Solala Towler has taught and practiced Taoist meditation and qigong for over twenty-five years. He is author of twelve books on Taoism including Tales from the Tao, The Tao of Intimacy and Ecstasy, Practicing the Tao te Ching, Chuang Tzu: The Inner chapters, and Cha Dao: The Way of Tea. He is the editor and publisher of The Empty Vessel. The Empty Vessel is dedicated to the exploration and dissemination of Daoist philosophy and practice, including qigong, Chinese medicine, internal alchemy, sexual cultivation, and more. It is open to sharing the various traditional and contemporary teachings in a nondiscriminatory manner in the belief that it is in using these practices and attitudes of the ancient achieved masters in a timely and contemporary manner that we can best benefit from them and in doing so, be able to effect change in the world around us. Towler also teaches qigong and sound healing at conferences and workshops around the United States and leads study trips to China. He is founder of the sacred music ensemble Windhorse and has recorded a number of CDs of meditation/relaxation music which have been used in many qigong DVDs.
The mission of the Abode Tao is to create a community of people interested in pursuing Daoist thought and practice. Abode Tao publilshes a magazine (The Empty Vessel), organize tours to the sacred Daoist mountains of China, offers qigong training, and provides tools and resources to live a centered and balanced life in the contemporary world. The organization was created in 1993 by Solala Towler.
The Empty Vessel is dedicated to the exploration and dissemination of Daoist philosophy and practice. It is open to sharing the various traditional and contemporary teachings in a nondiscriminatory manner. In using these practices and attitudes of the ancient achieved masters in a timely and contemporary manner, we can best benefit from them and in doing so, be able to effect change in the world around us.
The Empty Vessel is a quarterly publication (since 1993) exploring Daoist philosophy and practice in daily life. In Daoism we can find a way of being, a way of accepting, a way of working with change rather than against the changes that life may bring us. Wonderfully illustrative texts such as the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) and Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) offer inspiration, illumination, and expedient advice on life, death and all that lies between. In Chinese medicine we can find cure and comfort for many modern and no-so-modern ills and complaints. With Daoist health practices such as qigong (chee gong) and taiji (tai chi) we can find ways to stabilize and balance our bodies, allowing us to lead long-lasting and healthy lives. Daoist sexual practices can guide us gracefully through the tricky and often dangerous labyrinth of human sexuality. And the practice of feng shui can help us align ourselves with our inner and outer environment. Nei Dan or Internal Alchemy practices can help us reach deeper levels of self cultivation and spritual harmony.
With feature articles, essays, art and poetry and interviews with well-known authors and teachers The Empty Vessel explores the philosophy and practices that have come down to us from the ancient achieved masters.
The Empty Vessel, the Journal of Daoist Philosophy and Practiceis published quarterly (since 1993). Covering Chinese medicine, Daoist (Taoist) studies, qigong (chi gong), taijiquan (tai chi), meditation, herbs, martial arts, internal alchemy practice, Yi Jing (I Ching), Daode Jing (Tao Te Ching), feng shui and other aspects of Eastern philosophy.
When we drink the tea, we need to slow down and feel the different kinds of energy in each small sip of tea with different parts of the mouth and the heart.
Wuji Gong was founded by Zhang San-Feng, the originator of Taijiquan, (Tai Chi) in the Ming Dynasty, some 600 years ago. It has been passed down for generations to Master Zhu Hui. It is a Taoist internal style of qigong. The core idea behind the practice is derived from Taoist cosmology. First was the utmost point of nothingness (wuji), then came the great ultimate (taji).
“Standing with my feet rooted to the earth and my head in heaven, I am relaxed and natural. I am in harmony with the universe. I am a channel between heaven and earth”.
So begins my practice of Chinese Essence Qigong, an extremely simple yet sublimely powerful form. As I slowly relax—my muscles, my nervous system, my thought forms, my breath – I feel myself enter deeply into the qi state, a state of complete peacefulness and harmony. It is a state that I will go in and out of over the next twenty minutes of my practice, as I practice letting go of thoughts, conceptions and emotions and instead flow gracefully and deeply into the qi state.