Ancient knowledge and traditions reflecting the inherent knowledge we all have inside, waiting to be accessed. Taoism is a tradition that goes back beyond recorded history to a time when people were in touch with their own enrgy and the energy of nature around them that manifested as the five elements. Taoism is a way of living in harmony with nature: by understanding the forces of nature around us we can take the path of least resistance thereby extending our lives by conserving energy and also learning from what is manifesting around us. Taoism is not a religion and, although there are various legends around it involving the Eight Immortals and other interesting characters, demonstrating aspects of ourselves and also the untapped potential within that we rarely access, but it does not require any theological dogma or belief, rather we are encouraged to follow our own spiritual path that is true to our destiny. The meditations and exercises that form part of Taoist practice realign your energy, there by putting you in the most healthy and balanced space to make your own decisions.
Universal Healing Tao
An ancient system of wisdom and integrity adapted for a modern world, the UHT system provides a framework to develop yourself physically, energetically and spiritually. The system starts by teaching the student to develop the power of their mind to focus and heal their organs and body by learning to understand the energetic vibrations of emotions and mastering the ability to influence this. From this point you can start to work with your energy circuits (the same used in acupuncture) and to move your energy around your body, clearing away stagnation that leads to pain and disease. Iron Shirt Chi Kung enables us to connect into cosmic and terrestrial energy (electromagnetic energy) and to charge ourselves, increasing our energy levels and eliminating energy that is not helpful. Healing Love practices give us a whole new understanding of ourselves as sexual and spiritual beings and allow us to reach new depths of our spiritual experience whilst improving our health and vitality.
Grand Master Mantak Chia
Master of Chi and teacher who has spent his life studying spiritual traditions to discover the true nature of being human. He learnt most of his knowledge first hand from 4 Taoist Masters of direct Lineage going back thousands of years, as well as from Tibetan Buddhists. He has developed a system that is easily accessible to western people, but still contains all the elements of Taoist practice. It's a path you start by developing virtue, which is the fundamental of any spiritual or energetic practice, and then follow deeper, unfolding what is essentially knowledge contained in our DNA that we have lost the ability to connect with. Master Chia refers to it as returning to your original programming. Master Chia has no problem with students studying other spiritual paths such as yoga or other tai chi teachers, Christianity or Islam, as these practices compliment his teachings which are ultimately about enabling you to connect with your ultimate energetic vibrations and find your path and destiny.
Tantra is a subject that I find fascinating and at the same time hugely problematic, not least due to the break of lineage meaning that many teachings have been lost and brought back by people giving their own interpretations. My interest in the esoteric stem from tantra and yoga yet I never got the effects in terms of energy awakening that I was looking for there. Tantra is hugely midunderstood, it is almost synonymous with sex in the west, but my first tantra teachers were celibate nuns. Tantra has become famous for it's understanding of the use of sexual energy which is something that I find very interesting. Yet when it comes to the fundamentals of tantra which are awakening energy to move up the body, my experience is that the unguided awakening of energy and movement upward (as opposed to the Taoist circulation of energy after first learning to cultivate negative energy) can cause serious illness and health problems.
Tantra means web or expansion and is an ancient philosophy very similar to Taoism. The fundamentals of tantra are to awaken the sushumna which can be compared to spinal fluid or the first part of opening the microcosmic orbit, balancing the nadis or yin and yang, opening the chakras which happens when the microcosmic orbit is ciruclated, so that the kundalini energy or jing can flow. The systems are so similar and very complimentary to each other. Yoga is the central practice of tantra because it opens the chakras.
What I have taken from tantra is the importance of intimacy and connection. Taoism is about cultivating your energy and being strong which is incredibly important, yet I realised that many Taoist practitoners were running away from their pain and aspects of themselves that intimacy would unwrap and bring to the surface for healing. Tantric rituals such as eye gazing and forming a heart connection are so important to me. They allowed me to access parts of myself that I had been blocking and to experience connection with others that I had never experienced before. Taoism made me strong and tough but tantra allowed me to be vulnerable and weak, which allowed deep healing and incredible experiences. This is yin and yang and a perfect complimentary relationship. To be balanced we need to be strong and grounded but also we need to be able to be vulnerable.