Walker

Reflections on the aspiring spiritual teacher/author Steve Gray aka Starjumper

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Posted (edited)

@joeblast Since you would prefer discussion of martial ethics/virtue to be kept separate from discussion of martial technique, and since I think Starjumper has to accept closer scrutiny than just your average TDB blowhard since he's now selling his books and videos here, I am splitting the threads. I write the following to anybody who cares, although it addresses your post directly.

 

(Anybody who wishes to troll this thread, go on ahead. But at least read this first so you can say something genuinely witty and germane. And Starjumper, if you wish to continue mocking me here, you're welcome to. Go hard. Consult a thesaurus even. Why not get it out of your system once and for all, and then try and remember that you're never too old to grow up.)

 

Quote

I can sympathize with SJ's internal dialogue (though maybe not agree with posting so unfiltered, having done it plenty enough myself lol) cuz sometimes I'm pretty much just as bad with responding in kind, and if someone thinks they're especially hard, well then maybe they just need a taunting.  Taiji isnt always done with the body, sometimes its the mouth too.  And getting a situation taken care of with the mouth is preferable to actually fighting, but hey it just cant be understood that sometimes reverse psychology is the best way to diffuse a situation quickly - if you know that p* really doesnt want to actually fight.  Lots of people like to cast stones or take musings all too seriously, resulting is big streams of shitposting, mostly which is off topic and personal for some lame or contrived reason or another.  Bottom line is, we arent hearing tales of SJ fighting all the time, so it would seem that he stands his ground and will shit talk back at people, and sometimes thinks morbid things when people piss him off.  *shrugs*  sounds kinda like most of my friends.

 

what I observed was reciprocity coming back harder than it was sent initially.  the world aint a nice place, and I think the only real problem is that he tends to just type too unfiltered.  the whole topic here is about the difference between combat sports for entertainment vs the actual deadly killing arts....so if we're discussing how potentially lethal things can be and how one's everyday training flows into the actual live applications...

 

muh morals?

 

you guys just come across as sheltered.  remember your diversity training, not everyone had the benefit of a nice suburban upbringing where someone telling the teacher was more common than someone just getting punched in the mouth!  :P (you realize I'm just fkn with you, right?  :) )

 

so instead of us actually having a discussion about the frickin topic, we get a couple of yous that have to holyroller the thread because SJ told us about getting louder than the shit talker who he was pretty sure didnt want a piece of this, but go ahead and try it, I have a dozen ways or more. 

 

there's on topic discussion that could be had that could be interesting, but no we've got to talk about bullshit like this instead.  that's my gripe.

 

Thanks for your thoughts. If I come across as one who was sheltered and therefore does not understand street violence, thank you for that too. I say that without guile or irony. I take your comment as a compliment, as it was not easy to go from being a person regularly consumed by anger and involved with violence of many kinds to a person who rarely feels the need to even think about harming other people or vandalizing my environment. My most important martial arts teachers would also be satisfied if I told them that it appears I do not carry an aura of violence, even online. They (two from the Shaolin tradition, one from Wudang, neither famous) were exceedingly clear that gentleness and calm were the the most important things we would ever learn, even though to be certain in the Shaolin school there was often bruising and bloodshed as we trained in a way that reflected a real need for self-defense in that time and place.  

 

My recollections of the violent side of the world that I passed through are very relevant to my opinion that Steve Gray. It is because of those experiences that I say that if he is going to be selling spiritual books and videos online (and hawking them here), then he needs to assume more responsibility for his words than XYZ random forum member does. One who sells teaching materials related to spiritual practice (even if he denies that's what his books and videos are about) must exercise real discernment and be cautious about publicly disseminating violent fantasies or bigotry, even when in jest or when acting out an outrageous online persona. Those who decide to be teachers, especially when they're selling the types of books young people like (Power! Jedis! Dragons! CIA! Kill you with merely a thought! Bruce Lee! Aliens! Wizards! Harry Potter!), need to know that silly young fools may actually end up taking them as role models. Their words may manifest in their students' and fans' actions. These are things that virtuous teachers keep at the very front of their minds--for the sake of their students, society, and their very own karma

 

I will explain why I feel strongly about these things, but first I will apologize, because I know it is all too easy for discussion of a "dark past" to turn into a sort of dick measuring contest (that keyword is a T-ball pitch for you if you need it, SJ). Nevertheless, here it is: sheltered though I may seem, in fact from mob brawls to 10-against-2 beatdowns (on both sides of that ratio) to bottles smashed over heads (more times than I can count, with a goodly scar on my forehead for when I got to taste it myself) to baseball bats and table legs to stabbings and all the way up to gun play (on both sides for that, also, though by grace of the Spaghetti Monster no altercation I was personally involved with resulted in a bullet hitting a body; yet I've been within fifty feet of a drive-by as well as dumb kids shooting a dude to death because he stopped his car to confront them when they threw rocks at it... cold world indeed), to multiple close friends and acquaintances losing people to murder, to friends falling apart in the crack game, to stick up kid friends who turned into the psychopaths who cut people after getting the money, to friends locked up... I have seen a fair bit, and the list goes on. That's just the violent crime, making no mention of the other crimes as well as my habitually foul behavior towards women, gay men, people weaker or stupider than me, etc. All that said, I came from a comfortable enough household and was not as hard as I aspired to be. I learned I was definitely not hard when my propensity for violence increasingly put me in contact with people who were in much deeper than me. Participating in beating up and apparently stabbing a BPSN one year meant having to keep a gun in the apartment and lay low on paranoid mode for quite some time. Less than a year later, I put a rifle in my friend's hand and he licked a shot at a group of BDs who damn sure knew who we were, so I had to leave my home and nearly everything I owned and permanently camp out on my friends' sofa. Having all that go on while becoming a little too well-known to police and also expelled from college in large part because I was involved in a brawl turned stabbing there, well, it ended up being enough to convince me that I needed to get my shit together.

 

But... Getting one's shit together when one is a young, selfish, antisocial retard who didn't have a good male role model in the home is exceedingly difficult. One of the biggest blessings in my life was that I had encountered and trained with both the Shaolin and the Wudang teachers before I went feral. I was able to remember that while training Shaolin martial arts I had been healthy and in high spirits, and also easily avoided conflict. In my twenties, when I finally realized the need I had for discipline and guidance in my life, I knew that these things existed, and I was able to go back to them. Far more important than the physical practices was the availability of responsible, mature, sane men to teach me how to stop being a fucking fool.

 

That was many years ago. I have not needed to fight with anybody since then. The two times people tried to jump me since then, I just ran away, which was easy, as few goons are in better shape than I am, and also because there was simply no compelling reason not to run away. This last fact I was able to see clearly because my teachers were men who offered their students very clear teachings about what kind of behavior reflects integrity, and what kind does not. The two Shaolin teachers were both cops in an area where violence was a part of life. One teacher's teenage son had died because he was shot in the face at point blank down the street in a convenience store for answering a question about his gang affiliation by saying he had none. You can imagine that we were reminded about this story on a regular basis, especially if anybody in the school got into conflicts in the neighborhood. So, we trained and became strong and punched and kicked each other but we also were fed a steady stream of moral instructions from men who were mature, upright, strong, confident, dangerous, very familiar with violence, and yet never ever ever ever prone to sitting there making light of it, or bragging about it, joking about killing people, name-calling those they did not like, etc. I am sure they behaved the way they did in part because they were aware of how volatile and impressionable all the hormonal, teenaged and early-twenty-something minds around them were. To be unclear about what constitutes virtuous behavior is to fail as a martial arts teacher, regardless of how skilled one may be at teaching people to punch, kick, grapple, etc. 

 

My own life example proves that even if you do teach properly, kids will still fail to get the message. Yet, despite the fact that I strayed far from what my teachers had taught me when I was a teenager, my great good fortune was that they planted seeds that remained fertile until I finally began to examine my life in my twenties. Had they not done so, I do not know how I would have found the power to change the direction my life was plummeting along in. Perhaps I would have have failed to extract myself. I can only remain grateful that they upheld the martial culture as excellent role models and mentors who helped me cease harming myself and others. What they demonstrated was 武德, "martial virtue." The character 武 simply depicts stopping (止) and a bladed weapon (戈). Partially this refers to self defense, which helps you stop others from harming you. But when viewed as the basis of moving from simple martial arts training into a spiritual existence it reveals a deeper meaning of learning to stop yourself from harming self and other. This is not easy to do, and yet it is core of all Chinese martial arts that can legitimately claim to have their roots in the teachings of the sages. Those of you who view this place as The Dao Bums and not simply "the bums," please be aware that the Daodejing makes no bones about this issue. If you can't remember where, it is time to read the book again. 

 

This brings me back to Steve Gray, who claims to have inherited one of the greatest Chinese martial arts ever--one that indeed comes from the spirit realm and turns people into sages. In choosing to use this shared forum as a platform from which to hawk his book full of purported spiritual teachings, his neigong videos (including those expressly meant to activate shen), and to attract students to his brick-and-mortar school, he has chosen to move from the role of simple forum member into a more public role. I do not suggest that anybody needs to force him to speak and write in one way or another. But given Steve's transition to public figure, I think there is no reason to treat him differently from any other author, video maker, or "master" plying his/her trade on the internet. Given that he is selling teachings, there is plenty of reason to take a serious look at just what kind of teacher this is. That is why I hold his fantasy about killing the BJJ practitioner in a different light than I would if it were posted by a random TDbum. That violent fantasy and all the name-calling that goes on and on and on and on... what kind of person does it reflect? What kind of teacher does it reflect? What kind of energetic, spiritual, and martial development does it reflect? Is it just little jokes, or is this man perhaps deranged and dangerous? If he is not deranged, why does he feel the need to play the role of a somewhat crazy, bullying person when he is posting on the internet? 

 

There is another issue which also demands some scrutiny: Starjumper is spreading videos online of shen practices which he admits that he himself cannot safely practice. Today, regarding the videos he recently posted he wrote:

 

19 hours ago, Starjumper said:

Whilst answering to one of the idiots, I said to go read the warning on the high power spiritual meditations I posted.  Well, early this morning something clicked, and I had the notion of taking the warning personally, and I'll be damned if all this upward, head focus, stuff isn't making me get more emotional than usual, which is already bad enough.  The click was assisted by my wife's comments, like, "what's wrong with you, why are you acting like this?"  

 

It is well known that improper shen practices can and often enough do lead to mental illness and spiritual disturbances. That Starjumper is using the Dao Bums as a platform to advertise and distribute video instructions for practices that he, as their teacher (creator even?), does not fully understand is eyebrow-raising to say the least. My opinion is that simply tacking warnings onto the beginning of videos (or covering your book with the word "spiritual" and then denying it is about spirituality) is a lame cop out, and demonstrative of a man who lacks the sense of responsibility required of a person in the role he is trying to occupy.

 

Anyway, I feel I have made my point. Food for thought for some, hopefully. Maybe some will think I'm overreacting. I was taught by people who took this sort of shit very seriously and took pains to explain why. My hard-won life experience lends me to think they were right in doing so, and thus I take my time to express these things as clearly as I possibly can. People should be very careful when choosing teachers. That is all. 

Edited by Walker
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Sometimes the untested feel they have something to prove.

 

Thanks for sharing some of your life experience Walker. _/\_

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Posted (edited)

I have kinda bit my tongue about this but seeing as someone has said it  ,I  have felt for a long time that his posts do not  have the type of energy and attitude that I would want from a  teacher.

Edited by Bruce Qi
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In this lifetime, I have learned many things from many people. Some of those people others would call "good", others would be labeled "bad", but in all cases I had the opportunity to differentiate what was of value to me, and what was not. 

 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, ilumairen said:

In this lifetime, I have learned many things from many people. Some of those people others would call "good", others would be labeled "bad", but in all cases I had the opportunity to differentiate what was of value to me, and what was not. 

 

 

I´ll second this.  I´ve learned a lot from teachers whose personal style I didn´t like much.  One of my favorite practices came to me from of a flamboyant fellow with a way too high opinion of his own abilities. Still, what he taught was gold.   

Edited by liminal_luke
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Agree with that.  I often push and pull people to see what they are made of, it reveals a lot.   But often I am not forgiven for it either.

Anyway on this crazy planet the pure gold can be anywhere, in the open, or secretly hidden away, it is impossible to tell such is the disorder here. 
In the end you should take instruction from a mass murderer or an angel, from a bum on the street, or a bird you see, or from an official teacher ... doesn't matter as long as they actually know.

The only way to know is to try everything, high and low, left and right.

There is no other way.

Some people think they know something, and in the end know nothing, often they are fooling themselves.

And some of the best people also don't know.

I ... think that many people follow lives and end up ultimately disappointed or confused.

I think there may be many people dying thinking they are safe, when they are not.

And there is a truth, and an answer, and a completion, and an answer.

Of course it is inside you ....

Best to try like hell to find it with no help.

And then with the best help.

To find a good source is one of the great skills that must be developed.

Such skills and discrimination start with being competent with all the small things in your ordinary life, becoming able and developing skills there, can be readily transferred to the inner world.

 

As Ripley says in Aliens .... "the only way to know for sure is to take off and nuke it from orbit".

And if that is the only way to know ... that is the only way to know.

 

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On 7/1/2019 at 7:11 AM, Walker said:

@joeblast Since you would prefer discussion of martial ethics/virtue to be kept separate from discussion of martial technique, and since I think Starjumper has to accept closer scrutiny than just your average TDB blowhard since he's now selling his books and videos here, I am splitting the threads. I write the following to anybody who cares, although it addresses your post directly.

 

(Anybody who wishes to troll this thread, go on ahead. But at least read this first so you can say something genuinely witty and germane. And Starjumper, if you wish to continue mocking me here, you're welcome to. Go hard. Consult a thesaurus even. Why not get it out of your system once and for all, and then try and remember that you're never too old to grow up.)

 

 

Thanks for your thoughts. If I come across as one who was sheltered and therefore does not understand street violence, thank you for that too. I say that without guile or irony. I take your comment as a compliment, as it was not easy to go from being a person regularly consumed by anger and involved with violence of many kinds to a person who rarely feels the need to even think about harming other people or vandalizing my environment. My most important martial arts teachers would also be satisfied if I told them that it appears I do not carry an aura of violence, even online. They (two from the Shaolin tradition, one from Wudang, neither famous) were exceedingly clear that gentleness and calm were the the most important things we would ever learn, even though to be certain in the Shaolin school there was often bruising and bloodshed as we trained in a way that reflected a real need for self-defense in that time and place.  

 

My recollections of the violent side of the world that I passed through are very relevant to my opinion that Steve Gray. It is because of those experiences that I say that if he is going to be selling spiritual books and videos online (and hawking them here), then he needs to assume more responsibility for his words than XYZ random forum member does. One who sells teaching materials related to spiritual practice (even if he denies that's what his books and videos are about) must exercise real discernment and be cautious about publicly disseminating violent fantasies or bigotry, even when in jest or when acting out an outrageous online persona. Those who decide to be teachers, especially when they're selling the types of books young people like (Power! Jedis! Dragons! CIA! Kill you with merely a thought! Bruce Lee! Aliens! Wizards! Harry Potter!), need to know that silly young fools may actually end up taking them as role models. Their words may manifest in their students' and fans' actions. These are things that virtuous teachers keep at the very front of their minds--for the sake of their students, society, and their very own karma

 

I will explain why I feel strongly about these things, but first I will apologize, because I know it is all too easy for discussion of a "dark past" to turn into a sort of dick measuring contest (that keyword is a T-ball pitch for you if you need it, SJ). Nevertheless, here it is: sheltered though I may seem, in fact from mob brawls to 10-against-2 beatdowns (on both sides of that ratio) to bottles smashed over heads (more times than I can count, with a goodly scar on my forehead for when I got to taste it myself) to baseball bats and table legs to stabbings and all the way up to gun play (on both sides for that, also, though by grace of the Spaghetti Monster no altercation I was personally involved with resulted in a bullet hitting a body; yet I've been within fifty feet of a drive-by as well as dumb kids shooting a dude to death because he stopped his car to confront them when they threw rocks at it... cold world indeed), to multiple close friends and acquaintances losing people to murder, to friends falling apart in the crack game, to stick up kid friends who turned into the psychopaths who cut people after getting the money, to friends locked up... I have seen a fair bit, and the list goes on. That's just the violent crime, making no mention of the other crimes as well as my habitually foul behavior towards women, gay men, people weaker or stupider than me, etc. All that said, I came from a comfortable enough household and was not as hard as I aspired to be. I learned I was definitely not hard when my propensity for violence increasingly put me in contact with people who were in much deeper than me. Participating in beating up and apparently stabbing a BPSN one year meant having to keep a gun in the apartment and lay low on paranoid mode for quite some time. Less than a year later, I put a rifle in my friend's hand and he licked a shot at a group of BDs who damn sure knew who we were, so I had to leave my home and nearly everything I owned and permanently camp out on my friends' sofa. Having all that go on while becoming a little too well-known to police and also expelled from college in large part because I was involved in a brawl turned stabbing there, well, it ended up being enough to convince me that I needed to get my shit together.

 

But... Getting one's shit together when one is a young, selfish, antisocial retard who didn't have a good male role model in the home is exceedingly difficult. One of the biggest blessings in my life was that I had encountered and trained with both the Shaolin and the Wudang teachers before I went feral. I was able to remember that while training Shaolin martial arts I had been healthy and in high spirits, and also easily avoided conflict. In my twenties, when I finally realized the need I had for discipline and guidance in my life, I knew that these things existed, and I was able to go back to them. Far more important than the physical practices was the availability of responsible, mature, sane men to teach me how to stop being a fucking fool.

 

That was many years ago. I have not needed to fight with anybody since then. The two times people tried to jump me since then, I just ran away, which was easy, as few goons are in better shape than I am, and also because there was simply no compelling reason not to run away. This last fact I was able to see clearly because my teachers were men who offered their students very clear teachings about what kind of behavior reflects integrity, and what kind does not. The two Shaolin teachers were both cops in an area where violence was a part of life. One teacher's teenage son had died because he was shot in the face at point blank down the street in a convenience store for answering a question about his gang affiliation by saying he had none. You can imagine that we were reminded about this story on a regular basis, especially if anybody in the school got into conflicts in the neighborhood. So, we trained and became strong and punched and kicked each other but we also were fed a steady stream of moral instructions from men who were mature, upright, strong, confident, dangerous, very familiar with violence, and yet never ever ever ever prone to sitting there making light of it, or bragging about it, joking about killing people, name-calling those they did not like, etc. I am sure they behaved the way they did in part because they were aware of how volatile and impressionable all the hormonal, teenaged and early-twenty-something minds around them were. To be unclear about what constitutes virtuous behavior is to fail as a martial arts teacher, regardless of how skilled one may be at teaching people to punch, kick, grapple, etc. 

 

My own life example proves that even if you do teach properly, kids will still fail to get the message. Yet, despite the fact that I strayed far from what my teachers had taught me when I was a teenager, my great good fortune was that they planted seeds that remained fertile until I finally began to examine my life in my twenties. Had they not done so, I do not know how I would have found the power to change the direction my life was plummeting along in. Perhaps I would have have failed to extract myself. I can only remain grateful that they upheld the martial culture as excellent role models and mentors who helped me cease harming myself and others. What they demonstrated was 武德, "martial virtue." The character 武 simply depicts stopping (止) and a bladed weapon (戈). Partially this refers to self defense, which helps you stop others from harming you. But when viewed as the basis of moving from simple martial arts training into a spiritual existence it reveals a deeper meaning of learning to stop yourself from harming self and other. This is not easy to do, and yet it is core of all Chinese martial arts that can legitimately claim to have their roots in the teachings of the sages. Those of you who view this place as The Dao Bums and not simply "the bums," please be aware that the Daodejing makes no bones about this issue. If you can't remember where, it is time to read the book again. 

 

This brings me back to Steve Gray, who claims to have inherited one of the greatest Chinese martial arts ever--one that indeed comes from the spirit realm and turns people into sages. In choosing to use this shared forum as a platform from which to hawk his book full of purported spiritual teachings, his neigong videos (including those expressly meant to activate shen), and to attract students to his brick-and-mortar school, he has chosen to move from the role of simple forum member into a more public role. I do not suggest that anybody needs to force him to speak and write in one way or another. But given Steve's transition to public figure, I think there is no reason to treat him differently from any other author, video maker, or "master" plying his/her trade on the internet. Given that he is selling teachings, there is plenty of reason to take a serious look at just what kind of teacher this is. That is why I hold his fantasy about killing the BJJ practitioner in a different light than I would if it were posted by a random TDbum. That violent fantasy and all the name-calling that goes on and on and on and on... what kind of person does it reflect? What kind of teacher does it reflect? What kind of energetic, spiritual, and martial development does it reflect? Is it just little jokes, or is this man perhaps deranged and dangerous? If he is not deranged, why does he feel the need to play the role of a somewhat crazy, bullying person when he is posting on the internet? 

 

There is another issue which also demands some scrutiny: Starjumper is spreading videos online of shen practices which he admits that he himself cannot safely practice. Today, regarding the videos he recently posted he wrote:

 

 

It is well known that improper shen practices can and often enough do lead to mental illness and spiritual disturbances. That Starjumper is using the Dao Bums as a platform to advertise and distribute video instructions for practices that he, as their teacher (creator even?), does not fully understand is eyebrow-raising to say the least. My opinion is that simply tacking warnings onto the beginning of videos (or covering your book with the word "spiritual" and then denying it is about spirituality) is a lame cop out, and demonstrative of a man who lacks the sense of responsibility required of a person in the role he is trying to occupy.

 

Anyway, I feel I have made my point. Food for thought for some, hopefully. Maybe some will think I'm overreacting. I was taught by people who took this sort of shit very seriously and took pains to explain why. My hard-won life experience lends me to think they were right in doing so, and thus I take my time to express these things as clearly as I possibly can. People should be very careful when choosing teachers. That is all. 

So ignore him. 

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On 7/1/2019 at 3:11 PM, Walker said:

f he is not deranged, why does he feel the need to play the role of a somewhat crazy, bullying person when he is posting on the internet

Pot. Kettle.

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On 7/1/2019 at 12:11 PM, Walker said:

@joeblast Since you would prefer discussion of martial ethics/virtue to be kept separate from discussion of martial technique, and since I think Starjumper has to accept closer scrutiny than just your average TDB blowhard since he's now selling his books and videos here, I am splitting the threads. I write the following to anybody who cares, although it addresses your post directly.

 

(Anybody who wishes to troll this thread, go on ahead. But at least read this first so you can say something genuinely witty and germane. And Starjumper, if you wish to continue mocking me here, you're welcome to. Go hard. Consult a thesaurus even. Why not get it out of your system once and for all, and then try and remember that you're never too old to grow up.)

 

 

Thanks for your thoughts. If I come across as one who was sheltered and therefore does not understand street violence, thank you for that too. I say that without guile or irony. I take your comment as a compliment, as it was not easy to go from being a person regularly consumed by anger and involved with violence of many kinds to a person who rarely feels the need to even think about harming other people or vandalizing my environment. My most important martial arts teachers would also be satisfied if I told them that it appears I do not carry an aura of violence, even online. They (two from the Shaolin tradition, one from Wudang, neither famous) were exceedingly clear that gentleness and calm were the the most important things we would ever learn, even though to be certain in the Shaolin school there was often bruising and bloodshed as we trained in a way that reflected a real need for self-defense in that time and place.  

 

My recollections of the violent side of the world that I passed through are very relevant to my opinion that Steve Gray. It is because of those experiences that I say that if he is going to be selling spiritual books and videos online (and hawking them here), then he needs to assume more responsibility for his words than XYZ random forum member does. One who sells teaching materials related to spiritual practice (even if he denies that's what his books and videos are about) must exercise real discernment and be cautious about publicly disseminating violent fantasies or bigotry, even when in jest or when acting out an outrageous online persona. Those who decide to be teachers, especially when they're selling the types of books young people like (Power! Jedis! Dragons! CIA! Kill you with merely a thought! Bruce Lee! Aliens! Wizards! Harry Potter!), need to know that silly young fools may actually end up taking them as role models. Their words may manifest in their students' and fans' actions. These are things that virtuous teachers keep at the very front of their minds--for the sake of their students, society, and their very own karma

 

I will explain why I feel strongly about these things, but first I will apologize, because I know it is all too easy for discussion of a "dark past" to turn into a sort of dick measuring contest (that keyword is a T-ball pitch for you if you need it, SJ). Nevertheless, here it is: sheltered though I may seem, in fact from mob brawls to 10-against-2 beatdowns (on both sides of that ratio) to bottles smashed over heads (more times than I can count, with a goodly scar on my forehead for when I got to taste it myself) to baseball bats and table legs to stabbings and all the way up to gun play (on both sides for that, also, though by grace of the Spaghetti Monster no altercation I was personally involved with resulted in a bullet hitting a body; yet I've been within fifty feet of a drive-by as well as dumb kids shooting a dude to death because he stopped his car to confront them when they threw rocks at it... cold world indeed), to multiple close friends and acquaintances losing people to murder, to friends falling apart in the crack game, to stick up kid friends who turned into the psychopaths who cut people after getting the money, to friends locked up... I have seen a fair bit, and the list goes on. That's just the violent crime, making no mention of the other crimes as well as my habitually foul behavior towards women, gay men, people weaker or stupider than me, etc. All that said, I came from a comfortable enough household and was not as hard as I aspired to be. I learned I was definitely not hard when my propensity for violence increasingly put me in contact with people who were in much deeper than me. Participating in beating up and apparently stabbing a BPSN one year meant having to keep a gun in the apartment and lay low on paranoid mode for quite some time. Less than a year later, I put a rifle in my friend's hand and he licked a shot at a group of BDs who damn sure knew who we were, so I had to leave my home and nearly everything I owned and permanently camp out on my friends' sofa. Having all that go on while becoming a little too well-known to police and also expelled from college in large part because I was involved in a brawl turned stabbing there, well, it ended up being enough to convince me that I needed to get my shit together.

 

But... Getting one's shit together when one is a young, selfish, antisocial retard who didn't have a good male role model in the home is exceedingly difficult. One of the biggest blessings in my life was that I had encountered and trained with both the Shaolin and the Wudang teachers before I went feral. I was able to remember that while training Shaolin martial arts I had been healthy and in high spirits, and also easily avoided conflict. In my twenties, when I finally realized the need I had for discipline and guidance in my life, I knew that these things existed, and I was able to go back to them. Far more important than the physical practices was the availability of responsible, mature, sane men to teach me how to stop being a fucking fool.

 

That was many years ago. I have not needed to fight with anybody since then. The two times people tried to jump me since then, I just ran away, which was easy, as few goons are in better shape than I am, and also because there was simply no compelling reason not to run away. This last fact I was able to see clearly because my teachers were men who offered their students very clear teachings about what kind of behavior reflects integrity, and what kind does not. The two Shaolin teachers were both cops in an area where violence was a part of life. One teacher's teenage son had died because he was shot in the face at point blank down the street in a convenience store for answering a question about his gang affiliation by saying he had none. You can imagine that we were reminded about this story on a regular basis, especially if anybody in the school got into conflicts in the neighborhood. So, we trained and became strong and punched and kicked each other but we also were fed a steady stream of moral instructions from men who were mature, upright, strong, confident, dangerous, very familiar with violence, and yet never ever ever ever prone to sitting there making light of it, or bragging about it, joking about killing people, name-calling those they did not like, etc. I am sure they behaved the way they did in part because they were aware of how volatile and impressionable all the hormonal, teenaged and early-twenty-something minds around them were. To be unclear about what constitutes virtuous behavior is to fail as a martial arts teacher, regardless of how skilled one may be at teaching people to punch, kick, grapple, etc. 

 

My own life example proves that even if you do teach properly, kids will still fail to get the message. Yet, despite the fact that I strayed far from what my teachers had taught me when I was a teenager, my great good fortune was that they planted seeds that remained fertile until I finally began to examine my life in my twenties. Had they not done so, I do not know how I would have found the power to change the direction my life was plummeting along in. Perhaps I would have have failed to extract myself. I can only remain grateful that they upheld the martial culture as excellent role models and mentors who helped me cease harming myself and others. What they demonstrated was 武德, "martial virtue." The character 武 simply depicts stopping (止) and a bladed weapon (戈). Partially this refers to self defense, which helps you stop others from harming you. But when viewed as the basis of moving from simple martial arts training into a spiritual existence it reveals a deeper meaning of learning to stop yourself from harming self and other. This is not easy to do, and yet it is core of all Chinese martial arts that can legitimately claim to have their roots in the teachings of the sages. Those of you who view this place as The Dao Bums and not simply "the bums," please be aware that the Daodejing makes no bones about this issue. If you can't remember where, it is time to read the book again. 

 

This brings me back to Steve Gray, who claims to have inherited one of the greatest Chinese martial arts ever--one that indeed comes from the spirit realm and turns people into sages. In choosing to use this shared forum as a platform from which to hawk his book full of purported spiritual teachings, his neigong videos (including those expressly meant to activate shen), and to attract students to his brick-and-mortar school, he has chosen to move from the role of simple forum member into a more public role. I do not suggest that anybody needs to force him to speak and write in one way or another. But given Steve's transition to public figure, I think there is no reason to treat him differently from any other author, video maker, or "master" plying his/her trade on the internet. Given that he is selling teachings, there is plenty of reason to take a serious look at just what kind of teacher this is. That is why I hold his fantasy about killing the BJJ practitioner in a different light than I would if it were posted by a random TDbum. That violent fantasy and all the name-calling that goes on and on and on and on... what kind of person does it reflect? What kind of teacher does it reflect? What kind of energetic, spiritual, and martial development does it reflect? Is it just little jokes, or is this man perhaps deranged and dangerous? If he is not deranged, why does he feel the need to play the role of a somewhat crazy, bullying person when he is posting on the internet? 

 

There is another issue which also demands some scrutiny: Starjumper is spreading videos online of shen practices which he admits that he himself cannot safely practice. Today, regarding the videos he recently posted he wrote:

 

 

It is well known that improper shen practices can and often enough do lead to mental illness and spiritual disturbances. That Starjumper is using the Dao Bums as a platform to advertise and distribute video instructions for practices that he, as their teacher (creator even?), does not fully understand is eyebrow-raising to say the least. My opinion is that simply tacking warnings onto the beginning of videos (or covering your book with the word "spiritual" and then denying it is about spirituality) is a lame cop out, and demonstrative of a man who lacks the sense of responsibility required of a person in the role he is trying to occupy.

 

Anyway, I feel I have made my point. Food for thought for some, hopefully. Maybe some will think I'm overreacting. I was taught by people who took this sort of shit very seriously and took pains to explain why. My hard-won life experience lends me to think they were right in doing so, and thus I take my time to express these things as clearly as I possibly can. People should be very careful when choosing teachers. That is all. 

 

I dont see what the purpose of this rant is?

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I had a similar issue in a different thread a while back where he claimed how easy it would be to break the neck of a wrestler or mma fighter if they were to attempt a single or double leg takedown. I could care less that he thinks he could do it, my problem is that I didn’t/don’t want others to mistakenly think they can. It is not that easy no matter who you are or what you know, period. Notice I didn’t say impossible. But what trips me out maybe a little more though is how ok some here are with his “gay” comments. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, liminal_luke said:

 

I´ll second this.  I´ve learned a lot from teachers whose personal style I didn´t like much.  One of my favorite practices came to me from of a flamboyant fellow with a way too high opinion of his own abilities. Still, what he taught was gold.   

 

sift for the gold and throw away   the dross ..  ;) 

 

 

But from now on, If I want a good teacher , I think I ask them what this is and how they would use it  first ;

 

 

fotolia_3817285_XS.jpg

 

 

;) 

Edited by Nungali
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In the years observing and chatting with Steve, he's been very kind and helpful. Sure he can get a bit grumpy at times... he does live in the mountains.  But I've also seen him take time out of his day to post videos of techniques he thinks would be helpful to newcomers asking.  How many of us can say we've done that?

 

Walker is well written and sounds convincing.  But in Steve's defense, Walker is taking 1-2 posts and really judging a man's contributions and worth on them.  Steve said himself he was having an off-day and didn't feel well.  Did you not take that into account?  It feels like an attempted lynching...and strikes me as over the top.

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51 minutes ago, Nungali said:

 

sift for the gold and throw away   the dross ..  ;) 

 

 

But from now on, If I want a good teacher , I think I ask them what this is and how they would use it  first ;

 

 

fotolia_3817285_XS.jpg

 

 

;) 

Looks beautiful to me like artwork caught in motion. Thanks for sharing,  the picture has a very nice feel about it.

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Posted (edited)

@Walker

 

All of us size up other people based, at least to some extent, on our own personal histories.  As a gay man, I don´t take kindly to people saying that a particular martial art is for gays, implying that men like myself couldn´t possibly be serious and skilled fighters, that we just want to roll around on the floor with each other half-naked.  I´d heard enough of that kind of put down to last me a life time by the time I´d reached the 8th grade.  In a similar way, I´ll bet that your background as someone who has lived around violence makes you sensitive to macho dudes who brag about how they could hurt other people.  We object to this kind of talk even in jest.  I agree with you that it´s harmful.

 

And yet I don´t share your passion for objecting to Starjumper´s teaching.  My sense is that he knows a lot and genuinely wants to impart his knowledge to others.  I think that beneath the bravado he´s a peaceful, maybe even loving, person.  Is he perfect?  No.  Would I prefer if he dropped the aggressive posing?  Absolutely.  But teachers are human beings and even good ones come with a whole bevy of flaws.  The truth is that Starjumper is going to teach.  Some students might benefit from his instruction, others may not.  You and I will likely not be among his pupils. Perhaps that´s our loss, perhaps it isn´t.  

 

In general, I´m not a fan of threads whose purpose is to say that a particular teacher or teachings is bad.  There are bad teachers out there, but it mostly doesn´t help to say so.  People are going to study with the folks they feel a connection with.  Some people are going to study with Starjumper, even though we´re bothered by some of his verbiage.  Rather than pointing out the bad, I find it´s much more useful to champion the good.  Objecting to Starjumper won´t stop other people from studying with him.  We just don´t have that power and I´m not convinced it would be a good thing if we did.  I suggest focusing on the positive. What spiritual practices have made a difference in your life?  How did you learn about them?  Your answers to these questions will likely inspire others; attempting to takedown Starjumper won´t. 

 

 

Edited by liminal_luke
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Posted (edited)

Sometimes we need to extricate ourselves from karmic loops, and a practical way to do that would be to clear the conscience. That can be considered Right Action where such action is in harmony with intent. 

 

Connections with teachers mainly depend on affinity and timing. 

If the affinity and timing are aligned, good teachers cannot avoid meeting difficult students. 

Likewise, good students meet flawed teachers due to their complex karmic connections. 

 

As observed, many times a faultless student can contribute and impact on a mediocre teacher's betterment.  

 

Affinity need not mean that everything must come up rosy. 

Affinity understood means arriving at the insight to know and accept that rose bushes must have thorns. 

 

Its the push and pull of opposites that creates the ideal ground for wholeness to manifest. 

Its what gives it meaning too, i think. 

Edited by C T
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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Bruce Qi said:

I have kinda bit my tongue about this but seeing as someone has said it  ,I  have felt for a long time that his posts do not  have the type of energy and attitude that I would want from a  teacher.

 

That's the idea, ya'll please stay away in droves.  Thank you for your kind attention in this manner.  BTW, I didn't read any posts longer than one sentence.

 

You know what's funny, before I took the vacation from here to write the book, I never told anyone I was a master or of my abilities and I had lots of weenies yelling and cussing at me that I wasn't a master.  YAHAhahahaha, morons.  Maybe they saw something they hated - in the mirror.

 

Well, I'm not a master, so stick it in your ear.

 

Now it's seems to be a bit milder, maybe because I don't engage so much with immature idiots.

 

But you got the message, stay far far away.  Oops, earthquake, bye.

Edited by Starjumper
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Posted (edited)
On 7/4/2019 at 2:01 AM, Pilgrim said:

So ignore him. 

 

Or discuss, on the discussion forum.

 

On 7/4/2019 at 7:26 AM, pegasus1992 said:

I dont see what the purpose of this rant is?

 

Well, all that writing, mon frere, was for reading.

 

On 7/4/2019 at 7:28 AM, MBZ said:

I had a similar issue in a different thread a while back where he claimed how easy it would be to break the neck of a wrestler or mma fighter if they were to attempt a single or double leg takedown. I could care less that he thinks he could do it, my problem is that I didn’t/don’t want others to mistakenly think they can. It is not that easy no matter who you are or what you know, period. Notice I didn’t say impossible. But what trips me out maybe a little more though is how ok some here are with his “gay” comments. 

 

Agreed on both counts.

 

On 7/4/2019 at 9:44 AM, Fa Xin said:

In the years observing and chatting with Steve, he's been very kind and helpful. Sure he can get a bit grumpy at times... he does live in the mountains.  But I've also seen him take time out of his day to post videos of techniques he thinks would be helpful to newcomers asking.  How many of us can say we've done that?

 

Thank you for your thoughts. I agree that I have seen Steve show kindness here plenty of times. In all instances, it is laudable.

 

Quote

Walker is well written and sounds convincing.  But in Steve's defense, Walker is taking 1-2 posts and really judging a man's contributions and worth on them.  Steve said himself he was having an off-day and didn't feel well.  Did you not take that into account?  It feels like an attempted lynching...and strikes me as over the top.

 

I do take that into account, but regarding "having an off day," it is like this: So we have man who isn't in a great mood one day, so he gets on Facebook to gay bash and (possibly) try to start a real-life fight, or at least ruin somebody else's day by trolling him online. Off day #1. Then he comes here days later to brag about what he did that day. So this is off day #2? Then, when the questionable nature of his behavior is brought to his attention here, he responds with "fool fool moron moron jealous." Either we have now witnessed off day #3, or we are seeing a man who just acts like that.

 

Honestly, I wouldn't have bothered him in the first place if he wasn't selling books with the word "spiritual" all over the back cover and selling videos of shen practices. I decided to offer my perspective for those early-stage seekers on this forum who might not have had the opportunity to meet the many teachers I have studied with around the world who would explain how Steve Gray's behavior raises serious red flags. To such newcomers I wish to point out that in it would probably be wise to think carefully about what is reflected in the above sort of behavior before putting stock in the author's book chapter about enlightenment or experimenting with neigong practices meant to affect the shen.

 

I do not wish to "lynch" Steve Gray by ending his career. Invariably some people will think I'm being very hypocritical, but I will say that I wish him all the best. They key is I believe it is unlikely that "all the best" will come to a man who is making some of the mistakes he appears to be making. My opinion is rooted in the teachings on what the English speaking Daoist master Ni Huaching calls the "laws of universal energy response," from "感應." These teachings are related to Buddhist teachings on karma, but not 100% the same. As we are all more or less equals here, I offer my opinion to Starjumper that he may face consequences later on if the poor example he sets and the shengong he is sharing here causes problems. His protests like "but I never said I was a master" or "I didn't say I am teaching spirituality" may (sort of) work as a dodge on a message board, but will it be enough to dodge 感應? I wouldn't bet on it. But one is always free to learn the painful way if one wishes. I certainly chose that route many times, and all others are free to walk it.

 

Anyway, Master Ni writes extensively about this stuff in his books, which can be found used on Amazon for low prices. Although they can be a bit disorganized and rarely offer specific practices, I think they are very worthwhile reading for those who wish to learn more about Daoism. Especially when it comes to learning about 德.

 

On 7/4/2019 at 10:59 AM, liminal_luke said:

@Walker

 

All of us size up other people based, at least to some extent, on our own personal histories.  As a gay man, I don´t take kindly to people saying that a particular martial art is for gays, implying that men like myself couldn´t possibly be serious and skilled fighters, that we just want to roll around on the floor with each other half-naked.  I´d heard enough of that kind of put down to last me a life time by the time I´d reached the 8th grade.  In a similar way, I´ll bet that your background as someone who has lived around violence makes you sensitive to macho dudes who brag about how they could hurt other people.  We object to this kind of talk even in jest.  I agree with you that it´s harmful.

 

And yet I don´t share your passion for objecting to Starjumper´s teaching.  My sense is that he knows a lot and genuinely wants to impart his knowledge to others.  I think that beneath the bravado he´s a peaceful, maybe even loving, person.  Is he perfect?  No.  Would I prefer if he dropped the aggressive posing?  Absolutely.  But teachers are human beings and even good ones come with a whole bevy of flaws.  The truth is that Starjumper is going to teach.  Some students might benefit from his instruction, others may not.  You and I will likely not be among his pupils. Perhaps that´s our loss, perhaps it isn´t.  

 

In general, I´m not a fan of threads whose purpose is to say that a particular teacher or teachings is bad.  There are bad teachers out there, but it mostly doesn´t help to say so.  People are going to study with the folks they feel a connection with.  Some people are going to study with Starjumper, even though we´re bothered by some of his verbiage.  Rather than pointing out the bad, I find it´s much more useful to champion the good.  Objecting to Starjumper won´t stop other people from studying with him.  We just don´t have that power and I´m not convinced it would be a good thing if we did.  I suggest focusing on the positive. What spiritual practices have made a difference in your life?  How did you learn about them?  Your answers to these questions will likely inspire others; attempting to takedown Starjumper won´t.

 

Thank you for your opinions. You're right that there are excellent aspects to what he has shared with us here. I disagree, however, about not pointing out the things that we think people who have chosen to step into the role of teacher are doing which we feel could be damaging to students.

 

You are right when you say "objecting to Starjumper won't stop other people from studying with him," which is why I did not write with the plan to try and stop other people from studying with him. I agree with you 100% when you say, "we just don't have that power and I'm not convinced it would be a good thing if we did." My goal is very simply to provide a counterpoint to his flamboyant, flippant, sophomoric attitude towards the responsibilities of spiritual teacher that he half wants, half doesn't want. I might be wrong, too! I can do no more than add my thoughts to the pot here and let others react as they please.

 

Finally, more generally, while I appreciate the sentiment of "rather than pointing out the bad, I find it´s much more useful to champion the good," I do not think it is a sufficient strategy for dealing with the complexities of life. There's a whollllle lot of shit in human society that needs to be pointed at so that it can be discussed, understood, and transformed. For instance, I used to spout waaaaaaayyy more homophobic language than anything I've ever seen on this board, and was taught that that was normal (in fact, necessary) at such a young age that I didn't even question thinking and speaking this way by the time I was an adult. I did not even change my behavior even after I had gay friends; even after a friend trusted me enough that I was the first person he came out to. In fact, I probably told myself something along the lines of, "see, this proves I'm not homophobic, therefore what does it matter if I say these things when I'm having an off day?" I'm glad that eventually friends pulled my card and pointed very directly at this major flaw in my personality. Had they simply emphasized my positive traits and ignored that problem, where would the impetus to meditate upon that deep-rooted habit have come from?

Edited by Walker
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Blah, Blah Blah. 

 

Steve upset your Apple cart. You let him get your goat. 

 

Your problem now. Grow up and deal with it. 

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6 minutes ago, Pilgrim said:

Your problem now. Grow up and deal with it. 

 

Do you mean shut up and go away?

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1 hour ago, Walker said:

 I'm being very hypocritical

Yes, very. Also very, very angry. Your liver is shot, u better start working on it soon.

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on second thought, let's not go to camelot.  tis a silly place. B)

grail11.jpg

 

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On 7/3/2019 at 9:44 PM, Fa Xin said:

Walker is well written and sounds convincing.  But in Steve's defense, Walker is taking 1-2 posts and really judging a man's contributions and worth on them.  Steve said himself he was having an off-day and didn't feel well.  Did you not take that into account?  It feels like an attempted lynching...and strikes me as over the top.

 

I see differently, and am reminded of a heartfelt conversation I had with a young woman who had grown up in "the inner city." She shared similar thoughts regarding people who act tough and talk shit. For people like my young female friend and Walker the reality of what they've experienced certainly informs and colors what comes to mind when people start talking shit - especially when it comes to the harsh realities of actual violence, as opposed to controlled martial training and sparring.

 

I would prefer we didn't have threads dedicated to other forum members, and believe we could discuss the issues instead of the individuals, and at the same time don't want to see those who feel compelled to speak out silenced or scorned. Hell, imo, if it weren't for the scorn experienced in the other thread, this thread wouldn't even exist.

 

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