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Health and wellbeing are interesting words. We tend to throw them around assuming we are all meaning the same thing, but upon closer consideration it becomes clear that they are entirely dependent on the context of what that individual considers to be important. Some people think being healthy means to be able to do a lot of sports, run marathons, do exercises without becoming puffed, or maybe looking lean with toned muscles. Others will think it has to do with having a good diet and work life balance, or that you simply don't go to the doctors often or ever. Get into more nuanced circles and they will have more specific ideas. The Movement Culture that I was once very heavily involved in, for example, places high value on being able to physically move in a myriad of different complex ways. If you talk to a Buddhist they might say that health and wellbeing is entirely about the clarity of the mind. There are probably countless more examples with slightly different emphasis depending on who you talk to in which circles. Typically they all have an undercurrent of "if I do that thing, I will feel better about and in myself".

In Da Xuan we also have a specific view. Traditionally they would say it's all about circulation - if everything in our being is perfectly circulating then we cannot be in disease. We include in this view the physical body, the breath/energy, and the mind/spirit. 

In the physical body, it means that all the organic fluids are moving through all corners of the body, bringing in new and fresh (oxygen, blood, nutrients, hormones, whatever) and removing the old and stale. Physical tension stops this circulation from moving effectively and also prevents the mind from having clarity about what the body is doing. Essentially this means that we want to resolve all chronic tension in the body which involves addressing and resolving all the weak points. Practically speaking, when a body has this quality it is both strong and relaxed, coordinated and very grounded.

In the breathing and energetic realm it means that we have a full and complete exchange of air with the outside, and that there is a strong and clear feeling moving through all parts of the body which creates a strong general feeling of vitality - as if we have enough resources to confront all aspects of our lives.

In the mind it means that our thoughts are able to run their course without us getting stuck going over and over them. They simply appear, pass through our minds and then vanish again. When we aren't stuck on our thoughts and belief structures, our mind is free to focus on the task at hand, whether that be listening to someone or focusing on a single task without distraction. 

We also consider that each of these aspects is intricately linked, and to create balance we do not want to treat one as being more important than the other. 

This view of health is obviously quite different from the others I mentioned and it brings an orientation which means things that are considered very healthy from another point of view are very unhealthy from this perspective, and also that things that we find very important other people won't give a damn about. It's not that one orientation is any more correct than another, plenty of people lead very full and long lives using all sorts of different orientations towards health. But the orientation will determine what you do with your time, so I think it's worth clarifying which view you have and why you value that view, and whether or not the view is helping you to achieve what is important to you in your life. 


DAO YIN - Establishing the Structure (Jing)

Dao Yin appears on the outside to look very much like pilates or yoga. The practice is done primarily lying on your back, learning to extend, roll and rotate using the power of the lower center and the strength of the back while progressively reducing tension in the extremities. The practices of Dao Yin are some of the most effective for building the structure, training the weak links, and establishing the link between the center and our back, the source of our energy. Being predominantly a lying practice done on a yoga mat, it keeps us in close contact with the ground, allowing us to align our backs and feel with increasing clarity the parts of ourselves that we don’t often get to look at.

Course Dates: October 19th - December 20th

Click here for course information
Click here for registration

DA XUAN FAMILY QI GONG - Internal Training (Jing + Qi)

The Da Xuan family qi gong is at the centre of the school, covering the most important qualities - the ability to feel energy without fantasy, the linking of the body, and grounding. This course introduces the topic and gives the participants a firm understanding of how to begin the process, bringing clarity by approaching the topic from several angles. For more information about Da Xuan Qi Gong and where it can lead, please visit my teacher's page here:

Course Dates: Next Course TBA

PRIMORDIAL BREATHING - Freeing the Breath (Qi)

This syllabus covers breathing methods that will work to train the physical aspect of the lungs: the breath capacity, rhythm, freeing the airways, various methods of breathing, and opening the diaphragm. Although they are reasonably simple practices, they are profoundly effective and critical for building a strong foundation that will prepare you properly for engaging with more complex practices of Internal Alchemy (nei dan).

Course Dates: Next Course TBA

SHEN GONG - Calming and Focusing the Mind (Shen)

If we do not understand the way our mind functions, and cannot calm and stabilize our thinking and attention, then it will be very difficult to engage in any other topic with any degree of depth. Shen Gong trains the qualities of attention so that we may engage with all our other practices completely and without distraction. When our mind is free to focus completely on a given task, we can complete the task in full and finish with the mind available for whatever comes next - whether it be listening to family and friends or undertaking a new task. Unlike the spiritual training of Shen Dan, in which we investigate our fundamental identity, Shen Gong trains the purely pragmatic functioning of the mind.

Course Dates: 24th August – 18th October (currently in progress)


As you can see above, the Dao Yin course starts in about a week and a half. The previous Qi Gong course finished a couple of weeks ago and Shen Gong will wrap up soon.

If you missed any of the courses, don't fret. They will be running again in the near future. As always my website will have all the current details and all announcements will go via social media as well as this newsletter.



I am speaking at the Embodiment Conference about physical training from the Daoist perspective. This is a free online conference with a huge number of speakers, I think I even saw Alanis Morissette as one of the keynote speakers.

I'll be speaking at 3pm Brisbane time on the 19th of October. 

I'll send a dedicated newsletter out soon with more details, as the event is promising to be pretty spectacular. Until then if you want to explore for yourself or register, you can do so with this link that has my name in it so they know I sent you:


Strange times are still abound, and we appear to be in the midst of a massive turning point in the world. Now more than ever it's critical that we really investigate our orientations and the things that are really important to us. If we rely on existing social structures and cultural norms to provide this for us, and the society and culture changes or is removed suddenly, we may find ourselves in a very sticky situation. Confronting this stuff is difficult in the best of times, it's much better to do it in advance while we have the energy than to wait until there is disaster everywhere to do it.

Happy training,
Copyright © 2020 Craig Mallett, All rights reserved.

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