Tea During Ordination

Priest Yolanda and Priest Mitch in a tea ceremony during their ordinations in 2013. More »

The ADGL Priest Ordination Ceremony

Priest Tim and Priest Dominique being ordained in 2012. More »

The Altar of the 3 Pure Ones

The Jade Pure One, The Supreme  Pure One, & The Grand Pure One. More »

Daoist Tea Ceremony

Head Priest Shifu Rinaldini and Priest Tina during Daoist tea ceremony. More »

Attendees of the 2013 ADGL Retreat

Priets, Adepts, general members, and Qi Gong students of Head Priest Shifu Rinaldini attending the 2013 Retreat in Sebastopol, CA. More »


Journal writings from Shifu Michael’s next book – June 19, 2015

And now I want to return to my review of the book by Jill Gonet, Riding the Phoenix to Penglai. I previously mentioned how I appreciated the discussion around the topic of Anterior Heaven in Poem Two on page 32 and 33. Another important point Gonet makes a few pages later is on the need for detachment when one sets their goal on moving forward: “Forward momentum generates more forward movement, insight, and creation, and this reinforces the wellspring of one’s Qi and also nurtures it with good health and gratifying joy.” (Gonet 2014, p. 35)

Journal writings from Shifu Michael’s next book – May 29, 2015

A thought just popped into my head while I momentarily reflected on Riding the Phoenix to Penglai. I thought of why I was drawn to the zuowang method of meditation in the first place and certain Daoist and Buddhist scriptures which stress the absolute release of concepts, conceptual thinking and dualistic imagery, yes, even, Daoist dualistic concepts like yin and yang, heaven and earth and so on. So though the poems of Sun Bu’er have validity as guidance on the Daoist path, they still create more conceptual, and intellectual thinking instead of the opposite, the clear and empty state of mind receptive to the workings of the Dao.

Journal writings from Shifu Michael’s next book – May 27, 2015

I have slowed down my readings of the Gonet book, too many things on the burner right now. But here’s some notes I added to the margins of the Riding the Phoenix to Penglai.

On Poem Two I have several notes on Gonet’s use of the concept of “earlier heaven version of creation.” (Gonet 2014, p. 33) In my red marker I wrote Anterior Heaven above the earlier heaven text. That was my way of acknowledging the connection between this book and the Master Wu book (Daoist Meditation). Master Wu uses this concept extensively throughout his book in explaining the deep significance of Anterior Heaven as being identical to Emptiness, or Primordial Chaos. (Wu Jyh Cherng 2015, p. 33)

Journal writings from Shifu Michael’s next book – May 24, 2015

I came across an interesting article in the latest issue of The Empty Vessel magazine (Spring, 2015) a few days ago. It was an article on the female master Sun Bu’er, one of the seven Daoist disciples of Wang Chongyang, founder of the Quanzhen tradition during the 12th century. The article was interesting enough that I decided to find out more about the article’s author and the book the article came from.

Images from the 2015 ADGL Daoist Retreat

Images from the Daoist Priest Ordination Ceremony, 2015
Black Mountain Retreat Center, CA

Zuowang and Surpassing Pu

Jack Schaefer, acupuncturistIn 1998 I was practicing Zuowang meditation with a Tuina and qigong teacher of mine when I had a very interesting experience. It was during one of the regular weekly Zuowang classes that an interesting inspiration came to me with regard to a teacher, student and “pu” 樸 – the uncarved wood. During my meditation a vision came info my mind where I saw my teacher transform into the image of a knife and myself as piece of wood. After leaving class that night I contemplated the image of my teacher as a knife and I as a chunk of wood. I began to feel like it was about the teacher doing the work to shape the student into something. How wrong this point of view actually was.

A Reflection of the ADGL 2015 Retreat

nicole_stoneMy experience of the Wood Sheep retreat was one of shedding. It was my first retreat with shifu Michael and the ADGL community and going into it, I did not know what to expect. As a budding Daoist, I decided it was best not to expect anything. This opened up some space inside myself for discovery. What I found was quite a lot of things. At first, I noticed my strong desire to connect with others and ask so many questions. You see, for the most part, I have been studying qigong, TCM and Daoism in the privacy of my home, so being in a community of fellow enthusiasts was almost too much for me. I was bursting with desire to hear from others and share some of the fruits I have harvested in the last year. After I got the opportunity to connect with others, I began a process of slowly shedding– shedding the concern about my husband and son at home, shedding the desire to know more, shedding the need to belong, shedding the need to ‘get it right,’ shedding the grief from personal losses I’ve had in the past couple years, and more. There were times when this shedding felt painful, and other times when it felt joyous. Each part of the retreat helped me to shed more layers– the silence, the sitting, the ordination ceremony, the 24 hour meditation, the circle walking, the readings on Anterior Heaven, the qigong, the burning of our Joss paper wishes, the divination sticks, the tea drinking and poetry reading, the healing transmissions and simply chewing my food well– all of these things helped me shed more rigid layers so that I could touch a deeper inner well of silence. I ended the retreat feeling completely nourished, needing very little. Thank you.

Nicole Stone
Alameda Qigong and Meditation Teacher

Shifu Michael’s Journal Entry – 3.15.15

Shifu Michael Rinaldini

March 15, 2015
Wow, my 65th birthday flew by this past week. I am now really 65 years old. Congratulations to myself for this achievement.

Presently, I am trying to finish reading the book by Master Sat Hon from NYC who wrote a book on his cancer story. It’s called Healing Cancer with Qigong, One man’s search for healing, love and a cure for his cancer through complementary therapy. I plan to finish reading it today. In this insightful book on the fight to be cured from cancer using both traditional western medicine and the healing practices of qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine practices, Master Sat Hon weaves his story of his recovery back to health. His book even inspired me to learn the simple, yet powerful qigong walking exercise called the Gou Lin Healing Walk Qigong. I learned it easily, at least on the beginner’s level of understanding it, and even shared it with my Saturday qigong class. I mentioned that it is good to know even if they don’t have cancer, but at some point, someone they know may get cancer and they can then pass this knowledge onto them. And for now they can think of it as a way to practice spring cleansing qigong.

Spring Foods for the Chinese Solar Spring

On the Chinese solar calendar, Spring started on February 4th 2015, which is half way from the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The anxiously awaited arrival of spring signals the time of rebirth, renewal and growth, as the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen says “Spring grows.” What lay dormant and barren in the winter is now bursting forth with lush green growth. Fresh grass carpets the rolling hillsides and flowers are once again in bloom. In nature, this newly emerging life signals “new beginnings” which also applies to people. It is time for us to shake of the Yin energy of winter and its function of storage in the body changing to give expression to our Yang qi which leads to movement and growth. Spring awakens our senses; we feel rejuvenated, more alive and the urge to “get moving “is strong. The Neijing also says, “The Three Months of spring are called spring forth and display. Heaven and earth
together produce life.

Healthy Eating in Flow with Autumn: A Chinese Medicine Perspective

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, one key to a long life is living in harmony with nature and the four seasons. All living things on earth, including humans, are influenced by environmental and seasonal changes. Each of the four seasons has its own individual characteristics and rhythms that affect not only the external world but our internal world as well. According to the Huang Di Nei Jing, a core text of medicine in China, “Spring gives birth, Summer grows, Autumn harvests, and Winter stores.”