I'm starting to read Tai Chi Dynamics by Robert Chuckrow. It was a review copy sent to me by YMAA Publication Center. It does look to be an intriguing book, where the author's background as a physicist is employed to explain how Tai Chi works. I'm intrigued already and will report on it as I continue reading it.
Since I started reading this book and it deals with Chi, or energy, and also because the other night I did a couple of breathing exercises with a student which is designed to use energy in particular ways, I thought I might put up some books suggestions about energy work for those who are interested in the subject.
Embryonic Breathing by Yang Jwing-Ming: An excellent book that does a lot to explain the theory behind chinese energy work. A must read book for anyone getting involved in Taoist energy work techniques. He only presents two breathing techniques, but does an excellent job of describing the techniques.
Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao by Mantak Chia: Chia's take on Taoist energy work, for beginners. He provides some good explanations, though he can be preachy.
Fusion of the Five Elements by Mantak Chia: Utilizes the Microcosmic circuit, but adds in some elemental correspondances for recycling negative emotions. Really useful exercise. I haven't found his later fusion books in the series as helpful, but I will work with them a while longer before passing final judgment.
Breathing, Chi, and Dissolving the Ego and The Great Stillness by B. K. Frantzis are two excellent books on energy work that focuses on dissolving internal blockages and sabotages
Real Energy By Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits: It mostly presents a theoretical consideration of different models of energy work...mostly from a western perspective.
Energy Work by Robert Bruce: Has good exercises for beginner to intermediate energy workers. Also presents some intriguing possibilities around the sense of touch.
The Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon: Some excellent exercises for energy work and also for honing your skills in magic in general.
Hands of Light and Light Emerging by Barbara Ann Brennan: Mainly focused on using energy work for healing both physical issues and psychological issues. Definitely worth picking up. These were the first books I read on energy work back in the nineties.
Inner Alchemy by Taylor Ellwood (Me): Focused on a physiological exploration of energy work and how it can be used for healing as well as communication with the body.
There are many more works out there. I have some I've yet to read or study, but I'll include mention of them on here, as I get to them. There is some intriguing writing in Biology and neuroscience that relates to energy work, which is also worth checking out. I might write that up sometime.
For my own efforts in energy work, I'm continuing to experiment with the emptiness meditation which focuses on the energy of emptiness as well as the feeling of it. And as always I'm continuing my own reading, research, and experimentation in a few other directions.
Review of The Magic Language of the Fourth Way by Pierre Bonnasse
I initially found this book to be really intriguing, particularly in terms of how Bonnasse presented the concept of observing the self as the self is reading. I think it’s a good point to make because people can be resistant to what is read. However, the first half of the book didn’t live up to the potential expressed in the introduction. It came off as pretentious and somewhat confusing. I’ve been told that the confusion is characteristic of Gurdjieff’s works, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to find it in a disciple’s work, but I think that confusion detracts from the overall message that the author is attempting to convey.
The latter half of the book improves when the author focuses on explaining the enneagram and concepts of language and magic and how those relate to the Gurdjieff philosophy. I particularly found the focus on vibrations to be interesting and insightful.
What might’ve helped with this book was some exercises that readers could do in order to implement the theory into action. While I found this book interesting and a somewhat decent introduction to Gurdjieff’s philosophy, I was disappointed by how confusing the book could get, as well as the occasional pretentious holier than thou attitude conveyed by the author. This book could be worth picking up if you want to learn a bit more about Gurdjieff or want to examine how language is treated in his system of philosophy.
3 out of 5