Books by Shifu Michael
A Daoist Grows In The Heart: Journals Of A Modern-Day Western Daoist Priest. This journal series started in 2013 when I put together my first journal. My original intentions were to offer practical advice on what it means to be a modern-day western Daoist priest. One book led to another, and now this 600-page book which is a composite of my first three books (topics include qigong, circle walking, food cures, Daoist meditation, mysticism, solitude, and silence, and more.) Plus a 4th book on Bigu fasting, Daoist longevity practices, Catholic mystical prayer, including the meaning of how a Daoist grows in the heart.
A new 5th book by shifu Michael is Qigong: A Beginners To Advanced Guidebook, also available on amazon.com.
This book on Qigong covers theory and practice for the beginner Qigong practitioner. It includes sections on basic Qigong warm-ups to healing sounds, seasonal Qigong, and a section on how to keep your immunity strong. It also includes an in-depth subject on Chinese medicine, the Qigong State, advanced Qigong practice, and Daoist Zuowang meditation. For a short book, it covers beginner to advanced practices.
A Daoist Practice Journal: Interreligious Dialogue: Daoism & Christianity, Extraordinary Vessels and Daoist Cultivation is a modern-day western Daoist priest’s practice-oriented guidelines for being a Daoist. Its primary focus stems from the three core practices of the American Dragon Gate Lineage, of which Abbot Rinaldini (Lichangdao) has been the founder since 2003. These three core practices are scripture reciting, quiet sitting in the zuowang method of sitting and forgetting, and solitary or group intensive retreats. A Daoist Journal: Interreligious Dialogue: Daoism & Christianity, Extraordinary Vessels & Daoist Cultivation is available from amazon.com.
Overall, the Daoist orientation that shifu Michael resides in is the Longmen Quanzhen tradition, as a 22nd ordained Longmen priest. Most of shifu Michael’s references to Daoist practice come from the Quanzhen movement starting (in the 12th century) with Wang Chongyang and his first-generation disciples like Qiu Chuji, Ma Danyang, or female disciple Sun Buer.
This book also investigates two other areas: the application of the extraordinary vessels in the internal cultivation tradition and the interreligious studies of Daoism and Christianity from the apophatic mystical traditions.
Shifu Michael writes from his practical experiences of living a contemplative life for most of his adult years. His quest for spiritual wisdom originates in his youth as a seeker in the contemplative Catholic monasteries throughout the United States, as well in Vedanta and Buddhist practices. In his 40s, he became interested in qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine, eventually becoming a highly qualified qigong teacher. Eventually, he was ordained as a Daoist priest, and presently he lives and works full-time as a professional qigong teacher and Daoist priest living in Sebastopol, California.
All six books are available on amazon.com and they include Kindle versions.
Review of Qigong: A Beginners To Advanced Guidebook
Summary of Qigong: A Beginners to Advanced Guidebook by Michael Rinaldini – Report by Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald – June 2020
I feel extremely fortunate to have this book appear in my life at this particular time. As I am completing my Qigong Certification course facilitated by Shifu Michael Rinaldini, I am delighted by the auspicious timing of the availability of Qigong: A Beginners to Advanced Guidebook. I purchased it in early June 2020, while it was “hot off the press,” having been published in late May 2020.
I have read many books on Qigong, and I don’t believe I have ever read one written by a Daoist priest. As a Daoist priest has a deep commitment to the inner journey, the rich inner life of Shifu Michael is evident throughout the book. To have a rich Daoist practice informs the Qigong instruction and writing is truly a blessing to the reader.
I really appreciate the layout as it is easy to refer to and find various sections. As I read through the book twice completely, I find that I will refer to it again and again as a reference.
Part I consists of Warm-Up Exercises and a Purge & Tonify set. The descriptions are very clear, and I really appreciate the “Theory & Benefits” section after each exercise. Those sections really assist me in reinforcing the intention behind each exercise. The photographs are very helpful; there is a good balance between the written description and visual.
In Part 3, Chapter 5, Shifu Michael takes a deep dive into the Immune System, Wei Qi, and the Metal Element. A beneficial insight is the importance of Spleen Qi and Kidney Qi when fortifying Wei Qi. Given the current health challenges in the world, applying these valuable insights to cultivate Wei Qi is especially appreciated. In addition to Qigong practices, seasonal food cures are included. It is great that the author includes a reminder to take care of the Spleen, as I know the digestive system is a significant component of the immune system.
I had a similar experience with the section on Daoist Meditation. I can feel the author’s passion for Zuowang meditation (similar to how I could feel it in the written manual for the actual course) which is very inspiring. I had a regular meditation practice before I started this course. I realize it was similar to Zuowang, although I had never called it Zuowang. As I learned about Zuowang from this course, my meditation practice evolved. This section of the book touches my heart and provides valuable insights and guidance as I continue my meditation practice.
The book ends with Chong Mai Qigong and Compassionate Buddha Qigong, two forms that Shifu Michael developed after many years of practice. I have been practicing them for quite some time. The Chong Mai Qigong developed by Shifu Michael has great implications. This form has deepened my curiosity, interest, and relationship with the Chong Mai. It was great to revisit various aspects of the forms by reading the descriptions in the book, as they provided deeper insights and context and reminded me of some aspects that I may have overlooked. I find both of these forms very profound, and I plan to continue to incorporate them as a regular practice. I am grateful to have them outlined in the book so I can refer to them regularly and continually refine my practice.
Thank you, Shifu Michael, for this treasure of a book!
This latest volume of A Daoist Practice Journal is another gem. In my own copy of volume one of this series, Michael hand wrote the inscription, “Realize Not Two.” This book is a rare look at one person’s journey to doing just that. Henry McCann, DAOM, Lac
An ordained Daoist priest and founder of the American Dragon Gate Lineage, Shifu Michael explores what it means to be a Daoist in 21stcentury America. … a life of kindness, spiritual reflection, and self-examination. Linda Holt, M.A., D.Litt.
With his trademark style of journaling, Michael brings to life methods of altering ones qigong practices and eating habits throughout the seasons to harmonize with nature and the Dao. Christopher Collins, Publisher-The Empty Vessel Magazine
It’s the myriad steps along the path that make up the life of a Daoist, and Shifu Rinaldini warmly invites the reader to join him in his day to day life as a Daoist Abbot. Dan G. Reid, author of The Ho-Shang Kung Commentary on Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching