By Mantak Chia
The Tao science of chi cultivation is so huge. It is easy to get lost in it. Taoists spent thousands of years developing so many different way to refine human chi using chi kung and meditation. They took the science of healing and medicine to new depth, had hundreds of martial arts systems, found the best way to build houses with good feng shui, and figured out how to bury the dead so the ancestral chi is most beneficial. They developed high systems of Tao philosophy, ethics, sexology, herbology, divination and many other things.
But some things are more important than others. So I am very glad that Michael Winn chose to write more deeply about the Inner Smile, because it is so close to the root of the root. By this I mean the Inner Smile is so close to the root of inner alchemy, and inner alchemy is the root of all the other Tao systems, even the I Ching.
Lao Tzu says that the man of knowledge acquires something new everyday, and the man of Tao lets go of something new every day. The man who practices the Inner Smile is a man of Tao. I feel Michael Winn is both a man of knowledge and a man of Tao. His writing will help people to understand why the Inner Smile is so important, and how it simplifies so many other good and useful practices.
I have known Michael Winn for more than twenty years, so I know how deeply committed he is to Tao. I consider him one of the best writers on Tao in the West. I am grateful to him for his skillful writing to help explain to Westerners the practical science of Tao subtle energy. People used to think Tao was just an interesting intellectual philosophy. Now they begin to realize it is a very deep spiritual science.
The Way of the Inner Smile takes the theory and the practice to a higher level of understanding. It has many new insights, and reveals how his own teaching skill has matured. He has taught many Westerners and figured out how their minds and bodies can most easily absorb Tao methods. He is able to explain the connection between biology, Tao psychology of body-spirits, and inner alchemical transformation of the human soul.
His focus on unconditional self-acceptance is a modern way of expressing traditional Tao practice of utter openness to life. It is an openness that must begin with the body.
Please enjoy this journey deep into the land of Inner Smiles!
Tao Garden, Thailand May 2003
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