Taoist Shaman: Practices from the Wheel of Life
Mantak Chia and Kris Deva North
Destiny Books (2011)
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (3/11)
“The practices described in this book [Taoist Shaman: Practices from the Wheel of Life ] have been used successfully for thousands of years by Taoists trained by personal instruction. Readers should not undertake the practice without receiving personal transmission and training from a certified instructor of the Universal Tao, since certain of these practices, if done improperly, may cause injury or result in health problems.” The authors, Mantak Chia and Kris Deva North, further clarify that any of the exercises in the book are not intended to be used as alternative medicine and that the reader should consult a health care practitioner instead.
The Tao Wheel of Life has eight trigrams that symbolize the eight forces: water, fire, thunder, lake, earth, mountain, wind, and heaven. Each has a power symbol and is connected to a body organ, e.g., Li-Fire: Li is the power symbol of fire, the prospering power, connected with the heart. These eight forces are symbolized by the eight immortals: particular geographical direction, season, color, planet, animal, organ, etc., e.g., for Li-Fire the color is red, direction is south, season is summer, planet is mars, positive emotions are joy and love, negative emotions are hate and impatience, system is vascular, chi is heating, mental is creativity, and so on.
Trained Shamans use the Wheel of Life for complimentary healing and transition purposes if the initial healing through acupuncture, massage, or herbs fails. At that time the Shaman is called in to seek answers from the Tao as to why the healing failed, if the body is ill, and what does the spirit need satisfied to let wellness return. When the answer is given the Shaman proceeds to work with the patient using practices as indicated.
After reading this book, and I must say it’s not an easy read, I now understand the statement that is used as a qualifier and quoted in the first paragraph of this review. The Shaman must be wholly attuned to the Tao to administer healing. However, there are many aspects that readers can do such as guided meditations to meet spirit guides or create power fields for themselves.
Intense, concise, and informative, “Taoist Shaman: Practices from the Wheel of Life” by Mantak Chia and Kris Deva North provides the novice a peek into the practice of Taoist Shamanism and how healing can be done if other modalities don’t work. For those that are well-versed on this practice, they will find the book as a good resource and one to give to those seeking healing. The authors have provided us a way to reconnect to our own bodies and divine spirit within.