Instructor Certification and Opening up the Lineage Track of Study
By Paul Cavel
Anyone who has trained the Energy Arts System knows first-hand that the material is deep, spans a wide range of internal techniques, and therefore, advancement can be slow-going. The reasons why are multilayered as Master Bruce Frantzis has adhered to an authentic learning progression, the way he trained in China.
The challenge has been that many students and Certified Instructors alike lose their way in the depths of the material due to the sheer quantity of internal content contained within each level. Breaking down the system into clearly definable skills will go a long way toward neutralizing any confusion.
For this reason, Master Frantzis has revamped the former certification and training model into smaller, bite-sized chunks that clarify the four stages of training and allow dedicated students to progress through the new eight levels of practice within them. In this way, the authentic teachings remain true, the path forward is clear and student advancement to becoming teachers becomes easier.
The Four Stages of Training
The four stages of practice are:
- Core practices – for all students and Energy Arts Instructors.
- Intermediate practices – for those with a solid grounding in the core practices.
- Advanced practices – for those with a solid grasp of the intermediate practices.
- Lineage track – for those Master Frantzis invites to study the full depth of the Taoist Water Method as traditionally practiced.
The Eight Levels of Instructor Certification
Each of the previous Level 1 and Level 2 certifications have been split into three new levels for a total of six levels. The previous Level 3 certification is now Level 7 and the Lineage/Disciple track is Level 8.
You will notice that Levels 1-6 will be easily digestible and offer the potential to move through the material relatively quickly, whereas Levels 7-8 contain significantly more internal content, and will require much more dedication and focused practice to achieve.
The subjects that have been revamped to-date are:
- Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong
- Energy Gates Qigong
- Heaven and Earth Qigong.
Heaven and Earth Qigong
Heaven and Earth Qigong does not fit as snugly within the new six levels as Dragon and Tiger Qigong and Energy Gates do; that is dividing the former Level 1 certification into Levels 1-3 and the former Level 2 certification into Levels 4-6.
Heaven and Earth Qigong includes a vast depth and range of internal techniques within its simple form. With this in mind, the former Heaven and Earth Qigong Level 1 certification is now split into Levels 1-6. This means that the material previously taught at Level 2 is now considered Level 7.
A new, Foundational Qigong program consists of three levels, and will deliver the necessary skills to move into all the various streams of the Energy Arts System, including all qigong sets, the internal arts of hsing-i, tai chi and bagua, as well as Taoist yoga and meditation.
Foundational qigong includes:
- Standing alignments
- Four standing postures
- Sitting alignments
- Taoist breathing
- Qigong Circling Hands—all three circles in both directions with a shoulder-width stance.
(Note: All the other circles with a forward stance will remain within Tai Chi Circling Hands.)
Master Frantzis highly recommends that all new students begin with Foundational Qigong and that any existing students who are dedicated to the arts cycle back to this core material to refine their skill set. Naturally, all Energy Arts Instructors would benefit from reviewing this material in order to understand the new learning progression and to help train up prospective teachers according to the revamped model.
Energy Arts Instructors: Upgrade Your Certification
The Senior Instructors will host recertification course at the Tao Space in Colorado 17-23 July 2022 in order to issue certification levels commensurate with the new model. By attending and testing, a current Level 1 Instructor could attain a Level 2 or 3 (or up to a Level 5-6 in Heaven and Earth Qigong); a current Level 2 Instructor could attain up to a Level 6 (or Level 6-7 in Heaven and Earth Qigong)—depending on how much of the material they have retained and embodied since they became certified.
As Master Frantzis wants to ensure all EA Instructors are evaluated correctly, he requests all Instructors be re-certified according to the new eight-level curriculum. This can be done with a Senior Instructor Certifer either live beginning with the summer retreats or online as of October 2022.
The aim of the new curriculum is to build a unified teaching approach by all Energy Arts Instructors worldwide, so that students are ready and prepared to receive the deeper teachings from Master Frantzis, and potentially enter into the advanced and lineage tracks of study. Once this part of the program is established, we will release new levels for the remaining subjects, including Gods Playing in the Clouds Qigong, tai chi and bagua.
We hope this newly generated, progressive training will help Energy Arts Instructors—and all who choose to engage with the Water Tradition—to embody the teachings from this rare and pure lineage … and help others to achieve the same.
PAUL CAVEL has studied Taoism, the I Ching, Five Element neigong, medical qigong, Yang and Wu style tai chi, bagua, Taoist yoga, qigong tui na energy healing and Taoist meditation since 1987. Paul has been a dedicated teacher of the Water Method since 1995 and he is the author of two books, The Tai Chi Space: How to Move in Tai Chi and Qi Gong (Aeon Books, 2017), and Heaven and Earth Qigong: Heal Your Body and Awaken Your Qi (Energy Arts, 2020).