He likes pink tracksuits and whenever he appears in a suit, he is easily mistaken for a Thai businessman. But don’t be misled by appearances. Mantak Chia is an internationally recognized Master of Qigong and Taoist Meditation, the teacher and founder of the Universal Healing Tao. This complete system of meditation, energy healing, and qigong practices was created and systematized from the many masters he encountered as a child and young man.
When I first met Master Chia in 1981, he was in his 30’s but could have passed for 25. He was new to New York City and had a small office in Confucius Plaza in Chinatown where he had only Asian students. At a time when yoga had yet to penetrate mainstream culture and Taoist meditation was virtually unheard of, my Tai Chi teacher (who studied with him) introduced a small group of his students to Master Chia who called his work, “Taoist Esoteric Yoga”. I had never experienced anything like his teaching. It was fresh and often mind-blowing. Though I benefited from practicing Tai Chi, the feeling of “chi” was still mysterious and elusive. After one weekend seminar with Master Chia, my Microcosmic Orbit opened. The chi was flowing. I finally understood what the Taoists and Chinese medical people were talking about.
You mean I could do this myself? Without needles or massage? There was no turning back.
My curiosity about this new world of chi was insatiable. I followed his curriculum and was introduced to many new experiences and ideas that at that time were not available unless you went looking for them. With no internet, the only way to learn was to study “live” with a teacher. I considered myself incredibly fortunate to have found the real deal.
Perhaps the most unique were his teachings about sexual energy. At that time, no books on sex and spirituality, no Tantra. And here was a young Thai man talking about penises and vaginas the way people spoke about their arms and legs! For Taoists, sexual practices are healing practices, healing the self, healing relationships, and ultimately providing spiritual nourishment. As someone who came of age during the sexual revolution of the ‘60s, this was exciting stuff. Now his books on cultivating male and female sexuality are best sellers (Cultivating Female Sexual Energy, The Multi-Orgasmic Man, Sexual Reflexology, etc.) and spiritual sex is a hot topic (no pun intended!).
I attended the very first teacher training with Master Chia and became an instructor in 1983. His teachings have become integrated into my daily life and 40+ years later, I still learn from Mantak Chia and receive an energy upgrade every time I see him.
We shouldn’t take his presence here for granted. It’s been difficult to travel for the last few years and although Master Chia is a robust 79 years young, there is no guarantee that this will again become an annual event.
Still youthful, still exuberant and still an amazing teacher, don’t miss an incredible (and rare!) opportunity for intensive study with Master Chia, June 9-13, 2023 in NYC. His first world tour since 2019!