Meditation is a way of life. The term in often used for a variety of practices and has lost meaning in many ways as many people now seek a meditation pill for their hectic lives. I’ve taught Taoist meditation for several years and have moved further away from dogma of any kind. Why? Because meditation does not require us to sit. It doesn’t require special clothing, nor does it necessarily require us to consciously breathe in any way. These are all techniques. There is nothing wrong with this approach other than the folly of mistaking techniques with actual meditation.

So what is meditation? It is letting ourselves BE the pure consciousness that we are. The practice is not technique oriented but one of letting go. We cultivate qi (chi) or breathe to a spot in the lower abdomen for years so that we can settle into our bodies and calm the mind but this personal cultivation is not the end all. We can’t learn meditation from a book or a series of workshops that teach us to focus our minds because true meditation happens OUTSIDE of the mind. We cannot come from the mind and escape it at the same time. Meditation is that place of eternity where time and space do not exist. When we allow our true nature to simply BE and let go of doing anything, we can slip into this realm of pure consciousness.

So why all of the cultivation? It is a means to an ends but should not be mistaken for what it is doing. We can breathe and feel the chi running through our bodies and we can sit and remember our essential nature through the seeds of our practice while warming our palms and sitting with the Tao.  The benefits of deep breathing are amazing but the process of unfolding has been lost in modern times. In qigong we touch the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth to connect inner circuits and focus our life energy which is great for personal healing and calming the mind. However, if people want to learn about enlightenment, it will require reflection and conscious dedication to the question of what true meditation is. You cannot get this out of a book or a Tai Chi form. You cannot practice methods or store enough chi to gain consciousness. You ARE consciousness so there is nothing to gain short of the gnosis of this very fact.

Life is an amazing journey and if we regularly remind ourselves that much of what we care to gain is actually a fantasy, we can proceed to unlearn what is inhibiting us and actually grow in awareness. The essence of Taoist practice lies in this.

The Anatomy of Alchemy

I just had the honor of spending time with one of the Abbots of my tradition- Dr. Thomas McCombs. He was teaching about the history of our Tao Tan Pai lineage but there was a particular aside that grabbed my attention. Being a doctor of Osteopathy, Dr. McCombs has extensive experience in both medicine and the Taoist esoteric arts.

He taught me about a particular network of veins called Batson’s Vertebral Plexus. I remember studying this in school but the implications did not strike me at the time. Batson’s plexus is a venous channel which directs blood flow from the pelvis/sacrum back up the spine and up to the brain.

  “The plexus comprises the intracranial-cortical veins, dural sinuses, cavernous sinuses and ophthalmic veins and the vertebral venous plexuses which freely anastomose with the intracranial venous system.”


The founder of the Tao Tan Pai Lineage

Master Lu

Taoist Yoga has always been a bit weird. Swallowing spit, semen retention, tonic herbs, and lots of time alone breathing to the naval. The question is- what is all of this about and why practice in this way?

To understand Taoist Alchemy, Taoist Qi Gong, and the development of the Taoist Light Body, one must understand the relationship of HEAVEN, EARTH, Fire, and Water. There are different forms of Taoist Schools out there. My tradition (Tao Tan Pai) is a “Steam” based Taoist School. What does all of this mean? Let’s delve into it…

In the I Ching, there are a series of Trigrams which represent the various aspects or emanations of phenomena in nature. These are pictographically displayed by combinations of either solid (YANG) lines, or broken (YIN) ones. The various combinations of these lines create a complex binary system of relations and correspondences which equal the 64 emanations of the I Ching. People spend their entire lives studying this stuff and are still amazed by the depth of it. We’re going to keep it really simple here so we can better understand Taoist Yoga.


In Taoism, there are various traditions and schools of thought that have come along through history. Taoist schools are rare and hard to find because there are so few of them out there and most of the secrets of Taoist Alchemy are guarded and kept secret. Why? Because in the old days, knowledge of these arts led to incredible power so warlords and Emperors would make sure these secrets didn’t get into their enemy’s hands. In the West, the Knight’s Templars came back from Jerusalem with a mighty secret (Alchemy) and rose to power almost overnight. No wonder why the Church and ruling establishment went after them and killed them? Those in power like to keep it that way :)

The study of Taoist Alchemy is a tricky one. One must understand basic precepts of Taoism, Taoist tantric sex, Taoist yoga, and Qigong philosophy to have a foot in the door. Modern Taoist schools seldom teach all of this because most are either focused on scripture or on Qigong (Qi Gong) energy work alone. Qigong philosophy is important as is the practice but it is not everything. To understand Taoist Alchemy, we need to understand the underlying philosophy. We need to understand Who we really are in relation to this Universe and how things work here.


The Secret of Alchemy Revealed?

Recently, an unknown author has released a book which purports that he has released the secret of Alchemy to the world. I received a call from a good friend of mine who was very excited about it and had run out and bought all of the beakers, burners, stoppers, and what have you in order to go through the 18 month – 5 year process of carefully cooking the Philosopher’s Stone. The benefits of such practice: perfect health, the reversal of the aging process, incredible clarity that comes from being unbound by Time, and the ability to create Gold out of base metals.

Here is a link to the book:

I recommend reading only the author’s bits first and skipping all of the long quotes until a second pass (if you should decide to take it seriously). The book illustrates very good points and gets into heavy concepts which are important for the adept to learn.


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Most people can relate to not feeling 100% because some issue or memory from their past is haunting them. It happens to all of us. Mom or dad say something, a girlfriend leaves us, we fail a test, or whatever. The list of things that can traumatize people grows longer every day and, unfortunately, most people are not equipped with the tools to heal these wounds.

I’ve been working with patients on this topic for years. There are a number of different types of therapy that have proven effective but none have shown me as much promise as qi gong combined with five elemental emotional cleansing and some deep meditation. Again, it took years of trial and error to come up with a system comprehensive enough to see long-lasting results with patients. How does it work?