Since Mantak Chia?s book on Fusion of the Five Elements was published 15 years ago, there has been a lot of confusion over the Healing Tao practice of Fusion.. There were a lot of practices in the book that were NOT part of the original fusion practice, but bits of higher Kan & Li alchemy practices (five animals, five planets, taking pearl out of the body, etc.). As the editor of that book, I objected at the time and edited these higher practices out on the grounds that people should master the emotional level of alchemy before playing in cosmic fields beyond the body.
Master Chia put these Kan and Li practices back in and published it, as was his prerogative. He admitted to me some years later that it was a mistake, as the Fusion practice, which we hoped would revolutionize the western psychological community, was largely disregarded by them as being too esoteric or too Chinese in its imagination and not suitable for general western use. The problem has been compounded over time as these and many other higher practices have been downloaded even into the first weekend Basic orbit courses.
This tendency to compress the entire Healing Tao system into a single powerful technique I call the “Tao Big Whopper”. It looks like a delicious, super juicy bargain, but how many people can actually get their mouth around it? Or if they do manage to sink their teeth in, can they really digest the cosmic chi from stars and planets in their first weekend? Can they go home and successfully recreate that practice?
After studying and teaching Taoist alchemy for 20 years, my conclusion is that most people cannot. Their heads get excited with a lot of information, they feel high energy at the workshop, but it is difficult to ground these cosmic chi frequencies. Admittedly, these frequencies are bombarding us every moment, and I believe Master Chia?s intent is admirable in wanting to share as much as he possibly can as quickly as he can. But after years of experimenting with the progression of “information feed” into students of alchemy, and visiting China and studying with other Taoist teachers, I appreciate the importance placed on gradual development in Taoism.
There simply is no rush. If you hurry, you might rush past what is sitting right under your nose. What is right under your nose is your Original Chi, the energy of your original self known as yuan chi. The Inner Smile is the core method for radiating this original chi to every level of your being. But because of the many layers of tension ? ancestral, karmic, or acquired ? original chi is not easily grasped. Thus the ancients, over thousands of years of testing, evolved seven formulas for releasing the obscurations that cloud our Original Spirit, whose light shines on a functional level as yuan chi.
The formulas follow Taoist cosmology, and the adept must progress through each level before progressing to the next. Without this foundation, the original chi never crystallizes into the Immortal Embryo, the original spirit made manifest here in the physical plane. So people practice for years, but they hit a plateau and nothing further seems to be happening. Eventually they give up ? too much work and time, too little fruit.
The major obstacles for practitioners are emotional and sexual. The Healing Tao is a leader in teaching methods for moving sexual chi, but I have found most Healing Tao practitioners to have largely bypassed their emotional energy body development. The Fusion practices don?t seem to be working well enough, and this ultimately retards transformation of sexual chi into higher spiritual awareness. It is one of several reasons why so few practitioners are really successful in their Kan and Li practice. This failure may be due partly to differences between Chinese and western practitioners ? we have very different emotional bodies, the Chinese are more collective-minded, we demand more emotional expression and individual development. But more fundamentally I think it is because of confusion over the Fusion practice.
When I was at Tao Garden four years ago, I ran into many people who were overwhelmed by negative feelings because they were fusing all their negative emotions at once into a single pearl. But their negative emotions were not transforming, they were just jammed into a single point of very “stuck” consciousness. This can be shifted easily by first charging up one?s pearls with “te”, the virtuous qualities of the Tao that are flowing into our physical body-minds (Later Heaven) from our pre-natal self (Early Heaven).
By first absorbing our POTENTIAL power for love & acceptance into the heart pearl, kindness into the liver pearl, gentle wisdom into the kidney pearl, integrity/strength into the metal pearl, and trust/openness into the spleen pearl, we build a reservoir of yuan chi in our emotional body that then allows us to more easily dissolve our negative emotional patterns back into yuan chi. The pearl is a just post natal accumulation of yuan chi.
The practical implication of this is that for westerners I believe it is important to practice the Creation Cycle BEFORE the Control Cycle. This effectively means REVERSING THE FUSION FORMULA SEQUENCE: nurture the five shen (vital organ “spirits or body intelligences” with the Fusion II formula before you attempt to dissolve negative emotions with the Fusion I formula.
As a teacher, I have found this reversal to be the most effective sequence for emotional transformation. It is even more effective if the students understand the difference between shen, qi, and jing, the three core component of Taoist alchemy. I now teach this difference in the Basics, because it is the secret to effortless practice beginning with the Inner Smile and Six Healing Sounds and going through all the Kan and Li practice.
If you don?t understand the difference between jing-chi-shen, you end up using unconscious ego fragments (shen/body spirits not yet integrated) to manipulate your emotional chi field. This is like asking a drunk person to drive you home ? the likelihood of making a wrong turn or having an accident is greatly increased. Why ask a dysfunctional aspect of your psyche to be in control? It merely ends up seizing more control, and amplifying your emotional dysfunction. The net result is the Healing Tao is filled with people who have become a kind of “control freak” to the extent their ego-head is trying to control the chi of their emotional body, rather than actually engaging their true feelings.
This attempt to avoid one?s true feelings is accomplished by focusing on cosmic chi from planets and stars before you have a clue as to what your emotional body is and how it functions. By absorbing higher cosmic chi frequencies too soon you can actually amplify your emotional imbalance. I know of students who followed the fusion formulas in the book (of the nine formulas in the book, the last 4 are actually kan and li) and whose pearl shot out of their heads and left them feeling numb, empty or stuck for years. By going out of the body prematurely, it becomes very difficult to actually feel what is going on inside your body emotionally.
This is one of several reasons I am STRONGLY opposed to the technique of “shooting the pearl” out of the crown at any level of practice. It is NOT a Taoist practice, and cannot be found in any alchemical text. Master Chia borrowed it from the Tibetan “powa” practice of exiting the body at the moment of untimely death, i.e. the method is designed to be used for emergency exit only. The Tibetan masters warn to NOT practice it regularly because it is considered to SHORTEN YOUR LIFE. How could it not? It resembles a kind of spiritual ejaculation of your essence out the crown. I heard a first hand story about a young westerner who did powa practice every day up in a monastery in Nepal. One morning, they found him sitting up dead ? at age 25. I guess the practice worked.
A powerful practitioner like Master Chia might be able to pull the ejaculated essence back into the body (which he fortunately is now instructing students to do), but my observation is that most students are unable to entirely draw it back in. This is because the spiritual gravity of the planets and stars and other unconscious levels of ourself is greater than our body?s spiritual center of gravity in the dan tien. This is especially true in head centered westerners, directing their chi practice from their head brain rather than their belly brain.. How many men can ejaculate sexually and then pull their seed essence back into their body by “thinking” it back? The result of ejaculating one?s pearl essence is to send your chi orbiting in the low astral plane, where your essence floats unconsciously. In the low astral your essence is even more difficult to manage as it pulls on your emotions and can be manipulated by other entities that want to feed on it. This is especially true if the pearl is sexually charged, as it magnetizes (attracts) negative entities that match your negative emotional makeup.
In my understanding of Taoist alchemy, your essence is best directed in the opposite direction, i.e. take it deeper INSIDE the body, deeper into the pre-natal field within the dan tien, so it can fuse into a pearl and be present WITHIN the body. The cosmic planet and star frequencies can be simply absorbed into the pearl and one?s inner space, without needing to ejaculate the pearl out in order to magnetize or attract those chi frequencies. You can expand your AWARENESS (shen) out to the planets at that stage without ejaculating your essence (jing) into outer space. Again, the adept needs to understand how the jing, chi, and shen function differently, and GRADUALLY train them to reintegrate into their original self.
When the pearl/immortal child is sufficiently developed, it will spontaneously leave the body if appropriate. The process of building up the immortal child/pearl by absorbing cosmic chi cannot easily happen if the emotional body is stuck. So we are back to square one, how to first relax and then transform the emotional body using the Fusion practice. This requires just feeling the emotions and their relation to the body without masking them or blasting them with intense downloads of cosmic chi or other manipulations and visualizations by the head/mental body.
I have found the Inner Smile to be more useful here, but the smile cannot reach the emotional patterns if they remain unconscious or as one?s “ideas ABOUT feelings” rather than the feelings themselves. Ultimately, I believe the primary purpose of the Fusion practice is to allow one to get in touch with one?s Original Feeling, i.e., the first unconditioned feelings of yuan chi that arise in Early Heaven BEFORE we convert this chi into Later Heaven negative emotions. This is why I have found it so effective to do Fusion II creation cycle first, but with the twist of using it to circulate the unconditioned feelings or original virtues of each of the five vital organ shen ? unconditional love, unconditional kindness, unconditional trust. Once we have a foundation and relation to our unconditioned or original nature, it is simple to release or transform our acquired negative emotional patterns. To assist in this process, I have also developed chi kung movement forms to help students embody these patterns without getting into excessive mental manipulation.
I hope this short description is enough to help you try this revised version of the Fusion practice for yourself. If not, I have recently made my Fusion teachings and other Healing Tao practices available on 10 audio homestudy courses and 8 video tapes. This series ties all the Healing Tao practices using the Taoist cosmology of the higher practices, without prematurely imposing the higher practices onto the beginning practices. I focus on what happens to the jing-chi-shen relationship in each of the seven formulas of immortality. This Taoist cosmology of three Heavens (Primordial, Early, and Later Heaven) and the cultivation of Original Chi is explained in a longer article (30 pages) posted on my HealingTaoUSA.com website. The article is titled “Daoist Alchemy: A Deep Language for Communicating with Nature?s Intelligence”.
To get a more indepth understanding of this subject, I share all that I have disocovered about these practices in my home study audio-video coures: Chi Kung Fundamentals 1 & 2, Internal Chi Breathing 3 & 4, Fusion 1, Fusion 2 & 3, Healing Love and Taoist Dream practice.
Michael Winn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org