My Wedding Photos atop China's Mt. Hua
2012 China Dream Trip Photos

Healing Tao USA

Chi Flows Naturally
by Michael Winn



Has the Tao of love dared new heights? Marriage of Jem and Michael a few feet from a 3000 foot cliff. Jem picked the spot - as close to the edge as possible - atop China's 7,000 ft. Mt. Hua...I love this adventurous woman!                                                   

Dear Lovers of the Way of Love,

   Blessings on this Black Water Dragon Solstice to all! This is a particularly intense peak in Nature's cycle -- essentially a Fire Dragon Day in the middle of a Water Dragon Year. I did ceremonies today in which I invited the Red Fire Dragon to inhabit me completely, much as I invited the Black Water Dragon to enter my body on Chinese New Year's.

If you want to do high level alchemy in your ceremony, and have the skill, you'll get the Fire and Water Dragons to copulate and birth a powerful new energy for your Inner Sage. This is essentially the energy of Greatest Water & Fire (Kan & Li), aka Planetary and Soul Alchemy. Another way to describe it: Mother Earth is opening the deepest and darkest parts of her womb to Father Sun to enter and fertilize.

Summer Solstice is the time for ripening and bringing things to maturity, so this ceremony is most effective if aligned with that kind of intention. (see Summer Solstice Ceremony Instructions: Capturing the Divine Fire: You may need to re-register and get a cookie to open these article links.

It is an auspicious time to kick off our Tao Summer Retreat program, which begins tomorrow. We are accepting last minute bookings for some courses that have room. Call Tynne (registrar) at 828-575-3825.

Commuters are welcome, it's only a $100. facility fee instead of $495 for a week's room/board/facility. The retreats are listed below for your convenience. If you want to ground your spiritual path, get healthy and have fun with a really great Taoist community, for low cost - a summer retreat is the ticket for you.

Many thanks for the hundreds of emails offering Jem and I nuptial blessings - your loving presence was felt strongly on our June 3 ceremony atop Flower Mountain. It was the climax of a 3 week China Dream Trip into Taoist sacred mountains and caves with a wonderful group who bonded deeply, creating a secure cauldron for our wedding.

In the ceremony we invited all souls to dive into the ocean of divine love, flowing from what Taoists call Tai Yi, the Great Oneness. It was powerfully broadcast from Flower Mountain's highest peak, on what I feel is China's most powerful Taoist mountain.


L: Chen Tuan statue, famous 10th cen.Taoist adept of inner alchemy and dream practice, at the base of Flower Mountain, China's oldest recorded Taoist mountain and famed for its immortals. The tiny tip of West Peak is visible in the background. We ascended in the morning from this statue and had the wedding at sunset on top.

R: Jem with her new "sisters-in-love" (to replace the boring "in-law") Robin Winn and Yarrow Walsh - all theme dressed in pink, halfway up the ascent on our wedding day. Just to GET to the wedding was a challenge - everyone had to hike up to South Peak, Huashan's highest point where we married. It is hidden behind West Peak.


L. Yes, DRAGONS and IMMORTALS did show up! One of them in the form of a Black Water Dragon dance by Hilde Broeckhove. Alison Downey (rear) officiated the ceremony, which included group ritual performance of Wu Ji Gong, aka Primordial Qigong or Tai Chi for Enlightened Love. (My book on this is still coming - but I apparently had to re-live the chapter on Qigong & Energetic Love first!)

R. Jem plays on Huashan's famous cliff boardwalk, located 300 feet immediately BELOW our wedding site. It is said a Tao immortal who could fly first created this path, as there was no way to climb sideways with rope 1000 years ago.                              


L. Jem's gold ring, designed by her, has a vesica piscis (two circles intersecting halfway, a symbol used in Tao inner alchemy meditation), embedded with an amethyst, diamond, and emerald. They signify the flowing Life Force's trinity (yin, yang, and yuan chi).

R. Do we look happy? YESSS!!!! We are deeply grateful to find a soul mate aligned on all three levels (personality, soul, and oversoul-spiritual destiny). A key aspect of our love is mutual desire to consciously conceive, birth, and raise a divine love child as part of our alchemical service to the Tao. Photo: Mike Teeters


L. My bride wakes up in our honeymoon suite: 3 nights in a hard, granite cave. We loved the emptiness! Just us and the spirit of the mountain. This is the same "Snow Flower Cave" I spent a week in bigu (no food, no water) in 2002. Read that article - one of my best - at:

R. Back wall of our cave had an altar with a painting of Lao Tzu - the only decor, and the perfect inspiration as I read my tatttered copy of the Tao Te Ching in the cave.

Jem and I spent 3 days in a cave after the wedding, the first phase of our honeymoon. (Second phase will be a raft trip down the Grand Canyon this summer). A cave doesn't sound romantic, but for two souls joined on an alchemical path it was perfect. Here is Jem's experience:

During our cave honeymoon, a smiling female immortal in dark purple robes visited my meditations three times. The first visit, she gave me a hexagram and told me the trail to climb to a powerful meditation spot up the mountain. I followed the trail the next day, and found the same hexagram carved into the stone stairs -- one that bodes well for the longevity of our marriage! I meditated with her at the summit, deeply grateful for the blissful solitude of being in nature, then returned to our cave, where I was equally grateful to share loving silence with Michael.

On the immortal's next visit, she reminded me that I've been a hermit in the mountains before; it's easy for me to be at peace alone in nature, in deep yin. This lifetime, she told me, my evolution depends on bringing the peace within myself, the peace of natural harmony, back into the world -- to my family and community. It will be much more challenging for me, especially in partnership with so much yang, but she says it is my destiny, and the best choice I could make. I knew that, of course, when we agreed to marry a year ago, but it's always nice to have an immortal confirm it! I left the cave feeling the strength and integrity of my lower dan tian aligned with the love in my heart, perfectly content to return to the world and embark on the journey of marriage. - Jem

Many newsletter readers will recall my quest for a "dark goddess" that I saw in vision shortly after my last wife Joyce Gayheart ascended to her Flower Heaven, helped along by a brain tumor in 2008. (You can read an account of our soul merger after she left her body: On Loving the Death of My Wife: Shijie: Taoist Liberation from the Corpse 

I made a pilgrimmage to Flower Mountain shortly after Joyce's death, and had a locket engraved with a vow, "I marry a Dark Goddess". I locked it to a chain atop Mt. Hua and then went looking for that dark-haired goddess with Deep Yin Presence. To find such a woman and marry her atop Flower Mountain 4 years later gives me a very deep feeling of completion. Those 4 years were a very long journey that taught me much about what is important in a marriage focused on family and chldren.  

Jem and I have a natural alchemical transformative effect on each other. This is both a blessing - the boon of effortless love - and a huge responsibility. All the chi and love generated in multiple dimensions must be put to work. We both have visions about how that will play out, but ultimately of course it is a wu wei process, totally spontaneous.


2012 Summer Retreats - IT's NOT TOO LATE!!!

Enjoy fantastic teachers at prices subsidized by the non profit Dao Alchemy Research Institute. Tuition costs are the same as 5 years ago! Choose one retreat each week, and get discounts for multiple signups, junior or seniors, instructors or foreign travellers.

Deep Organ Massage with Karin Sorvik has helped many find a solid income with this powerful method. Her Taoist Yoga and Dream Practice course is totally unique and cosmic. Tina Zhang's Earth Qigong for Women is a special practice she learned in China that puts the power of Chinese medicine to work for women in a simple, effective, grounded way.

Kazzrie Jaxen is introducing her inspired Earth Beauty Qigong on a weekend only course that put you in sync with the planetary rebirthing.

Frank Allen is one of the top bagua teachers in the West, with 40 years experience. He teaches the secrets of I Ching Meditation as a movement practice. Judith Poole has extraordinary toolkit for self-healing in her Energy Psychology + Energy Medicine, and has helped many souls in crisis.

Minke de Vos' Sexual Energy Yoga and Tao Basics will put you on the path to instructor certification and give you essential skills. Marie Favorito's Fusion-Rooting and Tai Chi Qigong courses are refined to perfection after decades of teaching.


Our retreat campus on Mars Hill (20 min. from Asheville NC) is the perfect place to cultivate Nature's chi. We are surrounded by magnificent trees and a natural bowl of Blue Ridge mountains.

for more info, visit: or call Tynne at 828-575-3825

2012 Retreats - Register Online Here

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Retreat Code
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information about the Retreat
Dates Instructor(s)
China Dream Trip
TCH12-00 China Dream Trip 2012 May 18 - June 08, 2012 Michael Winn
Tao Family
Heavenly Mountain Retreats Week 1
Medical & Spiritual Qigong: Fundamentals 1-4 June 22 - June 27, 2012 Michael Winn
Primordial Tai Chi + Healthy Bones Qigong + Open Psychic Channels
Wuji Gong, Bone Marrow Neigong & Macro-cosmic Orbi
June 22 - June 27, 2012 David Twicken
Medical Qigong for Energy Healers June 22 - June 27, 2012 Minka de Vos
Qigong Fundamentals: Levels 1 & 2 Weekend June 22 - June 27, 2012 Michael Winn
Heavenly Mountain Retreats Week 2
Healing Love: Taoist Sexual Secrets June 28 - July 03, 2012 Michael Winn
Minka de Vos
Fusion of Five Elements 1 & 2 + Iron Shirt Rooting June 28 - July 03, 2012 Marie Favorito
Chinese Yoga/Tao-Yin, Dream Practice & Star Gazing June 28 - July 03, 2012 Karin Sorvik
Heavenly Mountain Retreats Week 3
Chi Nei Tsang 1: Deep Organ Massage July 05 - July 10, 2012 Karin Sorvik
Tai Chi 13 Move Short Form 
+ Tai Chi 2 Fast Fighting Form
July 05 - July 10, 2012 Marie Favorito
Tao Basics & Sexual Energy Yoga July 05 - July 10, 2012 Minka de Vos
Inner Sexual Alchemy: Lesser Kan & Li
Get Pregnant with your Inner Sage
July 05 - July 10, 2012 Michael Winn
Heavenly Mountain Retreats Week 4
Chi Nei Tsang 2 & 3: Opening the Wind Gates
Body as the IChing; Rebirthing Self.
July 11 - July 16, 2012 Karin Sorvik
Energy Medicine & Energy Psychology July 11 - July 16, 2012 Judith Poole
Sun-Moon Alchemy: Greater Kan & Li
Heal Ancestoral Bloodline
July 11 - July 16, 2012 Michael Winn
See Retreat 4A Weekend - Earth Beauty Qigong July 13 - July 15, 2012 Kazzrie Jaxen
Heavenly Mountain Retreats Week 4weekend
Earth Beauty Qigong
Reconnect! Creation in Womb = Creativity in World
July 13 - July 15, 2012 Kazzrie Jaxen
Heavenly Mountain Retreats Week 5
Bagua Zhang as Moving I Ching Meditation July 17 - July 22, 2012 Frank Allen
Earth Qigong for Women July 17 - July 22, 2012 Tina Zhang
Star Alchemy: Seal the 5 Body Spirits
Unite Soul with Oversoul
July 17 - July 22, 2012 Michael Winn


more China Dream Trip photos 2012


L. Capturing Dragon Chi on the Great Wall. R: Crane Qigong at Alchemy House Taoist retreat (Golden Flower village), where we stayed 3 days, inside Tao Immortal Huang's temple.


L: Teachings on the Way of Immortality by Master Shi, head Taoist monk in Jinhua, and close student of Wang Li Ping. R: chart of inner alchemy, showing relationship of directions, seasonal cycles, I Ching trigrams and hetu and luoshu ancient number diagrams.


L: Stone outcrop resembles a dragon's head, for which the cave is named.
R: Jem moves spontaneously into a dragon pose in Double Dragon cave, with a giant waterfall and fairies (colored balls of light) dancing about her.


Tang Dynasty (6-9th centuries) dancing mixed with impressive Chinese Hollywood staging in Xian theatre.

I performed a wedding on Huashan's Central Peak for a couple that met on Mt. Hua on a 2006 Dream Trip. A Taoist monk was so impressed by the ceremony he invited us into nearby Temple of the Jade Maiden for further ceremonies! This was a true East-West exchange.


L: Jem supports my vision of building a replica of the Temple of Heaven in North Carolina at my future retreat center. Please send some chi to support that manifesting, NOW!

R: Public plaza at base of Three Pure Ones Mountain. Jem had to dance the dynamic trigram flow.

Empty Vessel grows Full!

I posted in my last newsletter about the Empty Vessel, but failed to mention their new website and digital magazine versions now available.

Please visit the new website at where you can download full color versions of The Empty Vessel: The Journal of Daoist Philosophy and Practice.

The Empty Vessel is a quarterly publication (since 1993) exploring Daoist philosophy and practice in daily life. In Daoism we can find a way of being, a way of accepting, a way of working with change rather than against the changes that life may bring us. Wonderfully illustrative texts such as the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) and Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) offer inspiration, illumination, and expedient advice on life, death and all that lies between. In Chinese medicine we can find cure and comfort for many modern and not-so-modern ills and complaints. With Daoist health practices such as qigong (chee gong) and taiji (tai chi) we can find ways to stabilize and balance our bodies, allowing us to lead long-lasting and healthy lives. Daoist sexual practices can guide us gracefully through the tricky and often dangerous labyrinth of human sexuality. And the practice of feng shui can help us align ourselves with our inner and outer environment. Nei Dan or Internal Alchemy practices can help us reach deeper levels of self-cultivation and spiritual harmony.

With feature articles, essays, art and poetry and interviews with well-known authors and teachers, The Empty Vessel explores the philosophy and practices  that have come down to us from the ancient achieved masters.

A free subscription gets you the Summer 2011 issue free so you can see what we are about, as well as many articles from past issues and other perk.. A paid subscription ($24 per year) gets you each issue of the magazine in full downloadable color as well as other perks such as in-depth articles and interviews, ebooks, guided meditations, music, video and more.

Dancing the Way of Love



We ended our wedding ceremony atop Mt. Hua the same way we first met: dancing ecstatically into the sunset!


Dancing the Way of Love,

Michael Winn

"Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Virtue as his home,
the Tao as his door, and who becomes change -- is a
Sage." -- Chuang Tzu, Inner Chapters

"The Tao is very close, but everyone looks far away.
Life is very simple, but everyone seeks difficulty."
-- Taoist Sage, 200 B.C


            Lake view from Golden Flower Temple (Jinhua, China)

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