Posts Tagged ‘The Doubting Snake’


Our books, “Movements of Magic – the Spirit of Tai-chi-Chuan”, “Movements of Power – Ancient Secrets of Unleashing Instinctual Vitality” and the adventure novel, “The Doubting Snake” are now available for downloading from the Amazon Kindle service.  This is a new generation of technology in which you can download and store books on your kindle or other similar device.  You can go to and click onto the”Kindle” link.  Then type in the name of the book you want to download into their search engine.  Then click onto the book to begin the download process.  And then please let us know if you enjoyed the books.


The many ancient cultures I have studied all seem to agree on the secret to obtaining great wealth and power.  They also agree as to how we have been robbed of our power as individuals.  Even nature, herself blatantly reveals this power to us.

When I used to travel through the jungles of Central America to study animals, my favorite animal was the red-eyed tree frog.  This crazy frog is about three inches long, bright green with white spots.  Its sides are banded yellow and blue.  The inside of its legs and arms are bright orange.  Its eyes are bright red with a bright gold lace pattern.  Normally it stays curled up on a branch, showing only the green and white, which is a camouflage. 

If an animal tries to grab it, the frog jumps, opens its arms and legs fully and leaps onto a nearby branch.  The predator, faced with a moving flash of color, throws its attention to where he expects the frog to land, several feet away.  Red-eye’s trick is that it sends the predator’s attention far away while it actually curls up on a close-by branch.  In this way it control’s the predator’s attention.

The secret to great wealth and power is the ability to control peoples’ attention.  The secret to your own happiness is to understand that process and not to be controlled.

We all know that packaging sells a product.  Many companies have spent most of their initial start up money on developing packaging.  Celestial Seasonings tea is an example. The manufacturers fight each other to have the stores place their product at eye level which makes it easier for you to grab the product and plop it right into your shopping cart. 

We are trained to pay attention to the packing. It is much easier to make pretty packaging than it is to make a good product.

The key to great power and wealth, though, is not in manipulating people to buy your product.  It is really in being able to discern the packaging from the product when it comes to who you are as a person. 

In any ancient system of training such as Tai-chi and Zookinesis, you find that you have many behavioral habits, in movement, posture, thinking and emotional patterns.  These patterns have been picked up throughout your life until you think of them as being part of yourself.  Eventually the patterns become your very identity.

We learn in the Push Hands exercise, for example, that the body is so finely designed that it takes very little effort and movement to toss your partner several feet into the air.  It is only the extraneous movements, such as tensing up your shoulders as you are about to push, that subvert your own efforts.  In an attempt to feel powerful (by tensing up), you are actually robbing yourself of power.

In the thinking process, we are used to thinking in words.  We may have an initial “jolt of thought” but can only understand the inspiration if they are translated into words.  A Zookinesis student would practice paying attention to the initial jolt of thought and refrain from translating it into thoughts. 

He does this because the words are only a label of the real thought, which is much more complex and complete.  By being aware of the actual experience of inspirational thinking and not merely the labels (packaging), he has access to the full power of the inspiration.

We learn in Tai-chi that the body is a conduit for the energy of nature.  A student will soon feel tremendous energy flowing through him which enlivens every cell of the body and heals the body.  He soon learns that we, as a society, have been taught to become disconnected from that energy and even to deaden ourselves so that we don’t experience it.  Once filled with energy, we no longer regard the body as just packaging for the mind, as a vehicle to carry the head around.  The vibrancy of the body, the balanced joy of the emotions and the inspirational thinking process all work together in a more powerful way.

Then you will be more effective in everything you do.  You will understand that wherever your attention goes, your life follows.  If it goes to its energetic connection to the vibrant energies of nature, to the experience of sharing your life with the human community, your life will be different than if your attention goes to the bright, flashy representations of value.

Yet, being in a more powerful, aware, integrated state, impervious to manipulation, you will be more successful in the material sense as well. 

The development of your attention has been recognized as the key to success throughout the ages.  My novel, The Doubting Snake, is an attempt to express this in an entertaining way.  The specific training of the attention is hidden in the story line.  Many ancient texts can be better understood as attempts to express this same idea.  As the hero of The Doubting Snake asks:

“And if both the sorcerers and the people who run our modern societies have such power to affect peoples’ minds then what hope does the ordinary citizen have?”


The next morning at breakfast Kano took a small portion of his meal and threw it away.   He did this at every meal.   I always assumed there was dirt on that portion.   But his persistence in this behavior finally caught my curiosity.

“Kano, why do you do that?”

“So you have noticed me sacrificing my food.   The food is what builds our bodies.   One day we will have to sacrifice our bodies.   So it is good to sacrifice a piece of each meal.  This way, we are always ready to sacrifice things.

“Why think in such negative ways – death and sacrifice?”

“I am a happy man, am I not?”  I had to agree that if Kano was nothing else, he was happy.

“And look what I have sacrificed.   Do you know what I have sacrificed?  I have sacrificed my understanding.”

“What do you mean you’ve sacrificed your understanding?   Did you, yourself do that?”

“Yes.  I sacrificed my understanding just as last night you gave up trying to figure out how to get home.   I once understood things, like you.  And yet, I couldn’t find my way home.  Then I gave up my understanding and now come home with ease.   And I am happy.

“I have a place to sleep, food to eat and friends with whom to pass my time.   When the mood strikes me, I sing and at times, I cry.  I don’t know enough to do otherwise and I am happy.

“I am happy whether I laugh or cry, for even in sadness there is joy.  I am happy to be a man, to be a living creature and when I call out to the forest, she gives me what I need.

“She sends me a butterfly to hold, but when it decides to leave, I let it go.  She gives me food, but when I am finished with it, I let it go in the outhouse.

“When I see her beautiful sunset, I let it go and night arrives.  When I have enjoyed the dry season for half the year, I let it go so the rains may come and the plants will grow.

“And when this life comes to a close I will look back at all the wonderful things that have happened to me. I will know that my joy in life would not have been possible without knowing how to let go of just those very things which brought me joy.   And so it will be with joy that I die.”

THE DOUBTING SNAKE by Bob Klein is now available on our “Online Store”.  Click onto the link in the  right hand area of this page.  You will then find the novel on the left side set of links on our online store home page (


The new novel, The Doubting Snake, by Bob Klein has just been finished.  It is based on the adventures of the author in the jungles of Central America and on his decades of training in healing by teachers of traditional healing.  While this book can be read as a light-hearted adventure novel, it also contains the full depth of Mr. Klein’s teachings you find here on the “Community” site. Following is a summary of The Doubting Snake.  It is available from the “Online Store”. A tab for the novel is on the left side of the home page.

An ecological adventure into the jungles of Central America.  The allegiance and sanity of Steve, an American scientist, are tested after he is lured into a conspiracy to destroy modern civilization.  Romance, martial arts and jungle survival all reveal the perspective of tribal cultures trying to survive in the modern world.

Steve’s perception of the world around him and of who he really is, turns inside out as he is initiated into the tribal world.  Now, armed with the knowledge of their power to destroy the modern world, does Steve help the tribe or destroy them?

The Doubting Snake explores how we have separated ourselves from nature, from each other and from our own hearts.  It teaches us how to recover our earliest hopes and dreams and bring them back into our lives to empower and heal ourselves and the planet.


When I first began studying Tai-chi and Zookinesis, the 1960’s were in full bloom.  The theme of the times was to try something new.  The music, Eastern traditions such as Tai-chi, exploring space, love-ins and all of the social movements gave us hope that a new world was about to emerge.  There was an energy among people, a concept that we could and should create our world rather than just complain about it. 

It may seem that we are now back to the “grind” and the 1960’s is long dead.  Yet there were hundreds of thousands of people who sought to retain that creative energy throughout their lives.  I have met many people who, each in their own way, try to bring that peaceful, creative energy into their communities. 

Yet there is no getting away from the fact that the theme of our times is survival.  It feels as though time, money, energy and creativity are in short supply.  Is it possible for people who lived through those times to bring back the excitement, the vigor of their youth?

According to Zookinesis principles, creativity is the most important factor in reviving our health and energy.  When you are involved in the creative process, something you are excited about, energy somehow comes to you and you forget about all the aches and pains. 

Your creative energy and your renewed enthusiasm for life then charges up people around you and ignites their creative energy.  It doesn’t matter if you paint, write, do Tai-chi, play music, etc.  Bringing a creative activity into your life, if even for a short amount of time per week, is very healing for yourself and your community. 

More than fifteen years ago I wrote a novel about my experiences travelling in the jungles of Central America and never got around to writing the last chapter.  So there it sat.  I recently completed “The Doubting Snake”, re-doing some of the novel based on my last fifteen years of teaching experience.  It has done wonders for my attitude and feeling of health. 

Have you stopped doing something creative because you “didn’t have time” or because you think you lost your skill?  Some people have the idea that if they cannot be great at what they do, they shouldn’t do it.  They tie control over their lives to other peoples’ opinions (or the expectation of their opinions).  We pay people to make music for us.  We pay people to play sports for us.  Music and sports were invented for everyone.  They are not a contest but part of the enjoyment of life. 

I believe that as a society, we have forgotten this.  We have, to a large extent, become parts of a machine and not part of the energy of creativity that is the basis of life itself.  We are, like the star trek “Borg”, part human and part machine.  The question is, are we becoming more machine or more human.  This is a choice each of us can make.  We can make it every day and every week. 

Dobby Gillis, in the “Dobby Gillis Show” (many years ago) once said, “Have a dream and live it.”  Are you living your dream or have you forgotten what it even was?

“The Doubting Snake” is about the re-discovery of your dreams.  I have found that just by remembering your dreams, you can bring new energy into your life. 

Why not spend just a half hour a week doing something you would never have considered, something from your dreams long past, something positive and creative?


This concept in its simplest form means sinking into your root. More specifically, it is the ability of each joint and muscle to drop individually towards the ground. Most people interpret sinking as dropping the knees. Sung means that each joint drops independently of the others.

You feel as if there were a string, attached to the center of each joint, with a small weight hanging from the bottom of the string. As you move, each joint is pulled downward by the weight and then bounces back up. This brings flexibility and awareness to the body.

The problem is that students sink the body as a whole and cannot allow each part of the body to respond in its own way to their movements. The body is essentially frozen, even though they may do a very smooth and slow Tai-chi form. There is no flow of momentum through the body.

There is no “intelligent” interaction of each part of the body with the ground. By releasing each joint and muscle to relax into the ground and then bounce back up, you bring intelligence into each part.

As you practice your form (or any other activity), your attention flows along with the momentum created by the movements of the body. As each body part sinks into the root, the attention must follow each part into the ground and back up. This means that your attention also must not be frozen.

Attention becomes like the tributaries of a river, flowing back into the ocean. The bounce up is like the evaporation of the ocean water coming back as rain to flow back to the tributaries. Your back must be very flexible and active. There is a tendency to maintain a solid back which is then used to move from. A stiff back becomes your floor; you keep it solid so your arms, for example, can move out from it.

This is a mistake. The only floor is the actual floor. The back must be as flexible as any other part of the body. We say “The back must be like the hand”. You are used to using your hand in a dexterous way. The back must be as dexterous as the hand. The same is true for the chest and especially the ribs. I see many people practicing a Tai-chi form with frozen ribs. The ribs must be like the hands.

To develop this flexibility, part of your attention must always be connected to the root. This creates a network of attention to the root so that the pathways to the root are always maintained. I use the analogy of taking a piece of wood and holding it on a slant. Then place a drop of water at the top. The friction will prevent the water from flowing down the wood unless the piece of wood is held very upright. Now wet your finger and trace a pathway, even a winding pathway, down the wood. Then place the drop of water at the top of the path. Now the water will flow down the path you traced. That is the path of least resistance.

In modern times our internal attention has become frozen so there are few such pathways. Sung requires that you maintain these pathways by developing an agility of attention within your body. If you were to learn chi-gung (developing chi flow within the body) without developing the flexibility of the body and attention first, it would be like a sudden downpour on parched earth. The earth would not absorb the downpour and there would be a damaging flood. But if there were a gentle rain one day, followed by the downpour the next day, the ground would have been softened the first day. When the downpour came, the earth would be ready to accept it.

Working with Sung readies the body to practice chi-gung. In Zookinesis training the softening process is incorporated into the chi development process so that both proceed together. At all times, attention and chi are connected to the earth. To get deeper into the concept of Sung, the earth really means the whole world around you (not just in the downward direction). It means being connected to nature.

In many chi-gung classes, you are taught to develop the “microcosmic” and “macrocosmic” orbit (particular circles of energy flow) as the first part of your training. I believe this is a mistake. You are taught to manipulate your energy flow, but in the “correct” way.

In Zookinesis training, we understand that we modern humans are already experts at manipulating our energy flow. What we need is training in not doing that, or what is called, “not doing”. Once we can stop the addiction to manipulating our energy flow, the body will function perfectly well on its own without sticking our noses into it. The emphasis on early Zookinesis training is to release the talons of the thinking mind on the body – to stop manipulating the chi flow. Then just be quiet and see what the body does. Let the body teach you. I use the expression “Be still and know that you are alive”, to borrow a phrase from the Bible.

Then, when the talons have loosened their grip, you work on the connection between the chi flow of the body and that of the rest of nature. This connection has been severed in modern times. I discuss this in detail in my novel, “The Doubting Snake”.

The chi flow of nature does not need instruction. By allowing your inner chi flow to align with the rest of nature, it will work just fine. The modern training of chi-gung de-emphasizes this connection to nature and I believe this is a huge mistake. Sung means connecting to all of nature. Nature is the root. We are, of course, aligning with gravity as gravity is a big part of nature. And so the feeling of Sung is to sink downward. But that should not confuse you that it really implies connecting with nature.

How is all of this done? It is done with the Zookinesis exercises, with Tai-chi forms, Push Hands and all the rest. Unfortunately, such practices often neglect this principle of Sung and so the practices may look pretty but don’t accomplish the goal of rejuvenating mind and body. Allow the aliveness of your body to express itself. You are a community of life – the body, the thinking mind, the memories, the will, creativity, emotions and much more. Each of these is a world in itself. Zookinesis and the training of Sung allows the spirit of each being within you to express itself fully.