Bruce Frantzis – Taoist Meditation Series for Covid-19 and other Life Stress

Master Bruce Frantzis of The Tao Space in Colorado offers the following series for Taoist Meditation lessons to help people deal with all the personal complications from managing the “new normal” that Covid-19 forced us all to consider.

Bruce is a unique teacher who is a recognized Master and lineage holder of many Martial Art, Taoist Meditation and Chinese “qigong/tui Na” medical body work systems from his extensive and in-depth training with masters of the internal Energy Arts in China, including his most influential teacher, Taoist Lineage Master – Liu Hung Chieh. His style is a unique blend of a young New York city tournament-level karate champion turned consummate researcher and master of the internal energy arts of ancient China.

The following are a series of approximately 1 hour each “lessons” of the Taoist Water Tradition meditation principles, applied to any significant traumatic Life events.

Dragon Tiger Medical Qigong – Boost Immunity
The Importance of Breath in Taoist Meditation
Do You Know What’s in Your Mind?
What Are Your Feeling Inside?
Putting Your Mind Inside Your Body
Breaking the Cycle of Abusive Impulses
Using the Mind to Penetrate the Body #1
Using the Mind to Penetrate the Body #2
Feeling Alive vs Feeling Numb
Recognizing an Energetic Blockage

Personal Qigong Testimony

Saturn and Uranus were combining in my chart in a way that spelled challenge for my back. For a couple months, on and off I would wake with a stiffness in my back, like either the long muscles along my spine or the smaller intercostal muscles had had enough and were protesting, going into a protective spasm. After I got out of bed and moved around a bit, I was my normal self, but that spinal weakness and complaint was still waiting there, hidden just below the surface of my regular activity.

I recently got the EnergyArts.com Heaven and Earth online study course. I had learned this wonderful, simple-looking, 2 part movement form many years ago, but it got put on the shelf – like so many wonderful things from an adventurous life. I have such gratitude that it has come along again now, at just the right time for me to dive into it much deeper than I had in the past.

Heaven and Earth qigong. A simple-looking 2 part movement anyone can do when they can find 6 square feet of space and a couple minutes of time…

john erik

The course is an 8-week smorgasbord, filled with basic body alignment and awareness training and 16 layers of interconnected fundamentals of alignment and conscious body movement subtleties applicable to any and all movement forms. Two simple-looking basic movements consisting of 14 distinct parts, layered with 16 neigung principles of biological movement and awareness. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Imagine now doing a simple 2 part movement, with 14 distinct sections and 16 layered neigung awareness and movement principles throughout – from keeping forearms parallel as they raise, to sensing the quality of blood and chi flow up or down, to feeling the lengthening of soft tissue, sinew and muscle from your qua extend through your belly and deep into your internal organs.

Immediately, after following along with the first week’s video instruction sessions, I could feel my soft tissues had softened and started to lengthen. In particular, there was more range of momennt in my shoulders and between my shoulder blades. My whole upper back was opening up, little pops and adjustments were happening and the stiffness in my back dissolving. I had “me” back again and that felt enlivening.

I was stunned at how powerful moving ones arms through a range of slow motion, keeping a particular flow of alignment, I was stunned at how effective that simple act was at opening my back and freeing up the muscular tension in my back. I was also relieved to have verified it was indeed muscular contraction, rather than disc compression or other serious malady that was giving me such bothersome discomfort.

Heaven and Earth qigong can be done in as little space as a bathroom stall. Though, doing it outdoors in Nature gives it a more profound dimension. You can do it in your house, beside your bed or crawl out of your tent – whereever you can command 6 or so square feet for a few minutes you can do this exercise and gain benefit. You can also do it much more subtly standing in line at a bank or grocery store or TSA queue.

Heaven and Earth Qigong and 16 Neigong Principles

The whole point of qigong (or “chi kung”) is to wake up your body—your flesh, your soft tissues, your nerves, your fluids—so that eventually you can feel the motion of your energy and your mind. When you can clearly sense with your mind inside your body and then consciously move the mind through your body, this is when powerful and dramatic transformations to your health and wellbeing can take place.

Some forms of qigong have many movements, each of which focuses primarily on a specific set of internal energy and physical movement principles. By the end of the movement form, you may have incorporated all of the 16 Neigung fundamental principles, but possibly no one movement in the form will include all 16 at the same time.

The Marriage of Heaven and Earth is singularly different in that there are only a couple movements you repeat over and over again and by doing so, it’s like the proverbial pealing the layers of an onion. First few times through the movement sequence, you focus on one of the 16 fundamental neigung principles till that is internalized and stable in you, then focus on the next one. Then you focus on both principles at the same time using the same basic couple movements till that amalgam is solid and internalized.

Next you perform the movements with another neigung concept till that is smooth, stabilized and internalized, then perform the two basic movements integrating all three neigungs clearly. The growing “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” becomes more profound and robust as you continually add a new neigung principle, establish that clearly, then integrate with the others.

It is said, one can hold “7 plus or minus 2” things in consciousness at one time, as a “chunk” (probably less if you are “trying” to multitask). Imagine what happens when you can have the experience of performing an perfectly integrated set of 16 neigung movement principles all at the same time, while repeating a simple, two movement sequence?

Qigong Videos

Please view the following two videos for an overview of the form and also how and why it is such a powerful and effective health promotion practice. Enjoy…

Introduction to Heaven and Earth Qigong
Overview of Health Benefits from learning and performing this set of exercises

After viewing the above videos, please feel free to Contact Me about classes and private lessons, should you wish to learn this form.

About John Erik

Journey from Karate to Internal Energy Arts

John Erik began martial arts training in college (studying Isshin Ryu Karate with Master Joseph Jennings). When he was introduced to Tai Chi as part of a stress reduction class, a whole other world opened for him. The ease of movement and peacefulness of Tai Chi more suited him than the tenseness and focus on “external strength” he experienced from karate (no offense to Master Jennings and karate)

He found his way to the Chinese Wushu Research Institute with Bow Sim Mark in Boston. In 1984, he traveled to China with her to participate in the 1st International Tai Chi Exchange/Demonstration Meeting in Wuhan. Students and teachers from around the world gathered together to demonstrate and exchange knowledge with some of the great Masters in China. It was a rare and memorable opportunity to get a taste of old China before its modernization.

In 1989, he meet Bruce Frantzis and decided to move to California to participate in one of Bruce’s first Wu Short Form teacher trainings. John taught numerous classes in the Bay Area and continued studying with Bruce at weekly classes, workshops and retreats. 

John Erik returned to Bruces training in Ba gua, Tai Chi, Qigong and Tui na in 2016 after a several year sabbatical and has again fallen in love with the Energy Arts 16 Nei Gung system. He is a certified instructor of the Wu Short form.

Therapeutic Bodywork

Taking what he thought was a 3 month break from computer programming, John Erik enrolled in a residential massage training certification program at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California in 1987. Instead, this began a very deep transformational process that took him to Norway and both East and West coast for the next year before landing back in Boston, leaving his corporate software programmer career to teach Tai Chi and offer professional therapeutic bodywork. During this time, he continued learning deep tissue (Postural Integration with Jack Painter), Polarity Therapy, Rebirthing, Myofascial Unwinding and various other Mind-Body modalities.

His bodywork style is a blend of deep tissue, good old fashion massage and more subtle “energy work”, very much informed by his training in tai chi and chi kung.

NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming

John received his initial NLP training at Tom Dotz’ NLP California and Master Practitioner training and certification with Carl Buchheit of NLP Marin in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. He co-formed the informal “NLP Intern Action Center” to give new NLP’ers a chance to practice with each other and also hosted brief presentations by practitioners of other personal change disciplines. This fun, experimental group’s purpose was to build community, build skills and experiment with how to integrate NLP with other personal change systems, while giving people opportunities to present in front of a group.

The unique combination of NLP, hypnosis training and seeing clients in private coaching and therapeutic bodywork sessions has given John Erik an ability to work with his students on a deeper, more personal level .