I’m very happy to share with you my first interview ever. And I am very happy that it is in 2018 – the year I learned the difference between independence – interdependence –
Not wanting to write a long introduction, I just want to thank Vasco for his availability
and the wise words that follow. I based myself on the “histogram of your life”, since that
was what made me curious to know and interview the Portuguese who lived in Asia and
follows Daoist values.
Q – I look to your life and I see time well spent, many accomplishments and a very
interesting path. How was the first contact with the Chinese culture and the Taoism?
A – As a child I remember associating the word “East” to mysteries. I think that the
amazement started as a kid when seeing a tv show with shaolin monks. Whereas the
first contact with Daoism rose as an adult with the study of the macrobiotic and the
reading of Dao De Jing of Laozi. Later on, all of that was reinforced during the time I
lived in China and in the Daoist temple.
Q – I think that the desert of Sahara is a very special place for you. It reminds me of
Paulo Coelho’s book – The alchemist. What did you learn from the desert?
A – In the desert I had my first contact with silence and its importance so we can listen
our essence with clarity. I also lived an experience that made me feel part of everything
and understand that “my” best qualities are not mine. As strange as it may seem, this
brought me unexpected relief. The less of me that exists, the more of everything I am.
As it disintegrates, a cloud joins the immensity of the sky. When we abandon our limited
form, we become truly grand. Leaving Vasco, the human being emerges. Perhaps this
is why so many are wandering about the question “Who am I?”. They search in the right
places, however in the wrong way. “To be” is a verb, but for some reason we were
deluded that it is a thing. “I” is a being. When we turn it into a thing, we become
Q – The revelation in Sahara changed the course of your life or did it bring you
A – It changed the course by bringing me the certainties that everything is really
interconnected. Nothing disappears, only changes form to give way to a continuity.
Q – While I was reading the infogram about your life, there were some life experiences
that reminded me of myself. For example, I also studied engineering. Is it a passion or
something you wanted to learn to use in your passions?
A – The choice of learning engineering intended to unite ingenuity and art, in human
sciences. The vision of the Renaissance period always made sense to me, where we
would become more complete not because we specialize or restrict to one area only,
but precisely because we extend to different areas. It is common to think that one needs
to be a genius to be an erudite like Leonardo Da Vinci. I sincerely believe that being
curious and committed is enough. Most children come into the world as polymath and
then we adulterate to something we call adulthood. Learning, improving and growing is
forever. If we stop, we begin to stagnate, getting old and age doesn’t really matter.
Q – What gives you the motivation to do something different every year and to be so
A – If I keep opening my eyes every morning, I know there is still something I need to
accomplish. We all have an uncertain shelf life that can be 40 days or 40 years, no one
knows. This is a powerful reality that we should not ignore. If we have this very present
in us, we will not waste one single day. I think it’s preferable to have a memory of that
epic flop in the water than spending our life afraid of diving. To fully enjoy life we must
learn to master fear. The first fear to master is the fear of change. Only when we are
freed from attachments, we can be truly free. It’s a paradox! If we guide life by the fear
of death, we clutter the conditions to live in full. In life, we must respect death to love
life. In death, we must respect life and continue.
Q – 108 sunrises. Why is it important? And why 108?
A – 108 is known from ancient times as the number of transcendence. The exact
transformation moment that an alchemy occurs. Repeat something 108 times and a
slight deviation, a transformation happens… a transcendency that leads us to take a
leap. Mantras are repeated 108 times to produce a special effect. The beads strands of
Tibetano (or jamapalas) are composed of 108 beads. Even the number of beads of a
Christian rosary is derived from these numbers. There is math in the universe which is
expressed in nature and is often called “sacred” or “divine”. The sacred geometry is only
an example. The fundaments of the Daoism say that the zero creates the potential of
one, the one is the origin of two, the two generates the three and with three we can
create all the forms of the world. The number three has a very special meaning.
Repeated three times we have a nine. With nine we can prove everything and repeated
nine times and three more we have 108, where all alchemy is. With 108 we can fit all
the main archetypes of the universe. Nine squared with three to cube. I give
consultations of IQ of the 9 Stars, which identifies the archetype of each individual and
that is entirely based on the comprehension of this geometry throughout the natural
Q – For those who never heard about it, how to do you explain Taoism and Daoism?
A – First I want to highlight that Daoism and Taoism are the same. “Tao” is the
anacronic form with which people started to write due to a mistake of conversion. “Dao”
has the same meaning, being considered the correct romanization of the Chinese
ideogram 道 (Dào). The ideogram means threefold the way, the walker and the walk.
Daoism is the system that helps us in personal development as walkers, teaching us
methods that allow us to create harmony of simple forms to natural ways, that is,
aligned with the Dao (the way). As curiosity, the familiar but anachronistic terms of Tao,
Chi, Chi Kung, Tai chi, Kung fu, Taoyin, Tao Te King, I-Ching,Lao Tsé among others will
eventually be replaced by the official terms Dao, Qi, Qigong, Taiji, Gong fu, Daoyin, Dao
De Jing, Yi-Jing, Laozi, respectively. They will gradually be corrected with the increase
in the amount of speakers and students of the Chinese culture. It will take some years
to correct the mistakes, but it is inevitable.
Q – How does the project “alqimia” (alqimia.org) come about?
A – The Alqimia project arose initially from a desire to share some of the Wudang’s
teaching to improve the world and people’s lives. To teach that the big changes are
made by small steps. Repetitions and well aligned habits that enable to perform a true
alchemy in each one of us, a transformation. With time, more people have been part of
the team, contributing with other practices and teaching. There are several paths and as
long as they are beneficial and in harmony with nature, I consider them alchemical
paths and alchemists those who teach those paths.
Q – Almost finishing, I thank you for the time and attention. Where can interested
people find you and know more about your work and services?
A – Currently I am living in Lisbon and occasionally I travel within Portugal and abroad
for intensive trainings. The best way is to start by visiting alqimia.org. To contact me, I
always (and only) suggest the firstname.lastname@example.org. I take some time to answer, however
when I do my attention is total. If you want to schedule a meeting or a Skype call, I am
also available. My communication over phones, social networks and chats is between
nonexistent and terrible. I ask everyone to be understanding and kind to contact me
only by email.
Q – Last question, what is the biggest life lesson for you or a health tip?
A – When in bed we should think about what we have learned that day. If there is
anything, we know it was not in vain. A health tip would be to make an unquestionable
decision whether to give ourselves a higher priority to being normal or to being healthy.
The current normality makes us sick, so we should have well defined in us if our priority
is our health or the acceptance of the norm. Once we have established our principles,
we can then create a middle ground to live in society aware that we should “Be in the
world without being of the world”. Health first.
How many wise words! I feel gratitude for them and for having the
possibility to reread whenever I want and need to remember. There is something in my
life that I began to do and will do for 108 days (until the 20 th of March 2019) – Ready for
the transformation. Ready to become Gold – in this process that is life.
Don’t forget to visit Vasco Daniel’s website – alqimia.org.