Vajra Fist

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  1. I've been dabbling with many qigong styles for the past few months and keeping notes. * I also didn't get much from zhineng. I had a minor adverse reaction at first, minor flu symptoms, which I assumed was a healing reaction. After I pushed through that though, I couldn't feel anything from it. The movements felt empty. * I have dabbled on and off with flying phoenix for a while. I get very pleasant qi sensations from the practice, but weirdly it doesn't seem to carry through to the rest of my day. I also found I was more irritable while practicing it than I normally am. * I also started wim hof again for a period. I practiced it daily for several years, and always enjoyed the mental toughness and physical energy it tends to develop. But I have a skin condition that flares up quite badly whenever I go too hard on the cold showers. * the most powerful thing I tried was fragrant qigong. It is such a weird style though, and not merely based on how it looks. I have more energy and positivity when I practice it, and for some reason it improves my mind and makes my writing about 1000% better (I'm a journalist). The strange thing about it though is that you're supposed to practice in a sort of semi-distracted state, without focusing on the movements. But this also carried through to my daily life, so I would find myself staring off into space at times or not properly listening to a conversation. It also radically increased my appetite and my tendancy to seek comfort more generally. A bad thing when you battling the 'dad bod' and have a million chores to do around the house. I found it made me incredibly resistant to stress, but I wonder how much of that is being in a sort of semi-stoned state. * spring forest is also something I've done on and off over the years. While there's a lot of qi sensation in the hands through the active exercises, the core of the system is really the small universe guided meditation. This is a really visualisation-dependant qigong, which to me at least is mentally exhausting. I also found while it develops qi, the mental work makes it too stagnant to circulate. * I started learning taiji a few months ago and have stuck with it. I now have the 37 form memorised, and I'm at the very beginning of learning how to release the feet and mobilise jin. It is still very much a physical exercise, with focus on hanging the flesh off the bones while keeping good posture and turning from the kua. I think it will many, many years to reach the point where it can generate the same health benefits of qigong. So if you learn an internal art, you need to bear in mind that its going to take a while to pay off. So that's it really. After dabbling with fragrant (where you can't really do any form of meditation or breathing exercise), I've drifted back to sitting meditation as my main practice. I enjoy the experience of mindfulness that comes from it, being able to walk through a park and feel the wind on your face and hear the birds in the trees, without getting wrapped up in thoughts. At the same time though, I don't think it offers much in terms of physical health benefits, so I am still considering picking up a qigong form of the side. Maybe some zhan zhuang to complement my taiji. I'll keep a close eye on here for recommendations.
  2. Norse mythology

    I just finished watching this on your recommendation. I was fascinated in Norse mythology as a kid and I loved this show. When I started reading about the six paths of reincarnation in vajrayana, I immediately saw parallels between the aesir and the warring titans of the asura. I've also wondered if the Norse pantheon was of the deva realm and the giants of the Jötunheim were the asura. In Buddhist beliefs, the asura wage war on the devas, but always lose. That makes them jealous and enraged. Thats largely true of Norse mythology too, apart from at Ragnarok, when the gods die. A reminder that even the gods are within the scope of samsara. Its also fascinating that many western cultures of the time worshipped entities in the deva realm, like Zeus, Jupiter, Odin. I wonder if the human plane was closer to those realms at the time.
  3. Martial Arts - Realm of the Insecure

    Is that Juan Carlos Aguilar's place?
  4. Is an hour a day the recommended amount of time for practicing this style?
  5. Can you dial it back a bit? Its a pretty interesting thread but literally every other post is this bobbins. Its like you're purposefully trying to derail the thread.
  6. Interestingly, a lot of the bok fu pai qigong is done at a glacial pace at more advanced levels, including flying phoenix and sunn yee gong.
  7. Thanks for sharing, it's great to get another perspective. How much of the system would you say Steve has offered publicly?
  8. Martial Arts - Realm of the Insecure

    Growing up in a fairly deprived, working class area of the UK, I was hugely insecure as a teenager. Everyone else around me was into football, and it was sometimes the sole topic of conversation at the pub. I always felt like I was perhaps less of a man, because I wasnt interested in it, and couldn't play it. My hobbies were probably a bit suspect to others, I played an instrument, and painted wargaming figurines. So I kept them to myself. Martial arts became a way to overcome the threat I felt from deviating from the mainstream. I was stronger, fitter and more able than those around me, so no one could say I was less of a man. Its been nearly 30 years since I started martial arts, and my body is starting to complain from the training. I recently switched to internal martial arts. I thought at first I'd feel some vulnerability from the change, but it was pretty natural. I realised that I had stopped caring about fitting in with those around me some time ago. I guess age sometimes brings maturity.
  9. Circle walking

    Many thanks for your responses all, this is super helpful
  10. I've always been tempted to give this qigong a try, I still might. But I'm always a little put off by the grandiose claims: "for producing super men and women." Is Steve a super man? Would superman spend his time on forums threatening to kill people who disagree with him?
  11. Circle walking

    Thanks for your response, super helpful. A follow up question - does it feel like a qigong practice, or does it primarily feel like a type of physical conditioning? Have you noticed any changes to your mental or emotional state as a result of circle walking, or are the benefits mostly physical? Some people talk about improved mental acuity or an ability to respond more favourably to adversity.
  12. Circle walking

    I'm thinking of starting bagua, initially with a focus on circle walking for an hour or more in the morning, as a physical practice complement to my meditation. I've been gradually learning taiji over the past few months, but I've found it a bit overwhelming at times because there is so much material to cover. Circle walking by contrast seems relatively straightforward to learn, and according to some teachers offers it full range of health benefits at the outset. So I was wondering if anyone here put serious time into practicing it, and what benefits they derived from it?
  13. Xiang Gong - Fragrant Qigong

    Difficult to know which system does what though. Personally, I've found xiang gong to be more powerful than anything I've ever tried before, although technically its a medical qigong. Stuff like yoga might be appropriate for children, as its more like calisthenics. But as a parent myself, I wouldn't encourage my eight-year-old to do any meditation or qigong, as that works directly on the energy system, which isn't yet fully developed in children. Each to their own though.
  14. Xiang Gong - Fragrant Qigong

    I recall that other teachers, like Damo Mitchell recommend otherwise. It's a bit like whether fasting or weight training is appropriate for children. Maybe it's good, maybe it's bad, but as a parent, would you take the risk?