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  1. Well with this post at least you’re doing a much better job of disagreeing! So first part you disagreed with is the 5 qualities of breath. That’s probably the most important for this discussion. Yes - depending on what lineage, there’s always a list of qualities to be achieved in breathing. One of my teachers lists 5, the other one 9... but the 9 is simply breaking down the 5 into more steps - so I tend to use the 5. This is taught specifically in the context of classical Qi Gong and Nei Gong (and further internal development)... maybe that’s why you haven’t come across this? 1. Jing - Quiet 2. Shen - Deep 3. Yu - At Ease 4. Huan - Slow 5. Mian - Cotton Soft (sorry but I can’t type the Chinese characters, although I do have them in my notes) This isn’t ‘theoretical’ - these are qualities that manifest physically, energetically and mentally (eventually leading to, but not affecting ‘spiritually’). They work like a chain of cause and effect... The correct method of absorption into breath causes the quality of Quiet to manifest automatically... as Quiet is achieved, it automatically leads to Deep... as Deep is achieved, it leads to At Ease and so on. Each has a specific ‘sign’ that the quality has been achieved on the various levels. According to one of my teachers, approaching your breathing practice in this way - through this cause and effect chain, rather than by contriving these qualities (as in attempting to deepen the breath) - results in cultivating both Xing and Ming... And once all the qualities are achieved, not only do other breathing patterns appear spontaneously during practice (like embryonic breathing, pore breathing etc)... But even if you ‘do’ a specific breathing pattern (say reverse breathing), it will come ‘spontaneously’ - not by contrivance - it would be like letting go of every breathing pattern other than reverse breathing... So you take on a specific type of breath through Sung - letting go, rather than ‘acting’. (Hence wei wu wei) My other teacher agrees, but thinks it’s too slow for where he wants to take his students (he leans more towards Ming with his training approach) This is the approach of Ting and Sung in breath-work... Listening or absorbing deeply into your breathing process - and then letting go until a quality arises spontaneously. Ting and Sung underpin the approach to all genuine internal arts - including Qigong and Neigong. In fact I believe that Ting is developed to a much higher degree in Neigong than in Taiji... conversely Sung is generally more developed in genuine Taiji practitioners than in Neigong practitioners. Although I don’t train Taiji at home (just ‘play’ with my teacher when on retreat), when I touch hands with people that have Taiji skill, they definitely feel that something is going on. They tend to find it hard to sink ‘under’ me, to take control. I tend to find that my legs are not as Sung as good Taiji players, but my Ting is better... I can usually touch their feet, anticipate change, and sometimes touch ‘non physical’ tension. Although my body is connected, I haven’t developed Peng or an ability to fa jin... but if I’m feeling sneaky and direct a tiny bit of Yang Qi to any ‘non physical’ tension I touch, they usually burst out in nervous laughter (or some other emotional reaction)... (I’ve been told off for doing this, so no more of that). I also find that my Dantien is a lot more developed than most Taiji players. But again - that’s because it’s what I’ve been working on for years. Regarding your other points of disagreement - I don’t think it would add anything to the conversation here for me to clarify these further...
  2. I’m not, no I’m not questioning whether you know what you’re talking about. But there’s a chance you might not know what I’m talking about. Im also ‘a practicing Daoist’... My main training is in Neigong, Neidan, meditative practice and although my teacher is very keen to teach me taiji and bagua, I simply have no time to train them at home - I already train up to 4hrs a day, and still need to earn money - so for me, the martial arts are very much tertiary, but I certainly have some experience in them and one of my teachers is very much a master. What schools - my main teacher is from a specific line within Longmen. My secondary teacher (who teaches this more spontaneous approach) is from a line within the larger Quanzhen tradition. I also have (forest) Buddhist teachers in Burma who I see once every two years or so. When I say defilements I mean ‘the acquired mind’... it’s not just ‘traumatic developmental history’... it’s that but also desires, aversions and other inclinations. One’s distaste for a word is neither here nor there - (that’s just a preference of the acquired mind ...) I can tell you’re trying to disagree, but I’m not sure exactly with what, or why... I'm certainly not saying that Daoism is anything. Wei wu wei in this context follows ‘cause and effect’. Action - non action... The cause is creating the correct qualities of breath (using Ting and Sung - Listening, shedding and letting go rather than by ‘adding’ - superimposing some method of control over your breath) - the effect is the spontaneous transformation of ‘breath’ and ‘mind’ to yuan qi. This is a specifically Quanzhen ‘middle vehicle’ approach to transforming Xing. I didn’t want to get too technical. Although ‘adding’ through breath control will produce specific outcomes that are useful along the way, there is a glass ceiling to the depth of transformation. Only through Sung can the deepest layers be accessed - I.e. the spirit. By spirit, I’m talking about Shen - and the deeper aspects of Shen. What you’d find once you walk through the Xuan men... Again I didn’t want to get too technical - this was a question about breathing practice after all. No, I’m not talking about the spirit of the throat (Shangqing??)
  3. Celibacy, and also MCO

    Yup - you’re right. I think it’s really ‘up to twice a week’... the reality is that many young men are actually masturbating daily so 2 a week is already a stretch for them. Once the Jing starts to stabilise one tends to lose this desire to masturbate - and that’s a natural progression. However holding your sexual impulse in while it wants out is not good. Yeah - you’re right. I think the OP’s situation is different. I also remember my situation being different when younger. I’ve never had a wet dream. And I remember going through some time trying to retain - which worked, but caused issues. Yeah - paired cultivation. Definitely a householder approach. Interestingly it starts with physical ‘sex’ where the male does not orgasm (not just doesn’t ejaculate. Orgasm itself damages ‘yang’ in the body, the organs and depletes Jing)... the female needs to have lots of orgasms (having no orgasm damages the yin) but should not be penetrated... and yes eventually it leads to non physical intercourse. Unfortunately it’s out of reach for most of us in the first couple of decades of cultivation. That’s one thing that I really like about Daoism - that it’s possible to use it in a non-renunciate capacity. However, many of the deeper alchemical approaches (especially from the Quanzhen line) require periods of time dedicated to renunciation style cultivation. By renunciation I don’t mean monastic, but just away from society. I personally think that monastic life is very much against the spirit of Daoism.
  4. Yes I think I see where you’re coming from. What I’m talking about is not a specific type of breathing - and not a form of breath control. It’s an approach to changing your breath quality... quality is very different to a breathing technique. The quality of Quiet first manifests as actual quietness - but quiet is also the quality of Qi and a quality of mind... When Qi creates no ‘turbulence’ as it moves it is Quiet... When mind is quiet, there is no turbulence of thought... Each quality has depth beyond its initial manifestation in breathing practice... For example the quality of ‘Quiet’ first manifests as actual reduction of noise in breathing during absorption into breath... Next it manifests as a change in the quality of your Qi... Then it manifests as a change in the quality of mind. Once you have the quality of Quiet manifest in your Qi, then it doesn’t matter how loud your breathing, you still have the quality of Quiet in your Qi. The same with Slow... at first it’s the gradual slowing of the breath physically to around 2 breaths a minute... on the level of Qi, ‘slow’ means your Qi moves smoothly and not erratically... once this quality is ‘built’ in your body, qi and mind, it doesn’t matter how fast you’re breathing, but the quality is still present. So for example you might find yourself spontaneously starting martial fire breathing (which is very fast and very loud)... but your mind is equanimous, your Qi is smooth, non erratic, strong, sunk and anchored etc... Once the qualities start to manifest fully, you start spontaneously moving into other forms of breathing like Dantien breathing or embryonic breathing (where yes, the breathing stops) So again - we’re not talking about a specific form of breathing, but letting go of any attempt to affect the breathing in any way, and instead absorb completely into the breathing process (inside)... once this absorption is achieved, the qualities will manifest by themselves, step by step... then the other forms of breathing will start to manifest... If your breathing is pausing at the ends of your breath without all these qualities being present, then this is happening because of mental and emotional defilements (even from subconscious ideas of how one must breathe) From the Daoist perspective, if you’re contriving your breath in some way - then it’s not wei wu wei. It might create certain experiences and have specific uses (and contrived breathing is most definitely used in Daoism as well as many other systems) - but it is not full transformation and cannot transform spirit.
  5. The tricky thing is that your uncontrolled way of breathing contains all your mental and emotional defilements. You said that when you absorb your mind into your breathing that you naturally increase pauses in between breaths. That doesn’t ring true to me. There are classically 5 qualities in breath that should arise - pauses are not part of that. What I’ve noticed is that most practices of absorption into breath are very faulty. There is a great deal of subtlety involved when you Ting the breath - and most methods I’ve come across simply fall way short of this. Once you do manage to Ting the breath properly, the 5 qualities arise of their own accord one after the other over a period of some months of practice. The first quality, as has been mentioned is ‘Quiet’... that means there is no noise created, and there is no turbulence of the air current. The second quality is ‘Deep’ - that means the breath automatically sinks to the lower Dantien. Then come At Ease, Slow and Cotton... once these are all achieved, then your breathing will, over time, naturally begin to get into other styles of breathing by itself - including reverse breathing, Dantien breathing, embryonic breathing etc. (And if you move into alchemical training, and create the prerequisite qualities in your body, then the various alchemical fire breaths will also spontaneously arise) So yes I agree that although controlling your breath can be used sometimes for specific processes, the deeper aspects of breath can only come about when they arise spontaneously as a result of full absorption (Ting) into breath over a long period of time... I also suspect you haven’t been given the correct approach to absorbing into breath...
  6. robert peng yi jin jing

    Sounds like you’re building Yang Just make sure to avoid yang tonics and Qi tonics (like ginseng or most other herbal supplements)... I really like chlorella and spirulina for their yin replenishing qualities (which helps fuel the yang). Try to laugh a bit more than usual too If you want it to further contribute to your life you can try a few lifestyle habits that improve the efficiency of the yang quality. 1. Wake up at the same time every day. When you wake, get up straight away - don’t snooze. 2. Increase aerobic / conditioning type exercise. 3. Take responsibility for something. You probably do already, but find what it is you take responsibility for and make more of a conscious concerted effort of it.
  7. I’ve clearly missed this thread - apologies. However that still doesn’t explain ‘how do you know’... An interesting aspect of Zi Fa Gong is that it’s very malleable according to beliefs... I’ve seen groups using it in a Hindu context - they saw Hindu Deities entering their body and moving them... I’ve seen Zi Fa Gong in Christian contexts as the Holy Spirit entering the body... even in TRE which works with a sort of semi ‘scientific’ perspective. And with each context and set of beliefs the Zifa Gong takes on a certain flavour and a range of internal experiences (Hindus would start chanting and doing dances, Christians would spontaneously speak bible verses or break out with ‘Aramaic sounding’ talking in tongues etc.) But stuff like opening the microcosmic orbit and so on has very specific signs... ‘HFS told me it’s open’ can then be corroborated with the specific physiological evidence. A new voice in your head is certainly unusual - just wondering if this voice really does help create real internal change.
  8. Thanks. Ok - well the video shows standard Zi Fa Gong... The explanation of what’s happening is where the difference is. My next question would be ‘how do you know that this is what happens?’
  9. Could you elaborate?
  10. Oops. Only just saw this. I don’t think it’s superficial necessarily... I think it can certainly assist ones who are interested in different schools and it would help them understand the functional differences before joining.
  11. I think it’s right of you to clarify. But I for one didn’t read it as a form of ‘possession’... In fact in most lineages at a certain stage of getting accepted into the ‘inner door’ of the school, one is initiated into the lineage - and a ‘seed’ is ceremonially ‘stamped’ into the upper Dantien. With any old lineage there is always an immortal being at the head of it. By being aligned through initiation in this way, your cultivation as well as your daily life is to some extent subtly coloured by this attunement to this higher aspect of being. It just sounds that your school starts with this initiation - rather than holding the initiation out for the fully committed ones. Or am I missing something? I’m curious - how do these channels function when they are activated at this deeper levels? What are some signs that this has happened? After initiation, what are some of the main practices of the school?
  12. No - not in itself. But it builds capacity to be able to do it, if that makes sense. In Buddhist practice it’s often done in Vipassana practice - which is like using insight to clear karma... samadhi or any depth of concentration increases your ability to do that. In Daoist practice Karma is cleared through a number of practices like ‘burning the channels’ which is an alchemical approach. The Daoist approach is less of a ‘facing’ your karma - it just gets ‘burned’ away. Vipassana involves facing the internal root of the karma while remaining completely equanimous - and cutting through it with the sharp knife of ‘insight’.
  13. Yeah - I’m afraid so. I recommend staying away from any ‘internal’ practice for a (very) minimum of 3 months. It’s just not worth potentially causing yourself more issues. These things can become dangerous to you and others if you press ahead regardless. The majority of people in these arts do not understand the underlying processes and the issues that can come about as a result. That’s why lineage is of such importance - it’s a guarantee (as much as that’s possible) of having safe and correct methods that actually work. But sadly even here, many lineages are ‘dead’ or have diverted off the path. It’s a tricky business this cultivation! I really hope you will overcome these issues soon. It’s certainly not fun to be stuck with chronic pain for so long.
  14. Yes - this was the primary way in the 'golden age' of spirituality... As we are in the midst of Kali Yuga (the 'dark age of spirituality') this path is closed to the majority of people. Kali Yuga is particularly pernicious as it makes spiritual delusions much more likely... and gurus untrustworthy... Yeah that's pretty interesting. It correlates directly with the Daoist lower, middle and higher vehicles of cultivation. Except to the Daoists (at least to the majority of them) each aspect had to be worked on in turn... starting with the body, then energy, then 'meditation' - then simply being.
  15. No. Jhannas 5 to 7 generally results in what is known as 'Rainbow Body' - where the '5 Lights' have not fully merged yet. At death you disappear into a rainbow of light - often leaving behind a few parts of your body. At that stage you're still bound to reincarnate (although not for up to 32,000 years if you wish). Jhannas 8 to 9 result in the 'Light Body' - where the body dissolves into light completely - at death nothing is left behind (unless you wish). At this point, there is no longer any need to reincarnate, ever... At Jhanna 4, you tend to see all the hallmarks of an 'immortal' - in that all the rules of physics, biology etc break down completely - they can enter complete stasis (as Dwai says) - it's not so much a siddhi as a natural side-effect of entering this stage of practice. However, if they do choose to develop other siddhis (teleportation, levitation etc.) these are all possible at this stage of development. Classically that is an attainment at the Jhanna 2 level... It is followed by 'The Lightning Strike of Ling' - which manifests as a bright lightning strike in front of the person - it's visible to everyone. At this stage, people who're in the process of stabilising Jhanna 2 often can't help but affect normal people (usually negatively)... Ordinary people tend to have psychological and emotional breakdowns when confronted with the purity of shen arising from the person (not that they realise the reason for their breakdown). That's why it's generally worked on during a long, isolated retreat (usually a year or more). Yes - I've heard this myself in Max's school. The reality was that most people developed mental illness and stopped practice... or worse - began to think they're Jesus or Babaji, or Guan Yin, and became fully absorbed in their delusions. I only met 3 people that had really good success with the system - one had both some karmic 'background' that helped as well as two decades of 'bottom-up' training... The other one also had decades of training, fully going through the 'nei gong process'... whether they are immortal or enlightened I don't know - although they had many siddhis they didn't exhibit what I later came to understand as signs of enlightenment... The third one was Max (and he also had 30 years of prior training). There are several signs of a fully realized person... you could maybe ask the teacher you're talking about to demonstrate it? (incidentally, most higher level teachers realise the importance of reassurance - so they are happy to demonstrate their attainments - it is not taboo to ask - unless they don't really have the attainment, then it's usually a problem ) One sign that's pretty mindblowing is omniscience... basically - knowledge of everything. You could ask them any question about the past or future and they'd be able to answer. (Although generally future is not talked about because it may affect your Ming/karma which in itself has karmic consequences)... But you could ask them what happened at xxxx coordinates on the afternoon of February 21st 1907 - and they'd be able to give you a specific account, at whatever level of detail you'd like.