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Hi folks. This column/blog is a first for me. In fact I’ve only sent about ten emails in my entire life, and have avoided email because I knew it would take me away from writing and teaching. I’ve decided from time to time I’ll write this column/blog for a few reasons. First, I want to support the Energy Arts Instructors that are actively teaching and spreading the material. Secondly, this will be a place students can learn about what is happening around the world. Finally, I want to share some new thoughts on energy work and the relevance of Taoism specifically to modern life. My Vision for Energy Arts is to bring the practical knowledge of Taoism to the West. In some respects I haven’t been very successful in reaching the masses over the 30 plus years. I’m not politically correct, skinny, and/or the new-age role model - in fact I’m quite the opposite. On the other hand, maybe the timing wasn’t right for the work to generate mass appeal or for me personally. Regardless, we are going to continue teaching the real-deal rather than the side show, supporting those who choose the former. Stay tuned as we create new products and launch new initiatives on this website. A bit of background info: When I returned from the Orient, I developed a thirty-year plan to teach the three treasures of Taoism, called jing-chi-shen in Chinese and body-energy-spirit in English. The summer’s retreats for 2007, TAOIST YOGA and the Gods Playing in the Clouds Instructor course, focused on developing the second treasure, chi-energy. Taoist Yoga is based on one of the foundation practices in China to open up the body’s energy channels and to learn to feel energy. It's something I spent years practicing and is a great way to accelerate your current chi gung practice. For many of the old timers out there, I'm now going into entirely new areas of chi work and expanding on information I began releasing at the 2004 Heaven and Earth Instructor training. In future courses, I will continue to release new information providing students and instructors the opportunity to further upgrade their practices. I wish everyone a prosperous Chinese New Year and thank you for reading my blog. Please also register for our newsletter because that will have news and articles and the latest updates. See you soon. Love and balance, Bruce
The Heart-Mind Series [Part 1] Intent
The Heart-Mind is an important concept in both Taoism and in Buddhism. To understand the Heart-Mind, we must first understand the nature of intent in relation to Taoism. There are two levels of intent in everything you do in Taoism and Chinese chi work. The first one is ordinary intent. The second level of intent is the place from which intent arises originally. That is, the place where intent is born. Any level of intent has both a yin and yang component. If you want to walk across the street, that's a yang action because you have to go and do something. If you want something to come toward you, that's a yin form of intent. But then there's this question of where the intent comes from to begin with. Where do all your thoughts come from? Where do all your emotions come from? Where is the birthing room of yin and yang? Classic Chinese philosophy says that in the beginning there was the undifferentiated void called wu chi (wu ji). Wu chi held within itself all possibilities but was beyond needing to take form. However, in order for creation to come into existence, there needed to be a creative force. This force was called tai chi (taiji). Tai chi gives birth to yin and yang. Tai chi is neutral, neither, both, or. It has no qualities of its own, but it allows any yin and yang to take form. It is a level of emptiness that produces manifestation. The interplay of yin and yang is called liang i by the ancient Chinese. So, where does any thought, any emotion, any phenomena come from? If you have a psychic perception, where does it come from? If a thought comes into your mind, or an emotion comes into your body, where does it originate? The thought itself, the emotion itself, the psychic perception itself, or even the way karma occurs itself you could say always has a yin or a yang quality. It could be more yin and less yang or more yang and less yin, but one or both are always involved. You can break anything down from the most finite things that exist in quantum physics to the biggest things in the universe. The subconscious--a place that has thought--is still yin and yang. The place in the subconscious from where it is born, that's the Heart-Mind. It is not the subconscious itself rather the place that gives birth to the subconscious. On a human level, intent is normal intent but then the Heart-Mind is a phrase that is used both in Buddhism and Taoism. Taoism sometimes doesn't use the word Heart-Mind and sometimes uses the word spirit (shen). Buddhists always use Heart-Mind, Taoist sometimes use HeartMind and sometimes use spirit, but the fact is that they're interchangeable. I tend to use the term Heart-Mind because Buddhism is better known in the West, and I prefer to use common terms.
[Part 2] Subconscious
We've been talking about the place from which intent and thoughts come from, the HeartMind. How do you get there? What is the method?
Let's take the process of Inner Dissolving, Lao Tse's 2,500-year-old tradition of ice to water, water to inner space. When you go from ice to water that's a yin-yang relationship; tension to relaxation is a yin-yang relationship. Now, if you want to go to the place where both of these energies originate, you effectively will move through two levels. If you're talking about the level of human perception to arrive at relaxation (or water) you will move through the subconscious whether you realize it or not. But that in and of itself has more to do with the transparency of recognizing the deeper implications of what's involved with a specific yin and yang. It's much more about becoming aware of the subtle nuances associated with that yin and yang, which aren't normally terribly obvious. Now, if you go one step further into what really allows the subconscious to generate yin and yang then you hit the Heart-Mind. You hit what can be called spirit. So you're playing around with words to a certain degree when you say the Heart-Mind is the subconscious. Well, it isn't really, but given the fact that the West uses the conscious and subconscious dichotomy you could say the subconscious is the Heart-Mind. It's more accurately that which allows the thought that ends up in the subconscious to arise to begin with. It has no qualities, or you could say it has every quality. It's not yin and yang, or you could say that it has every possible yin and yang that could ever exist. This place is then where you start going ice to water, water to inner space (Inner Dissolving). The process of going to inner space is the process of going to emptiness. Emptiness only arises once the Heart-Mind is activated to a strong enough degree. How strong is the emptiness? To what degree is the emptiness? When you start looking at emptiness to a finite enough degree, then you find that there are stages of emptiness and qualities of emptiness. The point is each of those stages-when they finally arrive-comes from the Heart-Mind. If the Heart-Mind isn't activated sufficiently you can't go to the various degrees of emptiness. In the Western frame of thought there are only two things: the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. In Eastern thought there is a very distinct continuum that goes from gross yin-yang to subtle yin-yang to no yin-yang. The subtle is where the subconscious comes in. There's obvious intent and then there's the Heart-Mind, which is the place where intent ultimately comes from. Awakening and engaging the Heart-Mind ultimately is a keystone of all higher level chi gung/qigong and TAO meditation.
[Part 3] Creating Continuity in Your Life
When you start learning chi gung/qigong, you have the intent for your chi to move. However, this is not the same thing as becoming directly aware of the chi itself, where it's a felt, living quality. It's not that you have the idea, the imagination, or the ability to think about chi but that you actually feel it. It's the difference between the idea of eating and actually eating-having the juices in your mouth and tasting the food. The idea will produce some facsimile of the real thing and you might go so far as to salivate, but when the real deal is present the taste and sustenance of the food is either there or it's not. There's little thought involved.
Similarly, in order to actually feel chi directly you have to go through the Heart-Mind. You have to have a direct experience of moving chi in the body. To do this the body requires that the Heart-Mind be opened, if only to the tinniest degree. Gods Playing in the Clouds is a bridge between chi gung/qigong and mediation since it starts from awakening the Heart-Mind and working with directly feeling and consciously moving chi. So, I'm going to start emphasizing this aspect in all of my courses. Gods is different from other chi gung/qigong sets. The beginning level of Dragon and Tiger, for example, can be done without actually feeling chi; you could visualize or have the idea of the chi moving. But, at some point, when to get to the next level, you are no longer dealing with the idea of it, you're dealing with the reality-you're tasting the chi, the juices and the food is going into your stomach. All chi gung and meditation starts at the level of intent and arrives at the HeartMind. Take the idea of inner dissolving. You want a release, you have the intent for a release, but then it goes past a certain point where you start awakening the Heart-Mind. It sits there with the willingness for something to happen, but then it shifts into something that becomes very real. This is where Lao Tse's water tradition and the fire traditions part company. Many of the fire methods are very strongly based only upon ordinary intent. To enter the real world of chi gung/qigong you have to access the Heart-Mind. At the level of intent, only a small percentage of your being is involved. To the degree to which you attach the Heart-Mind-surface-level or deep involvement-is the degree to which your being is involved. If you want to awaken the latent parts of the brain, it can only be done after the Heart-Mind is functioning really well. Whether you're using only intent or you're accessing the Heart-Mind, normally you'll be doing the same things, the same transactions or techniques. The only difference being that once you awaken the Heart-Mind, there are specific methods and practices down stream that you can attempt that without the active use of the Heart-Mind simply aren't possible to accomplish otherwise. You can get great benefits from intent. But that said you're going to find that people with intent alone are not normally resolving their deepest psychological and emotional issues, their sense of being connected to life. You're not going to find that genuine satisfaction arises solely out of intent. "Om Coco Cola" or whatever. If human beings truly want to tap into something bigger than them, they cannot do it without tapping into the Heart-Mind. I knew that at some point in my second phase of my 10-year-teaching program that the HeartMind was going to really start coming up. I just didn't know when. My first 10-year program was much more about teaching people how to use intent. If you can't crawl you can't walk. I got the flash last winter as to how to teach it. You could say my internal view went from fuzzy to clear. The Heart-Mind will henceforth be emphasized in my teachings as a result. For Gods Playing in the Clouds it's very important. You can make energy move through your body to gain certain benefits, but if you add the Heart-Mind into it there's more that comes out of it:
and become smooth with them during practice and our daily lives. By its nature intent breeds the next intent because no intent can be complete. The simplest definition-albeit partial-of the Heart-Mind is: Where your emotions and your rational mind come together. He was an exceptional Hatha yogi. you can be completely cool inside if your heart is open. to being kind of okay. what happened was he worked in a circus to earn his stolen money back where his act was folding himself into a suitcase. See you next time! Bruce The Man in the Suitcase and TAOIST YOGA When I was in Tokyo I studied yoga with Perr Wynter. He could do any Hatha yoga posture that existed. but conversely you might not be able to walk down the street without getting lost if your intellectual mind functions poorly.000 horsepower. metaphorically 100 vs. For example. . Ordinary intent doesn't do that. It's the same as the difference between being stark-raving mad. So. When Perr was in his twenties he went to India and studied at the Shivananda Ashram in Rishikesh where he lived in a very. Presuming you have all the earlier nei gung. very tiny room." Something has to create continuity in your life. his money and passport got stolen. Life exists along a continuum. Integration occurs where everything comes together and where it truly is "all good. to being mostly okay. B) The Heart-Mind is really what allows humans to integrate their experiences. What you will never get-no matter how much intent you use-is feeling whole inside. and basically that is what happens through the Heart-Mind.A) You perform functions dramatically better. It always leaves you with what's missing. they truly come together in Gods with the Heart-Mind and take it to the next level. but no more. It's to do with the spiritual consciousness and emotions that reside in the heart and your rational capacity to figure out what's going around you. From an Eastern perspective it's not only to do with the mind. then there's wasn't much he couldn't do. You don't have to have a Heart-Mind that's completely open to be more integrated inside. which will give you some idea about how flexible he was (also see images of Perr above and below)! Now what made Perr so interesting is that if you're going to talk about Hatha yoga and Hatha yoga postures. to being absolutely okay. Ordinary intent will not make you smooth inside yourself. lived up the fjord from him in Norway--a very rare situation. Ordinary intent can give you high performance in external tasks. A central element is the Heart-Mind. Classically Gods Playing in the Clouds is the bridge between chi gung/qigong and meditation. 1. and when he came to Southeast Asia and he was in Malaysia. for some reason. a Norwegian man who studied with a yogi from India who.
From what I gathered. He was known for being relatively uncoordinated. they were as far as they could go. So I became aware of the fact that you could still be relatively tense and be super-stretched. The man in the suitcase is an example of the difference between classic Hatha yoga and chi gung/qigong. The question started arising: How is this human-rubber band such that he cannot make energy flow through his body? He was very healthy and strong--there were no two ways about it--he was all those types of things you would associate with health. many of the gymnasts who can physically do some of the more difficult Hatha postures are extremely tense and they're not particularly relaxed. Although the stretching gave him great mechanical control over his body he did not have the fluidity and the ease. matter or form to be Chi masters-they're just considered to be extremely good physical specimens. There's something about energy flowing freely in the body. He did not have the ability to genuinely relax his body. and that he would've learned exceptionally. Well. As a matter of fact. suspended off the ground. He wasn't relaxed in the sound of his voice. Yamaguchi Gogen. What he had was fibers that were stretched all the way. But everybody in Tokyo wondered why when he did aikido and when he did tai chi. which he got from Pranayama there's no two ways about it. And if you knew Perr--at least back in the late 60s--he was not what you would call a very relaxed person in any way. and yet it's just a fact that they got them young and when their fibers could stretch. well. I should mention. you've got to have the ability to really relax your body. rapidly and well. It took me a long time to figure this out. but they can be as healthy. he could do as much as Iyengar. They can't do things like that. With the training Perr had received. he wasn't relaxed in the way he moved. China has a history of circus and acrobats where 12-year olds can do every physical posture Iyengar can do. flexibility alone won't cut it. have as much energy and be very relaxed. he was the yoga teacher of a very prominent karate teacher in Japan. What it came down to was this: Perr had stretched his fibers to the degree that. the head of Japanese goju karate who wrote about Perr and showed his pictures in the back of his book. he was known for just having a kind of semi-spastic quality about him. his energy did not really flow. Perr actually wasn't very relaxed. the average person with their average expectations and thoughts would've imagined that Perr could learn tai chi and aikido. Most can't put both legs behind their heads. the relaxation that we normally think a person who truly had energy working in his body would have. In order to move really well doing tai chi and aikido. The Chinese do not consider them in any shape. he didn't have the flow of energy to a great degree. especially after having done Taoist Yoga and chi gung/qigong for many years. could. it enables you to move the inside of your body like a machine. can't lie on their stomachs and put one hand in the middle of their bellies with their other hand behind them with their legs in a full lotus and their body completely parallel to the ground. the fact of the matter was that after years of practicing he was considered to be a rather poor student. . Many of the chi gung/qigong people don't have anywhere near the flexibility that Hatha yogis have. It allowed Perr to control his nerves to a great degree. But. but. author of Light on Yoga. which is a different thing entirely. When your body simply becomes really stretched.
but you can dramatically shorten the time it takes to learn chi gung/qigong by integrating the principles of Taoist Yoga into your practice. Western education focuses primarily on training your intellectual and mental capacities for external tasks and activities. The second step is to use that awareness to benefit your health and reduce your stress. you cannot focus long enough on your movements or energy flows to gain most of the wonderful benefits of chi gung/qigong. tai chi and other Taoist energy arts. you're locating energetic holes and kinks and then releasing them. asked to focus inside themselves and simultaneously engage with their emotions.Taoist Yoga is a great way to increase your flexibility and your range of motion when doing chi gung/qigong. That's it! Bruce Maintaining Awareness Your ability to feel and control energy depends on maintaining continuous internal awareness inside your body. Many intellectually brilliant people—from physicists to lawyers to social thinkers—can maintain focus on the problems at hand and come up with solutions. The first challenge is to learn how to simultaneously pay attention to your energy. many external and internal circumstances can break your ability to maintain inner awareness. Taoist Education is About Internal Orientation The primary orientation of Taoist education is to teach people to have an internal orientation. Eastern philosophy has the point of view that until you learn how to feel deeply inside your body and . saturating your body with chi. You may not want to practice Taoist Yoga with the goal of putting yourself in a suitcase in order to pay your rent. Chi gung/qigong and other Taoist energy movement practices train you to look inside your body. Taoists call it making the body conscious. emotions and how your body is feeling. or what is called "making your body wet" in the east. Taoist Yoga is the ideal complement to chi gung/qigong because it stretches you out in a conscious way. mind and spirit. They don't always go together. There is a difference between something happening inside you--a flow of energy occurring inside you--and what the outside of your body can do. you must learn to track the effect of your physical movements on your breathing and emotional moods and gain the sense of your mind being clear on the patterns by which you consciously move energy within yourself. It focuses your awareness on allowing chi to flow. Taoist Yoga is working to get that internal flow inside your body while you're doing Hatha yoga postures. In an increasingly difficult and complex world. energy. These same people. Many people who do chi gung/qigong start out stiff and rigid. breathing and deeper parts of their mind and spirit are unable to do so. Without some minimal level of continuous inner awareness. Western Education is Outer Oriented From kindergarten through the university system. breathing. Just as with chi gung/qigong. In these practices.
whether you are quietly sitting or doing several things at once. the more susceptible you become to seasonal illnesses. tai chi and chi gung/qigong train you to focus your awareness inside your body so that when you try to release specific points of tension with your mind. and then to exert conscious effort to change a host of specific interactions with your body. It helps you reach a place of inner stillness. Bust the Stress: Bust the Allergies Connecting the dots between stress and allergies and asthma is easy. These techniques directly train the central nervous system (the intermediary between the body and the mind) to relax and release tensions that have built up inside the body and its internal organs. Third. muscular pain and headaches. such as colds. a place deep inside you that is absolutely permanent and stable. Harvard Study Aborted Although there have been many clinical studies that clearly demonstrate that chi energy practices mitigate many chronic illnesses and improve circulation. spirituality involves more than having health. Chi Gung/Qigong and Tai Chi Reduce Stress The ability to let go and relax—physically. gentle movements of chi gung/qigong and tai chi. no formal studies have . Internal Awareness Prepares you for Meditation Increased and focused awareness will prepare you for the more challenging work of meditation. shortness of breath. Tai Chi and Chi Gung/Qigong Train You to Relax First. Moreover. the movements encourage chi to flow progressively more smoothly and powerfully. you will not be able to improve the quality of your life. the slow motion movements help your nervous system to relax. fatigue. attempt to obey the suggestion and finally relax. peaceful mind. bronchitis.become consciously aware of the deeper recesses of your mind. Meditation helps you take spiritual responsibility for yourself so you can become a relaxed. This allows the production of stress hormones to slow down. It is more difficult to connect improvements in these maladies with the slow. Working with the body. Finally. your body will listen. emotionally. Unfortunately. Moving too quickly—physically or mentally—causes many to miss these interactions. calmness and a stable. spontaneous and fully mature and open human being. chi-energy and emotions. benign-looking. promoting relaxation with full awareness. mentally and spiritually—is the heart of Taoist energy and breathing practices. sinusitis and pneumonia. They give your mind the time first to recognize. In the Taoist meditation tradition. Second. the more run down you get. insomnia. The most common symptoms of stress are achingly similar to those associated with allergy and asthma: tight chest. It is a very sophisticated and systematic process of mind training. the movements are a container through which you learn to recognize where tension and stress are lodged inside your body and mind. they teach you how to conserve your chi and not to dissipate it. clinical evidence backs up what sufferers know first-hand: tension and anxiety make symptoms worse.
natural and inexorable as water etching out a canyon. such as the tightness of muscles that cause headaches and neck and shoulder pain. few were willing to practice by themselves on a consistent enough basis to gain results. In addition. And some. The beneficial effects of tai chi and chi gung/qigong are as gradual. The study was aborted after 3 months. According to Bill Ryan. Becoming proactive against allergies and asthma helps your anxiety levels drop. decongestants and anti-inflammatory pain medicines. The only study I know of was one conducted by Harvard University in 2003. That is a sad commentary on some of the conditionings imposed in our culture that were strong enough to overcome the desire and motivation to potentially reduce the suffering that results from asthma attacks by so simple an exercise as breathing. the nervous system relaxes. Over time. As I like to tell my students. The symptoms of allergy and asthma slowly settle into the background. Miracle Cures Are Not Always Instantaneous People who have experienced the benefits of chi gung/qigong often call them miracle cures. The purpose was to determine whether it would alleviate asthma symptoms. You can practice indoors when pollen levels are high. The immune system is strengthened. However. were afraid of having big bellies. no one goes to the hospital for a relaxation attack. practitioners also know that improvements happen incrementally and synergistically. You can gain the ability to recognize what triggers symptoms and to work with your limitations rather than fight against them. most of whom were middle-aged. You can make healing yourself your business and not someone else’s. there is a decrease in use of inhalers. As the body and mind let go. founder of Brookline Tai Chi and one of the teachers. and more miraculously. Taoist breathing was taught to 48 asthma patients. And so does the physical tension that can accompany it.been completed that directly link the benefits of these practices to the mitigation of allergies and asthma. . told that they would have to learn to breathe from the belly and relax their stomach muscles. or the warm sun melting an iceberg. The lack of pain and strain means that everyone can do these exercises. antihistamines. Taking Control of Your Health At a deeper level. The feeling of being in control of your body helps to build the foundation for wellness. the adrenalin rushes and release of hormones that sometimes accompanies vigorous exercise or team sports are seldom triggered by the practice of tai chi or chi gung/qigong. Being in control of your body and your emotions and feeling the beneficial results inside you helps encourage you to continue. whatever their age or body type. these practices provide you with the ability to feel deeply inside your body. The circulation improves. The slow movements will not cause exercise-induced asthma attacks. Chi Gung/Qigong and Tai Chi: Gentle and Safe Chi gung/qigong and tai chi is gentle enough that it can safely be done if you have allergies and asthma. chi gung/qigong helps the body and mind adopt habits of moderation.
6. with the object of fusing the inside and outside. Used by the Taoists to maintain superior health. nei gung became the root from which not only the Taoist but other chi gung/qigong systems . 10. 12. the ancient Chinese nei gung tradition of chi cultivation provides a systematic method for transforming body power into one integrated. External martial arts work the muscles and reflexes . Controlling the body's left and right energy channels. inside out and outside in.developed their knowledge and techniques. 7. 11. 9. 14. the student can also develop awareness of the deepest subsystems in the body . and moving chi in the body at will. Learn capabilities and uses of the body's upper and middle tantien. Offering immense benefits for internal and external martial arts practicioners. transforming and transmuting internal energies along the energy channels of the body. for healing illness and to experience profound inner stillness. controlling the body's spiraling energy currents.Buddhist. The 16-part Internal Power System. karate and judo. 15. K. introduces students to the sophisticated nei gung system discovered and used by Taoists for several thousand years. 4. Controlling the body's central energy channel. nei gung promises a body that can move better. faster.the outer frame of the body. Feeling. Dissolving physical. Developing High Performance Using Nei Gung Nei gung offers benefits for students and practitioners of internal as well as external martial arts. and of Taoist meditation. The Power of Internal Martial Arts. The 16-Part Nei Gung Internal Power System Below are listed the basic components of the Taoist nei gung: 1. When nei gung is incorporated. Moving energy through the body's meridian channels and energy gates. Wai jia chuan expresses the concept of the external martial arts. emotional and spiritual blockages. Learn capabilities and uses of the body's lower tantien. nei gung evolved from the Taoists' meditative exploration of the underlying spiritual realities of the universe. Opening and closing all parts of the body's tissues. and dynamic whole. tai chi chuan. Martial Arts. Medical and Confucian . The Chinese use the term nei jia to describe all the internal martial arts or Taoist chi practices as one family. of chi therapy and bodywork. moving. and hsing-i chuan. 8. Frantzis in his compendium of martial arts practices and techniques. Precise body alignments.Nei Gung: Fueling Internal Power With Chi Handed down for thousands of years. Manipulating the energy of the external aura. Bending and stretching the body. Ultimately the source of chi power in the internal martial arts of ba gua chang. Breathing methods. with more strength and stamina. Making circles and spirals of energy inside the body. unified. 3. joints and subtle energy anatomy. 16. Connecting every part of the physical body into one unified energy. 5. described by Master B. such as gung fu. 13. 2. With the internal martial arts. Controlling energies of the spine. in increasing complexity. Absorbing and projecting energy to and from the body. movement begins from deep inside the body and works outward.
"Knowledge of the existence of a precious thing is a far cry from acquiring it. CA. To use nei gung for developing high performance in martial arts or competitive sports.and unify the inner and outer components into a powerful and cohesively functioning performance. the student progresses in the movement and fighting applications of the martial arts style. any training method that can create real physical power and speed requires a healthy body. tai chi. will benefit from nei gung's highly systematic internal energy chi training. such as karate or tae kwon do. Spiraling Energy Body. while upgrading the internal organs. will increase the awareness and quality of life for present and future generations. combining the energy work of Oriental medicine. Integrating the breathing and meditation components of nei gung. Obtaining Internal Power Frantzis comments. and ba gua chang.building phase of nei gung clears physical problems that diminish the capacity for optimal performance. the student focuses on maximizing his or her internal power with progressively more advanced training stages. The Marriage of Heaven and Earth. It is his objective that these valuable tools will help raise the awareness level of internal arts and. when used appropriately by motivated. Once the student's body has absorbed a basic ability to fuse the internal energy work with the physical movements. the student has a clear awareness and control of chi in the body and energetic systems and has absorbed into his or her body an understanding of the internal work necessary to master the chosen martial art. it naturally performs better. Taoist meditation and physical movement. Students who practice aikido or external martial arts. Subsequently. creative and intelligent people. and joints for increased vitality and mental alertness. Spinal Chi Gung/Qigong: Bend the Bow and Shoot the Arrow. he hopes it will continue to benefit humans as it has for millennia. incorporating the newlyacquired nei gung skills into all physical movements. As the body becomes healthier. For students who desire intensive training in a retreat setting. These courses provide a complete nei gung regimen. both in solo martial art form work and in combat training with opponents. especially in the area of health. glands. The health. the student engages in a two-part program: 1) focus on health and the healing of overt and hidden injuries. When practiced for health and fitness. Once the body's health is upgraded. and 2) an accelerated level of commitment for high performance. calm and flexible. Energetic practices to develop the full range of nei gung form the basis of a carefully designed. nei gung helps to develop superior balance and speed. and is a student of chi gung/qigong. It is essential that the training sequence is observed. six-part chi gung/qigong program taught by Frantzis throughout the United States and Europe. Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body. and Gods Playing in the Clouds Ibbie White is a freelance writer in Mill Valley." In presenting information on nei gung in a coherent manner. The courses include: Dragon and Tiger Chi Gung/Qigong. Frantzis offers the six courses on a rotating basis each summer in California. . the student develops a mind and central nervous system that is relaxed.
martial artist B.to benefit aging baby boomers. I have found. He is an acknowledged master of Tai Chi. he says. healing On a Sunday afternoon in late March. open Feldenkrais studio on 6th and Bancroft streets in West Berkeley. Susan Lydon. Taoist meditation. This is why earthquakes are so profoundly disturbing to humans.earth. Acupuncturists use points along the body's meridians to move chi around. healing and meditation. Sunlight pours into the large room through skylights and glass blocks as Frantzis delineates for his students the sometimes subtle differences between the elements. which we deeply understand to be still and unmoving. Frantzis stresses three areas in his teaching: longevity. pronounced chee. is that it is stable. trembles and shakes. This is an experience I have had myself during Loma Prieta." Frantzis specializes in the internal martial arts. moving slowly and deliberately in the balletic motions of Tai Chi. metal and fire." he says. it tends to resonate with our own personal experience or with internal convictions we have developed after contemplating that experience. the element of earth. Frantzis is teaching an advanced workshop on The Five Elements in Taoism. and Chinese healing practices." segues easily from fire to earth. These utilize the life energy known as chi. improving health by releasing blocks to energy flow and balancing the body for preventive health care. Originally published in The Oakland Tribune. Cityscape column for Sunday March 31. The five elements of Chinese medicine and Taoist culture are air. The main characteristic of earth. Ba Gua.and in Frantzis's teaching . In this particular weekend workshop there are about fifty participants.K.he will turn 53 in April . they stretch and practice . who are in danger of overwhelming the nation's health care systems as their bodies begin to decline. In a tremblor. ranging in age from 25 to 70. Reprinted by permission of author. In the Sunday afternoon session. There is much in Tai Chi . who advertises his method as "Mastery without mystery. He has written four books and taught workshops and classes all over the world. During the breaks.Frantzis has amassed a remarkable series of accomplishments. When one encounters real truth. Chi Gung/Qigong. Shing Yi. pointing out that it is practiced by 200 million people. He's been teaching in Berkeley for the past decade.circle walking in the Ba Gua style. One of Frantzis's students characterizes the whole as "practice related to the cultivation of internal energy. over a long period of time. Half the people who do Tai Chi begin after the age of 50. He estimates that over the three decades he has been teaching. "Tai chi is the Chinese national health exercise. water. Frantzis. 2001 . 10. Then there is the extended family of students of students.000 students have passed through his classes. though his studio and home are based in Marin. like the Navajo detective in Tony Hillerman's books. I shouldn't be surprised. The workshop has been going on all weekend in the large. For one so young . To use a metaphor from another space and time. The shock is so great that it bypasses our cerebral functions and rocks us at the core level of our being. these intimations of shared reality ring with the sound of silver on the bar. Frantzis has come highly recommended to me. executing high kicks. by people whose opinions I respect.Inner martial arts promote longevity. and so I sit up and pay attention.
it must first learn to feel flesh. and tunes up feeling. the practitioner breathes from the nose. This was the era of Confucius and Lao Tze. Students are taught to stand with their feet parallel and flat on the floor. allowing the images to come in and not projecting the vision out to the images. a calm mind. This differentiates it from the Fire Methods which burn or blast their way through energetic blockages. like the ox carts that moved the nation. The tongue gently touches the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth.Release To Freedom: The Dissolving Process of the Taoist Water Method Taoist Water Method Chi Kung and Meditation gently dissolves energetic blockages on all levels of a person's being. Public displays of Taoism comprised of artwork and individual practices. Taoist Water Method practices come from China's Age of Philosophers in the sixth century BCE. include Taoist and Buddhist practices as well as Kundalini yoga from India and Sexual Magick from the West. The energetic and spiritual practices of this time period reflect this pace. the student shuts off visualization. After the basics of standing practices are understood. when. The spine is straight and lifted upward from the crown of the skull while the chest. and begins with postural training. fighting no thoughts out and holding no thoughts in. Even in the midst of chaotic and warring political times. less precarious path to prime physical health. all aspects of daily life moved at a slow and steady pace. and in doing so. The hips are down and back. the skull and the places where the plates of the skull come together. using the diaphragm instead of the muscles between the ribs. it was visualized. in fact. The knees are bent and aligned over the feet. While standing. The failure of the Taoist Yellow Turban Rebellion made it necessary for Taoism to remain unnoticed by local officials. shoulders and abdomen relax and drop. gentler. This is the Taoist concept of Yin Vision. While standing. The practitioner relaxes the mind. and tucked a little forward to flatten the sacrum. but their teachings were revered by all. keeping in mind that what is . The Fire Methods are known for powerful practices and speedy development. the Water Method practitioner's eyes are relaxed. The Taoist Fire Method practices were developed in the second century BCE within the NeoTaoist era best exemplified by the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove. Before an awakened nervous system can feel energy. When open. the student begins an exercise known as What's Alive and What's Dead. The Water Method is a slower. This unbroken flow of thought matches the continuous flow of breath. potentially conscious and just waiting to wake up. The student starts at the fop of the head and attempts to feel the hair. the scalp. better known in Asia and the West. This diaphragmatic breathing becomes a continuous flow with the practitioner never holding the breath. This helps prevent the student from thinking an area has been felt. The more recent Fire Methods. This manifests externally as breathing with the low waist instead of with the upper chest. have become the safe and gentle way to health and human evolution. The student feels as much as possible. and spiritual development. The student learns to think of the entire nervous system as an extension of the brain. The gentle Water Method begins with a solid foundation in Chinese energy based exercises often known as chi kung. but may often make casualties of careless and weak practitioners. as if beginning to sit on a chair. Neither of their teachings had coalesced into actual schools of philosophy or organized religions.
Only very small blockages will be completely dissolved in one or even a few practice sessions. wider bands indicating stronger health. is without heat. Students must be careful not to get hung up on a floor in an effort to feel everything perfectly. When the blockage is completely dissolved. and what is not felt is dead. This process begins with the student locating and feeling this block of congealed energy until it seems to be a solid shape with definable parameters. and.felt is alive. and places that are too tight. Long before feeling the entire inside of the body. As the solid shape begins to dissolve into an amorphous liquid with a less definable shape much like ice becoming water or sugar becoming syrup! the student's mind begins to further dissolve the liquid." however. transforming it into a vapor. The student's mind then begins to dissolve this solid shape much like water can dissolve ice. With each practice session. then continue to move down to the next floor. This vapor floats out to the edge of the student's aura where it becomes usable energy. The distance between the outer edge of the energy field and the skin indicates the overall health of the practitioner. This will lead to the next stage of development. At each floor the visit lasts long enough to determine what's alive and what is not. congestion. To either repress or hold on to it will re-create the blockage. Nothing is perfect in life. This "steam. so the student must recognize when a reasonable amount has been felt on a particular floor within that particular time period. At this initial stage of practice. it is time to move on. Most blockages will be worn down over a period of time as water wears away a rock. The student then relaxes the muscles of the hand without moving the fingers or thumb. even rock. and continue to move steadily down. The exercise is only over when the student gets to the bottom floor. which emanates beyond the skin. the Outer Dissolving Process. thereby creating the block. the student begins by feeling the top of the aura or energy field. this core feeling will be set loose. The practitioner must recognize within each practice session his own limitation at each increment of the body. The search for perfection will only cause stagnation. called Clearing Down. The student is no longer simply feeling. more of the student's body will become alive and aware. Feeling this dissolving process can be an extremely subtle process. crystalline sugar. The Outer Dissolving practices begin with a standing exercise that is identical in external content to What's Alive and What's Dead. but continuously scanning for feelings of blockage. This is similar to water boiling away to steam. and be sure to practice daily. In this practice. too strong. Hence the name of the exercise. and is more akin to alcohol or gas evaporating into vapor. Some of them might even be lifetime projects. Increment by increment the student feels his way down the body. When the student has been working on exactly the same blockages for many practice sessions and stabilization has finally been reached. Water Method teachers often give the students an idea of what to feel by having the student tighten the muscles of the hand into a fist until the knuckles become white. The sensation of relaxation that slowly spreads out from the center of the palm and beyond demonstrates and mimes the feeling of the dissolving process. the student will begin to become aware of energy blockages. After developing the standing practices. in time. This feeling must be recognized and let go. and the dissolving process will have to be done all over again. These are spots of congealed energy similar to log jams that need to be broken up and used. or completely out of sync with the surroundings. Outer Dissolving is initiated within several practices that involve movement. what is felt is usually a physical sensation or even an emotional feeling. Seated and lying down practices are usually reserved for the practice . much like visiting fifty floors of a building. At the center of each blockage lies the feeling that initially shocked the person's energy system.
Chi kung exercises are the most common moving vehicle for Outer Dissolving. Similarly. the standing dissolving practice is the first exercise in a chi kung set known as Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body. Dissolving can be done in each of the spaces between the vertebrae. dissolving in the gonads during sexual practices can help eliminate hormonal drive for completion and serve to lengthen the process. the student learns to access his own secondary consciousness. When the Clearing Down practice occupies the secondary consciousness. The second exercise in the set is a variation of Cloud Hands which activates the fluids of the body. for example. The secondary consciousness is the part of the mind that can sing along with the radio while the primary consciousness carries on a conversation. external. thereby pumping the lymphatic fluid. In Spiraling Energy Body the student learns to use the primary consciousness to pump energy up through the body. It is comprised of three variations of weight shifting and arm swing exercises. lowers and raises. a safety ground wire is created that protects the practitioner from all kinds of energy blowout or burnout. The unique dissolving practices of pa kua chang involve dissolving from the edges of the body into the center and back again. It shifts the weight to pump the blood. . The student may also eliminate energy which has been projected outward (and thought better of!). The second chi kung set in the Water Method is called Spiraling Energy Body. moving from the bottom of the spine to the top in both bending over and straightening up movements. The Energy Gates set ends with a unique spinal stretch. Like Marriage of Heaven and Earth. it can contain the entire Taoist Nei Gung System. It is a single exercise that can contain the entire Taoist Internal Power Nei Gung System. The fifth and final set in this chi kung system is called Gods Playing in the Clouds. fear and hesitation. and begin to move spiraling energy between his energy storage bank and each and every one of the energy gates in the body. The martial arts pa kua chang and tai chi chuan also serve as moving vehicles that can carry the Dissolving Process.of Inner Dissolving. In this set the practitioner learns to be able to clearly think two things simultaneously. which include the health benefits of Cloud Hands while adding three levels of organ massage. Tai chi dissolving practices specialize in dissolving through specific patterns of organs and glands. The third exercise is called Swings. the dissolving downward ground wire within the secondary consciousness is maintained. First. and inner) constitute only one part. and to practice External Dissolving of energy which another living being has projected toward the student. and squeezes and releases the lymph nodes in that area. In fact. expanding and compressing the joints of the skeleton to pump the lubricating fluid of the joints. The Clearing Down Dissolving practice can be integrated into the mental work of both these exercises. To this the six exercise set adds a number of twisting and coiling motions that are indigenous to the martial art called pa kua chang. The fourth set of Water Method chi kung is a method of pumping the cerebral spinal fluid and releasing power from the spine. the hip crease. Dissolving in the adrenal glands during fighting practices helps to remove unconscious reaction. Doing each of these practices. The third Water Method chi kung set is called Marriage of Heaven and Earth. This exercise is designed to open the spaces between each vertebrae. It is called Bend the Bow and Shoot the Arrow. This is a sixteen part system in which all three sections of the dissolving process (outer.
He was also the leader of a Northern Chinese Taoist Sect. Psychic Energy Body. judo.K. In the early 1970s. While in Hong Kong. the practices enter the realm of meditation and leave the work of chi kung. Frantzis met and began to study with a young Internal Arts Master who had emigrated from Beijing. By the time he graduated from high school. The others are the Emotional Energy Body." states Taoist Master B. The Emotional Energy Body stretches from a person's center outward to the stars that can be seen with the naked eye. While attending college in Japan. and studied meditation to remove fear and hesitation from his sparring. Frantzis also spent the better part of two years studying Pranayama and Kundalini yoga in India. The Outer Dissolving Practices of chi kung releases the congested chi in the body and its direct energy power system. one of the last of the great Taoist Masters. the energy that runs in channels through the flesh and emanates from the flesh to the aura level. Thinking Energy Body.The Outer Dissolving practices help remove block ages from the Physical Energy Body. The other five bodies extend even farther outward and are rarely accessed without the presence of a Taoist Master. These are the first two layers of the Eight Energy Bodies. the energy in the flesh that enlivens it. which in Taoist belief are the outwardly expanding energy bodies that comprise a human being. His story is the classical tale of hard to soft: a young fighter who became a master of healing and meditation. Liu was the last member of the original Beijing Pa Kua School. Frantzis. having been highly impressed and more than a bit frightened after seeing a deadly New York street encounter. Liu was a personal friend and private student of the founder of Wu Style Tai Chi. and allows the body to utilize this energy. He also began to study tui na/Chinese energy massage and Taoist meditation. tai chi chuan. This means that the average person only accesses seven energy bodies at a time. The emotional layer can be reached quite easily after the Outer Dissolving practices have been stabilized. It also removes blockages from the Chi Energy Body. The Energy Body of Tao is a person's connection to everything else. Frantzis is the master who brought the Water Method to the West. and is usually accessed only after the Physical Energy Body has been left behind. Frantzis re-earned all his black belts in the best Japanese schools and fought on an "All Japan" championship collegiate karate team. Accessing and feeling the Emotional Energy Body falls within this definition of meditation. and aikido and introductions to external and internal Chinese kung fu. named Bai Wa. and a formally declared . and hsing i chuan. Bruce K. During his senior year and after college. Energy Body of Individuality. he began to travel to the island city of Hong Kong to study with one of the highest level masters of Yang Family tai chi chuan. Causal Energy Body. leaving only enlightened masters with the ability to access all eight bodies at once. Frantzis eagerly sought out and studied the healing arts that helped him recuperate from sparring injuries. Frantzis had black belts in karate. a winning entrant in the 1928 All China Full Contact Tournament. Being an extremely bright lad. "Meditation is that which puts the individual in touch with the Infinite. This young master. Frantzis began to study martial arts at the tender age of twelve. and Energy Body of Tao. He also continued his studies in shiatsu massage and Zen meditation. was the only student of Liu Hung Chieh. In the late 1970s. Frantzis began to travel to the island of Taiwan to study the Internal Martial Arts of pa kua chang. resulting in freedom from weakness and poor health. When the Dissolving Process is moved into the third Emotional Energy Body.
but this did not mean that the old master would agree to teach him. only the tiniest of emotional blockages will be totally dissolved in one session. This creates an unbroken thread of consciousness that begins to still the mind. young kung fu fighter needed to learn the gentle water method of chi kung and meditation. Liu decided that this large. like peeling an onion and unlike the steady wearing away of water on rock. or specific emotions can be targeted and specific body areas can be scanned. From his home base in Fairfax. The Water Method meditation practitioner must develop an experiential grasp of the vast amount of space that resides within the central energy channel. the night before Frantzis arrived at Liu' s door. and Fire Method chi kung and meditation from Liu during his teen years in Beijing. layer by layer. When Liu Hung Chieh passed away in December 1986. which then implodes into inner space instead of floating outward as in the Outer Dissolving Process. Taoist Water Method meditation deals with stillness and inner space and is mostly practiced in a variety of seated postures both on the floor and on chairs. It takes a highly awakened nervous system to detect them. Inner stillness is reached when a calm mind accesses the vastness of inner space within the central channel. Emotional blockages dissolve away in layers. wu style tai chi. hsing i chuan. and retreats across America as well as in Western Europe. then returned to America. Bai Wa studied pa kua. session by session. The old master grew so fond of this determined young American that he adopted Bruce Kumar Frantzis into his family and also made him a lineage holder in pa kua. like the hopping of an agitated monkey. When the emotional shock which is at the center of the blockage and is responsible for the blockage is released. This inner space reaches to a vastness equal to the outer reaches of the universe. and has written books on the Internal Martial Arts and Taoist Water Method chi kung and meditation. the process becomes solid to liquid to vapor. This practice recognizes that the mind often hops from thought to thought without even finishing most of them. Each of these emotional layers must be liquefied. the mind begins to slow down and any remaining thoughts begin to drift to the edges of consciousness and begin to eventually disappear. The dream and the introduction compelled Liu to make Frantzis the second and only student since the 1930s. He carried with him an introduction to Liu from Bai Wa. Strangely. By concentrating the mind on feeling the breath as it enters and leaves the body. The beginning practice which is akin to What's Alive and What's Dead in Chi Kung. The body can be generally scanned for emotional blockages. Taoist Master Frantzis teaches workshops. and imploded into one's inner space. and Taoist Water Method chi kung and meditation. vaporized. along with the highest levels of the internal martial arts. the old man dreamed of a Westerner coming to learn from him. Most of them will slowly peel away. hsing i. California. When blockages of emotional energy are dissolved. The Inner Dissolving Process of Water Method meditation consists of the conscious use of inner space. Emotional blockages are smoother and more subtle than physical and chi blockages. is Following the Breath to Calm the Monkey Mind. having not taught anyone since Bai Wa. Frantzis studied with Liu for a few months.Enlightened Being. seminars. In 1981 Bruce Kumar Frantzis traveled to Beijing for instructor training in the 24 Posture Yang Style Tai Chi Form at the National Sports Institute. rather . As with outer blockages. which is the process of Outer Dissolving. Frantzis returned to the United States and began to spread Liu' s teachings. Special care must be taken to see that this rush of emotion is neither repressed nor dramatize but. In 1983 Frantzis returned to Beijing. where he worked in a hospital as a tui na therapist to cancer patients and continued to study with Liu on a daily basis. a powerful rush or blast of the emotion is produced. He has also produced a series of videotapes.
as well the loss of employment may drive a person into depression. and overall stagnation. When a student has become familiar with the personal practices of the Dissolving Process. Frantzis and the director and chief instructor of the Wu Tang Physical Culture Association in New York City. around the top. The Two Person Dissolving Loop is also extremely useful in grief management. pa kua's soft hands exercise. the Inner Dissolving Two Person Loop can help to dissolve the emotional triggers which cause many differences within a relationship. Most of these practices use a dissolving loop which travels down the practitioner. the practitioner can use the Two Person Loop to help the partner dissolve the overwhelming grief while being sure not to absorb any of it. This is the major goal of all schools of Taoism. The Two Person Dissolving Loop can be used in martial arts to find an opponent's weaknesses. It is these emotional blockages and the stimulation of them which drag many people through a life of reactive behavior. and allowing energy to freely flow. shame. and often consists of bouncing from one emotional reaction to the next. The Inner Dissolving Process can release a person from the anxiety of emotional shock.K.simply recognized and released. the Inner Dissolving Process releases a person from a life of reactive behavior and gives the freedom for clear. having a serious injury. By lessening and removing these blockages of emotional energy. spontaneous action without residual guilt. The Taoist Water Method Dissolving Practices give the practitioner practical techniques to work on balancing all aspect of life. The most common method of practicing the Two Person Dissolving Loop is during the practice of various slow motion martial arts practices of tai chi's pushing hands exercise. There are periods in a person's life when the shock of loss and/or pain becomes overwhelming. When a partner is overwhelmed with grief. A few other patterns may be used in certain martial and sexual practices. Times of contracting a serious illness. word or thought. When pushed by an ad. the Dissolving Practices bring the practitioner to freedom from imbalance. and the various slow sparring exercises of free fighting. Ancient Taoist Water Method Masters taught that through the use of the Inner Dissolving Process the intensely shocking time periods of a person's life can be transformed into stages of great personal evolution. These positive emotional blockages must also be found and dissolved. Water Method practitioners must realize that positive emotions may also arrive in shocking doses and create their own energy blockages. and back down again. THE EMPTY VESSEL. inactivity. and also help those of the partner. or merit. Only this will free and release the practitioner from the shock and the resulting emotional energy blockage. Emotional Energy Body blockages are literally a person's emotional buttons. Fall 1999 Frank Allen & Sally Kealy Frank Allen is a senior student of Master B. and vice versa. and bring him or her freedom from long-term trauma. and to read every nuance of their energy flow before they manifest into physical action. a partner may work on one's own blockages. With this method. the two person variations are learned. the loss of a loved one or home. these buttons trigger an instinctive emotional outburst. Dissolving practices that are practiced during times of shock will accomplish amounts of clearing within a couple of weeks that may take years of meditation during calm periods of a person's life. Being released from reactive triggers. When applied to sexual practices. loops under and up through the partner/opponent. . a life that is never quite in control.
. Master B. punch. karate and aikido in America. P. Inc. what they're doing with their mind. throw. Shiatsu training and gaining black belts in judo. All martial arts. at any level. Frantzis has been teaching students and holding formal teacher training courses throughout America and Europe since his return to the West in 1987. hsing-I. Tel. B. Now this doesn't mean people are animals. At one level all martial arts are about kick. 3rd Fl. your cut. The Power of Internal Martial Arts and the qi gong classic.C. On a martial level. working with him for many hours a day for more than three years. In the first chapter of my book. how hard they are. After 20 years of preparatory training with other teachers. and to develop a mind that will be relaxed and able to operate under pressure without difficulty. 71/2 Second Ave. ju-jitsu. the same thing that an athlete is looking for.K. how you look.K. spiritual and human approaches to martial arts. It is only how they do it that is different. Frantzis can be reached at Energy Arts. Tel. and has a Gestalt oriented psychotherapy practice in Manhattan specializing in Taoist Dissolving practices. Known both for this unparalleled knowledge.Sally Kealy.. he spent 15 years studying full-time in Asia. K. CA. Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body. is a senior student at the Wu Tang PCA. There is a continuum.A. and martial arts. B. K. The animal approach is really quite simple and most external martial arts tend to fit into that category. Frantzis went to Japan for three years of advanced training. joint lock. In internal martial arts your primary mandates are to develop qi. what they are actually attempting to accomplish with an effective self-defense technique when facing a perceived danger. They can be reached at The Wu Tang P. B. they're really a little more advanced than the average martial art. 10003. Fairfax. New York. but rather to do so by developing internal power. he is a lineage holder in tai ji. It is about what people are doing with their physiology. Frantzis: The first thing is that the primary aim of the internal martial arts is not so much to cultivate power for self-defense by physicality. The Empty Vessel Interview With B. NY. Frantzis' previous teachers included the legendary Wang Shu Jin in Taiwan. Empty Vessel: Maybe we could begin with a Iittle explanation of the difference between internal martial arts and external martial arts. unconventional teaching style and exceptionally clear communication skills.O. Oriental healing and meditation in 1961. teach you self-discipline. what you essentially are . Mr. If you train in an animal martial art approach. qi gong tui na. nerve strike and footwork. and Morihei Ueshiba in Japan. 415-454-5243. 212-533-1751. Frantzis began training in martial arts.K. he began studying privately with Liu in Beijing in 1981. Frantzis B. an ordained Zen Peacemaker Priest. On top of that you may or may not add weapons. CSW.K. I have a section on the animal. the founder of Aikido. He is the author of the new book. After extensive Zen meditation. Fluent in Chinese and Japanese. written in English as chi or qi. 94978-0099. Box 99. your reflexes. ba gua and Taoist meditation through the late Taoist Sage Liu Hung Chieh. Next he studied Yoga and kundalini meditation for two years in India. and Taoist meditation for ten years in China. In external martial arts you're very much concerned with your muscles. Raised in America.
many people who practice tai ji. Human martial arts exist along a continuum between external and internal martial arts. human or spiritual approach. As you move along the external to internal martial arts continuum there is more and . It goes into a frenzy. anything that physically puts resistance against your system to either make it become stronger or faster. practitioners still manage to have incredible high performance abilities. When you get to the level of internal martial arts you find that there is a great deal of emphasis on mind-training. The glandular revving up of the glands is somewhat obvious in a lot of Karate or Tae Kwon Do. If we observe what an animal does when it wishes to fight. Frantzis: That is common. If you have an external martial art you're going to try and get power by doing a lot of extreme physical exercises. Taoist martial arts have the particular goal that a person can use them to the end of their life and it will improve their mind and body well into their eighties and nineties. it will ultimately damage your qi and be counter-productive. regardless whether it is qigong. to metaphorically jump over buildings in a single bound. In human martial arts you don't really want the animal in yourself to take over because that diminishes your clarity and ability to decide what you are going to do and how. by primarily relying on using your mind without having your glandular system go crazy. If a practice damages your body. Within that.trying to do is to make your body respond in the most efficient animal fashion possible. in Taoist martial arts a person will never do any practice that will hurt the body even if it will enable them. You try to use some level of discrimination rather than letting your primal emotions get control of you. At the human level of martial arts. the goal is to try to make your body turn on without having your glandular system go crazy. In human martial arts. K. twisting their faces and reverting back to the glandular system when the pressure's on and they really feel threatened. although they may philosophically see themselves as being nonviolent. Here is where you want to be able to still have your body turn on. The difference between external and internal in the classic Chinese sense is in how you get your power. Likewise. The lowest levels of external martial arts have very little mindtraining. it twists its face in all kinds of ways. So the name of the martial art does not necessarily determine if it follows an animal. its adrenals are stimulated. One of the primary dictums in all Taoist practices and internal martial arts of China are usually classified as Taoist martial arts is that any practice that you do must be comfortable and healthy for your body. K. begin tensing their muscles. The animal martial arts approach has the practitioner go into hyperdrive to accomplish what is needed. As such. There is a range of middle ground between animal and human martial arts. Empty Vessel: Tai ji. As you move into internal martial arts you now start working with things that work with qi or the internal energy of the body. we see that it tenses its muscles. either external or internal martial arts might be doing that. in what way do you attempt to focus your mind. as in any martial art. it roars. B. Frantzis: Yes. like Superman. would then be considered an internal martial art? B. External martial art practitioners in their drive to make the body do what they want often damage themselves. which a lot of people are familiar with. Empty Vessel: But you can actually harm the body to do that though. sitting meditation or martial arts.
probably when they punch somebody they'll go down but that kind of power is a certain kind of power. K.more mind-training as you increasingly rely upon the mind to fuse with energy inside your body to make your power come alive. If a person has lifted a lot of weights. This is important because it is how you create your power. You work on getting your mind right inside your body. You can develop power that is just as strong as what you have with external martial arts. They do it for very pragmatic reasons. When you train in the internal practices you learn things that are much more subtle. They train to be a champion because they want to be the best or find out how far martial art training can go. and they want to have a way to get into and transcend the very deep emotional and mental spaces that make life uncomfortable and dysfunctional. There are two hundred million people in China who do tai ji every day of the week. It's not immediately apparent what kind of power a person is exerting. the main reason Westerners practice an internal martial art is because they want to be healthy. and their nervous systems to relax. Empty Vessel: For a lot of people it's a case of "l'm not a fighter. they want to learn how to get rid of their stress. Frantzis: Yes. I don't really want to learn how to fight" but there are a lot of other reasons to practice a martiaI art. You can feel it. They want to work those things out. if you learn the whole tradition. Of that. and feel good. B. they want their body to work better. In my experience. They see people who had every kind of physical malady you could name. and I must say. they do tai ji. You can create your power from lifting weights. tai ji is a method for enhancing longevity and getting rid of stress. Empty Vessel: Perhaps you could say that this power is at a more subtle level. K. You learn how to go inside and regulate the energy inside the body. Empty Vessel: So there is whole qigong level to this? B. Just as a computer is more subtle than an adding machine. They want their bodies to work. at that level the internal martial arts are an extremely sophisticated qigong system. . but you can't see it. Frantzis: It's at a much more subtle level. and every kind of drifting mind problem you could name. That's looking at it from the physical perspective. getting your consciousness to go right inside every joint and ligament until you become as sensitive to the inside of your body as you are to the skin on the outside of your body. that level is not taught very often anymore. K. hsing-i or ba gua for a couple of years and they get rid of most of these problems. of television's Kung Fu series. That's why most people are doing it. People in China also practice because they see so many others who were sick and got better after doing tai ji and qigong. only about half a percent even practice the fighting techniques. but is externally invisible. For them. the internal martial arts. The majority of people there do tai ji because it really works for physical and mental health. They're not looking to be Kwai Chang Kaine. both from the perspective of high performance abilities and from the medical point of view. People who are really concerned with fighting can learn how to use a knife or a gun. Frantzis: The vast amount of people who are studying internal martial arts are not that concerned with fighting. right? B. Why do most people learn to do martial arts? Even the people who become the top full-contact fighters do not reach that level of skill just to defend themselves.
Frantzis: When the Taoists did martial arts their concern was in terms of meditation: To find some inner unity. the places where they are being dragged back to seeing everything as separate and everything at odds with each other. not because people had fantasies about it. or the underlying reality. working with the energy inside it. At more advanced levels. I was told by the guards that inter-gang warfare had stopped simply because the practice had chilled out the gang leaders in the tai ji class. they see both the flesh and every other aspect of the human being that's embodied inside that physical tissue. K. From doing Wu style tai chi. working with the body. Except for rare exceptions. B. All the meditation techniques are aimed towards your energy not being at odds with itself and having everything being continuous and comfortable with what's outside you and what's inside you. When they physically work with someone they don't just look at that person's physical body. mundane health level. there's little beyond that being taught here. Frantzis: Methods of cultivating qi are part and parcel of the whole Taoist system. Empty Vessel: I liked the part in your book where you talked about using the internal martial arts to become a hands-on healer. Working with the body.S. K. whether you are going to use your body to martially break somebody else's body. I taught at the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe some years ago. prison history. At that stage. the prisoners chilled out. If spirituality is about anything. whatever words you choose to use. They use the term shen fa. I believe that my book will help people learn what it is like to move all the way up to the graduate level.or third-level tai ji. so a human being would become able to be whole and complete. harmony. low impact aerobics. stress reduction. Frantzis: Yes. They look at all this. The participants I taught were all lifers. it's about a person becoming complete and how at every level of their being to prevent being at dissonance with the rest of the universe. which is an external event or you're going to use your body to heal another . Frantzis: It doesn't even have to be quite so subtle. they had all killed somebody. Most of the tai ji in America is second. that kind of thing. but because it works on a very simple. At each stage of anyone's spiritual practice. K. Tai ji became the national health exercise of China not because it looks beautiful. but one must realize that we are in an early stage of cultural transference between East and West. It seems that for most people in this country it's more for relaxation. B. Empty Vessel: Very few people in this country study tai ji as a martial art or even as a qigong form. Empty Vessel: TeIl us about the spiritual cultivation aspects.Empty Vessel: Especially when you're talking about subtle energy states. K. You can call it the spiritual law of the universe. tai ji is also very sophisticated martial and spiritual art. working with the mind that inhabits that body. once they get a little more experience. It had suffered the worst prison riots in U. B. B. Balance. those things only come out when you are internally smooth at the deepest levels of your self. compassion. Some people are actually attempting to teach high school level tai ji. however. they start realizing times when they are not in this state.
It has two branches. In the second branch of qigong therapy. It wouldn't have mattered if I had stayed in China for a hundred years. Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body. But in the compete tradition the healing work was commonly taught along with internal martial arts. they then teach you very specifically designed qigong techniques which if practiced continue or complete the healing process and are medically specific for your condition. if I had not met Liu Hung Chieh. Taoism is concrete metaphysics. Taoists don't have the dichotomy that from the point of view of body functions that healing and damaging is different. Frantzis: Yes. combat and mind-training aspects of the internal martial arts. the Yellow Emperor's Classic. A person would have had to put in considerably more effort to learn the other material. chi and mind are performing both. K. the Taoists see both in the unified context that in effect what you are doing is just using your body. without qi consciously being emitted from the practitioner's body. The internal martial arts traditions are just part of Taoist qigong tradition. There is a whole way in which you learn how qi specifically affects the body and how what happens in the body affects the mind. They are very. and spent a couple of years with him. not necessarily the means or results. not always easy to work with. K. and sometimes you had to prove yourself before you got to the real teaching. Qigong tui na techniques are very much found within the internal martial arts tradition. that they knew the other.person's body. You learn a whole way of generating energy within your body so when you give qi to others and work on people. There are at least fifty schools of Taoist qigong. Teachers were not always easy to find. A lot of the Taoist tradition has to do with self cultivation. and is not specifically about Taoist spiritual practices. There are hundreds of schools of qigong in China. was about basic qigong. As a matter of fact. In the original qigong work in Taoism. Those bodywork methods which use qi gong to work on someone else are called qigong tui na. Regular tui na bodywork only uses hand techniques. The same tissues. My next book will be on Taoist Meditation and will address the spiritual aspects of Taoism and the methods of its Water School. I do not believe that it would have been possible to get to the bottom of the subject of internal martial arts. It would be inaccurate to assume that because a person knew one side of the coin. through your hands to work on someone. meaning that the responsibility is on the individual. only the motivations are different. Qigong tui na is how you use the qi coming out of your body. my final teacher in Beijing. there is a whole qi tradition that comes directly from the Huang Ti Nei Jing. Empty Vessel: What about the spiritual aspects of all of this? B. Empty Vessel: Isn't there an old tradition in the martiaI arts of people being able to heal as well as kill? B. healing or harming. The first is when you physically put your hands on someone else's body to cause a therapeutic effect. very interrelated. after the practitioner puts their healing hands on you to start a healing process. . Frantzis: Well the first book I wrote. you are able to protect yourself from having another person's energy drain you when you work on them. My new book The Power of lnternal Martial Arts is about the qi. regardless of the specific effects you are attempting to create. but not everyone chose to do that. many of which are incomplete. which is also an external event.
he snapped a front kick into the big belly in front of him. It hit the fat man's chest with the power of a jackhammer cracking cement. it's based upon what will actually produce a result. The Taoists are interested in what actually does what. using the methods of internal martial arts. your method must directly encompass both of those very clearly. This wasn't right! No one remained standing when this young karate champion landed his best techniques. you can be very relaxed physically but be emotionally or spiritually tense or be spiritually relaxed but physically tense. Although Bruce hadn't seen him move. pain engulfed his hand and shot up to his shoulder-again. The second word was thank you. The first word I learned in Chinese was watermelon. If you want a practice to be useful for spirituality. The third expression I learned was yung bu neng yung. For instance. This only resulted in making his foot feel like his hand. qi gong. My experience of the spiritual style of Taoists in China was that they would say you know something. "Is it useful?" The next question becomes "What can you use it for?" The Taoists tend to be extremely clear about what specific things or techniques are actually useful for.Taoist don't believe in things too much. He fired a backfist at the fat man. is automatically going to help you with spiritual matters. you need what will be useful for getting rid of that illness. They're very direct and not as mysterious as people think. The corpulent Chinese boxer's escape from Bruce's line of sight was disorienting and caused an uncharacteristic loss of focus in his concentration. Liu Hung Chieh. If you want what will heal a physical illness to also be spiritual. or a qigong or internal martial arts method. hypnotic statements. healing others and meditation. which means. which I loved at the time. metaphorical. The way in which my teacher. what is useful. As Bruce heard the dull thud of bone on flesh. You don't necessarily expect that a can of peas. If you have an illness and you want to get rid of it. Originally printed in The Empty Vessel. it has to be a practice which directly addresses the issues of spirituality. If what you want to do is open a can of peas faster then it has to be something that directly addresses how you can open a can of peas faster. general. Summer 1998 B. Ignoring the pain. his opponent was standing behind him. transmitted the work to me was to pragmatically explore what the Taoists call the eight energy bodies of human beings. Frantzis a Paqua Master Work in Progress The punch launched out of chamber like a mortar from a tube. His methods were concerned with what practices directly interface with those energy bodies and how they coordinated with each other to spiritually balance a human being using full effort without strain. A Journal of Contemporary Taoism. you have suspicions or you don't know at all. There are areas of ambiguity. The Taoist perspective in China is not based upon belief. Everything in Taoism is extremely pragmatic. which require a person to exercise clarity and insight to discriminate between reality and wishful thinking. who was suddenly gone. which although true at some level don't actually attach to something that is useful. K. It is so much easier to communicate about the varied aspects of Taoism in vague. His mind wandered over the chain of . where and how.
A quick downward sidekick into the Chinese boxer's shin only left his foot feeling like the bones in its side had shattered. The lights went out and the kid went down. Frantzis and his teacher practiced many chi kung exercises and standing meditation. to continue his martial arts training in its homeland. It was even more inconceivable that striking that puffy body felt like slamming your limbs into a steel door. Frantzis began to wonder about Wang's yet unproven offensive skills. He had earned a black in judo at the Kodokan and multiple black belts in shotokanan and goju karate. From the age of 12. The kick left the fat man still smiling. In fact. Frantzis had learned that Japanese would not be enough if he wanted to learn the deepest levels of Chinese internal martial arts. The fight he lost occurred in 1968 and Frantzis continued to return to Tai Chung and the teachings of Wang Shu-Chin over the next decade. A spinning backfist suddenly sent the young fighter hurtling through empty space. but his skill didn't seen capable of creating any level of discomfort on the heavy-set pugilist confronting him. The Search for Power Japan had been a big step in his education. and instead attended Sophia university in Tokyo.events that had brought him halfway around the world to deposit him in this match. Bruce shook away his reminiscences and spun to face the moonlike. write. which was quickly becoming a humiliating disaster. however. His ridge hand bounced off the close cropped skull and felt like it had just slammed into concrete. He also tried a little tai chi. The thought was cut off in his brain as the paqua master circled smoothly around his attack and reached out to. While in high school. Wang's paqua teaching focused on the development of chi. He turned to face the 5 foot 8 inch. Frantzis was highly impressed by the internal power displayed by the old and very frail Morihei Uyeshiba. aikido. 300 pound master of paqua chang. Frantzis now wondered about the wisdom of having taken offense at the Chinese boxer's denigration of karate as a low-level martial art. so he decided to wait in Taipei. causing him to lose focus again. studied shiatsu massage. at his own expense. seemingly. When Frantzis returned to Taiwan in 1974. As he launched himself forward with his next combination of techniques. in which he subsequently became fluent. While pursuing his martial arts career. Wang taught Frantzis how to use his chi within paqua footwork to move smoothly while fighting. and speak Japanese. That was the best place on the island to study Mandarin Chinese. smiling visage of his tormentor. he earned a scholarship to a major university. Frantzis also learned how to use internal energy for knockout power. . It was here he learned to read. and two styles of karate. the man he now fought---Wang Shu-Chin. and spent many hours practicing zazen meditation. It was inconceivable that a physique like that could move so fast. The young fighter had spent half his life practicing karate. Frantzis had found his new teacher. he found Wang to be on an extended trip to Japan. it was the search for others who possessed the amazing internal power of the founder of aikido that led him to Tai Chung. Taiwan and. he earned black belts in judo. but that had become the reality of this sparring session. He turned down this offer. The highlight of this period involved study at the aikido Hombu Dojo during the last two years of the founder's life. lightly touch the young fighter's head. martial arts had been the central focus of life for Bruce Frantzis. He also trained with the Waseda University karate team which won an All-Japan university title.
who was Bai Hwa's fourth-generation master of paqua chang. he received an invitation to go there and study Yang style tai chi chaun at the Beijing Sorts Institute. Unknown to Frantzis. used more 45and 90-degree angles in his fighting footwork than half or full circles. These drills correlate to the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching in the same manner as the eight palm changes relate to the eight basic Trigrams of the I Ching. Foremost among Hung's many champions were Su Dong Chen. While training in Hong Kong. Hung. Kumar Frantzis took a trip to Hong Kong in search of high-level internal martial arts. Bai Hwa had communicated from Hong Kong to his master in Beijing. He became the first American certified by the Institute to teach. He taught a hit-andrun style of paqua fighting. IT is the perfect style for small fighters and differed greatly from the "angle and in" fighting footwork of his previous teachers. At 5-feet-7 inches. Kumar returned many times to study with Bau Hwa. While he was studying with them. Hung taught a system derived from the 64 linear paqua drills. the contact had already been made for him. Kumar hoped to make a contact that would lead him to a high-level paqua instructor. which became his first name for the next decade. Hung was very good at analyzing the palm changes and teaching a martial application for each piece. Kumar Frantzis' search for the source of his arts took on a new dimension. who taught him how to develop "long power" in his paqua chang. Luo De Xiu. Frantzis found Hung's paqua used smaller frame circles and had a more precise method of bringing the fighting techniques out of the form. This style relied on circling your opponent very quickly then darting in and out to strike. Pao was the first small man with whom Frantzis had studied paqua. When easy travel to the mainland of China became a reality for westerners. He knew that the home of highlevel Paqua Chang was Beijing and that city became his goal. His Indian Kundalini teacher gave him the name "Kumar". This led to Frantzis' introduction to Taoist master Liu Hung Chieh. There is one technique for each of the six lines in each of the 64 hexagrams. he met a paqua and hsing-I master named Bwa Hwa. While in Beijing. on behalf of the American martial artist. 240 pounds. The 64 line drills are used to help teach the 384 fighting techniques. In early 1975. In 1981. who was teaching in Japan. The Journey Begins It was between the periods of his studies in Taiwan that Frantzis spent the better part of two years in India studying Pranayama and Kundalini Yoga. . Bruce saw Wang as having the higher chi development and Hung as being the better teacher. like Wang. Bwa Hwa was a student of a forth-generation master of paqua chang who still resided on the mainland in Beijing. Frantzis also met and instructor of paqua chang named Jack Pao.Frantzis had been in Taipei only a short time when a friend took him to the school of Hung I Hsing. There. and the current school champion. Frantzis liked the school and continued to study there for the nest four years when his trips to Taiwan ceased with the death of Wang. Hung's paqua and hsing-I were famous on the island because of Hung's personal fighting prowess and that of his students who always won their weight divisions at the AllTaiwan full-contact tournaments. Hung taught him how to use it. While Wang taught Frantzis how to get power.
Liu returned to Beijing for a period then went to the Tien Tai monastery where he concentrated on the teachings and meditations of the Tien Tai Sect of Buddhism. just before Bai Hwa sent Kumar Frantzis to him. For Liu.Liu had a long and glorious martial arts history. Ma Wei Chi. Huang Chun. revered for saving the Empress Dowager from the foreigners. Liu lived quietly at home and concentrated on his spiritual practices. Then he had a dream about teaching a Westerner. Where Wu Jien Chuan's son's taught. who was known as coal Ma because of his line of work. Ma Kuei was Yin's best student and his enforcer who accepted challenges in Yin Fu's name. The change of Government in 1949 brought Liu Hung Chieh back to Beijing to be close to his family. Kumar studied with Liu throughout the summer of 1981 and then returned to the United States and his own students. When Ma was 18. also known as the famous "Spectacles Cheng. no matter how injurious the results. with a Shaolin style for three years. . admitting him to the school." He was a hero of the Boxer Rebellion. Liu lived in the home of the founder of Wu style tai chi chaun. Until his death in 1986. or wood Ma. as his fame grew. Liu was appointed head of instructors at the Hunan branch of the central government's national Martial Arts Institute. Until 1981. Tung Hai Chuan. Liu spoke of winning his matches while doing as little damage as possible. Later in his martial Arts career. Ma became known as Mu Ma. Ma's defeat of a Russian strongman and yang Lu Chan's tai chi student. This was to distinguish him from the late paqua master. his teacher brought him to the southern Beijing school of Paqua Chang. Liu lived in Hong Kong for a time. He spent the next ten years studying with Taoist masters in the mountains of western China. Liu was happy that day he represented paqua chang on that day. Liu was in his late 30's when the sect declared him to be a formally enlightened being. Yin Fu has often been referred to as "Thin Yin. Then the school closed its door. where he became a formal disciple of Wu Jien Chuan. eldest son of Chen Tinghwa. After teaching at the martial arts institute. at which time. who was the original student of the founder of paqua chang. this was a signal that it was time to find new teachers. He said that this was in contrast to the hsing-I boxers who seemed to revel in executing only full-power techniques. Liu became one of the few serious students of Ma Kuei. Liu Hung Chieh represented Ma Kuei's paqua chang in the 1928 All-China Martial Arts Competition. he became the disciple of the famous paqua master Yin Fu. Although Ma remained a lineage disciple of Yin Fu. he learned much from Tung Hai Chuan when the founder of paqua came to live in Ma's house in the lumberyard after the old master retired from court. Doing Damage Ma Kuei's family owned a lumberyard and. During his stay in Hong Kong. Although he held lineages in hsing-I and paqua. His studies began at age 11. made the small man famous in Beijing. The police stopped the contest before the tournament ended because of an excessive amount of serious injuries. working with many of its paqua and hsing-I instructors. For three years Liu studied hard at the school. At the ceremony. After the Southern Beijing Paqua School closed. who was also known as Ma Shih Ching. When he told Kumar Frantzis about the tournament. Bai Hwa was his only student during this period. because of his building talent." Liu was 14 at the time. Liu bowed to Cheng Yu-Lung. Because of his slight physique.
When all eight energy changes can be clearly separated from their corresponding physical changes. When Kumar asked Liu why they did not practice the 64 line drills which were taught in Taiwan. Liu explained that they were already creating the patterns of the 64 hexagrams. his paqua was even larger framed than the paqua of Wang Shu Chin. which are represented by the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching. This system did not need any augmentation from other meditations. respectively. He also told Frantzis the 384 techniques could be found within the 64 variations of the of the eight basic palm changes in his system. each energy change can be put into each physical change. Liu was as eager to build on Kumar's foundation of meditation as Kumar was eager to increase his martial skills. shock. Liu learned the complete system from Ma Kuei and Ju Wen Bao. Kumar Frantzis returned to Beijing and studied with Master Liu Hung Chieh every day until Liu's death in December 1986 Learning to Fight Kumar began his meditation studies with Zen sitting while in high school. He wanted to introduce Kumar into the energetic level in which the paqua boxer consciously moves with ever changing energy patterns. He also spent time studying meditation in India. Liu was informed that Tung Hai Chuan taught a complete system of paqua meditation to only a few selected students. this style of paqua begins with large movements that turn into small circles once physical contact is made with the opponent. This creates eight variations of each palm change. With enough practice. coiling. of course. Because each physical change and each energy change have a corresponding trigram. . The single palm change develops a pure yang energy shape and the double palm change develops a pure yin energy shape. represented by the other six trigrams. These large external circles are coordinated with a series of small internal circles that are manifested inside the body. Frantzis found Liu's paqua to have large outside movements with big circles. These forms are. The two men meditated together every day of Kumar's stay in Beijing. These physical and energetic palm changes are represented. stillness to light. Years later he learned the Buddhist and Taoist spiritual meditation systems. one learns how to separate the energy change from the physical change. Liu was not a teacher that started everyone at the beginning. waves. their combination creates the 64 combined energy pattern. by the trigrams Ch'ien and K'un. These small circle technique are similar to the small circles in the fighting paqua of Hung I Hsing. The first meditation that Liu learned was paqua meditation. Frantzis learned that each of Liu's basic palm changes is a physical change that develops an energy change within it.In the summer of 1983. In a martial situation. and continued the practice while at Sophia University. as he simply observes the physical confrontation. The other six palm changes create the energy changes of wind. He only worked with a couple of advanced students capable of commencing at an advanced level. Although Liu stood a mere 5-feet-1 inch and weighed only 110 pounds. and the form of formlessness. He saw that Frantzis had attained the technical level in which the paqua boxer controls the movements of himself and his opponent.
The art of Taiji (Tai Chi) is fairly well known. That was the first time he taught paqua to anyone. Kumar returned to the United States to resume teaching. Mass. Kumar taught a class of paqua fundamentals to his hsing-I students in Denver Colo. just Liu with his full powers. Chinese medicine which is a taoist (daoist) art is being used more. 90 Kumar Frantzis: An Informal Discussion on Taoist Meditation . While spending a short time teaching in England in 1975. and Frank Allen in New York city. Representing the martial aspects of the style are Bernie Langan of Oakland. which rendered their team strategies useless. rounds out the group.Part 1 TAOISM IN THE UNITED STATES is known primarily through an understanding of certain of its pragmatic arts. B. healing.K. Frantzis. This style presents an equal mix of martial.K. He did this from his school in the San Francisco Bay area and in an ongoing three-times-a-year seminar series in New York City. Frantzis became a formally adopted son of the old Taoist master. . In 1982. how to fight as a team. Bill Ryan and Buddy Tripp in Brookline. The Taoist Canon consisting of close to 1. Then they practiced a little push hands. The nest morning. He taught his two leading internal students.K. On the afternoon of Nov.. and meditation paqua which differentiates it from the other styles of presently taught in the United States. no crippling. As time goes on Qigong is becoming of interest. The rest of the world has not seen it yet. no invalid stages of any kind. 1986.. He then taught them a few semi-private lessons on paqua chang used as a defense against multiple opponents. 30. Frantzis is developing a core of instructors to help preserve and spread this rare style of paqua chang. of London. Calif. Kumar taught a couple of lessons on the fundamentals of paqua to a few of his English students. This group now includes five men who have been with Frantzis for different amounts of time and specialize in different aspects of the art. started to teach paqua chang openly and fully. an hour before Kumar arrived to train with him. Frantzis continues to teach Liu's style of paqua chang from his school in Fairfax. and even that didn't happen right away.600 books that include the subject of taoist meditation has not been translated into English. After the funeral of Liu Hung Chieh. Liu taught Kumar the final variations of the eighth palm change. The death of a Taoist Master. and in seminars around the globe. Liu Hung Chieh died---no blindness. By Frank Allen and Clarence Lu Article reprinted with permission from Inside Kung-Fu January 1998 Pg. To a certain extent even Feng Shui (geomancy) is getting familiar. Frantzis and his instructors and students hope to bring this style of paqua chang into the 21st century as a living and growing art. B.'s newest apprentice paqua instructor. Calif. The next year found Frantzis teaching internal shaolin and tai chi in New York City.easily handling the larger young man. now known as B. It would be the first time he would teach paqua fully and openly. and then he was gone. The taoist martial arts are getting more exposure.. This class included Bill Ryan.While studying with Liu in Beijing. It was 1989 before Frantzis. with the little old man-as usual--. But the actual subject of taoist meditation is less well known because it has not taught that openly. Chris Chappel. England. Frank Allen and Jonathon Lewis. represent the healing aspects of this art. This limits access to the complete view of the whole picture.
This is when I did much of the energy work. charging spaces. I was fortunate to have been trained as a taoist priest (Taoshr) during those years. This is not true. During the last year he was alive he said. I was very lucky to have studied with him. and the water and the fire mixing. The second level is the final completion or what is called intemal alchemy. They have the water tradition. The majority of what the tao is in China is mixed with Buddhism. empowerments. providing helpful events for people and things of that nature. It is less than half of one percent of the population. This was not through any good offices of my own. I did not feel that I knew enough. I learned arts like exorcism.Many people are under the impression that a great number of Chinese are taoists. but he also happened to be a patriarch of a northern sect of Taoism. Liu Hung Chieh was very famous for being a martial artist." It has only been since 1992 that I started teaching Taoism publicly at all. Taoist meditation can basically be divided into two levels of attainment. including taijiquan and taoist meditation. He was responsible for duties in the lineage other than teaching. but because he had a dream about me before I came. He was the man as the expression goes.do it. It is a very distinct one. I don't talk about this very often. I did all the things that you do with those types of practices and some of the subsidiary things. I happened to have been one of only two students that he taught in depth since the 1949 communist ascension. He was a lineage holder. His job was not to teach. and a majority of sexual meditation work. frankly speaking. the water Tradition. all that I know is that he dreamed about me coming and that is the only reason that he taught me. During my earlier years in Taiwan and Hong Kong. This is when I learned the real tradition. As a matter of fact. The method that we seek does not really use fire.don't bother. This was basically the last period in which China made tremendous cultural advances. I trained in Taoism for about 7-1/2 years. the fire tradition. sending people off when they die. This was my preparation for studying with my main teacher Liu Hung Chieh in Beijing. The last period in time when the taoists were really open. In China he was what is called one of the Three Guardians of the Empire. they have gone underground. public and had patronage in China was during the Tang dynasty (A. instead we end up finding the light inside of water.618907). There are confusions that arise around Taoism. he began to constantly encourage me to teach about Taoism when I returned to the West. There is however a pure taoist tradition. The first level contains the preliminaries of what is normally called taoist meditation. His tradition is that of Lao Tse. Taoists have never really pushed to gain adherents. Almost a year before he died. if not . In China there are traditionally the water and fire methods of the tao. In fact. or even if I did know enough I didn't feel comfortable doing it. but I was a fully empowered taoist priest. "If you are willing . in Chinese history more often than not.D. They are very natural confusions because here in America it is a very mixed bag. At first I felt uncomfortable with the prospect of teaching. it is all . what they sometimes call kan and li. It has reached a point nowadays where most Chinese do not make a distinction between Buddhism and Taoism. The taoist meditation Liu taught me is primarily the classical water method of Lao Tse.
but in terms of effort. During that time Buddhism was coming to China. is a major thrust in the neo-taoist practices. this continuous aspect of pushing the mind and body as far as it can go. They also are very strongly influenced by Buddhism. It is something different from their medical arts. The taoists put everything they did into their art.considered to be Taoism.000 years before Lao Tse appeared. but the equivalent is that the Szechwan province of China is to Tibet. You can see this in the Buddhist traditions where for example Zen monks will sit indefinitely. It is just the province next door. This Tibetan influence is not as unusual as it sounds. The water method is known for not forcing things. By contrast the taoists have another tradition. if you know much about neo-Taoism. as New York is to Maine. this tremendous emphasis on finding ways that can really soup the human system up. So this continuous aspect of force. the original taoists had no great drive for physical immortality. To a certain degree it shows Buddhist influence. There are no maybes about the fact that they were very heavily influenced by the Buddhist tantricism of Tibet in terms of methodology and point of view. It is known for literally letting things occur in their own time. Their primary art of meditation is something different from their martial arts. we are discussing the taoist alchemical tradition. Most people here probably do not have a very good geographic sense of China. Many of them will die sitting. In contradistinction to the neo-taoists. It's not somewhere across the world. They often ruin their bodies with their . The taoist water meditation tradition had been going on for probably 1. but he was the first one to write them down. He was trying to get away from worldly life. They appeared around the year 1000. Lao Tse did not originate these taoist principles. The water method stands as the classic practical way to let the whole mind/body release its blocks and fully transform. one is fully open and available to the moment. Specifically now. We are not talking about any other arts. From the most peripheral of the eight energy bodies of the I Ching right down to bone marrow. The neo-taoist methods are known for their tremendous emphasis on force. Their basic point of view is that it doesn't matter what you do to yourself. This is clearly a point of view. in terms of spiritual philosophy. This is the neo-taoist tradition which primarily uses fire techniques. The original school of Taoism. Many of the people who become enlightened in Zen are clinging on to a very tiny thread in terms of their body. I believe the phrase that most accurately describes it in the West is "pushing forward". one experiences conscious harmony with the tao. Not in terms of doing inappropriate or evil things. because if you become enlightened anything you did was fine. Especially Tibetan Buddhism. Whatever got you there was fine. which is where both a lot confusion and where a tremendous amount of the taoist meditation practices find their origin. the actual meditation tradition in Taoism. There are two main strains of Chinese Taoism. is one of the big focuses. really rev it up. yet it is far from passive. Which. To go until you get to where you want to go. Then one naturally acts according to the principals of the Tao Te Ching. In China it is known as the water method. He wrote the Tao Teh Ching on his journey out of the country. One of his students was a boarder guard who wouldn't let him go until he left behind some principles in writing. They are true believers in the end justifies the means. One does every preparation possible so that when circumstances are ripe.500 years ago. flourished during Lao Tse's time around 2.
They tenaciously hold to the idea that you just keep doing it until you come out on the other side of that light. the I Ching. Buddhists.. This is true of the major religions throughout the world: Christians. the metal of ego. The taoist tradition has always been essentially what you would call mystical. it comes and it goes. Moslems.it will be gone through. picked up and dragged away. Having done the fire method for many years. That is all I practice. goes about understanding change and changelessness from many different viewpoints. His example of youthful extremism exerts a strong influence on many throughout history as well as today. Whether they are exoteric or esoteric. The neo-taoist school also tends to be very heavily influenced by the magical tradition of what they call in China chi chi guai guai (qi qi guai guai) or "making strange things happen. You must have full effort without strained force." With practitioners of this method one has a constant sense that they must press forward and emerge the victor. The fire methods tend to be very cathartic. The taoists in China are very genuinely different in both the fire and the water groups. most religions when given the opportunity will try to build as large an empire as possible. My teacher Liu Hung Chieh was a water method person.it must be climbed over. Fire melts metal. Taoists consider almost everything that happens in this world to be what is called red dust. Through meditation a taoist finds that which never changes and is always present.the big ones." Magic. They never had any particular desires in terms of meditation to build a corporation.practices. "If there is an enemy . The water practices come from a very different philosophical perspective that pragmatically makes a huge difference in how you live and practice. yet not contravene the actual limitations of the body. I was not particularly looking for the water . It has only been concerned with the essential nature of human beings and their relationship to the universe. Their main work. To use all of your effort and yet not use force. I reached a point where personally the fire tradition no longer cut it. your approach is quite different. This is the tradition of Lao Tse. The classical example is of the Buddha during his years of asceticism. knocked down. When you practice the water method. Whatever you do must feel comfortable. and the spirit. It teaches through a rich variety of systematically presented real life examples that everything in the world is changing constantly. if there is the mountai . and you practice the fire method. it's around for a while and it's gone again. They are transformative methods in the manner of throwing something into a fire. The taoist water method is more gentle than the fire methods. In order to do that one must refine a very fine edge in the mind. Every fire tradition in the world is driven by the idea of conquest. heavily visualization based. the mind. He was virtually skin and bones. He did all sorts of mortifications of himself at that time. That is all I do. if there is a wall . and in my younger years having practiced both the tantric tradition and the kundalini tradition in India.. It comes. Lets just say they manipulate the matter/energy matrix for whatever reasons they have at heart.we will overcome it. and quite rough on the central nervous system. They want to have as many people as possible under their sway as a unit. After his enlightenment the Buddha preached against extreme practices.
The evolution of taoist practice as represented by this progression is: 1. There was no intent on my part. Unchanging Root of the Universe. it becomes everything. Your mind. you have a certain degree of control over your destiny. the building is still there. Wu or Emptiness. brain. size and some kind of content. Even though a person's body. Shen or Spirit. As you start noticing almost everything as nothing. It is something. easy and unblocked is like a flowing river. You must place your attention fully on what usually are the sensations of energy and start playing with it. When this Qi becomes stable and is no longer random and confused. I was originally in Taiwan and Hong Kong where it is very hard to find the water tradition. There would never be any reason to do anything with it if we remained in this exceedingly natural state that . The energy of the body and everything the taoists work with is Qi. There is light inside water as well as inside fire. Tao or The Essential. is completely involved. After one is accustomed to working with one's spirit for a reasonable time. Ordinarily we experience in the world as having shape. your spirit starts transforming the energies more and more. When one begins to experience spirit. There just are not words to describe what one becomes aware of. It is as it should be. The water method of Taoism begins from a very simple premise. Qi or Energy which begets 3. as emptiness starts. The basic core of all taoist practices in Chinese is expressed Jing-Qi-Shen-Wu-Tao. Now the genuine spiritual process has begun. One keeps playing it back and forth. or whatever you are. There is no difference between everything being nothing and being everything. It is just what it is. one moves into the depths of one's awareness and essence. others. and the environment in profound. the house. But.tradition. airplane. the Qi will begin to produce Spirit. one's body energy will move through the Qi. Jing or Body/Sperm begets Qi 2. One is cold light that will not burn and one is hot. Most taoist are just very independent and prone to being who and where you might least expect them. your total intelligence. I didn't say all of it. It usually takes a while to get to this point. it has no substance. The energy of the physical body is converted to Qi. It is that a human being has a mind. At the level of spirit one begins to become spiritually alive and connected with oneself. One begins to realize at the depths of ones core that which is not bound by time and space. Then it will move through the spirit. Every once in a while one just gets a glimpse of what can not be expressed. Spirit begets 4. It found me. non-separated ways. But you have some things that you can do. One starts experiencing everything as not having any content. the tree. The meditation practices in Taoism begin with the Alchemical principle of shifting energy from one Level to the other. Everything is perceived in terms of energy. which begets 5. That for whatever reason. All energy inside a human being if it is free. One's ongoing awareness spans the tremendous spiritual dichotomy between emptiness and fullness. There is absolutely no reason why you should do anything to it. It literally is nothing. In the practical sense this is the beginning of practice.
" In qigong physical health and strength is the primary concern. If it is not flowing. feeling. One takes whatever shape is blocked and begins to literally open up that area with ones mind. are immensely practical people. not genuinely just there. The phrase they have used in China for thousands of years both in meditation and qigong is "ice to water. This is a contrast to many fire methods. water to gas is really effective. after layer. you can feel this energy. whatever Arts they are. To give you an idea of the religious. the blockages are gone and one is freed from one's energetic prison. you can understand how all the taoist Arts came about and the context within which they are taught: the Martial Arts. Because of a myriad of conditions and circumstances we do not remain this way. after layer. the water is gathering in front of the dike. water to gas. not opening. if they are anything. cultural and historical context of Taoism in China there needs to be an understanding of their three main religions: Confucianism. one can discern some sort of sensation. The taoists. the Building Arts. the medical Arts. one starts finding that often one's energy has become frozen in some shape. A taoist is not concerned about whether a person is bothered or upset by something that is usually temporary and limited in duration. They will drive it deeper inside their energy field. Then one learns to use one's mind to break these shapes until the energy becomes neutral. In some ways if you understand these three philosophies and what point of view they are coming from. At this point there is now something tangible to work with in one's field. This can make one very irritated. and Taoism. and shape. After that. liquid to gas. initially almost everything is done to get whatever energy is blocked in the body to dissolve and move outside of the body. where there is always a tendency to keep letting out all of these things that are inside oneself. The process of ice to water. As you go inside yourself. Condensation of energy assumes an actual form or shape that is recognizable. In some way it has congealed. Instead of exploding outward which is done in qigong. The taoists say that once you have energy. and you are fine. They will keep on going through layer after layer. the dissolving practice releases trapped energy away from the body to "outer space. the challenge now in meditation is to explode in." In taoist meditation the initial practices are about going into "inner space" imploding the dissolved energy to the core of one's being.all of it)." "solid to liquid. In the qigong tradition of China. so that the energy blockage is freed. Dakini methods or many Cathartic methods (all Catharsis is fire method . Then that which is flowing has to become so amorphous that it has no shape whatsoever. Eventually it will just go poof. They are concerned about whether or not their consciousness is free. The more dense the anger and dysfunction the heavier the condensation in the blockages and the repercussions of their acting out. the previously blocked energy usually does whatever its natural function is. until they trace the block to the source. Attention is placed on this energy that is inside of you until it goes ice to water. When one starts looking deeply inside of oneself. That shape that was totally immovable then becomes relaxed and flowing. in some ways it is better left alone. Instead of water flowing through. water to gas. the more it is blocked.is ours at birth. . Buddhism.
They went into it and they were successful. even if there is nothing behind it. If taken the wrong way this very commonly leads to religious fanaticism. From morning to night this is what I was surrounded by. There are all sorts of jokes about political correctness today that would essentially define a Confucian. These are people who had gone into life. and everyone knows what they are supposed to do. We then move to the Buddhists. When these people had a tendency to leave the world. Buddhists are religious zealots. was a major magistrate. including life and death rested purely on his whims or moods. or a Christian flagellating himself on a holy day. He was the one who was responsible for maintaining all the knowledge in China at the time. That is it. How well you behaved and in what fashion. There is a tremendous focus on this direction. He wants the form and shape of something to be just so. everything is where it should be. A big portion of the taoists in China. When a Confucian comes into a room his clothes must be just so. in many ways Buddhism is not terribly different from Islam or Christianity in the sense that they actively and with great energy seek converts.A Confucian is concerned about correctness. all these rules and all these things just don't cut it. except in a feudal society there was no democracy and his power over peoples lives. His bearing must be just so. Finally at a certain point they said to themselves "I don't know. talented and powerful people in China. My understanding is not from having read textbooks. This was not because they had something against it. is a major taoist immortal whose followers comprise the greatest block of fully realized taoist sage/immortals. There are numerous taoists who are about as prestigious as you can get. The outer form has to be really together. External appearance is of paramount importance. were some of the most educated. which was not the original intention. this is not essentially what the universe is about. also known as Lu Tung Pin. Even though there are some Buddhist sects that do not fit into this. It is comparable to an old time Jew wailing at the wall." Basically they got fed-up with the world. It was more like the world left them. Historically the taoists were a very strange group. . Whatever life had to bring. It was not so much that these people left the world. they also didn't particularly care what people thought about them or whether they agreed with their ways. That is the only thing you can say. This would be something like a governor in the United States. Like Christians. All you will know then is they have not broken free of their Confucian ties. beyond a shadow of a doubt. Things being exactly where they should be. That is quite a number to abide by. Chang San Feng. they went and did it.300 rules of etiquette governing specific social relationships and interactions. the taoist immortal who some believe was the founder of taijiquan before becoming a taoist. I have no doubt that you will find people who are taoists who will be this way. Confucians have over 3. External correctness is central in all they do. The way you treat him must be just so. Lu Tsu. Face is of great importance. or a confessional for a catholic. was also a magistrate. There is this tremendous zeal to find God (or become enlightened) and be whatever it means to be within this presence. Total correctness of relationship. I studied in China for a little over 10 years. Lao Tse who was the head librarian of the imperial archives in a nation during a time when nobody could read. Everything is in its place.
If one manifests the energy of a specific phenomena it does not mean the individual is "that kind of person" it simply means they have manifested one specific energy that exists. They were concerned with the nature of reality and not appearances that had been the focus of their previous life. The right wing crowd tended to go away and live off in the mountains. My teacher Liu put it very well. You have to put this in some sort of context.They really couldn't care less about what normal society considered to be important. or the energy of healing is a thing. they are not it. This secretiveness is because more liberal minded folks throughout history have usually been persecuted. Taoists in general are extremely open minded. If they have had a tendency to hide and not really let people know who they are or what they are doing it was to avoid persecution. but the capacity to let what is. In taoist meditation the object is to develop as much energy initially as possible.e. or put four or five people together inside a cave and not come out for 50 years. They become energy junkies. They had absolutely no concern for anything that society had to say to them. or the energy of the mind going to a certain place is a thing. The full focus was directed towards understanding the essence of their being? Eventually it came to the question of: what is all of that out there? They were not casual. Then there are the left wing people who tend to make the hippies look like right wing republicans or the daughters of the American revolution. It is just what it is. They didn't particularly care what they looked like. One of the things that always amazed me about a number of taoists in China is that whenever they would involve themselves in a particular subject or activity they would manifest the actual energy of what they are doing. There are so many different energies that manifest in the Universe. There is nothing they would not do.. but who at the next second could turn into something that would make Ghengis Khan seem like a friendly fellow. It does not have to be something different from what it is. That is usually what traps people in the early stages. He said you would be better off with a heroin or opium habit. they are open about their practice. it is not them. Wanting to force it to be something that it is not. when meditating and doing the things involved in meditation would be smooth to watch. This is certainly the case in China. The energy of fighting is a thing.wanting Qi to be different from what it is. The taoists really want to understand the energy of something. nor were they flippant. but not from the point of view of obtaining power. After continuous practice over a long time. In most cases." it is only a "something" you use. They were very serious about the subject of the essential nature of themselves and the universe.. conservative and liberal). For example. is one of the greatest challenges. Within the whole taoist structure you have the right and left wing crowd (i. Because you only need the opium. just be. in the martial arts you would see a person who. and didn't give a damn what people thought of them. Most people find that very difficult. that was what it was. . the ability to create energy allowed them to simply accept that whatever an energy was. They didn't care if they upset people. and that was fine. Part of getting rid of the sense of confusion is to be able to simply accept that Qi is what it is. As soon as one life is over. It does not mean that something can not be changed. It can just be whatever it is and through this process one gains a tremendous acceptance and love of life. It is much the same way that if you change a shirt "you are not the shirt. Most human beings spend their whole lives fighting whatever energies are around them.
then one's spirit will never convert to emptiness. if you get addicted to psychic energy. These consist of qigong. one learns to put one's mind inside the liver to make it start . As an example. Because as one's spirit increases. The body's circuits get to a certain level and shut down or shred. If without maturity one starts moving towards some sort of spiritual power. It is a safety valve of sorts. as one starts moving into the world of spirit. When the spirit starts opening up and you start converting Qi into spirit it can burn out an unprepared nervous system. it is very important that one begin to know the facts about the directions life can take. one naturally begins to have what is known in the West as "personal power. My teacher Liu and I spent a long time on this. The first step is simply to cleanse the physical body of whatever energy is clogged inside of it. 80 years old. Everything that is done sitting down can be applied when making the mind internally balanced in the midst of what ever situations in life we find ourselves. This is absolutely necessary before going further. 70. To avoid this kind of disintegration one needs to master the basic exercises. The core of these taoist practices were all sitting. to get rid of it. But. Here we are not yet talking about taoist standing meditation but about Seated meditation. They never go beyond the basic condition of what is inside them from youth. People often tend to pursue things that are very trivial at this point. A person will do things to blow it off. This is so that the mind gets to a point where it can communicate with the physical energy of the body. It is a predictable and unfortunate cycle to fall in to. If one stays focused on this power. most human beings are still living out the neurosis of their childhood for all practical purposes. As one's spirit starts filling. In taoist practices a tremendous amount of energy has to be developed inside of the body in order for it to be converted to spirit. Upon reaching 50. falling down. Without this level of maturity. This early stage is critical to master. Very commonly people's bodies can not handle what occurs in the spiritualization process. you will find the situation of awareness gone egotistical. All the basic practices of Taoism are geared toward your becoming a mature human being. It is considered "the big trap. This leads to the cycle of getting so much spiritual awareness that you can not productively channel it. It goes with you. again falling down. These initial practices in Taoism have a number of basic exercises. to destroy it. They are still living things which occurred to them when they were small children or young people. again coming back." As a matter of fact virtually every esoteric tradition in the world holds the view that "the big trap" is to be hungry for power. In the first level of taoist meditation one spends a long time learning to become a mature human being. With that you become physically healthy by having the basic energy channels in the body open and moving. and basic standing and Seated meditation.the drug addiction is finished." One gains tremendous power which is often not obvious. or one must throw away whatever one gathers in order to be free. The character of the practitioner must be developed so he or she is beyond these traps. one can either only become a power tripper. You must develop past this. the desire for psychic energy will endure for countless rebirths. 60. It will not be something that you drop with the life that has initiated this habit. It is a cycle consisting of putting yourself in again.
the basics of taoist meditation are taught using a 5-step Nei Gung system. You need to have no distraction what so ever. In terms of the system I teach. In taoist yoga the external movement of the body is created when postures are entered into by specifically moving energy in the body. Taoist yoga can also help form this foundation. Standing meditation is better for your body and general health. sun. because when you sit. your glands and your spine are also included rather than purely going for a large . Sitting meditation is better for everything we are discussing here. Standing meditation to a certain degree is a misnomer. internal organs. In Taoism you need good sitting practices. all of which exert major influences on the human body. There are numerous energy lines in the body that are directly connected to the consciousness of a person. This is not. Qigong is really not meditation. only acupuncture meridian lines. as many people think. must literally be controlled and moved by the conscious ability of the meditator.secreting. although you may also make those conscious. It is the easiest to learn and forms an excellent preparation for the demands of sitting. glands. or through taoist yoga which is something like a more simplified Hatha yoga where the focus is on what is happening internally below the skin rather than external stretching movements. which is exactly what gravity exerts on you if you stand or move. for example your muscles. functioning as one completely integrated internal unit. Ultimately it is your sitting practice through which the goals of internal alchemy and meditation are realized. To call it meditation is a bit dicey. planets and the moon. thereby forming the necessary infrastructure from which to start sitting. Its purpose is to open up the channels and make you strong as a horse. Everything. These are basic awareness exercises. By moving the body in this fashion literally your organs. The initial stage of taoist alchemy begins with bringing to conscious awareness all the essential energy flows in the body. the way in which their spirit works. Your whole body literally breathes and moves as one cell. it is fundamentally important in that you have the whole of the body internally connected. certain basic sitting or standing postures. and in the way in which their Psychic capacities come out. It is important that you have the capacity to start moving with the natural pulsations of the energy of the earth and the different energies that are within the earth. the brain centers. When your body is strong the effects of gravity do not distract you as you sit. Before you can accomplish this you must learn to put your mind in your liver. These have a major effect on the way in which they think. ligaments. One learns to walk before learning to run. although you can work meditation in to it. qigong. the fluid around the spinal cord inside your spine. This is commonly taught through taoist arts like taiji. Involvement in the first stage practice usually is not even taught in terms of Sitting meditation. to at least have an awareness of what is happening there. It is analogous to wanting to see God but not even knowing how to feel your head or hand. Those basics of taoist meditation all have to be learned first. the way in which their body functions. It is aimed at getting control of both the physical body and the body of Qi that makes a human being function. 5 elements and the different energies that exist outside in terms of the stars.
Under normal circumstances each individual has their volume of personal and individual Qi energy. Under normal circumstances you might be able to visualize your liver but not feel it. to a point where not only just sex. The energy that is created when people have sex makes it so much easier to get into contact with what the actual Qi flows of the body are. There are distinctly different types of personalities within the five elements. After he had fulfilled his obligation. but food and carnal things are somewhat necessaly to fulfill their basic nature. But.stretch. One very important consideration when one studies taoist meditation in depth is the discovery of what . he never had sex again in the rest of his life. Besides using the methods of seated meditation and taoist yoga you also have the use of the sexual meditation techniques where two people practice. and devour libraries. This is very important. In sexual qigong you would gain the capacity to feel your liver in time right down to the cellular level. but not toward the carnal pleasures of the world. Because you are able to increase this energy (this again is during the first stages of taoist meditation) you start to make the energy within the body very fully conscious. Because he was a Confucian. Some people are extremely prone towards literally wanting to deal with the psychic nature of things. read. he just found the idea of it absolutely uninteresting. You have to go with what your particular body energy type is. Sexuality is what is responsible for the body. With regard to sexual meditation. as he had such a powerful metal energy that he was born with (he was an intellectual of the arch degree) he could sit. It is not that they have a belief that one should or ought not to. As a matter of fact most of the stretches in taoist yoga tend not to be anywhere as extreme as Hatha yoga which uses a different methodology. Without this input their natural energies would be destructively suppressed. have more energy to awaken your consciousness. while some people are not. gaining the same enjoyment a carnal type of person would obtain from sex or food. some schools do it and some schools don't. The sexual techniques are somewhat easy since human life was brought forth from sexuality. My teacher Liu Hung Chieh explained that every human being is composed essentially of 5 elements or 5 phases of energy. Other people have different balances of the 5 elements which will make them predisposed essentially towards intellectual pursuits and physical things. There are schools in Taoism that very clearly are celibate monk schools and which believe that one should completely abstain from sex. The object here is that through doubling of the Qi each of you. he was obligated to produce offspring for his family. An illustration of what I mean is your relationship to the inside of your liver. Your consciousness grows so that nothing escapes you. instead it is usually practiced by people who: A) have never had an interest in sex to begin with or. Some of those phases of energy are conducive towards people having extremely sexual personalities. It is not that he disliked it. both partners. Master Liu for example only had sex in his life to have children. B) people who are not so inclined towards sexual desire due to the composition of their body/qi systems within the 5 elements. but when you actually engage in sexual practice you may be able to build energy up in effect as if you were four people.
You start working with the energies that are responsible for what we know as physicality. The modern media of the United States for many years has tried to induce this behavior. . and since you are in a physical body. the hero does not always get the girl. You use the dissolving process to release any knots. Now one starts to find where the blockages are inside both the Qi body and in the physical body and the corresponding emotions related to these blocks. whereas a metal person would want initially to focus on Qi practices to develop mental clarity. For example. if you wish to make a successful film it must have a happy ending. if you watch European films. This is the subject of emotion. Things don't have to work out.one's physical body and ones Qi body are. but are not used the same way and employ a different methodology.your ability to speak. After one gets past this first stage. or pain into pleasure. the soundtrack must be able to raise and manipulate emotions to an extent that has nothing to do with normal daily life. After the dissolving practices there are transforming practices. These initial stages in taoist meditation are concerned with the capacity to feel. These energy lines run the body in terms of your physical ability to have bodily functions. These essential practices are really quite similar in effect to the tantric methods of India and Tibet. These begin with the dissolving practices which literally release any bound energy that's inside you. These are all the memories and everything that is not present at the moment that has a tremendous impact on you. If you so choose you can change one energy into another. to see. and has the Qi of the physical body on line. For example. a person with a preponderance of the earth element would initially concentrate on sexuality and making the body very strong. You move through all the different channels and related areas. It must incorporate a tear jerker. bindings or condensations of energy in the physical body or in the Qi. they do not have to win. For example. you can turn anger into joy. one starts doing several different meditation practices. At this next stage of the emotions one has developed some understanding of both the physical and the Qi body. There is an extreme tendency to pry emotions in that sense. During this process one begins to go through what the Cinese call dealing with your ghosts. Once you are able to become fully conscious of what is inside your body. The United States is a relatively emotionally immature nation. This is your ability to feel and to be fully conscious of whatever is inside your body. some will have sad endings. then you go for what is fully conscious inside your Qi. It does not remotely parallel normal life. you need to deal completely with the fact of your physicality. The Western world tends to be dominated by emotional issues. The next stage that one moves to in taoist meditation is the one that is of great interest to everyone in the Western world. Those will be the energies they tend to focus on internally. to hear. This is especially a factor in the United States. It is believed that since you are on the Earth and not a discorporal being. flexibility and making their body very flexible and strong. It is vital that practitioners become completely clear what essential energies are important to them. Where as in America. One starts working with all that has to do with Qi of the physical body.
The emotional body techniques for the water method of Taoism usually involve the dissolving practice. People can have emotions that are formed in childhood. jealousy. ." "In taoist meditation a worthy student was one whose emotional suppressions were such that the individual could feel that what was emotionally arising within themselves was essentially their own responsibility and not being caused by something outside themselves. Behavior patterns resulting from trauma are kept in place by energy blocks. or even formed in the womb. The lower level emotions are basic hate. sickness. A person may come out to be a fighter because of the actual struggle that they had when they went through 10 or 20 hours of labor. They talk about birth. anger. viciousness. is one of the four causes of suffering. I can give you a quote from my forthcoming book on bagazhang (Ba Gua Chang) which deals with this question: "Psychotherapy is more appropriate for dealing with the dysfunctionalities of a level of emotional development where taking full responsibility for one's emotions is not yet within an individual's capacity. In modern life. Another person may have literally given up in the womb and had to be sucked out. you have to make a living and interact with other people. wanting only to be happy. You can't withdraw to a monastery or ashram where all your needs are taken care of while you work through your problems. old age. People actually have things from addictions to depression that are locked in from birth. The water method of Taoism is initially strong on the dissolving. The fact of the matter is that he may. By dissolving these blocks the behavior patterns may disappear forever. These patterns affect people in many ways other than just what they are consciously remembering. depression. greed. after a while it breaks the sugar down. The birth trauma is something which for example in Buddhism. all the gross attachments. These experiences can be dealt with effectively through dissolving practices previously described. vindictiveness. The water completely emulsifies it. one does it to purge or to open up all the lower level emotions. The meditator would then be able to use their emotional meditation methods responsibly to resolve their inner conflicts without blaming or attacking others for being the cause of their misery or selfinflicting pain or death to get back at them. The fact is that the birth trauma can be immensely destabilizing for people. He will simply repeat his pattern. or the breaking up of energy in the same way that water wears away a rock." When one starts going through all the different ways of dissolving or working out the emotions. no. They may have depression for the rest of their life. It is important in the school I belong to. However this happens only if the dissolving process is 100% completed. wanting to get back at people. and his wife was a flaming redhead. Frequently I am asked if this method of taoist meditation can replace the need for psychotherapy. If you throw sugar inside of water. If they had to fight their whole way through the womb it can pattern them for life.As an example a man may have had a tremendously horrible marriage and divorce. at any time he is around a redhead. wanting only to covet. Many and hundreds of different things can happen. want to start the 3rd World War. Generally speaking. and death.
This creates a pattern that comes back in.All of these basic lower emotions are dealt with by first ferreting them out of where their energy is embedded in the actual tissue of the body. for example. In the next stage of the game there are. If you do not clear out your own energy fields beyond the body. That is what astrology is based on. left and central channels of the body starts becoming very important. Practicing how to move energy through your channels and for what purposes. When you are working with sexual qigong techniques you are concerned with essentially making the body function optimally. as well as into your internal organs. secondly by actually going into the energy channels of the body where they are located. The field that you start generating can go anywhere outward of 15-20 feet from your body. then all energies coming in from an external environment activate the unresolved energies in your own personal Qi. This then starts tying in with Seated meditation methods where you are beginning to work with emotional energies that go outside your body. Their effect on the emotions is not necessarily massive. At the level of clearing out the emotions. The dissolving techniques also start reaching further at this point. Regarding the emotional residue (for the people who are not celibates). and finally dissolving them all the way inside the system. At the Qi level you start learning how to move energy specifically when making love. When you start reaching the emotional resolution stage in making love via sexual meditation. Sitting has the tendency to have the greatest effect and the moving techniques are in the middle. Your own personal field has the ability literally extend to the end of the Universe. This causes you to be somewhat manipulated like a puppet by the energy emanating from the huge Qi fields of the stars. How do you make every nerve in your body really come alive? How can one have an orgasm at any point in the body? How do you have an internal orgasm? This is at the physical and Qi level. When you start reaching into the emotions it is important you start tapping directly into the glandular system. The methods for example of standing meditation are usually appropriate for working out the physical body and the Qi body. qigong or taoist yoga methods. methods through which these transformations are done in taijiquan. At this time you start having a very accurate sense of your emotions going outside your body. The focus is on how to improve your awareness of . There are so many techniques it depends upon which ones are appropriate for a particular type of person or a certain situation. the taoist sexual meditation techniques now make a fundamental shift at the level of working with the physical body and working with the Qi. the process becomes much more interesting. Purposes such as healing your physical body or setting the stage for being able to extract and transform your emotions later on. I am not going to get down and just talk about this technique or that technique. We will address how to integrate the benefits of meditation into one's taiji practice. The issue of the right. Then you start to literally transform these emotions as they extend outside of your physical body. baguazhang. In August 1994 I will be teaching a one week retreat devoted to the taoist meditation practices of taijiquan. the emotional factors involved with astrology should be able to be overridden. The ability to dissolve energy becomes very powerful. That is like a cook book approach and the fact is that human beings don't quite work that way. The celibates practice primarily by moving meditation and seated meditation.
and the San Francisco Bay area. and seminars in New York. but is concerned with relieving the other partner of what ever bound emotional energies they have inside their system. For more information about his videos. oriental healing. Sexology: how to make love better.. No. Finer not only for yourself but for everybody who is there with you.QI THE JOURNAL OF TRADTIONAL EASTERN HEALTH & FITNESS Vol. and martial arts. They have all this in the West too. Qigong. Sexually each partner not only works on their own blocks. Sexology is how to have better sex. and 2 years in India. books. This is where a human being who has not been capable of intimacy finds they become capable . You will create a much finer world in which to live. to start working on dissolving the emotions of other people. if one wants to do certain practices while seated or during sex. how to have a better time. you find that you personally will do a lot better. You double your internal awareness if you practice sexual meditation. SUMMER 1994 Kumar Frantzis: An Informal Discussion on Taoist Meditation . and resolving and/or transforming your emotional blockages. He is currently finishing a Bagua book. one observation made by both the taoists and the tantrics is that if one is able to emotionally do whatever one wants-without harming others--if you share this wealth.internal emotional energy as it relates to inner space. Xing-yi. how to like your partner after it's all over. double your practice. At this stage of seated meditation in Taoism there is concern with techniques for not only dissolving the energy blockages of your own personal garbage. As a matter of fact. dual cultivation. That is basically what it is about. At the stage of sexual meditation you are starting to deal with the emotions. If you choose to you start using the sexual energy to begin tapping into your primary emotional difficulties. but starting to work with and extending this to other people who are near by resolving their blocked energies. That is reasonable.e. how to have more fun. author of the book "OpeningThe Energy Gates Of The Body" has over 30 years experience in meditation. 4. as well as London and in Germany. internally. At this particular moment in time your own awareness has increased. It is a favorable time. you get double your awareness. doing what you want for yourself with as many people or situations as possible. This becomes a pretty important issue whose implications reach far past surface meaning. 3 years in Japan. He is a lineage holder in Taiji. and Baguazhang. and intends a future book on Taoist Meditation Practice expanding on the information contained in this article. One is practicing sitting meditation at this stage of involvement with the sexual meditation techniques for emotional clearing. how to have more orgasms. i. Because you simultaneously practice these two methods. Bruce Kumar Frantzis. This is an effective and beneficial practice. Boston.Part 2 YOU COULD SAY THAT THE initial level of the first two stages of Taoist sexual meditation are Taoist sexology. including 10 years full time study in China. 2. An Interview by Sara Barchus Part l .
In Taoism and to a certain extent in modern psychology. Their mind becomes naked in front of you. Christianity and all the old traditions it is said the body retains memories from the womb. At this next stage you become conscious of the energy inside the body that is not really physical. The dissolving techniques are done to literally dissolve the whole of the body piece by piece. the buts. Then. even from the time you were a DNA molecule. The Qi is a part of the body. . It is referred to as playing around with the ghosts inside of you. It is the same thing in China too. focusing on essence. First one must become conscious of their existence. then drive it inside the core of one's being.of intimacy. How many people can genuinely say they have gone past their parents? How many can see their parents." Teachers in all spiritual traditions recognize that all these things from your past that affect you very strongly are like demons. but is making the body happen. Those memories are conditionings. Commonly these memories do not allow a person to act or be mature. The Taoists used to say "You want to have children-you should transcend the negative influences of your parents. until everything that's inside a body is dissolved. It is not a major goal like the West's psychologically based sexology. and the people they grew up with. In fact most sexual tantra you see around in America today is really about how to be intimate with your partner and enjoy sex more. demons. There is nothing to be intimate or not be intimate about. not appearance. inch by inch. You wish to produce a spiritual child inside yourself--you must go past your parents. They learned it as a side effect of meditation. for long term satisfying sexual relationships. This goes beyond images of oneself and others. We tap in to cellular memory. one must literally disperse and convert the energy. and devils. When you get down to dealing with the core energies inside a human being there is no choice but sharing. most of which you are not even conscious of). This is in the context of becoming a mature human being who has decided to be fully alive. One uses the sexual meditation practices to release and balance all of one's bound emotions systematically and consistently over time. Buddhism. purely as human beings? How many relationships are reactively lived out? Very few people can claim this attainment. Within your body's energy are stored memories of what we have done from the day we were born. They become naked in front of you. This is the fuel through which one produces spirit. As your body cultivates increased Qi you have to be extremely aware. One is constantly being thrown back to the past. The next development incorporates what in Taoism are called ghosts. You have to deal openly with the situation for what it is. then to emptiness and finally putting yourself on the road: the Tao. There is a mind-body energy interaction that is undeniable. It is not much more than sexology. the ways energy of your mind was compressed into shapes. with dissolving techniques. their brothers and sisters. In China they call these internal demons (the traumas. Returning to solo practices. The more profound stages of sexual meditation practices involve converting emotional energy to spirit. the ifs. This is a basic situation concerning human relations.
It takes a certain amount of courage to do this. brain. That is why people take drugs. Everybody's got their horror stories. it is as though it does not exist anymore. If one is thorough and meditates completely then things will just change. From Liu's work I personally became free of my own internal demons. It is a very strange thing to literally go through terrors in meditation that are stronger than anything you've experienced in your life. the change feels as though it permeates past. That is why people get drunk. One gets born. That is what people have Prozac for. To you they are real. the Qi starts moving. The circumstances of ones birth and what one was born into are not always under ones control. and the internal organs. Virtually all of the cells of the body are scanned. to go far beyond states of physical and mental relaxation.e. The purpose of meditation is to become aware of the center of your being. They will strive to attain all of this only in seated meditation by themselves. This is the nature of changing the spirit. At this first level of Taoist meditation you have as I have said before. muscles. These methods for dissolving the demons inside the body are initiated by systematically moving through the energy of the whole body. and that is why people go to sleep. It will seem as though. it is not a question of getting rid of negative emotional and mental states. it is Qi. there is always another time and place where people have had a slightly rougher time. Eventually dissolving the internal demons. No matter how bad your circumstances. but were you tortured systematically for weeks or months? Did you have to watch your families assassinated. They keep you from living whole. However. All of the Taoist meditation techniques systematically start releasing these internal demons where they have settled inside the body. The dissolving process gets rid of these knots. One must to some degree react to these inner emotions because they are etched into the various components of your being unless you do something like the Taoist meditation practices.over time. Whether these knots that are inside of you are from events that you remember and watch. or memories that come from past lives or when you were in the womb. Through these practices one can systematically dissipate these knots. When you get to the point where the energy just releases inside you. The right wing crowd is usually conservative. one can not become natural. At the level of the mind. They want to take that energy and convert it to spirit. You may have been raped and locked in the closet. and killed and tortured by inhumane politics and governments? These experiences are pretty standard in Chinese history." It is going to bite you. For you these impressions block your energy. it has always been that way. there is very little difference experientially between events that you considered to be real fact. figments of your imagination. Once the body gets unblocked. one is a fool. As long as one has any internal demons inside oneself one can not truly become relaxed. nobody had perfect parents or a perfect childhood. gaining the capacity to simultaneously dissolve the glands. the level of the energy inside a person. and will always be that way. they are real. It is just gone. spirit and emptiness. One commonly overlooked point in all meditation traditions is that if one wishes to meditate to only become relaxed.. In China they call it "jumping into the dragon's mouth. and memories that have no factual basis but are stored in your subconscious. distinctions of practice between the left wing and the right wing crowds. i.. present and future. .
I am very active in the world. Disasters and turmoil become the impetus for meditation practice. Because that's how they get their place in the world. That was his way. Life is not perfect. They can accept that people have limitations. The way he taught me is different but still within the water tradition. So. afterwards trying to take it into their active life. the Tao practitioner moves towards this freedom from one's conditioned emotions and conditioned thought patterns. A child can not. A mature human being can forgive people. Have you ever met the child who doesn't want the gold star? It is a child's perspective. In this next stage of practice you start dealing with mind and thought and where thoughts arise from. one starts becoming mature. because it is not easy to grow up. including sex. They are quite clear the way life must be. A practical application is set to work directly. They can relax and function amidst life's imperfections without the need to be recognized or to condemn. Children want things done according to their wishes. Practitioners use these situations and energies of real life. He himself was the right wing type. This challenge becomes a great powerful focus. my teacher in Beijing taught me the active water tradition. right now he's a major real estate tycoon in Hong Kong. should be. Maturity is a necessary prelude to profound spiritual cultivation. one is ready to start working with their internal spirit. and ultimately Tao. Though it was difficult. The difference between a mature human being and a child is that a child is always quite sure of how things ought to be. as a tool to transform their internal blockages into naturalness and internal harmony. he was a virtual recluse in the middle of Beijing. one realizes that what happens in life is that people are different. But once one has arrived at this particular level of practice. business and so on. For example. both safe and dangerous. politics. We are now on . on the spot. What an individual needs to confront and do is take whatever Qi is bound inside of the body's Qi and emotions to convert them to spirit. They play very actively with the world. In order to move through life and become mature. Often they try living in small communities so all their attention is focused on the subject of spirituality. to look at what life is teaching. As a matter of fact. That is the stage of Taoist alchemy where all ones energies are converted to spirit. Because the Taoist objective is to take this Qi that is bound inside of the system. they get very fussy. You are beginning to move in to what the Chinese call the shin (hsin). In the left hand way you are going to meditate and will start finding that you are going to deliberately go into lots of situations where you can fail. But he managed.They will achieve it by having a life that is fairly quiet so that they can gradually disengage from the distraction of worldly life. but also ones self and life's events. A mature human being finally comes to the realization that quite a few things are just how they are. The radicals (if you want to call them that) will do all of the sitting. At the end of that road as one goes through and one starts releasing the energy inside oneself. emptiness. has got to be. in the context of day to day surroundings. It takes years and years and years of practice. and transform Qi into spirit. His other student is also very active in the world. This realization is not just in terms of other people. and they do what they can. and if it isn't. Deliberately moving the energy coming up in them as situations happen in life and moving into these situations consciously. They usually live away from people.
I'm going to drive my car. I'm going to buy a bottle of milk on the way home. .the edge of alchemy in this mental level. You had to come into existence sone way. and how it differs when it arrives at 23rd Street. Most of us right now are very capable of recognizing that "I think". One realizes that one's body goes out. We jump. At the next stage is where one starts dealing with the psychic energy. The world now ceases to be so solid. The cellular level dissolving techniques tend to be very important until you get to the stage where you start dissolving through the mind flow. You are able to recognize this. A person's mind starts going out farther and farther from the physical body in the psychic stage and this is where they start being able to genuinely recognize energetic cause and effect relationships. Usually people simply cut off and become absolutely numb and rigid to it." this thinking of course is thought. "I have something in my head. and then through the emotions. Why does this world exist because it could also not exist. When you arrive at the stage of consciousness you start using all sorts of techniques to unravel the knots in your consciousness. we run. But when you start going to where the consciousness that literally can travel from birth to death from birth to death is generated. You start finding out what your thought is. The major effect of this part of the training is to start getting you aware of the core of your being and accustomed to working with it. It is as though in New York City its starting on 59th Street and this stuff is coming down and coming down and coming down. This world had to come into existence some way. But you have started tapping in to the capacity to discern what this energy is when it starts transforming up at 42nd Street. Here one learns to understand and work with the unseen world. I say 2+2=4. we scream. when coming near the core of our being run like hell. This middle ground is where you start dealing with the mind. I'm doing the laundry tomorrow morning. You literally follow the stream to your direct consciousness itself. I've got to get insurance. completely unaware it is happening. Most of us. Where do things come from and why have they manifested in a particular way? Why do you wear a shirt and khaki pants right now. Through this you start to perceive the place where thoughts originate. until eventually you hit where thought is actually being produced. So this next stage becomes extremely important. or why are you sitting down at this moment instead of being up on the roof dancing? Why does this building exist . where everything you know comes from. we get out. The state of denial that arises from that core awareness causes people to sometimes go from the beginning to the end of their life without resolving really major issues in their life. if we are lucky we scream. This usually is a very destabilizing period for people involved in meditation. You are starting to move towards the center of your being. which is why they were born to begin with. and coming down and when it finally arrives down at First Street it manifests. One is not fully immersed in it. After the psychic stage you start dealing with the cause of manifestation. In order to deal with these things.instead of not existing. At the level of mental thought one starts working with the techniques of the heart and mind. in other words. The thought you hold for this next second comes from somewhere. and the consciousness that generates your thoughts. but is getting there. There is the question of a thing called manifestation. you have reached the middle ground.
It is also a great temptation to want to play with them. This stillness is the basic context of all the classical schools of Lao Tse's Taoism. the fact is that for everything you can perceive which might turn into a wonderful thing. sincere effort and work. You are simply hearing about the news before it arrives. They are called nei dan. you will have to deliberately rewire and transmute your system to be able to allow them to pass through you without you being affected or affecting them. but only to increase internal awareness so as to free the individual from their internal prison. you are now going to start transmuting the . It is like knowing six days in advance what the stock or bond market will do. there is also potential for it to become a disaster. and it's another thing altogether to be humble enough to allow existence to operate when you have the power to manipulate it. At this stage you start to enter in to the practices that are alchemy. as the expression goes. The process of doing everything with alchemy has begun. There is no intent in Lao Tse Taoism to use this knowledge for power. but you will still be trapped within that environment if you don't get past it. It is difficult to not be side tracked at this point. they separate the men from the boys. or separate the women from the girls. So this is the real problem. Much of the ability to know what you will know. the magicians in Taoism. The psychic stage has to be where essentially they come and you are not affected by these forces. However. This is the stage where.Your energy is running about and you are experiencing these various things. very difficult stage because most people at this point start learning how to not only to get the message. With the passing of the stage of meditation. the consciousness being unmoving and completely comfortable with itself. That is all well and good. In terms of meditation you can manipulate the environment all you want. It is extremely hard because it is one thing to have the attitude interacting and trying to get something from it. This is not magic. but what are the mechanics of it. Now that you have some of these energies coming down from manifestation. It is a very. Some of the Taoists. but won't manipulate it. It takes a great internal strength to leave them be. It does however require a lot of honest. forethoughts of what will happen in the future. You are not and must not be attached to them. How can you stop things before they hit you? How can you play with and manipulate these energies in order to find a way of transforming your mind and essence until it is still and unmoving. This is the beginning of what in Taoism is called learning to discriminate between the real and the false. During the process of practicing these various exercises we have passed through the stage of meditation into the practice of alchemy. where does one find peace in all this complexity? At each stage of the practices it is important to remember that one must arrive at a place where any yin and yang energetic relationship have become balanced and comfortable with each other. You go beyond being influenced by them. When these psychic forces come down most of us are very powerfully and directly effected by them. This results in what the Taoists call jing or stillness. but there is a question of what is real and what is not real. play with these things to manipulate the environment. I don't know anybody whose gone through the game who hasn't spent five or ten years being bounced around like a ping pong ball with this. You might ask. It becomes an extraordinarily tricky phase. you must see all of this and clearly understand at this point you are not causing any of this to happen. the ability to cause events.
or the place inside you where all of these events that occur happen from. the interlinks. Your natural awareness is simply squeezed into a straight-jacket. and for that matter. All of the emotions in the body have practices that one can use to turn their emotions in to opposites. and then when you go in. Your physiology creates tremendous internal sensations. You find yourself traveling to places astrally. until finally a human being just finds their place in the universe. putting it quite simply. At a stage of maturity in Taoism. deliberately playing with the energy that is inside the spine. Is the energy very condensed. and the Taoists just keep on ad infinitum. The body now has to be changed into something that is capable of receiving and maintaining these energies. There is as much space inside of you as there is in the whole known and unknown universe. the Qi. fear can be turned into courage. This is in terms of both going inside yourself or expanding to the edges of the universe. your mental states. and getting to the point where you start working with the many energy centers inside the brain. you work very clearly with all energy lines that have to do with functions in the body. As this releases. Through feeling these sensations we experience not only our emotional states but may decide who we are. deliberately working on your internal organs. Emotions are converted through meditation so we are able to consciously transform our emotions. Anger can be turned into love. it is to also go in as far as it is possible to condense in. you are experiencing different levels of condensation. and linking it to one's mind space. intentionally changing the energy from one organ to the next. getting more energy is about the capacity to let that which is out go out. your mind. There are about four or five thousand energy lines you work with in Taoism. The fundamental principle of alchemy is that things exist in gross and more subtle ways. There is as much inside of you as there is outside.cells of your body. During this stage of Taoist meditation you start by doing the initial (but not advanced) work on the internal organs and then the glands. . Your glands contribute routinely to all aspects of your physiology and therefore. once you get past the first one or two hundred it really starts getting easier. Although that may seem like an impossible number. or spread out to where it has no boundaries? When you are dealing with energy that is needed inside the body. The most important piece is how you connect one energy line to another. as this becomes more open the naturalness of the capacity of your mind and body comes out. your emotions. You are going to start changing your genetic structure. Once you start to get into Taoist alchemy the presumption has already been made that you have completed the practices of becoming a mature human being. You find that others are also traveling to places. In one sense. You are able to liberate these basic negative conditionings which are stopping a person from becoming mature. In the process of going through all of these changes inside you. there are many and very deliberate ways one accomplishes this. The Taoists have games to make you realize what is out to drive you in. to drive you out. What we think of as emotions are in reality our neural transmitters or organs or glands relocating energy. A major consideration is to be able to unlink the energy of your glands which is the cause of all sorts of emotional rushes in your physiology. the psychic level.
I just want it to stop hurting.. My foot is hurting me. to use phraseology of the West. This has to do . drive. in other words. There is no "boing gng". when instead it is necessary to transform those emotions to neutral energy." There is no ahhhh. woe is me". "I get angry". you must clear out attachments for everything you like. You start changing things inside yourself.". You genuinely work with the energy of the environment. This alone does not mean that I take responsibility for my foot. It would be nice probably if it was. I got it. The truth of the matter is. So you can let things be what they are without what happens in the world influencing your consciousness. One needs to understand and transcend everything to do with ones foot. the five elements. How many people like to endure pain and mental anguish? Very few. Especially when working in the middle and upper tan tiens there are three tan tiens we practice in Taoism all of the time. What you have to do is work on things which are most aggravating. As you begin this challenge you are still taking responsibility for your practice. one now has to decide if one wants to take responsibility for one's own being. Whatever term you want to use when the point of view in Taoism is that it doesn't really have a beginning or end. bad. But what about when you start doing away with things that you like most in the world? What about this issue of dissipating everything that you greatly desire? You start aiming for a great degree of equanimity with these desires.. and all these things which I am sure you have heard of. Stillness in essence and practical function becomes the guidepost when you start doing internal alchemy. The Buddhists say "one will break the wheel of reincarnation". Up to the stage of becoming emotionally mature you don't really take responsibility for your own being. There is no brass ring at the end of the journey. but this alone is not an indication of entirely taking responsibility truly for who you are. One does not just suddenly traject to high off distant places. "I get depressed". At the later end of this process comes what is even more challenging and difficult. street. a Christian will say. "I wish. However. you just clean your toxins out. It is a great and genuine challenge which has troubled everyone who has attained the Tao.Once one has reached this stage. First you clean out the internal garbage. The fact is that as one goes deeper and deeper into meditation one just simply gets involved in the essential nature of how things are. the earth. and the ugly to truly take responsibility. that alone will not lead one to the Tao. become one with the Godhead. One will only move and operate from the level of Qi awareness in accordance with personal development.. You see it's very easy if you have a trauma to take an attitude of. but Taoism is really not amenable to accomplishing that. You may take responsibility for your practice. "oh. In one sense this could simply be very selfish and self motivated. the avenue. both the good. "ah. That is a perfectly valid reason. all of the negative things that make life exceedingly difficult. it only means I don't want to be in pain. From then on you really begin to practice. you begin working with the channels of the body. exceedingly problematic. "I get sad". But when you sincerely start working on these things you start finding out that probably the most single difficult part is having genuinely to take responsibility for every single individual action you take internally and in the "red dust" of the world. of the sun and the stars. There is no big enlightenment experience. Most people can relate to this kind of freedom. One thing that I should tell all of you is that in the water tradition of Taoism they think the whole concept of enlightenment is a load of nonsense." The word Tao means the way.
working with the channels of energy in the body. There is a thing called human limitations. You start finding out that everything you are doing really doesn't matter because it does not exist long in the grand scheme of things and yet has profound temporary effects at the level of Qi. What develops is a mentality of "I want my thoughts to win. you to the earth. You don't get the body of a normal human being. what naturalness is through love. Your spirit does not particularly have a limitation but your body and mind definitely do. Something changes." Everybody has to fight. you to yourself. They are genuine in this point of view and do not use this philosophy to justify being a selfish. you to the stars. and then working with the states of mind that go with it. and all of that. Working with the three tan tiens of the body in the level of alchemy starts becoming very critical. Bear in mind that the concept of democracy is totally alien in China. . The heart practice in Taoism is very strong stuff. something starts happening to your physical body. Your body starts molding into what your mind really wants. You gradually learn the genuine relationships between what is and is not conscious. As you start getting into the upper tan tien practices you start becoming aware that there is more going on than just here on earth. Not necessarily your own." They think the human morality system is all hog wash. One starts having to take responsibility for ones actions. You to people. Then they try to look at things in terms of practicality. Then you have the upper tan tien practices which have to do with time and space. The basic function of society is to keep people from starving and to keep the trains running on time. They genuinely don't believe that anything is good or evil. This is the work of the heart. It's not a matter of "there being no good. That is what you start finding out about. or evil. I don't really know quite how to describe this. So that as much harmony as possible can maintain its continuum in any situation. different ideas of right and wrong simultaneously existing in different parts of the world. destructive fool. let's just shall say. and literally going beyond time and space. I don't think that anybody has ever tried to say that there has been a particularly enlightened or even sensible society that has ever existed for a terribly long period of time. The Taoists are a funny group in terms of ethics and morality.with your body and it's the way of understanding. What has that got to do with essence. A very strange idea. Because when one starts becoming aware of spirit and emptiness. Only the most lucky and evolved of human beings don't learn by the school of hard knocks. That's how societies stick together. Everyone basically learns the hard way. Today different issues and events go on. brood. you to things. The cells start changing. so go ahead and steal or kill for my interest. Which has essentially to do with relationships. What the essence of the situation is. you slowly but surely start realizing that almost all the good and evils that you are aware of is based on and is being created by an immature human mind. The object now is that in the process of changing the body into spirit and moving the energies. consciousness or the Tao? The Taoists always focus on what the essence of something is.
The objective behind the fundamental driving core of Taoist morality is to start realizing the morality of the Tao. Or at least realize the morality of emptiness. This is very hard. Because if someone does this, they will become the most immensely moral human being you are going to meet. They will never do anything that is really silly. But then the Taoists are known to be pragmatic. Most people don't operate from that point of view. Even if they want to, it takes them a long time. They slip up every once in a while. My teacher Liu would go on about how at their spiritual core: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and actually even Islam (there are millions of Muslims in China), were the same. There is essentially no one point of morality that the Taoists take. Clearly there are Confucian Taoists and they will have lots of points of view about what's correct. The full sense of the basic root of Taoist morality is the golden rule, "do unto others as you will have them do unto you," given your level of awareness. If you don't want or are unwilling to accept something being done to you, don't do it to someone else. If you can actually see it would really be a good thing to have done to you, do it then. They don't have it as any sort of thou shalt and thou shalt not, because there really isn't any point to that, as this creates human morality which ultimately will pervert itself to satisfy self interest. Once you start moving at the level of spirit (especially when you move into the realm of emptiness) it becomes plain that rules, you must and you must not, you should and you should not, are usually created out of peoples hidden agendas. That is what politics are about. "I want you to do this", and if it really comes down to why they want people to do it, the motivation is that these people have finally ascended to their political position and they want to use that political position to satisfy their own self interest. They want you to do it their way because it is politically advantageous and lucrative. They will explain it in many ways with all sorts of euphemistic double talk. Ancient China had a tradition where the ideal was the sage king. Philosophically the ideal ruler was one who was highly spiritually developed and had no need or desire for secular power. This person had usually lived as a solitary hermit, cultivating the Tao until they had cleared out the internal blockages in their being. These sage kings acted from a spiritual point of view where their concern was for the people, the nation and its future and not for self interest and benefit. Historically over time when the emperor was not a true spiritual (son of heaven) China slipped into nepotism, dynasties declined and the people suffered. These are the things of man. These are things of immaturity. Taoist morality is about tapping into ones essence and slowly but surely working into what the essence of the situation is. Being practical with it. You can see why they have had a lot of problems with human morality in China where killing or torturing ones opponents has historically been considered to be a political modus operandi. America would be a solid Confucianist culture in Chinese terms. A Confucianist is not that different from a bible thumping Baptist. "If you do not do the proper thing in the proper place," they seriously contend that, you will: (a) go to hell; (b) should be ostracized by the entire community; (c) you should be damaged in some way. That is it. They will feel absolutely right about the damage they inflict. Sometimes they might be right, they may be right, they may be wrong. It is hard to say. It depends on the situation. Often the love, forgiveness, generosity, and redemption aspects of Jesus is given less then full attention.
This morality that gets developed is one that has to come from very deeply inside a person. The more one contacts essence, the more one has the experience in converting spirit into emptiness, the more moral one becomes. Taoists do not necessarily have any of the conventional moralities of any of the religions of the world, and yet they will start living to the very best of their ability like a Lao Tse, Buddha, or Jesus Christ. This realized way of life is the fruition of all spiritual practice. The Taoists achieve it by the methods I have described. In the water method it emerges naturally as obstructions to ones health at all levels and awareness are dissolved. In almost all the Taoist practices the major channel of energy being worked with is not terribly different in mechanics or structure from the yogic point of view, or the tantric point of view. Basically all it originates with the DNA helix. Putting it quite simply, when human beings are born the essential capacity of yin and yang, and that which is beyond both, is locked in. The central channel of energy in the body is that which is beyond yin and yang. The right and left channels of energy in the body are what are responsible for manifestation. As these two lines start moving together they cause their currents to spin throughout the whole body and make all sorts of interlinks we call energy channels. These interlinks, besides producing energy in many of the tan tiens, are places where Qi focuses. This is essentially where consciousness can be tapped into.That marks the shortcut, the route into the right place. This is one factor that is a great problem. The neo-Taoists are responsible for the obsession with energy channels for their own sake in terms of their ability to manifest power. The attitudes of "I want to live 200 years", "I want to live to be 1,000 years old", "I want to be able to fly", "I want to be able to leap over tall buildings with a single bound", "I want to have the power to have this, and this, and make this, and that, happen". The neo-Taoists tended to have a super fascination with fire, force, getting there, opening your channels, having powerful awareness of what they can do with the energy they are producing, and that kind of thing. That is what I did when I was younger. Believe me I am really aware of their point of view and spiritually it leads to a dead end. It does not make one spiritually free. What you have to realize about the major channels of energy in the body is that when you start moving into consciousness, when you actually start becoming aware of spirit and essence then it starts to emanate. As we know there is the romantic concept of love in the West. But everything being perfectly fine as it is, and truly as fine as it is defines the Taoist point of view on love. The opening of the energy channels of the body in meditation must be done so that genuinely your spirit can move to contact others, and contact other energies of whatever type you come across, internally or externally; about who should or should not have the opportunity to become aware of their essential nature in a fashion that causes them to live. In a fashion that causes them to grow. Just like the sun. Just like the moon. It is not an influenceable power. It is something that eventually comes, it is that which is opening up inside you. You then spread out through the rest of the rest your life and then into space beyond the earth. This complete openness to whatever situation comes up is very critical in the Taoist way of thinking.
There are numerous meditations in Taoism. The basic process of internal alchemy is initially done by feeling. You are going to feel energy. The Taoists believe that you can feel energy. The capacity for feeling is inherent to life in a heavy gravitational field, i.e. the earth. The Taoists believe that you can feel energy, only because you were born on the earth. A highly condensed energy field. Their opinion is that upon dying, you will still see and hear, but you won't feel anymore. Sight and sound are all you get when discorporal. Where you are right now is a seriously condensed energy field. This is your densest energy body of which the Taoists believe you have eight. Like the eight trigrams of the I Ching. At this level of density it is very important to become comfortable with your body. Your body is about feeling. The easiest way not to feel things is to literally disconnect from your body and go into your brain (i.e. get stuck in your head). This capacity to feel then moves into sound and visualizations later on. The Taoists have a very refined method of using mantras and sound. They also have many methods so that if one group of methods doesn't do it for you, don't bother, you can get the same result using a different practice. You can purely go through feeling. At the later stage in Taoist alchemy there are ways to do it primarily through visualization or through sound frequencies and feeling. In the end what they want is for all the external systems of the body to become completely alive internally. They take you through progressive trainings. In terms of what I have seen of the point of view and of energy as it manifests in the mind. The only tradition with an endpoint that is really coming from a similar place as Taoism is the Dzogchen tradition in Tibetan Buddhism (a practice integrated into the Nyingma and BonPo schools of Tibet which seeks a direct realization of one's innermost nature). It was not originated by the Buddhists. It was around even before Buddhism even showed up. The geographical area where Taoism was very active and the Dzog-chen tradition come from are very close. Tibetan Buddhism in general is the fire tradition all the way. There is very little in Tibet that is not fire tradition. That is their thing. No maybes about it. The Dzog-Chen Tradition is similar to Taoism but by Way of the fire method. Lao Tse's method was the water way. My teachers way was the water method. The gentleness and the letting things be when they get inside of you; a tremendous degree of deep relaxation, this is the Taoist way of doing things. It way of practice is not the same as the tantras. Many of the methods the Taoists use are not dramatically different in end result, it's just the way they go about it. They are much looser. The Taoist inner meditation tradition is not ritualistic. The water method tends to be a lot softer. But don't confuse softness with weakness. A tidal wave is pretty strong too. The whole method of letting everything just come together, with full effort and yet no strain is a real hallmark of the Taoist water tradition . The subject of going from emptiness to the Tao is one which must be directly transmitted to the student. No verbal or written explanation can suffice. Those sort of things have to be done directly from the teacher to the student. I should probably talk about the teacher student relationship in Taoism. In Taoism there are basically three ways the teacher student relationship is handled. If you are with one of the old ones consider yourself lucky. Lao Tse actually means is "old one." If you are actually with a person who is a full blown Taoist (my teacher Liu was one) you are with people who pretty much have mastered what is inside of them. The relationship
with the old ones is usually very quiet and immensely respectful. When people tend to get that old and they are nearing the end of their life, you don't want to be so rude as to disturb them. Grace and respect are imperative. That is the best way I can put it. The younger Taoists in the water tradition, who either are realized or not, tend to have the point of view, and the way in which they operate is that they don't really orient so heavily towards the master/disciple point of view in terms of external respect or guru worship but place great emphasis on the inner connection between the master and disciple. The neo-Taoists placed heavy influence on who was the teacher and who was the student. That relation was extremely binding in terms of required responsibilities and obligations between teacher and disciple. Most of the well known stories that are about Taoism have the people and the immortals in heaven bringing someone down to earth to do this and this and that. These stories are usually referring to the neo-Taoist tradition. In the water tradition of China there is the consideration that all are friends in the Tao.That respect is something which comes from deep inside a persons mind and heart. The outer show of it is not as big a deal. It is not immensely rigid and formal with all positions in the hierarchy being clear. In most religions, for example in India, if you don't know what a guru/disciple relationship is there is no need to worry, you will be told pretty quickly. You're going to get told what to do, how you should do it, how you shouldn't do it, and you get chastised if you do not behave accordingly. To a certain degree the same is true in the Buddhist Tradition. The Taoist tradition is one where they genuinely believe that the natural respect of the student towards the teacher has to come from the inside out. Most of the time if you don't give it to them they'll just shrug their shoulders. It's not much differently from the way a child will come up and do something silly. It's somebody else's kid and even though they come to you, it's ok, just go over there, hope you had fun, hope your mother takes you home soon. Seriously. There is no sense of force. With the Buddhists, the Sufi's, the Hindu's, and the Christian traditions there is a tremendous sense of what and how shall we behave to the lama, priest, guru, monk, and so on. The Taoists are a little more watery. Which also allows them to be quite a bit more human. If a person has genuinely decided that what they want to do is develop their essence, then they are now pointing in the direction where they will reach the end. Once genuine resolve to develop ones essence has been made, you will move until you get to the end of that road. I will put it this way, you will move until you are on the road. It doesn't matter what that person has to do to initiate this. Whether it takes a day, a week, a year, a million years, you are going to get on that road. The road is the Tao, the spiritual essence of a human being which is changeless and beyond influence. At the end of the day you are going to be on the road, and you will be with friends practicing the Tao together. Knowing that this bond of respect for the Tao exists in both of you Taoist masters tend to treat their students as friends rather than as underlings, even though at this point in time they are superior. Their spiritual point of view is very long term. You start from that position of spiritual evenhandedness and act accordingly. That is pretty much the way this teacher/student relationships goes. Unless you are with one of the old ones.
As time goes on the spiritual process ripens and things happen. Tantric Kundalini meditation in India and Taoist Meditation in Hong Kong and Taiwan before studying in Beijing. All I can share with you is what I learned in Beijing with Liu Hung Chieh for a little bit over 3 years. In the three years I was with him he taught me all that he could. love. His recently published book Opening The Energy Gates of the Body: Gaining Lifelong Vitality (The first ofThe Tao of Enhancement Series by B. That is pretty much the basic substance in alchemy. rather it is something that comes from inside. it's intense. Not as intellectual information for the satisfaction of curiosity. If they are not one of the old ones then it's a bit Like family members. no where to hide. Bruce Kumar Frantzis began studying meditation almost thirty years ago and has practiced Zen Buddhist meditation in Japan. by the end of the day he is your brother. but he's your brother. Although I feel my capacity to communicate is only a faint shadow of what the late Master Liu Hung Chieh taught and what the depth and richness of Taoism has to share with the world. Your brother can be a total jerk.K. This is the type of realization that can not come from formality. I wouldn't say I was a terribly bright student. The work from spirit to emptiness is fun. Then what is inside of you. "There's no where to run. You also. who is genuine. harmony and balance. They deal with the essential issues of spirituality in a beautiful way that is relevant and applicable in daily life and beyond mere theory. shall we say. Or your sister does really stupid things and sometimes you want to throw her out. As a matter of fact I was a total clod. Regardless of what happens.Then all I can say is if you come into someone like that. follow their lead and be happy to even be in the same room with them. or tell her off. These practices have been proven by the test of time and have been perfected in some of the most sublime and arduous periods of human history. she is your sister. learn a few lessons along the way. You are going to go through some nonsense but in the end you are still going to be brothers and sisters with whom you seek mutual respect. practical and beneficial in today's modern world as they were thousands of years ago. When one genuinely gets involved in meditation (this to be true of all traditions from what I have seen). it's wild. once you really decide to get into it. it is a 24 hour a day involvement. it is going to be all right. both pleasant and unpleasant. In the Taoist tradition he adopted me as his son. Frantzis--Published by North . What happens after that is better not put in an article at this moment in time. and you do sometimes. be very respectful. You may choose not to talk to them for years while they get their act together. I sincerely hope I have done my best to introduce you to what I experienced and learned about Taoism during my ten years in China. Once you do that. Taking the bitter with the sweet goes with the territory. I think the Taoist traditions are as vibrant. you ultimately will spiritually end up fine." You have now made the decision to fully engage your life. I think those are things which should to be told to individuals when they have reached particular stages of practice. Your brother hits you against the wall because he thinks you need it. but I did the best I could. It is the nature of love. it's interesting. It is like the famous Joe Lewis comment to Max Schnelling before their world championship boxing match.
Why? They are afraid because they're fixated on something. Equally take a person who's the nastiest person in the world. Since for many people the biggest fear they have in life is change—they can't or won't—the primary focus of living the I Ching is the consideration of change. People can get stuck and become fixated for 10. Frantzis. Whether you're trying to go from one chi gung movement to the next. although physicists tell us that this is not the case. and put him/her under the most horrific circumstances and he/she might turn into the nastiest individual you're ever going to meet. that matter is actually nothing more than a bunch of fluxing quantum particles. What happened before is going to happen again. wait a second—what is here is just coming together because of a specific mix of times. No. so you think you've seen the most beautiful man/woman in the world. An Interview by Sara Barchus QI THE JOURNAL OF TRADITIONAL EASTERN HEALTH & FITNESS Vol. and intends a fiuture book on Taoist Meditation Practices. Oh. going from one meditative state to another or going from one event in life to another. what ultimately allows this change to happen. although in exactly what way is hard to predict. what we did as solid—as if it all exists. from walking the ba gua circle to changing directions. First and foremost is that you have to somehow arrive at the ability to move past being stuck so you can "flow.Atlantic Books. Every moment in time carries a shadow of the past and in many ways the future is nothing more than a projection of the past. places and conditions. Yet we take everything we see as solid. Take a person who you consider as the sweetest person in the world. and he/she can turn into the nicest person in the world. Berkeley. Well. He is currently finishing a BaGua book. Every moment in time is unique unto itself. stabilize and become somewhat continuous? Somewhere amongst all this change there is something that doesn't change. they're stuck in good or bad experiences they had." Second is that most of us take all appearances as reality. his/her body and face changed. you must be able to change. or perhaps they're stuck because they have been influenced and captured by psychic forces that exist. Some people are afraid of change. Change happens. Autumn 1994 Surfing the Tides of Change Everything changes. They're stuck in what happened in their childhood. 4.000 reasons. there is permanence—a permanence that carries no shadow. for example. Excuse me. 3. We take the idea that you're here as solid. He/she didn't go anywhere but changed occurred. We take the idea that I'm here as solid. we see an object and we think it's solid. To understand . CA) is available in bookstores or by contacting Mr. have a look at him/her 75 years later and see if you still think so. The nature of change is that you have to have the capacity for it. So. they're stuck because they read something in a book and somehow created a mental picture in their mind that this or that should be a particular way. The ability to let go of where you're fixated and be able to be present to what is always there is what allows change. let him/her engage in enough meditation.
Humility arises when we acknowledge that we do not have all of the answers. "His joss mighty good. at the right change. they're just a play of the energies in the universe? You must continue forward. Sometimes the energies at play don't care what you do because no matter what you do it's going to be a mess.the flow between what changes and the permanence is the first real big step to dealing with change. had an important company refuse to buy his product. Let's assume the successful person is Bill Gates. He could have just as easily. You could say it was the old Asian phrase that was made famous in the book Tai Pan. he/she neither assigns too much credit nor excessive blame to him/herself or others for successes and failures. The next step in truly living the I Ching is the capacity to recognize the energies that are at play in a situation. without getting too upset regardless of the outcome. Then again. do what you can and not allow yourself to become stuck. Everybody's got a fear of change. If you think something is you're going to have a really hard time flowing through it. At the end of the road you free yourself and that's truly the living I Ching—it's about the way life really happens. at the right time. In Bill's case it all worked out. Many variables had to come together in order for the changes that occurred to happen—events that were bigger than anything in Bill's life. For fun. necessary to go through what it takes? If you do life is easier and if you don't life can be harder. some of the dumbest most unintelligent people in the world have walked into gold mines and oil fields. You get stuck on what you think or feel about it. The first can respond to unexpected difficulties with "Oh well. let's say you had two brilliant people in the field of computers. what are you going to do?" and dust their . same talents and so on. In the midst of all the moving and changing. or had a boss who decided to cut everybody from their jobs leaving him unemployed for a year without any forewarning. A conservative may have a fear of change." which means he was lucky. the warrior spirit. Both people had the same intelligence. In this way you can begin to understand how energies move and the permanence of emptiness from which everything is derived. that whatever the changes are. at a critical juncture. a liberal may have a fear that things aren't going to change the way they want. A popular statement is that life is a living I Ching. but what does that mean? Simply that everything is constantly changing. Of course he'd love to take complete credit for his wild success as many in his position might. yet one will become incredibly successful while the other can never achieve anything more than a minimal life. Two people in the exact same circumstances can see things very differently. all of which are real flows that can and do happen in life. He walked in the right door at the right time and got this or that contract. How it all works out is the living I Ching where you can go deeply into the energies of the trigrams that comprise it. To get past that fear you have to somehow move into the realm of emptiness. but Bill Gates was consistently in the right place. otherwise you can't stop resisting change and you will continue to become stuck in various ways time and again. In the case of a spiritual warrior. Then the questions become: Can you recognize the subtlety of the energies? Do you have the capacity to recognize the emptiness? Do you have the perseverance. the question is: Can you go into that empty space in the middle of the I Ching and recognize. In my last newsletter I talked about the fact that the warrior spirit enables us to accept that a certain amount of luck is involved in everything. Sometimes the energies at play allow everything to go incredibly well. As a result two people can have the same talents and abilities.
While another person can spend the next 20 years of his life tearing himself up. hating everybody and everything because his expectations weren't met. you could potentially live thousands of lifetimes. In the martial arts game. Then again. Thus it might just be that in this life you have the spotlight that illuminates everything around you with easy success. So there are these different shades of grey that come in different directions around these subjects. However. what you can say is that he has internal freedom. blah. Something can activate inside him or her bringing things together-that person wins and you lose. people like to compare one opponent to another and then assume that the one that seems to have absolute confidence will beat the other. However. He advised me to make a choice right at that moment between one of two things. Well. My teacher Liu once said something that I've never forgotten because it shifted my entire view of life."—blah. Well. well. okay. even though a lot of people believe that's all their lives are about. if things work out and everything goes well. but not this time. yet at a moment in time an energy can come up and for some reason your key doesn't fit in the lock. In terms of the I Ching. Maybe it's true that the next five million times you would beat him every single time. but equally you can go through thousands of lives where this is just not the case. so I had better know which I wanted. at a different moment in time you could just as easily not be the best. However. You might have heard the phrase "Be careful what you wish for because you just might just get it. He has become fixated and can't change in the way the universe is changing. the whole point of living life is not about wining or losing. but is it really true? It could be that changes having nothing to do with you led to the victory. but what about the 10. blah. whereas the first person is able to change with the universe. You may be better at a given skill than anybody in the world at a particular moment in time. All anyone can possibly do is the best they can. . we follow it up with "I'm the best. The Chinese would call this an overemphasis on saving or having face. something happens. He said: "You can have face or you can be happy. The living I Ching is simply to learn to first become comfortable with change and later to learn how the energies are evolving so you optimize your ability to flow with them. a lot of people could be as rich as Bill Gates. In the West. Whatever it is. then you probably won't be able to use it. I expressed to him that it would have been better if I had won. if you take an Eastern approach of karma." it usually is in terms of one single point.shoulders off to give things a go again.000 things that are connected to it? It's equally possible that getting what you thought you had wanted might make your life completely miserable. flip out and obsessively try to make things happen the way you want. Then again. what about all the times someone had absolute confidence and lost? If everyone always hit the jackpot every time they felt they would. given the way things change. And so the I Ching churns. all of a sudden the stars shine on your opponent." When most think "I want this. This is not to say that downstream things will always go better for the first person who-he may have something even worse happen to him. regardless of whether or not you stress out. that doesn't mean that if you are prepared in every way that opportunity is going to knock. if you don't prepare and opportunity comes along. for example." He explained that I was going to make this choice millions of times in my life. After something happened to me. So all you can say is that events happen in life. frankly speaking. In fighting you might be capable of beating every person in a given competition and clearly be better than every one of them.
meaning it's neither here nor there. If you look at the nature of change. giving no quarter to anything inside you that prevents you from persevering. meaning it's important. Most fears simply vanish. it means that you're going to have to go out and fight. Now for most people this is terribly unrealistic and not something they want to do. most people haven't got the guts to tackle. You might only see what it is at one point in time rather than all its changes in the grand scheme of things. "Jesus and everything is love. which are nothing more than changes. for truly living and experiencing your life. That said if you want to be a spiritual warrior. that is not dependent on your external circumstances. As you rid yourself of fixations and begin seeing the nature of how fixations work. but then again so what? The sky didn't fall. you do the best you can and you can't ask more of yourself. If you are a real warrior. Christians say. Everyone loves the concept and it's not that the concept isn't wonderful. . Now we begin to see the many ways people get fixated. "Compassion and wisdom are one" and Taoists say. and that's all there is to it. which causes a lot of people's fears—whatever they may be—you reach a point where you can flow through all the changes of life. Not too many things in life are important. uh? Surviving Modern Life with the Warrior Spirit Many people talk about "peaceful warriors" to the point that it has become a cliché. you are someone who will fight every battle that has to be won until you become enlightened. Everything in the external world is about changes." This is a very fundamental point in terms of the I Ching. kill them and be involved in war. but actually doing it is rough. the wood from the tree goes away and turns into water. At the end of the day. no genuine happiness while there is fixation. So maybe you don't get what you wanted. We simply have to accept that the best we can hope to do is try to surf with the least amount of grief. "Everything furthers. at other times there may no way to do so. You begin to recognize the space that's free in the middle. Sometimes a situation can be surfed well. Everything is constantly one thing morphing into another. As a matter of fact the majority of people who have to go through war really wish they hadn't. equally. The idea is really great. A rock in a sandstorm turns to dust. The Chinese have two great phrases: one is called wu suo wei." Buddhists say. This is the living I Ching. Real compassion is not dependent on any circumstance. at least from an Eastern point of view. What you will find is a sense of the universality that pervades everything—something which is ultimately and absolutely critical for a genuine sense of compassion to arise. the earthquake didn't shake down your house. Ultimately there is no freedom. the other is yo suo wei. Martians didn't land and eat everybody. in the classic sense of the word. It's a fairly courageous act and one that. not to mention an oxymoron because war is not peaceful. a tree springs from the dirt. the dust moves around and turns into dirt. who has anything besides their life? Are your possessions your life? Is your bank account your life? Is your life the praise everybody does or does not give you? There is something inside you that is free. you can surf the tides of change to the best of your ability. frankly speaking. beat people up.It's also to recognize what matters and what doesn't. It all boils down to this: How much do you want to learn and how skilled do you want to become. So.
swords. Likewise. not if they're going to be a soldier in any time or place in history. then it is fair to say that warriors have the spirit to win.If we look at some of the qualities that warriors have. the first is perseverance through hardship. but warriors don't kid themselves that winning a battle is winning the war-not if they're going to stay in the military. Well. not the politicians who order them but the warriors themselves-is just to get through the chaos alive and intact. They have to deal with the immense grief of losing people and it has been said that the friends you make . All warriors know that there is a certain amount of luck involved in everything and so the seeds of genuine humility are sewn. often times. They must come to the realization that they are human and human beings don't always get it right. Dying or being maimed for the rest of your life is not a wonderful option. in sports and business everybody jumps about and pounds their chests with shouts of "We won!" and then the rewards are passed out. embodying the warrior spirit is useful because in daily life we have to compete. octagon. becoming accomplished or winning competitions of any kind. so you want to win. make money. In the face of defeat they simply state the facts as "I did my best and we lost" without trying to justify their actions. Only in the rarest of occasions do warriors always win. Not everything will go your way and when it does it's usually not all about your good actions. Recognizing this possibility and the skills needed to get through it alive are very valuable metaphors for the way in which we approach life: making money. However. magical and godlike. track. undesirable deed. There are thousands of people on the battlefield and you can get hit by an arrow from behind while fighting the man in front of you. field. On one level. arrows or by hand there is no person who wants to lose. you can't get too carried away with your expectations and complexes about how responsible you are for what happens because at the end of the day no one knows how much they're going to win or how much they're going to lose. It's what they do. except maybe for a day or so to blow off some of the pressure. If you want to talk about competition and winning. bows. and even the high-rise building-but not for the battlefield. soldiers are known for having very close relationships with one another. intelligence. They must stoically and objectively assess what did not happen that needed to so that in the next battle people remain alive rather than die. The hero mentality is best saved for competitions-the mat. Equally. They seek to win a war knowing there are going to be many battles and they do not make excuses for failure. nobody who fights in real wars glorifies the victory. and if we always lose then we end up with less and the trials of daily living become dramatically harder. rink. They have to be capable of and willing to see things for what they are. True warriors actually have to do their best to get it right even if it means going back to completing an unfinished and. Most lose some battles and when that time happens there is a great tendency to fall down. ring. to internally disintegrate and to find themselves in direct conflict with how they thought they were wonderful. whether fighting with guns. In war the biggest concern of the average soldier-not the high-ranking generals. They're not humble because they should be rather because they have the realization that thinking or believing they have all the answers is terribly unrealistic. ingenuity and creativity don't always have the same luck-some end up being incredibly successful while others are not. Real wars are not about duels as portrayed in westerns or duels between two samurais. Conversely. People with equivalent talent. If you're on a battlefield. They have to be realistic-not crying into their beer when they lose nor jumping up and down after winning.
The warrior spirit rises above the natural tendency to internally disintegrate. the "Oh my god!" and the wishing for death out of exhaustion. legs or eyes over it. The warrior must be ready to fight when the next battle presents itself. so any move can be fatal. With humility all genuine warriors take incredible risks while carefully examining whether any risk makes sense. For most of us. real courage. banding together to participate in marathons and getting involved in all kinds of competitive challenges. The difference is that businessmen might lose their money. Many of the people who rise up to the top and become successful at anything-business. If it's there to be had you take it and you learn how to take it. The news covers fatalities. married couples may divorce or the star batter may strike out. Many people just don't have the kind of grit needed to pick themselves off the floor when everything seems to have gone wrong. girlfriends/boyfriends. The ability to have genuine perseverance that breeds courage under the hardest of circumstances is the warrior spirit. stronger than the ones they have with their wives/husbands. but not too many of them lost their arms. We see a lot more soldiers with artificial limbs. you might not be around long enough to take that self-delusion any further. blind and so on. If the person next to you doesn't cover your butt. sports. Good warriors accept human frailty because in war you see human frailty all the time. This quality is very sadly lacking in civilian society. It's the indomitable warrior spirit that goes forward. What comes with that is the ability to carry the baggage-self-sacrifice-for those who could not carry it for themselves without dismissing the people who lack the courage. bound in wheelchairs. Good warriors also accept human courage because in war you frequently see tremendous human courage. this spirit is immensely valuable both in terms of the joyous and the horrible events of life. but there are boatloads of others who have been seriously injured. which can be embodied by any of us who are up for the challenge. most everything is going their way and yet their own internal world is so unwarriorspirit-like that they can't even enjoy what's right in front of them. You can witness this spirit in some of the kids coming back from the war in Iraq. The warrior spirit enables us to get past even the most tragic and desperate events.in the middle of war are friends you keep for life. family members and other friends because the bonding comes from what you could call the ultimate pressure. If you have the attitude that you're so great that everything is going to work out just fine. Warriors have the ability to catch and find happiness at any moment because in war you might only get a few hours a month where you really can be happy. you're dead. In fact. They carry forward with disparity all around them yet are able to appreciate the delicate balance inherent to the human condition. Modern technology allows us to triage in a way incomprehensible 30 years ago. In war you're up against a whole army. . Yet if you don't take some calculated risks you're absolutely going to be filleted for breakfast. they often become the strongest relationships warriors have. fear and grief. politics-have usually gone through trials and tribulations. The spirit of a warrior can be summed up in two simple words: humility and courage. Many people in life have every reason to be happy.
they have bragging rights along with an identity based upon the benefit. When you consider anything that has to do with meditation. and a lot of people say they get bored. you cannot reach a high level of excellence unless you are doing what you do because you like the journey. We think: "Wow! I'm really getting it. And.For Love of the Game or Ego? We currently live in an extremely over-marketed society and you could sum up marketing at one level as getting people excited about a given benefit followed by affirmations . However. well-run economy. you really have to love your game because you don't know how long it's going to last. Now. it's not glamorous. but without which you never fill in that road. It could happen that it takes very little time." You're inside and you feel as though you're being opened up step by step. Suddenly. the development of an entire region is possible once that road is complete. However. but you just have no way of knowing.accurate or not . or self-cultivation at any level. it's not glorious. You see. the prestigious title or acknowledgement of some form.that they have achieved the benefit. You actually have to like the roads on which you must travel. You have effectively arrived at a point where you've bulldozed enough to see a furrow as to where a road is going to be laid down.they want to win a marathon so they push themselves to run 26 miles and constantly train. the point from which that hole is visible in the ground to putting black top over it is a lot work. But what is rarely acknowledged is that few can really take running to its heights unless they actually like running . then. But. Well. In the time that seemed to be . you're looking to have the road finished so you can beat your chest like Tarzan or sit with your knitting needle remarking. subject or sport. very. Only a very small number of people will do things purely because they will get brownie points. Most people who are working on building a road have no sense of where that road will go . A lot of what is involved with chi work is going to take you through very long plateaus to where you are never going to have any idea about whether you're progressing and this process could become mundane. and there's a lot of work that occurs in between. the nature of chi work is a bit like building a road.they get some degree of joy from it. you find that you go through a very. The work is invisible.all the transportation and movement that can occur because of it. very long period from when that furrow in the ground was visible until it's actually black topped or cemented. if you get bored it's because you're looking for the goal. some people can just get in . This goes much further when you talk about chi work. are given proper consideration and time. The nature of going from a plateau to all of a sudden having a period of "Wow! Eureka! I got it!" is that you get excited because everything is happening. When this moment in time arrives. "Isn't this a beautiful quilt?!" You want something for show. this process is not what drives people who really want to achieve excellence in any field. Most of us have distinct growth spurts when we feel like good results are happening. Let's say you want to build a large. So it becomes very important that the act of delving deeper inside yourself and fixing and developing all the little things that don't have the dramatic glory to them. the idea that you're ever going to get something is blatantly false.
There was no guaranteed outcome . All of the awe-inspiring moments are going to cease if you do not go through the plateau periods which are not glorious or glamorous.an enjoyable or at least worthwhile process in itself. it's setting the stage for the second floor.rooting and finding out that which is not working inside you. And. you go through another period of.you start developing. the question arises: What makes people capable of persevering? And. Only a gross egomaniac could keep on doing that for six to eight hours a day. Although before the second floor is actually built. You love getting into your energy . During this phase. recharged because a whole new vista is in sight and your inner world opens up. Now he clearly must have had within him the ability to be an insanely gifted natural athlete although he didn't have what it took to be on his high school basketball team. it is your infrastructure. the places in your energy that are blocked . you actually love doing whatever chi practice you're doing. So you push. "Wow! These amazing events are happening!" until effectively you arrive at the point where you need another road. virtually nobody can just say. fundamentally changing what was weak inside of you to becoming stronger. so he got into what the game was: the dribbling. you can now start driving trucks over it . Essentially you were changing the way your chi was ambiguous to setting all the conditions so it could become clear. depending upon the level to which you aspire. dribbling up and down the court and all the other fundamentals. each time a floor is complete it's a great event because you're reaching another level. upgrading your internal workings. At this stage of the game.you'll go through them many. He just liked basketball and he really wanted to play. throwing balls one after another. Plateau points make the difference between whether you will break through to a low.you've got to go through the hard work to actually construct the road. eventually you could take the murkiness of your mind and go from that furrow in the ground and construct a paved road. So he practiced basketball: throwing baskets. "Well. you're in the same position as if you had a hole in the ground . You are back to working on the infrastructure. If you are meditating.he simply got into the intrinsic nature of the activity he loved. The fact is that you actually must enjoy the game.boring you were building your internal infrastructure. the places in your mind that are mucked up. many times. The answer is quite simple and it's not about the hype and need for yet another identity. . fakes and the movements you have to do on the court. become re-enthused. but more than that he didn't have the ability to really go inside himself and dredge out what was in there. many.it's doubtful that a kid in his position could foresee becoming a mega NBA player. instant-gratification society. middle or high level of accomplishment. well. I have to keep practicing if I'm going to end up at the other end. stressed out. His playing ability is one aspect. every day after school for a year just on the basis that he wanted to get back on the team. So. If you have the first floor of a building. the work that seems to be boring that is actually setting you up for future development. Michael Jordan was originally cut from his high school basketball team. When the road is done. Michael Jordan knew he liked basketball . Of course. you're not going through a plateau phase once with chi work . In this case." This is especially true in an over-marketed. here again.
but you can't necessarily know how long it will take to construct. I asked my teacher why he didn't teach meditation and he replied that most people don't want to learn it. Can you have a long view? And. telling you how wonderful you are or how to practice?" I had a vague idea of where I was going. Yet it's the little things that will eventually help to create a stable foundation for your road. maybe you need to think about the kind of work force you have. If you're genuinely interested in meditation. if you keep at it. the way your body works. It became obvious that what I needed to do was to keep looking for that which didn't allow me to practice. one day the road is going to be completed. inspiring you. but when it comes to doing something on your own free time there has to be an intrinsic interest in it. it's not always exciting handling all of the tiny details. Each minute detail contributes to the strength of your road and whether only a kid's wagon or a 50100 ton truck with who knows what loaded on it can go across. for example. it's not always glamorous making sure you get all the rebar placed properly. However. Now. When I was learning people would ask me. Next. I wasn't turning my waist to 45 degrees and definitely not turning to the back. meditation work is not something that you're getting "paid" to do and. What kind of machines do you have? Did it rain so no one could come and work for a while? Or. I went for actually doing movements while internally connected. as a 19-year old. You need money to live. unlike the construction workers building roads. which I was able to do eventually. You know if you are building a road that. that still doesn't get you anywhere because you're missing all the other nuances needed to construct a solid road.For Love of the Game or Ego? Part 2 Not everyone wants to learn about chi and not everyone wants to learn to meditate. as well as that which allowed me to practice. However infrequent these peak experiences. You set the stage for what becomes possible to open up inside you in each previous phase. it's still about getting psychic heroin though. I wasn't really moving much more than three or four inches off my center line in either direction. the way energy flows inside you and the ways in which your psychic capacities and karma manifest. First I started to become reasonably flexible. In later conversations he explained that it has a lot to do with the fact that most people can't get into what meditation is and just forget about where they're going to end up. can you practice chi gung/qigong and tai chi for six hours a day on your own without anybody watching you. And. you'll have to find some love in being in your inner world and feeling the chi of your body. goading you on. in our culture people will do virtually anything if they get paid even if they hate it the whole time. When I began doing Cloud Hands. I . Maybe some people are willing to do a lot of meditation work and continuously practice simply for an incredible sense of happiness and bliss. The considerations for meditation really are no different. "How in God's name. When it comes to meditation. as opposed to getting high as you release all sorts of neurotransmitters in your brain. the way your mind works. can you actually enjoy-become completely absorbed intomoving each little piece of dirt around. shoring up whatever is necessary so that the ground underneath doesn't collapse? It's not always sexy stuff pouring concrete. giving you brownie points. you will enable yourself to hit bliss states every once in a while. did you get slowed down because the heat got up to 120 degrees outside in the Arizona desert? You know you'll have a road.
that was money. On the other hand. I gotta relax. half of this place has been eaten by termites!" My remedy was to take practicing moment by moment. Wow! I can feel this is disconnected. you don't always see rotten wood until you go up in the attic.000 a year and having money means making $100. minute by minute. What someone else says is wonderful or poor doesn't much matter. For Love of the Game or Ego? Part 3 You say you practice tai chi. Go to someone making $100. It felt amazing to be connected rather than disconnected when I finally got there. you don't really care about people's external validation because you're living it. you might see someone who does tai chi really well. My youngest son would take the coins and mush them around. weaknesses would present themselves even though they did not always show up on the surface. he seems to have . money!" Now. I want to be relaxed. It's all terribly relative. however. Every time I went further downstream. You actually have to start looking inside the walls until. Take a person making $20. It's happening inside your mind and your body. Most of the time. "Wow. When my children were younger and every time I would come back from Europe. They would just kind of come up. At most all of it together was maybe two bucks. "Money. "Oh. You're practicing. You've got to love your game. So you can do tai chi. I'd always bring home a collection of coins from any country I visited.000 a year income." It was a minute-by-minute proposition. I would go to one side and it was a whole new ballgame from the other side. they were up and I wasn't standing there with the idea. but I know what's going to happen this next minute because I'm living through it. it would be nice if I weren't tense. but I had to go through quite a bit of practice before I could actually get what it felt like to be connected versus disconnected. to someone who was three years old. Actually they would go up and they would go down and they couldn't always stay up the whole time." I only got as far as.000 a year income and money is having a million or five million dollars a year. I never did a six hour practice session. minute by minute. I could feel this or that as being tense and think. When you're remodeling a house. I love my game.started looking at every single component as I moved. The things mucking up. I kept doing an endlessly repeating series of one minute practice sessions. or maybe down in the basement. People who know nothing about tai chi might say. I knew the variables were going to change because my insides were changing. If I did a swing or a tai chi move. every day. "I'm going to stand here for six hours. your movements are so beautiful" when the person they're looking at is more likely than not doing tai chi at a very basic level. I used to end up having my arms in the air for six hours at a time. every single time I finished a little piece." I just kept going. my God. have to do with your subjective experience. but are you really into the game of it? If you are. or even upgrading your mind and body. throw them up in the air and shout. money. What's going on now? What's changing? What opportunity do I have to get the show on the road? I don't know what's going to happen a thousand years from now. "It would be nice if I were connected. I'm clearly not. "Hey.
You have the choice to link with any living being. you will be happy-you will effectively have this identity or that. the earth also changes. "What's missing?" And. If you have a very old house and you decide to remodel it. And just as what is most active in your body changes from day to day. When you're doing work purely affecting you on an inner level. and you open to yourself. Markers of accomplishment will help drive you forward a bit. They look more for what's missing. computer or car. the computer is a computer and a car is just a car. is through their consciousness. You have to be in it for the game. For some people it's playing with numbers. Meditation might. but most scientists who do serious research love the process. And.something special about him. you don't do it so you can beat your chest like Tarzan. dancing. tai chi or meditating. soap is soap. Just as you have a consciousness. but what really drives people forward is that they actually want to understand the nature of the activity they're doing. they're always asking. Taoists hold the position that the earth is a living entity with a consciousness of its own. It doesn't matter what the particular context of it is. it’s your consciousness that feels inside your body. yet someone else can't make any distinction between this person and a beginner. But what is meant by “linking”? When you go internally. it gives you back more of yourself. if you buy that soap. At every new stage another layer is opened up to you. They don't obsess about what they can do because they're constantly searching for the possibility of being completely connected. you're never going to get bored and all puffed up over your "self-promotion. I can tell you from experience that doing inner work is quite a bit different from doing things in the external world where you are continuously prodded forward by validations. Looking for what you can tell someone you can do or bragging about some mark of accomplishment will not take you to an understanding of the depths of your being. You don't concede when everything isn't great." Marketers will try to sell you this soap. every single time you open up a floorboard you might see immense potential and yet at the moment it might be an absolute wreck. Loving the game-not the ego's antidotes-is inherent in meditation work. But. why not make your own life heroic? Likewise. When they notice they aren't connected. Do you think any scientist who receives the Nobel Prize did their research for only the recognition? It might be that they get very competitive. When you really get into something you love. It doesn't matter what it is. but the true meaning is that all and everything is in the earth. you have to be in it for love of the game. Bones of the All The phrase “bones of the all” in the Tao Te Ching is sometimes referred to as meaning something old or ancient. computer or car. for others it's walking up and down mountains. you're depending upon the validation of other people? Instead of taking someone else as a hero. "Look where I'm at!" I've noticed that the people who really get into chi work don't focus on where they've gotten. And. if you get into meditation. for example. The way in which anyone can clearly feel inside their brains or bone marrow. so does the earth. .
in China many people practice in front of trees so they can link with them. but it’s no different than a human being or an animal. we need it. If you use the earth’s energy to rejuvenate you and while you do that. If you pay attention to and put your energy into one particular human being. if you care about the earth. You can do the same with the earth. or at least that’s what holds people together for long periods of time. The earth doesn’t need us. it will be both. he/she will not respond and very often becomes ill or goes crazy. much more than flatlands. The energies of the different layers of the tree activate the energy layers in their body. It’s the ability to just sit together and somehow fulfill each other. The earth is no different. Making love is not just in the action. It is like when two people sit in a room or when your cat or dog sits next to you and it’s just quiet. And. To start you have to link to the energy in the earth. All you have to do is simply stand. close your eyes for about 20 minutes and let your mind go very. To a certain degree you will not be able to know if what you are dissolving is yours or if it’s some pain the earth is having. . then this is a mutually beneficial relationship. You’re just being. The strongest example of this is babies who are never touched and die of crib death. it will not be the other. What happens is that each person settles into the energy of the other—each person’s energy flows into the other’s energy. All the people on the earth could die. A little appreciation for the bones of the all truly can go a long way. Eventually you become aware. joining with and becoming one with it. Equally. the earth responds to the tension of human beings. Women are usually aware of this more than men. you somehow have the feeling of what is coming into you. You can use its energy. You can feel inside your body by linking with your body. Leave your own body out of it and go into the layers of the earth. but tolerates them. For example. Some people can make contact with the earth and dissolve the energy inside themselves. when your mind is finally still. a human—even the earth. I recommend people do this for a simple reason: otherwise the earth might decide to get rid of us just as a dog doesn’t need fleas. there’s always one thing about them— regardless of sex or even the nature of the relationship itself. It will not be one. sit or lie down in nature. They die from not having any real human contact. Likewise you can link with an animal. Likewise. that is what people really remember. Then.Now your consciousness has many interesting qualities. if that human being does not get attention from any other human beings. And. you can also help the earth by what you’re doing with your awareness and intent. it actually doesn’t matter because as one goes the other will go too. but our relationship with the earth intrinsically has to do with the fact that we pay attention to it. in tandem with your body and do whatever it is you’re trying to do. very quiet. at the end of the day. And. a tree. The earth is a funny creature. The mountains are the easiest place to link with the energy of the earth. For many marriages the biggest single factor that holds it together is that when the partners lie together they are fulfilled. by somehow focusing on. Now if you consider very powerful relationships. it is in the energy flow. that person will respond. do your best to link with the earth.
You can’t sort it out and so you go nuts. You can’t know how your good or bad intentions will be taken by another person. Maybe you’re even one of the people who regularly get offended by words. The main point is to clear out energy blockages within yourself. but your brain and entire biochemistry for that matter have been conditioned to respond in a particular manner and create various sensations. If you’ve been slapped in the face from an abuser over a period of time. The truth of the matter is not that words will never hurt you rather that internal sensations will never hurt you. however. Yet the fear of fear itself is often worse than the act of that . It’s no different than when people meditate and get sensations of sadness. If you want to find out about the energy behind words. You’re likely to offend someone with just about anything you say. the way in which conditioning manifests is a funny thing in that it can come not only from societal affirmation or societal condemnation. or if you want to find out what they are attached to. to be released. In one sense conditioning is only surface-level. Karma predisposes you not so much to the words themselves. So why is it that we get so worked up over words? When someone has a physiological reaction to a word or set of words it’s mostly the result of conditioning. This creates feelings that your mind has been conditioned to label as wrong or crazy behavior in the external world.The Impact of Words Most of us have heard the phrase: “Sticks and stones may break my bones. eventually you produce cortisol and other stressrelated hormones. Words trigger expectations. but also from your own internal world. conditioning is attached to stress because when your body feels under attack. The expectations you project are either what you want to be a habit or an established habit. you actually take the hit—it’s an established habit. Surely the toll it takes on your body is hardly worth it. You resolve what doesn’t work in the linking between words and your reaction to them. words can activate inside you beyond just conditioning alone and that’s what the Dissolving process is meant to address. modulators in the nervous system and hormones in the endocrine system. Maybe you see a beautiful woman and you compliment her. If you’re projecting. So. It’s an expectation. Words can serve as weapons. When you meditate. but she happens to be an arch feminist who finds you to be patronizing. One person may not carry the karma that lies behind specific words. which are locked in a dance with all your neuropeptides that also get locked in a dance with karma. but words will never hurt me.” Yet in the modern age being politically correct has come to a point where society responds to words as if someone where throwing stones at them. so one set of words doesn’t affect them while another person does carry the karma that lies behind these specific words and he’s off to the races—going crazy. you can make it an agenda for your meditation practice. Words don’t really harm you. fear or anger inside themselves and then think meditation is what makes them feel lousy. The effect words have on us goes a lot deeper when you consider the karma you’re carrying. so at least you’re not feeding off other people and creating more karma. maybe you expect to get slapped in the face. causing a series of neuropeptides. When I teach meditation I try to help my students see that these manifestations are all just a bunch of sensations. an expectation is either a projected or an actual habit. The only difference is that with karma. Very commonly. but to the bound energy that could lie behind those words.
stress and anxiety and improve memory. Time magazine has called it the "Perfect Exercise. can be done with low back or other chronic pain and does not challenge their balance." Tai Chi is the Opposite of Aerobics Rather than asking you to rev up. conditioning and karma dance with each other and. Western medical research studies are beginning to confirm what hundreds of millions of practitioners of tai chi have experienced for themselves: tai chi helps them improve their health. tai chi teaches you to rev down. So. reduce their stress and combat the negative effects of aging. If your chi becomes blocked stagnant or unbalanced in some manner. .which you are afraid. If chi is flowing freely. Tai Chi for Lifelong Health--The Perfect Exercise Most of the estimated seven million Americans who practice the ancient art of tai chi do so not for self-defense. tai chi is a potent self-healing practice. rather than trying to be perfect or good while you’re doing it. Some studies showed that tai chi improved functioning in the heart. But statistics do little to mitigate the large amount of suffering. Chi is Life-Force Energy Tai chi is based on a 3000-year-old system that works with the invisible forces of chi or lifeforce energy within your body. Tai chi is also perfect for people who are clinically obese or challenged by other physical impediments and do not want to feel embarrassed in exercise classes filled with fit and beautiful bodies. if you can release your attachments you will be free from both. According to the Mayo Clinic. discomfort and illness will follow. which includes acupuncture. People who suffer from disabilities and impaired lung function that preclude strenuous exercise love tai chi's gentle movements. Other studies showed that tai chi helped reduce pain. tai chi is generally safe for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Relief from Arthritis "Oh. You have to fully acknowledge your expectations and attachments. This principle is the foundation of Chinese medicine. Western Health Studies Show Tai Chi Has Many Beneficial Health Effects Researchers from Tufts Medical Center in Boston. you will have good health. Still others demonstrated that tai chi helped seniors improve balance and functioning for normal daily activities. graceful movements look more like meditation. balances chi within your body. including patients who have had coronary artery bypass surgery. blood vessels and lungs among healthy people as well as those with heart conditions. in a balanced manner throughout the body. Although its slow moving. at some point. but for health reasons. tension. found 47 formal studies presenting the beneficial health effects of tai chi. Tai chi is often called the elixir of life because it helps the body and mind to regain its youthfulness and life-affirming vigor. Accept what is and be done with it. MA. an estimated 60 million Americans will be afflicted by arthritis and more than 11 million disabled. Tai chi. By 2020. like acupuncture. concentration and digestion." is a common sigh among arthritis sufferers. This is good news for people who need a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints. my aching joints.
Tai chi's movements increase the range of motion and improve the flexibility of the joints. depression. Tai chi disposes me to look for ways . if an illness like cancer does strike. mentally and spiritually. The ability to let go and relax in all ways-physically. MD. emotionally. confusion and anxiety. Two studies initiated by the National Institute of Health (NIH) showed that tai chi improves balance. anger. Help for Cancer Patients Two studies help confirm what tai chi practitioners have already experienced: tai chi boosts their immune systems and helps them resist illness. is at the philosophical center of all tai chi and other chi practices. one in Australia. Tai Chi Improves Balance and Reduces Falls in the Elderly One leading cause of death and disability in the elderly is falling down. Test subjects felt more vigorous. Tai Chi Busts Stress The least studied beneficial health effect of tai chi is that it is a powerful stress buster. which boost immunity to many diseases. seniors participating in the study improved their grip strength. I know first-hand that these are miraculous health practices. Los Angeles found that people who practiced tai chi for 45 minutes a day experienced up to a 50 percent increase in their immune system memory T-cells. decreases the risk of falls and dramatically decreases the fear of falling. Tai chi helps people take control and responsibility for their health so that life is a joy to live and not a burden to carry into old age. In addition. Tai Chi Lowers Blood Pressure A Western clinical study. The study also found that tai chi helped reduce the chronic stress and anxiety that accompanies cancer. chi gung/qigong and meditation to more than tens of thousands of Westerners. Baltimore. Relaxation allows happiness to flourish. These studies were widely publicized by the Arthritis Foundation of Australia. and in general. showing that practicing tai chi provides relief from arthritis. Tai Chi Moves Us Closer to Feeling Truly Alive After my 20+ years training in energy arts in the Orient and teaching tai chi.Two significant medical studies have been undertaken: one in the United States. One formal study shows that the practice of tai chi produced less tension. had better range of motion and an easier time falling asleep. Interestingly. which now officially recommends tai chi as an effective alternative therapy. strengthen the flow of fluid inside the joints and strengthen the muscles surrounding arthritic joints and improving flexibility. including cancer. showed that tai chi lowers blood pressure in seniors. had less total mood disturbance. tension diminishes this possibility. a study conducted by the University of California. fatigue. And. tai chi helps mitigate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation and calms their fears. Tai chi has helped heal my own body and calms down my mind when I need it from the stresses of daily living. done by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The study conclusively demonstrated that tai chi's gentle movements were as effective in significantly lowering blood pressure as the higher intensity activity of aerobic exercise.
Maybe it is no longer natural when you subsequently connect it with larger aspects of the fabric of life. First. For something to be ultimately natural. It must somehow flow smoothly both in temporary and long-term circumstances. albeit making translating Chinese texts even more difficult. which means “the great natural. So. everything comes out of it. From the Taoist perspective. This is the natural way of working with the force affecting everything on this planet. you do that which requires the least amount of energy and strain to be consistent with natural forces. whether regarded as Emptiness or the Tao. the question then arises: Is the natural state of a human being to be an animal or to move somewhere beyond animal instincts? As long as . there is the Tao of doing anything. In one sense. Even your bones are slightly curved because the gravity field creates a rounding effect. should have the quality of circularity and spiraling. Going a little deeper. the word Tao considers the question: What connects everything and yet has no specific quality of its own? That’s the center of the I Ching. So the implication of Ziran is the ultimate goal of behaving. If we go from the deepest to the most superficial meaning. it must not be in conflict with anything else. You must travel on a particular path in order to wind up where that path leads. also becomes a possibility. it essentially has the same meaning as Tao. When practicing tai chi or chi gung/qigong. it is natural for human beings to abuse and even kill other human beings. It is natural for animals to engage in these behaviors too. acting and thinking naturally in both your internal practices and your external behaviors in order to arrive at Emptiness. so you could also refer to this natural way as the Tao. Most importantly. including the way chi moves in the body. Nothing in the human body is linear. Once you become reasonably balanced the ability to tap into the ultimate source from which all the balance derives. For example. Ziran is very important in terms of the energetics of the body—yin and yang must become balanced on ever-more refined levels. it is about the natural way of the Universe. everything flows through it. Once you lose naturalness. You get stuck on what you are thinking about.to positively engage with life. You can look at any small aspect of human life and consider what may be natural about it. the Taoists say you will go off into the mind of man. which is the same as the ideal way of doing something.” Ziran means naturalness. The human mind can create billions of thoughts that do not lead to any resolution or balance. all movement should be natural. Now how ‘bout some practice?! Ziran for Wholeness The word Tao has many meanings. It has no quality and yet everything is connected to it. The word Ziran embodies a very important concept in Taoism and has a number of large meanings. It has the ability to do the same for you. Very often Taoists do not use the term Tao and instead use Ziran. which Taoists refer to as the Body of the Tao. The Chinese actually call it Tao Ziran. The Taoists believe anything that is unnatural is ultimately unsustainable. The only way that balance can be maintained is if yin and yang are configured to flow freely inside you as well as in the natural environment. Thus all movements. tai chi has given me the ability to realize the great human potential in myself and to have genuine compassion for others. The next level of Ziran embodies a major Taoist premise that balance is a possibility.
places and forces that all come together at a unique moment in time. However. When all of a sudden it becomes obvious that the time has arrived. which means action. so a large part of wu wei is the ability to be as connected as possible to the universal flows of the TAO. Once a natural connection emerges. Action is determined by the time.” There is only the question of integration. As you go through the eight energy bodies of human beings. How do you find it in yourself? How do you end up there? Recognizing where you’re at and being ticked off about it is not enough. Eventually you must find the ways in which the higher bodies can be integrated so that each is in harmony with all others. only then do you take action. The idea of non-action is that instead of having the conscious will. willingness or preference for that something to happen. you can allow what is actually motivating and generating your actions--not your own personal agenda or ego--to occur and the larger purpose is therefore served. This is where the Taoists differ from most other traditions that have very clear rules about how to act. However. but the Tao is the absolute. in Taoism one of the central themes is not acting until the timing is right. you have the inclination. You can envision an outline and stages of progress for any action. intention or demand that something happen deliberately. The pre-supposition is that by not being attached to a specific end result. There is relative and absolute understanding. Many people keep on repeating the same negative habits. What is it that gives you more of a sense of being whole? Wu Wei: Action. In the West most people have clear agendas and they set out to accomplish specific goals. this is not necessarily true at each stage of our evolutionary development because what is natural at one stage may not be natural at the next. an integration point for our existence.000 different ways human beings can practice. In Taoism there is tremendous emphasis on individuality. similar to wu wei wu. Buddhists say there are 84. non action. specific quality takes place and conflict emerges. This means that there are 84. Non-Action Wu wei is a very fundamental concept in Taoism. Until you consider the trillions of connections of all and everything. The Taoists had a similar phrase long before Buddha was born: There are 36 million passes of the Tao. Thus it’s true that some things are relatively natural to all beings and some things are more natural to one individual. there is no way in which we will ever be completely in sync or in rhythm with the entire Universe because polarization to one very tiny. Eventually you want to have synchronicity between chi and virtuous action. you may find that what is natural to one energy body may not necessarily be completely natural to another. In fact Taoists say that until the time is right nothing will happen anyway. you realize that there is no “I should” or “I shouldn’t.000 passes of the Buddha. you are working on a purely relative basis. On an evolutionary scale.we remain purely animalistic. Wu means nothing and wei means action. . having more chi or more virtue will not create balance if the subparts that lie between them are not in harmony with one another. However. but you may actually thwart bigger messages coming through if you push your agenda too much. Taoists focus more on arriving at a natural state. we need to work out the glitches that cause conflict until we find the natural connection.
"From the one came the two. which is extremely difficult to do. Lao Tse writes in the Tao Te Ching. You can become tuned in and actually synchronize with the flows of the Universe. with no intrinsic planning or motivation behind it. then there is no sense of ego. came the three. non-action: you simply wait until whatever that universal force is flowing through you says "do" or "go now. It's an extremely difficult concept to embody and it requires the absolute ability to be non-attached. This is the principle of shou-yi. you are then essentially at peace and whole within yourself. You first need to have found a place of peace or emptiness--something beyond your own personal sense of me. You have to be able to admit that you do not know.000 myriad of things. All the practices of wu wei or wu wei wu are completely based upon a person having found their center. After you've taken some action. Plans are worthless. The doctrine of action and non-action requires an immense amount of personal courage because you have to give up a sense of control. Everything in manifestation is relative. You also have to be able to identify when you're operating in essentially an emotional. whether it succeeds or not. The forces of the Universe flowing through you may not actually have anything to do with you and may be part of a much larger chain of events. including the underlying currents. you're going to get a very different take on that building than if you were speaking with an architectural engineer. However. One of the hallmarks of genuine non-action is that there is no sense of internal resistance whatsoever. If you talk to a two-year-old about a high-rise building. mental or psychic state of non-action. The one is the Tao. Action has two implications: the first is that you're going to do something--walk across the street. there is also the space that is more about wu wei wu." In that process you effectively lose the sense of self and simply follow the universal flow. All of a sudden there are 24. Initially it requires that you are able to embrace the whole--that you have the internal motivation to become capable of embracing that which is invisible yet connects everything. but that does not always mean that you will understand why it's happening or why you're engaging in a particular action. Winston Churchill said. So.This does not negate the ability to plan. maybe you can see that something needs to be done three seconds ahead of schedule yet you still may not be moving with the flow." Maybe you can see something that needs to be done 20 years in advance. If you are in a complete state of emptiness and do something deriving from that state. truly embodying the principle of wu wei wu is an art form." To embrace the totality while doing an everyday mundane task means you never leave the totality regardless of the action you might undertake. All of your attachments will go with your identities. to be in Fourth Time. myself or I. or action. for example. came the 10. this whole concept of deciding between action and non action is very tricky. The TAO is extremely mysterious. So. then again." This is very tricky because embracing the one means embracing the Tao.000 things that come to mind-- . "Planning is important. You are connected to the flow of the Universe that is moving inside you. Shou-yi: Embracing the One Shou-yi or shou-i means "embracing the one.
they must be in a meditative state most of the time. Listen to a liturgy to help you. or at least doing the best you can to be aware. Regardless. especially in terms of thinking. you are always aware. petty thought and over-concentration is intrinsically not seeing the forest for the trees. You see all the forces around that decision. action or non-action as nothing more than considerations. at that moment. However. embracing that from which everything derives. You are aware of not only of the forest. embracing the one is about embracing the flux. The one is all and everything that can neither be defined nor pinned down and yet is always there. if shou-yi is really about seeing the forest. So finding even small ways to embrace the one in the beginning could be immensely valuable to daily living. So. very closely you would realize that nothing actually exists except a conglomeration or a flux in force that just happens to appear to be completely coherent unto itself--at a particular moment in time. for example when major decisions have to be made. Even if they are not in a meditative state at all times. Once you understand that nothing exists--not even you--then you might find that you don't become as revved by daily events and enjoy the clouds passing by in the sky more often. For anyone who wishes to practice shou-yi. You might be able to release some of your expectations and the pressures that make your decisions seem so important. So. The parallel to mysticism is the constant awareness of God pervading everything and that if this is the basis upon which your actions come through. In shou-yi. So. called Yi Ke Tao or I Ke Tao.. as discussed in last month's article. never forgetting the much larger framework connecting it to all and everything. then when considering how someone functions in the world. They define a parameter and they stick within that parameter without going an inch beyond it in one direction or another. of the entire web to which everything is connected. if you were to really look at anything very. you also have to connect with the little tiny pieces.almost instantaneously--all of which have something to do with the building. Small mindedness. The doctrine further explains that everything in existence is a part in a series of causes and conditions that concern the way in which it interacts with all other causes and conditions and therefore often has the appearance--at a given time--of being something distinct and concrete. although you might stay within a parameter. we say something exists and we try to define it. This underlying ground rule from which all is derived usually results in the practitioner having an extremely open mind.. Let that sink in a moment. And so. Most people will not allow the consideration of the one to even enter into their decisionmaking process or how they will implement any action or non-action. but simultaneously of each individual tree for which you might wish to take some sort of action or non-action. which says that everything is interconnected--nothing exists in and of itself. or action and non-action. there is still consideration of how everything that will go on within those parameters will affect all the interconnections into the one. then the nature of God will flow through you. So. In one sense the term shou-yi has a parallel in Buddhism to the Doctrine of Interdependent Origination. it becomes much more about wu wei wu. to embrace the one is to cultivate the Tao. embracing the one does not mean that you are beholden to someone or something no matter how discretely it can be defined. . Most thought processes tend to consist of varying degrees of closeness.
no one is looking. Now. Up on Your Toes Inhale... Relaxing and letting go of muscle tension naturally brings more blood and oxygen into your body. And. Your mind is sluggish and running on empty. raise yourself up on your toes. next your cheeks and then your jaw. so you say that you're not bubbling your breath at your desk--you're way-y-y-y to cool for that. rattle and roll. Make those lips rock 'n roll. uh?! Yawning is due to the build-up of carbon dioxide in your lungs. It's way-y-y-y too early in the day.Easy Energy Boosters to Conquer the Yawns So you've got the yawns. One of the questions I get asked fairly frequently is: What should I do to combat exhaustion at my desk? Try this: Stand up. However. In this order. and that wouldn't be so bad.. Do this five times. Say aloud or in your head. so don't let me stop you! .. inhale deeply and bubble the exhale through your lips. The great side effect is you'll rev up your chi and give yourself a serious boost while you're at it. wherever you might be on The Path. Why it Works Standing and scanning down your body brings energy down from your head to your feet and back into the body where it belongs. Take a deep inhale.. consciously relax your eyes. arms and hands go limp. "Just let go. which most people know. There's no time like the present. I understand." Breathe Take five slow... I've got students who've studied with me for nearly three decades and others for less than three minutes. Make them shake. Feel your feet on the floor. Put your mind on the top of your head. easy. suddenly exhale and drop down on your heels. Release the belly and butt muscles--don't worry.really! Stand Close your eyes. Okay. Do this 10 times. Let your shoulders. Try It The more you relax and let go. Caution: You might laugh a little. what they don't know is that you can get rid of the yawns by bubbling your breath. Let go. the more stamina and energy you can bring to your life. Then bubble the exhale through your lips. relaxed breaths.. but there's always something you can do to start living a more fulfilling and relaxed life. where there's oxygen there is life. Let your arms hang at your sides. You clear the monkey mind swinging around from tree to tree. Caution: Skip the next part if you're too cool to bubble in public. uh? Your eyelids are drooping.
even so-called famous teachers in China and the U. Each martial arts school has its special kung fu or "skill technology. Chen Style Tai Chi was more the equivalent of an AK-47. or the brand name. Ba gua is also a purely Taoist art. Each of my three ba gua teachers was always after me to separate the three. The I Ching represents in written form the energies from which the Universe is constructed. If you establish these energies inside your own body and mind. Eventually what is inside of you and what is outside of you will come together. it was simply a method of destroying your opponent with extreme efficiency. Even within the internal martial arts family. but only a few learned the kung fu techniques that had ba gua's unique flavor and power. it always became much more difficult and satisfying. From this meditation base. Learning the movements alone took two to three years and when I finally got to the stage of learning the kung fu techniques.THE ART OF BA GUA CHANG The most important thing in martial arts is not what style you study. but rather the level of fighting skill of the individual. but its movements without question came from Buddhist Shaolin. it is completely Taoist. Tai chi is different--it may or may not be Taoist. ba gua practitioners are not concerned with these intellectual or symbolic representations. as it descended from the Chen Village. Either they perform movement arts or they do ba gua movements using the power. They are concerned with directly experiencing these Universal Energies within their own bodies and minds. it takes years of training to clearly separate ba gua. the lineage of Tung Hai-Ch'uan became famous for its special kung fu techniques. Only when two drivers are of equal skill will the technology of the car be the determining factor in who wins the race. but Tung Hai-Ch'uan didn't teach it to everyone because not all of his students had the capacity to understand it. fighting is only one part of the art. Tai chi. was not used as a meditation technique. and it took me almost 20 years of study and practice to do so. tai chi and hsing-i in a manner that each retains its own separate characteristics. An excellent external martial artist will beat a poor or so-so ba gua practitioner. cannot apply traditional ba gua techniques to unrehearsed fighting. not talking. the real function of ba gua is to make Heaven and Earth actually reside inside your own body. However. and that is when you have joined with nature--the TAO. The goal of the pre-birth physical exercises and sitting meditations of ba gua is to directly experience the energies of the eight trigrams. However. Only at higher levels could it become meditation. . A picture of a tree is not a tree. The whole method of ba gua is manifesting the Eight Energies of the I Ching inside your body and finding that still place that does not change.S. A world-class racing driver in a so-so car will beat a poor driver in the world's best car. Many people today. All students could learn the movements. although some also make those claims. Ba gua is a different matter. There are monastic forms of ba gua that are purely about chi cultivation and meditation. you will personally understand the realities behind these symbols. This kung fu is genuinely internal and is a subject of doing. making no claims to be martial arts.. flavor and kung fu techniques of Shaolin. Most people aren't capable of practicing tai chi as meditation at the beginning or intermediate levels. it was essentially a military weapon. It is about meditation." For example.
Nothing you could ever think about it will get you to that place. In fact. but I never really learned the real meditation art of ba gua. To understand who you are you have to find the incredible space that exists within you.One of the things that makes ba gua unique is the fact that it starts off from that meditation basis. Fighting is nothing more than manipulating those energies for a purpose. filled with sound and overflowing with love and compassion for yourself and your fellow beings. nurses and other professionals. Ba gua is in the throes of death and future generations are in danger of losing the powerful benefits offered by this unique art form--not to mention aspects of their cultural heritage. Using ba gua to develop the practitioner's capacity for meditation--to develop the ability to be simultaneously multi-dimensional. Universal peace and brotherhood will ultimately be found through spiritual means like meditation and not through war. It doesn't matter what you have been given. Liu Hung Chieh. to be able to simultaneously manipulate things inside your body and inside your mind as you are practicing--these are things the average human being doesn't even know exists. you have to get behind anything and everything that has happened to you in your life. full of light. Read about Bruce's first-ever Ba Gua Chang Instructor Training and retreats scheduled for summer 2009 in California. it will be intrinsically balanced. learned it from Ma Shih-Ching (also known as Ma Kuei) who learned it from Tung Hai-Ch'uan. THE TAO OF SELF-DISCOVERY If you want to find out who you are. When you find that incredible space. It doesn't matter what you might be experiencing at the present moment. When I was studying in Taiwan and Hong Kong I did all kinds of energy practices. It doesn't matter what you possess. and services are denied due to lack of resources for some of those with the greatest need. I never thought I would because it is a very challenging subject and few teachers will share it. and Liu taught them to me. My teacher. It is a real problem that few acknowledge even as there are shortages of doctors. I'm open with my teaching because the healing aspect of ba gua is incredibly valuable and I want to make it widely available to help counteract the looming healthcare tsunami. Consider each day: * Who am I beyond what's occurring? * Who am I beyond the experiences I've had? * Who am I beyond what will happen to me? * Who am I beyond what I think? * How do I become a mature human being who is fully alive? * How do I reconcile the needs of a physical body with being spiritual? . If you find that place. For millennia only formal disciples were taught inner meditation aspects of ba gua. It doesn't matter what could occur. It doesn't matter who told you what you know. you will find out who you are without question.
Taoists have used meditation to seek answers to these primordial questions. He was dragged down to the training hall. A Servant in the Master's House? Hi folks. The teachings were secret and forbidden to non-family members. At every new stage another layer is opened up to you. The stressful. accepted me as a disciple and empowered me to teach the Water tradition of Taoist meditation. an immensely talented and motivated young man with a great love of martial arts. he needed to go to the Chen village. In the nineteenth century. swirling circumstances of life are replaced with inner comfort and the discovery of your relationship with the vastness of eternity. and feared that his family's art of tai chi would be lost. is the key. was told by his teacher that if he wanted to progress. China. in so doing. you open up to yourself. you open the door to inner awareness where you will find something in you that is beyond your thoughts. Yang went to Chen village. including the keys to the locked doors surrounding the training hall. the Chen village kept tai chi a closely guarded secret for over a century and refused to teach it to a single outsider. and. The villagers developed this internal martial art to a very high level. The students. At the time. the late Taoist Sage Liu Hung Chieh of Beijing. long and calm. In the process of breathing. he obtained work as a servant in the house of the teaching master. The next generation of the village was resting on the family laurels and not training sufficiently. asked to be admitted and was summarily refused. Notice the nature of your mind and breathe. over time he became trusted enough to be given free reign of the house. Posing as a deaf-mute. not wishing their position to . The master was greatly concerned and saddened. The methods within this ancient tradition are still very relevant today and potent antidotes to stress. In ancient China. A diligent and cheerful worker. Having a superior martial art enabled the village to stay safe from marauding bandits and securely conduct business without their goods being stolen or having to pay protection money.For more than five thousand years. Keeping himself hidden. he secretly watched the classes and practiced late into the night when everyone was asleep. My main teacher. Relaxing into your life. which has been passed down in an unbroken lineage tracing back to Lao Tse. At any moment are you able to recognize when stress is happening inside you? Can you find a few minutes of peace even when the events taking place require your full attention? Simply notice what the nerves of your body feel like. into your being. One night Yang was caught. Yang devised an immensely disciplined strategy. the Chen teaching master had a dilemma.500 years ago. no doubt overcoming years of sleep deprivation to succeed. who authored the Tao Te Ching over 2. by the name of Yang Lu Chan. poor health and the feelings of disconnection that plague modern life. Breathe very deeply until you can relax. Slowly smooth out all the firings and irregular glitches until your breath becomes very clear.
Chen accepted Yang for what ultimately became an 18-year apprenticeship.. After a psychologically grueling three-day test of character. The master. Yang traveled around and challenged China's best martial arts exponents. one by one.. and became the teacher of the imperial guards and many aristocrats. Although most wealthy aristocrats were not fighters.maybe you will too. demanded his execution for breaching security-a reasonable response in nineteenth-century China given the circumstances. Bruce . who was truly searching for a good student to pour his knowledge into. after receiving his teacher's blessing. wondered what Yang could do if he got the full meal rather than only the crumbs. All you're going to find is what's there. I'll share more on how to go about finding good teachers-for study in any subject-in the coming months.be usurped. Gradually he found his way to the imperial capital Beijing. Yang profusely apologized. they found that the tai chi's energy work did wonders for their health and general vitality. did the same there. using their own techniques. After completing the full training. Speaking for the first time. Yang begged the Chen master to be allowed to learn his art. Stay good. By the way. Keep focusing on going inside and becoming aware of what's inside. He convincingly defeated all of them without injuring anyone-a sign of truly remarkable skill. make sure you take the time to find out about your teachers because it can mean the difference in how far you advance in a subject. He then challenged his would-be executioners and. Yang managed to defeat them. Yang left the village with his teacher's blessing to go out into the world and teach however he thought fit. And. A shocked Chen master then pondered the implications of the discipline required to maintain this deaf-mute act for years. So keep practicing as Yang did.
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