Sebastian

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  1. Qi/Energy Practice Over Years

    When I first joined this forum I tried to be perfect in my execution of the various forms I was taught, and thought that by doing them very well I could "max out" their benefits so to speak. Later I painfully learned that how you practice (your mindset) is much more important than how well you execute the various meditations and forms. For example, if you are not relaxed and rush into it, if you do it with a perfectionist mindset, or a confused mind or body. Look honestly at yourself before even starting your form, ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to sedate yourself, to run away from responsibilities, to gain a feeling of safety, to gain power, is it an ego thing ? When you get the "How" part down, when you are sincere and reconnect to your deepest consciousness, then the form won't add that much to your experience. I found. It's just an icing on the cake. Then later on I also painstakingly realized that the time you spend not-practicing is more important than doing a 30 form in the morning and a meditation in the evening. Because there's 23 other hours in the day. If you live an unbalanced lifestyle, no magical form is ever going to compensate for that. And for spiritual matters, I found cultivation is real life. So I found that true cultivation is rough, it's an every day, moment to moment adjustment of your energies. For example, for lower dantian development I don't think it's wise to meditate 10 minutes in the morning and then let your energy float the rest of the day. So at first I was trying to do a lot and fill myself of all kinds of energies. I tried to fill up my container actively. Now I see the reverse. I am already full and take a bottom-up approach. I avoid leaks to the container by appropriate lifestyle changes, you could say correct energetic hygiene. Of course I still practice, but when I do, it's not with the mindset of being a performer. If you are aggressive in the way you view your practices or attach tightly to them, then this energy will also reflect in your form. So you need to work on yourself, as a human being first and as a practitioner. How you move will reflect who you are. That's what I learned.
  2. Agree with Free-form. A lot of people think that you can become a spiritual expert by amassing techniques or following complex rituals. But the expert's mind is very limited. Remember this quote ? "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Technique and the intellect is limited if it doesn't intersect with intelligence. Meditation is Intelligence working through you. It is being a beginner and offering your innocent mind to something greater than you. I think it's fine to use some technique as a preparatory stage to most meditations, if as you say, you view it as a means and not an end. Preparation can be a powerful gateway into meditation too. Some call it a formula. But after ingesting the formula, your focus should be somewhere else.
  3. Help on healing! :D

    Jackaro, You've received some good advice in this thread. A common theme of the replies is too much energy in the head, and somehow getting this energy to descend. This is sound advice. When reading your posts, I feel the mind anxiously trying to find a solution to its anxiety. This cannot work. In Daoism, Fire = Mind Water = Body You cannot solve the Mind with the Mind, you cannot solve Fire with Fire, it will only lead to more Fire. Please keep this analogy in mind, it can help bring you healing. Balance/health is when you put the fire of the Mind on the water of your body. It's when you are natural. Practically, let me offer some suggestions that shouldn't interfere with the rest of the advice you've received. 1) Just walk more and think less. Try walking meditation. Walk slowly in nature, in your house, or everywhere really, just focusing slightly on the soles of your feet as they touch the earth. 2) During the day, notice how often you are projecting your energy outwards. At this point it must be a lot, through thought, thinking, etc... Get used to drawing that energy back to the body. Set your intent to gather your energy inwards for small periods of time, and just focus on the body, nothing else. A perspective like finding the LDT cannot bring you the balance you are looking for. Don't make your health depend on such an esoteric perspective. My grandma is 93 and never felt her LDT. And last piece of advice, when you feel anxiety, burn in its fire. Don't try to put out the fire, as this is what leads to odd strategies and perspectives to avoid anxiety that are ungrounded. You've got to be willing to suffer a little bit to be free. I know it sucks when that feeling creeps in, but everyone has emotions, even Daoist immortals. It's just part of nature. When you no longer fear the emotion, you are half-way free. You will start to brew a new energy and your energetic centers like the LDT will automatically start to fill up, even if you don't know its location. This gift won't be a product of exertion, mental or physical, but a product of "not-doing". As a Daoist Master once wrote, It is the principle of natural spiritual cultivation, to let the shen grow naturally with the peace of the mind, to let the mind grow naturally with the peace of the body, to let the body grow naturally without interference from the un-growing mind.
  4. Water above Fire

    Well said, I agree that this approach to emotions is more therapeutic and not classic Daoist, which as you write, is usually a very sober and rational perspective to emotions. As you say, Spring Forest Qigong is a very modern medical Qigong system. The Master invented this part of his system to help folks heal in a more immediate way. He noticed that by combining emotions and movement, while having an open heart, people could instantly shift their energetic arrangement, even with little to no experience of Qigong. So that's what this is all about, helping people with various illnesses shift their energy into a new posture that is more free-flowing and open to healing. It takes all the elements into account to achieve this effect : body, mind, emotions, spirit and intent. No area is overlooked. I also agree with you Taoism takes the approach that you are already healthy and balanced to start, but many people in the United States aren't even at the start point. So this isn't a classical Daoist system, just a unique perspective on emotions and spirituality invented by Master Lin. At Level 2 and above emotions are discarded to focus on Light and the Void, and his Level 2 assumes you are already reasonably healthy and balanced, much like the classical Taoist lineages. And when your health drops, you are advised to drop back to Level 1 or Level 0 which are the 5 elements/emotions Qigong. That's my understanding of it at least, as a beginner cultivator of the system. Personally when I feel very balanced, I enjoy being emotionally sober. Just placing the mind on the body as was advised in this thread. But when I feel blocked somewhere, low or unhappy for some reason, I just set my intent on peace, joy or happiness and watch my energy as it shifts into a more balanced posture. The other advantage of all this shifting work is that you eventually realize that you are an energetic being, and that you can can shift your energy to a posture of peace and well-being whenever you set your intent towards it. It's empowering, but a very different approach than classical stuff.
  5. Water above Fire

    I'm also not one for forcing emotions for emotion's sake, but how about cultivating "the spirit of joy", "the spirit of happiness", "the spirit of Love" in your daily life ? These come to you naturally, effortlessly and endlessly when you choose to see the beauty of everything, when you choose see anything good or bad as a gift from the Divine. If your heart is not open like this and you feel you're blocked somewhere, then I think positive emotions can indeed be helpful to shift your energetic arrangement to a different posture. That's the value of Master Lin's 5 elements Qigong. Each emotion he uses has an energetic signature that will unblock a specific channel, but they are really used as a bridge to reconnect you to the source. Repeated exposure to these emotions will imprint them into your subconscious, so much so that it feels like you have a wonderful cushion of energy pushing you back up whenever you feel down. Happiness, joy, peace, contentment and gratitude, correspond to the colors of green, red, yellow, white and blue. We need them for our energetic nourishment. They correspond respectively to the liver, heart, stomach, lungs, and kidneys. Put all these colors together and you have white light, or the emotion of love. If you live with unconditional love in your heart, or with the spirit of love, then I don't think you need to worry about feeling individual emotions. You're already there, and can just let your spirit watch emotions pass by like a breeze.
  6. Chen Tai Chi : How To Learn

    Cool, looks very interesting, thanks for sharing. I'll check it out. Well actually the form Simon learned is a traditional one from Wudang, at least centuries old. If you ever get tired of the complex Taichi forms, or have only 6 minutes or so to spare in a day, give it a try. Simon learned it from Grand-Master Zhong-Yun-Long of Wudang, who has a copious amount of hair by the way, that's why he wears a hat
  7. Chen Tai Chi : How To Learn

    I'll present another perspective on Taichi here, which will be more in line with what RideforEver wanted at the start of the thread, namely performing Taichi without too much technique or focus on alignments. I really don't know much about Taichi, at least not in a formal sense, but the way I was taught by my Master doesn't even include a form. It is more of an approach or a perspective that you can apply to any Taichi form, including Chen Taichi, and alignments were never mentioned. It's based on the understanding that "how you do Taichi" is much more important than "how well you do it" so to speak. We do taichi without the confusion of the mind or the body. We do it without thought, or with very soft thoughts. So instead of using the body or the mind to initiate the movement, we let the intelligence of the movement think us into motion. How do we do this ? We learn the movement first, to educate our energy. Then we access our deepest consciousness which we refer to as Pure Qi, or the Void. Taichi is getting out of the way, and letting that Pure Qi move us. It's like letting the entire process of creation unfold in you, so you don't have to micro-manage and worry about alignments or "doing it right" while you're doing it. I learned this technique with Master Jim Nance of Spring Forest Qigong and this is seldom taught. If anyone is interested in studying with him you can reach him on his website at GuidingQi.com. Otherwise you can keep practicing a simple form over and over again until it becomes so ingrained in you, that one day you can just get out of the way, and find you move perfectly. Then, you will be moved by a pure form of intelligence. You will have let go of your expert's mind trying to control the movement, and you will move in a completely inhibited way. But you need to will it, you need to surrender completely to Light or the deepest energy guiding you. I noticed you were looking for a short form, I recommend this one, it's quite potent and Eric Risen, the medical intuitive that people keep using in this forum, had found it to be extraordinary in terms of the results he perceived. Enjoy.
  8. SFQ Small Universe

    Some suggestions Niraj. Set your intent on balance. Notice everything that is already well with you. This will shift your mindset to a different posture where healing becomes possible. Remember your value as a human being. Remember that any energetic disturbance is ephemeral. Remember that you've been through many problems in your life and always overcame them. Become more gentle in the way you see yourself, in the way you approach this situation, and project into the future. You could say your thoughts are quite hard right now. When you see your life as a math problem to resolve, that's hard thoughts. When everything is like a day-dream and you don't apply a lot of force or direction over your thoughts, that is soft thoughts. Hard thoughts will make this situation worst, they gather energy in the head and harm the digestion. Speed will make this situation worst, both speed of thinking and speed when practicing. You need to slow down. So drop your shoulders and let the energy drop to the lower dantian. Interlock your fingers and massage the dantian slowly 36 times clock-wise while saying any of these "my energy balance is restored", "my energy quiets down", "my thoughts become soft", "I love and value myself", "I forgive myself". When you do this, don't attach to any outcome. Don't do this while closely monitoring the process to see if it really works. This is like being in a house and trying to watch the house from outside at the same time, you'll just project all your energy outside with hard thoughts again. The house is your body, come back to the body and stay there. Be sincere. Last bit of advice. When you do Qigong or meditation, start with a prayer. "I am going to do Qigong for 20 minutes just to take care of myself. I am just going to relax so much and love myself and not attach to any outcomes". Forget your condition, just do Qigong for yourself, and if you see healing come as a side-effect, then that's great. You can heal quicker that way. You can also get a healing from Master Lin if you want or best would be to go to a retreat. Good luck and take care
  9. SFQ Small Universe

    Hi Niraj, I found this for you, I hope it helps. If you have awakening issues, make sure to be very gentle with your awareness and intent. If you feel the mind becomes tight, you're doing it a little bit too strong. The Dantian contains a Qi ball and you are moving this ball from point to point, back to the lower DanTian. Master Lin does recommend this exercise for those experiencing kundalini issues, and you could also consider getting a healing from him or going to a retreat. Hope it helps.
  10. If you want to cultivate peace, cultivate trust first. Feel the bond between you and the energy animating your form. Relax into it, drop into it. Your digestive channels will open, and you may feel a sense of peace. It is not forcing peace. It is trusting and bonding with your inner Jesus, Buddha, Qi or Dao. If you want to cultivate gratitude, hold reverence for your vital energy, for all the things it allows you to do day in and day out. Your kidney channels will open, and you may feel a sense of gratitude or tenderness. It is not forcing gratitude. It is like being a delicate flower experiencing a breeze. Let the breeze be like the weeping sensation that you experience in your heart when you realize the beauty of your life. Gratitude can be so gentle and tender that you only know it's there when you experience its absence after the meditation. If you want to cultivate contentment, remedy doubt in your life. If you doubt the presence of the Divine, or doubt the value of your own existence, you will carry unresolved grief in the lungs. When you feel embraced by the energy that holds you, you feel like you are home. Your lung channels will open, and you may feel a sense of satisfaction. It is not forcing contentment. It is like knowing you can receive a hug from a wise old friend every time you need him, and that he is nearby. If you want to cultivate happiness, think of happy things that happened during your day. Maybe you ate some delicious chocolate, had a relaxing cup of tea, received a phone call from a relative. Nothing is too small to cultivate happiness. Your liver channels will open. It is not forcing happiness. It is reviewing the good things that happened during your day using memory. If you want to cultivate joy, forget happiness. Joy is happiness for no reason. You might feel a vibration, a warmth inside. You can't explain the feeling, but it feels like you are expanding from within and want to reach out and hug people. Your heart channels will open. It is not forcing joy. It is being deeply moved inside to go outwards for no reason. These emotions will be personal for everyone. So there is no definition. Gratitude is not gratitude for example. It is not simply a word. It can be an energetic process that opens a door for you to access more energy, it can change your perspective so much that it starts to heal your physiology. Emotions have different signatures and act as keys to unlock certain blockages, so they can be valuable. To reply to the OP, I think emotions can be a spring-board to higher states, but you wouldn't be focusing on them anymore at that point. Have fun experimenting with emotions and finding what they feel like for you !
  11. Positive Emotions ? Fake Practice

    From Master Ni Hua Ching, The moon waxes and wanes. Tides ebb and flow. Emotion moves up and down. Only achieved ones enjoy The smooth flow of nature.
  12. Personally I do it like this. I start by concentrating my mind inside my skin. Then I make a prayer to the Light or the Divine. "Light, at this Moment, I would like to breathe through my skin, the energy of You". Then you call onto your Master or higher power and imagine them by your side for the length of your meditation. After your prayer, you relax your intent, and focus on your sensations. You might feel sensations at the surface of your skin, below the skin, but all you do is follow along the path of sensations with the Divine leading the way. Because you've made your statement or request clear upfront, you just trust it to unfold. Always imagine Light with you, in front of you, or looking at you while you're doing this, so you're not stuck with being a performer or doing it on your own power. Try it out and experiment, it's fun and sort of magical. You can breathe in different qualities of energy too: Light, Qi, air, electricity and see how you react for each. In other words, first be willing to let the Divine breathe you, and then tell the Divine how you would like to be breathed. It's always listening to you. Then trust it. You can ask to be breathed the YJM way, or ask to be breathed an optimal way for you. I learned this method from Master Jim Nance of Spring Forest Qigong. I enjoy it and recommend it.
  13. how to stop spontaneous movement?

    You could get a phone healing from Master Chunyi Lin at http://springforestqigong.com..... He's a wonderful healer, and has experience with spontaneous Qigong and also has experience rectifying deviations too. He might be busy though, if you want more personal and quicker access, you can try his most senior student at http://www.guidingqi.com/, Jim Nance. Same, he is a great healer and also knows a lot about spontaneous Qigong and teaches it.
  14. So Many Qigong Traditions : How To Approach ?

    Agree with you Chesire Cat.... You seem to be referring to quality of Qi flow, of energy. I think Mud-foot was referring to quality of form. And yes tactile sensations would probably rank quite low on your scale of quality, and mine too. By Qi-flow, I meant a real flow of Qi, something you might feel like a cascade when lowering your arms, holistically in your body. Something that will make your body sway and move if you relax your form and mind for just a moment, like a current of energy inside. That's the kind of Qigong that can make these claims, at least in my opinion... But there must be other good ways too, healing is a vast subject.
  15. So Many Qigong Traditions : How To Approach ?

    I think I understand where he's coming from... Qigong at its essence is not about forms, lineage, or how good you look in the park. The real payload of Qigong is "Qi flow". People have many energetic blockages inside them and by virtue of the word "energetic blockage", the main path to recovery is to generate a Qi flow gain. The Qi flow you generate will progressively soften the blockage until it loosens up and disappears. He's right in saying you can generate good Qi flow by butchering some forms. And it's also true you can perform a Qigong routine perfectly well, and for a long time and have no energetic sense whatsoever, little Qi flow. In that case you're doing it as gentle physical exercise, as many people do in the park in Asia.