virtue

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  1. Does anyone of the Flying Phoenix practitioners around here have experience with David Berceli's Tension & Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), or some other type of exercises that activate spontaneous shaking and tremors? Any seasoned FP practitioner knows how the FP energy releases tension and causes spontaneous shaking. It would be sensible synergy if releasing tensions through other means enhanced the FP healing mechanism. I started a routine of first having many standing FP exercises in row, followed by 20 minutes of TRE, and then supine Monk Holding Pearl for rest for at least 10 minutes. It seems to me that the TRE's deep release of tension is amplifying the benefits of FP healing energy and I feel abundant vitality after practice. Can anyone confirm or invalidate this hypothesis through their own experience?
  2. I didn't imply any exclusivity. Chinese IMA was an excellent reference point in this context because of its history and wide spread, and this latter especially lends to the fact that budō inherited a lot from the Chinese fighting tradition and the Chinese cultural transmission of Tang dynasty, including Chan Buddhism. To add relevance, my teacher can see people's bhumi accomplishments directly through photographs. It kind of helps that many past Chinese masters have had themselves photographed in their old age at the peak of their spiritual development. I find this a very romantic view. Such romanticism was also what I was criticizing about. If you wished to train directly the non-dual mind, then why would you compromise it by going through another gate first? Cooking can be a gate, gardening (tree gong) can be a gate, and carpentry can be a gate. Even martial arts can be a gate, but is there anything inherently superior in that in comparison to the former three suggestions? Or you can go directly to the non-dual and forget about needless gates and their side paths. It's cost effective to turn everything outside of direct cultivation to support the cultivation project, but it's still the most cost effective approach to do direct cultivation instead of framing it into another context. Nothing else comes even close. My comments and inquiries about the two non-dualities were very specific and certainly not trivial. To give an example, in mind's non-duality even dzogchen masters have difficulty separating between alaya-consciousness and the actual open awareness, which is where most get stuck. It's okay if you don't want to discuss these advanced topics and then dismiss my line of thought with a silly non-sequitur and ad hominem combination, but this could have been a place to start mapping the actual science of awakening(s) and why IMA are supposed to be either good or bad at them. It could have been interesting to have that conversation.
  3. Wow, an actual list. You must be very eager to give due credit. How have you verified these awakenings for a fact? What is an awakening to you anyway? My current Buddhist teacher has plenty of experience in budō and its different styles. He was very direct in telling me that even in those circles which traditionally emphasize awareness and meditative aspects of training a real awakening is very rare. After the first awakening, further spiritual development in terms of opening bhumis towards the original nature of mind is virtually nil. I am not sure how this generalizes to Chinese internal martial arts context because their training philosophy focuses more on energy development than plain awareness. Some of my previous IMA masters have spoken of "no mind", but their conception and application of it was a travesty of what I later discovered in Vajrayana Buddhist practice. It's a pivotal question to ask how well do the IMA masters compare to the standards of Vajrayana and dzogchen masters in awareness training. My teacher has practiced Yiquan, and based on our discussion I think he has some real insight on the Chinese IMA scene and implied that he was not at all impressed with it. It should be clear that he is very serious about Enlightenment and attaining it and that his standards are really high. This is a bit of side subject to the topic, but I wish to ask nevertheless: Is it possible that all martial arts are poorly fitted to developing non-duality of mind and gaining awakenings (satoris and kenshos), but instead may serve well in reaching for the non-duality of energy? The dzogchen tradition separates these two developments in their own phases because mind's non-duality deals with the transparency of bodymind and cleansing its extra-ordinary diamond channels, while the energetic non-duality involves the bodymind's luminosity and transforming its ordinary channels. Apparently it's a wise and efficient design to do separate these and focus on either at a time. Martial arts are firstly about power (yang), but the wisest traditions understand that emptiness (yin) cannot be neglected without affecting the other. If there is no power as a result, then what was the purpose of training for confrontations? "Know thyself" is a virtuous adage and hints that awareness too provides some indirect power because it brings stability. Still it cannot be mistaken that all things martial relate to power first and foremost. Speaking generally from what I have seen and experienced, it seems that training power and energy distracts from training pure and open awareness. Energetic training may give you uncommon abilities like remote sensing and healing, but it's not the genuine non-duality of mind or reduced self-grasping that is attained. A genuine humility is good and may get your feet back to the ground, but it's not a proper substitute for the non-self of awareness and cutting through all delusions. Same goes to discovering bliss and unconditional love through the usual energy body unfoldings such as all the chakras opening and kundalini awakening: close, but no cigar. It's still impermanent and illusory. Like a fist in your face or a foot in your groin. I still respect and love IMA, but I guess I have become very cynical about their limitations.
  4. Hi awarenessrules. It's great to hear about your good results. Keep it up and practice steadily. The general guideline is to end each meditation with the three deep breaths, even if you intend to do another soon after. I think it's also recommended to have a gap of 2-5 minutes before starting another meditation to have your energy settle first. Doing so would get you better results.
  5. The Chinese title for Flying Phoenix Heavenly Healing Chi Meditations is given as Fei Feng San Gung. I believe that San Gung is a dialectal variant of the better known term Shen Gong which translates as work with mind/spirit.
  6. I would like to give my early impressions about the Flying Phoenix system which I started learning through a Skype lesson with Sifu Terry in the beginning of December. Since then I have learned DVDs 1 & 2 completely and 7 partially, and already got the rest of the series for advancing soon into more advanced standing meditations. It had caught my eye on this thread that there seemed to be something quite exotic and fascinating about the Flying Phoenix. There were mentions of divine origin, blue energy and aura, spontaneous jumping of healing energy for others held in positive regard, naturally achieving dhyana-samadhi, moving in very slow motion, nerves and brains getting cleansed, cumulative benefits for continuous practice, virtually no requirements for focus or thinking while practicing, breath sequencing, and not fitting into any model of energy channels. These unfamiliar aspects made me a bit cautious about the system and its supposed effects, but I'm glad that I persisted in my curiosity. The user feedback was also clear that it only brought benign healing effects and bliss like a great art is supposed to do, and then Sifu Terry had given a good impression of being a caring and capable keeper and organizer. It's certainly not trivial to produce a high-grade internal arts program for public consumption. Very few traditional internal arts masters engage their community in a casual manner on a forum like Sifu Terry does. There was no difficulty learning the meditations and they worked directly out of the box, which is remarkable as most arts have a threshold for getting into the mind training aspects first, altough some could say that this is substituted with learning the breath sequencing method. My first impression when trying the system was that the exercises really have a flavor of authentic meditation and not mere strange calisthenics and stretchings to manipulate energy. Being able to take time and relax into the smooth slowness is definitely the way I like it. If I tried that with ordinary types of qigong, it would just aggravate feelings of sickness because slowing down would uncomfortably condense and hinder the ordinary energy flow. The uniqueness and gentleness of FP energy was already perceptible on the first session when Sifu Terry taught me three meditations. To give an example, Monk Holding Pearl makes the familiar Wu Ji posture much more fun than any typical jing training in Taijiquan because the jing is so coarse and heavy in comparison. Getting an oversaturation of that type of energy is not pleasant at all, so it's amazing that FP energy only saturates in cool bliss and refreshing vitality. Later on it became clear that habitually training FP begins restoring a sense of physical strength that I haven't experienced in a long time. For long and often I have stuggled with pain and nervous agitation that is related to an unfortunate energy sickness, but how the FP energy works is miraculous in that it soothes the neurological conditions, takes out the pain, and really disregards any possible energetic blockages. It's as if none of those existed, but instead I feel increasing bliss and well-being. It's strange and wonderful how the experience of energy in body follows the movement of hands in the vertical plane, which is a complete departure from other types of gigong I have learned and couldn't benefit much from. This is why I have now learned to recognize its complete dismissal of energy circuits and how energy is supposed to flow as the most important and distinguishing feature of the Flying Phoenix system. It makes the art innately safe and applicable to recovery without a master's supervision. I can also offer some critical views on the system, although all these are well known already. Some other systems are more lenient on how they should be practiced, but there generally are trade-offs between different arts. Everything takes its own time, effort, and right circumstances. My personal beef is mostly that it takes a bit time to get into meditations because of breath sequencing, safety requirements during the practice itself are stern, and there is a lack of freedom and playfulness because adherence to the form and slow speed is mandatory for this specific energy. Timing can also be an issue because the nature of cumulative energy really rewards long sessions. Overall these are small issues really. Sifu, I would like to ask you about the internal mechanism of the other GMDW arts that you preserve: Red Lotus Flying Phoenix, Advanced Flying Phoenix, 10 000 Buddhas, and Eight Sections of Energy Combined. Does any of these arts work similarly outside of energetic circuits and channels like the basic Flying Phoenix, or do they or some of their parts fit the more ordinary models of how energy mainly follows specific channels and structures? I have asked a bit and looked around and found that the same feature may not entirely apply for all of the other GMDW arts such as Sunn Yee Gung which according to Sifu Garry's labels on his Youtube videos is a spiritual alchemy (neidan) practice with many applications. I would suspect the same is true for most kungfu systems because their basic training focuses on the physical body and activating its natural pathways, although their advanced training might go well beyond these. Thank you Sifu for your time and expertise and making the Flying Phoenix system available!
  7. I recall these two instances. Please enjoy!
  8. This is just my conversational style: "Let US make the terms clear" in which we all should be actively considering whether these premises are any good. It's an open invitation for anyone to challenge the perspective provided and not an inviolable imperial decree. Usually I put a bit more polish and tact in, but sometimes there are simple slips. It's really unfortunate that it's instantly viewed as arrogance and generalizations on the behalf of others.
  9. I agree it was poor way of bringing it up as it really needed a necessary caveat that it reflects my own understanding how karma and merit relate, and not any exact wording from an established source. Since this type of feedback is not isolated, I think I am going to desist from writing any more on the public fora. My deficiencies as a person should not be the one and only reason to prompt a sarcastic reply. If there is a disagreement with the proposed definitions, then these should be discussed instead of issuing boring ad hominems.
  10. Whether we have the capability to forgive leads to the questions what is or should be forgiven. Is it our or their selfing habit that is forgiven, or the unfortunate circumstance of someone being hurt? Even the Enlightened beings still experience pain and uncomfortable emotions and can even make mistakes such as losing balance while walking. They just don't abide in them and create selfing habits out of the circumstances. Forgiveness never was about eliminating karma, but precisely about consciously substituting bad with good in a world in which favorable conditions wax and wane often very unpredictably and fast. Neither mercy and compassion are directly dissolving karma, but who could deny that they are Buddhist teachings? Let's make the terms clear. Merit relates to doing good without self-grasping, while karma relates to self-grasping. Karma was the deepest teaching of the Gautama Buddha, but not the only one. We all have the capability to react with either positive or negative way in merit, and selfish or selfless way in karma. These two moods are orthogonally complementing each other. Being greedy for merit is good despite the fact that we in samsara naturally engage in subtle forms of self-grasping along with it. Thus merit remains incomplete and it's not enough to accumulate merit, but it is what we need to do along the way for the continuity of favorable conditions and will naturally persist in doing after realizing the complete non-duality of mind. Karma can be finished and done with, merit not. Ownership of karma is an interesting topic. The initiative for renouncing self-grasping must begin with each of us, and then the Buddhas can in fact help reduce the karmic ownership. This is why there exists tantric Buddhism where Enlightened beings are called to intervene and help us with our karma. First we must volunteer to dissolve it.
  11. Could a Buddha ever refuse to forgive someone? Of course a Buddha wouldn't need forgiveness for personal benefit, but it would remain the right thing to do. The same deal for thankfulness and other benevolent and self-sacrificing moral dispositions. There is always merit in doing the right thing. When an Enlightened person does so, the good action's benefits overflow and rain upon all the sentient beings because a Buddha is already pure of such attachments. To me it reads a bit foolish to downplay the importance of right morality and doing good in the work and teachings of Buddhas. If a Buddha doesn't forgive everone and be merciful to everybody, then who does these acts of complete selflessness and non-judgementality? A samsaric being?
  12. "To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to purify one's mind—this is the teaching of the Buddhas" (Dhammapada 183). Is forgiveness avoiding evil? Yes. Is forgiveness cultivating good? Yes. Is it purification of one's mind? No, if we understand that term in the pure non-dual sense. Yet forgiveness does facilitate precepts and necessary conditions for training leading to mind purification happening at all. I think we need to make a difference between relative vision and absolute vision. Buddha's teaching, the Dhamma, promotes right discernment for relative experiences which we continue to constantly live through in our reincarnate state. The Enlightenment is not about dismissing basic moral tenets or becoming detached from them, but embodying them and using their merits to the fullest to the benefit of all. Isn't this just essential bodhichitta?
  13. Good timing because I was thinking of creating a similar topic a while ago. Which type of pranayama exercises are you referring to? I would love to learn more. Sifu Terry has written following: This got me wondering how does the mind training aspect work in other breath sequence systems. Are they completely permissible like the description above or do most systems require some specific focus? Leif shared that in Sunn Yee Gung its training requires developing listening skills which implies purposeful mindfulness or awareness development. There are different things referred to as the awakening in spiritual context. Speaking from the Buddhist perspective of awakening, it requires the development of insight. I am not sure if the Flying Phoenix or samadhic meditations are conductive for that as stand alone practices.
  14. Hindu art in the general sense is preserved all around the world. Did you know that the Indo-Europeans kept much of the same techniques and styles of bright coloring as you would expect from their Indian cousins? The Greeks later passed the skills on to Orthodox Christian iconography. http://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-other-artifacts/more-colorful-ancient-greece-pigment-proves-classical-statues-were-once-021409
  15. See below how Sifu Terry describes this feature in the art he preserves if it is easier to understand. https://www.thedaobums.com/topic/12639-flying-phoenix-chi-kung/?page=150#comment-705628 https://www.thedaobums.com/topic/12639-flying-phoenix-chi-kung/?page=55#comment-349464 https://www.thedaobums.com/topic/12639-flying-phoenix-chi-kung/?page=42#comment-308996 https://www.thedaobums.com/topic/12639-flying-phoenix-chi-kung/?page=24#comment-232958 https://www.thedaobums.com/topic/12639-flying-phoenix-chi-kung/?page=17#comment-208983 Is it clear now? It's a bit more general condition to allow any focus than to allow any thinking because the former particularly includes the use of intent. Maybe it would have been more sensible and clearer to ask about "Energy Arts That Allow Focusing on Anything," since the concept of focus is firmly understood and has more obvious utility.