qigong & taoist methods and practices
These are descriptions of Universal Tao and TaoZen classes and practices that I draw on. Some may not be on the class schedule at the moment, but may be offered again in the future or shared individually in one-on-one work…
Qigong ~ There are literally scores of Qigong sets or sequences. Here is a list of some forms that I love and return to again and again: Shaking/Heart Drumming; Cosmic Orbit Qigong; Standing 6 Healing Sounds; 5 Yin Organ Qigong with 5 Yang Organ Qigong; Ba Duan Jin; Iron Shirt; TaoZen Gyo. I almost always end my classes with Li Jun Feng’s beautiful and fluid Kuan Yin Qigong.
Microcosmic Orbit Meditation ~ Much of modern living consists of unnatural diet, stressful work patterns and sedentary entertainment resulting in the gradual accumulation of blockages to the natural circulation of our Qi (life force energy). In this traditional Taoist meditation, we use our internal focus to move energy in a simple orbit through our body. The “Opening of the Orbit” is an important and tangible form of self-healing that can reverse much of the wear and tear from living and prevent many problems thought of as inevitable. It is also a strong foundation for other Tao internal practices and Qigong.
Energetic Circulations ~ This is a longer class that allows us to spend time with several energy (Qi) routes within our body that we can cultivate to strengthen and balance our Qi, our emotions and our mind. We begin with a Microcosmic Orbit practice and move into circulating through the Belt Channels and the Thrusting Channels. All are supported by grounding and rooting methods that keep us present and centered.
Six Healing Sounds and Inner Smile Meditation ~ The Six Healing Sounds work with the internal organs and emotions. Through simple movements and images of sound and light, we change our relationship to our inner self. This traditional method, also referred to as the six-word practice, is easy to understand and use, yet its benefits are profound. Along with the Healing Sounds, we will learn the meditation technique which leads to awareness and deep relaxation: Inner Smile.
Healing Love / Ovarian Kung Fu ~ Healing Love is the Taoist way of cultivating our fundamental life energy; sexual energy or Jing. Being happy, balanced, trusting and passionate with this vital energy is one of the most important issues in life. This is crucial for our physical, emotional, spiritual and social wellness and growth. Historically the practice called Ovarian/Testicle breathing or Ovarian/Testicle Kung Fu and was only available to selected, usually royal, practitioners. In our time, such practices are available to anyone willing to commit to their time and effort. Healing Love and Sexual Kung Fu help to rebuild a deeper connection with our own sexuality, our fundamental life force and empower us in all aspects of our life.
Tai Chi-Chi Kung ~ Tai Chi-Chi Kung is a short form that is simple to learn but a gateway to deep understanding and awareness. We focus on correct bodily alignment, relaxed breathing and a clear and solid understanding of the movements. But most of all, we focus on being in a Taiji Flow with joy. This traditional form was developed by Mantak Chia and has become a signature of the Healing Tao System. It is short (about 7 minutes), and gentle to your body yet very effective and healing.
Tenshin Ranman Taichi ~ Tenshin Ranman is a very beautiful taiji form. After many years of polishing, Masahiro Ouchi and Li Jung Feng (one of the most respected taiji teachers of our time) have perfected this form. It contains all the traditional taiji movements but only requires 7 minutes and a 2 x 2 meter area, so it can be practiced anywhere and anytime once you learn it. It is a powerful practice that integrates mind, body and spirit, developing mental and physical grounding and centering. But more than anything, it is fun and joyful. You can learn and practice Tenshin Ranman whether you are a seasoned athlete or in need of strengthening and recovery.
Iron Shirt Qigong ~ Iron Shirt offers many benefits: Improving posture; strengthening tendons muscle and the immune system; fortifying internal organs by packing ‘chi’ around them. It also helps establish roots into the earth’s energy and unifies physical, mental, and spiritual health. We will practice the core group of Iron Shirt practices working with proper form and attitude to receive the most benefit from these traditional practices.
Tao Inner Arts ~ Universal Tao Basics/Foundations All the foundation aspects of Universal Tao and TaoZen are shared, including the Inner Smile, Microcosmic Orbit and the 6 Healing Sounds. We also learn supportive Qigong, breathing and meditation methods. These traditional practices are easy to learn, yet offer a deep and transformative practice for our contemporary lives.
Moon Meditations ~ There are so many beautiful, simple and powerful practices that connect us to the Moon. This is a practice of lovely moon-focused qigong and meditations from Universal Tao and TaoZen. These gentle and contemplative practices support any age and physique. They can stand alone or be integrated into other traditions and offer a richness to both beginners and experienced practitioners. The centerpiece of the Moon Practice is the “Self-Healing Meditation” of Shivani Goodman, a remarkable healer and practitioner of Healing Tao.
Tao of Breathing ~ Breathing is a key element in nearly all healing, meditative and martial disciplines. This is especially true in the Taoist tradition, in practices such as Qigong and T’ai chi, but there can be a great deal of confusion surrounding breathing techniques among practitioners of these arts. In this class, we clarify the crucial role of breathing in these practices and practice a wide range of breathing techniques used for different purposes. These will include methods for centering (“ocean,” “turtle” and “palm and sole” breathing), for energizing (“dantien,” “spinal cord” and “tiger and dragon” breathing), to enhance healing (“skin and bone” and “Tao sexual” breathing) or awareness (“go-qi”), or to balance emotions (“Buddha laughing” and “Kuan Yin crying”). Come discover how you can enhance all your pursuits with a more deeply informed approach to the breath.
TaoZen Meditation ~ Meditation is the key practice for all Eastern mind, body and spirit traditions. It is not just used to relax, it is employed to deeply listen and get in touch with our real selves. It cultivates true balance within us, with others, and with the universe. This class is perfect for beginning and intermediate students. All the basic elements of meditation are addressed, including posture and internal methods. Breathing methods will be taught along with the TaoZen meditations to support and enhance the practice.
Fusion of the Five Elements ~ Wood, Metal, Fire, Water and Earth… The Five Elements move in cycles and interact with each other in nature and in us. Fusion of the Five Elements meditation is a foundation practice of Taoist Inner Alchemy which works with the flow of the body’s emotional, mental, and physical energies to dissolve trapped or turbid energies. It draws on the outer senses, the major emotions and the major virtues to transform our inner landscape. When the body is cleared of trapped energy, universal chi can flow more freely, nourishing both body and soul. This series of meditations brings harmony to our emotions, transforming the negative and affirming the positive — the heart of spiritual work.
Kuan Yin Qigong ~ Kuan Yin Qigong (named after the goddess of compassion) is a particularly beautiful practice that not only fortifies overall health, mental clarity and emotional equilibrium but also opens the heart to the deep expression of unconditional love. This qigong is consists of 11 graceful, fluid, natural movements. When practicing it with joy and openness, you will touch its deeper stories and teachings easily. Once you learn this form, it takes only 7 minutes, no tools, and needs very little space. Without complicated thinking and explanations, it opens the heart and deepens the feeling of unconditional love. Kuan Yin Qigong was developed by Li Jung Feng (Sheng Zhen Gong), one of the most highly respected Wushu teachers of our time.