In meditation, which uses the Inner Dissolving process, the ice-to-water phase is very similar to although deeper than what is practised in Outer Dissolving. Presence accomplishes three important goals for meditation, which can lead to a healthy and peaceful life. Through the first two phases of development, enables cultivation of deep relaxation through the ice-to-water phase of the Dissolving process.
Ice-to-water is a metaphor used to release any and all specific points of tension you find in your body into a state of deep relaxation. If you choose to begin this journey, the first port of call is to begin releasing all that binds your body, mind and qi–especially any negative emotions, such as anger, greed, anxiety and fear. The deeper and more subtle aspects of ourselves are rooted in our subconscious mind, which is the undercurrent that creates both our conscious awareness and subconscious decisions. From a spiritual perspective, we are fully responsible for both that which we put out and what comes our way in life. Everybody has repeating patterns in their lives–experiences that come up time and time again. If you develop the techniques associated with the first stage of meditation, you can apply your skill set to developing the second through the water-to-space process of Dissolving, and thereby release your conditioning, negative behaviour patterns and free your spirit.
However, if you rush ahead or skip steps, then the desired results from more advanced and lofty meditation practices can remain little more than a hope, mental projection or fleeting moments of personal satisfaction. Currently, I am qualified by my teacher, Taoist Meditation Master Bruce Frantzis, to teach the first stage of meditation with all its subsidiary practices, including developing qi energy, balancing the internal organs, and releasing physical and energetic blockages. Normally, I teach various aspects of meditation within each course I offer, weaving together threads of internal nei gong content to create results that are far more profound than each can offer individually. Accordingly, whether you attend a course with me on breathing, qi gong, tai chi or bagua, you will learn techniques to help you become present and focused and to develop your mind’s ability to concentrate.
This entry was posted in Beginners, Meditation, Most Recent Posts, Taoism and tagged How to Meditate, How to Meditate for Beginners, Meditation Classes in London, Meditation for Beginners, Meditation London, Tao School, Taoism, Taoist Meditation by Paul Cavel. Paul Cavel is the founder of Tao Arts London, editor of the monthly Tao journal, Inner Quest, life coach and senior Tao meditation arts teacher. Now that we have built up to deep, spherical breathing over the last five lessons, it’s now time to apply your skill while in motion (see the first blog in my deep breathing series to study the progression).
Many people who practice Tao movement arts, such qi gong, tai chi or bagua, focus only on what is directly in front of them, up-down or left-right because these directions are in their field of vision. There are many methods for developing spherical awareness and spherical operation of your body. When you take a full breath in deep, diaphragm breathing, the whole torso (except the chest) naturally expands like a balloon blowing up on the inhale.
When your breathing becomes smooth and strong in the body, the entire spine also becomes engaged, lengthening up and down (as the vertebrae separate a little), while the whole spine retracts out of the back of the body ever-so slightly. First, you practice sitting, next in standing qi gong, then moving qi gong and, finally, in tai chi and bagua. When the sphere starts to open as one piece, focus on engaging and opening up the spine with your breath. Of course when you arrive at step 8, repeat the cycle again, deepening your ability at every level and multiplying the positive effects of all others. This entry was posted in Breathing, Experienced Practitioners, Qi Gong & Nei Gong and tagged Breathing Exercises, Breathing for a Healthy Body, Breathing for Meditation, Deep Breathing Exercises, How-to Breathing Exercises, How-to Breathing Techniques, Relaxation Breathing, Taoist Breathing by Paul Cavel.
All of Paul’s courses are designed to offer both a beginning “fundamentals” and more advanced “nei gong” level of training, so new and existing students are always welcome to join us on retreat! The picturesque mountain village of Gaucin is nestled 600 metres above sea level in beautiful Andalucia. La Posada Romana is a private estate and luxury finca 2 km from the White Village of Gaucin.
Organic market – La Tienda Verde is conveniently located, offering a wide range of ethical food and products. If you’d like to take advantage of our low-cost airport shuttle service (?30), we recommend flying into Malaga Airport (AGP) in accordance with the schedule published below.

We highly recommend scheduling flights that coincide with our low-cost shuttle schedule (see next section).
We ask that you please schedule flights arriving one hour before the scheduled departure times listed below to allow time to go through customs, etc.
Onsite guests: A free shuttle service is available at lunchtime for those who would like to dine out, shop or sightsee in the village (two-hour allotment). Eight section brocade chi kung, ba duan jin qigong, eight - Eight section brocade exercise. Simplified standard 24 movement t'ai chi ch'uan form (yang - T'ai chi ch'uan: national 24 form standard simplified taijiquan version, 24 movements, 1956, yang style taijiquan 24 short form, simplified tai chi, standard beijing. Copyright © 2014 Special Gift, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. Some methods focus purely on relaxation and the ability to reduce stress, whereas others seek to encompass the full spectrum of a spiritual path that can ultimately culminate in Enlightenment. The ice-to-water phase initiates the release by producing deep relaxation in any specific blockage in the body (i.e. You must not shut down the optimal circulation of blood and chi, or you will simply drift off to sleep, space out, or compromise the functioning of your body and mind.
The ability to be present is what allows you to live in the moment, and feel what is happening to and around you.
Whole-body breathing aids the ice-to-water phase by both developing a general state of relaxation and generating more energy, which the mind can harness to increase focus and presence. Without this initial clearing phase, it is quite impossible to delve deeper into the more subtle aspects of yourself, including opening to your true spiritual path.
These deeper aspects of ourselves are largely the result of our conditioning: that is what we were exposed to as we grew from a baby into an adult. Many of these experiences are undesirable and most people would like nothing more than to get rid of them!
It’s a pragmatic methodology that has been employed for millennia to help people deal with the darkest aspects of their being and become truly free or unbound. This is why it is so important to commit to working on the techniques of the first stage of meditation, and seek the guidance and support you need to make your dreams a reality–whatever they may be. I have spent 25 years training this material and developing my practice to open to my spiritual path, which embraces my passion for helping students along their own personal journeys of self-development. Nei gong underpins and supports meditation by developing health and vitality, whereas meditation develops a still, stable and focused mind, which advances and completes nei gong training. With this, I hope to provide you with the guidance and support necessary to develop a firm root in the first stage of meditation, so that you can release daily and accumulated stress and tension, and achieve anything to which you set your mind’s intent.
Since 1987, Paul has studied nei gong science, the I Ching and Lao Tzu’s Water tradition of Taoism in-depth, including qi gong, tai chi, bagua zhang, Taoist breathing, Taoist yoga, qi gong tui na energy healing and meditation. Do not attempt any exercises if you have a physical, emotional or mental condition that may make you susceptible to injury. That said, you must first fully develop your technique with circularity before attempting spherical movement. The diaphragm goes down and swells the bowels and lower organs (front, sides and back), and the lungs expand (down, sideways, back and up), causing a ballooning effect. This spinal activity really gets the qi circulating and is the first stage of increasing your awareness behind you. I highly recommend holding off on transporting this exercise into your tai chi or bagua practice until your technique is like putty in your hands since both arts put uneven pressure on your spine and internal organs. I counter my more rounded belly from my insides having released and dropped from belly breathing with regular bagua practice! Marked by a 12th century Moorish castle with sunny days and breathtaking views towards the Mediterranean Sea, Spanish Sierra Nevada, Gibraltar and the Rif Mountains of North Africa, visitors will enjoy a perfect blend of local flavour and historic attractions in an awe-inspiring natural setting. Set amongst seven acres of national parkland with mature trees and some of the most stunning views to be had from atop the mountain, it is the natural and nurturing home of our weeklong retreats. We’re happy to pre-order organic veggie-fruit boxes to have ready for your arrival during retreats!

We’ll serve Spanish tapas after the first class on Sunday evening (first week only), but you will need breakfast and any snacks until the afternoon shuttle to the village on Monday, when the stores re-open. The ride down is only 2 km and the meeting place is the corner just beyond Hotel La Fructosa, which is centrally located in the village. From the very basics for absolute beginners, building through the various layers of internal content (cavities, kwa, joints, breathing, etc, etc) allowing people of all capabilities to develop and absorb all they can.
All courses include a beginning “fundamentals” and more advanced “nei gong” level of training, so new and experienced students are welcome!
You’ll notice I’m now offering my bagua programme exclusively in Islington and Stuttgart to focus the curriculum in ways that will better support diehards like yourself and (hopefully) give new students some insight into just how far this superior mind-body art can take them!
The range, depth and focus of meditation is wide and varied, but all traditional forms agree that proficiency in meditation must be developed over time with dedicated and regular practice.
This is where the softened, relaxed energy from the ice-to-water phase is released internally into the depths of your being.
In other words, you will create the opposite of what you are trying to achieve: presence, focus and higher spiritual functioning. Together, these techniques produce the specific state of being required to commence the exploration of what is deep inside of you.
Equally, our conditioning affects how we react to the world around us: that is our behaviour, or what each of us contributes to the world, for better or worse.
From a Taoist point of view, first we must work to clean up our own karma, and if we are lucky enough to achieve reasonable results, we can then apply our effort to helping with the karma of our family, friends, other living beings, social groups, countries, species and the planet.
We would like our lives to change for the better, but often times find it incredibly difficult to implement positive change. Traditionally, these two streams were taught together as one complete system, so I organise my programmes to follow this time-tested and well-established approach. This is a speciality of Earth Element Qi Gong (Gods Playing in the Clouds in the Energy Arts System) and bagua because each art develops the ability to create spherical movement. So the how-to instructions that follow are meant to help those who have already reached this milestone by studying the techniques offered int he preceding five blogs over some weeks or months. It is not necessary to hire a car as apartments, houses, hotels, markets, restaurants, class-time shuttle stops and local attractions are all within a 5-15 minute walk of one another in the village itself.
Also taking students with more experience in these arts to another level, deepening the existing content and spring boarding off into the energetics, also made accessible through Pauls expert guidance. Good luck with your classes and I’ll see you this autumn when we get back to regular training, mate.
The water-to-gas phase completes the release by expanding the energy of the blockage outside the body, where it is neutralised.
This methodology allows for full resolution of not only the physical and energetic content of the blockage, but also any emotional, mental or spiritual content. This is because what binds us to these repeating patterns goes deeper than the conscious mind.
Although once you develop spherical awareness, you can apply it any exercise, such as qi gong, tai chi and Taoist yoga. I caution those of you who are still stabilising your fundamental techniques to be patient and fill in any gaps before charging forward. This dovetailed superbly on the Spring Retreat (Marriage of Heaven and Earth) and set the perfect foundation for the Bagua intensive at the end.
This is achieved by following any blockage progressively deeper, right down to the tip of its roots. Conversely, when your system is open and soft, those pressures dissipate and cause a positive, massaging effect.

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