Friday, December 9, 2011

"Xiao si er da huo" - “E mi tuo fo" Qigong Master's Secret Life

The Year of the Water Dragon 

Perfect Peace

I was meditating cross legged on the yellow cushion. Suddenly I had the sensation that I was in an ascending elevator and I rose higher and higher and higher... There was no top floor, and the higher I soared, the brighter it became. I felt like a tiny flame hurtling towards the sun. The brilliance spread through me and intensified. I merged completely with this boundless ocean of blazing light until I was extinguished.
    My mind ceased to function. There was nothing present to stir my consciousness. There were no thoughts, no feelings, no movements, no shapes, no sounds, no textures, no desires, no fear, no divisions, and no edges. There was absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing. There was nowhere to go and nothing to do. All activity ceased, and yet this formless radiance brimmed with its own fullness and completeness.
    This absolute emptiness was completely full. As I became this vast, spacious openness an indescribable stillness set in. It was a restfulness that transcended all the bliss and ecstasy I experienced in all my meditations combined. And from this self-radiant serenity emerged one exalted quality: perfect peace.
    “Jihui...” An incoherent sound rippled through the tranquility…
    “Jihui...” The voice reverberated through the unwavering silence…
    “Jihui.” The sound coalesced meaning. My Master was reeling me back in.
    I opened my eyes and suddenly the stone chamber materialized in the midst of the brilliant luminosity. The physical darkness and the spiritual light coincided.
    “E mi tuo fo—Buddha bless you,” Xiao Yao said.
    I was lying on the mattress; my Master was seated on the floor beside me. A long time passed before I spoke.
    “Shifu…,” I uttered softly.
    “I’ve been here at your side for the last eight days.”
    “Eight days?”
    “I found you slumped over on the floor. I called out your name. You did not respond. I checked your breathing. You had no discernible breath. I checked your pulse. You had no discernible pulse. I picked you up and put you down on the mattress.”
    “No breath? No pulse?”
    “This experience is called xiao si er da huo—Small Death, Big Life.”
    “Was I dead?”
    “Yes and no. It was a controlled death. I remained at your side to make sure you did not cross over for good.”
    “The light is so beautiful...”
    “In Buddhism we call it Kong, the void. The Daoists call it Wuji, uncreated Infinity. This realm is ever-present, but it is only revealed when a soul is purified and all mental activity ceases. It is the condition the Buddha realized while meditating under the Bodhi Tree. It is Nirvana.”
    “ peaceful.”
    “It is your true nature. Perfection is who you really are.”
    “Somehow I feel completely different than I did before.”
    “Much karma has been lifted.”
    “Shifu, you sound tired.”
    “During the Small Death your Qi flow can become stagnant. The presence of an experienced Master is critical. I watched over you day and night to make sure that your meridians remained strong. But don’t worry,” he reassured me, “I can recover my Qi quickly.”
    We sat silently in the darkness. The room radiated an aura of pure love and compassion. After he left, I remained on the mattress. Even though the room was physically dark, I could still perceive the brilliant inner light shining throughout. It didn’t matter whether my eyes were open or closed. The dark chamber was bathed in clear, white light. I couldn’t see the actual contours of the chamber with my physical eyes, but I could sense the walls and even the position of the furniture.
    The stone room felt like a dreamy apparition floating in brilliant emptiness. The peaceful spaciousness was still present, only now it permeated the walls, my body, and even my thoughts. The finite world of form was arising in formless Infinity, and despite being holed up in a small, dingy space, I experienced complete freedom.
    I was thirsty. I stood up. My body felt incredibly energized. My Lower Dantian was as warm as a stove and bursting with Qi. I was supercharged with energy. I felt like jumping around and I leaped across the room to the water jug. I took a sip. The experience triggered an explosion of sensual delight. Immeasurable force moved through my limbs and I spontaneously began to roll around on the floor. I leaped to my feet and ran around the room bouncing off the far wall as I slapped the ceiling with my palm. I darted back and forth like a rubber ball. I kicked my legs up in the air and walked around the room doing a two-fingers handstand. I was light as a feather and possessed the strength of a tiger. These spontaneous, explosive body movements continued for hours.
    “Shifu,” I remarked the next day, “I’m feeling a new, strange sensation.”
    “What are you feeling?” he asked.
    “Energy buzzing from my fingers. The Qi is very potent. If I put my hands in prayer position I feel a cloud of energy forming above my head, and then energy shoots up from my fingertips into the cloud like bolts of lightning.”
    “The Small Death has awakened your inner power, Jihui. You have developed the ability to discharge the same electric Qi I used to empower you. You must be very careful with this energy. It is very powerful and precious. You must not abuse it, especially now. You are still young. It takes time to master this power. I will train you. Experiment on yourself, but promise me that you won’t use it on anyone for the next ten years.”

You can order this book for $28. (plus s/h) by emailing Jan at or calling her at 888 999 0555. It is not yet posted on my website. A lovely gift to yourself or a friend.

Full Disclosure: I love this book, and consider it the best Qigong biography on the market. But I also love the authors Robert Peng and Rafi Nasser, who are both good friends.

Rafi edited Under One Sky, the best (and only) astrology book to compare 12 different schools of astrology reading a single chart. The chart is Joyce Gayheart's, my spirit wife who passed from a brain tumor almost 4 years ago. (you can read Joyce's life story from that book, or order Under One Sky from my site:

ANYTHING that Rafi Nasser edits is going to be good. He polished this book with Robert for 3 years, and the writing shows it.

Robert Peng taught at my summer retreats for a number of years, and I had a chance to really appreciate both him and his teachings. Even though his main teacher was Buddhist, he was trained in many Taoist qigong and neidan methods, which is a common cross-over in China. Robert's system is completely compatible with the HealingTao system, and he was even trained in the Lesser Kan and Li method, which he employed during his 100 day dark room retreat.

Robert himself is a wonderfully humble and gentle soul, so it is literally a shock when his chi sparks into you during a healing session. His book details how he developed his healing power, and gives a lucid insight into the qigong culture within China at a time there was a lot of suspicion about it by the communists. His master had a number of exceptional powers, and this story carefully details Robert's incorporation of some of these into his medical qigong training.

So the book is useful in the details about Robert's transition from naive boy to a highly skilled healer, but it is also lovely just as a story with many illuminating insights into the role of Qi (Chi) in spiritual life. I think this excerpt will reveal more than my own words....

China Dream Trippers in front of China's most famous Taoist temple, the Temple of Heaven.

Architetually, this is my favorite temple in China, and I am planning to build a replica in the USA as a future summer retreat space. I've been getting dreams about it recently, so I think something is in motion.....


Dream Tripper finds a quiet moment to meditate at sunset on Flower Mountain's West Peak.


Dream Trippers practice ancient Shamanic 7-Star Big Dipper Qigong inside a Taoist temple compound.

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