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  1. Hi there!

    Hi all, Long time lurker, first time poster here. I've recently restarted my daily qi gong and meditation after a long term chronic illness made them nearly impossible to do. I haven't yet tracked down a new teacher (or a previous one for that matter) to discuss things with, so I figured that using the Interwebs as a sounding board and way to connect to others on the Way might be a good idea as I get back into the swing of things. Despite the hiatus from the illness, I'm 35 now and began learning and practicing all this weird mystical stuff back when I was 15, so hopefully I've picked up a thing or two that I can contribute to the conversation! As for details on what I'm into, after experimenting with numerous forms of meditation and qi gong/nei gong, as well as western Hermetic methods, various forms of western Occultism and the major world religions and a short stint trying to convince myself to be an Atheist in the face of all evidence to the contrary, I discovered after much long and storied experience that my best results came about through simple but focused practice of a handful of techniques that work best for me. So although I'm still interested in a huge range of subjects in an intellectual sense, I've left behind the flashier and more "complex" systems, and have returned to the source you might say! In terms of publically available material, my "cultivation" practice most closely resembles the nei gong system outlined by Damo Mitchell and my meditation practice is oriented around the I Ching, but with a heavy dose of Patanjali influencing it (along with Austin Osman Spare if anyone knows who that is!). Lot's of contemplation of the Dao De Ching of course. I'm also a long time practitioner of sexual cultivation, although funnily enough I didn't learn about that from Chia or any other mainstream "Taoist" sources, making my perspective on it a little unusual apparently. As for any other "-isms", I'm simply a follower of Daoism now and I try not to hold any other "-isms" at all, so I like to kid myself that I simply follow Lao Tzu. Martial Arts wise (as that's always relevant when discussing these things for obvious reasons), I've trained in a few of the traditional forms, mainly Bujinkan as despite the appaling lack of standards often evident in that system I was very lucky to have a fantastic Sensei who was the real deal. Sadly, he moved away some years ago and I never found another Bujinkan teacher that I felt to be on his level. Apart from that, I'm far more into both MMA and modern Combatives styles actually (Krav Maga et al). Heresy for a Daoist I know!! No lynchings please! OTOH I have also trained in Chen style Taichi Chuan while I was living temporarily in a city with a great teacher and if there was a decent school near where I currently live I'd happily take it up again. I'm also very interested in Yichuan (not to be confused with Xingyi Chuan!) at the moment. I like the no-form emphasis of Yichuan over the other more well known internal styles, as it's more "me" philosophically. I still remember the zhan zhuang I was taught, as well as the silk reeling exercises and while there's no trainer of Yichuan nearby either I'm going to have a crack at combining my real world Chen instruction with any Yichuan material I can find and self-train until I find a good teacher again. We'll see though, self training in anything can easily turn to absolute custard! Ok, that's enough rambling for an intro I think. Peace! General Cryptic