Top critical review
Trim the fat and get your facts straight, Mantak.
June 13, 2002
The main problem with this book is that the idea of chi is presented in such a low-brow Western terminology that the concept nearly lost. References to "Tongue Kung Fu". "Air" and the Cranial "Pump" tend to deflate and demystify the spiritual ideology. Literal english translations or even the retention of his own native language would have showed more respect for the subject.
Chia's teachings of meditation seem accurate enough but make one fatal flaw. The whole book - all of the various levels of the energy transference exercises - lead to or stem from the Microcosmic Orbit. Through out the book, Chia states that energy moves from the sexual region, up through the body and is stored in the head.
Why would he say that and then state in one of his other books, Awaken Healing Energy of the Tao, that proper storage of this energy, after moving through the head, should be in the navel. Anyone familiar with t'ai chi knows that the navel is the center point to all of your body's energy. To store such energies in the head can lead to insanity. Very irresponsible on his part.
At the end of the book, I suppose in an effort to cover all bases, everything from the pubococcygeal muscle to refexology gets a paragraph or two. Needless to say that several Chia's notions on tangible sexual issues could use a bit more research. For example, Chia makes reference to how ingesting semen "is at least as rational as buying vitamins" as it is a "treasure house" of vitamins and minerals. Anyone worth his salt knows that it only contains trace elements.
That statement alone makes me question just how accurate the rest of the book is. (Chia, of course, doesn't condone this sort of behavior, for you see, according to him, loss of this fluid can lead to baldness and premature death - hence the books whole stand point of retention and recirculating the energy contained within to other vital areas of the body.)
Where Chia really lost me, however, is when he suggested that women practicing exercises in this book "should keep [their] panties on to prevent any chi from draining out."