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  1. My first full lotus experiences

    When I managed to get into full lotus for the first time, I felt and heard lots of cracking and popping noises in the back of my neck. Energy traveling up to the head, I presume. I continued having these sensations as well as several nose bleeds during the few weeks of practicing full lotus. It eventually cleared up. I also practice Spring Forest Qigong. My favorite effect of full lotus is that it keeps me warm. I practice weather acclimation by walking around in a short-sleeved t-shirt all year round, including below-freezing temps in winter. If I'm outside and stationary, I find that sitting in full lotus is amazingly effective for staying warm.
  2. As a "lurker" of this forum, I have to make an exception and post just to say that Non, your posts are a breath of fresh air and I have a feeling that other people are silently grateful for your contributions here as well. Let me be the one to suggest that you DO NOT seek "professional help" to be made "normal" haha! Krishnamurti said, "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Anyway, aside from chi kung, I find that good therapy is listening to Eckhart Tolle lectures (they can be found on most bittorrent sites), which has really helped me with "being present" and being at peace with the dysfunction of our culture, a dysfunction, one could say, of which the male-female relations issue you describe is only a surface-level symptom. I've never been able to relate to women very well, though I always felt a deep love for them that would be expressed through eye contact. There were many painful times in my late teens and twenties when I was around women in different places and would make some pretty intense connections with them just through eye contact. I could rarely think of what to say or how to talk to them, and when I did it almost never led to anything more than a simple conversation. I was unable to "build attraction" and was completely incompetent at "flirting". All that time I thought the problem was my own shyness, and I blamed myself for all the "lost opportunities". Then I got into chi kung and meditation. After a few years, I began to realize that there was a very good reason I'm not good at flirting. Because flirting is fundamentally based on deception. It may be "innocent" most of the time, but it's not truly sincere. It's about posturing for social status and playing ego games, sometimes more subtly than others. So I was determined to figure out how to express my desire in completely straightforward, sincere, and unapologetic way. The chi kung helped me get over my fear of what other people think, which allowed me to develop a "practice" of approaching women that turned into a fascinating social experiment. I realized that the most sincere way I could express desire without resorting to theatrics or games (like "PUA" stuff) was to just go about my day, and if I saw a women that noticed me and gave me what I called a "green light", which is prolonged eye contact, smile, etc., to basically go up and ask her if she's single. Not to make small talk first, because in my opinion small talk is just noise to "fill the space" and pretend there's a reason I'm talking to an attractive woman that doesn't have to do with my being attracted to her. I shouldn't have to "beat around the bush", again it goes back to honesty. And I found that they almost always say no. See I was thinking that if I could find some kind of "magic bullet" to cut through all the BS, it would snap them out of their little trance and they would be like, "ah, finally a guy who is sincere, somebody I don't have to posture for and expend all this effort putting through tests!" But sadly, they seem to be so stuck that they actually found ways to adapt their flirting patterns to my sincerity. For example, one girl I asked a few years ago who worked at a grocery store I was frequenting said no, she's not single. I happily said OK, smiled, and walked away. Then she said "But HEY, props for askin!" then proceeded to draw me into conversation about the bread! I realized that it was all just part of her "game", which really felt kind of yucky, because here I was trying to be sincere and she sort of threw it back in my face. Anyway, as I continued shopping at that store, I would give her a brief nod and say hi if I saw her, which is exactly what I do with any person I recognize anywhere. She would often look away and pretend to ignore me. I felt a bit sorry for her. Then one day I was at the deli putting some food in a bowl, and I hear this loud "HOW ARE YOU!!!" right in my ear. It startled me and I spun around, and there she was standing inches from me. I said something like "great, how bout you?" She just stared at me goes "GOOD!" I looked at her and she just stood there staring at me. The look on her face was actually a little creepy! I eventually turned around and went back to getting my food. Sure, most would interpret that as "she was obviously showing interest", but why couldn't she have just been upfront and said, "Hey, remember when you asked if I was single and I said no? Well I am now," or, "I was scared by how direct you were so I lied, I actually am single." That would have been a beautiful moment of honesty that I would have totally appreciated. But she could only do what she was trained to do by society, which was to throw out clues without being direct. Of course, if I had made another "move", she probably would have backed off again to draw me into the whole flirting pattern. I've done this "are you single" thing to well over one hundred women in the Portland area (I lost count around 40) and I could tell many similar stories. The bottom line is that the evidence has shown me that people are living in fear and they are stuck in useless scripts that society programmed them with, probably during the public education system (I don't really buy into the evolutionary psychology explanation that they're trying to select the best genes or whatever). I did actually get one date, with a 19-year-old model haha!! (I was 29 at the time) Of course, I could barely relate to her and she kept getting distracted by text messages on her mobile phone, so that didn't go anywhere. Everywhere I go people are mesmerized by their techno gadgets, which has added another layer of unconsciousness to our relationships with one another. Anyway, my experiment is winding down and I don't ask the question much these days. I have enough stories to fill a pretty hilarious book. I've pretty much resigned to the fact that most women aren't ready for that level of sincerity and directness. Like Non, I wonder if I'm destined to be a celibate monk. I also wonder if my experiment had some kind of impact on the collective female psyche, and if so, maybe I'm close to some "hundredth-monkey" kind of threshold that would lead to women breaking out of these patterns on a wide scale haha but that may be just a delusion of grandeur! The problem is that, while this experiment was a lot of fun at the start, it's become rather depressing, and I don't know if it's appropriate to continue. Also, I'm starting to think this is mainly women's attitude problem, that it's their own responsibility to work through it, and that they will have to actively seek out men like me if they want a change. As a man, all I can do is learn to be at peace with what is. Ultimately, the women all seemed to really appreciate what I was doing. A couple of them actually told me that they thought what I was doing was great, though they weren't single, and then they proceeded to try to flirt with me afterward! But almost none of them could bring themselves to let their guard down and just simply say, "Yes, I am single! Are you?" Is that really so difficult? They seem to think that having their guard up will filter out all the unworthy men, but does it ever occur to them that the good guys aren't interested in wasting their time trying to break through the defenses? I once heard some girl who was sitting with her friends, who overheard me do my thing, say, "OH MY GOD, DID YOU GUYS SEE THAT??? THAT WAS SOOOOO SWEEET!" I thought, yeah, it looks sweet when you witness it from a distance but when you're being asked directly you get weird and scared. Silly girls!
  3. Going Theravadin Taoist-style!

    Hey Drew, at the Spring Forest Qigong Level 3 retreat this year, Jim Nance was walking in crutches, still apparently recovering from that accident, yet he was able to sit in full lotus the entire time he gave lectures!
  4. Are you raw curious?

    I'm 100% raw vegan on a typical day, though I have some soup and even cheese from time to time. Never felt healthier and mentally sharper! And I'm an extreme "vata" type so supposedly I should be avoiding raw food and eating mainly cooked food hahaha. I did some reading awhile back by Bob Flaws about Traditional Chinese Medicine diets. I figured, hey they got the qigong right so they must know what they're talking about with diet too, right? Well that wasn't good for me as I discovered when I experimented with a cooked food diet earlier this year, following the recommendations in his book The Tao of Healthy Eating. It could be because my body has adapted to the raw diet so much. My biggest challenge is maintaining my weight because I lose it easily, and even more easily on the raw diet. So LOTS of soaked nuts and seeds. Legume sprouts help too. And coconut, mmmmm. Oh, and I tried the 80/10/10 diet (mostly fruitarian with a tiny amount of vegetable fat). It wasn't for me. I doubt it's healthy for the majority of people. But who knows. Anyway, I love fat! On raw food, I need no deodorant, but on cooked food, I do need it, which is funny! I've tested this many times with people who will tell me the truth if I stink! As for raw food not being "warming", I practiced walking to and from work (15 minutes one direction) every day last winter (as low as 20 degrees F) in a short-sleeved shirt, and I take cold showers. I've found it's more a matter of acclimation than the food I'm eating. We're just too spoiled with our overly comfortable lifestyles! Though I do love a bowl of warm soup on a cold morning!
  5. Microcosmic Orbit

    Michael Winn says to try both directions and do the one that feels right for you. Though going up the front feels easier for me, I've had tangible benefits from going the "standard" way, mainly using Chunyi Lin's Spring Forest Qigong Small Universe meditation (which does not use Little Orbit practice). I haven't practiced going up the front at any great length. Maybe some day.
  6. multi vitamins

    I recommend the vitamins made by The Synergy Company, here: They are the only organic non-genetically modified vitamins I could find. Their C vitamin comes from Amazonian camu camu berries, the second-highest natural source of vitamin C on the planet. Most vitamin C comes from ascorbic acid grown on glucose derived from genetically modified corn. Their superfood powder, "Pure Synergy" is potent, too. It contains a bunch of Chinese medicinal mushroom and herbal extracts in addition to green grasses, blue-green algaes, sprouts, etc. I put a scoop of it in my kale-avocado pit smoothies every day. Very strong tasting but if you get used to it, it's actually pretty good!
  7. Yep, evidence the Bt-pesticide-producing crops are killing the bees:
  8. The best presentation, that I've seen, of the evidence that genetically modified food may be the most serious health and environmental issue of our time:
  9. It's very important to think about how to get clean water, much more important than finding food, at least for the short term. Get some iodine, and remember, 5 drops of iodine per quart of water! Let it sit for several hours. This will kill pathogens but only distillation will get rid of chemicals. It depends on where you manage to find water. This book goes into detail about this and just about everything else worth considering for those worst-case scenarios: That's for "practical" solutions. This may be even more important:
  10. Woah Drew, you know what's funny? I've been eating TONS of tomatoes lately. I'm growing a tomato plant on my balcony, and my sister brings over extra tomatoes from her garden every week. I have more than I know what to do with but I have this "waste nothing" mentality when it comes to food so I eat it all anyway. Fascinating connection. So I smelt the fragrance again today. The second time now. This time I wasn't "formally" doing meditation, but after practicing some Chen style Tai Chi, I was sitting in half lotus out on my balcony in a meditative state in the early morning, sipping my avocado pit parsley lentil-sprout stevia mint smoothie, watching the birds playing, and caught several strong whiffs of it again. I looked around at all the neighbors' windows and they were all closed, so that rules out perfume or essential oil coming from a neighbor's apartment. Nothing in the parking lot that my balcony overlooks that could have caused it. After I got up and walked around I stopped smelling it. Too crazy!

    Yeah Chunyi Lin pretty much encourages people to start learning the healing right away in level 1. Level 2 goes more in depth. As he teaches it, his students are supposed to practice qigong and meditate on their own, and that if they tried to do only healing, they wouldn't have built up enough energy to be successful. He says nothing about dangers of people's bad qi or whatever. It's like david2885 in an earlier post said, Chunyi Lin teaches us to look at it as "extra energy" that doesn't belong in that particular part of the body at that particular point in time, which is causing a blockage, which is manifesting as what we would call disease. In fact, he teaches that in the process of healing others, we're healing ourselves. He very much does indeed encourage people to love the energy, turn it into butterflies, send it back to the universe, etc. whether they're working on themselves or somebody else. That's actually a recurring theme in non-qigong-related healing stories I've researched where people go into spontaneous remission after "accepting" and "loving" their cancer, telling their tumors they are welcome to stay in their bodies for as long as they want, for example (this was brought up in the recent "energy medicine" documentary, The Living Matrix, which I highly recommend). It's a completely different perspective I guess. Not about resisting or fighting but accepting and loving. I've been following the SFQ forum at Learning Strategies Corporation for years now. There are a lot of people who post there as they learn to do healing on friends & family, and I have never read there, or anywhere else, a negative testimonial about these healers becoming afflicted with sick qi. There are, however, times when some people get temporary symptoms, for example the condition might get worse at first. Chunyi Lin teaches that this is the energy moving and blockages clearing up, sort of like the "healing crisis" that's known to happen when people switch to a healthier diet. This can happen whether people work on themselves or others. I have experienced this, which I'll tell a story about. I tried, as an experiment, this sort of "walking meditation" where I was just wandering around the neighborhood by my apartment, focusing on my heart, and sending loving intentions to every single tree and creature and person I walked by. I did this for about an hour. When I was walking back to my apartment, going down the hallway to my door, two younger guys were standing by another door. I nodded, said hi, sent loving intentions to them, and as I walked by one of them did this weird body spasm and his leg kicked out to the side. Then he said thank you! I thought wow, weird, and walked into my apartment, closed the door behind me, then suddenly started sneezing! I sneezed about 12 times, then had a runny nose for a few hours. After that I felt better and stronger than before, and went into deep meditation that night. I knew, deep down, that I essentially did a sort of spontaneous healing with the guy without even thinking about it. The sneezing was a symptom of blockages clearing out. Funny thing is, when I did the brief healing on my neighbor's numb feet (she fears it might be a sign of diabetes), after she went back to her apartment, I started sneezing the same way, then had a runny nose at work that day. And again, I felt recharged and better than before, afterward. I actually enjoy when this kind of thing happens because it's a sign to me that it really did work. Of course, you could say that this is evidence that I caught some bad qi or something, but it only happened those two times, and as the person who experienced it, I'm pretty convinced that it was a case of blockages clearing out. And this is what Chunyi Lin would say. Helping others to heal, heals ourselves.

    Awesome post Freeform! This is exactly what I've always felt is the case. And here is some info about meditation even being able to change the expression of your DNA for healing!
  13. Jeff Primack

    I got the Level 1 DVD of this qigong form out of curiosity, mainly because I like Jeff Primack's nutrition advice. After reading the "food" section of, about phytochemicals, I started adding avocado pits to my smoothies. I've found that Victoria Boutenko, the green smoothie guru, now recommends avocado pits as well. They're a bit bitter but you can get used to them! Adding some stevia helps too. So I played around with the qigong form, and found I was feeling the qi pretty strongly the first time. The Taoist stretching section is pretty challenging, too. I'm wondering though, it's not clear how long one should practice the level 1 stuff before moving forward, and level 2, etc. It looks like a fun class to take with the large groups of people they bring together. And yes, the visual effects are very helpful.

    My mostly-raw vegetarian diet, qigong & meditation keep me healthy. I rarely wash my hands and rarely use soap (never antibacterial soap). I do wash my hands if I'm going to handle food that I know somebody else will eat, because I understand and respect that most people haven't broken out of the germ hysteria, and most people's immune systems, and "inner terrain" aren't as healthy as mine so they may be susceptible to germs (and the stress hormonal effects caused by fear of germs). I haven't been to a doctor in about 20 years. I can't remember when I had the flu or bad cold last (it was before I stopped eating meat). I don't believe in dirty invisible things all over that could make me sick, any more than I believe in bad chi that could me sick. This works for me

    haha Interesting Mal. In SFQ, Chunyi Lin talks about the foundation of the healing being your unconditional love for the person you're treating. The techniques are just techniques, and secondary to love & forgiveness. This makes intuitive sense to me. I trust that by keeping my healing (and whole life for that matter) centered around the energies of love & forgiveness, I don't need to worry about getting sick whether from chi or bacteria or viruses or whatever. Plus I do a lot of qigong & meditation by myself, which I trust will cleanse any bad stuff.