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About joshu

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  1. Good Beginers Qigong?

    I don't get it, why can't I practice both qigong and zazen? I see them as distinctly different and potentially complementary practices.
  2. Good Beginers Qigong?

    Thanks for the insights White Tiger. To be clear though, drugs are not an issue for me, I'm weaning myself off pot but I smoke far less than stoners in my area (i.e. not everyday). Rereading my posts I think I'm making myself sound less stable than I am. I look forward to learning qigong and agree a good foundation is always important. Otherwise the house will fall down... In a way I think qigong could be a foundation for the sitting meditation. Modern day people have many problems that were virtually unheard of in the past (dysfunctional families, abuse, pychological issues, toxic food, pornography, etc. etc.) and I think its important to have a healthy body and mind in order to delve deeply into meditation practice. I am interested in healthy qigong, medical qigong.
  3. psychiatrists and therapists piss me off so much

    Thank you for this post, I couldn't agree more. Its frustrating as hell when you realize the "professionals" don't have things any more figured out than you do. I've been prescribed many drugs as well although I stopped taking them about ten years ago, they are garbage. Although stopping the drugs can be very tricky because your internal chemistry gets scrambled. (obviously taking or not taking medication is a serious decision and maybe for now you need them.) Some things that have helped me: 1. "There is Nothing Wrong With You" by Cheri Huber ( 2. sitting still, follow the breath, letting go. 3. Once I had a very positive experience when someone used EFT (emotional freedom technique) on me. There's lots of other stuff too, for me its just been a process of learning and accepting that ultimately we must find our own path that nobody can walk but ourselves. Psychiatrists don't have all the answers, despite what they may say. Although I'm sure some of them are great.
  4. Good Beginers Qigong?

    Thanks again for the responses. I will look closer at vipassana although I'm not sure its radically different than the meditation taught at zen centers (observation of bodily sensations and breath, etc.) And it is true I'm not looking for power. Equanimity would be nice. I sat zazen for many, many hours, and I have a theory about what happens. During the course of sitting the mind gets very still and quiet. The body also gets very still and quiet. Eventually emotions which were too difficult to process in the past (usually childhood) float to the surface once space is made for them. Sometimes tears stream or laughter for no reason. There's no reason for it, its just feelings stored in the body as energy that are now, once the body/mind is completely still, rising. After sitting you are left with a wonderful feeling of lightness and vitality. The problem is for me it eventually got too strong. The muscles in my abdomen would clench, I would feel rushes up my spine and through my arms and legs. A strong desire to jump up and move around and even yell out loud comes over me. It sounds ridiculous I know. I thought if I practiced qigong the energy body could become stronger and the channels could flow smoothly, then when I'm sitting I can handle it better. Am I getting this wrong? Sorry to ramble...
  5. Good Beginers Qigong?

    "Walking slowly in nature qigong".....thank you, couldn't agree more. Why am I sitting in front of a computer right now? One more question then I'll leave it alone for a while. What about the six healing sounds? Anybody have experience working with them? Can a person with a sincere heart and at least a little inner sensitivity practice them without a teacher? If so how? O.k. that was four questions, please answer all of them promptly and completely.
  6. Good Beginers Qigong?

    So, I looked at the five animals qigong and it seemed like it might be too complicated for learning from a book. Perhaps 8 pieces brocade would be a better place to start. Any other opinions on books for learning 8 pieces? By the way I plan on studying with a qigong teacher when I move to SanFransisco or Seattle but thats a year or more away. Speaking to Iris's reply, not sure how to hold my tongue or the other postures you mentioned. In zazen we put our tongue against the roof of our mouth behind the front teeth. Something to do with connecting the front and back energy channels. I've read about the microcosmic orbit but I've never known what to do with it. The same for lower dan tien. As far as "Gautama taught Vipassana" its funny, every school of Buddhism says their branch was what Buddha taught. Buddha must have taught a lot of stuff! I've met Vipassana students and Vipassana teachers and have nothing but good things to say about it. Its just not my path at this time. One thing I've been interested in is this concept or "rooting" or being "rooted". What does that mean exactly and how does one get more rooted. I have a theory that the negative emotions that I feel overwhelmed by could be sent into the earth and replaced with a more wholesome energy. I'm I crazy? Is there a practice for this?
  7. Good Beginers Qigong?

    Thank you kindly. I'm going to try "Lift the Sky" after I post this. Also, about a week ago I ordered online a book on "Five-animal frolics" qigong, Wu Qin Xi, it looks like it was put out by the chinese qigong health association. Any opinions on this? Would eight brocade pieces be better?
  8. Hi all, I'm looking for appropriate qigong excercises for myself. I'll try to give a brief description of who I am and my current situation so that you'll know what I'm looking for. I come here from a background in zen buddhism although I first became interested in "eastern philosophy" after a strange transformative experience involving lsd and then reading the tao te ching back in highschool, but thats another story. I pursued zen because I appreciated the simple direct approach. The attitude seemed to be: just wake up! Why waste time trying to discern the mysteries of the universe or attempting to acheive immortality, death approaches quickly, pursue the "great matter" with single minded devotion (and so forth). I also appreciated that the "religion" was based on an actual physical meditation i.e. zazen. The practice of zazen while simple and direct, its subtlty and fathomless depth seemed worthy of a lifetime of study. I was also fortunate to meet good teachers and active practice centers. The problem is after years of zazen very intense emotions and energies started to come up. I tried to just "sit through it", I would clench muscles grind my teeth and try my best to just let it all go through me but I couldn't. My teacher suggested physical exercise like riding a bike or running. I never seemed able to maintain an exercise regiment however, perhaps because these "energies" seemed to have a strong emotional charge, I eventually just stopped everything. This was a couple years ago. Various addictions (nothing too serious, pot, booze, cigarettes, coffee, etc.) and depression have crept in. I want to resume my meditation practice but honestly I'm afraid. I feel that qigong may hold the answer. I don't know of any teachers in my area, but I am looking for a physical practice that involves standing and moving. If I start sitting zazen again and these emotional energies arise I need to be able to process them in some way. Any advice from experienced qigong practitioners will be sincerely appreciated. Also book suggestions, basic exercises, etc. would be great. I have read a lot about chinese medicine and some of the basics about this stuff so no need to explain the meaning of chi and so forth. Thank you for reading all this.
  9. The Lotus and Diamond Sutra

    Hi, I have had some exposure to the Diamond Sutra and I would recommend the translation by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese zen teacher. Its called "The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion, Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Diamond Sutra". I have the Threefold Lotus Sutra as well but it's less accessible in my opinion. Both of these texts and other sacred texts are not read like normal books but are instead "meditated on", which could include repeated reading of the text, small bits at a time, followed by some form of stillness meditation. The texts are also read aloud or chanted. Its difficult to grasp intellectually but my understanding is that Enlightenment is not something to obtain. We are all fully enlightened Buddhas if only we dropped our deluded and incorrect way of perceiving. The Diamond Sutra is great, the name says it all :"The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion"
  10. greetings

    Hi everybody, I'm new to the world of online community/ discussion groups so thank you in advance for your understanding while I learn this new form of communication. I've been a practicing Buddhist in the Soto Zen tradition for many years and have recently become interested in developing a qigong practice to compliment my meditation practice. I live in a small town with no qigong teachers that I know of. I'm also leading a busy lifestyle at the moment operating a small business negotiating my way through a perilous economic climate and so on. So, for now I'm just gathering information and taking things slow. By the way, my online name (Joshu) is the Japanese transliteration (is that the right word?) of a great zen master (Zhaozhou in Chinese) who I admire. You can also call me Josh (my Hebrew name).