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Mantak Chia

Mantak Chia
Born (1944-04-24) April 24, 1944
Bangkok, Thailand
Residence Chiangmai, Thailand
Nationality Thai
Ethnicity Chinese
Occupation Author, teacher, and healer
Known for Taoism and Chi Kung
Children Max Chia
Mantak Chia

(Chinese: 謝明德, Pinyin: Xiè Míngdé, born April 24, 1944 in Bangkok, Thailand) is a Taoist Master. He is best known for his teaching Taoist practices under the names of Healing Tao, Tao Yoga, Universal Healing Tao System and Chi Kung. Throughout decades of teaching, he has run numerous workshops, written a series of books, and published a number of training videos. For this reason, some people call him an author, a teacher or a healer. He views himself primarily as a teacher, "who helps his students empower themselves through cultivation of their chi (Chinese: 氣,Wade-Giles: ch'i) energy."[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Spiritual Core 2
    • Lineage 2.1
    • Nine Step-by-step Formulas 2.2
      • Formula 1: Primordial Force Activation 2.2.1
      • Formula 2: Basic Sexual Alchemy Practices 2.2.2
      • Formula 3: Fusion of Five Elements and Eight Pakua (Chinese: 八卦) Forces 2.2.3
      • Formula 4: Lesser Enlightenment of Kan and Li 2.2.4
      • Formula 5: Greater Enlightenment of Kan and Li 2.2.5
      • Formula 6: Greatest Enlightenment of Kan and Li 2.2.6
      • Formula 7: Sealing Five Senses 2.2.7
      • Formula 8: Congress of Heaven and Earth 2.2.8
      • Formula 9: Union of Human and Tao 2.2.9
    • Basic Explanation of the Nine Formulas 2.3
    • Relationship to Religions 2.4
  • Basic Sexual Alchemy 3
  • Different Views 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
    • Citations 6.1
    • Bibliography 6.2
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


Mantak Chia was born in Thai boxing and Kung Fu. Master Chia also studied at this time with Master Pan Yu, whose system combined Taoist, Buddhist and Zen teachings. Master Pan Yu also taught him about the exchange of Yin and Yang power between men and women, and how to develop the Steel Body. To understand the mechanisms behind healing energy better, Master Chia studied Western anatomy and medical science for two years. While pursuing his studies, he managed the Westetner Company.

Using his knowledge of Taoism, combined with the other disciplines, Master Chia began teaching the Universal Healing Tao System. He eventually trained other Instructors to communicate this knowledge and he established the Natural Healing Center in Thailand. Five years later, he decided to move to New York, where in 1979, he opened the Universal Healing Tao Center. During his years in America, Master Chia continued his studies in the Wu system of Tai Chi with Edward Yee in New York. Since then, Master Chia has taught tens of thousands of students throughout the world. He has trained and certified over 1,500 instructors and practitioners from all over the world. Universal Healing Tao Centers, Chi Nei Tsang Institutes, Cosmic Healing Forums and Immortal Mountain Sanctuaries have opened in many locations in North America, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. In 1994, Master Chia moved back to Thailand, where he had begun construction of Tao Garden, the Universal Healing Tao Training Center in Chiang Mai. Master Chia is a warm, friendly and helpful man who views himself primarily as a teacher. He presents the Universal Healing Tao System in a straightforward and practical manner, while always expanding his knowledge and approach to teaching. He uses a word processor for writing and is totally at ease with the latest computer technology. Master Chia estimates that it will take fifty books to convey the full Universal Healing Tao System. In June 1990, at a dinner in San Francisco, Master Chia was honored by the International Congress of Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong (Chi Kung), who named him the Chi Kung Master of the Year. He is the first recipient of this annual award. In December 2000, the Tao Garden Health Resort and Universal Healing Tao Training Center was completed with two Meditation Halls, two open air Simple Chi Kung Pavilions, indoor Tai Chi, Tao Yin and Chi Nei Tsang Hall, Tai Chi Natural Swimming Pool, Pakua Center, Internal World Class Weight Lifting Hall and complete Eight Court Recreational Facilities. In February 2002, the Immortal Tao practices were held at Tao Garden for the first time using the Dark Room technology creating a complete environment for the higher level Taoist practices. In September 2003 Master Chia opened the Tao Garden Holistic Medical Spa using Western and Eastern Technology with Traditional Thai Massage, India Arvada Therapies and Chinese Chi Nei Tsang Massage. The Spa is supervised by trained and certificated Medical Doctors, MDs with Holistic Degrees providing Colonic Therapy, Stem Cell Cancer Prevention and Natural Cancer Cure Treatments.

In March 2004 the Complete Holistic Mind, Body and Spirit Training were introduced at Tao Garden. In July 2009 Master Chia introduced the Five Star Eight Forces Detox Spa with Saunas, Therapy Color Heated Pool, Jacuzzi, and Internal Massage Treatments. This was also introduced with Raw Food and Fasting Program with Organic Juice Bar. In September 2010 the Universal Healing Tao Instructors celebrated thirty years of Master Chia’s teaching with the Tao Congress at Tao Garden having over 200 instructors present for the celebration.

Spiritual Core

Chia's teaching system develops integrated physical, mental and spiritual (energy) bodies internal to human beings. The focus is on developing human life energy — chi — for self-healing and life enhancement. For a simple interpretation, Chia describes chi as human primordial life force, a part of the primordial force of the whole universe.[2]


Chia describes his lineage as "Inner-Alchemy-Just-Practice Taoist." It emphasizes any knowledge and any method that are effective to refine the states of inner experience and consciousness that are the birthright of all humans and that are accessible by all, without unnecessary rituals. After having inherited the complete Taoist internal spiritual cultivation system from his master, Yi Eng, Chia followed the master's instruction to teach it to others.[2]

Nine Step-by-step Formulas

Formula 1: Primordial Force Activation

This formula has a variety of practices. Mantak Chia puts them roughly into three categories:

  • Basic Practices I.
Name Book Video Short Description
Inner Smile Cosmic Inner Smile Yes
Six Healing Sounds Cosmic Healing Sounds Yes
Microcosmic Orbit Yes Circulate chi in the governor and functional channels. Fundamental to more advanced practices.
Chi Self-Massage Chi Self-Massage: The Taoist Way of Rejuvenation Yes
  • Basic Practices II. This set is also called "Chi Kung for healing" for their strong chi development.
Name Book Video Short Description
Deep Abdominal Breathing Deep Abdominal Breathing, Energizer and Empty Force Breath.
Laughing Chi Kung
Activating the Stem Cells Yes
Elixir Chi Kung Yes
Tan Tien Chi Kung
Iron Shirt Chi Kung I, II, and III Iron Shirt Chi Kung, Bone Marrow Nei Kung Yes Develop chi, align body structure, strengthen tendon and bone, and rejuvenate bone marrow.
Tai Chi Chi Kung I and II Yes
Tao Yin Yes
  • Medical Chi Kung. This set has its values in certain treatments.
Name Book Video Short Description
Chi Nei Tsang I and II Yes
Cosmic Healing Chi Kung I and II Yes
Karsai Nei Tsang Yes

Formula 2: Basic Sexual Alchemy Practices

Taoists believe that sexual organs and kidneys store Jing (Chinese: 精), and Jing can be transformed into Chi and Shen (Chinese: 神) by taoist sexual practices.

Name Book Video Short Description
Male Sexual Alchemy Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy, The Multi-orgasmic Man Yes Control ejaculation (avoid semen loss) and transform the sexual energy up into chi and spiritual forces.
Female Sexual Alchemy Healing Love through the Tao: Cultivating Female Sexual Energy, The Multi-orgasmic Woman Yes Control menstruation (avoid blood loss) and transform the sexual energy up into chi and spiritual forces.
Dual-Cultivation The Multi-orgasmic Couple Yes Exchange Yin and Yang in whole body orgasms or valley orgasms.

Formula 3: Fusion of Five Elements and Eight Pakua (Chinese: 八卦) Forces

Name Book Video Short Description
Fusion I, II and III Fusion of the Five Elements, Cosmic Fusion, Fusion of Eight Psychic Channels Yes Refine organs' energy and open more chi channels.

Formula 4: Lesser Enlightenment of Kan and Li

Name Book Video Short Description
Inner Sexual Alchemy Lesser Kan and Li Fuse chi from the heart with sexual energy.

Formula 5: Greater Enlightenment of Kan and Li

Name Book Video Short Description
Sun, Moon and Planets Alchemy Greater Kan and Li

Formula 6: Greatest Enlightenment of Kan and Li

Name Book Video Short Description
Planets, Star and Soul Alchemy Greatest Kan and Li

Formula 7: Sealing Five Senses

Name Book Video Short Description
Star and Galaxy Alchemy Sealing of the Five Senses

Formula 8: Congress of Heaven and Earth

Name Book Video Short Description
Heaven and Earth Alchemy

Formula 9: Union of Human and Tao

Basic Explanation of the Nine Formulas

The practices in the first two formulas are probably the most famous parts of Mantak Chia's teaching. However, they are not the core of the system. The purpose of the two formulas is to invoke one's awareness of chi, to strengthen it, and to open important chi channels in one's body, such as the governor and functional channels. These practices lay a solid foundation for further practices in later formulas, if one wishes to advance.

Sexual energy plays very important roles in chi cultivation. Taoism believes that sexual energy accounts for a large part of the energy that a human body generates or absorbs; a person cannot achieve spiritual fulfillment without conserving and leveraging the power of sexual energy. The first step of traditional inner alchemy (Chinese: 内丹) is transmuting the material carrier of sexual energy (Jing) into Chi. The basic sexual practices in the second formula can lay a solid foundation for the transmutation. However, because sex is a "hot" topic in a society, teaching sexual practices might be controversial. Nevertheless, besides being indispensable for spiritual development, sexual practices are beneficial to both good relationship and health if they are done right.

The third formula, Fusion, really starts inner alchemy practices. Inner alchemy traditionally has three stages: transmuting Jing to Chi, transmuting chi to shen, returning shen to void. Chi and shen are inner life energies with shen at a more refined level, and both originate from the same original universe force, which can only be reached by completely removing one's own consciousness. In Kan Li practices, one should have developed strong chi and strong mental power so that intercourses of polarities of life energies take place inside one's own body, analogous to intercourses of a female and a male which leads to a birth of a child. The intensive activities of internal life energy create an inner energy body which becomes the center of further practices, and eventually the inner body leads to immortality, reaching Tao. Cultivating the inner body and merging into immortality are the central training practices of inner alchemy, which require great dedication and determination.[2] It is hard to describe the effects of Chi, Shen, and Tao without experiencing or being aware of them. These practices are beyond mundane description and imagination (existing sciences cannot explain), and a person has to be seriously trained in order to be aware of or experience these effects.

However, a practitioner does not have to worry about the inner alchemy practices, if his or her goal is not pursuing the Tao but seeking life enhancement techniques or overall health. One can simply keep practicing the first two or three formulas without any harm.

Relationship to Religions

Chia states that the system is not religious and that practitioners "can be Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and still enjoy the benefits in the framework of [their] own belief system." In an interview, Chia stated that he teaches "how to control and harness the sexual energy".[3]

Basic Sexual Alchemy

This is probably the most famous part of Chia's teaching, which drew much attention from scholars. Section Different Views below lists some of observations from the public literature. This section introduces sexual practices taught in the Healing Tao system.

According to Mantak Chia, the primary purpose of conducting sexual practices is to save and transform sexual energy into more refined energy (transmuting jing into chi). In the genuine Taoist thought however, this is only possible if the sexual essence is spiritually guided and purified by the heart, only then can its virtue transform into chi. That's why the Taoists who want to achieve true inner cultivation only practice any sexual methods, with utmost care and respect towards their sexual partner. Solo cultivation involves transforming essence in one's own body in solitude. Both paths require a Yin phase in which the practioiner gathers and grounds the transformed essence in their lower Dan Tien. Preserving this essential purity throughout the whole practice requires deep compassion and stillness in the Heart-mind.

Sexual practices in Mantak Chia's teachings include techniques for men, women and couples.

Different Views

James Miller thinks that Mantak Chia's teachings of chi and cosmology is similar to the Taoist instructor Hua-ching Ni, but Chia's books lack discussion of philosophy, ethics or everyday practical advice. The system Chia presents is a narrowly focused system of Chi Kung rooted firmly in neidan.[4]

Machacek and Wilcox think that Chia's study of Taoist sexuality has the trend in Taoist writings intended for a Western audience, a combination of theoretical knowledge and personal experience, which leads to a proliferation of subjective and modern "love manuals" and expositions on the Taoist way of love.[5]

King's College scholar Peter B. Clarke thinks that Chia's Healing Tao is one of the few Thai new religious movements to have achieved an international following.[6]

See also



  1. ^ Chia & Winn (1984). Pg IV.
  2. ^ a b c Chia, Mantak. "The Spiritual Core of Master Mantak Chia's Teaching" Universal Tao.
  3. ^ Larthe (1999).
  4. ^ Miller (2006). Pg 268.
  5. ^ Machacek & Wilcox (2003). Pg 96.
  6. ^ Clarke (2006). Pg 277.


  • Clarke, John James. The Tao of the West: Western transformations of Taoist thought. Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0-415-20619-7.
  • Clarke, Peter Bernard. New religions in global perspective: a study of religious change in the modern world. Routledge, 2006. ISBN 0-415-25748-4.
  • Kohn, Livia. Chinese Healing Exercises: The Tradition of Daoyin. University of Hawaii Press, 2008. ISBN 0-8248-3269-8.
  • Larthe, Christopher. "Mantak Chia – A Modern Taoist Master". Positive Health, July 1999 (Issue 42).
  • Machacek, David W. & Wilcox, Melissa M. Sexuality and the world's religions. ABC-CLIO, 2003. ISBN 1-57607-359-9.
  • Chia, Mantak and Winn, Michael. "Taoist Secrets of Love – Cultivating Male Sexual Energy". Aurora Press, 1984. ISBN 0-943358-19-1.
  • Miller, James. Chinese religions in contemporary society. ABC-CLIO, 2006. ISBN 1-85109-626-4.
  • Chia, Mantak and Stone, Sarina. "Smiling Anatomy for Children, Level 1". Empowerment Through Knowledge, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9826384-0-8.
  • Chia, Mantak and Stone, Sarina. "Smiling Anatomy for Children, Level 2". Empowerment Through Knowledge, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9826384-1-5.
  • Chia, Mantak and Stone, Sarina. "Smiling Anatomy for Children, Level 3". Empowerment Through Knowledge, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9826384-3-9.

Further reading

  • Chia, Mantak & Maneewan. Fusion of the Five Elements I: Basic and Advanced Meditations for Transforming Negative Emotions (Taoist Inner Alchemy Series). Healing Tao Books, 1991 (Reissue edition). ISBN 0-935621-18-0
  • Chia, Mantak. Cosmic Healing I: Cosmic Chi Kung. Universal Tao Publications, 2001. ISBN 974-87672-5-6.

External links

  • Mantak Chia's Official Website
  • Mantak Chia's Official Workshop Videos
  • Universal Tao
  • Tao Garden
  • Mantak Chia's World Tour Schedule
  • Mantak Chia on [1]
  • Mantak Chia on [2]
  • Mantak Chia on
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