Yellow Emperor on the Tao of Sex: a fascinating book review. Healing Love Retreats described.
Inside Chi Flows Naturally:
Nature can’t help but be sexy! And its not shy about it.
Dear Lovers of Being Naturally-Sexy-Without-Trying,
Why are humans so perpetually fascinated by everything sexual? Because it somehow touches the very deepest questions we have about our identity. It seems the process of our bodily sexual “Becoming” is in some deep, mystical tension with our non-sexual core “Being”. Eroticism and mysticism appear to be part of a single continuum of human consciousness.
This is why cultivating sexual energy is the very linchpin of the Healing Tao’s internal alchemy curriculum. Sexual energy is the volatile substance in human consciousness. That means we can shape it to both stimulate and express our divine powers of procreation and creative imagination. That is the topic of the Healing Love: Taoist Sexual Secrets summer retreat I teach with Minke de Vos in Week 2: June 24 to 29, 2011.
Details of this dynamic course – open to both singles and couples – are listed below. This is everything you always wanted to know about Taoist sexology, male and female sexual practices — bedroom arts, medical sexology, single or dual (couple) spiritual cultivation. Jade egg and breast massage methods, management of PMS, hot flashes, and all forms of sexual dysfunction. The training has lots of sexual vitality qigong, custom developed for this special training (clothes on). Taught by two senior teachers who have more than 50 years experience between them in the Tao of cultivating sexual energy.
If you are interested in a woman’s only course, then I highly recommend Lisa Sarasohn’s Sex and the Sacred Girl: Opening the Gate of the Mysterious Female. It’s in Week 5, July 12 to 17th, 2011. This is the first time we’ve offered the course, and it’s generating a lot of excitement, as Lisa has delved very deeply into the female mysteries, both east and west. She is a highly acclaimed author (see below for more details).
New Book on Taoist Sexology
That sexual-spiritual tension has a huge influence on our physical health, as well as on our spiritual awareness, was recognized in the world’s first text on human sexology. Over 2200 years ago The Yellow Emperor, a mythical Taoist nom-de-plume for the Ruler of Earthly Affairs, was published as a series of question-and-answer sessions with his female advisors. The topics range from sex’s influence on health to the role it plays in achieving immortality.
There have been plenty of translations of this text, China’s oldest medical text (Huangdi neijing suwen) but very little in depth commentary on its sexual contents. Jessieca Leo’s new book, Sex in the Yellow Emperor’s Questions, corrects that. Her book, appropriately by a woman, is fascinating, deep, essential reading for anyone interested in sex as the hidden force ruling bodily and spiritual health.
This book is for adepts of Taoist sexology, Oriental and Western doctors, sex therapists, psychologists, energy worker; scholars, archeologists, poets, historians of Chinese culture, or simply curious lay readers. All will feel they have been erotically and psycho-sexually sated by Leo’s exhaustive explorations of the sexual mores of the Chinese at the time and the deeper implications of the sexual advice given in the text.
Order this new book (not yet posted to site) by calling 888 999 0555 or email: info@HealingTaoUSA.com. 220 pages, paperback $33.95.
Human culture is portrayed as a vast jigsaw puzzle, in which sex is the key piece linking cosmology, empirical and magical medicine, the popular culture of love, its diseases and its euphoric desires, Confucian family dynamics, bi-sexuall Emperors, yangsheng (longevity qigong) and Daoist philosophy. It’s an ambitious journey, but one well worth making by any reader serious about understanding the complex relationship between culture and sexuality and spirituality.
I have been reading this field of Taoist sexology for 30 years. Yet I was amazed at how much new Jessica Leo had to teach me. Who would guess that Confucius was sired during an orgiastic Spring Fertility Rite? Could his wild beginnings have triggered a counter-reaction, and account for his refusal to teach women in his lifetime? Some say it was just him succombing to cultural bias of his time period, but Confucius certainly helped to institutionize paternalistic tendencies in Chinese culture and the suppression of female sexual wisdom of the kind promoted by the Yellow Emperor.
Leo’s book explores many aspects of healthcare, examining how bedchamber arts can help to prevent and cure diseases, including but not limited to sexual maladies and the consequences of over-indulgence. Finally, it looks at sex and health within Suwen medical theories in a manner contributory to an emerging new understanding of medical theory and knowledge. The book is easy to read and understand, given her her skillful management of the complex topic.
Her penetrating research deftly illuminates and vivifies the often inscrutable Yellow Emperor and Mawangdui sex texts of 2200 years ago. This is a book you will literally take to bed.
Order this new book (not yet posted to site) by calling 888 999 0555 or email: info@HealingTaoUSA.com. 220 pages, paperback $33.95.
|Taoist Sexual Secrets Retreat: June 24-29, 2011|
note: Course begins Fri. dinner & evening class, and ends on Wednesday lunch.
Michael Winn and Minke de Vos are long time co-teachers, each with decades of Taoist partner experience.
Couples welcome, but no partner needed. Learn the secrets of managing male & female sexual chi so it flows into spiritual channels in the body. You will discover how to tap sexual energy to improve bodily health and supercharge personal creativity and meditation. Sexual energy cultivation is the secret power behind accelerated spiritual development.
These practices can heal PMS, sexual frustration & various dysfunctions like premature ejaculation, impotency, frigidity, and help dissolve ovarian cysts. Secrets of semen retention for men are revealed in detail. Michael will train sepearately with the men to deal with individual questions. Women learn to use the Jade egg for strengthening vagina & pelvic floor. Minke will lead separate deep womb meditations to release yin issues.
Minke de Vos teaches Taoist breast massage to prevent cancer and heal hot flashes, as well as restore sexual vitality.
Deep focus is given to how to open up subtle body sexual communication with your partner, and within yourself if you are single. We go beyond physical sex, into the realm of subtle body sex. For greater depth, go to the articles page on this website and read Winn’s “The Quest for Spiritual Orgasm: Taoist and Tantric Sex in the West”. There are few qualified teacher-couples in the West willing to share their experience. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
Special powerful qigong/chi kung forms to build and circulate sexual energy are taught to strengthen the practices. These have been collected from teachers in China and abroad over the last 20 years. These forms are mostly shown on Winn’s DVD, Sexual Vitality Qigong.
Pre-req: Qigong (Chi Kung) Fundamentals 1 & 2, live or by video-audio course.
BONUS REBATE: If you purchase now any Winn or Winn/Gayheart Healing Love: Tao of Sex audio+video package online or by phone (888-999-0555), or have already purchased them within the 12 months before you register for the same Dao Mtn. retreat course, you are eligible for a 50% REBATE off the cost of that package. Purpose to is to reward those students who come better prepared. They will be well positioned to achieve greater mastery of the sexual arts.
Rebate is given to you at registration at Retreat, and applies if you buy the package even after you register just buy anytime before the retreat starts.
For additional information, see the www.healingdao.com website page on Healing Love products for articles and sample lecture transcript.
9 Major Benefits of Healing Love:
|Sex and the Sacred Girl: Retreat July 12-17, 2011|
Note: To create a safe space for women undergoing deep transformation, this course is open to WOMEN ONLY. (Men who are disappointed should consider the Healing Love course by Michael Winn and Minke de Vos, which is co-ed). The course title nods to Helen Gurley Brown’s 1962 book, Sex & the Single Girl, which helped launched the 20th century’s sexual revolution.
“Sex” is code for the erotic power concentrated within your body’s center. Cultivate this pro-creative power — your power to promote creation — and come home to your sacred self.
Our focus is honoring and energizing the tan tien — the one-point, the womb-point that, through our body’s center, connects us to Source Energy. An ancient Chinese name for the tan tien is “The Gate of the Mysterious Female.”
Our intention is to praise and magnify the presence of the Sacred Feminine within us, realizing that we already embody the Goddess.
As we cultivate the tan tien with movement and breath, as we celebrate our body’s center with image and story, we pass through the gate. We meet the Great Mystery Herself.
How you’ll benefit
As you center yourself all the more in your divine nature, you will
* heal into a greater degree of wholeness
* stand in the life-affirming power that is dominion, not domination
* live into new levels of inspiration, insight, creativity, vitality, and confidence
* claim and enact your life purpose
* discover your essential self-esteem
One woman says this about her experience with the power-centering exercises that you’ll be learning:
For the first time I experienced fully what it means to be in touch with my belly. Now I’ve manifested a power which has left me with a sense of appreciation for being a woman. My entire being, body, mind, and spirit, filled with a beauty sensed both inside and out. With each pulse I grew more beautiful. This sense of being rests with me. In connecting with my belly, I have found that I am part of a greater whole.
What you’ll experience
During our days together, we’ll have deep fun. You’ll
* learn power-centering movement, breathing, and sounding practices drawn from qigong, Feldenkrais, and yoga
* practice the 23 movement and breathing exercises you learn as woman-affirming ritual
* move in ways that enact timeless myth
* activate ancient images of the Sacred Feminine
* animate affirmations that uniquely answer your deepest needs
* play with art-making, journal-writing, and storytelling as ways to express the wisdom that’s already within you
We’ll shape the movement and breathing exercises we learn into two rituals: a Rite for Reconsecrating our Womanhood (http://loveyourbelly.com/resources/rite) and a Rite for Invoking the Sacred Feminine (http://loveyourbelly.com/resources/invocations). Once you’ve learned these rites, you can practice each in twelve to twenty minutes.
The tan tien, our body’s center, will become an altar, a place where we lay down the tensions, conflicts, doubts, and worries we have been holding and witness the healing that transpires. Each woman will have the opportunity to blend the experiences she gathers into a practice that she takes home and enjoys for ongoing inspiration and empowerment.
The exercises and activities we’ll explore follow expand upon what you’ll see on the Honoring Your Belly DVD and read in The Woman’s Belly Book: Finding Your True Center for More Energy, Confidence, and Pleasure — a book that’s already in Mantak Chia’s library. For book excerpts, visit http://loveyourbelly.com/excerpts and for an overview of the DVD see http://loveyourbelly.com/resources/dvd.
What’s important about this form This form provides a matrix through which you can embody the Sacred Feminine all the more clearly and directly — just in time for the prophetic year 2012.
The year 2012 heralds a revolution in human consciousness. The signs relate 2012 to the emergence of the Sacred Feminine, suggesting that the feminine principle will be informing, and reorganizing, every aspect of human experience.
The year 2012 enfolds many layers of meaning, knowledge phrased in terms of indigenous peoples’ prophecy, ancient scripture, sacred image, myth, legend, music, mathematics, astronomy, and astrology. In brief, these meanings converge in what mythologist Joseph Campbell calls “the mystery number of the Goddess.” (See Initiation 2012: Awakening Your Sacred Center at http://loveyourbelly.com/initiation2012 for more.)
Rather than marking the catastrophic end of the world, the year 2012 may signal the completion of one cycle and the beginning of another. As we embody the Sacred Feminine, we’ll be equipped to participate in — and shape — the evolution of human awareness with wisdom and grace.
Who’s invited Whatever your level of experience with qigong, yoga, movement arts, body image, or women’s studies, you’re invited.
This course is for you if
* You’ve had enough of feeling bad about your body. You’re ready to feel good about yourself as a whole
* You think that if you could only make peace with your body, you could tap into a wealth of creativity, wisdom, and inner guidance
* You want to take charge of your sexual energy and fully own your pro-creative power
* You’re passing through menopause and want to access the core energy that’s becoming all the more available to you at this stage of your life
* You’re seeking a body-centered path to personal and spiritual empowerment
* You’re a qigong or yoga teacher, dance instructor, bodywork therapist, counselor, or health educator working with clients in relation to body-centered issues — such as digestion, reproduction, body image, disordered eating
If you’re new to Healing Tao practices, you’ll be preparing yourself very well to continue with qigong and internal alchemy as you may choose. If you’re already familiar with the Healing Tao forms, you’ll recognize that we’re integrating several practices. Through our exercises and activities we will, for example, be engaging the five body spirits as shamanic forces; we’ll also be clearing the core channel and energizing the eight extraordinary vessels.
While cultivating the tan tien is central to Taoist teaching and practice, its location within our body’s center — within our bellies — can be a problem for women in contemporary Western culture. One qigong student (not a student of Michael Winn’s) reports:
I have struggled with belly abuse since I was a teenager. When I was 24, I discovered “nourishment,” but only after years of feeding myself garbage. At 34, I discovered Qi Gong, an ancient Chinese exercise which centers all energy in the lower abdomen. But I cannot keep energy focused in my belly! My teacher (male) doesn’t understand my problem!
For thousands of years, and continuing to this day, our culture has devalued women’s bellies. Accordingly, many of us have made our bellies the focus of shame and self-denial. But when we withdraw our awareness and appreciation from our body’s center, we cut ourselves off from the healing, creativity, and intuitive knowing that’s already within us.
We need these powers, for our own sanity. We need these powers, too, if we’re at all interested in co-creating humankind’s just and sustainable future. These powers are ours to express as we pass through the Gate of the Mysterious Female and into the Presence dwelling within our center of being.
What to Bring
* A mat or blanket for floor practices and a pillow for seated meditation. (Chairs will also be available for meditation.)
* A journal for notes and reflections Suggested Reading and Viewing
* The Woman’s Belly Book: Finding Your True Center for More Energy, Confidence, and Pleasure
* Rite for Reconsecrating our Womanhood
* Rite for Invoking the Sacred Feminine
* Honoring Your Belly DVD
A New Cosmology:
Women’s Bodies Encode What Humankind Needs To Know
by Lisa Sarasohn
Note: This essay, submitted for presentation at an international summit on Preserving the Female Body, was inspired in large part by Taoist cosmology, which focuses on the feminine birthing of the cosmos. This cosmology is implicit in Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and in many Taoist writings.
If we want our culture to value the diversity of women’s bodies, we need to change our cosmology. We need to alter the words and images we use to explain how the world began, how it works, its purpose.
Our cosmology is the biggest idea we humans have, shaping every institution of culture. These days, our cosmology and culture deny the world-birthing power and world-serving wisdom implicit in women’s bodies, whatever our race, age, shape, or size may be.
We need a new story. Forget the Big Bang. The world begins with the Great Mystery unfurling herself into Time:
Sparked by her desire to learn, play, and grow, Woman created the world, and the world was Woman.
From the substance of her body, Woman gave birth to stars, planets, moons, suns.
With the heat of her fire, Woman set the Earth into motion, giving birth to day and the year of time.
With the coolness of her waters, Woman set the Moon into motion, giving birth to night and the month of time.
Stirring fire and water into the substance of her body, Woman gave breath to creatures of the land, sea, and sky. Encompassing all-that-is within her limitless love, she placed a portion of herself into each of her creatures, into every particle of creation.
True to her original impulse, she keeps provoking her creatures to learn, play, grow. As they expand their love for themselves and each other, she loves even more lavishly. As they perceive their own and each other’s true beauty, she knows herself even more deeply. Balance and harmony flourish.
The world’s origin: ever-expanding love. Its operating principle: differentiation and integration. Its purpose: evolution of consciousness. The prize: a just and sustainable human society, also joy.
The story is more than myth. Beyond the scope of this essay to describe in full, astronomical evidence indicates that women’s bodies code the way the world works. Our volumes and curves, our rhythms and cycles, replicate the structure and function of the universe. Beginning with the correspondence between menstrual and lunar cycles, continuing to planetary orbits and beyond, we embody the mathematical relationships implicit in universal principles of time and space.
As women exult in the diversity of our bodies, we reveal creation’s original impulse: unconditional love. As our culture celebrates our bodies’ diversity, we can fully and freely enact the wisdom our bodies encode. We generate a just and sustainable human society. We lead the world into life-affirming balance and harmony.
Here’s the bold, big-multiplier idea: Establish a cosmology that understands the world — and humankind’s hope for survival — through the curves, shapes, and rhythms of women’s bodies. Express this cosmology through images of the feminine as a sacred state and sacred way of being. Integrate this cosmology and imagery into every cultural institution — including architecture, education, the economy. For every obelisk, a labyrinth. For every missile, a village well. For every gun, a community garden.
© 2010 Lisa Sarasohn
• Lisa Sarasohn
A seasoned workshop leader, I love to create the comfort and safety through which women discover and celebrate their own brilliance.
I’ve been teaching yoga since I was certified as a Kripalu yoga instructor in 1979. I’ve also trained as a yoga and bodywork therapist. From 1981 to 1988, I served on staff at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA. During that time, I taught yoga to thousands of guests, conducted a practice in bodywork therapy, and led workshops on many aspects of holistic health.
I graduated from Brown University with honors in biology. The highlight of my academic career occurred one afternoon as I walked past the bioscience library and heard a whisper: “The purpose of life is the evolution of consciousness.”
My articles on honoring the body’s center have appeared in publications including Yoga Journal, SageWoman, Radiance, and Personal Transformation. My workshops have been sponsored by colleges and universities, health education agencies, and holistic learning centers. The Woman’s Belly Book: Finding Your True Center for More Energy, Confidence, and Pleasure (excerpts and reviews at http://loveyourbelly.com) shares what I’ve learned during twenty years of writing, research, and teaching as I’ve explored the mystery, wisdom, and power of the body’s center.
Reviews of the book include:
* To create health, you have to trust your gut. And to trust your gut, you’ve got to reclaim the wisdom of your belly. The Woman’s Belly Book shows you how. —Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
* How do we live a life that is ours instead of the life we think we should live? We don’t think our way there — we feel it, we intuit it, we listen to our breath, our heart, and our bellies. Lisa’s book is brimming with incredibly powerful ways to listen to your life through your belly. This is a fresh, delicious body treat!” —Jennifer Louden, author of The Woman’s Comfort Book
* In a culture obsessed with tightening the abdomen, The Woman’s Belly Book is a refreshing and practical change of pace. Open it anywhere and practice the techniques Lisa suggests. Not only will you feel better, but you will also have fun connecting with your powerful belly and its innate wisdom. —Judith Hanson Lasater, PhD, author of Living Your Yoga: Finding the spiritual in everyday life
I’ve been studying qigong and internal alchemy with Michael Winn for several years. I’m always thrilled to experience how his teaching affirms, deepens, and expands what I’ve been unearthing in my own ways.
Participants in past workshops have been enthusiastic about their experience with me and my teaching (see http://loveyourbelly.com/events). For example:
* My experience…during the workshop was a delightful and delicious sense that I was completely filled with my Self. The effort I continually put into “connecting” to myself was gone. The gap I imagine to be present most of the time as I journey through daily living vanished. The energy released from my belly filled me up — it filled in the gap — effortlessly.
* Women need to take this workshop and read [The Woman’s Belly Book]. We have lost touch with who and what we are as females. Historically, the ancient wisdom of women and their bodies was honored and respected, rather than demeaned. The workshop and book have helped me break down a barrier that has stood for many years — decades even. This barrier, the shame and disgust I felt because my stomach was not flat and taut as society and the media has decreed it should be, kept me from truly loving my body. Now I can listen to the wisdom held deep inside me — inside my center, my belly.
* I’ve truly connected with my center and my spirit. I feel like a switch was flicked on and I am not sure I can turn it off. Or if I would even want to. Thank you.
* I have not been able to smile much lately. But in this workshop I could not keep the smiles from my face. My soul is rejoicing.
* This workshop was truly amazing. I decided to take it because I wanted to honor my gut feeling. I feel very centered and satisfied inside. This is something that I hope to carry with me forever. Thank you so much.
* Excellent course to empower the self. Thank you. The workshop was very gently and well led. Wow, wow, wow — I love everyone and myself and have power to shower everyone with blessings of love and compassion!
* Amazing. I felt the energy, confidence, and peace I’d been needing for an extraordinarily long time. I hope to take what I’ve learned today and utilize it in my crazy, chaotic life. Thanks!
* Perfect! Just what I’ve needed. I feel good.
I look forward to sharing a valuable, playful, and rewarding experience with you. Blessed be!
|How to Register: 25 Summer Retreats ONLINE|
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“Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Virtue as his home,
“The Tao is very close, but everyone looks far away.
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