The first Chi Gung set Bruce taught in Denver from 1979 to 1983 was Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body. After he returned from China in 1986, this was often taught in in Boston, New York, Santa Fe, later in California, and in Europe in weekend workshops from a Friday night through all day Saturday and Sunday sessions.
A number of us, including Bill Ryan and Eric Hoffman, explored with him the other chi gung material that he could teach. These discussions resulted in the essential chi gung sets that Bruce has since taught: Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body, the Marriage of Heaven and Earth, Bend the Bow, Gods Playing in the Clouds, and Spiraling Energy Body. Bruce began to teach these in weekend workshops in Boston, New York City, Santa Fe, later California, and in England in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He added Dragon and Tiger Chi Gung to the mix in 1993.
Bruce first taught the Spiraling Energy Body in Boston over two or three weekend workshops, the last one in June 1991, as well as in New York City. He stopped teaching it in weekend workshops and began to teach weeklong retreats, first at Anvil Ranch in California in 1992.
I attended his Spiraling retreats at Anvil Ranch in the summer of 1992, 1993, 1998, in 2003 at IONS in California, and in 2014 in Ibiza. He also taught it in retreats in Corfu and Crete. In his early retreats, he taught two groups: Energy Gates to beginners and Spiraling to the more advanced. His first full moon meditation was at the 1992 Anvil Ranch Spiraling Retreat.
His original teachings in the early weekend workshops and later in the early retreats covered primarily three areas: (i) feeling and dissolving energy coming into your etheric field and body from others outside of you, (ii) bringing the fire energy of the earth up the body and down, sometimes in particular channels, and (iii) firing up the spheres of energy that are within each energy gate of the body.
These techniques were wired in to our body with the additional practice of Cloud Hands and the Three Swings, including practicing the movement of Cloud Hands and the Three Swings by the “firing up” of each separate energy gate and practicing those movements by being moved from that particular gate. The linking of the spheres at the energy gates from one to the next in physical movement was also covered.
In addition, Bruce would read the lower, middle, and upper tantiens of each participant and then adjust their standing posture, usually with the position of the arms and hands. All of the standing practice during the Spiraling course is then done with that personal posture, which you are meant to continue your practice with after.
By the time of the retreat at Anvil Ranch in 1998, he dropped the dissolving energy coming from outside of your body and has rarely taught that since. The early weekend workshops and the first retreat in 1992 were taught entirely by silent transmission.
In the Anvil Ranch 1993 Spiraling retreat, he began to use his tones and chanting as he taught as well, which has continued ever since. He has said, from time to time, that his teachings just by transmission are stronger than using the tones. The Ibiza training in 2014 was the most in depth Spiraling retreat of all of them, lasting two weeks. More recently he has taught shorter Spiraling courses in Oxford in 2018 and Ulm in 2019.
At all the retreats held at Anvil Ranch, classes were from Sunday afternoon through Saturday morning. Usually on Friday afternoon we went to the coast, mostly to Stump Beach, where he included a teaching of connecting to the levels of the energy bodies of the ocean as a part of the class, summing up the learning and training for the week.
The people attending the August 1993 Spiraling retreat included older students, such as myself, Susan Rabinowitz, Bill Ryan, Eric Hoffman, Alan Dougall, and Susan Kansky, and newer students such as Isaac Kamins, Jim LaPlante, and Simon Carey Morgan, as well as other students from California, New Mexico, New York, Massachusetts, and England.
--Eric Peters, July 2020