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Nurturing Inner Light

Amidst the Darkness

Nurturing inner light amidst the darkness

by Dr. Mao Shing Ni 

Since the advent of patriarchal society the recurring theme of human history is rife with armed conflicts and near complete annihilation. These and all conflicts are reflective of the darkness in our world and stems from a lack of light that risks plunging the world and our lives back into the dark ages, this time not from religion but rather, the extreme polarization of political ideologies and the resulting totalitarian actions that pits the West against the East.

The consequences of this military, technological and economic standoff is obvious—inflation, recession and social unrest and worse, starvation, death and disease. How do we bring more light to the dark times we are experiencing now? By acknowledging and practicing the feminine virtues of care-taking, cooperation and family and community-building. Individually, we need to work on discovering, nurturing and growing our own inner light through spiritual cultivation.

Only through our own individual actions and calls to awaken the light in others, can we restore the light in the dark world through enlightened wisdom that promotes cooperation instead of competition among people and regeneration instead of depletion of Mother Earth. We can change the world, improve the human condition and prevent the onset of the dark age, only if we act now and that action begins with cultivating our inner light. 

Join us for the 2023 annual retreat as we immerse in, evolve and experience the dawning of inner light within ourselves and diminish the darkness in the world

2023 College of Tao Retreat

"Nurturing Inner Light Amidst the Darkness"

Temescal Canyon April 18-April 23, 2023 

Connect your Spirit with Nature and embrace the

Gentleness and Serenity of the Water Rabbit year

It's time to nurture your Yin Qi by cultivating Inner Light

You are cordially invited to attend the 2023 College of Tao Retreat in the beautiful, natural setting in Temescal Canyon, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. on April 18-April 23  


Click here to Reserve Your Space  

Regular price $ 675.00

Early Bird Special $ 540.00 

Be the first to save 20% with only a $ 100.00 Deposit now.

Balance of $440.00 due by February 1st 2023

(20 % Special expires Oct 31, 2022)

Onsite accommodations - Additional fee

Retreat & all organic meals included

For more information contact

Enjoy peaceful walks in nature, Inspiring talks by:

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, Dr. Dao ShingNi,

John Barber, Phillip Christman, Barbara Wolff

 Self Healing Qi Gong, Wu Dao, Cosmic Tour Bagua, Dao In, Eight Treasures, Harmony Tai Chi, I Ching ,

 Integral Health & Nutrition, Healthy Organic Cuisine,

Sharing and Community.

Featuring two of our Retreat Teachers

Barbara Wolff

For over 20 years, Barbara has been facilitating classes in the chi kung and tai chi forms of the Ni family lineage and Integral Way Tradition.  She combines her extensive experience as a senior instructor with her skills as a Feldenkrais practitioner, offering a unique, highly effective and joyful approach to learning these energy enhancement movement forms forms Barbara also facilitates the Sisters of the Integral Way, a woman’s group dedicated to bringing forth the natural wisdom of feminine virtue that is essential to realizing true peace and harmony within our life.

Phillip Christman

Director College of Tao

Dean Path Life Coaching

Phillip first became accomplished in Eight Treasures,Tai Qi, and other Qi practices from the Ni family in1989, and created a school in Atlanta where he taught for years.He also has many years of study and Mastery in Shaolin Martial Arts.  He also holds an MA in Organizational Management and has completed the MIT Executive Program in Business Dynamics.  

During the Retreat he will be instructing Eight Treasures Immersion and Wu Dao Enlightenment.

Bring Peace and Tranquil Balance into your Life,

Join us at the 

2023 College of Tao Retreat 


"Do you think that peace can be brought by conflict? The solution for the world is for each individual to grow their Inner Light and see the spiritual reality in themselves and the world. This is the mission I choose: this is the work I do. I am just a student of the ancient developed ones. I do not have higher achievement. I have put together all my learning from them in different books as contributions of the sages, if you agree, each book can be a light source, an illuminator which can help kindle our inner light."   


                          Guide to Inner Light by Hua Ching Ni , P155-156

This is what you will see in this bimonthly issue.

Classes and Events

Alpine Retreat for Regeneration & Renewal

Feng Shui

Advanced Traditional Practice Program

Eight Treasures Course

Amira's class

Monthly Features and Groups

Sunday Renewal

Tao of Life Tele-study with Dr. Dao

Teachings of Hui Neng Reading Group

Sisters of the Heavenly Way

Brothers of the Heavenly Way

Taoist Horoscope

High Energy Days

Stems and Branches

Lao Tzu Zoom Study Group

Sunday Reflections

Early Bird & COT discounts now until August 15

Space is limited for this all-inclusive retreat. Join Dr. Mao in the Swiss Alps by reserving your spot today.

Alpine Retreat for Regeneration & Renewal 

with Dr. Mao Shing Ni

September 4-7, 2022

Nourished by this beautiful Swiss setting and inspired by Dr. Mao, we will explore time-tested meditative exercises reaching the core of life, receive gentle coaching in our contemplative experiences, and exchange meaningfully in the warmth of our retreat group. Using I Ching, Feng Shui, and tai chi principles for life guidance, qigong healing, and self-transformation, we strengthen our self-balancing power, rejuvenate our vitality, and awaken our universal compass leading toward a healthy, harmonious life.

Dr Mao will in particular present a Taoist rejuvenation secrets of Harmony Tai Chi and Dao-In. As we return from the retreat to our daily life, we may come to enjoy peace and renewed productivity irrespective of ever-changing external circumstances.

Dr Mao will see patients in Geneva on Saturday September 3 rd to sign up:


The Feng Shui School online program will be starting in the middle of September; Check our website  - program and registration details to follow shortly - stay tuned

Advanced Traditional Practice Program August Instruction.

There will be instruction on ZOOM in the esoteric practices of the Ni family called The Advanced Traditional Practice(ATP) Program on August 6-7, 2022. Instruction is open to those who are College of Tao Mentors or those who have completed International Taoist Meditation Institute (ITMI) Level 3.

This is an opportunity to discover and practice the 36 Level program of spiritual practices unique to the Integral Way tradition. Please click on this link : 

For more information about the ATP program 

to learn more about ATP and the program requirements. It is especially recommended to read the Ch. 19 of Universal Path of Natural Life, by Hua-Ching Ni. A PDF document is available upon request. The application process must be completed by August 3, 2022. New participants in the program should begin the application as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact me with questions:

“The esoteric teaching is not a matter of merely giving or receiving information, it is a matter of totally plunging your life into the universal energy." Hua-Ching Ni


Peter Stege

ATP Director

Eight Treasures Qi Gong

"Practice of the Eight Immortals"

Senior Instructor - Edward Sullivan

This Energy conducting exercise originated from the Eight Immortals during the Han Dynasty and was passed down through many generations of the Ni Family. The practice is well refined and it's effects are deep and far-reaching. It is an effective way to lengthen your years and can be practiced by anyone at any level of fitness. It is based on the natural motion of the heavenly bodies. It integrates the body with the mind and spirit.

Qi gong specifically combines breathing techniques, simple movements, postural training and mental imagery to guide the flow of energy. 

  • Releases tension and stimulates vitality,
  • Promotes self-healing within the body
  • Strengthens the immune system against the onset of disease and imbalance. 
  • Clears stagnation creating a smooth flow of energy
  • Can assist in uplifting and balancing your mind and emotions
  • Can assist in increasing spiritual awareness and enlightenment 

8 Week Course= $80

only $10.00 per class


Aug 1st-Sept 26

7pm-8 pm Pacific Time 

(No Class Labor Day Sept 5)


the Zoom Link will be sent to you.

If you have any questions please contact

The Best Short Prayer for Self-Help.

The mind needs to shield itself from emotional attachments, and be alone when there are overwhelming pressures. At those times, we can use short prayers or invocations to help ourselves. After reviewing numerous magic words, incantations and prayers, I offer the following short prayer for such occasions. It’s effect is greater when it is recited several times, either silently or out loud.

   Wo Tse Kon Chon; Tse Wo Chon.

    I am in the pure light; the pure light is in me.

The Five Healths for a New Humanity, Hua-Ching Ni & Mao Shing Ni, 219-20

?               for registration:                   


with Dr. Mao, James Tuggle &

COT Ministers of the Integral Way

Every Sunday at 7 am PST, you are invited to join via Zoom in a spiritual renewal ceremony facilitated by the Ministers of the Integral Way, including Drs. Mao Shing Ni, James Tuggle, Barbara Wolff, Ed Sullivan and others…followed by a talk on how to apply the wisdom of the Integral Way to the Five Healths—healthy body, mind/spirit, relationship, work and finance. This service is free for the

College of Tao community.

Friends and family are welcome.

Join Zoom Meeting

Password: 006090

Meeting ID: 136 428 813

Dial by your location  

Find your local number:

Master Ni, Hua-Ching, the 37th-generation practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as Taoist Healing Arts, has written many well-known books on spirituality. Led by Dr. Dao, our monthly tele-study group is open to everyone. There is a wide range of experience in this group from newcomers to long-term participants. Together, we will explore Master Ni’s writings.

Participants take turns to select a passage from his books so that as a group, we can delve into the meanings of his writings and

how we can apply this knowledge into our daily lives.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2022 | 5:30 - 6:30 PM PST

Zoom Live Audio Event

This month’s selection is from Kelly Johnson, the book Guide To Inner Light by Hua Ching Ni, P8-15. There is a description about the Tan Tiens and the various energy centers, or partners of each human."Also, on page 13 he states"Once a person dies, their life energy returns to the next generation and this continues with the following generations"

Can a person offset the negative impact of ancestral lineage through the study of positive book material, the practice of meditation, and chi exercises alone? Is there more information available on this topic to illuminate this experience of energetic ancestral inheritance more fully?

Book Preface quote, “In this book, we can work together to review human growth and find the important unity within and without. We shall see no conflict between different religions, cultures, and lifestyles. We live with our hearts and at the same time we live with our minds.”

This book may be purchased on the Wellness Living Store website at: If you have any questions, please contact Vladimir Iliev

DR. DAOSHING NI, Dr. Dao, is a 38th generation doctor of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, holds

two doctorates in Oriental Medicine and was awarded the American Fertility Association’s Dr. Joyce Vargyas

Visionary Award. Dr. Dao has appeared on the Today Show, provided numerous news/magazine interviews,

and is a best-selling author.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 839 6061 8837

Passcode: 2825

Meeting ID: 839 6061 8837

Find your local number:

The Wisdom of Three Masters, Vol. Two

Enlightenment: Mother of Spiritual Independence

 The Teachings of Hui Neng

                 by Ni, Hua Ching

Online Reading Group

“Hui Neng, the great master of enlightenment, was a person with a spiritual diamond in his ordinary body. Through his teachings, the minds of many spiritual students have been enlightened from darkness.  His sharp spiritual vision and enlightenment could cut through and correct external beliefs, spiritual fantasies and conceptual temptations.”

 This book may be purchased on the Wellness Living Store website at:

This class is a continuation of the recent online Chuang Tzu Reading Group. Hui Neng’s teaching can be traced back to Chuang Tzu. He lived in the Tang Dynasty and was titled the Sixth Patriarch of Zahn (Zen). Through the process of reading aloud and regular weekly group study, we will work to uncover the layers of meaning. The class structure will consist of about 75% reading aloud and 25% discussion. Although simplistic, this format of study is energetic and can be a gateway to deeper understanding of Hui Neng in particular and the books of Ni, Hua Ching in general.

This online ZOOM class meets every Wed. 7-8AM PST beginning Sept. 7, 2022.  The class will be divided into 3- three month sessions:

Session I, Sept.-Oct.-Nov.,2022

Session II, Jan.-Feb. March, 2023

Session III, May-June-July, 2023. 

Please register for Session I at:


Cost: $50 USD per session, 


Class size is limited to 25 Participants. 


 If you have any questions, please contact: 

Facilitator: Peter Stege

“People can only become enlightened through the circumstances of their own lives. No one is beyond life. The trouble you fear can be the medicine you need for your personal development. If you light up the next moment, then you are an enlightened one. If your thoughts are still connected to the previous circumstance, then there is trouble. If your spiritual reality is independent of the past or future and centered in yourself during whatever circumstance

you are in, then you have obtained true wisdom.”

Sisters of the Heavenly Way

For the last three months, Sisters have been contemplating the first line from the invocation of Enrichment of All Elements of My Being that states: 

A clear mind is the true master of my being.

We have been reflecting on how focusing only on the transient “clouds” of our dualistic minds, as praising or condemning—grasping or pushing away, we miss the ever present and boundlessly clear nature of the subtle “Sky.”  And being ignorant of the Sky, we misperceive Life, and our hearts narrow and suffer.  

In Mystical Universal Mother, we are guided to know that a clearer vision of life began when we stood up to receive Sky energy; and when we understood that subtle essence within, our hearts lit up on Earth.

So perhaps our original sin is misperceiving the Reality of Life.

At our recent gatherings, we have been encouraging each other to let down, soften down and rest within, allowing the clouds to be and to gently pass away, while simultaneously allowing the clear nature of the Sky energy to be, full and light.

NOTE: Sisters will be taking a break from meeting for two months.

Our next gathering is in October on Sunday 9th in Perth, Australia, and Saturday 8th in California, USA.

For further information or to be put on our mailing list, please contact:

Barbara Wolff at

Brothers of the Heavenly Way

The Brothers of the Heavenly Way met Sunday, July 30th with the intention of continuing our discussion of  the book Eternal Light, but instead a question was raised about the Spiritual Workbook. 

The passage was from page 111 “How To Become A Divine Immortal” and concerns the integration of one’s internal energies for the purposes of spiritual achievement. The passage instructs the practitioner to unite Jing with Shen and then unite Shen with Chi. Why this particular order? No one had an answer, but we shared many possibilities including the Microcosmic Orbit, cycling the Jing up to the Shen and back down again. Internal Alchemy, placing the Mind under the Lower tan tien to cook the Jing into refined Chi. We talked about how, once there is union of Jing, Chi, and Shen , one is then instructed to integrate them with Primal Chi.

Our conversation then turned to how many students get bogged down with comparisons of technique, practices, teachers, and schools, when spiritual development itself is personal and natural.

We talked about how Omni’s teaching emphasizes Virtue, while many other schools ignore it. Without profound Virtue, high spiritual development is not possible, no matter how much one knows or how much one practices. Ed shared the story of a public talk by Omni where he was asked, “What is the Yin and Yang of the Tao?” Omni responded "your own individual, daily practice is the Yin element, while the Yang element is your virtuous outreach to people and the improvement of the world.

Like the Sisters Group, we will be taking a two month hiatus. The next Brothers meeting will resume their meetings on October 23rd of this year at 10 a.m. as usual. Please mark your calendars and we will continue onward in our study of the book Eternal Light by Hua Ching Ni Until then, have a peaceful rest of your summer, wandering under the gaze of the North Star.

If you would like to join the Brothers or wish any information, please contact

Dr. Mao's 2022 Horoscopes

In the Chinese horoscope, August is the seventh lunar month in a phase called Shén 申, whose character usually refers to “spirit” but can also represent spirituality, God, deity, consciousness, or awareness. Shen resides in our hearts—it is a channel for spiritual transformation and connects us to magic, inspiration, intuition, joy, love, and compassion. 

August is a powerful Metal Element month when the heat of high summer begins to subside, and we begin the journey toward autumn. In August, our energy also begins to decline or contract, which is our cue that it is time to let go of things, ideas, attitudes, and feelings that are no longer useful or helpful to us. It is also time for us to reflect on what we have sown and to give some thought to our goals for the future. 

August’s Metal energy compels us to look back and reflect as it drives us forward toward spiritual pursuits and personal transformation. You must be curious to know what prognostications in the I Ching reveal about your individual element this month … and we welcome you to come and check it out!


Take the Quiz to find your Element Click Here

If You Know Your Element Click Here


In universal human society, sometimes a breakthrough is made in all spheres. A new solution or helpful contribution is brought about by a person whose life proceeds from the natural essence. He has manifested his inner light. This inner light can be nurtured. 

This inner light is God, which is, of course, not the description in the religious books, because the books tell about the dead god, not the living god. The alive god is within; it is the inner light. The inner light is nurtured and supported by spirit. Spiritual essence is an evolution from the mind and the mind is an evolution from the essence of the body. If you do not nurture your physical energy to support your mind, your mind is unable to mature.

The physical universe has the foundation of spiritual growth. High spirits and light are the basic stuff of universal nature. Only if you raise yourself to a certain vibration can you achieve universal spirit, which is also called the subtle light of the universe. The subtle light of the universe has no words to describe it; it is not east, west, north or south; it is not man or woman; it is not today, tomorrow or yesterday. This universal light can be applied at any time. This is the center of internal cultivation; the center brings achievement.

You fear yourself when your physical energy is low. Too much emotion or worry masks the light and does not allow you to say, “I need to be gentle.” It is gentleness that keeps away disturbances of all sorts, such as emotions and conceptual knowledge. Just by embracing and nurturing the purity and clarity of divine light, you will be achieved. You are not less than the sages of any time or place.

The most valuable human activity is to nurture the divine light of nature, of agelessness, timelessness, of no place or gender discrimination. That is our true life. It is life. Only your gentleness, delicacy and subtlety can allow you to reach and nurture that high light within you. Intensify your light, at least in your cultivation, sufficiently to illuminate the steps of your forward progress.

                         Guide to Inner Light, Hua-Ching Ni, 9-10

During the three months of Autumn all things are ripe and ready for harvest. The weather is cool and plants look solitary. Go to bed earlier and get up at dawn. Keep calm and peaceful. Only by observing our spirit, keeping calm and practicing breathing exercises can we cope with the changing weather. But it is by this weather that the lung energy can be purified. This is how to nurture our energy in the fall. Going against this rule will damage the lung energy, and when winter comes the system won’t digest food properly, and will slow itself in the bowel movements. The “storage” quality of winter energy will be compromised. 

                   Secrets of Self Healing, Dr. Mao Shing Ni, 144-5

High Energy Days

August Ding Wei (丁 未) Fire Sheep

August 7th The Beginning of Autumn Lìqīu, 立秋

August 23rd Limited Heat Chúshǔ, 处暑 Heat hides

September Wu Shen (戊 申) Earth Monkey

September 4th Geng Shen (庚 申) Metal Monkey

Sept 5th Xin You (辛 酉) Metal Rooster

Sept 7th Báilù, 白露 White Dew

September 10 – October 2 Mercury Retrograde in Libra & Virgo --Time of Reflection & to reprocess old programming attached to the past. Lessen anxiety and fear!

September 23rd  Autumn Equinox Qīufēn 秋分

The AutumnEquinox is a time of balance between yin and yang and is the best time for people to collect their vitality back to its center and strengthen their health for wintertime. 

Sun & Moon Phases Aug.- Sept.

Full Moon August 12th ~ 19° Aquarius 

August 23 Sun moves into Virgo

August 27th New Moon 4° Virgo 

September 1oth, Full Moon 17° Pisces

Sept 23 Sun moves into Libra

September 25th, New Moon 2° Libra

The Summer Triangle, lies in a rich field of the Milky Way, in the northern celestial hemisphere, constitutes of Altair, Deneb and Vega, each of which is the brightest star of its respective constellation. These are the same stars in the Chinese tale of The Cowherd and the Weaver girl, a love story dating back around 2,600 years. 

From mid-northern latitudes, the Summer Triangle looms around solar midnight during summer. From mid-southern latitude, it appears inverted, with Deneb below Altair, and low in the sky during winter. Enjoy this celestial wonder!

Stems & Branches

We invite you all to join us:

Every other Sunday Morning @ 8:15 AM Pacific Standard time, August 14 & 28, Sept. 11 & 25 following the Sunday Renewal to carry on our lively discussion of the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches. James Tuggle guides our

exploration of this helpful resource that connects us with the

universal cycles and living in harmony and balance with the flow of nature.

Please join Zoom Meeting Here

Password: 006090

"The main reason for using the ancient energy-time system is the understand the nature of life. According to ancient spiritual understanding, time is neither the face of a plane nor a straight line. A unit of time is a phase of cyclic universal energy. It varies from the modern concept of time, which is represented by certain marks, measures or periods. Without different energy phases circulating, there is no sense of time or reality. I Ching,The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth by Hua-Ching Ni, p73 

Free Lao Tzu Virtual Study Group 

now on Zoom through 

COT’s new Podia teaching platform!

It’s simple!

Amira invites you to join our 

ongoing free monthly

Integral Way Study Group

The Complete Works of Lao Tzu

as elucidated by Hua-Ching Ni

Tao Teh Ching and the Hua Hu Ching

We meet on the first Wednesday of each month from 5-6 pm PST. 

This book is the specific translation we will use and can be purchased at


           Click here to join 

       Lao Tzu Reading Group

Sunday Reflections

“I will not keep searching for my personal individual delivery alone. Such a thing is unreal until the wisdom of all worldly people is improved and until all people live in the subtle light.”

Hua-Ching Ni, Quest Of Soul, 127

“Observe yourself closely and you will see which part of your being reflects light and which part reflects darkness.”

Hua-Ching Ni, Uncharted Voyage Toward The Subtle Light,  57

Living far away from your Integral friends and wanting to stay connected to the Tradition?

Join the "Integral Way Friends Group emailing list" Weekly inspirational quotes to your inbox and warm conversation.

Contact Contact Jono Howard at 

to get signed up.

College of Tao


Do you have something to share with the COT Community? We welcome you to share any information that is relevant and inspirational.


Sue and Amira


Contact Us

With the sound of Ang Da, the Heavenly Gate is open to all good people.

With the sound of Ang Da, a life is born.

With the sound of Ang Da, the depth of universal spirituality is given.

With the sound of Ang Da, the secret of the Heavenly Paradise is shown.

With the sound of Ang Da, all evil spirits are dispelled.

With the sound of Ang Da, I gather all good things into my life.

Ang Da = May true peace safely arrive. 

There is no other lord but the one True Lord that is the sun in my life—the Majestic Domain of the Universal Heart. 

                       The Five Healths for a New Humanity, Hua-Ching Ni & Mao Shing Ni , 345