Relaxing Into Your Being is an introduction to the Water Method of Taoist taught by lineage holder and Taoist master Bruce Frantzis. Subjects covered by this instructive book include:
A comparison of Fire and Water schools of Taoism.
Breathing techniques, from the beginner to advanced
The Eight Bodies of Being and their relationship to one’s self and spirituality
The Sixteen-Part nei gung system
The primary and secondary energy channels of the body
The inner dissolving practice
Encountering and working with the mindstream
How to sit comfortably and correct your own posture internally
It teaches the all-important who, what, how, where and why in terms of how meditation works, how to identify internal blocks, where you apply your intent, how to determine whether or not what you are doing is actually working, what to do with problems you may encounter, how to make the most of your practice time, and much much more.
Life changing inner work
This book, along with it’s companion “The Great Stillness: The Water Method of Taoist Meditation Series, Vol. 2” were invaluable to me during my twenties in dealing with my mental health problems. Prior to starting Taoist Water Method meditation in 1996 I suffered from recurring suicidal depression, bipolar mania, severe anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder resulting from growing up and being repeatedly traumatized and abused both at home and at school, and later in institutions. By the time I was an adult, I was pretty messed up and not very happy.
Therapy and counseling had little effect on me and psychiatric drugs made my life even worse and didn’t help me in any meaningful way. I did not come from a privileged family, so I did not have any kind of support network, or health insurance. As someone with severe and treatment resistant mental illness, the outcome of my life did not look good. In the midst of all this suffering, I found Bruce Frantzis’ Inner and Outer dissolving practice.
I had considerable meditation training before I encountered Bruce’s Taoist dissolving practices. But most of the techniques I had learned had little to do with healing the heart and stilling the mind and were instead more like training for the psychic Olympics, a path which Bruce describes in this book as a trap. Indeed, I was one of those spiritual power junkies who trained meditation to increase my psychic abilities because of my weaknesses and fear and unresolved PTSD and a deep insecure desire to have a scary and unseen advantage over other people.
When I learned Vipassana and Zen, I learned how to listen to my inner world, as well as how to concentrate, but neither Zen or Vipassana came with the tools to literally rid myself of the stuff that was coming up in practice. This is the major difference between Taoist Water Tradition versus other traditions. The dissolving techniques described herein are a way of using intent and awareness to liberate your consciousness of the turmoil that manifests when doing deep breathing or other energy work that brings the unprocessed and destabilizing content of your inner world to your everyday waking awareness.
I made practicing Taoist meditation my personal religion and discipline. I practiced morning and night, every day, for years. Slowly but surely the chaos and noise of my inner world and all my pain began to abate, a little bit at a time, month after month, year after year.
Within the first two years of dedicated practice I found my depression had been cured. Within five years, I had, using the dissolving process and the nei gung system described in “Relaxing”, completely healed myself of the neurological conditioning of PTSD. Gone were the nightmares, flashbacks and triggers that had haunted my life previously. Also gone were manic episodes and racing thoughts and anxiety attacks and I gained an inner confidence and self-esteem that I had previously never known.
This work made me stronger, mentally, physically and energetically. I can say that without dissolving the first four Bodies of Being, I’d probably still be suffering to this day. But thanks to the practice of Taoist Water Method meditation, I have not been depressed in fifteen years. While I’m hardly Enlightened, I am very happy with myself and my life, which is something that was missing when I started this. I cannot praise ‘Relaxing Into Your Being’ enough. The practice of the material within its pages totally changed my life around and gave me a reason to live.