STATE OF THE DAO 2024: Year of the Wood Dragon

by | Feb 9, 2024 | Taoism, State of the Tao, Lunar New Year | 9 comments

Although the Dao is beyond space and time, our external world is constantly changing and we can utilize the energies of each year to improve ourselves and how we fit into the Dao. This is the year of effort and commitment to Build your House.


Wood Dragon Energy: Building Your House


Last year I suggested making big changes and taking risks to reach your goals. Now is the time to put in the hard work to build your future. Be it financially, personally, or spiritually, now is the time to build the foundations that will become your life. If you put enough effort in this year you will be able to surpass your limitations. To quote the Doors, it’s time to  “break on through to the other side!” Whatever foundations you have already built, use them to go to the next level. 

As you try to make a better future for yourself, remember to operate in balance within yourself and the environment. Think carefully about what will help you grow, and don’t get too excited. It is a lot easier to get temporary pleasure from the idea of action than to put in the consistent labor that is necessary. Beware of laziness and a lack of focus. You may want others to direct you, but you are the engineer of your own fate. 

As for your practice in the internal arts, take inventory of your weaknesses and learn to amplify your strengths. Figure out what you need in your practice, and learn to develop it. 


Geo-Political Landscape


There has been poor leadership throughout different nations that continue through this year with emotional baggage instead of solutions. With a heavily divisive U.S. presidential election coming up where Donald Trump and Joe Biden are the front runners, don’t let your emotions control you, work on the practical effects. We’ve had storms causing the streets to flood. It’s one thing to do nothing and another thing to let emotional paralysis inhibit the ability to act. 


Manifesting the wood dragon this year, discern what you pragmatically want from government and figure out how to execute on it. What has your political representative done to actually make things better; not the same, but better? If they have not done something, this is not helping you build your house. 


AI: A Helpful Tool or a Destructive Force?


AI has grown exponentially over the last few years. From being able to gather immense data and predict actions, new AI tools can now write dissertations, create any image man can dream (including the featured image for this article), write computer code, and much more. Daoists have always been practical with new technology but always knew how to keep true to themselves and not let technology change who they are. Besides reducing jobs, AI is going to make it harder for people to take responsibility for their actions. Make sure you are still having intent and awareness, and that you agree with AI and the material you are using it to produce.  Beware of false gods. If you use these tools to help you build your house, so to speak, be confident that you are still driving the ship. 

Energy Arts Training Center Update

The Energy Arts Training Center is our physical school in Longmont, Colorado. This is our central hub, like a tantien for the entire Energy Arts community.

We’ve been happy to welcome many more people into our space and teach more students in-person, which is necessary to learn our material in depth.

Many of you have already experienced our “virtual school” which we call Energy Arts Live. This program gives students access to both live-stream broadcasts and recordings of every class and guided practice that we teach at the Energy Arts Training Center. We are midway through this session, and you can still join! 

The best way to get the most out of your regular practice is to do it on a regular basis. The Daoist arts have a lot of benefits, and we wish you the best in your practice. 


Upcoming Events


This Spring we will hold a three-day workshop on Daoist Breathing in Meditation. This weekend workshop will be held on March 8th-10th (Fri-Sun). 

On June 10th-30th I will be hosting my summer events again this year on several topics I think have great importance: Wu Style Tai Chi, the Swings of Qigong, and the long awaited Daoist Meditation Practices of the Daodejing. Senior Instructor Craig Barnes will be teaching the full of the Wu Short Form. The Swings of Qigong are a powerful way to release stagnant chi in the body and improve circulation. Over time, the Swings were distilled into the 3 main Swings of Energy Gates from the complete process that includes about twenty. The final week we’ll delve into the meditation practices of the Daodejing in coordination with my recent book release. To get the most of this Summer’s teachings, I strongly encourage you to both begin to familiarize yourself with the Daodejing: the Oral Tradition and also attend all 3 weeks to build and reinvigorate your qi as well as your ability to focus internally for this final week.

Special Announcement: Dao De Jing (Print Edition)

In my last State of the Dao, I mentioned the launch of my new book, Dao De Jing: The Oral Tradition in Kindle Version. I am now happy to announce that it is finally available as a paperback. 

This book has been years in the making. It offers a comprehensive look at the Dao De Jing from the practitioner’s point of view through a series of dialogues between Dr. Alan Peatfield and myself. It is lively, direct, and conversational in tone yet goes deep into the wisdom of the ancient text. 

Our intention was always to create a paperback edition, and we received many requests to do so. We paid close attention to transferring this same material into a single-volume format that is manageable and readable. The only editorial changes are the addition of some photos (including some never-before released photos of Liu Hung Chieh in his younger days and interactions with me), and a one-page introduction to the paperback edition.

I hope you take a look. The book is available both in print and Kindle.



I would like to thank everyone in the wider Energy Arts Community, especially those who continue to support the longevity of this Daoist lineage by attending our events and by participating in our Energy Arts Live program. I wish everyone a powerful and stable year of the Wood Dragon. May you work hard to build your house this year! I look forward to seeing and training with as many of you as I can in the New Year.

In appreciation,

Bruce Frantzis

Founder, Energy Arts


  1. Malcolm Johnson.

    Hi Bruce please forgive this intrusion on your valuable time. I have been training in the Martial arts for some years. Your name was mentioned in a tribute to Danny Connors.
    Danny had a Martial arts shop at 18 Swan street in Manchester UK. Above the shop he would teach Tai Chi I wondered if these names ring any bells with you.

    kind Regards

    Malcolm Johnson

    • Katie Keane

      Yes, Danny and Bruce were close friends and trained together, thank you for letting us know about the tribute.

  2. Anne Magill

    Thank you 🙏

  3. Kevin

    Thanks Bruce for the update on the Dao. Always looking forward to it

  4. Thiago

    Comment *Thanks from Brazil for the quality content.

  5. Lisbeth

    Thank you for the wisdom

  6. David Zucker

    Thank you Kumar. It’s been 30+ years now more or less. I enjoy keeping my connection with you alive through Dragon Tiger and Marriage of Heaven and Earth which I practice daily.

    • Katie Keane

      Thank you David, we will pass that along!

      I have been studying with Bruce and his senior instructors since the early 2000s, but I’m delighted to see your name here as you were the first person that I studied Tai Chi with at the Boston Center for Adult Education in the early 90s. Thank you!

  7. Lisette Davidson

    I am finally reading and learning from the paperback edition of your book.
    Wow! It’s completely blowing me away!
    Thank you for your insightful contribution to the amazing Tao Te Ching.

    I live in Scotland, but was born in Boston, Mass.
    I and my husband and 2 children practice qigong through DVDs in the comfort of our own home, as we have no actual teachers locally.
    We have all of your books and your Longevity Breathing DVD which is so helpful. I am 60, but last week was told I look 25!


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