Kongming

Buddhist Qigong

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What is Buddhist qigong? In what context does qigong function within a Buddhist framework? What are some well known examples of Buddhist qigong? Are there any particular Buddhist sects more likely to employ qigong like practices, such as Mijiao/Mikkyo/East Asian tantra?

 

Does anyone know any good works which discuss specifically Buddhist qigong or qigong's employment in a Buddhist context?

 

In short, answer any of the above questions or post any information you feel is relevant to the topic of Buddhist qigong here in this thread.

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I practice this set along the other stuff ... Simple, but powerful, I recommend it ...  ;)

 

Edited by Jox
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Shiba Luohan Qigong - 18 Arhat Qigong

 

Trul khor, tsa lung, tummo, 9 breathings of purification all qualify as qigong although the Tibetans generally refer to them as yoga

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Shiba Luohan Qigong - 18 Arhat Qigong

 

Any correlation with Shaolin Yi Zhi Chan?

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Not to my knowledge although my teacher did say it comes from Shaolin

Edited by steve
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Thanks for the replies.

 

So besides specifically Buddhist forms of qigong, how does qigong fit into the context of the Buddhist path or as means of spiritual cultivation? In a specifically Chinese or East Asian Buddhist sphere is there a long history or history at all of qigong being used for those purposes? Would Daoist or otherwise non-Buddhist forms qigong fit into a Buddhist cultivation regimen?

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Those practicing Vipassana meditation through the burmese tradition do not teach people that are practicing qigong or taiji. 

 

For others, working with your body, emotions and thought (lower aspects of energy) is useful before the heavier spiritual stuff. 

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The Fork in the Road will you go right or left

 

  • Daoist Qi Gong will try to reach the summit of spiritual cultivation while still taking care of the body.
  • Daoist Qi Gong is able to speed the Jing to chi to shen conversion with a lot of techniques
  • Daoist Qi Gong Might BUY you some more time since it tries to get the summit of spiritual cultivation with the body in the strongest state as possible

 

  • However, Buddhist Qi gong can be extremely powerful
  • Buddhist Qi gong tries to reach to the summit of spiritual practice by directly speeding up the Jing to chi to shen by using the mind and mind only.
  • A master of Buddhist Qi gong would have tremendous power of mind or if you are really like you might get a heart to heart transmission from a Buddhist master
  • A hard core Buddhist Qi gong aspirant will usually focus mostly and extremely on mind practices

 

Buddhist Qi gong is generally not an easy art for a beginner or people at entry level practicing alone without guidance

 

This means that there is no better art just depends on where the practioner is in his development stage and what vehicle will suite him best Buddhist or Daoist or combine them both if you know what you are doing

 

Oh yes your question was more about budhisme and Taoism but you will find that most heads or linage holder either of Daoist sects or budhist sect will practice qi gong however they might not admit it in public or even in closed circles

 

 

There are many experts on this forum this would be only my humble view and its not perfect neither complete,

 

Wish you all the best in whatever practices you are engaged,

With my best regards,

Ronaldk

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On 2016-04-18 at 3:39 PM, Kongming said:

 how does qigong fit into the context of the Buddhist path or as means of spiritual cultivation? 

I would say look at tantric buddhism. So you can improve your physical and mental health,  which is useful. 

If you work with the wuxing, you can learn about change and impermanence. 

If you work with the five elements, it will give you an experience of the more basic energetic states which will give a deeper understanding of impermanence. 

And you will open shit up,  releasing knots and start up processes that will transform you. The Kong Jing state is useful for this process. 

 

This is quite similar to the daoist path. 

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On 4/18/2016 at 9:39 PM, Kongming said:

So besides specifically Buddhist forms of qigong, how does qigong fit into the context of the Buddhist path or as means of spiritual cultivation?

In the Vinaya Rules, part of Tipikata, the Three Baskets,  (the Rules) governing the conduct of Buddhist monks and nuns, any form of violence is abhorred, and martial arts with intent to maim or kill is likewise refrained. That's the Vinaya rules laid down by Buddha Shakyamuni. The object of Buddhism is not neidan cultivation to become immortals or gods but to seek the Ultimate Release from samsaric existence. Having said that, Buddhist form of martial arts and qigong exist only in China, not from its origin of birth. And, just like Communism, Buddhism in China takes on Chinese characteristics especially when Buddhist temples became haven for martial artists running away from their enemies and the Law. With the flourishing of martial arts in temples, it comes with it nei-gong practices. In the 1950s, the  term nei-gong becomes qigong. Thus, besides helping the practitioner to train his/her mind to focus, Buddhist qigong has no other spiritual value. 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Sudhamma said:

 The object of Buddhism is not neidan cultivation to become immortals or gods but to seek the Ultimate Release from samsaric existence.

 

True enough that Buddhism's goal is release from samsaric existence, but samsaric existence is "becoming" and dependent on time for change. Daoist immortality and the goal of neidan is to enter a timeless state beyond (and also have power or control over) the changes or bianhua, as is the goal of other alchemical traditions, Hindu yogic traditions, etc.

 

This transcendence of time was also a part of Buddhism. Here's a snippet from an article entitled "Nirvana, Time, and Narrative" by Steven Collins:

 

MFGtsir.png

Thus the Buddhist goal and ultimate ideal isn't too far removed from the Daoist notion of immortality in the essentials, though there is considerable differences in how this was imagined in the details and especially in their approach of this goal, with Buddhist tantra being the closest to Daoist methodologies as noted by Mudfoot. The identity of the Buddha and Daoist immortal was often stated¬†in Daoist works after the Song Dynasty especially when the šłČśēôŚźąšłÄ ¬†or "three teachings as a harmonious unity" was emphasized and coalesces in movements like the Wu-Liu school.

Edited by Kongming
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Maybe it is fair to make a difference between energy work performed by a buddhist on one hand, and buddhist energy work on the other. 

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Distinctions does not seem as apparent in the East. Over there, its quite common to find Buddhists being very receptive to Taoist health-cultivation regimes, and Taoists likewise are very receptive to Buddhist mind trainings and philosophy. Mutual respect is very much to the fore. Many Taoist temples adorn their altars with statuettes of Buddha Shakyamuni and celebrate Vesak together with Buddhists. Since Buddhism is not strictly a religion (although some do find affinity in choosing to work with the ritualistic and religious aspects of Buddhism, which is ok too) practitioners tend to be flexible and unrestricted in terms of what they might choose to practice aside from Buddhist meditation - just that, in whatever he or she opts for in terms of self-improvement, to remain watchful so as not to become overly attached to the practice, at the same time, to keep the precepts as close to the heart as possible. 

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12 hours ago, Kongming said:

Thus the Buddhist goal and ultimate ideal isn't too far removed from the Daoist notion of immortality in the essentials, though there is considerable differences in how this was imagined in the details and especially in their approach of this goal, with Buddhist tantra being the closest to Daoist methodologies as noted by Mudfoot.

It is interesting that the "Questions of King Milinda" is brought up. Ven Nagasena and King Milinda had agreed to a condition prior to this debate. The present day Afghanistan (or part of it) was governed by King Milinda, a Greek general who followed Alexander the Great in his Western conquest after the conquest of Persia. The condition of this debate was if King Milinda won, all Buddhist monks and nuns must leave the country and if Ven. Nagasena won, the king would allow the propagation of Buddhism. In this debate, the question of soul was debated (among other subjects) and of course, Buddhists would know that there is no-self, no-soul and no-Creator god within the Buddhist Dharma. And, the Greek king, believed in his Grecian religion which promoted the belief that there was a soul in each human being. Ven. Nagasena won the debate and the country and Buddhism flourished there. Huge Buddha statues were sculptored into the mountain side until the Taliban blew it up. Thus, it is not correct to state that "the Buddhist goal...isn't too far removed from the Daoist notion of immortality..". The spirit or soul is needed to be a immortal.There are other forms of Buddhism on the 'fringe' which absorbed other influences, like the 'esoteric' form in Cambodia which combined the influences of Christianity and Hinduism, the classic Tibetan Buddhism which combined Tantric Hinduism and Bon. All these influences confuse people who believe that these forms of Buddhism is what the Buddha taught. 

 

There is a 'Singlish' (Singapore-English) word which is recently accepted into the Oxford Dictionary, the word is 'kiasu', meaning the fear of loosing out. The acceptance of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism and practised as one is the insurance premium the Chinese paid to ensure their salvation in the after-life. Christianity would not allow such assimilation and so, families could be torn apart, one of the many reasons for the Boxers Rebellion during the Qing Dynasty.

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54 minutes ago, Sudhamma said:

King Milinda, a Greek general who followed Alexander the Great in his Western conquest after the conquest of Persia.

not that it matters, but there is no affiliation between the 2, due to a 150 year gap

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9 hours ago, Sudhamma said:

In this debate, the question of soul was debated (among other subjects) and of course, Buddhists would know that there is no-self, no-soul and no-Creator god within the Buddhist Dharma.

 

There is a controversy running throughout the history of Buddhism, from split of the earliest schools to the Dolpopa controversy in Tibet to the modern Dhammakaya movement in Thailand, on the topic of the Self in Buddhism and what the meaning of "anatta" is. So it's not as clear cut as some may believe or portray.

 

What is clear is that all conditioned phenomena and the 5 skandhas are "anatta" as well as "anicca" and "dukkha", namely impermanent and suffering. That triad of qualities is the mark of conditioned phenomena. Conversely, nirvana is seen as unconditioned, permanent, and bliss, the cessation of all dukkha. If the qualities of "anicca" and "dukkha" are reversed in the Buddha/nirvana, why not the other quality, namely "anatta"?

 

Here's what Nan Huaijin had to say on the topic:

 

When the HńęnayńĀna speaks of no self, it is in reference to the manifest forms of presently existing life; the intent is to alert people to transcend this level, and attain NirvńĀŠĻáa. But when this flowed into the world of learning, especially when it was disseminated in the West, some people thought that the Buddhist idea of no self was nihilism and that it denied the soul, and they maintained that Buddhism is atheistic. This is really a joke.

 

An interesting article discussing the topic from the other perspective:

 

http://lirs.ru/lib/tmp/Against_No-Atman_Anatta,Miri,AP,2002.pdf

 

 

Quote

 

Thus, it is not correct to state that "the Buddhist goal...isn't too far removed from the Daoist notion of immortality..".

 

My whole point is that nirvana was conceived as the cessation of becoming, namely samsaric existence dependent on time/change, and thus the attainment of timelessness. Similarly Daoist celestial immortality was conceived of as the attainment of timelessness, at least as an internal state. Hence in their conception of the ultimate goal they don't differ greatly in that essential quality of timelessness, though as I stated previously they do differ in the details, approach, philosophy, etc.

Edited by Kongming
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18 hours ago, Kongming said:

When the HńęnayńĀna speaks of no self, it is in reference to the manifest forms of presently existing life; the intent is to alert people to transcend this level, and attain NirvńĀŠĻáa. But when this flowed into the world of learning, especially when it was disseminated in the West, some people thought that the Buddhist idea of no self was nihilism and that it denied the soul, and they maintained that Buddhism is atheistic. This is really a joke.

 

Who is the greatest 'Hinayana' of all times? No other then Buddha Shakyamuni. What then did this greatest Hinayana, the founder of Buddhism preach on  'Anatta' , Not-self, Non-ego, egolessness, impersonality? The following are extracts from The Buddhist Dictionary, Manual of Buddhist terms and doctrines by Ven. Nyanatiloka:

Quote:

From Visuddhi Magga XVI: 

"Mere sufferring exists, no sufferer is found;

The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;

Nirvana is, but not the man that enters it;

The path is, but no traveller on it is seen."

 

In the Buddha's second sermon, The Anatta-Lakkhana Sutta, the Discourse on the Characteristic of Non-Self, after His Enlightenment to His first 5 disciples, who after hearing it attained to perfect holiness, arahatta.

 

The Contemplation of Not-Self (anattanupassana) leads to Emptiness Liberation (sunnata-vimokkha). Herein the faculty of wisdom (pannindriya) is outstanding, and one who attains in that way the Path of Stream-entry, is called a Dhamma-devotee (dhammanusari; ariya puggala); at the next two stages of sainthood he becomes a Vision-attainer (ditthippatta) and at the highest stage, ie holiness, he is called 'Liberated by Wisdom" (panna-vimutta)".

Unquote

 

The Buddhist Belief is neither Nihilism nor Eternality-Belief. Nor the Buddha or any Theravadins should be labelled as 'Hinayana'.

 

In this OP on Buddhist Qigong, this dhamma discussion is a digression and to be fair to other contributors and readers, I will not proceed further in this (dhamma) discussion. Can we get back to the main theme?

 

Edited by Sudhamma
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On 11/15/2017 at 1:47 PM, Taoist Texts said:

not that it matters, but there is no affiliation between the 2, due to a 150 year gap

My apology for warping that time gap. You are right. King Milinda was a descendent of a Greek general who stayed behind to administer the conquered land. Thank you.

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5 hours ago, Sudhamma said:

 

Who is the greatest 'Hinayana' of all times? No other then Buddha Shakyamuni. What then did this greatest Hinayana, the founder of Buddhism preach on  'Anatta' , Not-self, Non-ego, egolessness, impersonality? The following are extracts from The Buddhist Dictionary, Manual of Buddhist terms and doctrines by Ven. Nyanatiloka:

Quote:

From Visuddhi Magga XVI: 

"Mere sufferring exists, no sufferer is found;

The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;

Nirvana is, but not the man that enters it;

The path is, but no traveller on it is seen."

 

In the Buddha's second sermon, The Anatta-Lakkhana Sutta, the Discourse on the Characteristic of Non-Self, after His Enlightenment to His first 5 disciples, who after hearing it attained to perfect holiness, arahatta.

 

The Contemplation of Not-Self (anattanupassana) leads to Emptiness Liberation (sunnata-vimokkha). Herein the faculty of wisdom (pannindriya) is outstanding, and one who attains in that way the Path of Stream-entry, is called a Dhamma-devotee (dhammanusari; ariya puggala); at the next two stages of sainthood he becomes a Vision-attainer (ditthippatta) and at the highest stage, ie holiness, he is called 'Liberated by Wisdom" (panna-vimutta)".

 

Yes, no one denies that the 5 skandhas and all of phenomenal reality is "anatta" or without self. The question is whether there is a transcendental "Self" similar to the Hindu Atman. Admittedly a majority of Buddhists would say no, yet throughout Buddhist history there have been detractors to this view.¬†NibbńĀna as True Reality beyond the Debate¬†by Potprecha Cholvijarn is a look at the debate in contemporary Thailand.

 

That said in many Mahayana sources, particularly Tathagatagarbha literature but also in Mikkyo, etc. one of the four "gunaparamitas" or transcendental qualities of the Absolute element (Dharmakaya/Nirvana) is "Self". Here's a snippet from Susan Hookham's "The Buddha Within":

 

The Four Transcendental Qualities. The Absolute Element is described as having four transcendental qualities (gunaparamita, yon tan pha rol tu phyin pa) when it fully emerges as the fruit of the path. "Transcendental" here is a translation of the Sanskrit word "paramita" meaning passed over to the other side; it is often translated as "perfection."

 

The four transcendental qualities are, (1) transcendental purity (subha paramita, gtsang ba pha rol tu phyin pa), (2) transcendental self (atma paramita, bdag pha rol tu phyin pa), (3) transcendental bliss (sukha paramita, bde ba pha rol tu phyin pa), and (4) transcendental permanence (nitya paramita, rtag pa pha rol tu phyin pa.)

 

Of course if you are more interested in a purely Theravada perspective, the previous article I linked and the book already mentioned are good ones, but other works explaining the differing perspective are those by George Grimm and Self & Non-Self in Early Buddhism by Perez-Remon.

 

Quote

 

 

The Buddhist Belief is neither Nihilism nor Eternality-Belief. Nor the Buddha or any Theravadins should be labelled as 'Hinayana'.

 

Well "eternalism" is the view of perpetual existence in time or as a particular individual, such as a Christian conception of "John Smith" living eternally in heaven. That said timelessness is another form (or rather the true form) of eternity and nirvana is often equated with timelessness and thus is eternal.¬†Walpola Rahula¬†from ‚ÄúVoice of Buddhism‚ÄĚ magazine, Vol 20 No.1:

 

Buddhism does not stop there. It goes a step further and says that there is a state which is beyond cause-effect and beyond space-time (akalika, Kalavimutta). That is the ultimate absolute ‚ÄúTruth‚ÄĚ called Nirvana, which is outside the scope of physical science.

Edited by Kongming

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