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Am I doing reverse abdominal breathing correctly?

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8 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

 

At least in the Nan Jing, it's the "moving qi", not a structure.

Very interesting about the Wim Hof methods stimulating epinephrine.

 

 

This is odd terminology...where does calling it this come from, and what is this?

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Positive generative force (yang ching ): The real generative force See Yang ching.

https://archive.org/stream/TaoistYogaAlchemyAndImmortalityLuKuanYCharlesLuk/Taoist Yoga Alchemy and Immortality Lu K’uan Yü (Charles Luk)_djvu.txt

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Tang ching: Real positive generative force. See Positive genera¬ tive force.

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straighten your neck and swallow it. It will then enter the channel of function (jen mo) to reach the cavity of vitality (below the navel) where it will change into negative and positive generative force. When the generative force is full so will be the breath and when breath is full spirit is strong and your body will be robust.

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By laying the foundation of positive spirit is meant stopping the positive generative force from draining away, and thus producing the golden elixir.

So the yang jing - it is hidden but can be deconverted back into generative fluid and drained away.

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If spirit wavers causing nocturnal emission of the ‘most precious thing’ the absence of this light confirms the loss of real positive generative force.

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The Nan Hua Ching says: ‘The real positive generative force is mysterious.’

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The immortal seed is the crystallisation of positive generative force. When the latter is fully developed the practiser should turn back his eyes to concentrate on and look into the lower tan t’ien centre (under the navel) so that the element of fire in the eyes which are above scorches that of water in the belly which is below, to produce positive vitality whose light manifests in front of him.

 

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13 minutes ago, joeblast said:

The intention comes at the huiyin - but if you wanted to lift this bridge above, it would be done by pulling its points of attachment.

 

I guess we just have different opinions on the matter. Mine is that a bridge is created by closing the gap, or pulling the two cliffs together.

But really..."magpie bridge" is a term that was originally super obscure, so at least personally my conjecture on bridges over gaps is just entirely made up. Who really knows? I just know how I was taught once by one teacher.

Either way, my own view is that it doesn't matter...any way it's practiced brings the same result.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

 

I guess we just have different opinions on the matter.

yeah, we've known this for quite some time, and its all good bro :)  

Edited by joeblast
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Posted (edited)

for diaphragmatic breathing

your belly should go out while inhaling and fall back with the exhalation. So you are with the inhale, but not the exhale

 

for reverse diaphragmatic breathing be with the belly on the exhalation going in, move all the air out as the belly goes in and let the belly fall out for the inhalation.

 

 

regular

 

 0712180856.mp4

 

reverse

 

0712180857.mp4

 

 

Edited by ion
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regarding mingmen, oldie but goodie

 

kidney-mingmen_zpsec56e17f.jpg

 

JOURNAL OF CHINESE MEDICINE NUMBER 40 SEPTEMBER 1992
 

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MING MEN
Observing 'The Gate of Life' in the Qigong State
By Qu Lifang
Chengdu College of TCM

 

In this article, Ming Men 1 and the Dynamic Qi between
the Kidneys is described as observed in the Qigong state.
An explanation of the form and function of Ming Men is
also given in the accompanying diagram with records
from classical works. These demonstrate that life and life
activities depend on the Ming Men and the Dynamic Qi
between the Kidneys.


It is known that human beings can acquire superhuman
abilities by practising Qigong. In the Ming dynasty, the
renowned physician and pharmacologist Li Shi Zhen
(1518-1593 AD) recorded in his Qi Jing Ba Mai Kao 2 : “The
inner landscape including the channels can be perceived
clearly only by those who have inner vision”. In fact
Qigong masters of this kind who can see inwards are not
only able to perceive channels and points but also can see
the Ming Men in the form indicated in the diagram
below.

 

The diagram shows that the Ming Men is located in the
Kidneys. Its form is similar to the Kidney and its size is
about one third of the Kidney. Seven black lines which
vibrate (upwards more than downwards) connect bilat-
eral Ming Men. This is called the Dynamic Qi between
the Kidneys in the Nan Jing 3 . Two black lines, running
parallel with the Du channel originate within the Ming
Men and end in the mouth after crossing in the neck.

 

We can throw some new and valuable light on the
diagram by examining records from the classics of TCM.
Firstly the Ming Men is located in the Kidneys. The
classic ‘On the Contraindications for Acupuncture in the
Plain Questions’ says:”There is a small centre beside the
seventh vertebra”. Zhang Jing Yue (1624 AD) pointed
out in the Lei Jing 4 : “Ming Men is located within the
Kidneys”. Secondly, the Dynamic Qi between the Kid-
neys is located between bilateral Ming Men. It is vibrat-
ing all the time, connects with and has a close relation-
ship with the Ming Men. The Nan Jing first pointed out:
“the Dynamic Qi between the Kidneys under the umbili-
cus is the root of life and of the twelve channels”. Thirdly
the Nan Jing said: “Saliva comes from the Kidneys”. The
two channels beginning in bilateral Ming Men and end-
ing in the mouth show us that saliva also comes from the
genuine essence of the Ming Men. Therefore ancient
Qigong masters advised pressing the tip of the tongue
against the hard palate and swallowing the saliva down-
wards to the Dantian when the mouth is filled with
saliva. They believe that swallowing saliva can produce
blood in the Heart. This can improve eyesight via the
Liver and replenish Qi in the Lung. It can also promote
body fluids in the Spleen and nourish Kidney essence.
Fourthly the Ming Men and the Dynamic Qi between the
Kidneys are the primary origin of life and life activities.
This was discussed in detail in many classical works. For
example the Nan Jing said: “The Ming Men is the house
of essence and sound mind, and stores essence in the
male and connects with the uterus in the female”. Zhang
Jing Yue pointed out in his Jing Yue Quan Shu 5 “The Yin-
Qi of the five zang can not be nourished without it; the
Yang-Qi of the five zang can not be raised without it”. He
also said in the Lei Jing: “The Ming Men is the place of
birth and giving birth”. This indicates that life and
activity depend on the Ming Men and the Dynamic Qi
between the Kidneys. According to the diagram above,
the two channels, originating from the Ming Men and
ending in the mouth, run parallel with the Du Mai and
connect with the medial portion of the Bladder channel
where the Back-Shu points are distributed. This is the
reason why the Back-Shu points are distributed on the
Bladder channel and why only the Bladder channel
among the fourteen channels has two branches in theback.

 

What does Shu mean? The chapter ‘The Nine Needles
and Twelve Yuan’ of the Ling Shu 6 pointed out “The Shu
point is where pouring into takes place”. The Yuan Qi
and the Yuan Jing in the Ming Men pour into the five
zang and six fu by means of the Dynamic Qi vibrating
between the Kidneys and traversing the inner Bladder
channel and the Shu points. This nourishes the Ying Qi
and raises the Yang Qi of the five zang and allows the Qi
and blood of the twelve channels to circulate normally.
For this reason, both Chinese medicine theory and Daoism
believe that the lower Dantian (Ming Men) is the pivot of
ascending, descending, opening and closing of the Zheng
Qi. Ming Men is known as the progenitor of life, the
foundation of the five zang and the six fu, the root of the
twelve channels and the confluence of Yin and Yang.

 

The relationship between Ming Men and the Kidney is
as follows: The Qi of Ming Men connects with Kidney Qi
as recorded in the Nan Jing. This does not mean that the
Ming Men is the same as the Kidney. Zhang Jing Yue
pointed out in the Lei Jing: “water and fire of the Ming
Men is the source of the twelve viscera”. Zhao Xianke
(1687 AD) also said in his Yiguan 7 : “Ming Men is formed
before the foetus is formed”. Therefore there is a root and
branch relationship between the Ming Men and the
Kidneys; the function and form of the Kidneys and the
Ming Men cannot replace eachother. Some doctors of
TCM understand Kidney Yang as the fire of Ming Men
and Kidney Yin as the water of Ming Men. But Zhang
Jing Yue pointed out in the Lei Jing: “The fire of Ming
Men is called Yuan Qi; the water of Ming Men is called
Yuan Jing”. This tells us that Yuan Qi and Yuan Jing do
not belong to the Kidney but to Ming Men. Xu Dacun
(1704 AD) pointed out in his Yi Xue Yuan Liu Lun 8 : “Yuan
Qi is distributed to the five zang and forms the Jing of the
five zang. Where is the place of origin of the Yuan Qi?
The Daosits believe it is Dantian. In the Nan Jing is is
Ming Men and in the Nei Jing it is a small centre beside the
seventh vertebra”. This shows us that Dantian, Ming
Men and a small centre beside the seventh vertebra are
the same place.


To conclude, this article discusses one way of under-
standing Ming Men by means of combining references
from clasical works of TCM with observations made by
many people in the Qigong state.


References and Notes
1. Ming Men, known as the Gate of Life.
2. Qi Jing Ba Mai Kao known as ‘A Study on the Eight
Extra Channels’.
3. Nan Jing also known as the ‘The Difficult Classic’ or
‘The Classic on Difficulties’.
4. Lei Jing known as ‘Classified Treatment’.
5. Jing Yue Quan Shu known as ‘Jing Yue’s Complete
Works’.
6. Ling Shu known as ‘The Canon of the Spiritual Pivot’.
7. Yi Guan known as ‘Thorough Knowledge of Medi-
cine’.
8. Yi Xue Yuan Liu Lun known as ‘Treatise on the Origin
and Development of Medicine’.

 

 

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Am I doing reverse abdominal breathing correctly?

 

Reverse breathing itself is 'incorrect', so it doesn't really matter how you slice it.

 

What do you expect to get from reverse breathing besides stress, tension, and beating others in the rat race to the slaughterhouse?

 

Super powers?  Bliss?  Longevity?  Spiritual growth?

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5 minutes ago, joeblast said:

Observing 'The Gate of Life' in the Qigong State
By Qu Lifang

 

Yes, this has been a topic that's confused many medical practitioners even up through today. False ideas get passed alongside true ideas throughout history and muddy the waters.

The diagram is bogus...or if it's actually something seen by everyone with inner vision (funny how we only hear about this particular vision from one source), we can at least say with certainty that the terminology is off. I'll explain why the mingmen is definitely not in the kidney...

First of all, it's best to go read the Nan Jing's 8th difficult issue and commentary for oneself (you can do it by searching for "eighth difficult" here and going to page 107). When we read the source texts for ourselves, we can see what's true and what isn't more clearly.

We should give precedence to whatever text came first, and to the text itself over commentators if there is a disparity, if we're going to be accurate in terminology.

One thing that's super confusing about the mingmen: the Classic of Chinese Medicine, as far as I know the first place that "mingmen" is ever written about, the Nei Jing, said really only one thing about the mingmen...that it's the eyes (which some commentators thought to mean BL-1 acupoint)...it's also said that it has some connection to the bladder and small intestine channels, and is only mentioned when giving a description of the pathways. No explanation is given for why the eyes are called that.

One can do a search in the Nei Jing here: https://ctext.org/huangdi-neijing?searchu=命门 The chapters it's found in are: Suwen chapter 6, Ling Shu chapters 5 and 52.

Really, the Nei Jing came first...the Nan Jing is thought to have come about a couple hundred years after, and seems to have been a gathering of attempts to understand little details about the Nei Jing, in my opinion often getting it wrong or introducing some concept that wasn't in the Nei Jing (perhaps from a different school of medical thought).

Something I just realized...it's interesting that "mingmen" isn't even mentioned in Nan Jing's 8th difficult issue...that was a commentator who made the correlation (perhaps inaccurately, since "mingmen" is the eyes). The commentators say "to the left is the kidney, to the right is the gate of life"...the Nan Jing doesn't. For Nei Jing purists, or for Canonical purists who claim that only the Nan Jing and Nei Jing are classical texts, any idea of "mingmen" outside of it being the eyes would be considered false.

So here's the progression of ideas throughout history:

  1. Mingmen is the eye, says the Nei Jing.
  2. "Moving qi" is between the kidneys, and below or behind the navel, says the Nan Jing.
  3. Mingmen is or is associated with moving qi, say some commentators. Already, this seems like a contradiction of the classics.
  4. A quote being attributed by commentators that claimed, "To the left is the kidney, to the right is the gate of life". I'm not sure where that quote comes from.
  5. People misinterpreting that quote to mean the right kidney is the gate of life, despite the moving qi being "between the kidneys", and despite the quote not saying the gate of life is a kidney.
  6. Mingmen gets associated with kidneys due to the misunderstanding.
  7. People eventually thinking the mingmen is both kidneys.
  8. Or thinking it's inside of each kidney.
  9. People claiming to have inner vision, allegedly seeing "gate of life" in both kidneys...despite inner vision not providing any info on terminology. We went from it being the eye, to this.

I think as cultivators we're most concerned with the "moving qi"...and the description of that moving qi is basically that it sustains life, as Nan Jing's 66th difficult issue also says ("the qi moving below/behind the navel and between the kidneys constitutes man's life"). It makes sense for people to make the correlation with the "gate of life" considering that description of the moving qi, but cool to understand that it's a misunderstanding of terminology over the years.

From the article: 

 

Quote

The
classic ‘On the Contraindications for Acupuncture in the
Plain Questions’ says:”There is a small centre beside the
seventh vertebra”


To be clear this is from the Nei Jing Su Wen chapter 52. Unschuld translates it as, "To the side of the seventh joint, in the middle there is a small heart".

Commentators have argued over what the seventh vertebra is referring to, whether it's the lower or upper part of the spine from counting up or down the vertebrae...and this section might be discussing the location of the gao huang...in which case, it'd be the upper spine, and it's a place between the heart and the diaphragm.

My thinking when it says "small heart", if it's referring to the lower spine, is that this is the small intestine...because it's the heart's yin yang pair. Why would anything else be called a heart?

But really, this section is another one of the more challenging aspects of Chinese Medicine, of which there are many different ideas throughout history. No one is clear on it, just like we aren't clear why the eyes were called the mingmen, and modern day experts simply point out the variety of historical ideas and add their own commentary.

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the references to small heart (or 'original heart') was a mention that the kidneys form before the heart in fetal development...counting down from the top, 7 stops at the junction of cervical and thoracic, not by the heart.....counting from the bottom, that becomes T~11 towards the bottom of the thoracic, which is basically right at the level of the adrenals.

 

...terminates at the root of the tongue...

637d57bd8cc1dff60d4a89c3b9646201.jpg

 

 

 

 

...maybe note quite a third, but close enough

adrenal1.jpg

 

things like "mingmen is located within the kidneys" I think can be taken too literally...but then the drawing has it inside them, facepalm

 

 

lol go to page 107...."Pages 86 to 116 are not shown in this preview"...and that other link is entirely in chinese...show translation:english, on, ....its still all chinese...doh!

 

so I cant really comment on the sources without more digging/translation...

 

 

but at any rate, I dont think we should treat any of this terminology as absolute.  stuff like "mingmen forms before the foetus," or using dantien and mingmen a little too closely, interchangeably....

 

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2 hours ago, joeblast said:

and that other link is entirely in chinese...show translation:english, on, ....its still all chinese...doh!

 

Oh yeah, that was just to show the search for "mingmen" throughout the entire Nei Jing.

You can browse the English translation of the Su Wen by doing a google search for "unschuld su wen pdf"...I can't post it here due to it being copyrighted.

I haven't found Unschuld's translation of the Ling Shu in pdf...the hardcover is quite good, because it has the hanzi alongside the translation, unlike his Su Wen. As for his variety of translation, it's not that good and is almost unreadable, but it's better than anything else out there.

 

2 hours ago, joeblast said:

the references to small heart (or 'original heart') was a mention that the kidneys form before the heart in fetal development

 

I'd need to see a bunch of sources that use the term xiao xin.
 

2 hours ago, joeblast said:

I dont think we should treat any of this terminology as absolute

 

Especially if it comes from Daoist neidan or cultivation sources, since they were known to make all terminology cryptic. It's a really challenging subject, and maybe impossible without a lineage that has perpetually passed down the keys (that's not an insinuation that I know of one...I don't).

Who can be certain of anything? Perhaps no one...but I'm pretty certain mingmen isn't inside of the kidney organs. :lol:

As for Starjumper's comment that reverse breathing isn't a legitimate technique...I am betting that the immortals Chung and Lu would ultimately agree (the following image from Eva Wong's "Tao of Health, Longevity, and Immortality"):

lu.jpg.844cb8c53283b639625ba9d43b46ad80.jpg

Since we don't understand the Dao fully, we're really discussing a side path here. It may have been part of the legitimate training, but we lack the entirety...so Starjumper is right to that extent.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, joeblast said:

counting down from the top, 7 stops at the junction of cervical and thoracic, not by the heart.....counting from the bottom, that becomes T~11 towards the bottom of the thoracic, which is basically right at the level of the adrenals.


Could be. Although...it's said to be "in the middle".
 

They may have also counted down from C7 (which was an important landmark to them) or T1, which is where we find BL-16 du shu, or BL-17 diaphragm shu. This was one commentator's idea, especially pertinent as the passage is referring to the gaohuang which was said to be "above the diaphragm and below the heart".

From below, the coccyx and sacrum may have counted and that may have been done in a less scientific way than we know today (in fact, they said the entire spine has 21 vertebrae, something we know is way off), which might be the reason for why DU-4 is called mingmen. This was an explanation I heard once, but isn't in the comments in Unschuld's Su Wen.

No one really knows. One commentator even said this passage was referring to the brain and they counted up from C7. :huh::lol:

Edited by Aetherous

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

As for Starjumper's comment that reverse breathing isn't a legitimate technique...I am betting that the immortals Chung and Lu would ultimately agree (the following image from Eva Wong's "Tao of Health, Longevity, and Immortality"):

lu.jpg.844cb8c53283b639625ba9d43b46ad80.jpg

Since we don't understand the Dao fully, we're really discussing a side path here. It may have been part of the legitimate training, but we lack the entirety...so Starjumper is right to that extent.

 

Eva Wong knows her stuff.   Maybe reverse breathing is good for something.  My comments were based on Taoist philosophy, and it doesn't take much to understand the Tao fully enough to apply it to this.

 

One would assume that Taoist practices should align with Taoist philosophy, and purely Taoist practices, which are very rare and also much more powerful, do align with the philosophy.  If they don't it's because they've been infected by other traditions, and all the huffing and puffing and straining comes from Buddhism.  Taoists are supposed to do what's natural, and reverse breathing isn't natural, no excuses!  It's also a hard style or a forced style, and that which is hard dies young.  There may be other principles that apply to this but I can't think of them at the moment.   There are some ways of creating some pressure which are soft, not hard, and they are also natural, a simple by product of doing something else in a natural manner.  These methods do conform to Taoist philosophy and they lead to longevity, chi power, and spiritual growth ... and maybe even immortality =)

Edited by Starjumper
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51 minutes ago, Starjumper said:

huffing and puffing and straining

 

The way I was taught reverse breathing didn't involve that at all. It was soft and natural...but not natural in the sense of it being entirely spontaneous. It's a method where we alter something, so in another sense, it's unnatural...in the sense that all "methods" are unnatural.

 

Seems to me like we could find that reverse breathing is in line with Daoist principles.


Still...just doing one method isn't the Dao.

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22 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

 

The way I was taught reverse breathing didn't involve that at all. It was soft and natural...but not natural in the sense of it being entirely spontaneous. It's a method where we alter something, so in another sense, it's unnatural...in the sense that all "methods" are unnatural.

 

Seems to me like we could find that reverse breathing is in line with Daoist principles.


Still...just doing one method isn't the Dao.

 

I remember one day while driving, suddenly thinking about RAB... and decided to do it while driving..  As the energy circulated to a point, I realized I need to stop it to just focus on driving  :D

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1 hour ago, Aetherous said:

The way I was taught reverse breathing didn't involve that at all. It was soft and natural...but not natural in the sense of it being entirely spontaneous. It's a method where we alter something, so in another sense, it's unnatural...in the sense that all "methods" are unnatural.

 

Seems to me like we could find that reverse breathing is in line with Daoist principles.

 

Softer is definitely better than hard force.  What is unnatural about it is that when breathing in normally the belly always expands.  To contract your belly while breathing in is quite unnatural and is forced, and forced falls under the classification of hard style.  My teacher taught a purely Taoist system and doing such things were against the rules; and like I said, there are ways of accomplishing similar in a natural manner.  I imagine that doing reverse breathing softly is not damaging like doing it strenuously is.  However, like Eva Wong said, side paths, detours, dead ends, etc.

 

1 hour ago, Aetherous said:

Still...just doing one method isn't the Dao.

 

That's for damn sure!

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