Autumnal Greetings 2016

Autumn 2016

One leaf knows it is autumn

Dear Qi-friends,

Autumnal greetings from the peaceful and calm Norrtälje bay (in sunny Sweden)!

In China, we have a famous proverb: YiYeZhiQiu 一葉知龝 , which means ‘one leaf knows it is autumn.’ This red leaf caught my eyes as I was strolling with my daughter in the nature reserve last week … it reminded me that my one month summer vacation (Swedish style) was drawing to an end and that I would be writing this newsletter soon.

Autumn Begins 7 August … 

Although autumn begins on August 7, 2016 and the Cold Water cosmological energy might bring some welcomed cooling for a brief spell (especially in those areas that have been experiencing an unusual heat wave), ShuHuoZhiQi 暑火之氣, or Hot Fire Qi, will be in full force before completely retreating around August 25th.

Expect to have some extremely hot days until then! This will especially hold true for those of you who have experienced an uncommonly hot summer these last couple of months.

HanShuiZhoQi 寒水之氣 – Cold Water Extreme

However, HanShuiZhoQi 寒水之氣, or Cold Water energy, will dominate the remainder of the fall season, with some areas experiencing atypical rainstorms, hail storms and/or snowstorms.

Cold Water Caution! 

This extreme Cold Water influence may cause some difficulties for those of you who have potential weakness in gastrointestinal function, any kind of joint problem, an over heavy body, poor hearing, and/or lower back pain. This harming influence will be strong from September 22nd through November 22nd.

Cold Water Prevention

To avoid the deleterious influence of Cold Water energy and maintain balance in your life, please center your diet around healthy foods and place more emphasis on eating foods with pungent flavors. Also, please keep up with your daily Qigong practice.

Drinking plantain tea everyday will have special health benefits for most of us during this coming autumn season.

2016 Teaching Schedule Update

In order to support our Qi-friends cultivation, we will continue to expand my teachings in the states and throughout Europe.

Two upcoming retreats full

We are excited that many cultivation friends from around the world will be joining us in our next two upcoming retreats:

1. Our two year GanZhi Advanced Daoist Arts Program, in which I will systematically teach the relationships of the GanZhi to Chinese cosmology, astrology, the Yijing, classical chinese medicine, and internal alchemy, is full. We will be welcoming a international group of students to study here in Sweden every 6 months for the next two years.

2. To commemorate the 15th year of the passing of one my most influential teachers, Grandmaster Yang RonJi 楊榮籍 , I will be sharing (for the first time) the first 12 movements of the HuaShan 24 form. For this training, we will be meeting in a retreat style setting in upstate, New York. Although registration for this event is full, you are welcome to join us for part 2, in October 2017.

Still time to join a weekend course!

There are still a few spaces left in several of my upcoming weekend events this fall (in New York city; in Stockholm, Sweden; in Strasbourg, France; and in Aberdeen, Scotland). If you would like to participate, please check out the teaching schedule on my website for details.

Looking Ahead to 2017

During our extended spring 2017 teaching trip to the Pacific Northwest area of the United States, I will offer several events to support our local Qi-friends in Portland, Oregon…

Fire Dragon Shamanic Martial Arts Form Retreat

For years, students have been asking me to teach them the Fire Dragon Shamanic Martial Arts Form. I have finally decided to offer training of this special form from the EMei Shamanic Lineage. In a five day retreat, we will learn and practice this powerful form, which is based on the Yijing Eight Trigrams Arrangement.

Dai XinYi Chopstick form

I will be continuing teaching the Dai XinYi Teacher Certification series. In the next session, held in February 2017, I will be teaching the XinYi Chopstick Form. Each workshop in this series is open to the general public, to students of all levels, and is offered independently, meaning you are welcome to join us for as many of these trainings as you like, in any order that fits your schedule.

2016/2017 Winter/Spring Highlights


Best wishes for a healthy and happy harvest season from Karin and I,

Master Wu

Happy Longevity Peach Day! … and happy summer :)

Santorini - October 13, 2014
Santorini - October 13, 2014

 

9 April 2016

Dear Qi friends,

Happy Longevity Peach Day! Happy birthday to the Spirit of North! Happy birthday to Grandmaster Zhao!

Traditionally, Longevity Peach Day is the day when the Queen Mother of the West would invite all the immortals to KunLun Mountain in celebration. During the festivities, she offered Longevity Peaches … eating one Longevity Peach was known to bring 3,000 years of life!

Spirit of the North is XuanWu 玄武 – and is also the spirit of Water Element.  In Daoism, we believe XuanWu brings new life energy into the world and protects all beings.

Grandmaster Zhao ShouRong carries the lineage of the Dai Family style of XinYi (Heart Mind) internal alchemy and martial arts system. He was born on this special auspicious day, the third day of the third month in lunar calender.

Karin, Zenna, and I hope the spiritual energies of these two immortals (and Grandmaster Zhao) will bring happiness, health, and prosperity into your lives.

Good News!

I would like to share a couple of pieces of good news with you before I share more about the cosmological influences that will be influencing us all this summer.

  • The registration for our newly launched GanZhi Advanced Daoist Arts program is full! This two year course will be held in Sweden. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please send us an email.

  • Session three of the Lifelong Training Program is also full! This session will meet at a beautiful lodge nestled in the base of Mt. Adams in southern Washington state (USA).  It will be great to spend a week cultivating with old Qi friends.

  • Our publisher, Singing Dragon, is offering a free online Qigong festivalon April 21-22, 2016. Please check out the link – there will be a lot of interesting information available! For this event, I have donated one of my most popular previously published articles, The Pure Yang Mudra part I.

  • My wife Karin is busy writing the GanZhi BaZi Workbook! This book will provide essential and practical information on Chinese astrology … including the secret method (never before published) of how to calculate the astrology chart without a Chinese calendar book or a questionably accurate GanZhi app. Our goal is for the book to be available during the 2016 winter holiday season.

Summer Greetings

You may be wondering why I am sending you all this summer seasonal newsletter almost one month ahead of schedule. The answer is twofold:

Teaching trip in the Pacific Northwest

First, we will be leaving Sweden on Monday for a long teaching trip in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. We will have an entire month of back to back teachings scheduled, which will prevent me from doing any writing!

Third month of Spring – the Dragon month

Secondly, the third month of spring this season has unusual energetic pattern – one that differs from the general spring pattern I wrote about in my last newsletter. As such, I would like to give you a specific guidance about the upcoming Dragon month:

RenChen 壬辰 (Yang Water Dragon)

Even though many friends who are living in the northern hemisphere have enjoyed some nice warm spring energy, this month, RenChen 壬辰 (Yang Water Dragon), will carry in some Cold Water energy. Some friends may have already experienced snow storms during the last couple of days.

Please still follow my previous recommendations for the spring Qigong practice during this Dragon month.  However, please do not continue eating the cooling foods I mentioned in my Spring 2016 newsletter. Until 5 May make sure to consume food and drink with warming energy, such as ginger tea and adding cinnamon spice to your warming foods (like lamb stew).

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

From the Daoist cosmological perspective, the starting point of the summer season falls on May 5th this year. The energy of Mars will definitely dominate the summer – the power of Fire will be in full effect! I predict that many of us will experience an extremely hot summer, especially during the period of May 20 – July 20. This heat wave could last all the way through to the first month of autumn (until September 7th) in some areas.

Supporting patients through the heat

Clinically, practitioners will see that many of their clients will present with problems relating to heat disease, such as poor hearing, nose bleeds, cough, abscess, skin sores, red eyes, thyroid hyperplasia, sore throat, and even sudden death.

Starting on May 5th, please guide your patients to consume foods and drinks that are cooling in nature.

As I mentioned in my last letter, drinking high quality green tea will be a good choice to help disperse the heat this summer. I recently got some fabulous green tea shipped to me from my friends in China – the first harvest of the year! 🙂

Those of you who are tea aficionados may be able to notice the high quality nature of this tea and even its powerful Qi in the photo down below.

Cultivating with the heat

As always, the best way to maintain your balance throughout all the changes life brings is to continue your daily Qigong practice.

The Monkey Internal Alchemy Meditation practice I have shared before (from my book, XinYi WuDao) is still a powerful choice to help you balance your energy.

Regardless of your specific cultivation practice, please remember this advice:

君子向明而治
JunZiXiangMingErZhi
The enlightened being cultivates while facing brightness

Wishing Peaceful Qi to you and your families from the three of us,

Master Wu

Cultivation yields transformation – come join us!

In order to support our Qi-friends inner transformation process, I am expanding my 2016 teachings. Below please find an overview of upcoming training opportunities. Please click the event name for details.

Warm Winter Greetings 2015!

Dear Qi friends,

Happy winter from the misty and mystical Norrtälje bay! Karin, Zenna, and I hope you and your family will enjoy this upcoming white holiday season!

Although winter 2016 officially starts today, I experienced some early snowy moments during my teaching at Northern Dipper Temple in upstate New York in October – a preview of what is ahead…

Get Ready for the Cold!

According to Chinese cosmology, this winter season will be extremely cold in the most areas of northern hemisphere, as compared with the last few winters. I expect this to be especially true in those areas that missed cold weather last winter, for instance, in the Stockholm area, where we currently live.

The Cold Water Qi (manifested as heavy mist, rainstorms and snowstorms) will officially kick in about two weeks from now.

Protect your Kidneys from Cold Water Qi

For many of us, this Cold Water season may be accompanied by joint pain, lower back pain, or/and pain along the spine. This will be especially true for those who have weaker kidney Qi.

In order to preserve and cultivate your kidney Qi, please keep yourself warm over the next few months. It is also a good idea to eat root vegetable stews for dinner and to drink ginger tea in the morning throughout the winter season.

Cultivation for Strengthening the Kidneys

Practicing HunYuanZhuang 混元樁 (the primordial stance) from the Dai family XinYi tradition everyday will be a powerful way to strengthen your kidney Qi. If you are interested, you will find more details of this special cultivation method below.

Preserving your Energy

Winter is the greatest season to preserve your energy by holding it deep within. I typically reduce my teaching activities during this season in order to focus on my personal cultivation and enjoy cozy time with my family during the winter season.  I will do the same this winter!

Finishing up weekly classes in Stockholm for 2015

I will continue teaching my weekly Taiji class on Tuesdays in Stockholm this month. The Stockholm group has been enjoying our Hidden Immortal Lineage Taiji Mother Form practice over the last few months.

International Congress of Chinese Metaphysics in Bratislava

In early December, I will offer several teachings at the International Congress of Chinese Metaphysics. This will mark my first visit to Slovakia!

Looking ahead to 2016

Baltimore, Maryland:
I am looking forward to returning to Baltimore, Maryland from March 4-6.  I will be offering a Dao of Tea event on Friday evening, followed by a weekend workshop featuring Mt. EMei’s practice of Opening the Spiritual Fortress and a review of the XinYi Dragon Body form.

Portland, Oregon:
From April 15-May 11, I will turn for another extended teaching trip to Portland, Oregon: Shamanic HealingFire Dragon Meridian Qigong, and the BaGua XinJing.

Palmer and Anchorage, Alaska:
I will be making a short trip to Palmer (XinYi WuXing) and Anchorage, Alaska (ChaDaoDragon BodyOpening the Spiritual Fortress) during the weekend of April 29-May 1.

Lifelong Training Program level one in 2016

In order to support the growing demands of our Lifelong Traning program, we will open new entry level trainings both in the US and Europe in 2016.

  • The US level one training will be held in Glenwood, Washington from April 19-25
  • The European level one training will be held on Flatön, Sweden from August 17-22

XinYi Certification Series Continues in 2016

After a successful Dai XinYi BaGua teacher certification course last year, we will offer another XinYi certification course in 2016. The foundation for all Dai family XinYi forms is the WuXing QuanMu form. We will hold XinYi WuXing QuanMu training in Portland, Oregon from May 2-4.

GanZhi Program!

At last, after many years of preparation, we will launch our GanZhi program in Europe! It will take place on Flatön, Sweden in September 2-7.

Please check our website for updates!

For updates and details of my teaching schedule, please visit my website (www.masterwu.net)

Warm Qi from Karin and I,

Master Wu

HunYuanZhuang

HunYuan Zhuang 混元樁 

Posture:

  • Bend your knees slightly, tuck your tailbone in and tighten your bottom muscles.
  • Curve your back and close your shoulders by bringing them close together in front of your body and sucking in your chest.
  • Bring your forearms and hands together in front of your body (the pinky edge of your hands are together) with your palms facing forward.  The back of your hands rest on your thighs as you hold your arms as close to your body as your can.
  • Keep your head upright with eyesight in horizontal.

Breath:

  • With each breath, breathe with your lungs, your skin, and your navel.
  • With each inhalation, imagine all the pores of your skin are open and allow the universal Qi, like sunlight, to enter into your body and gather at your navel.
  • With each exhalation, imagine the Qi descends from your navel to your DanTian 丹田 (the elixir field in your lower belly).

Summer is coming!

CIMG7134

Summer is Coming! … as so is the rain

Dear Qi friends,

Greetings from our charming small town on the coast Sweden! My wife Karin and I have been soaking up this precious time with our sweet infant daughter. We were lucky to have a smooth home birth here in Stockholm in January and have been enjoying every moment with our baby since.

We moved from the big city two months ago and are enjoying as much outdoor time as possible, taking nice long walks in our little historic town and in the gorgeous nature surrounding us – everything brimming with Spring Qi. We are also well prepared with proper outdoor equipment for this coming rainy summer season!

TaiYin ShiTu 太陰濕土 Major Yin Damp Earth

Yes, summer is coming, as so is the rain!According to my understanding of Chinese cosmology, summer will begin on 5th May 2015. The rainy season will kick in around mid-May and will likely last about two months. The cosmological term for this rainy energy is TaiYin ShiTu 太陰濕土 – Major Yin Damp Earth.Under the influence of this cosmological Qi, we will not only be experiencing more damp, rainy days than the last several summers, but will also expect many people to experience some health issues involving digestive problems, weak lung Qi, brittle heart, joint pain, and ulcers.

Food as Medicine

I have started eating 15 Chinese dates everyday, drinking glasses of water mixed with a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar, and making bitter mushroom tea from some mushrooms I harvested last year from birch trees. For those of you who are interested, I believe that eating foods of a naturally sweet nature (of course by this I do not mean sugared foods), as well as sour and bitter flavors will help strengthen your vital energy this summer.

Qi as Medicine

In addition to making wise food choices, I encourage you to keep up with your daily Qigong practice in order to maintain your health and well-being. Actually, practicing the Goat Daoist internal alchemy practice that I discussed in my previous newsletter is still a good idea (the detailed practice can be found in my book, The 12 Chinese Animals). Regular practice of “Goat Qigong” will bring powerful benefits if you practice it throughout the summer.

Training Schedule Highlights

This summer, I will continue offering teachings throughout Europe and the U.S. in order to support our Qi friends’ cultivation. Here are some highlights:

Rothenburg, Germany

  • May 13-16:  I will teach Fire Dragon Meridian Qigong and Cosmic Orbit Qigong for the 46th annual TCM Congress in Rothenburg, Germany. More than 1,200 Chinese medicine practitioners from 35 countries will attend the congress – exciting!

 
Nantes, France

  • May 29- 31: Registration for the Shamanic Tiger Qigong workshop in Nantes, France has been fully booked since October 2014. It will be nice to meet many new friends in France!

 
Pacific Northwest (U.S.)

  • July 10: We will kick off our Pacific Northwest teaching trip with ChaDao QinDao in Portland, Oregon. We will explore traditional Chinese culture through an evening of tea and live GuQin music.
  • July 11-12:  We will be offering the Dragon Body: The Secret of Daoist Internal Alchemy workshop in Portland, Oregon.  This will mark only the second time I have ever shared this powerful 6 movement form from the inner teachings of Dai Family XinYi tradition. 

 

  • July 21-24:  We are looking forward to hosting Lifelong Training session 2 at a beautiful retreat center/23 acre organic farm located in a pristine highland valley near the base of Mt Adams (in southern Washington state). This training is open for anyone who has completed the Level 1 training.

 

  • July 21-24:  BaGua XinJing Certification in Sandy, Oregon (about 40 minutes from Portland). We will launch our Dai Family XinYi teaching certification series this year. In order to train future teachers of Dai Family XinYi practices, we have developed this series to preserve this unique system of knowledge with students who are committed to classical Daoist internal alchemy practices.

 
Sweden

  • August 20-25: Lifelong Training level 1 on Flatön.  We are happy to be returning to the Bohuslän archipelago off the west coast of Sweden (…voted one of the 10 greatest wilderness areas in the world). The spaces are filling up, so please email us to check availability before sending your application or deposit.
We hope you will be able to make it to one of these teaching events!

 
Karin and I are wishing you all strong inner fire this summer,
 
Master Wu

Three New Years Greetings from Master Wu

spring 2015 copy

YiWei 乙未

Three New Years Greetings

 

Dear Qi-friends,

Greetings from sunny Stockholm! Unlike the record warm winter we had last year, we are finally experiencing some snow and freezing temperatures this winter. My wife Karin and I are enjoying this winter-Qi – the greatest source for rejuvenating all new life energy. We will continue to take advantage of the winter feeling and maintain our focus on our annual winter personal retreat. I am sending this seasonal greeting a little early this year because I would like to share some special cultivation ideas for the coming new energetic year with you all.

 

Utilize the rhythm of Nature

According to ZhouYiCanTongQi 周易參同契, one of the most important Daoist internal alchemy classics, the rhythm of nature has great influence on human beings, and it is therefore important to understand the rhythm of nature and know how to cultivate with the changing rhythms.

By doing so, you will optimize your potential for inner transformation and for deep healing to occur.

Three New Years!

There will be three important shifts in the rhythm of Qi as we move from the current JiaWu 甲午 Year to the coming YiWei 乙未 Year:

  • Cosmological New Year – Alchemical Qi
  • Animal New Year – Yang (Solar) Qi
  • Chinese New Year – Yin (Lunar) Qi

 

Cosmological New Year – Alchemical Qi

This YiWei 乙未 Cosmological Year will start January 20, 2015

The Heavenly Stem Yi 乙 represents Yin Wood and the Earthly Branch Wei 未 represents the Earth and carries the Goat as its spiritual animal.  According to Chinese cosmology, I expect that the coming year’s climatic pattern to be influenced by Revenge Fire, Damp Earth, and Cold Water energies.

This means that I predict more rainstorms than average this year, with hail in the summer and snow storms in the winter.

I also expect that there will be strong windstorms in the coming months, especially on west coast area of your region.

 

Animal New Year – Yang (Solar) Qi

 Spring season will begin on February 4, 2015

The next animal sign begins on LiChun 立春, which marks the beginning of spring. LiChun is one of the 24 15-day segments in the annual solar cycle.  According to WanNianLi 萬年曆, the Chinese Ten-Thousand Year Calender, spring season will begin on February 4, 2015.

In my tradition, the coming of spring correlates with the start of a new annual animal sign – and this year it will be YiWei, the Year of Yin Wood Goat. In Chinese astrology, one of the four pillars that make up the basic chart is the animal which correlates to the Solar year of birth.

For example, all babies who are born between February 4, 2015-February 4, 2016 will have the Yin Wood Goat as their yearly animal sign.

Whether you have a goat in your chart or not, we will all be affected by the Goat energy this year.

Here is a brief synopsis of the symbolism of the Goat, as extracted from my book The 12 Chinese Animals:

“Goats give you gentle and peaceful feelings when they chew grass with a slow, grinding motion. Yet they move with great speed and agility when navigating their way through rough, rocky, mountainous areas. They have strong horns and are always ready to defeat their enemies.

Goat is the eighth animal symbol in the 12 Chinese Animals System.

We use Wei 未 to represent the Goat symbol in the 12 Earthly Branches.

Wei is a symbol for the 13:00–14:59 time of day, and for the sixth month in the Chinese Lunar-Solar calendar (which is approximately July 7 to August 8 in the Gregorian solar calendar).

Wei represents the napping time of day and the third summer month when nature is in its ripest season. It is a time or a place where Yang energy (life energy) continues its decline and when the life cycle becomes more mellow. We use the tidal hexagram Dun  ䷠ to symbolize the Goat.”

Chinese (Lunar) New Year – Yin (Lunar) Qi

This year we will celebrate the New Year on February 19, 2015

The Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon after the Winter solstice each year. This year we will celebrate the New Year on February 19, 2015. In China, we also call the New Year ChunJie 春節, or Spring Festival.

The Spring Festival is the most important and longest holiday of the year in China, the one in which we all prioritize spending time with family and friends. Traditionally, the celebration begins new year’s eve and lasts for almost an entire month.

 

YiWei and your Health

While the combination of YiWei energies will be good for those of you who need support from the Wood elements, it will also possibly cause added difficulties for those of you who have weak lung Qi, poor digestive function, and/or a lower sexual drive.

Some people will suffer more pain in their joints and tendons over the next couple of months.

I will go into more detail about how the seasonal cosmological influences will effect us in my coming seasonal greetings.

 

YiWei New Years Qigong – Goat Internal Alchemy

As I always emphasis, Qigong practice is a great medicine that will help you maintain balance and a sense of well being in your life.

The special Goat internal alchemy qigong form will be a powerful addition to your daily Qigong practice during this YiWei year.

This year, I will teach the entire 12 Chinese Animals Internal Alchemy form in Anchorage, Alaska on Sunday April 19th. In the workshop, I will explain the form in relation to the twelve Tidal Hexagrams – the spirit of Yijing (I Ching), and cover healing and spiritual transformation applications of the form.

For those of you who will be unable to join us in Anchorage, here is one of the Goat internal alchemy practices for you:

Tidal Hexagram Dun ䷠ Meditation

With a lit candle in front of you, start the meditation by straightening your back and feeling that your body is as stable as a mountain.

Make the Dun mudra by placing each thumb on the tip of the ring finger. The tip of the ring finger is related to the hexagram Dun.

With open and relaxed fingers, place your right mudra on your right knee, palm facing up and raise your left mudra to the level of your left shoulder, palm facing forward.

Adjust your breathing to be slow, smooth, deep, and even.

Feel each breath connect with your spleen, heart, and liver.

Meditate in this position for as long as you can.

At the close of your meditation, please cite this little prayer:

May the Spiritual Lights shine on my unwavering mind

May the Spiritual Lights shine on my unbroken breath

May the Spiritual Lights shine on my unpolluted body

Spring Courses in the US!

Below please find a brief summary of my upcoming courses in the US.

Events with a special early registration price are noted.

 

QiDao ChaDao: Qigong and the Dao of Tea

Qigong is an ancient technique for healing and inner cultivation. For thousands of years, sages have used the tea ceremony as a gateway to understand the Dao. Please join us for a sampling of special Chinese tea and demonstration of traditional Qigong.

Offerings:

March 13 2015 in Baltimore, MD (click for further details)

April 17 2015 in Anchorage, AK (click for further details)

 

Dragon Body: The Secret of Daoist Internal Alchemy

In Chinese culture, the dragon represents shifting, changing, invisible, mystery, flexibility, transformation, high spirituality, supernatural, and power.

The Dragon Body practice is a way to express all the characteristics of the dragon in your cultivation practice.

This practice strengthens the vital link between the governing meridian and conception meridian and is one of the most important ZhouTian 周天 (Cosmic Orbit) methods to transform your Qi and nourish your spirit.

Offering:

March 14-15, 2015 in Baltimore, MD (click for further details)

*Please take advantage of the discounted early registration price and register before February 6!

 

Daoist Internal Alchemy – BaGuaXinJing 八卦心鏡

In this BaGua XinJing (Eight Trigrams Heart-Mirror) training, we will review HunYuanZhuang 混元樁, the fundamental Heart-Mind standing posture, and the XinJing – the eight gentle movements designed to increase physical strength, nourish the joints and balance the mind. This practice represents the very foundation of YiJing (I Ching) philosophy.

Offerings:

March 15, 2015 in Baltimore, MD (click for further details)

April 18, 2015 in Anchorage, AK (click for further details)

*Alaskans, please take advantage of the discounted early registration price and register before February 17!

 

Daoist Internal Alchemy – ShengXiaoGong 生肖功

The twelve rhythms of nature are represented by ShengXiaoGong (Twelve Animals Qigong), from China’s esoteric Mt. EMei shamanic Qigong lineage, and give us access to the deepest spirit of the Yijing (I Ching).

April 19, 2015 in Anchorage, AK (click for further details)

*Alaskans, please take advantage of the discounted early registration price and register before February 17!

 

Karin and I are wishing you and your families a healthy and happy year of the Goat!

 

Master Zhongxian Wu

Summer Begins – Happy Summer 2014!

Sunshine Daydreams
from Master Wu
and Karin

 

Dear Qi-friends,Happy summer to you and your family! Karin and I have been enjoying our time in the magic Stockholm archipelago since returning from our one-month teaching trip in China last week.

Fun YouTube Clip from our China Trip!

We had a great time in TaiGu with my Dai Family XinYi teacher, Grandmaster Zhao ShouRong.  If you’d like to get a taste of what it was like to train all day at a 1000+ year old Daoist Temple in a remote area of China, you can watch this short little YouTube clip.We have been working hard on our newest project, the companion DVDs for our newest book, XinYi WuDao.  The DVDs, XinYi WuXing and XinYi BaGua, are expected to be released June 30.  70% of the footage for the DVDs was filmed on site at the same Daoist Temple, and much of it was filmed under the guardianship of a great 2,000 year old locust tree – cool!

Valborgsmässoafton Fire!

We made a large bonfire on April 30st, which is a time honored tradition for Valborgsmässoafton, the last day of April. It is the fourth biggest holiday celebrated here in Sweden – we officially clear out the all debris from the winter and welcome in the summer!

Summer begins

According to Chinese cosmology, today, May 5, 2014 is the starting point of summer. However, don’t expect the hot weather to arrive immediately. We will continue experience some chilly energy for the next two weeks.

For most of northern hemisphere, the dramatically warm temperatures will set in starting May 20th.  June and July will be dominated by excess Fire, and this strong Yang energy will cause Qi and blood circulation issues for many people.  I think it will prove to be a difficult season for those of you who have weak heart and lung function.

Protection from Excess Heat

Adding sea salt and apple cider vinegar into your daily food seasonings will nourish your health during the summer season. Bitter flavored foods and organic raw vegetables will be a nice addition to your daily diet this summer. Of course, your daily Qigong practice is one of the best ways to maintain your balance.

Keeping with our promise to supporting our Qi-friends’ inner cultivation practice, we have many teachings scheduled in the Pacific region of the United States and in Europe over the next several months.

Join us in the Pacific Northwest!

Karin and I will return to the Pacific Northwest soon for another extended teaching trip. In addition to Lifelong Training Program sessions one (May 21-27) and two (May 30-June 5) at Trout Lake Abbey in Trout Lake, Washington, we will have several offerings at Sun Gate Studio in NE Portland, Oregon:

We will also be offering a one day workshop in Cosmic Orbit Qigong in Seattle on June 15.

We hope to see you at at least in one of our west coast events!

European Lifelong Training Program – course full!

It is very exciting that our first offering of the Lifelong Training Program in Europe is now full. If you are interested in adding your name to the waiting list for the 2015 European level one training, please send us an email.

GanZhi Certification Program

We have also been busy preparing for our GanZhi (Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches) teacher’s certification program. We  and we expect to launch separate programs in both in the US and in Europe in 2015.   If you are interested in learning more, please email.

Looking Ahead

For those of you who like to make plans in advance, we will be offering many teachings during the fall and early winter. If you are interested in more details, you can always check my website’s teaching schedule.

Karin and I hope you will have a very pleasant and relaxing summer season. We will be in touch again in early August!

Harmonious Qi from Karin and I,

Master Wu

The Purpose of Cultivation – an interview with Master Wu

Master Wu, thank you so much for agreeing to talk to Singing Dragon. I think you have just celebrated ten years of living in the West. Have you found over that time that our understanding of Chinese medicine has changed?

The Western understanding of Chinese medicine has definitely changed in the last ten years. I have noticed two main changes, with respect to the general public and the practitioners themselves. In terms of the general public, more and more people recognize the efficiency of Chinese medicine to meet their health care needs. More people are embracing Chinese medicine treatments because they want minimal unwanted side effects (or better yet, none at all) and also want to build up their health in order to prevent a future illness. In terms of Chinese medicine practitioners, I have seen that more practitioners are looking to understand the roots of Chinese medicine, and are emphasizing their own personal cultivation (for example through meditation, Qigong practice, studying the Yijing, Chinese astrology, etc.) to help them deepen their knowledge of Chinese medicine. Also, I see more practitioners are educating their patients about how important it is to strengthen their own Qi by improving their daily lifestyle habits and having a commitment to some internal cultivation practice.

How can Western practitioners best prepare themselves for studying Chinese medicine?

In terms of studying Chinese medicine, there is no difference in preparation for a Western practitioner or an Eastern practitioner. The best way to prepare is to do personal cultivation. In the Chinese medicine traditional education system, before the Master teaches you anything about medicine, they always first stress that you learn to be a good person and to cultivate your virtue. A good doctor first needs to be a good person, and have a good heart to help others. Traditionally, you didn’t learn medicine as a business venture to make tons of money. For the Master to share knowledge with you, he/she has to be clear that your deep purpose and drive is to help others. The HuangDiNeiJing (the Yellow Emperor’s classic text of Chinese medicine) emphasizes that you have to be careful not to teach certain skills to the wrong person – the wrong person, meaning someone who does not carry a high level of virtue.

You are lecturing at the Confucius Institute in London in February on the topic of Qigong as the basis for Chinese medicine. Can you say a little about why this is such an important topic?

Yes, Qigong is the source of Chinese medicine. The whole system was discovered by ancient enlightened beings who made profound connections about their bodies and Nature while in heightened Qigong states. According to the QiJingBaMaiKao (Investigations into the Eight Extraordinary Vessels), a book by the Ming Dynasty’s famous herbalist LiShiZhen’s, the subtle energies of the inner pathways of the body (for example the pulses, the points, the meridians, and even the organs themselves) may be seen only by those who cultivate Fan Guan (literally, ‘reverse observation’), or the ability to look within with clarity. LiShiZhen concluded that only high-level Qigong practitioners could see the meridian systems. Before the modern term Qigong became popularized, all Qigong cultivation practices (including seated meditation) were known as Guan, which itself means ‘observe or observation’, and implies self-observation.

Also, to develop an appropriate herbal formula for someone requires an understanding of Qi harmonization. Chinese herbal medicine was first taught by the ancient shaman king ShenNong (Divine Farmer). Actually, the first Chinese book of herbal medicine, ShenNongBenCaoJing is named after him and it is generally accepted that he wrote it as well. Our legends say that, through tasting the herbs, he was able to feel the different quality of Qi in each herb and understand how it relates to the Qi of the organ and meridian systems in the body. This kind of sensitivity and awareness was possible because he was a very high level Qigong practitioner, and was able enter into heightened states of consciousness and perception.

There would be no Chinese medicine without the ancient shamanic Qi cultivation practices of Qigong.

Would you tell us a little more about Qigong? Many people in the West are confused about what it is.

Qigong is modern, popularized term for an ancient method of physical, mental and spiritual cultivation. It can be translated into English as Qi cultivation, spiritual cultivation or working with the Qi. By the way, by Qi, I mean the vital energy of the universe that keeps everything alive. Qigong practice models a harmonious way of life and has been used throughout thousands of years of history by those who wish to attain Enlightenment.

Qigong involves working with the three parts of the body (Jing, Qi and Shen). In Chinese, Jing means essence and represents the physical body. The physical body is our structure and our container. It holds our essential life energy, our Qi body and our spiritual body. We can strengthen our physical bodies by practicing special Qigong postures. As I mentioned before, Qi translates as vital energy of the entire universe, including of course, the vital energy of your body. Your breath is deeply connected with the Qi body. Qi can also be translated as ‘vital breath’. In Qigong, we cultivate our Qi body by maintaining awareness of our breath and by learning techniques to regulate our breath. This will increase our vital energy or life force. The Shen means spirit, and represents our spiritual body. In general, our mind is related to our Shen. Once we pay too much attention to the external world or worry too much about what is going on in our life, we weaken our Qi. If we are always looking outside, we leak our spiritual Qi. In Qigong practice, we learn to look within in order to preserve our life energy.

How does it relate (if it does) to practices such as Yoga?

I have never practiced yoga, so I don’t have the personal experience to be able to talk about how it relates to Qigong. However, a number of my students are yoga practitioners by profession, and many of them connect their Qigong practice with their yoga practice. They have found that elements of their Qigong practice complement their yoga practice so that in general, the practices enhance each other.

What is the purpose of your cultivation/Qigong practice?

From the view point of Daoist practioners, the Daoist tradition is the immortal tradition. The purpose of Daoist cultivation practices is to become immortal. This often begs the question of what exactly is meant by immortality. In Chinese, the word for immortal is Xian, which is an image of a person who lives on a mountain. Throughout history, many Daoist masters have referred to themselves as ShanRen– Mountain People – because they spend long hermitages in the mountains (or anywhere in nature), cultivating their true humanity. Another word for immortal is ZhenRen– real or true human being. From the Chinese ideograms, we can see that the concept of an immortal is of one who has cultivated good health, happiness, and humanity and embodies these qualities in everyday life.

The idea of immortality or everlasting life has nothing to do with yearning to live forever. On a superficial level, of course no living being can escape death. Death is simply a part of the universal Five Elements natural cycle. However, death is always accompanied by the process of rebirth. In this way, there is no death. In the Immortal’s tradition, we have an expression – XinSi ShenHuo, which translates into English as “allow your heart to die so that your spirit will live.” I interpret this to mean that by embracing death and bringing it gracefully into our hearts, we understand the knowledge of immortality. This, to me, is enlightenment.

Yes, our lives are short – no matter how long we live, compared with the long stream of the time of the Universe, our lives are just a momentary sparkle. Sometimes, when people physically die, their spirits remain very much alive. The quality of our lives is not measured by the time we spend in this world, but how we learn to transform our personal emotional energy into a force that can help others.

You are also teaching a couple of workshops in the UK in February. They sound very interesting – can you tell us a little more about the practices?

Of course. I am excited to be teaching Fire Dragon Qigong in London and Five Elements Qigong in Oxford. Both are traditional Chinese Qigong forms.

Fire Dragon Qigong embodies the spirit of the rising dragon, which is an auspicious symbol of transformation in Chinese culture. Regular practice of this form establishes free flowing Qi in the 12 meridian systems of the body. It also helps transform areas of stagnation, thereby bringing the physical and emotional bodies into a balanced state of well-being. Actually, according to the Chinese calendar, the year of the Dragon begins on February 4, 2012. I will teach Fire Dragon Qigong that same weekend in honor of the Dragon and the great global transformation that will happen in 2012.

The Five Elements theory lies at the heart of classical Chinese philosophy and healing principles and is the foundation of Chinese cosmology and Chinese medicine. The Five Element Qigong form helps harmonize the Five Element’s Qi in our bodies and organ systems with the Five Element’s Qi of the Universe. Regular practice will help us smoothly navigate change in our lives.

What in your view are the greatest benefits of practice for people looking for a healthier lifestyle?

In the traditional Chinese healing system, the definition of medicine is something that embodies these three qualities: vitality, joy and harmony. Anything may be considered medicine, and doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical object. Instead, medicine is any object, event, thought or action that increases your vital energy, brings you joy (that you then can share with others), and helps you live harmoniously with yourself, with your family and friends (and society as a whole), and with Nature. In Chinese tradition, we consider Jing, Qi and Shen to be the best and most important medicine in the world. The greatest benefit of a regular Qigong practice is that you learn to access and optimize your own best medicine within – your Jing, Qi and Shen – to support your daily life.

Does a knowledge of Chinese medicine increase the benefits of Qigong?

Yes and no. In my experience, everyone who has a regular practice of a traditional Qigong form receives benefits from their practice. In ancient times, Chinese medicine was discovered through the practice of Qigong, and it gave a pathway of understanding the Universe through each individual body. In this way, the benefits of Qigong practice precede formal knowledge of Chinese medicine itself. In modern days, we often go the opposite direction, and use prior knowledge of Chinese medicine to help guide the practice. People who have taken time to study Chinese medicine may have a better idea of the specifics of how the Qigong form is working in their bodies. In spiritual cultivation practice, there is a phenomenon called “knowledge stagnation”, where having a lot of knowledge and thinking too much about what you think the practice will do becomes an obstacle to experiencing what is actually happening. On the other hand, advanced Qigong practitioners can use their knowledge of Chinese medicine to really deepen their practice. Either way, as long as you continue your daily practice with an open heart, Qigong will improve your health and deepen the relationship you have with yourself and with the Universe.

You have for some years been teaching an interesting Lifelong Learning programme, where students spend several days on retreat learning intensively from you. Could you tell us a little about this, and about the change and development you see in the students that follow through the programme?

In China, the traditional relationship between the student and Master is like parent and child, so that the Master can continue to give students guidance and support through their lives. Also, in different stages of practice of even the same Qigong practice, students will experience different phenomena, some subtle and some strong. Having step-by-step guidance helps the students understand the changes and keeps them from getting discouraged.

The purpose of the Qigong lifelong training is to create a family-style community of practitioners who are dedicated to supporting each other in their cultivation practice. We meet annually to share our experiences with the practice and to learn how to go deeper on this path to Enlightenment. Our intensive, week-long retreats provide the opportunity to learn a form in such a way that the practice becomes a part of the students, a part of their body and a part of their spirit, and this makes it easier for the practice to become part of their daily life. The retreats offer a different level of experiential learning than a few hours’ workshop or a weekly class can provide.

Over the last ten years of teaching in the West, I have seen many changes in my students – recovery from a disease process, increased energy, strength and flexibility, uplifted spirits, better relationships with others, healing practitioners who report greater success with helping their patients, etc. It is always nice for me to see how close my students grow towards each other during the retreats and how friendships grow into relationships that feel like family. We enjoy having a big Qi family!

Is Qigong a practice in which progress for all students occurs at roughly the same rate?

Not really. Different people have different bodies, different health conditions, different commitment levels (in terms of daily practice) and so have different experiences with their Qigong practice. Even the same person will have different experiences with their Qigong practice. Sometimes you will experience areas of plateau before you reach the next level, sometimes you will feel like you are moving ‘backwards’ in your progress and suddenly shoot forward, and sometimes it is just steady. After almost 40 years of practice, I feel I learn something new from my practice every day, even from the same form, again, again and again.

Would you tell us a little about your own experience with Qigong? How old were you when you began to practice?

I started to try some Qigong practice when I was about five years old, and began to take my practice really seriously when I was about 11. Originally, I practiced Qigong to have some fun. Surprisingly, I discovered many health benefits through the practice. In my first years of my memory, I was very sick, and every week I would have a terrible fever and my parents would take me to the hospital for medicine. I realized that I didn’t have to use medicine to recover when I was 11, and recovered through my Qigong practice even faster. So, I decided to stop taking any medicine and dedicate myself to my Qigong practice. Also, when I was young, I was very nearsighted and needed glasses. One summer break, I spent about one month in nature, practicing Qigong. At the end of the month, my eyesight improved so much that I didn’t need glasses anymore. Anytime I am feeling sick, have low energy, or something in life happens that affects me on the emotional level, I always practice Qigong and it helps me recover quickly.

Did you find it hard to keep up the practice during your education years, and how did you manage it?

Not at all. I followed the traditional way, as taught by my Masters, and got up early, at 4 am, to practice at least 2 hours every day. I lived on-campus during high school and university, and would be done with my practice before anyone else had gotten up. I always felt like I had more time to do everything I wanted than my classmates did. I think I had more energy than everyone else because of my Qigong practice.

Do you go back to China to visit the Masters who taught you?

Yes. Almost every year I go to China to see my Masters and spend time with them. It is the same way I go to visit my parents, just like family.

I know you are the lineage holder of several lineages. Would you tell us a little about what this means, and how the lineage holder is chosen?

In China, traditional arts and disciplines are passed on through a discipleship system. In this system, the acknowledged Master of a given discipline teaches a small circle of students. Traditionally, the Master will always design many obstacles for the students, making it difficult to continue studying. Most students will drop off because of these obstacles. When the Master feels the time is right, he/she will select the next “lineage holder” from the close-knit circle of students who have had the perseverance to carry on. The lineage holder is then responsible for preserving the entire system of knowledge and passing knowledge to others.

Your beautiful calligraphy appears on the covers of your books – would you tell us a little about the relationship between Qigong and calligraphy?

Calligraphy is a form of Qigong — it is movement within the brush and painting with your breath. When we practice calligraphy, we are working with our three treasures, Jing, Qi and Shen, which is the same as any Qigong practice. When we make a piece of art, we need to have the same three elements found in all traditional Qigong forms – correct posture, breathing and visualization techniques. In fact, in the Daoist tradition, we use the calligraphy brush as a tool for healing and spiritual cultivation. One special kind of calligraphy created by a Master is used as talismans for healing and for FengShui purposes.

It seems it all connects up – Qigong, Healing work, Calligraphy, Qin music, Yijing prediction, FengShui. Do they all support one another?

All of these are different styles of Qi arts and Qi cultivation. These practices are Qi vehicles for human beings to connect to Nature and live in harmony. On a superficial level, these practices may seem different or unrelated, but yes, they do connect up. The entire Universe is like an invisible Qi web, which connects everything. As LaoZi states in his DaoDeJing, the universal web is vast, and nothing can escape from it.

Master Wu, thank you so much for answering all these questions. We truly appreciate it, and the Singing Dragon in London is really looking forward to your visit in February!

Please visit Master Wu’s website at www.masterwu.net to find out more about his visit to the UK in February 2012 as well as his writing, teaching, music and calligraphy. You can find his four books published with Singing Dragon – Chinese Shamanic Cosmic Orbit Qigong, The 12 Chinese Animals, Seeking the Spirit of the Book of Change, and Vital Breath of the Dao, as well as his DVD Hidden Immortal Lineage Taiji Qigong – on the Singing Dragon website http://www.singingdragon.com

Winter Greetings from Master Wu

Dear Qi friends,

“Greetings from Ivy, VA!  Although most leaves are still radiating their illuminations here, the light snow this morning told me that winter season arrived earlier than expected.  According to Chinese cosmology, the official start date of the winter season will be November 8th.”

… I began this seasonal greeting letter to you on the 29th of October, during a break time from packing up our house and moving everything into a storage unit.  However, I had to let go of my idea to get a letter to you early and instead focus on the big job of moving.

The early snow signaled that this winter will be extremely cold in most areas of the northern hemisphere. It will bring more challenges to many people in both the physical and mental levels. By reducing your social activities, bringing your Qi within, and turning your focus on your inner cultivation practice, you will be better equipped to transform the obstacles ahead.

The Metal Rabbit has been a big year for my wife Karin and I.  We have experienced the Seven Emotions (Joy, Anger, Worry, Longing, Grief, Fear and Shock) of the Five Elements stages (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) at a very profound level.  I am afraid that I am unable to share the details of our story with you in this letter, as it is much too tender still.  Our destiny has put us in the situation of being ‘homeless’ – or, from a spiritual perspective – becoming “Daoist wanderers.”  We steered ourselves to Sweden just yesterday and hope the wintery Baltic Sea will nourish us and help us gain wisdom and insight regarding our next destination.

From one perspective of the Five Elements principle, winter is the season of death and rebirth.  It is the season that allows the Old to decease and the New to grow. Death is always an awkward topic to talk about, and most everyone avoids referencing it. Yet, no one can leave death alone as it is a part of the universal Five Elements natural cycle. In the Chinese Immortal’s tradition, we have an expression – XinSi ShenHuo, which translates into English as “allowing your heart to die will let your spirit live.”  In my interpretation, this means that in order to achieve true enlightenment, we have to respect death and bring it gracefully into our hearts. The founder master of the Complete Reality School, Wang ChongYang, achieved his enlightenment after he dug his own grave and spent three years in it, cultivating his internal alchemy practices (Daoist meditation techniques).

To continue moving through our grief energy after the recent death of our son TaiLiao, Karin and I chose to spend next few months cultivating in the true winter energy of Northern Europe, rather than escaping to a warm, southern summer Qi area. As LaoZi tells us in Chapter 1 of his DaoDeJing, within the darkness inside the darkness lies the doorway to all wonders.  We know that the mystical northern lights appear brightest in the Water Direction (the North) during the darkest hours of the night, and we trust that our time hibernating in the dark, cold, and silent winter will brighten our future path.

Although you are always welcomed to write back, I ask you to please understand if I do not respond to all the emails I receive during this winter season. For those who are interested in my teachings, I have scheduled a couple of workshops in the early spring of 2012 (you can check the details at http://masterwu.net/events.html).  In honor of the coming year of great transformation, a few of my long term American students will join us here in Sweden for an Advanced Chinese Astrology retreat, which will be held during the Chinese Spring Festival in January. When the Yang Water Dragon raises his head in February 2012,  I will give a lecture on Qigong as the root of Chinese Medicine at the Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine, London South Bank University. I will also hold Fire Dragon and Five Elements Qigong workshops in London and in Oxford during our trip to the UK. You may look for my next greeting letter when the Year of Water Dragon arrives on February 4, 2012.

With warm regards and wishes for a peaceful winter to you and yours,

Master Wu

June, 2011: Chinese Shamanic Qigong Lifelong Training Program Level 1 begins on the East coast!

For the first time in 4 years, Master Wu is opening his Chinese Shamanic Qigong Lifelong Training Program Level 1 on the east coast!

This Program is an invitation to learn how to promote peace, balance, and harmony in your life.  Teachings in Chinese Shamanic Qigong and Taiji will be given in the traditional style, and classes will be offered over the long term. Yearly meetings will provide a forum to discuss what we have each learned in our daily practice and to further our instruction from Master Zhongxian Wu.

Curriculum for Level One:

  • Chinese shamanic Qigong principles
  • Yijing (I Ching ) I – Symbolism and Numerology
  • Shamanic Three Sources Qigong
  • Five Elements Qigong
  • Internal alchemy meditation I

Please contact qimasterwu@gmail.com or visit http://www.masterwu.net for details.