Fu_dog

Flying Phoenix Chi Kung

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comment on five standing short forms:   Mid- year 17 I started a period of doing all five forms intending to do 100 days.. various interruptions ended that effort at about 70 days.   During that period,  however,  I did set a goal to move toward slower practice.  By the end  of  the period  almost all practice periods were longer than 30 minutes.  In general  #1 was about 6 min duration, #2   the shortest at 5 min, #3 6 to 7 min,  #4 - 8 min and # 5  at 8+ the longest.  The order of practice changed  1,3,5,2,4:  2,4,1,3,5  3, 1, 4, 2, 5 and 4, 3, 2, 1, 5. If the length of first breath is ranked  then 7 , 8, 8, 9, 9 is  1,3,5,2,4 !  During that time i also practiced  #5  alone as an occasional warm up  for the long form. 

Currently  I am doing a little more yi quan /zhan zhuang and chen style silk reeling .  This has been a nice change of pace and resulted in several slow and long practice of the long form as noted recently.

 

Peace and energy and health to all contributors to the spread of Flying Phoenix qi gong.

 

ridingtheox

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after completing fed income tax today   practiced  5 standing short forms.  38 min  #1 5.5 min, #2 5.75 min, #3 8.8 min, #4 8 min and #5 10 min.   #3 may have a time issue ... did have to start it twice  ... long distance phone from son interrupted at the beginning

 

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On 3/8/2018 at 7:59 AM, zen-bear said:

DSCB57,

 

The 5 advanced seated Flying PHoenix meditations taught on the Volume 7 DVD and the 6 more basic seated meditations on Volume 2 are all part of the complete set of 28 meditations collectively known as "Monk Serves Wine".  All of the 24 "Monk Serves Wine" meditations (outside of the 3 "warmup" meditations on Vol.2 and a long 22-movement seated FP meditatoin) are done in sets of 7 repetitions. The MSW meditations on Vol. 7 do NOT have any corresponding static standing meditations on any other volume.  They are can be done with any of the standing FP Meditation.  The MSW Meditations on Volume 7 do not correspond to and are not necessarily done with any particular standing FP mediation.

 

Four points to remember:

1.  All of the FP Meditations--standing and seated--are synergistic with one another.

2.  Again, the Long Form STanding Meditation on Vol.4 (FPHHCM) is the capstone exercise that subsumes the practice of all the

      preceding standing FP Meditiatons.

3.  If one has the time, one should all the FP Meditations to an equal extent.

 

I can see the various elements of all the previous meditations contained in each of the Volume 7 meditations, but it seems that aside from the Volume 4 Long form, there is no equivalent standing meditation form at the same level as Volume 7's seated meditations. Is this because Volume 6 was withdrawn?

NO. You are trying to construct or attribute too much organization in the FP Qigong system.  As stated above,  The goal and guiding principle is to practice all of the FP meditatoins (standing and seated) to an equal extent)

The meditations on Volume 6 were not Flying Phoenix Meditations.  I withdrew the title because those meditations, which I did out o inspiration when I was in STonehenge, England in 1995, were are are  too powerful to be taught without in-person supervision.

 

I hope this clarifies and leads to better and more regular practice.

 

Sifu Terry Dunn

 

 

www.taichimania.com/chikung_catalog.html

 

 

Thank you Sifu, yes this will be helpful in my practice. I do appreciate more and more how subtly the Volume 4 meditation subsumes the content of the previous meditations, as well as those on Volume 7. I apologize for my late reply. I will explain this and more in a subsequent post which I will direct toward every forum member.

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Sifu Dunn and everyone here. Please bear with me, as I feel the need to explain something which will possibly allow you to understand why I find it necessary to write as I do. I understand that this form of expression may have been a cause of annoyance or that many of you may have misinterpreted this for something else, and I certainly feel this very often, as though people here actually resent my contributions. There is a great deal more I would like to have contributed here, and I feel I have a lot to share, but am very reticent to do so, because I have the impression that I am barely tolerated and considered a nuisance to be ignored in the hope that I will go away and disappear.

 

I have discovered that I suffer from a condition recently named 'Aphantasia' (the condition was already known and to some extent recognized in the 1880s, but has only recently been given a name and become the object of rigourous , although as yet rather limited scientific investigation).

 

This condition basically means that the 2% of the human race who suffer from this have their brains wired in such a way as to totally preclude the ability to in any way use the faculty of visualization or imagination. This not only affects the sense of inner sight, but also touch, taste, smell, and in some cases even that of sound. 

What this means for me is that my only means of remembering anything, whether it may be something I have perceived or otherwise experienced is by means of my inner dialogue, because once I close my eyes, for me this world ceases to exist. There is nothing more than darkness and my inner dialogue (and physical and energetic sense perceptions) - the voice of my consciousness, if you will. 

So if I want to be able to remember anything, I have to go through a process of meticulously and precisely describing my experiences and perceptions to myself as one would need to to a non-sighted person, otherwise, I have no means of remembering anything. The moment after seeing something or hearing, touching, smelling or tasting it, nothing remains of that experience beyond what I have committed to memory via my internal dialogue. This reflects upon my way of expressing myself both verbally and in written form, and I apologize for this, although I cannot expect anyone with a functioning inner eye or the power to imagine to understand.

It also means that when I write, it takes me hours of reading and re-reading in order to ensure that I have committed everything necessary both to paper and to memory. It can be an exhausting process. It also means that I require a considerably more extensive amount of descriptive language input in order to grasp an idea or concept which for anyone non-aphantasic would be supplemented by their imagination, thus bridging the intellectual gap. It also means that my mind is considerably more active in this continuous process of interpretation of the world via my inner dialogue.

Let me give you an example: I am sure that for most of you, you take it for granted that when someone talks about 'counting sheep' in order to get to sleep, you will know what that means, and be able to experience it at will. Someone with aphantasia is only able to conceptualize what that means, but I cannot possibly actually understand what it means or experience this. As they say, if you want to know what ice-cream tastes like, then you need to actually taste ice-cream - there is no substitute. Well, we aphantasics cannot taste that ice-cream, figuratively speaking, because we simply lack the neurological wiring to enable us to do so. Another example would be if you were to ask me to form a mental picture of a scene such as a sunset setting over the ocean. My inner dialogue can piece together descriptions of what that might be like, but I have no ability whatsoever to perceive any sort of mental image of that scene, so any form of meditative contemplation requiring holding a mental image is impossible for me. The only way for me to remember a number with more than three figures is to hear it with my internal dialogue. 

If I do not remember the name of the street where I parked my car, I have no inner map to guide me, and spend much of my life getting lost and losing objects.

I am not asking for sympathy, as much in the same way as other senses will be augmented in a person who has lost any of their senses, our brains find alternative pathways to achieve the tasks we need to perform, and so in some ways this condition could be considered a gift, and in fact a considerable amount of aphantasics are considered highly gifted - nature's compensation perhaps... For example there is nothing but my inner dialogue to interfere during meditation, so I am able to enter into very profound states of consciousness relatively quickly and easily. 

Conversely, the breath sequencing system used in FPCK is very difficult for me, because the bliss experience interferes with my inner dialogue, and I have no way to remember which breath I am on and often have to start over. It also means that in order to remember the meditation forms, they must be committed to muscle memory, but if I leave sufficient time between practice sessions to forget any part of the form, then I will have to relearn it, thus I have probably forgotten more IMA and Gongfu forms than most people have learned in a lifetime, and they are gone forever, because there is no means to recall them from memory. Perhaps you can imagine how frustrating a life like this can be, and how this can lead to severe depression?

 

I hope this goes some way to explaining the tone, linguistic content and length of my written contributions here and elsewhere, as well as explaining why I find it necessary to ask so many questions and enter into so much detail. Thank you all for hearing me out.

 

David

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Posted (edited)

David,

 

Hang in there and do what you do.  Worry less about what other people think.  I may check in now and then and ask you questions, if that is okay with you.

Edited by moment
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8 hours ago, moment said:

David,

 

Hang in there and do what you do.  Worry less about what other people think.  I may check in now and then and ask you questions, if that is okay with you.

Thank you for your support Moment. No problem regarding any questions - ask away! By the way, my comments did not refer to something imaginary regarding peoples' attitude toward me here. I was literally completely ignored, despite having made a considerable effort to contribute. Even the most supercilious or superficial comments from other members were acknowledged and answered with gusto. In fact, I only received a single pm, nothing more whatsoever. Let's see whether anyone aside from you responds to my last post and whether it actually changes anything. 

David

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David,

 

I`m not a Flying Phoenix practitioner, so it`s not my response you`re looking for here, but I want to say that I read the post above and like your manner of expressing yourself.

 

LL

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Posted (edited)

DSCB57,

 

For my part, I think it sucks that you've felt rejected somehow by the conversation in this thread, but I honestly don't think you should take it to reflect anything about you as an individual, and I certainly can't imagine any reason someone would actively "resent" your contributions. There are a lot of reasons that a certain post or series of posts might not get the level of response you were hoping for, and if you link to specific examples I'd be happy to try and both evaluate why that might be and to rectify it to whatever ability I have (I'm currently typing on my tablet, and trying to navigate back through long discussions on this thing is a nightmare, especially since the browser likes to crash whenever I open more than two tabs simultaneously).

 

Personally, I've also had plenty of times where I've posted long, thought-out pieces of content, sometimes things which I'm quite invested in, and not received a reply, or the level of response I hoped for or expected, both in this thread and in other locations. Partly this is just the nature of the internet as a medium. A bit of seeming arbitrariness comes with the limits of a time delayed, remotely-located, text-based medium.

 

Partly it's that this thread is, at the end of the day, a community of sorts, even if a very loose-knit, free-flowing kind. This doesn't mean that new members are unwelcome, far from it, but it does mean that regulars are going to get receive more frequent and detailed communication - not necessarily because of their personal traits or virtues as posters, or any lack thereof, but simply because communities are built on repeated interaction and reciprocity.

 

If I see a post from someone like Earl Grey or Tao Stillness (to name the first two regular and recent contributors to come to mind), then I know that if I reply to it, my response will very likely receive a reply in turn, and engender an exchange of ideas and experiences which will benefit all participants and the tone of the dialogue here in general. This is because they've been posting regularly for a while now and we've had these kinds of exchanges before. There's also a degree of shared experience as practitioners have been moving through the same system of training over a shared period of time which creates common ground and makes discussion and exchanges flow more easily. 

 

On the flip side, to provide a counter example that I think proves the point, Sifu Terry made an excellent post in reply to my discussion with him about sleep and training, and I've gone two weeks without responding to it (admittedly, feeling somewhat guilty :P ). This obviously has nothing to do with my opinions of Sifu Terry  or the content of his post. It's a combination of the fact that I've had an insanely chaotic 2 weeks which hasn't allowed for much time on forums (and that I spend less time on daobums in general these days than I once did), that I've been experimenting with different ways of implementing the advice and concepts  he discussed into my training, and that I want to make sure I sit down and do his post justice in my reply, and I haven't had the chance to do that yet due to aforementioned personal business and focus on training. 

 

Point being, sometimes the level of response you get really doesn't have anything to do with you or your posts. Obviously I didn't neglect to reply to Sifu Terry because I dislike him or felt his post was somehow unworthy.

 

 I'm not trying to be dismissive, since I've been in exactly your position in other communities and know the feeling very well, just saying that the lesson I took away from that experience was that sometimes it really isn't you - don't overthink it :) 

 

Anyway I was sincere in my offer to try my best to respond to any particular posts you feel have been neglected if I can offer insight into their content, so if you read this feel free to reply with links or to PM them to me and I'll get back to you (although I can't guarantee I'll be immediate doing so, my life has mellowed in the last couple days, but I still have a backlog of correspondences and, as I said, simply don't spend as much time online as I once did).

 

Regarding the rest of your post, three points:

 

- "because the bliss experience interferes with my inner dialogue, and I have no way to remember which breath I am on and often have to start over" I have the exact same experience, and I can state for a fact that I have fairly vivid and active (excessively, from the complaints of my old school teachers) visual and imaginary faculties, so I'm not sure that this one is related to your aphantasia. I find that the breath sequences cause me to sink into mental quiet incredibly quickly, and that it's a bit of a tight-rope act maintaining enough concentration to remember where I'm up to in the breathing sequence. For a decent chunk of time I'd get lost and have to restart probably every second or third meditation.

 

As an interesting aside, a side effect of this is that I simply cannot practice FP while listening to certain pieces of music, because they draws my attention in a way which breaks this tight-rope concentration instantly. I tried practising to Glass's Metamorphosis once, a piece of music I otherwise enjoy, and it ruined my attention so thoroughly that I took I think 3 attempts to get through the breath sequence, and even then it was an ordeal to try and relax and go through with the meditation with the music playing.

 

On the other hand, lately I've been obsessed with practising to Clint Mansell's soundtrack for The Fountain, and I have no idea why one would destroy my concentration while the other immediately calms and relaxes me and enhances my FP meditation experience, despite not being massively dissimilar pieces of music (to my amateur understanding).

 

- You've got me curious, how on earth is such a condition recognised and diagnosed? And what is dreaming like for you?

 

- I hope you keep posting, if only because I'm very interested in what happens when you reach the stage in your FP practice where most people start experiencing fairly intense and consistent visual phenomenon. I don't know how heavily you've trained so far, but I know that meditations such as MGAM and MSW1 engender all kinds of interesting visual experiences form me, both open and closed eyed and during and after the meditations, and I'm definitely neither the longest nor most consist practitioner here. Likewise, to tie back to my earlier question about dreaming, the MSW meditations have a profound effect on my dreams, and if your dream experience is in fact different as a result of aphantasia (as I imagine it must be), I'd be interested to know how your experiences of these effects of the meditations are also different.

 

In summary, please keep posting, if only to satisfy my selfish curiosity :P And again - don't overthink it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Aeran
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On 3/12/2018 at 4:13 PM, DSCB57 said:

Thank you for your support Moment. No problem regarding any questions - ask away! By the way, my comments did not refer to something imaginary regarding peoples' attitude toward me here. I was literally completely ignored, despite having made a considerable effort to contribute. Even the most supercilious or superficial comments from other members were acknowledged and answered with gusto. In fact, I only received a single pm, nothing more whatsoever. Let's see whether anyone aside from you responds to my last post and whether it actually changes anything. 

David

 

Happy trails!:D

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14 hours ago, Aeran said:

As an interesting aside, a side effect of this is that I simply cannot practice FP while listening to certain pieces of music, because they draws my attention in a way which breaks this tight-rope concentration instantly. I tried practising to Glass's Metamorphosis once, a piece of music I otherwise enjoy, and it ruined my attention so thoroughly that I took I think 3 attempts to get through the breath sequence, and even then it was an ordeal to try and relax and go through with the meditation with the music playing.

Interesting i just completed 5 standing short forms practiced to  Glass' Metamorphosis 39:50 total time,   I have also practiced to the score of "The Hours".   Music that somehow expresses a repetitive pattern like the breath and heart basic physiological rhythmic processes.  For me it was an extraordinary practice. 

I hope this is the beginning of a hundred day  gong for the short forms ...  currently day 7  keep your fingers crossed for me 

 

Peace ... Hoa Binh

 

charlie

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17 hours ago, Aeran said:

DSCB57,

 

For my part, I think it sucks that you've felt rejected somehow by the conversation in this thread, but I honestly don't think you should take it to reflect anything about you as an individual, and I certainly can't imagine any reason someone would actively "resent" your contributions. There are a lot of reasons that a certain post or series of posts might not get the level of response you were hoping for, and if you link to specific examples I'd be happy to try and both evaluate why that might be and to rectify it to whatever ability I have (I'm currently typing on my tablet, and trying to navigate back through long discussions on this thing is a nightmare, especially since the browser likes to crash whenever I open more than two tabs simultaneously).

First of all, a sincere thank you for taking the time to reply so fully and openly. Regarding the reason I felt my contributions to have been resented - I simply spoke my truth when I recounted my experiences last year when I had been training in FPCK for a while.

I wrote about the time it was taking me to complete each section of each meditation, and I knew that no-one believed me, and had the distinct impression that my answer was viewed as being in search of praise or perhaps looking to boost my ego.

In fact it was a real issue for me, as it still is, due to the fact that at such a slow pace I would literally need all day to complete all the meditations, and at that point if memory serves me, I was only practicing Volumes 1 and 2, possibly 3 as well, so you can imagine what it is like now that I have included Volume 4 and 7...Sifu Dunn did eventually provide me with a full reply, but by that time I had lost track of the original content when I originally posed my questions and was in turn then unable to reply. 

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

Personally, I've also had plenty of times where I've posted long, thought-out pieces of content, sometimes things which I'm quite invested in, and not received a reply, or the level of response I hoped for or expected, both in this thread and in other locations. Partly this is just the nature of the internet as a medium. A bit of seeming arbitrariness comes with the limits of a time delayed, remotely-located, text-based medium.

That is to be expected, but my point is that this was an issue which was actually interfering with my training, or my ability to do so in a confident manner. I don't need hand-holding, and have many years of various types of Qigong cultivation under my belt. But when I ask for help is because I really need it. 

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

Partly it's that this thread is, at the end of the day, a community of sorts, even if a very loose-knit, free-flowing kind. This doesn't mean that new members are unwelcome, far from it, but it does mean that regulars are going to get receive more frequent and detailed communication - not necessarily because of their personal traits or virtues as posters, or any lack thereof, but simply because communities are built on repeated interaction and reciprocity.

I am far from being a new member. In fact I was a well known and regular contributor under a different name since several years ago - albeit not specifically on this particular thread, but due to a glitch in the system I lost my identity and was forced to adopt this one fairly recently, and was also unable to change my name to the original one - it wasn't for want of trying. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the name I used, and so am unable to access my previous posts to various sub forums.

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

If I see a post from someone like Earl Grey or Tao Stillness (to name the first two regular and recent contributors to come to mind), then I know that if I reply to it, my response will very likely receive a reply in turn, and engender an exchange of ideas and experiences which will benefit all participants and the tone of the dialogue here in general. This is because they've been posting regularly for a while now and we've had these kinds of exchanges before. There's also a degree of shared experience as practitioners have been moving through the same system of training over a shared period of time which creates common ground and makes discussion and exchanges flow more easily. 

Precisely...and I see no reason why I should not have been included with those contributors, but as you can see I was not.

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

On the flip side, to provide a counter example that I think proves the point, Sifu Terry made an excellent post in reply to my discussion with him about sleep and training, and I've gone two weeks without responding to it (admittedly, feeling somewhat guilty :P ). This obviously has nothing to do with my opinions of Sifu Terry  or the content of his post. It's a combination of the fact that I've had an insanely chaotic 2 weeks which hasn't allowed for much time on forums (and that I spend less time on daobums in general these days than I once did), that I've been experimenting with different ways of implementing the advice and concepts  he discussed into my training, and that I want to make sure I sit down and do his post justice in my reply, and I haven't had the chance to do that yet due to aforementioned personal business and focus on training. 

Yes, I have also been in that situation with regard to replying to responses from Sifu Dunn,  but this is compounded for me by the amount of time it takes me to compose a reply like this one, which is part of what I intended explaining in my long post. It really does take me several hours, this is no exaggeration, and sometimes I simply cannot face it, particularly when I asked a great many questions, and after a lengthy time receive a reply. It is just too difficult for me to remember everything pertinent to the original post I wrote after a significant amount of time has passed.

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

Point being, sometimes the level of response you get really doesn't have anything to do with you or your posts. Obviously I didn't neglect to reply to Sifu Terry because I dislike him or felt his post was somehow unworthy.

 

 I'm not trying to be dismissive, since I've been in exactly your position in other communities and know the feeling very well, just saying that the lesson I took away from that experience was that sometimes it really isn't you - don't overthink it :) 

I take your point, but in this particular instance I believe my case is an exception, and my posts can demonstrate this to be a fact because I offered information on the thread which was ignored, while the posts immediately following mine on the same subject were all answered with much gratitude, as though I had written absolutely nothing...

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

Anyway I was sincere in my offer to try my best to respond to any particular posts you feel have been neglected if I can offer insight into their content, so if you read this feel free to reply with links or to PM them to me and I'll get back to you (although I can't guarantee I'll be immediate doing so, my life has mellowed in the last couple days, but I still have a backlog of correspondences and, as I said, simply don't spend as much time online as I once did).

Thank you for your offer. I will try and sift through the posts and provide you with the links, particularly since I still find myself affected by the same issues I was posting about. Sifu Dunn did respond to me, by the way, but he was the only one to do so, aside from a single pm I received from another member. 

Failing that, I could simply post the page containing my contributions to this thread since the date I joined it, and you can then see my posts in context and see how the majority were totally ignored.

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

Regarding the rest of your post, three points:

 

- "because the bliss experience interferes with my inner dialogue, and I have no way to remember which breath I am on and often have to start over" I have the exact same experience, and I can state for a fact that I have fairly vivid and active (excessively, from the complaints of my old school teachers) visual and imaginary faculties, so I'm not sure that this one is related to your aphantasia. I find that the breath sequences cause me to sink into mental quiet incredibly quickly, and that it's a bit of a tight-rope act maintaining enough concentration to remember where I'm up to in the breathing sequence. For a decent chunk of time I'd get lost and have to restart probably every second or third meditation.

 

Thank you, that is the sort of feedback I need. It would be interesting if other practitioners were to pick up on this point and also provide some feedback as to whether they too were experiencing this, and how they managed to deal with this?
 

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

As an interesting aside, a side effect of this is that I simply cannot practice FP while listening to certain pieces of music, because they draws my attention in a way which breaks this tight-rope concentration instantly. I tried practising to Glass's Metamorphosis once, a piece of music I otherwise enjoy, and it ruined my attention so thoroughly that I took I think 3 attempts to get through the breath sequence, and even then it was an ordeal to try and relax and go through with the meditation with the music playing. 
 

If I were to try listening to music during meditation, I suspect it would lead to sensory overload, quite aside from the experience you describe. In any case, I don't subscribe to the idea of introducing anything from the illusory world we are supposedly freeing our consciousness from - it  seems to me to be defeating the entire object of practicing anything other than a watered down New Age approach to meditation.
 

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

On the other hand, lately I've been obsessed with practising to Clint Mansell's soundtrack for The Fountain, and I have no idea why one would destroy my concentration while the other immediately calms and relaxes me and enhances my FP meditation experience, despite not being massively dissimilar pieces of music (to my amateur understanding).

 

- You've got me curious, how on earth is such a condition recognised and diagnosed? And what is dreaming like for you?

Primarily, Professor Zeman from the University of Exeter Medical School, the man who actually named the condition Aphantasia, following a study on the topic decided to ask the public to fill out questionnaires dealing with the ability to visualize, and was very surprised to receive communications from around 10,000 people who suspected that they were experiencing Aphantasia. This was in the UK alone in a single year. These questionnaires investigate to what extent a person is able to use the sensory faculties attributable to mental imagination, and how this manifests, which senses are affected and to what extent.

For many of us it has come as something as a shock, and several were clearly left in shock when they realized that when a non-aphantasic person had been describing their ability to visualize or imagine something - that they were not simply describing some sort of conceptual idea, as it was for us, but rather actually being able to mentally 'see' what they were describing - in many cases just as clearly as they were able to see with their physical eyes. This is really not possible for me to understand, any more than you could expect to be able to explain your sight to a non-sighted person. As I said, an aphantasic person is mentally blind, and incapable of imagining or remembering touch, taste, smell and often sound as well.

Here is a link to an article which expresses this quite well: https://www.facebook.com/notes/blake-ross/aphantasia-how-it-feels-to-be-blind-in-your-mind/10156834777480504/

And a Youtube video in which you can clearly see the state of confusion and shock of the person who uploaded the video:

 

 

So how did these neurologists go about proving that there was actually some physical neurological difference between an aphantasic and a non-aphantasic subject? We already know that using MRI scanning in the process of a subject whilst they are in the process of using the visual imagination, the corresponding areas in the brain light up where such activity is taking place. However what they found to their surprise when examining aphantasic subjects was that none of these areas reacted at all, these parts of their brain simply remained inert, showing conclusively that their brains were neurologically wired differently and did not react to the same stimuli. Indeed the corresponding area was also physically smaller than its counterpart in a non-aphantasic subject.

The investigation of this phenomenon is still in its infancy, but scientists are presently considering direct stimulation of these sensory centres in the brain as a possible way to bring the faculty of visual imagination to aphantasic subjects.

I am in communication with Professor Zeman in order to try and obtain more information and offer any further insights in order to help in these investigations.

It has been established that worldwide, this condition affects 2 - 3% of the human race, but probably the figure is higher, as so many people affected would be unaware of these studies and the fact that the condition had actually been identified - that is if they actually know that their mental process is any different than anyone else's. You will understand more when you read the above article and others. Of these, the majority were born that way, but the first such case was in fact the discovery that a patient had lost their mental sight following heart surgery.

In my own case, I probably lost my mental sight at the age of about 9, and according to my late mother, prior to that had a remarkable photographic memory, no vestige of which now remains.

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

- I hope you keep posting, if only because I'm very interested in what happens when you reach the stage in your FP practice where most people start experiencing fairly intense and consistent visual phenomenon.

This is where things become confusing to me, because I do not know whether the visual phenomenon described is a result of an augmentation of the 'normal' ability to visualize, or the opening of what the Daoists call 'The Celestial Eye' (the Third eye?), perhaps Sifu Dunn wouldn't mind clarifying this point please? I suppose once I do reach that stage, it will be even more obvious than it would be for a non-aphantasic practitioner, but perhaps it cannot manifest in this way in my case.

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

 

I don't know how heavily you've trained so far, but I know that meditations such as MGAM and MSW1 engender all kinds of interesting visual experiences form me, both open and closed eyed and during and after the meditations, and I'm definitely neither the longest nor most consist practitioner here. Likewise, to tie back to my earlier question about dreaming, the MSW meditations have a profound effect on my dreams, and if your dream experience is in fact different as a result of aphantasia (as I imagine it must be), I'd be interested to know how your experiences of these effects of the meditations are also different.

I have been training quite intensively, when you take into account that I began my training something over a year ago, but I am now learning the 4th meditation from Volume 7, having completed Volumes 1 through 4. But I have experienced none of the visual manifestations described by you and others whatsoever. What I do experience are very profound samahdic states and Qi manifestations, probably because I am only capable of immersing myself into those experiences in the absence of the ability to experience any visual manifestations.

Regarding dreaming no, in fact many Aphantasic subjects have quite normal dreams, subject to the variations in clarity which affect people in general. However the ability to maintain any visual memory of the dream once awake is often nil. I certainly have been dreaming more since I have been practicing FPCK, but the only visual imagery I have ever had aside from the use of psychedelics is the shape of an eye appearing at times in front of my brow, and I perceive this in a violet or blue colour. But it has happened very rarely and does not last long.

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

In summary, please keep posting, if only to satisfy my selfish curiosity :P And again - don't overthink it.

That will depend on the effect of these posts. Unless other members make it known that they are interested in my future contributions, it really would not be worth the hours of effort each post necessitates, so don't count on my continuing contribution.

17 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The other week, I learned the long form Monk Serves Wine in what began as a one-hour session that quickly became two hours because of the awe-inspiring turn of events that transpired in my session with Sifu Terry.

 

It was just after he had posted to do the flash meditations as slowly as possible, which I had begun doing weeks before. We began our session and he was delighted to see how quickly I picked up on the form, but no more than I was due to the immense bliss (as Tao Stillness would describe) that I experienced doing the form, even before learning the breath control sequence and divided by sections at a time. Upon learning the form, we practiced several times with the breath control sequence and on the last one, something wonderful happened. I saw a blue sapphire gem and golden chains around it, then afterwards, a Buddhist stupa similar to the ones outside of the Javanese temple of Borobodur, and outside in front of it was either White Tara or Kuan Yin standing in a pillar of light. Sifu Terry said I just may very well have been initiated, but I do not know into what, and he recommended I reconnect with the being who came during our session or to talk with Eric Isen to see who this is and what this means.

 

Since that session, my average for the flash meditations slowed down, and now is anywhere from 4-6. 

 

There is also now a sphere or egg-shaped object I feel energetically that automatically corrects my form in Flying Phoenix and I see it carry over to my Tai Chi and Liuhebafa training. It is as though I am manipulating a sphere within, around, and in front of me at all times
whenever I move.

Also, during Temple Guardian Standing at Entrance (a Bok Fu Pai form for those who don't know), a friend came by and saw me standing there and began doing Zhan Zhuang Embrace the Tree in front of me, then said something strange about me was going on as
he observed. My skull became deeper and face became wolf-like, as my eyes were closed but looked like they were open and piercing him. How interesting. In previous sessions when we would all stand in a circle for basic Zhan Zhuang, he and another student would observe things like my hair becoming golden (not blond, but gold) and eyes and face changing or body size increasing, or seeing my body look like it was the cosmos, as though they could enter my body and float amongst the stars. This time in particular was interesting because it wasn't even 15 minutes, and the things he and everyone else would see would be around the one hour mark.

This now more than ever makes me want to learn more Bok Fu Pai from Volume 6 (and the whole system while I am at it) and both versions from BFP and FP of the form with the same name Child Praying to Goddess for Mercy. I was also excited because I
did the fifth flash meditation that was the Bat Din Gum form and after doing it for six minutes it felt like my body hardened and had been doing Iron Shirt Qigong.

 

Yesterday, I also reached a milestone for practice of the long form. I began my afternoon session after a long nap with Basic Seated Meditation 5% 60% 80% 40% 30% (which I nicknamed "Tuning The Universal Intellect") for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, I did the flash meditations from volume 5 in order, and averaged 4.5 minutes to 6 or 7 minutes each. I then did long form MSW at about 11 minutes, then for standing long form from volume 5, I thought I would get a good 10-12 minutes for my average before my afternoon appointment, as I wasn't sure if I would move slow enough to beat my best previous time of 16 minutes. I opened my eyes after moving as slowly and gracefully as possible while allowing the form to do itself, and found myself shocked to see that I did the form in 24.5 minutes. 

 

I am about ready to consider draining my credit cards and sell things I have to get more sessions with Sifu Terry and keep learning more advanced practices. :) 

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This is where things become confusing to me, because I do not know whether the visual phenomenon described is a result of an augmentation of the 'normal' ability to visualize, or the opening of what the Daoists call 'The Celestial Eye' (the Third eye?), perhaps Sifu Dunn wouldn't mind clarifying this point please? I suppose once I do reach that stage, it will be even more obvious than it would be for a non-aphantasic practitioner, but perhaps it cannot manifest in this way in my case.

 

I think this issue confuses everyone at some stage or another. I don't know either, and I've seen multiple debates between long term and attained practitioners of various esoteric traditions arguing one side or the other (or somewhere between, or some third point involving the regular visual faculty being enhanced - I've read speculation involving the development of the structure of the eye to allow it to perceive a wider spectrum of input and the like).

 

Ultimately I suspect the distinction becomes meaningless, but arguably, every distinction becomes meaningless in the long run, so that answer is of no help to either of us :/ I too would be very interested in Sifu Terry's input on the subject, but I'm also fairly sure his current schedule at Eastover is jam packed, so we might be waiting a while to hear it  :P

 

Quote

I have been training quite intensively, when you take into account that I began my training something over a year ago, but I am now learning the 4th meditation from Volume 7, having completed Volumes 1 through 4. But I have experienced none of the visual manifestations described by you and others whatsoever. What I do experience are very profound samahdic states and Qi manifestations, probably because I am only capable of immersing myself into those experiences in the absence of the ability to experience any visual manifestations.

 

I would be interested in hearing more about what you do experience, particularly what the "Qi manifestations" are like for you. I've found that while Qi has always been primarily a phenomenon of "feeling," it very quickly takes on visual aspects, either literally (where it appears in certain visual forms in either the minds eye, or in the real world as a part of my regular visual experience) or in a more abstract sense (where I come to mentally associate certain colours and visual imagery with certain "energy sensations").

 

That said, this could be related to the fact that I cut my metaphysical teeth in Western Hermetics, where visualisation is emphasised strongly, and very often taught as a prerequisite skill to more advanced practices (a lot of my first year or two of meditation was spent forming various coloured geometric shapes in my mind's eye :P )

 

 

 

As an example, since I had this topic on my mind when practising earlier, I performed a fairly long session of Bending the Bows when I got home tonight. As I started the breathing sequence, my visual field behind my eyes took on a distinct blue-ish hue, and moving further into the sequences I started seeing sparks of blue flickering and flaring behind my eyelids. This died down after I finished the sequence, and the first 10 minutes or so of the meditation were fairly devoid of visual content (not unusual for BTB - I find other meditations like MGAM far more stimulating on this count). Around what felt like the 10 - 15 minute mark, I started noticing that I could perceive a blue visual outline of my arms as they moved up and down into and out of my field of vision.

 

As the meditation continued, this outline started to swirl and expand and take on a purple/pinkish tinge for a while, sometimes merging entirely when my hands came close to each other, and at other times I would see a white shape matching my limbs on the inside of the blue outline, and I found occasionally that when I held the hands in front of my eyes in the "MGAM position" I would start to see a swirling blue vortex right in the center of my field of vision.

 

When I finished the meditation I found that I could still see a distinct blue outline around my limbs, and now able to move and look around, I noticed I could see it around my entire body if I looked down. Sometimes it would flare out into a wider "aura" shape, although not to the extent that it did during the actual meditation, and sometimes the white outline of my limbs would flash briefly. To see what effect any environmental light might have been having on the experience, I shut off all the lights in my room and got it as close to pitch black as possible (which is pretty close), but this only enhanced the effect and allowed it to continue with my eyes open, at which point I also noticed almost electric looking flashes of white-blue flaring off my fingertips (I have no idea if these were a product of a metaphysical visual faculty or something which would have been visible to an onlooker, although I suspect the former).

 

...and then I went inside and cooked some fish for dinner :)

 

(normally I don't go into this kind of explicit detail about the "cool but weird" side of the training, since there seems to be a taboo against discussing these kinds of personal experiences in online spiritual communities, one which has become ingrained within me despite myself. Perhaps Earl Grey's cheerfully flagrant disregard for this silly convention in his last post has inspired me :P )

 

Quote

Regarding dreaming no, in fact many Aphantasic subjects have quite normal dreams, subject to the variations in clarity which affect people in general. However the ability to maintain any visual memory of the dream once awake is often nil.

 

See, that sounds quite bizarre and surreal to me, because my dreams are very visual experiences (in fact I'd describe them as primarily visual). It's usually my memory of the visual aspect of a dream which remains the most coherent and sticks with me the longest, followed at a distant second by specific sounds and phrases. I have the most difficulty retaining a sense of the passage of time and narrative structure, although this aspect has become far more coherent since I started practicing FP and, especially, since I started practicing assorted MSW meditations before bed.

 

I have only the vaguest conception of what it would be like to remember a dream without retaining any visuals - in fact it doesn't really sound like what I would consider dream retention at all. Any chance you could try to describe it in more detail? You've piqued my curiosity now.

 

Quote

I certainly have been dreaming more since I have been practicing FPCK, but the only visual imagery I have ever had aside from the use of psychedelics is the shape of an eye appearing at times in front of my brow, and I perceive this in a violet or blue colour. But it has happened very rarely and does not last long.

 

I was actually thinking about your post earlier and wondering about the question of psychedelics. That's possibly straying a bit too far afield for this thread though, but I might hit you up in PM for more details tomorrow.

 

Anyway, I fully intend to get back to you on the other points you raised in your post, but it's getting on here, so I'll have to do so later, hopefully tomorrow morning. But I had this subject on my mind quite strongly when I was doing my BTB session earlier, so I wanted to address that particular point while it was fresh in my mind.

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3 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

I think this issue confuses everyone at some stage or another. I don't know either, and I've seen multiple debates between long term and attained practitioners of various esoteric traditions arguing one side or the other (or somewhere between, or some third point involving the regular visual faculty being enhanced - I've read speculation involving the development of the structure of the eye to allow it to perceive a wider spectrum of input and the like).

 

Ultimately I suspect the distinction becomes meaningless, but arguably, every distinction becomes meaningless in the long run, so that answer is of no help to either of us :/ I too would be very interested in Sifu Terry's input on the subject, but I'm also fairly sure his current schedule at Eastover is jam packed, so we might be waiting a while to hear it  :P

So then, we will just have to be patient. I do remember a comment Sifu made a while back intimating that once we become awakened (in the sense of enlightened) we will need no-one to explain anything - or words to that effect. Obviously that is the only way to reach total understanding, avoiding all the pitfalls of incomplete conceptual ideas and misinformation/disinformation, and misunderstanding, which all too often plague us. But to me that is a nebulous concept, almost like putting the carrot in front of our noses, but there is no information about at which stage in the practice of this art such awakening or realization is expected to occur. I presume that one would need to somehow learn the entire system, not only what has been released in DVD format. In other words one would need to be in the financial situation to be able to afford one on one classes with Sifu Dunn and enter what he terms 'a formal apprenticeship'. 

Quote

 

 

I would be interested in hearing more about what you do experience, particularly what the "Qi manifestations" are like for you. I've found that while Qi has always been primarily a phenomenon of "feeling," it very quickly takes on visual aspects, either literally (where it appears in certain visual forms in either the minds eye, or in the real world as a part of my regular visual experience) or in a more abstract sense (where I come to mentally associate certain colours and visual imagery with certain "energy sensations").

Well, despite the FP energy having been described as being cool, I continue to experience it radiating out of my Laugong points as warm energy against my face, and also entering my body - it feels like the radiant heat of the sun. Whenever I bring my middle fingers together in any of the meditations, I can feel a magnetic attraction - that is not quite what it is, but that is the best way I can describe it. In any case, I can feel a substantial amount of resistance when I try to separate my fingers, something I also experience strongly in the final MSW meditation from Volume 2, and any similar movements in other meditations. From the prayer mudra, when I open my hands, this is when I feel the radiance I was describing most, then for example in the 3rd MSW from Volume 7, but also in many other meditations, I can feel the Qi as though I were gathering it from all around me, then drawing it into the LDT. When opening the hands from the prayer mudra outward in several of the meditations at the level of the middle Dantien I also experience a powerful sensation, and also feel my thumbs and first three fingers being drawn together. 

I experience a considerable amount of movement in the Dantien itself, but this started to happen before I began the FPCK, so I don't know whether it is related.

Again in the Volume 7 MSW meditations, as the back of the hand is drawn toward the brow I feel the Qi very strongly in the area of the Upper Dantien and my physical eyes, and at this point I also enter much more deeply in the samahdic state, sometimes to the point that I find I have stopped moving altogether without realizing it. Another movement which seems to create a strong energetic manifestation is again in the 2nd Volume 7 MSW meditation, when the hands move into a position with palms upward, elbows drawn in - the energy radiates from my hands from my neck upward, again affecting the Upper Dantien, but also the entire head, right to the Baihui point. 

I think perhaps the heat is what my body needs, as there is a great deal of cold and damp in my bones. Aside from the sensations I described, there are many more subtle manifestations of energy moving through all the meridians. There is also a considerable buildup of saliva much of the time, which is why I previously asked Sifu about that, because in other types of cultivation one is supposed not to swallow one's saliva before completing the exercise, so that the now refined Qi is then returned to the LDT. But that is not the case in this form of cultivation, according to Sifu's reply. 

The problem is remembering these experiences without being able to write them down, because as I explained, I have to rely on my ability to translate the experience to my inner dialogue, and that stops once I enter the samadhic state - so it's a vicious cycle for me. I have probably forgotten much of what I experienced by the time I come back to normal consciousness after completing each meditation. At one point I was keeping a daily journal, but I am no longer keeping it up to date, there just isn't sufficient time.

An example is that I have only described my experiences with the seated meditations, because I am focusing on practicing these whilst learning the Volume 7 meditations, so I cannot remember the sensations I experience during the standing meditations as I write. All I do remember is the samadhic state, which is common to both standing and seated meditations. 

Quote

 

That said, this could be related to the fact that I cut my metaphysical teeth in Western Hermetics, where visualisation is emphasised strongly, and very often taught as a prerequisite skill to more advanced practices (a lot of my first year or two of meditation was spent forming various coloured geometric shapes in my mind's eye :P )

I tried that back in the day, when I was a member of the Rosicrucian Fellowship. We used to have to work a great deal with Tattvic forms and colours, but aside from working with flashing colours, once we began working with exercises relying purely upon visualization techniques I was completely lost. But I did get to the stage of being able to look at two images of a Tattva geometrical form, then pick up the image created by the flashing colours and transfer it onto the second image (as a complementary colour) and hold it over the second image for a short time. But I found the exercise extremely exhausting. During my previous occult training I was also forced to often stay up all night and perform similar exercises, presumably to help me gain psychic abilities, I'm not sure. It was many years ago.

Quote

 

 

 

As an example, since I had this topic on my mind when practising earlier, I performed a fairly long session of Bending the Bows when I got home tonight. As I started the breathing sequence, my visual field behind my eyes took on a distinct blue-ish hue, and moving further into the sequences I started seeing sparks of blue flickering and flaring behind my eyelids. This died down after I finished the sequence, and the first 10 minutes or so of the meditation were fairly devoid of visual content (not unusual for BTB - I find other meditations like MGAM far more stimulating on this count). Around what felt like the 10 - 15 minute mark, I started noticing that I could perceive a blue visual outline of my arms as they moved up and down into and out of my field of vision.

That is wonderful, but sadly pretty meaningless to me, I'm afraid.

Quote

 

As the meditation continued, this outline started to swirl and expand and take on a purple/pinkish tinge for a while, sometimes merging entirely when my hands came close to each other, and at other times I would see a white shape matching my limbs on the inside of the blue outline, and I found occasionally that when I held the hands in front of my eyes in the "MGAM position" I would start to see a swirling blue vortex right in the center of my field of vision.

 

When I finished the meditation I found that I could still see a distinct blue outline around my limbs, and now able to move and look around, I noticed I could see it around my entire body if I looked down. Sometimes it would flare out into a wider "aura" shape, although not to the extent that it did during the actual meditation, and sometimes the white outline of my limbs would flash briefly. To see what effect any environmental light might have been having on the experience, I shut off all the lights in my room and got it as close to pitch black as possible (which is pretty close), but this only enhanced the effect and allowed it to continue with my eyes open, at which point I also noticed almost electric looking flashes of white-blue flaring off my fingertips (I have no idea if these were a product of a metaphysical visual faculty or something which would have been visible to an onlooker, although I suspect the former).

All this has helped me remember a period during my training a while back when I started to experience seeing everything bathed in a golden light, but it was like seeing everything like the reverse image of a camera. It felt as though rather than perceiving something outside of myself everything was a projection of myself, and I perceived that in this golden light. That lasted quite some time, several months at least, and I remember also that prior to that I spent more than a year with the horrible sensation of having a piece of sticky paper right over my third eye. I don't know how else to describe it, except that it was an extraordinarily uncomfortable sensation which just would not go away. I also experienced a painful pressure in the same area for about the same amount of time. I think that is probably when I began to perceive the violet/blue eye in front of my forehead when my eyes were shut. But I could never actually perceive anything through it. 

Quote

 

...and then I went inside and cooked some fish for dinner :)

 

(normally I don't go into this kind of explicit detail about the "cool but weird" side of the training, since there seems to be a taboo against discussing these kinds of personal experiences in online spiritual communities, one which has become ingrained within me despite myself. Perhaps Earl Grey's cheerfully flagrant disregard for this silly convention in his last post has inspired me :P )

I think one reason for that taboo is the fact that it can cause envy or lead to those unable to have similar experiences being disheartened, which could cause them to give up. The main point however is that it is very rare for any two students to have the same or even similar experiences in the practice of Qigong cultivation. It is not considered good for students to have any expectations of what they are likely to experience in their training, as the mind is quite capable of providing such experiences, but these are not real. This can be very damaging to one's development, which is why the sharing of Qigong experiences is discouraged in many schools. I agree with this.  

For example when I was first taught the MCO around 1988, my Sifu asked me what I was experiencing. He was looking for a very specific sign to show that one of my gates had opened, or was about to open, but he would not tell me any more than that. I remember that my mind came up with all manner of sensations which I duly reported, but none of them were what he was looking for. This in fact led me into very dangerous territory, as I became so desperate to achieve what my Sifu expected of me that I forced my own cerebro-spinal fluid around the MCO, and wound up in hospital with a condition called 'meningism' - all the symptoms of acute viral meningitis, but without any infection present. I was then given several courses of lumbar punctures to remove the pressure and have never been the same since energetically, and I still have the scars today. 

You might say that the intention is to inspire practitioners to work harder, but it does not necessarily have that effect. It was after all in this spirit that I shared information here regarding the time it took me to complete each of the meditations, but I think there is sufficient proof that it was not taken in the way I intended at all. I think it's rather a shame, as well as hypocritical that many others on this thread openly and frequently boast of their achievements and are applauded for doing so. Many of them should know better, and should perhaps be setting a better example to those less knowledgeable. 

Quote

 

 

See, that sounds quite bizarre and surreal to me, because my dreams are very visual experiences (in fact I'd describe them as primarily visual). It's usually my memory of the visual aspect of a dream which remains the most coherent and sticks with me the longest, followed at a distant second by specific sounds and phrases. I have the most difficulty retaining a sense of the passage of time and narrative structure, although this aspect has become far more coherent since I started practicing FP and, especially, since I started practicing assorted MSW meditations before bed.

Well, I have no such yardstick with which to compare the visual aspect of my dreams, but on the very rare occasions when I do remember them, I would certainly not describe them as vivid. But hey! - cloudy and unclear is better than nothing...

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I have only the vaguest conception of what it would be like to remember a dream without retaining any visuals - in fact it doesn't really sound like what I would consider dream retention at all. Any chance you could try to describe it in more detail? You've piqued my curiosity now.

All I can do is remember the most striking events in the form of descriptive dialogue. I may remember that I have had a dream, but actually remembering the dream is very rare, and the memory would only be in descriptive form, like reading LOTR. 

Quote

 

 

I was actually thinking about your post earlier and wondering about the question of psychedelics. That's possibly straying a bit too far afield for this thread though, but I might hit you up in PM for more details tomorrow.

OK, I'll look out for the notification.

Quote

 

Anyway, I fully intend to get back to you on the other points you raised in your post, but it's getting on here, so I'll have to do so later, hopefully tomorrow morning. But I had this subject on my mind quite strongly when I was doing my BTB session earlier, so I wanted to address that particular point while it was fresh in my mind.

Thank you.

Edited by DSCB57
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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, DSCB57 said:

I think one reason for that taboo is the fact that it can cause envy or lead to those unable to have similar experiences being disheartened, which could cause them to give up. The main point however is that it is very rare for any two students to have the same or even similar experiences in the practice of Qigong cultivation. It is not considered good for students to have any expectations of what they are likely to experience in their training, as the mind is quite capable of providing such experiences, but these are not real. This can be very damaging to one's development, which is why the sharing of Qigong experiences is discouraged in many schools. I agree with this.  

 

You might say that the intention is to inspire practitioners to work harder, but it does not necessarily have that effect. It was after all in this spirit that I shared information here regarding the time it took me to complete each of the meditations, but I think there is sufficient proof that it was not taken in the way I intended at all. I think it's rather a shame as well as hypocritical that many others on this thread openly and frequently boast of their achievements and are applauded for doing so. Many of them should know better, and should be setting a better example to those less knowledgeable. 

 

For your information, I initially didn't plan on posting what I shared earlier on the main thread, but after an e-mail exchange with Sifu Terry, I was encouraged by him to post it here for him to respond and share some insights that he wanted the group to know about. 

 

I personally find no problem with people getting different results and I don't see what I do as boasting or showing off. If anything, I feel it's celebrating the joy of our discipline and development. Some feel good, some see strange but wonderful things, and others just don't have health insurance anymore due to their confidence in their practice. Who else can we talk to who also practices Flying Phoenix and with perhaps parallel sensations, confirms we are not crazy? Isn't that what this thread is for? To connect us with each other? My own personal practice journal was quite helpful for a few people, and not just for Flying Phoenix. 

 

We experience what we are meant to experience. That's all I have to say on the matter as I could very easily be jealous of others who describe things I have yet to encounter in my own work, but I am not, I am quite happy for them since their enjoyment does not take away from my own, and what I share should not discourage anyone else. Storytelling is a medium that has shaped our realities throughout myth and time, so why deprive the world of tales of wonder and awe? My stories and others' own stories have made me feel more part of this community and school, and those who read what we share and call it "boasting" and "hypocritical" probably don't grok the same reality.

 

To each their own, I guess.

Edited by Earl Grey
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3 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

 

For your information, I initially didn't plan on posting what I shared earlier on the main thread, but after an e-mail exchange with Sifu Terry, I was encouraged by him to post it here for him to respond and share some insights that he wanted the group to know about. 

What makes you think my comments were directed at you? 

3 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

 

I personally find no problem with people getting different results and I don't see what I do as boasting or showing off. If anything, I feel it's celebrating the joy of our discipline and development. Some feel good, some see strange but wonderful things, and others just don't have health insurance anymore due to their confidence in their practice. Who else can we talk to who also practices Flying Phoenix and with perhaps parallel sensations, confirms we are not crazy? 

We were discussing the subject of it being thought of as a taboo. I merely explained why in many cultivation schools this is so, and added some of my own experiences.

3 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

 

We experience what we are meant to experience. That's all I have to say on the matter as I could very easily be jealous of others who describe things I have yet to encounter in my own work, but I am not, I am quite happy for them since their enjoyment does not take away from my own, and what I share should not discourage anyone else. Storytelling is a medium that has shaped our realities throughout myth and time, so why deprive the world of tales of wonder and awe? My stories and others' own stories have made me feel more part of this community and school, and those who read what we share and call it "boasting" and "hypocritical" probably don't grok the same reality.

You obviously have not taken my statement in context. It has a very specific context, which was that I see no reason why one member's account of their training experience should be ignored whilst another's is applauded. I call that hypocrisy regardless of your opinion, and that is the whole question - you hit the nail right on the head. Why should I not also have the right to feel part of this community? What right do you have to make anyone feel alienated? I wonder, have you even bothered to read my previous two posts in order to understand what I am going through? No, I suppose not. To each their own, yes, you said it... 

3 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

 

To each their own, I guess.

 

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1 minute ago, DSCB57 said:

Why should I not also have the right to feel part of this community? What right do you have to make anyone feel alienated?

 

Nothing on my part indicates I am trying to alienate you, but good luck with what you are working on. 

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DSCB57, I do read your posts in this thread but I can't comment in reply to your queries as my tradition is not "Flying Phoenix". Please do not feel depressed when there are no responses to your posts; it happens to most people. This is just a forum for sharing o experiences with total strangers and sometimes, what you post may not go down well with some people with different experiences/agenda. Perhaps going under a proper guidance by a good instructor should alleviate some of the problems that you had enquired instead of learning from videos. If this is no good, perhaps, take up a more simple yet effective qigong would help, for example, the simple swing hand qigong exercise (swuai shou) which was very popular in the early 1960s. This traditional form has undergone modification to the current p'eng shou swuai which has become more of a physical exercise than qigong. Or just concentrate on zhang zhuang with mco can also be satisfying.

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I'm going to drop the quote format, since at this point I think it will just bloat my post excessively.

 

- Your experiences of the energy on a "tactile" level sound very similar to mine, except that to me it does not seem to, in the course of normal practice, create a sensation of heat. There are two exceptions, the first is a very mild warmth, more a "glow" than a "heat," in the LDT during MHPearl or meditations which use the same hand positioning, and times when the meditations are seemingly having some kind of specific cleansing or purifying effect (I experienced this quite heavily when I first started practising, and again recently in response to some specific health problems - when I addressed the latter by changing my diet, the strong heat during practice disappeared almost overnight). But the energy itself, in the course of regular practice, doesn't usually feel intrinsically "hot." 

 

That said, it does feel "fiery" during certain meditations, or especially when it accumulates in large quantities after particularly intensive practice, but like a "heat-less fire," if that makes any sense. I know it sounds a little contradictory, but there you go. The closest physical sensation I can relate it to is that which you get when you quickly run your finger through a candle flame, able to feel the flame itself over your skin, but not holding it still and thus not letting it burn you. By contrast, the Qi I feel from most other systems of cultivation seems to have a more "electromagnetic" feel to it, for lack of a better word.

 

- The question of secrecy v. openness is a complicated one, and my views are no doubt coloured by the heavy emphasis on secrecy in the Western Hermetic tradition where I started out. Drilled into me by books and teachers and online communities right next to the importance of visualisation was the Four Powers of the Sphinx, "To Know, to Dare, to Will and To Be Silent."

 

I saw the exact interpretation of this debated endlessly, but I also saw the harm it caused. The confusion it created in aspirants, who were exposed to conflicting metaphysical concepts and denied concrete examples to help them sort the real from the absurd. The paranoia it created in students and practitioners, who were left constantly wondering if their experiences, or their lack of certain experiences, were normal or desirable or safe, if their goals were realistic or even attainable, but feeling unable to reach out to other practitioners and describe what was happening for guidance, and lacked other pre-existing examples to reassure them. The teachers who used secrecy as a cover for allowing implicit assumptions to buttress the reality of their achievements and inflate their public profile, or hid abuses or failures beneath it.

 

I think these are murky issues that everyone has to navigate for themselves and ultimately come to their own conclusion on, but I don't think either extreme is healthy and I do think that the current culture in these communities generally leans too far towards secrecy (although this is shifting - for the better imo).

 

I also think that context is important, and that sharing select experiences in a small subsection specifically for practitioners of a certain system in a relatively small community specifically for people interested in such systems of cultivation, is very different from shouting from the metaphorical rooftops about healing energies and blue lights and psychic experiences and visionary encounters.

 

But I also agree that there are certain things which one should be careful about because you can then "pre-load" expectations, which is why I do reserve discussion of a lot of the effects of I get from FP for private correspondences. I think we just have to do the best we can to strike the right balance on a case by case basis.

 

Even on your end, you  have no qualms about discussing some things - in certain places, even talking about energy sensations and "golden lights" and such would be verboten. So it seems like it's a question of degree, no?

 

And respectfully, I don't think your story about your MCO experience backs up your point. The way I read it, you had a teacher who did exactly what you're advocating, withholding descriptions of specific sensations which indicated attainment, and it sounds like at the least this didn't prevent you hurting yourself and, quite frankly, it also sounds like it possibly egged you on. And there are potentially other factors - was he teaching a proper method of opening the MCO? Was he teaching that method properly? Was he monitoring your practice and progress with sufficient attentiveness? These all seem at least as important to me as whether you received a description of what to expect or not.

 

Personally, the relative degree of openness (and it is only relative, I know I'm not the only one who reserves a lot for private discussions) which has evolved in this thread over the years is a large part of the appeal to me. If that isn't the case for you, then share what you feel comfortable sharing, and let others do the same. I think that's all you can expect of any informal discussion group.

 

- I still have an extremely hard time imagining your dream experiences, but it sounds like you have an equally hard time imagining the visual experiences I described last night. Such is life, I guess. The metaphor of reading doesn't really work for me, because I can't even think of a certain book, let alone remember or read specific passages from it, without it creating correlating mental imagery.

 

- Regarding your sense that people took your account of the speed at which you practised to be boasting, all I can say without a link to the specific section of the thread where the exchange took place is that there honestly isn't any speed at which someone could describe their practice which I would personally totally disbelieve, since I know the degree to which the movements and breathing slow down during the course of the FP meditations even without conscious effort, let alone when striving for the "speed of a shifting sand dune" as instructed.

 

The only exception would be if someone with no meditation/yoga/IMA experience claimed to be performing extremely long and slow sets, and even then primarily because like any other system, you can only practice for as long as you can comfortably maintain the posture and movement, and while the meditations might slow down movement quickly, they don't allow effortless holding of postures or repetition of movements without the concomitant physical strain. But that's obviously not the case here.

 

 

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Well, we are all doing it, but unless we figure out the mechanics of FHPCK and other Doo Wai Family arts, we are lost in this endless chit chat, and can become excellent memorizers of the form, but thats it then. 

If we need to realize what is beyond our generic conscience, no one outside can really push us, maybe except for a real master who is willing. Just feeding of from the compassion of communities, friends and masters is not enough, we need to learn to radiate it back, and it is only possible by applying knowledge to personal experience, hence practicing.

Experiencing the central channel, getting familiar with its atomic radiation property at its centers, applying this as a key to figure out manifesting as well as learning to shine unconditional happiness & compassion, and then, once learned how to, manifesting wisdom to be beyond is my road map and “business plan”

Moving meditations are good improving and enhancing that radiation,  but to experience it first hand, stillness practices are much efficient, hence the static postures is a must.

FPCK system is excellent for solitary practitioners like me, as each form is a teacher itself, just apply it to realize and activate that atomic radiation - felt more than 2 senses, and feels real, not imginary-, then play with it in moving forms with absolute protection, with no need to nag anybody. 

If you can’t reach that radiation after some time, maybe you have to practice something else meanwhile or consult Sifu Terry. The wiring of FHPCK will be there to protect you from Kundalini destruction.

What can be better than this? 

Happy practicing😄

Ps: this is my understanding and may not be what FPCK is intended for. I just shared and expressed my experiences.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Sudhamma said:

DSCB57, I do read your posts in this thread but I can't comment in reply to your queries as my tradition is not "Flying Phoenix". Please do not feel depressed when there are no responses to your posts; it happens to most people. This is just a forum for sharing o experiences with total strangers and sometimes, what you post may not go down well with some people with different experiences/agenda. Perhaps going under a proper guidance by a good instructor should alleviate some of the problems that you had enquired instead of learning from videos. If this is no good, perhaps, take up a more simple yet effective qigong would help, for example, the simple swing hand qigong exercise (swuai shou) which was very popular in the early 1960s. This traditional form has undergone modification to the current p'eng shou swuai which has become more of a physical exercise than qigong. Or just concentrate on zhang zhuang with mco can also be satisfying.

Hello again Sudhamma, and thank you for your supportive reply. Thank you for your advice, but I am pretty heavily invested in this practice, particularly because in all the years I have been learning and practicing different styles of Gongfu, Qigong/Neigong cultivation etc., this is the only one which produces such profound effects, and my recent post regarding my aphantasia is not why I undertook this training. I have far more serious health issues which needed healing, and although I knew that I was mentally blind, I had not at that point discovered that the condition had been named and identified, or that scientific studies into this condition were underway (I only discovered this information very recently). 

I am also not the type of practitioner who flits from one style to another, or easily gives up when I encounter difficulties, but I certainly agree with you that one cannot hope to learn either online or through studying a series of DVD as one could in person with a good teacher. But I am sure that you are also aware of the large proportion of so-called masters out there who either deliberately withhold information from students or water down the teachings or stretch them out unnecessarily over a large space of time for whatever reason. This is very much a part of Chinese IMA and general MA culture, and I have seen how much this can and has been abused in my own experience. 

In fact, I turned my back on one very famous master I had been training with as an indoor student when he told several of us how he had deliberately been giving non-genuine instruction to some of the latest batch of students, as he thought they did not deserve to learn the real thing. I was disgusted, and also began to wonder how much of the 'real thing' he was actually teaching us, or how much he was actually holding back. As it turns out he was actually doing the very same thing to us, and I know this to be a fact because I also spent several years learning from his 'thumb student' turned rogue who taught me what he had been taught originally by this master. 

I did a considerable amount of research on FPCK before visiting this forum, reading as much material as I was able to find and watching all the videos available at the time, and this convinced me both of the quality of the system itself and its master, GM Doo Wai. This is what brought me to this thread.

I do actually practice Swuai Shou as part of the Bamboo Mountain Qigong form, and was also taught by another Qigong master years ago that anyone past 50 years of age should practice it. I also agree with your recommendation for Zhan Zhuang, and in fact still practice this (and several of the movements in FPCK are also derived from ZZ, as recently verified in a post from Sifu Dunn). But despite quite a few years of assiduous training in both Yiquan/Dachengquan and Zhan Zhuang, I can say that it was not until I started to learn and practice FPCK that I was able to truly benefit from those arts in terms of deep relaxation, due to the constant severe pain caused by my spinal condition. This is another reason for my heavy investment in this system - it has produced results, and this is precisely what GM Doo Wai promised. 

However, I disagree with your recommendation to practice Zhan Zhuang with the MCO. I now believe that unless it happens by itself that practice is dangerous and unnecessary, but there are plenty of other threads discussing the matter on TTB to which I have contributed over several years, so this is not the place for such a debate. 

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4 hours ago, Aeran said:

I'm going to drop the quote format, since at this point I think it will just bloat my post excessively.

Sorry, it makes it easy for me to keep track due to my mental blindness, so forgive me if I continue in this way.

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

- Your experiences of the energy on a "tactile" level sound very similar to mine, except that to me it does not seem to, in the course of normal practice, create a sensation of heat. There are two exceptions, the first is a very mild warmth, more a "glow" than a "heat," in the LDT during MHPearl or meditations which use the same hand positioning, and times when the meditations are seemingly having some kind of specific cleansing or purifying effect (I experienced this quite heavily when I first started practising, and again recently in response to some specific health problems - when I addressed the latter by changing my diet, the strong heat during practice disappeared almost overnight). But the energy itself, in the course of regular practice, doesn't usually feel intrinsically "hot." 

That makes sense, but is probably not applicable to a more serious condition like mine (I'm not talking about the aphantasia)

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

That said, it does feel "fiery" during certain meditations, or especially when it accumulates in large quantities after particularly intensive practice, but like a "heat-less fire," if that makes any sense. I know it sounds a little contradictory, but there you go. The closest physical sensation I can relate it to is that which you get when you quickly run your finger through a candle flame, able to feel the flame itself over your skin, but not holding it still and thus not letting it burn you. By contrast, the Qi I feel from most other systems of cultivation seems to have a more "electromagnetic" feel to it, for lack of a better word.

Yes, I agree with that, although for me there is also an 'electromagnetic' aspect to the FPCK energy, in terms of the attraction/repulsion feeling of an energetic polarity which is apparent in many of the movements within the meditations. I feel it is particularly apparent when the Laugong points are brought together, as in holding the ball, then when the back of the hand (reverse side of the Laugong) is placed behind palm (the positive side of the Laugong) of the other hand. A good example of this is the 3rd MSW meditation from Volume 7. 

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

- The question of secrecy v. openness is a complicated one, and my views are no doubt coloured by the heavy emphasis on secrecy in the Western Hermetic tradition where I started out. Drilled into me by books and teachers and online communities right next to the importance of visualisation was the Four Powers of the Sphinx, "To Know, to Dare, to Will and To Be Silent."

 

I saw the exact interpretation of this debated endlessly, but I also saw the harm it caused. The confusion it created in aspirants, who were exposed to conflicting metaphysical concepts and denied concrete examples to help them sort the real from the absurd. The paranoia it created in students and practitioners, who were left constantly wondering if their experiences, or their lack of certain experiences, were normal or desirable or safe, if their goals were realistic or even attainable, but feeling unable to reach out to other practitioners and describe what was happening for guidance, and lacked other pre-existing examples to reassure them. The teachers who used secrecy as a cover for allowing implicit assumptions to buttress the reality of their achievements and inflate their public profile, or hid abuses or failures beneath it.

This is all too common, particularly with the shift in recent years toward online teaching. The fact is that unless you happen to live in fairly close proximity to these people, you have no way to know who the flesh and blood person is behind the image they present to the world. And from my experience, one is just as easily fooled even in person. It takes a Buddha to know one, they say, until then we are forced to trust the integrity of whoever offers themselves as teachers to the world, and not everyone is worthy of that trust.

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

I think these are murky issues that everyone has to navigate for themselves and ultimately come to their own conclusion on, but I don't think either extreme is healthy and I do think that the current culture in these communities generally leans too far towards secrecy (although this is shifting - for the better imo).

 

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

I also think that context is important, and that sharing select experiences in a small subsection specifically for practitioners of a certain system in a relatively small community specifically for people interested in such systems of cultivation, is very different from shouting from the metaphorical rooftops about healing energies and blue lights and psychic experiences and visionary encounters.

My comments were not concerned with withholding secrets or not, as I said in my previous reply to Sudhamma's post, I feel that there is too much secrecy in the IMA schools. I understand the historical motivation for such secrecy, but to be honest today, I don't feel that can be said to apply to any great extent. What I mean is that at one time, keeping what gave your style the edge against other practitioners from rival schools was a matter of life and death, and obviously I respect that. But this is hardly the case today. Perhaps in some extreme cases, but again for different reasons, such as gung-ho students challenging or insulting another school or its master, which therefore has the potential to directly affect that master's capacity to earn a living, unless his school prevails . 

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

But I also agree that there are certain things which one should be careful about because you can then "pre-load" expectations, which is why I do reserve discussion of a lot of the effects of I get from FP for private correspondences. I think we just have to do the best we can to strike the right balance on a case by case basis.

Yes, that was my point precisely. The problem is compounded on a forum like this, as one never knows the level of experience of anyone who may choose to participate. Just as there are doubtless many seasoned and knowledgeable members who are also actually practicing, there are also no doubt a considerable number of members with very little knowledge of the IA world, who may have come from other very different disciplines or simple curiosity. The latter will have a very different understanding of the experiences many more advanced practitioners may have posted. Some may simply not believe any of it, and others may mistakenly assume that these experiences are the purpose of practicing this art. This is often seen on this type of forum, but rarely corrected. Like it or not, it is obvious to me that there are several people here under that misapprehension, and it does need correcting, rather than perpetuating. There is no doubt in my mind that it is incumbent upon those who are more advanced and experienced to see to it that this issue is addressed.

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

Even on your end, you  have no qualms about discussing some things - in certain places, even talking about energy sensations and "golden lights" and such would be verboten. So it seems like it's a question of degree, no?

I actually do have qualms about this, and I only decided to do so in direct response to your questions, and would prefer to have done so by pm, as I have done with a couple of other members. There is no doubt that there is a strong temptation to share one's cultivation experiences, but the fact is that these should really be shared with the master of the art, then he can decide whether or not that particular experience is relevant or conducive to the improvement of cultivation practice for the group as a whole - just as is the case for Earl Grey's recent post which he believed I was attacking.

However Sifu Dunn has not been very responsive to my emails in the past, and has only responded here within this thread, so I see no other option in my own case. 

In fact there is no reason why I would be so dependent upon this thread if it had been easier to maintain a dialogue with Sifu Dunn.

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

And respectfully, I don't think your story about your MCO experience backs up your point. The way I read it, you had a teacher who did exactly what you're advocating, withholding descriptions of specific sensations which indicated attainment, and it sounds like at the least this didn't prevent you hurting yourself and, quite frankly, it also sounds like it possibly egged you on. And there are potentially other factors - was he teaching a proper method of opening the MCO? Was he teaching that method properly? Was he monitoring your practice and progress with sufficient attentiveness? These all seem at least as important to me as whether you received a description of what to expect or not.

I regard both myself and my Sifu at that time to be both to blame for what happened to me. My Sifu was wrong to allow me to begin the practice knowing that I was about to leave for a 6 month tour abroad during which I would only be in contact by snail mail or possibly telephone, (although not likely, given the difference between time zones). For my part, I was also too impetuous, which, coupled with the fact that I had developed a powerful willpower and did not understand the dangers of using the mind to force the Qi rather than allow the Yi to lead it. We only exchanged letters twice during those six months, so I was very much left to my own devices. But his way of explaining the exercise was also far too complicated, involving different specific experiences for each gate along the MCO, and the necessity to continually return to the previous gate before continuing to the next. So I feel that the fact that he would not describe what I was to expect in any way really was not a good tactic. Also bear in mind the fact that he had no idea that I could not mentally visualize anything he might describe, so it probably would not have been as important a consideration as for anyone not mentally blind like me. Nevertheless he was quite adamant and I was far too much in a rush to achieve this MCO, and we both paid the price. 

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

Personally, the relative degree of openness (and it is only relative, I know I'm not the only one who reserves a lot for private discussions) which has evolved in this thread over the years is a large part of the appeal to me. If that isn't the case for you, then share what you feel comfortable sharing, and let others do the same. I think that's all you can expect of any informal discussion group.

 

- I still have an extremely hard time imagining your dream experiences, but it sounds like you have an equally hard time imagining the visual experiences I described last night. Such is life, I guess. The metaphor of reading doesn't really work for me, because I can't even think of a certain book, let alone remember or read specific passages from it, without it creating correlating mental imagery.

 

- Regarding your sense that people took your account of the speed at which you practised to be boasting, all I can say without a link to the specific section of the thread where the exchange took place is that there honestly isn't any speed at which someone could describe their practice which I would personally totally disbelieve, since I know the degree to which the movements and breathing slow down during the course of the FP meditations even without conscious effort, let alone when striving for the "speed of a shifting sand dune" as instructed.

I was challenged to produce a video, which I was not in a position to be able to do, and on principle it does not seem to me to be the right reason to do so anyway. But I will try and find the relevant link, it was one of my first posts to this thread under my new name. It was not before my writing on the subject that people started to also post on the subject, so perhaps my post had the desired effect anyway, which was to inspire others, just as watching one of Sifu Garry Hearfield's Youtube videos had shown me what 'moving at the pace of a moving sand dune' actually meant, and inspired me to also get to that point in my practice. Sadly that particular video seems to have been removed since.

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

The only exception would be if someone with no meditation/yoga/IMA experience claimed to be performing extremely long and slow sets, and even then primarily because like any other system, you can only practice for as long as you can comfortably maintain the posture and movement, and while the meditations might slow down movement quickly, they don't allow effortless holding of postures or repetition of movements without the concomitant physical strain. But that's obviously not the case here.

I'm sure that there will be exceptions, I have encountered quite a few beginners with a natural ability in the internal arts who seem to find everything easy. It is the same in all walks of life. But in this particular case, I feel that one needs a yardstick of sorts by which to measure that degree of slowness, as this was not found on any of the DVDs or videos submitted to Youtube of FPCK, or at least not when I began to practice these meditations. Sifu Garry's meditation does not count, as he was not demonstrating or teaching FPCK, and I believe the video clip I was referring to earlier was from a seated meditation from Sunn Yee Gung, although I am no longer sure from memory.

4 hours ago, Aeran said:

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

DSCB57, there are indeed many 'secrets' in  CMA. In the Daoist tradition, the key to progress either in their internal arts and meditation is mco. Let me share this with you: about 20 years ago, I had a conversation with my sifu and told him that if we did not impart the mco method to the students, they would be stuck at a level unable to progress 'internally'. He gave his approval. However, it took me another 17 years before I could really start my students on mco. Why wait for 17 years from that conversation?  My students were not ready then with the 2nd stage of advancement. Meanwhile, students came and go during that period. Some trained for 3 years, and left to teach their friends. You can imagine my apprehension if they started to teach the system plus mco with their half-baked practice. Thus, studying the character and the level of training of the student are important considerations for the teacher. Certain things can't be rushed.

Edited by Sudhamma
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12 hours ago, Sudhamma said:

DSCB57, there are indeed many 'secrets' in  CMA. In the Daoist tradition, the key to progress either in their internal arts and meditation is mco. Let me share this with you: about 20 years ago, I had a conversation with my sifu and told him that if we did not impart the mco method to the students, they would be stuck at a level unable to progress 'internally'. He gave his approval. However, it took me another 17 years before I could really start my students on mco. Why wait for 17 years from that conversation?  My students were not ready then with the 2nd stage of advancement. Meanwhile, students came and go during that period. Some trained for 3 years, and left to teach their friends. You can imagine my apprehension if they started to teach the system plus mco with their half-baked practice. Thus, studying the character and the level of training of the student are important considerations for the teacher. Certain things can't be rushed.

Thank you for sharing this Sudhamma. If you don't mind, I prefer to pm you about this.

David

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where did everyone go?  last post 3 weeks ago today.  i am  at day 24 of daily practice of the 5 short form almost 1/4   enjoying the journey... a new comer has joined my small tjq /tcc class.  He is older than I am! He is unable to lift his left arm much above his waist and his left shoulder must be 'stuck' at 2 inches higher than the right.    However,  he is already making progress restoring  movement and the shoulder is gradually returning to normal level.  (One of my students noticed this confirming my observation without my input.)   At this point we are doing a little Zhan Zhuang and some warm ups he can execute.   Then  the short form 24 Tai ji .  Ending with a silk reeling exercise the class is now learning and closing ZZ.

 

 

 

 

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