Astral Monk

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About Astral Monk

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  1. I got the impression that maybe SFQ and Zhineng may have some common sources...very similar in approach and philosophy. 8)
  2. breath rhythm for baduanjin (8 brocade)

    Thats the Spring Forest title. Generically this type of movement is called 'opening/closing' (to the side), or maybe expanding the energy ball. 8)
  3. breath rhythm for baduanjin (8 brocade)

    To really see the difference, try this basic exercise, opening and closing to the side (in SFQ, called 'breathing of the universe'): Master Li's instruction is inhale to open, exhale to close. Let speed follow breath. Youre opening the ball, then compressing. Once you get a feel for this, try the opposite--exhale to open, inhale to close. In this sense, rather than drawing the ball open from the arms, you are more pushing it open fron the center. And rather than compressing, you are actively drawing in, sucking the ball smaller. Theres always this yin/yang polarity at work though. As Master Li says of the 'whole body breathing' technique, when we inhale (generally, naturally), the pores of our skin close, drawing in energy. When we exhale, they open. So their action seems counter to what we feel as natural breath, which is opening to draw, close to release. 8)
  4. breath rhythm for baduanjin (8 brocade)

    Actually, i was gonna say, try doing the opposite way as well...so once you get confortable, you can compare. The difference is like between normal breathing and 'reverse' breathing. Exhaling on openings and inhaling on closings has a different feeling. In martial arts generally, you exhale with strikes. Theres the side punching brochade this might be best applicable to. Thinking about actual bow work, you inhale to draw then release. Never sit there bow drawn holding your breath. So again, follow a more natural pattern. In the draw bow brochade, you can inhale to draw, then exhale once you reach full extension to sink and settle, inhaling to go back to center again. So, a bit of a combination. 8)
  5. My bad, i think thats it, sorry! Ahah well in that case, i reckon spirits might be a way of measuring progress, if they have useful things to say...some systems/practices seemto suggest as much! 8)
  6. I thought he meant a system that includes some kindof feedback mechanism so you know how to measure your progress...like a qigong fitbit
  7. breath rhythm for baduanjin (8 brocade)

    Inhale to open, exhale to close, generally. If youre coordinating breath with movement, move at the speed of breath, not the other way round--let your breathing guide the movement. Ultimately you want to feel the whole body breathing, which is just seamless coordination of opening/closing. If you feel the need to move super slow, then just breath normally, dont try and cooridinate with the motions. 8)
  8. Theres also level-appropriate considerations. Ppl have expectations that more specific and focussed things need to be going on when theyre not at the need-to-know level. Go into a taiji class and ask about breathing, they might tell you to keep doing it, lol, nothing special more. And then, over time, keep a watch on your body and its states, before, during, and after practice. You might find a natural segue into deeper breathing or a need to focus on one part of the body. Ultimately, teachers are the traditional feedback system in this case. Even if you see them very infrequently. They just nudge a little to keep you in the right direction. Without that, its all jungles and machettes and no compass! 8)
  9. Steve is correct here imo. Good energy work is about establishing and maintaing balance. When you find that balance, the results are evident. Imagine a boat in rough waves, going to and fro, nearly tipping, nearly sinking. Then the storm breaks and the water is calm as glass. Before there was abundant 'feeling', now, its absence. Its a caution to chase explicit feelings as a measure of success, because quite often they reflect an imbalance (as one might observe in TCM practice for instance). I reckon theres lots of systems that work this way--deliberate imbalances to create noticable effects. Anyway, finding a system and teacher isnt as onerous as it seems. Tonnes of systems promoted online nowadays, with regular retreats and community support at a distance. I think it is a must to get grounded with irl teachers, if only once a year or whatever, to get going. Youre going to have to practice after that anyway, and 90% of the work is on you, outside of the classroom. But yeah, it will take some $$ and will. But at least youcan ask directly what to look for as you progress. This isnt always available from books and whatnot. 8)
  10. Looks like you have your answer. Ask your disembodied spirits for feedback then and recommend to your friend. Why ask the question in the first place? Got a bit confused there lol 8)
  11. Sets of Qigong Exercises

    Any legit qigong system will have a prescribed order of exercises. It isnt like lifting--you cant just do a bunch of random things in a row. Its more like building a tower, brick by brick--you cant work on the 3rd floor coffee room till you get to the 3rd floor. So its best not to look at isolated exercises, but at whole systems. Depending on your needs and goals, a systematic program might begin with active exercises (like baduanjin) and finish with static postures (standing post or meditation) or vice versa. 8)
  12. Shurman: "I simplified the tai chee so it was easy to learn" Youre right escott, looks like modern western qigong, which amounts to mostly physical stretching. It might be helpful to some in context, but its a bit of a misnomer. Even still, qigong isnt useful for young kids...our bodies need to mature before we start actually working with energy. And taiji grows out of that. Before then its just wushu and flexibility, which is fine too. Any martial arts will help deliver focus. My godson is autistic and he's been doing taekwondo for years in a school that had a special needs focus. Repitition, focus, community...all important. In the end, its going to be whatever interests your kid the most. What engages them best. Baduanjin or 5 animals sports are widely available and pretty harmless, since they are pretty low on energy and high on exercise. Ive been seeing kids yoga around, but i think you need to add movement to balance asanas. 8)
  13. Earthworm Jim Peter Puppy Fear is the Mind Killer Classic use, Peter pups favorite saying XD
  14. Another great sub-theme in the original Dune series is the powers of the Bene Gesserit, the 'witches' that serve many functions in cosmic society. One of their powers involves their ability to transmute substances in the body, notably rending poisons harmless. This process serves as the crucible of initiation for would-be witch adepts. (The 'prequel's' imagining of the origin of this is terrible, one of the worst parts of that series, and i dont recommend you let it soil any impression you might get from Frank's original characterisations!) What is interesting is how we sometimes hear tales of high level masters of internal arts being able to do similar work. Might there be a natural neigong analogue for this power, one anyone could theorectically access with correct training? 8)