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Hello Students and Friends,

I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable and restful. We spent some time with our grandchildren, which is always a great joy and filled with many teaching moments for Miki and me.

I thought I’d share something with you, that I don’t normally share with others. One of my earliest Taoist teachers, Master Ni, Hua Ching, taught us the meaning and practical use of invocations in daily life. I have found them to be tremendously useful for maintaining a sense of balance day to day and in general for navigating through life’s challenges.

In spiritual practices, one of the methods for aligning one’s energy with TAO is the practice of clear intention and clear thinking. In spiritual reality, “Thinking is louder than thunder”. When I first heard this over 25 years ago, it struck me profoundly. Using invocations as a spiritual practice is based on the universal law of subtle energy response and correspondence.

This is not a superficial belief or ideology. It simply means that the energy you embody, will attract a certain quality of energy to respond. In other words, if you feel anger, doubt or fear, you attract a similar vibration; or if you feel positive expressions like joy, serenity and love, those qualities will likewise manifest in response. If you decide to help someone, but inwardly feel resentment instead of a true desire to be helpful, the corresponding universal energy will respond to the feelings of resentment, because that’s what you are vibrating at that moment.

Practicing invocations is a way to develop and unify body, mind and spirit. In the practice of invocations, one needs to speak with clear intention, true sincerity and clear voice. This develops the potential to vibrate at a level that will allow you to commune with universal divine energy. This communication can also provide protection from harmful or unhealthful Qi, if you feel threatened or ill.

This information and the following invocation comes from The Workbook for Spiritual Development of All People, by Hua Ching Ni. I’ve also attached the invocation to this email, for those that would like to have a copy.

Invocation of Burning Incense

I cultivate myself following the heavenly way

With my lucid mind and subtle energy.

With this incense, I connect my whole being

With that of all the divine immortals.

Incense is burned in this beautiful censer

So that I may present my spirit and mind

To the highest realm of universal integration.

The eyes of the divine spirits gaze upon my heart

And reflect my devotion to the truth.

The subtle light of the divine immortals

Shining on this earthly altar

Make my energy divine and effective.

I now request the highest divine energy of heaven

To respond to me.

I humbly transmit my sincere petition

Through the fragrant vibration of this incense.

Instructions: Use incense that is pure and does not have an overly strong scent. The incense is placed vertical and straight. Be mindful of having the highest respect for your own being and the whole context of your surroundings. FYI – we use incense from the Shoyeido company, which is a 300 yr. old family company from Japan. I find this incense to be of high quality and the subtle scents are quite pleasing. If you have questions about invocations, feel free to contact me.

Good Journey,


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