October 7, 2006 at 5:23 am #18385
hey there! just browse the web look like some real teachings and truth beyond the HT propagandas are appearing again it was time!
I sent this letter to those of you who contacted me personally after my initial invitation to learn more about David and his teachers. Because of some exciting recent developments, I have decided to post it here in the hopes that others will find some benefit and have access to the same opportunities. If any of you have heard enough and would rather not take part in what is offered here, thats fine, but I hope you will allow those interested discuss these matters without adding idle speculation and undue criticism. Your opinions and skepticism are welcome and healthy, but speculative Slams just cause unnecessary bad feelings and lead others astray. We all have different needs and directions and this practice doesn’t fit all sizes. I won’t take it at all personally if you are uninterested and unimpressed.
Thank you for your patience. Some you have already heard of my teacher David Verdesi. He is a student of many masters in China and other parts of Asia as well as an anthropologist and author. Despite the occasional attempts to discredit David in the past decade, he is truly one of the few western seekers, in my opinion, to have formed any meaningful relationship with high level masters in China. I will try and cover the basic idea of whats being offered.
Let me start by just clearing any doubt that what David is teaching is in some way a cult. David and the people that take his trainings are for the most part quite ordinary, working class, normal people. Im a school teacher in Oregon and very involved in my community; most people I work with have no idea I study qigong. Im offering this opportunity for two reasons: one, it took me a long time to find the real thing and I can relate to people like me who just want to find a real master and begin pursuing some manner of authentic training; two, David and his masters want to share want they have learned with the world and genuinely want to help people and Im happy to help them in that endeavor.
It wasnt easy for me. I didnt have someone just drop this in my lap on an internet discussion forum. Actually, my Dad got me into Tai Chi when I was around 21 years old. He had cancer and, because there was no treatment at that time for this particular type, he started doing tai chi and changed his diet among other alternative approaches. Anyway, something clicked for me and I went through a lot of money and time researching, in my own small way, what was out there and taking various workshops when I could afford it. I also got really Buddhism which is still something I still practice. I dabbled in Kriya Yoga and some of the other Indian systems and studied various Daoist qigong methods. Then around 1998 I started training to become a Healing Tao instructor as Ive written about on the Tao Bums forum; after several negative experiences there and the disappointment of realizing I was practicing ineffective and incomplete methods, I decided it was time to move on.
In 2000 I read Kostas book and after a brief courtship went to Athens with my girl friend and then 6 month old son and asked to be accepted as a student. It was around this time that I received information about an ongoing lawsuit against the Healing Tao from an Author named Master Choa Kok Sui; I guess hes some kind of Pranic Healing guru. Anyway there was a copy of his book and a line by line comparison of one of Mantak Chias new books written by Dirk Oellibrandt. It was page after page of word for word plagiarism. At this point I wasnt surprised, but I did some further research and turned up other, similar lawsuits.
For about a month after word, I received letters from Mantak Chias people asking instructors not to panic and saying that the Dao belongs to everyone and a bunch of explanations that, quite frankly didnt excuse the obvious dishonesty taking place. Anyway, the whole thing was disgusting and totally deleted whatever little respect for the Healing Dao I had left at that point. Eventually the whole thing was covered up the Pranic Healing people were paid some kind of settlement or something to that effect. Ironically the book went on to be published with the plagiarism reworded. Of course, people just eat it up and think theyre gifted cosmic healers after a few months of training. Anyway I could write a book on all the crap that people buy into out there and Its not my intention to make the focus of this letter about the Healing Tao, but it just really burns me up that I spent two years teaching people these methods and giving them hope and having to turn around and say sorry, its all pretty useless.
Moving on, I studied with one of Kostas students for about two years, completing the first part of the level one training and beginning the second part. I thought I had finally found it, but two years later that was over and John Chang wasnt taking students or teaching anymore. It was another disappointment; and not just for me, but a lot of people who had invested many years of their lives and a lot of money too. David was also a student of John Chang, among others, at this time and is still good friends with him. And it was at this time that Andreas, an older student of John Chang, asked David to offer his training to former Mo Pai who, finding themselves without a practice, needed something to fill the void. I guess David didnt think much of the idea at the time because he already has more students then he truly wants on some levels. In any case, Andreas was persistent because he knew David knew other masters like John Chang.
Every year during the beginning of the New Year, John Chang calls on the ancestors for guidance. Students generally try to be there if they can as its generally an auspicious time. If youve never read the book, when Sherfu Chang calls his master, his master appears fully manifested in physical form accompanied by thunder and lightning and a tremendous wind. On several occasions these immortal masters recognized David for whatever reason, saying that he knew a great deal more than he should for a western barbarian. The Chinese present during these particular visits were surprised to learn Davids connections and knowledge are far more considerable than he lets on. Sherfu Chang was surprised too.
Then about a year and a half ago, David was invited to a private forum started by Andreas. He wrote some amazing articles in his Italianized English that basically blew me away. I hope he writes a book about his life so people can read this stuff because hes led an amazing life; he says hes waiting till he achieves yin yang gong (level 5) before he writes his story. Anyway, I had a lot of questions, very much like the questions Im seeing in reaction to my posts. As hard as it is to paint a picture of what he knows via the internet, David managed to impress many of us with his heart and knowledge. Eventually he offered to train those who were interested.
David shared a lot with us and made some important points. He said that John Chang could sense the presence of at least 10 level 64 masters of the Lei Shan Dao in China and many more at or around his level, not to mention all the others below his level. None of these are MoPai, which is just one line of the Lei Shan Dao. Just as a reference, level 64 represents full enlightenment and a great deal of power in the Lei Shan Dao. Supposedly, at level 64, a master can will enlightenment on others and can extend his own life at will.
David told us that there are many methods more effective than Mo Pai in the line of the Lei Shan Dao. Especially, for women who have given birth; in Mo Pai the practice isnt possible for women who have had a baby. Some of these methods have produced dozens of masters like John Chang in the past decade, where Mo Pai has produced only one, John Chang himself. This is mainly because, of the 12 or so techniques that are used to achieve level 4/5, Mo Pai only use four and John Chang only helps a student with his energy when they have reached level three, a feat almost impossible without the masters help and empowerment. David feels that Sherfu Chang never truly intended to teach but to a few close students and from the information Ive gathered, I tend to concur.
He also shared some amazing stories about the history and origin of these teachings and how that history has played out over the last several hundred years in China, Tibet and India. David has traveled extensively in Tibet and India in addition to his travels in China looking for masters and researching the various traditions there. John Chang has done the same, even leaving his body to search out remote mountain retreats. By the way, the idea that Michael Winn tracked some of Davids teachers in the astral is a little silly in my opinion. Sherfu Chang said he found only three masters in the Himalayas, all in remote caves practicing alone. They both found nothing like the living tradition of the Lei Shan Dao in China.
David has many high connections with Tibetan masters and even studied with the tutor of Dilgo Kyetses tulku, who was one of the Dali Lamas root gurus. During this time he personally interviewed a veritable whos who of masters and lamas in Tibet, India, Nepal, and Bhutan and all said that the last remnants of these practices were lost 150 years ago.
What follows is a snippet of a much longer article written by David on a private forum:
Always the Magus [John Chang] told, and showed proof of an otherwise lost truth; the real wheels of dharma, the flaming chakras of Vishnu, that once upon a time used to crown a new Buddha, are long lost from India and Tibet; altogether three sacred objects. David is talking about objects of unimaginable power. [According to Sherfu Chang,] until [the chakras are] reunited, real vajra power will not be born in Tibet anymore (and Tibet cannot be freed, he said, no-comment on political issues here). Nowadays the crowning of a new high lama is done by presenting a symbolic wheel of dharma, not the real one.
Where are they? In Indonesia, in China, not in Tibet or in India; and, the story goes, they were lost along with the vajrayana power… Truth or tale? I do not know, but Sherfu can prove his part at least.
David actually saw one of these Chakras. It belongs to a Lei Shan Dao Master who is about level 20. I guess this master said he needs to be at full power before he can even hold it. According to this master, the Dali Lama requested to have this Chakra back (I cant imagine that conversation). I guess the answer was no.
During his search in Tibet, David was led by a very unusual set of circumstances to study with a master of the Miao Tong or Enlightenment line of the Dao in Korea. This master, so were told, was the student of a living Buddha. When David was in Korea he met this Buddha and saw many well known masters there who were in residence and had come to study with him. These included the Dali Lama and other high lamas from Tibet, who were all bowing down to and paying respect, etc
One day this Buddha gives a teaching called the shout of awakening. He takes his staff and pounds it on the stone floor of the mountain monastery with preternatural power. Im told it sounded like thunder. Anyway, then the Buddha gives this un-human shout that David describes as a very loud alarm clock like sound. He went on to say that the shout was like hearing an alarm, but not being able to wake up and turn it off. As I understand it, if you are ready and youve gone through the requisite training, you can spontaneously awaken from the dream when the Buddha gives the shout of Awakening.
After the teaching was over, David walked away behind his master (I guess in this tradition the student always follows behind the master three paces). As they were walking, David indicated that he would like to ask a question, so the master stops and turns to David, Master, it really is like trying to wake up from a deep sleep! The master replies, Oh David, you hear sound of awakening and you still sleep; this is very bad. After which he turns around and keeps walking. Suddenly the Master stops and turns around to David, Its okay, Dali Lama still not awake also.
There are dozens of stories like this; each one more incredible than the next. David also shared many unknown, and lesser known details of the history and development of modern Daoism. Id like to share a few points that I found particularly useful:
There are, in China, 6 major lines of Taoism; in no particular order, they are:
Lei Shan Dao: the thunder and lightning path.
Yang Shen Dao: developing the immortal fetus.
Tong Ling: Religious Dao; prayer, incantation, use of symbols; devotional in nature.
Miao Tong Dao: Enlightenment Dao founded by Lao Tzu; most illusive path; no method path.
Jin Dan: Alchemical path.
Shamanic Tao: the study of nature.
All of these paths have different methods designed to achieve goals that, while they differ in many ways, all lead to liberation and similar abilities.
While its true that only the Lei Shan Dao produces this trade mark electricity. The other Lines of the Dao have there own variety of abilities and achievements. David told us of a meeting between 4 or 5 masters, each from a different line. Each was asked to make the same glass bottle rise with their respective powers. The Lei Shan Dao Master used his qi; the Miao Tong wished it with his mind; the Tong Ling called a spirit to lift it, etc From the point of view of the outside observer, the bottle simply levitated the same way for each master, but, in reality, they each used a different energy. David told us this story to illustrate his assertion that one who claims to be enlightened should also be able to demonstrate it and that Masters who talk of enlightenment, but fail to demonstrate at least some ability beyond just talk should give us, as seekers, pause. Superpowers are simply a natural outcome of correct practice and, as such, they represent a much more profound internal transformation. As many of you have rightly stated, these powers are not the goal. They are however very specific indications of the level of internal development of “the body-mind” of a given individual. For example, the demonstration where I witnessed water being transformed into sweet necture by Sherfu J is indicative of the fact that Sherfu J has transformed his own body-mind in a profound way. The evidence of this is the healing power of this liquid, which makes those who drink it incredibly flexable. David told me that he could do the spilts after drinking a bottle of this altered water; I guess he used to be pretty tense and inflexable.
Of all of these paths, the Lei Shan Dao is the most realistic for the western mind and life style. The other five paths require tremendous commitments of time and energy and cannot be accomplished while living a normal life in society. For example the Yang Shen Dao, perhaps one of the more written about practices requires a life style of constant meditation for decades to master. Im told Wang Li Ping, who is a master of the Yang Shen Dao as well as the other five lines, wont even consider a student unless they can sit in a meditative state, in full lotus for at least four hours with no discomfort.
As a side note, the reason Wang Li Ping retreated from the public eye is very sad. Its seems some westerners, convinced he is a fake, urged some of the more public Daoist teachers to denounce him. Ironically, the so called masters who were critical of Sherfu Wang are practitioners of little or no achievement, who, initially supported by the government as a kind of cultural renewal for tourists, really have done the world a disservice. In turn Sherfu Wang, not wanting to create a show and quite content to be out of the public eye, said, Okay, you win and retired from public teaching. Of course he continued his work privately and continues extend his influence and powers to help his community in incredible ways.
To be successful in all the paths, one also requires a teacher who has accomplished the requisite training and is qualified to teach in that line. For example, in the Lei Shan Dao, a teacher would need to be well above the so called level four and five as written about by Kostas in his book the Magus of Java. He would need to be able to use his energy to check the students progress and correct imbalances; also he would give empowerments to the student via energy transfer. A master of the enlightenment path would have to be fully awakened in order to be able to guide the student; a Tong Ling would be able to confer with high level spirits and command them to his will, etc…
When we first met David he told us about his first meeting with a real master who happens to belong to the line of Jin Dan or Alchemical Daoism. This master and his students are many hundreds of years old, some even older, and live in remote regions in China. They come and go from different worlds only dreamt of by mortals. They were the ones who blessed David with the ability to sense the location and energy of other masters. As a side note, this is how David met John Chang; he had a vision of Sherfu Chang and where he was living at the time. When they met for the first time, John Chang looked at David and said he could see that he had been drawn there by a vision. Anyway, David told us the story of this encounter with the Jin Dan masters and showed us two pieces of mercury that were originally liquid, but had been touched or blessed by the masters qi; one was consistency of clay and had been touched with yang qi and the other fully hardened in the shape of a perfect half sphere was touched with yin. David passed the one with yang qi around for us to feel; because I have developed some qi in my practice with Mo Pai, I felt a tiny electric tic when I touched the yang infused mercury. The point is this, when the master blesses you, your practice, just like the mercury David showed us, instantly progresses in a way that it never could without the blessing of an achieved master. A master can make your Dan tien grow much faster than it normally would.
Today we have come to believe that a blessing from a holy person is just a symbolic act with no power or energy behind it. Sadly, this is the case most of the time. But, when a real master touches you with his qi, Dan, the real elixir of alchemy, is created.
If you have an opportunity to study with David, he te
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