For example, one popular modern writer speaks about a pain body as a container for all our suffering. This is similar to Hindu-Buddhist notions of our bodily attachments creating acquired karmic pain and thus the need to get off the wheel of incarnation and be free of the gross body. The very notion of pain body linguistically implies a negative judgment against our body-nature itself.
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
Feel the billions of little neurons firing with joy at being smiled at. Allow yourself to feel those billions of neurons are actually smiling back. This left brain is supposed to store your verbal and mathematical-music patterns. You inner scientist, your inner writer and inner musician live here. Smile, then feel and listen for the response. It may include beautiful music, or the celestial music of the spheres. One minute silent practice.
Through yogic practice the internal martial art master transformed and linked mind and internal energy to the higher or natural self to become a chun tzu, a sage, what the Taoists called a chen ren, a true man of Tao. The natural order was perceived to be perfect. Taoist yogis and mystics, seeking to identify themselves with this perfect order, first had to disidentify from their own ego. Only through the complete abandonment of self could a man become a sage, take away the artificial and unnatural trappings of man, and possibly conquer death. The power over death, of rhinoceroses having no place to thrust their horn and no place for death to enter could only be accomplished when the ego was abandoned and the man physically, mentally, and spiritually identified with natural order.45 In 300 B.C., the preeminent Taoist writer, Chuang Tzu, discussed the true man in this way
Other writers on Tai Chi Ch'uan believe that the origin dates back to the Leong dynasty and was actually founded by Ching Ling Sin. This style was not, however, perfected as it is today. Ching Ling Sin handed down his teachings to his disciple, Han Koong Yit, who transmitted these teachings to his own disciple, Ching Be. During this period, Tai Chi Ch'uan was known as Siu Kow Tin or literally The Small Nine Heavens.
By observing animals and the people around them, they could see human nature very clearly. So although they might not know how to write or even read calligraphy, they still could see the character of a person's writing. They could see whether or not the person was calm or passionate or whether they were powerful, like a general. If the calligraphy was fine and organised, they knew that the writer was a gentleman, like a scholar. All these personalities were like the five emotions, five seasons and five tastes which were part of their daily life.
Almost six hundred years later, Ko Hung, a fourth century a.d. Taoist alchemist adept and writer, reports that his uncle, Ko Hsuan, would sit at the bottom of a pool holding his breath for almost an entire day when the summer heat was too unbearable. This is an indication that Ko Hsuan was very adept at this type of Pi Qi breathing.
I wish to offer my appreciation to Sam Langberg, for his understanding and untiring work in editing the first edition. Sam Langberg is a freelance writer and a Taoist Esoteric Yoga instructor living in the New York area. He has been practicing Yoga for over 10 years, and currently works with the Taoist Esoteric Yoga Center writing classbooks and other materials.