Chi kung practices, along with acupuncture and herbal remedies, have been used in China for centuries in a system of energy healing. Mantak Chia has taught tens of thousands of students the Taoist internal energy practices, which is taught by more than 1,200 certified instructors on every continent. Dena Saxer has been teaching this Universal Healing Tao System internationally for 26 years. In this sturdy paperback, they share the basic elements of this system. They call it "a self-healing program that transforms the painful emotions of anger, depression, fear, and guilt into kindness, courage, joy, and peacefulness." Whereas we in the West view some of these emotions as negative, Taoists see them as a natural part of life. They also see them as teachers able to point out that something is out of balance and needs to be changed.
In a chapter on "Fear and Nervousness," Chia and Saxer discuss how rampant this emotion is in the United States. It is fed by the media and the pressures at work to succeed. Chi kung practitioners recognize that fear is stored in the kidneys and bladder. They also house gentleness and calmness. The kidneys are yin and the bladder is yang. The authors suggest foods to eat and to avoid in regard to these organs. Wearing blue or black clothes enhances our kidneys and bladder, helping to reduce fear. With so many toxins in our food and elsewhere, Chia and Saxer suggest drinking at least eight cups of plain water a day in addition to other fluids.
The other emotions dealt with in the same way include sadness and depression, anger, arrogance, impatience, cruelty, hate, mania, worry, anxiety, shame, guilt, and self-pity. Chia and Saxer offer the following tools to make the most of troubling emotions:
• The Six Healing Sounds: Practice using specific sounds, arm movements, and visualized colors to release negative emotions from particular organs.
• The Inner Smile: Practice visualizing and feeling a joyful image and then moving that smiling energy into the brain, heart, the internal organs, and the spine, while thanking these body parts for the superb job they are doing.
• Releasing One Emotion: Practice feeling one emotion, releasing it physically, and asking what it has to teach us.
This fascinating paperback will appeal to all those interested in the importance of the emotions; the interplay between body, mind, and soul; and the integral practices espoused by Ken Wilber and others.