In the sixth century B.C., Lao-Tse began his classic essay, the Tao Te Ching, with this admonition: "The Tao which can be spoken of is not the Tao." Loosely translated, "Tao" means "the way" or "the power". In early Chinese writings the Tao implied an understanding of life which stressed individual harmony with the forces of nature. The Taoist sages often became hermits that lived in the mountains and disdained offers of power from admiring emperors, saying they preferred the "Ruler of Nature" to the transitory "Ruler of Society." In the same tradition, "Awaken Healing Energy Through The Tao" is rooted in the process of nature, our bodily nature. This healing energy works independent of any particular belief or current scientific concepts. It differs from the Taoist religions which grew up around the original philosophy. In a nutshell, it is a subtle but verifiable experience of life energy, of "chi" flowing through the body in a specific pattern. It was discovered by practical minded Chinese sages, and is available to to any person of any age who cares to train themselves to observe and use it. That this healing power is compatible with different individual beliefs or religions is apparent in the fact that the author Mantak Chia is himself a Christian, but has used the traditional Taoist methods to help thousands of people heal or improve themselves.
A person could study hundreds of volumes of the Taoist Encyclopedia in Chinese and commentaries on the Tao Te Ching or I-Ching in a dozen languages without ever learning how to awaken the much poeticized healing power of the Tao. It would be far more useful for such a seeker to spend their time practicing the circulation of the healing life force in the "small heavenly cycle" or "micro-cosmic orbit" as described in this book.
Mantak Chia has read those hundreds of esoteric volumes, in addition to receiving the highest oral teaching from Taoist Masters. He believes the oral teachings are too important to be practiced by a lucky few only, hidden from other seekers by vague poetry or the arcane symbols of ancient writings. Master Chia sees that the age has come when the public needs and deserves a clear teaching of this healing power, which was shrouded in China by the same secrecy that surrounded medieval alchemy in Europe. This historical similarity is no accident, as the Taoist "Microcosmic Orbit" is a process of human alchemy, the first step towards transformation of human energy into its purest form. This distillation of a healing energy was perfected by generations of sages who spent their entire lives refining its many applications.
These applications to daily life are indeed enormous. It is not an exaggeration to say the circulation of human energy or "chi" throughout the body is also the key principal functioning behind much Chinese genius. It is responsible for Chinese achievements in medicine (acupuncture), the martial and meditative arts (Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, Pa Kua Palm, Hsing I Chuan, Inner Alchemy),inspiration for a vast treasure of poetry and philosophy (I Ching, Tao Te Ching). It could be argued that the increased health and creative intelligence of the Taoist practitioners helped stimulate the impressive early Chinese advances in technology and government. Confucius was well versed in Taoist philosophy and expressed great admiration for it; he may well have been a practitioner of the art as well.
Since publication of the first edition of "Awaken Healing Energy through the Tao", students of various Chinese arts have come to Mantak Chia and confessed they were shocked to see his book sold in a store. Its information was taught to them only after years of dedication and discipline in their practice, be it Tai Chi, meditation, or martial arts. They were told circulation of the microcosmic orbit was the "highest secret" to gaining internal power in the mind and body, and not to be revealed to those outside the "inner circle".
Having mastered many different systems of esoteric Chinese knowledge. Master Chia's perspective is different from most other teachers. For Master Chia, education begins with the awakening of this healing energy. It is the most important building block. If you master the circulation of your energy, growth in other disciplines proceeds more quickly. Opening the main channel of energy circulation in the body (referred to as the "Microcosmic Orbit" in this book) is analagous to a first grader learning to write the letters of the alphabet.
Without first learning how to write the alphabet, one cannot create words, sentences, paragraphs, or the simple and complex ideas taught up to the university level. It is the same with the healing power of the Tao. Without "getting" the flow of energy taught in this book, the practitioner will find it difficult to advance quickly to higher levels in related disciplines. Or, you may spend years with less direct methods in order to achieve the same end, e.g. repeat certain physical movements until the flow one day "arrives", sit facing a wall for 20 years, or repeat a mantra for a lifetime.
Later volumes of Master Mantak Chia's "Taoist Esoteric Yoga Encyclopedia" will elucidate some of the more advanced forms of Taoist practice in healing, meditation, and self-defense, and their application in balancing the forces which daily buffet us about. Seminal Kung Fu (a sexual practice for man) and Ovarian Kung Fu (a sexual practice for woman) reveal the Taoist secrets of transforming raw sexual energy into creative energy. Iron Shirt Chi Kung strengthens the whole body fascia, organs, tendons and bones and shows how to "root" the human energy in the earth. Fusion of the Five Elements" teaches how to transmute emotions, heal damaged organs and gain greater balance and insight into oneself. Tai Chi Chi Kung, Pa Kua Chi Kung and Palm, Hsing I Chi Kung, Death Touch Dan Mu, and Five Finger Kung Fu, build internal power, improve body alignment, and enable one to more quickly master the longer forms of Tai Chi Chuan, Pa Kua Palm, and Hsing I Chuan.
"Awaken Healing Energy through the Tao" is scientific in that it demystifies some of the principles on which the miracle of self-healing and other feats of energy are based. At the same time it is deeply rooted in an ancient tradition of spiritual self-mastery that, step by step, leads the practitioner to experiencing the full mystery of the Tao.
March 31,1983 New York City
Was this article helpful?