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Taomeow

And that's why I shun "new and improved interpretations" and "combining practices" and "a creative approach" to any original sources

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I speak with many people who quote authors who wrote books about the art I study.

 

The authors were never students, and what they teach has no resemblance to the art in question.

 

It is strange talking to people who want to argue that X, Y, and Z things should be done as part of the practice.

 

When I ask why they think that has anything at all to do with the practice they reference the aforementioned authors as authorities.

 

People also love to edit the original instructions by actual students and change them into something new and different.

 

Your video explains quite accurately the how teachings are corrupted and misinformation is transmitted.

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, MildMouse23 said:

I speak with many people who quote authors who wrote books about the art I study.

 

The authors were never students, and what they teach has no resemblance to the art in question.

 

It is strange talking to people who want to argue that X, Y, and Z things should be done as part of the practice.

 

When I ask why they think that has anything at all to do with the practice they reference the aforementioned authors as authorities.

 

People also love to edit the original instructions by actual students and change them into something new and different.

 

Your video explains quite accurately the how teachings are corrupted and misinformation is transmitted.

 

 

 

 

 

I know which system you are referring to, but won't mention it out of respect. 

 

Anyway, the problem with a lot of these keyboard warriors is that they go based off of conjecture and what's on video. 

 

The easiest way to compare and criticize is when actually touching hands for martial skill to be tested, and without that, anything can be faked and anyone can be duped as Penn and Teller like to prove. 

 

Charlatans are too abundant nowadays with the Internet and everyone being a master after a weekend workshop. 

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The take-away message for me here has nothing to do with charlatans, intentional misguidance, faking, keyboard warriors, specific systems... any of that. None of us are perfect. We are generally unable to precisely replicate our teachers' and systems' teachings, whether it be in meditation, qigong, or martial arts. Even with the best of intentions, every system changes over time. In some ways, change and flexibility in the system is essential because it must adapt, not only to the individual practitioners' abilities and proclivities, but to the changing culture or adopting cultures. On the other hand, the closer we stick to the source material, the less likely we will corrupt the teachings.The closer our connection to the source, the more likely we are to get the message, get it right for ourselves, and pass it on as accurately as possible. This is why I also tend to look for a connection to a living and credible lineage when studying something that is important to me.

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1 minute ago, steve said:

The take-away message for me here has nothing to do with charlatans, intentional misguidance, faking, keyboard warriors, specific systems... any of that. None of us are perfect. We are generally unable to precisely replicate our teachers' and systems' teachings, whether it be in meditation, qigong, or martial arts. Even with the best of intentions, every system changes over time. In some ways, change and flexibility in the system is essential because it must adapt, not only to the individual practitioners' abilities and proclivities, but to the changing culture or adopting cultures. On the other hand, the closer we stick to the source material, the less likely we will corrupt the teachings.The closer our connection to the source, the more likely we are to get the message, get it right for ourselves, and pass it on as accurately as possible. This is why I also tend to look for a connection to a living and credible lineage when studying something that is important to me.

 

Perhaps I should clarify that with what you have elaborated, the video of the Chinese Whisper above (or Telephone as Americans say) shows how the original teaching has been changed by the very end. This is normal.

 

What is not normal is when people appoint themselves experts or masters, but their metric for saying so is different from the lineage or the system itself, for example, a blue belt in jiujitsu I know goes around calling himself a master and a dragon, teaching others to fight and making money off of it, but his skill is actually quite low, in turn churning out people who think they are skilled and powerful but not holding up when tested. Self-initiation and self-elevation is what I speak of, followed by capitalistic tendencies to monetize their claims, such as the purple belt who leaves Korea and suddenly lands in America as a fifth dan black belt for example. 

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Of course much depends on the intent of the teacher and the student, on the claims made by the former and expectations of the latter.  Someone who comes to the teacher at the end of that line asking to teach her a bike riding pantomime and gets a little window washer's dance instead better not apply it when faced with a real-life bike or she'll fall right off.  Someone else who says "I just need to move more, any which way" with no intent of mastering the bike pantomime will be perfectly satisfied with the material taught.  

 

When someone has no trouble saying "I teach exactly what I've been taught, and this is who taught me," this gives you a chance to verify his or her method elsewhere, you don't have to rely on this one person's ability or understanding.  You can trust he or she is teaching an art you want to learn, not a "my art."  I for one don't care to learn anyone's ego trip.  I want to learn a traditional art.  If down the road I feel the urge to creatively modify it and make it "my art," I'll call it something else.  I'll say, "this is the window washer's little dance my teacher taught me, but I want to combine it with rumba which I happen to know, and teach you that."  If these conditions are met, anyone can creatively modify anything -- provided they clearly state where it's coming from.  If, on the other hand, they teach you window washer's rumba but tell you they're teaching you a bike riding pantomime...  If they say "taoism" and teach you their own "researched" or "channeled" material, steer that bike clear.  

Edited by Taomeow
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7 hours ago, Earl Grey said:

 

I know which system you are referring to, but won't mention it out of respect. 

 

Anyway, the problem with a lot of these keyboard warriors is that they go based off of conjecture and what's on video. 

 

The easiest way to compare and criticize is when actually touching hands for martial skill to be tested, and without that, anything can be faked and anyone can be duped as Penn and Teller like to prove. 

 

Charlatans are too abundant nowadays with the Internet and everyone being a master after a weekend workshop. 

 

As to things being faked, bringing in scientists and medical doctors to rule out fraud on camera is as good as it can get.

 

A teacher is not going to have time or energy to do individual demonstrations for thousands of people who would never pursue the practice anyway to convince them.

 

In the end you can present the best evidence you have, and call it a day.

Edited by MildMouse23

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3 hours ago, steve said:

The take-away message for me here has nothing to do with charlatans, intentional misguidance, faking, keyboard warriors, specific systems... any of that. None of us are perfect. We are generally unable to precisely replicate our teachers' and systems' teachings, whether it be in meditation, qigong, or martial arts. Even with the best of intentions, every system changes over time. In some ways, change and flexibility in the system is essential because it must adapt, not only to the individual practitioners' abilities and proclivities, but to the changing culture or adopting cultures. On the other hand, the closer we stick to the source material, the less likely we will corrupt the teachings.The closer our connection to the source, the more likely we are to get the message, get it right for ourselves, and pass it on as accurately as possible. This is why I also tend to look for a connection to a living and credible lineage when studying something that is important to me.

 

I think the best option is here is to record actual teachings this way they are not altered or charged by people who "know better".

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49 minutes ago, MildMouse23 said:

 

 

If by video you mean recorded instruction from actual masters to their students, I would say that is as good as it gets.

 

As to things being faked, bringing in scientists and medical doctors to rule out fraud on camera is as good as it can get.

 

A teacher is not going to have time or energy to do individual demonstrations for thousands of people who would never pursue the practice anyway to convince them.

 

In the end you can present the best evidence you have, and call it a day.

 

I was not referring to your system and the videos--I was referring to others. Might want to edit this out before a derailment comes.

 

Video I refer to is mostly those guys like Jake Mace claiming he understands Tai Chi internal power. Garbage.

Edited by Earl Grey
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Good points all around.

My post was not meant to negate any of the earlier points made, just bringing out another perspective.

The one thing I'll add is that video is a wonderful tool, especially for arts including body movement, but not a suitable substitute for connecting with the living teacher and lineage, IMO.

Videos can't give feedback or corrections. 

If we have a wrong understanding or subtle error in our interpretation of the video presentation, there is no one and no way to identify and correct it.

In the Dzogchen teachings, traditionally it is said that students are not permitted to take notes (let alone record teachings).

The student is expected to pay careful attention and internalize the teachings.

Their understanding is then checked by the teacher for precision.

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2 hours ago, steve said:

Good points all around.

My post was not meant to negate any of the earlier points made, just bringing out another perspective.

The one thing I'll add is that video is a wonderful tool, especially for arts including body movement, but not a suitable substitute for connecting with the living teacher and lineage, IMO.

Videos can't give feedback or corrections. 

If we have a wrong understanding or subtle error in our interpretation of the video presentation, there is no one and no way to identify and correct it.

In the Dzogchen teachings, traditionally it is said that students are not permitted to take notes (let alone record teachings).

The student is expected to pay careful attention and internalize the teachings.

Their understanding is then checked by the teacher for precision.

 

Sometimes a practice is very simple and straight forward. 

 

In instances like that getting a video of a teacher explaining a simple concept is no different from being there in person and hearing the exact same words repeated.

 

 

Edited by MildMouse23

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59 minutes ago, MildMouse23 said:

 

Sometimes a practice is very simple and straight forward. 

 

In instances like that getting a video of a teacher explaining a simple concept is no different from being there in person and hearing the exact same words repeated.

 

 

 

I'll have to disagree with you on this point.

For me there is far more happening in a personal meeting with a teacher than a simple exchange of information, regardless of the complexity of the practices in question.

 

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Unless you study directly under the Master, more often than not, the only one that understands the exact intention and application is the prophet

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13 hours ago, steve said:

 

I'll have to disagree with you on this point.

For me there is far more happening in a personal meeting with a teacher than a simple exchange of information, regardless of the complexity of the practices in question.

 

 

Lots of people believe in attunements, and transmissions of ability from teacher to student.

 

Lots of people also believe in the healing power of homeopathy, crystal,  magnetic and copper adornments, just because people are convinced of the reality of something, does not in fact make it real.

 

For most it is all psychological, all placebo, and all delusion.

 

In reality all real attainments come from having the correct information, and diligent practice.

 

Most have neither correct information nor diligent practice.

 

If you want grow muscles eating the correct diet, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of rest, and working out correctly is how it is done. 

 

If you want to make a fire with sticks,  you don't need an attunement or a master to transmit some secret store of lineage energy into you.  (see video below)

 

It is all very simple and almost anyone can do it if they can follow simple instructions diligently.

 

All attainments come from having correct information, and dilligent practice.

 

Bootstraps, not attunements nor transmissions.

 

Just my $0.02

 

Edited by MildMouse23

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3 minutes ago, MildMouse23 said:

 

Lots of people believe in attunements, and transmissions of ability from teacher to student.

 

Lots of people also believe in the healing power of homeopathy, crystal,  magnetic and copper adornments, just because people are convinced of the reality of something, does not in fact make it real.

 

For most it is all psychological, all placebo, and all delusion.

I'm not talking about believing in anything.

I'm not talking about magical attunements and transmissions.

I'm talking about human relationship, friendship, communication, confidence, trust, devotion, gratitude, love...

The whole range of human emotion and expression that is rooted in relationship.

This is what a teacher and a lineage bring to the table.

 

Have you ever spent some quality time with a person?

Did you come away with nothing other than information?

There is so much more to human interaction, whether teacher, friend, lover,...

We communicate on many levels, some conceptual, some verbal, but also in other, more subtle, ways.

It's worth paying attention to the entire spectrum of experience, IMO.

 

3 minutes ago, MildMouse23 said:

 

In reality all real attainments come from having the correct information, and diligent practice.

 

Most have neither correct information nor diligent practice.

 

If you want grow muscles eating the correct diet, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of rest, and working out correctly is how it is done. 

Yes, there is value in accurate information and diligence - no question.

But it only takes you so far and there is so much more than that.

One will never scratch the surface of mastery of a traditional martial art, for example, without relationship - with a teacher, with practice partners, opponents... 

 

3 minutes ago, MildMouse23 said:

 

If you want to make a fire with sticks,  you don't need an attunement or a master to transmit some secret store of lineage energy into you.  (see video above)

 

It is all very simple and almost anyone can do it if they can follow simple instructions diligently.

 

All attainments come from having correct information, and dilligent practice.

 

Bootstraps, not attunements nor transmissions.

 

Just my $0.02

 

For the type of practice we're discussing here, martial and spiritual, the likelihood of high level mastery for an individual in isolation armed with bootstraps and some videos of a teacher they've never met is negligible, IMO. Lineage has real power. Without lineage, there would be no John Chang or Mo Pai. Lineage is the only thing that keeps it accurate and keeps it alive. If you've ever felt the true power and support of lineage and a personal, engaged teacher, I suspect you would have a different perspective. And if you simply don't feel a need for a teacher and a lineage supporting you, that's wonderful too. We all need different things at different times in our lives. 

 

When I get together with my teacher at a retreat, he often says that we are not coming together to exchange or receive information. If that is what we're looking for all we need do is pull out our cellphone. There is more information online than could be assimilated in a hundred lifetimes. We come together for relationship, for connection, to share life experience. It's about far more than learning a skill.

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, steve said:

I'm not talking about believing in anything.

I'm not talking about magical attunements and transmissions.

I'm talking about human relationship, friendship, communication, confidence, trust, devotion, gratitude, love...

The whole range of human emotion and expression that is rooted in relationship.

This is what a teacher and a lineage bring to the table.

 

Have you ever spent some quality time with a person?

Did you come away with nothing other than information?

There is so much more to human interaction, whether teacher, friend, lover,...

We communicate on many levels, some conceptual, some verbal, but also in other, more subtle, ways.

It's worth paying attention to the entire spectrum of experience, IMO.

 

Yes, there is value in accurate information and diligence - no question.

But it only takes you so far and there is so much more than that.

One will never scratch the surface of mastery of a traditional martial art, for example, without relationship - with a teacher, with practice partners, opponents... 

 

For the type of practice we're discussing here, martial and spiritual, the likelihood of high level mastery for an individual in isolation armed with bootstraps and some videos of a teacher they've never met is negligible, IMO. Lineage has real power. Without lineage, there would be no John Chang or Mo Pai. Lineage is the only thing that keeps it accurate and keeps it alive. If you've ever felt the true power and support of lineage and a personal, engaged teacher, I suspect you would have a different perspective. And if you simply don't feel a need for a teacher and a lineage supporting you, that's wonderful too. We all need different things at different times in our lives. 

 

When I get together with my teacher at a retreat, he often says that we are not coming together to exchange or receive information. If that is what we're looking for all we need do is pull out our cellphone. There is more information online than could be assimilated in a hundred lifetimes. We come together for relationship, for connection, to share life experience. It's about far more than learning a skill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the love dovey stuff is nice I guess, but it does not effect the end goal in the slightest.

 

Ultimately you either have the correct information, and you are capable of following instruction, and you do follow instruction diligently or you don't.

 

Correct information and dilligent practice is all that is required for real attainment.

 

There is no supernatural energy or ability transferred from a teacher to a student via a transmission or an attunement, there is only information.

Edited by MildMouse23

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2 hours ago, MildMouse23 said:

 

 

All the love dovey stuff is nice I guess, but it does not effect the end goal in the slightest.

 

Ultimately you either have the correct information, and you are capable of following instruction, and you do follow instruction diligently or you don't.

 

Correct information and dilligent practice is all that is required for real attainment.

 

There is no supernatural energy or ability transferred from a teacher to a student via a transmission or an attunement, there is only information.

 

Following correct instructions or not and getting pure information accurately is the point of the video. People think they are getting it, some don't understand and get it best as they do, but their understanding shows in their execution, and as we can see, it is not intact by the end of the line. 

 

Let me give you an example from a fitness instructor, metaphysics aside. A podcast I heard from Art of Manliness website podcast had someone mention that he knew all his moves for power lifting at the gym, but there's a big difference in his performance each time he does it alone or when he is with his coach. For example, he'll be doing deadlifts and it just takes one word like "knees" for him to realize he's not using them properly as part of correct form. Other times, he may look like he's slowing down and the coach is there to encourage him. Some days, he may attempt to make it leg day and the coach will say, "Your legs are looking a bit exhausted in your sets, make it a chest day" and this is how he gets value from someone being able to see him and offer their expertise. 

 

Now, another example from education. Not everyone can follow a video or notes--there's growing research that people can not learn everything online even with apps and free videos, and for the life of me I can't find the link, but I believe it came from the New York Times, and if I find it, which I hope to eventually, I will edit it into this post. This is due to learning styles, learning disabilities, educational background, and access to sources of information from the Internet, in addition to disinformation. So all the more reason that while it is ideal that either you get it or you don't (your words) and that there is no information, as human beings, it creates more division when there are barriers to understanding. An instructor at this point is someone who would work around the person's limitations to help them understand,

 

A final example in subject material: if it were just information, anyone can glean medicine from the textbooks and law from the library, but the actual skill and practice comes from context and guidance, licensing, and overseeing of standards met from testing. Or how about trying to learn to drive just by reading a manual, or even just getting onto a motorcycle and figuring it out on your own without an instructor? This is also crucial with any martial training, and very true when counseling as a therapist in mental health. 

 

So this is the importance of having an instructor, even before transmission. When energy is involved, then that is a totally different set of variables altogether. 

 

As for transmission, I do not really have any interest in speaking further of it as I believe @steve has made wonderful points above as has @Taomeow

Edited by Earl Grey
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That laughter transmitted itself all of the way down the chain.

 

That's not at all insignificant. 

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6 hours ago, MildMouse23 said:

Correct information and dilligent practice is all that is required for real attainment.

This is half true. Without a way to interpret the info you are getting misinformed.

We are talking about practical applications not theory of math.

Plus sometimes info sometimes requires understanding from the student which may take years to achieve.

Take Zhan Zhuang for example. In LKC book he dissects all the important info about standing.

Even a small change in angle of a body part can have a detrimental effect on practice.

How on earth is a newbie who practices diligently supposed to figure it out?

Do you have any idea how many people stand incorrectly and make different mistakes while reading the same book?

The info is correct, they practice diligently yet the results differ wildly.

 

So my answer is no! Correct info and frequent practice are just parts of the puzzle.

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4 hours ago, Zork said:

This is half true. Without a way to interpret the info you are getting misinformed.

We are talking about practical applications not theory of math.

Plus sometimes info sometimes requires understanding from the student which may take years to achieve.

Take Zhan Zhuang for example. In LKC book he dissects all the important info about standing.

Even a small change in angle of a body part can have a detrimental effect on practice.

How on earth is a newbie who practices diligently supposed to figure it out?

Do you have any idea how many people stand incorrectly and make different mistakes while reading the same book?

The info is correct, they practice diligently yet the results differ wildly.

 

So my answer is no! Correct info and frequent practice are just parts of the puzzle.

 

100% true. (not 50%)

 

If you have the correct information, and actually follow instruction exactly as described, and you actually do it you will achieve the same result as everyone else does.

 

 

 

Edited by MildMouse23

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On 9/6/2019 at 9:36 PM, Earl Grey said:

 

Following correct instructions or not and getting pure information accurately is the point of the video. People think they are getting it, some don't understand and get it best as they do, but their understanding shows in their execution, and as we can see, it is not intact by the end of the line. 

 

Let me give you an example from a fitness instructor, metaphysics aside. A podcast I heard from Art of Manliness website podcast had someone mention that he knew all his moves for power lifting at the gym, but there's a big difference in his performance each time he does it alone or when he is with his coach. For example, he'll be doing deadlifts and it just takes one word like "knees" for him to realize he's not using them properly as part of correct form. Other times, he may look like he's slowing down and the coach is there to encourage him. Some days, he may attempt to make it leg day and the coach will say, "Your legs are looking a bit exhausted in your sets, make it a chest day" and this is how he gets value from someone being able to see him and offer their expertise. 

 

Now, another example from education. Not everyone can follow a video or notes--there's growing research that people can not learn everything online even with apps and free videos, and for the life of me I can't find the link, but I believe it came from the New York Times, and if I find it, which I hope to eventually, I will edit it into this post. This is due to learning styles, learning disabilities, educational background, and access to sources of information from the Internet, in addition to disinformation. So all the more reason that while it is ideal that either you get it or you don't (your words) and that there is no information, as human beings, it creates more division when there are barriers to understanding. An instructor at this point is someone who would work around the person's limitations to help them understand,

 

A final example in subject material: if it were just information, anyone can glean medicine from the textbooks and law from the library, but the actual skill and practice comes from context and guidance, licensing, and overseeing of standards met from testing. Or how about trying to learn to drive just by reading a manual, or even just getting onto a motorcycle and figuring it out on your own without an instructor? This is also crucial with any martial training, and very true when counseling as a therapist in mental health. 

 

So this is the importance of having an instructor, even before transmission. When energy is involved, then that is a totally different set of variables altogether. 

 

As for transmission, I do not really have any interest in speaking further of it as I believe @steve has made wonderful points above as has @Taomeow

 

 

What is happening in the video is that people start with a source of correct information.

 

These people then change the information and then relay it with slight changes.

 

Each person in the chain makes a modification until the end result bears no resemblance to the initial correct information.

 

Were you to video the initial source from all angles and force these people to seriously study and practice it individually, and then get them to replicate it based of the initial instruction you would have a much different result.

 

Most people (not living in poverty, with a good grasp of technology and no learning disabilities) have no problem learning things via video.

 

Sometimes things are not so complicated.

Edited by MildMouse23

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48 minutes ago, MildMouse23 said:

 

 

What is happening in the video is that people start with a source of correct information.

 

These people then change the information and then relay it with slight changes.

 

Each person in the chain makes a modification until the end result bears no resemblance to the initial correct information.

 

Were you to video the initial source from all angles and force these people to seriously study and practice it individually, and then get them to replicate it based of the initial instruction you would have a much different result.

 

Serious people have no problem learning things via video.

 

Sometimes things are not so complicated.

 

 

 

 

I think you’ve just completely ignored all the reasoning that was given as to how simply following a video with correct instructions is not enough for someone to truly grok the material.

 

Anyway, if what you argued truly  were the case, you could learn brain surgery from a YouTube video. It seems like you’re set in your ways, so there’s no point explaining further. Carry on, your video and notes practice is yours and my direct instructions from live teachers is mine, and neither of them affect one another.

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3 hours ago, MildMouse23 said:

 

100% true. (not 50%)

 

If you have the correct information, and actually follow instruction exactly as described, and you actually do it you will achieve the same result as everyone else does.

 

 

 

100% misleading you mean.

I already told you than unguided zhan zhuang practitioners that practice every day by the methods of Lam Kam Chuen's book have wildly varying results. So no! The argument is wrong. End of story!

 

By the way, conventional strength training also disproves what you are saying. A good coach increases the results manyfold!

Edited by Zork
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@MildMouse23 Have you ever executed a recipe?

Why doesn't a cake or even a more complicated recipe turn out the same every time despite following the same steps and instructions?

 

You really have no clue do you?

 

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