April 3, 2007 at 1:02 am #21894
Inside Chi Flows Naturally:
1. Story of how Healing Tao summer retreats 2007 had to suddenly relocate, due to
sale of its Catskill center.
By grace of Tao and guidance from I Ching, we have a new (and better) site: Heavenly
Mountain, a former luxurious spiritual center of Transcendental Meditation (TM).
It’s nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains near Blowing Rock, North
Carolina. At 4000 feet high, it is energetically far more powerful than our old
Catskill site. These are the highest mountains on the east coast and have fabulous
waterfalls, caves, rafting and hiking nearby. It’s close to Asheville, with
its many attractions. Details below. Photo link: http://www.healingdao.com/heavenly_mountain.html
Nearest big airport is Charlotte, N.C.. New schedule is very close to the old
schedule, but there are changes. Mantak Chia’s June 16 start date is unchanged;
all other retreats run Friday dinner to Wednesday lunch, with more weekend options.
Tuition costs unchanged, better accomodations, and single rooms are cheaper. New
schedule, travel details below. We need a chef and more workstudy students.
Website is being updated, but may take a few days. Check http://www.HealingTaoRetreats.com
for ongoing info – we have space for expansion now and may be inviting other Tao
masters to teach their art. Contact our registrar Rob Renahan with questions: email@example.com
(email is best for us) or 1-888-750-1773 (noon – 4 pm EST, M-F). After April 8,
Rob’s cell is 828-242-0968.
2. We are still accepting late signups for China Dream Trip, subject to change in
See full trip itinerary at: http://www.healingdao.com/chinatrip2007.html
See my top 60 China Dream Trip photos at:
3. Fusion of the Five Elements 2 & 3 on April 28 & 29, in Asheville, NC.
Added plus for those travelling: Asheville is only a short drive up the Blue Ridge
Parkway to our new retreat site near Blowing Rock, a magnificent drive this time
of the year. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Lovers of the Natural Way,
The Tao is about Change. Taoist self-cultivation studies Nature because it teaches
us how to change gracefully. Tao teaches us how to dance with the all pervading
Life Force as we move through our personal life cycles. Sometimes, Change happens
quickly, like a spring thunderstorm.
Dealing with Bad News
Ten days ago, the summer retreat program got slammed by a small tsunami of Change.
I received an email informing me our N.Y. Catskills retreat center is being sold
and that our rental contract to hold 25 Healing Tao University retreats this summer
was being torn up. The Jeronimos who own the Catskills center are good folks, but
for personal reasons are desperate to sell. Their desperation was our potential
That kind of change can take your breath away. It affects hundreds of people,
a faculty of 20 instructors, and a tightly crafted schedule of 25 retreats. With
a year’s notice, it would be a small feat to relocate. On three months notice,
it was like asking an ocean liner to suddenly behave like a speedboat.
The strange thing is that the I Ching, the ancient Chinese book of wisdom (lit.
“Book of Unchanging Changes”) had already warned me last summer that we
would be moving. But I thought it wouldn’t happen for another year, so I signed
the 2007 contract. I am reminded, once again, that the forces of Change wait for
no man. The Year of the Female Fire PIg is kicking in full strength, bringing new
abundance for those properly aligned, and the chaos of separating Fire Above and
Water Below for those who are not.
I did an intensive search for New England sites, starting in the Catskills and
radiating outward. I called the top dozen likely candidates. Of course, everyone
was mostly booked or could offer only choppy dates sandwiched in between other groups.
Totally unsatisfactory for the quality of energy work we are doing, and for the
type of space we have been holding internationally for the Taoist community. I was
getting a bit concerned, and wondering if the retreats were even meant to happen
in 2007. So I asked the I Ching what to do, and it suggested “the situation
is changing rapidly, the Way is Open. Be open to receive assistance from a new direction.
Following the Dragons to the Southeast
I decided to look at other mountain locations, the traditional favorite for Taoist
cultivation. I chose to live in the Blue Ridge mountains near Asheville, North Carolina
because the earth chi is so powerful. There are powerful “dragons” in
the land, what other traditions would call “ley lines”. These mountains
are the oldest mountains on earth, some 400 million years old according to geologists.
A deep earth wisdom lies within their bones. The Appalachian mountains of North
Carolina are loaded with crystal of such high quality that 96% of the silicon used
in computer chips in the USA comes from here.
The crystal stone circle in my backyard came from a woman near Blowing Rock,
North Carolina who didn’t want the garage-sized crystal boulder in the middle
of her driveway…. So I sat in my stone circle, where I often meditate or practice
qigong, and asked for help. I followed the vibration of the Stones, tracking them
to their source within the land for inspiration. And I suddenly remembered ten years
earlier, my younger brother Steven visiting me. We went up to Blowing Rock to visit
a TM center, an enormously ambitious project built by two of his TM friends, Earl
and David Kaplan.
The Kaplans were inspired in 1993 by their TM guru Maharishi to build a retreat
center to hold a thousand “professional meditators” who would be meditating
and chanting all day to radiate out World Peace. The idea was to get critical mass
going, to send out an energetic wave to the planet. What a lovely idea, quite alchemical.
One drop of pure consciousness shifts the entire polluted field. But the trick is
getting the right alchemical essences into that one drop. Then the vibrational intent
penetrates to the very heart of matter. Very different, in my training, than simply
praying to Spirit. Spirit, I believe, is just half of Matter. And Spirit wants us
to use our free will and love to directly shape Matter – not beg Spirit to do it
In 1997my brother Steven and I drove up to Blowing Rock, an old Native American
area that is now a popular tourist site. It is close to Grandfather Mountain, Linville
Falls, deep caverns, and Mt. Mitchell (at 7,000 ft. the highest peak on the East
coast). Blowing Rock itself is a famous precipice with a stunning 80 mile vista
over the Blue Ridge Mountains and the green valleys below. When the wind blows,
the Rock makes its own music. There is an old Cherokee and Catawba legend that lovers
from the two tribes – who were at war – met at Blowing Rock. The man felt called
by duty to return to his tribe, and leaped off the rock to his death. The woman
called to Spirit to bring him back – and the Wind blew him back up onto the Rock
into the arms of his lover.
Steve wanted to go to Blowing Rock to do a special meditation to solve a personal
problem he had at the time. So in 1997 we sat on the land at Heavenly Mountain,
the name given to the 5000 acres purchased by the Kaplans. They had hired top fengshui
experts from both the Chinese and Vedic (Hindu) traditions to study the land and
its layout before building on it.They had security guards swarming all over the
mountain to guarantee its privacy. So we drove off to a secluded patch of forest
that called to me, to get away from the temples and meditators and guards.
While Steve chanted to the heavens, I did my Taoist meditation, which included
going deep into the earth to talk with the spirits there. I had a powerful meditation,
it was easy to go in deep, the earth spirits were very open. I had done TM meditation
back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and it had helped me greatly to release
tension. In fact, it cured me of eye headaches and assisted me in surviving the
rigorous study needed at my Ivy League college. I never took formal TM initiation.
I just used their method, taught to me by a friend, with a mantra of my own spontaneous
choosing (which unbeknownst to me at the time, was the named of a major Hindu God…)
Tracking the Perfect Retreat Center
Sitting in my stone circle ten years later, I flashed back into that meditation
at Heavenly Mountain. It was filed deep within a library of frequencies stored within
my subtle bodies. All memory is really subtle energy patterns, which is why its
possible for us to access any experience stored in the universal time-space vault.
My connection to Heavenly Mtn. flowed back into my bones.
A few minutes later I got up and called my brother Steve, to locate the Kaplans.
I knew that they had become disillusioned with Maharishi from a posting on the Healing
Tao forum – an open letter by Earl Kaplan to the TM community you can read HERE:
http://forum.healingdao.com/general/message/3110/ It was his reasons for kicking
out the 800+ meditators at Heavenly Mountain, and why he thought folks needed to
move beyond the old Guru model. It is a brilliant detailed expose on the danger
of giving up one’s power to anyone else.
I try not to get too involved in spiritual politics, and focus on spiritual practice.
But I could see that Earl Kaplan was likely moving in the direction of more grounded,
body-centered meditation that Taoist cultivation offered. Long story short, Heavenly
Mountain was sitting empty, awaiting completion of legal battles with the meditators
who were evicted.
I called Earl Kaplan in Boulder, and he sounded interested in the Taoist work.
He knew that he needed to shift the chi at Heavenly Mountain, and get it moving
in a fresh new direction. That’s our speciality, I informed Earl. The chi in
the Catskills was dead when we arrived 5 years ago, we awakened it with deep embodied
meditation and qigong training. Taoist spiritual technology is Earth centered; Hindu
spiritual technology is Ether centered. Both are valid spiritual approaches. But
my experience is that we are currently in a cycle in which the Earth chi is doing
the expanding, making it the more vibrant, grounded path at this time.
After talking to Earl, I drove to Blowing Rock the next day. I was shown the
east campus, where all the women – the “Divine Mothers” – lived and meditated.
The chi there was more appropriate for Taoist cultivation, with its focus on Water
and Fire alchemy, on the feminine/yin side first. The energy there was nice, but
a bit ethereal, not really connected to the earth chi in the mountain. Within 3
days we had a deal, securing a new home for Healing Tao USA’s summer retreat
Advantages of Heavenly Mountain
Of course, for those in the northeast, it may seem inconvenient and more expensive
to travel further south. But our top flight faculty – many from NYC and Boston –
are making the trip, and they are excited about it. If you have your doubts, a little
investigation will soon have you excited and surrendering to Change as well!G
A good place to start off is with PHOTOS of Heavenly Mountain and nearby areas.
Go to http://www.healingdao.com/heavenly_mountain.html
It also has maps of where Blowing Rock is – 78 miles from Charlotte, the capitol
of North Carolina. Heavenly Mtn. is a few miles from Blowing Rock and Boone, just
off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway is widely considered to be the most beautiful
drive in America – a good reason to drive to the retreat.
MUCH QUIETER – no road traffic, the main thing driving me away from our Catkskills
location. Heavenly Mountain is totally private and secluded, and thus easier to
build a real and sustained energy field.
BETTER FACILITIES – better meeting rooms, all with quiet central a/c and chairs
designed for meditation.
The bedrooms are bigger, more modern construction, less mold, with each room having
full a/c and heat control. We are lowering the price on the singles because we have
so many available. Plus higher quality doubles, incredible mtn views, laundry facilities
on each floor. There is an outdoor pool, and hot tubs are being installed. Of course,
we will have our Taoist Bookstore, with its unsurpassed collections of titles and
cool Tao T-shirts.
BETTER FOOD -Healing Tao is taking control of the kitchen, and supplying our
own chef. (Contact me asap if you are interested in the job- just hit reply to this
email). There is a state of the art kitchen, a dining hall that can serve 250 people.
For those staying between retreats, there is a smaller private kitchen and big refrige
Note: We’ll have MORE WORK STUDY spaces available to man the kitchen and laundry
facilitities, great for those who want to trade work for room/board (you still pay
tuition). Contact email@example.com
MORE NATURAL BEAUTY – On the east campus where we will be, there are two giant
crystals. One is a 6,000. pound Amethyst geode, the largest in the world (see photos).
The other is a 10,000. pound quartz crystal, also said to be the largest of its
kind. Both offer unique energetic opportunities. A short hike from campus is the
“blue hole”, a magnificant swimming hole with a river flowing into an
emerald pool. See photos of the nearby Linville Falls, Grandfather Mtn, Blowing
Rock, Falls Creek, and many other fabulous natural sites that will happily occupy
your time between retreats. We are located in the heart of some of America’s
most beautiful sites that make coming to a retreat a double vacation.
SPIRITUALLY ATTUNED OWNERS AND STAFF – Earl and David Kaplan are super serious
spiritual seekers, totally committed to supporting others in their path. Quite different
from the hoteliers we had in the Catskills. Debbie Triplett, the business manager,
is committed to giving the Healing Tao the best experience possible. The Kaplans
have hired a half-welsh, half-Native American sensitive named Cynthia Hart to be
the Gatekeeper at Heavenly Mountain. She is a wonderful earthy soul, a former Park
ranger with divinity degrees and doctorates in many world religions. Her job is
to continually clear the land of negative energy and to keep positive chi flowing.
When I first called her, she immediately asked, “Are you bringing the dragons
I’ve been dreaming about for the last three days?”
TRAVEL – The Charlotte airport is my favorite in the USA – clean, spacious, with
a piano bar, nice restaurants, rocking chairs and trees to rest under. Much nicer
than passing through New York City. Its an international airport with direct connections
abroad. It’s about 2 hours drive to get to Blowing Rock – no farther than the
Catskills. Our registrar will be keeping a bulletin board for travellers looking
to share rental cars and/or shuttles (we are negotiating deals on that). Having
a car will be really nice, given all the nice sites worth visiting nearby, and the
convenience going to/from the airport. You can also fly into Greensboro, NC, and
they have a cheap bus up to Blowing Rock.
TRAVEL DISCOUNTS/REBATES: If you are a past attendee of Healing Tao retreats and
our shift is causing you economic hardship to get to our new location, i.e. you
used to drive and cannot afford to fly or drive south, call our registrar to see
if we can help with a special discount this first year. If you already booked a
flight to NYC and are forced to change it to Charlotte, we’ll deduct any reasonable
cancel/ change fee from your registration cost.
Insider’s Guide to 2007 Summer Retreats
(reposted from last email):
It’s time to decide if there is summer retreat awaiting
you. A fun week that will hopefully awaken the sleeping
How does one choose between 25 retreat offerings? Easy.
Read the list below slowly. The close your eyes, drop
your focus down into your heart. Breathe in and out of
your heart a few times. Then ask, which retreat serves
my highest good? Your heart won’t lie to you.
In 2007, we are still offering the only live-in retreat
with Mantak Chia. It’s great to just hang out with him
at meals and around the campus. He may not be
travelling here forever, so don’t postpone the
opportunity to check out the heavy chi pumping out
through his energy field. He’s offering a totally new
topic, DNA repair and Immune Building Qigong, plus
Tao-Yin (Taoist Yoga).
David Twicken is continuing his brilliant integration
of Chinese Astrology, Feng Shui, and Qigong. I will be
offering his books shortly in the new astrology section
of my website, and you will be able to get a Free natal
chart. David offers a free detailed reading to each
person attending his seminar, which also carries CEU
We’ve got a hot new Classical Tai Chi training from
Tina Zhang, to match Frank Allen’s unsurpassed 3 part Bagua training. Tina and
recently authorized an excellent book on the Norther Wu
Style, a style I happen to practice and really love.
Tina also has a Women’s Earth Qigong retreat.
We have all the old standbys – the HealingTao Senior
Instructors offering a top notch Instructor
Certification training (courses open to the public):
myself, Marie Favorito, Masahiro Ouchi, Rene Navarro,
and recently tapped for Senior status, Karin Sorvik.
This is the core curriculum track – Qigong Fundamentals, Iron
Shirt, Fusion, Healing Love, and for the body workers
Chi Nei Tsang.
Minke de Vos is coming out from Vancouver to share
her 20 year insight into healing love.
She developed her Happy and Healthy Heart Qigong
course after undergoing a heart transplant.
Read her amazing story on http://www.HealingTaoRetreats.com
Adding new spice is my friend Robert Peng, an top
qigong healer who shares his secrets in a Qigong
Healing Intensive over the July 4 week. Robert is
lovely, humble, and powerful – he was born with the
ability to “spark” chi in a tangible form, like an
electric current. If you want to learn Qi Emission,
Robert is the man.
We have the irrepressible Madam
Wang Yan, a spry 70 year old who is a walking
encyclopedia of medical qigong and the Grand Madam of
weight loss qigong in the West. If you want to breathe
away fat and lose 4-6 pounds a week, it is achievable
by natural means. Her stories and insight into the world
of Chinese qigong is alone worth the trip.
Another healer and empath is Judith Poole, who has
gather the top Energy Medicine and Energy Psychology
tools under her single roof. If you’ve got an intense
crisis or issue to heal, Judith is the Woman.
Finally, our Retreat Registrar, Rob Renahan, is
unveiling his stuff for the first time at Dao mtn.
He is developing his version of Zen Qigong, based on
his extensive practice in the Zen tradition and his
integration of it into the Taoist qigong and inner
alchemy tradition. If you want to get to deep quiet
space, Rob is the Man.
They are all great teachers, and they attract wonderful
people who create a beautiful synergy. These are high
energy retreats where you will walk away with new
skills, new friends, and a burst of amazingly high
energy that you will surf on for months.
Now that we have more teaching rooms available at Heavenly Mountain,
I may be inviting other worthy teachers that we never had space for in the Catskills.
We will let you know of further developments.
Sharing the Joy of Unchanging Change with all Lovers of the Way,
Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Virtue as his home,
the Tao as his door, and who becomes change is a
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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Your old email will automatically delist.April 3, 2007 at 9:38 am #21895
Great story, and the place looks amazing!
I really look forward to making it down there (though not this summer). Given the beauty and depth of the place, I’ll want to come for a couple of weeks, to explore and get into the groove.
I hope all goes well with the shift.
ChrisApril 3, 2007 at 10:50 am #21897
Without seeing the pics I was already hooked by it the moment Michael talked about it. So it might I will be crossing the ocean next summer, this year I planned to take the girls to some other old- European- mountains in summer….April 5, 2007 at 8:31 am #21899
I was looking at the new retreat schedule,and it looks like a number of retreats will be starting on Fridays. Is this Friday night or Friday morning? The previous retreats started on the evening of the first day if I remember correctly.
BrianApril 11, 2007 at 2:55 am #21901
It is the same basic schedule at Heavenly Mountain.
Register Friday afternoon, have dinner around 6:30 pm, and then have a 2-3 hour class after dinner.
End at Wed. lunch.
My webmaster is finally getting the http://www.HealingTaoRetreats.com page updated. The schedule is now accurate (but missing some weekend options, soon to be added), and prices for housing have been updated.
Most costs have been kept at the same price at NY Catkskills, even though the accomodations are far nicer and the costs of moving are high. My goal is to keep the retreats affordable and encourage people to take multiple retreats with discounts for doing so.
More updates coming, especially on all the travel options for getting to heavenly Mtn.
I am back froman excellent mexico Sun-Moon Retreat, but am extremely busy with new arrangements and China Trip so will not be on the Forum as much as I would like to.
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