mjjbecker

Taobums Q&A with Kosta Danaos

163 posts in this topic

I think there was a tiny window here that closed around 9/11.  If you came following breadcrumbs after 2000, you were already late to the party.  And at this point, it's like knocking on doors trying to crash a small backyard party that was over 20 years ago, lol...

 

Look, a lot of these Eastern esoteric arts are simple, but extremely demanding.  You need some serious DAILY self-discipline, integrated into a healthy, holistic life balance - which is basically the opposite of WEIRD culture. 

 

1) For example, Chinese all practice various forms of internal arts at around 5 AM (sunrise or earlier) every morning.  This is why you see them doing Taijiquan in parks at the crack of dawn, not early in the afternoon, lol.

 

Well, if you want to get up early, then you have to go to sleep early.  That means disciplining yourself to naturally synchronize your schedule with the Sun.  Which means no late nights out or up surfing the web.  Not to mention FAP/ejac restrictions!

 

Now, how many WEIRDOs can even do JUST THIS, day-in and day-out, for starters???

 

2) Well OK, let's hypothetically say you can somehow manage that...  You may then notice that the recommended position in most all Chinese meditation is to ideally do it in FULL LOTUS position.  (Although "John" is pictured here only in half lotus:)

John_Chang_zpsw0awl8te.jpg

Haven't done yoga before?  OK, well then add about ~15+ years of progressive stretching before you can even COMFORTABLY sit in full lotus enough to actually meditate in it!

 

3) OK, well let's say you started immediately and have been diligently stretching for 15 years.  And, you can finally get into full lotus without using your hands!  YEA!  But it is now already around 2032! Time is always of the essence when it comes to the MARATHON training these arts involve.  This is not like just getting swole at CrossFit after 2 months...

 

Hence, "John Chang" started training under a genuine MASTER's personal instruction at age 10 - and completed Level 4 at age 32!!!  While your average WEIRDo is seeking instruction across the globe in their mid-20s or later...  I believe Jim McMillan started practicing even far later in life and only reached Level 3 before he died at 68 (and that was already considered quite an achievement)?

 

4)  15 years from now, "John Chang" has long been completely MIA and Kostas "Dervenis" is an even grumpier old guy going into retirement.  And you yourself may also be busy with a full-time job, girlfriend, or family...  Yet you are now finally ready just to START seeking qualified neidan instruction.  Well, GOOD LUCK then, MATE! :lol:

 

 

Point here being that your average naive n00b just thinks he's a young Luke Skywalker and all he needs to become Obi-Wan is to find Yoda, pass GO, & collect $200.  When in fact, you're more like a kindergartner who needs to pass through 12 grades of schooling before he can even apply for college and then hope to find a great prof, lol...

 

Look folks, if it was that easy, there'd be tens of thousands of "John Changs" already.  And yet, there are only a tiny handful...  FFS, there's farrrrr more NBA players - and just think about how hard it is to make it into the NBA!!!

 

I think I agree with your general sentiment, but it does feel like you're exaggerating a tad :P

 

15 years before you can meditate in lotus posture sounds a bit much, for example. Where are you getting that from? Most people I've spoken to say that a year or so of consistent and serious training (30 - 60 minutes of stretching daily) will get a person to a comfortable lotus posture, assuming they're otherwise healthy.

 

And I also think some context is necessary for the Mo Pai stuff. My memory of Kosta's books is a bit vague, but didn't Chang work long hours and have a family on top of training? I remember a passage about him working as a truck driver, and getting married in his teens. So sure he also started very young, and had the advantage of the guidance of an extremely attained master from that early age, but he wasn't exactly sitting in a cave or a monastery, meditating 12 hours a day, either.

 

I don't know what the situation with Jim was, not having read his book, but I'd be interested to know how much he was actually training on a day to day basis and whether he had any previous experience with meditation before starting under Chang.

 

 

 

As for the rest - generally speaking, I feel that people will naturally be drawn to the style and level of practice which is suitable to them, given their realistic desires (as opposed to what they might fantasize about but not realistically desire enough to actually pursue), life goals, and, for lack of better terms, a bit of karma and fate.

 

If they really want to reach that level of attainment, they'll make the changes they need to accommodate it and hopefully be lucky enough to come across genuine instruction reasonably early in life. If not, they can still benefit from some sort of practice which is more inline with their goals and lifestyle. Not everyone wants to be a superpowered immortal, not everyone should be, and, as you pointed out, not everyone could be. That's life, and that's fine. 

 

I think Mo Pai mostly captured the imagination because it provides a stark and fairly tangible picture of the metaphysical nature of reality and the truth of human potential, not because everyone who reads it wants to run around throwing lightning bolts at people. Of course those types do exist, but what can you do?

 

 

Thank you for the reply. I didn't know what happened after the books, both of them inspired me a lot too.

I would like to risk to contact him for more information but it seems that it will just upset him.

I agree and actually is quite evident that the entire planet is going to pot with all the living forms in it. Humans are becoming more and more stupid and science has become the new cold and detached religion.

Our world needs masters, not to worship, but to re-discover the lost knowledge that will uncover the true power and nature that we are.

 

 

Regarding the state of the world, I find myself inclined to the kind of pessimism Kosta displays at times, but I also think that it needs to be taken with grain of salt in view of the wider picture. People believed the exact same things about the end of the world coming via. nuclear apocalypse for decades during the Cold War, and that one never eventuated. Is industrialization having a terrible impact on the environment? Absolutely. But I think a doomsday attitude is not only preemptive, but counterproductive. 

 

Especially if you take a historical view of things, even a precursory investigation from that perspective will make two facts abundantly clear. Firstly, that the sense of being on the verge of apocalypse is one which has descended on human civilization fairly frequently for as long as civilization has existed. And yet... here we are. 

 

Secondly, that humans are incredibly, incredibly bad at predicting the future of our own species. Any look backwards at previous eras and their guesses about what the future would look like should be enough to tell you this. There's just too much randomness, too much that we can't account for, and too much that we don't know (and that we don't know that we don't know). The larger and more generalized the prediction, the less accurate it becomes.

 

Finally, regarding masters - Kosta's idea was not a new one. People have been attempting to bring Eastern metaphysical training together with Western scientific methodology for over a century, and they've all failed, just as Kosta did.

 

I don't know why (I have some theories, but that's a whole other discussion), but it just doesn't seem to be in the cards the way guys like Kosta strove for. I suspect the two will reach the same place in the fullness of time, but that it will be a slow and very gradual process, not an overnight revelation from some powerful and realized master who descends from his mountaintop to graciously play guineapig for scientists.

 

The beginning of this process can already be seen in eg. the revivification of parapsychology, or the adoption of meditation by the field of psychology. But it's going to take time, just like everything in the evolution of culture and of scientific models of the world.

Edited by Aeran
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Regarding the state of the world, I find myself inclined to the kind of pessimism Kosta displays at times, but I also think that it needs to be taken with grain of salt in view of the wider picture. People believed the exact same things about the end of the world coming via. nuclear apocalypse for decades during the Cold War, and that one never eventuated. Is industrialization having a terrible impact on the environment? Absolutely. But I think a doomsday attitude is not only preemptive, but counterproductive. 

 

Especially if you take a historical view of things, even a precursory investigation from that perspective will make two facts abundantly clear. Firstly, that the sense of being on the verge of apocalypse is one which has descended on human civilization fairly frequently for as long as civilization has existed. And yet... here we are. 

 

Secondly, that humans are incredibly, incredibly bad at predicting the future of our own species. Any look backwards at previous eras and their guesses about what the future would look like should be enough to tell you this. There's just too much randomness, too much that we can't account for, and too much that we don't know (and that we don't know that we don't know). The larger and more generalized the prediction, the less accurate it becomes.

 

Finally, regarding masters - Kosta's idea was not a new one. People have been attempting to bring Eastern metaphysical training together with Western scientific methodology for over a century, and they've all failed, just as Kosta did.

 

I don't know why (I have some theories, but that's a whole other discussion), but it just doesn't seem to be in the cards the way guys like Kosta strove for. I suspect the two will reach the same place in the fullness of time, but that it will be a slow and very gradual process, not an overnight revelation from some powerful and realized master who descends from his mountaintop to graciously play guineapig for scientists.

 

The beginning of this process can already be seen in eg. the revivification of parapsychology, or the adoption of meditation by the field of psychology. But it's going to take time, just like everything in the evolution of culture and of scientific models of the world.

For sure pessimism is not productive and to think negative won't bring much light in our world.

It's true that all through history there have always been the theme of the apocalypse (very stronge around 1000 CE in Europe) and it could also be a kind of archetype or a memory of the cycles of the eras of the world.

A thing that is happening today that never happened in 5.000 years of the modern human being is that we are completely destroying the planet: cutting trees, extracting metals, oils, gas, creating fractures in the depth of the ground, polluting depply the air, the water, the soil, irradiating the whole planet with electromagnetism fields and so on. I don't know where this will bring, for sure is connected to the 1 of 2 rate of cancer spreading in this days.

We could say that today the figure of master is not necessary anymore, but i wouldn't say that man need other men to practice together and share together: i like a lot when Kosta in his book explain how man is a pack animal and we are denying this nature due to the individualism and nihilism that are commonly accepted today. We don't need a master but with a master everything will speed up. Obviosuly the idea of a master in the XXI century is not the same as the ancient one, everything get adapted to the space-time in which manifest.

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I think I agree with your general sentiment, but it does feel like you're exaggerating a tad :P

 

15 years before you can meditate in lotus posture sounds a bit much, for example. Where are you getting that from? Most people I've spoken to say that a year or so of consistent and serious training (30 - 60 minutes of stretching daily) will get a person to a comfortable lotus posture, assuming they're otherwise healthy.

But, I'm guessing that these armchair experts haven't actually achieved that themselves yet?  And to be clear, I mean more than just "comfortable."  I mean comfortable enough for relaxed meditation, which essentially equates to being loose enough to get into it WITHOUT USING YOUR HANDS.  Which I've only seen 2 people referenced on here able to do (out of thousands).

 

By contrast, most other posts here on the topic describe various futile fails - numbness, strain, pain, and flat-out inability even after over a month of trying...

 

Yet this is the norm and they are not alone.  When I first started myself, I also naively thought it might just take me a few months.  But, months became years...  And now years are becoming a decade, lol...  So, 15 years is just an extrapolated estimate. Of course YMMV, but it's not that different than how long it may take to do full splits, wheel pose, etc.

 

There is a saying in Chinese Daoist medicine that, "Extending jin (sinews) by one inch will prolong your life by 10 years."  Well, there may be a corollary to that where, "It also takes 10 years to lengthen your sinews by 1 cun." :lol:

 

But this is Daoism in a nutshell - deceptively simple and thus enormously easy to underestimate!  A lot of it is akin to a bubbling brook tirelessly wearing down a boulder or whittling a Redwood down with a pocketknife.  Or planting a nut tree seed and watchfully cultivating it for 15 years before you can finally enjoy its full shade and bountiful harvest then!  Whereas WEIRD culture = instant gratification FAST FOOD, Daoist culture = local, organic, SLOW FOOD.

And I also think some context is necessary for the Mo Pai stuff. My memory of Kosta's books is a bit vague, but didn't Chang work long hours and have a family on top of training? I remember a passage about him working as a truck driver, and getting married in his teens. So sure he also started very young, and had the advantage of the guidance of an extremely attained master from that early age, but he wasn't exactly sitting in a cave or a monastery, meditating 12 hours a day, either.

 

I don't know what the situation with Jim was, not having read his book, but I'd be interested to know how much he was actually training on a day to day basis and whether he had any previous experience with meditation before starting under Chang.

Well, "John Chang" was a street kid who was too poor to even attend school (p 15 & 37).  This gave him more unstructured time to practice a lot during his youth - when most WEIRDos would be locked up in classrooms.

 

Later on, he did have a huge family, worked as a driver (for 20 years) while continuing to train himself and heal others (for free), and became destitute because his vows forbade him to directly accept any money for using his powers (p 44).  So by age 37, he had grown so desperate that he furiously prayed and his immortalized Master helped him to attain great wealth (without violating his oaths) soon thereafter.

 

Ok, but how was he able to endure training, driving, and supporting a huge family for so long in the interim?  Good question.  Perhaps a combination of a hard Chinese work ethic, frugality, greater tolerance to "eat bitter," saintlike patience for delayed gratification, and a lower cost-of-living in Indonesia?  And his family also obviously suffered along with him, too...

Edited by gendao

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For sure pessimism is not productive and to think negative won't bring much light in our world.

It's true that all through history there have always been the theme of the apocalypse (very stronge around 1000 CE in Europe) and it could also be a kind of archetype or a memory of the cycles of the eras of the world.

A thing that is happening today that never happened in 5.000 years of the modern human being is that we are completely destroying the planet: cutting trees, extracting metals, oils, gas, creating fractures in the depth of the ground, polluting depply the air, the water, the soil, irradiating the whole planet with electromagnetism fields and so on. I don't know where this will bring, for sure is connected to the 1 of 2 rate of cancer spreading in this days.

We could say that today the figure of master is not necessary anymore, but i wouldn't say that man need other men to practice together and share together: i like a lot when Kosta in his book explain how man is a pack animal and we are denying this nature due to the individualism and nihilism that are commonly accepted today. We don't need a master but with a master everything will speed up. Obviosuly the idea of a master in the XXI century is not the same as the ancient one, everything get adapted to the space-time in which manifest.

 

 

You're right, the environmental stuff going on right now is completely unprecedented. But so was the threat of nuclear apocalypse 60 years ago. Anyway I think we more or less agree that more should be done for the environment, hopefully as much as possible as soon as possible, I just try to not take a fatalistic view of the situation, given the historical context :P

 

As far as masters go, I didn't mean to say that they're somehow unnecessary or obsolete, that's definitely not my perspective on the subject. I just think that the merging of Eastern cultivation with Western science will need to be a long term process, not the result of a single master emerging to tour the world and demonstrate for the masses causing a sudden rewrite of all the laws of science and the Western culture of materialistic reductionism.

 

I think that, among other factors, the cultural gap is just too wide when it comes to these specific issues. Not so much the culture gap between East and West as the culture gap between the people who practice these systems of cultivation seriously, and the scientists who would need to find and study them to have their capabilities become a part of the scientific consensus. Unfortunately, one of the problems here is that both pursuits are fairly intensive - there aren't enough hours in the day for most people to simultaneously maintain a respectable academic career and to practice high level metaphysical cultivation.

 

Even if things had gone to plan and Chang had spent the rest of his life touring the universities of the world to demonstrate for academics, I'm not certain it would have played out the way Kosta hoped. Far more likely, I think, that people would have accused Chang of being the next Uri Geller and concocted reasons in their head to never actually meet with him or evaluate the evidence from those who did.

 

 

But, I'm guessing that these armchair experts haven't actually achieved that themselves yet?  And to be clear, I mean more than just "comfortable."  I mean comfortable enough for relaxed meditation, which essentially equates to being loose enough to get into it WITHOUT USING YOUR HANDS.  Which I've only seen 2 people referenced on here able to do (out of thousands).

 

By contrast, most other posts here on the topic describe various futile fails - numbness, strain, pain, and flat-out inability even after over a month of trying...

 

Yet this is the norm and they are not alone.  When I first started myself, I also naively thought it might just take me a few months.  But, months became years...  And now years are becoming a decade, lol...  So, 15 years is just an extrapolated estimate. Of course YMMV, but it's not that different than how long it may take to do full splits, wheel pose, etc.

 

 

No, I'm definitely talking about people who can demonstrably maintain a proper lotus posture for extended periods of time. Of course they could be wrong - I've certainly noticed a tendency among more experienced practitioners to underestimate how difficult certain things can be for someone just starting out (especially if they are doing so later in life).

 

Besides, full lotus is obvious a huge benefit for practice, and something which should be aimed for, but so far I've never heard of a system in which full lotus is an absolute prerequisite. Even in Mo Pai (which is one of the more extreme examples), I'm fairly sure I remember the books saying that Kosta made much of his early progress using half lotus for the seated portion of the training (although he said it was less effective than full lotus - I definitely remember him saying that half lotus was an option), and a lot of other systems contain a more balanced ratio of seated/standing practice, and allow for postures other than full lotus to be used for the seated portion.

 

There is a saying in Chinese Daoist medicine that, "Extending jin (sinews) by one inch will prolong your life by 10 years."  Well, there may be a corollary to that where, "It also takes 10 years to lengthen your sinews by 1 cun."  :lol:

 

But this is Daoism in a nutshell - deceptively simple and thus enormously easy to underestimate!  A lot of it is akin to a bubbling brook tirelessly wearing down a boulder or whittling a Redwood down with a pocketknife.  Or planting a nut tree seed and watchfully cultivating it for 15 years before you can finally enjoy its full shade and bountiful harvest then!  Whereas WEIRD culture = instant gratification FAST FOOD, Daoist culture = local, organic, SLOW FOOD.

 

 

I'm not certain what you mean by "WEIRD" culture, but yeah, that sounds like a pretty good attitude. 

 

Personally I try to avoid focusing on massive long term goals, or on comparing myself to other individuals, and more on just making constant self improvement. I'd rather train with the goal of being better in 5 years than I am now, in the same way that I am better now than I was 5 years ago, than train with the goal of being a lightning hurling telekinetic mountain sage in 50 years :P I figure as long as I'm always improving I'll end up where I'm meant to be in the fullness of time, and I'm happy with that.

 

Or to quote one of my favorite musicians:

 

 

 

If your only goal's to be as good as Scroobius Pip

Then as soon as you achieve that your standards have slipped

If your goal is always to improve on yourself

Then the quest is never over no matter how big your wealth.

 

 

 

 

Ok, but how was he able to endure training, driving, and supporting a huge family for so long in the interim?  Good question.  Perhaps a combination of a hard Chinese work ethic, frugality, greater tolerance to "eat bitter," saintlike patience for delayed gratification, and a lower cost-of-living in Indonesia?  And his family also obviously suffered along with him, too...

 

 

I suspect all of the above.

Edited by Aeran

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For sure pessimism is not productive and to think negative won't bring much light in our world.

It's true that all through history there have always been the theme of the apocalypse (very stronge around 1000 CE in Europe) and it could also be a kind of archetype or a memory of the cycles of the eras of the world.

A thing that is happening today that never happened in 5.000 years of the modern human being is that we are completely destroying the planet: cutting trees, extracting metals, oils, gas, creating fractures in the depth of the ground, polluting depply the air, the water, the soil, irradiating the whole planet with electromagnetism fields and so on. I don't know where this will bring, for sure is connected to the 1 of 2 rate of cancer spreading in this days.

We could say that today the figure of master is not necessary anymore, but i wouldn't say that man need other men to practice together and share together: i like a lot when Kosta in his book explain how man is a pack animal and we are denying this nature due to the individualism and nihilism that are commonly accepted today. We don't need a master but with a master everything will speed up. Obviosuly the idea of a master in the XXI century is not the same as the ancient one, everything get adapted to the space-time in which manifest.

Agreed.  But, practicing permaculture, not esoteric neidan, would be a more realistic and practical start for most of us to help reduce our planetary environmental destruction...

No, I'm definitely talking about people who can demonstrably maintain a proper lotus posture for extended periods of time. Of course they could be wrong - I've certainly noticed a tendency among more experienced practitioners to underestimate how difficult certain things can be for someone just starting out (especially if they are doing so later in life).

 

I'm not certain what you mean by "WEIRD" culture, but yeah, that sounds like a pretty good attitude.

Well again, you can subjectively appear to sit relatively comfortably in full or half lotus for half or a full hour...  But in reality, your legs and body may still be quite strained in that position.  That's why a better, more objective litmus test is to see how easily you can get into that pose to begin with (like without using your hands).  And this is one that most people fail on.

 

And "WEIRD" = Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, & Democratic...

Edited by gendao

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Agreed.  But, practicing permaculture, not esoteric neidan, would be a more realistic and practical start for most of us to help reduce our planetary environmental destruction...

I think there has to be a balance. Many eco-communities and eco-villages rise nowadays but they are a complete and total failure because what is inside of us reflects outside. I think the best practice would be a similar thing to a monastry where spiritual practice is associated with ecological activies of growing food, bulding houses, heal nature and so on. 

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I think there has to be a balance. Many eco-communities and eco-villages rise nowadays but they are a complete and total failure because what is inside of us reflects outside. I think the best practice would be a similar thing to a monastry where spiritual practice is associated with ecological activies of growing food, bulding houses, heal nature and so on. 

Well, permaculture has almost nothing to do with eco-communes.  Permaculture is simply about the best way to "naturally" live on the land.  While eco-communism is basically small-scale Communism.  Which is why it always fails...because shared ownership nearly "always" leads to conflicts.

Edited by gendao
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But, I'm guessing that these armchair experts haven't actually achieved that themselves yet?  And to be clear, I mean more than just "comfortable."  I mean comfortable enough for relaxed meditation, which essentially equates to being loose enough to get into it WITHOUT USING YOUR HANDS.  Which I've only seen 2 people referenced on here able to do (out of thousands).

 

By contrast, most other posts here on the topic describe various futile fails - numbness, strain, pain, and flat-out inability even after over a month of trying...

 

Yet this is the norm and they are not alone.  When I first started myself, I also naively thought it might just take me a few months.  But, months became years...  And now years are becoming a decade, lol...  So, 15 years is just an extrapolated estimate. Of course YMMV, but it's not that different than how long it may take to do full splits, wheel pose, etc.

 

There is a saying in Chinese Daoist medicine that, "Extending jin (sinews) by one inch will prolong your life by 10 years."  Well, there may be a corollary to that where, "It also takes 10 years to lengthen your sinews by 1 cun." :lol:

 

But this is Daoism in a nutshell - deceptively simple and thus enormously easy to underestimate!  A lot of it is akin to a bubbling brook tirelessly wearing down a boulder or whittling a Redwood down with a pocketknife.  Or planting a nut tree seed and watchfully cultivating it for 15 years before you can finally enjoy its full shade and bountiful harvest then!  Whereas WEIRD culture = instant gratification FAST FOOD, Daoist culture = local, organic, SLOW FOOD.

Well, "John Chang" was a street kid who was too poor to even attend school (p 15 & 37).  This gave him more unstructured time to practice a lot during his youth - when most WEIRDos would be locked up in classrooms.

 

Later on, he did have a huge family, worked as a driver (for 20 years) while continuing to train himself and heal others (for free), and became destitute because his vows forbade him to directly accept any money for using his powers (p 44).  So by age 37, he had grown so desperate that he furiously prayed and his immortalized Master helped him to attain great wealth (without violating his oaths) soon thereafter.

 

Ok, but how was he able to endure training, driving, and supporting a huge family for so long in the interim?  Good question.  Perhaps a combination of a hard Chinese work ethic, frugality, greater tolerance to "eat bitter," saintlike patience for delayed gratification, and a lower cost-of-living in Indonesia?  And his family also obviously suffered along with him, too...

 

Full Lotus- No Hands...

 

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Full Lotus- No Hands...

 

Yes, you were 1 of the only 2 people on here I referenced! B)

 

So, how long (years & training time per day) did it take you to attain that?  And how flexible (or not) were you to begin with?

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I cannot download the answers.. Could someone fix the download link? taobum.pdf or something like that.

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I can't figure out how to add the original 10 page pdf saved on my computer into a post.  So I'll do it the old fashion way, like men of old, cutting and pasting :) (which is a shame because it was well edited w/ different colors etc.,)

 

Here it is: taobums.pdf

<Great thanks to Kosta Danaos for sharing his time and expertise to do this interview.  Also to Mjjbecker for asking, organizing and writing down this great Q & A>

 

 

 
OK, folks, I am going to do this via pdf so that everyone can download the Q &A. My answers are in blue. Most questions are legit and I wouldn't mind having a conversation with the people who posted them.  Some are not, and I have answered appropriately.

My apologies for this format but time has become the most precious commodity we possess.
 

anamatva, on 26 October 2011 - 06:50 AM, said:

1. does internal power such as can perform miraculous physical actions (chopsticks, knives, pyro, telekinesis, etc) have uses in realizing spiritual truth. In other words, can the robust qi of a practitioner be used to gain insight?

Answer: It can, though not necessarily. Internal power is a tool like anything else; if you misuse a hammer, you can break your hand, if you hit yourself on the head with one, well, good luck to you. Internal power is just an added physical medium, nothing more. I have met far more people that had realized spiritual truth without internal power, than with internal power.

If internal power is used under monastic discipline, as with the Tibetan Naropa yogas, then the chances for realizing spiritual truth are greater. If I am distracted on a daily basis by the image of Zoe Saldana (guilty) , the odds of my achieving spiritual truth are greatly diminished.

2. does it have usefulness for longevity, or does it cause excess wear on the body, and energy body, to start fires with ones qi and do similar things?

Answer: If you use it with the intention of generating power, it is more likely to cause harm to you that not. If you use it for longevity, the approach is different and more balanced. To quote Philip K. Dick, the light that burns twice as bright lasts half as long.
thank you

You're very welcome.
Kali Yuga, on 26 October 2011 - 09:56 AM, said:
I want to know the answers to 2 specific questions which only Kosta is capable of answering.
1. What is the nature of your disbandment why John Chang and you did not get along? Jim McMillan, also former student of Chang, has told me that John refused to teach him any further due to the "Headmaster Spirit" being angry there being foreigners in the school? Is this relevant in your case? What is the real reason why you are a "former" student of Chang
and not a "current" student pursuing fusion and beyond? As anyone on this forum would give their left gonad to be a lifelong student of that man.

Answer: From the very beginning, Sifu John told me that non-Chinese could not be students of the school. At the time, he seemed to waiver from that commitment for personal reasons of his own; perhaps he did not expect that we Westerners would progress so rapidly. When the Magus of Java came out, there was a backlash from the Chinese students; right or wrong, the rules of the school had literally been written down. So we were told that we could not progress beyond a specific level. I refused and resigned from the school. I have searched after many spiritual disciples of both the East and the West, and cannot consent to racism as a basis for any type of spirituality, though I will freely admit it exists everywhere. Having rejected the spiritual base of the Mo Pai, I no longer wished to be involved; neikung is too much work.

I never "disbanded" with John Chang. I have not talked to him in years, but he always inquires about me and I about him when visitors go one way or the other. Perhaps one day we will meet again.

2. As to your knowledge, has there ever been any Indonesian to ever complete the base training of mopai to the point of "Fusion of Yin & Yang"? or not? Is there anyone in the Indonesian school to have achieved likeness like Chang with electrogenesis and pyrokinesis etc, or have all the students not been able to fuse their yin and yang?

Answer: No. There are some who have developed very unusual abilities, extraordinary abilities, as did I when I was training, but none like Sifu John. Please understand, this is completely logical. In the history of this lineage, there were only ever one or two students in each generation, with the Headmaster recognizing the latent talent of the newcomer when he appeared. Sifu John was not at a level where he could see this, so he opted for a democratic approach, figuring he would let Nature sort things out. But you cannot be a fighter pilot unless you have perfect eyesight. It may be (and is likely) that no one will follow him, that instead the lineage will continue in a different form. And this is completely OK.
Peace Profound.

And to you.
 

orb, on 26 October 2011 - 01:18 PM, said:
I believe that a big problem that appeared since the publishing of the book was something along the lines:
Here is an amazing valid system that many people would love to practice but they can't because the access has been denied (the reasons are irrelevant)
So I have a question with two kinda ramifications:
Since Kosta (and westerners in general) cannot be taught past level 3(or 2b), what form of Qigong/Neigung does he continue to practice?

Answer: I do not. I practice meditation every so often and breathing every so often to secure the flow, but not rigorous qigong as it is popularly perceived and most certainly not neigung (having rediscovered sex with my wife in my dotage). I seem to retain most of my abilities however (though not all); I do not know if that is because during the eight years I practiced strenuously, my internal make-up was changed by virtue of the training.

Or is there any other school that he would recommend since Mopai is inaccessible to westerners?

Answer: If you are interested in achieving transcendence of the spirit via a method similar to the MoPai, then I would counsel following the path of Tibetan Buddhism from a good teacher of the Naropa yogas, though you must be prepared to dedicate twelve years of your life. If you are interested in martial arts, I would suggest the lineage of Chen taichichuan as taught by Chen Xiaowang, who is a great master. If you are interested in power, I am personally very capable with both a Glock 17 and a Ruger .357 Vaquero, and can recommend both these firearms without hesitation.

Thank you Mr. Becker for doing this.

Thank Spiros the pilot - he is the one who was surfing on taobums and got me to read through the Danaos topics, bribing me with beer. Mr. Becker of course had told me all about this site in the past, even referencing specific links, but he being in China and I in Greece, he could not physically grab me by the scruff of the neck and set me down in front of a keyboard as is his practice. In any case, when I became interested in doing this I dumped on Mike because he is my friend.
 

Sinfest, on 27 October 2011 - 06:25 AM, said:
6) Is it possible to channel energy directly from from the universe for energy work (like healing, sidddhis, etc) - or do we have to absorb it, store it & convert it to a more usable form (like an electrical transformer) first before we can use it? (from post 42)

Answer: Both. Think of piping and reservoirs and access to a river to get the proper mental picture. The larger the reservoir, the more water it can store, the larger the diameter of the pipe, the more flow it can contain. Channel energy is literally like that.
 

5) Advice?
Based upon your long study in MoPai, qigong, martial arts and life in general - do you any key tips (like referred to on p 36), precautions or wisdom you'd like to impart to us?

Answer: I don't think my study of MoPai neigong or qigong in general was terribly long; I studied for eight years, however diligently it may have been. The key tip I can offer is to strive for balance in your life between material demands and the pursuit for spiritual truth.
My own preoccupation with the MoPai was because I thought it could offer a return to more primitive practices in the pursuit of spirituality and a means to combat materialism; I fear what is coming ahead for all humanity, you see, should greed and ignorance continue to prevail. That having been said, I counsel balance and very deliberate actions in your future; trust in Allah but tie up your camel.
 

More_Pie_Guy, on 27 October 2011 - 07:49 AM, said:
1. The twin goals of "enlightenment" & "immortality" are often listed as the ultimate neidan endgames.. However, "enlightenment" is often described as the transcendence of all duality (including Self)...whereas "immortality" would be the eternal preservation of "Self," no? It seems almost contradictory, but I suppose this "immortal self" that does goes on would be a transcendence of life/death (belonging not quite wholly to either state) as Sambhogakāya? Or no?

Answer: Damn, these are good questions! Give that man a cigar. It is no coincidence that George Lucas chose just these archetypes as the foundation of the Jedi and the Sith respectively: the Jedi dissolve into the Universe and become one with it; the Sith endure and promote their own "immortal self". Having studied Buddhism before the MoPai, these are questions that bothered me as well. Then there is the stanza in the Tao Te Ching that states (my translation) "those who retain their center endure, those who die but continue to exist are immortal".

I'm afraid I cannot really answer your question - I can offer an opinion , but not an answer. My opinion is that the Mass Unconscious, the Overmind if you will, resides beyond space and time in what the Chinese call yin, and what we today are calling gravity wells and dark matter. The more of our conscious mind that we pour into this Overmind, the more that is retained, until in the end you become a fully-fledged and voting member of the Board of Directors. I think that is what the fuss is about regarding the union of yin and yang. The Buddhist approach, as you know, involves essentially "melting" all the yang chakras so that the knots are freed and one's personality merges with Mind.

Which approach is correct? Who knows? I'm afraid I'm not really qualified to offer more of an answer, but thank you for the question - it was a good one.
 

2. My personal question to you is with your background in engineering, what do you believe Qi or Chi really is.

Answer: What I have stated repeatedly. I believe yang chi is the force that is driving solar nuclear fusion, the expansive positive force of the universe, and that yin is its dark/gravitational counterpart, the contractive force of the universe. The effect of observation (Mind) on particle reality is well documented; I would study the works of Penrose, by example.

In the Greek Orthodox church, there is the example of St. Spyridon , who reportedly converted a pagan philosopher to Christianity by using a potsherd or brick to illustrate how one single entity (a piece of fired clay) could be composed of three unique entities (fire, water and clay), a metaphor for the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The potsherd is said to have miraculously burst into flame, water dripping to the ground, and only dust remaining in his hand. My personal belief is that everything is like this: the spiritual is not separate from the physical or the mental. This is how I view chi- as part of physical theory, but a part of physics as yet defined.
 

kundalini, on 27 October 2011 - 08:22 AM, said:
1) What is your level?

Answer: Ah! I take pride in stating with humility that, after a year of painstaking effort, I have finally reached Level 50 in Fallout New Vegas, and can go no further because no new DLCs are being produced.

2) Could you explain completely what you know of the MoPai level 4 technique?

Answer: I already have.
 

Harmonious Emptiness, on 27 October 2011 - 08:29 AM, said:
I haven't read The Magus of Java, but Mo Pai is no less intriguing by what I have read on TTB. My questions are:
Since the goals of Mo Pai make it somewhat of an "Enlightenment practice," is there a philosophical foundation of Mo Pai which helps to bring students towards a supreme understanding of Reality?

Answer: I suggest you read the Magus of Java to answer these questions; I understand it is on pirate websites as a torrent, though I cannot legally advocate that you download it from there. But in summary the philosophical principles of the school follow the line of Mo Tzu, though what I witnessed in Java was more along the line of shamanism and ancestor worship.
 

Are there scriptures or texts in particular, Taoist, Buddhist, or others, that help to reach this goal, or are philosophies of Mo Pai all learned directly from a master, and through one's perseverance in the practices Mo Pai?

Answer: Sifu John has a book given to him by his master with the practices of the school outlined in medieval Chinese all the way up to Level 72. I have seen it, but of course could not read it.
 

Yuen Biao, on 08 November 2011 - 09:07 PM, said:
I have two simple questions:
1. What type of meditation does Kostas prefer to practise in terms of what he believes gives him most benefit; for instance would that be standing (wu ji, Zhan Zhuang) or seated for instance (lotus, seiza).

Answer: Even though I have practiced other forms of meditation, most likely due to simple repetition, I still like to practice the MoPai seated method, sitting in a half-lotus because of creaky knees. It seems I can reach deeper states of meditation with this practice. Bear in mind though that such choices are very personal.

2. Does Kostas agree with Bruce Lee in regard to his famous quote: "It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." And can we also follow this philosophy in terms of spiritual practices and internal martial arts?

Answer: Yes and no. I certainly would not counsel wasting one's time with overcomplicating things. On the other hand, I firmly believe that ability equals the definite integral of effort put in over time, dt - the more time you put in, the more efficient you will become as well.
*Edit - to say thank you!
You are very welcome.
 
Trunk, on 08 November 2011 - 10:51 PM, said:
two questions:
1. In your view, are there some few fundamental principles / mechanics pertaining to cultivation in general that we should keep in mind?

Answer to both: Remember that we are complex entities, and yet, like St. Spyridon's brick, all one unit. Neither cultivation nor harmonizing essence are independent of one's own nervous system or metabolism, nor are our actions independent of the consequences of our own lives. If your nervous system is unhealthy, your mind will suffer as well. If your metabolism is unhealthy, so will your practice become unhealthy. Be deliberate and responsible, and accept that one plus one equals two. Keep this in mind and you will do well.
 

vortex, on 14 November 2011 - 10:21 AM, said:
1) Do Yin & Yang qi attract or repel each other? (Your book seemed to contradict itself on this?)
Answer: Both. They are not friends but business partners. As solar nuclear fusion contests the force of gravity and hence shapes space and time, and vice-versa, so do yin and yang qi compete. Where one goes, the other inevitably follows, vying for supremacy.

3) How exactly does the fusion of Yin Qi and Yang Qi in Houtian neidan (like MoPai) lead to enlightenment and/or immortality?

Answer: I have tried to answer this to my best ability time and time again; unfortunately, being neither enlightened nor immortal, I cannot do better than I have already done.
Thank You

You are welcome.
 

MJJ Becker: Further to the above, there were of course a bunch of other questions asked. I leave it to your discretion whether you wish to take up the option of addressing any of these and have copied them below:

Enishi, on 26 October 2011 - 05:31 AM, said:
In The Magus of Java, is the description of the fight between the two masters that included phrases such as 'it was as if bombs had been dropped' intended to be literal or partly symbolic/figurative? Although I have experienced things like remote viewing and spirits, I found this part of the book a bit hard to swallow.

Answer: Then by all means do not swallow it. I do not think symbolism is implied, though I could be wrong. Sifu John told me the story, and I being a Westerner, recorded everything on tape for posterity and to prevent accusations of embellishing and/or fantasizing. I am responsible for the literary depiction, not the content of the story; that, you will have to take up with Sifu John.
 

Warrior Body Buddha Mind, on 26 October 2011 - 07:03 AM, said:
Q: How does one sever the Dan Tian chords in Mo Pai - is it mental or physical?
 
Answer: Both; the two are inseparable. Tell me you can have a thought without simultaneously firing up a matrix of neurons and neural synapses in your brain. One indication that you have severed a chord is that you briefly pass blood in your urine for one or two days upon severing each one; this quickly passes. When the chords are severed, you can actually feel the "ball" move in your belly at your command.
 

-K-, on 26 October 2011 - 08:07 AM, said:
Great! Thanks for doing this Mjj!
I'm curious about what changes need to take place in a person in order for them to be able to do things like John Chang is able to do (supposed to do, because I have to admit to being unable to believe it )
thanks!

Answer: Since everything is fractal, I believe the changes reach all the way down to the structure of our DNA.
 

Gren1o1, on 26 October 2011 - 01:02 PM, said:
I am in China teaching english, and wondering if Kosta knows where Mo Pai originated from? The exact origins/location of where it was founded, head quartered or anything alike. There could be remnants of when the tradition branched off that might accept students.

Answer: When I was studying Chemical Engineering, I used to have a professor who fielded off questions with the blanket statement: "It's all in the book!", given that he had written the textbook we were using. I went through all that in the Magus of Java, and have to beg off doing so again here. I have no idea whether or not there may be another lineage accepting students, but I doubt it.
 

suninmyeyes, on 27 October 2011 - 03:36 AM, said:
Could WarriorBBM or anyone else who understands what Dan Tian chords are and severing them means explain it to me please? I am courious and have tried to google it but found no answer.

I saw this chord severing recently around TTB and am not familiar with the concept in this kind of context.
Is it something akin to passing through the gates of fear, psychological and emotional ,spiritual detangeling ? Or?
What are the chords? How could someone severe it physically?  Thanks
 
Answer: I think I answered this question previously.
 

Ish, on 12 November 2011 - 09:37 PM, said:
I figure it might be too late, but it's worth a shot.
1. In terms of energetics and nei kung, what effects do the typical Buddhist practices of Vipassana (Insight) and Shamatha (Concentration) have?
2. Were there any practices more focused on the "mind" level rather than the energetic level in the Mo Pai system? What were their aims?

Answers: Good questions!
1. Since similar neikung disciplines are found in Vajrayana Buddhism, I believe both Vipassana and Shamatha practices can help you quite a bit. I personally believe that MoPai neikung derives from the lost tradition of Amoghasiddhi, though I will not elaborate on this for lack of concrete proof.
2. MoPai neikung is strictly energetics. It was primarily developed for combat after all.
 

vortex (again) on 14 November 2011 - 10:21 AM, said:
2) Does MoPai pose any particular health risks? And if so, how much of this is due to malpractice vs detoxing?

Answer: I know of no one who has not suffered some kind of complication. I believe that this is because the techniques were originally developed for use by hermits/monks.
 

4) Did you really see John Chang levitate nearly a foot off the carpeted hotel floor like you wrote in The Magus of Java?

Answer: Ah, the Jim McMillan controversy! I was told about this. Can anyone else see how much of an oxymoron this question is? Jim asserts that I am embellishing because John cannot really levitate, but instead is able to "merely" step on a vertical cigarette, whereas the evil Kostas says he has seen him completely nullify the force of gravity. Surely this is simply a matter of degree, or am I misreading the situation?

Oh, and by the way, Batman beats Spiderman every time.
 

5) Jim McMillan said that John once had a friendly encounter with Mike Tyson and demo'd some ability on him that Mike apparently had trouble resisting. Do you know exactly what happened in this incident?

Answer: Uh... blink? Blink again? (Vague uncomprehending look on face).
 

rodgerj, on 14 November 2011 - 10:48 AM, said:
Seems I'm late on this one. If I could ask though I'd ask;
1) Why do you think Pak John was so unhappy about your books
2) Why do you think Hollywood refused the proposal to make a movie?

Answer: When I was a kid, I kept a goldfinch in a cage. It used to ruffle its feathers and puff up to twice its size in an attempt to appear fierce, not realizing that the loud mammalian sounds that accompanied that effort, were quite simply the laughter of children.
To answer your questions then:
1. He wasn't unhappy about them. Your perception of the matter is skewed.
2. I don't think, I know precisely, since I was the one who was talking to the producers in the first place (and very serious producers they were). Moreover, Hollywood did not refuse; I did. The book was deemed to be un-cinematographic (in other words, of insufficient interest for the broad public); the scene that produced the most interest was the battle of Pai Lok Nen with Lim. As a consequence, they wanted to rewrite the whole thing, with scenes of me flying through the air à la Crouching Tiger and battling the evil Maoshanpai dudes who had come to prevent the white apprentice from ascending to the Jedi council halleluiah. So I ditched the option.
Give me a break.

Cameron, on 14 November 2011 - 04:00 PM, said:
I am late in the game on this so no worries if it doesn't make the cut.
I just have one question.
Have these practices made you a happier person?

Answer: Not the practices themselves, but a by-product of same. In practicing the MoPai techniques, my heart chakra or whatever was inadvertently opened; I have a burn mark in the center of my chest that has not gone away for seven years and seemingly never will. Since that time, I have also suffered the tribulations of life: illness and health, wealth and scarcity, friendship and animosity, love and hate. All these have served to make me a happier person.
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Posted (edited)

Wow. Reading that interview was cool.

Edited by Hancock
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