BREATHING and ROOTING are the Tree of Life. Tree trunks are about breathing deep into the earth, to create Solid Rooting, Leaves are about Easy Sky Breathing. photo: Michael Winn. Joyce Kilmer Forest, North Carolina.
3. Coming Soon: My review of best book on modern Taoism, just released:
Dream Trippers: Global Daoism and the Crisis of Modern Spirituality
by David Palmer and Elijah Siegler (U. Chicago Press, Nov. 2017)
FEEL FREE TO HIT REPLY and RESPOND. I love hearing from you!
Essay below is adapted from a previous newsletter. I’ve polished it, but the basic message deserves re-reading. We only absorb a fraction of what we read. Please enjoy re-absorbing this information, and hope it sinks into the very root of your Being. – Michael
Dear Lovers of an Easily Breathed Life that is Grounded,
Do you LOVE to Breathe? Do you LOVE to stand tall on solid ground, and walk firmly on it?
These two powers of LOVE are the root foundation of human freedom. Our love of freedom is not an abstraction. It may originate in a subtle heaven, but it demands functional physical integration in our body, our personal earth.
Our physical body is the root or ground of our individual Being or Soul. At the other end of the spectrum of consciousness all Beings are rooted in Source/Tao. If we don’t love the Root of our individual Being, it blocks the flow of love to Source. It creates separation. We will find ourselves in struggle with our subconscious self. Struggle is just another word for Resistance to being who we truly are. Resistance = lack of Self-love.
Who are we, at root? A vibrating field of Qi, an Energy Body, that has a relationship to the Cosmic Energy Body. Physical body is just a slow-motion printout of our Energy Body, its most dense layer.
Tao is the Way of exploring our human power to effortlessly co-create with the Cosmic Energy Body our highest destiny. This requires attuning our personal Energy Body to its highest possible vibrational frequency. Breathing is an EASY WAY to modulate our Qi. Easy Breathing = ease of Self-love.
One of my Taoist teachers in China put it simply: “Breath is the root of life. Take it away, there is no life.” Everyone knows we are one breath away from Death. Breath stops, we stop. No Breath = Death.
But as precious as breath is to us, our breathing process is still largely unconscious. Our personal subconscious and its resistance arises from the collective unconscious of humanity. How to navigate our Way through countless layers of Resistance into higher consciousness?
ANSWER: One conscious breath at a time!
Tao of Internal Qi Breathing
There are hundreds of different Taoist breathing methods – more than any other tradition I’ve studied. All are designed to make CONSCIOUS some aspect of our breathing, which ultimately connects our physical breath to our subtle breath (Qi). Simple “self-awareness”, just watching our breath is not enough. It’s a great first step. It relaxes us, releases our daily stress.
But using breath to CONCNETRATE Qi is what evolves us quickly. That is what my Tao of Breathing training is about. How to harmonize yin & yang breaths deep within the body, then concentrate the subtle Qi breath into a more tangible essence.
That is essentially an alchemical process of converting spirit (subtle breath) into matter (tangible breath), and vice versa. That free flow of breath back and forth creates an internal feeling of being spiritually grounded. Said another way, it builds trust in our authrentic Self. Self is a vibrating string of consciousness that links physical body-mind to Source.
The Human Tao or Way is about listening to and receiving guidance from Self through our body. Body is our ground wire. There is a lot of cosmic information floating about as Qi patterns, but all that really matters is what gets downloaded into our body in the present moment. Listening to body includes listening to what your breath is saying.
The Lung Spirit is said to be the master organ in the body in charge of teaching the other organ spirits about the Way of Breathing Qi. If we love and support our Lung Spirit (Po), then it will reward us with more effortless breathing and more efficient energizing of all twelve of our body-mind organ spirits. Listening inwardly to our Lung Spirit results in a longer, healthier life, with less disease.
Controlling Physical Breath vs. Loving the Lung Spirit
Taoist breathwork is not about controlling the breath, unlike many forms of yogic pranayama. It is about embracing our power to breathe, and loving our Lung Spirit at a deep internal level. One of the best ways to nurture our Lung Spirit is to get energetically more grounded.
“Energetic” includes the whole spectrum of our physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and soul etheric layers of our personal Energy Body, collextively known as soul in the West and ling in China. When our body’s Qi sinks down through various channels into our bones and into the earth, our Lung Qi also shifts from shallow chest breathing to deep, whole-body breathing. That energizes all the vital organs, cells, and bone marrow where our blood is manufactured.
This need to energetically ground our breathing is what we call Rooting. The Body of Nature itself defines what is “grounded”. We could say that Tao is the invisible spiritual ground of physical Nature. Nature is traditionally called the Body of the Tao. The single most common challenge I find in people, whether they are on a spiritual path or not, is lack of grounding.
We Need Grounding to Deal with Rapid Changes in the World
Lack of grounding adversely affects both physical and spiritual health. This is especially critical at a time when the planet is quickening its vibration, part of our global re-birthing process. This quickening is flushing out Dark Side activities into public awareness.
There is a great “psychic turmoil” happening in humanity – the constant shooting of innocent people both here and abroad, the great evil of war and its many side effects cannot be brushed away any longer. To digest this kind of violent change requires deep grounding. If we are not grounded, we will fall into fear – the very goal of the manipulative and heartless dark forces behind the violence. It is easier to control people when they are in fear. I
Rooting Our Qi is Easier in Winter Time
I schedule my Internal Chi Breathing and Bone Rooting workshop in December. It is easier to teach it during a season (fall-winter transition) when the Qi of the larger field is flowing downward into the earth. Nature’s Qi is “rooting itself” (in the northern hemisphere) to gather strength for the next cycle of yang expansion in the spring and summer. Winter is governed by the water element, which naturally flows downhill and soaks within. So our human Qi follows the flow of water this time of the year.
In this seminar, also available as homestudy, I devote one day to learning the three basic types of breathing: natural, reverse, and counter-force breathing. Breathing opens the “root” of the body, which is the lower dantian (lit.”elixir field”), a.k.a. the belly center. I’ve found that when you are grounded in your breathing, then your emotional and mental bodies quickly get more grounded and connected to our belly center.
A strong “belly-root” creates a feeling of calmness and peace, even when things are chaotic around you. I developed a special qigong form, Ocean, Sky, & Great Heart Breathing, to speed up the rooting process. This shifts your breathing focus from gasping at outer air to breathing more internally, through Qi channels in different layers of the body. This form, nicknamed “Blissful Breathing Qigong”, is the best “quick-energizer” qigong that I teach.
How Bone Breathing Pushes Sick Energy Out of Bone Marrow
Ten students attempt to push me over – unsuccessfully. In the seminar I teach everyone how to develop this kind of deep rooting power.
The second day at this workshop I spend working on opening up the bones in our body, using bone breathing, bone beating, bone compression, and bone spiralling. These are all part of traditional Iron Shirt methods that I’ve adapted into different standing postures. These deepen the breathing power of our bones, and help to both prevent and heal chronic illness. Much chronic illness is simply “sick chi” stored in our bone marrow.
When we breathe it out, the sickness goes away. It gets omposted by Mother Earth. What appeared to be terminal illness, gradually becomes forgotten. This is why qigong has such a good reputation (based on track record) of healing chronic illness in China. This reputation is well documented scientifically (see 3500 studies summary: http://www.healingtaousa.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl?rm=mode2&articleid=40).
In the Breathing and Rooting course I describe the two different kinds of grounding that people commonly need, which are quite different. One is grounding into the physical earth below our feet, and correspondingly, into the physical tissue of our body. The second is energetic grounding into your meridians and the core channels that define your Energy Body.
If you want to read more about this, check out my Medical and Spiritual Qigong Fundamentals 3 & 4 page: http://www.healingtaousa.com/ckf3.html. For convenience, I’ve posted some of that web informatioin below.
If you want to attend the course (it’s only $144. for the weekend), call Jan at 888 999 0555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Useful to have Fundamentals 1&2, but it can be taken in reverse order with no problem.
Cost: $144. weekend. $90. for Sat. only. Review: $90. for weekend.
Or call Jan, register by phone: 828 505-1444.
Day 1: INTERNAL CHI (Qi) BREATHING
Get more energy from every breath you take!
Allows breathing to be effortless, deep, & spontaneous.
Erase fatigue — breathe your Way to bliss in 5 minutes.
Secret of linking physical breath to Energy Body channels.
The 9 Major Benefits of INTERNAL CHI (Qi) BREATHING:
Opens up our ability to breathe – not just air, but Life Force. This radically improves our ability to “breathe in our experience of life”. It gives us the strength to keep on living and trust in the flow of Life.
Quickly recharges our body-mind in just five short minutes. Internal breathing practices can be done 24/7 anywhere – in bed, sitting in office, during qigong.
Simple standing postures detoxify blocked energies and stressed emotions. Key to letting go, even if your monkey mind still wants to hold on.
Mixes our spinal fire and chest water energies to activate a completely safe, grounded kundalini feeling of inner warmth in our belly. It does this by capturing the flow of “empty force” (kong jing) or Original Breath (yuan chi) in deep energy channels & centers that are usually unconscious and cannot be touched by acupuncture or ordinary external qigong breathing methods (waidan gong).
Easy fast method to build grounding essential for energy healers, meditators, martial artists, dancers, yogis – everyone needs more grounding for comfortable flow of energy and to keep their sanity!
Get in touch with your power to breathe internally by relaxing into the pause between breaths. You literally reduce need for physical oxygen yet at the same time increase energy flow!
Creates a profound spiritual feeling of inner balance and harmony. How? Tao Mystical Power of Three cosmology is embodied in a simple qigong breathing form. It unites the Heaven, Earth, & Human Sage within us; 3 energy centers of body, 3 Treasures of Essence, Breath, & Spirit (jing, chi, shen), and the 3 phases of chi (yin, yang, yuan).
Put a Tiger in your meditation tank! Lay a solid foundation for deeper levels of meditation (neigong) & alchemical inner elixir cultivation (neidan). Even advanced practitioners of other qigong breathing systems will find it stimulating and filled with new insights.
Day 2: BONE ROOTING AND BREATHING
Prevent & heal many chronic diseases with bone breathing
Easy standing postures – get a profound sense of peace.
Gain new flexibility in your tendons & joints
Get Grounded – and Stay Grounded!
Prevent & Heal Osteoporosis
• Bone Breathing – Tapping, Spiraling & Rooting
• 25 Best Tendon & Joint Qigong
• Dantian – Mingmen breathing
• 5 Standing Postures to Activate Core Channels
Testing a student’s root at various joints will reveal structural weaknesses.
The Major Benefits of Qigong Fundamentals 4:
Opens up our ability to expand the space inside and breathe inside our bones. Bone breathing moves the deep “jing” or sexual essence that shapes our body and health. A new sense of aliveness is born within our core self. When the bones are awake, the rest of you runs more effortlessly. You pump fresh hormones and life into your blood.
Five standing postures calm your monkey mind. The anxious thoughts and distractions are re-directed into your bones and the earth. Some ‘empty mind’ standing postures drive the monkey crazy. The dynamic nature of bone breathing keeps the monkey engaged in a positive process and gradually brought to stillness.
Excellent for women seeking to avoid or heal osteoporosis. Bones waste away because we don’t live inside them. Women lose blood monthly, and this exhausts the jing (= stem cell) supply in the bones that converts itself into blood. Hormonal precursors are produced inside the bones. Learn to manufacture what you need for good health – supplements are not enough. Isometric pressure on bone muscle + chi flow is what works.
Increase your flexibility and stretch-ability with tendon and joint qigong. You never grow old if you stay limber. Spine, arm & legs & finger and toe joints all get a beautiful and quick tune-up.
Prevent and heal arthritis – the bane of old age (and young age for some). Joints are like spark plugs between the bones – they need cleaning regularly to keep your “spark” in life. My top joint qigong exercises, collected over 20 years search.
Learn to clear up and access ancestral issues. This is just beginning level of this work, being able to witness how many emotional and health issues are really blood – ancestral – genetic. But they can be changed by vibrating the bone marrow and “washing” it. Higher level marrow washing method is Lesser and Greater Water & Fire alchemy (Kan & Li).
Open up deeper level of internal chi breathing, between 1) bones and the dantian, 2) dantian and mingmen (gate of life) where you convert formless chi into your body & mind, and 3) internal counterforce breathing between crown of head (bai hui) and perineum (hui yin). This is deep, blissful experience of core self.
Allows healing of many chronic illnesses or alleviates their severity, including cancer. The deepest imbalances in our organs and tissues get gradually pushed down into our bone marrow. Releasing the trapped sickness from the bones can product swift (“miraculous”) healing beyond the comprehension of western doctors.
• WINTER SOLSTICE BLACK DRAGON CEREMONY & Crystal Bowl Concert by Malana Riverah (+ 2 deep meditation sittings)
Theme: GO WITHIN, Reconnect To Source / Dark Goddess
Prepare your ceremonial INTENT: What do I most want to birth in my life?
This is the time of Re-birthing of the Light. Plant new seeds deep within the dark womb of Mother Earth to nourish whatever you want to grow in the upcoming year. This is the best time to Nourish Your Root Qi.
Winter is governed by the Water Element, the primal power behind all birthing. So good to meditate in advance on one’s intent for the powerful time: What is that our soul most needs to birth at this time?
The exact date of Winter Solstice is Thursday Dec. 21 this year. But it’s a big, slow moving event, so I’ve chosen Sat. Dec. 23 as a more suitable date for a late night gathering and meditation.
Join us for a powerful Black Dragon Ceremony, including water-element nourishing qigong. Plus deep meditations on the cosmic harmonic richness of Winter Solstice. Two meditation sittings, must stay for at least one (please do not come for the concert only).
The Black Dragon ceremony & broadcasing what we want to birth to the entire Cosmos will be followed by two hour long sitting (in a chair) meditation. Light refreshments will be served to celebrate the Light that is just sprouting.
Good to wear black or dark blue clothing to attune to the Black Dragon.
7 pm: arrive.
7:15-8 pm: Crystal Bowls concert by Malana
8 – 8:45 pm: Black Dragon Ceremony
9 – 10 pm 1st Meditation
break (you may depart)
10:15 – 11:30 pm 2nd Meditation
11:30 pm to Midnight & beyond: Party – light refreshments. Welcome to bring food or non-alcoholic beverage.
FREE. RSVP required. Space is limited, please reply asap. For RSVP and driving directions, hit reply.
If you cannot attend in person, I encourage everyone to do their own ceremony or gather in groups with family and friends.
The Power of Hugging a Tree (Photo)
Loving the Tree of LIfe, Rooted and Breathing Deeply,
“Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Integrity as his home,
the Tao as his door, and who becomes Change — is a
Sage.” — 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
Register online for on Healing Tao University,
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(qigong) and inner alchemy (neidangong) training. For
more info, see http://www.HealingTaoRetreats.com
Or visit http://www.HealingTaoUSA.com, to
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Healing Tao USA • Asheville, NC 28803 • Tel. 888.999.0555 •