The Way of the Tao

The Way of the Tao represents a journey to be, to quiet the mind, open the heart and let go.
The Way of the Tao

The Way of the Tao — Leadership for Now

Water flows. It moves around, over, under and through objects. It adjusts to the contours that it encounters, only to change shape with the ebb and flow of the universe. The Tao, like water, represents a journey in awakening to one’s true self. As water erodes stationary and fixed structures, so too does the Tao. Sometimes in opposition and more frequently just ignoring authority, the Taoist lives in alignment with nature, simply and softly. Wu wei denotes working without stressful effort, acting when it is appropriate and letting go of the fruits of one’s labor when the task is complete. As a Taoist adept you will find yourself striving to live “counter to almost every socially accepted norm” (Martin, 2016, p. 4). You will embrace this way not because you want to be obstinate or relish in being an antagonist, but because you will realize that true consciousness, health and freedom come from following the Tao.

An advanced training credential is available upon successful completion of the program for those interested.

About the Program

The Master leads by emptying people's minds and filling their cores, by weakening their ambition and toughening their resolve. He helps people lose everything they know, everything they desire, and creates confusion in those who think that they know. Practice not-doing, and everything will fall into place (Tao Te Jing).

Program Details

  • Qigong Certification – 200-hour

    Qigong is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its origin may be traced back to ancient shamanistic traditions and our relationship to and observation of nature. It is indispensable to healing and overall wellbeing and predates all western medicine.

    Through this program students immerse themselves in a deep course of study. It is designed to accommodate different learning styles and may be completed over the course of one to five years. Certification is a combination of in-person classes, independent study and a retreat. The themes covered relate to the central aspects of qigong. They include movement, breathing and mindfulness for health and longevity. During the course of study, a student will read, write, practice and participate in healthy, healing, nurturing modalities. Each part of the program is designed to support and enhance one’s overall understanding of their role, purpose and ability in this iteration of being manifest. Through your study and development, you will learn how to support yourself and others in leading a healthy, long, joyful life.

    Your course of study is informed by Classical Taoism set within current times. It draws from the teachings of the Taoist Canon and a small, concise list of complementary resources. It is comprehensive in its organization and content, acknowledging there is a beginning, a middle and an end, and then more to come. A student seeking enrollment and pursuing qigong certification acknowledges the rich heritage, lifestyle practices and inseparableness with nature.

    With the satisfactory completion of the program content, a student is awarded a 200-Hour Qigong Certification from the ZenSpot Institute for Vedic and Taoist Studies. Additionally, Qigong Certification is part of Taoist Studies and a requirement for Priest Ordination.

    To obtain a copy of the Qigong Certification Checklist click here to download it.


  • Level 1: The Way of The Tao

    At this level the adept steps into the stream of energy and challenges societal assumptions that they are separate from nature.

    Level one consists of nine classes with required and optional choices and an international capstone experience.


  • Level 2: The Way of the Tao

    Level Two will expands upon Level One with additional coursework and content attributable to furthering an adept's growth as a spiritual being.

  • Level 3: The Way of the Tao

    Level Three further enhances the adept's personal practices and understanding of The Way that establishes a framework for activism.



  • Priest Ordination Track

    For the adept who has completed all three levels of The Way of the Tao and demonstrates core qualities of spiritual awakening consistent with The Way, they may apply to the Priest Ordination Track. This level consists of 1,215 days, equivalent to three and a third years in duration. During this time, the adept working with their advisor creates a personal course of study around a theme of genuine interest and relationship to their dharma. In addition, the adept will commit to daily practices of qigong with movement, breathing and meditation as well as scripture reading. Culminating the experience will be a depiction of service to other living beings consistent with one’s own Path and The Way of the Tao.