You know those times when there is just this soft easy place, relaxed and energetically vibrant, spacious, tender even, and perhaps occasionally for some people, once in a while, an expansion of awareness so powerful, that it takes our breath away.

Be loose and easy, let the mind and body be one.

For practical information about our next retreat please
see here.

For more in-depth background reading please
click this link to download a pdf.
It might take a few moments as it's quite big.

Here is the information from a previous retreat held in November 2012.

November Retreat 2012
Awakening Toward Transcendence

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This image portrays impressions of our Qi potential within the
fluid body as it enters into ignition.

In making a movement toward transcendence, and in engaging the root of our Qi potential, the smart way forward is to listen to the truth of one's embodiment.

A Gathering Essence Nei Gong Training

Welcome to The Master Game November retreat, with six days in silence as we build and condense our Qi into an embodied cellular consciousness that is integrated with the Qi of the universal field. 

The fee this November is £690 which covers board and lodging for eight full days and nine nights. For bookings and information please contact Gathering Essence. A £50 non-refundable deposit is required when you book in, and the full fee is due two weeks before the retreat. There is a £40 discount for bookings by the beginning of October.

The retreat starts November 2nd and finishes on Sunday 11th at 10 am. We will be open for registration from 5.00pm on the Friday with a light supper at 7.00pm First session begins at 8.30pm.

As always we have a relaxed start to the retreat, taking time to slow down our pacing, gradually de-stressing, relaxing the adrenal complex and bringing the mind and body into present time. This year we have added a few extra days to give us some more time to deepen and ground the work.


 The Nei Gong Meditations
 of Yin and Yang, Kun and Ch’ien,
Kan and Li 

How we understand the nature of reality is constantly evolving, becoming richer and fuller over time. Old concepts and beliefs evolve as our consciousness develops and grows, but the fundamental processes of awakening remains the same, regardless of our level of cognitive sophistication in understanding the science of our biology and the physics underpinning sentient existence.
Awakening to Being is radically different from the conceptual constructs of social preference, science or religion. As old constructs fall away into a stream of living presence we awake to the flow of existence and the stillness at the core of Being. When we begin to awaken to depth of Being we are awakening regardless of our descriptions of mind and reality. Awakening transcends thought and belief dissolving inertia and cognitive conditioning, expanding into an open consciousness that is embodied, fluid and vital. The mind-state changes into direct cognition of present time and a profundity of embodied potential, our spatial consciousness integrates and interacts with the vital forces organising space; and we become conscious of the stillness at the core of Being. In this retreat we will be working with some fundamental ancient Taoist and Buddhist body-mind practices that are integrated into a modern perspective in order to further our awakening consciousness into a transpersonal and personal relationship with universal Being.
In Taoist philosophy Yin and Yang equates with matter and energy. Matter is Kun the Earthly Receptive Principle, encompassing all of matter, from the earth to the stars, and from the stars to the raw substance of our atoms. Energy or Qi is Ch’ien the Heavenly Creative Principle from the raw generative power of existence to the subtleties of consciousness. Yin and Yang are particle and wave in constant flux, changing from one into the other, from energy into matter, from matter into energy. Evolving consciousness in the Being-ness of nature. Becoming aware of the above at a palpable level is feeling the biofield of Yin and Yang flow from form into formlessness, and formlessness into form. In Nei Gong Meditation we are developing this ability to awaken to the living fullness of the flow of reality at the depth of the Receptive and Creative principles implicit in sentience.
We can think of the body as Kun the receptive and our mind as Ch’ien the creative. The interaction between the Creative and the Receptive force creates Fire and Water, Li and Kan, the interaction of these two primary agents create the ignition empowering growth and enabling consciousness. It encompasses all of our biology and it’s integration with nature.
The following image shows the Taoist notation for the arrangement of our core forces prior to acquired conditioning. The longitudinal forces of Ch’ien and Kun, Heaven and Earth are experienced in their original ignition of generative potential.  They are the organising principle guiding the horizontal forces of growth and perception, Kan and Li. Growth and nutrition is Kan, Li is perception and generative potential. The spiral is the Gathering Essence of Ch’ien and Kun forming Li and Kan.


 The before conditioning arrangement

As conditioning and puberty overtake our body and our consciousness, the alignment of the core forces are reversed, and we lose connection with the unconditioned flow of generative Qi and pure perception. Our attention becomes externalised in cognitive projection and the body’s generative and perceptual potential become depleted.
The rotating potential of our core centers go into decline as we become distanced from the fullness of universal potential, the regenerative centers slow down, and LI and Kan begin to separate. Li floats up, Kan sinks down, and mind separates from the body in varying degrees of disassociation.
In the next image the spiraling dynamics of the generative potential goes into depletion as cognitive consciousness disperses the potential and begins to separate the mind from its origin. Although the power of the core potential is still present at the depth of ones embodiment, it is hidden in the unconscious, and becomes too weak to maintain a conscious connection to the depth of reality. We begin to lose our relationship to the infinite and our mind and body become impoverished and polluted. The body sinks into defensive holding, carrying excessive unprocessed emotions and armoring. The mind becomes habituated, contracting our energy field into the defensive gestures of the body. There is a kind of shriveling up of our ability to be open and full, we quite simply do not have the available Qi to be connected with the fullness of Being.

 The after conditioning arrangement

In Nei Gong we learn to work with our life force and build our potential, clearing acquired conditioning and realigning our core dynamics. We regulate our behaviour and enter into the fullness of our potential, regenerating and speeding up the rotating dynamics of our primary centers.
Water is Kan and Fire is Li. They are the essential elements empowering the nutrient and bio-electromagnetic forces orchestrating our biology and consciousness. The ancient Meditational practitioners of Nei-Gong understood how to access and develop consciousness; a consciousness integrated with the depth of reality, by employing the basic principles of Yin and Yang, Fire and Water; accessing feeling tone and energy, and developing and transforming their body-mind.
They cleared the mind from fixation in the concepts of cognitive consciousness by integrating their awareness into the depth of their life force as it arises prior to acquired conditioning. Working from the core out and from the outside to the core they cleared the body of blockages and realigned it with it’s longitudinal axes, building up the spinning power of the primary centers. In terms of our embodiment, Kan is the blood and the fluids of the body along with its chemistry, it is Yin in nature, arising from the nutrient of Kun the Yin of the Earth, our Receptive Essence.
Li and it’s bioelectrical chemistry are the fire of consciousness and the generative energy of the body-mind. It is Yang in nature, arising from Ch’ien the power of heaven our Creative Essence. All of these forces together are the palpable aspects of Being enabling the flow of becoming. The Meditation in Action dynamics of Nei Gong are simple, potent and precise, based on the flow of energy, embodied mindfulness condensed potential and equanimity.


This image shows the notation for the eight songs of empowerment of the Bagua. The Dragon represents Pure Yang absorbing the spiralling wisdom of Creation.

Acquired Conditioning

As acquired conditioning taints and corrupts the purity of Ch’ien and Kun we lose contact with our original nature. The body Essence, the energy Essence and mind Essence become out of phase with the depth of reality. As the Yin and Yang of Kan and Li are depleted and polluted by acquired conditioning, the coherence of our biology and mind becomes reactive and disassociated from our true nature. It is further depleted by the flow of potential into our sexual essences and sensual perception. We cannot work with the body-mind without working with the chemistry of our biology, in terms of the nutrient and the elements inducing consciousness. Part of developing the fluid body in Daoyin and Qigong practice is bringing our hormonal and neural chemistry into harmony, and allowing our energy to become grounded in a sense of fluid ease. Softening, slowing down, and deepening into the nutrient of our fluids; building up and refining our bioelectric forces. Clearing stagnation and tonifying the body-mind is the alchemy of working with Kan and Li Nei-Gong practice. Nei means internal, Gong means work or development over time.
Both water and fire together are the tangible foundation of our energy body and our physical body. Their chemistry, neural and bioelectric dynamics orchestrate the core elements of an embodied consciousness. Returning, regulating and transforming Kan and Li back into the purity of the Creative and Receptive force, is a process of transmigration toward the fundamental living principles underpinning Being. The balance of Fire and Water is crucial to wellbeing, and to the emancipation of our mind. For our forces to transform into consciousness we develop our capacity of steady perception and clear the ground of impediments, developing equanimity and clear seeing. Gradually we learn to feel into our Essence, transforming our Essence into Qi, our Qi into consciousness, and our consciousness into Being. It is transmigration from the fixation of our consciousness in thought and form, to the fluidity of formless awareness. A transmigration from acquired knowledge to the depth of the living knowledge in present time. 

The Transmigration of Kan and Li 

To "listen with clear attention" to Kan and Li the nutrient and consciousness of Being, is to be here now, sustained in the buoyancy of our Qi potential. To build and sustain the power of our Qi potential is to widen and deepen into the richness of existence. To deepen within both form and the formless flow of our extended nature’s ocean of Being, is to evolve in living presence. We are boundless wholeness; our true nature is that of the infinite Tao.
When we return to the consciousness of the flow of our Qi potential the mindful surfer gathers the potential of Kan and Li, the embodiment of Being and reins in cognitive consciousness. By these means we transcend the habituation of our mind states and give birth to Universal Consciousness; free from the restraints of the conditioned mind.  As we do so the forces of Kan and Li condense and ignite as liquid light in the fluids and channels of the physical system. Our body-mind consciousness undergoes transmigration into the purity of undifferentiated awareness. This is the integration of Kan and Li transforming into Ch’ien the Creative and Kun the Receptive. The motion of polarity reveals itself as the flux and flow of change inherent in universal potential, as fluid ripples in the filament of space and time, boundlessly centered in the rich earth of the Tao.

In our field of awareness
we begin to see that Being has no name, 
no beginning, and no end. 
We see that nothing remains in form for long,
that nature evolves.
Changing transforming as the cosmos expands and deepens. 
 Only the stillness that sustains potential, the ineffable Tao 
is unchanging, unfathomable and free.

 Be at one with stillness.
Centered at the core of the life force.
 Surfing the flow of potential,
 as universal Being.



 The Mind and the Cellular Body

Sensation is the gestalt at the core of our perception; our mental relationship to sensation governs our behaviors at a subliminal level. It is here that our energies are compartmentalised and distributed through the chemical reactions and responses triggered by our mental body. Our Qi body is gathered together in the chest, purified, governed and dispersed by the lungs. It is the reactive nature of the mind to feeling that conditions the Lung Qi into distributing the potential of our Qi into defensive and restrictive patterning. In doing so we lose touch with the fullness of our energy at a cellular level. We begin a lifetime process of disassociation from the depth of our embodiment, and the core forces of our Being. 

The mind and the breath together orchestrate our relationship to sensation, it is from sensation that we form our understanding of the world.  When the mind is reactive our breath is restricted and our depth of feeling becomes compromised and conditioned, our chemistry favours a defensive attitude and we gradually loose connection to the potential of our life force. The mitochondria of the cellular body is starved of electrons and becomes dull and unresponsive as we contract and become armoured. Our mental body rejects aspects of sensation and favours others, closing down the cell walls to experience at an unconscious level. We become entrapped, armoured and enslaved in our preference of feeling states. Our connection to the fundamental properties of awakening consciousness become corrupted at the level of our Essential Essence, leaving us with a sense of separation and isolation from nature, that is both illusionary and impoverishing. We become asleep to our inherent potential, in doing so the coherence of our biology has become compromised and our function degraded. Our capacity to integrate is ungrounded and blocked by mental and physical toxicity.
The Master Game is about clearing and reconnecting to the Essential. Developing our Energy consciousness at the Quantum level to a high degree of potential and integrating the body-mind with the fundamental Essence of the universal field. This deep level of insight is the source of transcendence open to our attentive intelligence. We then can learn to fully embody the potential of the Tao and become grounded in the stillness at the center of Being.
During this retreat we will be developing a sense of embodiment through both sitting meditation and moving meditation. Opening the energy body to the universal field and reconnecting with the cellular system by means of developing our sensitivity to the Qi of our cellular body and of our environment. Working with sound and the various senses to clear the body-mind of stagnation, and to tonify and integrate our elemental energies as a cohesive flow of potential within the organ system.


 Accessing and Deepening in Primordial Breathing

Mastering and developing Primordial Breathing, synchronises the lungs and heart with the Breath of Life, our Primary Respiration. The first ignition of the lungs at birth is a Primordial Breath rooted in Primary Respiration. The experience and consciousness of Primordial Breathing is lost in early childhood through conditioning, repression of feeling states and the conceptualizing of experience. Deepening into Primordial Breathing is to be bathed in the golden glow of inner light and translucent awareness. The body and the mind become unified in the potency of universal essence when the lungs, heart, diaphragm and Primary Respiration synchronise and integrate.

Empowering and Opening in Embryological Breathing 

Mastering and developing Embryological Breathing is the primary breath work in this retreat. It synchronises the kidneys with the heart, lungs, liver and spleen. This breath simulates the original direction of flow of the fluid nutrient through the navel. It is centred in the belly and supports the embryological blue print of our foetal growth. The embryological blue print is the direction of flow of our cellular organisation, and is maintained by the intelligence of Primary Respiration. Embryological breathing connects the core of our body-mind with the universal Essence. All of the energy centres begin to regenerate, speed up and open the energy channels throughout the body into the Nei Gong of a fully functioning macrocosmic orbit.

The Master GameRetreat schedule

5. 30     Morning bell
6. 00      Sitting Meditation                        All sittings 40 minutes

6. 45      The Way of Gathering Essence Qigong and Dao Yin Meditation
                These sessions vary in content throughout the day.
7. 30     Breakfast bell
9. 00      Sitting Meditation            Sun, Tues, Thur. [devotional music]
9. 50       The Way of Gathering Essence Dao Yin Meditation
10. 40     Sitting Meditation
1. 00     Dinner bell
2. 30      The Way of Gathering Essence Dao Yin Meditation
                A Water and Fire, Kan and Li circle.
3. 30      Sitting Meditation
4. 20      The Way of Gathering Essence Qi Gong and Dao Yin Meditation
5. 30     Supper bell 
7.  00      DVD To be announced - Mon, Wed and Fri evening.
                Open session every other day
8. 30      Sitting Meditation
10. 00   lights out



When the core forces ignite a natural process of purification arises; the toxic and stagnant elements are driven out of the system via the fluid body through the expanding drive of the energy body. The black spots in this image portray the breaking down of inertial forces that have been held within the tissues by the habits of the mind. Here they are being expelled by the intensity of the core forces. This is an alchemical dynamic, similar in a sense to smelting metal. In meditative practice this process is empowered by Embryological Breathing. We become consciously centered in the purity of our potential prior to conditionality.


For more information or to book your place on a retreat please contact us.