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Hello Bums, with my most recent discoveries about the focus of Mao Shan energy practices, I have thought about the idea of any teaching or practice being either a water or a fire path. I know that some practices are labeled as a "water path" or a "fire path." I, myself have used the designation of my practice being a "water" path for years. And I still like the characterisation of it being a water path. It gives the feeling of cool, peaceful, natural, flowing, feminine, etc... My thoughts about this designation have changed lately based on my most recent discoveries about the path I practice. I read on this forum a comment that I agree with which is that the whole idea of "water vs fire path" is a modern distinction. I think this is probably true. I think the most relevant practice would be in regards to the direction of energy flow of the Microcosmic orbit meditation. Fire path- being up the back and down the front and water path- being up the front and down the back. But even with that difference, I think designating one path water and the other fire is just a way to explain the different flow of energy not really about the nature of the energy itself. I would say that, in my opinion, based on my experience and based on what I know now about the goal of Mao Shan energy practices, that Mao Shan practices are definitely FIRE. But that does not take away from its distinction from other, more traditional Taoist energy practices. As I recently posted in my latest thread, I discovered after 30 years of practice in a Mao Shan internal martial art, that the techniques of the Mao Shan martial arts as well as the meditations, qigong and neigong were specifically designed to stimulate the pericardium meridian. And it did so in ways that you do not find in other, more well known Taoist energy practices. The pericardium meridian is actually an energy center in its own right. It is referred to in TCM as "The Emperor's Bodyguard." In fact, the Emperors' Bodyguard is considered to be an entity in and of itself. It is designated as being FIRE element, Lightning energy and feminine. It would be accurate to classify the pericardium meridian energy as a goddess. She is the lightning power that encases the Shen ( soul) and protects it from the harshness of 3 dimensional reality. It is the pericardium meridian that acts as an energetic shield to protect the heart from emotional and spiritual attack. I read about a very accomplished TCM professional who could tell just by feeling the pulse if someone had gone through a divorce. He said he could feel it as a wound in the pericardium meridian's energy shield around the heart. So, in that sense, the Mao Shan energy can be said to be different from other "traditional" Taoist energy as being more associated with the Feminine whereas more traditional Taoist energy could be referred to as Masculine. So I would say that since we are dealing with Qi energy, we are talking about Fire. But is the Fire Masculine or Feminine? Since we associate Water with feminine and Fire as masculine, it is understandable that anyone who is familiar with both Mao Shan and other Taoist traditions would feel inclined to associate one with Fire and the other with Water. So, for me, I will no longer call the Mao Shan practices a Water path. I will call it a Feminine path. Similar to the Vedic idea of a "Shakti" path. Shakti is the feminine path of energy practice and worship in Yogic traditions. Shakti is another term for the Kundalini energy. Kundalini is an energy and she is also a goddess and she is also FIRE. I believe this way of describing Shakti energy is a more accurate way of describing the Mao Shan energy practices. But I feel the need to be clear and make the distinction between Kundalini and Mao Shan energy. The energy of the pericardium is NOT Kundalini even though they both are Feminine Fire energies... But the actual nature of Kundalini vs Qi is whole other kettle of fish better saved for another discussion. If I may continue on the comparison of Kundalini Shakti and the Lightning Power of the Pericardium.... It is well known in Vedic/Hindu practices that if one wants real power, one should worship Mother Shakti. But one should also be very respectful of the power She holds. She can be very unpredictable and dangerous. The goddess Kali is a good example. She is the Mother, the complete embodiment of the Feminine. But she is also sometimes (inaccurately) referred to as the goddess of death. She is radical transformation. In paintings of her, one can find Kali dancing on the corpse of Shiva. If one has the idea that masculine is active and the feminine is passive, the representations of Kali and Shiva are powerful reminders of the opposite being true. One might wonder how it is that I practice a martial art that is known for its speed and devastating power and yet it is also closely associated with the feminine. ( my teacher's teacher became known for his martial prowess as a result of worshipping Kwan Yin. He credited his power to her alone).. The Mao Shan practices are also in alignment with the general description of Shakti by the Vedics. The Lightning Goddess, the Bodyguard of the Soul, in my experience, is powerful, quick, merciless and potentially dangerous, but also undoubtedly feminine and healing in nature. If I may continue a bit further... I have discovered that what makes the Mao Shan distinct as a spiritual path is that it is strongly associated with shamanic channeling. Every practice that I have found that is associated with Mao Shan ( whether that is through the sect I learned from or other Mao Shan practices from other lineages), is strongly focused on having the practitioner channel powers and energies. This is what makes Mao Shan a path of magic. There is not so much emphasis on intellectual understanding of the techniques as an instinctual and intuitive connection to the powers associated with them. The Mao Shan pracitioner is taught and encouraged to use shamanic channeling techniques to learn even more meditations and practices. The practitioner is encouraged to deepen their shamanic connections to the deities and spirits to teach them and further understand the practices. In my experience, every person who has learned the Mao Shan martial tradition who showed any promise started to create their own forms, practices and meditations. Every person with any natural inclination also started discovering their own "supernatural powers" such as healing, divination, magic, etc... I have never seen this to the same degree in any other art I have researched. One day a Tai Chi master came to visit our Mao Shan martial arts class. My teacher was showing him the Water form. The visitor paused and closed his eyes and swayed back and forth and my teacher asked him, "What are you doing?" He replied, "I'm searching for the water so I can better understand what you are showing me." My teacher said, "Don't waste your time searching for the water, just BECOME water." And then he delivered a palm strike to his chest. "Feel that?" "Yes."... "That's water. I didn't have to summon it. I just became water... Now try again. This time, just become water and don't think about it." The great grandmaster was a Mao Shan sorcerer who also was a well respected martial artist. And after my 30 years of practicing this art, I found the likely method of how he created these "Mao Shan Kung Fu Forms" that I had taken for granted. As a young man he, like many other young men from Southern China in the early 20th century learned Hakka Style Shao Lin Kung Fu. After learning Mao Shan magic, ritual and nei gong, he then learned how to channel energy from the ascended masters. The Kung Fu Forms he developed looked very similar to other Hakka style Shan Lin forms, but there was an extremely powerful energy to them that set his forms and martial arts apart from the rest of the Shao Lin Kung Fu of his time.... His forms LOOKED like other Shan Lin forms but the energy came from the Mao Shan focus on the pericardium meridian and had a very different feel and devastating effect. The way it was described to me by someone who knew the grandmaster, was that, "The Forms were Shao Lin, but the Magic was Mao Shan." After reverse engineering the Mao Shan Kung Fu forms for 30 years, I now see that what makes the Mao Shan Kung Fu different is that the techniques are solely focused on stimulating and releasing the energy in the pericardium meridian. But these techniques are hidden within what looks like traditional Hakka style Shao Lin Kung Fu forms. I believe that it is possible that the great grandmaster may not have had any intellectual understanding of the technique of the forms. But being the proficient Mao Shan sorcerer that he was, he simply channeled the ascended Kung Fu masters who taught him forms that stimulated the Lightning energy of the pericardium meridian and released the power of the Feminine. The powerful, devastating energy similar to the Shakti of Kali Ma... There are other things about the magic of the forms but I will keep those secret for the time being Thanks for letting me ramble. I think about this stuff a lot and it helps me to unpack this info somewhere where it might be understood and appreciated... Let me know what you guys think...
ThunderWizardDotcom posted a topic in Systems and Teachers ofHello, Dao Bums, I was on this forum 11 years ago and I am now back. ( some of you may remember me as fiveelementtao). I trained in an esoteric taoist practice associated with Mao Shan. so, after 30 years of training and practice, I have discovered something truly amazing about the qigong and nei gong I was taught. I have finally discovered that the techniques of the practice are not stimulating or focusing on the same meridian system as traditional taoist practices. The masters who taught me were "uneducated" in the sense that they were taught a lot of techniques and had mastered those techniques but did not learn a lot of specific theory. They just told me that what we did was "different.' But it was unclear to me exactly how. The techniques were undeniably powerful and unique, but it was shrouded in such mystery that we were encouraged not to try and figure it out... What I learned in the internal martial arts, qigong, meditation and nei gong was ( in my experience) unrivalled in terms of pure power. This practice was my first experience in Taoist energy work. So, when I learned it, I assumed that all taoist energy work was coming from the same place (energetically). But every time I would learn another school's energy practice or internal martial art, I could feel the energy was very different. Masters of all different schools ( including ones who claimed to be Mao Shan) who saw what I was doing or tried the techniques would either say the practice was evil, dangerous, demonic or they would tell me that they had never experienced anything this powerful. this included qigong, internal martial artists and tai chi masters.... So, for 30 years I have been extremely confused as to what exactly was different about this practice. Well, I have made some very exciting discoveries. instead of trying to learn from available sources about why the energy was so powerful and different, I started focusing on the meridians in my body that were constantly "firing" when I did the practices. And I finally understood what my teachers taught in terms of what meridians we focused on.... You have all heard of "Jing - Qi - Shen" right? Well my teachers would say we did "Qi - Xi - Yi" (life force energy - heart-mind - intent) When I asked about this compared to the Jing-Qi-Shen path, I was told "Oh just the same thing ". But I have come to realise that it is NOT the same AT ALL... I could explain for days, but the bottom line is that after 30 years I have discovered that the Mao Shan masters were intentionally NOT pursuing Jing Qi Shen, they were intentionally focusing not on the lower dan tien but on the pericardium meridian. Which I have discovered is a secret zone of power where the feminine "lightning" energy resides surrounding and protecting the shen (soul) from the harshness of 3 dimensional reality. In TCM this power is called the "Emperor's Body Guard." It normally is self-contained in the middle dan tien unless someone knows how to stimulate the pericardium meridian to release it into the body's meridians. This was a secret kept by the Mao Shan demon fighters for centuries. When I learned this, it explained so much about why this art was so powerful, dangerous and different. The benefit of releasing the power of the Emperor's bodyguard is immediate and unrivaled power. The kind of power that demons run from. but the downside is that if the practitioner does not have a mature relationship to the heart center, it can create a Sith Lord ( if you'll forgive the reference). ( now I know why my teachers were always warning us about the danger of becoming a Darth Vader). For those who remember all of the controversies surrounding me and other people who shall remain nameless who also taught this tradition, you will know why there was so much power and rumours of danger associated with this path... Anyways, 30 years later, after some seasoning, I now understand what I believe to be the true purpose of this Mao Shan path. I hope to share more on this forum if there are any who are interested... For now, here is a qigong routine I created using these techniques. Let me know what you guys think.... Mahadeva