Where to start? Tao Inner Smile, Five Animals shamanic qigong, Six Healing Sounds medical qi gong, Microcosmic Orbit meditation, Internal chi breathing & bone rooting. Why is chi kung superior to ordinary exercise? How long to get results?
Fusion of Five Elements. What is Taoist depth psychology? Eight Extraordinary Vessels as Macrocosmic Orbit. Can Chi Kung deliver super powers? Tao dream practice, Deep Healing Qigong for healing chronic illness. What kind of people do this stuff?
For the last 30 years I've explored many esoteric systems (called Mystery Schools in the past) to find the most effective methods of improving health and refining spiritual awareness. Principle ones (besides various Taoist/Taoist schools) include: tantric kundalini yoga, kriya yoga, dzogchen (Bon) and Tibetan Buddhist vajrayana practices, and Atlantean alchemy (Original, pre-Egyptian and pre-Hebraic Kaballah).
I took many teachings and initiations with the Dalai Lama, including the week-long Kalachakra. I worked closely with Swami Hariharananda for years to edit his Bhagavad Gita in the Light of Kriya Yoga. I have a book on Atlantean alchemy nearly ready for publication. Its working title is Stellar Mind speaks: How to Shape your Life Energy. All this shaped my practice, but I always return to my roots in the Dao (Tao) because of its natural simplicity and practicality.
I have tested -- always on myself -- some 60 different qigong forms and taoist/taoist meditation systems. I have sought out dozens of different taoist masters, often only to get one superb movement or tiny but valuable insight they had. Master T.K. Shih lived in my NYC apartment for two years. I edited BK Frantis' Opening the Energy Gates of the Body and studied his excellent neigong and pa kua chang forms.
I studied Wu style tai chi with Grand Master Ed Yu in China town (also Mantak Chia's tai chi teacher), and Northern Wu Classical Tai chi style with David Dolbear, National Gold Medal champion. His particular tai chi lineage was infused with alchemical energetics by a Taoist master.
I completed a three year training in Classical Chinese medicine (CCM) with Jeffrey Yuen in New York, who is also a Taoist priest. CCM differs from TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), which was invented by the communists in the early 1950’s. CCM retains the classical focus on the spiritual (shen) aspect of Chinese medicine, which is ignored in TCM because it is too “unscientific” and doesn’t match the communist ideal of the new scientific man.
I travelled to China ten times, to be in the presence of its holy mountains and sacred places. I took many groups to study medical qigong in top Beijing hospitals with the World Academic Medical Qigong Society. I have a network of Chinese nei dan (inner alchemy) practitioners in China, both from the temple tradition and in the wandering “mountain” tradition.
Each year I invite top masters to teach at Healing Tao University, partly in order to trade secrets with them. I've been on the organizing committee for the Annual National Qigong Conference since its inception in 1997, giving me exposure to the top qigong teachers in the U.S. and a chance to absorb their favorite methods.
Cultivating one's chi is a life long process. But no need for everyone to repeat my long journey. Better to start off equipped with the valuable tools offered in my courses, distilled from years of testing. I only teach what I myself practice. I hope you will use those tools to go to a new, higher, and unknown level that is perfect for you alone.
I choose to not use use the title "Master" primarily because I feel it would create an energetic separation between myself and others, especially between me and my students. I also do not want to create a division between me and myself, my personality and my soul.
In my book, everyone has the same Master. That Master is the presence of the Life Force itself. This is the master that never allows any boundary between itself and us; it lives inside us and records every second of our life. So if my job is to introduce people to their True Master, it will distract them if I also have that same name.
My goal is to cultivate the power and purity of "direct perception" in every soul. This happens as we are able to merge more deeply with the Life Force. Putting a title before my name adds layers of cultural assumptions and a psychological boundary between myself and others. I don't need or want that boundary.
I recognize that a tradition in China of "master-student" has a long history. It satisfies some students' need to know that they are training with an authority in a lineage or sect, and thus inspires them to train harder and respect the demands of their "master". It may inspire some teachers to hold themselves up to a higher standard. I have no judgment against those who choose to use the title.
I am wary of the title for other reasons. First, the term "master" in English has secondary connotations that do not exist in Chinese. The Chinese often use "sifu" or Shi Fu, which translated is "teacher". This is much more neutral and accurate description which I would allow but not encourage. In China they may use a term of respect such as "lao shr", which means "venerable" or "old" teacher, implying seniority or greater wisdom. If someone needs to give me a title, "Brother" or simply "Michael" (consider it my birth title) are just fine.
The term "master" in English is unfortunately also associated with ideas of "rulership" and "master-slave" relations. The may act as an subconscious source of DIS-empowerment in a student. They will always be inferior or ruled by their chosen master, as a kind of feudal enfoeffment of a serf to his lord.
There are many students who are unconsciously seeking an authority figure to replace the imperfect parental authority of their mother or father. So they end up projecting all their authority issues onto the chosen "master". This transfers a dysfunctional and often co-dependent relation into the new "master-student relationship". (For more on this topic, read The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power, by by Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad).
I am not interested in playing spirtual daddy-mommy to my students. It just adds a disstracting and unnecessary extra layer of work for the teacher and the student. Rather I prefer to treat students as if they were mature, and not enter into their unconscious drama. If they have parental and/or authority issues, I prefer to give them the tools to free themselves from any psychological patterning.
Finally, calling oneself "master" can and usually does create unconscious illusions in the teacher's ego. The self-inflation is dangerous especially if it creates or hardens spiritual egotism, which is especially difficult to recognize and dissolve. There is enough responsiblity being taken on as a spiritual teacher. No need to add psychological baggage to an already tough job.
The teacher may not have anyone available to help them release this fantasy of fame or power. Now the teacher is dependent on his following for self-worth. The students are the real masters, as they are in reality conferring worth on the teacher. So even though the teacher is walking around wearing the "master" title, their students are masters of their teacher's ego.
If they wake up and leave the teacher and stop playing the game, the teacher's ego feels threatened, the prop is suddenly removed. Again, I find this a boring and destructive game, and don't have the time or energy to sustain it. I have watched some of my teachers caught up in this game, and never seen anything positive come from it.
As a matter of record, one of the reasons I was attracted to Mantak Chia initially was because he did not use any title. He treated all his students as friends. I have never laughed so hard as I did in the early years of training with him, and it created a relaxed atmosophere in which transmission was far more powerful.
I was frankly quite disapointed when Mantak Chia decided to adopt the "master" title. I understood that in his native Thai-Chinese culture one needs a title, it is built into the feudal social structure. So in public I will honor his choice and use the title, but in private we are simply friends without titles. This satisfies a fundamental human need for "untitled" companionship. It gets very lonely sitting on top of a pedestal created by other people's projections of your alleged "mastery".
Bottom line, call me Michael. "Mi-Ka-El" is an ancient Hebrew name that means "beloved of God". In my Way, "God" is just the whole or collective consciousness, and it loves everything it creates, including you and me. So Michael will do just fine to help spread that loving creativity around. And who knows, some archangel might even show up. cross-dressed as a Tao Immortal. :)
Here are my own internal rules, honored live and in all my Homestudy courses, which are just recordings of live trainings:
1. TEACH ONLY WHAT IS SIMPLE AND TRUE. In the books I wrote with/for Mantak Chia, some of the practices seem mentally complicated. I wanted to simplify them at the time, but did not always have final editorial control. In the many years since I wrote those books, my own practice has evolved towards the simple. The current Home Study courses were retaped many times, each time refining the practices to their simplest essence. I rigorously avoid the excess mental complexity present in some of the books, which seemed necessary to reach Western minds at the time.
2. NO SECRETS. Give students whatever they are ready to digest. The time for secrets is past. Many excellent Chinese teachers have unfortunately not yet realized this! The people I want to reach don't have the time or inclination to play this game of follow the leader, begging for secret drops of wisdom. I pour them on you, hoping you can absorb any part of them, and want you to become your own leader rather than my follower.
3. NO GURU OR MASTER TRIPS. Hierarchies of Ego Authority bore me and stifle creative chi flow. Spiritual Transmission can occur without developing co-dependent teacher/student relationships. I'm not interested in followers clinging to my shirt tail. The Life Force itself is the True Teacher, I am just a guide to help you develop your own relationship with the Life Force. We are all brothers and sisters on the continuous two-way journey between Source and Creation.
4. TEACH ONLY FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. Means no bullshit about level of personal attainment. I test every method thoroughly to make sure it works and is safe.
5. HAVE FUN!!! Playing with the chi field is meant to be fun. While refining the elixir, laughter is the best medicine. If you don't get the Cosmic Joke, it may get you. The Inner Smile is about getting the punch line before the joke is even told.
6. Product Warning: Consumers of Qigong/Chi Kung Home Study Courses may likely become a "Chi-aholic" and may be exposed to the epidemic "Mad Dao Disease" that has widely infected many students.
This question gets asked a lot, so best to answer it up front.
One major difference is my integrating qigong movements into the practice of each of One Cloud’s Seven Alchemy Formulas for Immortality. This happened organically, as I observed what worked and what did not over 25 years of teaching the practices. My extensive study of qigong and neigong (meditation) with dozens of masters led me to discover this was the most effective training method for Westerners.
My love for this work took me deeper into Taoist cosmology, and led me to explore the vast and rich texture of different Taoist pathways to self-cultivation. After testing innovative methods using a dynamic body-centered approach, I found ways to apply the Taoist theory of “shen gong”, or “spirit skill” to Western psychology and spiritual training. Shen gong is based on the five vital organ spirits. I feel it makes the health benefits of the Tao path - physical, psychological and spiritual – far more accessible.
I have endeavored to take the meditation practices into some new and profound directions. Every Taoist will have their unique experience of the chi field and express it according to their own nature.
Mantak Chia was the bridge across the Pacific Ocean for a powerful stream of Taoist teachings. He was a pioneer in bringing the elusive and secret alchemical practices to the light of Western minds. But Chia couldn’t do it alone – I helped him greatly by writing and editing his first seven books that put him on the map. And many others helped him found and build the Healing Tao organization in the early 1980’s. It was a collective effort.
I honor Mantak Chia as my “root” Tao teacher, although I studied with many masters after him. He is also a good personal friend for nearly 30 years. We have our differences, but these are always overshadowed by my gratitude to him for sharing the seven Tao alchemical formulas transmitted by Taoist hermit Yi Eng (One Cloud). Those seven formulas remain the solid infra-structure for my own teachings.
But when you get to a certain level of Tao practice, you experience the truth for yourself and it demands that you honor it and unfold your own path or “tao”. As a Westerner, I realized that the practices developed in ancient China need to be put into a fresh language and adapted to the psychic structure of Western body-minds. These marvelous practices and the profound Taoist cosmology need to be made more accessible and integrated into the Western phase of post-modern spiritual development.
What am I specifically talking about? Western emotional and sexual energetic bodies are very different from the Chinese. I feel Western INDIVIDUAL psychological understanding is more developed than it is for the Chinese. Orientals, by contrast, have a more developed sense of the COLLECTIVE will or integrated social mind of humanity.
I have witnessed many other differences emerge between Western and Chinese Taoists. These differences are expressed through karmic and ancestral influences, psychological archetypes, and a different sense of destiny at the soul level. These differences inspired to take Chia's One Cloud transmission to a new level of refinement and expression more suitable for Westerners. So this naturally led to some divergences with my Chinese-cultured teachers.
Over 30 years experience in teaching subtle energy methods.
Past President of the National Qigong (Chi Kung) Association for two terms. This is the umbrella organization for all the different qigong/chi kung schools, teachers, healers, & practitioners in the U.S.
Founder and Director of Healing Tao University summer retreat program (campus at Dao Mountain in New York's Catskill Mtns. The largest Tao arts program in the West, with a faculty of 20 master teachers offering 25 retreats every summer. (see www.HealingTaoRetreats.com)
Writer/editor of seven of Mantak Chia's books, best known as co-author of Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. Many other articles & book chapters, including Qigong chapter in Physician's Guide to Alaternative & Complementary Medicine.
Past Chairman of Healing Tao Instructors Association of the Americas for 9 years. They set and maintain standards for certification, ethics, issue a newsletter, etc. Member of the core group of original Senior Instructors that launched an organization that globally has certified close to 1000 instructors and brought the Tao teachings to hundreds of thousands of people.
Completed three year training in Classical Chinese Medicine with Jeffrey Yuen in New York City. Acupuncture, herbology, and Taoist energetic medicine.
Published a dozen home study courses using DVD and audio CD to train people in Taoist qigong and inner alchemy.
Michael Winn has been a key figure and pioneer in promoting qigong and Taoist meditation in the West since 1980. He was a two term President of the National Qigong (Chi Kung) Association • USA, the umbrella non-profit organization serving all qigong teachers, healers, and students. He continues to help organize the Annual NQA Qigong Conference each year, which keeps him in contact with high level national teachers and methods of qigong development in the West.
He was Chairman of the Healing Tao Instructor's Association of the Americas for nine years, a network of 200 qigong teachers affiliated with the Healing Tao system founded by Master Mantak Chia (abroad called Universal Tao). He founded in 1995 Healing Tao University in the New York Catskills; with 30 retreats it may be the largest offering of Tao Arts and Sciences in the world. Winn has taught internationally in Europe, Asia, and South America, as well as at major centers in the USA like New York’s Open Center and Omega institute.
Winn has published widely in the Empty Vessel, Qi Journal, and dozens of other publications. He co-authored the chapter “Qigong Therapy” in the Physicians Guide to Complementary & Alternative Medicine. He has been invited to present papers at numerous international scholarly conferences on Daoism (Taoism). The papers are posted on his website.
Winn has synthesized his studies with dozens of Tao masters and qigong systems into ten Tao home-study courses (audio-video) that use simple qigong movements to activate spontaneous experience of the energy channels used in inner alchemy meditation. In addition Winn edited or co-wrote seven books with Mantak Chia that propelled into public view in the West the formerly esoteric and hidden teachings of Taoist masters.
The Long Story
Note: this is an edited version of bio that first appeared in the Empty Vessel, Journal of Contemporary Taoism.
In 1980 Winn was one of Mantak Chia's first western students in Chinatown, New York. He played a key role in founding The Healing Tao in 1982 and directly wrote or heavily edited many of Mantak Chia's books on nei gong and qigong as General Editor of Healing Tao Books. His titles included Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao, the first book in English on the microcosmic orbit; Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy; Healing Love: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy; Iron Shirt Chi Kung; Bone Marrow Nei Kung; Fusion of the Five Elements: Meditations for Transforming Negative Emotion; and Awaken Healing Light of the Tao., an advanced study of the microcosmic orbit. Winn also edited a newsletter for Healing Tao instructors entitled From the Mouth of the Immortal Child.
The noted qigong master T.K. Shih lived in Winn's New York city apartment for two years in the early 80's: "I taught him English, and T.K. taught me how to move like a cat" is how Winn described their relationship. Winn studied with many other Taoist teachers, and edited B.K. Frantzis' Opening the Energy Gates of the Body. He studied qigong and ba gua with Frantzis, and the northern wu style tai chi as taught by David Dolbear, a Wu style gold medalist and lineage holder. "I waited ten years before choosing a long form. David got a transmission in Beijing that teaches tai chi as a form of alchemy, emphasizing the changes between jing, qi, and shen." He went on to study in Beijing with David teacher, Master Liu Jiang Chang.
Winn sees his life "as an alchemical journey flowing between outer adventures and inner adventures, a process of cultivating "my worldly life" and "my inner essence".
He travelled to 30 countries before the age of 17 and ran 35 whitewater rafting expeditions as a guide down the Grand Canyon by the time he graduated from Dartmouth College in l973 as a Senior Fellow with a degree in Russian/comparative literature. After a successful meteoric three year career in New York publishing he got fired "for being too creative".
He became a free lance war correspondent and adventure travel photographer that took him on 30 trips to another 50 countries in Africa, the mideast , and Asia from 1977 to 1985. His writings and photos appeared in the New York Times, Time, Smithsonian, Outside, Village Voice, Harpers, Connoiseur, People, Adventure Travel, National Jewish Monthly, and many others. National Geographic financed his rafting expedition in North Yemen.
Included in this wanderlust period was a four month journey across China tracing Marco Polo's footsteps. Winn, who is not Jewish, ran an underground railroad smuggling white American Jews into Ethiopia and black Jews out of Ethiopia into Israel. In 1981 in New York's Soho district, Winn opened Abyssinia, the first Ethiopian restaurant in America, and operated it successfully as a side business for 20 years.
While in Africa in 1978, Winn accidentally self-induced his first kundalini awakening, which led him to begin studying and teaching kundalini (hindu tantric) yoga in the late 1970's. This eventually led him to Taoist alchemy. "In college I studied comparative literature", Winn says, "and in real life I found myself training in and comparing the esoteric alchemical methods from different cultures."
He studied kriya yoga with Swami Hariharananda, successor in India to Paramhamsa Yogananda, and kept a close friendship with this yogi renowned for mastering the breathless state of nirvikalpa samadhi. He died recently at age 97. Winn edited his The Bhagavad Gita in the Light of Kriya Yoga. Winn notes that kriya yoga, the essence of all yogas, has many parallels to Taoist alchemy but "it's finally a pure fire path. The Taoist preference is to mix the fire and water, which is more accepting of the body."
Winn also studied Dzogchen and tantric Buddhist teachings from the Dalai Lama and other rinpoches in the 1980's. "Tibetan and Hindu Tantra is philosophically very similar to yin-yang theory, but in practice uses more mantra, mudra, and deity worship. Dzogchen is the closest brother to the Tao with its emphasis on cutting through quickly to the clear or original light. But I like the refining process in Taoist alchemy, the many practical connections they developed with Original Chi (yuan qi). Taoist alchemy is a shortcut, it focuses on direct relationship with the life force. When you combine alchemy with qigong, the effect is a super-charged Energy Body."
Winn also studied the Celtic approach to earth based spirituality with R.J. Stewart. "All the mystery schools are great", Winn commented. "The ancient Celts used a mirror approach to Taoist alchemy, they first connect to the outer five elements/directions and then work their way inside the body. This is the opposite of the Eastern way. I love all the ancient meditation systems, but finally you've got to focus your practice on one approach. Ultimately, I find Taoist alchemy to be the simplest, the most practical (body-centered) and the most complete."
He reached this conclusion after 25 years of studying and testing many different systems of qigong (chi kung), with dozens of teachers in the USA and China, both famous and unknown. He uses the Seven Tao Formulas for Immortality offered by the Taoist Hermit One Cloud (Mantak Chia’s teacher) as the superstructure for holding the immense knowledge and skill he has acquired.
Winn has continously integrated qigong and inner alchemy with the practice of Classical Chinese medicine. In a Chinese medical school, this would traditionally cover the four pillars: acupuncture & moxa, herbology, tui-na & chi nei tsang (massage), and qigong therapy. He organized several groups to study with the top medical qigong masters in the major Beijing hospitals with qigong clinics. He also completed a three year training in New York City wiht Jeffrey Yuen, who was classically trained in Chinese medicine as well as being an ordained Taoist priest. He considers Chinese medicine as a form of "external alchemy" that has its orgins in the practice of neidan gong or "internal alchemy".
His quest for deeper knowledge of the Tao has taken him to visit the sacred mountains of China nine times, where he has cultivated many friendships with Taoist adepts. He was the first to offer trips to China for western Taoists that included staying in caves on Huashan (Flower Mountain) used by Tao adepts for over three thousand years (of written history). The local Taoists arranged this after realizing that Winn was cultivating a serious lineage of Taoist practice amongst Westerners.
“The Chinese have a genius for boiling down everything to its core essence”, Winn notes. “ I have done the same with everything I’ve learned from all my teachers – I just keep cooking it down, refining it to its essence, and clarifying its practical application. It’s just my small part in the great collective process of the Tao. Somebody will take my refinements and improve on them. That is the experimental, evolving nature of Tao spiritual science. In fact, I hope they do it soon – I’d like to enjoy those improvements myself!”
Winn, who lives in a log home in the Blue Ridge mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina, maintains a private practice in qigong therapy and Taoist sexology. Winn is currently finishing a book on the energy science of how people can shape the life force to manifest what they truly need. The book is inspired by contact with a spiritual being who claims to have ascended with his body - at the age of 2,300 years old - into the "Stellar Mind", i.e. a full celestial heaven immortal.
He is also working on a book on Taoist internal alchemy, but claims he is “in no rush to finish it. I don’t want to put out books based on half-baked insights to make a quick buck. I’m happy to write just one high level, fully-baked book. A book based on genuine experience and that can actually be useful to others. It takes a few decades to really road-test inner alchemy and its potential interactions with qigong.”
Every summer Winn organizes what has become the largest qigong and neigong (Taoist meditation) program in America, at Dao Mountain, New York (near Pinebush in Catskill Mountains). It offers about 30 low cost, week long retreats on all aspects of Taoist meditation (with five full weeks of internal alchemy), qigong, oriental body work, Taoist dream practice, feng shui, sexology, Taoist astrology, qi healing, tai chi, tao yin (Taoist yoga), ba gua chuan, weight loss and medical qigong and more. He teaches a number of courses in the core Taoist internal alchemy & qigong curriculum, sometimes with his partner of 20 years, Joyce Gayheart.
It helps to keep clear what is spiritually free, and what costs money in life.
The Life Force itself is totally free, it is offering itself to you each moment. You can take as much chi as you are able to absorb, digest and then take responsibility for sharing it.. Entry of our soul into this body was free, nobody collected tickets at the door- womb entrance. In the same way, your inner being always remains free.
But spiritual methods and teachings,including physical products like videos or retreats that deepen your relationship to the Life Force - that is what costs money.
The people who want the products or teachings free usually did not get enough support from their parents or family when they were young, and are looking for someone to take care of them. They are really looking for a spirtual daddy or mommy who loves them for who they are, and wants to devote all their time and expense to showering love upon on them. This is a case of arrested development at the child stage.
Once you can transfer these projections onto the only parent who will always be perfect - the Life Force - then you will have the opportunity to achieve completion.
I sometimes hear this complaint from people living in certain European countries, where the welfare state gives away many free things. So they come to expect the same treatment from their chosen spiritual teacher. I would frankly love to give away my teachings if a government or a sugar daddy stepped in to ttake care of all the bills - with absolutely no strings attached. But none has yet. And I expect to be fully immortal long before the US govt. begins financing Taoist schools with no strings attached. I'd rather be a struggling non-profit that is free, than a rich slave to Uncle Sam or some demanding donor.
Money has its virtues. I feel it is much more balanced to have a clear energetic exchange with my students, even if the exchange is money for education. Otherwise, energetic debt can be created and fuzzy boundaries developed that are dysfunctiona for both teacher and student. So it is healthy to use money as a convenient boundary-marker. It doesn't have to be a symbol of greed or filth.
Money is considered by Taoists to be a form of water chi. Water needs to flow and circulate to stay healthy. Our relation to the economy is part of our relationship to humanity. The question is, is the relationship balanced and harmonious? Is there equal giving and receiving? We can legitimately need a lot of money if we take responsiblity for wisely spending/circulating it.
What about the complaint that my home study courses have turned alchemy and qigong training into a commodity, rather than the deep personal master-student relationship it traditionally was?
I think one-on-one teaching relationships are ideal. But they are also the reason why these profound internal arts in China are slowly dying. There is too much secrecy and not enough teachers open to sharing. It's the openness of Westerners that will cause qigong and alchemy to ultimately flourish in the West and surpass the skill level in China.
Just ask yourself: Why has Western technology become the dominant force on planet earth? The Chinese, up to the 15th century, were the leading developers of technology (compass, printing press, gunpowder, the wheelbarow, water clock, earthquake warning devices, etc.). Why did the West later surpass China? Because once they got past the stifling control of the Catholic church, the scientists published and shared their scientific advances with each other. And they paid for their research by selling their ideas in books. The sharing allowed others to grow and develop.
The same thing needs to happen with spiritual technology now. It has to be shared and subjected to public testing and experimentation. Then it will grow and with it, a spiritual wisdom will develop to balance our excessive fascination with material technology. We need both types of technology to evolve. But the growth of spiritual technology is lagging behind material technology. It needs to spread faster, and on a broader scale than one-to-one.
That costs money and requires the use of great modern technologies that the ancient did not have, like CDs and DVDs. The biggest single cost is not the overhead of staff and product production. It is marketing, which is another way of convincing people that they can actually change their body, their personality, and their soul using the combined spiritual technologies of qigong and internal alchemy. Of course, there are many other spiritual technologies available, and many of them are very good.But many of them are one-shot methods - chant this one mantra, do this one thing and get its benefit.
I am offering a very low cost progressive training program that is effective and comprehensive. It is a question of value. Most people are willing to blow $1500. on a one week vacation at the beach - but they balk at spending that much money to buy my entire home study program that would keep them busy expanding their consciousness and health for years.
Why? People have resistance to doing the hard personal work of self cultivation and transformation. It's easy to spend money on a nice meal, or a massage, or a vacation at the beach, or the latest technology toy. The benefits are immediate and easily received.
But if you buy a spiritual training, you have to work hard to get the benefit from the money. The fact that you are learning to gather what is most essential about life and health and that if successful, will survive death - is not calculated by the short-sighed personality.
That is why spiritual teachers in this culture are forced to market their wares if they want to grow their audience. Partly to pay the bills, and partly to get the attention of the overloaded consumer that a particular spiritual technology even exists for them to choose.
I am fine with all this, I accept the reality of this culture, and I don't let the money replace my love for the spiritual process of the Tao or for my students. If anyone feels they were hyped and the teaching material is not authentic , effective, and heart -centered, they can just return it!