dmattwads

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I've been pondering the effect practicing qigong may have on social skills? I have always been somewhat of an introvert, yet over the past couple years have been trying to work on my isues via qigong. I have noticed that lately if anything I have become more of an introvert and I'm not really sure why? Does doing qigong make one become more private and withdraw or is that not related? I don't want to come off as being rude or stuck up, but generally I just really don't enjoy small talk, chit chat, and socializing too much. Does this mean something is wrong with me? Is there a type of qigong to make one have better social graces? lol.

OR is it possibly the other possibility that I considered which is ..... doing qigong causes one to see through the illusion that most people live in, and thus simply by default most people are not all that interesting to talk to? Is that perhaps why people who tend to be the exception are drawn to forums like this one where the few other people interested in such topics come to discuss?

I did go out and by the Bach flower remedy "Water Violet" which is for people who are a bit aloof socially. I have had good experiences with flower essences in the past as they help bring your energy into the state its naturally supposed to be in, yet it will not bring your energy into an artificial state like pharmicutial drugs will, so I suppose that if my level of socialization is abnormal then this rememdy will help, but if what I said before is true then I reckon not much will happen? Time will tell I suppose.

 

edit

P.S. I can hold a conversation, I'm not autistic or anything, I simply don't usually enjoy going out to make conversation very often.

Edited by dmattwads

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I think this may be a common phenomenon amongst those of us who cultivate; having experienced the joy and liberation of peaceful abiding i find few things anymore that have the potential to ignite my curiosity or interest.

 

If anything due to that i might seem as though i am depressed.

 

My partner keeps telling me; "you are never enthusiastic about anything", how can i be when "anything" in this material driven world can't even fathom one spectrum of the peace and beauty of meditation and just being in the nothing, awakening to original nature.

 

How can i explain to non-cultivators that the nothing we experience in meditation is in fact everything and more?

 

Lest i want myself to be taken as having lost my mind i have learned to keep to myself.

When i am asked, i say i don't know. I prefer to be quiet and stupid in this world.

 

I did not understand what the texts said about this attitude, but the more i experience what cultivation has to offer, the clearer it becomes; communicating wisdom to the unwise is as hard as convincing a pig that diamonds are more precious that mud and shit.

 

The wiser you become spiritually the dumber you appear to the general uninitiate. It takes a lot of grinding to smooth the stone of todays ignorance and spiritual and mental dullness, that u can even begin to reason and communicate a concept or idea of subtle acquisition.

Edited by effilang
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Everybody says that peace and happiness come from within. But if you actually act like it, people get real suspicious! :D

 

Ha ha yea good point :P

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I think this may be a common phenomenon amongst those of us who cultivate; having experienced the joy and liberation of peaceful abiding i find few things anymore that have the potential to ignite my curiosity or interest.

 

If anything due to that i might seem as though i am depressed.

 

My partner keeps telling me; "you are never enthusiastic about anything", how can i be when "anything" in this material driven world can't even fathom one spectrum of the peace and beauty of meditation and just being in the nothing, awakening to original nature.

 

How can i explain to non-cultivators that the nothing we experience in meditation is in fact everything and more?

 

Lest i want myself to be taken as having lost my mind i have learned to keep to myself.

When i am asked, i say i don't know. I prefer to be quiet and stupid in this world.

 

I did not understand what the texts said about this attitude, but the more i experience what cultivation has to offer, the clearer it becomes; communicating wisdom to the unwise is as hard as convincing a pig that diamonds are more precious that mud and shit.

 

The wiser you become spiritually the dumber you appear to the general uninitiate. It takes a lot of grinding to smooth the stone of todays ignorance and spiritual and mental dullness, that u can even begin to reason and communicate a concept or idea of subtle acquisition.

 

Wow... WOW.... Wait guys. I'm pretty new to Tao Te Ching, but does this actually mean that we have to arrest our own character growth?

 

I read something like this in Tao Te Ching:

"What is the difference between assent and denial?

What is the difference between beautiful and ugly?

What is the difference between fearsome and afraid?

 

The people are merry as if at a magnificent party

Or playing in the park at springtime,

But I am tranquil and wandering,

Like a newborn before it learns to smile,

Alone, with no true home.

 

The people have enough and to spare,

Where I have nothing,

And my heart is foolish,

Muddled and cloudy.

 

The people are bright and certain,

Where I am dim and confused;

The people are clever and wise,

Where I am dull and ignorant;

Aimless as a wave drifting over the sea,

Attached to nothing.

 

The people are busy with purpose,

Where I am impractical and rough;

I do not share the peoples' cares

But I am fed at nature's breast."

 

Fed at nature's breast. Value the nursing mother/tao. It sounds like the life of a cat on the streets. Why let life take its own course in such a radical way?

 

I don't understand this way of life. It almost seems like the perfect description of "Lifeless" and "depressed" close to or similar to "death." What is the point of such a lifestyle? Woulden't it be more effective to simply take your own life instead? I don't understand the thought behind that. This is definitely the most paradoxical thing I've heard of, and this one doesn't make any sense at all.

Edited by Everything

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For me meditation and qigong have made me more attuned to the energy I have, the energy other people are giving off, and how I am spending my energy. Sometimes chit-chat is a waste of time. Sometimes it just doesn't matter. Doing it, not doing it, no difference in outcome. So don't do it. You feel like you have something better to do, so go do it.

 

Sometimes, though, chit-chat is great. You build a relationship with someone one small step at a time. Talk about this, talk about that, get to know each other, feel more comfortable around each other. Have fun. It's nice. The energy feels good. You feel energized. You enjoy your time. You know there are other things you could be doing, but doing them at the time just doesn't feel right. You feel right in the conversation. When the conversation stagnates, when you feel like it's run its course, and you start to feel like you need to move on, do so.

 

That's what I've gotten, and so far it's worked out nicely. Times that I'm too social I don't get any work done. Times that I try to be workworkworkworkwork are times when I miss out on some very good opportunities. Feel it out. Know yourself. Know how much time you feel good about doing what.

 

 

As far as interacting with people, yeah, there's a lot of shit in the world. Sometimes you don't sound like you're all "with it". In that case, either try to remove yourself from the situation (which you can't always do), and if you can't, try to find something simple to enjoy.

 

If you're talking with a person, talk simple subjects. If you're enthusiastic about nothing, talk about nothing! Or, what I've started to do, is ask people about what they think about such-and-such subject. Could be seriously spiritual, could be frivolous. Not everyone takes time out of their day to think about certain kinds of things. If you bring it up nicely enough, they might enjoy the change of pace. Don't force them to do something they don't want to do, don't try to lead them. Just observe them going through their process. It's quite interesting, fun, and simple :) who knows you might get them started on something themselves ;)

Edited by Sloppy Zhang

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IMO qigong should improve all aspects of a person's being. More energy should mean a stronger perosnality, being able to make a stronger impact on people, more popularity, and more social success.

 

Also, if you are becoming more sensitve to energy, you should be able to intuitively read people better.

Edited by Immortal4life

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I think it's a sort of a phase where you're getting closer to your illusions of yourself (and others) and so you "see" them that much more in others.

 

It becomes distasteful for that reason. I think once the illusions get stripped (and you mourn them or kick them out joyously) then the "other people" issue isn't such a big one. :)

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Wow... WOW.... Wait guys. I'm pretty new to Tao Te Ching, but does this actually mean that we have to arrest our own character growth?

 

I read something like this in Tao Te Ching:

"What is the difference between assent and denial?

What is the difference between beautiful and ugly?

What is the difference between fearsome and afraid?

 

The people are merry as if at a magnificent party

Or playing in the park at springtime,

But I am tranquil and wandering,

Like a newborn before it learns to smile,

Alone, with no true home.

 

The people have enough and to spare,

Where I have nothing,

And my heart is foolish,

Muddled and cloudy.

 

The people are bright and certain,

Where I am dim and confused;

The people are clever and wise,

Where I am dull and ignorant;

Aimless as a wave drifting over the sea,

Attached to nothing.

 

The people are busy with purpose,

Where I am impractical and rough;

I do not share the peoples' cares

But I am fed at nature's breast."

 

Fed at nature's breast. Value the nursing mother/tao. It sounds like the life of a cat on the streets. Why let life take its own course in such a radical way?

 

I don't understand this way of life. It almost seems like the perfect description of "Lifeless" and "depressed" close to or similar to "death." What is the point of such a lifestyle? Woulden't it be more effective to simply take your own life instead? I don't understand the thought behind that. This is definitely the most paradoxical thing I've heard of, and this one doesn't make any sense at all.

 

I look at it the other way around, I don't see it as arresting character growth, I see it as accellerating it to the point where those are are not interested in doing so don't have very much in common with you.

Edited by dmattwads

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I look at it the other way around, I don't see it as arresting character growth, I see it as accellerating it to the point where those are are not interested in doing so don't have very much in common with you.

You mean that this way, your character grows even more then other people? How can that be, in what way.

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When the springs are dried up, the fishes collect together on the land. Than that they should moisten one another there by the damp about them, and keep one another wet by their slime, it would be better for them to forget one another in the rivers and lakes.

'Fishes breed and grow in the water; man develops in the Tao. Growing in the water, the fishes cleave the pools, and their nourishment is supplied to them. Developing in the Tao, men do nothing, and the enjoyment of their life is secured. Hence it is said, "Fishes forget one another in the rivers and lakes; men forget one another in the arts of the Tao."'

Tzu-kung said,

'I venture to ask about the man who stands aloof from others.'

The reply was,

'He stands aloof from other men, but he is in accord with Heaven! Hence it is said, "The small man of Heaven is the superior man among men; the superior man among men is the small man of Heaven!"'

 

http://oaks.nvg.org/zhuangzi4-.html

Edited by goldisheavy

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You mean that this way, your character grows even more then other people? How can that be, in what way.

 

Well basically I believe what cultivation is, is speeding up the natural process of development that all sentient beings go through in their incarnation. So when you cultivate you are actively working on yourself, your energy, your mind, your emotions, your understanding, ect... So naturally as you cultivate your character is going to develop as well, and the whole point of cultivation is to speed up the process of our development. Some of the biggest hinderances to our character development are internal energy blockages. As we cultivate and remove those blockages our character naturally improves. For example if you have a blockage in your liver and thus have the resulting anger issues. If you can remove this blockage then obviously your character would improve as you have a more healthy outlook on such things. If you have issues with sexuality and you remove a blockage in your sacral chakra area and then no longer have this issue, you have just improved your character. People who go through life and do not cultivate can go one of either two routes. The more negative route is that they do not respond well to the circumstances of life and thus earn to themselves more bad karma. On the other hand people who do not cultivate, yet live life well, learn lessons during the course of their lives and earn good karma, while they do not cultivate per se, they progress at a natural rate, yet had they cultivated that natural rate of growth and improvement could have been vastly accelerated.

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Thanks for that link.

 

"In the pursuit of the name men overthrow one another; wisdom becomes a weapon of contention. Both these things are instruments of evil, and should not be allowed to have free course in one's conduct."

 

Those are interesting words to me. I've never heard of Chuang Tzu or James Legge who did the translation. I'm assuming Chuang Tzu wrote the original text?

 

Always inspirational to see such paradoxical texts. Alot of fun to seek wisdom within these stories.

Edited by Everything

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Well basically I believe what cultivation is, is speeding up the natural process of development that all sentient beings go through in their incarnation. So when you cultivate you are actively working on yourself, your energy, your mind, your emotions, your understanding, ect... So naturally as you cultivate your character is going to develop as well, and the whole point of cultivation is to speed up the process of our development. Some of the biggest hinderances to our character development are internal energy blockages. As we cultivate and remove those blockages our character naturally improves. For example if you have a blockage in your liver and thus have the resulting anger issues. If you can remove this blockage then obviously your character would improve as you have a more healthy outlook on such things. If you have issues with sexuality and you remove a blockage in your sacral chakra area and then no longer have this issue, you have just improved your character. People who go through life and do not cultivate can go one of either two routes. The more negative route is that they do not respond well to the circumstances of life and thus earn to themselves more bad karma. On the other hand people who do not cultivate, yet live life well, learn lessons during the course of their lives and earn good karma, while they do not cultivate per se, they progress at a natural rate, yet had they cultivated that natural rate of growth and improvement could have been vastly accelerated.

Wait, are you saying you actually found a faster way of developing high character then all the mature men out there, by the use of some special knowledge? Thats exactly what gang recruiters, soldier recruiters, corrupt organized religions, fake self-help programs with instant gratification goals have to promise. All suedo initiations. Perhaps I don't quite follow you. Are you a victim of one of those by any chance? There is no way of developing high character "faster" then other people, other then living more actively in the present moment.

Edited by Everything

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I think you guys are talking about becoming a person who is more effective at living a subtle life. Surely in that way you can become of higher character to that kind of lifestyle.

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Wait, are you saying you actually found a faster way of developing high character then all the mature men out there, by the use of some special knowledge? Thats exactly what gang recruiters, soldier recruiters, corrupt organized religions, fake self-help programs with instant gratification goals have to promise. All suedo initiations. Perhaps I don't quite follow you. Are you a victim of one of those by any chance? There is no way of developing high character "faster" then other people, other then living more actively in the present moment.

 

LOL I think we have having a communication gap here, so let me try to re-explain what I mean. I do not think that I have some kind of special knowledge or anything like that. What I am trying to say is that by cultivating, your character benefits from the process.

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Dmatt check out this thread Is started awhile back called Meditation is turning me into a nice guy wuss

 

http://www.thetaobums.com/index.php?/topic/15470-meditation-turning-me-into-a-nice-guy-wuss/

 

I just never took any action outside of my comfort zone because why do anything you don't have to when you can just be happy with what you have. There is a better form of meditation for us westerners. Vipassana is not it. It is designed for the East. I also believe mindful Katas are better then this stuff.

Edited by Birdoftruth

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Hi there, this is a pretty interesting topic and its something I have been going through recently. I do not practice qigong so i can not make any relation to that. But I seem to be getting further and further from my friends the more I cultivate my spirituality. My whole life I felt different from everyone else and all I wanted to do was feel normal. But I lost that desire to be "normal" and a consequence has been I am not as social. A lot of times being social doesnt feel like its the right thing for me to be doing. And maybe it is nature telling me there are other things to be done. But I also feel less connected with people, and I think its cause none of my friends really accept what I am doing. They think its dumb and pointless, but for me its dumb and pointless to not be in control of the only thing we can possibly control, our own self. So this loss of connectedness could be due to the huge difference between the perceptions of the following lambs and the wandering wolves

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Dmatt check out this thread Is started awhile back called Meditation is turning me into a nice guy wuss

 

http://www.thetaobums.com/index.php?/topic/15470-meditation-turning-me-into-a-nice-guy-wuss/

 

I just never took any action outside of my comfort zone because why do anything you don't have to when you can just be happy with what you have. There is a better form of meditation for us westerners. Vipassana is not it. It is designed for the East. I also believe mindful Katas are better then this stuff.

 

Ya lol, I actually remember that thread, and ironically I was one of the ones who recommended martial arts :P. So tell me I'm curious how have the katas worked for ya?

Edited by dmattwads

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Who would have thought that spiritual practice would make you more of what you truly are??? Practitioners who start with slightly introverted tendencies become more introverted...

 

I've spent the last 2yrs working 12+ hour days alone in my home office. I've had several days where I haven't seen a soul. The only time I feel loneliness is when I'm in a noisy crowd-- I've never felt more awkward than when I was picking up a meal in a small, packed, and noisy restaurant-- I'm no longer use to hearing a cacophony of conversations going at one time-- It now annoys me--- I enjoy my own song.

 

I started off shy, became more social, and now I'm a bit withdrawn, yet not shy. BTW Shyness and introversion aren't necessarily the same thing-- One deals with social anxiety, and the other deals with how you energize.

 

Anyway, I'm not happy with what I've become, and will make an effort to be a tad bit more social.

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I feel like there are a lot of added meanings to terms we use, connotations, social perceptions, that shape our view of how we are changing.

 

I was raised in the west. America, to be specific. You give a strong handshake, and look people in the eye when you talk to them. Yes, you talk to them. If someone gives you a problem, you let them know. You face your problems head on. Like a man. You treat women with respect. You have a certain amount of friends you hang out with. Doesn't have to be a lot, a few good close one are good enough.

 

That's kind of the expected model. In many cases, I didn't conform to it growing up. Eventually I realized how to create an image of conforming. It's not really that hard. Once you learn the formula, you can do it. You can not really care, but have everyone think you do. Interesting stuff. But that's a side note.

 

As the saying goes, "there's more than one way to skin a cat". There are lots of different ways to interact. In high school I studied Japanese as my foreign language. I had an actual Japanese teacher from Japan, so I got a chance to learn Japanese culture. In some ways very different, in other ways the same. Got a scholarship to study abroad in Japan. Interesting stuff. Again, you see other ways of how problems are faced and how social interactions are done.

 

So what you "should" be doing is very, VERY socially defined. "Being social" is, in and of itself, socially defined. Now, it's one thing if you do not like the way you are currently. If that's the case, do what you feel you need to do in order to change it.

 

However, I HIGHLY suggest that each and every person examines WHY they feel uncomfortable with how they are- whether they feel they are not social, whether they feel they are turning into a wuss, whether they feel they are too introverted- is it because YOU feel you aren't doing what YOU should be doing, or is it because you don't feel you're doing what you've been TOLD you SHOULD be doing?

 

Not wanting to interact socially does not make you anti-social. You may value the time and energy that goes into social interactions, and choose to put it specifically into social interactions you CHOOSE to, rather than the social interactions that are there by CONVENTION (ie we're at a dinner party, let's have some appetizers and talk to people we really don't care about just to be seen)

 

Being more flexible and accepting of others actions does not make you a wuss. You may learn a lot about different types of people, observe how they behave, and learn how you can solve problems without just saying, "hey, I don't like the way you are acting, you need to change or I'll throw you out of here!" As the saying goes, the tree that bends does not break. However, in the process of bending, the trees structure is not compromised. The dominant view in the culture I was growing up in was that yielding meant you were compromised, that you were weak, that a weakness was exploited, and that you failed to hold your ground. However, there is a type of DELIBERATE yielding in which your structure is not compromised, yet you do not act antagonistically to an opposing force.

 

Not being in mainstream society does not make you introverted. Some prefer to spend their time in more crowded places, others do not. It doesn't mean that there is a problem with you, or your social skills. That is a socially constructed implication from a society that values "outgoing" personalities, "popularity", etc etc.

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I think chanting (or something similar) is a good spiritual practice for anti-social people. You have to learn how to say what's on your mind more...how to use your mouth! When your spiritual practice resembles what you need to balance in your life, then social situations tend to become effortless. Life flows. You don't even need to try and solve your problem, because in truth it isn't there...it isn't in your true nature to be anti-social, it's just an illusion of the mind which you can either feed and manifest or starve and let pass...by doing the right practice for you, everything will fall into place.

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