Dancing Tao

cover image of the inner structure of tai chi

The Inner Structure of Tai Chi by Mantak Chia from Amazon.com

Universal Tao

I first encountered the Universal Tao practices of Master Mantak Chia through his books.  Back then the system was called the Healing Tao and the work was clearly very rich.  However it was not until my regular practice of tai chi began that I realized I needed to go elsewhere to answer many of my questions.

My first sessions were with Marcia Kerwit in Oakland and they opened up a new awareness of how energy works.  I found that my sense of energetic leakiness, particularly in my lower chakras, was now redirected to an inner flow.  This experience introduced me to practices that remain at the core of my interests and understanding.

I went on to do various Universal Tao workshop during the summers through Healing Tao USA.  Many American practitioners still use the name Healing Tao since that's what the system was called for many years.  Typically the Healing Tao title also implies the approach initially developed by Master Chia that has since grown more complex with the emergence of the Universal Tao.  The newer versions are practiced at Master Chia's workshops and at his retreat center in Thailand.

My teachers and counselors along the way included Marcia Kerwit, Jampa Stewart, Sharon Smith, Masahiro Ouchi , Marie Favorito, Judith Poole and Michael Winn.  These teachers are all Senior Instructors in the Healing Tao system and most have worked with Master Chia since the early days in New York.  They are all quite unique and interface the system with a variety of other practices, something that Master Chia fully accepts that is indicative of the flexibility and usefulness of the work.

I finally worked with Master Chia in the summer of 2001.  He's a powerful individual given to making interesting statements that resonate with time.  Not at all a guru but a master teacher with great insight and years of practice and study.  I look forward to working with him in the future as well as with other practitioners of the Healing/Universal Tao.

My work with the Universal Tao was the inspiration for starting Dancing Tao and I became an Associate Instructor in 2001 as part of that development.  Another major Taoist influence was the Living Tao approach of Chungliang Al Huang.  Although I did not work with him, I was introduced to his perspective during my tai chi workshops with Masahiro Ouchi.

Next - Living Tao


Please feel free to contact Clyde Smith at: