Welcome to the annual State of the Tao address!
I’m writing to keep you updated on what’s happening in our coming year, as well as reflect on the events of last year. As with every living thing on Earth, Energy Arts is forever changing and becoming new.
While I’ve been teaching the Taoist arts for over 50 years, I was reminded of the need for rest and rejuvenation near the end of last year’s summer retreats. So I am currently taking some much needed time off. Of course, time always has a tendency to fill-up and I’ve managed to stay busy even during my sabbatical.
For several years now I’ve been actively pursuing the spiritual intersection points between Buddhism and Taoism. The seed for this inquiry was planted many years ago by my teacher Liu Hung Chieh, who was a master and lineage holder of both of Mahayana Tien Tai Buddhism and Lao Tse’s branch of Taoism.
Therefore, since December I’ve been in the Himalayas learning advanced Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen practices. Through study and practice, the connections of Buddhism with Taoism are becoming more and more clear.
I’m looking forward to sharing these insights with you as they unfold; however I must respect the process of learning and not reveal too much before I have truly embodied these teachings.
On another note, Dr. Alan Peatfield and myself made great strides toward the completion of our new Practitioner’s Guide to the Tao Te Ching this year. The audio program is officially complete and the book is well on its way!
Few people know that most translations of the Tao Te Ching are based on a Confucian philosophical interpretation rather than a Taoist spiritual translation that captures both the depth and philosophy of the work.
Based on my Taoist Priest training in China, we’re taking great care to translate this work from the perspective of a practitioner. Complete with an audio program and additional materials, this new book will give you an instructional guide on how to use the Tao Te Ching to unlock the energetic potentials within your mind, body and spirit.
Energy for 2017
2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster, the counter-balance to last year’s Fire Monkey. Many of you might find yourself exhausted from the hyperactive monkey of 2016, and for good reason.
Last year was full of surprises; both wonderful and exciting and perhaps difficult or frightening. But hopefully the fire monkey sparked some new ideas and adventures in your life, which will now have the chance to manifest as you harness the focused energy of the Fire Rooster.
Now is the time to use your resources and get into action. Be focused on achieving long-held goals. It’s better to seek practical solutions than to be dreamy or unrealistic this year. You might find that you can bring order to chaos as you move through life.
This is a year to be steady, alert, precise, and prepared. Focus on follow-through and don’t give up!
If you have health issues you wish to resolve, then do more qigong and tai chi. If you find your emotions and capacity to think are foggy, spend more time meditating and dissolving your internal blockages. If you want to reduce stiffness inside your body and loosen your energetic channels, do more Taoist Yoga. If you want to become enlightened, go for it with all you have!
Try to create a quiet, peaceful home this year and organize your work efficiently. Walk your talk and follow through with actionable steps. After you’ve achieved your goals, you can kick back and relax without any sense of anxiety.
Balancing Technology with Natural Rhythms
Before today, I’ve only mentioned this in passing, but I believe the proliferation of digital devices in modern times is creating a kind of mass attention deficit syndrome. Something must be done.
In modern terms, a constant disruption between the charges that flow between our neural synapses is resulting in a variety of collective mental, physical and emotional disorders. Essentially, this is broken qi.
Children are suffering most from this onslaught of nervous strain and energetic distortion. The structural integrity of their developing brains are at risk of permanent or long-term damage. We can mitigate these disruptions with the natural rhythms of qi practices.
Perhaps the ancients were unaware of the prophetic nature of their teachings, or maybe the teachings themselves are simply eternal, but I believe the lineages we share at Energy Arts have the power to mitigate the negative effects of modern technology.
In the coming year, Energy Arts is going to begin sharing these methods. Look for Energy Arts programs designed to help you retain focus, even among the chaos of the digital era.
Taoist Training Center
Many decades ago, my master Liu Hung Chieh encouraged me to teach and share Taoism and Qi Science to students who were prepared for it. Today I feel that many of my students are ready. I’m looking forward to a new chapter in the future of Energy Arts as I begin to teach these ancient secrets.
As we expand into the spiritual realm of energy-body work, it’s important we create a secure and concealed space for the training. Few people realize how high-vibrational work tends to attract lower-vibrational energies by way of polarization.
Just as there are positive forces that promote positive spiritual qualities in the universe, there are opposite negative entities that strive for negative qualities.
In order for the practices of the 5th-6th- and 7th energy bodies (psychic, karmic and body of individuality) to be taught responsibly, protection from negative entities is a requirement. In the ancient world, psychic shielding was traditionally built into every temple in Taoism, Buddhism and many other esoteric teaching centers. You see this even today.
Our goal this year is to raise enough money to build our own training center with special shielding embedded into the walls, floors and ceilings for protection from negative entities.
In the previous two years, our attempts to raise money for a retreat center did not bear fruit. But in this final attempt, we plan to scale back the project to an approximately 10,000 square foot building in an urban setting, probably in the Bay Area, California (Although I’m staying open to having a vision while studying in the Himalayas for the exact location).
Regardless of scaling, this project will cost a minimum of several million dollars, which will have to come in the form of donations, since this is outside of my personal budget. I do have faith that the funds will become available when the time is right.
Our new training center will have several main purposes:
- To create an entirely new generation of highly qualified instructors
- To teach the I Ching and the higher spiritual teachings of the Tao in a safe and protected environment
- To fully pass on the complete Taoist lineage that Liu Hung Chieh passed on to me in China
- To teach Taoist death and dying practices – How to take qi qualities into future lives
Taoism After Death
Taoism generally focuses on maximizing the possibilities of this life, but it also has a unique perspective on death that I’d like to share with you today.
Most spiritual traditions focus on how to make life after death as good as possible for each individual (or at least not too bad).
Taoism on the other hand, believes in reincarnation and within this belief there are many Taoist practices which train individuals to stabilize their current energetic achievements and carry them forward into future lives.
Whether it’s qigong, tai chi, Tao yoga, tui na or Taoist meditation, it becomes possible to capture the usable essence of your training to use in the next life. After all, the Earth is only one of an infinite number of possibilities and you never know where your qi might come in handy!
Personally, I believe death is a mere transition from one form into another, which is reflected in the rituals of many Taoist communities. While the deceased are symbolically transformed into a new life during these ceremonies, the living can also benefit from the observance.
Energy Arts Training Circle for 2017 and 2018
Earlier this year we opened registration for the Energy Arts Monthly Training Circle and invited you to train with me on a monthly basis with online digital classes and live Q&A calls. The response was overwhelming and I’m grateful to have such an amazing community in the Circle!
Right now we’re focusing on Standing Qigong and Taoist Meditation (Inner-dissolving with Agendas). I must say, it’s by far the most complete and comprehensive deep-dive into Standing Qigong I’ve ever created.
Imagine what it would be like to wake up every morning and know exactly how to maximize your energy arts practice for the best results?
This is why I created the Training Circle in the first place. Daily practice and consistency is the key to vitality, clarity of mind, flexibility, speed, focus, freedom and spiritual joy!
You must immerse yourself in your practice every day.
Look for a re-opening of the Training Circle in late 2017 or early 2018.
Summer Events 2017
19 June – 1 July 2017
Whether you are seeking to greatly improve your ability as a practitioner or to become a certified instructor (click here for full certification details), this Dragon & Tiger Intensive Training is for you.
Here you will immerse yourself for two weeks in the art of Dragon & Tiger Qigong with Taoist Master Bruce Frantzis and three of his most experienced Dragon & Tiger Level 3 and Senior instructors. You will work daily with them, as well as with other motivated and dedicated students/practitioners.
What’s the difference between attending an intensive and a workshop? An intensive is just that. It’s the deepest exploration of a subject offered. Through a combination of teaching, personal feedback and focused practice sessions, we will give you the best opportunity to emerge with the material not just in your head, but integrated into your body.
7 July – 9 July 2017
The European Summer retreats begin with a three-day workshop on Taoist yoga, which is China’s soft yet powerful alternative to what is popularly known today as Hatha yoga. Gentle postures are combined with Taoist Longevity Breathing methods.
The principles are based on developing internal awareness and the energetic techniques, which have practical applications for Qigong and Taoist meditation. Join us to learn how you can apply your attention and intention to open your spirit, reduce tension and improve your overall health and well-being.
11 July – 15 July 2017
Whether your aim is to develop incredible health, self-defense or meditation, this internal martial arts course on Bagua Zhang is for you. Bruce will review and expand on his previous teaching that began in 2016 by progressing to Bagua’s Earth Palm, also known as the Double Palm Change.
The core of the monastic bagua system he teaches includes the Single (yang energy), Double (yin energy) and Changing (mixing of energies) Palm Changes. Energizing and strengthening subtle energetic bodies and the yin aspects of the art of bagua zhang is a specialty of the Double Palm Change and will facilitate your ability to engage with emptiness, creativity and compassion.
18 July – 22 July 2017
At the heart of the human condition are interactions and relationships with many things; ourselves, friends, family, lovers, society, the natural world. Most major religions of the world recognize this placing great value upon the development of love and compassion.
While both of these powerful aspirations which form the basis of religion and spiritual life are truly wonderful, Taoists believe that compassion and love must be cultivated through a functional foundation of balance in your life. Otherwise, given the selfish nature of the human ego, our better nature becomes too difficult to actualize.
This training will use the spiritual technology of Taoist Water Method meditation to move beyond fear and isolation, generating balance and nurturing the seeds of love and compassion to grow.
Finding Balance within Our Feelings
I mentioned before that I’m engaged in a translation project of the Tao Te Ching and I wanted to leave you with a traditional saying from the end of Chapter 57. During this uncertain time of dynamic changes – politically, environmentally, socially, and personally – these words spoken by the Taoist Sage Lao Tzu 2500 years ago are still appropriate today. First, the traditional saying, then some personal commentary below:
Therefore the Sage says,
I do nothing, and people naturally transform.
I enjoy stillness, and people naturally become upright.
I do not interfere, and people naturally prosper.
I have no desires, and people naturally become simple.
I cultivate the Tao within myself and others resonate with the natural qualities manifesting within me.
Finding and relaxing into the stillness and space within the mind, body and spirit is an invisible, powerful and positive energy that allows one to more easily navigate through the tangle of negative obstacles within and without.
Only consuming what I need and can actively use will protect me from the karma of greed, securing myself and others, and allowing all to find what they need without excessive competition and harm.
My emotions, through consistent and regular practice, become smooth and flowing. I do not indulge in excess nor do I starve myself of desires. Rather I express my awareness fully in all moments doing my best to encourage and harmonize with others to do the same. If done correctly, confusion and complexity are reduced and clear, positive action emerges.
In closing, allow me to again express my gratitude for your sincere interest, efforts, and taking the journey of the Tao with me and the collective Energy Arts community. All in all, it’s a good time to complete the things that have been lingering for a long time. The Tao is going to give you the energy, so try to take best advantage of this fortuitous circumstance.
Best of success, happiness and harmony!
Founder, Energy Arts Inc.