Simon V.

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About Simon V.

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  1. Heart As Qi Circulation Focus

    I agree that there is a deeper layer--to all the centres. And there's something about letting go of the localized focus at a certain point (I'm thinking of in a given session). Simon
  2. Heart As Qi Circulation Focus

    Thanks for the link. He's someone I've been meaning to explore. My first teacher--still however primarily a Chinese arts oriented teacher--has a strong Sufi connection and I've been influenced by the whole tone of their approach. I find there is something to centering in the heart, then being able to, or even feeling actively inclined, like it is natural, to work the lower dantien from there, also the upper. And I agree though that the development of the lower is a separate important element of practice, or in any case it works well to do it that way, to build up gong/craft as they say (standing practice, one pointed focus in lower dantien, etc). Ultimately there is a kind of threshold past which things are open enough to draw in energy from above and below, & through the hands and feet, which centering in the heart I find greatly facilitates. I think the lower body opening/development could also just come from jogging or similar heavy lower body workouts (like in martial arts), and/or from having an excellent and intense sexuality; i.e. I think one can end up just starting from the heart naturally (perhaps more common with women), like apparently is done in Spring Forrest qigong, in Brugh Joy's method, or similar approaches, given an already opened up lower region. (I have a theory that many megawatt superstars, like say David Bowie or Madonna, have naturally opened up energy, maybe largely because of an intense and uninhibited sexuality, and also of course due to the blazing intensity of performance.) But there seems definitely to be something to the Taoist jing-chi-shen theory, as in it correctly maps onto how the layered (gross-subtle) mind-body works. Always interesting to me has been the Tibetan Nyingma lore around the heart being the best meditative locale for 'realizing the the nature of mind'; that seems to jibe with the message of that Sufi link, substituting 'nature of mind' for 'God'. Simon
  3. Heart As Qi Circulation Focus

    I think there is a key insight there about finding a quiet centre, and then there being a natural advent of 'things taking care of themselves', of getting in sync thereby with an innate intelligence; this is like the Indian lore of 'Kundalini' having in it the whole of the path when communed with rightly. Still there is a specificity in terms of 'energetic physiology' that I'm interested in, re how I and others experience/have experienced particular aspects in practice (like with regard to the heart centre), where that experience, closely examined, may shed light on commonly accepted theory (Kan and Li etc). Thanks for the interesting input. Simon
  4. Heart As Qi Circulation Focus

    I find this to be true. That connection is also affirmed in Tibetan Buddhism. I think it functions as a go between--between upper and lower--just as would be suggested by its middle location. Simon
  5. Heart As Qi Circulation Focus

    Exactly this kind of observation in myself is behind my interest in this. Part of my fascination is to observe what 'kan and li' may be phenomenologically, to look at what experiences are in practice (quality of energy in different locales, spontaneous developments), apart from firmly overlaying theory right from the start--to see what may have originally inspired the theory. Simon
  6. Heart As Qi Circulation Focus

    Makes sense; without basic quieting focus things will remain relatively murky wherever the locale is. Yes, that's my line of inquiry, which seems to match my experience--that given a coherent clear development (entailing facility in quieting down) the heart may more naturally be the energy-flow directing/encouraging centre, with its brighter emotional charge which 'inclines desiringly toward things, situations'. Simon
  7. Heart As Qi Circulation Focus

    Thanks for the feedback. That sounds in the same ballpark as my experience, that sense of naturally progressing, hitting upon it. Agree about them not being mutually exclusive. I feel it is a natural experience of what originally inspired the practices of 'kan and li'--the heart energy simply is more fiery, and also, perhaps, more 'emotionally cognitive', desiring, moving. It just feels right at a certain point to interact from the top down, heart to dantian (which I tend to call 'the well', to give it an English moniker), making 'fiery water'. Simon
  8. Hello all Back in the late nineties, or around 2000, on the old Healing Tao Forum, around the time Sean started this site as I recall, there was a thread dealing with what I remember as stemming from a particular understanding of how Qi development progresses. I have been thinking of this off and on for a while now, because for years a significant element of my practice has been developing handstands as a species of qigong practice--standing practice but on the hands, simply. In yoga they often say that handstands develop the solar plexus centre, will, potency of intent. Maybe this comes just from the fact that one is forced to be very severely attentive to stay balanced. But I have associated it with the heart more: as developing circulation between hands and heart and also throat, though I also often use the dantian or all of the above. I find it also to be a good 'longevity practice'. In this old thread that I recall, someone had piped up to say that the heart was ultimately the centre one ends up using--at a certain level of qigong development--to circulate the qi, i.e., not the dantian. It was clearly how this person had been taught in his or her tradition. Does anyone recall that, or know of a formal understanding of practice that says this? I know that Spring Forrest qigong uses the heart from the beginning as the central focus, but that is not the same as seeing it as a sort of technical, energetic physiology question, namely that given good energy flow and body development, the heart is found to be the site that naturally lends itself to 'qi circulation'; as in, first you need to build up some 'gong', some craft, in the dantian, clear the channels, then the heart becomes the sluice gate. I am finding this personally to be more or less the case, and yet I am very influenced by reading and teachers that emphasise the dantian/hara as the site from which one directs qi to different locales. I'd love to hear anyone's feedback on this. For example does this ring any bells in terms of specific traditions anyone knows of? Simon
  9. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    "It's a sort of youth-not-wasted-on-youth brand of psychological finesse." --Jane Roberts
  10. Thanks for sharing this Sean, it really struck home. Simon
  11. smoking and tcm

    I don't know about TCM lore re smoking, but I used to smoke cigars on a moderate basis (this is without inhaling, but they are strong and scorch the throat, upper bronchial area, mouth, and nose). I did enjoy them and they seemed to sometimes provide a certain purifying effect--but generally it was their negative effects that required extensive qigong to purify, rather than them benefiting me in that way; these negative effects I find are more serious and long term, more problematic than, say, over indulging in some wine of an evening. While doing them I would take periodic breaks from them. Finally I realised by comparison that my qigong level was clearly much better when I was not induling in the cigars, and that my dreaming practice also quickly improved in their absence. The ability to enter deep relaxation was also better minus the cigars--particularly important for deeper meditative work. From a practicioners point of view, I would recommend not smoking. Simon
  12. My favourite (not his, but he liked to quote it--a standard masochistic buddhist saying) is 'Samsara is like licking honey off of a razor'...
  13. I agree with the spirit of this, but also think that as meditors we can address the 'deep shit' aspect of ouselves using a more focused and 'willing to suffer' intent, akin to what sometimes (but not always) seems to be the kind of intent brought into therapy. Chogyam Trungpa calls this 'leaning into the sharp points'. But there can also be the danger of 'exaggerating what you focus on'. That's why I like to emphasise, in my own practice, thorough and repetitive philosophical focus/study/contemplation. Working with dreams can be very effective in this regard, but it takes some doing. Simon
  14. Taoist Internet Discussion addiction

    I have experimented with a practice group (gigong) and with a discussion group (whereby all philosophical superfreaks were welcome to attend). Both efforts I made as temporary big toe in the bathwater type affairs. But now I think that if I do something similar it ought to be of indefinite duration--just a regular occasion to get together and practice together, to discuss; I knew that was an issue for people, that it be something that they could just come to without definite end. Simon
  15. William Mistele's Site

    Simon' date=' do you still work with Dion's material? She strikes me as a very balanced and saner Crowley. Does the material in this book provide anything over learning banishing rituals? . [right']8863[/snapback][/right] Yes, the book is packed full of all kinds of useful information and very interesting and entertaining anecdotes. I've only read The Mystical Qabalah and Psychic Self-Defence and one novel of hers (I believe it's called Moon Magic), but plan to get into all of her stuff eventually. I also want to delve into Gareth Knight (her most well-known and polific modern spokesperson, and an old friend of RJ Stewart--the man who got him published intitially in fact). Right know I am mainly working with RJ Stewart's material--reading Fortune was due to her book being in The Miracle Tree's bibliography. Simon