Inside Chi Flows Naturally:
1. Essay on why my inner alchemist felt inspired to install a copper roof on our
humble log cabin.
Why Copper? The mysteries of the sun, metallurgy, astrology, feng shui, inner
and outer alchemy, artistic beauty and the practicality of solar heating – all
fused into one copper roof. Are you ready to join me, and get off the old
psychic grid? Photos of copper roof :
2. Free Meditation beneath our newly copper-domed roof this Sat. Nov. 18, 7
pm-11:30 pm. Three silent sittings, leave early if you wish. Everyone is
welcome, Tao embraces all paths and types of meditation. Light refreshments
afterward. Joyce and I are picking up any Thanksgiving strays. Its a great time
to absorb the deep earth changes happening, and a warm up for Winter Solstice.
Please email if you’re coming, send your Energy Body if you aren’t. We always
manage to squeeze last minute arrivals in. For directions and rsvp:
3. The China Dream Trip 2007 (May 18-June 4) is starting to hum with signups
from a really interesting international group of spiritual adventurers,
including one returnee from the 2006 trip. The people who come on this trip are
at least half the fun. They are folks excited about exploring China, from the
Great Wall to Mt Emei, Mt. Qingcheng, and Mt. Hua. No prior experience in qigong
required. We will be practicing qigong together every day in different power
spots. A qigong training video is sent in advance to all who signup. For more
info or to make a deposit, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Full itinerary at: http://www.healingdao.com/chinatrip2007.
Spectacular photos from a two-time China dream tripper:
4. Dec. 9-10. Qigong Fundamentals 3 & 4 workshop in Asheville, Internal Chi
Breathing and Bone Breathing & Rooting.
Gets you deep into your bones, your ancestors, and the relationship between
inner breathing and outer breathing. Open your dantian/ center of gravity more
powerfully. Five simple standing-in-stillness postures. Natural, reverse, and
counter-force breathing. “Ocean, Sky, Great Heart Breathing” qigong form.
Excellent for preventing and healing all kinds of chronic illness, which is
often diseased chi pushed down into the joints and bones. For more info or
Dear Lovers of the Mystery of Transmutation,
I recently completed a dream of mine, to add a little copper shine to the roof
of my and Joyce’s humble log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville,
This story begins in 1994, in Finland, on a journey above the arctic circle, on
the solid land closest to the North Pole. I was headed to an initiation with a
saami shaman and my Atlantean guide, which took place on a pyramid island in the
middle of a frozen lake, where there was a potent 3-way crossing of earth ley
lines. That story is for another time, consider it colorful backdrop. We stopped
in Helsinki, the capital, and visited a church that had a hammered copper roof
inside its chapel. The energy in the place was intense; I could feel the copper
was holding the charge of people’s prayers.
The warm vibration from that copper roof experience stayed with me. It made me
remember Wilhelm Reich, the inventor of the “orgone box”. His orgone box was
made of layers of copper and wood and cotton. You would sit in the box and the
dynamic tension between these natural elements would ostensibly concentrate the
life force in your body, and effect healing. He was imprisoned by the Feds for
constructing an unlicensed medical device, and sadly, died in prison in 1957.
Reich was mostly hated because of his theory that “orgone” (chi or prana) was an
orgasmic force at the center of the universe and every human being. This is
similar to my own understanding of yin-yang pulsation theory. But his use of
copper in conducting that force is what aroused my curiosity.
From my study of Taoist inner alchemy and fengshui, I know that metal is an
excellent conductor of chi. In the outer world, the conducting function of
copper is obvious in electrical wiring, and the widespread reliance on other
metals in technology to transfer force (i.e. metal structure of a building, or
metal weapons, cars, trains, planes). The key virtue of the metal element is its
strength and versatility. It can be shaped into many patterns and still hold
Inside the human body, the metal element is linked with the lungs and breathing.
The spiritual job of the lung spirit (“po” soul in Taoist worldview) is to
conduct chi between heaven and earth. Humans do this by using subtle breath in
our body’s internal channels. These channels are well mapped out by the Taoists,
and can be activated using qigong and inner alchemy. The basic training in this
internal breathing I cover in my Qigong Fundamentals 3 & 4.
Since visiting that church in Finland, I have long speculated that having a
copper roof on my home might facilitate that subtle breathing process, and add
some extra kick to my meditation process. A kind of house-sized orgone box,
where even mundane household chores would feel slightly more orgasmic. Actually,
I was perfectly happy with the flow of cosmic chi in my meditations. But Joyce
and I had done much to improve the feng shui of our little cabin, and we noticed
that with every improvement, the land on which our home rested seemed to be
We built two stone terraces to stop the chi from rushing downhill, and to create
level land for the ambitious gardener in Joyce. The earth element was given a
huge oomph by the crystal stone circle, which we wired in energetically to Lao
Tzu’s ascension site in China. We added a waterfall, and the plants and trees
seemed to rejoice at the presence of the water element. This beautiful “flow
form” waterfall, with a sexy vulva shape and jade finish, was acoustically
designed by New Zealand artist Iain Trousdell. It can be seen in the opening
shots of my Qigong Fundamentals 3 DVD, “Ocean, Sky, & Great Heart Breathing
I know that fengshui, using adjustments to the external environment, has it
limitations. The figure I accept is that aligning natural forces with fengshui
methods can improve one’s energy flow in a home or office up to about 20%. The
other 80% efficiency needs to be achieved via greater biological and
psycho-spiritual conductivity within the human body. Most of our resistance is
internal, and it is the major work for every human to overcome that resistance.
Hence the Taoist emphasis on “wu wei”, or spontaneous action, and the
development of qigong and inner alchemy methods to cultivate Original Chi (yuan
qi) in opening a “super-conductive” relationship with the Life Force.
But the “Great Work” of alchemical transformation includes working with natural
forces to establish greater harmony and balance between humans and the
macro-cosmos or Nature. Other than keeping us dry, the cheap asphalt-tar roof
over our head just didn’t seem to be adding much. Copper would offer better
protection from high winds and forest fires. It would be more beautiful, and
last longer. But these were secondary considerations, added justification for
the expense of adding a copper roof. The real question: what kind of subtle
energy would it add to our home and land?
This brings us to a fascinating aspect of copper – its close relationship to
gold, the quintessential alchemical metal. In Chinese, the metal element is more
accurately translated as the Gold (“jin”) Element. If you visit Wudang mountain
(scheduled for the 2008 China Dream Trip), the highest and most powerful point
is Golden Peak, with a temple magestically perched high above the clouds and
surrounding peaks. The Golden Peak temple roof is covered with copper, supplied
by the emperor.
Note that only the Taoists include this gold/metal element in their five
element/phase system. Gold/metal is missing in the Indian, Egyptian, Greek,
Arabic elemental systems, although esoterically those systems all focus on the
alchemical production of gold. The base metals buried within the earth are all
considered to be evolving towards the solar purity and incorruptibility of gold,
in the same way that plants grow towards the sun. As above, so below. In western
alchemy, copper is linked with the earth element and the alchemical process of
“conjunction”. Copper and silver were often added to gold to “grow the gold” –
hence the popularity of alchemists with kings seeking to bolster their treasury.
Copper was considered to be the metal closest to gold in its spiritual
evolution, i.e. closest in vibration. The capstone of the Great Pyramid and
every temple in Egypt had an obelisk at its center covered with “auriculum”.
This was a gold-silver-copper and other rare earths natural alloy mentioned by
Plato in his account of Egypt and Atlantis. Auriculum has apparently since gone
back underground, its a rare earth metal no longer found on the surface. The
“au” in its name later became the chemical symbol for gold and the “cu” symbol
Auriculum was used to conduct power between the earth and the heavens in Egypt,
and was the core source of spiritual power that radiated out from every temple.
It protected the auric field of those doing spiritual practice within it. The
pyramid’s capstone produced a blinding light when the sun shone upon it.
(Perhaps if we covered the pyramid atop the Washington monument obelisk with
auriculum, America would recover its spiritual compass….?).
Before choosing a copper roof, I considered the astrological affiliation each
metal has with a planet:
The alchemical transmutation process starts with lead (Saturn, called “true or
original earth” in Taoist alchemical texts), and proceeds through tin, silver,
mercury, iron, copper and finally becomes gold. Note that copper is highly
evolved, sitting next to gold, and its reddish-yellow color approximating that
of gold. Only the last four metals on the list would be economically feasible
for roofing material. Having a Jupiterian/tin or Saturian/lead roof could also
be balancing for someone (and they have metal roofs now in stunning colors).
I chose copper because of of it close affinity to gold and its ability to
conduct the solar, lunar, and stellar forces into the earth. Copper also
directly expresses the chi of Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and sexual
transmutation. There are many myths surrounding Venus as being the planet from
which humanity’s original 144,000 souls were “seeded’ into earth. Copper is
holding the corresponding Venus vibration within the earth. Interesting that in
the classic book of Unchanging Changes (I Ching), the trigram for lake/metal,
connected with the Spirit of the West and the planet Venus, is the only one
which is also associated with Heaven/gold.
Is this planetary – metal resonance “real”? The scientific basis of these subtle
alchemical-planetary correspondences has been challenged recently on the Healing
Tao forum. I consider any resonance “real” if you can feel it clearly – no need
for external scientific proof to verify what you know is energetically true. But
there are interesting experiments in this case. Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian
occultist, said “So long as substances are in a solid state they are subject to
the forces of the earth, but as soon as they enter the liquid state, the
planetary forces come into play.” (As an aside, this suggests interesting
reasons why Taoist water-fire alchemy is so effective. The metal/jing yin
elements in human blood are used to establish a deep resonance with spiritual
intelligence of the vital organ spirits and their planetary affinities).
Steiner inspired Frau L. Kolisko to perform an experiment over the Sun-Saturn
conjunction of 1926, described in her book, “Workings of the Stars in Earthly
Substance”. Image patterns normally formed by lead (affiliated with Saturn)
were in a dissolved silver nitrate solution. These lead patterns completely
disappeared during the Saturn conjunction, and later reappeared afterwards. This
experiment was successfully repeated by others, suggesting a physical change in
liquified earth metals due to the resonance. I recall my first teacher in the
spagyric arts (external or laboratory alchemy), Dan Travers, proudly showing me
how he had liquified gold at room temperature. I eventually gave up spagyrics
for inner alchemy as a more direct method. In any case success in inner alchemy
is necessary for the external alchemy to proceed.
Nick Kollerstrom, a former scientist, has also conducted astrological research
on what he calls “The Eureka Effect”. He showed a statistically significant
relation between moments of inspiration in scientific work and the presence of
septiles and quintiles among transiting planets. He’s done interesting studies
involving metal-planet correspondences, showing how in the chart for the first
creation of Plutonium, Pluto was on the ascendant. None of this should be
surprising to modern folks slowly getting used to the possibility that our
quantum universe is intelligent and that every event entails a complex set of
Part of my mission in spreading body-centered Taoist internal alchemy meditation
and its external component of qigong is to resurrect alchemy as the oldest
science on the planet, preceding even the development of religion. This process
of recovery entails revealing alchemy as the hidden foundation for modern
science, which I believe will eventually evolve to reclaim its alchemical roots.
It may surprise some to learn that the first famous American scientist was the
alchemist George Starkey (1628-1665), educated at Harvard College, who wrote
numerous alchemical treatises under the name Eirenaeus Philalethes (“a peaceful
lover of truth”). Starkey became the “chymistry” teacher of Robert Boyle, who
borrowed heavily from Starkey and would go on to acquire fame as “the father of
modern chemistry”. Starkey’s works acquired a huge audience that included
luminaries like Isaac Newton, John Locke, and Gottfried Leibniz.
The million or so words that Newton composed on alchemy are heavily indebted to
the theory and practice of Philalethes, and were the hidden driver for most of
Newton’s famous discoveries. it was Newton’s belief in alchemy that drove him to
fathom the subtle forces of nature like gravity. He pursued the secrets of
alchemy until his death. He believed the mere physical forces he had discovered
were superficial to deeper underlying spiritual forces. Alas, like most western
alchemists, he had no teacher of inner alchemy.
Newton left clear directions for making alchemical furnaces and other apparatus,
as well as processes for star regulus, a copper-antimony alloy called “the net,”
a beautiful purple metal that forms crystals. Newton wrote a manuscript
discussing metallic “vegetation,” the formation of dendrites from salts and
metals. To Newton, the fact that metals could be made to grow in a flask was a
sign that they possessed a sort of life, and could therefore be made to ferment,
putrefy, and ultimately multiply.
These alchemical speculations become even more interesting in light of modern
discoveries about metal. I read a piece in Scientific American describing how
the earliest complex life forms on earth did not begin in a primordial sea
struck by lightning. Life more likely evolved in ponds with metallic
concentrations that allowed single celled organisms to form complex life forms
using metals/minerals as their infrastructure. This is born out today by the
spray of thousands of tiny metal ions that are showering out from every cell in
the human body. This metal spray is what keeps the cell healthy and allows the
life force to circulate at that level. But enough digression into the mystery of
metallurgy, biology, and alchemy.
The bottom line is that we put a copper roof on our home, primarily as an
alchemical exploration. It was not cheap. I saved my copper pennies for quite a
few years. We took advantage of copper’s close relationship with the sun, and
installed beneath the copper on the south side of the roof 2000 feet of tubing
filled with water and anti-freeze. The sun heats the copper, the copper (with a
radiant foil to intensify the process) cooks the water in the tubing, which
flows into my home radiant flooring system. Its essentially a copper rooftop
cooking unit. The rooftop coiled tubing system is a system that I designed from
scratch, not on the market, so its effectiveness remains to be proven.
But meanwhile, I feel I am deeper into experiencing the Sun-Copper-Human
energetic loop of transmutation. The copper roof has added a lovely spice to our
home’s meditative field. To me, it feels like the heavens have been grounded
just above my crown, and the Gods of Alchemy are pleased. Its like sitting in a
divine “chi sandwich”, with both heaven and earth snuggled a little bit closer
together with me.
I spent a long time welcoming the copper elementals with a big inner smile from
my human solar-heart fire, and those shiny copper sprites seem very responsive.
The other elementals on our property are playing with them, showering a new
subtle bliss upon on our humble log cabin in addition to its dazzling
appearance. The metal element also helps to keep the excessive wood element of
the house and forest in balance. In the Chinese “control cycle” of 5 element
theory, metal controls wood.
I will let you know when our log home achieves full enlightenment, or ascends
like a dragon’s chariot into the heavens. I hope we are still living in it when
it takes off. Meanwhile, you’re all invited to stop by a meditate at the regular
meditations we hold here. Or tune in with your Energy Body, recognizing that
without its metal/gold element, you wouldn’t be able to transport yourself
I am enclosing a link to a few photos, in case you are curious to see the
different stages of transformation. Joyce accuses me of showing the roof photos
as if they were “baby pictures”, and assures me no one else is interested….I
reply: no one except other alchemists.
(note: photos are a bit slow loading, to preserve rich copper-saturated color).
Smiling with a golden-copper heart glow,
?Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Virtue 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