shenchi

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  1. Myofascial Tensegrity and Zhan Zhuang

    Sheng Zhen, I am glad that you like my posts and what I had to say about my Tao Yin. I unfortunately do not have a video, book, or any other real info on the Tao Yin, at least not yet. I am still hammering out the details, as far as exploring all the poses and how you could innitiate a myo-fascial stretch within that pose, but I would love to eventually do a video or book. For now I am just working it out by teaching it and also by experimenting with my concepts within pre-existing Tao Yin sets. I originally learned my Tao Yin from a woman named Coach Ji Yu Er. She was a Chinese Olympic Tai Chi and Tao Yin coach, meaning she taught them to the olympiads as part of their overall training. I added the myo-fascial stuff after years of giving and recieving myo-fascial work and through my own self massage routine. While doing my self massage I realized it worked best when I did my self massage while in Tao Yin poses. From there I constructed a mini set that mainly worked the legs. I am now finding ways to work the back, ribs and arms. Once I have a complete system, meaning I can open all the cutaneous regions of the body that are associated with the 8 extraordinary vessels I will try to document it. This way you can open the vessel path ways as well as opening the fascia associated with that region of the body. Anyway I will be working on it as I go. Hopefully one day I will have the chance to put it all down on paper or in a video. By then I should have all kinks worked out. Anyway thanks for your interest. Once I have it all hammered out I will post what I can. Until then. Peace & Tao Shenchi
  2. Myofascial Tensegrity and Zhan Zhuang

    Tyler, It's hard to teach with words alone since most people arn't used to feeling and moving their bodies in a way that makes the fascia noticable. That being said I will try to give to a simple exercise that, if done right, will give you the feel of what moving fascia feels like. The exercise is a modified leg stretch, universal to many systems but done in a way that lengthens the fascia and thus in turn makes room for the muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stretch in reaction to the lengthening. Ok, so start seated on the floor with one leg extended forward toes up, and the other pulled back with the heal toward the crotch and the lateral side of the leg on the floor. In other words a simple single forward straight leg stretch position. Now bending forward take the hold of the toes of the outstretched leg with the arm of the same side. Now gently lean forward with the intension of putting your forhead on the outstretched knee. only bend forward as far as you can with out the muscles of the legs tightening, especially behind the knee. This is not a muscular stretch so it is best for the muscles to be as relaxed as possible. Now take the other hand and place it directly on the back of the knee of the outstretched leg. Palpate around for tension especially in the tendons and attachments in the back of the knee. Taking that same hand gently place it on the tense area on the back of the knee. If you have no tense areas than place it where the hamstrings attach to the back of the middle of the knee. Using your fingertip pads to gently scoop the skin behind the knee. You want to scoop the skin in a gently way like pulling up tight socks made of a very thin but stretchy material. You want to feel like your sucken into the flesh just below the skin but right on the surface of the muscle. You want to feel like you are moving a loose lable off a soup can. If done right you will feel the stretch deep in the knee and has the potential to stretch al the way into the soul of the foot. Keep gently pulling the fascia back towards the thigh. Relaxing and breathing long deep breaths the whole time. if you can totaly relax the muscles of the leg and still keep the toes pointed up then use both hands to scoop the fascia. Pulling it back with one hand and when it can go no farther hold your place with the other hand by sinking into the flesh and not allowing the tension in the fascia to go slack. Fascia is very slow to stretch and sometimes it feels like your hands have moved a foot and they have barely moved an inch, this is ok. It's slow but when you get it warmed up it gets going easier. When you have it right it will feel like riding a wave as it stretches. You may also experience some heat and a little uncomfortableness. If the skin starts to burn to much then it means your skin is dry and you should use just a little oil or lotion to lubricate, but not much or else you will be working the muscles and not the Fascia. Again the stretches can take a while so being in a pose for 5 minutes is not out of the norm, but it is a working pose as it keeps opening. If you feel that the fascia is stuck, in that you don't feel a stretch, then slowly and gently engage and relax repeatedly the mucles that the hand is working on. This will initiate the movement of the kinesthetic chain and only needs to be done to get it moving. If it freezes up again just use the same engage/relax process to get it going again. Once you feel as though you can stretch no further then go to the other leg. If you feel the stretch is moving fast and you keep your grip then deepen your pull on the fascia. Also be prepared for a huge endorphine dump as doing that type of stretch can cause a large amout of endorphines to release, I suggest you take a minute to enjoy the high before the next stretch. Also taaaaake yoooour tiiiiiime. Fascia is slow moving and you need to be gentle and patient. I find the less I try the more results I get. I can say that if you can do this technique right (which is hard from text alone) you will vastly improve you flexibility, especially if you can learn to apply this concept to all of your stretches. I hope that is helpful. Until next time. Peace & Tao Shenchi
  3. Integral Taoism. Heaven / The I Dimension

    Tyler, Yes Frank Allen is my main teacher. I have not studied with Franztis simply because I find he is way over priced. Master Frank studied with Franztis for 25 years and was his first Ba Gua student certified to teach his system. I also find Frank is much more open and willing to give upper level teachings for an affordable price. Also Master Frank is one of Frantzis's only students to have study privately with him about his lineages belief in the after life and how to use meditation in during and after death. I have studied with many other teachers but I have mainly been using Frantis's Ba Gua as it is taught by Master Frank. I also use Frank's Alchemy system that he developed based on Frantzis's Ba Gua and Michael Winn/ Mantak Chia's Alchemy. I have reinforced that with actually studying Winn's material and putting it inside the Ba Gua Zhang. The thing that I love about Ba Gua Zhang is that it can become the vehicle for every type of Taoist practice you can think of. All the internal aspects of any Taoist practice can easily be slipped into Ba Gua and thus it becomes the vehicle that you drive along the path with. I have studied with many other people and many other systems but what I mainly use now is what I have learned from Frank Allen and Michael Winn. I highly recommend both teachers, both are affordable and both really know their stuff. Anyway thanks again for responding and I look forward to hearing from you in the future. Until then, Peace & Tao Shenchi
  4. There are several levels of development that all people and all societies go through. These levels of development are known as Archaic, Magic, Mythic, Rational, Trans-Rational, and Integral. According to Sociologists and Developmental Psychologists these are universal stages of development and can be found worldwide within the development of every individual and every culture. When applying this to the Taoist culture of mainland China we can see different sects devoted to these levels of cultural development. In the Archaic slot we see Shamanic Taoism. This was the earliest form of Taoism and was practiced by the nomads of the Asian Step. Out of this early form of practice came Taoist Sorcery and Talismanic Magic. This of course is the Magic stage of development. At this stage of development there is a belief that the individual can affect the world around them by shear will, or by manipulating talismans and magic symbols. This sometimes takes the form as word magic as well. During the influx of Buddhist teachings and ideas the Taoists were highly influenced by the liturgies, the monastic life, and the Pantheon of Deities worshipped and celebrated by the Buddhists. This started Taoist Monastic orders and inspired thousands of liturgies and the deification of Taoist Adepts and Teachers. This was the beginning of Religious Taoism and marked the growth into the Mythic stage of development. There was another form of Taoism that arose based on adopting a way of thinking or looking at the world. There were no real deities worshipped; it was more of a philosophy or an attitude. It focused on clear thought and spontaneous action brought about by remaining in a state of primordial awareness. This was known as philosophical Taoism and is most closely related with the Rational stage of development. After the Rational Stage of development there is a move into a Trans-Rational, or Transpersonal level of development; the Taoist expression of this stage is known as Esoteric Taoism. Esoteric Taoism uses yogic and meditative practices to reach high levels of awareness expanding the personal identity into universal consciousness. In this form of practice the Adept moves beyond personal or even ethnocentric identification and moves into ever expanding waves of care and concern. The highest stage of cultural and personal development that is currently available to human consciousness is known as Integral. This stage of development is the first to try to bring all other stages together into a single universal framework. In China there are only two surviving schools of Taoism. One is known as the Complete Reality School. This sect made an attempt at integrating all the major forms of religious thought into one entity. The Complete Reality School was made up of Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucist thought and practices. Today we are experiencing a new understanding of Integral thought. The latest expression of Taoism is not in China but in the West. In America and Europe Taoist practitioners are beginning to Integrate Taoist thought and practices with other world religions and also with Western advancements in medicine and Psychology. This is creating a new form of Taoism filled with many of the same Intentions, philosophies, and concepts, but in a form that is suited to the Western mind and its modern contributions to the understanding of human Consciousness. The new version of this ancient practice known as Integral Taoism is beginning to congeal into a solid belief structure in both Europe and America; where people are looking for more esoteric practices but are interpreting them through the lens of the Integral world view. Integral Taoism seeks to understand the nature of change and to bring balance to Heaven, Earth, and Man through self, culture, and nature. It does this by applying Taoist practices to the Integral framework and seeking to be aware and present to all aspects of reality.
  5. Integral Taoism. Heaven / The I Dimension

    Tyler, Thanks for responding. You asked a lot of very difficult questions in that short response. Some of what you asked no one knows for sure, but I will try to answer at least some of your questions the best I can based on my own practice and experience and what has been imparted on me by my teachers. Taoism is a vast belief system and has so many sects and many different ways of looking at and mapping reality; so what I say may not aline with every school of Taoism. Just wanted to clear that up before I started rambling. Ok so lets start with the idea of physical and energetic anatomy. From my understanding the anatomy of the body is energetic anatomy just at its most dense expression. This suggests that the more subtle anatomy would continue outward as an extension of that anatomy, it's just as that it gets more and more subtle as it goes. I like to think of energy as electro magnetic fields. These fields surround each atom, each cell, each organ and so on. Now our subtle anatomy expands out past our skin in a kind of egg which many people know as the aura. Within the Taoist practices in which I engage one begins by becoming away of every aspect of the physical anatomy, then expands that awareness out to their aura. Then one works to expand the field out to encapsulate the Earth, then the solar system, then outward to the stars, then to encompass the whole of the universe. What I think is going on is first becoming aware of the body, then the personal Qi field. Then there is a harmonizing or resonating of the personal energy field with the Qi field of Earth. By doing this one opens their awareness and identity of the self into ever expanding fields of inclusive awareness. Now those fields are always there and we are always connected to them it's just as we get beyond our personal field we move into more communal fields of energy. It's all connected. My experience is that the meridians and points on my body, and my organs actually connect to planets and stars and other people and the earth. They are like umbilicuses that move through the fields connecting all things and exchanging information. In higher Internal Alchemical work there is actually a sort of energetic communication between the self and natural and celestial bodies. It's hard to explain but it's like the awareness is expanded through the field until it encompasses a tree, or a mountain, or body of water, or the Earth, or the Sun. Then a vibration is felt in the corresponding physical Anatomy. This vibration is a tone and on this tone is carried information and energy. The energy is stored and the information.... well it's like downloading a program and it takes time to figure the program out and put it to proper use. I have never experienced the information as words, mainly just feelings, and images, and awarenesses, but it's always abstract and never a direct command or explanation. It's like my Qi field comes into harmonic resonance with the object and seems to take on some of it's energetic qualities for a short period of time. Like tapping into it's morphogenetic field and accessing information stored there. Anyway it's something that needs to be experienced, it's hard to totally explain what's going on, I just know the experiences themselves can be quite blissful and enlightening. You had mentioned about Jing, Qi, Shen, Wu, Tao. I would like to add a piece to that line up then explain how it correlates with the energy bodies that I mentioned in the article. Jing is the physical body and the energy of that body, Qi is the more subtle body, in this mapping system Qi represents the etheric body as well as the emotional body, then there is the one I want to add: Yi. Yi is intention and is associated with the thinking mind so it is also associated with the thinking body. Shen is associated also with the mind but more with awareness so there is a slight crossover of the thinking body, but the Shen (in this system) is mainly associated with the Psychic body. Wu is emptyness and as you may recall I mentioned that the causal body is associated with emptyness. Next is Tao, to me this is a two parter, the Body of Individuality is where one realizes or identifies ones self with the Tao, the Body of the Tao is where that realization is poored back through all those other layers until it can be expressed through the physical body and into the world at large. Now as far as the 8 trigrams go there are definite correlations between the 8 palm changes of Ba Gua and the 8 energy bodies. And yes those palm changes can be used to reach or activate those higher fields of awareness. The only problem is you need the proper form and the proper teacher to help show you how. Most people doing Ba Gua are doing it only for the health or martial aspects. Unless you have someone who knows how to use the form as a vehicle for accessing those bodies, chances are you will never reach that level. It's the same for any meditation system, just sitting and breathing is not enough you need a teacher to guide you through the process. Anyway I hope that answers some of your questions, it's hard to explain so much in a short post so what I have left you is the briefest and most general of explanations. If you want more detail or have anything you need clarified please feel free to ask. Until then, Peace & Tao Shenchi
  6. Integral Taoism. Heaven / The I Dimension

    Sheng, Thanks for responding. I agree with everything you said; especially the part about Taoism being integral long before Wilber. I would like to add something to what you said about state changes. In Taoist Internal Alchemy one works mainly with the energies of Kan and Li or Water and Fire. Water represents cyclical change, the tide comes and goes and the rain comes and goes, Water represents this change. Fire is permanent change since once something is burned in the fire it will never return to its original way of being. To me Water represents state change where Fire represents permanent stage devlopment. So within Taoist Inernal Alchemy there is a tempering of state change with permanent change. This is part of the reason why I love Taoist Internal Alchemy so much. Anyway Sheng thanks again for responding and I look forward to hearing more from you in the future. Until then, Peace & Tao Shenchi
  7. Peace & Tao

    Greeting everyone, I am new to this board but have been a student of Taoism and it's many arts for over a decade. I am an instructor in the art of Ba Gua Zhang. I teach and practice this art on all three levels of health, martial, and meditation. I am also a nationally certified massage and Asian Bodywork Work practioner with my focus being Shiatsu. I am currently a student of Masters Frank Allen and Tina Zhang; though I will soon be an offical disciple. My goals are to constantly increase my knowledge and skills, as well as those who have interest in the art. I have had enormous benefits from practice and I know I have only begun to scratch the surface. I hope that this forum will help me to reach my goals and attain high levels of, health, consciousness, skill, compassion,and non-dual awareness, while sharing information and knowledge with others who tread the path of the Tao. I look forward to meeting and learning from all those who inhabit this forum and shar my enthusiasm for the Tao. I am sure I will benefit greatly from the exchange. Until next time, Peace & Tao Shenchi http://taoistartsorganization.net/