Journey to Thousand Peak Mountain


In the Spring  of 2002 - I was living in Beijing, and searching for a Qigong Master in China.  I contacted many Qigong schools, centers and people I met, searching for a traditional program. Through pure luck, I gained an introduction to Master Wang Tao who taught traditional Taoist Inner Alchemy as found in the Northern Taoist Complete Perfection School.

In order to learn with Master Wang Tao, I had to travel across China to the far North East in an area called Anshan, in Liaoning Province - my destination was 'Thousand Peak Mountain'. This was a very long journey, and little did I know, but this encounter would be an event which would change the entire course and direction of my life.

The program which Master Wang asked me to follow was very detailed, highly organised, exact and strenuous - day in and day out - rising at 5 am to perform the prescribed 8 Longevity Qigong Exercises as our warm up, and then sit for extended periods of time in meditation, holding esoteric Taoist Mudra for so long that your arms and hands would tremble, shake and a slow, dull pain would arise throughout the body --  this first stage was working through the barrier of the body - seeking to train mental concentration, transform the physical body, and build up the internal energy.   

Yet this was only the beginning....


Doubt on the Path

 We performed the prescribed Qigong and Inner Alchemy training sessions three times a day - sunrise, noon, and night - I was also told to sit for a fourth session in my bed before sleep.  After a week or so had passed, I reached a mental and physical limit -- I found myself asking, "what am I doing here.." - my body was so sore, I felt tired and hungry - this was all so new for me - long daily meditation sessions - small vegetarian soups for my meals -  my self discipline began to weaken - I developed doubt - I should just quit all of this I began to tell myself....

That night, I arrived late for the evening meditation session with Master Wang - I had been walking all over the mountain - going over a story in my mind, to tell him why I had to leave.  I was going to leave I kept telling myself - I should just return to Beijing, enjoy some good foods, and stay in a comfortable hotel.  As I approached our training room, nestled right against the cliff face of the mountain, the door was open, and Master Wang was sitting on the meditation platform, with a twinkle in his eye, "Is there something you wish to tell me..?" His eyes cut through all of the clever words and story I had planned to tell him.  I confessed my doubts in the training, my doubts in myself, and my fear of injuring my body from the many hours spent in daily practice.

Master Wang just laughed, and laughed.... He said, "Your Pain is not real.  It is simply created from your mind.  From your negative nature.  Please stay here, and follow what I am teaching you.  Please stay. Stay as a science experiment and see what happens...  See if what I am teaching you is Real and True or False... Then you may know what is True from your own personal experience..." 



Spiritual Breakthrough

That evening in our meditation session - Master Wang instructed me to hold an extended mudra posture - the hands were clasped together, making a joined fist, placed behind the back and stretched out in an extreme way, causing the spine to stretch and open - we held this extended posture for so long, and continued to hold it, and hold it, and hold it, while performing the mental concentration instructions. In Master Wang's system, we have a total of 54 different Mudra Postures we use during the Inner Alchemy Meditation Practice to train concentration, open the Energy Channels, and stimulate the circulation of Inner Energy during the Beginning Stage of Inner Alchemy Practice.

On and on and on we continued to hold this posture, I had to concentrate with everything I had to keep the physical alignment.  Usually Master Wang would instruct me to change my posture after 3 to 5 minutes, going through a series of 5-7 different postures in one session.  Yet tonight was different - no words - no changing to another posture, just this one extreme extended posture.  Training privately with a Master is very special, and there are rules and culture to follow - basically you must do as the Teacher instructs you to do - so I had to hold the posture, until he released me.  No words came granting me relief - just a deep and vast silence pervading throughout the room.

Slowly my entire body erupted in heat, I began sweating, my clothes were soaking wet as there was so much heat coming off of my body.  A voice began to speak inside my head - just as the pain in my bones and joints became stronger -- this voice said, "You must move, stop your meditation, break your posture, or you will die...."  This voice was so real, and seemed so all knowing, that I almost moved.  The pain suddenly became so strong, as if a huge fire was burning inside my bones, as if a million ants were stinging me - the heat and the pain was unbearable.....



A second voice arose - this voice was clear, calm and was coming from a deep pure place within my heart -  "I will not move... " The pain became even stronger... the heat like a hundred suns blazing.... I did not move.  I surrendered to my death if it were to come.  I completely committed to my meditation posture -- I became like a mountain, solid, still and unmoving like a giant stone.  I embraced the heat, pain and suffering - my inner focus became unmoving and still.  Slowly, a very gentle warm, pleasant, and pleasurable feeling began to expand from my Dantian Center - rising up through my body like an expanding vapour of steam, and flowing down through my legs, like a gentle stream - all the pain was slowly transformed by this expanding warm vapour -- my body felt weightless -- my body felt as if it had the weight and substance of a feather -- all my muscles and joints felt open and clear - no obstruction existed.  "Lower your hands to the Stillness Posture." - said Master Wang.  I slowly moved my hands to gently rest in my lap, one on top of the other, thumbs touching - my body continued to expand, and open - feeling truly weightless, open and free of any limitations.

Qi Energy was now flowing through my whole body in a natural harmony - like a steam of clear light  - moving like waves upon waves of a constant expansive movement of bliss, light, and vibration combined.  This was like entering into another realm,something the likes of which I had never experienced.  The experience was a bliss so pure and a pleasure so vast that I could never have imagined such a state - as the experience was so far outside of the material existence of the physical world.  Truly it felt as if I had entered into a new realm of existence.

We continued to sit in a deep and profound silence together, on our meditation platforms.  Our meditation platforms faced each other, and in that moment it felt as if we were embraced by an ocean of expansive pure bliss and radiant light which both filled my inner body and also surrounded us.  We sat in that silence for what seemed like an eternity.  Slowly we came out of our meditation, stretching our legs - and my conscious mind began to return. I had never experienced nor imagined such a state or feeling in my life - this was such a profound experience - I thought that surely I must have experienced the Great Tao.  Slowly we continued our stretching, and massaged our knees, legs and feet in silence as we transitioned  out of our meditation practice - in Master Wang's System, we spend a great deal of time massaging and tapping our body after extended seated meditation sessions - this helps to remove blockages, increase circulation, and bring balance to the energy meridian system.


Opening the Gate 

I proudly told Master Wang of my experience of breaking through the barrier of physical pain, and the waves of bliss, light and purity which had come - I spoke about feeling as if I had been riding on the expansive warm, cloud like Vapour of Energy that had circulated throughout my body.  I said in a serious tone,  "Teacher,  I must have gained the Tao..."  Master Wang smiled, trying to hold back his chuckle - eventually breaking down - he simply laughed and laughed...  As Master Wang smiled at me, he became collected and sincerely praised my efforts and the level I had experienced - he began to give oral teachings on the transformation of energy, the opening of energy channels and the related effects on the physical body, and the process of regaining the True Heart our Innate Nature. 

Master Wang said, "You must keep going.  Keep the practice as I am teaching you.  Do not lose it.  No, you did not gain the Great Tao.  but... you changed your direction - you have reversed your direction, and now you face the direction of the Tao... do not forget this state, do not forget your Pure Heart, do not lose it...."   I stayed on the mountain, and continued the daily practice week after week - I lost all sense of time - gaining direct experience of moving through the Stages of Inner Alchemy - guided by Master Wang -- these were deep inner states that went far beyond anything that I previously had imagined or read about in books.  I feel such deep gratitude, humility  and respect for my Teacher who was patient with my questions and lack of experience, and who guided me in the Way of Taoist Inner Alchemy.  Without my Teacher's guidance, care and patience, it would have been impossible for me to learn and progress in this art.

After completion of my training, I was preparing to take the train to Beijing, and then travel back to America - Master Wang encouraged me to share what he had taught me.  He felt the people in the West had the proper Heart Condition to learn Taoist Practice now, as he felt the Chinese People had become too focused on material gain and money to be interested in the Old Way of Traditional Taoist Practice.

Master Wang spoke -  "The Inner Alchemy Teachings are truly like a lost art in China - something only spoken of in legend and dusty old books - please share the Way of Inner Alchemy Practice and spread this to the people in the West. In this way the Tradition of Inner Alchemy may be reborn in the West and preserved for future generations. Perhaps one day this Art can then return back to China - from the West." 

I continued my relationship with Master Wang for over a decade - traveling back to China to study with him and live together - practicing Inner Alchemy, traveling to Taoist Mountains, and visiting historical places together related to the development of Taoism.  

Those days are truly precious memories for me, and the Inner Alchemy Practice which was passed on and transmitted to me shaped me into the person I am today.

 I sincerely look forward to practicing and sharing with you the experience and the practice of Taoist Inner Alchemy.  As the Way was passed on to me, I would like to now pass it on to you - to bring peace, healing and harmony into your life.

The time to Open the Gate has come...

We have a very special Taoist Inner Alchemy Training Program beginning on May 7th, 2023 - we would like to warmly invite you to join us and take part in this amazing training....

Learn more about Taoist Qigong and Inner Alchemy in our Upcoming Workshop  - 


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