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The following story was sent to me by a Qi Gong practitioner, and with his permission I am sharing it as I feel it is a wonderful story to share. These are the sorts of ‘expansion’ experiences we will experience as we work on ourselves to evolve….

“I come from a background of martial arts (Kempo, Shaolin Chaun Fa,  Tai Chi/Chi Gung) and meditation has always featured under the umbrella of my teachings, but never to a particularly high degree. Over the last 19 years I have trained in the physical and energetic areas of the martial arts to a high degree, but when I look back I realize my meditation training and experience would only account for about 5% of my training time. Something I currently work towards bringing into balance for the following reasons.

About 2 years ago I was prepping for some solo tai chi training by doing a quiet standing meditation, which was typical for me, and during the normal 15 min meditation which usually consists of relaxing the mind and breath, relaxing the body and aligning the posture- I had an urge from within to forgo the physical movement and continue with the meditation. I will often follow my intuition at times like this, so went with it. After  a time I felt well relaxed and was literally adrift within the meditation when I noticed a gentle sensation of ‘oppression’ across my chest (sometimes I feel the words I use to describe the feelings or sensations I felt don’t quite fit, but are the closest words I know to describe the feeling) – something akin to a weight on my chest in but a standing up position.

I am familiar with the spiritual depictions of energy points as lotus flowers but I never fully appreciated the image until now.

The opening was endless – it just continued like it was never going to stop for tens of minutes, an ever blossoming flower.

It was subtle at first but the more I focused on it the more obvious it became. (after listening to your discussion I now realize that what I did at the time was “acknowledge the feeling without judgment” which obviously really helped). Although I felt physically relaxed I was becoming increasingly aware that something other than my physical self was not relaxed. As I quietly pondered this new realization and mentally probed at the weighty feeling I focused on the concept of ‘song’ (Chinese for ‘relax and let go’). Within a short period of time the feeling slowly began to diminish and I felt an expanding of my Chi.

Physically I felt like I was inflating like a balloon, not so much by force expanding outward but more like I was always meant to feel like this but something that was preventing my energy from this lighter more expanded form had been overcome (not quite the right words but I’m sure you get the gist). With all my Tai Chi training (many years and a 2nd degree black belt in the art) I had never felt this good.

At some point my heart exploded and pure joy and love gushed outward in every direction, like an exploding star beaming bright light to the outer reaches of the universe.

I felt great for sometime afterwards and since then have become much more rehearsed at this practice.

More recently something much more profound happened …

About 6 months ago I was meditating pre dawn on the east coast (something I now do as often as poss.) and was again quietly adrift in my meditative state. I had been going for some time and was feeling light and relaxed. By now I usually feel the expanding of my chi from the ground up. Over time my legs relax and start to gently vibrate, my belly expands first, then my spine aligns and my chest releases and expands, all with a little effort – mostly patience and focus. If I continue for long enough it feels like the energy travels from the Earth up my body and fountains out of the top of my head (if you can imagine such a thing).

This time I noticed a similar feeling of oppression around my heart – which once again was extremely subtle at first but became quite obvious as time passed. As before I gently observed and mentally probed the sensation, while thinking of the concept of ‘song’. What happened next was this. As the feeling started to lift it felt like my heart was expanding but it was agonizingly subtle and slow. If I tried to apply any sort of mental force the feeling would quickly reverse and diminish. I was thinking gently to myself how I might encourage things along and I received a strong intuitive message that I am certain actually came from my heart. My heart told me quite clearly to relax and leave it alone – and it would all happen naturally.

I was stunned – but at the same time unfazed, which I remember seemed rather odd at the time. I followed my intuition and let it go completely – basically I took a mental step back and observed. Quite quickly my heart expanded, the expanding accelerated and then my heart started to open. (At least that’s what it felt like).

As I marveled at it without doubt my Heart spoke to me again. It simply said “it can be like this all the time.

I am familiar with the spiritual depictions of energy points as lotus flowers but I never fully appreciated the image until now.

The opening was endless – it just continued like it was never going to stop for tens of minutes, an ever blossoming flower. If I was previously stunned, what happened next was downright incredible.

At some point my heart exploded and pure joy and love gushed outward in every direction, like an exploding star beaming bright light to the outer reaches of the universe. It sounds a little dramatic now but the experience is still burned into my mind and doesn’t even come close to anything I have ever experienced before. It was extremely amazing, and I was extremely amazed. It went on for some time & I marveled at the feeling, I was totally engulfed in it and, as I marveled at it without doubt my Heart spoke to me again. It simply said “it can be like this all the time.

It can be like this all the time – The message filled my mind, and was so profound that it felt like every cell in my being spontaneously new this to be a universal truth. There was absolutely no doubt. It made quite an impression I must say”.

Craig, NZ

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What’s really behind climate change and why we need to come into our hearts

“Life becomes much more enjoyable when you stop believing your mind.” ~ Adyashanti

Three years ago at a Qi Gong conference in Thailand with Master Mantak Chia, I had an ‘aha’ moment on my understanding of climate change and how it was related to the shifting of the planet’s poles. He explained how according to ancient Taoists, every 25,000 years the earth’s north pole and its corresponding alignment with north star shifts, and that this is what is happening now.

He told us how the north pole will  align with one of 3 stars. Currently it is Polaris, but it is moving towards Vega, and previously it was Thuban.  As soon as he explained this, I realized that all the earth changes and climate change made sense. Of course, if the poles are going to change, we are going to experience a lot of shake ups on earth.

He also explained how our heart is tilted towards the north star, hence the angle of our heart within our chest, and how the pulsing of the north star affects our own heart pulse.

And then a couple of months ago I was having an interesting conversation with someone who was friends with a retired pilot. Apparently, the earth changes are playing such havoc with airplane equipment and compasses, that airports are having to be temporarily shut down to re-align landing strips. According to him, we would be gob-smacked if we really knew what was going on with the earth’s magnetic grids.

Yesterday I was forwarded a link to a video by Kiesha Crowther, one of the 12 young Shaman wisdom keepers. In it she talks about the pole shift that is currently happening and will be complete in a couple of years from now. Apparently, we will not recognize the earth as it is now, and if we are to survive, we must live from the heart not the mind.

This also made sense to me of why for the past few years both myself and my colleagues have been training ourselves so vigorously to live from the heart, and why I have had the urge to create workshops such as ‘Train your heart mind and abdominal brain’.

It’s lovely when the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place, despite the traumatic events which are taking place all over the planet right now.

I recommend looking at Keisha’s video: http://vimeo.com/16812713

The Key to balancing your Mind is to lead with your Heart
What brings your mind to the Stillpoint in the Heart?
What SELF will you choose as your Center?

The Key to balancing your Body is connecting it with Nature
What allows your body the feeling of perfect peace?
What moves you from your heartspace?

The Key to balancing your Spirit is honoring the Wisdom within
What rests at the core of your Authentic Center?
What resonates with the voice of your soul?

by Mary Mcnab

The following article was written for the Hindu Council’s 3rd national conference in May 2010:

Serving Community through the Tao
Community networking and strengthening bonds from a Taoist perspective

“Through looking at the problems of human beings as a whole,
we can see where our own individual problems lie,
and through working on our individual problems, our lives get elevated.
When our lives are on a higher level,
we can help to deal with the problems of humanity as a whole”.*

THE TAO

“What is ‘truth’? It is following Dao,
following the most fundamental laws of life and the universe.
There is only one fundamental law for each thing.
Everyone may have a different view on this one thing,
so who is right if there is only one truth, one fundamental law? …

It is our job to seek that one truth”.*

The Tao Te Ching is one of Taoism’s foremost authorities on the philosophy of the Tao, or the way of life. It describes how human beings can return to their natural state and live in harmony with the Tao. With over 7,000 years of history and more than 3,600 different Taoist sects, it is impossible here to give a full overview of Taoism. However, taking just one modern-day school’s teachings as an example – Ren Xue Zhineng Qi Gong – I would like to offer some thoughts on how the principles of Taoism can be applied to ‘community networking and strengthening bonds from a Taoist perspective’.

First of all, let’s look at the dual concepts of ‘networking’ and ‘communities’. Generally one could say this involves some sort of communication, interaction, sharing of ideas, support and assistance, with the goal of improving any given situation. And the one common denominator in those actions is a human being! So in order to be our best in our interactions in community, we need to be our best as an individual; and we function at our best when we are physically healthy, mentally clear, emotionally stable and spiritually uplifted. And for this to happen we need to cultivate and uplift ourselves.

This is where the practice of Qi Gong comes in. According to Ren Xue Human Life Science’ The two essential elements of traditional Chinese culture are Dao and Qi; Dao is the fundamental law of the universe and life, Qi is the change and activities that manifest Dao. Qigong is the method that goes with them from the very beginning’.*

QI

Qi,气 is the fundamental substance of life, one definition being ‘energy impregnated with information’. Thus essentially we are a field of energy and information. And our Qi can be upgraded and fine-tuned. In Chinese medicine our physical structure, functions and Qi, are formed from Jing (essence) and Qi, classified together as ‘Ming’. And our mind, the source of consciousness and spirituality – the True Self – is our Shen. Xing and Ming are actually one, and we need to work on both simultaneously in order to grow and evolve. This is known as Xiu or self-cultivation, which consists of two processes: correcting things that are not right, and self-refinement. The goal is to see and manifest the True Self, to reach a high level of realization and clarity, so that life can transcend to a higher level. According to Master Yuan Tze, founder of Ren Xue,“To uplift oneself and uplift others is our primary mission in life. It is the highest level you can get to when trying to deal with your own problems and help others”.*

QI GONG – A TOOL FOR TRANSFORMATION

Qi Gong is a form of training where bye the consciousness is brought inwards in order to transform and enhance our being. In so doing we align ourselves with the law of human life and collectively evolve the human race to a higher level. “We can look at all human problems as being the result of going against the law, and hence to deal with problems we have to go back and begin to follow the law. We have to manifest the real spirit of science which is seeking the truth and discovering the unknown fundamental law in order to serve humanity.”*

So what is this law and how can we live it? Although, as Lao Tze says in his opening verse of the Tao Te Ching ‘The Tao that can be spoken of is not the Tao’, it can generally be described as the correct way of life. According to Ren Xue philosophy, the first principle used to guide us on this way is ‘self-cultivation via the action of Zi Du Du Ren: ‘lift yourself up, lift others up’. To ‘Du’ yourself is to deal with your own problems and once you have done that you can then be of assistance to others. According to Ren Xue this is the ultimate goal of life.

To accomplish this we need firstly to always be in an internal state of ‘calm and relaxation’, this being the ‘natural’ state, the state of the Tao. Then the True Self will manifest, bringing with it a natural state of joy. We also need to acquire a level of truth, knowledge and understanding which we can authentically pass onto others. Only then can we “touch people with virtues and earn trust with true abilities”*

There are more principles that accompany the central idea of ‘Zi Du, Du Ren, which we do not have time to cover here. However, once we have begun to master and live our life using these principles, we can then bring the concept of ‘Dao De’ into the picture.

DAO DE

Dao De can be described as the moral codes which people follow when they interact, and include three key elements: motives, behaviour and judgements.  “When deciding whether to do something to achieve the result we want, we think about whether it is a good thing to do. This involves Dao De judgements. Once the decision is made, an action may follow. The Dao De motive will change into Dao De behaviour. While the behaviour is occurring or when it is completed, we assess the effects or consequences to see if they are consistent with the motive”. *

So we need to constantly check that our actions are beneficial, in other words are they fulfilling the requirements of ‘Zi Du Du Ren’.  If not they will deplete our Qi and downgrade our Shen. So the questions we need to ask in our actions with others are, (a) ‘what are my intentions, (b) am I delivering the purpose of my actions and (c) do my intentions and actions fit the guideline of ‘uplifting myself and others?’. If we can honestly say yes, then hopefully we will be going somewhere along the road to fulfilling the mission of serving community as best we can.

* All quotes from Master Yuan Tze, ‘Voyage to the Shore’

By Kim Knight, Tao Health, Auckland, New Zealand

‘Leave emotions and be motionless’
Paramahamsa Hariharananda, Enlightened Kriya Yoga Master

LOOK MA, NO EMOTIONS!

If someone had told me a year ago, or 10 years ago, that it was not only possible, but actually natural, to not get ’emotional’ about things I simply would not have believed them. Recent experiences have has shaken this paradigm to the core.

For the last 20 years I have spent much time and effort in understanding what drives me, my patterns of thinking and emotional reactions, clearing old traumas and non-beneficial beliefs. During that time I have done a whole host of personal development including one-on-one counselling and group workshops covering a wide range of modalities from The Journey, Holotropic Breathwork, Rebirthing, Bodytalk, past life regression, time-line therapy, NLP….the list goes on. Since 2000 however I concentrated more fully on the meditation and Qi Gong practices of the Universal Healing Tao, in particular using the Inner SmileSix Healing sounds and Fusion of the Five Elements to clear negative emotions from the organs. Most days for 10 years I took the time to do these exercises, which I found particularly useful for clearing emotions on the spot, rather than ‘soaking’ in them for hours, days or months.

Then a year or so ago I noticed a difference in my meditations, and I couldn’t put my finger on what was happening. And in November 2009 I attended a two week silent Qi Gong retreat with Master Yuan Tze, Zhineng Qi Gong teacher. It was unexpectedly transformative. During the retreat I understood properly for the first time, from within, how negative emotions damage our internal organs. When the emotional energy rises up from within the particular organ (for example, sadness from the lungs or anger from the liver), it disturbs the delicate pool of Qi from which it comes. The Taoist teachings are always emphasizing how negative emotions drain energy, and I really ‘got it’.

Equally importantly, I understood that our natural state of being is CALM AND RELAXED. In other words, it is natural to be and live in a calm and relaxed state. When we are in such a state, our Shen (mind) is clear and our Jing and Qi (body and energy) are in a healthy state. It is from this state that we are designed to operate on a daily basis. ALL OF THE TIME.

So what does this mean? It means that emotional reactions are not natural or healthy! Now, that is going to push a lot of buttons for people when they read it, and to be quite frank, if someone had told me that 6 months ago I would have told them they were talking a load of cobblers. And even after I recognized the truth of this statement, I still wanted my emotions. I still wanted to feel sad and angry sometimes. I felt like a little kid who has had his toy taken away from him and starts to sulk. It was really quite amusing. But something had shifted dramatically in my understanding and inside my body. I knew from the truth that is only revealed from within that we are not meant to have emotions and how detrimental they really to our health. And then I realized that emotions are a habit! And like any habit, a habit can be changed.

LEARNING TO FEEL IS ESSENTIAL

So, I just want to backtrack for a minute, and what I am going to say now may sound like a direct contradiction to what I’ve just said. But as you will see it’s not really.

In my own journey to understand emotions, I have come to realize there are different stages of what I like to call EMOTIONAL MATURITY. And it goes a bit like this:

  1. We grow up and for some of us, for many reasons, (culture, family, education etc) we are not validated emotionally, or have traumatic incidents happen to us, which may lead to a supression of emotions. This quickly becomes an unconscious habit which we take with us as we grow up. As we do so, we move more and more out of our body and into our head. I call this moving from the body intelligence to the head intelligence. And there is nothing wrong with the intellect, it’s just that we have far more intelligence at our disposal than just our head intelligence. And so, just like not going to the gym for a while, we stop exercising the muscles of our emotional intelligence.
  2. Then, because everything is energy, including the body, mind and emotions (or Qi in Taoist terms), as we start to supress, hold down and ignore our emotions – but are still not dealing with them or the situations which created them – that energy starts to build up inside the body and block our life force. Slowly over time this starts to manifest as illness, either mental or physical (and actually, they are one and the same). So we start to feel stressed or anxious, depressed, get insomnia, irritable bowel, allergies, cancer, chronic fatigue, you name it… But we are oblivious to the underlying emotions which are being held inside, as we have trained ourselves so well to not feel.
  3. Then something happens, maybe we just decide “I can’t go on like this, I’m going to find answers to my x,y,z problem” and we start to look within. And we start to realize that underneath most symptoms there are unidentified emotions. And we start to learn (or re-learn and remember) how to feel. At first this is scary, as we start to feel long-repressed emotions, but as we make progress we begin to realize that actually it’s not that scary to feel, and very importantly that emotions are not ‘bad’. And slowly, slowly we start to make friends with our emotions rather than automatically resisting them. (And by the way, it’s the resisting the emotion that brings the so-called ’emotional pain’, not the emotion itself).

So, just to recap what I have said in the above points, firstly we train ourselves to not feel, then we become aware that we have a habit of not feeling, and then we start re-training ourselves to feel again. But this is not the end of it. And this is the bit that no-one ever told me! (Well, actually a few people had, I just wasn’t ready to hear it so it didn’t register on my radar).

TRANSCENDING THE NEED FOR EMOTIONS

Once we have reached a certain level of proficiency in feeling, and have cleared a certain amount of emotional baggage, we are then presented with the next step: the truth of the fact that emotional reactions are a habit which can be changed, and that they are extremely damaging to our health. We understand perhaps for the first time ever that it is possible to live without emotions. We realize the inherent truth that our natural state of being is to be in a calm and relaxed state 24 hours a day, and that any time we move from that place of calmness, we know that we have moved from a healthy (life-affirming) to an unhealthy (life-depleting) state. And the number one thing we now have to do, as soon as possible, is bring ourselves back to that natural, calm and healthy state.

Wow. That was a shock. Why? Because I had to give up my ’emotional habit’, which includes any form of drama or poor me or ‘someone else it to blame’ or ‘it’s not ok to be happy’. It’s a 180 degree turnaround in thinking and belief, which at first I wasn’t sure I was ready to accept. It was so spectacularly different, I was in shock for several days. But somehow it felt true, and the internal shift was so real I could not deny it.

I also want to emphasize that I do feel that going through the stage of learning to feel and clearing emotions is an essential stage for most of us. How can you transcend emotions if you don’t know what they are? It’s a bit like learning to walk before you can run – you simply have to go through the required stages and skipping a step would be detrimental.

However, things are-a-changing pretty rapidly in terms of consciousness right now, and who knows, maybe that will change too. But for now, I just wanted to share the tremendous realization that living without negative emotions is our birthright. We can “leave emotion and be motionless”.

PS – I’s just like to add, this realization does not mean that emotions never arise in me. Sometimes they do, but the experience is very different, they are much less frequent, much weaker and more quickly dispersed. It’s actually quite hard to put into words the difference inside, but it is a profound shift in both understanding and internal experience.

Kim Knight

The Art of Health

www.taohealth.co.nz

By Kim Knight, Tao Health Qi Gong, Auckland, NZ

Hello fellow Qi Gong practitioners. I’d like to share a wonderful story (well, for me anyway) about putting the teachings of Zhineng Qi Gong into practice.

Since the November retreat last year my life has been quite strange. After having had a massive shift in awareness around emotions, (ie, that we don’t actually need to experience negative emotions at all), and really experiencing from inside my body the reality of how the Qi of emotions damages the organs and drains energy, I’ve been integrating this new information (state) and living more than ever before in the unknown.

One of the biggest lessons I came away from the retreat with was to stay in a ‘calm, relaxed, natural and joyful state’ no matter what. In other words, not be attached to what is happening ‘out there’. After the retreat, I had my quietest month ever with clients; I put it down to Christmas, despite the fact that the year before was my busiest month ever.

The quiet continued into January, which I put down to New Zealand summer time, everyone’s on holiday etc… and then into February – by now I’m beginning to realize something is going on here. I considered looking for some other work but did not feel drawn to do so, and decided (again) to risk trusting that whatever I was doing was right. All the while, I was focusing on staying in a ‘calm, relaxed’ etc state, which most of the time I was managing to do.

In February I decided to contact Yuan Tze for some advice, as things seemed to be so out of the ordinary. His advice was “Be careful that you don’t allow the temporary drop to affect your view and your attitude, especially to get worried or anxious.  These things can really work as negative information that will affect people’s decision to come to see you.  So it is important that you recognize the value of your work and have a very positive attitude.  Your positivity and confidence will put out positive information that will attract people”.

I also asked about the topic he covered on the first day of the retreat; about ‘trust’ and going to a deeper level of trust, and how when we get to the door there is a sentry there with a machine gun. His response was “When we try to move to a different level of Qigong state which is new and unfamiliar, the guard will be on alert and try to stop us from going there.  This is the pattern we all have – fear of the uncertainty or unknown.

The trust comes from knowing that when we are in a good qigong state which is the healthiest state of life, we should trust that everything that is going to happen will be a good thing”.

This was the missing piece of information I had been looking for. As soon as I read it, I felt a wave of relief sweep over me.

“Oh my goodness, all I have to do is focus on staying in a calm, relaxed and natural state, and TRUST that even though I am completely in the unknown right now, only GOOD things can come because this is a NATURAL state to be in. Ie, I am working in harmony with the laws of life and only good can come of this”.

(For any of you that are into the Abraham Hicks stuff, this seems to be the same as what they mean when they say “You’re only job is to stay in the vortex”).

I found it quite interesting to notice how my habit was to allow my work situation to control how I felt: eg, if a client rang up to book, I would feel good. And if a client rang up to cancel, or I had no clients, I would feel bad. And it occurred to me how much I was allowing external circumstances to dictate how I felt, ie, the attachment to whether I thought something was good or bad. So I decided even more to focus on not being affected by the outer circumstances and to just keep in a calm, natural state. (After all, let’s be honest, it does feel good doesn’t it?!)

I also was beginning to feel that I was being pushed (not asked) by some part of me (the Universe / whatever you like to call it) to change direction and for the first time ever to create my own brand of health programs and workshops. This was pushing major self-value and self-doubt buttons in me. Despite the fact that I hardly had any money coming in and the old ‘voice in the head’ would come in and say “you ought to go and get a proper job, anything, whatever will pay the bills” etc, I felt it was the right thing to keep going with planning this new venture. I just kept practising staying in the calm, natural state.

I also happened to watch the DVD where Yuan Tze is talking to the new instructors about teaching others for the first time, and how doubt may come in. I was fascinated when he said “Feeling under-confident is the false you. You need to find the true self. Worries, under confidence and fear are your ego and show you are only concerned about yourself. Let go of worrying about yourself and instead direct your attention to people who need help.” ‘Fascinating’, I thought to myself, ‘my self-doubt is selfishness’.

This week was the quietest week yet – two clients, and then one cancelled. And yet I didn’t panic. For some strange reason I did not panic. I just kept on with the calm, relaxed natural state, coming to the conclusion that for the first time ever I would have to get a cash advance on my credit card to pay my rent. In 35 years of paying bills, this has never happened. In the past I would have panicked, stressed, been anxious, worked even harder…Instead, I took time to do my Qi Gong practice and stay calm, and quietly accepted that this was how it was going to be.

Then tonight, I came home and had to pay a bill online. And incredulously as I looked at my bank balance I noticed it had shot up overnight. An unexpected tax rebate. Wow, I thought, this stuff really works. Thanks Yuan Tze! May we all continually be inspired to live in harmony with the laws of life. Trust, trust, trust. Where’s your sentry, has he put his gun down?

PS – In summary, these are the nuggets of information I am hoping to share by posting this blog:

  1. Life lessons do not come as a theoretical piece of information that we can simply understand intellectually and things will be different. Life brings us practical, hands-on lessons which we only ‘get’ by living the experience of that lesson. This can be a challenge until we learn to see the gift in the lesson.
  2. One of these lessons I feel is that we are being asked, even forced, to live in the unknown, which is really the present, the great mystery of life. This means we cannot be in the past with regret, resentment or anger, and we cannot be in the future with worry or doubt. We have to be solidly in the present. This requires:
  3. TRUST. Trusting ourselves and trusting life. Trusting that we are totally connected to all that is, we are all that is, and therefore everything has to be ok. This requires that we
  4. Follow our inner guidance, our intuition, and that we trust it. This requires a training of our inner guidance system, which I like to call our heart-mind and abdominal brain. This guidance does not come through the intellect, we just find that we do things without knowing why at a head level. Initially this will feel quite strange.
  5. Staying calm, relaxed, natural and joyful is both (a) our essential nature and (b) an essential practice if we want to be truly happy and at peace. This takes discipline, as the mind will want to rule. Again, it’s a matter of living from the heart and gut as well.
  6. Letting go of attachment to feelings, not just objects. As far as I can ascertain, this is one of the major lessons of the great sages, such as Patanjali in his yoga sutras. The lesson of not being attached or affected by anything that happens outside of us. In the coming years, if natural disasters and economic crisis are to continue, this is a very valuable skill.

These topics and more will be the subject of many of my new ‘Art of Health’ workshops. Here is a taste of some of the titles:

  • How to stop worrying and start living
  • How to keep it together when everything is falling apart
  • How to live in the Now
  • How to stop the inner critic
  • How to train your abdominal brain
  • Lessons in trust
  • How to be at peace in a stressful world
  • And more…

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.

History

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”.

Foundation practices

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.

Fusion

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.

Conclusion

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.

Note:
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

by Kim Knight, Director of Tao Health Qi Gong, Auckland, New Zealand

Most people have heard of ‘Chi Kung’, which is loosely translated as ‘energy management’. And most people have heard of the Chinese term for life force – ‘Chi’. This article will explain a little bit about our life force, and how, using the tools of the Universal Healing Tao, we can learn to manage and enhance it for our own health and well-being.

Chi

So, firstly, a little about Chi. Whilst it is impossible to put such an esoteric concept into words, it has been described by Gilles Marin, author and Senior Tao Instructor, as ‘the breath of creation’, ‘energy impregnated with information’ and ‘the energy carrying the deliberate intent to promote life and existence’.

And whilst most people are familiar with Chi in general, its multiple origins and forms are lesser known. To simplify, there are three main sources for the Chi we find in our body:

  1. Jing Chi – known as our ‘original Chi or inherited Chi’ which is passed down to us from our parents
  2. Gu Chi – or digestive Chi, which is derived from the food and drink we ingest
  3. Da Chi – or Cosmic Chi, which is drawn in through the lungs

Even from just understanding this we can see the impact on our own health of (a) the quality of our parents’ Chi (which is an amalgam of their spiritual / mental / emotional and physical states) (b) the quality of our food / drink and eating habits (ie, chewing well and eating slowly for good digestion) and (c) our breathing and exercise habits.

Da Chi and Gu Chi are then combined to produce ‘Zong Chi’ which is transformed into ‘Zhen Chi’, a fully refined Chi that is now ready to be used by the body. Zhen Chi is further divided into

(a) ‘Wei Chi’, a specific type of Chi that helps us to maintain good energetic boundaries and protects the body from infections and

(b) ‘Ying Chi’ which is used by the body to nourish the cells and move the blood.

As Chi travels through the organs, it takes on the quality of that organ system: Chi travelling through the Heart and Endocrine system becomes ‘Fire Chi’, in the Kidneys ‘Water Chi’, in the Spleen and Stomach ‘Earth Chi’, in the Lungs ‘Metal Chi’, and in the Liver and nerves ‘Wood Chi’. Thus we find Five Elemental Forces within the body, a direct reflection of the Five Elemental Forces of Nature in the Universe.

CHI KUNG

Conservation of Energy

So, before going into how we can tap directly into the unlimited energy pools of Universal and Cosmic Chi, a few words about Chi Kung or ‘energy management’. According to Master Mantak Chia, founder of the Universal Healing Tao, “our first goal is to conserve our Chi: when a battery is drained it is harder to charge. Money makes Money. Chi makes Chi. Conservation of Chi will help gain more Chi.” In his book ‘Cosmic Healing I’ he explains how we unwittingly leak energy in 3 major ways:

  1. Through negative emotions
  2. Through constantly turning our senses outwards
  3. Through the reproductive system – (for men via ejaculation, for women via menstruation).

In the beginning practices of the Universal Healing Tao (UHT) we learn to root to the earth and build a good energetic structure with Iron Shirt Chi Kung. According to Chia, just like a tyre needs to have the correct psi, we need to maintain a good level of Chi pressure inside the body. This keeps our vital organs in their correct position and protects them with several layers of ‘Chi’ cushioning – an ‘Iron Shirt’.

We also learn through the sitting meditations of the Cosmic Inner Smile and Six Healing Sounds to bring our senses inwards to rest with their parents: the tongue rolls down to the Heart, the mouth to the Spleen, the ears to the Kidneys, the eyes to the Liver and the nose to the Lungs. And through the Healing Lovepractices, we learn to transform sexual energy back into life force that can be used to nourish the body. As I was once told ‘If you don’t learn how to control your sexual energy, it will control you.”

Balancing Energy

Apart from conserving Chi, we also need to balance it. Our energy needs to flow freely through the body’s meridiens (energetic pathways) like a river. Only then can our cells and organs remain healthy. Unfortunately, due to habits and lifestyle, our Chi can become stagnant, blocked, excessive in some areas and deficient in others. This affects all levels of our being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. So for example, if your liver is clogged with physical toxins, you are likely to feel (mentally) nervous and (emotionally) frustrated or angry. And too much heat in the heart will result in feelings of impatience and hastiness.

According to Taoists sages, the physiological function of each organ will equally be impaired by negative emotions: worry affects the spleen / stomach; fear and stress affect the kidneys and sadness and grief affect the Lungs.

Practicing the Cosmic Inner Smile and Six Healing Soundsmeditations we connect with and clear negative emotional energy from the organs. And with theMicrocosmic Orbit meditation we free up and circulate our Chi flow around two major meridians which together form a loop up the back and down the front of the body.

Each organ system also stores a particular part of our Soul and Spirit, which ‘reveal’ themselves in our positive ‘virtues’. The Heart’s essence is joy, gratitude and respect; The Stomach and Spleen’s are trust and openness. The virtues in the Kidneys are deep peace and stillness, which are also the essential nature of the Water Element. Each virtue is infact the essence of one of the Five Elemental Forces of Nature found in both our body and the Cosmos, which when combined form the energy of Compassion.

Transformation of Energy

Once we have started to conserve and balance our Chi, we can then learn totransform it into more beneficial energies. In the next stage of practice, theFusion of the Five Elements – remembering that energy can never be destroyed, only transformed – we (a) journey through the organs to collect negative emotions which are then (b) collected in a ‘cauldron’ at the navel and transformed into a purified ‘pearl’ of pure Chi which is then (c) passed through the organs again gathering the virtues so that finally (d) a ‘pearl of compassion’ can be moved through the meridians and organs to clear blockages and nourish our being.

As Mantak Chia puts it “Chi is not only the foundation of our health, it is also the basis of spiritual development in the Tao”. The Fusion practices are level 3 out of a total of 9 levels of ‘Internal Alchemy’. Initially the practices are aimed at enhancing our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. However, in the process of creating a solid foundation of health, the basis for developing ones spiritual independence is also created. Once one reaches the more advanced practices such as Kan and Li and Sealing of the Five Senses, one builds an immortal foetus and energy body which becomes the vehicle for passing into spirit. The ultimate goal of Taoist practice is infact the transcendence of physical boundaries through the development of the soul and the spirit within.

Increasing Energy

Once we have accomplished the 3 phases of conserving, balancing and transforming Chi, we then learn to increase it. It is essential to first learn the above three phases or we will either waste the extra energy or amplify any negative energy still in the body.

As Master Chia puts it, Chi is everywhere – it pervades all of heaven, earth and nature, and we just need to learn how to tap into the unlimited, transpersonal reservoirs of Universal and Cosmic energy. Via the Microcosmic Orbit and the practice of ‘Opening the 3 Tan Tiens to the 6 Directions’ we connect our Macrocosmic (Individual Being) with the Microcosm (Whole), moving up through the solar system, Milky Way, the Five Elements, Three Pure Ones and Tai Chi, arriving at the Primordial Force (Wu Tao).

Remembering that we are a miniature version of the Universe, we too have our own primordial force at our centre: the Tan Tien or ‘Elixir Field’. This is where our Original Force is stored and where we can store any Chi that we create inside or absorb from the Universe. This is also the site of our abdominal brain, which we can train to use so that we can rest the head brain, which tends to be overworked.

Healing

Finally, a practitioner learns to assist others using Cosmic Healing Chi Kung, Chi Nei Tsang and the World Link meditation. There are many other branches of purification within the Universal Healing Tao, including Bone Breathing, Stem Cell Chi Kung and Healing Buddha Palms. With so many Chi Kung practices to choose from, and with their ongoing cumulative and beneficial effects, Master Chia reminds us that ‘according to the ancient sages, long-term practice beyond two years and most effectively if practiced life-long, could retard the various degenerative changes associated with old age. A diligent practitioner often lived to ninety years of age and remained healthy and alert, able to jog, run and climb mountains with ease, and continued to enjoy life more fully than most people’.

Tapping directly into these Universal and Cosmic forces teaches us that we are born with the ability to by-pass a total reliance on plants or animals for the life-force which they themselves have absorbed from the Cosmos. We are designed to go directly to the Source – we just need to know how.

For more information about classes and workshops with Tao Health Qi Gong see www.taohealth.co.nz