By Kim Knight, Director of Tao Health Qi Gong, Auckland, New Zealand
‘Fusion’ seems to be the in-word at the moment. Recently I noticed ‘Fusion Food’ on a menu and most people are familiar with a certain brand of shaver. However, the ‘Fusion of the Five Elements’ of Master Mantak Chia’s Universal Healing Tao system is of an altogether different nature.
The ‘Fusion of the Five Elements’ meditation is considered level 3 out of a total of 9 levels of ‘Inner Alchemy’ that make up the Universal Healing Tao practices. The Fusion meditation is split into 3 stages of learning: Part 1: the 12 steps for collecting, fusing, harmonizing and cleansing the organs. Part 2: the opening of the three Chung-Ma (Thrusting Channels) and the 9 Tai-Ma (Belt Routes). Part 3: the opening of the Positive and Negative Legs and Positive and Negative Arms (Bridge and Regulator Channels).
Put in a nutshell, Fusion allows one to (a) collect any negative emotions or stagnant Chi that have accumulated in the organs and body and (b) transform them into a ball of purified energy which is then (c) re-circulated through the organs to collect the innate ‘positive virtues’ residing there so that (d) a pearl of ‘compassionate energy’ is formed which (e) is then moved through various meridian channels to cleanse, revitalize and nourish all levels of a person’s being with the energy of compassion within the pearl. Later on, once one reaches the more advanced stages of practice, the pearl is used as the basis for building an energy body during one’s lifetime which becomes the vehicle for passing into the spirit world.
Before going further into the Fusion practices themselves, it is useful to know where these practices come from. It is also important to understand the foundational practices which precede the Fusion meditation.
The Universal Healing Tao is a practical system of self-development that enables an individual to complete the harmonious evolution of their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being. Through a series of ancient Chinese meditative and internal energy exercises, one learns to increase physical energy, release tension, improve health, practice self-defense and gain the ability to heal oneself and others. Initially these practices are targeted at enhancing one’s wellbeing so that one can remain peaceful and harmonious through the daily ups and downs of life, which then avoids the onset of physical symptoms which result from stress being created in the body. However, in the process of creating a solid foundation of health and well-being in the physical body, the basis for developing ones spiritual independence is also created. The ultimate goal of Taoist practice is the transcendence of physical boundaries through the development of the soul and the spirit within.
Founder of the Universal Healing Tao – Master Mantak Chia
For many centuries meditation and special exercises have been used by the Ancient Chinese and other cultures as a means of improving the human mind and body. In China the Taoists called it Chi Kung or Internal Energy Cultivation. These esoteric practices were an integral part of the development of Chinese medicine where acupuncture, herbology and other aspects of what would now be called holistic medicine reached a state of high refinement. However, for various political reasons, these arts were in decline in China by the end of the fourteenth century, causing many of the teachers to be scattered from their schools and forced to go underground.
Recognized very early as having great potential for spiritual development, Mantak Chia was initiated into meditation practices by Buddhist monks at the age of 6. While studying in Hong Kong, he learned Tai Chi Chuan, Aikido and Kundalini Yoga from a variety of teachers. His pursuit of Taoist teachings lead him to meet the White Cloud Hermit, Master Yi Eng, a Taoist Master originally from Central China, living at that time in the mountains not far from Hong Kong: Master Yi was to become Master Mantak Chia’s principle teacher.
Over a period of five years, Master Yi transmitted to Master Mantak Chia the most sacred and closely held Taoist practices and formulas of internal alchemy. It took many generations of masters to refine the amazing experiences into the nine formulas of Taoist internal spiritual Inner Alchemy that were originally transmitted to Master Chia by his master. Master Yi later instructed him to teach these to Chinese first and then to Westerners. White Cloud left his body at age 96.
Master Chia also learnt the ancient of Chi Nei Tsang (internal organs chi cultivation) from a Thai healer called Dr Mui. He spent 3 years watching him with patients. He was so intrigued by the technique and by how profoundly it seemed to heal ailments that he went to Chulakongkorn University Hospital in Bangkok to study gross anatomy through dissecting cadavers. After years of practice he was able to understand the principles of this healing technique.
Realizing that these practices, as they had been transmitted to him, could not easily be absorbed by western minds, Master Chia undertook to integrate them with his studies in western physical anatomy. Through this process he created a unique view of the internal aspects of the practices whilst keeping the original structure of White Cloud’s formulas. He has also drew from his studies in astronomy, astrology, medical science and advancements in the field of quantum sciences to create the Universal Tao System of Healing, which he has now been teaching for over forty years.
Mantak Chia is one of the first Chinese masters to arrive in the west with a comprehensive mastery of both traditional Chinese healing arts, diet, five element nutrition, herbs, Tai Chi Chuan, massage, moxibustion combined with the more esoteric arts of Chi kung, Healing Palm, Five Finger Kung Fu, Seminal and Ovarian Kung Fu and the meditative aspects of Taoist yoga – which includes Fusion of the Five Elements.
Introduction to the Universal Tao practices
It’s useful to remember that in ancient China your doctor was considered a failure in you became sick. The best doctors trained their patients to prevent illness by maintaining a high level of health. The promise of these esoteric Taoist practices is to reveal the methods of how to bring one’s various bodily energy systems into balance.
Thousands of years ago the Taoists directed their consciousness inward and developed a science of inner alchemy. The Universal Tao is concerned primarily with the practical approaches perfected by these Taoist sages. According to Chia “There are no ultimate masters or gurus in Taoism because we become our own Masters, capable of controlling our own destinies and knowing who we really are as we explore the marvelous powers hidden within the Tao of humanity”.
The energy cultivation practices awaken, circulate, direct and preserve the generative life force (Chi) through the major acupuncture meridians of the body. According to Master Chia “Our emotional life, filled with its constant vicissitudes, drains our vital energy. Through the Fusion meditations, we learn to transform the sick or negative energy that has been locked up in the vital organs”. This practice is of particular use to practitioners of polarity therapy, shiatsu, massage and other healing arts in which the exchange and circulation of life force must be maintained while working with clients. Once one has mastered Fusion during one’s personal practice, a practitioner is then able to ‘run’ Fusion whilst giving Chi Nei Tsang (or other) treatments to clients. The effect is such that the client’s body starts to attune itself via vibrational resonance (like two tuning forks) to the purifying process that is going on within the practitioner, so that the client’s body starts to do it too.
According to Chia in his book ‘Awaken Healing Light’ “At progressive stages, dedicated practice of this ancient esoteric system eliminates stress and nervous tension, massage the internal organs and restores health to damaged tissue”. He adds, according to the ancient sages “Long-term practice beyond two years and most effectively if practiced life-long, reportedly could retard the various degenerative changes associated with old age, eg, skin changes, senility, slowed reaction time, impaired memory, ambulatory impairment and the frequency of various diseases common at old age. A diligent practitioner often lives to ninety years of age and remains healthy and alert, is able to jog, run and climb mountains with ease and continues to enjoy life more fully than most people. Many reportedly could forecast their own time of death and pass on peacefully and gracefully in the posture of meditation”.
Before attempting the intermediate or advanced practices, it is of paramount importance to first clear the organs and body of built up Chi stagnation and blocked emotional charges. If this is not done, any negative energies will become magnified and multiplied in the higher practices. Here are five of the key foundation practices one learns before Fusion:
Foundation practice 1 – The Microcosmic Orbit
‘The opening the Microcosmic Orbit’: This circuit of energy, flowing up the back and down the front of the body, is comprised of the Functional and Governor Channels. Opening the Microcosmic Orbit circulates and directs the Chi within them, purifying and linking the channels to form a free-flowing circuit. An open Microcosmic Orbit also enables you to expand outward to connect with the universal, Cosmic particle and Earth forces during later practices.
Foundation practice 2 – The Inner Smile
Another beginning practice, which becomes the foundation and starting point for ALL meditations, is the ‘Inner Smile’. The Inner Smile is the smile of total happiness – this is not the social smile but a smile which arises from the cells and organs of the body. During this practice one connects with the positive emotions (virtues) and negative or out of balance emotions within the body, sending a loving, healing smile to each organ. Whilst very simple, the effects of this are profound. The benefits include an improved connection with oneself, increased self-love and self-confidence and a deep sense of calm after each meditation, which has an accumulating effect each time it is done.
Foundation practice 3 – The Six Healing Sounds
The Six healing sounds is a basic relaxation technique utilizing simple arm movements and special sounds to produce a cooling effect upon the internal organs. These special sounds vibrate specific organs, while the arm movements, combined with posture, guide heat and pressure out of the body. The results are improved digestion, reduced internal stress, reduced insomnia and headaches and greater vitality as the Chi flow increases through the different organs. The six healing sounds method is beneficial to anyone practicing various forms of meditation, martial arts, or sports in which there is a tendency to build up excessive heat in the system.
Foundation practice 4 – Sexual Chi Kung
For more than five thousand years of Chinese history, the ‘no outlet method’ of retaining the seminal fluid during sexual union has remained a well-guarded secret. At first it was practiced exclusively by the Emperor and his innermost circle. Then it passed from father to chosen son alone, excluding all female family members.
Seminal and ovarian Kung Fu practices teach men and women how to transform and circulate sexual energy through the Microcosmic Orbit. The turning back and circulating of the generative force from the sexual organs to the higher energy centres of the body invigorates and rejuvenates all the vital functions. Rather than wasting sexual energy, ancient Taoist yogis learned how to utilize it to nourish their internal organs and glands. According to Chia, “Mastering this practice produces a deep sense of respect for all life forms”.
Foundation practice 5 – Iron Shirt Chi Kung
The physical integrity of the body is sustained and protected through the accumulation and circulation of internal power (Chi) in the vital organs. The Chi that begins to circulate freely through the Microcosmic Orbit and later through other channels in Fusion, can be stored in the fascia as well as the vital organs. The purpose of storing Chi in the muscles and organs is to create a protective layer of interior power that enables the body to withstand unexpected injuries. Iron Shirt training roots the body to the Earth, strengthens the vital organs and tendons, cleanses the bone marrow and creates a reservoir of pure Chi.
There are several other practices such as Tao Yin, Tan Tien Chi Kung, Tai Chi Chi Kung but these are not necessary to mention at this point, as we now come to the main subject of this article.
Acupuncturists will of course be familiar with the Law of the Five Elements. However, the Fusion meditation allows one to understand experientially within the body what one has studied intellectually. As one of my teachers says “An ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory”. The Fusion practice combines the energies of the five elements and their corresponding emotions into one harmonious whole. As mentioned earlier, and now in more detail, there are 3 stages of practice:
Fusion I – purifying the organs
After completing the Inner Smile, one starts Fusion I by moving through the body collecting negative emotions or out-of-balance temperatures. These energies are collected in the centre of a pakua (or cauldron) at the navel, whereby the negative emotions such as worry, sadness, cruelty, anger and fear are transformed into purified energy. This process is accomplished by identifying the source of the negative emotions within the five organs.
Freed of negative emotions, the pure energy of the five organs is then crystallized into a radiant pearl or ball which is then circulated in the body and attracts to it (via the Microcosmic Orbit) energy from outer energy sources: Universal Energy, Cosmic Particle Energy and Earth Energy. The pearl later plays a central role in the development and nourishment of the soul or energy body.
The benefits of this practice, apart from it being the beginning point of the Inner Alchemy practices, is a powerful filtering and purifying effect upon the human nervous system. Once the excessive energy of the emotions is filtered out, the state of psycho/physical balance is restored to the body, and one is left feeling deeply calm, relaxed and balanced.
Fusion II – opening the Channels
The second level of Fusion practice teaches methods of circulating the pure energy of the five organs once they are freed of negative emotions. The pearl is used to gather and collect the innate positive ‘virtues’ from where they are residing inside the organs, so that a pearl of compassionate energy is formed.
The energy of the positive emotions is then used to open the three channels running from the perineum, at the base of the sexual organs, to the top of the head. These channels are the Left, Middle and Right ‘Thrusting Channels’ which are collectively are known as the Thrusting Channels or Routes. In addition, a series of 9 levels called the Belt Channel is opened – these channels encircle the nine major energy centres of the body.
When the five organs are cleansed, the positive emotions of kindness, gentleness, respect, fairness, justice and compassion arise as a natural expression of internal harmony. The practitioner’s awareness of his inner state becomes more refined and one is able to monitor one’s state of balance by observing the quality of emotions arising spontaneously within.
Fusion III – Bridge and Regulator Channels
The third level of Fusion practice completes the cleansing of the energy channels in the body by opening the positive and negative leg and arm channels, known as the Bridge and Regulator channels. The opening of the Microcosmic Orbit, the Thrusting channels, the Belt channel, the great Regulator and Great Bridge Channels makes the body extremely permeable to the circulation of vital energy, the unhindered circulation of which is a key element for the foundation of perfect physical and emotional health.
All spiritual paths ultimately lead to the truth. Taoism is both a philosophy and a technology for seeking and finding the truths of humanity, nature, and the universe. Highly refined states of inner experience and consciousness are the birthright of all humans and are accessible by all. The Fusion practice is one of the greatest achievements of the ancient Taoist Masters, as it gives the individual a way of freeing the body of negative emotions whilst simultaneously allowing the pure virtues to shine forth.
With the Universal Tao system, Master Chia has created a way for any individual to quickly get to the essence of subtle practices whose real purpose has been shrouded in secrecy for millenia. The author of dozens of books, booklets, videos and CDs describing the theory and methods of these practices, Mantak Chia has taught hundreds of thousands of eager students the principles of Taoist internal practice over the past 40 years. He has certified hundreds of Instructors and Practitioners to help in the transmission of these teachings. Thus these transformative formulas endure as a gift from the original Taoist sages to all who are willing to put them into practice.
These practices have been passed down for millennia from teacher to student as part of an oral tradition. Whilst they have now been documented in many books by Master Chia in order to bring them to the attention of the world, it is recommended that you learn from an authorized teacher. Personally speaking, I find that I cannot fully comprehend the practices from reading about them in a book, and it is only once I have learnt the practice in person from a teacher, that what is written in the books makes any real sense.
For more information about classes and workshops with Tao Health Qi Gong see www.taohealth.co.nz