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About ezza

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  1. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    I'm honestly not a fan of subscription type models either but I think the way this one is setup is a lot better than most others because there is a lot that is available from the get go as mentioned aside from the 40 minute long videos for the first week, there's the Qi Gong Foundations / Heavenly Streams / Tai Qi modules to go along with it (and others too) I'm not sure where you live but $40 a month to me seems more than feasible. If we were to attend in-person classes or workshops in any other system, martial arts, or class, it'd probably be $20 to $40 just to attend a one or two hour class once (this is on the cheaper end of just classes too, workshops would be far more). I'm sure if you were to resubscribe again you would NOT have to start back at week 1 haha, that would be hell! You'd continue off at whatever your last video was if you were to resub The cost adds up if you stick with it, but it doesn't necessarily need to be a big commitment. Do it for 1 to 3 months, see if it is worth it to you to continue or not, if not, then drop it so no major commitment required. If the pricing is really an issue, you can always send out an email to them and ask if they could offer a discount granted your financial situation, I wouldn't be surprised if they gave you one. When you compare the costs of this with any other hobby, interest, or endeavor, it's probably on the lower end given the same time frame.. You gotta be pretty damn lucky to find someone who would be willing to teach you for free, and also there is the added component of whether they are actually good at their craft, AND also able to teach it well too. To find someone like that, one would likely need to spend a fair bit of money travelling to find them, and not only that, the greater cost would really be the time, energy, and sweat equity put towards finding them and then ultimately committing to learning and training under them
  2. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    Vajra Fist, did you miss the short article about how to make the most out of this program? It actually recommends starting with the "Qi Gong Foundations" from the library as that teaches you all the nuances of the Wuji posture + the Ji Ben Qi Gong. There's 5 hours+ of material there for you to work with if you'd like The Nei Gong weekly course is a bit wider and starts with the meditation etc. But yeah, just with that Qi Gong Foundation videos you probably have more than enough to work with for a year (if you are really diligent) or two+. Also the whole point of upfront payments for anything (not just this course) being cheaper and offering more is because money right now is a lot more valuable than money later down the line.
  3. New Moderator Team

    Thanks guys, and all hail to our new supreme overlords
  4. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    He said in a recent vid that I watched intermittent fasting and training is fine. What he considers fasting is at least 3 days, and he doesn't advise doing these longer fasts whilst training. Enough energy/fuel is required by the system as we are constantly moving and circulating stuff around, if there's nothing to help fuel this then that's probably not good for your system. This is obviously not considering more highly advanced stages, when he said this the context was more towards beginners/intermediate
  5. Try emailing "lngbookings AT gmail" instead and they might be able to direct you to the correct person / contact
  6. Xiang Gong - Fragrant Qigong

    One foot in, one foot out? Some teach what they can and will, and then just disappear. Mere theories and guessing here on my part but makes sense to me that perhaps they reach a point in their cultivation where they are required to become a renunciant in order to continue progressing. The other spectrum is to no longer progress, or worse, fall into deviant side-paths where gurus/teachers get involved with sexual abuse, become egotistical, go after power etc. Teaching, especially as one gets more students and more popular overtime could very likely be cumbersome af. Not only in the physical mundane sense of having too many requests and needing to divide up one's attention, energy, and time - also not to mention the kooky people who may cross your path - but also on a karmic level as there are many entanglements present, unless one is skilled at the level of seeing and being able to deal with it all skillfully. As @virtue mentioned, these people did leave something for the future by having even put forth the effort to teach in the first place. However not everyone wants to, or is capable of teaching throughout their lives; some choose to retire early, some wish to teach until they die, or until they are incapable of doing so. Just as with teachers of schools, universities and so forth
  7. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    I checked out DiscoverTaiji's one month trial recently and it's pretty good, very solid instructions and a lively community + support from senior students and Adam too. Only one video per week so it isn't overwhelming and allows one to go deeper per technique/form. Damo seems to teach a somewhat similar curriculum but there are other things mixed into his Taiji teachings. It isn't strictly Huang Sheng Shyan style, it includes a broader and more encompassing Yang style from other teachers The difference I see is that Discover Taiji atm is primarily just Taiji (for online learnings anyhow), apparently Adam has been working on a "Discover Mind" course for quite sometime that is to be released, which incorporates more internal aspects and development with meditation etc, as opposed to just only teaching the "external" Taiji forms and push hands. Damo's online offerings are much wider and broader (Daoist teachings and perspective), with large focus on internal development. There is a lot of varying courses and teachings in the library. From what I've seen Damo seems to be a lot more "open-book" than say Mizner. During the trial I noticed due to covid there were workshops hosted by Mizner and it cost $50 per workshop to attend and view the recordings Damo is just pumping out material right now and releasing it all to the different tiers of subscription without additional cost. All in they're both great systems, just depends on what you want out of your practice, and what qualities you prefer in a teacher (or wish to develop in yourself). Damo's course is definitely great big bang for buck if Daoist teachings and all that is your cup of tea, I'd highly recommend his course, along with his books as they are seemingly the go-to for beginners in the West atm If Taiji, then perhaps Mizner is your man as he has several high-level students that teach around the world and potentially a wider "network/school" that can be found around the world. I don't really fancy being able to push people around in Push hands though as I'm more interested in internal development but whatever floats your boat!
  8. I don't tend to bring up this subject at all with others however something within is urging me to share this. A lot of great suggestions have been made in this thread and this is just one other potential avenue you can consider exploring -perhaps after the other alternatives have been exhausted - particularly as you have mentioned aspects of dealing with PTSD and brain trauma. Of course, please proceed with caution and only under supervised guidance and help because of the nature of the drugs in question to be discussed. Particularly MDMA has been seen to assist with people suffering from PTSD, and it is currently in its final Phase 3 of clinical trials, which if passed could see it be used clinically in psychotherapy as "medicine". The other drugs beyond this would include psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and LSD that can help the brain to rewire and reset that perhaps could help the hemispheres to "reconnect" and function more in sync. This is one framework that helps to outline such a process: https://medium.com/@tuckermax/how-to-get-started-with-plant-medicine-therapy-2517a789690d MDMA and PTSD: https://maps.org/research/mdma/ptsd/phase3 Psilocybin and neural plasticity: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082376/ How to Change Your Mind (a good summary on use of psychedelics in medicine): https://www.amazon.com/How-to-Change-Your-Mind-What-the-New-Science-of-Psychedelics-Teaches-Us-About-Consciousness-Dying-Addiction-Depression-and-Transcendence/dp/1594204225/ There are a ton of other resources out there on this subject and you'd have to dig around. Again, to emphasize this should be a last resort after Occam's razor suggestions here have been explored. And only with professional help and guidance!
  9. Don't force it. You want to slowly work up to full lotus, it can take years but that's okay because you don't need it straight away (if ever according to some systems and lineages). Here's a good start: https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2019/03/flt-full-lotus-turtle-comprehensive.html You'll want to stretch as often as you can throughout the day, not sit too much/too long (get up and walk around every 30 minutes to an hour or so and so forth)
  10. Yeah I myself wasn't 100% taken by the method section however I'm almost like that for any study I look at these days aha. TBH was surprised there was even a study done on this at all, would be great for them to test out different positions too This seems to be a rather common issue when it comes to a foreign tradition/practice being taken on by a new culture. Everything gets interpreted through that culture's lens and they then pick and choose according to the things they like/know whilst getting rid of the rest that doesn't sit well with them. Sometimes this creates a better alternative, but most other times it butches things thus resulting in a watered down version! The link between qi flow/channels and flexibility is just something I heard in passing but I think it does make sense fundamentally. As freeform outlined you can also have the opposite though when one is too relaxed/flexible, and the Qi still can't flow because now there isn't a connection, whereas with stiffness its just a blockage/wall standing in the way From my point of view, the study only states that full lotus DOES produce/result in higher energy of the meridians (as masters of past have noted that it locks the channels and keeps energy going up/through them), this doesn't necessarily mean it is the best posture. Everyone has a unique physiological/genetic/energetic makeup and it could be that the Burmese, half lotus, or some other posture is best/most suitable for them at different stages of their practice. Having options to utilize and choose from postures sounds like the best approach, and of course full lotus is just that, an ideal to perhaps work towards and shoot for If we're serious about our practice, meaning we'll be at this (hopefully) for more than 10 years, an investment into working towards full lotus could be worthwhile, especially as it makes one's ability to sit in any other posture for longer much easier. ----- Drew has mentioned multiple times before that SFQ's Chunyi Lin stresses and emphasizes the ability to sit in full lotus for at least 2 hours for his higher/advanced students. More recently, I've come across a Chan Buddhist lineage that emphasizes working towards sitting in full lotus for at least an hour as one of the first major milestones to work towards
  11. Came across this (relatively?) new study on the full lotus posture and the effects of it on the body's energetic meridian channels: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433118/ Surprised it hasn't been shared around more in the different "spiritual"/meditative communities, altho it's somewhat understandable. A lot of weekend warrior meditator types like to downplay the significance and importance of the posture, especially because it's quite difficult for most people in today's age to get into it. From my limited understanding one's flexibility/ability to enter full lotus is directly linked to how well chi is flowing through their body and whether they have blockages etc. I've also heard that the full lotus isn't as important until the leg channels have actually opened up, however I would envision that stretching would help to achieve this/clear blockages, as opposed to simply sitting and hoping that one day you reach deeper states of meditation where the Qi makes its way through the blockages In short, the study found that full lotus energizes the body after 20 minutes of sitting and increases over longer sits. Sitting in a chair on the other hand drains one's energy overtime This finding is in line with what many from the past have said and also supports what one of our fellow full-lotus loving residents here on TDB. I'm not there yet with proper full lotus but I'm getting there (right knee can't quite hit the ground yet), curious if any of you guys sit in it regularly and what was your path like towards getting there? Did you do yoga/stretching to get to the point of being able to sit in full lotus, or did you just focus on sitting and let your body naturally reach that point? Perhaps you don't even care at all, or put it to the side like I've done for several years
  12. These look like the 4 Brahmaviharas of the Buddhist traditions, from my understanding true cultivation of these factors are more of an effect after the correct causes have been set in place and followed. It is similar to how how progress is made in several Taoist practices with an emphasis on wu wei (non-action), they take some action merely to set the causes into the right place, then they let their effects play out in time without further action. In terms of your actual question, I believe how one does this is through practicing and living the Noble Eightfold Path (N8P) as suggested by the Buddha, upholding one's precepts, and more specifically by going through the first, second, third, and fourth jhana meditation states. When you come out of these states, the brahmaviharas naturally arise as a result/effect, so the cause to set this in motion is the N8P, acting virtuously, living up to the precepts that all lead you into the deeper states of meditation/consciousness. When one progresses further on this path, they begin to shed and lose the views that one believes to be themselves as the 5 aggregates, and as one relinquishes ignorance, they start to see there is no 'enemy' as what we take as self is really not self. Other than this there are what they call "metta" practices (can look on Youtube or guided meditations) that are done to invoke these qualities, however they start out on focusing on easier subjects working their way up to harder ones. So if you're new to this, you don't start trying to work on building these qualities with your most hated enemies, you start with loved ones first such as family, partners, friends, or pets, and then look to shift and maintain these qualities towards acquaintances, and then neutral people/strangers, then perhaps to yourself, THEN maybe your enemies. For some people however they themselves may be their most hated and worst enemy. I think forgiveness plays a big role here. That and also viewing things from your 'enemies' perspective. How did they act? Why did they act that way? If you were in their shoes would you do the same? And how could you have conducted yourself better in action to not result in them treating you in such a way etc etc. We're all just stupid ignorant beings at the end of the day. Relax, chill out, what's the point of getting yourself all worked up over this and making enemies and experiencing negative emotions. Just laugh and think about how silly these mental games that you play on yourself are, taking life too seriously and thinking all "me, me, me" Just my 2c, I'm still practicing all that I've shared here and am nowhere near having experienced it for myself so take it with a grain of salt
  13. What do you use as a meditation object when you mediate? Yes, a great goal and thing to strive for is being able to take what we do on the mat and incorporate it back into our lives. Meditation should be a 24/7 thing, they call it mindfulness these days but really it's just a mild form of meditation. It helps a lot to have an anchor/object to keep tethered to as we go about our lives otherwise we experience those things you mentioned, unawareness, sleepiness, tiredness etc. Yeah perfect, you have the idea. It's a gradual step process, we can't operate completely from stillness silence 24/7 from just meditating a little while, we need to keep deepening our practice ON the mat and OFF of it. And yeah when we need to think to do work and engage in thoughts this obviously makes things difficult! Cessation-contemplation practice such as taught by Confucius is recommended for this, or in other words "observing" thoughts as a third party entity so we don't get overly caught up in them or attached, which then leads us to getting bombarded and distracted by all matters and manners in our head
  14. Curious to know what your primary purpose or outcome is that you are seeking from this? A good piece of advice - that I don't always follow - but have used to great success in the past is to find one system, method, practice, habit or what have you (in whatever it is that you want to do) and to follow that for at least 6 months to a year - considering it moves you closer to your outcome and end purpose. Once you do that, this helps build and provide a more solid foundation for you to be able to experience and try out other methods, forms, systems, and practices to see what truly works for you and what doesn't. When trying to do everything and mixing things here and there, this makes it a harder to go deeper into any one thing and trukly experience it. The Tao is in everyone and everything, this is why masters of any craft, whether sports, business, Qi Gong, martial arts, or music, after they have gotten a deep fundamental understanding of it, can see the similarities in all things they observe. Same is true for meditation masters, they can test out different practices and easily see the nuances of how it effects them, generally after they have gone very deep with one and "mastered" it
  15. I don't know who I am

    Mate, if you believe any of the ancient sages, texts, or religions, many of us have been around the block for far more than 43 orbits around the sun. In fact it could be perhaps thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of orbits and we still haven't figured out the answer to the age old question of "Who am I?" That is IMO what the big E of enlightenment is supposedly all about... Who are we really.. Really. hmmm On a more down to earth level, knowing who you don't want to be is good, as it gives you a starting point for knowing who you do want to be. That's the first slippery slope, but once you have that down you're on to the next slippery slope. Becoming that person..