yin fire or “civil fire” within our hearts, just as a smith softens the metal on his fiery forge, we transmute our Po soul. A simple meditation is to use the Inner Smile. Just breathe deep into your lungs, embracing the aspects of your psyche caught up in internal wars. Dissolve your attachment to the global drama, stirred up by media reports. Smile to the blood consciousness of your ancestors that breathes in your lungs, and neutrally accept and witness the memory of the scars of their many ancient wars imprinted in your lung spirit. Breathe out, release. Feel the rigid “metal” structure of your beliefs and judgments of self-righteousness dissolving as you smile inside your lungs. Rigid metal means rigid breathing. Do the lung healing sound (Hissss...) to help release and recycle those trapped war feelings: the cycle of killing, fear and revenge, and grief over being trapped in it. Release our collective grief at being stuck in this dehumanizing cycle for so many millenia. Breathe in again, fresh chi of this moment, embracing life, then breathe out, letting go of the past. Contact your Yi, your creative power of intention centered in your spleen/earth element, by smiling to it. Ask its for help in strengthening our true metal, and to help our lungs-heavy lead consciousness to release whatever is ready to be released. As you breathe it
out, see it transmuted into a Gold pearl. This gold pearl is the transmuted metal that you imagine resting in the heart of gold of our collective humanity. Underneath the layers of hatred and violence and fear. As you breathe, nothing is discarded, everything - the fear, grief, hatred, the killers and their victims -- is gathered back into the radiant fire of our collective heart, but in a purified form. You could imagine the gold pearl as a sun inside your belly cauldron, or floating in front of your third eye (upper cauldron).
To your inner gold and a peaceful heart, Michael Winn Feb. 18, 2003 Ps. While we are on the topic of cultivating inner peace, the Fusion of the Five Elements process offers even more powerful methods for creating peace within. The Inner Smile is basic, Fusion is intermediate, Kan and Li is more advanced. The fusion process helps us to quickly transform negative emotion and transmute it back into innate human virtue. It is crucial to both our internal growth process and to our outer peace process. Some of you may have learned it and forgotten to practice. It requires review to master, but it pays off in the end. If you cannot study it live with an instructor near you, consider getting it on audio tape. It is key to inner alchemical transmutation of our heavy lead ego self. I use the fusion pattern at higher octaves all though the more advanced kan and li (water and firei) alchemy formulas. -----------THE WAR AGAINST OURSELVES An Interview with Major Doug Rokke FutureNet / Yes! http://www.futurenet.org/25environmentandhealth/rokke.htm Doug Rokke has a PhD in health physics and was originally trained as a forensic scientist. When the Gulf War started, he was assigned to prepare soldiers to respond to nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare, and sent to the Gulf. What he experienced has made him a passionate voice for peace, traveling the country to speak out. The following interview was conducted by the director of the Traprock Peace Center, Sunny Miller, supplemented with questions from YES! editors. QUESTION : Any viewer who saw the war on television had the impression this was an easy war, fought from a distance and soldiers coming back relatively unharmed. Is this an accurate picture? ROKKE : At the completion of the Gulf War, when we came back to the United States in the fall of 1991, we had a total casualty count of 760: 294 dead, a little over 400 wounded or ill. But the casualty rate now for Gulf War veterans is approximately 30 percent. Of those stationed in the theater, including after the conflict, 221,000 have been awarded disability, according to a Veterans Affairs (VA) report issued September 10, 2002. Many of the US casualties died as a direct result of uranium munitions friendly fire. US forces killed and wounded US forces. We recommended care for anybody downwind of any uranium dust, anybody working in and around uranium contamination, and anyone within a vehicle, structure, or building that’s struck with uranium munitions. That’s thousands upon thousands of individuals, but not only US troops. You should provide medical care not only for the enemy soldiers but for the Iraqi women and children affected, and clean up all of the contamination in Iraq.
engineering -- I was a professor of environmental science and engineering -- you learn rapidly that what they’re telling you doesn’t agree with what you know and observe.
And it’s not just children in Iraq. It’s children born to soldiers after they came back home. The military admitted that they were finding uranium excreted in the semen of the soldiers. If you’ve got uranium in the semen, the genetics are messed up. So when the children were conceived -- the alpha particles cause such tremendous cell damage and genetics damage that everything goes bad. Studies have found that male soldiers who served in the Gulf War were almost twice as likely to have a child with a birth defect and female soldiers almost three times as likely.
In June of 1991, when I got back to the States, I was sick. Respiratory problems and the rashes and neurological things were starting to show up. Q: Why didn’t you go to the VA with a medical complaint? ROKKE: Because I was still in the Army, and I was told I couldn’t file. You have to have the information that connects your exposure to your service before you go to the VA. The VA obviously wasn’t going to take care of me, so I went to my private physician. We had no idea what it was, but so many good people were coming back sick.
Q: You have been a military man for over 35 years. You served in Vietnam as a bombardier and you are still in the US Army Reserves. Now you’re going around the country speaking about the dangers of depleted uranium (DU). What made you decide you had to speak publicly about DU?
They didn’t do tests on me or my team members. According to the Department of Defense’s own guidelines put out in 1992, any excretion level in the urine above 15 micrograms of uranium per day should result in immediate medical testing, and when you get up to 250 micrograms of total uranium excreted per day, you’re supposed to be under continuous medical care.
ROKKE: Everybody on my team was getting sick. My best friend John Sitton was dying. The military refused him medical care, and he died. John set up the medical evacuation communication system for the entire theater. Then he got contaminated doing the work. John and Rolla Dolph and I were best friends in the civilian world, the military world, forever. Rolla got sick. I personally got the order that sent him to war. We were both activated together. I was given the assignment to teach nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare and make sure soldiers came back alive and safe. I take it seriously. I was sent to the Gulf with this instruction: Bring ‘em back alive. Clear as could be. But when I got all the training together, all the environmental cleanup procedures together, all the medical directives, nothing happened.
Finally the US Department of Energy performed a radiobioassay on me in November 1994, while I was director of the Depleted Uranium Project for the Department of Defense. My excretion rate was approximately 1500 micrograms per day. My level was 5 to 6 times beyond the level that requires continuous medical care. But they didn’t tell me for two and a half years. Q: What are the symptoms of exposure to DU?
More than 100 American soldiers were exposed to DU in friendly fire accidents, plus untold numbers of soldiers who climbed on and entered tanks that had been hit with DU, taking photos and gathering souvenirs to take home. They didn’t know about the hazards.
ROKKE: Fibromyalgia. Eye cataracts from the radiation. When uranium impacts any type of vehicle or structure, uranium oxide dust and pieces of uranium explode all over the place. This can be breathed in or go into a wound. Once it gets in the body, a portion of this stuff is soluble, which means it goes into the blood stream and all of your organs. The insoluble fraction stays -- in the lungs, for example. The radiation damage and the particulates destroy the lungs.
DU is an extremely effective weapon. Each tank round is 10 pounds of solid uranium-238 contaminated with plutonium, neptunium, americium. It is pyrophoric, generating intense heat on impact, penetrating a tank because of the heavy weight of its metal. When uranium munitions hit, it’s like a firestorm inside any vehicle or structure, and so we saw tremendous burns, tremendous injuries. It was devastating.
Q: What kind of training have the troops had, who are getting called up right now -- the ones being shipped to the vicinity of what may be the next Gulf War?
The US military decided to blow up Saddam’s chemical, biological, and radiological stockpiles in place, which released the contamination back on the US troops and on everybody in the whole region. The chemical agent detectors and radiological monitors were going off all over the place. We had all of the various nerve agents. We think there were biological agents, and there were destroyed nuclear reactor facilities. It was a toxic wasteland. And we had DU added to this whole mess.
ROKKE: As the director of the Depleted Uranium Project, I developed a 40-hour block of training. All that curriculum has been shelved. They turned what I wrote into a 20-minute program that’s full of distortions. It doesn’t deal with the reality of uranium munitions. The equipment is defective. The General Accounting Office verified that the gas masks leak, the chemical protective suits leak. Unbelievably, Defense Department officials recently said the defects can be fixed with duct tape.
When we first got assigned to clean up the DU and arrived in northern Saudi Arabia, we started getting sick within 72 hours. Respiratory problems, rashes, bleeding, open sores started almost immediately.
Q: If my neighbors are being sent off to combat with equipment and training that is inadequate, and into battle with a toxic weapon, DU, who can speak up?
When you have a mass dose of radioactive particulates and you start breathing that in, the deposit sits in the back of the pharynx, where the cancer started initially on the first guy. It doesn’t take a lot of time. I had a father and son working with me. The father is already dead from lung cancer, and the sick son is still denied medical care.
ROKKE : Every husband and wife, son and daughter, grandparent, aunt and uncle, needs to call their congressmen and cite these official government reports and force the military to ensure that our troops have adequate equipment and adequate training. If we don’t take care of our American veterans after a war, as happened with the Gulf War, and now we’re about ready to send them into a war again -- we can’t do it. We can’t do it. It’s a crime against God. It’s a crime against humanity to use uranium munitions in a war, and it’s devastating to ignore the consequences of war.
Q: Did you suspect what was happening? ROKKE: We didn’t know anything about DU when the Gulf War started. As a warrior, you’re listening to your leaders, and they’re saying there are no health effects from the DU. But, as we started to study this, to go back to what we learned in physics and our
These consequences last for eternity. The half life of uranium 238 is 4.5 billion years. And we left over 320 tons all over the place in Iraq.
books or the effectiveness of his meditation method, which I think are fine and a valuable part of the Taoist cultivation tradition. I consider Kumar Frantzis a good friend and colleague, and we have had deep discussions about this subject.
We also bombarded Vieques, Puerto Rico, with DU in preparation for the war in Kosovo. That’s affecting American citizens on American territory. When I tried to activate our team from the Department of Defense responsible for radiological safety and DU cleanup in Vieques, I was told no. When I tried to activate medical care, I was told no.
But I think Kumar¹s introduction in his book is very misleading and inaccurate in its attacks on what he calls the Fire methods of alchemy in Taoism as being a false corruption of Lao Tzu¹s pure water method.
The US Army made me their expert. I went into the project with the total intent to ensure they could use uranium munitions in war, because I’m a warrior. What I saw as director of the project, doing the research and working with my own medical conditions and everybody else’s, led me to one conclusion: uranium munitions must be banned from the planet, for eternity, and medical care must be provided for everyone, not just the US or the Canadians or the British or the Germans or the French but for the American citizens of Vieques, for the residents of Iraq, of Okinawa, of Scotland, of Indiana, of Maryland, and now Afghanistan and Kosovo.
Let me further preface my comments by saying I think Kumar is an excellent chi kung teacher, and has made valuable contributions to the American chi kung scene, especially on the use of movement as it relates to development of the energy body. I studied his six part chi kung system as well as his pa kua system, and edited his first book, Opening the Energy Gates of the Body. I think the Marriage of Heaven and Earth chi kung movement he got from his teacher Liu Hung Chieh is the best chi kung movement for opening the microcosmic orbit, although Kumar doesn’t use it for that since he doesn’t believe in “forcing” open those two water and fire channels.
Q: If your information got out widely, do you think there’s a possibility that the families of those soldiers would beg them to refuse? ROKKE: If you’re going to be sent into a toxic wasteland, and you know you’re going to wear gas masks and chemical protective suits that leak, and you’re not going to get any medical care after you’re exposed to all of these things, would you go? Suppose they gave a war and nobody came. You’ve got to start peace sometime.
Here are a few of the points I’ve made to Kumar in the past about his alleged water method. Kumar has performed a valuable service by highlighting the water nature of many Taoist practices. He is not alone: see Alan Watts on Tao, The Watercourse Way. But he has performed an equal DISservice by trying to polarize the water and fire techniques into separate paths. This is essentially self-serving, a non-Taoist attempt to claim “my way is the best way, the true way of Lao Tzu” so buy my book and take my water method courses.
Q: It does sound remarkable for someone who has been in the military for 35 years to be talking about when peace should begin. ROKKE: When I do these talks, especially in churches, I’m reminded that these religions say, “And a child will lead us to peace.” But if we contaminate the environment, where will the child come from? The children won’t be there. War has become obsolete, because we can’t deal with the consequences on our warriors or the environment, but more important, on the noncombatants. When you reach a point in war when the contamination and the health effects of war can’t be cleaned up because of the weapons you use, and medical care can’t be given to the soldiers who participated in the war on either side or to the civilians affected, then it’s time for peace.
Kumar¹s so called water method is actually not a pure water method, because no such thing exists. The core of his water teaching can be summarized as: “dissolve ice into water, dissolve water into vapor”. BUT WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MELT THE ICE, AND CHANGE THE WATER INTO MOISTURE? YOU NEED FIRE. Kumar just doesn’t name the fire; it is left unconscious. It is the fire of the mind focusing itself like a magnifying glass on the frozen bodymind tissues that dissolves the ice. There is no such thing as water operating purely by itself. The Five Elements are all interdependent, water cannot function without fire.
For more information on DU, see: THE WISE URANIUM PROJECT: http://www.antenna.nl/wise/uranium/
In alchemy. My position is that if you are going to encourage the water-fire interaction, you are better off having both the fire and water elements made conscious.
THE NATIONAL GULF WAR RESOURCE CENTER: http://www.ngwrc.org
The Healing Tao practices begin with dissolving and have plenty of dissolving thruout: the Inner Smile is the prime practice here, but the Six healing Sounds, Fusion of the Five Elements and Kan and Li practices are all focused on dissolving. Kumar’s claim that Dissolving is the trademark of the Water Method is equally true of the Water and Fire Method. Kumar is falsely separating the two. What he really is trying to say is “I use the Yin method, I don’t force anything, I just allow it”.
VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE: http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org Sunny Miller’s interview was originally broadcast on WMFO (Boston) in November 2002 and is available for re-broadcast at: http://www.traprockpeace.org
I sincerely thank Kumar for advertising this point. It is perhaps the only virtue I find in his labeling his approach the Water Method (as opposed to the Kan and Li label, which means the Water and Fire Method). I think that this is a good thing to highlight, especially since westerners have a tendency to force, they are overly aggressive and they injure their chi this way or exhaust themselves with their own impatience. So Kumar, like Juan li and other Healing Tao instructors, have chosen to highlight the yin methods. Many instructors feel Chia overemphasizes the yang methods, and they have correctly changed their practice to suit themselves. I include myself in this category.
On the Taoist "Pure Water Method" vs. "Water & Fire" Method of Alchemy Thoughts on the Mind as Fire Michael Winn I have often been asked to comment on the difference between the “Taoist Water Method” promoted by B.K. Frantzis and the “Water and Fire Method” (Kan and Li) of alchemy taught in the Healing Tao, originally transmitted by Mantak Chia.
But Kumar is confusing “forcing” with “Fire method”. This is just a judgement on his part, and again a self-serving one that makes water look good by default. He is confusing Fire method by linking it with False Yang, when pure fire element should be linked instead with True
Kumar has published two books on his Taoist water meditation method in his Relax Into Your Being series (a great title, and very Taoist). The following comments are NOT a review of his
Yang. All of the Taoist alchemical texts are unanimous is advocating true yang be cultivated.
combustion in car engines? Of course not. So why condemn use of fire in spiritual technology?
If I were to play Kumar’s labeling game in reverse, I would start calling his approach the FROZEN WATER METHOD of Taoism and go about pointing out all the evils of yin and water chi that is stuck in the physical plane for lack of Fire. Is this not the historical condition that women are trying to liberate themselves from? The yin energy of the planet, frozen beneath the weight of patriarchy? But I would really be talking about False Yin, not True Water or True Yin, which is never stuck. But Kumar seems to ignore these important distinctions.
I think it is more prudent to say, there are dangers when you play with Fire, better to approach Fire from a place of good understanding of the Water (=body, matter). The Kan and Li methods always place Water first for this reason -- it is the safest way to progress in the beginning. That is why students are better off learning through body movement (chi kung) in the beginning of their cultivation practice. But we still need to recognize the essential need for yang methods and true fire. Otherwise, you may get frozen into a position on the virtues of Water Only.
Classically in China, you use both the Yin and Yang methods of regulating the Water and Fire. It depends on your body and mind type, on the season, on what you are working on, what you just ate, your phase of development, your age, your sex, etc. etc. This is the whole point of the I Ching: sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. The I Ching never says: ONLY FOLLOW.
Michael Winn ps. I invite Kumar to respond to the issue, and will post his reply when he does so..
Taoist Alchemy & Breatharians
If you only follow in the water style, this can lead to very slow progress at times. Sometimes you need more fire to transform your life or a situation. Only doing water practice can lead to stagnation and holding of water in the body. Physically, this results in overweight condition; psychically, it can result in unnecessarily slow spiritual progress. I emphasize this alternation between fire and water methods in all my Kan and Li teachings, and in the basics as well: when you don’t have the attraction to doing a yang practice of guiding and interacting with the chi or your shen, then you simply do the inner smile and follow whatever happens. Do I dissolve first, or create first? I just ask before I start my meditation.
5 Days in a Huashan Cave Michael Winn Why would anyone in their right mind choose to spend 5 days in a cold mountain cave without food or water? Short answer: Because the cave was on Mt. Huashan, the most famous Taoist sacred mountain in China. The long answer: I was curious to investigate the experience of Taoists who reputedly achieved the breatharian state through years of practicing internal alchemy meditation in these caves on little food or water. I wanted to have a small taste of their cave lifestyle, to see what it might evoke in me.
Sometimes I start with a yang, self-guided meditation that lawfully manipulates the life force and helps to more quickly manifest my intention to work in a certain area. Then it may change in mid-stream, after I have connected to what I sought -- and I surrender to it. Is this a Fire or a Water Method? Why tie your hands with the labels? When I point this out to Kumar, he hastily defends by saying that the Water people use fire and water, they just do it in a watery way. If so, the very label “Water Method” starts to self-dissolve itself!
The idea originated with my Taoist monk friend Chen (named changed to protect his privacy) who lives in Jade Spring Monastery at the foot of Huashan, along with about 50 other monks and nuns. I had already visited Huashan twice, and fallen in love with its majestic 7,000. ft. high sheer peaks and temples perched precariously on cliffs that regularly disappeared into the clouds. There was something eerie about the mountain - I had the feeling it was alive and watching me constantly. Was this because so many Taoists had allegedly achieved immortality here? Still being a mere mortal, I wasn’t sure exactly what immortality meant, even after two decades of doing Taoist cultivation. But when Chen said to me, “There are some secret caves here, and I thought you might like to meditate in one”, I promptly booked a date for the following year.
Kumar’s own teacher Liu taught another one of his Chinese students a fire method of meditation, suggesting that different approaches may be suitable for different folks. Was Kumar so fiery as a killer martial artist that Liu heavily emphasized the water method to him? I don’t know, but it appears to have some merit. But no need to distort the entire corpus of Taoist practices to defend this choice.
I had seen many spectacular caves on Huashan on previous trips (see Qi Journal Spring 2000). But all of those caves had either been turned into Taoist shrines with statues inside, with a monk or nun who rang a bell or gave I Ching readings when hikers came in to pray, or they had been totally desecrated by tourism. One giant cave was turned into a mini-hotel, with coffin sized boxes for tourists to sleep in. Others were abandoned or filled with trash, being too close to the main path that torturously winds its way up the mountain, its thousands of tiny stone steps faithfully delivering a stream of hardy souls to the very highest peak. Huashan has become one of China’s most famous national parks, even though the communist government returned all the shrines and monasteries to the local Taoists to manage after appropriating them during the Cultural Revolution.
Kumar’s claim that the water method has an exclusive on effortlessness is very misleading. It is the balanced interaction of Water and Fire that opens the gates of the Yuan Chi. When you practice from this energy, that is the true effortless state, wu wei, and it is neither water nor fire, yin nor yang. Again, a false advertising claim for the so called Water Method. It doesn’t matter what approach you use to return to the Original Spirit, so why claim one is superior? The final point I wish to make about Kumar’s alleged Water method is that I believe that it ignores certain aspects of refining chi found in the Water and Fire (Kan and Li) Method. Fire has many virtues which accelerate spiritual progress when cultivated, and these are essential to forming the Elixir. Kumar tells me that at the very end of his process the Fire suddenly emerges from the Water (the hidden middle line of the water trigram). The end may mean years or decades of water method cultivation. Fair enough. But why wait that long to enjoy the benefits of fire?
When I finally settled down into my cave (one year later), and waved goodbye to Chen as his black Taoist frock disappeared over the edge of the cliff, I sat down in the mouth of the cave’s doorway to meditate. I focused first on my gratitude to the mountain for being such a powerful presence. The massive West Peak of Huashan towered 4000 feet of sheer wall above my cave. To get to my cave, I first had to climb up a 200 foot cliff with loose rocks, grasping at the roots of bushes, while wearing a backpack filled with camping gear. One misstep, or leaning too far back, and I would’ve been in a grave instead of my cave.
It is like saying, “Don’t cook your food, just eat it raw and your stomach fluids will naturally digest (cook) it”. The Pure water method ideology, if you take it to its extreme logical end, is essentially anti-Fire technology and against all the uses Fire has brought to mankind, both internally (spiritually) and externally (spark plugs and combustion engines that “force” a change in the energy state of gasoline, etc.). Does Kumar walk everywhere to protest to use of fire
I silently thanked Chen and other monks who had helped arrange my stay. They are part of a very ancient line of Taoists who are guarding
this mountain. The first reference to Huashan, which means “Flower Mountain”, comes from the Chou Dynasty, 3000 years ago. In fact, the Chinese character “hua” (flower) was invented to name this mountain, which has five peaks that unfold like petals of a flower. Taoists, attracted to this powerful Five Element feng shui, have been coming to Huashan to meditate for at least 2200 years, according to Han dynasty records. But how they survived on this towering hunk of granite, where little food can grow and the only water is collected rain, is still a mystery. So I thanked the spirits of Taoists past for sculpting this cave space, and asked them to share with me their secrets.
attainment to go for, just something that can happen spontaneously as a result of your practice. It’s not a special requirement to get into Taoist heaven or necessary for most to think about achieving. But it’s still real, and for me, just knowing that its real expands the freedom of my spiritual imagination and its power of manifestation. Back to my first day in the cave. Although I felt I was off to a good start, I still had to face the next big issue in Cave Life: what do you DO all day and all night? Short answer: wrestle with your monkey mind. How do you do that? Long answer: practice Taoist cultivation methods, the most powerful of which is neidan gong, or internal alchemy. Alchemy is the art of communicating with the Life Force, as well as the science of locally shaping its universal chi field.
Finally I thanked the cave itself, and any rock elementals who cared to listen, for being such a grand cave - to me it felt more like a palace carved out of solid rock. The doorway was six feet wide and ten feet high, fit for a race of giants. The domed ceiling was 25 feet high, with a window at what could have been a second story level. Chen had read the inscription carved on the outside of the cave. A Taoist monk named Can Xing had carved this cave, called “Spring Flower” (name changed to protect its location) during the Ming dynasty, which meant the cave was up to 600 years old. No one is quite sure how he or others carved the extraordinarily hard granite, one of Huashan’s many unsolved mysteries. The walls had uniform grooves a half inch apart, as if a giant comb were used to scrape out the insides of the mountain.
The primary purpose of alchemy is to accelerate the unfolding and refining of one’s personal human essence, or jing. Jing is also translated as “substance” and is what generates our blood, sexual energy, and our cellular power to regrow our body. In Taoist alchemy one’s “raw” jing is refined into an “elixir” of refined golden chi or inner light by a process involving the internal coupling or “cooking” of water and fire. Water and fire are Taoist alchemical code names for the sexually polarized yin and yang forces within the body. To make a long story short, you could say I went off to a cold cave in China in order to have hot spiritual sex within myself. The offspring of this internal sex is the re-birthing of one’s Original Chi (yuan qi) and its Original Spirit (yuan shen), a.k.a. the original self or “your face before you were born”.
After I finished saying all my thanks, an extraordinary thing occurred. My mouth was suddenly filled with a ball of pulsating energy, which slowly moved down my throat and esophagus into my stomach. Remarkably, this chi ball stayed in my gut during my time in the cave, and I am certain accounted for the fact that I never once felt even slightly hungry for the entire five day cave fast! Since this occurred immediately after my meditation thanking the cave, it felt like a clear communication from the mountain. I previously did have some fear about my decision to not eat or drink for five days, whether I would be strong enough to stay warm or to even climb down the cliff afterwards.
Did it work? Hold on, while I fish around for some juicy details from my diary in the cave. Here’s a good place to start - the moment when I realized that by choosing to live in a cave I had stripped away every possible excuse to focus on something other than my core self: “Once you take away eating and drinking, socializing and entertainment and the myriad other distractions our monkey minds dream up - what’s left? A simpler level of being, in which more subtle perceptions arise. I sit in a granite cave, with its door opening out onto the bird filled valley below, and become aware that my mind is sitting inside its own cave, sitting inside my body cave with its sense openings, looking out of the body cave into the outer granite cave. I am in a cave within a cave, and I know, if I look inward, that I am also sitting inside other caves that exist within deeper dimensions of myself.
So to have the mountain send me a chi ball into my spleen/ stomach, the vital organ center of earth chi in the body, was incredibly reassuring. Equally remarkable, I did not lose weight during the five days. I didn’t have a scale with me, but I did pinch the flesh all over my body to measure it, and none of it disappeared or grew taut. At my Healing Tao summer retreat program in New York’s Catskill Mountains I had learned from a remarkable medical chi kung specialist, Madame Wang Yan, some weight loss chi kung techniques taken from the Taoist tradition of bigu, or “not eating”. The purpose of these bigu techniques to to satisfy your desire for caloric food with subtle chi (qi) that is breathed into the stomach/spleen. Overweight people then lose weight until they stabilize at their natural weight. I was expecting to use those techniques not to lose weight, but to fight off hunger in the cave. Yet none of these bigu methods were necessary. Undoubtedly, I was well disposed to having such a spontaneous experience. I had already thoroughly investigated the “breatharian” question (”Is it real, or just a metaphor for a spiritual state?”) and decided it was physically possible. Several of my Taoist alchemy students had stopped eating for months at a time while maintaining stable body weight. Just before I made the Spring Flower Cave my home, Chen had introduced me to an 80 year old Taoist female adept, Ciao Xiang Zhen, who had not eaten for 20 years!
“In Taoist cosmology, the three heavens in the Tao canon (a kind of Taoist bible collection of 1,160 mostly alchemical texts) are described as the “three caverns”. As I contemplate this idea of Heaven as a cosmic cave, my outer self relaxes back into a deeper level of awareness. I keep surrendering, and ask the spirit of Huashan to take me deep into its core. It feels like eventually I cross some kind of void, and relax into what I recognize as the “cavern” of Early Heaven. Here my observing self sits as a “soul” watching the activities of itself as a body-mind in a Later Heaven cave, the physical dimension. After this inner -outer cave duality stabilizes, I remember that my Original Ancestor, the Original Spirit from which all humanity has evolved - is sitting within an even deeper cave known as Primordial Heaven. This heaven is also known as Primordial Chaos (hun tun). This cavern is described as the darkest and most obscure of all three caverns. Here the Chaos-of-Oneness (with no distinctions possible) watches the perpetual play of Creation-as-Order it has set in motion.
Ciao had been living on Huashan for nearly 50 years, up a different side valley with some other Taoist recluses. She had fallen and injured her hip, and so had moved to a more accessible location where I had the good fortune to interview her. She still wasn’t eating; Ciao admitted to me only to drinking 3 small tea cups of plain water daily and for variety, a small piece of fruit a few times a month. Her appearance was thin, but normal, and her eyes sparkled with the vigor of youth. Chen told me she is considered by the China Taoist Association to be one the “Eight Living Tao Immortals” in China, three of which are women.
“So really, choosing to live for a week in a cave on Huashan is just a way of reminding myself that every reality has its own boundaries, its own cave walls. However, it seems our Original Spirit may effortlessly slip between these boundaries, as if its vibration were too fast to be caught in the net of any slower reality-cave. The other lesson I’m learning is that the so called “necessities” of physical life are not necessities - they are optional pleasures. Food is mostly recreational eating, deemed a necessity only because we refuse to acknowledge the possibility of eating directly from the infinite chi field of nature’s abundance.
Skeptics of breatharianism (bigu) will remain skeptics, and that’s fine. Because bigu is not considered to be any big
“How do we see into these deeper caverns nested within ourselves, that lead into the original cave-womb of creation itself, the “wuji” or
Supreme Unknown of the Tao? How many people sit and watch in the outer physical cave, and nothing much happens, except perhaps they see their boredom and frustration at being trapped in the seemingly solid granite walls of that cave reality? By watching the coupling of water and fire, the inner male and female, there comes an opening hidden from outer sight.”
The boundaries between the two halves of the physical cycle of night and day began to dissolve as I sank deeper into the mind of the mountain itself. This can be a very difficult concept for westerners to accept, that supposedly inanimate natural objects like a mountain or the earth itself could have a “mind”. Yet this is a very fundamental premise of Taoist philosophy - that all of nature is alive and breathing from the universal chi field, its in-out (yin-yang) breath sustaining its very physical form. This means every aspect of matter also has its own intelligence. Even the rigidly fixed intelligence of the granite rock of Huashan can be an energetic pathway into its “parent” spirit of the mountain, whose core intelligence is the earth itself.
Now let’s slow down, before the metaphysical story gets too far ahead of the physical one. I should tell you that four years earlier I had spent a week in a cave in Pagan, Burma. I was in a Buddhist cave, 75 feet deep inside a pitch black mountain, with a 25 ft. high Buddha statue guarding the cave outside. That experience gave me a point of comparison with this Taoist cave experience on Huashan, in a relatively shallow 18 foot deep cave. As I settled into my life in this cave, I appreciated how clean and dust free this granite cave was compared to the dirt walls of my Buddhist cave. I recalled my confusion at the initial resistance the Buddhist cave seemed to have to my doing Taoist practices in its space. My Taoist meditation practices simply wouldn’t work, the chi wouldn’t flow. I decided the cave’s chi field had been deeply patterned by generations of Buddhist practitioners. Only after I opened my heart to the spirits of those before me did the mountain relax and only then did my alchemical practices begin to open up channels with the inner planes.
A few days earlier I had asked Cai, the breatharian female adept, if she ever felt like the mountain was communicating with her. She smiled. “ I have never felt it speak to me like some human spirit, but its presence is always very strong for me. Everyone who comes to Huashan to live must feel its presence, why else would they stay?” The high piezo-electric conductivity of granite may contribute to the yang chi I felt flowing through Huashan. Others confirmed to me that historically Taoists from all over China considered Huashan as having very yang chi for cultivation practice. I later visited Mt. Qingcheng (”Azure Truth”) Shan in Sichuan Province, the birthplace of one sect of Taoism 2000 years ago. It was a completely different experience, and I noticed how powerfully yin its chi was. The shape of Huashan, bursting up dramatically towards the Heavens in a five-petal flower formation, is an expression of its yang nature.
Here it was totally different. Some invisible presence within Huashan mountain seemed to be actively pushing me deeper into Taoist practice at every moment. This ensured that I never got bored, even though my outer cave life was severely limited. I soon explored the parameters of what was possible within my palatial cave. It had enough room for me to practice chi kung movements and even my Wu style tai chi form and a tight circle of Pa Kua Chuan. Carved from solid rock was a three-foot high altar table in the middle of the cave, which was big enough for me to sleep on. Chen told me the cave had later been used in later centuries as a shrine, evidenced by holes higher up on the walls for holding statues. Bits of some of these statues were piled on one side of the cave, the destructive signature of teenage red guards from the 1960’s. This was one time I appreciated the house cleaning by them, as I actually preferred the cave naked, in its raw original form.
In Taoist feng shui Huashan’s shape is considered to be a reflection of a yang stellar constellation manifesting on earth. Not far from my Spring Flower cave was another hidden cave used since Han dynasty times for viewing the Pole Star, the central star or higher earth element around which the other four stellar quadrants/elements of Heaven rotate each night. This inspired me on some evenings to go out on the narrow ledge in front of my cave and practice Taoist star alchemy, a method of absorbing and balancing the chi from all the star quadrants into the crystal palace or upper dan tien (etheric space of the pineal gland).
There was another elevated pedestal in the center of the back of the cave, on which I respectfully set a single candle. I found that I rarely lit it as there was really nothing much to see in the cave with my outer eyes at night. I spread out my foam pad and sleeping bag on the central stone altar, as if my body was a sacrificial offering to the Spirit of this mountain. There was nothing else in the cave, except my pack, in which I kept some “emergency” food bars and a water bottle I never felt tempted to consume. The only other piece of furniture arrived unasked the second morning, when another Taoist monk, Wen Shi, undoubtedly sent by Chen, arrived with a wooden kneeling stool for me to sit in meditation on. It was taken from a nearby shrine to a Taoist female deity from the Nine Heavens.
Meditating in this granite cave day and night for five days awakened memories in me of the seven trips I had made to Egypt to meditate inside the Great Pyramid. The walls of the King’s Chamber are made of a special red granite, and above this chamber (which architecturally represents the pineal gland) there are five giant slabs of granite with space between them, wrongly thought to be for earthquake adjustments. According to esoteric lore I learned while studying pre-Egyptian internal alchemy practices, these five slabs of granite represent the five subtle bodies of man that are awakened by initiation in the pyramid. Taoist internal alchemy holds a similar pattern of unfoldment, but uses different methods to achieve the awakening.
Wen Shi, concerned that I would be cold in the cave, also took off the black Taoist cape off his own back and gave it to me as a gift. My protestations were useless; he considered my flimsy pile jacket inadequate against the harsh mountain elements. I wrapped his cape around me, the dress uniform of Complete Perfection Taoists. Chen had told me that Taoists are becoming so rare in modern China that when he wears his traditional Taoist clothing outside the monastery in big cities, with his white leggings, black tai chi shoes and hair tied in a top knot, he is sometimes mistaken for a foreigner wearing some outlandish foreign dress!
But the use of granite to amplify spiritual vibrations from the mountain’s deep earth consciousness and act as a ground for Heavenly frequencies may be similar in the Taoist and Egyptian traditions. Mountains are just natural pyramids; their axis acts as a double vortex between the center of the earth below and the stars above. My experience of Huashan, a giant “earth flower” made of solid granite, is that the mountain is a vast initiation chamber for those who can attune to its inner frequency. When you align your human body axis to axis of the mountain, it becomes a pathway for communicating with all that the “mind of the mountain” is communicating with. Huashan is thus just an individual outlet for the collective planetary consciousness, like any ley line or sacred place. The more a place gets used for spiritual awakening, the more powerful and skillful it becomes at using the natural chi field to communicate with humans. For those following the path of the Tao, this is the major reason to visit China’s sacred mountains.
I began to merge into the cycle of night and day of cave life. At night I lay on my stone altar-bed in the pitch blackness and did Taoist dream practice, a method where you put the body to sleep while the mind stays awake and does special meditations in the twilight space between sleep and waking states. I sat up at 4 am to meditate with the deep violet-blue light of early dawn. From 7 to 9 am I did standing chi kung movements. Then I sat again in meditation until the sun entered the cave at 11:30 pm.
This lure of awakening to one’s spiritual truth is undoubtedly what motivated Taoists to spend years digging these caves. Chen told me
that records reveal it took up to 30 years to dig a large cave like Spring Flower Cave out of the cliff wall of solid granite. After digging it, they would undergo tremendous deprivation of ordinary human pleasures to live in the cave. There had to be a special payoff in spiritual pleasure to keep them from abandoning their simple cave life. Meditating in solid rock seems to cause a special resonate with the bone level of human consciousness, where Taoists consider the jing or sexual essence to be stored. Bone and the jing within it is spiritually the most dense level of our human body, and thus the hardest to reach by ordinary meditation. But it is also the secret substance needed to crystallize an immortal Body of Light This may also explain why so many Taoist are said to have achieved their immortality on Huashan - they were able here to concentrate their full being on the process of gathering their jing essence and refining it into chi, shen, and ultimately wu (nonbeing).
My body began to glow from within, and I noticed that even though a cold wind came up as darkness descended, it did not disturb my internal bliss or make me feel cold. The experience continued long after the sun had set. After two hours, I finally moved back inside my cave-womb, feeling both deeply peaceful and exhilarated. It felt like the mountain had again been teaching me something about the Tao how nature meditates inside us if we meditate inside nature. In alchemy, this is known as wu wei, a state where things happen effortlessly, in the deep silence of the universal mind. Your personal mind doesn’t need to make this happen with visualization, movement, or mantra. Once natural forces have been alchemically accelerated within the adept’s body, wu wei is the ensuing feeling of child’s play as your chi flows with zero resistance between the local self and the Tao. After two days of not eating or drinking water, I awoke on the second night with a swollen tongue and feeling very overheated. I selfdiagnosed myself, and decided it was the lack of water flowing through my kidneys that was causing my heart to overheat. I had brought water, but had decided on arriving in the cave to not drink any, to more quickly test my body response to the deprivations of cave life that might have been experienced by earlier Taoist adepts. I recalled that one of my western friends had a Taoist spiritual guide who taught him how ancient adepts drank their urine and then refined it with internal alchemy. Since this put no new water into my system, and was a well tested method used by sailors to survive at sea, I began drinking my urine.
What about harsh weather? You might ask, as I did: why didn’t the cave adepts simply light a fire in their caves to keep warm? Chen answered this question before he would even show me the way to the cave. “There is one very strict condition for your staying in the cave”, he warned me.”Absolutely no heating or cooking fires are permitted. You will notice that none of the dozens of caves on Huashan have their ceilings blackened by fire. This traditional Taoist rule against using fire is not to make cave life harder than it already is. It is to protect your internal practice. A strong external fire will disturb the delicate balance of water and fire within your dan tien. One purpose of cave practice is to activate more powerfully the internal fire needed for neidan (alchemy) practice”. Of course, I readily agreed to this condition.
No need to feel squeamish about this, if you’ve never drunk your urine. Urine doesn’t stink until after it grows cold. It was my first time, but I literally guzzled my yellow fluid down the next morning. I found it to be warm, salty, and like a very mild and tasty broth - and very satisfying to my kidneys and heart, which cooled off. I had no more problem the rest of the time, and had the feeling I could have continued for a very long time. There is also a homeopathic effect also created by recycling one’s urine repeatedly through your system, as it concentrates many subtle essences that can have healing properties. There is a large literature on people healing serious illnesses with urine drinking. I also noticed something unusual. Every time I urinated, I would pee on the ground the starting and ending urine flow, to remove toxins accumulated in the bladder. I was losing about 30% of my urine each day, a gradual loss of body water.
I soon discovered other factors that may have heloed warm Taoist cave adepts. The cave itself is good insulation. They did do not freeze in winter because the internal earth temperature radiates an average 57 degrees F. into the cave. They put wood doors on the cave to keep out the worst winter wind and retard heat loss. From that minimal baseline of external support they did internal alchemy practices to heat their body to a sustainable and comfortable temperature. While in the cave, I spent many hours practicing “internal chi breathing”, a formerly secret method of empty force breathing (kong jing) that powerfully heats the dan tien or belly cauldron. This unique method mixes the chi from the fire (du mo) and water (ren mo) channels, and synchronizes the rhythm of physical breathing with chi body rhythms. Once the dan tien is warm, it feeds warm yang chi to all the deep channels of the body, particularly the Eight Extraordinary Vessels. These control your core body temperature and autonomic system functions, and are the reservoirs that overflow to feed the vital organs and their meridians. I teach this Internal Chi Breathing as part of the fundamentals of chi kung, but it was valuable for me to see it work so effectively in the cave.
Curiously, the empty water bottle I used to catch the urine always refilled to the same level each time. This meant my body was either producing water from thin air or it was converting blood or body fat into water. This continued the entire five days, and since I didn’t grow thin, it felt like my kidneys were producing new water, in the same way my spleen chi felt like it was producing new food from the chi field. Of course scientists would say I was deluded and just consuming myself on a fast. But what can scientists say about others who rarely eat for months or years on end? I recalled a conference sponsored by another nei dan teacher, Yan Xin, attended by a number of his scientiststudents who themselves had stopped eating for long periods without undue weight loss. Modern science does not have a paradigm for this and many other simple things in life, like love. The facts of our reality do not always fit the modern materialist hypothesis.
I found my cave to be quite warm at night, as if it perhaps were still absorbing heat form the daytime sun. This may have been amplified by movement of warm valley air masses rising after sunset. I usually had to toss the cover of my sleeping bag off during the night. I noticed the reverse seemed to occur in the morning: as the sun rose, the cave went through a chilly period from 7 am to 11 am, perhaps from cold valley air masses rising. The sun would not actually shine on my cave until 11:35 am each day. I would watch the pyramid-like shadow of West Peak slowly move across the valley. Then the sun would rise above West peak and cook my cave for the afternoon. I would do practices to directly absorb solar chi , and to circulate it throughout my body and into the chi body of the mountain.
This is why I find Taoist internal alchemy so fascinating - it allows anyone to use his body-mind as a cosmic laboratory. You don’t need big science grants or a $6 billion dollar super-collider to run an experiment. You can apply Tao spiritual science to explore all the deepest mysteries of the universe in your own body, as a micro-universe. The Microcosmic Orbit meditation, the first of seven formulas of alchemical practice in the system I learned, was by itself a kind of internal super-collider for the yin and yang forces flowing within the body. I was using the cave to test for its effects on my own practice. I found the results to be very positive.
Of course, similar weather shifts are changing everyone’s patterns of bodily chi flow every moment. But the cave seemed to amplify my feeling of the mountain’s deep chi rhythmically pulsating with the cycles of the sun and moon. One night, the moon rose just as the sun was setting. I sat in the doorway of my cave, as if the darkness behind me were a warm opening from the earth’s womb. The forces of the sun and moon entered my body, and having well trained pathways from my inner alchemy practice, flowed inside my cauldron and coupled within my core channel. I watched in awe as these cosmic streams of energy effortlessly made love inside me.
The experimental nature of internal alchemy has led to the development of many different systems of neidan or internal alchemy within China. On Huashan, Chen told me that historically the Taoists here followed a form of neidan taught by Chen Tuan, an 11th century
Taoist famous for his dream practice, even though Huashan today formally belongs to the Complete Perfection school of Taoism that follows Lu Dong Bing style of alchemy. Ironically, the Seven Tao Formulas of Immortality I learned (via Mantak Chia) came from an adept named One Cloud who renounced his Complete Perfection monastic life to seek in the mountains the true teachings of alchemy.
resurfacing in a new form. The mistrust breeds fear, which in the current scenario has translated into western politico-military strategists seeking to dominate with weapons the near eastern and asian peoples and their resources. The U.S. military sees China’s huge population and political system as its only long term potential competitor on a global scale, and the oil rich Muslim countries as essential to controlling and containing the China threat. What can a simple western Taoist, while sitting in a cave in China, to do about all this? I love both China and America, the peoples of both the near eastern and the west. The politicians tell me I have to choose, that only one side can be in control.
One Cloud found a high level hermit teacher, and used the Seven Formulas to become a breatharian himself. Yet these Seven formulas are recognizably within the tradition of Lu Dong Bing, even though they don’t teach the theory of reincarnation adopted by the Complete Perfection school. Neither Lao Tzu nor Chuang Tzu taught reincarnation in their writings. I believe it was because living in the Tao dissolves all divisions of past and future into a present moment that is incarnating ever fresh from the coupling of Heaven and Earth.
My natural response to this event as a Taoist is that there is always a third choice. I chose to align with and alchemically balance the natural chi field of the planetary mind with this third point, the stillpoint between the global yin and yang forces. My hope was to bypass the apparent political polarity on the surface of the planet and use Huashan to help me dive deep into humanity’s collective heart. My intent was to lessen the intensity of fear driving the two split and competing halves of the planetary brain. As a westerner sitting in a cave at the geographic center of China near its ancient capitol of Xian, I felt perfectly positioned to initiate such an alignment through meditation. To amplify the effect of my practice, I had pre-arranged for my wife and alchemy partner Joyce Gayheart to do similar meditations from the nearly exact opposite side of the planet back in America, not far from Washington D.C.
There is a beautiful simplicity to this vision: there are no endless cycles of the same individual recycling and suffering through different lives; every human is instead the direct, fresh, and unique child of Heaven and Earth. There are no past lives, only a multiplicity of parallel lives in the present moment. Each person who rfines their essence and thus completes themself in this life completes life for all Heaven and Earth. One’s level of completion is what defines one’s level of immortality, as a human, earth, heaven, or celestial immortal. The concern is not to live physically forever, just long enough to complete one’s true destiny. Ultimately everyone has the same destiny, to return consciously to the Tao.
Lao Tzu became famous in China because his 5,000 character meditation manual (the Tao Te Ching) integrated politics and spirituality. It emphasizes repeatedly the necessity for politial leaders to harmonize with the chi field of the Tao. Following the Tao is not about choosing one political system or leader over another, but about choosing the balance point between all contending forces. Only from this still point of calmness can the emotion-crazed and polarized politicians on both sides be guided to peace and harmony. This situation today is no different from Lao Tzu’s 2500 years ago. Unless the innate harmony of the Tao is sought, the cycle of guerrilla terrorism vs. state terrorism (a.k.a. war) will continue until all parties exhaust themselves and many innocents are harmed. This is a slow and tortuous way to achieve balance.
The adepts on most Taoist sacred mountains in China have adopted a different set of nei dan methods to explore the Tao. Yet all these variations derive from the same core principles of yin-yang chi flow, of five elements cycles on a matrix of eight primal forces emanating from a ninth neutral force (yuan, or original chi) in the center. The fluid and changing nature of Taoist practices makes it very difficult for westerners to pin down, and thus to understand in their normal analytical manner, what exactly internal alchemy is. Unlike most religions, Taoist alchemy is not based on a fixed set of beliefs, or on an single divine entity who saves humans, but rather is based on the merging of human body-mind rhythms with cosmic rhythms. As the adept learns to shape the chi field through chi kung and nei kung practices, he or she also shapes their destiny in the world.
The meditations I did on the global situation from my cave on Mt. Huashan were very profound. I linked my own polarized brain hemispheres and deep energy body channels to the powerful granite meridians of Mt. Huashan. These connected me into the core of the planetary brain that links humanity into a single collective mind. I called in the polarized forces from the different Tao alchemy formulas, in equal and opposing streams of chi flow: male sexual fire vs. female sexual water, sun vs. moon, stellar spirit vs. earthly matter, formless chi field of Early Heaven vs. formed chi field of Later Heaven. Ultimately all these poles are fluctuations between the eternal desire of beings to return to the primordial chaos of Oneness vs. the impulse to create new order as the Ten Thousand Things. Into the meeting point or cauldron of all these octaves of my consciousness, I called in the archetypal fear splitting the planet in half. Fear lacks its own center, and thus cannot survive such powerful cosmic impulses to unite in the center. I had an experience of the vast currents of fear flowing about the planetary chi field as fuel for a powerful meltdown into a deep and peaceful inner space.
I arrived in the Spring Flower cave just a few weeks after the Sept. 11 bombing of the World Trade Center. It might have appeared I was retreating from the world’s problems, rather than engaging them. Yet I did not experience it as a withdrawal, but rather saw my cave an observatory from which I could more clearly interact with the convulsive rhythms pulsing through the planetary brain from the heart of America. When you are caught up in reactive emotional patterns of society and politics, it is difficult to directly perceive the underlying natural forces at work in shaping society. Every event, even one seemingly caused by evil forces, is ultimately an expression of natural forces seeking to achieve balance. I am not talking about the immediate or surface political reasons for terrorism, and maybe I should have made that clearer. I am talking about the core spiritual reasons/imbalances in the global mind that surface from the deep unconscious and get shaped by cultural forces into whatever they are. By the time any thought form/impulse gets to the stage of action, be it beneovlent or violent, it has gone thorugh many filters/layers of consciousness, some of which reflect the global brain imbalance I was attempting to refer to. These imbalances come from fears that are very primordial/deep ancestral, and precede the current situation.
Joyce and I, meditating on opposite sides of the planet, were only two people out of six billlion people on the planet. But by alchemically aligning and accelerating these natural forces, I am certain that we were able to dissolve some deep unconscious layers of fear and shift the mind of humanity far out of proportion to our tiny number of two. In this way, the Spring Flower cave on Huashan became in the inner planes a cauldron of hope and renewal for all humanity. Later, after I left Haushan, I could still feel the chi from Huashan’s granite still coursing through my deep channels, and the heart of humanity beating more palpably within my own heart.
From my cave perspective, I saw that beneath the apparent political issues surrounding the 9-11 terrorist attack were deeper spiritual divisions in the collective global mind. The left-brained western hemisphere does not comprehend and thus cannot trust the more right brained eastern hemisphere. Its similar to the difficulty men and women have in communicating. This is a very ancient ancestral pattern buried deep within the planet that is
The only book I took with me into the cave was Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. In it Lao Tzu comments that “the sage stays at home, does nothing, and yet everything is accomplished.” Staying home is a Taoist metaphor for staying in one’s spiritual center, in the inner heart of hearts, at the core of one’s personal cauldron. The easiest way to “do nothing” is to align with the natural harmonizing flow of cosmic forces. Those forces will ultimately and effortlessly accomplish the return to peace and harmony. Internal alchemy is one very deep and powerful way to align with those forces.
I’ve dreamed the nightmare a hundred times, that old revulsion of bone and flesh, waking in sweat, in a headlong rush toward the world, into the cool certainty of fires that burn in sudden stars, the heat in the body. That I am precludes my never having been. What I know was given to me to say. There is more. There are words that exist only in the mind of heaven, a bright knowing, a clear moment of being. When you know it, you know yourself well enough. You will not speak. I am a child resting in love, in the pleasure of clouds. I read the book of the river. I hold the magic of stones and trees. I find god in my fingers and in the wings of birds. I am my delight, creator of my destiny. It is not vanity. There are those who live in the boundaries of guilt and fear, the limits of imagination. They believe limitation is the world. You can not change them. There is work of your own to do. You will never reach the end of your own becoming, the madness of creation, the joy of existence. Dance in the moment. Reach down and pull up song. Spin and chant and forget the sorrow that we are flesh on bone. I return to the rhythm of water, to the dark song I was in my mother’s belly. We were gods then and we knew it. We are gods now dancing in whirling darkness, spitting flame like stars in the night. In the womb before the world began, I was a child among other gods and children who were, or may be, or might have been. There in the dark when we could not see each other’s faces, we agreed with one mind to be born, to separate, to forget the pact we made that we might learn the secrets of our fraternity. We agreed to know sorrow in exchange for joy, to know death in exchange for life. We were dark seeds of possibility whispering. Then one by one we entered alone. We walked on our legs, and as we had said, we passed in well-lit streets without recognizing each other; yet we were gods sheathed in flesh, the multitude of a single spirit. Gods live even in darkness, in the world above your heads, in the crevices of rocks, in the open palms of strangers. I am a child, the seed in everything, the rhythm of flowers, the old story that lingers. Among cattle and fruit sellers, I am air. I am love hidden in a shy maiden’s gown. I am the name of things. I am the dream changing before your eyes. I am my body, a house for blood and breath. I am a man on earth and a god in heaven. While I travel the deserts in frail form, while i grow old and weep and die, I live always as a child inside the body of truth, a blue egg that rocks in the storm but never breaks. I sleep in peace in my mother’s lap, a child mesmerized by sunlight on the river. My soul is swallowed up by god. Out of chaos came the light. Out of the will came life.
Lao Tzu also mentions that “Humans hate to be alone, poor, and hungry”. Yet there have been countless generations of Taoist adepts on Mt. Huashan who have chosen to live in remote mountain caves in lives of apparent aloneness, poverty, and hunger. Why did they do it? Perhaps only the paradoxical thinking of Lao Tzu can define their motive, incomprehensible to the great mass of humanity: “We we gain by losing, we lose by gaining,”Lao Tzu advises. In their cold caves without much food or water, lost to the gaity of outer world, I believe these alchemy adepts fed themselves and gained everything by embracing the Tao itself. Michael Winn is a pioneer in bringing Tao arts to the west. He is founder & director of Healing Tao University which offers 30 week long summer retreats in all of the Tao arts in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Recent President of the National Qigong Association USA, he wrote 7 books with Mantak Chia. and offers in depth Tao home study audio-video courses in chi kung and Taoist inner alchemy. He is leading a China Dream Trip Oct. 6-20, 2002 with an optional week Oct. 19-27 in Taoist monasteries and cave practice on Mt. Huashan. Contact: [email protected]
or 888-999-0555 (973-777-4442) or www.HealingTaoUSA.com Becoming The Immortal Child The Egyptian Book of The Dead as Inner Alchemy Text Translated by Normandi Ellis Note: The link between the Egyptian concept of immortality as an Eternal Child and the Daoist cultivation of the Immortal Child is made very clear in the following passage. The notion that the “gods” are a collective within this Immortal Child is also strikingly similar. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is obviously not a funerary text at all, but about spiritual passage between heaven and earth. The adept in both ancient Egypt and in ancient China becomes the immortal child to make that passage WHILE STILL ALIVE. Are you willing to reimagine yourself? - Michael Winn
On Immortality, the Body, & Wuji
Becoming the child
Michael Winn Question has been asked: according to Tao alchemy principles, is the physical body immortal? The issue can be simplified. Jing , chi, shen (body substance, energy, and intelligence/spirit) are all one, and all disappear together into and emerge out of the Wuji, the Supreme Unknown. Ther wuji is NOT a true void, more a womb of unknown origin. If either spirit or substance or energy lives, they all live. If one dies, they all die. Spirit and substance are just two ends of the same pole, connected by energy. The movement of their apparent life and death is not just between body and spirit, but between wuji/ Unknown and creation/ Known. So even the infinite field of Original Spirit has to face this Unknown. The Original Spirit (Yuan Shen) is closest to the wuji, the other levels of spirit (in stars, planets, or human bodies) are dimensionally (i.e. vibrationally) more distant. But all claim the wuji as their grandmother. Jing, chi, and shen all have equal and simultaneous reality, and need each other to know themselves. How does spirit know that it exists except by Body/jing’s presence? That is what ensures Body’s Immortality. Otherwise Original Spirit would just snap it fingers in the causal plane and disappear in a second this entire troubled physical plane. It doesn’t do this, because it NEEDS for body/substance to evolve itself back into its original immortal state of awareness.
(from Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of The Dead translated by Normandi Ellis, complied from egyptian funerary texts and religious hymns from 3000 B.C-300 A.D) In seafoam, in swirlings and imaginings I am fish, tadpole, crocodile. I am an urge, an idea, a portent of impossible dreams. I lie between heaven and earth, between goodness and evil, patience and explosion. I am innocent and rosy as dawn. I sleep with my finger in my mouth, the cord of life curled beside my ear. Like a child in its mother’s belly, I am with you but not among you. I know no ending for I have no beginning. I have always been here, a child in the silence of things, ready to wake at any moment. I am possibility. What I hate is ignorance, smallness of imagination, the eye that sees no farther than its own lashes. All things are possible. When we speak in anger, anger will be our truth. When we speak in love and live by love, truth in love will be our comfort. Who you are is limited only by who you think you are. I am the word before its utterance. I am thought and desire. I am a child in the throat of god. Things are possible-joy and sorrow, men and women, children. Someday I’ll imagine myself a different man, build bone and make flesh around him. I am with you but a moment for an eternity. I am the name of everything.
But we could speculate that Immortality itself, the Eternal Life of Spirit integrated with Body, ceases to exist and becomes something else in the presence of the Supreme “Black Hole” of Wuji. Perhaps we cauld call it Non-Mortality, or Amortality? I wish I were close enough to even pose the question to the proper Presence or Absence. Smiling at this Headiiness, Michael Winn 2001
Tao instructor from Wales) and I traversed the Michael ley line across southwestern England to St. Michael Mount (a dramatic island fortess opposite Mont St. Michel across the channel). We crossed to Ireland and explored Celtic sites like New Grange and spent the night in some of these underground womb-tombs called barrows. These sites I believe were constructed using ancient Atlantean alchemical sciences, and they come alive when you practice alchemy in them. The earth chi was intensely powerful, and the green pearl kept calling to me from the deep earth. A few weeks later I went to China and spent a week in a cave in bigu (not eating) on the Taoist sacred mountain Mt. Huashan (Flower Mtn). I wrote a separate article on that experience, but didn¹t have space to go into the green pearl. On Huashan I worked extensively with the green pearl, doing alchemical meditations to facilitate expanding its pathway by linking it with my heart and by resonance to the heart of all humanity at this time of crisis.
State of the Universe Address Year of the Water Horse Michael Winn It¹s Chinese New Year, the second new moon after the Winter Solstice, Year of the Water Horse. It begins early Tuesday morning (EST), Feb. 12, 2002. My physical body is only a tiny speck in the universe, how can it grasp what is really going on within these vast cosmic cycles of the earth, moon, sun, and stars? My energy body reaches out into the chi field, shaped like a giant question mark, its curved hook hoping to catch some answers. Since everyone¹s Original Spirit is the center of the universal field of awareness, I am reminded that each of us can deliver our own State of the Union address to ourselves and our friends. Here is mine. The State of the Universe, as I experience it.
So now, the Year of the Water Horse rolls around, and what does this green pearl mean? A Water Year means that the dominant phase of chi flowing within the planet is watery. This chi gushes and rises up in waves, as is Water¹s wont. The Horse is a yang symbol of fire and expansion, linked to high noon and Summer Solstice. In 1985, when I did a four month overland journey following Marco Polo¹s footsteps across western China to Xanadu (north of Beijing), I visited the crumbled palace where the famous bronze “Flying Horse” from the Han Dynasty was discovered. The reason the Chinese emperors expanded their empire to envelop what is today the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts in Chinese Turkestan was to obtain the magical horses of Ferghana.
First, a short look back gives a better view of the general flow. 2001 was mostly a Snake Year, and some dark snakes certainly came crawling out last September and afterwards. People are afraid of snakes, and so a global wave of fear enveloped the planet. While the outer events of 9-11 were horrifying to contemplate, my inner vision was elated and bursting with excitement, even as the nightmare unfolded. Maybe it is because I love physical snakes as well as energy snakes (dragons). In the human body snake chi is just the kundalini dancing. It can be painful if your energy body is not prepared, and ecstatic if it is.
I gave a copy of this beautiful bronze statue to my wife Joyce, who as a Water Horse naturally fell in love with it. It has little birds sculpted underneath the hooves of a magnificent horse, giving the impression it is flying. Even today in modern China the Horse represents fire. During Fire Horse Years many Chinese traditionally abort female babies because such yang fiery chi in a woman is considered very difficult and unlucky.
I felt the planetary ego-crust was finally cracking open, and the Dark Side could best initiate this, since it is the crust. 9-ll was a beautiful example, I reminded myself, of how the Light Side needs the Dark Side in order to reveal the True Side (i.e. its Side-lessness, a.k.a. the center).
This present cycle of Later Heaven (physical plane) time takes us into a natural water-year & fire-horse alchemical combination “cooking” the planet at this time of crisis. I constantly remind alchemy adepts-in-training that Nature is the great alchemist, human alchemists are just imitating Her art & science. So after the Dark Snake crawled out of the hole, the Water Horse is going to speed up the transformational cooking of the unconscious energies exposed to the light of day. This means there could be some very dramatic shocks, likely much stronger than 9-11, to the global psyche. But not to worry. This is just part of a spiritual tidal wave that is cleansing the planet. The sick chi has to surface in order to be embraced and healed.
On Sept.15, I flew on one of the first United planes to cross the Atlantic, and taught in Glastonbury, England one of the most powerful Inner Sexual Alchemy (Lesser Kan & Li) retreats I¹ve ever experienced. I knew it would be powerful, even on the morning of 9/11, as I could feel the chi field humming. In fact, it started six days earlier for me, when I turned 50 on Sept. 5th. My birthday present to myself was to do five hours of chi kung and meditation, and commit myself to living another 100 years (before reviewing my “ soul contract”). I noticed that my heart beat immediately made a dramatic shift, speeding up to a stable average of 10 beats faster per minute (and maintained that rate for the last five months). I was concerned and alarmed by this at the time. I didn¹t understand until six days later that I had simply jumped the gun on the quickening about to occur in the planetary heartbeat of humanity.
I feel the presence of the green pearl of the planet¹s celestial Hun is a signal to me that the birthing process of the planet is about to enter a new phase. The human alchemical process of cultivating the “elixir” and birthing it into an “immortal child” that lives in simultaneous heavens or dimensions has been well described in classical Taoist literature and in my other articles. In my Sun-Moon Alchemy (Greater Kan & Li) retreats I talk about a parallel alchemical birthing process that is happening within the planetary being. It is known popularly as “earth changes”, which many view with apocalyptic dread.
Atop the Glastonbury Tor, a pyramid shaped mountain rising mysteriously from the plain below with spirals terraced into its sides, I had a vision. Isis, the tuned-in woman who runs the Shambala retreat center where we were staying at the base of the Tor, had told me exactly where to stand at the confluence of two polar ley lines (called Michael and Mary lines, suggestive of deep yin and yang). I rooted my energy body deep down inside the earth, where I saw a luminous green pearl pulsing deep inside the earth¹s core. It felt like a long hidden treasure waiting to reveal its precious, joyful, essence.
To me, accelerating earth changes are just planetary birthing labor pains, and the adept of internal alchemy is a midwife. It is perhaps no coincidence that I find myself teaching the Sun-Moon alchemy retreat three times this year in May in Tuscany, Italy (in a natural earth amphitheatre formed from an old stone quarry), in July at Dao Mountain, N.Y., and in September at Glastonbury, England. There we will again rent Stonehenge for a Taoist Fall Equinox ceremony (it was truly amazing to feel it come alive last year) and hopefully physically descend into the Chalice Well (Glastonbury¹s most powerful yin vortex) as part of our deep earth journey.
I interpreted this green pearl (through my filter of Taoist alchemical language) to be the Hun spirit of the planet. Hun is the celestial spirit of the body, expressed physically through the liver function. It assists the deep ocean of jing chi (sexual essence) of the kidneys rising up towards the solar heart chi. Later this green pearl kept coming to me as my local guide Barry Spendlove (Healing
The fact is, multiple realties can co-exist. Good-bad, right-wrong, male-female, and Me-Other occupy the same yin-yang energetic space simultaneously, even if we have separate physical bodies. All of these polarized energetic patterns are living in a single spectrum of consciousness. I expect that during the Year of the Water Horse to see the apparent disparity between these polarities intensified. The DevilAngel faces of humanity will be out in full force, moving the drama along. Something like a nuclear suitcase bomb exploded in a major city, or some other apocalyptic event that the military will use to expand their global domination. Maybe an earthwquake or volcano near some major city that throws the global economy into confusion.
But what happens when a planet births its own Immortal Child? The same thing that happens when a human child is birthed: it separates into a parallel physical reality similar to its parents, yet slightly different. That¹s why kids see the same world as their parents, but through slightly different (parallel) eyes. That is the job of each generation of souls waving through Later Heaven. Their destiiny is to allow the life force to manifest its cyclic changes through them. But occasionally a generation hits a special point in the cycle, and that seems to be the case with humans alive right now. The chi field of Early Heaven (formless) and the chi field of Later Heaven (physical form) are coupling and penetrating each other more deeply than they have for milleniua. The extremely subtle experience of this Cosmic Love-making is cultivated in the sixth of One Cloud¹s Seven Formulas of Immortality, called the Congress of Heaven and Earth. It will be interesting to see what new experience unfolds in the group cauldron of my Heaven and Earth Alchemy retreat in late August at Dao Mountain. This is the level of practice where you work with the expansionary shift in space itself. It is an opportunity to ground the virtues (te) or unconditional spiritual qualities (love, truth, acceptance, trust, etc) of Early Heaven into the physical plane. This is what will nourish the new born immortal child of planet earth as it separates into a parallel astral reality from its parent.
Most people will get sucked into the drama, and feel compelled to choose between the Light and the Dark. A minority of spiritually mature folks will find in it an opportunity to slip through the widening crack in the middle to find our Original Face, between the pendulum swings of the global theatre. That is where the new reality will be gradually crystallizing, comprised of beings who no longer want to create the old, dog-eat-god, fear-controlled reality. How long will this process take? Impossible to predict. How long does it take you to shift between the dreaming and the awake state? In astral time, it has already occurred, the earth has already birthed its immortal child-new parallel reality. How long it takes for each of us to pkhysically shift into it, and thereby add to its ever growing density, will depend on our need to serve in the old reality or play out our attachment to its many thrills, some not so healthy.
What does this mean for humans living on the old parent earth? You have a free ride if you willing to hitch yourself to Nature¹s alchemical process of accelerated transformation. That is why an ounce of focused internal alchemy practice now will be worth a ton of blissful embodiment later. The planetary immortal earth child is just a collective space where we can all continue cultivating ourselves on a slightly less dense version of earth. The dark side will still be present, as you can¹t have bodies without it. But it won¹t be so stuck and evilappearing, but a planet where the life force flows creatively and freely, without obstruction. A place where souls can shape the chi field to complete themselves, where long life will be the norm.
Normally, I only go into these more difficult to accept spiritual ideas with students at the Greater kan and li level who are having some clearer experience of their ability to cultivate original chi and create a new internal reality. Or to perceive at least the seed of their original self, if not a fully birthed immortal child. But things are speeding up here. I am sharing my experience of the current earth-field shift with you so you may be inspired to explore it and verify for yourself the presence of the expanding Green Pearl of the Earth¹s celestial hun soul. I find it usually appearing in the middle dantien (heart center). (The Green Pearl may also be linked to the Atlantean legend of a Green Emerald Tablet that recorded the earth¹s history in it. If true, I believe it is the job of the alchemist to find, decode, and then merge with this green crystal or pearl.)
What will be most confusing is the transition period to this greater collective reality, where we will literally be in both worlds at once. You may be programmed by materialist science to disbelieve my conjecture about this, as some new age fantasy. But think again. You are already experiencing yourself in multiple dimensions: your body and your mind are the closest example. Body is solid and “proveably” exists in the physical, the mind is formless and cannot be proven to exist, yet we know it does. We are all already looking through a formless Mind window into a world of Body forms. That makes the most ordinary moment in life a multi-dimensional experience.
This type of “earth re-birthing itself” information has been proclaimed by many teachers/prophets/psychics over the last twenty years. The information is in the collective intelligence field of humanity, for anyone choosing to access it. But I never found these prophets to offer much practical training to actually communicate with these changing earth forces the way the Taoist tradition of neidangong (inner alchemy) does.
When we all “look” or envision together, in sync with deeper elemental forces of the planets, sun, moon, and stars, this collective fusion of the five elemental forces can create another solid-appearing reality.
The most important thing is to stay grounded, so that ALL of your shen (vital organ spirits that comprise the ling, or soul) can shift together in a harmonious and integrated fashion. Otherwise you get conflicts, and your multiple shen want to split into different realities. This means staying a very calm, centered, neutral observer through the wildest of times, even when the Horse seems to be galloping over a cliff.
This re-birthing process is in accordance with both spiritual law and the laws of physics that flow from the chi field (quantum field and parallel universe theory if you prefer scientific lingo). We already function in multiple dimensions each moment, but we don¹t notice it because the perceptual shifts between dimensions usually occurs in nanosecond time frames and our senses are operating much more slowly.
I hope this information may motivate some to take their chi kung and inner alchemy path a little more seriously. This year, by the way, is not only the beginning of a new Chinese year, but the beginning of a new century, as this calendar (based on 60 year cosmic energy cycles) dates back 4700 years to when the Yellow Emperor created it. I consider “Yellow Emperor” to be code for “Great Spirit of Planet Earth”. Next year will be the Year 4701. Time to hop on your flowing Water Horse and throw an even bigger party!
What is confusing is the dimensional overlap between an old reality and an emerging new reality. It is sort of like projecting two movies at once on the same screen. This was apparent to me even as the world trade center was collapsing: my inner reality was expanding with compassion, love and joy at the release of stuck planetary energy, my outer reality was filled with death, suffering, war-hysteria and paranoia from political manipulation and lies. I chose to give the inner reality more weight, as being my unfolding reality, and the latter as the dying gasps of a reality whose negativity and self-contracting nature dooms it to eventual death.
Wishing you a joyous and chi-filled year, Michael Winn
Looking for Taoists in China, Mortal and Immortal
the Shaanxi Taoists. I had found the perfect guide and companion to climb Mt. Hua Shan with me. Wu Zhongxian, at age 32 was already a lineage holder in taoist neigong (internal mind cultivation) and a superb qigong healer. Like me, he was not really interested in becoming a religious Taoist, but he was friends with many monks, as many had similar internal practices apart from their use of religious deities and mantras. Wu pointed out “it’s important to remember that the Eight Immortals are real historical figures, and that seven of the eight came from Shaanxi province. Chun li Chuan received the formulas of inner alchemy here from the Tao, and taught them to Lu Dong Bin. “Ancestor Lu” taught them to five others, who left Shaanxi to spread the inner alchemy (nei dan) teachings across China and to found different schools of Taoism. But Shaanxi province still remains the most important center of Taoism.” Back on Mt. Hua Shan, I finished meditating in my pine tree. I asked Wu, what did he think the adept He Zhi Zheng ate while perched in his bird-nest cave? “Maybe he was a breatharian, the qi up here is quite pure and nourishing”, Wu replied. He pointed up high above the cave, at some Chinese characters carved into the sheer cliff wall. “Nobody can figure out he got up there to write that poem. Even climbers say with modern equipment they can’t reach that spot because of an overhang. How did he chisel that poem 700 years ago from solid rock? The government has a 10,000 yuan reward for anyone who can solve this mystery. I don’t know, maybe he was a Tao Immortal, and flew up there.” Zheng did have had one problem. His heart was too big. He dug 72 caves on Mt. Hua Shan, named “Flower Mountain” for its five petalled peaks spreading up to heaven like a giant stone lotus. But Zheng would give away each cave he dug to his neigong students. His last cave was the one facing me, chosen for its excellent feng shui: facing southwest for warming sun, the pine tree indicating strong nourishing qi. Today inside the cave there is a shrine to Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Chinese tourists and pilgrims still brave the cliff walk to make prayers there, bowing and lighting incense in a timeless ritual. I remembered the words of Chen Yu Ming, the young vice abbot of Jade Spring monastery at the base of the mountain: “There are still a lot of Tao Immortals said to reside around Hua Shan”, he said, and pointed out a surprising fact. “Of all the sacred mountains occupied by Taoists in China, Hua Shan is the only one dedicated to the Goddess. Most of its many temples and shrines are to different female deities. This is a bit odd, since historically mostly only male adepts were allowed to live here. Perhaps it was considered too steep and difficult for women. So the few lady Taoists who were permitted to come here were of exceptionally high caliber. Some practiced to a higher level than the monks and became Immortals. They were in perfect health, but one day suddenly their body could not be found. But their spirits would make themselves known.” Wu and I inched our way back along the cliffwalk to visit the much larger Jade Emperor’s Cave. Inside were life-size statues of Taoist religious deities, and a young monk wearing the traditional Taoist outfit, dark blue cotton with white leggings and his hair tied in a top knot. He finished giving an I Ching reading to one of the thousands of Chinese who flock to Hua Shan every year, making it one of China’s most crowded national parks. Hsueh Yu Chang, the monk, is 36 years old, and has been living on Huashan for ten years. “I plan to live here for the rest of my life”, he exclaimed, and his sincerity was apparent. It is the same story I have heard from all of the forty monks and and ten nuns who reside here. Even those who rotate to work in the monastery at the base of the mountain eventually long to go back up. “Life is very magical here”, Chang says. “In the winter it is quiet and blanketed with snow, so I do a lot of meditation, study old tao texts, and visit with my friends on other parts of the mountain. In summer I serve as spiritual counselor to the public”. In another temple on Huashan I had a long talk with a Taoist nun, Liang Gui Zhi. Like the monks, she wore pants, and her face had the same happy warm glow that comes from living a simple life and cultivating a radiant inner smile. She was shy at first, but after we shared a couple of cups of tea together she began to talk. “The oldest living Taoist on Hua Shan today is a woman, the 70 year old Chao Xiang Chen”, she said. “She has lived here continuously for 50 years,
Michael Winn Had I discovered a favorite meditation spot of the Immortals (”shien”) said to inhabit Ht. Hua Shan, or “Flower Mountain”, the most famous sacred Taoist mountain in China? I was sitting on the gnarled branches of a centuries old pine tree. This tree, for some strange reason, grew sideways about forty feet out from the face of a sheer cliff, like a tiny dart stuck on the side of the mountain. It was a 3500 foot drop off to the ground, measured only by a handsome white Yosimitelike granite cliff face. To look down into the dizzying abyss below was to openly stare death in the face. I rooted my spinal qi into the tree trunk, so I wouldn’t think about falling or being blown off the tree. As I got centered, I allowed my mind to explore the bottomless void below. I slowly expanded my energy body until I could feel the empty space of the natural bowl formed by the mountains merge into the center of my now giant sized dan tien. Suddenly, a surge of qi shot through my physical body, flowed through me into the tree, then penetrated deep inside the mountain. I experienced being in an even more vast empty space inside the mountain. This space felt very primordial, the qi very formless. Iit was deeply calming and blissful. It felt like the heart space of the Spirit of Flower Mountain. Was it showing me me where to root my center of gravity and awareness if I really wanted to meet with the Immortals who had achieved themselves on Hua Shan? Facing me was a cave that He Zhi Zheng, a Taoist adept from the 13th century, had dug by hand out of the vertical mountain wall. The only way to get to the cave, with my tree serving as its front porch, was to walk along a narrow board one foot wide for 200 feet across the sheer wall of the bare granite cliff, clinging to a chain. It’s both scary and exhilarating, like mountain climbing with no safety rope. This guy Zheng was serious about wanting his privacy. I asked a monk if anyone ever fell down off the cliff. His answer was a typical taoist aphorism. “No”, he said. “The more dangerous it is, the more careful everyone is.” He Zhi Zheng is just one of the colorful Taoists that made Shaanxi province renowned as the stronghold of Taoism. Some 55 miles from Hua Shan China’s ancient capitol, Xian, where I had visited the Tang Dynasty 8 Immortals Temple. Sixty miles beyond Xian I had also visited Luoguantai, a famous Taoist Monastery built on the spot where Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching. The surrounding plains of Shaanxi is virtually the largest outdoor museum in China, with temples and relics from nearly every dynasty that ever ruled China, including the famous terra cotta underground army of Emperor Qin. My quest was to discover how Taoism was faring in modern China, and to energetically observe if (or how) the quality of contemporary Taoists would reflect the ongoing presence of the ancient Immortals. My own passion for twenty years was to practice deeply the Taoist internal alchemy formulas that cultivate the “Golden Elixir”, the inner light of eternal life grasped while one is still in mortal body. I had just finished two weeks with the National Qigong Association studying with medical qigong masters in Beijing hospitals (see Qi winter ‘99 issue). Now I wanted to peek underneath the religious life of
except for during the cultural revolution when the communists forced her to leave. Now she lives in seclusion, in a remote valley that takes 4 hours to walk to. She is a great and wise teacher to all the young taoists.” I asked Liang if female adepts were trained to cultivate their middle dan tien (heart) first, as suggested by some ancient texts. “The lower dan tien first, later the middle”, she replied. She assured me the women received equal treatment with the men. She herself grew up helping around Wu Dang mountain taoist temple, which is close to Shaanzi, and later moved to Hua Shan, where she was gradually adopted as a nun about ten years ago.. “Taoists like to wander from mountain to mountain”, she noted. “We are free to leave anytime we wish. I love Hua Shan because I can meditate under the quiet sky at night, and climb mountains by day.” She politely declined to give her age, but did allow me to photograph her. Most taoist monks and nuns will not allow tourists to photograph, but I had a letter of introduction from the vice abbot, and was considered an exception. I found out later Liang was sixty; she looked much younger. I noticed she wore lipstick, her one concession to the modern idea of beauty. In the summertime, up to 10,000 visitors, mostly Chinese, swarm like ants up the stone stairs carved out of the steep mountain rising 7,150 feet from the plains of Shaanxi. There is a spectacular cable car ride ($7.) that will take you up halfway the mountain, the highest lift in all Asia. Riding it, I felt like an eagle. Off season there are only a few hundred people on any given day. The monks and tourists stay in former monasteries converted into hostels that are fairly primitive. Many chinese cannot afford the cable car and hike the six hours from the bottom, starting at midnight in order to catch the magnificent sunrise at the top. This is a better way to get to know the whole mountain. This midnight trail is lined with little tents lit by bare light bulbs selling food and water to the hikers: prices rise with the altitude. I see many people carrying heavy provisions up coolie style, a stick with two heavy bundles at each end. A man, carrying 50 pounds of cement bags to build a new hotel, told me he earned only $7 for the 12 hour roundtrip, but he was desperate for the money. How did Hua Shan come to be a taoist holy mountain, and the source of so many famous qigong and neigong teachings? The mountain is home today to about 50 Taoist monks and nuns, much reduced from the past, but still holding the thread of an ancient taoist presence. Records suggests that taoists have lived on the mountain for over 2200 years, since at least the Han Dynasty (200 B.C.). Taoist hermits may have been attracted to its special spiritual energy, but they could not scale the higher peaks. Each peak is named after the four directions, with South Peak being the highest, and East Peak having the most hair raising cliff climbs. It was not until the Sung Dynasty, a thousand years ago, that a way was found to reach the upper peaks by a carved “stairway to heaven” that is so steep that you must hold onto a chain to keep from falling over backward! There is a boulder called “Back Rock”, because so many would turn back, diismayed at the vertical stairs in a section called “Thousand Foot High Precipice”. Legend has it that one of the most famous Taoists, Chen Tuan, won the mountain at a chess game. Chen Tuan, beat Zhao Kuangyin, who later made good on his promise to deliver the mountain if he became Tang Dynasty Emperor, which he did (960-976 AD). Chen Tuan presided over a revival of Taoist neigong practices, and is especially famous for his Taoist Dream Practice. There is a cave at the Jade Clear Spring Monastery where he lived his later years, and today it is a shrine with a statue of him in the classical dream practice pose (lying on right side, right hand supporting the head, like a Sleeping Tiger). Records note he would meditate in this position for months without eating while he flew about in his dream or energy body. Hua Shan was taken away from the Taoists for ten years during the cultural revolution. Later the temples (but not the mountain itelf) were returned to the Taoists. Perhaps the government
realized nobody else could really take care of it. Chen Yu Ming is a slender 30 year old monk who in addition to being Vice Abbot is Jade Spring librarian and musician. He gave me a private concert on the classical gu ching, a seven stringed hammered dulcimer-like instrument. The music was quite elegant. He is the resident intellectual at the monastery, and is the new breed of young Taoists who have chosen to turn their backs on commerce crazed modern China for communal life in a mouintain monastery. He is not isolated, as I noticed a TV in his room, otherwise simply furnished with calligraphy. “The cultural revolution was terrible for the monks and nuns. They were given three options: return to their home, become a farmer in Shaanxi, or do hard (slave) labor. Most chose the hard labor, because they did not want to marry and return to society. They wanted to keep open their hope of returning to Hua Shan. Many of them died of starvation and brutal labor conditions. But the ones who survived are our teachers today. They tell me, “Trust the Tao, and accept whatever it delivers to you. The immortals will help at the right moment”. Their hearts are pure and forgiving. Amazingly, they hold no anger against their former tormentors.” I ask Tsong Fa Ching, a young 26 year old monk who studies Wudang style tai chi chuan in his spare time, why he joined the monastery. “When I was eighteen, I saw a TV cartoon drama about the Eight Taoist Immortals, using their powers to help the common people,” he said. “ I knew immediately I wanted to be a Taoist. My parents lived in the south of China, and were opposed bitterly, because monks do not bear grandchildren. At twenty I ran away and this was the first Taoist monastery I could find..They accepted me, and I have been happy ever since.” At the Eight Immortals Temple in Xian, a fabulously well preserved Tang Dynasty complex that has been continuously operating for 1400 years, I found similar stories, and another 50 monks and nuns. Huang Shizen (”He who walks on Air”) is only 26 years old, another of the breed of young Taoist leader. He is well educated, speaks English, and travels to other Taoist temples to attend ceremonies and keep harmony between temples in different provinces. He had also just opened his own small taoist temple in another part of Xian. I ask Huang if he has strict dietary and sexual rules to follow as a monk. He winces, and says with a sigh, “I get tired of people asking me if I eat meat or have sex. In fact, most of the monks are vegetarian and celibate. But that is irrelevant to spiritual attainment. The Tao is about spiritual freedom. More important to remember that, not religious rules of behavior.” Together we leave the bustling capitol city of Xian to drive to Luoguantai, famous for its location at the mountain pass where Lao Tzu was stopped by the gate keeper and asked to write down his wisdom. The 5000 chacracter masterpiece, the Tao Te Ching was alledgedly written on this spot. The monastery is nicely kept up by the 42 monks and 8 nuns. By a large statue of Lao Tzu I take a photo of Huang and another young taoist leader, the 30 year old Liu Si Chuan. One is dressed in black, the other in white, like a designer yin-yang outfit. What’s the difference? “The summer outfit is white, the winter is black”. Of course. Harmonize with the seasons. Huang introduced me to the abbot, Ren Fa Rong, who is also his meditation teacher. Rong is famous as a scholar of Lao Tzu and vice president of the All China Taoist Association. At age 70, Ren Fa Rong is friendly but inscrutable. Of all the Taoists I met in China, his shen, or spirit, felt the most powerful. We had tea and discussed Lao Tzu. “There are over a thousand commentaries on the Tao Te Ching”, he noted. “It’s good to have a lot of interpretations. Lao Tzu was not just writing about the politics of his time, he was also guiding us about nei dan (inner alchemy). Ultimately Lao Tzu is writing about the Natural Tao, which embraces everything.” I promised Ren Fa Rong I would return for a longer study, and bring some western students of the Tao with me. He seemed happy to deepen that connection, gave me his commentary on Lao Tzu, and asked if I would help translate and publish it in America. I heard myself saying yes. (Any Chinese translators out there?) The words of one young monk captured the essence of what I encountered in Shaanxi. “We are religious Taoists, but the original Taoists had no religion. Our uniforms and temples are merely a
reflection of the local culture. None of it matters. Only, can you grasp the essence?” Michael Winn is leading a joint NQA-Healing Tao trip to China Sept 23 - Oct. 7, 2000. It includes a week studying with Taoists in Luoguantai & Hua Shan, a week training in medical qigong in Beijing. Winn lives in Asheville, NC, has 20 years teaching experience. He is Past President of the National Qigong Association USA, writer of 6 books on neigong with Mantak Chia, is founder and Dean of Healing Tao University in Big Indian, N.Y., the largest offering of low cost Tao Arts in the west with 33 summer retreats (academic credit available) in qigong, feng shui, healing, herbology, pa gua, taoist alchemy, etc. For free newsletter & catalog of neigong home study courses, call 888-432-5826 (or 201-656-2346). Email [email protected]
or visit www.HealingTaoUSA.com/retreats
was One Cloud, and he was 90 years old though he looked thirty years younger. I was impressed by his kind smile and gentle strength. He lived simply, ate simply, a diet with no salt. He taught me about taoist alchemical salt, which is heated in bamboo, and used as a solvent to aid meditative practice. I visited White Cloud once or twice a week for almost four years. He took a liking to me, seemed to think I had the patience to learn something deeper from him than other students. He taught me the classical seven Inner Alchemy formulas of Immortality that he himself had used to stop eating food . He said he had existed solely on chi (qi) for many years when he lived in the mountains of north China. He started eating again when the Japanese started bombing and he came down out of the hills. He believes that his liver was contaminated by bad food at that time, which may have been a cause of his eventual death at age 96. I had returned to Thailand, and opened my own Natural Healing Center in the mid 70’s in which I taught qigong, tai chi, and the beginning levels of inner alchemy -- the Inner Smile and Microcosmic Orbit. I was amazed at how many people got healed. I thought of One Cloud often, of his beautiful smile and his teaching me to smile into the body’s vital organs and the dan tiens (energy centers). I preferred his light-hearted Tao teachings to the local Buddhist monks, who were stern and took themselves too seriously. I also appreciated my mother’s Christian teachings, but the Tao teachings were always practical and wise and gradually became my main focus. I think the qigong principles of harmony and balance are very similar to the Christian teachings on love, they are just expressed in a more concrete energetic form. I don’t see any difference between the idea of universal qi and Holy Spirit. I also noticed many monks would go see a Chinese doctor when they got sick, suggesting they knew that chinese medicine, based on principles taken from qigong, had a deep understanding of the body. When I was 21, a western style doctor told me I would die from an inherited kidney problem. So I found another Taoist teacher who showed me how to rejuvenate my kidneys by recycling my sexual energy. I believe it saved my life, and I have taught it to thousands of other people and seen how it helped them also. For me, this is the real joy of teaching qigong and neigong. I get to watch so many people heal and blossom like a flower when they experience their connection to the flow of qi.
Story of Mantak Chia Meeting Taoist Adept One Cloud Introduction and interview with Mantak Chia by Michael Winn, written for PBS book by Francesco Garripolli accompanying his PBS film Qigong: Healing Art of the 21st Century Michael Winn Taoist Master Mantak Chia is a major pioneer in awakening the West into the Way of the Tao over the last 20 years. He is co-author of over ten books on qigong and its inner meditative aspect, neigong. He is the first to openly initiate westerners into the secret methods of Taoist inner alchemy, the ancient methods for healing the split between body/mind and sexuality/soul. It’s a path that leads to long life and a deep blissful, spirtual rebirth. His books include Awaken Healing Energy of the Tao, the first book in English on opening the Microcosmic Orbit, a kind of unifying “chakra” or wheel that connects all the meridians and energy centers of the body. I co-authored with him a revolutionary approach to connecting sexual energy to physical and spiritual health: Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy, followed by Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy. Other books focused on different types of qigong: Iron Shirt Chi Kung, Bone Marrow Nei Kung, Transform Stress into Vitality (Six Healing Sounds), Fusion of the Five Elements (mind training of the vital organ qi and emotional qi), Chi Nei Tsang (Deep Organ Massage) and Tai Chi Chi Kung. His specialty is in teaching people how their “energy body” -- the collective meridians and deep qi channels that connects the body-mind -- can be activated to function as one smoothly functioning whole. I was one of a small group of western students who helped him found the Healing Tao Center in 1982. We were tucked into a tiny cubbyhole in New York’s Chinatown -- a little place with a big vision. Today, the International Healing Tao has over 1000 instructors worldwide on every continent teaching the classical Taoist approach of harmonizing “water and fire” -- male and female, yang and yin. It has given me and hundreds of thousands of others a practical way to manage our health, our emotions, our sexuality, and our minds. It led to my spiritual experience of nature (body nature and worldly nature) as an energy doorway that connects me with “God” in every moment. This is the humble simplicity and beauty of the Tao, the Natural Way. Here is Mantak Chia’s account of how he came to the Way:
Clearing the Confusion Over Fusion Article for Immortal Child Newsletter, Healing Tao Instructor’s Association, 2001-2002 Michael Winn Since Mantak Chia¹s book on Fusion of the Five Elements was published 15 years ago, there has been a lot of confusion over the Healing Tao practice of Fusion.. There were a lot of practices in the book that were NOT part of the original fusion practice, but bits of higher Kan & Li alchemy practices (five animals, five planets, taking pearl out of the body, etc.). As the editor of that book, I objected at the time and edited these higher practices out on the grounds that people should master the emotional level of alchemy before playing in cosmic fields beyond the body. Master Chia put these Kan and Li practices back in and published it, as was his prerogative. He admitted to me some years later that it was a mistake, as the Fusion practice, which we hoped would revolutionize the western psychological community, was largely disregarded by them as being too esoteric or too Chinese in its imagination and not suitable for general western use. The problem has been compounded over time as these and many other higher practices have been downloaded even into the first weekend Basic orbit courses. This tendency to compress the entire Healing Tao system into a single powerful technique I call the “Tao Big Whopper”. It looks like a delicious, super juicy bargain, but how many people can actually get their mouth around it? Or if they do manage to sink their teeth in, can they really digest the cosmic chi from stars and planets in their first weekend? Can they go home and successfully recreate that practice? After studying and teaching Taoist alchemy for 20 years, my conclusion is that most people cannot. Their heads get excited with a
Mantak's Chia's Story I am Chinese, and grew up in Thailand. My mother was a Christian chaplain, but I was surrounded by Buddhist monks who taught me meditation at age six. I watched other Chinese do chi kung in the parks, but didn’t get deeply into it until I went to Hong Kong to attend high school. One of my classmates took me up into nearby mountains where a Taoist adept lived in a simple hut. His name
lot of information, they feel high energy at the workshop, but it is difficult to ground these cosmic chi frequencies. Admittedly, these frequencies are bombarding us every moment, and I believe Master Chia¹s intent is admirable in wanting to share as much as he possibly can as quickly as he can. But after years of experimenting with the progression of “information feed” into students of alchemy, and visiting China and studying with other Taoist teachers, I appreciate the importance placed on gradual development in Taoism. There simply is no rush. If you hurry, you might rush past what is sitting right under your nose. What is right under your nose is your Original Chi, the energy of your original self known as yuan chi. The Inner Smile is the core method for radiating this original chi to every level of your being. But because of the many layers of tension ancestral, karmic, or acquired original chi is not easily grasped. Thus the ancients, over thousands of years of testing, evolved seven formulas for releasing the obscurations that cloud our Original Spirit, whose light shines on a functional level as yuan chi. The formulas follow Taoist cosmology, and the adept must progress through each level before progressing to the next. Without this foundation, the original chi never crystallizes into the Immortal Embryo, the original spirit made manifest here in the physical plane. So people practice for years, but they hit a plateau and nothing further seems to be happening. Eventually they give up too much work and time, too little fruit. The major obstacles for practitioners are emotional and sexual. The Healing Tao is a leader in teaching methods for moving sexual chi, but I have found most Healing Tao practitioners to have largely bypassed their emotional energy body development. The Fusion practices don¹t seem to be working well enough, and this ultimately retards transformation of sexual chi into higher spiritual awareness. It is one of several reasons why so few practitioners are really successful in their Kan and Li practice. This failure may be due partly to differences between Chinese and western practitioners we have very different emotional bodies, the Chinese are more collective-minded, we demand more emotional expression and individual development. But more fundamentally I think it is because of confusion over the Fusion practice. When I was at Tao Garden four years ago, I ran into many people who were overwhelmed by negative feelings because they were fusing all their negative emotions at once into a single pearl. But their negative emotions were not transforming, they were just jammed into a single point of very “stuck” consciousness. This can be shifted easily by first charging up one¹s pearls with “te”, the virtuous qualities of the Tao that are flowing into our physical body-minds (Later Heaven) from our pre-natal self (Early Heaven). By first absorbing our POTENTIAL power for love & acceptance into the heart pearl, kindness into the liver pearl, gentle wisdom into the kidney pearl, integrity/strength into the metal pearl, and trust/ openness into the spleen pearl, we build a reservoir of yuan chi in our emotional body that then allows us to more easily dissolve our negative emotional patterns back into yuan chi. The pearl is a just post natal accumulation of yuan chi. The practical implication of this is that for westerners I believe it is important to practice the Creation Cycle BEFORE the Control Cycle. This effectively means REVERSING THE FUSION FORMULA SEQUENCE: nurture the five shen (vital organ “spirits or body intelligences” with the Fusion II formula before you attempt to dissolve negative emotions with the Fusion I formula. As a teacher, I have found this reversal to be the most effective sequence for emotional transformation. It is even more effective if the students understand the difference between shen, qi, and jing, the three core component of Taoist alchemy. I now teach this difference in the Basics, because it is the secret to effortless practice beginning with the Inner Smile and Six Healing Sounds and going through all the Kan and Li practice. If you don¹t understand the difference between jing-chi-shen, you end up using unconscious ego fragments (shen/body spirits not yet integrated) to manipulate your emotional chi field. This is like asking a drunk person to drive you home the likelihood of making a wrong turn or having an accident is greatly increased. Why ask a dysfunctional aspect of your psyche to be in control? It merely
ends up seizing more control, and amplifying your emotional dysfunction. The net result is the Healing Tao is filled with people who have become a kind of “control freak” to the extent their ego-head is trying to control the chi of their emotional body, rather than actually engaging their true feelings. This attempt to avoid one¹s true feelings is accomplished by focusing on cosmic chi from planets and stars before you have a clue as to what your emotional body is and how it functions. By absorbing higher cosmic chi frequencies too soon you can actually amplify your emotional imbalance. I know of students who followed the fusion formulas in the book (of the nine formulas in the book, the last 4 are actually kan and li) and whose pearl shot out of their heads and left them feeling numb, empty or stuck for years. By going out of the body prematurely, it becomes very difficult to actually feel what is going on inside your body emotionally. This is one of several reasons I am STRONGLY opposed to the technique of “shooting the pearl” out of the crown at any level of practice. It is NOT a Taoist practice, and cannot be found in any alchemical text. Master Chia borrowed it from the Tibetan “powa” practice of exiting the body at the moment of untimely death, i.e. the method is designed to be used for emergency exit only. The Tibetan masters warn to NOT practice it regularly because it is considered to SHORTEN YOUR LIFE. How could it not? It resembles a kind of spiritual ejaculation of your essence out the crown. I heard a first hand story about a young westerner who did powa practice every day up in a monastery in Nepal. One morning, they found him sitting up dead at age 25. I guess the practice worked. A powerful practitioner like Master Chia might be able to pull the ejaculated essence back into the body (which he fortunately is now instructing students to do), but my observation is that most students are unable to entirely draw it back in. This is because the spiritual gravity of the planets and stars and other unconscious levels of ourself is greater than our body¹s spiritual center of gravity in the dan tien. This is especially true in head centered westerners, directing their chi practice from their head brain rather than their belly brain.. How many men can ejaculate sexually and then pull their seed essence back into their body by “thinking” it back? The result of ejaculating one¹s pearl essence is to send your chi orbiting in the low astral plane, where your essence floats unconsciously. In the low astral your essence is even more difficult to manage as it pulls on your emotions and can be manipulated by other entities that want to feed on it. This is especially true if the pearl is sexually charged, as it magnetizes (attracts) negative entities that match your negative emotional makeup. In my understanding of Taoist alchemy, your essence is best directed in the opposite direction, i.e. take it deeper INSIDE the body, deeper into the pre-natal field within the dan tien, so it can fuse into a pearl and be present WITHIN the body. The cosmic planet and star frequencies can be simply absorbed into the pearl and one¹s inner space, without needing to ejaculate the pearl out in order to magnetize or attract those chi frequencies. You can expand your AWARENESS (shen) out to the planets at that stage without ejaculating your essence (jing) into outer space. Again, the adept needs to understand how the jing, chi, and shen function differently, and GRADUALLY train them to reintegrate into their original self. When the pearl/immortal child is sufficiently developed, it will spontaneously leave the body if appropriate. The process of building up the immortal child/pearl by absorbing cosmic chi cannot easily happen if the emotional body is stuck. So we are back to square one, how to first relax and then transform the emotional body using the Fusion practice. This requires just feeling the emotions and their relation to the body without masking them or blasting them with intense downloads of cosmic chi or other manipulations and visualizations by the head/mental body. I have found the Inner Smile to be more useful here, but the smile cannot reach the emotional patterns if they remain unconscious or as one¹s “ideas ABOUT feelings” rather than the feelings themselves. Ultimately, I believe the primary purpose of the Fusion practice is to allow one to get in touch with one¹s Original Feeling, i.e., the first unconditioned feelings of yuan chi that arise in Early Heaven
BEFORE we convert this chi into Later Heaven negative emotions. This is why I have found it so effective to do Fusion II creation cycle first, but with the twist of using it to circulate the unconditioned feelings or original virtues of each of the five vital organ shen unconditional love, unconditional kindness, unconditional trust. Once we have a foundation and relation to our unconditioned or original nature, it is simple to release or transform our acquired negative emotional patterns. To assist in this process, I have also developed chi kung movement forms to help students embody these patterns without getting into excessive mental manipulation.
would never float away... ...while deep in space the burning sun sent up towering flames, lighting your sky from dawn until dusk.
On the day you were born the quiet Moon glowed and offered to bring a full, bright face each month, to your windowsill...
I hope this short description is enough to help you try this revised version of the Fusion practice for yourself. If not, I have recently made my Fusion teachings and other Healing Tao practices available on 10 audio homestudy courses and 8 video tapes. This series ties all the Healing Tao practices using the Taoist cosmology of the higher practices, without prematurely imposing the higher practices onto the beginning practices. I focus on what happens to the jing-chi-shen relationship in each of the seven formulas of immortality. This Taoist cosmology of three Heavens (Primordial, Early, and Later Heaven) and the cultivation of Original Chi is explained in a longer article (30 pages) posted on my HealingTaoUSA.com website. The article is titled “Daoist Alchemy: A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature¹s Intelligence”.
...while high above the North Pole, Polaris, the glittering North Star, stood still, shining silver light into your night sky. On the day you were born the Moon pulled on the ocean below, and, wave by wave, a rising tide washed the beaches clean for your footprints...
To get a more indepth understanding of this subject, I share all that I have disocovered about these practices in my home study audiovideo coures: Chi Kung Fundamentals 1 & 2, Internal Chi Breathing 3 & 4, Fusion 1, Fusion 2 & 3, Healing Love and Taoist Dream practice. On The Day YOU Were Born
...while far out at sea clouds swelled with water drops, sailed to shore on a wind, and rained you a welcome across the Earth’s green lands.
Deborah Frasier This poem captures beautifully the Taoist vision of our inner spiritual child birthing itself into a manificently interconnected planet. Enjoy a lovely poem well worth reading every time you celebrate a reBirthday. Michael Winn
On the day you were born a forest of tall trees collected the sun’s light in their leaves, where, in silent mystery, they made oxygen for you to breathe...
On the eve of your birth word of your coming passed from animal to animal. The reindeer told the arctic terns, who told the humpback whales, who told the Pacific salmon,
...while closer to your skin and as high as the sky, air rushed in and blew about, invisibly protecting you and all living things on Earth.
who told the monarch butterflies, who told the green turtles, who told the european eel, who told the busy garden warblers,
On the day you were born The Earth turned, the Moon pulled, the sun flared, and then, with a push,
and the marvelous news migrated worldwide. While you waited in darkness, tiny knees curled to chin, The Earth and her creatures with the Sun and the Moon all moved in their places, each ready to greet you the very first moment of the very first day you arrived.
you slipped out of the dark quiet where suddenly you could hear... ...a circle of people singing with voices familiar and clear. “Welcome to the spinning world,” the people sang, as they washed your new, tiny hands.
On the day you were born the round planet Earth turned toward your morning sky, whirling past darkness, spining the night into light.
“Welcome to the green Earth,” the people sang, as they wrapped your wet, slippery body. And as they held you close they whispered into your open, curving ear, “We are so glad you’ve come!”
On the day you were born gravity’s strong pull held you to the Earth with a promise that you
From the book On the Day You Were Born by Deborah Frasier
Healing Tao goes Breatharian
indicated that Yan Xin Life Science Technology has enabled human participants to live a normal lifewith little or no food intake for prolonged periods—a state referred to as bigu. Bigu is described in historical records as “taking in qi to avoid food,” and is regardedas a special technique to achieve along and healthy life. In this study, experiments were designed to study whether cells in vitro can survive without commonly acknowledged essential nutrients after receiving external qi treatments from Dr.Yan Xin, a chief physicianand a renowned life scientist. Results reported here indicate that mouse hybridoma cells can survive inDulbeco’s modified Eagles medium without serum orin phosphate-buffered saline buffer without other nutrientingredients after qi treatment. These results are the first evidence that a cellular equivalent of the human bigu phenomenon or cellular bigu phenomenon may occur.
Eve Adesso Note by Michael Winn: I was not totally surprised when Eve called me shortly after taking the Greatest Kan and Li 1999 summer retreat at Big Indian to tell me she had stopped eating and was a little concerned. That retreat had been a virtual meltdown experience for everyone present. I felt I was witnessing in the group deep genetic and karmic mutation within the space of that week, in which we go beyond being earth centered to living from the True Heart/Solar Logos/Stellar Mind/Great Shen. Teaching the “Water and Fire”alchemy retreats has initiated short periods of stopping eating for me in the past. After one retreat, just as I was about to put a fork full of food in my mouth, a voice suddenly commanded me: “Don’t put that food in your mouth!”. I obeyed, and never got hungry for three days. Currently I am eating because I enjoy it, but I am more actively considering the phase of giving equal enjoyment to not eating.
Key Words: bigu • Yan Xin • Yan Xin life science technology • qi • cellular bigu
What Bigu Means to Me
I also shared with Eve the experience of Barbara Peter, a Swiss Healing Tao Senior Instructor, who stopped eating for four months as a result of her Kan and Li practice. Barbara finally started eating only because her family was too freaked out by it. Other people’s fear of death by starvation seems to be the main obstacle to shifting the thought form from eating solid food to eating chi.
by Eve Adesso (formerly Eve 2000) [email protected]
HUANG T’ING CHING (The Yellow Court Canon) states: “The grains of hundreds of cereals are the spirits of the earth. Though the five flavours are beautiful on the outside, they (actually) are an evil foulsmelling demon. The foul smell corrupts the soul and the Embryonic breath is annililated. How can you attain the return of infancy? Why not eat breath which is the supreme harmonious essence, so as to be able not to die and enter the HUANG NING (The Yellow Repose). (1) I had always thought of breatharianism as something esoteric and attainable only by mountain dwelling hermits, and most certainly highly unlikely for a New York City resident like myself. I was wrong! It’s been over three months now that I’ve been in the bigu, loosely translated as the breatharian state. Michael Winn asked me to share my experience with you through the newsletter. I want to emphasize that this is about my personal journey, yours may be very different.
Bernie Bayard, another Healing Tao Instructor from Portland, Ore., also stopped eating for a period of some months. He was inititated into a process taught in Australia whereby you simply stayed in a room for 21 days without food or water, but held the strong intention that your genetic/biological system would shift over into living off divine lifeforce. He says many other people had used this method in a remote village in Australia to jump start this shift, even without having developed a high level spiritual practice. He also noted that becoming breatharian didn’t cure their ego issues, so you still need the spiritual practice!
If anyone in the Healing Tao community have other experiences or information about “bigu”, Chinese for breatharianism, please send it to me for future issues of the Immortal Child Instructor’s Newsletter or for posting on the website.
In 1996, despite my active Tao practice, my immune system crashed and I became so tired I could barely walk up the stairs to my loft. This put me on a path of learning about nutrition, and I began exploring many new things. I went to the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico to teach and participate in their program. I arrived in an open minded yet skeptical state about the “Living Foods Lifestyle” that they teach there. The only thing I was sure of was that 2 weeks in the Caribbean in the winter would do me a lot of good. Little did I know that this would lead to my first bigu-like experience. I was teaching qigong in the morning on the beach and the Healing Tao in the evening and following their program of eating 100% Living Foods (raw fruits and vegetables, prepared in special ways to make them more easily digestible) while participating in their classes about relaxation, meal preparation, the digestive system, colon care, etc. I learned that cooking food kills it’s enzymes, that are equivalent to the chi or life force of the food. The first few days of the diet I experienced detoxification. I felt generally sleepy, with aching joints, then hyper in other moments. As the detoxing subsided I began to feel a light, indescribable state of consciousness that I had never achieved while eating cooked foods. At times I felt blissful and caught glimpses of eternal vision. I had not yet felt this level of clarity and harmony so, in spite of the fact that Chinese medicine often discourages the eating of raw foods, upon my return home I made a concerted effort to change my eating habits. I grew sprouts and greens in my loft, soaked nuts and seeds and prepared these new foods. I was by no means a living foods poster child but I did my best and my health improved.
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Vol. 22, No. 5, 392-396 (2002) DOI: 10.1177/027046702236892 © 2002 SAGE Publications
Studies on the Fundamental Theory of Bigu (Food Abstinence)—Preliminary Experimental Observations of Cellular Bigu Xin Yan Chongqing Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine/New Medicine Science Research Institute Alexis Traynor-Kaplan School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego Hongmei Li UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Jun Wang New Medicine Science Research Institute Hua Shen New Medicine Science Research Institute Zhen-Qin Xia School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego Clinical studies as well as hundreds of case reports have
Abstention from grain By Sun Bu-er
Once you can feed on the living energy, Your lungs will be in an extraordinary state of clear coolness. Forget the spirit, and there are no appearances to cling to; Merge with the ultimate, and the existent emptiness is gone. For breakfast look for wild taro roots; When hungry at night, pick wetland mushrooms. If you mix in smoke and fire, Your body will not walk on the jewel pond.
happening. This is when the thought, “Could I be in bigu?” first crossed my mind. The forth day was when the truth started to reveal itself. I was finishing up work on my CD and had a recording session scheduled for the afternoon. In the morning I was busy vocalizing and preparing and didn’t have time to eat. It was a beautiful September afternoon when I emerged from the subway and began my eight block walk across Manhattan to the recording studio. As I walked through the busy streets and into the Gramercy Park area my attention was drawn by the scattered trees and autumn leaves. I was feeling a calm centeredness that bordered on ecstatic. Even so, I felt grounded and was experiencing no hunger, dizziness, or any of the things I normally would have felt if I hadn’t eaten all day. Feeling this level of blissful serenity, in the midst of the frenetic energy of Manhattan was a new experience for me. At this point I realized that something was up since I felt significantly better after NOT eating. Right then a sign advertizing fresh papaya juice caught my eye, I went into the cafe and ordered one. It tasted great, but after drinking it I noticed that my energy and blissful state went down a few notches. This was the beginning. I realized I might be in bigu and declared that, from that point on, that my eating or not eating would be an experiment. Subsequently I noticed that the less I ate, the better I felt. So, I stopped eating. The first week was disorienting to say the least. The lifelong habit of eating is a strange thing to revolutionize. Anxiety about being different would alternate with the feeling that something miraculous was happening. I recieved insight after insight on the priorities of my life. I couldn’t treat myself like a “feed me and I work” machine anymore. I figured out how to cut back on working and still have what I need. My qigong practice became my daily bread, my food, my life. I took the subway to the beach a couple of times a week and did a long practice session, drinking in the sea air. Eventually I began doing a long practice session starting at midnight. The chi at this time of night feels tremendously nourishing. The Tao Canon and many masters recommend practicing at this hour. In addition to practicing I began buying many books on qigong and reading something every day. I’ve been finding the translations from the Tao Canon, the ancient texts to be especially helpful and inspiring. A lot of the metaphorical language is becoming clearer to me. I also have become very sensitive, feeling my own and other peoples emotions more clearly and powerfully than ever. When fears would arise I would meditate and consult my inner guidance on whether to continue. During the first few weeks at times I felt tired and weak, but in my quiet state I realized that it was due to detoxing. As time passes and more and more toxins are eliminated I feel stronger and stronger and and at the same time more vulnerable, due to the heightened sensitivity. I do a weight lifting workout 2-3 times a week and have maintained a normal work schedule. I have decided that, if my hunger reasserts itself or I notice any decline in health or eccessive weight loss I will return to eating, but so far the opposite is taking place. In the first month and a half I lost 18 pounds. Now my weight has stabilized and I am at my ideal weight. I visited a doctor that has knowledge of qigong to monitor my physical condition. I continue to take blue green algae and tonic herb teas such as reishi mushroom and ginseng.
This poem by Taoist Immortal Sun Bu-er, one of the most beloved figures of Chinese folklore, speaks of the practice of abstention from cooked food. It is possible to do this because the living energy, the spiritual breath fills our bodies, so that we naturally do not think of eating. It does not mean starving oneself or enduring hunger. “If you mix in smoke and fire, your body will not walk on the Jewel Pond.” The immortal body should be pure clear spirit. If you do
not abstain from cooked food, then ordinary murky energy will mix into the body, so you cannot hope to transcend it. The Jewel Pond is the abode of the female Immortals. Legends of the Immortals say that the palace of the Immortal Queen Mother of the West has a jewel pond on it’s left. (2)
SUMMER 1999 Years passed and I regained my health and vitality. Even so, in recent years I began to feel like my qigong practice was stalled and I didn’t know why. It seemed like I was spinning my wheels and going nowhere. I study astrology and was very intrigued at the prospective of the dramatic Aug 11th total eclipse of the sun that was to be coupled with a powerful grand cross astrological lineup. Many astrologers were predicting that August 11, 1999 would be a crucial turning point where the material would lose importance and the spiritual would come to the forefront. I was searching for a place where I could be receptive to the shifting energy with a good group of people. The Greatest Kan and Li Retreat in Big Indian taught by Michael Winn seemed like the best choice. In retrospect I see that, for me, it was ideal. I feel that his teaching and being open to the energy around the eclipse were instrumental in strengthening my chi field and nudging me into bigu. Big Indian is located in a protected park area of upstate New York where nature is still wild and powerful. The grounds and buildings are filled with statues and art from India and China. The marriage of nature, sacred art and meditation create a beautiful and highly charged environment that nourishes deep transformation. Michael Winn taught the internal alchemical practice of Greatest Kan and Li in a clear way and I was able to get it. I felt myself making a deep alchemical connection between the incandescent sun and lush, fertile earth. I was able to internalize the essence of each and hold them within my energy body. Hang-ups and blockages that had stymied me, some since childhood, were being cremated from within and dissolving into blissful, chi-filled insights as they transformed.
Bigu begins I had no clue as to what was about to happen. I had been back from Big Indian for about two weeks. One Friday night, after a relaxing day of saunas at the local Russian baths, I went with my significant other and a friend out to eat at a Ukrainian restaurant that featured dancing and live music. Carried away by the moment, I ate a much heavier meal than I was used to. The next day I felt awful and decided that my system was due for a cleanse and I would begin a two week regime of eating strictly Living Foods. I went out and bought a large supply of sprouts, organic fresh fruits and vegetables, bagged wheat grass, etc. The next day I began my familiar routine of preparing the mainstay of Ann Wigmore’s approach to Living Foods; “Energy Soup”, made of sprouts, greens, seaweed and avocado. Later I ate fruit or salad. On the second day, I knew from past experience that I would experience symptoms of detoxification such as fatigue, achy joints, and sluggishness and sure enough, I felt tired. On the third day, though, to my surprise I felt fine and I was beginning to notice that I wasn’t hungry. What I was feeling was very different from past cleansing diets and fasts. Usually the detox symptoms would last for days and I would be plagued by hunger, dizziness and weakness. I was puzzled because none of this was
What is Bigu? The term bigu denotes an advanced qigong state during which the practitioner is able to maintain his or her normal activities without eating or drinking (and sometimes sleeping) for long periods, in some cases for several months and years at a time. A characteristic of the bigu state is that one’s overall condition improves rather than weakens, contrary to ordinary techniques of prolonged fasting. In addition , bigu encompasses other elements which exceed or transcend the beneficial effects of therapeutic fasting. These extraordinary aspects of the bigu state have been occasionally observed by medical and scientific practitioners; for example, archeological evidence includes an oracle bone scripture found in a 1000 year old tomb in Hunan, China, which contains a detailed written account with pictures denoting the bigu phenomenon.
Yan Xin stresses that bigu should be seen as a “signpost” or an adjunct to one’s practice, but not as an ultimate goal. He once said “The bigu state should not be advocated or overemphasized.” The potential of qi gong far surpasses these phenomena. (3) My first real exposure to the bigu concept was while studying with Dr. Yan Xin and his organization. In some of his books (see footnotes), bigu is mentioned and scientific studies done in China are cited. In one of his speeches he talks about a Chinese woman in bigu, living in the US that gave birth to a healthy baby subsisting on just water. What I am doing would be called “non-standard bigu” i.e. drinking liquids and occasionally eating small amounts of fruit or vegetables as opposed to “standard bigu” which involves no eating or drinking, except for water. It’s hard for me to know for sure what is happening physiologically. It feels as though most of my nourishment is being absorbed directly from the surrounding chi through the breath with more intense absorption taking place during practice. Scientific research studies in China have shown that practicing qigong can improve absorption of nutrients from food. I believe that the small amount of food and liquids I am ingesting is being utilized to the maximum. I have no doubt that the mystery of bigu is something that will eventually be understood through scientific research and monitoring.
In addition to broadening my knowledge on the subject of bigu, I feel I have benefited from Dr. Yan Xin’s emphasis on having a big goal towards the benefit of humanity. Big contributions are sustained on a foundation of smaller contributions and having “put one’s house in order”. “We should extend our view of life as ordinary work and contribution to include great contributions. Body and soul should be directed towards making great contributions to the entire human race, society and the universe. We should always view our life as part of the the whole-part of the life of the entire universe.” (5)
Dr Yan Xin Dr Yan Xin often says that cultivation; i.e. aligning yourself with and accumulating virtue in your everyday life should constitute 70%, and is by far the most important element in qigong while physical and meditation practices should constitute 30%. Virtue can be seen as the predominant benevolent force that is omnipresent in the universe. This aspect cannot be underestimated. Food and eating are powerful, hypnotic, gratifying and satisfying. Meals are social, ritualistic and imbued with love and creativity. What can take their place? What can feed us more than physical food? A breatharian goes straight to the source, cuts out the middleman, so to speak and absorbs the nutrient of all nutrients, the supreme substance complete with everything nessessary to sustain life, directly. Technically that energy may be accessed through the breath and the saliva but spiritually it rides on virtue. In my case, it felt as though my excitement and commitment to my music and working on the book I am writing “launched” me into bigu. And, although my art benefits me, personally, my overriding drive and enthusiasm are with the impact I believe it can have towards freeing the human race. Bigu often feels like a precious gift. It’s great to finally have enough time in my life for the things I consider most important. Eliminating cooking, eating and shopping frees up 2-5 hours per day. Much money is saved and can be reallocated. My mind feels clear and unclouded by the burdensome digestive process. At some point this may run it’s course but I know that I will never go back to the excessive and unconscious eating that I used to consider normal. I am so grateful to have made the Healing Tao and qigong a part of my life. I feel I am deeply changed forever. In respect for yin and yang, I want to mention some of the dark, fearful moments I’ve encountered in my “bigu beginning”. Over the past ten years I had, one by one, eliminated addictive behaviors and substances from my life. The only one left was food. At times I ate heavy foods to supress unpleasant feelings. It’s much harder now to run from bad feelings whether induced by present day events or arising from within. I have to sit down and deal with things. I know that in the long run this is the best option, but in the short run...... it hurts! In these painful moments sometimes I break down and eat something but mainly I deal with it by stopping to practice Fusion and explore and transform the cause of my anguish. I’m also working on slowing down my life and pulling myself further away from that version of modern day existence that is nothing more than a whirlwind of earning and spending, held in place by various addictions. The practice of breatharianism is far from being known or accepted. Apart from my qigong and spiritually minded friends, I don’t always tell people that I’m in bigu and not eating. If I’m around at meal times I often say that I’ve already eaten or that I’m fasting. If the subject of food comes up I talk as if I were eating. Otherwise it can sometimes become an exasperating conversation that results in incomprehension and possible condemnation (of me!). Some can’t fathom what I’m doing and have not been supportive. The world is crawling with experts who are certain of one thing: to live you must eat. Some of them have medical degrees. At times the feeling of being at odds with a large part of society has been formidable. Specters of starvation loomed and many fears arose; In my meditation I asked for insight and was answered........... with a cosmic symphony of blooming harmonics. The sound entered every pore and massaged every cell, whispering, singing, shouting “You are
The golden rule of bigu This is a good place to emphasize some things I’ve learned from my friends at Yan Xin Qigong. Bigu is an effect or gift of advanced and/ or prolonged qi gong practice. IF YOU’RE HUNGRY YOU’RE NOT IN BIGU. As we all know, if you’re not in bigu, going without food can be hazardous to your health. If you want to become breatharian I believe that it’s essential to develop a very close rapport with your body and be able to distinguish between physical hunger and mental cravings. Eating disorders are rampant in our culture. Be careful. If you’re hungry, eat, in a healthy and balanced way. Keep practicing. Do good deeds. This will bring you closer. My understanding of bigu is that it is not “not eating”. It is practicing to a level where all your meridians merge and you and feel the chi continuously buoying you up. Your hunger dissapears. You feel full, bright and mildly ecstatic.
Tea Lu T’ung, a Tang poet, wrote of tea: “The first cup moistens my lips and throat, the second cup breaks my loneliness, the third cup searches my barren entrails but to find therein some five thousand volumes of odd ideographs. The forth cup raises a slight perspiration,all the wrong of life passes away through my pores. At the fifth cup I am purified; the sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals. The seventh cup, - ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of cool wind that rises in my sleeves. Where is Horaisan? (mythical islands in the Eastern sea, commonly associated with immortality). Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.” (4) The Zen idea of stopping everthing to be in the moment while drinking tea has helped me. It gives me something to focus on when everyone else is eating. If I feel comfortable enough with the people I’m with I sometimes sit at or away from the table and practice while they are eating......we are all taking in nourishment, just in different ways. Initially, when my partner would make his dinner I would feel afraid that the connection we had around food would dissapear and put distance between us. Sometimes I make tea, or we make a soup, then we sit down at the table together and I drink tea or some of the broth of the soup.We may have lost some of our food connection but we practice together much more often. He’s much more interested in qigong now and I’ve come home several times to find him re-reading Mantak Chia’s and other books about the Tao. He’s been in the martial arts since he was a teenager and has been hearing stories about of breatharians for a long time. He’s excited for me and has been quite encouraging. At times he has felt a transference of energy and his appetite has lessened or dissappeared and he has become extremely sensitive.
Having big goals towards the benefit of 23
loved, you are loved, you are loved”. It took my hand and led me into the infinite void, into an emptyness that is so full, so vibrant and so teeming with life as to satisfy all hunger for eternity. There I bathed in a mystic dew charged with serene passion and sublime sexuality. O paradise! How can I do you justice? Your splendor eludes capture even by the otherworldly art of poetry. I’d also like to mention another important issue; finding a way to maintain a bigu state and yet not be totally out of kilter with society. Many intimate and beneficial social moments are centered around eating with other people. Eating small amounts of food in these situations often feels balanced to me now. Not eating and getting into a converstion about me being in bigu can create disharmony. At parties I’m finding it enjoyable to sample vegetarian delicacies, dance and make merry with everyone else. After a joyful social event the food passes out my body easily, with no ill effects. The trick is not exceeding a certain amount of solid food. Tales of the 8 Taoist immortals emphazise the parties and good times that punctuate their lives lived in service of the poor and sick. My experiment continues. I will keep you posted. I would also love to read about the experiences of others. Best wishes and abundant chi to all of you who are reading this and to all my fellow Healing Tao instructors, students and friends. Thank you for being a source of support and inspiration to me over the years. In closing I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to Mantak and Maneewan Chia for their pioneering spirit and their teachings that enabled me to lay down a solid foundation. Another pioneer that I’d like to thank is the late Ann Wigmore and everyone at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico for their practical and valuble teachings on Living Foods.......... I’d also like to thank Dr. Yan Xin and his New York students for introducing me to Yan Xin Qigong and the idea of bigu. And many thanks to Michael Winn for his committment and clear alchemical teachings and for asking me to write this article. If you’d like to order “Journey to Eden” a CD of Eve’s original songs please call (718) 333-1116. Eve will be teaching at the Ann Wigmore Institute, call her for dates. 1) excerpted from THE PRIMORDIAL BREATH Volume II Original Books, Inc PO Box 2948 Torrance, Ca. 90509 2)excerped from IMMORTAL SISTERS Secret teachings of Taoist Women, Translated and edited by Thomas Cleary 3) excerpted from Volume 9 Chapter 7, “Bigu - An Advanced Qigong State for Healing and Self Developement” YAN XIN QIGONG COLLECTION 1997 International Yan Xin Qigong Association order from: Ms. Lihe Zhang 82 Cameo Dr. Willimantic, CT. 06226 Tel & Fax: (860) 456-0732 E-Mail: [email protected]
4) The BOOK of TEA by Kakuzo Okakura 5) excerpted from Chapter 6, Cultivation of Virtue.
neatly summarizes the Shen-Chi-Jing principles of Taoist alchemy, only using the language of the I Ching on Law-Energy-Number: “Between Heaven and Earth there exists nothing but law and energy. The energy carries the law and the law regulates the energy. Law does not manifest itself (has no form); it is only through energy that the image is formed, and the image yields the number. If this law becomes blurred the image is not right and the number is not clear. This reveals itself in great things and expresses itself in small things. Thus only a man of the highest integrity can understand this law; basing himself on its revelation he can grasp the symbols, and observing its small expressions, he can understand the auguries.” The Dream of Life from Readings from World Scriptures - by Prof Andrew Wilson Chuang Tzu How do I know that the love of life is not a delusion? How do I know that he who is afraid of death is not like a man who left his home as a youth and forgot to return? Lady Li was the daughter of the border warden of Ai. When she was first taken captive and brought to the state of Chin, she wept until the bosom of her robe was drenched with tears. But later, when she went to live in the royal palace, shared with the king his luxurious couch and sumptuous food, she regretted that she had wept. How do I know that the dead do not repent of their former craving for life? Those who dream of a merry drinking party may the next morning wail and weep. Those who dream of wailing and weeping may in the morning go off gaily to hunt. While they dream they do not know that they are dreaming, In their dream, they may even try to interpret their dream. Only when they have awakened do they begin to know that it was a dream. By and by comes the great awakening, and then we shall know that it has all been a great dream. Once upon a time, Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly, a butterfly fluttering about, enjoying itself. It did not know that it was Chuang Tzu. Suddenly he awoke with a start and he was Chuang Tzu again. But he did not know whether he was Chuang Tzu who had dreamed that he was a butterfly, or whether he was a butterfly dreaming that he was Chuang Tzu. Between Chuang Tzu and the butterfly there must be some distinction. This is what is called the transformation of things. from Readings from World Scriptures - by Prof Andrew Wilson The Tao of Cultivating Sexual Energy Element Books (Nov. 2000) Michael Winn Sexuality is a universal way for people to quickly access their chi flow. The ancient Taoists developed many different methods to tap the enormous power of sexual energy in order to direct it towards creating better physical health, a greater sense of vitaliity and zest for life, and to refine the sexual impulse into a steady state of spiritual bliss. Sexual chi kung can heal sexual dysfunction and impotence, improve sexual relationships, relieve PMS and menstrual difficulty. At the core of all chi kung is the cosmic yin-yang pulsation of polarized energy around a neutral pole. Think of creation as a continuous cosmic orgasm, and the human orgasm as an exquisite echo of that pulsation. When you get them in rhythm and harmony, your personal “energy gates” open to the cosmic flow of light and love. There are two major paths: Single Cultivation, in which you harmonize your male-female pulsation as “ internal love-making”, which is possible only because every person has both yin (female) and yang (male) chi within their own body, regardless of their sex. The other is Dual Cultivation, in which you exchange yin & yang chi with a lover/partner. Taoist Theory: Sexual chi is said to originate in the kidneys and bone marrow, which includes in the Chinese view the penis and vagina/uterus, prostate & ovary glands, the bladder and kidney organs and their meridians, and in women their mammary glands/breasts. All are part of the “water element” that regulates the body’s “jing”, or sexual bodyessence. How is sexual chi different from other kinds of chi? Sexual chi is 1) very “sticky”, acting as the stabilizing or bonding energy between opposing male-female or yin-yang forces. Think of it as super-glue; 2) it has the power to amplifiy or multiply whatever it bonds to. It intensifies emotions, it multiplies cell and glandular
“SECRETS and BENEFITS of INTERNAL QIGONG CULTIVATION” by Dr. Yan Xin, Amber Leaf Press 2 Pennsylvania Ave. Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355 E-mail; [email protected]
Yan Xin Qigong website: www.qigong.net
I CHING on LAW (Original Shen) and Unfoldment of CHI Michael Winn There is an old Chinese text written by Wang Fu-chih that
reproduction rates, either in your body or by birthing children. It can also multiply your creative energy in the world of play or career. The major ways that sexual chi is lost or exhausted. Men: by excessive sex and ejaculation. “Excessive” varies by body type, age and climate, but be especially careful during the winter, when chi is normally going in deep, not out. There are methods of slowing down ejaculation during sex so that men can “draw” out the essence from their spern and recycle it around the body and nourish other centers. It is not necessary to become celibate. These practices include “Testicle Breathing” and “Drawing Up the Golden Nectar”. The goal is to shift from a limited “genital orgasm” to a “whole body orgasm”. Slowing or stopping “ejaculation” doesn’t prevent a man from having “orgasm” or being “multi-orgasmic”. Ejaculation is physical, orgasm is your chi pulsating. But don’t get obsesssed with “stopping” ejaculation, focus rather on opening up your chi channels and recycling sexual/orgasmic chi until you finally ejaculate. Then this physical ejaculation does not cause major loss of chi. It also slows the man down to stay in closer harmony with the woman’s slower cycle of arousal. Women: Excessive bleeding during the menstrual cycle causes loss of “jing”. By energetically detoxifying the body with sexual chi kung before the cycle begins, the need for bleeding as a means of detoxing is vastly reduced. The menstrual cycle can even be voluntarily stopped at a higher level of practice. This practice is called, “Slaying the Red Dragon”. Women also train to re-direct their orgasmic chi flow up to the higher energy centers in the heart and brain. Both sexes: poor diet, shallow breathing, and negative emotions or mental attitudes will exhaust your sexual vitality. Improving these plus a regular moving chi kung practice of at least 20 minutes daily are the mainstay of preventing low sexual energy and many associated dysfunctions. Another key in sexual kung-fu is understanding the relation between the fire element in the heart and the water element in the kidneys. These fire and water essences stimulate each other and keep the other in check. So you need to keep proper exchange between them, so they get into a steady state. This can be done by gently breathing between the middle and lower dan tiens, through visualization, and by guiding chi in the right channels. By simply keeping a very open heart you protect against blind lust, which ultimately injures the kidneys because it can never be satisfied by physical sex alone. The kidney shen (”spirit, or intelligence”) needs touch and sexual stimulation, but it is also always seeking the love of the heart shen. A word of Caution: Sexual chi is much more powerful than most people realize. Note how long it takes people to recover from broken love or divorce. Thus it is essential that you prepare your energy field properly with chi kung practice for several months before attempting “ovarian or seminal kung-fu”. If sexual chi is mis-directed into the wrong energy channels, the result may range from mild discomfort to severe impairment of physical health. Any method that is powerful can be mis-used. What is the proper way to prepare for sexual chi kung? 1. Learn the Six Healing Sounds and Five Animals Chi Kung to release trapped negative emotional chi. These are simple, and can be learned from books or tapes. They release the chi trapped in each of the five vital organs. You don’t want to unconsciously amplify these old trapped feelings with supercharged sex chi. So don’t practice while in any extreme emotional state. 2. Practice the Inner Smile. This insures a calm and balanced mind when you do the sexual practice. 3. Learn the Microcosmic Orbit. This gives the sexual chi a safe pathway up the spine and down the front of the body, with automatic “safety overflow” valves into other major meridians. If you don’t learn this, there is a danger of some people getting “kundalini psychosis”, too much chi in the brain leading to delusional states. Any chi practice that opens the lower dantien will also prepare you and ground you.
practice. 4. Get a live teacher to help you train. Sexual kung-fu is not an end in itself, it is merely a vital step in the larger process of cultivating and refining your chi. You should simultaneously train in standing/rooting chi kung to ground the volatile sexual chi. The higher level of sexual chi kung practice is known as “inner sexual alchemy”, in which you become aware of the role of “shen”, the vital organ spirits, in regulating your inner yin-yang balance. Michael Winn co-authored with Mantak Chia the classic Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy and wrote six other books with Chia. If you cannot get a teacher, Tao Home Study Audio courses on Taoist Sexual Cultivation are available from Michael Winn on HealingTaoUSA.com/bookstore or email [email protected]
Note: before ordering the Taoist Sexual Course, the prerequisite course is Chi Kung Fundamentals covering the Inner Smile, Six Healing Sounds, Microcosmic Orbit. The Quest for Spiritual Orgasm Daoist and Tantric Sexual Cultivation in the West Michael Winn By abstaining from intercourse, the spirit has no opportunity for expansiveness, yin and yang are blocked and cut off from one another. - Classic of Su Nu (Wile,1992, 7) Sexual love can be one of the most powerful human experiences. Over the past two thousand years, certain Daoist and Tantric cultures sought to tap the power of sexuality to cultivate elevated spiritual states of awareness and achieve immortality. These practices appear to have originated in China and India and later spread to Tibet and elsewhere in Asia. Daoism and Tantrism are both experiential approaches to life, and share similar microcosmic-macrocosmic theories of the human body as an inner mirror of outer Nature. The body-centered cosmology of each has led to a spectrum of sexual practices that range from ritualized physical sexual intercourse to celibacy accompanied by conscious subtle-body love making. (Bokemkamp, 1997, 43; Wile 1992, 25, White, 2000, 15). Both posit a multi-dimensional universe governed by divine, all pervading polar energies identified in Tantra as Shakti-Shiva deities or in Daoism as the yin-yang forces of Heaven and Earth. These polar forces arise from a mysterious non-dual unity, whose dance within the physical plane follows a five-fold pattern of harmony governed by five families of deities or five phase principles. Both offer alchemical maps, often hidden within mandalas interiorized within the body - yantras in Tantra and I Ching (Yijing) patterns in Daoism - that can be fully understood only by the initiated adept. These subtle body maps allow the adept to navigate the apparent chaos of conflicting physical and sexual desires to find the way to the true self at the still center of the drama of creation. Despite these underlying similarities in their cosmology, the Tantric and Daoist methods of sexual cultivation, both physical and subtle body, are radically different. Since the late 1970’s Daoist-Tantric sexual practices have been widely publicized and taught in the West. As a student, teacher, and private scholar of these practices during this period, I took it upon myself to “test” the methods of different Tantric and Daoist schools that washed up on Western shores. I was driven by an intense curiosity about the nature my own sexuality, which I intuitively felt to be central to my spiritual evolution. This journey led me to travel widely in China and India to investigate the cultural context of these practices and discern their differences as paths emphasizing Fire (Tantric) or Water and Fire (Daoist). My goal is to show how Western sexual needs have shaped the teachers and teachings of Daoist and Tantric sexual practices in the West. I will examine the sexual behavior, attitudes, lineage, and methods of different teachers, and if their practices were largely re-invented or presented in radically different ways from traditional Asian lineages. I hope to clarify the relation between physical sex, subtle body sex, the issue of celibacy, and the traditional distinction between medicaltherapeutic sexual practices and mystical approaches to sexuality. I’ll explore why sexuality is so crucial to spiritual transformation, and
Once the Microcosmic Orbit is open, it is much easier to balance the chi flow to the endocrine glands along its path: adrenals, pineal and pituitary, thymus, heart and spleen, and gonads. These glands regulate the body metabolism during sexual arousal, and their healthy functioning is essential to get the benefits of the sexual
describe the different kinds of subtle body orgasm one might evoke using Daoist and Tantric methods. The broad framework of my study is that (1) there is a deep tension in every human being between a non-sexual, non-dual core Being and a sexually polarized male-female Body. This tension is alleviated by development of an intermediate Energy Body that is androgynous (both male and female) in nature, and which is the deepest drive behind all forces of spiritual evolution. (2) This tension between Being and Body is so powerful that most “Enlightenment” states cannot bridge it, despite claims to the contrary. It is only bridged by what are called Immortality practices in both Tantra and Daoism. In general, I found more detailed medical and internal sexual practices available in the Daoist tradition, described in a concluding overview. This paper is titled The Quest for Spiritual Orgasm because in the course of teaching sexual practices to Westerners, I have polled thousands of students to find out why they are learning a sexual practice. Asked to select between understanding their sexuality, improved sexual performance, better love relationships, and having a spiritual orgasm, about eighty percent choose spiritual orgasm. Because the river of Daoist and Tantric history is so vast, with so many tributaries, generalizations are inevitable in my thumbnail sketches of a wide array of teachers and teachings I encountered. The obstacle to all research on sexuality is widespread lying and concealment. Subtle body sex complicates this problem, since by definition the Daoist-Tantric experience of the body-as-divine-cosmos-copulating-within-itself is personal in nature. In the spirit of creating a new openness about delicate sexual-spiritual issues, and to vivify the reader’s senses, I often shift to a first person narrative. I accept (on behalf of my unnamed informants) full responsibility for any inaccuracies in my brief footnote to this chapter of Western religious history.
Three trips to India, numerous contacts and books on Tantra convinced me the situation there is not much different. Mainstream educated Hindus are puritanical in their sexual mores, and Tantrism is seen as low caste and morally suspect excuse for black magic, especially seduction spells (vashikarana), suitable for entertaining stories but not serious pursuit. It is an underground subculture, with a invisible subset of adepts skilled in the esoteric sexual rites described in classical Tantric scriptures, erotic paintings and sculpture. Tantric practices are kept alive by secrecy: “publicly Vedic, secretly Tantric” is the Indian aphorism that summarizes the situation. My thesis is that amongst the Tantric male teachers who brought their sexual wares to the West, few had any actual training in physical sexual practices. I believe most recreated them from ancient texts or invented them out of their own needs or the expectations of their Western students. Asian sexual practices would likely not have taken root in the West except for the ground being prepared by Sigmund Freud (d. 1939), his students Carl Jung (d.1961)and Wilhelm Reich (d.1957), and the early sex researcher Havelock Ellis (d.1939). The widespread acceptance of the theory of sexual impulse being a fundamental shaping force of the personality opened Westerners to the Daoist-Tantric metaphysic that went one step further, giving sexuality a key role in spiritual evolution. Jung expanded this greatly with his explorations into eastern mysticism, writing introductions to both Tantric and Daoist esoteric texts. In his essay on the Secret of the Golden Flower, Jung tried (without success, in my opinion) to impose his anima-animus psychological archetypes on yin-yang theory. Jung lacked the practical energetic methodologies (beyond “talk” therapy) for directly experiencing and guiding these subconscious male-female forces in the body into superconscious states.
Sexual Revolution as Cultural Context Reich tried to fill this gap, and died in prison in the U.S. for spreading his teachings and devices promoting a universe - and human body centered around orgasm, through the medium of “orgone”, similar to prana in India and qi in China. The ideas of these psychologists later became increasingly mainstream, and set the stage in 1972 for bestselling self-improvement books like The Joy of Sex, by Alex Comfort, a scholar of Tantric erotic art and philosophy. The appearance of crazy wisdom teachings from Tibetan Buddhist Tantrics like Chogyam Trungpa (d.19 89) inspired beatniks and poets like Allen Ginsberg, who as a homosexual in a homophobic society was attracted to a teaching claiming enlightenment could be achieved by following and completing your ordinary desires.
Tantrics and Daoists have often assumed the role of rebelling against the prevailing social and sexual values, which were dominated by a strict caste system in India and overtly anti-female values of Confucianism in China. Tantrics and Daoists were also early experimenters with “external alchemy”, the use of mind-altering natural substances to quicken one’s spiritual evolution. It is not surprising that their ideas came into widespread popularity in the West during a period of widespread cultural rebellion in the 1960’s with mind expanding drugs, pelvic-undulating rock music, and a pillprovoked Free Love movement, all designed to topple Establishment values. The Western sexual revolution occurred without any Eastern stimulus; but once it was happening, it needed somewhere to go, and Tantric and Daoist teachings offered a new and more spiritual direction into which the sexual revolution could mature. If we imagine that planet earth has a single global libido, I suspect these ancient teachings would have surfaced any place where sexual freedom was exploding.
Two early major stimuli to the growth of Asian sexual practices in the West were 1) publication of From Sex to Super Consciousness (1974) by Bhagwan Sri Rajneesh and his growing popularity as a “sex guru” of Tantric and new age mysticism, and (2) publication of the bestselling Sexual Secrets (1979) by Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger , with classical texts and six hundred illustrations of Tantric and Daoist sexual iconography. Unlike previous erotic art books, it offered a living spiritual path. These events put images and a vision of sexual-spiritual liberation into popular media with a psychology accessible to Westerners.
It is important to first remove a naivete common to Westerners about oriental sexual practices. Teachers of traditional sexology, whether medical or spiritual, are difficult to find today in either China or India. On seven trips to China, despite an extensive network of Daoist contacts, no one knew of a single teacher of Daoist sexual cultivation, even though all were well aware of its historical and textual presence. There are two reasons. One, Daoist sexology has a bad historical reputation for being abused and used to promote sexual vampirism, making it risky to teach in Communist culture. Two, as Fang Ru Ruan’s Sex in China study notes, ancient China produced the world’s oldest and most detailed sexology texts, but modern China is one of the most sexually repressed countries in the world - sale of pornography is punishable by death. The neo-Reichian Yugoslav filmmaker Dusan Makaveich showed in his 1972 film Mysteries of the Organism that as political repression increases, sexual freedom decreases. This political repression may be a factor in recent medical reports in mainland China of increasingly widespread sexual dysfunction. Most current Daoist books on sexology are coming from Taiwan and Hong Kong, often centered around trained courtesans (Lai 2001, McNeil 1999), or from Chinese living in Thailand (Chia/Winn 1984, Chia 1986, 1996, 2000).
Nik Douglas was an English rock music producer who went to India for eight years in the 60’s, several of them wandering about as a Tantric sadhu, stirring the ashes of his guru’s sacred dhouni fire. Douglas made the first film on Tantra in English, financed by Mick Jagger -- a clear statement of alignment between Tantra and rock music subcultures. Douglas published Chakra magazine in India and had an indirect but pivotal role in introducing the Beatles to their guru, Maharishi Mahesh. This subsequently gave other Indian gurus instant rock star status, promoting their teachings to the rebel youth culture in the West. Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation movement passes itself off as Vedic, and completely avoids sexual issues and practices. But as Douglas points out in his history of Tantra, Spiritual Sex (1997), the TM power mantras given to initiates, chosen by birthdate, are Tantric. The Vedas themselves are hymns to be sung, but do not offer mantras, which Douglas traces to the older Dravidian vegetative fertility cults in India.
Traditionally, in Hindu Tantra a lineage tranmission is essential, a personal initiation by a guru. Rajneesh (1931-90) was an Indian professor of philosophy who basically had no guru - he got his initiation from books. From his wide readings and direct experimentation, Rajneesh “self-invented” a Tantric path for Westerners to explore themselves. He forbade his Indian followers from using the techniques devised for Westerners, as he felt that Western minds worked differently. He had a genius for translating obscure mystical concepts into a workable Western psychology. He offered Westerners exactly what they wanted: freedom from guilt about sex, the promise of enlightenment, and a smorgasboard of workshops led by followers that allowed them to explore and integrate their eclectic mix of Eastern and Western methods. Having no lineage, he invented a feeling of lineage for Westerners by requiring them to wear swami-like robes. Rajneesh set the stage for his Western followers to appropriate the five element Tantric chakra system and psychologize it to fit their own spiritual needs and Western archetypes. This trend towards a “selfinvented” spirituality became a hallmark of the New Age movement in the West. Tantra and Daoism both have a long history of experimenting with and absorbing new spiritual technologies, so I do not use the term “self-invented” pejoratively, but only to distinguish it from teachings adopted from traditional lineages in India or China.
blast, with the debris of my former consciousness blown to bits and slowly raining back down on my transparent body in blissful droplets. I was shocked, scared, and excited. I realized I had entered some other dimension of myself, and decided I had to make it a priority in life to find a way to stay connected to it. I decided to give up meat, drugs, and sex, the latter decision particularly shocking to me as at that time I was prone to having three girlfriends at once. Since my beyond-the-body experience was a thousand times more orgasmic than the best sexual orgasm I had previously experienced, being celibate didn’t seem to matter. I didn’t know it then, but I had entered the realm of my subtle bodies and their spontaneously orgasmic properties. I had no guru or formal initiation, my only teacher was a book, yet I found myself celibate, on the Tantric path, and questing for a repeat spiritual orgasm. When I returned to New York, I hunted down the nearest Rajneesh ashram, a dingy cellar in Tribeca. I did Rajneesh’s Dynamic Meditation to arouse the kundalini, but it didn’t work for me, and I didn’t like the “group grope” feeling of the people there. I didn’t want strangers grappling with my newly delicate energy field, and the methods seemed to lack sufficient internal focus. The only book in print that seemed to confirm the reality of my experience was Gopi Krishna’s Kundalini:The Serpent Power, an account of his twelve year ordeal with his kundalini current run wild, finally cured by simply eating meat. Krishna published many later books claiming the kundalini - the dance of the ida (solar), pingala (lunar), and sushumna (central) currents of prana up the spine -- was the evolutionary force behind all genius and all genetic evolution. When I interviewed Gopi Krishna shortly before his death in 1984, I was not impressed by his spiritual presence. He seemed very intellectual, an Indian pundit with thick black glasses whose energy was mostly in his head.
Nik Douglas, who met Rajneesh in India before he was famous, told me his main recollection him was of a “nice professor type who wanted me to set him up with intellectual Jewish girls who would fuck”. This suggests an early stage of trying to reconcile his sexual and intellectual identities. Rajneesh was later touted as the “sex guru” by the media because he told his followers to have as much sex as they could possibly tolerate until they no longer desired it. This was his novel application of a traditional Tantric principle of using ordinary desire to obtain enlightenment. At seminars he would begin by requiring everyone to strip off their clothes and sniff the armpits and genitals of a member of the opposite sex. Rajneesh reportedly entered a phase of natural celibacy between the ages of forty-two and fifty-five, so he was not having sex at the height of his fame as a sex guru. This highlights the paradox, found in many traditional Tantric and Daoist lineages, of an approach that advocates celibacy yet employs sexual energy as the main force in their meditation.
I began practicing White Tantric Yoga, taught by Yogi Bhajan and his 3HO organization, and found that it systematically stimulated and sustained the blissful experience I had in Africa. I practiced this system of kundalini yoga daily for four years, which employed a rigorous combination of yogic asanas (postures), “breath of fire” (rapid belly breathing), yogic locks (squeezing different body parts tightly), mudras (hand positions) and mantras. I took ice cold showers at 4 am, and found my sleep needs reduced to four hours. I also began experiencing different siddhis or spiritual powers, ranging from bursts of telepathy and foreknowledge of the future (useful in planning my free lance writing career) and, more dramatically, having repeated experiences of the entire universe collapsing into a single point. I would be immobilized for up to an hour, as if my being were condensed into a heavy steel ball at the center of the universe, with a contracting pressure so intense not even my mind could escape its gravitational power.
Personal Account: Kundalini Rising in the West My own first spiritual initiation experience offers a snapshot of how Tantric methods leapt across cultural lines without a lineage to define it, and how the Tantric-induced experience of kundalini, the female Shakti force rising within the body, itself blurred the boundary between the sexual and the spiritual. I was working as a free lance war correspondent in Africa in 1978. Enroute to the airport leaving the U.S. I grabbed Rajneesh’s Book of Secrets, his compilation of a hundred different Tantric methods. I had never heard of Rajneesh. Later, stuck waiting for a visa in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, I had time to browse the book.
Being a self-employed writer, I was able to practice four to eight hours a day. The link between kundalini and sexuality was self-evident. My testicles pulsed day and night, I could feel and internally hear my sexual energy rushing up my spine and throbbing in my third eye. At other times I experienced fiery sexual-like currents of electricity flowing throughout my body. I felt like I had discovered organic LSD, and walked about in an ecstatic state, feeling ten foot tall and looking down from above my head into the mundane reality below. I was still celibate, but had so much sexual energy I masturbated daily to release the pressure. My conversion of sexual energy into blissful subtle energy must have been unbalanced, as it eventually led to a weakening of my physical body. This subsequently led to my shift to Daoist inner sexual alchemy practices.
I had never had a guru or any meditation training. Rajneesh’s Book of Secrets overwhelmed me with the number of techniques in it. So I picked the simplest one I could find, a breathing method. It instructed me to follow my inhalation and exhalation, while gradually increasing the length of the pause between breaths. I got deep into the process, lying on a straw mattress in a sweltering $3. per night flea bag hotel, shared with a black South African refugee whose epileptic seizures were my only distraction. I practiced for three to five hours at a time, and found I could slow my breath down until the pauses seem to last interminably.
I was told that I was practicing the traditional ancient science of Tantra, but later investigations by myself and others into Yogi Bhajan raised serious questions as to whether his methods were “self-invented” from a hodgepodge he had collected while formerly a customs official in Delhi. Bhajan had no identifiable guru, no specific Tantric lineage or school, and had mixed his yogic methods with a curious blend of religious worship of Sikhism. I went to the Punjab state in India, and widespread inquiries produced no one who had ever heard of any Sikh
One day, after two weeks practice, I felt my breath stop completely. During a long pause between breaths, I entered a deep, peaceful state, and felt I no longer needed to breathe air. Suddenly my whole body shook, then exploded in an intense orgasm and I watched myself catapulted into the space around me, with a clear vision of my body expanding rapidly through the walls of the room. After this initial explosion, I felt like a mushroom cloud above a nuclear
Tantrics there. This is not to judge Bhajan’s methods as ineffective, but simply to note the pattern of self-invented Tantrics coming to the West to seek a following. One of his innovations was to line up male yogis and female yoginis facing each other in long rows, up to a hundred people in length. They would stare into their opposite sexed partner’s eyes while doing rapid breath of fire in different asanas, building up a tremendous sexual energy field that would shift into a higher octave of shared collective bliss.
emphasized austerities, including abstention from sex, while driving all energy into the head to nourish the spiritual body. They likely had no previous sexual experience in India. These head centered (third eye and crown) practices are typical of “fire” school methods for achieving rapid enlightenment, which often suppress physical body urges to achieve this expanded headenlightened state. These repressed sexual urges can later suddenly emerge powerfully, amplified by the active fire energy of the adept’s spiritual body seeking to ground itself in the sexual waters of the earth plane/physical body. The trigger activating this release could have been the shift from the sexually repressive culture of India to the free-sex culture of New York. The unconscious desire of the young female devotees to have sex with their guru may also have been a factor; to Rama and Muktananda’s opened subtle vision these sexual desires may have been perceived consciously, and they may have been simply unable to resist an opportunity to seek balance for their excess spiritual fire.
Bhajan offered little real training on sexual energy management, other than the advice to limit sex to once a month with a married partner. The only specific technique for men was to sit with their perineum over the heel (mulabanda), to block the upward flow of sexual feeling from going out the penis. Yet his ashrams, with serene white-turbaned and long-bearded Western yogis, were filled behind the scenes with frequent sexual affairs between adepts who could not follow their guru’s admonitions. One of Bhajan’s inner circle at the time revealed to me the existence of lawsuits against Bhajan (who was married) by female followers for sexual abuse, and told of a coterie of sexual favorites and “deviant” sexual practices in his inner Tantric circle.
A Tantric might argue these events were simply life offering a new opportunity for exploration by all concerned, to be viewed without any moral judgement. But was there a patriarchal blindness and excess male-fire insensitivity to the very goddess Shakti force which Tantrics universally claim to worship? Swami Rama escaped to India for two years at the height of his scandal to let things cool off. When he returned, I had the opportunity to personally ask him, what is the purpose of sexuality in spiritual evolution? His answer was evasive, mentioning that some cultures allowed multiple wives, implying sexualspiritual development was completely culture-determined rather than obeying some cosmic law. Muktananda was brought to the West in 1971 by his student Albert Rudolph, a Brooklyn Jew, former nightclub bouncer and later an art dealer. Muktananda inducted Rudi into his religious order, and so Swami Rudrananda (”Rudi” to his followers) donned traditional swami saffron robes. But Rudi didn’t follow traditional swami rules. Rudi was open about his Tantric self-inventedness, and was open about his sleeping with both male and female followers to intensify their spiritual awakening. His honesty about this was refreshing and shocking, exemplified by his book titlle, Spiritual Cannibalism. I saw from a video of Rudi that he had excess kundalini, causing his head to whip back and forth ferociously. Rudi’s creative re-invention of an American Tantra was cut short by a 1973 plane crash. He trained a new generation of American Tantrics who spread his experimental approach to Tantrism, often blending it with Tibetan Tantric and later Daoist alchemical teachings.
A different yogi, also a leader in 3HO, later left to become a Daoist student of Mantak Chia, from whom he learned the Microcosmic Orbit meditation, a method of circulating energy up the spine and down the front channels of the body. This radically differed from kundalini yoga in suggesting the subtle energy circulated in endless loops that ultimately spiraled into the center of one’s core consciousness, instead of a linear flow from lower chakra to upper chakra to union with an absolute self somewhere above the head. The Orbit is also the key Daoist channel for circulating sexual energy. Before he left Bhajan’s organization, Bhajan’s lieutenant introduced the Microcosmic Orbit meditation into the White Tantric practice. It later became standard practice to help ground the many spacy yogis, who, like myself, were literally floating out of their bodies. America had become an accelerated microcosm of the Orient, where different Tantric and Daoist schools traded methods over the centuries along the Silk Road trade routes. Bhajan’s pattern of appearing sexually conservative in public while engaging in sexual practices in private was common in other Tantric gurus in the 1980’s, most famously Swami Rama of the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, Pennsylvania and Swami Muktananda at his Siddhi Yogi ashram in New York’s Catskill Mountains. Both were discovered to be giving “Tantric initiations” to dozens of young female devotees in the guru’s private boudoir. There is a tradition in Indian Tantra of gurus initiating with a drop of semen or saliva, or performing ceremonial sexual rites where sexual union with a low caste or untouchable virgin female is used by male adepts to enter a divine state of union (White, 1996).
Two of Rudi’s top students, John Mann and Lar Short, exchanged teachings with me and my first Daoist teacher Mantak Chia in the mid 80’s when Chia rented Rudi’s Big Indian ashram in the New York Catskills. Some of that ended up in The Body of Light (1988), Mann and Short’s comparison of the subtle bodies in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Daoist traditions. Chia learned from them the Tibetan Powa technique of shooting one’s essence (bindu) out of the physical body before death, which he borrowed and integrated into his Daoist teachings. This ejected essence is, in my view, the sexual-spiritual substance that allows one to create a new incarnation, a specialty in the Tibetan tradition. While editing the Daoist chapter in The Body of Light I took of number of their Tantric initiations, and tried Rudi’s experimental method of making sexual love with any astral beings met while travelling in the subtle planes. I later rejected this (and the powa practice) as unnecessary and potentially distracting to the process of Daoist inner sexual alchemy. The low astral plane is filled with halfbeings of low vibration and hidden agendas. In Daoist alchemy one is kept busy sexually coupling sun, moon, planet and star energies of higher frequencies.
But the Tantric sex scene in America more closely resembled the groupie music and movie star scene. The young girls who were “gifted” with the guru’s initiating lingam (penis) reported that it was quick sex, and felt like a man masturbating inside them, with no deep ceremonial, emotional, or spiritual connection made. There was no body-specific training in the Siddha Yoga program at that time in transmuting sexual energy into spiritual energy, other than what occurred naturally through devotional chanting. All the acharyas (novitiates) and Western swamis had to take strict vows of celibacy. Swami Rama’s followers were particularly galled by his insistence that male and female yoga students were not allowed to hold hands, under penalty of being expelled from the ashram. Was this seemingly compulsive sexual behavior by enlightened masters a kind of crazy wisdom, an intentionally paradoxical Tantric behavior that we morality-bound Westerners could not understand, or was there something else going on here? Thousands of followers would testify to the spiritual powers of these men. For me, it raised a new question: is it possible to be spiritually enlightened, and at the same time be an emotional and sexual midget? Over time, my later study of Daoist subtle body development suggested this was likely the case. Muktananda and Rama were trained by Tantrics that
One discovery that emerged from our sharing of Daoist, Tantric, and Bon Dzogchen teachings that had been absorbed into Tibetan Buddhism was the clear similarity of Daoist alchemy subtle body coupling using pearls and channels to the completion stage annutarayoga Tantric practices with its colored male and female drops and winds. Detailed in Geshe Gyatso’s Clear Light of Bliss (1982), these
vajrayoga practices emphasize the value of having a physical sexual consort to speed the opening of the heart needed for highest attainment and interpenetrating mind awareness.
in the most minute aspects of their lives by computer email. Jones may be another Tantric case of excess fire seeking female sexual water to cool and ground itself.
John Mann later developed an innovative two person Tantric meditation method called Divine Androgyny, which I consider a quintessential Tantric sexual coupling of higher subtle bodies. A male and female adept sit on chairs facing one another and do nothing except stare in each other’s eyes and surrender to whatever flows through. This creates a build up in the sexually polarized subtle energy field between them which eventually begins to pulsate. If the adepts are highly skilled and attuned, the pulsating field becomes quite intense, tangible to anyone sitting in between, and can result in deep healing for all involved in the process. (Mann, 2000)
The California Tantra scene in the 1980’s and 90’s was blossoming with its own flavor, and students (mostly of Rajneesh) sprang up teaching Tantric workshops. These typically were taught in the nude, and often encouraged participants to sexually partner with a stranger, with instructions to first tune into them by breathing together and holding one’s hand over their partner’s heart. This extremely simplified and reinvented Tantric sex ritual for Westerners may have cemented the media definition of Tantra as being primarily a practice of spiritualized sexual intercourse, which of course it never was in India. Even the famed Tantric ritual of the “Five M’s” (pancha makara) that culminated with coitus (maithuna) was proceeded by mantric initiation and ordinarily required lengthy prior subtle body training (Tigunait, 1999). But Californians wanted both quick sex and quick enlightenment, the latter being one promise of Tantra, and so market demand attracted the teacher supply to satisfy it.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s I also took a series of Tibetan Tantric initiations from two lineage heads, the Karmapa and Dalai Lama. I never pursued these practices in depth, as I did not feel drawn to their complex mandalas of visualized deities and their guru worship. But friends who studied Tibetan Buddhist Tantrism reported they kept their sexual practices very secret from Westerners.
This public sexual intercourse in a group workshop setting seems to be an enduring part of the Western reinvention of Tantra. It fits a general Tantric pattern of defying public mores for the purpose of shocking someone into enlightenment, but I put it more into the category of psycho-therapeutic or medical sexual therapy than subtle body practice. Participants are usually guided to take the sexual energy up the chakras in the spine, but may have little or no prior training in meditation or in stabilizing internal states of consciousness with mantra, yantra, internally created alchemical symbols or visualizations, or mudras, the hallmarks of traditional Hindu Tantrism. This may be because Rajneesh, the self-invented Tantric guru of many of them, did not himself have lineage training in these methods. Rajneesh also did not believe mantra was suitable for Westerners, as he felt it produced a soporific state of self-hypnosis in which it was difficult to be fully present in the body.
A Western female acquaintance went on a three-year Buddhist retreat, believing she would practice various austerities. She afterwards reported the retreat was a “veritable Peyton Place,” with lusty Lamas besieging her to become a consort and thus speed their path to enlightenment. I heard reliable reports of another lama who insisted all the western women on retreat become his consort. Two of the four major Tibetan sects require celibacy, but all four teach methods for sublimating sexual energy into subtle bodies, projected as various deities. Skill in this kind of astral projection creates the possibility of “astral sex affairs” that occur mostly in dream time or meditative states. A different female friend, involved in helping Tibetan teachers, confided to me she was under “astral rape” attack for months by a Tibetan Tantric practitioner who became obsessed with her as his consort after she terminated a brief sexual affair. I shared with her some Daoist methods for defining the boundaries of one’s subtle bodies, which seemed to help. Sexual intercourse opens subtle body connections that can be extremely difficult to dissolve. Men become obsessed with pornography for the same reason: they are having astral sex with their own projected fantasy in the low astral plane, the subtle body closest to the physical.
In 1997 I met Jwala, a women who had been one of the first teachers on the California Tantra scene in 1980. Her practice of Tantric initiation involved gently masturbating men while guiding them to move their sexual energy up the chakras to their heart and head, and counseling them on sexual issues. She confirmed my perception of California Tantrism being more focused on physical sexuality as therapy, exemplified by her own professed challenge to spiritual progress in terms of building a stable subtle body awareness. I knew by then that if there is excessive focus on physical sexuality, the subtle body energy is pulled down and eventually dispersed.
Any divorced or separated couple also knows too well how difficult it is to cut the bonds of sexual attachment, especially in cases of first true love. This is often because their sexual energy bodies have been “glued” together in the low astral plane. My own experience is that this can go beyond a strong subtle body sexual relationship. It may involve the exchange of what the Daoists call the jingshen, the vital organ spirits that animate the personal body. It is difficult to separate from someone else because a part of their consciousness is actually living inside your body, and vice versa. Similar situation may be found in certain deep child-parent relationships, which may be intensified by an unspoken sexual polarity. This is a vast topic, beyond the scope of this paper, but it does imply a spontaneous and high level of subtle body sex that is usually unconsciously willed.
This limitation of focusing excessively on physical sex may prove to be the force that moves California style Tantrism towards subtle body sexual cultivation practices. In 2000 I taught the Daoist inner sexual alchemy practices of Lesser Water and Fire in Switzerland. One of my students was the director of a Tantric Institute in Germany that was using Rajneesh inspired methods taught by Margo Anand, whose teachings and first book The Art of Ecstasy, was also influential amongst California Tantrics. (This book borrowed the Inner Smile technique from the books I had written with Chia, as well as material from Nik Douglas’ Sexual Secrets, both without acknowledgement, which we both gracefully accepted at the time as her hidden fear of not having a tradition behind her). At the end of the retreat, this student, a male, broke down in tears. “I have been teaching and helping so many people with their sexuality”, he said. “But I have been personally at a dead end, I could not get beyond the boundary of my physical maleness and the limitations of physical sex. I was feeling very frustrated. But now I have a very great gift from you and from the Dao, the subtle love-making between my inner male and female souls. Now I have a way to move forward!”
California Tantra One of Rudi’s New York students was Franklin Jones (b. 1939), who left Rudi to try Scientology for a year before starting his own movement. Jones moved to California and became the self-proclaimed God-man and World Teacher Da Free John (later changed to numerous other names). It appeared Da Free John had such an extreme case of rising kundalini heat that it permanently burned off his hair. Jones-Free John is clearly a case of second generation Western self-invented Tantrism, a showman who created a Wizard of Oz mystique by teaching from behind panels, too sacred to be viewed by his followers. He later added a modern twist. He lived for a long time on an island in Fiji, surrounded by multiple wives and “gopis” (female devoteeslovers), and daily instructs his followers in a California ashram
Kriya Yoga: Tantra and Celibacy In 1983, two years after I had shifted my main practice from White Tantric Yoga to Daoist internal alchemy, I stumbled onto Kriya Yoga, a Tantric method taught by Swami Paramhamsa Hariharananda Giri
(”Baba” to his followers). His Kriya Yoga was definitely not selfinvented, but strictly followed the initiations he had received in India from Sri Yukteswar and from his student, Paramhamsa Yogananda, who founded the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) in the USA the 1920’s. Baba was later made President of Sri Yukteswar’s ashram in Puri, India, and took higher level kriya initiations from other yogis in a lineage extending back to its founder Lahiri Mahasay. Lahiri, a railroad engineer with five children, claims an immortal being named Babaji appeared to him in 1862 and taught him six kriyas (Sanskrit root kri, to act, ya, divine soul). These kriyas offered a structured internal map of subtle body development, through six stages of samadhi. To objectively explore these practices, I eventually discontinued my Daoist internal alchemy practices for a few years.
nirvakalpa samadhi , the sixth kriya and highest level of enlightenment possible. He is famous for his yogic power to stop both his breath and heartbeat for extended periods while in samadhi. Since then, for the last forty-five years, he has been revered as a fully realized “God man” in India. It is not my place to judge anyone’s level of spiritual attainment, but I did have the expectation was that such an evolved being would at least be sex-neutral, if not sex-positive in his attitude. I instead discovered he was both female-negative and sex-negative, raising the same question again: was sex and subtle body training incompatible? Or was cultural conditioning at work? Working for some years in close personal contact with Baba while editing his Bhagavad Gita in the Light of Kriya Yoga (I989), I noticed how his aversion to women also manifested itself as subtle attraction to and need for women to be around him. Privately he expressed anti-body sentiments (”from the senses down, the body is the domain of the devil”), and made anti-female comments (”if you marry a woman, they will constantly lure you to bed and weaken your power to meditate”). He often publicly recounted a favorite story of how once a foreign woman at his ashram in India had tried to seduce him. She crawled on top of him naked, but his steely control was such that neither his mind nor his penis was aroused.
Kriya Yoga is Tantric in its divinization of the body. In the first kriya, prana is circulated up and down the spine. In the second kriyas, internal seed (bij) mantras are silently chanted to infuse the spinal pathway and the multi-petalled lotuses visualized in the chakras and fifty body parts. Then the 50 letter-sounds of the sanskrit alphabet are spiralled around the cranium, activating the primordial sound which is gradually captured into the center of the cranial void space in higher kriyas. The higher kriyas drop all use of mantra as one enters the higher void spaces. Like Rajneesh, Hariharananda completely eschews all use of chanted mantra, which he considers an intermediate level of practice: “if you are busy shouting to your Mother, how can you hear God speak to you?” he would ask. In Kriya Yoga there is a typically Tantric progressive internalization of the cosmos within the body, which evolves into the experience of one’s inner soul focusing on the subtle current of sound, light, and vibration/heat in the central channel (sushumna). Baba’s private deity is Kali, the paramount Tantric goddess, who he claims has intervened to allow him an extremely long life (age 96 at this writing in 2002). He was 75 when I first met him, a few years after he arrived in the West.
Hariharananda’s top-heavy, male-fire crown chakra consciousness seemed to regularly attract yogic successors-to-be who would act out his suppressed lower desires, involving themselves in money scandals and love affairs that invariably resulted in their dismissal. When I last saw him in 1999, he was having severe back pain. I read his pulses using Chinese diagnostic methods, and observed a kidney deficiency, a weakness in his water element. This was likely due to his practicing Fire methods his entire life. The thing that seemed to help his back pain was having teams of young female devotees massage his body, reminding me of the celibate Mahatma Gandhi sleeping beside two young teen girls to rejuvenate himself. The sexual energy Baba denied himself directly his entire life he could only allow himself to receive indirectly through female touch.
Kriya Yoga is a interesting case. It was originally designed for householders, who could have sex and children, eat meat, and meditate at home to achieve enlightenment. The original technique was very Tantric in allowing one to indulge these worldly pleasures, but one had to watch from the soul level as one indulged. Lahiri insisted his students get married, and his subtle body teachings were quite sexually explicit: “I beheld the Red Lingam (”penis”) of Shiva inside of me; it contained the energy of the Sun. Then I came up to the third eye, and entered the Maha Yoni (”Great Vagina”). (Satyeswarananda, 1988) But the lineage was virtually captured and shifted into the monastic Giri (”mountain”) order of swamis who were forbidden from having sex, watching theatre, eating meat or any food cooked by a non-initiate. An American student of Baba’s visiting Benares, India ran into the grandson of Lahiri Mahasay, who complained bitterly that Kriya Yoga had been hijacked by Hindu monks.
There may be other systems of Kriya Yoga with different attitudes about sex. The editors of Tantra Magazine in the 1980’s were Kriya Yoga practitioners of a different Babaji lineage (Herakan Baba, an immortal whose followers claim he materialized in a body in India in the 1970’s) and the magazine was definitely sex-positive. But it appeared their mix of Kriya and Tantra was not by lineage training but rather an integration of their own choice, a part of the trend amongst Westerners to reshape Tantric methods to fit their own sexual and spiritual needs. recount the details of my experience with Hariharananda to highlight a recurring split amongst some Tantrics (and historically, Daoists) between sexual and subtle body development. It is ok for their lay followers to have sex or get married, but the elite cadre of acharyas and swamis who attain subtle body enlightenment need to be celibate. The equation of celibacy and anti-sexual attitudes with enlightenment led me to question whether Hariharananda’s Fire path paradigm of nirvikalpa samadhi as enlightenment was complete. Despite his worshipping Kali and using Tantric meditation methods to divinize the body, underneath he seemed to reflect a widespread patriarchal based Indian spirituality that feared the sexual power of women, and perhaps deep beneath that, feared an earth centered consciousness. My desire to integrate my sexual and earth nature fully was a key factor in my resuming my Daoist Water and Fire inner alchemy practices.
Yogananda did not think Westerners were prepared for Kriya’s shakti power, and so only taught the first kriya to his followers, a method of circulating prana up and down the spine without mantras. Nonetheless, the SRF-simplified Kriya Yoga has spawned many splinter schools of American swamis claiming lineage and has achieved widespread acceptance in the West. Meanwhile, the SRF-promoted facade of Yogananda’s yogic purity as a celibate is beginning to crumble under various challenges. I had a student whose father claimed to have been in Yogananda’s inner circle, which he reported included sexual affairs. A man closely resembling Yogananda in appearance filed a lawsuit to examine genetic tests by SRF to determine if Yogananda was his father. SRF devotees and relatives claim the test results were negative. Hariharananda may eventually prove to be one of the few cases of complete sexual abstinence amongst Tantrics who have come to the West. He claims it was only when he gave up all sexual desire that he achieved enlightenment.
Daoist Sexual Cultivation in the West In 1981 I became one of the first Westerners to study with Mantak Chia. He was a thirty-six year old Chinese married man working as a healer in New York’s Chinatown. He left Thailand in 1976, chased out by Thai Western style medical doctors threatened by his Bangkok center offering low-cost healing. For a few pennies people sat on a large platform, charged with a negative ion current strong enough to detoxify chronic ailments. Chia’s unorthodox approach to life served him well in the West, where he wore multiple hats as healer, martial artist, and inner alchemist. He was eager to bridge the gap between modern science and ancient Daoist methods. He was equally
I found Hariharananda to be a fountain of illumination and wisdom, a Brahman with a tiger’s mind who could recite the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanisads, yet who also radiated a heart that was lovingly pure and had a child-like innocence. It was impossible not to love him. After meditating for decades, at the age fifty Baba attained
comfortable with medical and bedroom sexual practices (fangzhong) and the subtle body coupling employed in internal alchemy (neidangong). Most important, he was willing to openly share his knowledge with Westerners. Other books have been published in the West on Daoist medical sexology (J. Chang 1977, S. Chang 1986, Heng 1997), but they lack deep understanding of Daoist alchemy or subtle body development.
body intelligences/spirits, or vital organ “gods”) into two primal yin (inner female) and yang (inner male) forces that copulate in the lower dantian. This fire-water copulation births an immortal embryo, made of androgynous Early Heaven yuan qi that coagulates within the adept’s physical body. This embryo is slowly birthed up the core channel, nourished by the copulation of natural sexually polarized geomantic forces within the earth below, planetary and stellar forces in heaven above. In the sixth formula this reaches a crescendo as the fullout sexual Congress of Heaven and Earth, a kind of multii-dimensional sexual coupling of their virtues. All of these copulations gradually restore the yuanjing, the pre-natal and pre-sexual substance of the adept’s original nature (xing).
Chia had studied in the mountains behind Hong Kong with One Cloud, a Daoist hermit, who transmitted to him Seven Formulas for Immortality. These alchemical meditations offered a subtle body map of spiritual development: one stage of clearing physical blockages and opening the channels of the energy body, followed by three stages of enlightenment and three stages of immortality. It embraced a paradigm of Water and Fire (kan and li), a continuous yin-yang, femalemale, earth-heaven exchange of energies through a well-defined network of physical and subtle energy body channels. But it required first harnessing one’s sexual energy as the raw fuel to be refined by spiritual practice. Sexual attraction was a very powerful aspect of one’s worldly destiny (ming). It had to be cultivated and refined before one could restore one’s original nature (xing). Sexual practice with a partner strengthened the yin-yang flow of qi, and thus rejuvenated the physical body. But as I explored deeper into One Cloud’s alchemy formulas, I found that the higher sexual practice was dual cultivation of xing and ming, essentially the sexual coupling of the spiritual and earthly dimensions of oneself.
Chia told me he originally sought out Daoist medical and bedroom sexual practices because a Chinese doctor read his pulses and told him at age 21 that his kidneys were weak and that he would die very young. This motivated Chia to hunt down various Chinese teachers of Daoist sexology, and pay them large sums of money to get their secrets. In Chinese medicine, “the kidneys” is a broad energetic sphere that includes the sexual organs, kidneys, bladder and their meridians, and the breasts in women. The kidney spirit or intelligence is said to regulate the endocrine glands, blood, bone marrow, and sexual essence (jing), all essential to long life. Jing, the subtle substance holding the form of one’s body, is the key ingredient to apprehending the function of sexuality in this Daoist cosmology. Jing is perhaps best understood in Western terms as prime matter. Jing is the raw fuel that drives the pulsating rhythm of the body’s moment-to-moment cellular division and reproduction of itself. In modern terms, it generates stem cells, genes, and the sexual energy of the glands, but is not sexual energy itself. The jing is governed in humans by the kidney water spirit, called the zhi, literally the “will” to be in bodily form, to survive, to seek pleasure, and to fulfil a specific destiny while in a body. It is the jing that in the human animal is radiating polarized waves of male or female sexed energy we label charisma or magnetic power. In short, jing is the source of sexual desire and the feeling substance of earthiness. Without jing, spirit (shen) would not be able to embody its virtues or have direct sensory experience of physicality. If one is feeling “spiritual bliss”, the bliss part is vibrating jing. Jing is also the main source of vexation for spiritual seekers who ignore it or run from their sexual impulses in order to chase after the other end of the spectrum of consciousness, the shen or spirit body, which spreads out as an infinite sea of pure awareness. This also defines the key difference between centering a meditation in the Fire-head-shen or Water-belly-jing cauldrons within the body.
Apart from his difficulty translating obscure alchemy terms, Chia’s teachings on Daoist alchemy and sexual energy cultivation had no complex layers of Chinese religious deities to peel off, no mantras in a foreign language, and did not require long waits by students humbly prostrated at the foot of a master. Chia broke with Chinese traditions of personal initiation and secrecy, and presented instead the beginnings of a spiritual science, accessible to Westerners, based on principles of resonance between cosmic forces of Nature and the human body, mapped and refined by generations of Daoists. The alchemy formulas appear to date back one thousand years to the tenth century teachings of the semi-legendary Daoist Immortal Lu Dong Bin. Rather than employing mantra to vibrate the subtle bodies as in Tantra, Chia used a combination of physical qigong movement, natural healing sounds, and transformation obtained by alchemical coupling of polarized energies inside three subtle bodies defined by jing-qi-shen (sexual essence-subtle breath-spirit). These fire and water couplings occur within five-fold colored psychic spheres and eight deep “extraordinary” channels that form the infrastructure of one’s energy body. This energy body is mapped out within an internal mandala of spinning bagua (eight -sided shapes), most likely derived from the Yijing (I Ching).
One of the main ways Chia rebuilt his kidney jing was a method of semen retention and recirculation of sexual energy (jingqi) in the Microcosmic Orbit (xiao zhoutian). Recent scholarship suggests the Orbit began as a sexual practice to rejuvenate the brain (huanjing bunaeo) two thousand years ago and evolved to become a spiritual practice as the qi was observed to spiral inside the body. (Pregadio, 2000, 427). Skill in semen retention is essential to the successful male practice of One Cloud’s internal alchemy. Other systems of neidangong may require celibacy in the hope that it will result in the indirect or spontaneous redirection of sexual energy to the subtle bodies. But this is a hit or miss proposition, and can result instead in sexual repression. Non-celibacy requires a deliberate method of guaranteeing the sexual energy is recycled in the Orbit, which is later refined and taken up the central subtle body channel. How does it work? At a moment prior to ejaculation (whether in coitus with a woman or self-pleasuring), the orgasmically vibrating seminal qi is introjected by the man up his spinal yang fire channel (dumai, Governor Vessel) to refresh the brain and its master glands, the pituitary and pineal. If in coitus, the male draws up his partner’s female sexual essence (jingqi) as well, and offers his to her. When the brain is full of the rejuvenating sexual essence, it overflows down the yin front water channel (renmo, Conception Vessel) which clears and purifies qi flowing into yin meridians, heart, navel and sexual organs. The physical method can be done with a partner (dual cultivation) or without a partner (single cultivation), and is practiced using varying levels of non-
Daoist alchemy presents classical yin-yang theory as the cosmic pulsation of polarized positive-negative energy around a pole (chungmai) of neutral or Original Energy (yuanqi) that extends between Early Heaven (xiantian) and Later Heaven(houtian), or earth. The “ten thousand things” were procreated by the copulation of Heaven and Earth, and yin-yang is their eternal multi-orgasmic movement. The human sexual orgasm is an exquisite echo of that pulsation, and internal alchemy is the process of interiorizing within the physical body the cosmic subtle body love-making. By getting one’s human qi - especially sexual energy (jingqi) - to flow in rhythm and harmony with the hidden cycles of Nature, one’s personal energy gates open to the cosmic flow of inner light and spiritual powers (de) of the Way (Dao). Nurturing healthy, non-depleting physical sexual orgasm is just the beginning level of Daoist cultivation practice. One Cloud’s internal alchemy formulas created increasingly powerful subtle body orgasm. The sexual nature of these subtle body processes was quite explicit. The key practice in the second alchemy formula (Lesser Enlightenment of Water and Fire) is entitled “Self-intercourse”. It requires the adept to revert to the androgynous state of his Early Heaven self. The adept gathers the five jingshen (deep
aroused (cool) or aroused (hot) sexual energy.
choosing partners. It was the opposite approach of the Rajneesh inspired California Tantra of having sex with a stranger at a weekend workshop.
Ejaculation is Physical, Orgasm is Pulsing Chi One goal of the medical sexual practice is to shift from a limited “genital orgasm” to a pleasurable and healing “whole body orgasm”. Slowing or stopping “ejaculation” doesn’t prevent a man from having “orgasm” or being “multi-orgasmic”. Ejaculation is physical, orgasm is chi pulsating. One should not get obsessed with “stopping” ejaculation, but focus rather on opening up the chi channels and recycling sexual energy to one’s partner until you finally ejaculate. Then this physical ejaculation does not cause major loss of jing, as the essence is already extracted. Semen retention also slows down the man’s fiery nature to stay in closer harmony with the woman’s slower cycle of arousal. Another key in “sexual kung-fu” is understanding the relation between the fire element in the heart and the water element in the kidneys. These fire and water essences stimulate each other and keep the other in check. By keeping proper exchange between them, one enters a steady state that opens the door to subtle body love-making. By simply keeping an open heart you protect against blind lust, which ultimately injures the kidneys because it can never be satisfied by physical sex alone. All aloneness at core is the heart spirit (shen) seeking the love, sensual touch and sexual stimulation of the kidney shen, and the deeply embodied kidney spirit seeking the heart’s virtue of unconditional acceptance and love.
Shortly after meeting Chia, I described my White Tantric Kundalini Yoga practice to him. He diagnosed it as “heating the room” - I was driving all my sexual fire up the spine and out the crown, where it dispersed into the room. As soon as I learned to recirculate my rising kundalini energy down my chest through the front Orbit channel and began practicing semen retention, I quickly grew physically stronger and more grounded spiritually. Most Tantrics work only with the spinal fire path and not the water path in the front. I gradually dropped my intense Kundalini Yoga sadhana as the Daoist methods grew on me. The lure of a more effortless practice (wu wei) attuned to nature, the grounding embrace of the feminine through qigong and in the Water and Fire subtle body practices, and a poetic yet scientific approach to spiritual development were the attractions. I was also learning new practices focused on circulating sexual energy in ways I never dreamed possible - through the bone marrow, or using it to give substance to an inner “pearl”, which was circulated through the core channels and eventually into subtle body dimensions. Using the sexual essence as the catalyst to crystallize my subtle bodies in the lower dantian solved the problem I’d observed with most headcentered practices, that the “fire” - the clarity of meditative bliss would gradually disperse in the chaos of modern life.
This kind of internal biological psycho-dynamics is currently opening for Western students the field of Daoist depth psychology. It promises to deepen the Freudian and Jungian approaches with a clearly defined network of energy channels and psychic spheres linking the physical and the spiritual realms.
Later I would end up using the Orbit and other Daoist methods to heal many cases of “kundalini psychosis” - generally energy running up the wrong channel or stuck in the head. The condition is usually easy to correct if the person has not been heavily drugged by psychiatrists who do not understand the energy body. These cases were often Western Tantrics who believed, as I once did, that their energy flow was supposed to move only up the spine in a linear, one-way direction from lower to upper chakra. The Daoist model was that the energy was always moving in spirals, cycles, and orbits; the Orbit was a kind of unified chakra. Any energy movement up had to be balanced by a movement down, until one finally arrived at the still point of no movement at the intersecting center of the physical and subtle body, called the lower dantian (”field of the elixir”). This is the doorway to pre-natal jing, from which all embodiment effortlessly emanates. But to shift my spiritual focus from the third eye to my navel was extremely challenging, as my Tantric Fire teachers had always considered this a lower energy center to be swiftly left behind. It took me a while to understand that chakras are centers of post-natal energy, and are not operating at the pre-natal and inner dimensional depth as the dantian.
Changing the Western Sexual Paradigm I had read of semen retention being practiced by Tantric yogis, but had assumed that I would have to sit in a Himalayan cave for twenty-five years and attain enlightenment before mastering it. Chia presented the reverse paradigm: one had to gain some mastery of semen retention (or the equivalent female practice, menstrual blood-ovary retention) before one could master the subtle body practices. Equally important, semen retention - an inner celibacy of one’s spirit (shen) attaining unity with one’s seed essence (jing) - freed the male adept from enforced outer celibacy. Practitioners could have their cake (physical sexual pleasure) and eat it too, as long as they maintained this inner unity of body essence and spirit. The accessibility of this Daoist sexual practice to the average Western male offered them a radical and totally new approach to sexuality. It also offered a revolutionary and healthy way to alleviate male horniness. The learning context presented by Mantak Chia and his trained
This shift in my practice led to my writing collaboration with Chia, which over time produced seven books on qigong and neigong (”inner skill”). Chia taught me the techniques he knew, and I would test them out on myself before writing about them, often under his name. Our second book, Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy (Aurora Press, 1984) catapulted him to fame, and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The book became a key force in a larger paradigm shift in Western culture, begun earlier by an influx of Tantric ideas, that sexual and spiritual development were inseparable.
Western instructors made it easy for Western students to accept. The practices were taught in an open and accepting atmosphere, with men and women studying each other’s “esoteric biology” in a shared and fun space. After the sexual repression I had witnessed in so many Indian teachers, I was shocked and pleased by Mantak Chia’s innocent directness about sexual matters.
Why was a book on semen retention, radically antithetical to Western sexual values and even to Rajneesh-New Age Tantra style, so successful? One, it linked biological sex-as-natural-science to a kind of spiritual science, a comfortable fit for Western minds. This helped remove guilt promoted by Judeo-Christian religious beliefs separating sex and spirit and labeling sex as sinful. Two, the book was written in my sophisticated Western literary voice, infused with insights from my years of Tantric practice, posing as Mantak Chia’s voice, the Daoist transmitting his oral tradition. (This was such an effective literary device for entraining readers that it created confusion among readers who met Chia. Hearing his “Chinese English” created difficulty believing he was the author). Three, there was no missionary pressure on the reader to leave one’s chosen path and join a Daoist religion. The sexual and energetic teachings were put out as the “energetic open
Would these sexual teachings promote a culture of promiscuity amongst the Westerners who learned them? Chia and I delayed publication of our co-authored book on Daoist sex for nearly a year while pondering this question and its ethical ramifications. Looking back over the twenty one years that I have known Mantak Chia, I never heard a single accusation of his sexual involvement with students. Certainly there was a degree of open experimentation between male and female students attracted to one another. But there was a strong caution placed against promiscuous and indiscriminate absorption of another’s sexual energy (sexual vampirism), as sexual exchange was a double edged sword in which you also absorbed your partner’s “psychic garbage”. This meant sexual relations demanded deep transformational effort and great selectivity in
architecture” of the Dao, from which one could take what one needed, whether for sexual health or spiritual health.
pleasurable, but seemed anti-climactic, mostly a way to digest and ground the subtle body orgasm that had spontaneously enveloped us.
Chia and I were frankly surprised at the time by the diversity of response, and in retrospect, at the book’s contribution to the globalization of emerging new spiritual attitudes towards sexuality. We received hundreds of letters from men following many other spiritual paths -Sufi, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish - thanking us for giving them a way to stay on their chosen path and embrace their sexuality instead of repressing it. For example, the well known Catholic mystic David Stendl-Rast wrote to say the book had been of immense practical help to him and he was recommending it widely to other Catholic priests to help them deal with their celibacy.
This permanently shifted the nature of our sexual relationship. Our subtle bodies would quickly attune and we found we could exchange deep sexual energy for hours, lying beside each other, naked or clothed, without any physical stimulation or intercourse. It was a direct exchange of sexually polarized subtle bodies. As our energy bodies mingled and coupled, we were infused with loving spiritual qualities. This led us to long periods of spontaneous abstention from physical intercourse that could last for many months, but with exquisitely sublime daily subtle body coitus. As our subtle bodies crystallized and became more “real”, it eventually graduated to astral sex - the ability to intentionally exchange orgasmic subtle energy at great distances. I attribute the longevity of our relationship to this subtle body love making, and it created a very solid foundation for making advances in our individual inner alchemy practices.
It was just as typical that a man with no spiritual background would show up at a “Healing Love” workshop because “I just met a girl and thought this might help.” The sexual teachings became the hook that converted many such seekers with superficial external desires into serious students of Daoist internal cultivation. This book,Taoist Secrets of Love and its later sequels - Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy (1986), The Multi-Orgasmic Man (1996), and The MultiOrgasmic Couple (2000) - combined with a global network that grew to one thousand Healing Tao teachers in thirty countries certified to teach Daoist sexual and subtle body practices, became a major doorway for tens of thousands of Western spiritual seekers to enter on a path of the previously obscure Daoist alchemy formulas passed on by the hermit One Cloud. (Winn, 2001)
Joyce’s early experiences with the female sexual practices I anonymously appended to my third editing project, Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy (1986), written under the name of Mantak and his wife Maneewan Chia. Maneewan in fact did not contribute any content to the book and appeared to me to be a nonpractitioner. I was forced to resort to interviewing Joyce and dozens of Chia’s Western female students to evaluate the effectiveness of the Daoist female sexual practices because there was no pool of qualified Chinese Daoist female practitioners available.
Daoist Female Sexual Practices in the West
The female sexual practices (Ovarian Breathing, Slaying the Red Dragon, and others) focus on initially reducing or later completely stopping loss of eggs and blood through menstruation, said to be the main source of women’s loss of jing. They progress to cultivation of ovarian essence, absorbing male sexual essence and redirection of the genital orgasm up the spine and or into the lower dantian and other vital organs until full body orgasm is achieved. Its medical applications include relief of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and menopausal hot flashes, healing of infertility (”cold womb syndrome”) and a variety of glandular and sexual dysfunction including frigidity. But application of these practices to Western women was largely experimental, due to the lack of role models. Study groups were formed to compare results, resulting in deeper levels of female sexual practice. (Piontek, 2001) Several women did completely stop their menstrual cycle through voluntary internal practice. Most used it to simply lighten the amount and color of blood flow as they learned how to detoxify their blood. But most important was the paradigm shift of women gaining control of inner sexual forces and liberation of qi trapped in the uterus using Daoist subtle body methods.
Teaching Daoist female sexual practices to Western women who expected equality of the sexes and wanted to use these practices to improve their personal relationships presented a special challenge. Douglas Wile in his definitive Art of the Bedchamber (1992) surveyed the last twenty five hundred years of Chinese texts on sexuality, and noted a progressive decline in the treatment of women and a proportional increase in patriarchal type of sex manuals in which the yin essence of women was used by male adepts for their own spiritual progress. The Chinese women who use these practices today are mostly Daoist nuns stopping their menstrual cycle because they’ve made a lifetime commitment to childless, monastic meditation - not a motivating factor for most women in the West. In 1983 at a Daoist retreat I met a potential female consort, Joyce Gayheart, shortly after I had conveniently decided to drop my four year experiment with celibacy, in order to test the practices I was writing about in Taoist Secrets of Love . She later became my wife and has remained my partner for the last nineteen years, offering us the opportunity to explore the full range of Daoist physical and subtle body sexual practices that require time and maturity to master. Joyce taught me directly about my own hidden yin nature. I now recognize every relationship as a transmission to one’s partner that the essence they are seeking is already hidden inside them as an inner male or inner female. In the early years we used Daoist methods to prolong physical love-making for many hours, interspersed with periods of meditation. Our most powerful early experience together is interesting because it reversed my expectation that physical sex’s main spiritual use was to jump start our subtle body meditations. The opposite proved to be true - our subtle bodies jumped in and made love first. We had sat naked for a few minutes, facing each other in a cross legged meditation position to tune in. We were both suddenly overtaken by a powerful energy field with extremely intense and unusual vibrations. Not a word was spoken, as our mental, emotional, and speech faculties were completely suspended, but we later confirmed having an identical experience. One aspect of our consciousness began experiencing a very yang orgasm, expanding out of the bedroom faster than the speed of light, whizzing through galaxies, exploding supernovas, and then beyond. Another part of us was orgasmically imploding inward with opposite and equal force, grounding and concentrating inward this great intensity in our physical bodies. After a half hour in this wonderful sacred trance, the vibrational field subsided in intensity. We afterward made physical love as planned. It was
Westernizing of Daoist Sexual Practices Editorial collaboration by myself and other senior students with Mantak Chia resulted in the conversion of what had been a one-to-one “ear-whispered” transmission in China into an open and detailed curriculum of progressive courses that Westerners could pay for and take when they were ready. Transmission was given according to the level of the teacher and received according to the openness of the students in the course. Those who didn’t get the transmission simply took the course again. The integration of sexual energy, whether physical-sexual or subtle body sexual polarities, remained central to this curriculum. This process meant the information on Daoist sexual practices presented to the public was filtered through Western editors and teachers. Daoist principles were honored as the cornerstone of every practice. But the content of the books and courses was inevitably reshaped to suit modern Western psychological and sexual needs. This included acceptance of gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual practitioners; the need to enhance the sexual and emotional quality of personal relationships, the relationship of sex to sports performance and artistic or career creativity. Supportive Western sexological research was marshaled showing the difference between the prostate spasm that causes ejaculation and the whole body physiology of orgasm. We
presented Western scientific biological studies relevant to semen retention and longevity, showing how nematode worms, when genetically altered to stop sperm production, lived twice as long. The Healing Tao organization was an educational structure created so Westerners would feel comfortable learning some times strange sexual practices that did not fit into the ordinary context of their culture. A good example is the Bone Marrow neigong practice of hanging weights of up to fifty pounds by a silk cord tied around the testicles and penis to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and increase capacity to absorb sexual energy into the bone marrow. Or for women to exercise their vaginal muscles by inserting a jade egg into their vagina and move it about as an internal exercise. This evolved into an innovation for women drilling holes in their jade eggs in order to also hang two or three pound weights for greater isometric effect in strengthening the internal fascia. There was “tongue kung-fu” for strengthening that versatile sexual muscle, and methods for absorbing qi directly into the genitals from the sun. Sexual energy was cultivated (often by mixing it with qi drawn up the earth) to magnify one’s power of healing oneself and others, or to add power to martial arts skills like tai chi chuan.
channel to flow in, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This integration must occur both internally and in one’s outer relationships. This defined the Healing Tao’s multi-level Daoist training as a far more complicated and ambitious transformational process than other meditation traditions which did not consciously engage sexual energy and its accompanying emotional and mental challenges. Modern awareness of psychoanalytic processes and growing public acceptance of sexual equality, combined with the Daoist energy body training of the Inner Smile, Six Healing Sounds, Microcosmic Orbit, and Fusion of the Five Elements from White Cloud’s first alchemy formula, allowed most Westerners the possibility of safely integrating the self-released sexual forces in a way suitable for their relationships and spiritual development. The methods taught by Chia have since been further developed by myself and others to deepen and simplify their psychological accessibility to westerners. In China this integration could also occur traditionally through close personal supervision by a qualified teacher. But since the cultural milieu is still largely Confucian, patriarchal, and sexually repressive, finding a suitable teacher and achieving a Daoist model of male-female harmony within oneself is difficult. One very visible stage in the process of Westernizing Daoist practices was my founding in 1995 of Healing Tao University. This has a faculty of twenty Western and Chinese specialists teaching the full spectrum of Daoist Arts and Sciences, with the sexual cultivation and alchemy as the core curriculum. No similar institution exists today in China. Ironically, it is only in the West that Daoist sexual practices are being publicly taught. This sexual freedom is apparently irresistible to some young Chinese Daoists who migrate to the United States. I know of two Chinese priests, ordained in celibate Complete Perfection monasteries, who married here and are openly teaching practices of internal alchemy. In China they would be told that sex would spoil their practice, and asked to leave the order. In America, nobody cares or knows better. A New Yorker cartoon circa1995 sums up public perception: a fashionably dressed young lady walking down the street exclaims to her friend, “Wow! You’ve just got to try Taoist sex!”
Unlike Rajneesh’s promotion of Tantra in the West, there was a deliberate attempt to de-sensationalize these Daoist sexual practices. No nudity was allowed in workshops and teachers focused on them as primarily internal sexual-spiritual practices that could be practiced fully clothed, but also had optional application to the bedroom arts. California Tantrics criticized Healing Tao practitioners for their focus on semen retention, claiming it made men uptight and selfish about holding onto the seed instead of sharing it with women. This was sometimes true for men who did not integrate semen retention with other Daoist subtle body practices. I know of men who transferred old sexual patterns of guilt onto their inability to quickly master semen retention, instead of treating it as a gradual subtle body training process. In other cases, emotional struggle was created in their love relationships if men became too technique oriented. The transmission of these Daoist sexual practices to Westerners was complex, involving subtle body experiences, and not always successful. Over the past two decades tens of thousands of Westerners learned these sexual practices with virtually no negative side effects. The few cases with side effects usually already had an extreme imbalance, they did not have a teacher, did not learn the other methods to open energy channels first, or used too much force. This is the problem inherent in people learning a powerful practice from a book. Yet periodically I was challenged by Chinese students who would repeat warnings from some mainland China qigong master that all sexual practices were very dangerous and should be avoided, as they can cause craziness and deep psychological disturbances.
Sex, Enlightenment, and Immortality What is the functional relationship between ordinary human sexual desire and the more abstract realm of subtle bodies? The short answer is that physical sex nourishes post-natal qi, and subtle body sex nourishes pre-natal qi. Sexual intercourse can “cook” the male-female post-natal qi and speed its transformation back into the yuan qi from which they originated. The long answer is more complicated. Most people are stuck in deep struggle, paralyzed by the wide gap between their sexed animal body and their core non-polar original being. The experience of one’s androgynous (bi-sexed) subtle body offers a transitional stage in both Daoist and Tantric esoteric traditions. Nature lures humans to pursue subtle body refinement by tantalizing them with the sublime experience of spiritual orgasm.
Investigation led me to conclude that these warnings were valid - but mostly for mainland Chinese, whose culture of collective “face” suppresses individual emotional and sexual impulses in order to not disrupt the larger social harmony. The emphasis in China is on fitting in, not making trouble, but certainly not on personal selfimprovement. Sexual kung-fu could unleash suppressed feelings in people that had no model for integrating them, and hence they “went crazy” from what are called “qi deviations” by qigong professionals. Western students occasionally reported similar problems, but these were almost always people who had bypassed all preliminary practices such as the Six Healing Sounds and Inner Smile.
The sexual identity issues are complicated by celibacy issues. When learning a new subtle body practice, it is often best to avoid sex as a distraction, but it may be resumed once the subtle body practice is stable. Or the reverse: many who learn Daoist alchemy “selfintercourse” find themselves spontaneously losing outer sexual desire, and needlessly panic. It returns, just like a woman regains her sexual appetite after being occupied by pregnancy. But subtle body sex may trigger deep fears around changing one’s physical sexual identity.
Westerners are generally encouraged to explore their individual impulses. In my experience they are sexually and emotionally better equipped to practice Daoist sexual cultivation than the average Chinese person. This curious conclusion was confirmed by a top qigong teacher in Beijing, Dr. Cai Jun, one of the few Chinese with a Ph.D. in qigongology. Cai Jun told me it was easier for Western students to open their qi flow than for his Chinese students. He thought it was because the Chinese had fixed ideas about qi.
When one begins the Daoist subtle body practices of neidangong, the vertical axis of heaven-earth communication is activated. The coupling of yang jingshen (heart and liver spirits) with yin jingshen (kidney and lung spirits) causes one’s parental and ancestral jing to begin resonating with its “true earth”. This is the infinite pool of prenatal yuanqi flowing into the lower dantian through the Door of Life (mingmen), the point of moving qi between the kidneys. The attraction between inner maleinner female, water-fire, kidneys-heart, jing-shen, outer body passion inner loving acceptance - all are polar forces of Destiny (ming) and Original Nature (xing) played out in a very dynamic theatre of meditative alchemy. But the bottom line is that the subtle body heaven-
The addition of sexual force to any energetic practice is the equivalent of throwing gasoline on an open fire. The expansive force and multiplying nature of sexual energy needs a safe and clear energy
earth axis cannot fully open if the horizontal male-female axis has not first been made conscious and its impulses harmonized. Sexual balance precedes and is a prerequisite to stable experience of heaven-earth harmony. The opposite is also true; some practitioners rush this transition, and try to use the sexual force prematurely to open up the Heaven Earth axis without first balancing the male-female axis.
the ultimate focus of subtle body sexual cultivation. A major force attracting Western spiritual seekers to Daoism and Tantra is the drive to integrate their sexual desire into a subtle body experience that I term the quest for spiritual orgasm. This quest has put Daoist and Tantric sexual cultivation practices into a Western cultural cauldron and created positive evolutionary pressure on their traditional methods. I believe this process will ultimately birth a new spiritual science in the West with recognizable Daoist and Tantric principles as its foundation.
In the sexual cultivation process the human adept leads a double life. One life is physical, where the adept appears quite ordinary, and may have sexual relations as the desire to complete one’s essence spontaneously arises. Physical sex may benefit health and add longevity, but not make one physically immortal. The other life is inner, where parallel relationships are played out between one’s own polarized subtle bodies, and possibly with others. There are periods of intense subtle energy copulation and active love-making that birth new spiritual virtues and powers. These alternate with phases of deep stillness, gestation, and observation. The adept’s inner life follows invisible currents flowing between heaven and earth. The inner and outer sexual couplings intersect and nourish each other. The human heart holding the balance point between the inner and outer lives is what defines humans as one of the three treasures of the Dao, along with heaven and earth. This is the human path of spiritual immortality.
This article will be posted on www.HealingDao.com, articles. Permission granted to share it digitally as long as entire article is intact. Bibliography Bokenkemap, Stephen. Early Daoist Scriptures, UC Press, Berkeley 1997 Chang, Stephen. The Tao of Sexology: The Book of Infinite Wisdom. Tao Publishing, SF 1986 Chang, Jolan. Tao of Love and Sex, Dutton 1977 Chia, Mantak & Maneewan. Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy, Healing Tao,1986. Chia, Mantak, and Abrams, Douglas. The Multi-Orgasmic Man, Harper 1996. Chia, Mantak, and Abrams, Douglas. The Multi-Orgasmic Couple, Harper 2000, Douglas, Nik and Slinger, Penny. Sexual Secrets: The Alchemy of Ecstasy Destiny Books, 1979 Douglas, Nik Spiritual Sex: Secrets of Tantra from Ice Age to New Millenium, Pocket Books 1997 Frawley, David. Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesse, Morson Publishing, Utah 1994 Gyatso, Kelsung. Clear Light of Bliss, Wisdom, London, 1982 Hariharananda, Swami. Bagavad Gita in the Light of Kriya Yoga. Michael Winn, ed India 1989 Heng, Cheng. The Tao of Love, Marlow, NY 1997 Jwala. Sacred Sex:Ecstatic Techniques for Empowering Relationships. Inner Juice, Ukiah 1993 Krishna, Gopi. Kundalini: The Evolutionary Power in Man, Shambala, London 1971 Lai, Hsi. The Secret Teachings of the White Tigress: Female Taoist Masters, Destiny Books, 2001 Mann, John. Divine Androgyny, Portal Press, 2000 McNeil, James. Ancient Lovemaking Techniques: The Journey to Iimmortality. Pine Press, Calif. 1999 Piontek, Maitreyi. Exploring the Hidden Power of Sexuality, Weiser 2001 Pregadio, Fabrizio, and Skar, Lowell. Daoism Handbook, ed. L. Kohn. Brill 2000 Rajneesh (Osho). The Book of Secrets, 112 Meditations of Vignan Bhairav Tantra, Osho Pub. 1998 Ruan, Fang Fu. Sex In China:Studies in Sexology in Chinese Culture, Plenum Press, NY 1991 Rudrananda, Swami. Spiritual Cannibalism, Overlook Press, NY 1978 Rama, Swami. Living with the Himalyan Masters, Himalayan Institute, 1975 Satyeswaranada, Swami. Original Lahiri Mahasay: Father of Kriya Yoga, San Diego 1988 Short, Lar and Mann, John. The Body of Light, Fourth Way Books, 1988. Svoboda, Robert. Aghora II, Kundalini, Brotherhood of Life, 1993. Tigunait, Pandit. Tantra Unveiled:Seducing the Forces of Matter & Spirit, Himalayan Institute 1999 Tortchinov Evgueni. “The Doctrine of the Mysterious Female in Taoism” in Everything Is According to the Way (Bolda-Lok, Australia 1997 ) Wile, Douglas. Art of the Bed Chamber:The Chinese Sexual Yoga Classics. SUNY Press, NY 1992 Winn, Michael and Chia, Mantak. Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy, Aurora Press, 1984 White, David Gordon. The Alchemical Body:Siddha Traditions in Medieval India, U of Chicago, 1996 -Ed, Tantra in Practice, Princeton 2000
West as Cauldron for Dao and Tantra The growth of Tantric and Daoist sexual cultivation practices in the West since 1974 initiated a period of remarkable experimentation, adaptation or outright re-invention inspired by ancient methods from Asia. Westerners radically reshaped these sexual practices to suit their own needs, a process likely to continue as they mature and study more deeply the subtle body maps of the Daoist and Tantric traditions. Since my explorations into Tantra in the 1980’s, new writers on its theory and practice have published (Svoboda 1993, Frawley 1994, Tigunait 1999, White (2000). Whether they fuel a new wave of Westerners exploring lineage Tantric subtle body and sexual cultivation remains to be seen. Sales of Rajneesh’s Tantra tapes and books, claimed to be in the millions sold, have reportedly increased every year since his death. Nik Douglas predicts Westerners will evolve virtual Tantric initiations, with mantras delivered over the internet. On my journey seeking out Tantric and Daoist practices in the West, I observed three general approaches to sexual cultivation: physical sex only, celibate subtle body cultivation only, and physical and subtle body sex together. I noted a pattern among some highly achieved male teachers of a strong, possibly excessive kundalini fire in the head being a possible cause for seeking female energy and/or sex. My observation about these teachers is not meant as a criticism of their methods, as I personally used many of them for years to great benefit. Simple modifications to most methods can easily ensure energetic balance, and this has already happened as part of the globalizing process of Westerners exposed to both Tantric and Daoist practices. I found the Fire-solar culture of Tantra and the more Water-Lunar culture of Daoism (Torchinov, 1997) to balance each other. Because I feel the current cosmic cycle is favoring the rebirth of the feminine, I eventually settled into Daoist practice. The difficulty some highly achieved adepts had in balancing their sexual energy highlights the possibility that the cosmological splitting of our original non-dual being, first into an etheric androgyne and then into physical male and female sexed bodies has created a spiritual trauma so deep that it cannot be fully resolved by what are considered states of enlightenment in the Daoist and Tantric traditions. Individual self-realization may be insufficient to heal the vastness of this collective wound, which may be the core issue driving the human incarnational process. Sexual issues may continue to arise as long as one is still in a physically sexed form, perhaps a bleed over from the collective field of human sexual consciousness into the highly purified (non-polar) vessel of an individual adept. The resolution of this cosmic sexual tension may occur only by achieving what is called immortality, the alchemical re-fusion of spirit and body-matter into its original essence, requiring an adept to merge not only into the mind of Nature (enlightenment) but to merge fully into its body. This is
Winn, Michael. “Daoist Alchemy as a Deep Language for Communicating with Nature “ paper, May 2001 conference on Contemporary Daoism. www.healingdao.com, Articles Happiness, Sexuality and Love Tao & Tantra: A leap into the Inner Heart Marco Bizzozero Interview with Marco Bizzozero,, former Director National Theatre of Italy. Famous in Europe as a clown, actor, mime artist, and the first high wire artist ever to perform at La Scalia (Milan Opera), Marco is currently Director, Flower of the Tao Center in Milan, Italy, where he teaches Taoist internal alchemy, tai chi, and chi kung.
judged or not judged all come into play. And in the end, numb, after a climax that lasts no longer than a sneeze, we are wrapped up in our escapes from solitude. But pleasure, affections and intimacy are essential sources of nourishment for personal growth, for achieving happiness -- and so sooner or later we all return to that spiral of amorous relationships. Off we go again in that seductive, fateful roundabout of thinking with our hearts. Until perhaps one day we will meet our knight in shining armour or our princess, or perhaps we will pretend that we have found a suitable kingdom, or perhaps we will just lose interest. But in this spiral of broken relationships, so much of men’s and women’s happiness is lost forever. The time has come to change all of this, and action must be taken at the very root of life, where our sexuality lies, where our primary and fundamental life-giving force is averted. This essential energy (Jing), like the thick sap that travels through the stem of the rose, becomes physical pleasure in the body; later, when it is red like the petals of the rose, in our hearts it becomes beauty and love (Chi); eventually, like a scent that spreads all around, it becomes creation and awareness (Shen) in our thoughts. We cannot go on cutting off the stem of the rose because this reveals the thorns: the petals will die, and with them our love and their very scent.
Question: Marco, how would you describe Tao-Tantra? Tantra is a path to inner fullness through sexuality and pleasure, through happiness and a total coming-together of human beings; it puts men and woman in contact with Tao, with the universe, the absolute, the natural whole. Tao and Tantra are essentally similar spiritual paths, that evolved different methods for achieving the same ecstatic unity. I have simply combined some of their methods back together, taken the best of each to make their common essence more accessible to westerners.
Q: Does real happiness exist? Can we really live in happiness? When Taoist or Tantric ecstasy extends through the erotic experiences of a man and a woman, a new state of consciousness is generated, a state which in a flash illuminates and reveals the fundamental essence of being and of the cosmos. Such a deep abandonment to love leads to a sense of wholeness and togetherness: sweetly and subconsciously, the energy of the two lovers extends. The beating of time is irrelevant, subjectivity is ignored, joy merges and submerges their hearts, and their hearts open up to an oceanic sensation of love. Wrapped in this supreme grace, lost in a divine sincerity, for a few moments the lovers discover the total essence of existence.
Happiness is what brings human beings closer to the universe, the absolute. Unfortunately it is something that is hard to grasp, like a breath of air that just brushes past us and disappears, leaving just a vague memory. Living in happiness means being in love with life, in love with our existence. Because happiness is in itself a love of life. Happiness is the very essence of life. Sometimes, for example, when we fall in love with someone, we are full of love, we are happy. Everything whirls around us, everything is alive, bright and shiny, everything is a discovery. We see the divine all around us. Once again we realise that life is a matter of interpretation ñ it is a projection of what we feel inside. A light is lit inside us, and it is a warm, joyous light fuelled by love; outside of our bodies life is lit up. The rose of love is blossoming inside us, its perfume is spreading beyond our skin, touching the objects that we touch, touching the faces of the people we love: and everything becomes love. This is life becoming happiness, life returning to a state of happiness. Hence, if we discover a flower in a field, if we look into the eyes of our loved one, or glance into the eyes of a child who is watching us, then we can enter this enchantment and through it make out the splendour of the universe.
Happiness, deep abandonment, an extended awareness, a full and total coming-together of two human beings in one - these are the provisions for achieving Tao, supreme reality. Q: Are such experiences within anyone’s grasp? Unfortunately they are not common experiences, since sexuality nowadays in not a free and joyous experience, and therefore it is difficult and rare to achieve a total abandonment to our senses, and to our lovers. Love is without a doubt a great path that can lead to a Tantric experience, but a relationship must be cultivated, it must be nourished every day, to make it blossom like a flower, with a great deal of care and attention.
Q: Why does this experience of happiness in relationships always come to an end?
Q: Can an erotic relationship between a man and woman who are not a regular couple be fruitful? Can it help to achieve Tao-Tantra?
Our relationships fail because they stem from need, not from abundance. They do not derive from a heart brimming with love; they are experiences that are born with the other person and depend on the other person. But no other person can fill our hearts for ever. Someone else can give us love and affection, but not happiness.
Most certainly! But here again there are hurdles. We have not been educated to seek pleasure, and we don’t even know how to experience intimacy outside an amorous relationship, outside a regular relationship of a couple. When such a situation arises, and when that magic encounter takes place, there is an immediate desire for an amorous relationship. If intimacy is not created, before too long a veil of alienation will come down between the two lovers, estranging them from one another.
Q: But we were told that love could last for ever, in eternal happiness, and we fell for it! Instead love, true love, creative, earnest love, love that has the courage not to give up in the face of changing states of awareness in both lovers, very often, with just a few exceptions, sooner or later will die. And when this happens, when love abandons us, we feel betrayed by life. And evil appears dark inside us: we see the emptiness from which our love arises, life itself seems empty.
The path we follow is a difficult one. Even in the situation of sex without love, sex for pure pleasure, pure biological satisfaction, there can be no true joy -- or at least very rarely is it achieved. Casual sex, or a sexual adventure often appears to lead to a devastating series of lost pleasures, a whole round of frustrations. But those fleeting encounters are just missed opportunities. Such situations are often just a cavorting of mutual friction, a body-to-body battle to release pent-up anger, roleplays based on mirrors and masks, subtle games of domination. Anxieties to be part of such games, anxieties about how we are
Q: But how can we be happy, just because we are alive; how can we fall in love with life itself? Tao and Tantra teach us how. Firstly we need to nourish our authenticity, and with this the image we have of ourselves. The coming-
together of a man and a woman can prove to be a fountain of unique discoveries and changes.
world, there was a great awareness of what we were seeking, and what we could expect from human relationships: a feeling of togetherness, uniquely and humbly in the face of the mystery of life.
In Taoist-Tantric ecstasy (as in love-making), the state of being from which everything stems is abandonment, and abandonment derives from listening. Tantra teaches us that an ability to listen is the highest personal quality. A man who knows how to listen can discover divine femininity in a woman, and likewise a woman who listens can discover divine masculinity in a man. The most profound abandonment stems from the heart, from reciprocal adoration. It implies seeing Buddha in the body and in the eyes of another, sensing the mystery, knowing how to adore the other person. This is the wonderful path that ñ whether it is part of an amorous relationship or not ñ makes us perceive the marvels of existence, that makes us fall in love with life.
Q: What are the main approaches and techniques used during your group sessions? All approaches are part of an alchemy-like process that hinges on two poles of energy during love-making: that of the heart (fire, passion, listening, thoughtfulness, abandonment, accepting without judging, celebrating the expectation, the event itself, the awareness of our divine nature), and that of sexuality (water, sweetness, the expression of our desires, the extension into cuddles, kisses and hugs, the “touching of the soul”, “the wheel of love”, the cultivation of sexual energy and multiplying it).
Men and women cannot go on waging war on one another. A war that we wage on someone is a war that we fight in ourselves. There is only one male archetype, for men and for women: two interpretative approaches, but only one archetype. And this is likewise true for the female archetype.
Many approaches (linked to the pole of water) are Tantric and Taoist meditations, techniques to expand our awareness so that we can become conscious of our sexual energy and propel it into our body and into our partner’s body. These are techniques to expand physical pleasure and energy, allowing the man to decide the right moment for ejaculation, separating this moment from orgasm, exchanging his own vital yang principles with the yin principles of the woman. Such practices allow the woman to re-discover her Tantric nature and her vast erotic power. In this manner, when this exchange of energy and pleasure goes beyond the genital organs, there results an “alchemy-like union”, in other words an extension of the orgasm to the organs and to the brain: at this point the coming-together of the partners becomes Tantric ecstasy.
By diminishing the value of the male side of a man, a woman reduces the value of the male side to her own character. And the reverse is true for men, who for centuries have not cultivated the female side to their characters, at the same time subtracting value from the feminine side of women’s characters. This closing of the chakra of the heart, this juggling for power upsets the balance with gravity itself, the balance between yin and yang that give a unity of being to both men and women. Today we need to give meaning and value to the male and the female sides of our characters, treating them as divine principles. We need to make them blossom in our social conscience, loving them and taking pleasure from them, inside man and inside woman. Through meditation ñ through cultivating the energy behind the female and male sexual values, and the exchange of energy ñ Tao and the Tantra teach us to create the wealth that is within us, and to share it in loving play.
Q: What level of intimacy is needed? Usually these approaches are not experimented in full within the group, time and total intimacy being required. However, we work on preparing the techniques and the energy needed. At no time have any participants been forced to take any of the experiments further than they wished. Many of the exercises involve various opportunities for experiences: the level of intimacy is free, and the levels of intimacy chosen by all participants are carried out in full and complete respect of the other participants.
Only someone who has inner wealth can find the freedom of need: “Only those who come to the fountain will quench their thirst.” Inner wealth means identity of gender, autonomy, independence, a capacity to listen, the opportunity to share. Only when our thirst is truly quenched can we become a source of freedom for our partner. And man and woman can become reciprocal sources of nourishment and growth.
Q: And as for the heart, what do you mean by “a leap into the inner heart”? Of great importance, indispensable for this alchemy-like process are the experiences that activate the centre of the heart, that allow participants to take a true “leap” into their hearts, and into that of the group. And this leap comes about through games, dances and rites; we abandon our masks, our defenses, our fears and our prejudices. For a few days and in certain moments, we go back to living like children, experiencing all the authenticity of our experiences.
The symbol of yin and yang reveal to us the great power that our relations have. When we nourish the image that our partner has of him or herself with love, we cultivate the life inside our partner, just like water and the sun. “Just as the top is, so is the base; just as the inside is, so is the outside”: accepting the shadow of our partner and reflecting the light of his or her image, we clean the mirror of our own awareness, and we fuel our very fountainheads of love. In other words, by nourishing the image our partner has of him or herself, we create inner light and inner wealth in ourselves. This is what being a couple means, this is an opportunity for existential happiness.
The Tao-Tantra group is a place for sacred encounters, providing trust, friendship and support. It is a great opportunity for development, enwrapped in a collective field of spiritual energy, where the light of love and awareness pervades and transforms all those taking part. Here, everything becomes a game of enchantment. The sensation of feeling at home, protected and loved, leads to a incantation in the eyes of our companion, where we discover the qualities of our own hearts.
Loving ourselves, loving others, loving life -- these are all part of a single, inseparable and divine experience. Q: Is there a great deal of interest in Tao-Tantra in Italy?
This is the magic that allows us to see the Eternal Tao in others and in ourselves the combined forces of Shiva and Shakti, Great Yin and Great Yang.. And bewildered, we continually ask ourselves why we are so far from such an awareness in our daily lives, so far from such happiness.
Last year a hundred or so people attended our Tao-Tantra seminars. This is an important sign, a courageous sign of a desire to get to know the intimate side of our relationships and to make them blossom.
This is the happiness of being here, playing this Sacred Game of Life, where laughing together is a grace, and where silence is a presence: together with our partner, heart to heart, skin against skin, here, together, on the threshold of mystery. My Spirisexual Self
For many of us it was a fantastic experience of opening up, of trust and abandonment, of coming together, both on an individual level and with others. At the end of each group session, alongside this true, re-discovered joie de vivre, this seeing the light of the
Healing Tao, “The level of ULP closely correlates the flow of energy in the body: clarity, efficiency, health, the ability to concentrate, the ability to react, the sexual experience and other mental activities. The measuring instrument was a biofeedback device developed in the IBF: the PCE-Scanner. The measured figures were diagrammed...” To obtain this entire document on the web, find it at www.healingtao.com . It helps people to understand that with practice, one can complete the techniques of Inner Smile, Microcosmic Orbit and Orgasmic Upward Draw, and energy continues to increase for the next many minutes and can stay at a high level for over half a day, (as was recorded on Chia,) and one can continue doing other things and maintain this highly rapturous state. The results, as reported by the Institute in Vienna, are different than from using mantras or chanting, but everyone’s individual experience is unique, and I wouldn’t personally declare that any other practice couldn’t put one toward being able to keep the energy inside the mind and body like those practices that I’ve learned from Master Chia over the last eighteen years.
Raven Cohan Perhaps it would be helpful if such a word existed as Spirisexual. That way, perhaps we would be less likely to separate sexuality and spirituality. Our culture and even our spiritual pathways can lead us to believe they are separate. Deep within me from a young age, I felt very strongly that they were one. When I became an active seeker of spirituality, (at fifteen,) I waited to find a pathway with which I could identify, that would support me in growing even further toward merging body and spirit. Meanwhile I practiced varied meditations and learned to live my life. Bliss is a state that can be obtained by sitting and meditating, and also it can be obtained in physical ways. Some people take drugs or drink to hope to obtain bliss. In this lifetime I haven’t wanted to ever do that. But I have been blessed with being highly orgasmic naturally. Back in 1964, I discovered such an exulted state when I became sexually active at eighteen years of age! It seemed like a miraculously, joyful place one could easily find, just by connecting with a partner and letting go. Without going into lengthy details, the inhibitions that I might have run into, were not a factor. I happened to be at the right place in time, as there was a sexual revolution going on, and I was in the right career, (show business) and very importantly I seemed to be mentally, emotionally and physically more independent than the average female.
Teaching my Tai Chi-Chi Kung classes always puts me into bliss and I am thrilled when sometimes out of a clear blue sky, bliss pops up, like a sun shower. I often have a Utopian dream that if the world was trained to do this we wouldn’t have people needing to relieve their frustrated sexual feelings in violent or other out-of-control ways. The understanding that spirituality and sexuality are one, could have as a timely example, saved President Clinton, and our entire nation from embarrassment due to his inability to keep his sexual needs within the control of his own mind and heart. The less we separate spirituality and sexuality, the more easily will these controls be learned. Yet, this practice of mine also teaches me patience. We must all come to our varied evolution as we are ready.
As I write this, I am in bliss. I have learned to be able to produce rapture when I want, with or without a sexual encounter. It so happens that about two hours ago, I did make love to my husband. Let me describe my bliss from head to toe. My scalp is breathing, my third eye area feels as if a tongue is moving on it in a sensual way. My brain is pulsing, and when I look into it, rays of light shoot in all directions. My ears are buzzing out orgasmic Morse Code. My nasal cavities are throbbing with space. My gums, lips and roof of my mouth are feeling as piquant as with a favorite hot sauce. Ah, the neck...It feels buffed, or polished to a high gleam. My heart spreads through my chest. It openly spills out into my breast and runs loving feelings down toward my belly which is as contentedly full as after a perfect meal of kisses.
BIO: Raven Cohan has been a certified Healing Tao instructor since 1983, and lives in Hollywood, FL. SUGGESTED READING: THE MULTI-ORGASMIC MAN by Mantak Chia and Douglas Abrams Arava Harper Collins, San Francisco The Forces of Love, Eros and Sex
The sexual organs are the place from which many people believe orgasm originates. That is a learned, and limiting belief, but the sexual organs do indeed in bliss, feel like a kitten purring image that must be iterated by a goodly amount for the reader to get the true picture. These are not simply aroused, or horny feelings I’m describing. They are dream-time orgasm at their best. I’ve trained my mind to encourage the feeling in any part of my body and to replicate orgasm. Legs and arms too, vibrate with a chi-filled feeling. And the most important part is my spine which contain icy tingles just like from a song lyric. Continuous messages are delivered to the brain to keep up this roller-coaster ride of beyond-orgasmic feeling for long time periods.
Eva Broch Pierrakos Note: Here is an interesting lecture on the relationship between the three forces of Love, Eros, and Sex. If you substitute the Taoist concepts of Shen (Spirit) for Love, Chi for Eros (the flowing yin-yang pulsation of the chi field is inherently orgasmic), and Jing (sexual essence) for Sex Force, the talk becomes relevant to Taoist practitioners. The Taoist sexual practices, when cultivated to a higher level through Taoist internal alchemy meditation, take one far beyond the scope of what is suggested by this lecture. The transformations between jing, chi, shen and back again are the main focus of alchemy, and the jing (sexual essence) is the primordial force fueling the process in the physical plane. The higher level Taoist adept also transcends the limitations inherent in monogamous relationships by learning to absorb needed jing, chi, or shen qualities needed for personal completion from other people at a distance (without sexual relationship) or from the earth, planets, and stars. But this lecture puts these three terms into popular western concepts and may help them come more alive, particularly the emphasis on married relationships being a vessel for soul (shen) exploration. Many Taoist sexual practitioners get stuck at the level of cultivating chi only, without exploring the spiritual presence of shen (spirit/intelligence) underlying the chi field. After nearly 19 years with my partner Joyce Gayheart, my own experience is that the deeper one’s alchemy practice takes you into the Tao, the deeper the soul experience of one’s partner. The lecture was channeled over 40 years ago from “Spirit” by Eva Pierrakos, but survives the test of time. Her Pathwork center in the New York Catskills was used for Healing Tao summer retreats by Mantak Chia from 1989 to 1992. Many Pathwork students went on to become well known channels -- Pat Rodegast
I am in a similar blissful state after beginning my meditation, (sometimes as intense, sometimes less so.) Years ago, before I trained to be able to do this, I did have spontaneous multi-orgasm a few times in my life, but now with practice, it is becoming more and more a way of life. The best part is that I can be doing other things, and not always lose the intensity of the ecstasy. The point of this description is that some people don’t know what orgasm feels like, and some don’t know what bliss feels like. Some will say they are separate feelings because they lose their body in bliss. In my opinion, it is a choice to separate or not. Typing an article takes a certain part of the brain, and being in bliss can take a certain part of the brain. How can I be performing in both states at once? Perhaps I can illuminate with the following information. My teacher, Master Mantak Chia, was measured on Oct. 25, 1996 for his ULP, (ultraslow brain potentials,) in the laboratory of the Institute for Applied Biocybernetics Feedback Research in Vienna, Austria. To quote literature reproduced by the Intl.
(Emmanuel books), Barbara Ann Brennan, and Michael Morgan. Published by The Pathwork © Foundation (1996 Edition) Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 44, January 16, 1959. - Michael Winn
and a woman. Thus you can see how important the erotic force is. Without the erotic force hitting them and getting them out of their rut, many human beings would never be ready for a more conscious search for the breaking down of their own walls of separation. The erotic experience puts the seed into the soul and makes it long for unity, which is the great aim in the Plan of Salvation. As long as the soul is separate, loneliness and unhappiness must be its lot. The erotic experience enables the personality to long for union with at least one other being. In the heights of the spirit world, union exists among all beings -- and thus with God. In the earth sphere, the erotic force is a propelling power regardless of whether or not its real meaning is understood. This is so even though it is often misused and enjoyed for its own sake, while it lasts. It is not utilized to cultivate love in the soul, so it peters out. Nevertheless, its effect will inevitably remain in the soul.
Greetings in the Name of the Lord. I bring you blessings, my dearest friends. Blessed is this hour. Tonight I would like to discuss three particular forces in the universe: the love force as it manifests between the sexes, the erotic force, and the sex force. These are three distinctly different principles or forces that manifest differently on every plane, from the highest to the lowest. Humanity has always confused these three principles. In fact, it is little known that three separate forces exist and what the differences between them are. There is so much confusion about this that it will be quite useful for my friends to hear what the reality is. The erotic force is one of the most potent forces in existence and has tremendous momentum and impact. It is supposed to serve as the bridge between sex and love, yet it rarely does. In a spiritually highly developed person, the erotic force carries the entity from the erotic experience, which in itself is of short duration, into the permanent state of pure love. However, even the strong momentum of the erotic force carries the soul just so far and no farther. It is bound to dissolve if the personality does not learn to love, by cultivating all the qualities and requirements necessary for true love. Only when love has been learned does the spark of the erotic force remain alive. By itself, without love, the erotic force burns itself out. This of course is the trouble with marriage. Since most people are incapable of pure love, they are also incapable of attaining ideal marriage. Eros seems in many ways similar to love. It brings forth impulses a human being would not have otherwise: impulses of unselfishness and affection he or she might have been incapable of before. This is why eros is so very often confused with love. But eros is just as often confused with the sex instinct which, like eros, also manifests as a great urge.
Eros comes to people suddenly in certain stages of their lives, even to those who are afraid of the apparent risk of adventuring away from separateness. People who are afraid of their emotions and afraid of life as such will often do anything in their power to avoid -- subconsciously and ignorantly -- the great experience of unity. Although this fear exists in many human beings, there are few indeed who have not experienced some opening in the soul where eros could touch them. For the fearridden soul that resists the experience, this is good medicine regardless of the fact that sorrow and loss may follow due to other psychological factors. However, there are also those who are over-emotional, and although they may know other fears of life, they are not afraid of this particular experience. In fact, the beauty of it is a great temptation to them and therefore they hunt greedily for it. They look for one subject after another, emotionally too ignorant to understand the deep meaning of Eros. They are unwilling to learn pure love, and simply use the erotic force for their pleasure and when it is worn out they hunt elsewhere.
Now, my friends, I would like to show you what the spiritual meaning and purpose of the erotic force is, particularly as far as humanity is concerned. Without eros, many people would never experience the great feeling and beauty that is contained in real love. They would never get the taste of it and the yearning for love would remain deeply submerged in their souls. Their fear of love would remain stronger than their desire.
This is an abuse and cannot continue without ill effects. Such a personality will have to make amends for the abuse -- even if it was done in ignorance. In the same vein, the over-fearful coward will have to make up for trying to cheat life by hiding from eros and thus withholding from the soul a medicine, valuable if used properly. Most people in this category have a vulnerable point somewhere in their soul through which eros can enter. There are also a few who have built such a tight wall of fear and pride around their souls that they avoid this part of life experience entirely and so shortchange their own development. This fear might exist because in a former life they had an unhappy experience with eros, or perhaps because the soul has greedily abused the beauty of the erotic force without building it into love. In either case, the personality may have chosen to be more careful. If this decision is too rigid and stringent, the opposite extreme will follow. In the next incarnation circumstances will be chosen in such a way that a balance is established until the soul reaches a harmonious state wherein there are no more extremes. This balancing in future incarnations always applies to all aspects of the personality. In order to approach this harmony to some extent at least, the proper balance between reason, emotion, and will has to be achieved.
Eros is the nearest thing to love the undeveloped spirit can experience. It lifts the soul out of sluggishness, out of mere contentment and vegetation. It causes the soul to surge, to go out of itself. When this force comes upon even the most undeveloped people they become able to surpass themselves. Even a criminal will temporarily feel, at least toward one person, a goodness he has never known. The utterly selfish person will, while this feeling lasts, have unselfish impulses. Lazy people will get out of their inertia. The routine-bound person will naturally and without effort get rid of static habits. The erotic force will lift a person out of separateness, be it only for a short time. Eros gives the soul a foretaste of unity and teaches the fearful psyche the longing for it. The more strongly one has experienced eros, the less contentment will the soul find in the pseudo-security of separateness. Even an otherwise thoroughly self-centered person may be able to make a sacrifice during the experience of eros. So you see, my friends, eros enables people to do things they are disinclined to do otherwise; things that are closely linked with love. It is easy to see why eros is so often confused with love.
The erotic experience often mingles with the sexual urge, but it does not always have to be that way. These three forces -- love, eros, and sex -- often appear completely separately, while sometimes two mingle, such as eros and sex, or eros and love to the extent the soul is capable of love, or sex and a semblance of love. Only in the ideal case do all three forces mingle harmoniously. The sex force is the creative force on any level of existence. In the highest spheres, the same sex force creates spiritual life, spiritual ideas, and spiritual concepts and principles. On the lower planes, the pure and unspiritualized sex force creates life as it manifests in that particular sphere; it creates the outer shell or vehicle of the entity destined to live in that sphere.
How then is eros different from love? Love is a permanent state in the soul. Love can only exist if the foundation for it is prepared through development and purification. Love does not come and go at random; eros does. Eros hits with sudden force, often taking a person unaware and even unwilling to go through the experience. Only if the soul is prepared to love and has built the foundation for it will eros be the bridge to the love that is manifest between a man
The pure sex force is utterly selfish. Sex without eros and without love is referred to as animalistic. Pure sex exists in all living creatures: animals, plants, and minerals. Eros begins with the stage of
development where the soul is incarnated as a human being. And pure love is to be found in the higher spiritual realms. This does not mean that eros and sex no longer exist in beings of higher development, but rather that all three blend in harmoniously, are refined, and become less and less selfish. Nor do I mean that a human being should not try to achieve a harmonious blend of all three forces.
The soul is alive, and nothing that is alive remains static. It has the capacity to reveal even deeper layers that already exist. The soul is also in constant change and movement as anything spiritual is by its very nature. Spirit means life and life means change. Since soul is spirit, the soul can never be known utterly. If people had the wisdom, they would realize that and make of marriage the marvelous journey of adventure it is supposed to be, forever finding new vistas, instead of simply being carried as far as you are taken by the first momentum of eros. You should use this potent momentum of eros as the initial thrust it is, and then find through it the urge to go on further under your own steam. Then you will have brought eros into true love in marriage.
In rare cases, eros alone, without sex and love, exists for a limited time. This is usually referred to as platonic love. But sooner or later with the somewhat healthy person, eros and sex will mingle. The sex force, instead of being suppressed, is taken up by the erotic force and both flow in one current. The more the three forces remain separate, the unhealthier the personality is. Another frequent combination, particularly in relationships of long standing, is the coexistence of genuine love with sex, but without eros. Although love cannot be perfect unless all three forces blend together, there is a certain amount of affection, companionship, fondness, mutual respect, and a sexrelationship that is crudely sexual without the erotic spark which evaporated some time ago.
Marriage is intended by God for human beings and its divine purpose is not merely procreation. That is only one detail. The spiritual idea of marriage is to enable the soul to reveal itself and to be constantly on the search for the other to discover forever new vistas of the other being. The more this happens, the happier the marriage will be, the more firmly and safely it will be rooted, and the less it will be in danger of an unhappy ending. Then it will fulfill its spiritual purpose.
When eros is missing, the sexual relationship must eventually suffer. Now this is the problem with most marriages, my friends. There is hardly a human being who is not puzzled by the question of what to do to maintain the spark in the relationship which seems to evaporate the more habit and familiarity with one another sets in. You may not have posed the question in terms of three distinct forces, yet you know and sense that something goes out of a marriage that was present at the beginning; that spark is actually eros. You find yourself in a vicious circle and think that marriage is a hopeless proposition. No, my friends, it is not, even if you cannot as yet attain the ideal.
In practice, however, marriage hardly ever works that way. You reach a certain state of familiarity and habit and you think you know the other. It does not even occur to you that the other does not know you by any means. He or she may know certain facets of your being, but that is all. This search for the other being, as well as for selfrevelation, requires inner activity and alertness. But since people are often tempted into inner inactivity, while outer activity may be all the stronger as an overcompensation, they are being lured to sink into a state of restfulness, cherishing the delusion of already knowing each other fully. This is the pitfall. It is the beginning of the end at worst, or at best a compromise leaving you with a gnawing, unfulfilled longing. At this point the relationship turns static. It is no longer alive even though it may have some very pleasant features.
In the ideal partnership of love between two people all three forces have to be represented. With love you do not seem to have much difficulty, for in most cases one would not marry if there did not exist at least the willingness to love. I will not discuss at this point the extreme cases where this is not so. I am focusing on a relationship where the choice is a mature one and yet the partners cannot get around the pitfall of becoming bound by time and habit, because elusive eros has disappeared. With sex it is very much the same. The sex force is present in most healthy human beings and may only begin to fade -- particularly with women -- when eros has left. Men may then seek eros else-where. For the sexual relationship must eventually suffer unless eros is maintained.
Habit is a great temptress, pulling one toward sluggishness and inertia, so that one does not have to try and work or be alert any more. Two people may arrange an apparently satisfactory relationship, and as the years go by they face two possibilities. The first is that either one or both partners become openly and consciously dissatisfied. For the soul needs to surge ahead, to find and to be found, so as to dissolve separateness, regardless of how much the other side of the personality fears union and is tempted by inertia. This dissatisfaction is either conscious -- although in most instances the real reason for it is ignored -- or it is unconscious. In either case, the dissatisfaction is stronger than the temptation of the comfort of inertia and sluggishness. Then the marriage will be disrupted and one or both partners will delude themselves into thinking that with a new partner it will be different, particularly after eros has perhaps struck again. As long as this principle is not understood, a person may go from one partnership to another, sustaining feelings only as long as eros is at work.
How can you keep eros? That is the big question, my dear ones. Eros can be maintained only if it is used as a bridge to true partnership in love in the highest sense. How is this done? Let us first look for the main element in the erotic force. When you analyze it, you will find that it is the adventure, the search for the knowledge of the other soul. This desire lives in every created spirit. The inherent life-force must finally bring the entity out of its separation. Eros strengthens the curiosity to know the other being. As long as there is something new to find in the other soul and as long as you reveal yourself, eros will live. The moment you believe you have found all there is to find, and have revealed all there is to reveal, eros will leave. It is as simple as that with eros. But where your great error comes in is that you believe there is a limit to the revealing of any soul, yours or another’s. When a certain point of usually quite superficial revelation is reached, you are under the impression that this is all there is, and you settle down to a placid life without further searching.
The second possibility is that the temptation of a semblance of peace is stronger. Then the partners may remain together and may certainly fulfill something together, but a great unfulfilled need will always lurk in their souls. Since men are by nature more active and adventurous, they tend to be polygamous and are therefore more tempted by infidelity than women. Thus you can also understand what the underlying motive for men’s inclination to be unfaithful is. Women tend much more to be sluggish and are therefore better prepared to compromise. This is why they tend to be monogamous. Of course, there are exceptions, in both sexes. Such infidelity is often as puzzling to the active partner as to the “victim.” They do not understand themselves. The unfaithful one may suffer just as much as the one whose trust has been betrayed.
Eros has carried you this far with its strong impact. But after this point, your will to further search the unlimited depths of the other person and voluntarily reveal and share your own inward search determines whether you have used eros as a bridge to love. This, in turn, is always determined by your will to learn how to love. Only in this way will you maintain the spark of eros in your love. Only in this way will you continue to find the other and let yourself be found. There is no limit, for the soul is endless and eternal: a whole lifetime would not suffice to know it. There can never be a point when you know the other soul entirely, nor when you are known entirely.
In the situation where compromise is chosen, both people stagnate, at least in one very important aspect of their soul development. They find refuge in the steady comfort of their relationship. They may even believe that they are happy in it, and this may be true to some degree. The advantages of friendship, companionship, mutual respect, and a pleasant life together with a well-
established routine outweigh the unrest of the soul, and the partners may have enough discipline to remain faithful to one another. Yet an important element of their relationship is missing: the revealing of soul to soul as much as possible.
your beloved; this fear will have justification only if you refrain from risking the journey of self-revelation together. This, my friends, is marriage in its true sense and the only way it can be the glory it is supposed to be. Each of you should think deeply about whether you are afraid to leave the four walls of your own separateness. Some of my friends are unaware that to stay separate is almost a conscious wish. With many of you it is this way: you desire marriage because one part of you yearns for it -- and also because you do not want to be alone. Quite superficial and vain reasons may be added to explain the deep yearning within your soul. But aside from this yearning and aside from the superficial and selfish motives of your unfulfilled desire for partnership, there must also be an unwillingness to risk the journey and adventure of revealing yourself. An integral part of life remains to be fulfilled by you -- if not in this life, then in future lives.
Only when two people do this can they be purified together and thus help each other. Two developed souls, who have a knowledge of purification in their subconscious, though they may ignore the various steps of these teachings, can yet fulfill one another by revealing themselves, by searching the depths of the other’s soul. Thus what is in each soul will emerge into their conscious minds, and purification will take place. Then the life-spark is maintained so that the relationship can never stagnate and degenerate into a dead end. For you who are on this path, and follow the various steps of these teachings, it will be easier to overcome the pitfalls and dangers of the marital relationship and to repair damage that has occurred unwittingly. In this way, my dear friends, you not only maintain eros, that vibrating life-force, but you also transform it into true love. Only in a true partnership of love and eros can you discover in your partner new levels of being you have not heretofore perceived. And you yourself will be purified also by putting away your pride and revealing yourself as you really are. Your relationship will always be new, regardless of how well you think you know each other already. All masks must fall, not only the superficial but the real, which you may not even have been aware of. Then your love will remain alive. It will never be static; it will never stagnate. You will never have to search elsewhere.
Only when you meet love, life, and the other being in such readiness will you be able to bestow the greatest gift on your beloved, namely your true self. And then you must inevitably receive the same gift from your beloved. But to do that, a certain emotional and spiritual maturity has to exist. If this maturity is present, you will intuitively choose the right partner, one who has, in essence, the same maturity and readiness to embark on this journey. The choice of a partner who is unwilling comes out of the hidden fear of undertaking the journey yourself. You magnetically draw people and situations toward you which correspond to your subconscious desires and fears. You know that.
There is so much to see and discover in this land of the other soul you have chosen, whom you continue to respect, but in whom you seem to miss the life-spark that once brought you together. You will never have to be afraid of losing the love of your beloved; this fear will be justified only if you refrain from risking the journey of selfrevelation together. This, my friends, is marriage in its true sense and the only way it can be the glory it is supposed to be.
Humanity, on the whole, is very far away from this ideal, but that does not change the idea or the ideal. In the meantime you have to learn to make the best of it. And you who are fortunate enough to be on this path can learn much wherever you stand, be it only in understanding why you cannot realize the happiness that a part of your soul yearns for. To discover that is already a great deal and will enable you in this life or in future lives to get nearer to the realization of this idea. Whatever your situation is, whether you have a partner or are alone, search your heart and it will furnish you the answer to your conflict. The answer must come from within yourself, and in all probability it will relate to your own fear, unwillingness, and your ignorance of the facts. Search and you will know. Understand that God’s purpose in the partnership of love is the complete mutual revelation of one soul to another -- not just a partial revelation.
Each of you should think deeply about whether you are afraid to leave the four walls of your own separateness. Some of my friends are unaware that to stay separate is almost a conscious wish. With many of you it is this way: you desire marriage because one part of you yearns for it -- and also because you do not want to be alone. Quite superficial and vain reasons may be added to explain the deep yearning within your soul. But aside from this yearning and aside from the superficial and selfish motives of your unfulfilled desire for partnership, there must also be an unwillingness to risk the journey and adventure of revealing yourself. An integral part of life remains to be fulfilled by you -- if not in this life, then in future lives.
Physical revelation is easy for many. Emotionally you share to a certain degree -- usually as far as eros carries you. But then you lock the door, and that is the moment when your troubles begin. There are many who are not willing to reveal anything. They want to remain alone and aloof. They will not touch the experience of revealing themselves and of finding the soul of the other person. They avoid this in every way they can.
Should you find yourself alone, you may, with this knowledge and this truth, repair the damage that you have done to your own soul by harboring wrong concepts in your unconscious. You may discover your fear of the great adventurous journey with another, which will explain why you are alone. This understanding should prove helpful and may even enable your emotions to change sufficiently so that your outer life may change too. This depends on you. Whoever is unwilling to take the risk of this great adventure cannot succeed in the greatest venture humanity knows -- marriage.
My dear ones, once again: understand how important the erotic principle is in your sphere. It helps many who may be unwilling and unprepared for the love experience. It is what you call “falling in love,” or “romance.” Through eros the personality gets a taste of what the ideal love could be. As I said before, many use this feeling of happiness carelessly and greedily, never passing the threshold into true love. True love demands much more of people in a spiritual sense. If they do not meet this demand, they forfeit the goal for which their soul strives. This extreme of hunting for romance is as wrong as the other, where not even the potent force of eros can enter the tightly locked door. But in most cases, when the door is not too tightly bolted, eros does come to you at certain stages of your life. Whether you can then use eros as a bridge to love depends on you. It depends on your development, your willingness, your courage, your humility, and your ability to reveal yourself.
In this way, my dear friends, you not only maintain eros, that vibrating life force, but you also transform it into true love. Only in a true partnership of love and eros can you discover in your partner new levels of being you have not heretofore perceived. And you yourself will be purified also by putting away your pride and revealing yourself as you really are. In this way, your relationship will always be new, regardless of how well you think you know each other already. All masks must fall, not only the superficial but the real, which you may not even have been aware of. Then your love will remain alive. It will never be static; it will never stagnate. You will never have to search elsewhere. There is so much to see and discover in this land of the other soul you have chosen, whom you continue to respect but in whom you seem to miss the life spark that once brought you together. You will never have to be afraid of losing the love of
Are there any questions in connection with this subject, my dear friends?
QUESTION: Yes. It is so difficult for a woman to talk to a man. Men don’t answer when one tries to get into a conversation touching the emotional understanding. That makes it very, very difficult for the woman.
human being can see or hear what they reveal. They are still alone. One does not have to do the one thing that seems so risky, requires so much humility and thus threatens to be humiliating. By revealing yourself to another human being, you accomplish so much that cannot be accomplished by revelation to God who knows you anyway, and who really does not need your revelation.
ANSWER: Here is a great error, my dear. But let us first establish one fact that should be well understood. Woman is by nature more emotionally inclined. Man is by nature more spiritually, or on a lower level, more intellectually inclined. By that I do not mean that he has to be what you call an intellectual. It is simply that usually the reasoning faculty is stronger in men. Because of this the revealing of his emotions is a very difficult step for a man. In this a woman can help him. The man will help the woman in other ways. The mistake you make is in thinking that revelation and the meeting of souls is brought about by talking. Oh, it may be a temporary crutch, it may be one detail; or rather it may be simply a tool, a means of expressing certain facets. But this is all. It is not in the talking that you find the other soul or that you reveal yourself, though this may be a part of it. It is in the being that this whole and basic attitude is determined.
When you find the other soul and meet it, you fulfill your destiny. When you find another soul, you also find another particle of God, and if you reveal your own soul, you reveal a particle of God and give something divine to another person. When eros comes to you, it will lift you up far enough so that you will sense and know what it is in you that longs for this experience and what is your true self, which is longing to reveal itself. Without eros, you are merely aware of the lazy outer layers. Do not avoid eros when it wants to come to you. If you understand the spiritual idea behind it, you will use it wisely. God will then be able to lead you and enable you to make the best of helping another being and yourself on the way to true love, of which purification must be an integral part. Although your purification work through a deeply committed relationship manifests differently than it does in the work on this path, it will help you toward a purification of the same order.
It is the woman who is stronger emotionally. For her it is usually easier to muster the courage to meet soul to soul and touch the deepest core of longing that is also in man. If she can use her intuition and reach that part of her partner, he will respond provided he has the maturity. He must respond. Whether this response comes occasionally through a conversation or not, is not so important. It is not a question of whether a verbal discussion serves in reaching the other soul. Certainly, speaking is a part of it, together with all the other faculties. But the ability to speak about things is not the determining factor. First the inner basis has to be established. Then you will be flexible enough to use all the faculties God has given you. To find and meet the other soul means going into the state of inner being; the doing is only an incidental result, a mere detail which is part of the outer manifestation. Is that clear?
QUESTION: Is it possible for a soul to be so rich that it can reveal itself to more than one soul? ANSWER: My dear friend, do you say that facetiously? QUESTION: No, I do not. I am asking whether polygamy is within the scheme of spiritual law. ANSWER: No, it certainly is not. And when someone thinks it may be within the scheme of spiritual development, that is a subterfuge. The personality is looking for the right partner. Either the person is too immature to have found the right partner, or the right partner is there and the polygamous person is simply carried away by eros’ momentum, never lifting this force up into the volitional love that demands overcoming and working in order to pass the threshold I mentioned before.
QUESTION: Yes, it is clear. And I think it is wonderful. In other words it is the task of the woman to find the other soul? ANSWER: It may often be that it is easier for the woman to take the first necessary steps after eros is no longer capable of maintaining its own momentum. But both need to have the basic willingness to go on the journey together. As stated before, the woman often finds it easier to reveal herself, to let the emotions come out. The mature woman who is earnestly willing to undertake the adventure of true marriage will have the mature and healthy instinct to find the right partner. The same applies to the man, of course.
In cases like this, the one with an adventurous personality is looking and looking, always finding another part of a being, always revealing himself or herself only so far and no further, or perhaps each time revealing another facet of his or her personality. However, when it comes to the inner nucleus, the door is shut. Eros then departs and a new search is started. Each time it is a disappointment that can only be understood when you grasp these truths.
Once this willingness exists in both, either one may lead the way. It does not make any difference who starts. It may often be the woman, but it may also be the man at times. Whoever starts it, a time will come when the other one will also lead and help. In a relationship that is alive, healthy, and flexible, it must alternate and change constantly. At any given time, whoever is the stronger, the leader, will help in the liberation of the other. For this soul-revelation is a liberation -liberating the other soul from the prison of loneliness, and liberating the self. This prison may even appear comfortable if you live and stagnate in it long enough. One should not wait for the other to start. Whoever is more mature and courageous at a particular instant will start, and will thus raise the maturity of the other which may then surpass his or her own. Thus the helper becomes the helped; the liberator becomes the liberated.
Raw sexual instinct also enters into the longing for this great journey, but sexual satisfaction begins to suffer if the relationship is not kept on the level I show you here. It is, in fact, inevitably of short duration. There is no richness in revealing oneself to many. In such cases, one either reveals the same wares all over again to new partners, or, as I said before, one displays different facets of one’s personality. The more partners you try to share yourself with, the less you give to each. That is inevitably so. It cannot be different. QUESTION: Certain people believe that they can cut out sex and eros and the desire for a partner and live completely for love of humanity. Do you think it is possible that man or woman can swear off this part of life?
QUESTION: When you talk about the revelation of a soul to another, do you mean that, on a higher level, this is the way the soul reveals itself to God?
ANSWER: It is possible, but it is certainly not healthy or honest. I might say that there is perhaps one person in ten million who may have such a task. That may be possible. It may be in the karma for a particular soul who is already developed this far, has gone through the true partnership experience, and comes for a specific mission. There may also be certain karmic debts which have to be paid off. In most cases -- and here I can safely generalize -- avoidance of partnership is unhealthy. It is an escape. The real reason is fear of love, fear of the life experience, but the fearful renunciation is rationalized as a sacrifice. To
ANSWER: It is the same thing. But before you can truly reveal yourself to God, you have to learn to reveal yourself to another beloved human being. And when you do that, you reveal yourself to God too. Many people want to start with revealing themselves to the personal God. But actually, deep in their hearts, such revelation to God is only a subterfuge because it is abstract and remote. No other
anyone who would come to me with such a problem, I would say: Examine yourself. Go below the surface layers of your conscious reasoning and explanations for your attitude in this respect. Try to find out whether you fear love and disappointment. Isn’t it more comfortable to just live for yourself and have no difficulties? Isn’t really this what you feel deep inside and what you want to cover up with other reasons? The great humanitarian work you want to do may be for a worthy cause, indeed, but do you really think one excludes the other? Wouldn’t it be much more likely that the great task you have taken upon yourself would be better fulfilled if you learned personal love too?
may be much more harmful. Only in the very rarest cases does the sex force really become sublimated so as to make this creative force manifest in other realms. Sublimation in its real sense can never occur when there is fear and escape involved, as is the case with most human beings. Does that answer your question? QUESTION: Perfectly, thank you. QUESTION: If two young people fall in love and marry and they are not well matched and they don’t understand each other, is it possible that these two people could go on this journey together and have a good marriage?
If all these questions were truthfully answered, the person would be bound to see that he or she is escaping. Personal love and fulfillment is man’s and woman’s destiny in most cases, for so much can be learned in personal love that cannot be attained in any other way. And to form a durable and solid relationship in a marriage is the greatest victory a human being can achieve, for it is one of the most difficult things there are, as you can well see in your world. This life experience will bring the soul closer to God than lukewarm good deeds.
ANSWER: If both are willing to learn love for one another and gain maturity together. Even where an immature choice was made, it could still become a successful marriage, but only if both are willing and are clearly aware of what marriage is supposed to be. If both lack the will and sense of responsibility for that, they will not have the desire to make such a journey together.
QUESTION: I was going to ask a question in connection with my previous one: Celibacy is supposed to be a highly spiritualized form of development in certain religious sects. On the other hand, polygamy is also recognized in some religions -- the Mormons, for instance. I understand what you said, but how do you justify these attitudes on the part of people who are supposed to look for unity with God?
QUESTION: How does friendship between two people fit into this picture? ANSWER: Friendship is brotherly love. Such friendship can also exist between man and woman. Eros may want to sneak in, but reason and will can still direct the way in which the feelings take their course. Discretion, and a healthy balance between reason, emotion, and will are necessary to prevent the feelings from going into an improper channel.
ANSWER: There is human error in every religion. In one religion it may be one kind of error, in other religions another. Here you simply have two extremes. When such dogmas or rules come into existence in the various religions, whether at one extreme or another, it is always a rationalization and subterfuge to which the individual soul constantly resorts. This is an attempt to explain away the counter-currents of the fearful or greedy soul with good motives. There is a common belief that anything pertaining to sex is sinful. The sex instinct arises in the infant. The more immature the creature, the more sexuality is separated from love, and therefore the more selfish it is. Anything without love is “sinful,” if you want to use this word. Nothing that is coupled with love is wrong -- or sinful.
QUESTION: Is divorce against spiritual law? ANSWER: Not necessarily. We do not have fixed rules like that. There are cases when divorce is an easy way out, a mere escape. There are other cases when divorce is reasonable because the choice to marry was made in immaturity and both partners lack the desire to fulfill the responsibility of marriage in its true sense. If only one is willing -- or neither -- divorce is better than staying together and making a farce out of marriage. Unless both are willing to take this journey together, it is better to break clean than to let one prevent the growth of the other. That, of course, happens. It is better to terminate a mistake than to remain indefinitely in it without finding an effective remedy.
There is no such thing as a force, a principle, or an idea that is in itself sinful -- whether sex or anything else. In the growing child who is naturally immature, the sex drive will first manifest selfishly. Only if and when the whole personality grows and matures harmoniously will sex become integrated with love. Out of ignorance, humanity has long believed that sex as such is sinful. It was kept hidden, and therefore this part of the personality could not grow up. Nothing that remains in hiding can grow; you know that. Therefore, even in many grownups, sex remains childish and separate from love. And this, in turn, led humanity to believe more and more that sex is a sin and that the truly spiritual person must abstain from it. Thus one of those oft-mentioned vicious circles came into existence.
One should not, however, leave a marriage lightly. Even though it was a mistake and does not work, one should try to find the reasons and do one’s very best to search out and perhaps get over the hurdles that are in the way. Since they are due to inner mistakes, the partners could try to make the best of it, if both are in any way willing. One can learn a lot from one’s past and present mistakes. To generalize that divorce is wrong in any case is just as incorrect as to say that it is always right. One should certainly do one’s best, even if the marriage is not the ideal experience that I discussed tonight. Few people are ready and mature enough for it. You can make yourself ready by trying to make the best of your past mistakes and learn from them.
Because of the belief that sex was sinful, the instinct could not grow and meld with the love force. Consequently, sex in fact often is selfish and loveless, raw and animalistic. If people would realize -- and they are beginning to do so increasingly -- that the sex instinct is as natural and God-given as any other universal force and in itself not more sinful than any other existing force, they would then break this vicious circle and more human beings would let their sex drives mature and mingle with love -- and with eros, for that matter.
My dearest friends, think carefully about what I have said. There is much food for thought in what I told you, for each of you here, and for all those who will read my words. There is not a single person who cannot learn something from them. I want to close this lecture with the assurance to all of you that we in the spirit world are deeply grateful to God for your good efforts, for your growth. It is our greatest joy and our greatest happiness. And so, my dear ones, receive the blessings of the Lord again; may your hearts be filled by this wonderful strength coming to you from the world of light and truth. Go in peace and in happiness, my dear ones, each one of you. Be in God!
How many people exist for whom sex is completely separate from love! They not only suffer from bad conscience when the sex urge manifests, but they also find themselves in the position of being unable to handle sexual feelings with the person they really love. This occurs quite often in some measure, although it does seem extreme. Because of these distorted conditions and this vicious circle, humanity came to believe that you cannot find God when you respond to your sex urges. This is all wrong; you cannot kill off something that is alive. You can only hide it so that it will come out in other ways which
Edited by Judith and John Salyo, Pathwork Guide Lecture No. 44 (1996 Edition)
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discharge in our organism are the basis of our spiritual growth, sexuality, and relating to others. When it is used creatively it is the energy of re-creation that produces fun, enthusiasm, inspiration, enjoyment, and spiritual rebirth. When used destructively it becomes the destructive emotions, upset, struggle, fighting, quitting, dis-ease, the drama of relationships, aging and death. By gaining clarity at the root of our embodied experience, one regains one’s birth-right of direct connection with the evolutionary engine. Unnecessary struggle and dualism evaporate in the wisdom of innate clarity. Contact address for Lar Short: [email protected]
, His website soon to be up. Lar Short, along with John Mann, were two teachers who had a significant influence on Mantak Chia’s teachings. Lar integrates many different spiritual traditions and offers retreats near Taois, NM. Multifaceted Health Benefits of Medical Qigong Kenneth M. Sancier, Ph.D. and Devatara Holman MS, Ed. Note: These two surveys of medical qigong (chi kung) research by Kenneth M. Sancier, Ph.D., et al. provide an excellent glimpse of the powerful effects of qigong practice in healing a wide variety of chronic illnesses and dramatically extending lifespan. In Dr. Sancier’s second article, Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong, he cites three separate long-term studies in China, ranging from 20 to 30 years, and involving nearly 1000 patients suffering from high blood pressure. The practice of qigong was found to cut the mortality rate of fatal strokes by 50% ! They also found that qigong allowed patients to take smaller doses of medicine. Prof. Sancier is a former research scientist at Stanford Research Institute. His curiosity and scientific background inspired him to collect a database of 3500 scientific studies on qigong and similar kinds of “energy medicine”. His impressive scientific background is given in the full biography at the end of the article. From the conclusion to his Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong article:
Lar Short Star Wars made popular the phrase “May the Force be with you!” as a futuristic mythic blessing that was easily accepted as having some universal truth today. What does it mean to have the Force be with you? What would it mean if the Force was against you? Other than the All-Pervading Energy substitute for God, Tao, or Buddha-Nature; what is the Force in terms of embodied individual beings? How and where does it arise in each of us? Rather than hoping that the Force is operating in our favor, as if It is an outside agent; what can we do to make sure It is with us? The Force arising within us as individuals is metaformically connected with our genitals. The knot of confusion that seems to drive everyone crazy is actually a fearful contraction at the root of our life force. When our root energy is knotted up, the angst of separation, the compounding of ignorance, and the closing of the Heart occurs. Fearful contracting at our root energy is what keeps us reactively selfdestructive and programmable to the layers of learned helplessness that make up the cultural trance.
“This review deals with a small fraction of the large collection of clinical research on medical applications of qigong. The information presented is intended to illustrate the potential of qigong exercise for restoring normal body functions in people with chronic conditions, many of which accelerate the aging process. The main conclusion from many studies is that qigong exercise helps the body to heal itself. In this sense, qigong is a natural anti-aging medicine. Two studies indicate that qigong exercise is superior to some physical exercises. Qigong can complement Western medicine in many ways to provide better healthcare. For example, qigong has special value for treating chronic conditions and as a preventive medicine, whereas Western medicine has special value for treating acute conditions. There are many medical applications of qigong that can complement Western medicine to improve health care. Some examples include chronic problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, aging, asthma, allergies, menstrual and sexual function, neuromuscular problems, and cancer.” The Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong article is posted below, following the first article. Both are posted on http:// www.qigonginstitute.org/html/papers. (those are pdf version with graphs). Qigong Institute is non-profit and is sustained by donations and low-cost user fees for their Qigong & Energy Medicine Database. www.QigongInstitute.org is the best place for deep research into scientific study of medical qigong benefits. But please note that the Qigong Institute does NOT take on the job of recommending which type of qigong is best for which disease. For advice on the best qigong (chi kung) form for your medical condition you should contact [email protected]
All of the qigong video/DVD’s offered on www.healingtaousa.com could be classified as medical qigong. With the exception of people with terminal illness, almost everyone will benefit most by starting with Qigong (Chi Kung) Fundamentals 1 & 2. They work on healing simultaneously all organ and meridian systems using the Inner Smile, Six Healing Sounds, and Microcosmic Orbit.
Every death-oriented guilt cult has used our contracted condition politically and coercively to make sure the Force is not with us, but against us. Often the Force is presented as dual, as if it were two forces constantly at war in a good versus evil struggle into eternity. As learned helplessness takes hold, our internal dialogue betrays us. We learn to accept the invalidating messages that have been conditioned into internal verbiage over the natural innocence and wisdom of our living body. Closed spiritual systems have become part of the sad history of the enslavement of humanity by beliefs rather than the means to Awakening and Freedom. The maps that have become “dogmatic truth” are outdated and often dangerous, no matter how sacred their ancient associations may be. Even if their content was once conscious and alive, it is now lost in the worship of the containers. Our root energy is the individual expression of the Creative Force in our body-speech-mind. How we use our root energy determines the orientation of our life force; whether we orient towards the creative or towards the destructive. Our root energy brings us into this life, determines our vitality and aliveness, and reproduces other bodies both physical and spiritual. Misusing this root energy is the primary factor in our aging and death. The cycles of charge and discharge of this Force make for the sense of excitement and/or fear. These cycles of charge and
Qigong (Chi Kung) Fundamentals 3 & 4 work on tendons and deep bone marrow (and thus blood) issues. Deep Healing Chi Kung and Primordial Qigong are both longer (20-45 minute practice time) medical qigong forms that may be invaluable for people to both prevent and heal serious conditions, including terminal conditions such as cancer. - Michael Winn
Bone density Cerebral functions impaired by senility Endocrine gland functions Erythrocyte deformation index Factor VIII-related antigen Hypertension Immune system Longevity, 50% greater; after Qigong 30 min/twice daily, 20 years Plasminogen activator inhibitor Serum estradiol levels in hypertensive men and women Serum lipid levels Sexual function Strokes, 50% fewer after Qigong 30 min/twice daily, 20 years One of the prime benefits of Qigong is stress reduction, and a main ingredient of practice is intention (i.e., Yi) that uses the mind to guide the Qi. While Qi itself has not been measured, multiple types of measurements demonstrate the effects of Qi on the body. For example, simultaneous measurements of the interaction between a Qigong master and receiver included respiration, EEG, vibrations, blood pressure, skin conductivity, and heart rate variability. (Yamamoto M 1997) Different physiological measurements have sought information about the effects of Qigong on the brain and emotions. These include measurements by high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG), functional MRI (fMRI), neurometer measurements, and applied kinesiology. Neuroimaging methods were used to study regional brain functions, emotions and disorders of emotions. Differences were found on the effects on the brain during meditation by Qigong and by Zen meditation.(Kawano K 1996) The effects of emitted Qi (waiqi) has also been extended to cell cultures, growth of plants, seed germination, and reduction of tumor size in animals. (Sancier KM 1991) Spiritual healing, which involves the mind, has been the subject of two volumes by Benor.(Benor DJ 2001; Benor DJ 2002) His discussions also include scientific studies describing the beneficial effects of prayer on subjects’ health. The work of Richard Davidson and Paul Ekman, researchers of the Mind and Life Institute, may go along way to illustrate the role of intention alone on the brain and body.(Davidson JD 1999) In current studies underway at University of California at San Francisco Medical School and University of Wisconsin, they are observing the electrical mechanisms in the brains of highly trained Buddhist lamas during various states of focused intention. Using functional, fMRI, highresolution EEG and state-of-the-art reflex monitoring, their early results illustrate that electrical activity and blood flow in the brain can be directed by conscious intention. Through systematic and repeated practice of intention, wellpracticed lamas have succeeded in training the brain to direct electrical activity away from areas associated with the biochemistry of stress, tension and disturbing emotional or physical states (i.e., the amygdala and right prefrontal cortex) and increase activity in the area associated with the biochemistry of healthful emotional and physical states (i.e., the left prefrontal cortex). Moreover, they have observed that the state of conscious intention on compassion engages a state of relaxation and well being which surpasses even that achieved during a state of rest. The early results of this research suggests that parts of the brain thought previously to be fixed in function, such as the stress reflexes of the reptilian brain, may in fact be plastic in nature, able to be changed, shaped and developed through ongoing practice of conscious intention.(Lama Dalai 2003) Cost containment of healthcare is a subject of vital contemporary interest. For example, in the treatment of asthma self-applied Qigong led to significant cost decreases, such as reduction in days unfit for work, hospitalization days, emergency consultation, respiratory tract infections, and number of drugs and drug costs. (Reuther I 1998) Recommendations • The vast research of medical benefits of Qigong offers a rich source of information for benefiting mankind. Medical cost containment is an attractive benefit of Qigong practice and should be further explored to provide healing potential without side effects. • The science and art of Qigong may open a window into new thinking about health, medicine, psychology and spirituality. It is a
Multifaceted Health Benefits of Medical Qigong By Kenneth M. Sancier, Ph.D. and Devatara Holman MS, MA, Lac Introduction It is a challenge for the Western mind to understand the function of Qi (“chi”) in the context of bodily functions as defined by science. According to Chinese medicine and Qigong theory, Qi has an infinite number of functions in the body. The foundation of Qigong and TCM theory dictates that intention (Yi) directs the movement of Qi, which in turn directs the flow of blood in the body. Increased or decreased electrical activity in specific areas of the body determines blood flow and fluid balance, accumulation and dispersal of substances. The practice of Qigong is the act of bringing awareness and skill to direct the function and movement of Qi. The correct movement of Qi is a force that engages the body’s natural tendency toward homeostasis. Continued practice provides reinforcement of the body’s inclination toward homeostasis and therefore toward optimal use of all its functions and potential. What are called ‘special abilities’ or ‘psychic powers’ that sometimes develop in Qigong practice are simply the product of our natural capacity in the refined human state. For health maintenance, the Qigong practitioners do not have to be an expert. Almost anyone can learn to practice Qigong to maintain and improve his or her own health. The objective of the exercises is to strengthen the Qi in the body and remove obstructions to Qi flow that may have developed due to injury, emotional states, diet, disease or other factors. Conversely, obstruction of Qi flow can also produce disease. Qigong Most Developed Form of Energy Medicine Of all the energy medical practices, Qigong has the most developed theoretical basis and has been subjected to the most extensive research. In China, the collected knowledge about the therapeutic benefits of Qigong was developed over thousands of years. Medical Qigong is now practiced in clinics and some hospitals that integrate traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and conventional Western medicine. In Western hospitals Qigong is among several complementary practices used including Therapeutic Touch, Mindful Meditation and Reiki. Clinical Research Demonstrates Multifaceted Effects of Qigong In the early 1980’s Chinese scientists initiated research on the health and healing claims of Qigong. Of the hundreds of research studies that were performed, few were published because suitable journals were unavailable. However, about 1400 reports were published as abstracts in the proceedings of conferences. English abstracts of these reports as well as those from scientific journals are collected in the Qigong Database™ that presently contains more than 2000 records of Qigong studies (Ed.: now contains 3500 studies including all types of energy medicine) and is available from the Qigong Institute. (Sancier KM 2000) One of the authors has discussed the medical benefits of Qigong. (Sancier KM 1994; Sancier KM 1996a; Sancier KM 1996b; Sancier KM 1999; Sancier KM Weintraub 2000) Wang and Xu, two westerntrained doctors in China explored some of the multiple health benefits of self-practice as summarized in the table (Wang CX 1991; Wang CX 1993; Wang CX 1995): Qigong Biological Benefits Activities of two messenger cyclic nucleotides Anti-aging Antithrombin III Asthma Blood flow to the brain for subjects with cerebral arteriosclerosis Blood pressure Blood viscosity
physical, mental and spiritual practice that continuously supports our natural tendency toward homeostasis. • If that tendency is supported with regularity, allowing one to hover more closely to that point of balance, then the entire being can experience a tremendous evolutionary advantage. • Innate abilities have an opportunity to develop; the senses more keen, organ function more consistent and strong, the sympathetic nervous system relaxed, parasympathetic nervous system efficient, the mind relaxed, alert, clear, freely channeling messages in a multitude of new and diverse directions. • From a scientific point of view, the promise of Qigong practices provides new avenues for understanding some of the subtle aspects of human life and its natural inclination to strive for balance. • For clinicians it shifts our focus from a battle with disease to a cultivation of health. • For practitioners of Qigong, it gives us an experiential understanding of greater balance within ourselves and of the cultivation our individual physical, mental and spiritual potential. - Kenneth Sancier, PhD. (reference list to the article follows the biography of Dr. Sancier) Second article Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong, follows the references. It has more detailed examinations of studies on the different kinds of disease benefiting from chi kung/qigong. Biography Dr Sancier is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qigong Institute. He is a professor at the American College of Traditional Medicine in San Francisco. He received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and has carried out basic and applied chemistry research. As a research chemist he published 70 articles in scientific journals and holds 12 patents. He is an editor of the Journal of the International Society of Life Information Science (JISLIS), Director of the California Information Center of ISLIS, on the Advisory Board of the Journal Of Alternative Therapies, and is on the Council of the World Academic Society Medical Qigong. Since 1986, he applied his scientific background to study and evaluate reports on Qigong that claimed health and healing benefits. This evaluation depended on a series of activities including participating in international Qigong conferences in China, Japan, Canada and USA and sponsoring the First World Congress of Qigong in San Francisco. To summarize the information on Qigong that he had collected, he led the development of the Computerized Qigong Database.™ The Database is a compellation of over 3500 citations on qigong and energy medicine. With English abstracts of almost all research on Qigong since 1986, it provides means to search the entire collection using any search word(s). The Database, which is available on a CD from the Qigong Institute, has been used as a source for six books, 7 dissertations, and numerous research projects. He has carried out and published experimental studies of mind/ body interactions. Including experimental studies and reviews, he has published about 25 papers in peer reviewed journals. Reference List Benor DJ. Spiritual healing-scientific validation of a healing revolution. Vol. 1. Visions Publications,Southfield, MI 48034, 2001. Benor DJ. Spiritual healing-scientific validation of a healing revolution, Prof. supplement. Vol. 2.Vision Publications, Southfield, MI 48034, 2002. Davidson JD, Abercrombie H, Nitschke JB, Putnam K. Regional brain function, emotion anddisorders of emotion. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 1999; 9:228-34. Kawano Kimiko 1, Kushita Kouhei N 2. The Function of the Brain using EEGs during InducedMeditation. J Intl Soc Life Info Science 1996; 14(1):91-3. Lama Dalai, Goleman Daniel. Destructive Emotions, how can we overcome them? New York, NY:Bantam Books, 2003. Reuther I, Aldridge D. Treatment of bronchial asthma with qigong Yangsheng–A pilot study. JAltern Complement Med 1998; 4(2):173-83. Sancier KM. The effect of qigong on therapeutic balancing measured by electroacupunctureaccording to Voll (EAV): A preliminary study. Acupunct Electrother Res 1994; 19(2/3):119-27. Sancier KM. Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong. J Intl Soc Life
Info Science 1996a; 14(1):12-21. Sancier KM . Medical applications of qigong. Altern Ther Health Med 1996b; 1(4). Sancier KM. Therapeutic Benefits of Qigong Exercises in Combination with Drugs. J AlternComplement Med 1999; 5(4):383-9. Sancier KM. Qigong and neurologic illness. Weintraub M. Complementary and alternativemedicine for neurologic illness. St. Louis, Missouri: Harcourt Health Sciences, 2000. Sancier KM. Qigong database. Adv Mind Body Med 2000; 16(3): 159. Sancier KM, Hu B. Medical applications of qigong and emitted qi on humans, animals, cell cultures & plants: review of selected scientific research. Am J. Acupuncture 1991; 19(4):36777. Wang CX, Xu DH. [The beneficial effect of qigong on the ventricular function andmicrocirculation in deficiency of heart-energy hypertensive patients]. Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1991; 11(11):659-60. Wang CX, Xu DH. [Effect of qigong on plasma coagulation fibrinolysis indices of hypertensivepatients with blood stasis]. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1993; 13(7):415-6. Wang CX, Xu DH, Qian YC . Effect of qigong on heart-qi deficiency and blood stasis type ofhypertension and its mechanism. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1995;15(8):454-8. Yamamoto M 1, Hirasawa M 1, Kokubo H 1, Sakaida H 1, Kimiko Kawano K 2 1. Study on Analyzing Methods of Human Body Functions Using Various SimultaneousMeasurements(VSM) -The Second Year Report of the 5-Year-Project Supported byScience and Technology Agency(STA), Japan-. J Intl Soc Life Info Science 1997; 15 (2):2.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Qigong by Kenneth Sancier Ph. D. History of Qigong Research in China In the early 1980’s, scientists in China began to study the medical benefits claimed for qigong. Since then, research on hundreds of medical applications of qigong have been reported in the Chinese literature. Of special interest for the present article are clinical reports of the medical benefits of qigong that claim to retard or reverse some diseases associated with aging. Most of the original research was reported in Chinese, but access in English to most of this material is possible by reference to the proceedings of international conferences of qigong. Since 1986, ten such proceedings contain about 840 abstracts of talks given at the conferences, more than half of which are in English. These abstracts, along with about 160 abstracts of articles in the scientific literature, have been organized as a computerized database. The database enables searches and development of bibliographies across this entire body of information by using any key word. The clinical outcomes reported in this article are partly based on material in the database and partly on the author’s person contacts with researchers. The word qigong is a combination of two ideas: qi the vital energy of the body, and gong the skill of working of the qi. Medical qigong for health and healing consists primarily of meditation, physical movements, and breathing exercises. Qigong practitioners develop an awareness of qi sensations in their bodies and use their mind, i.e., intention, to guide the qi in the body. The benefits of qigong are said to extend beyond health and healing to enhance spiritual life and even special abilities, such as psychic powers. Internal Self-Practice & External Transmission of Medical Qigong Medical qigong is divided into two parts: internal and external. Internal qi is developed by individual practice of qigong exercises. When qigong practitioners have sufficiently mastered the skill, they can “emit” qi (external qi or waiqi in Chinese) for the purpose of healing another person. There are many scientific reports of the medical existence and efficacy of emitted qi. The present article focuses mainly on internal qi because almost everyone can learn qigong exercises for maintaining health and for self-healing, whereas, there are a limited number of skilled qigong masters available for healing. Range of Biological Benefits of Qigong
There are numerous reports of the effects of emitted qi on living systems and the functions and organs of the human body. The present author reviewed some examples of medical applications of qigong and emitted qi on humans, animals, cell cultures, and plants, and he also published some of his experimental research on physiological effects of qigong. He discussed some clinical and experimental evidence showing that qigong exercise and external qi affects various functions and organs of the body. A short list of some of the functions and organs affected by qigong, and the measurement techniques employed (in parentheses), include: the brain (EEG and magnetometer); blood flow (thermography, sphygmography, and rheoencephalography); heart functions (blood pressure, EKG, and UCG); kidney (urinary albumin assay); biophysical (enzyme activity, immune function, sex hormone levels (laboratory analysis); eyesight (clinical); and tumor size in mice. Clinical studies on anti-aging benefits of qigong Several clinical studies will be described to illustrate the scope of research on medical applications of qigong to treat chronic medical conditions that may affect the aging process. Some details may be omitted because of space limitations. The critical evaluation of the research studies will be left to medical specialists. 1) Therapeutic balancing of the meridians and functions of the body The profound effect that internal qigong practice may have on balancing the energies of the organs and functions of the body is illustrated by measurements using Electroacupuncture According to Voll (EAV). In EAV the electrical conductance of the skin above individual acupuncture points is measured using low voltage and low current. Diagnosis depends on measuring the relative electrical conductance and its time dependence. An important diagnostic criterion of degeneration of an organ is an “indicator drop” that may occur during the measurement when the conductance reaches an apparent maximum value but then decreases before leveling off. Measurements were made at 24 acupuncture points at the ends of the 12 meridians in the fingers and toes of subjects and were made by the same operator and equipment. The subjects were asked to perform a qigong exercise of their choosing for 10 to 15 minutes, for example, sitting or standing meditation or moving qigong. Two series of EAV measurements were made before and after healthy subjects practiced qigong. In the first series, four subjects were examined by EAV before and after they practiced qigong. Qigong exercise decreased the average of the EAV measured values of the four subjects in the range of -19 to -31% (p