January 22, 2007 at 9:26 pm #20657
Inside Chi Flows Naturally:
1. Summary of “9 Essential Principles of Tao Self-Cultivation”.
This is my personal short list of qualities that maximize the
process of self-realization. This is another way of describing
the Union of our Human self with the Way or Great Process of
2. Cultivate Qigong in Winter, Harvest in Summer. A discussion of
seasonal qigong – how following the cycles of nature preserves
robust health. How to choose the best qigong to practice in
3. Followup on Winter Solstice. We had a wonderful group
meditation on solstice. During a break between our second and
third sittings, the Great Jade Stone arrived by special delivery
after a troubled four month journey from China. U.S. Customs,
under the withering pressure of solstice, had turned a new leaf
and released the precious cargo without undue fees. What fabulous
timing! It added a very special deep earth energy to our final
We ended up renaming it the “Jade Tree Immortal” because we
realized that after spending 250 million years inside the earth,
the essence of this tree qualified for immortal status .
“Petrifry” means to “change into stone”. Scientists don’t really
know why wood petrifies and in rare cases turns green. The lead
theory is that the tree falls into a marsh, and liquid silica
minerals from jasper and chalcydony penetrates into the cellular
level. They gradually replace the wood particles with crystals
shaped identical to the original tree. It is very alchemical, as
heat from volcanic flows or deep earth fire is needed to keep the
Bottom line: the Jade Tree Immortal inspires me to tune even
deeper into our Great Mother’s earth chi. I feel my bones light
up when I do qigong beside it, as my bone crystals love to
resonate with the green quarzite crystal. The tree decided it
wanted to stay in the center of my living room, see photo link
The other unusual phenomena was a photograph I took of my crystal
stone circle during the Winter Solstice “hour of Tzu”. This is
the Taoist favorite hour for meditation in the 12-hour chi clock
cycle: the hour before & after midnight. I took a series of
photographs, starting at sunset, of a candle burning in the
center of the stone circle. The midnite photo of the circle,
taken without flash, appeared totally black except for the candle
flame. When I increased the exposure on the photo, dozens of
marvellous colored spheres appeared. I thought at first it must
have been refraction from the candle or some wierd digital
My in-house techie Mike Teeters examined the whole series of
photos and declared the “floating pearls” were not a mechanical
effect. You can decide for yourself whether these are the “light
bodies of the beings of all directions and dimensions” who
accepted my invitation to join the winter solstice meditation. Or
just random reflections off a ghost in my camera. See:
4. Announcing the posting of a new section on my website,
Frequently Asked Questions.
The FAQ’s are still a work in progress. Feel free to email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org to suggest new questions you would like to
see answered (I still have a long list myself). Or just log onto
the Healing Tao forum and ask your question.
These FAQs are like a small book. It is likely is too much to
read in one sitting. I plan to offer an option to have them
auto-sent to subscribers in small doses. Note: not all the
sections listed below are complete.
FAQ’s on Qigong Fundamentals
Where to start? Tao Inner Smile, Five Animals shamanic qigong,
Six Healing Sounds medical qi gong, Microcosmic Orbit meditation,
Internal chi breathing & bone rooting. Why is chi kung superior
to ordinary exercise? How long to get results?
FAQ’s on Advanced Qigong Training
Fusion of Five Elements. What is Taoist depth psychology? Eight
Extraordinary Vessels as Macrocosmic Orbit. Can Chi Kung deliver
super powers? Tao dream practice, Deep Healing Qigong for healing
chronic illness. What kind of people do this stuff?
FAQ’s on Tao and Taoist Lineages
What is Tao? Is it philosophy or religion? Taoist mountain vs.
temple lineages, Michael Winn’s relation to Mantak Chia and
hermit One Cloud. Is lineage needed? Buddhism vs. Daoism vs.
FAQ’s on Taoist Sexual Practice
How do I master Taoist sex? Is it risky? Why avoid million-dollar
point. Differences in male & female practice. Medical sexology
vs. bedroom arts vs. spiritual sex.
FAQ’s on Inner Alchemy Meditation
How change happens. How alchemy works, what are benefits? 7
stages of spiritual development. Qigong vs. neidan gong. Inner
vs. outer alchemy, spiritual science vs. material technology.
FAQ’s on Michael Winn Who is this dude? Short & long bio,
background in kriya & kundalini yoga, Dzogchen, Tantric Buddhism.
Teaching style, master-student issues.
4. March 10 & 11 is next workshop in Asheville. Fusion of the 5
Elements 1: Cultivating True Feeling & Dissolving Negative
. Prerequisite: Qigong Fundamentals 1&2 (homestudy accepted).
5. Plan ahead. Reserve a space for this summer’s retreats online.
We’re working on a full online registration system. Until its
ready, you can only leave a $100. deposit for the retreat(s) of
your choice. Questions? Email email@example.com. Or visit:
Dear Seekers of Elusive Truth in the Cold Heart of Winter,
It is winter in the northern hemisphere, although until recently
it was hard to tell. But your body isn’t really faked out by the
surface temperature. We still live in animal bodies, even though
we’ve let many of our instinctual animal skills atrophy. Our
animal self knows where the natural chi is flowing, and its down
and in. Why else do we instinctively face the sun? Because our
front chest “water” channel, known to acupuncturists as the
conception or yin or water channel, instinctively feels balanced
by the yang heat of the sun. So the sun is like the magnet that
attracts our body’s spiritual compass.
Likewise, our body knows instinctively that in the winter, the
chi flows deep into the earth. I recently bought a gas
refrigerator. The noisy hum of electric models disturbs my hunger
for deep silence. But gas refrigerators are finicky, and we have
to monitor the temperature. I notice it keeps things colder in
winter than at the same outdoor temperature in summer.
Apparently, even my refrige isn’t faked out by the surface
temperatures…as if it could also sense the underlying cold
contraction of the winter season.
Why does this matter? How can we take advantage of the seasonal
shifts in chi flow? The barometer of this changing energy flow
are our vital organs. So in winter the Kidney spirit (“shen”)
which rules the water element in our body, follows the cue of
Nature and goes into deep contraction as it senses the cold. The
kidney intelligence is the dominant vital organ in the winter
cycle, so it sends that message out to all the other vital organ
spirits that together make up our mind. It is like a bear
hibernating in the winter. The kidney chi wants to hibernate all
winter – but when it does come out in the spring, it has stored
up a LOT of energy.
Moral of story: if you do a lot of qigong and meditation during
the winter months, you’ll get a big payoff later when Nature’s
chi begins to expand in Spring and Summer. You’ll effortlessly
expand along with it as your kidney chi comes out of hibernation.
If you overwork now and don’t store up any winter chi, your fuel
tank will feel a bit empty come spring. You’ll feel a little
older each year, instead of growing younger.
The Life Force doesn’t age, nor does Nature, which has no
resistance to its flow. Tao conclusion: imitate Nature, drop
resistance to Life Force (qigong practice and aligning with
natural cycles) and you will feel yourself growing younger.
That is why the Taoists devised what is known as “seasonal
qigong”. In winter they do qigong to build the kidneys and
strengthen the water element, which includes conserving sexual
energy, drinking plenty of fluid, and absorbing earth chi into
the bone marrow, where your blood is manufactured. You could
cultivate your bone marrow with Qigong Fundamentals 3&4, Internal
Chi & Bone Rooting & Breathing.
Or you could use kidney building qigong. I spent 20 years
gathering the best kidney building qigong I could find and put
them on my Sexual Vitality Qigong DVD. You only need to go deep
with one or two qigong exercises. I’ve put 25 qigong forms on the
DVD that boost your kidney power – to give variety and let people
choose what attracts them the most.
As part of my deep winter contemplation I recently distilled out
what I felt to be the 9 essential principles of Tao
self-cultivation. The Chinese are masters of distilling big
complex things down to their core essence -that is what yin-yang
and five phase theory is. I’ve noticed that many other spiritual
traditions have begun using yin-yang language to try to explain
the essence of their own process.
That means yin-yang theory is so simple and true that it has
become embedded in global consciousness. I’m just honoring that
tradition, trying to boil down the thousands of years of wisdom
and zillions of different health and spiritual practices into
nine essential principles. Here it is, my gift to anyone who
wants it: 9 ways to ponder life’s mysteries more deeply this
9 Essential Principles of Tao Self-Cultivation
Surrender. If we trust and surrender to the Life Force (Chi or Qi
Field), the Life Force will flow into our body-mind. The Life
Force supports us to effortlessly unfold who we truly are.
Surrender is the prerequisite to expressing the highest level of
our individual free will and creativity.
The central challenge our ordinary ego-personality (heart-mind or
xin in Chinese) faces is the separation, fragmentation and
dispersion of our underlying soul essence. Cloudy and reactive
emotions, poor sexual habits, bad diet, shallow breathing,
self-judgments, negative thinking and rejection of the spiritual
nature of our physical body results in struggle, disease,
suffering, and unhappy feeling of incompletion in life. Our
resistance to life is what kills us. Self-cultivation teaches us
to let go of our resistance to the Life Force.
Harmony. The Life Force is about Process. It is made of three
streams of vast flowing consciousness or chi that harmonize all
life: negative-receptive-female (Yin), positive-creative-male
(Yang), and neutral-stabilizing-primordial (Yuan). This chi field
is all-penetrating, yet remains neutral or paradoxically still
even as it moves. Likewise, our soul rests in stillness while the
Life Force moves in Yin-Yang and Five Phase (element) cycles
through our essence.
These flowing cycles/seasons offer a simple and perfect mirroring
between our changing inner thoughts, feelings, perceptions and
the outer action of Nature. Taoist qigong is the Process of
communicating with the Life Force. Qigong trains us to speak the
language of subtle energy or chi. We learn practical ways to
harmonize the three currents of chi flowing amongst our self, our
community, and Nature.
Simplicity. On the outside, life is very complex. On the inside,
it is very simple. The Inner Smile is the Tao path of simplicity.
Its simple when you open the heart of your soul to
unconditionally accept first your own body-mind. Second phase is
to accept everything Other as part of a unified, flowing
essence of the Life Force. The Inner Smile is the simplest way to
keep your path heart-centered.
This simple, continuous act of acceptance ends all separation and
loneliness, causing a soul peace to arise within our personality.
Our path in each moment is to allow our smiling presence to
embrace lifes wonderful complexity. It is this simple foundation
of smiling, unconditional acceptance that allows all spiritual
qualities such as love, kindness, compassion and forgiveness to
Grounding. Taoist qigong & meditation fuse our ego into a strong,
grounded, integrated whole. Qigong allows our heart-mind and
physical body to achieve optimum health. Meditation merges our
personality and body with our soul, or ling. This whole-body
enlightenment can be achieved while living an ordinary life in a
physical body. Being centered in life means being grounded,
physically and spiritually.
Integrity. Qigong (chi kung) movement exercises and meditation
(neigong or nei kung) are two main pillars of Tao
self-cultivation. They empower a third pillar – the expression of
personal integrity or innate spiritual virtue (de) in daily
Study of the I Ching (Book of Unchanging Changes), feng shui,
Chinese astrology, the outer elixirs of Chinese medicine
(massage, nutrition, herbology), sexual energy cultivation, and
self-expression through creative arts complete the eight pillars
of our personal Tao or Way. Together these eight offer us
practical skills to grow the central ninth pillar, and realize
our soul highest destiny, our integration with the Great Tao.
Sexual Sagehood. Our volatile male-female sexuality is reflected
in the polar split between the two halves of our soul, the
Heaven-formless spirit and Earth-form sexually embodied aspect.
But sex is our souls secret alchemical elixir. If we know how to
tap our sexual volatility, we can quickly transform spiritually.
Taoist sexual practice with a partner and solo meditative inner
sexual alchemy both use our tangible sexual essence to capture
and crystallize the invisible essence of our spirit. This union
of our sexual and spiritual selves births a third self an
androgynous, bi-sexual Inner Sage that manifests our immortal
non-dual Original Nature. Our Inner Sage is able to embody
non-dual energy (yuan chi) while present in a sexually polarized
male or female body and simultaneously express our unique
Transformation. The core Taoist spiritual practice is Internal
Alchemy (neidan gong). Alchemy is transformation, the process of
speeding up internal change. Both science and art, this
meditative process offers a heart-centered systematic method to
transform the apparent spirit-matter split within a single
Inside every human being lives a mystical trinity. In the West
this trinity might be called body-mind-spirit, but their meaning
is vague. In Taoism, the trinity is jing-chii-shen, with very
precise meaning. Alchemical meditation speeds up the
transformations between sexual essence (jing), subtle breath
(chi), and intelligence-spirit (shen). The three are really
the same, but vibrating at different speeds, to give our soul
greater freedom of expression.
Immortality. Tao inner alchemy offers Seven Alchemy Formulas for
Eternal Life. These seven stages are a practical map to
spiritually rebirth the mortal self into an immortal
consciousness that continues functioning after death. This is not
a quest for physical immortality. Ordinary souls dissolve after
death. Enlightened souls hold enough integrity to reincarnate
consciously, a kind of soul immortality.
Spiritual immortality is the stage beyond enlightenment. It
allows us to complete the natural process of soul individuation
that is happening in both our Lesser Self/personality as well as
our cosmic Greater Self. Spiritual Immortality is Natures way to
allow the most worthy individual beings to participate in the
ongoing creation of the divine multi-verse.
Spontaneity. Every soul seeks two things. One, to complete its
unique worldly destiny. Two, to achieve a high spiritual destiny
of consciously merging back into its Original Spirit. But destiny
is not a fixed or pre-determined path. There is only the
effortless spontaneous unfolding of each moment (wuwei).
The Supreme Mystery (Wuji) that births the Life Force will always
remain unknowable and unpredictable, even as we gradually merge
with the vastness of the Tao. This central Mystery lives in the
core of our inner self and keeps all life eternally fresh,
joyful, and spontaneous.
Love, Chi, and Blessings of the 9 Principles of Tao,
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
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will automatically delist.January 23, 2007 at 4:48 pm #20658
I enjoyed reading this, Michael. The principles look good. Simple, clear and informative. (How perfect should they be?) Very helpful to refocus on the importance of wintertime. Here in Santa Fe we are having an unusually heavy winter. We got a literal three feet of snow right after Christmas, and there is still almost a foot left between the frigid temps and a few subsequent light snows. I haven’t seen the ground in a month!
About that great rock in your LR- It has a wonderful presence and I can see it being left all alone standing on the floor the way you have it. But the sculptor in me is also seeing the possibility of a base for it. Imagine an ovoid-shaped piece of mahogany, cherry or ebony four to six inches tall and a few inches wider than the stone. A recess of about an inch could be cut into the top of it and you could either set the stone directly into it or line it with a piece of copper first. That could make an interesting energy creation. Anyway you have it it’s a terrific piece and will be very happy with you two.
Blessings, AlexanderJanuary 24, 2007 at 9:37 am #20660
Just seen you like beings photo.
Digital cameras are very smart. However it takes some skill.
Take pictures from ordinary consciousness and you get ordinary photo.
Take pictures from in-ordinary consciousness and you get in-ordinary photo.
Example is spontaneous projection into light, holding the camera, reaching out with oneself to the beloved object, and ‘click’ will the photo take.
(not to grounding, but artistic. some people hold to chemical photo-taking, but this is different league.)January 28, 2007 at 3:07 pm #20662
interesting theory. But in this case I had no intention (consciously) of capturing anything other than the candle light and the stones. But maybe my “mind” had other plans…. 🙂
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