Vajra Fist

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  1. In memoriam

  2. Five Element Qigong in Spring Forest Qigong

    Affirmations might have their place. The mind has a interesting effect on the body through placebo. The opposite is true. Sometimes the mind can make symptoms worse. Of course, there's limits to this, but as a way to help along the actual healing through qigong, I think it has its place. That said, I find it personally jarring. It feels cheesy and fake and saccharine sweet in a new agey way. And yes, I dont like the prices they charge for their courses, healings and retreats. But I can't deny that spring forest has benefitted many people, and in the short amount of time I practiced it, produced tangible feelings in me at least.
  3. Five Element Qigong in Spring Forest Qigong

    There's a Facebook group where they have livestreams. There's also a very active community.
  4. Five Element Qigong in Spring Forest Qigong

    Hi, I only had a very passing experience with five element practice and spring forest in general The movements are similar to level one. You can get a sense of it here, not sure if it's the full practice or not
  5. AI and the illusion of self

    This is a great way of understanding our own conditioning. So much of it goes unnoticed in the day to day, but that's the stuff that determines how we react to the world. I find it pops up a lot these days. Why am I scowling? What emotion does that tension around my eyes correspond to? Why am I feeling that way right now? It's fascinating how much of what I believed was personality is just conditioned reflex. AI is sentient in the same way most people are sentient. Which is, not to any great degree.
  6. AI and the illusion of self

    I took a read through the transcript of the conversion between Blake Lemoine and Google's chatbot LaMDA, in which it appears as though the AI is sentient. The chatbot clearly works by understanding the context and meaning, and responds based on what it has learned. It made me realise that perhaps the human brain, and what we call our own self, acts in the exact same way. We are largely on autopilot in the same way as the AI, responding to novel scenarios based on our conditioning - what we've learned to be right or wrong. There's no inherent 'self' directing it all, it's just stuff happening on its own. I think it's going to be fascinating to see how people wrestle with this in the coming years.
  7. Just as an added point, I noticed you mentioned that you were practicing fragrant alongside meditation. John Dolic mentions something along those lines here: This is about a girl and her boyfriend who not only forgot that Fragrant Qigong should not be practiced while practicing other styles of Qigong and similar disciplines (on a daily basis), but used it as a “warm up” before starting their meditation. With Fragrant Qigong Do’s and Don’ts this is a big NO, NO. I'd still recommend speaking to a teacher if you want to continue practicing.
  8. I think that there's a specific exercise within the fragrant qigong system for preparing for bed. John Dolic demonstrates it in his DVDs. It might be in the book too, but I couldn't be sure. I remember there being some sort of recommendation not to practice the level one exercises too close to bedtime, but its been a few years since I looked at fragrant qigong. Generally speaking, if something feels too stimulating for the nervous system, I'd probably recommend speaking to a teacher of that system. John Dolic, Lisa O'Shea or Studio Zhang in Germany are all super helpful over email. I'm not really a fan of qigong generally these days though, so don't take the above as any sort of recommendation. As others have mentioned, yoga nidra (or 'non sleep deep rest' as they call it in the research community these days) is particularly great for calming the nervous system.
  9. Appreciate you setting me right
  10. Huang Sheng Shyan is sometimes romanised as Huang Xingxian. I have no idea who Shen Hongxun is, I don't believed he's mentioned at all here. Edit - apologies, do you mean in the workshop that Damo mentioned during the podcast? I need to listen to it again, but if so, that would make more sense!
  11. Patrick Kelly is probably the most authentic source of Huang Sheng Shyan taiji in the west. His student Luke Shephard has an excellent online training program which is a one time purchase of around £50. I don't think Adam Mizner has ever said he was taught by HSS, but instead said publicly his main teacher was Mark Rasmus. Mizner would have been around eight when HSS died in 1992. Similarly Damo Mitchell says in a recent podcast HSS was a pivotal figure in his development, and carried out some sort of energy adjustment on him at a seminar. But it's not clear when that was supposed to have happened, as Damo would have been 12 years old when he died. Similarly Damo Mitchell credits Mark Rasmus as a teacher on his site. That's not to discredit Mark Rasmus, I'm sure what he teaches is powerful. But it's not Huang's taiji.
  12. I think these kind of grand overarching insights into entire spiritual traditions, often imply great insight. I know Bodri is a prolific author, but I've never seen him give a dharma talk. I've also never met him in person. Conversely, I have met people who've dedicated their lives to so-called 'consciousness only' traditions, who have a genuine, immediate presence. Like a thundering mountain in human form. Edit - I also think energetic development is a natural by-product of meditation, especially in those schools that emphasise jhana.