Lecture & Workshop Details
Friday | September 8, 2017
Jeffery Yuen | 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Alchemy and Herbs
For millennia, plants have been studied and cultivated for therapeutic and dietary uses. Throughout the evolution of plant medicine, alchemical properties of plants have been explored. As humanity has evolved, the plant kingdom has mirrored our evolutionary path via their own alchemical processes. In this class, Jeffrey Yuen will guide students in the use of plants for internal alchemy. We will discuss the divine messages that are hidden within plants and gain the wisdom to unlock their deeper curative powers. Specific herbal preparations and treatment strategies will be discussed.
Livia Kohn | 3:45pm - 5:45pm
The Power of Spirit: Modern Physics and Applied Kinesiology
Spirit is the subtlest aspect of qi, the pure, primordial power of the universe that connects us to the root of creation and allows us to open the ultimate state of perfection. In traditional Daoism, described as moving faster than the speed of light and flowing through our lives as "consciousness spirit:, it is mediated by the heart-and-mind and tends to get clouded by passions and emotions. In its individual expression closely related to concepts of "inner nature and destiny", it also gets distorted by artificial superimpositions, such as judgements and beliefs.
Modern physics describes spirit as an energy state of special unitary symmetry, which involves an infinite number of infinitesimal strings engaged in continuous integrated transformation. Dominant during an earlier stage of cosmic evolution, it underlies all known reality and can still be accessed by people today. In addition, spirit can be measured and modified with the help of behavioral kinesiology that uses muscle testing to access the subconscious mind and opens venues toward its enhanced realization.
Saturday | September 9, 2017
Jeffery Yuen | 8:15am - 10:15am
Alchemy and Essential Oils
Considered the Jing-essence of the plant kingdom, Essential Oils are responsible for the genetic unfoldment of the plant. In this class, Jeffrey Yuen will guide students through a deeper understanding of essential oils. Master Yuen will introduce essential oils in order to weave a deeper understanding of our own spiritual cultivation. Attendees will gain knowledge of some essential oils that can be utilized with visualizations which can offer valuable insight into the process of spiritual refinement.
Jeffery Yuen | 10:30am - 12:30pm
Transformation from the Shang Qing School of Daoism
Daoist texts allow the Chinese Medicine practitioner to cultivate a deeper relationship with Chinese Medicine. The Shang Qing (Upper Clarity) tradition and its canonical texts are an important pillar in the understanding of alchemy. In this class, Master Yuen will highlight the subtle messages of ancient Daoist texts in order to elucidate the virtues of spiritual cultivation. Through the profound insights of the Dao Zang, Master Yuen will guide students through a deeper understanding into the interrelationship of the energies of heaven and earth which becomes the basis for understanding Chinese medicine as illuminated through the Shang Qing tradition.
Livia Kohn | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Why Visualization Works: The Inner Smile and Cell Biology
Visualization is the active, intentional use of imagery to alter or transform mind and emotions. Objects can be colors, static objects, or entire sequences. Visualization is the major mode of traditional Daoist meditation, with a central focus on the five inner organs. Early sources include Heshang Gong’s commentary to the Daode jing, a practice manual related to the Taiping jing, and the Daoyin jing. Within Highest Clarity Daoism, visualization appears in the form of the Five Sprouts as well as in body gods as described in the Huangting jing. In internal alchemy, it is a preparatory practice; in contemporary Daoism it appears dominantly as the Inner Smile. All modes have in common that they utilize colors, transform emotions and identity, and have a major effect on physical health. How does this work?
The use of color relates to chromotherapy, a way of directing energy of a particular wavelength into specific areas of the body-mind, effective in cancer treatment, interior design, and advertising. The benefits of visualization to health and self-connect to cell biology and epigenetics, the study of the molecular mechanisms by which environment controls gene activity. We send brain impulses to our cells—hardwired instinctual patterns, automatized and subconscious patterns, and conscious commands—and activate them accordingly. The more we send relaxed and positive stimuli, the more we move them into a growth response, thereby optimizing health and well-being. Practicing Daoist visualization thus increases immune resistance and enhances health, eases tensions and opens the person to happiness and limitless abundance.
Sunday | September 10, 2017
Wu Dang Chen | 8:15am - 10:15am
Ren vs. Xian: Take Charge of Your Own Destiny
Ren, Human being has been reincarnating for thousands of years. Life after life, people suffer from desire and greed from our material world living in a cage and struggling for freedom. Xian is the Immortal from the world of void. Ren was once the immortal, and still holds the DNA of immortality. Can you understand the way of cultivation from Ren to Xian? Daoism holds the secrets of cultivation from the beginning of mankind. Come to this special lecture to understand the destiny of Ren and hear the call from your inner spirit. The ancient techniques of focusing on the integrative power of the third eye lead to profound healing possibilities.
Livia Kohn | 10:30am - 12:30pm
Forget or Not Forget? The Neurophysiology of Zuowang
A key Daoist meditation practice is zuowang 坐忘, literally “sit and forget” or, more formally, “sitting in oblivion.” Undertaken in a seated position, it requires a stable physical alignment which allows the release of the mind and the self. However, just what is it that we are releasing? How are we supposed to do that? What exactly goes on in the brain? What does “forget” really mean? Looking at the structure of the brain and the various levels and functions of memory, it becomes clear that zuowang does not mean forgetting everything by deactivating the hippocampus and set neurological channels and connections, and thus becoming essentially helpless. Rather, it is a systematic reprogramming of the lateral amygdala, the seat of fear memory, and its central nucleus, the locus of fear expression, thereby reconditioning the contour map in the brain that guides perception toward a fresher, more open way of living.
The practice itself then can be described as a form of inhibition training, learning to avoid fear and other negative responses by adopting the position of a detached observer. The most potent way of doing this, in turn, is by focusing on something higher than oneself—Dao, God, Heaven, love, life, or the universe. Doing so, we place reality in perspective and switch from survival to openness, from anxiety to confidence, from blind reaction to positive action, from discrimination to oneness. The key to the process of zuowang is thus not forgetting but inhibiting, not letting go but learning to be open, not doing away with body and mind but centering in the calm center of the brain.
Wu Dang Chen | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Harmonizing the Fire and Water Uniting Xing and Ming: Taming the Dragon and Tiger
Long Men School of Daoism offers the way of cultivation of immortality by cultivating Xing and Ming, united fire and water, taming the dragon and tiger. This lecture will explain the theory and concept of internal alchemy from an experienced, authentic Long Men Daoist Priest.
Monday | September 11, 2017
Lindsey Wei | 8:15am - 12:15pm & 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Wudan San Feng Eight Immortals Staff: 61 Movements Form
For her Breakout Sessions throughout the week, as well as a full day workshop on Monday, Lindsey Wei will be introducing Kung Fu staff basics, as well as special signature movements of the legendary Eight Immortals of Daoist lore. The Eight Immortals were a group of eccentric beings, said to have emerged in the Tang or Song dynasty, each having ascended to immortality and developed magical abilities. One of the most well-known of the eight, perhaps, is Lu Dong Bin, founder of the Chun Yang sect, carrying a sword on his back and a gourd full of wine.