Grandmasters: Mantak Chia and Xu Mingtang


This article is dedicated to the following teachers: Mantak Chia and Xu Mingtang. We decided to write about them since they were some of our early teachers long ago. Being a novice cultivator is like walking in a dark, hostile forest without a light. The "Grandmasters" can take advantage of new students by claiming they know everything, would show you everything and are just short of being gods on this earth. A young cultivator needs to lower expectations of quickly acquiring power. Also, the young and naive fall for those schemes, and many teachers prey on the naive en masse.

Daoist Arts Cultivation Benefits

Daoist training, also known as Daoist internal cultivation, refers to the practices and techniques used in Daoism to cultivate physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Here are some benefits of Daoist training:

1. Improved physical health: Daoist training emphasizes the importance of physical health, with practices such as Qigong and Tai Chi that can improve balance, flexibility, and overall fitness.

2. Reduced stress and anxiety: Many Daoist practices, such as meditation and breathing exercises, are effective in reducing stress and anxiety, promoting relaxation, and improving mental clarity.

3. Increased self-awareness: Daoist training involves self-reflection, introspection, and mindfulness, leading to a deeper understanding of oneself and one's place in the world.

4. Spiritual growth: Daoist training can help individuals develop a sense of spirituality, which can bring a sense of peace, purpose, and fulfillment.

5. Enhanced longevity: According to Daoist principles, following a balanced and harmonious lifestyle can help individuals live longer and healthier lives. Daoist training can provide a holistic approach to health and wellness, encompassing life's physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. It can help individuals cultivate a greater sense of well-being, harmony, and balance.

Commitment to a particular system or a teacher requires a leap of faith and a certain amount of time to try the system. It's just the principle of Kung Fu: cumulative effort leads to results. However, it's better to ask someone with experience to see whether the prospective teacher is knowledgeable enough or worth following. Mainly, the teachers sell the practice to you to paint such a rosy picture, promising you to self-heal any disease, become a happy person, and maybe attain superpowers. We will go over each teacher and their system in detail so that you can make your conclusion.

Xu Mingtang and Zhong Yuan Qigong Review

Xu Mingtang Seminar

Xu Mingtang is a founder of Zhong Yuan Qigong. He is a legendary self-proclaimed Qigong Grand Master and Lineage Holder of Zhong Yuan Qigong; he is a Chairman, Director, Founder, and deputy CEO of multiple organizations. All these titles are there to give him leverage of authority and push his media persona forward as an expert in internal arts and cultivation. The system of Zhong Yuan Qigong is claimed to be multiple thousands of years old, and he came from a family of internal arts masters linked with Shaolin tradition and inherited all kinds of secrets and powers along the line. He quickly became international and expanded to Western Hemisphere, Europe, and the United States. Xu Mingtang did organize retreats and taught his students outside the Shaolin Temple.

GrandMaster Xu Mingtang


Image Medicine

Image Medicine is an invention of Xu Mingtang. He claimed to have healed hundreds of thousands of patients with it, including tens of thousands with incurable diseases, and he claims to treat cancer patients successfully. If that were the case, he would've been known as the best cancer doctor in the world. Yes, Chinese medicine has its place, but we found no evidence of mass miracle healing. This is something relatively new; back in 2007, he didn't teach any of this. Mingtang, for example, has banned his instructors from teaching Image Medicine so that he can only do it himself.

In general, we have a very negative opinion about Masters who claim healing ability; this is just pure quackery. Yes, if you do Qigong exercises, your general health will improve, but so can be said about any physical exercise like running. Xu claims that his imagination and thought forms will heal hard stuff like cancer. Just give me a break. 

Xu's Tricks

Xu Mingtang became famous by showing his Qi Powers on television and the internet to some "experts" and scientists. He has been showing two of his most known tricks: breaking chopsticks and pencils with a paper bill and twisting spoons in his hands by "melting metal structure with his powerful Qi energy." Both of these demonstrations are cheap unadulterated scams and trickery.

It's easy to break a pencil with your finger when you stick it out for a split second behind the bill and then put it away. With spoons, you need to weaken the most narrow point with repeated bending load; this will produce beyond-yield stresses and warm up the metal. After that, you can twist the spoon easily and claim how you used "Fire Qi" to do it.

Master's Lifestyle

Master Xu's Lifestyle is not temperate. He's known for being physically unhealthy and overweight. One of his favorite foods is pancakes with caviar. If you look at some pictures of him throughout the years; you can see his health is deteriorating steadily without any regard for the practices that he does. He's not even 60 years old, yet he has to dye his hair black like other Masters to appear more healthy. While people can affect their subjective perception of themselves of their health, it does not mean they can change the objective reality and physical state of complex organisms and organs in the body. Thinking and believing you are healthier does not mean you actually become healthier. It is just a pipe dream, bullshido to believe in.

Xu Mingtang claimed he had a great and holy aura as he went to some person's home, and every living thing there was subconsciously attracted to him. The child was playing with him, and the cat came to cuddle. All of this is an example of attribution bias, as anyone could find himself in a similar situation. People generally can't feel subtle energies; visions, sounds, emotions, and material things can trigger a response. Any person with a presence and a good mood can uplift others; after all, there's a reason why music shows are so popular.  

More about Xu Mingtang's absurdity. The followers enthusiastically recount to each other the following incident: One overweight woman asked Xu Mingtang, "How can I lose weight?" Xu Mingtang said, "You should eat less." With a roar of delight, this is presented as the great wisdom of the teacher in simplicity and great simplicity in wisdom. But there are people who need some exercises to strengthen the nervous system in order to stop overeating. And there are people with metabolic disorders who eat little and "swell from the air." And a sane and knowledgeable master would just advise suitable exercises. If it were so simple, "you need to eat less," then there would be no fat people on the planet, and people would not die of obesity and heart disease.

Zhong Yuan Qigong Practices

At the highest level of the Zhong Yuan System, you learn some basics of beginner Qigong practices like Zhang Zhuang in Zhong Yuan style. Still, some are taught improperly and incompletely because the GM doesn't know the qualities and skills required to undertake cultivation. His program consists of mainly useless visualization-manifestation practices and supporting exercises.

Zhong Yuan Qigong has three basic levels and a more advanced 4th level, after which you can buy yourself the status of instructor. The higher the level, the fewer actual Qigong practices there are, and the more mysticism and esotericism there are. You move from doing regular sitting and standing practices to imagining Dantiens, channels, and external energy. He uses visualization improperly as he tries to invoke action using visualization. For example, he has an exercise called "reverse aging by imagining yourself as a newborn baby." He thinks it's easy to start the anti-aging process by thinking that you're extremely young. In the end, it comes down to mental jacking and spending energy creating useless illusions. Image Medicine is also based on this nonsense. Mingtang tries to be a wizard without really understanding how the energies work.

And then again, since he has such a large school, he has instructors teaching instead of Mingtang to most of his student base. There have been multiple complaints that the instructors try to teach with their own style, not Xu's way. A lot of them are very arrogant and scared of perceived competition, so new talented students wouldn't take part of their income by becoming an instructor themselves. Initiation into the teacherhood did cost about 1000 dollars back in 2005.

One instructor of the ZYQ school and one of the first students of Xu Mingtang went crazy and stated in an email newsletter that it was difficult for her to manage the creation of a parallel and happier universe alone, so Xu Mingtang gave her the authority to conduct seminars for teacher assistants. Very slowly, she was deprived of instruction. She also had a friend who was just as crazy. Mingtang never kicked her out. He saw everything, but his hands were tied: if you openly recognize one of your main instructors as a crazy woman and deprive her of instruction, then you will have to openly put an end to the project under the name of Zhong Yuan Qigong and admit that nothing works. After all, everyone will see that people in the school, even those of such a high rank, are completely insane; they literally went rogue.

Zhong Yuan Qigong Seminars

Mantak Chia - Daoist Grandmaster

Mantak Chia Instagram page

Mantak Chia is Chinese born in 1944 in Thailand. After the Chinese revolution, there was a mass exodus of spiritual gurus and internal arts teachers from China, fearing repressions and witch hunts. Some came to Thailand and took Chia in as a student. Asian societies, particularly the internal arts circles, are often very secluded and preferential towards people of the same descent. You may not be accepted if you are of a different race or nationality, even if you have a talent for those arts. While Mantak was one in the group of students of his Master, because he was Chinese and was Man, he was destined to inherit it all. His teachers wanted to preserve and save tradition and to pass it further.

At 78 years old, he is a successful spiritual leader and Daoist Master. He is the Universal Healing Tao system's founder and owner of Tao Garden Retreat and Pakua Health Clinic. Mantak has been named in the top 18th of the most influential people in the world of Esoteric and Spiritual circles, compared in one list with names like Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra. Mantak Chia has been teaching for over 50 years all around the world. Mantak is the author of 60 books on internal arts, self-development, massage, sexuality, martial arts, cultivation, and Daoism.
There are thousands of instructors and teachers all around the globe that have trained in Mantak methods.  

This fascinating story of an enlightened, awakened Master willing to teach and guide you down the rabbit hole to complete mastery. He might have learned some deep secrets of immortality and effectively slowed down his aging process. His dark black hair should be a symbol of vitality and internal power.

Mantak Chia is the author of 60 books

It is a spectacular illusion.

In reality, Mantak himself did not write a single book. The original book, Awakening the Healing Light of Tao, was a thick 500 pages book with 90% of all the content and essence of Daoist teachings of all 60 books. It was not written by Mantak even then but had his name on it, among others. The book was co-authored between Chia's Teachers and Chia peers. Mantak Chia played a minor role in it but had his name put there, as he was the most probable inheritor and next in line to teach.

Mantak Chia wanted more money and authority (status). You do not earn much by selling one book, so he devised a brilliant business idea of selling more books. But he could not invent or develop anything new, so he cut the old book into many small pieces/parts and started selling many books.
Mantak bloated the content, divided it into 40 different parts and released 40 new books because books sell, and 40x more books are 40x more profitable. It also boosts the teacher's authority in the masses' perception. In any modern Mantak's book, you can find that he bloats one simple exercise into ten different parts repeating itself. Such action sells under the excuse of making things "easier to understand for the dumb western mind."

Original books had cool illustrations made by a talented artist. You can still find his posters around. The artist would like to be credited for it or have a percentage of income from the books business, but neither suited Mantak's ambitions and personal greed. He made a scandal, and now Mantak Chia's books, instead of cool illustrations, contain Mantak's selfies and pictures in various poses and stages of nudity, with some cheap graphics on top portraying energy moving.

Mantak Chia Healing Tao books collection

Mantak's Practices

I have spoken with multiple Universal Healing Tao system instructors, including martial arts instructors. The consensus is that books contain improper and wrong techniques. Energy packing in organs causes organs to fry; you are developing an energy blockage through practice that will lead to cancer, stagnation, or another serious issue.

The Inner Smile technique is a prime example of confusion between cause and effect. An inner smile is something that happens naturally during the cultivation process as a practitioner develops a certain amount of energy. Trying to imitate Inner Smile is like faking it until you make it. This is a useless endeavor; you don't try to imitate 100 things; you be one without effort.
It is no different from thinking if you imitate yourself as a rich person and believe you are rich, your bank account will magically grow.

Cognitive bias and a placebo effect may sell well but bring no tangible benefit in the long run.
Imitating qualities is a fruitless endeavor that consumes the time and energy of practitioners.

Over the range of practices, they range from dangerous and detrimental to health to useless and based on a placebo effect.

Multiorgasmic Man

Mantak Chia often presents himself as a Sex teacher and Sex guru, and it is because sex sells. While serious spiritual pursuit and working with own imperfections do not appeal to many in society, the topic of sexuality and increasing pleasure is bringing in many people and, subsequently, money. Mantak is greedy enough to collect on it himself, obsessed with wealth, money, and sensual pleasures.

While the practices may work to an extent, they pose significant energy, health, and spiritual development risks. Yes, you can prolong pleasure and achieve a full-body orgasm, but there is no cultivation here. Edging and retrograde ejaculation does not hold your Chi; it leaks and strains your vessels. Activated essence is the one that gets lost.

Forced semen retention over a long period can lead to health issues and increased pressure/strain on the body. While insatiable and unbalanced desires fuel the heart demons, causing mental deviation.

Mantak's followers are incapable of proper growth and proper balancing of both yin and yang energies in a practitioner's body and mind; those methods are not known or taught in the system. They cultivate a strong raging desire for sexual gratification; the actual results are that multiple instructors of the Mantak Chia method ended up committing sex crimes.

Drained Health

Universal Healing Tao practitioners mistakenly believe that engaging in prolonged sexual practices and activity signifies greater vitality and internal power. While being able to engage and withhold orgasm and commit to a longer sexual practice might be a skill, actually doing it for countless hours is draining health and vitality. The energy is being burned for the sake of impermanent momentary pleasures and insatiable desire.

Mantak has multiple wives and partners, and he brags about how he has energy for all of them. We're afraid that the only thing he has for them at his age is money. He was seen spending money on expensive jewelry and gifts for women.

Illusion of Longevity

One major point common among all "Daoist Masters" is a desire to sell the illusion of longevity. In Mantak Chia's case, it has gotten to an absurd state. While it is clear that his health is draining and he is deteriorating like any other human being, he is grasping straws at keeping the illusion of great vitality and being younger than his age looks.

Regular doctor visits, makeup, and cosmetic procedures create this illusion. Like many other "Daoist Grand Masters," he colors his hair black weekly. It has become a worthy tale in Daoist communities as when acid rain is going, the hair of every Daoist suddenly goes gray.

The fundamental belief in white hair as a sign of weak health came from Ancient China when people identified sicknesses by the smell of poo, and white hair was a sign of frail vitality. For a Daoist master having black hair in ages 70-80 indicates a high level of spiritual and energy attainment, a symbol of status, and a point of respect. Regular hair coloring is an affordable procedure essential for all Daoist masters because gullible students believe in all the myths surrounding a tradition instead of studying or reading any biological science.

Tao Garden Experience

We have visited Tao Garden, been there and slept there; the whole place is seemingly a place of power built to be a den of cultivation and contains the energy of (Dao). The area is made from scratch into a magical array, with certain trees and flower gardens planted in certain regions, an overall clean, quiet space with lots of fresh air and pure organic produce. In a specially designated area over the pond, you can have a meal at a certain time, with no disturbance for cultivation and meditation. It was meant to be a perfect place for cultivation, a retreat area made by cultivators for cultivators.

That is where the good things end and kick into brutal reality. After living in Tao Garden, it becomes obvious that the people who built and designed the place and those who own and run it now are not the same people.

Mantak Chia inherited this place and mismanaged it into oblivion.
Tao Garden was meant to have clean water filtration everywhere; it is non-existent now. The pond over which people come to eat was designed to be crystal clear (it was in the first years), but with time it became rotten with mud and started to give off a bad smell.

The food that was supposed to be cooked with respect to Daoist ancient wisdom and health comes as ordinary pasta or sweet chocolate bakery. It becomes obvious that Mantak did not read the books he claimed to have written and authored himself. He does not care about anything other than squeezing maximum profits.

It became an expensive retreat center for rich western tourists with outdated ancient facilities and poor, unhealthy junk food. You would have to pay 3-5x premium to live and eat in Tao Garden, compared to anywhere else in Chiang Mai.

When Mantak Chia's teachers passed away, the succession war began. And Mantak quickly eliminated and pushed out his peers, taking all the credit and all the brand under himself. Because he was hungry for money from rich Europeans and Americans, he sold the key infrastructure in The Tao Garden for cash. This action turned out to be detrimental in the long run, not only from the business standpoint (quick cash vs. long-term returns) but from an inability to do any proper repairs and renovations in the place as well as overblown rent prices, as investors wanted a return on investment made into Tao Garden properties.

Poor business management and greed made Mantak Chia seek help. In particular, we had a recording of Mantak Chia's meeting with two unknown Witchers/Magi. The Magi appeared to use a long spell ritual, with hand movements and incantations, drawing a mandala to bless Mantak Chia's business to bring more profits and money.


There is no discernment at the start of the path between teachers. You have to start from something and make a leap of faith in practice. It is easy to get trapped into an authority bubble, with many others fuelling confirmation bias about someone famous and influential being the "Master" of one or another Art.  

The reality and opening the truth require work, critical thinking, skills, and abilities. In comparison, after first meeting with Mantak Chia, I had doubts when the illusion of a highly advanced Daoist Master met reality. It became clear after the second meeting with Mantak that he was unawakened and unable to see energy with his eyes. While he pretends to be a spiritual guru, he is not even there. He always lacked the talent for internal practices and cultivation, started teaching too early, and became obsessed with popularity and wealth. While every person dies and Mantak too, that signifies a completely missed opportunity in life to cultivate anything meaningful. Instead, he draws many people into oblivion, all to enjoy the shortlived and mundane lifestyle of a celebrity guru coach.

Xu Mingtang has developed a profitable business model, and a little lie has gone a long way to promote himself. Showing simple tricks with spoons and chopsticks but claiming it is a result of his Qi cultivation. He eventually becomes a self-perpetuating cult where he is revered as a godly figure.

Both Xu Mingtang and Mantak Chia are confirmed quacks and scammers.

The truth may not be easy to take for many and is not a sweet one. We would all like to be surrounded by advanced masters and spiritually developed beings. On the other hand, there's always something worse. At the very least, neither Xu Mingtang nor Mantak Chia is promoting smoking cigars and alcohol as a lifestyle choice.


Adam Mizner and Damo Mitchell smoking cigars