By Dr. Steven Liu and Jonathan Blank, Tarcher, $16.95, 217 pages
Dragon Gate Taoism is a 700-year-old tradition within Buddhism and Confucianism. The goal of the teachings is for followers to achieve spiritual alchemy (the turning of the physical body into a spiritual force). Dr. Steven Liu and Jonathan Blank have provided readers with exercises in their book Secrets of Dragon Gate: Ancient Taoist Secrets for Health, Wealth, and the Art of Sexual Yoga.
The book begins with a comprehensive look at the philosophy of Dragon Gate. You’ll find a brief overview of Taoism and learn how and why alchemy plays such a large role. Each chapter is full of exercises meant to get you healthy. One exercise focuses on water consumption; another deals with sleep habits. The book goes on to suggest breathing and meditation routines. The Five Elements of Life (fire, earth, metal, water, wood) are discussed. Then the topic changes to dreams and sexual yoga. There are other books available that suggest ways to better your life and they are much clearer and easier to read. Other than finding several new relaxation and meditation techniques, there isn’t much new information. Unless you are interested in Taoism, I’d find a different book.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin