This is a follow on article to my earlier post – John Chang: Encounters with Spontaneous Qi (6). Read that article first for a background into the Acupuncturist and Qi-Master John Chang.
Jim McMillan and Mo Pai
Jim McMillan was the first Western student of John Chang. He authored a book in 2011 called ‘Seeking the Master of Mo Pai: Adventures with John Chang.
It is clear from reading this book, that Jim McMillan was a serious student of Mo Pai. He practiced diligently for many years and even achieved the third Level (Level 2b) in Mo Pai – a level that even most of John Chang’s Indonesian students were not able to attain despite having more frequent access to him.
In Jim McMillan’s book, he gives an honest account of his experience with John Chang. He also talks about the other Western students, who sought out John Chang, who by Jim’s account were not as serious about the training, and in some cases were more interested in self-promotion. However, this is purely Jim’s viewpoint.
He also talks about John Chang’s communication with demons. This aspect is particularly curious, because Jim is a Christian who was able to hold a dualistic acceptance of Christianity together with Mo Pai. But he did not shy away from this curious aspect of John Chang and in fact was highly critical of John’s communication with the spirit of his ancestors. Jim specifically referred to John Chang’s guiding spirit as a “demon”.
Finally, he gives some information of the training he did and sensations he experienced. He does not give too many details about the training of Mo Pai, but he gives enough to get a basic understanding.
In this article, I will quote passages from Jim’s book, because I think he gives a good account of the life of a Mo Pai student, as well as his thoughts on the Mo Pai association. His views on John Chang as a teacher and the other students is interesting.
Mo Pai is the name of this particular school of training. The system of energy work they practice is called ‘Naigong’. Jim McMillan also referred to his teacher, John Chang, as ‘Pak John’.
At the end of this article, I will link to some of Jim McMillan’s videos and interviews. These articles and videos are available elsewhere on the internet. I have provided sources/references to these sites, including direct links to these websites.
If you are interested in John Chang or Mo Pai, or simply in the development of your own qi powers, that I would highly recommend you obtain a print copy of Jim McMillan’s book as soon as possible, just in case it ever goes out of print in the future. Here is an Amazon link – Seeking the Master of Mo Pai.
A TV documentary that changes lives
Jim McMillan was a martial arts teacher, who one evening in the late 1980’s, switched on his TV and saw this man from Indonesia carrying out all sorts of incredible magical feats in a documentary called ‘Ring of Fire’.
This documentary created by the brothers – Lorne and Lawrence Blair, showed an unknown Indonesian man, who they referred to as ‘Dynamo Jack’ performing acupuncture. But as he twisted the needles in his patients, they would feel intense electrical type shocks. In fact, he could simply touch a person, and they would feel an intense shock, which he demonstrated on the Blair brothers. John Chang also could move objects with his own chi. He moved a kriss (a ceremonial dagger) without touching it. And more incredibly, he set fire to a piece of paper on the ground by projecting chi into it.
Such things modern movie watchers might pass off as being easily fakable or trickery. But to most people who view this documentary, it looks like the real deal. And even 30 year later, it still looks like the real deal.
This was largely due to the pure unassuming nature of the documentary, whose main topic was the country of Indonesia. There was also the seeming earnestness of ‘Dynamo Jack’, who we later discover his real name is ‘John Chang’. At the time, John wanted to remain anonymous. He did not want any kind of fame from this video. There is also the clearly genuine surprised reactions by the Blair brothers as they were shocked when touched by John Chang.
This segment with John Chang was only a small part of the overall documentary series but it has probably had the most impact on thousands of people ever since. For here we see the stuff of magic, of Star Wars and the Force. We can see the potential of ‘chi’, a type of energy, which is also sometimes called ‘qi’ or ‘ki’ in Traditional Oriental Medicine. And all of this came in the unassuming form of an Indonesian acupuncturist.
And what is more, he stated that these powers can be developed by anyone. When John Chang was asked in the documentary how he developed these abilities? – He simply answered: “Meditation”.
After seeing this, Jim McMillan was awakened. He knew that he had to find this man to learn from him. And this was to begin his manic search to find this unknown man in Indonesia.
Desperately Seeking John Chang
Jim’s account of tracking down John Chang, aka Dynamo Jack was fascinating. He literally landed in Indonesia and asked anyone he met if they knew John Chang. He carried a small picture of John Chang taken from the documentary. He had lots of dead ends. However there were moments of luck, which led him closer and closer to John. Unfortunately, time was running out for Jim. He only had a few more left days to track him down before his return flight.
Finally, only hours away from his return flight, he finally met John Chang through a chance lead with another Westerner who knew of John Chang. This person had been receiving acupuncture from John Chang for an injury from a car accident. With this new information, Jim arranged a meeting and travelled to John’s house.
John Change asked him what he wanted. Jim Mcmillan simply asked to become John’s student. John Chang lifted his arms, felt his muscles and said OK, I will take you as a student. Jim was now John Chang’s first Western student of the Mo Pai system.
Level One of Mo Pai
It is said in Mo Pai, there are 72 levels of training. Immediately in chapter one, Jim describes the training for the first level, which he received in his first rushed meeting with John Chang.
With the remaining time I had left, my new teacher explained the first lesson to me. He had me sit on the floor next to him showing me the correct posture and the proper breathing techniques. Then he told me that I would be getting a certain feeling in about eighty hours, and to let him know about it as soon as it occurred. Then he stood up and acted as though he was finished. That’s it? I thought. This is all I have to do? It just didn’t seem enough; I thought there was more than this!
Then Jim asks John to demonstrate his electrical ability to him.
He (John) smiled willingly as he reached out touching me with only his finger. Just as he did, a powerful electrical current shot through me instantaneously. It made me jump away leaving me dumbfounded and thrilled at the same time. I was completely defenceless by the overwhelming power he demonstrated on me. My sudden reaction amused him. The others who were standing around watching chuckled knowingly.
Curiously, this effect could also be felt without intention from John, for example – when Jim touched John by accident:
A few moments later, I was going over a few things he said while we were sitting next to one another. My hand accidentally brushed against his leg and once again I received another jolt as his electrical current unintentionally shocked my hand. I reacted instantly by jerking it away. He as well as the others in the room all laughed a second time.
My comment: This makes me think of the minor qi sensations a person can get when he practices qigong and acupuncture. For example, there have been occasions when practicing in Japanese acupuncture seminars, when you are in a room full of people practicing energy work – and occasionally you touch the acupuncture point on a person, you are practicing with, and they feel a mini static charge of electricity when you touch them. In some instances, they ask you whether you have needled them? But no you haven’t, you have merely touched them with your finger. It has happened for a me a couple of times, without any intention on my part. It is a very minor feeling and not at the same level as John Chang, but it does imply that we all have some ability to generate electricity.
Mo Pai Training
Jim gives more information about the physical Mo Pai training than Kosta’s book – ‘The Magus of Java’. I think this is because Jim was an extremely serious student.
It is worth adding here, that the breathing exercises that make up the first level training of Mo Pai/Naigong does involve some reverse breathing.
Apparently, this reverse breathing component was not taught to Jim McMillan at his first meeting with John Chang, perhaps as a mistake, due to the unusual circumstances and hurry of his visit. Instead, John Chang had showed him how to do regular breathing. However, at a later occasion, John Chang did teach him reverse breathing. One thing we learnt from this, is that there were no adverse effects from only using regular breathing and actually Jim progressed just fine without the reverse breathing component.
Lotus / Half lotus
Jim had been instructed to sit in full lotus position. However due to a lifetime of various injuries from his martial arts training, he found it difficult to do this. As a compromise, his teacher showed him how to sit in half lotus. This would be an acceptable alternative.
The first level of Mo Pai requires sitting meditation. Specifically, John Chang told Jim that it would take 80 hours to begin to feel the required initial sensations:
My teacher had told me on my first meeting with him that after 80 hours training I would experience a “special” feeling in my dan tian (lower stomach)… He said this would be vital that I develop the dantien before going on to the next level. He wouldn’t tell me what the special feeling was. If he had, he said he feared I might psychologically make up something that was not real and get the wrong results.
After 80 hours, Jim did experience a sensation in his dantian:
Sure enough, around the end of my eighty hours of meditation I begin to feel what I thought Pak John was expecting. The sensation I had in my lower abdomen was strangely exhilarating and very exciting. This sensation felt like heat, and it was developing in my dan tien. It began as a very small feeling of warmth which I didn’t think too much of it at first, but was well aware of it nonetheless. Then it started to grow larger in size and intensity. It continued to the point that it became alarming because I wasn’t sure if it was going to stop increasing in size or temperature.
Jim tried to call John, to ask if this was the sensation he was expecting. Apparently it was not – it was a precurser to the sensation John was expecting:
It was only later that I learned this feeling was not what he was expecting. However, it is the prerequisite to what I am supposed to feel after this first sensation. There is actually a second sensation the first one turns into.
My note: People who practice qigong, particularly the standing forms, will be aware of this first sensation of heat in the dantien. The dantien is an energy centre in the lower abdomen, approximately two finger breaths below the belly button.
This sensation of heat is talked about in texts on qigong and some qigong practitioners have experienced it for themselves. I have only experienced it once, which may be because my dantien is blocked and due to my sporadic practice. However, I am not aware of the second sensation, which Jim and John Chang refer to here. This may be unique to Mo Pai.
John Chang states that this:
This heat is from the chi coming together and building substance in the dan tien while at the same time moving very fast, and all this causes friction.”
Don’t mix energy systems
John also mentioned that this heat that is felt in the dantien of qigong practitioners is used for different purposes than Mo Pai/Naigong practitioners. In this way, the systems should not be mixed. Either you practice Mo Pai/Naigong or you practice Qigong. You should not do both together, because their use of energy alchemy is different.
Early in the book, Jim does not explain what this second sensation was, and apparently, this is why you have to tell your teacher what you feel and then they will confirm it. In actuality it took Jim 500 hours of meditation to attain the sensation – not the 80 hours as initially stated by John Chang. Jim’s understanding and progress was further delayed, because it was at this time that John did his 3 years meditation self-exile in the jungle of Borneo. He was uncontactable during this period. Despite this, Jim continued to practice diligently despite not having contact with his teacher or any instruction:
As it turned out, this training would take as much or more than five hundred hours of meditation just to accumulate the 80 hours of what would be termed “focused meditation”. I hadn’t ever known this before, and from there I found there was a distinct difference betwen meditation and concentration.
The heat in the dantien returns
Later in Jim Macmillan’s’ book, he describes how the heat in the dantian sensation returned again, and how it grew so intensely it worried him. At the time, Jim’s teacher John Chang was away on his retreat in Borneo and could not be contacted for advice:
The sensation of heat in my dantien finally returned and continued to grow and intensify. In fact, it was intensifying so much that it started to alarm me.
Was this something I was supposed to feel? Was it supposed to get this hot? How much hotter will it get? Day by day, it seemed to be getting stronger. Different thoughts raged through my mind. Does this have anything to do with spontaneous combustion? The feeling was beyond anything I was familiar with, but more to the point, it was real and not something I was imagining, and it was consistently happening as I practiced.
Then the heat started moving around Jim’s body:
As if the heat feeling wasn’t enough for me to wonder about, it then all of a sudden jumped to my lower back! What in the heck is going on? I thought. The heat was now located at the base of my spine. I also found that I could flip the hot sensation back and forth at will. I had control of it.
The Microcosmic orbit
As John Chang was away, Jim looked for answers in books about Taoism. He doesn’t state the name of the book in this section. However, later on, Jim does state that he read a book called ‘Secrets of Chinese Meditation‘ by Lu K’uan Yü (Charles Luk). So I assume this is the book he was referring to.
In this book, it discussed how qi energy moves within and around your body at will. it also discussed the sensation of heat and that heat first develops from the accumulation of chi. After the qi becomes organised and accumulated sufficiently, it then embarks on what is called the ‘microcosmic orbit’. Followed that it moves along the ‘macro cosmic orbit’.
There are other articles on the internet on what the micro cosmic and macro cosmic orbit are in the qigong and energy work. And it would be better to read those, to get more information.
In short, the micro cosmic orbit, is when the energy moves, or is moved in a circular movement in your body through the energy centres from the base of your spine, up your spine, over your head down the front of your body, through your dantian and back to the base. Or you can do it going the other direction. The macrocosmic orbit is a larger orbit in the body that involves the legs.
Jim Macmillan discusses the orbiting of the body:
The orbiting of your chi isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. There are seven chakras points it must pass through before moving onto each successive point thereafter; some are easy to do while others can be extremely difficult. when the qi reaches one of these points, it can sometimes come to an abrupt stop. This energy now has the task of breaking through each chakra point if it is blocked. The individuals physiology, health, mental state and some other unknown factors will determine how long it would take the chi to break through each point. On some points it takes a great deal of effort and a long time for it to open up to allow the chi to pass through. Conversely on some of the points the chi takes less time and effort and can pass through rather easily.
I personally have not experienced the micro cosmic orbit, which is a reflection of my sporadic practice and inexperience. However, My friend Miro Barici told me he had. I have written about Miro here.
As regards, the blockage of chakra points, this is something I have experienced. I wrote about my experience at a meditation class in north London, where they carried out an exercise at the end designed to raise the energy up the spine – a kind of mini-kundalini arising. On this occasion the energy stopped at two of my chakra points, indicating a blockage. When this occurred, I felt extremely hot and my heart was beating rapidly. I could hear it thumping in my chest and I was sweating profusely. I was in my late 20s at the time and I did not, and still don’t have, any heart conditions that may have explained that reaction.
Removing his blocks
Without his teacher to guide him, Jim decided to continue working on removing his blocks. However, it sounds like this was mistaken action on his part as Jim wrote:
In my case, I mistakenly thought this was what I was supposed to do in my training. So like everything else I do, I began very determined to bust through my blockages.
I do not know why Jim thinks this was a mistaken act on his part. However, he did make much progress in removing his blocks, as he wrote here:
So when the chi jumped to my lower back I continued to work on it to facilitate its orbit around my body. When the chi came to my first chakra point it didn’t take too long for it to break though. And then further up my spine my chi also hit another abrupt blockage. The energy didn’t stay there long either to pass. But when the chi reached the top of my head it became stuck for a long time!
Everyone is different and will not have the same results regarding how long it takes to accomplish the passing of one’s chi though each point through their body’s “orbits”.
Mo pai (Naigong) differs to Chi gong
As I mentioned earlier, Mo Pai is the name of this particular school. The system of energy work as practiced in Mo Pai was called ‘Naigong’. I understand that ‘Naigong is also sometimes spelt with an ‘e’, as in ‘Neigong’. Jim referred to it as Naigong, so that is the spelling I will use for this article.
Also there are differences between the training for energy practices like Chi gong (Qigong) and Mo Pai/Naigong. The approach and energy alchemy is different and Jim advises not to practice both systems because otherwise you may actually be reversing your effects.
Mo Pai/Naigong appears to work both Yin and Yang together, whereas according to Jim – Chi gong only uses yang. (My note: I don’t have enough knowledge of qigong or naigong to say whether this is true or not)
Jim also discusses how meditation is used in both Chi gong and also Mo Pai/Naigong. And in fact, without meditation you will not be able to acquire yin or yang. But also at the same time, there are other sensations you can experience through Chi gong, but will not experience if you only practice meditation. There are other differences between these different system particularly Chi gong and Mo Pai/Naigong – hence the reason, why you should not mix these systems. Either you practice one or the other.
There is more information about the technics of Mo Pai, Chi gong, meditation and training in Jim Macmillan’s book, and I would recommend reading that if you are interested in learning more.
Christianity and Mo Pai
Throughout the book, Jim discusses God and Christianity. He also has strong opinions on John Chang’s contact with otherworld spirits – particularly two of his dead masters. Jim is particularly condemning of these spirits and believes John Chang’s current spirit master simply wanted to manipulate John to his own end. He believes it was this spirits that ordered John to stop teaching Mo Pai to Jim and stopped his sharing knowledge of Mo Pai to the rest of the World.
Whilst some readers may not like these sections due to the talk of God and Christianity, I think they are valuable. All through the book, Jim acts with a degree of respect to John Chang, Mo Pai and many people he comes across. He acts with straight-forwardness and integrity. I believe his Christianity guides him, but also grounds Jim, so he does not get too carried away. He still stays true to his own original roots whilst learning a completely alien system of energy work.
Jim discusses these apparitions that visit John Chang to give him instruction:
Strangely, in my teacher’s school, he (John Chang) is governed by a yearly, reappearing prevailing, oppressive spirit who decides over all matters, as well as who goes to what levels, and who is to be removed from the school. Plus to make matters worse my teacher is bound to him without question, as if he was totally controlled.
In the documentary ‘Ring of Fire’, there is an occasion, that John is berated by the spirit of his first long dead master for showing off his skills to foreigners. As a result he cuts himself off from the Blair brothers for several years.
In Jim’s book, there is more information about John Chang’s communication with these spirits. One of these spirits also orders John Chang to ban Jim from his school:
It was in 2003 that I was banned by this spiteful uncompromising spirit from the Mo Pai School, because of all things, I am a Westerner. However, I believe there is another extenuating issue that plays in this as well: I follow the word of God instead of this spirit. It is my opinion that spirits are demons and they hate God with a passion. This is why they have isolated the nai gong knowledge so that the world is unable to benefit from it by those that seek after God.
John Chang also fell foul of this spirit, who eventually ordered his removal as head of the Mo Pai School for disobeying the spirits strict rules about teaching to Westerners, especially to Jim:
As it turned out, this spirit “removed” my teacher as head of the school because he ignored the warnings that were made to him for over a decade.
In this way, if not for John Chang disobeying these rules, the world would never know of the possibility of Qi or of Mo Pai. Jim did wonder, why his teacher John Chang chose to disobey these spirit’s orders for so many year and taught Westerners. Jim does suggest, that this decision on John’s part may have given him some tension.
It is worth clarifying that there were two spirits that commanded over John. One was his first master (the one we hear about in the documentary, Ring of Fire). His name was Liao. Then at some point, Liao disappeared sometime around 1993. After that there was a silent period, until soon after a new spirit took his place. The new spirit was said to be Liao’s teacher’s teacher, and whose name was May Yung Chen. This new spirit seemed to be much more controlling than Liao and focused on banning Western students from Mo Pai.
The spirit of May Yung Chen also left more of a spooky impression whenever he appeared:
Whenever May returns to the center he always makes a grand entrance. There is a great wind that accompanies him along with a loud thundering which frightens everyone.
I think that it is this later spirit that instructed John Chang to build an underground meditation centre in his compound.
My Note: To tell the truth, I always feel a bit uneasy whenever I hear about underground meditation centres or temple-like structures or tunnels. I have a feeling that this takes a person into the realm of more sinister spiritual forces and conjurings. However, this opinion of mine has no evidence behind it. It is just my own personal feeling.
Jim Macmillan was especially condemning of these spirit entities who claimed to be John Chang’s masters. He also alluded to the possibility that they may have been draining him or having a negative influence over him. Jim wrote about John’s appearance later on:
It is interesting to note that seeing him in recent years, he doesn’t appear as I once knew him. He has an empty, old hollow appearance. One that makes me think he is becoming lifeless and not necessarily older.
There were also occasions, during John Changs’s retreat into the jungle of Borneo, where he was visited by other spirits. John said that these were mischievous and untrustworthy spirits and “never” to be listened to as they were always trying to manipulate him.
Jim also had his own personal encounters with spirits during the course of his training. For example, during one of his meditation practices, a strange luminous face appeared right in front of Jim. I wrote about something similar I had encountered in this article about low-level entities.
It appears that when you undertake this kind of energy training, it can take you into the realm of the the spiritual world. John Chang advised Jim about spirits:
“You should never believe any spirit, no matter what they do or say.” He said, “They will always try and fool you to get something from you”
This is contradictory statement for John Chang to say, because of course, he was listening to and obeying two spirits – his dead Masters. However, the reason for this obedience, may be found in my previous article about John Chang.
John was suffering with financial problems and a serious lack of money. Despite this, he had been told by his dead master, Liao, that he was not allowed to make money from his acupuncture or healing ability. In frustration he said to the spirit of his master, ‘what is they point of this ability if I must struggle to pay my bills, struggle to feed my family and struggle with money?!’ At that point, his dead master spirit told him not to worry, his fortunes will turn around. Shortly after that, a business opportunity came up and John was able to become a wealthy man.
I believe that this kind of experience, would have cemented John’s obedience to the spirit of his dead master.
Jim talked more about spirit entities. He stated that spirits are attracted to Yin energy. And by this logic, whenever we practice energy work – specifically on the accumulating of yin or yang, we may attract spirits. Jim warns:
Having anything to do with spirits for any reason isn’t something one should take lightly or, for that matter, try doing… Spirits can be very crafty to the point that they can and will lead you to believe they are doing you a favour, but that’s their ruse. They will eventually change and your relationship with them will become one of horror.
Primarily they are after your yin. Yin is like an elixir to them, a vitamin B12 shot if you will. And they will do just about anything to obtain this from an unaware or weak person…
My teacher (John Chang) said that spirits (demons) are “never” to be trusted – no matter what! And he ought to know, he’s been dealing with them for decades!
Jim Macmillan talks more about spirits, including his personal experiences with mischievous spirits. As a preventative measure, he would say a prayer for prevention during his own practice, and maintained his Christian beliefs.
This does remind me of a story I was told by a qigong practitioner many years ago. He already had a high level of qi/yin and yang energy from a long standing qigong practice but he also started to practice meditation regularly. However, on at least one occasion, he started hearing voices during his meditation practice. As a result, he decided to stop practicing meditation and only ever practiced qigong from that point on. The voices stopped. This may have been an example of him attracting a spirit to him, particularly as he had a very high level of Yin energy.
There are 72 levels in Mo Pai. To pass through each stage, a student must have carried out a certain level of practice and achieved a certain amount of power or ability. To graduate each state, I assume a test would be given for the student to pass, just like with other systems of martial arts.
Jim McMillan attained one of the highest level of John Chang’s students. He attained the third level (or Level 2b).
In the Mo Pai system, the earliest levels are hard to attain and the levelling system begins at Level 1, Level 2a, Level 2b and then Level 3.
It is at Level 3, that the practitioner’s Yin and Yang energies have fused and he is then able to do the kinds of actions that John Chang demonstrated in the documentary – Ring of Fire. Possibly things like setting fire to paper by projecting qi and setting off electrical charges in people.
Level 2 or 3 may not sound much when you consider there are 72 levels, but in actuality Mo Pai was a lifelong practice which requires thousands of hours of meditation practice just to be able to attain the first few levels.
For Jim McMillan to attain the third level (Level 2b) was incredibly impressive. Even John Chang did not reach Level 72, during the time he was known to Jim McMillan. We know that John Chang did reach at least Level 20, when he did his self-exile in the jungle of Borneo. After, then, he may have reached higher levels.
It is worth mentioning that Jim Macmillan was not just the first Western student of Mo Pai. He was possibly also one of the highest ranking of all of John Chang’s students – Indonesian or Western. Jim often made comments in his book about the apparent lack of seriousness and lack of practice the other students seemed to have.
On one occasion, Jim was tested over his ability to move objects. I understand this was a pre-requisite test to get to level 2b.
Mixing his own chi with the Yin energy of his teacher
From what I understand (and I could be wrong), moving objects requires the development of Jim’s own qi and ability to project it, but also required Jim to be able to draw on his teachers yin power to move the object. Apparently, John Chang’s yin energy was so powerful that it projects beyond his own body some distance, and it is this yin energy that Jim needed to draw on to move the boxes.
This is indicated because, Jim was unable to move the object (a box) when he was too far from it, but when he moved closer, he could. Also, when Jim was in a different room to John Chang, he could not move the object, but when he was in the same room, he could move an object, and this was whether his teacher was aware or not, of Jim trying to move the object.
Here is a video of Jim McMillan demonstating his ability to knock an object over by projecting qi.
Here is an extract:
Unexpectedly, once I found out something I hadn’t planned on. I was doing a demonstration once for Pak John when we were trying to see how much I had developed over a period of a year. After I had demonstrated knocking boxes over from a distance I needed to leave the room for a few minutes to go to the bathroom. While I was in the bathroom I tried to move an item on the counter and was unable to. But when I returned to continue the demonstration, I was able to do it again while he wasn’t paying attention while I was testing myself maybe ten to twelve feet away. So I came to understand that his yin emanates quite a few feet beyond his body.
Closing of Mo Pai to Foreigners.
Occasionally, I get messages from people wanting to contact John Chang. As I stated in my other articles, I have no connection or contact with John Chang, Jim Macmillan or Mo Pai. I do however, give links to other more current energy work practitioners at an advanced level. One example is a Dr Skakov in Russia.
As far as I understand, there is NO opportunity now for foreigners to see John Chang or learn Mo Pai. Also understand that if he is still alive, he will be elderly now and retired. There was a window of opportunity to learn Mo Pai for 15 years in the 1990s and early 2000s. That has closed firmly now. The best option would have been to contact Jim Macmillan. However, he passed away a few years ago.
John Chang retired as head of Mo Pai and the leadership was passed on to another student. In an interview on YouTube (link below), Jim did mention that John Chang still maintained a role in testing students for the levels, as he was the only one with a high enough ability to test.
Politics between the Mo Pai members
Jim does talk critically about the other Mo Pai students – especially the Western ones. I won’t go into any of that here. To learn more, read his book. Jim was unhappy with the lack of exposure he got in the second follow-up Lawrence Blair documentary featuring John Chang. He was also very understandably upset at being banned from Mo Pai, just for being a Westerner, especially after he had dedicated years of his life to Mo Pai.
I would agree that this is an unfair way to treat a diligent and serious student. On the other hand, I do understand that the fame and promotion of John Chang’s mystical powers does go against the Eastern philosophy of not showing off or benefiting from spiritual powers.
Jim does finish on a positive note by talking about his experience of demonstrating his abilities.
Jim McMillan Memorial
I have provided links to Jim McMillan’s Memorial page below and throughout this article. Jim McMillan died in 2013 due to complications from cancer. Fortunately before he died, he passed on his experiences through interviews and of course his incredible book – ‘Seeking the Master of Mo Pai. I have provided links to his interviews and YouTube clips below. I highly recommend buying his book while you can.
Below is a screenshot of Jim McMillan’s memorial, with a link to the original website:
Links to Jim Macmillan Interviews
Part 1 of Interview with Jim McMillan of Mo Pai and John Chang
Part 2 of Interview
Part 3 of Interview:
Part 4 of Interview:
Interview at http://www.MartialDevelopment.com
There is also a written interview called ‘Return of the Jedi: Five Questions with a Neigong Expert.
From that interview, I have highlighted a few of Jim’s answers.
Jim was asked about his Mo Pai and its effects on his health. Overall, Jim’s health did benefit from his Mo Pai training as he stated:
My health actually improved since I started in neigong. The deep breathing in our first level of training is actually very beneficial, as many of you already know. However, being that we all are very different, the effects/results will show differently in each of us.
I actually overcame a very severe back problem, and became so healthy that I went many years without missing a single day of work.
Source: Return of the Jedi, http://www.MartialDevelopment.com
However, Jim did make it clear that building your dantien does not necessarily guarantee good health, and for some people may even be harmful:
Building up the dantien isn’t what most people think. You are not guaranteed great health. In fact, a few Western student became ill from training incorrectly. Although I don’t have concrete evidence, my observation suggest that if one has greed, power or any other negative desire in his heart, they will have health problems.
Source: Return of the Jedi, http://www.MartialDevlopment.com
I would also add to this and say that likely special X-Men type powers are also not guaranteed for those interesting in Mo Pai and Naigong. Very few of John Chang’s student came close to these kind of powers.
Wouldn’t this training protect you from cancer?
I think it is a logical question to address, considering that shortly after Jim McMillan wrote his book and did these interviews, he died from cancer. The answer to the question – ‘Wouldn’t this training protect you from cancer?‘ is – ‘not necessarily; however in some cases it may increase your survival rate’.
Firstly, consider that the apparent purpose of Mo Pai appears to be ‘power’ and ‘special abilities’ involving chi, yin and yang energy. Health does not seem to be its primary focus, though we would assume that better health would be a side benefit to this training.
Secondly, I have already written other articles on this website about qigong practitioners who got cancer, even after practicing qigong (Geoff Pike and Sat Hon). Conversely I have written about a person who used qigong to help her recover from cancer (Chen Huixian). Here is my article on this topic called ‘An Integrated Approach: Conventional Medicine, Qigong and Cancer’.
Thirdly, consider Jim’s age. As people get older, cancer risks do increase. I don’t know how old he was, but he would not have been that young. There are also lots of factors that can lead to cancer – environmental, genetic, dietary, psychological or emotional. And also possibly spiritual.
As an acupuncturist, I have treated many patients with cancer. There are a lot of factors behind cancer and my experience tells me that it is not as straightforward as thinking that – ‘if you practice qigong or tai chi, you will never get sick with serious diseases‘. Things are more complicated than that. I think the same applies to people training in Naigong and Mo Pai.
Conclusion: The Fruits of his Labour
Jim McMillan finishes his book on a high note talking about his experiences of demonstrating his abilities to John Chang. His years of practice had paid off.
I thought I too would finish this article on a high note by including one extract of Jim demonstrating his abilities. There were several examples in the book to choose from, but I decided on including another example of Jim projecting chi in order to move an object:
My teacher pulled a tape measure from his pocket and motioned for me to come over to him so he could measure my arm.. I knew what I was about to do now. He used a calculator to figure out the exact distance I was to stand from my target, it was about eight feet. A chair was brought and the back part was placed in front of me at the precise end of the tape measured distance that Pak John calculated.
I now stood behind the chair about two feet with my right palm directly above the back of the chair… An empty drinking glass was placed on top of a long table. It had a heavy, one inch thick, glass top. He wanted me to “move” the drinking glass to see how much I had developed since the last time I did this…
I did all my necessary preparations, followed by a deep breath and pushed my chi down into my dantien and then quickly thrust my palm toward the glass. By doing it in this fashion, it literally “shoots” the chi out from your palm. You can also pull things towards you by changing your hand movement… The method of pulling objects towards you is to leave your arm in front of you with your palm directly facing your intended target, and then take a deep breath, and again push your energy down into your dantien. Then as you let out your breath, you simultaneuously twist your palm forcing your energy out your palm.
When I thrust my energy at the glass, it flew off to the side rather than directly backwards, indicating I was off centre. Checking the positon of my palm, I then performed a few practice movements. When I thought I was properly centered I let it go. This time I was a little low, but still knocked the glass backward crashing it against the wall, breaking it. Then it fell to the floor and broke into more pieces.
Pak John ran up to the table. He was not looking at the broken pieces of glass on the floor behind the counter. He was looking at the thick glass table top. What was all that about? I thought. Then he was motioning for me and the others to come take a look.
While I wasn’t aware exactly what else happened, evidently he saw something else occur. The power of the Chi hitting the drinking glass too low inadvertently broke the inch-thick glass table top! He had expected my chi only to move the glass a little, but never considered what might happen to the glass top. However, he was amazed and acted very excited, not to mention how good I felt, but at the same time embarrassed for breaking an obviously expensive glass top. Again the clamour ensured with the replay on the small video camera screens to relive the experience one more time. And Lawrence had taped the entire event as well!
A real life Jedi…
Pictures of Jim McMillan and John Chang taken from Jim McMillan Memorial Website
Jim McMillan YouTube Videos: Rammsteinregeln
Seeking the Master of Mo Pai: Adventures with John Chang. Jim McMillan. Sailing Leaf Publishing, Louiseville, KY. 2011. Available on Amazon
- Katsugen and Richard S. Omura: Encounters with Spontaneous Qi (9)
- About Hui Xian Chen: Spontaneous Qi Practice – Day 6
- A Tribute to the Qigong Master Geoff Pike
- Energy Moves in Spirals and Whirling: Encounters with Spontaneous Qi (5)
- Interviews with Qigong Masters in China: Encounters with Spontaneous Qi (8)
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