Shifu Michael Rinaldini - Dragon Gate Daoist Qigong

man sitting pouring tea

The Qigong Certification & Daoist Training Center is the practice center of Shifu Michael Rinaldini (Li Chang Dao), a Daoist priest, Qigong Teacher, and founder of the American Dragon Gate Lineage (ADGL). Medical Qigong, circle walking and meditation are the key practices that Shifu Michael teaches in all of his programs, both for local students and through his distance training programs.

Shifu Michael has been involved in spiritual and healing practices most of his life, dating back to the early 1970’s with his monastic experiences. He has been studying qigong for more than 25 years, and meditation for over 40 years, including four study trips to China. His main teacher is Master Wan Sujian from Beijing’s Bagua Xundao Gong Qigong Center. Shifu Michael is a Certified Senior Qigong Teacher (Level 4-highest) by the National Qigong Association, and has led numerous workshops at their annual conferences. Shifu Michael’s teachings extend from local students in Sebastopol, CA to national and international qigong certification & Daoist training programs.

ADGL Three Lineage Treasures 

Meditation, Scripture Study & Reciting, Solitary Retreat

The American Dragon Gate Lineage is perhaps the only Daoist practice path outside of China that emphasizes the daily practice of zuowang’s sitting and forgetting method as essential for the realization of one’s primordial state of Emptiness and unity with the Absolute Dao.

Besides the core practice of meditation, ADGL adepts have a daily practice of reciting texts from a collection of Daoist scriptures in their own residence.  For 1000 consecutive days, adepts recite texts from this collection.

man doing tai chi

To support and nourish the above practices, the ADGL adept spends time in solitary retreat. ADGL adepts go on solitary retreats or group retreats for the same purpose.

Additionally, ADGL adepts broaden the definition of retreats to include daily meditation practice to all-night meditation sessions in the privacy of one’s own home.

In addition to the above practices, members of the ADGL practice a variety of energy techniques, like qigong, tai chi, martial arts, healing arts and other practices that support inner cultivation and compassionate actions.

ADGL Priest Training Program

The American Dragon Gate Lineage (ADGL) is under the umbrella organization of the Qigong & Daoist Training Center (QDTC).  The ADGL was founded by Michael Rinaldini (Li Chang Dao) in 2006, after being ordained as a 22nd generation (Longmen) Dragon Gate Daoist priest in 2003. The ADGL is a non-monastic order of Daoist practitioners who have made a serious commitment to self-cultivation and to the spreading of the Daoist View. Shifu Michael received a second ordination on December 4, 2016, by Abbot Bernard Shannon of Temple of Peace and Virtue as a 22ndgeneration Daoshi Priest of the Longmen lineage. Hence, the ADGL is linked to the Longmen Quanzhen (Complete Perfection) school of the Daoist religion, founded by Wang Zhe (Chongyang, 1113-1170) and his direct disciples.

man doing tai chi stance

Daoist Training Programs (Daoist Priest Training/Ordination)

For serious students of Daoism, shifu Michael, founder of the American Dragon Gate Lineage (ADGL), offers extensive training leading to ordination as a priest in the ADGL. Training includes a 9-month novice phase and an additional 1000 days of training to become ordained. Students are eligible to become Lay Members of the ADGL after completion of the novice phase. Contact shifu Michael for complete details.

Novice Phase- 9 months

The Novice Phase is an introduction to the history of Daoism, Daoist Zuowang meditation, Daoist scriptures, solitary retreats, Qigong practice, precepts, and spiritual direction. There are required books/articles to read and write brief reports.

The 1000-Day Training

To enter this level of training, candidates must have completed the Novice Phase, and the Qigong studies, if required, and attended an annual retreat. This is the full training program with specific requirements and training assignments broken down into several phases of study and practice.

Retreat Trainings

Intensive Qigong and Daoist meditation retreats are an important part of any Qigong training program. Michael has been offering these annual retreats for over 15 years in the northern California area, just north of San Francisco. The next scheduled retreat will be mid-April, 2024. Contact shifu Michael for details:

A Daoist Practice Journal: Interreligious Dialogue: Daoism & Christianity, Extraordinary Vessels & Daoist Cultivation, 2022

A Daoist Practice Journal book cover

An ongoing exploration into Daoist cultivation practices of Zuowang “stillness” meditation in the contemplative, apophatic tradition, and associated qigong practices. Also, an exploration of the similarities of mystical theology of Christianity and Daoism. Available:

Qigong & Daoist Training Center: Qigong Certification

Shifu Michael offers local and distance training leading to 200-400 hours of Certification in Qigong. Study topics: the basics of Chinese Medicine (Five Elements, Meridians & Vessels, Three Treasures, etc.), the Qigong state, warm-ups, Qigong circle walking, multiple individual and sets of Qigong practices, including the beginnings of Daoist meditation (Zuowang).  Embedded videos of short instructional exercises. Beyond the Qigong levels, a 100-hour level of Chinese Food Therapy. Visit:

He gives personal guidance to his students, whether they are local students and attend his weekly classes, or are learning from a distance, such as throughout the USA, Canada, the European continent, or Australia.

two people sitting sharing tea

Visit shifu Michael’s web page for up-to-date information on his certification courses,

Books by Shifu Michael

Books are avaliable on Amazon.

book covers

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