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Zhan Zhuang Standing information

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Please explain why you follow the 70% rule?

 

I have not studied with the Water tradition so I dont really know. Do you neverEVER break the 70% rule? What happens to you if you do?

 

Personally I like to break and expand my own limits once in awhile. But I always spend the nessecary amout of rest, healing and integration afterwards.

Hello sheng zhen,

I am sorry, inviting your question, and then not answering.

 

In any case you got a first answer from durkhrod. And although everything he says is true I would like to clarify a few points, and expand a little bit.

There isn't one, but few reasons why we follow the 70% rule.

 

The first one has already been mentioned, and is the law of limited return. After a certain point what you put in in an exercise start to become more than what you get out. This works at two different level. One is a global level, some exercises just have a sort of maximum. After which they stop being really positive, and start to be neutral (you are essentially just throwing away time), or even negative (you become more and more stressed as you do the exercise.). It is true that standing should be considered more than a simple exercise, and as such I disagree that this semi-hard limit should be at 40 minutes. Where exactly this limit is, according to Bruce, depends from situation to situation. But it is way over 40 minutes. We are speaking on the limit of 2 or 3 hours. But then again for people who are of a certain age, and who just want to keep themselves fit, they would be better off doing between 20-40 minutes. And then maybe doing something else. So it really depends.

As I said the law of limited return works also in another way. More personal. As you approach your limit, your inside start to close up, and you get less and less from an exercise. So you might be doing an exercise that is good to be done for 40 minutes, but if all you can manage is 10 minutes, then there is a point after which you start to gain less and less. And this point is much before 40 minutes, and before also 10 minutes. It is like, if I ask you what is the maximum length of a breath that you can do, while continuously breathing for 5 minutes. Or if I ask you what is the maximum length of a breath that you can do, while continuously breathing for 5 hours? For the second one you need to do it without strain. That's probably about 2/3, or 7/10th of the first one. So here we found again the 70% rule. But in a practical way.

 

Now let's look at a second reason. We have already mentioned the law of limited return. The second is called spiritual greed. Fact is that we are all very greedy, spiritually. People in this community in particular. But everybody in general. We want to succeed. We want to be enlightened, super heroes, and so on. It is important to keep this desire in check. It is an important desire, because it pushes you forward, but a lot of misery and problems can come from that. Now this desire is never so strong as when we feel we are expanding our limits. Now fact is that we are continuously expanding our limits. But when you approach your 100%, that is the moment where your desire will start to increase. So if you reach 90% of what you can do, you will want to go further. 95%, 100%, 105%, 110%, yeah!, 120%, hospital.

When we go over our limits we harm ourselves. And then we need to stop, recover, start again. And this is slowing you down and damaging both the nervous system and the hardening the body.

In this sense the slow road is the fast road. If you do not go this route, but take it easy, go the 70% of your capacity you will still expand your limits, but in a smooth way. And you will not harm yourself. While the fast road is the slow road, because each time you go over your limit you strain yourself, you often need to take a pause. Sometimes of a few months, sometimes of years. And the final result is much slower.

 

The third reason that I can see is related to the nervous system. For what I could peek, all the advanced meditation in Taoism start with the heart mind, and the heart mind require to be opened a smooth nervous system.

Now let us clarify, it is not enough to have a smooth nervous system to open the heart mind. There are certain things you need to do, and you need to find a teacher that will share them with you. I am not qualified to teach about it, but I can mention it so you don't make errors that in future might slow you down as you need to unwind everything you have done to rewire it with your new knowledge.

Bruce only taught about the heart mind one time (that I know off). But I think he will teach about it more often, as his teaching is going more and more in that direction.

So reaching your limit is not nice toward your nervous system. It tend to make you go into a panic state. Which is really not so good. And going over your limit is even worse.

 

So if you work slowly you can expand your limit without ever going over them. Trying to stay as close as possible to the 70% rule. This will not only expand them, but expand them without straining your nervous system. Which will then strengthen your concentration and give you one of the keys to advanced meditations.

 

I hope I have answered your question.

BTW, all I have said here comes from Bruce, as I have understood him. Some is from Bruce books, some from his lessons or from the lessons he gave to other students that then spoke with me.

Edited by Pietro

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Thank you Pietro for the thorough explenation.

 

The third reason that I can see is related to the nervous system. For what I could peek, all the advanced meditation in Taoism start with the heart mind, and the heart mind require to be opened a smooth nervous system.

Interesting also that you mention the nervoussystem. Just yesterday I was observing my Heart Rate Variability(which is a biofeedback window to the nervoussystem, check out www.stresseraser.com) while deep and long breathing. It clearly showed the limit to where the nervoussystem start to fire off chaotically instead of harmoniously. And the limit was not where I thought it was!

I can easily slow my breathing to 2-3 breaths per minute and have a good and deep meditation like that. But when I saw my nervoussystem I noticed that it is not really relaxing my nerves at all! I had to spend a lot more time than usually with 7 breaths per minute before I could slow down to 6 while keeping the same harmonious nervous system. I could not get past 6 breaths per minute without disrupting my nervoussystem. It was an eye-opener for me that I dont think I have fully understood yet.

 

By the way...by "heart mind" you mean Shen, right?

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Hello sheng zhen,

I am sorry, inviting your question, and then not answering.

 

In any case you got a first answer from durkhrod. And although everything he says is true I would like to clarify a few points, and expand a little bit.

There isn't one, but few reasons why we follow the 70% rule.

 

The first one has already been mentioned, and is the law of limited return. After a certain point what you put in in an exercise start to become more than what you get out. This works at two different level. One is a global level, some exercises just have a sort of maximum. After which they stop being really positive, and start to be neutral (you are essentially just throwing away time), or even negative (you become more and more stressed as you do the exercise.). It is true that standing should be considered more than a simple exercise, and as such I disagree that this semi-hard limit should be at 40 minutes. Where exactly this limit is, according to Bruce, depends from situation to situation. But it is way over 40 minutes. We are speaking on the limit of 2 or 3 hours. But then again for people who are of a certain age, and who just want to keep themselves fit, they would be better off doing between 20-40 minutes. And then maybe doing something else. So it really depends.

As I said the law of limited return works also in another way. More personal. As you approach your limit, your inside start to close up, and you get less and less from an exercise. So you might be doing an exercise that is good to be done for 40 minutes, but if all you can manage is 10 minutes, then there is a point after which you start to gain less and less. And this point is much before 40 minutes, and before also 10 minutes. It is like, if I ask you what is the maximum length of a breath that you can do, while continuously breathing for 5 minutes. Or if I ask you what is the maximum length of a breath that you can do, while continuously breathing for 5 hours? For the second one you need to do it without strain. That's probably about 2/3, or 7/10th of the first one. So here we found again the 70% rule. But in a practical way.

 

Now let's look at a second reason. We have already mentioned the law of limited return. The second is called spiritual greed. Fact is that we are all very greedy, spiritually. People in this community in particular. But everybody in general. We want to succeed. We want to be enlightened, super heroes, and so on. It is important to keep this desire in check. It is an important desire, because it pushes you forward, but a lot of misery and problems can come from that. Now this desire is never so strong as when we feel we are expanding our limits. Now fact is that we are continuously expanding our limits. But when you approach your 100%, that is the moment where your desire will start to increase. So if you reach 90% of what you can do, you will want to go further. 95%, 100%, 105%, 110%, yeah!, 120%, hospital.

When we go over our limits we harm ourselves. And then we need to stop, recover, start again. And this is slowing you down and damaging both the nervous system and the hardening the body.

In this sense the slow road is the fast road. If you do not go this route, but take it easy, go the 70% of your capacity you will still expand your limits, but in a smooth way. And you will not harm yourself. While the fast road is the slow road, because each time you go over your limit you strain yourself, you often need to take a pause. Sometimes of a few months, sometimes of years. And the final result is much slower.

 

The third reason that I can see is related to the nervous system. For what I could peek, all the advanced meditation in Taoism start with the heart mind, and the heart mind require to be opened a smooth nervous system.

Now let us clarify, it is not enough to have a smooth nervous system to open the heart mind. There are certain things you need to do, and you need to find a teacher that will share them with you. I am not qualified to teach about it, but I can mention it so you don't make errors that in future might slow you down as you need to unwind everything you have done to rewire it with your new knowledge.

Bruce only taught about the heart mind one time (that I know off). But I think he will teach about it more often, as his teaching is going more and more in that direction.

So reaching your limit is not nice toward your nervous system. It tend to make you go into a panic state. Which is really not so good. And going over your limit is even worse.

 

So if you work slowly you can expand your limit without ever going over them. Trying to stay as close as possible to the 70% rule. This will not only expand them, but expand them without straining your nervous system. Which will then strengthen your concentration and give you one of the keys to advanced meditations.

 

I hope I have answered your question.

BTW, all I have said here comes from Bruce, as I have understood him. Some is from Bruce books, some from his lessons or from the lessons he gave to other students that then spoke with me.

 

Good post! I totally agree with the diminished returns and nervous system part not so sure about the "spiritual greed" part.

 

It is interesting reading all the responses and very obvious who comes from a more physically oriented martial arts background and who comes from more of an energy oriented qigong background.

 

I can't say a whole lot about this as I don't practice this form (have done so in past), but I do practice standing Stillness-Movement. And of course one can say all these practices are related. In standing Stillness-Movement I can usually charge up in about 10 minutes. 40 min - 1 hr is like blast off into the stratosphere. But it is pretty easy to determine when a point of "saturation" is reached. At this point, in my system, it is better to switch to walking qigong or movement qigong then come back to the standing later if one wishes. I do think the more a person does the more efficient they get so that time spent is more productive; the "saturation" point is reached much sooner if you are a regular practitioner versus if you only do it occasionally. And one can reach this point several times in one day. I do think the practice is accumulative.

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Another great post Pietro. The thing is your 70% will be constantly growing over time with practice, thus eventually you will be capable of standing 5 hours straight if your body/mind can handle 8. But that would probably takes years to get to.

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Thank you Pietro for the thorough explenation.

Interesting also that you mention the nervoussystem. Just yesterday I was observing my Heart Rate Variability(which is a biofeedback window to the nervoussystem, check out www.stresseraser.com) while deep and long breathing. It clearly showed the limit to where the nervoussystem start to fire off chaotically instead of harmoniously. And the limit was not where I thought it was!

I can easily slow my breathing to 2-3 breaths per minute and have a good and deep meditation like that. But when I saw my nervoussystem I noticed that it is not really relaxing my nerves at all! I had to spend a lot more time than usually with 7 breaths per minute before I could slow down to 6 while keeping the same harmonious nervous system. I could not get past 6 breaths per minute without disrupting my nervoussystem. It was an eye-opener for me that I dont think I have fully understood yet.

WOW! that looks like a really great tool to have. Also for the students. But 179$...

 

By the way...by "heart mind" you mean Shen, right?

No,

Shen is translated as Spirit.

Heart Mind is translated as Hsin.

 

Not sure if this link will work: but is a link to page 74 of the book the power of internal martial arts. End of page. As scanned by google books.

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I'm noticing improvement pretty quickly... Standing for 5 minutes doesn't bother me at all anymore. I wonder if I should take advantage of this since I'm young to be a little more liberal with my time increases.

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I just finished like 3 minutes ago...stood in Wuji (knuckle dragging posture) for almost 30 minutes. My timer was set for 25 minutes, but I was playing Yo-Yo Ma and I really liked the song that started when my timer went off. Feeling pretty good...did not get as warm as the other day, but I did a lot of shaking down in my hips... gonna ask Tao about that in my KAP review later today...

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I'm noticing improvement pretty quickly... Standing for 5 minutes doesn't bother me at all anymore. I wonder if I should take advantage of this since I'm young to be a little more liberal with my time increases.

 

if the door's open I'd take it

 

 

I just finished like 3 minutes ago...stood in Wuji (knuckle dragging posture) for almost 30 minutes. My timer was set for 25 minutes, but I was playing Yo-Yo Ma and I really liked the song that started when my timer went off. Feeling pretty good...did not get as warm as the other day, but I did a lot of shaking down in my hips... gonna ask Tao about that in my KAP review later today...

 

I've seen someone on TTB say the shaking is blockages being released. I've just learned that the shaking wakes up your nervous system.

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An added benefit of Wuji (hands down by sides) is detoxification.

 

Damp, cold Qi is led out of the body through Yong Quan point.

 

Have a look at this teacher (one of mine in China).

 

z-7X6QnnLH0

 

The whole purpose of his art is to detoxify and build qi. He taught me what he called Embryonic Zhan Zhuang. A static position for the purpose of detoxifying and building internal strength.

 

 

Oh, more about this guy. He would show me his feet on occasion when I came to class and you could see the damp garbage which was coming out of his body through his feet. Very interesting.

Edited by Baguakid

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WOW! that looks like a really great tool to have. Also for the students. But 179$...

yeah, its getting more and more fun everyday. I thought it was mostly for teaching noobs to breathe, but it really could be very interesting for more experienced meditators also. You get your nervous system's condition right in your face! No lies, no visualizations or fantasies of amazing high level divine energies ;) It shows the autonomic nervous system in real-time and teaches how to breathe to harmonize it.

I bought mine for 149$.

 

No,

Shen is translated as Spirit.

Heart Mind is translated as Hsin.

 

Not sure if this link will work: but is a link to page 74 of the book the power of internal martial arts. End of page. As scanned by google books.

aha, Xin. Very interesting concept! I need to look more into that. I really like the concept that it is not the conscious mind that does the "moving" of qi, but some deeper mind. I have become very anti-visualization these last years because of the superficiality and limitations of visualization, since it is being controlled by the waking everyday-mind. So Hsin might seem to be what I try to understand instead.

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yeah, its getting more and more fun everyday. I thought it was mostly for teaching noobs to breathe, but it really could be very interesting for more experienced meditators also. You get your nervous system's condition right in your face! No lies, no visualizations or fantasies of amazing high level divine energies ;) It shows the autonomic nervous system in real-time and teaches how to breathe to harmonize it.

I bought mine for 149$.

 

ok, I have ordered it.

It should take a couple of weeks since I'm in Portugal. Amazon would not even consider selling it here: I had to go to another website. We shall see :)

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I had no idea what Zhan Zhuang was until I actually looked into it and realized I had been practicing it as taught by Master Chu at www.chutaichi.com and www.neikungla.com Is this right? Here Emracing the Horse is similar to Embracing the Tree,

 

Nei Kung

1.Embracing the Horse

2.Riding the Wild Horse

3.Playing the P'i' P'a'

4.Compass

5.Double Dragons Leap from the Sea

6.Rhinoceros Gazes at the Moon

7.Ride the Tiger

8.Phoenix Spread Wings

9.Hitting the Tiger

10.Owl Turns Head

 

It took me two years of Embracing Horse for 15-45 minutes a day, before anything really started to happen. But then the MCO opened up rather ubruptly.

Edited by Blasto

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Truly inspiring to read part of this posted subject (just the beginning 4 or 5 posts)

 

The two days in a row I felt serious about practicing standing mediation and doing so far... only makes me want to do it further.

 

truly inspiring.

 

peace,

wt

 

P.S. just when i planned not to do standing meditation tomorrow morning for the third day in a row... once again truly inspiring.

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Can anyone show photos of the difference between Zhan Zhuang and Wuji? I am confused as to what the difference between them is.

 

Zhan Zhuang isn't the name of a single posture, it's just the umbrella term for series of them, the same goes for wuji.

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Awesome thread, i've done a little 'holding the ball' practice years ago, but this thread has really inspired me to get into it again. I also practice Kriya Yoga, and have been doing it standing up over the last week or two after doing wuji gong, and it's been really quite amazing in grounding and opening up some blockages i've been working through. My standing Kriya practice has usually been about 20-30 minutes, so i'm hoping i can just drop straight into a good long Zhan Zhuang (although i expect it will be quite different simply cultivating emptiness).

 

Thanks!

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No,

Shen is translated as Spirit.

Heart Mind is translated as Hsin.

Pietro and Sheng Zhen,

 

As Frantzis uses the term, Heart-Mind is the same as Shen:

 

On a human level, intent is normal intent but then the Heart-Mind is a phrase that is used both in Buddhism and Taoism. Taoism sometimes doesn't use the word Heart-Mind and sometimes uses the word spirit (shen). Buddhists always use Heart-Mind, Taoist sometimes use Heart-Mind and sometimes use spirit, but the fact is that they're interchangeable. I tend to use the term Heart-Mind because Buddhism is better known in the West, and I prefer to use common terms.

(from http://www.energyarts.com/Articles/Bruce-s...t-2-Intent.html )

 

When you hear about xin (hsin) in most TCM or Taoist circles, they are talking about the monkey mind, or emotion driven mind. This is not at all what Frantzis means when he talks about the Heart-Mind.

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Hi Baguakid,

 

That is *really* interesting! How long would he have to practice in order to see some of this waste come out his feet? Did you ever see this with your own practice? Any recommended resources for this detoxification art?

Did he ever use his art in conjunction with herbal detox regimes?

Cheers,

R

 

An added benefit of Wuji (hands down by sides) is detoxification.

 

Damp, cold Qi is led out of the body through Yong Quan point.

 

 

The whole purpose of his art is to detoxify and build qi. He taught me what he called Embryonic Zhan Zhuang. A static position for the purpose of detoxifying and building internal strength.

Oh, more about this guy. He would show me his feet on occasion when I came to class and you could see the damp garbage which was coming out of his body through his feet. Very interesting.

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Pietro and Sheng Zhen,

 

As Frantzis uses the term, Heart-Mind is the same as Shen:

(from http://www.energyarts.com/Articles/Bruce-s...t-2-Intent.html )

 

When you hear about xin (hsin) in most TCM or Taoist circles, they are talking about the monkey mind, or emotion driven mind. This is not at all what Frantzis means when he talks about the Heart-Mind.

 

How interesting.

 

With Bruce we have learned about the 8 energy bodies, and some of those were called Jing, some Chi and some Shen. And of course the last two were called Wu and Tao.

And so we learned on how to dissolve those energy bodies, although of course each of us picked only as much as he could.

 

And then we learned about the heart mind. As related with the middle tan tien. But we learned about this in a different cotext. With different practices. Practices to open the heart mind, to think from the heart mind, to greet from the heart mind, and to dissolve the heart mind.

Which of course would suggest that the Heart Mind was indeed the Shen.

But you see we also learned techniques to dissolve both in the heart mind and in the eight bodies. At the same time.

 

Hmmm.

So the answer is that I am not convinced that when Bruce presented us those techniques he was speaking about the same thing as when he says that some of the bodies are the Shen of a person.

 

My sensation, as someone who does not know, but who have been in touch with those experiences is that when Bruce speaks about the Heart Mind he speaks about something more precise than when he speaks about Shen. Shen is somehow a general term for Spirit.

 

And as I write this, I remember a phrase that Bruce use to say a lot: "the mind inside your mind".

Maybe that is the difference between Shen and Heart Mind.

So, definitely not the same thing. But since this is in contradiction with what Bruce stated, let me please inquire further.

 

I mean, Bruce in his book distinguishes between chi and Chi, as one meaning the chi of something, and the second meaning the Universal Chi. And we know that shen and Shen have at least two different meanings (spirit as ghost, and spirit as Spirit). I wouldn't be surprised to discover that there is also a Spirit heart Mind, and a Spirit normal Mind.

 

I'll get back to you.

Edited by Pietro

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How interesting.

...

I'll get back to you.

Yes, jing, chi, and shen all have a world of different meanings, causing no end of confusion to practitioners of all stripes.

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Yes, jing, chi, and shen all have a world of different meanings, causing no end of confusion to practitioners of all stripes.

Ok, so I asked, and in half an hour of skype conversation I received no less than 5 different answers. All of which are probably true to some degree. The final admission was: well, I don't know how you are going to explain all this to the Tao Bums. :-D

 

So, let's see what I can remember.

The first point is that those words come from different sub-traditions. One of the thing that Bruce said in that article is that Taoist prefer to speak about Shen than about heart mind. Well the first interesting thing is that this is "false" according to what we have seen about Taoism. I mean there is plenty of Taoists that speaks about Hsin. So what is Bruce referring to here? Assuming that we are right in our evaluation about Taoists around, then the possibilities would only be 3. Either he is mistaken, or he is lying, or what he is saying is referring to the oral tradition he was made part of. Remember that when Bruce speaks about Taoism he is often referring to "Taoism" as something different from "Neo-Taoism". And if Hsin is very much in the dictionary of Buddhists, then it's probably in the dictionary of Neo-Taoists... and so he might be referring to that. In which case the unity of Shen and Taoism is more an element internal to his tradition. And not necessarily something you will find around.

 

second point: who cares. Words don't mean anything, words are only gates to experiences. So with the word Shen you might refer to an experience, with the word Hsin you might refer to a different experience. I personally connect the word Shen with some experiences (many of which took place while I was in my HT years). While I connect the word Hsin to other experiences. Are those experiences different for me? Hell, yes! But maybe Bruce is right, and they are ultimately the same, huge, elephant.

 

third point: it's a matter of nuances.

 

fourth point: I always forget the fourth point.

 

fifth point: Bruce started teaching, and the first 10 years were his Jing phase, where he was teaching more about the physical body. Now he is in his Chi period. Where he teaches more meditation and chi practices. Eventually he is preparing himself for his Shen period. Now we don't know what is he going to teach in this period. If he wasn't able to absolutely blow my mind in the most unexpected ways every time I saw him, I probably would not be so fond of him. But since he is, I have stopped guessing. In any case during the Shen period we shall learn the meaning of the word Shen in his oral tradition. And the difference, if there is any, between Shen and Hsin.

 

to wrap it up:

Bruce might use the words Hsin and Shen interchangebly, but since with me he was quite consistent in his use of the work Hsin, by now I have associated the word Hsin with some experiences, and the word Shen with others, so for now I will keep on differentiating between the two. Sue me ;-) !

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Pietro,

 

Not only do jing, chi, and shen have multiple meanings (big example: Frantzis' chi vs. Chi, also jing as semen versus any form of energy relating to the first two bodies), but xin does too. In Yang Jwing-Ming's books, written from a TCM and martial arts perspective, xin means the "emotional mind", relating to desires and all that, and then the yi (as in qi follows yi) is the "wisdom mind", relating to intelligence and intention.

 

If you were talking about this stuff for an hour, did the other meaning of xin come up?

 

I think it is an issue of language barrier. All languages use the same word for very different but kind-of related things. These distinctions aren't just nitpicking, they are really completely different things, but they are somehow analogous or related enough to merit using the same word.

 

So there are two issues: Making proper distinctions between different meanings of the same Chinese word in order to avoid ambiguity, and actually experiencing the things the word refers to so you understand the distinction and relation on a level that is more than intellectual. Actually, as you pointed out, it is not just a matter of understanding Chinese, but understanding how different groups used the Chinese words in their own specialized way. Yikes.

 

Who did you have an hour long skype conversation with this about?

Edited by Creation

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Guest sykkelpump

heartmind is subconcious mind or intuitive mind

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