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  1. Zhan Zhuang sensations?

    I think of it this way - we’re always doing something wrong... but hopefully a little less wrong with each passing hour of practice. Doing it ‘right’ is when you’ve finally reached mastery and become a wise, enlightened sage yourself. Which, for me, is quite a way off You're right though - if you have a good teacher they’ll be able to help correct you. There isn’t one correct position - not really... the body goes through changes - what was correct for you yesterday may be incorrect today. That’s why it’s impossible to communicate these intricacies in a book. Standing practices are really quite complex. Internally you’re always dancing on the edge between release and inner connection, between stillness and movement... You’re always hunting for a certain equilibrium that takes you deeper and deeper. It is not standing in a certain structure and grinning and bearing it until your timer rings (although that’s usually how it starts). If you finish your standing and you have to sort pry yourself out of the posture like pulling off the stuck lid of an old paint tin then something isn’t right. If you feel numb or stiff and need to move around to get the circulation going again then something isn’t quite right. If you walk away feeling sore, clothes soaked in sweat but feeling vital and calm and the body feels big, expanded and bouncy like a spring - then you’ve done well.
  2. Zhan Zhuang sensations?

    ZZ is (in general) badly taught. Most instructions place you in a structure that is incorrect for your body and negatively impacts the spine and the nerves. This then causes numbness and pins and needles. I believe that no one should be starting with ZZ practice. It is useful at the intermediate stage of practice - for building certain mechanics into the body - but at the start it is generally detrimental.
  3. Mo Pai - Instructions & Warnings

    It’s not just that... why would someone invite such scrutiny into their lives with absolutely no payoff!? It’s like inviting paparazzi into your life but not get the fame and wealth along with it. People with achievement have nothing to prove. They see the reality of the situation - that science is run by people and people are mired in their preferences and delusions - enough to imprison and kill a man for showing that the world revolves around the sun... So why bother?
  4. Automatic Yoga

    Oh, and it's not kundalini - it's just qi moving
  5. Automatic Yoga

    There is an attitude that you must take with this that's important. The most advanced teachers I've seen use this powerful process with the following attitude: It's just a natural reaction of your body and mind as it lets go of tension, mental and emotional debris and habitual patterns and traumas. It's similar to a sneeze. What's important is not to indulge in it... not to get too attached to it or to find meaning and importance in it - just as you would not do that with a sneeze. There is an end to this process... eventually, most of the debris that can be gotten to with this process will be cleared out - and you will reach a kind of ease and stillness in yourself. This is the goal - not more movements, not more experiences or anything like that. I have come across schools both here in Asia and in the west that use this process in exactly the opposite way - they indulge in the spontaneous movements in such a way that creates more layers of attachment. They effectively get stuck in this process - just going in circles... Like a continuous sneezing fit They treat it as something special, something desired, something spiritual - they layer it with a sort of self-hypnosis and wishful thinking. And this state is particularly susceptible to that because it opens up (and starts clearing and 'acting out' the debris in) your subconscious mind. Often it's followed by illness and all kinds of issues showing up - which, in a couple of these schools, they treat as negative karmic patterns leaving your body - they are not - they're simply creating illness through over attaching to this practice and doing it constantly and making themselves ill.
  6. Is spiritual qiqong a thing ?

    So first of all Qi Gong is 'Mastery of Qi'... Qi isn't in itself 'spiritual' - but mastering your Qi enables you to use the extra vitality, inner resilience and ease for more spiritual pursuits. Similarly, 'telepathy' and other such abilities aren't in themselves spiritual. In many cases practising Qi Gong at a very high level will develop 'special abilities'... however that's just as a result of functioning at a very 'efficient' level and tuning into aspects of reality that are unavailable to people functioning at a 'normal' level. Again not really spiritual. Spiritual training is generally meditative, alchemical or even religious training - and is quite different from qigong. Spiritual practice is very difficult and requires an almost superhuman capacity for successful practice. So Qi Gong is a great pre-requisite to help with that.
  7. exactly. Qi at its most fundamental level is 'transformational information in process'... it isn't a thing - it's a process... it isn't so much a substance - it's 'information' (with the caveat that it behaves like a substance in some contexts) - it's information that's putting change into action... But this explanation probably confuses more than enlightens. So it's best to consider qi within its context - not as something separate or objective like we tend to want to do in our western approach to understanding things. The qi of feng shui - the qi of Chinese medicine - the qi of taiji - the qi of qigong - they all have the same fundamental nature - but they're all different and have different qualities and mental models within their respective contexts... The idea of qi shouldn't be considered or conceptualised in isolation from its context.
  8. 405 days of Golden Flower Meditation

    My own understanding of lineage has gone through periods of evolution as I slowly get insight into the inner workings behind the appearance of these things. There are three aspects of lineage - one is the idea of a proprietary collection of knowledge and information that's been passed down and developed over generations. Often jealously guarded and kept for the select few within the group. This is how I understood lineage at first - but I now see that this is a very simplistic understanding... The next aspect goes a little deeper - it's the relationship of master and apprentice... These arts are a mix of technique and art... they get incredibly intricate and complex. There are an infinite number of errors and only a small number of correct steps if you're to proceed along the path and go through the transformative process. The issue is that although it seems like it should be - this stuff is not intuitive. Not at all. In fact, it often goes very much counter one's intuition. Sometimes what looks like progress is very much the opposite... sometimes what looks like a terrible mistake is anything but.. and only a master that has been through the process - took the correct steps, knows the major pitfalls and errors - only they can assist you along the way. You wouldn't expect to become a master potter by just reading articles online... and this stuff is a lot more intricate and difficult than pottery... The more hidden aspect of lineage is what I'm slowly discovering now. It is like a divine 'broadcast' that you become attuned to... It is constantly broadcasting a live signal from the very highest levels... the way it unfolds within us is as a gradual process of effortless inner transformation. It is both highly individual and personal and very huge and impersonal. Because - the way it works through you may not be the way it works through me - although it is always leading to the same destination. To attune to this level of lineage requires a lot of dedication to prepare oneself - one's quality of mind and body... and it requires great humility - which is one of the main guiding principles of Daoism. And here's the issue. This view takes the very simplest aspect of what lineage is - that it's a cultural collection of knowledge and information - we can pick and choose off the menu - according to our needs and desires of the moment. And at the same time, it loses the other two aspects - the idea that it is a process along a path and that it requires assistance by someone who has walked that path and gone through that transformative process. And the even more important (but much less apparent) aspect - which is the divine live broadcast of transformative power - that once attuned to can take your inner development to places your willful actions cannot reach. If we take this idea that we're modern people and we're far wiser than the poor primitives before us - and so we can pick and choose the bits of practice that we like or feel like doing - then what results is just the appropriation of the very surface level of these arts into one's egoic identity... We wear these practices and lineages like fashion statements - whether they're fashion statements for others or just for ourselves. I'm certainly guilty of having done that! All it does is create extra egoic layers of self-identification. No real progress and no real transformation - just the appearance of that.
  9. 405 days of Golden Flower Meditation

    Well if you're able to do that then great (and I've given a more thorough explanation of this recently in the forum). If you can build up to sitting and breathing quietly in this way for an hour a day then you will see some inner transformation start to take place. Remember that your breath and your mind are inexorably linked - once your breath begins to become smooth and quiet (of its own accord! any meddling will set you back) - your mind will start to become quiet, still and deeply resilient - opening the door to further cultivation. Yes, that's a good attitude. I agree that hiding is pointless - but being polite with each other makes getting along a little easier. But you have no need to apologize - I'm not offended at all. When I say "I don't have time for that" - I'm being quite literal - I have very little time to spare. I need to work to earn money and I have a lot of training to accomplish in a day because my teachers expect results, or they stop teaching me. I do assist some people here, but that's because they make it easy for me to be of assistance by being great practitioners themselves. I just share helpful tips for the stage of the process they're working through at the time. Yes - mainly because I would be doing you a disservice as I don't think I'm in a position to be a teacher in this way. There are people here who are far more qualified and able to outline and help you along the process. And I meant what I said when I mentioned you have the qualities of becoming a good cultivator - so I hope you stick with the path and get a lot out of it.
  10. 405 days of Golden Flower Meditation

    That’s not my intention. what I’m telling you is that you’ve been led astray - and so are many people. There are three reasons I haven’t given you advice. 1. You’ve already been offered some assistance by people I trust would pass on good information. 2. The only thing I could teach you online would be to sit and follow your breath without interfering in it in any way. But most people think this is too basic and/or too difficult... 3. Daoist cultivation is a step by step by step process - not just a collection of techniques. I’m not an official teacher - but I’ve helped some people with their cultivation. I always start at the foundation stage of the process and almost everyone gets very offended because they believe they’re way past the foundation stage and who am I to treat them like a beginner etc... So my rule is to only help people that show some humility and respect. Not being humble and respectful in relation to me - but in relation to these arts. You, I’m afraid, have demonstrated a tendency to be easily offended - I simply don’t have the time or inclination to get involved in all that.
  11. 405 days of Golden Flower Meditation

    Each arm holding a different delectable choice of food no doubt
  12. 405 days of Golden Flower Meditation

    Yes - similar in nature to the visualizations of Tibetan Buddhism... However, they do not imagine qi movements, light or anything like that - what they do is build highly intricate visual representations of deities... What many people miss is the difference between imagination and visualization as a skill. Each detail of the deity is very important - from the number of lotus petals on their seat to the number of eyelashes... For me, it's hard enough to visualize my wife's face and keep it steady in my mind for more than a few seconds... let alone be able to count eyelashes. If you've developed the skill of visualization to that level of detail, then you'd be able to get a lot out of it... most modern people can't come even remotely close to it (I certainly can't!)
  13. 405 days of Golden Flower Meditation

    I can see you feel provoked - and you're asking me not so much because you'd like some help - but more because you'd like to scrutinise me and my approach. Which is understandable. I can assure that I mean no disrespect. I have no interest in 'my system is better than yours' type playground games. All I have is my perspective born of my experience in the arts. Bearing in mind that for many years I've dedicated my full time and all my resources in pursuit of genuine teachings. For many years I did nothing but travel the world meeting teachers and training. By meeting teachers, I don't mean going to advertised workshops - I mean finding and working my way into closed groups (often being the only foreigner there), proving my dedication, getting official recommendations to meet with very private, high-level teachers - proving myself with them over months and years of full-time cultivation work - and then getting further official recommendations up the 'lineage ladder' until I settled with the small number of teachers I now train under and live with for periods of time. Many years before this, I started very much as you have - reading books, trying things out - coming up with my own way of doing things. I had much the same results as you - some unusual stuff - but mostly nothing transformative... I worked my way through the well-known teachers in the public eye - made all the mistakes - forced celibacy, paid for many workshops... imagined my way through the long list of alchemical transformations... until I messed myself up. I created health and mental issues through my practice and when I came out of my delusional trance, I saw how most other students were causing themselves the same issues - having the same delusional "effects" and getting drawn into the same game... At this point, I had enough... Completely lost interest in all that bullshit. Instead, I focused on worldly concerns - getting a good job, making money etc... Then I met a teacher that although relatively public, actually had skill. He could transmit qi - it was really clear and as obvious as a punch in the face - not subtle, not 'oh I think I might feel like a little warmth pulsing in my hands - or is that just my blood?' - no, it was real, and completely unbelievable unless you experienced it for yourself. With this teacher, I began quickly developing and getting many openings and very direct, unsubtle visceral effects - which is when I realised that these arts are very much real - but the real teachings are hidden and most people are doing them and teaching them completely wrong. That's really when I packed up my life - sold most of my belongings and went off on my quest for the genuine arts. So although you're right that I'm dismissing imagination - it is anything but trivially. What I can see in you is what I have in me... A slightly obsessive streak - where you can do a practice with no immediate gratification every single day for over a year! A thirst for something bigger and more important than what is immediately apparent. An open-minded curiosity. And the willingness to put in the work required. So I'm sure that as long as you avoid the major pitfalls, you'll do really well in these arts I can tell you that if imagination plays a major part in any school of taiji - then it's not an authentic school, and it's best to stay away.
  14. 405 days of Golden Flower Meditation

    You've done really well with building a really good habit - and considering the situation, it sounds like you've had some results. So I'm not blaming you at all - completely not your fault. Because 95% of the information that is available to people follows this basic mistake - which is taking classic texts (that are actually designed to go alongside with training with a teacher) and using the descriptions of attainments as something to imagine. For example - it might mention that as a result of correct practice at a certain stage you will see a bright light in the centre of your vision... or you will see what looks like a stary sky... or you will feel warmth up your spine etc. So the modern approach is to tell the student to imagine a bright light or imagine a stary sky or imagine warmth up the spine... As I said - this is like imagining you have lots of money in your account vs actually having money in your account. The reason you haven't had the effects talked about in The Secret Of The Golden Flower is because you haven't actually been shown the practice of how to do it! The reason you have had some effects in your practice is because you've managed to build a habit of turning up and going inside for some time every day. Which is more than most people are able to do. However - had you just imagined a tree for 20 minutes every day, you'd probably find you'd have similar results.
  15. 405 days of Golden Flower Meditation

    I don't think our friend in South Africa is in a position learn anything new yet... give him time though and things might change