forestofemptiness

Thoughts on Energy Arts / B.K. Frantzis

Recommended Posts

After a long hiatus, I have been considering taking up qigong again. As it turns out,  B.K. Frantzis has moved into my area. His center is offering ongoing classes with senior instructors. Has anyone worked with B.K. Frantzis or one of his instructors long term? Thoughts? I am primarily looking for qigong work to supplement my meditation/dream yoga practices. 

Edited by forestofemptiness
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, but I've read one of his books. Personally, I think he's onto something. Perhaps maybe a bit misguided when talking about the arts' effectiveness in combat, but for healing, I'm on board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Qigong as in the fluffy stuff? Why don't you take up Tai Chi or Bagua. Is he offering any of these two disciplines because he certainly knows both. You'll get involved in something a lot deeper. 

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A while back I spent some time learning some of the EA material. Some Chi Kung, Tai Chi, mainly with Bruce's senior UK student. Not to any great depth but for a few years. I also attended a seminar with Bruce , teaching D&T, in the UK. I enjoyed it and received some benefit from the practice, especially the standing/dissolving. I was encouraged by my teacher to open a local practice group teaching TCC and some CK which I did. 

 

All the above is just to note that I have a little experience with the material. I now practice elsewhere. Like anything it's worth looking around at what is available rather than going for the product with the biggest marketing budget. BKFs material and organisation may be perfect for you but there is a lot of good stuff out there these days.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RobB said:

I was encouraged by my teacher to open a local practice group teaching TCC and some CK which I did. 

 

All the above is just to note that I have a little experience with the material.

 

That to me is a red flag...

 

This on the other hand...

:)

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a fan of BKF and do not recommend him or his instructors in general. To us, he is ultimately lacking in power or skill martially, and his qigong isn’t impressive nor is his writing accurate. This is all that I will say publicly on the matter.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in not position to judge what level he or his senior students are at, or how his material compares to indoor teachings of highly accomplished masters.  That said, I appreciate the organization of his material - breaking nei gong down into component skills, and selecting the most efficient sets he found in China to train the different skills (all with a small number of movements).  As well as his emphasis on feeling rather than visualization and never tensing or forcing.  Seems safer and more thorough, as well as more effective, than the vast majority of qigong widely available to Westerners.  I have personally got a lot out of his Dragon and Tiger and God's Playing in the Clouds sets.

Edited by Creation
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well there appears to be quite a split. He does seem like a polarizing figure. Some folks spoke well of him in the early days of TTB. He does strike me in some ways as being overtly commercialistic and often arrogant, but I also feel there may be something there. Maybe not. 

 

20 hours ago, Gerard said:

Qigong as in the fluffy stuff? Why don't you take up Tai Chi or Bagua. Is he offering any of these two disciplines because he certainly knows both. You'll get involved in something a lot deeper. 

 

Good luck!

 

Well, the intro is qigong and wu tai chi. I have had a taste of Tai Chi and Xing Yi, but I am not going to spend enough time practicing to really get any benefits. To be completely honest, I haven't found qigong to be useful either, but that may be due to laziness or lack of good teaching. I know that there's something there, but it is hard to find. 

 

14 hours ago, Earl Grey said:

I am not a fan of BKF and do not recommend him or his instructors in general. To us, he is ultimately lacking in power or skill martially, and his qigong isn’t impressive nor is his writing accurate. This is all that I will say publicly on the matter.

 

May I ask if this is from personal experience? 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

May I ask if this is from personal experience?

 

Yes and from my teachers who had interacted with him. All negative.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

Denver, but not far from Boulder. 

Mike Van Zuiden is out there. Let’s touch base offline and I’ll try to connect you with him. I’m not sure if you remember Mike, but he’s a long time temple stylist and was George’s student along with me, Evgeny and you. We used to practice together until he moved to the Denver area in 2013-2014. 

 

Edited by dwai
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want a good reading, consult Eric Isen about your plans to study BKF. www.ayurvedicintuitive.com

 

He will scan how much it affects you and how well.

 

I personally recommend Flying Phoenix as the best healing qigong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like a too good an opportunity to miss if he is in the area, then you can decide for yourself if his stuff is legit and report back to us :-)

 

I would be curious to know if his method impacts his physique. I have moved away from an overly dantien-centric model to try and stay leaner.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sifu Jenny Lamb who teaches Yigong (the system that Max Christensen turned into Kunlun) lives in your area.  Or at least she used to.  She´s a powerful lady -- might be worth looking into her teaching.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To fill out my internet research, I would point out that SF Jane (i.e. Jane Alexander) stated that she cured herself of serious mental illness using Frantzis' methods. There are some reports online of healing as well. Over at rumsoakedfist, some people were impressed with him and some were not. Many of his detractors indicate that he has some ability. I am surprised that he has been around for so long and there is so little on him.

 

On 9/7/2019 at 12:55 PM, Tim_T said:

Seems like a too good an opportunity to miss if he is in the area, then you can decide for yourself if his stuff is legit and report back to us :-)

 

I would be curious to know if his method impacts his physique. I have moved away from an overly dantien-centric model to try and stay leaner.

 

The class I would take is with one of his students. You are right--- I may have to decide for myself and provide a report. He is also a Dzogchen practitioner and appears to be focusing more on meditation/healing, which is appealing to me. 

 

On 9/7/2019 at 1:29 PM, liminal_luke said:

Sifu Jenny Lamb who teaches Yigong (the system that Max Christensen turned into Kunlun) lives in your area.  Or at least she used to.  She´s a powerful lady -- might be worth looking into her teaching.

 

Sifu Jenny has stopped teaching completely and now only practices Buddhism. Some people have asked her to pass down the arts she knows, but she is not interested. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From her Facebook:

 

Since my Yigong teacher passed away, I can say now that I am the Yigong lineage holder, but so what? I am many things with countless encounters in this world; it does not mean I have to take every encounter to be my responsibility. All the practices, if there are true practitioners out there and take their practice seriously, there is no practice will be lost. You will be taught in unexpected ways. A teacher will be looking for you. If all the practices are out there but no one in their heart has any of its essence, that practice has already vanished from this world. Form does not mean much without essence and its manifestation. What people want is one thing, what people can give to obtain it is another. A spiritual practice is not a wanting method to soothe one’s momentary needs. Who cares one’s changeable needs? That is a root of suffering. All existence is based on needs and conditions. I learned by my own experience. If you are ready, you will not be passed over. Even humans do not see you, a higher being will find you, because your causal body is glowing which cannot be missed. Be a good practitioner. First of all, try to possess a good human quality: be honest, sincere, truthful, devoted, dedicated, trustworthy, kind and wise and persevere…

On 9/7/2019 at 1:29 PM, liminal_luke said:

Sifu Jenny Lamb who teaches Yigong (the system that Max Christensen turned into Kunlun) lives in your area.  Or at least she used to.  She´s a powerful lady -- might be worth looking into her teaching.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

Sifu Jenny has stopped teaching completely and now only practices Buddhism. Some people have asked her to pass down the arts she knows, but she is not interested. 

 

Oh, I didn´t realize that.  Thanks for letting me know.  It looks like her video is still available on her website but too bad that she´s not teaching in person.  Good luck finding the right teacher for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're really interested in water lineage Daoism Max Christensen is a bit cheaper to study with as are Chris Matsuo and Ray Carbullido. I've done classes with some of Frantzis' students and was impressed if not completely drawn to the method. Bruce is who he is and that's not for everyone. Like someone else said, there's a lot out there - do what you're drawn to do. There are a number of Tibetan Buddhist teachers out there now since the diaspora. Also really knowledgeable internal arts teachers that many are unaware.

 

https://padmasambhavameditationcenter.org/

 

http://www.taichi-denver.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few thoughts on BKF...

 

1. I am 99% sure he just made up the whole "Buddhism is fire, Daoism is water thing." If anybody can point to any source in classical Chinese for this distinction, please let me know. I will find the original text, read it, and try to translate it here. (I have never heard any such distinction be made, and as far as I am concerned it is silly--there are thousands of different techniques in Buddhism, and thousands of different techniques in Daoism. In both Buddhism and Daoism, some ways of practicing are a bit more "firey" and some are a bit more "watery." This whole water path thing just seems like half-baked marketing to me, from a nearly-bygone era when very few westerners could read any Chinese and very few had lineage holding teachers. I think it mischaracterizes both traditions. But, again, if anybody can point to a source other than BKF himself that discusses this fire-water dichotomy, please do so). 

 

2. Nobody in the Beijing baguazhang world seems to have heard of BKF's Yin-style teacher. This doesn't mean he didn't exist or that he wasn't badass, but it's an eyebrow-raiser, as supposedly the guy was such a badass that if he bumped into a wall while circle walking, chunks of concrete would go flying. If that was the case... you'd think locals would have heard of the guy...

 

3. Have heard stories about BKF's fighting skills from sources I trust that make it seem like they're much exaggerated. I watched some of the videos of his students demonstrating circle walking form that "mastery program" a few years ago and they were super eff'ing meh

 

4. In his Daoist sexuality book, IIRC (please correct me if I'm wrong), BKF claims to have slept with 3,000+ different women in Taiwan while he was training with his Daoist sex teacher. Yeahhhhhhhhhhh. Ok. I'm not saying this guy is not a mack, but I will go out on a limb and say he's definitely not a mack like that. So let's suppose he finished his homework by using prostitutes. Question 1: were there even 3,000 different whores in Taiwan at that time? 2: How did he find all of them? 3: Okay, so BKF had the time and money to go track down 3,000 different prostitutes, and he slept with them all. Let's say he did this six days of the week for years. How many years would he need? How much money? Somebody else can do the math. Do you still believe him? If you do, and you still want to be his student, can you please ask him how much ginseng he needed to rub on his 小鷄鷄 to cure his gonosyphaherpolaids? 

 

5. P.S., ginseng will not actually cure gonosyphaherpolaids, that was a joke, don't get any big ideas, kids. 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/09/2019 at 1:42 PM, forestofemptiness said:

Sifu Jenny Lamb

She is a very good teacher and real seeker.  Looks like you can still buy her Qigong 1 DVD which has Yigong on it.

 

I can attest to BKF's Dragon & Tiger being extremely good all round, and so is his Heaven & Earth and Cloud Hands.

With these techniques which are "basic", if you acquire deep skill in them, although they may appear simple, they do a lot inside you, more than you might think.

His standing method called Outer Dissolving is strangely very much a fire method using a lot of attention/concentration energy, compared to someone like Mark Cohen Zhan Zhuang or alternatively Hakuyu's butter meditation which is pure dissolving.

Circling Hands is also pretty good from memory, although I prefer Chen Xiaowang's Silk Reeling.

I don't know anything about his many longer programmes.

 

He is right that Taoism is about flowing down and dissolving into the darkness of tantien it's enlightenment is based around awakening tantien.

Buddhism is about consciousness and awareness (within the head) and very technical using a lot of mind energy to analyse things.

So in general the water/fire Taoism/Buddhism definitions are correct, but in every technique there are both yin and yang, and it is possible for practitioners to automatically cross over to include the other at high levels of attainment.

Nevertheless the idea of surrender and flowing, letting go, unknotting, undoing, unwinding, into the darkness ... is very a valuable part of practice.

 

He is a sincere and grounded person who has a lot of experience in Eastern countries and went over there when young, he avoids a lot of ungrounded shit. 

Whether he has the best techniques I cannot say.

 

Edited by rideforever
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites