Inside Chi Flows Naturally:
1. Story of how Healing Tao summer retreats 2007 had to
suddenly relocate, due to sale of its Catskill center.
By grace of Tao and guidance from I Ching, we have a
new (and better) site: Heavenly Mountain, a former
luxurious spiritual center of Transcendental Meditation
(TM). It’s nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge
Mountains near Blowing Rock, North Carolina. At 4000
feet high, it is energetically far more powerful than
our old Catskill site. These are the highest mountains
on the east coast and have fabulous waterfalls, caves,
rafting and hiking nearby. It’s close to Asheville,
with its many attractions. Details below. Photo link:
Nearest big airport is Charlotte, N.C.. New schedule is
very close to the old schedule, but there are changes.
Mantak Chia’s June 16 start date is unchanged; all
other retreats run Friday dinner to Wednesday lunch,
with more weekend options. Tuition costs unchanged,
better accomodations, and single rooms are cheaper. New
schedule, travel details below. We need a chef and more
Website is being updated, but may take a few days.
Check www.HealingTaoRetreats.com for ongoing info – we
have space for expansion now and may be inviting other
Tao masters to teach their art. Contact our registrar
Rob Renahan with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
(email is best for us) or 1-888-750-1773 (noon – 4 pm
EST, M-F). After April 8, Rob’s cell is 828-242-0968.
2. We are still accepting late signups for China Dream
Trip, subject to change in air costs.
See full trip itinerary at:
See my top 60 China Dream Trip photos at:
3. Fusion of the Five Elements 2 & 3 on April 28 & 29,
in Asheville, NC. Added plus for those travelling:
Asheville is only a short drive up the Blue Ridge
Parkway to our new retreat site near Blowing Rock, a
magnificent drive this time of the year. Contact:
Dear Lovers of the Natural Way,
The Tao is about Change. Taoist self-cultivation
studies Nature because it teaches us how to change
gracefully. Tao teaches us how to dance with the all
pervading Life Force as we move through our personal
life cycles. Sometimes, Change happens quickly, like a
Dealing with Bad News
Ten days ago, the summer retreat program got slammed by
a small tsunami of Change. I received an email
informing me our N.Y. Catskills retreat center is being
sold and that our rental contract to hold 25 Healing
Tao University retreats this summer was being torn up.
The Jeronimos who own the Catskills center are good
folks, but for personal reasons are desperate to sell.
Their desperation was our potential ruin.
That kind of change can take your breath away. It
affects hundreds of people, a faculty of 20
instructors, and a tightly crafted schedule of 25
retreats. With a year’s notice, it would be a small
feat to relocate. On three months notice, it was like
asking an ocean liner to suddenly behave like a
The strange thing is that the I Ching, the ancient
Chinese book of wisdom (lit. “Book of Unchanging
Changes”) had already warned me last summer that we
would be moving. But I thought it wouldn’t happen for
another year, so I signed the 2007 contract. I am
reminded, once again, that the forces of Change wait
for no man. The Year of the Female Fire PIg is kicking
in full strength, bringing new abundance for those
properly aligned, and the chaos of separating Fire
Above and Water Below for those who are not.
I did an intensive search for New England sites,
starting in the Catskills and radiating outward. I
called the top dozen likely candidates. Of course,
everyone was mostly booked or could offer only choppy
dates sandwiched in between other groups. Totally
unsatisfactory for the quality of energy work we are
doing, and for the type of space we have been holding
internationally for the Taoist community. I was getting
a bit concerned, and wondering if the retreats were
even meant to happen in 2007. So I asked the I Ching
what to do, and it suggested “the situation is changing
rapidly, the Way is Open. Be open to receive assistance
from a new direction. Great Harvest.”
Following the Dragons to the Southeast
I decided to look at other mountain locations, the
traditional favorite for Taoist cultivation. I chose to
live in the Blue Ridge mountains near Asheville, North
Carolina because the earth chi is so powerful. There
are powerful “dragons” in the land, what other
traditions would call “ley lines”. These mountains are
the oldest mountains on earth, some 400 million years
old according to geologists. A deep earth wisdom lies
within their bones. The Appalachian mountains of North
Carolina are loaded with crystal of such high quality
that 96% of the silicon used in computer chips in the
USA comes from here.
The crystal stone circle in my backyard came from a
woman near Blowing Rock, North Carolina who didn’t want
the garage-sized crystal boulder in the middle of her
driveway…. So I sat in my stone circle, where I often
meditate or practice qigong, and asked for help. I
followed the vibration of the Stones, tracking them to
their source within the land for inspiration. And I
suddenly remembered ten years earlier, my younger
brother Steven visiting me. We went up to Blowing Rock
to visit a TM center, an enormously ambitious project
built by two of his TM friends, Earl and David Kaplan.
The Kaplans were inspired in 1993 by their TM guru
Maharishi to build a retreat center to hold a thousand
“professional meditators” who would be meditating and
chanting all day to radiate out World Peace. The idea
was to get critical mass going, to send out an
energetic wave to the planet. What a lovely idea, quite
alchemical. One drop of pure consciousness shifts the
entire polluted field. But the trick is getting the
right alchemical essences into that one drop. Then the
vibrational intent penetrates to the very heart of
matter. Very different, in my training, than simply
praying to Spirit. Spirit, I believe, is just half of
Matter. And Spirit wants us to use our free will and
love to directly shape Matter – not beg Spirit to do it
In 1997 my brother Steven and I drove up to Blowing
Rock, an old Native American area that is now a popular
tourist site. It is close to Grandfather Mountain,
Linville Falls, deep caverns, and Mt. Mitchell (at
7,000 ft. the highest peak on the East coast). Blowing
Rock itself is a famous precipice with a stunning 80
mile vista over the Blue Ridge Mountains and the green
valleys below. When the wind blows, the Rock makes its
own music. There is an old Cherokee and Catawba legend
that lovers from the two tribes – who were at war – met
at Blowing Rock. The man felt called by duty to return
to his tribe, and leaped off the rock to his death. The
woman called to Spirit to bring him back – and the Wind
blew him back up onto the Rock into the arms of his
Steve wanted to go to Blowing Rock to do a special
meditation to solve a personal problem he had at the
time. So in 1997 we sat on the land at Heavenly
Mountain, the name given to the 5000 acres purchased by
the Kaplans. They had hired top fengshui experts from
both the Chinese and Vedic (Hindu) traditions to study
the land and its layout before building on it.They had
security guards swarming all over the mountain to
guarantee its privacy. So we drove off to a secluded
patch of forest that called to me, to get away from the
temples and meditators and guards.
While Steve chanted to the heavens, I did my Taoist
meditation, which included going deep into the earth to
talk with the spirits there. I had a powerful
meditation, it was easy to go in deep, the earth
spirits were very open. I had done TM meditation back
in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and it had helped me
greatly to release tension. In fact, it cured me of
eye headaches and assisted me in surviving the rigorous
study needed at my Ivy League college. I never took
formal TM initiation. I just used their method, taught
to me by a friend, with a mantra of my own spontaneous
choosing (which unbeknownst to me at the time, was the
named of a major Hindu God…)
Tracking the Perfect Retreat Center
Sitting in my stone circle ten years later, I flashed
back into that meditation at Heavenly Mountain. It was
filed deep within a library of frequencies stored
within my subtle bodies. All memory is really subtle
energy patterns, which is why its possible for us to
access any experience stored in the universal
time-space vault. My connection to Heavenly Mtn.
flowed back into my bones.
A few minutes later I got up and called my brother
Steve, to locate the Kaplans. I knew that they had
become disillusioned with Maharishi from a posting on
the Healing Tao forum – an open letter by Earl Kaplan
to the TM community you can read HERE:
was his reasons for kicking out the 800+ meditators at
Heavenly Mountain, and why he thought folks needed to
move beyond the old Guru model. It is a brilliant
detailed expose on the danger of giving up one’s power
to anyone else.
I try not to get too involved in spiritual politics,
and focus on spiritual practice. But I could see that
Earl Kaplan was likely moving in the direction of more
grounded, body-centered meditation that Taoist
cultivation offered. Long story short, Heavenly
Mountain was sitting empty, awaiting completion of
legal battles with the meditators who were evicted.
I called Earl Kaplan in Boulder, and he sounded
interested in the Taoist work. He knew that he needed
to shift the chi at Heavenly Mountain, and get it
moving in a fresh new direction. That’s our speciality,
I informed Earl. The chi in the Catskills was dead when
we arrived 5 years ago, we awakened it with deep
embodied meditation and qigong training. Taoist
spiritual technology is Earth centered; Hindu spiritual
technology is Ether centered. Both are valid spiritual
approaches. But my experience is that we are currently
in a cycle in which the Earth chi is doing the
expanding, making it the more vibrant, grounded path at
After talking to Earl, I drove to Blowing Rock the next
day. I was shown the east campus, where all the women –
the “Divine Mothers” – lived and meditated. The chi
there was more appropriate for Taoist cultivation, with
its focus on Water and Fire alchemy, on the
feminine/yin side first. The energy there was nice, but
a bit ethereal, not really connected to the earth chi
in the mountain. Within 3 days we had a deal, securing
a new home for Healing Tao USA’s summer retreat
Advantages of Heavenly Mountain
Of course, for those in the northeast, it may seem
inconvenient and more expensive to travel further
south. But our top flight faculty – many from NYC and
Boston – are making the trip, and they are excited
about it. If you have your doubts, a little
investigation will soon have you excited and
surrendering to Change as well!G
A good place to start off is with PHOTOS of Heavenly
Mountain and nearby areas. Go to
It also has maps of where Blowing Rock is – 78 miles
from Charlotte, the capitol of North Carolina. Heavenly
Mtn. is a few miles from Blowing Rock and Boone, just
off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway is widely
considered to be the most beautiful drive in America –
a good reason to drive to the retreat.
MUCH QUIETER – no road traffic, the main thing driving
me away from our Catkskills location. Heavenly Mountain
is totally private and secluded, and thus easier to
build a real and sustained energy field.
BETTER FACILITIES – better meeting rooms, all with
quiet central a/c and chairs designed for meditation.
The bedrooms are bigger, more modern construction, less
mold, with each room having full a/c and heat control.
We are lowering the price on the singles because we
have so many available. Plus higher quality doubles,
incredible mtn views, laundry facilities on each floor.
There is an outdoor pool, and hot tubs are being
installed. Of course, we will have our Taoist
Bookstore, with its unsurpassed collections of titles
and cool Tao T-shirts.
BETTER FOOD -Healing Tao is taking control of the
kitchen, and supplying our own chef. (Contact me asap
if you are interested in the job- just hit reply to
this email). There is a state of the art kitchen, a
dining hall that can serve 250 people. For those
staying between retreats, there is a smaller private
kitchen and big refrige space.
Note: We’ll have MORE WORK STUDY spaces available to
man the kitchen and laundry facilitities, great for
those who want to trade work for room/board (you still
pay tuition). Contact email@example.com
MORE NATURAL BEAUTY – On the east campus where we will
be, there are two giant crystals. One is a 6,000. pound
Amethyst geode, the largest in the world (see photos).
The other is a 10,000. pound quartz crystal, also said
to be the largest of its kind. Both offer unique
energetic opportunities. A short hike from campus is
the “blue hole”, a magnificant swimming hole with a
river flowing into an emerald pool. See photos of the
nearby Linville Falls, Grandfather Mtn, Blowing Rock,
Falls Creek, and many other fabulous natural sites that
will happily occupy your time between retreats. We are
located in the heart of some of America’s most
beautiful sites that make coming to a retreat a double
SPIRITUALLY ATTUNED OWNERS AND STAFF – Earl and David
Kaplan are super serious spiritual seekers, totally
committed to supporting others in their path. Quite
different from the hoteliers we had in the Catskills.
Debbie Triplett, the business manager, is committed to
giving the Healing Tao the best experience possible.
The Kaplans have hired a half-welsh, half-Native
American sensitive named Cynthia Hart to be the
Gatekeeper at Heavenly Mountain. She is a wonderful
earthy soul, a former Park ranger with divinity degrees
and doctorates in many world religions. Her job is to
continually clear the land of negative energy and to
keep positive chi flowing. When I first called her, she
immediately asked, “Are you bringing the dragons I’ve
been dreaming about for the last three days?”
TRAVEL – The Charlotte airport is my favorite in the
USA – clean, spacious, with a piano bar, nice
restaurants, rocking chairs and trees to rest under.
Much nicer than passing through New York City. Its an
international airport with direct connections abroad.
It’s about 2 hours drive to get to Blowing Rock – no
farther than the Catskills. Our registrar will be
keeping a bulletin board for travellers looking to
share rental cars and/or shuttles (we are negotiating
deals on that). Having a car will be really nice, given
all the nice sites worth visiting nearby, and the
convenience going to/from the airport. You can also fly
into Greensboro, NC, and they have a cheap bus up to
TRAVEL DISCOUNTS/REBATES: If you are a past attendee of
Healing Tao retreats and our shift is causing you
economic hardship to get to our new location, i.e. you
used to drive and cannot afford to fly or drive south,
call our registrar to see if we can help with a special
discount this first year. If you already booked a
flight to NYC and are forced to change it to Charlotte,
we’ll deduct any reasonable cancel/ change fee from
your registration cost.
Insider’s Guide to 2007 Summer Retreats
(reposted from last email):
It’s time to decide if there is summer retreat awaiting
you. A fun week that will hopefully awaken the sleeping
How does one choose between 25 retreat offerings? Easy.
Read the list below slowly. The close your eyes, drop
your focus down into your heart. Breathe in and out of
your heart a few times. Then ask, which retreat serves
my highest good? Your heart won’t lie to you.
In 2007, we are still offering the only live-in retreat
with Mantak Chia. It’s great to just hang out with him
at meals and around the campus. He may not be
travelling here forever, so don’t postpone the
opportunity to check out the heavy chi pumping out
through his energy field. He’s offering a totally new
topic, DNA repair and Immune Building Qigong, plus
Tao-Yin (Taoist Yoga).
David Twicken is continuing his brilliant integration
of Chinese Astrology, Feng Shui, and Qigong. I will be
offering his books shortly in the new astrology section
of my website, and you will be able to get a Free natal
chart. David offers a free detailed reading to each
person attending his seminar, which also carries CEU
We’ve got a hot new Classical Tai Chi training from
Tina Zhang, to match Frank Allen’s unsurpassed 3 part
Bagua training. Tina and Frank recently authorized an
excellent book on the Norther Wu Style, a style I
happen to practice and really love. Tina also has a
Women’s Earth Qigong retreat.
We have all the old standbys – the HealingTao Senior
Instructors offering a top notch Instructor
Certification training (courses open to the public):
myself, Marie Favorito, Masahiro Ouchi, Rene Navarro,
and recently tapped for Senior status, Karin Sorvik.
This is the core curriculum track – Qigong
Fundamentals, Iron Shirt, Fusion, Healing Love, and for
the body workers Chi Nei Tsang.
Minke de Vos is coming out from Vancouver to share her
20 year insight into healing love. She developed her
Happy and Healthy Heart Qigong course after undergoing
a heart transplant. Read her amazing story on
Adding new spice is my friend Robert Peng, an top
qigong healer who shares his secrets in a Qigong
Healing Intensive over the July 4 week. Robert is
lovely, humble, and powerful – he was born with the
ability to “spark” chi in a tangible form, like an
electric current. If you want to learn Qi Emission,
Robert is the man.
We have the irrepressible Madam Wang Yan, a spry 70
year old who is a walking encyclopedia of medical
qigong and the Grand Madam of weight loss qigong in the
West. If you want to breathe away fat and lose 4-6
pounds a week, it is achievable by natural means. Her
stories and insight into the world of Chinese qigong is
alone worth the trip.
Another healer and empath is Judith Poole, who has
gather the top Energy Medicine and Energy Psychology
tools under her single roof. If you’ve got an intense
crisis or issue to heal, Judith is the Woman.
Finally, our Retreat Registrar, Rob Renahan, is
unveiling his stuff for the first time at Dao mtn. He
is developing his version of Zen Qigong, based on his
extensive practice in the Zen tradition and his
integration of it into the Taoist qigong and inner
alchemy tradition. If you want to get to deep quiet
space, Rob is the Man.
They are all great teachers, and they attract wonderful
people who create a beautiful synergy. These are high
energy retreats where you will walk away with new
skills, new friends, and a burst of amazingly high
energy that you will surf on for months.
Now that we have more teaching rooms available at
Heavenly Mountain, I may be inviting other worthy
teachers that we never had space for in the Catskills.
We will let you know of further developments.
Sharing the Joy of Unchanging Change with all Lovers of
?Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Virtue as his home,
the Tao as his door, and who becomes change ? is a
? Chuang Tzu, Inner Chapters
“The Tao is very close, but everyone looks far away.
Life is very simple, but everyone seeks difficulty.”
— Taoist Sage, 200 B.C
Get a free 12 page brochure on Healing Tao University,
the largest Tao (Dao) Arts & Sciences program in the
West with 25 week long retreats featuring “chi kung”
(qigong) and inner alchemy (neidangong) training. For
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