alchemystical

Starting off with Qigong - "What do you wish you knew then that you know now?"

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Greetings folks, I've recently been introduced to the world of Qigong by a Tai Chi instructor, we tried a few pieces of Brocade in class and I was hooked so I've turned up here to see what your thoughts are on the best home study course.

 

Having done some extensive searching before signing up I see that a lot of people really like Sifu Terry Dunns approach with the Flying Phoenix and it seems that the abundance of energy that people generate from this form is just what I'm after.

 

On the other hand I've seen the Falun Gong form is totally free on the net and people also report that has loads of energy but there are a few posts on here that put me off that form as they bring up a few points that made me go hmm..

 

So, what are your thoughts? Or to put it a simpler way "What do you wish you knew then that you know now?"

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Find a few simple things and go deeply into them. A way of investigating stillness, a way of investigating movement and a way of training the mind. Find a good teacher. At the ripe old age of 46, I'm only just getting into this and my tools are WuJi standing, a little part of the TaiJi form, and simple breath-counting meditation. So much faffing abound in the past, half-arsed practice and looking for something better as a distraction from what I should be doing now.

 

Good luck!

 

Cheers

 

Rob

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It would have helped tremendously to know how much the breath matters and how much the mind matters. That just doing the forms and such is not enough, there needs to be a cultivation of mind, breath and body. Cultivating your character/ virtues, helps allot. Also, getting healthy and a calm mind is a vital step. Wanting to go way beyond that, without doing that is not a good idea in my opinion.

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I'm quite glad that I knew nothing then, had a good teacher, followed his teachings, and didn't read much about it or mix styles and practices at the recommendation of my teacher.

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...the tremendous importance of cumulative practice.

 

Love RobB's reply

 

Suggestion:

Take whatever practice you currently are doing and challenge yourself to due some minimum quantity of it daily for 49 days.

This will cement whatever practice you are doing thoroughly in your system. Then you will know what I'm referring to.

 

Craig

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...the tremendous importance of cumulative practice

 

 

That what a practice feels like the first week you do it is different from what it will feel like after a month, a year.

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I fully agree about the cumulative aspect as I've been working on my Tai Chi form for a good few years now and am still learning how to stand :D

 

The Qigong really got my attention though and I'm searching for a good beginners form that I could perform every day so your input would be appreciated.

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An excellent teacher with a good form can take you deep. :)

 

For me, I wish I had known then that the formless is sovereign.

 

ahhh, well, I feel that a good practitioner slash teacher is one who has reduced his own input to the point that the form flows unhindered through his core.

 

Or her core, of course :-)

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I fully agree about the cumulative aspect as I've been working on my Tai Chi form for a good few years now and am still learning how to stand :D

 

The Qigong really got my attention though and I'm searching for a good beginners form that I could perform every day so your input would be appreciated.

 

There's a new post in the welcome forum that brings up the "shibashi", 18 Taiji Qigong, it's an excellent starting point. Not a bad long-term goal, either.

 

 

 

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I'm quite glad that I knew nothing then, had a good teacher, followed his teachings, and didn't read much about it or mix styles and practices at the recommendation of my teacher.

 

I had the same experience - I am now going on 4 years of fairly intense qi gong and this month I am reading the first book I have ever read on Qi Gong. My teacher is from a lineage that also does not talk much, so for most of the 4 years he would only occasionally tweek my posture and mention something through an interpreter.

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What is simple is powerful.

Using power is leaking energy.

Over time one should become more

humble, not more arrogant.

Stillness strengthens the mind.

Humility returns to stillness.

Maintaining sincerity is all one needs.

Empty yourself of everything.

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Basic, in English, sounds like something to "progress" from - it isn't. Fundamentals are your foundation and always benefits from practice.

 

What you are taught, practice and enjoy is orders of magnitude more valuable than a theoretical "best practice"

 

It seems that almost everyone, when talking about teachers, mentions they don't talk much :)

 

(* waves at some old friends *)

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I'm quite glad that I knew nothing then, had a good teacher, followed his teachings, and didn't read much about it or mix styles and practices at the recommendation of my teacher.

Good practical advice.  For a beginner build a foundational.  Stay out of your head, find a path that clicks with you then work on it with integrity. 

Edited by thelerner
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I wish i had stayed away from all the Micro Cosmic orbit practices. That shit makes people delusional

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I think I underestimated the value of doing a lot of physical prepartion (e.g. hatha yoga, cardio exercise) as a starting point for preparing the body to reap the benefits of deeper work.  If you are stiff and enflamed and in poor focus it is going to be hard to execute qigong forms with the proper mindfulness, and standing for 1+ hours in Zhan Zhuang or sitting for 1+ hours in lotus is going to be tough.  

 

Also I think the idea of energy centers being conceptual focus points for activating states of consciousness and mind-body resonance, together with the notion of the existence of a wide spectrum of realizable states of resonance and consciousness, is helpful to the syncretist because if you are thinking about energy centers as substantive objective organs it can bee really confusing trying to reconcile all the different chakras and vessells of energy presence described by different traditions; often syncretists fall into the trap of building complex correspondence tables in the attempt to map out an esoteric theory of everything, and they all usually abandon and revise the map to a representation of fundamentals after more reading and experience.

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I wish i had stayed away from all the Micro Cosmic orbit practices. That shit makes people delusional

 

I find it's more like this:

 

"With this method of circulating the ch'i, it overflows into the sinews, reaches the bone marrow, fills the diaphragm, and manifests in the skin and hair."

 

("Thirteen Chapters", Chen Man-Ch'ing trans. Douglas Wile, page 17)

 

 

Wished I knew then that I know now; I wrote this the other day:

 

"...I do try to relax the thing that enters into where I am."

 

(from here)

Edited by Mark Foote
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It took me a bit of time to really hear "maintain attention on the LDT".

 

Like - all the time - in every move - breath into the LDT , be in the LDT , stay with the LDT - it all builds from here.

 

At some point you may hear the note that comes from the LDT and its deep voice becomes the seat of your center.

 

As you move, often you will find your self in the hand that is leading or the head that is moving or the arching that is taking place and you are not centered from the LDT - stay in the LDT through these things and you will notice you are now in a very different level of practice.

Edited by Spotless
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I used to keep awareness on LDT as well. I enjoyed the feeling of the LDT chi for many years. Still do. But there are many other levels of qualities of qi.

 

One could also allow the chi to go where it pleases. If it wants to rise, or center itself, to the MDT or UDT, or any location in between. :)

 

 

What I mentioned does not preclude what you have mentioned - your eye does not need to move from the eye to see far and near.

 

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Well, you have to know why you're doing it and you have to know how to gauge success. As you let go at any level there is a letting go of bodily tension. Doing internal martial arts helps gauge improvement because you have more martial power as your relaxation improves. You can see tangible results. And let me just say, that as a beginner of qigong/neigong you are by no means doing chi practices. You're doing relaxation and focus practices. Chi flow is a biproduct of the relaxation. When you can actually directly control your chi you'll surely know about it!

 

The alternative is just thinking "ohhhhh I can feel my dantien, I must be doing something right" when in fact you could be just creating delusions to hide in. 

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Well, you have to know why you're doing it and you have to know how to gauge success. As you let go at any level there is a letting go of bodily tension. Doing internal martial arts helps gauge improvement because you have more martial power as your relaxation improves. You can see tangible results. And let me just say, that as a beginner of qigong/neigong you are by no means doing chi practices. You're doing relaxation and focus practices. Chi flow is a biproduct of the relaxation. When you can actually directly control your chi you'll surely know about it!

 

The alternative is just thinking "ohhhhh I can feel my dantien, I must be doing something right" when in fact you could be just creating delusions to hide in. 

 

And that comes by practicing my relaxing and focusing for a while?

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I think I underestimated the value of doing a lot of physical prepartion (e.g. hatha yoga, cardio exercise) as a starting point for preparing the body to reap the benefits of deeper work.  If you are stiff and enflamed and in poor focus it is going to be hard to execute qigong forms with the proper mindfulness, and standing for 1+ hours in Zhan Zhuang or sitting for 1+ hours in lotus is going to be tough. 

I agree.  Physical jibengong should be "mastered" before "qigong."

 

Because if you don't have really good flexibility in most basic bends and can't get into full lotus without using your hands - then you are likely still too full of subconscious qi/emotional blockages to "relax," sit/stand still, or move slowly and "allow" qi to just flow ("qigong")...

 

Qi is not going to just flow when you are full of blocks.  And if you are stiff as a board...then you are likely full of blocks!  All the visualizations, strained posture corrections, and conscious relaxation isn't going to get you anywhere at that point!

Edited by gendao
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