Develop Chi The Taoist Way


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The Inner Smile meditation has been recognized as one of the best exercises for stress management and self-healing, easily inducing a state of deep relaxation. It was brought to the Western culture through a Taoist master named Mantak Chia. Deep relaxation dissolves physical and mental tensions that can cause energetic blockages and illness. For this reason, the Inner Smile is always used as a preparation or warm-up in other meditations and chi kung (English translation — energy work) exercises that circulate chi. Your smile will help cultivate good chi!

The basic foundation of Taoist practice teaches us how to conserve physical energy within our bodies so that it will no longer scatter and weaken as a result of our worldly interactions. Full emotional independence requires that we avoid being drained of this energy through the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. The novice in the Taoist system begins with a wide range of exercises that develop the physical body into an efficient and healthy organism, able to live in the world and yet stay free of the tensions and stress of daily life. One aspires to return to a childlike state of innocence and vitality, to regain the original force that is our birthright. Specific goals of this level are to learn how to heal oneself, how to love oneself, and how to love others.

Master Chia says:

“In the Universal Healing Tao System, we start the practice of bringing balanced energy to the body and emotions into balance with the Inner Smile. We often get so out of touch with our bodies and our emotions that we do not notice inner disharmony developing until it finally manifests as a serious illness. There are well over 500 different forms of chi kung that were developed in China. Many people think that chi kung has to involve moving the arms and legs. But the most important part of chi kung is actually being aware of the chi flow in our body. Practicing the Inner Smile daily gives us a regularly scheduled time to look inside, to keep in touch with the state of our inner organs, with our chi, with our breath, and with our emotions. We can then spot problems at their inception, making it easier to make adjustments when they first arise and nip them in the bud.

Low self-esteem is becoming endemic in our society. If we are not taught or encouraged to love ourselves, we cannot have a healthy loving relationship with other people, or with our Mother Earth; witness the state of the society and environment today as proof of this imbalance. The Inner Smile teaches us to recognize our inherent positive qualities, and not just our negativity. With regular practice, we get to know ourselves as we really are; we can discover our virtues as well as our afflictions. This helps us to form a truer and healthier self-image, one that stays in close touch with reality. The Inner Smile exercises our ability to love, starting with ourselves, with our own bodies. As we learn to love and accept ourselves, it becomes natural and easy for us to extend this love outward and to begin to love and accept other people, creatures, places and things.

Because the first level of practice is to develop a healthy body, we also learn how to circulate and refine our smiling energy through the Microcosmic Orbit meditation. We learn to store our life force in a chi ball (energy sphere) so it will not dissipate. As people grow older, their life force weakens, often resulting in illness and suffering. Using drugs to combat illness drains so much of the body’s life force that there may be not enough energy left to maintain health. The basic practices of the Universal Healing Tao ensure that we retain enough vital energy. All the practices are interrelated. Practicing them together brings the best results. We invite you to try it and draw your own conclusion.”

Mantak Chia is a Taoist Master and creator of the Universal Healing Tao System. Master Mantak Chia’s Universal Healing Tao trainings for all levels will take place from June 9-25th at Eastover in Lenox, MA. Register for all or part at www.eastover.com. (866) 264 5139.

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