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Some more advice needed on practice

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3 minutes ago, GSmaster said:

 

Ofc it could be a completely different experience with every teacher but main point is, high level teachers demand more from their students.

 

 

Not necessarily demand, it may be a kind of internal transformation that a student either undergoes or not, some teachers have a very hands-off approach.  If it was meant to be, you, the student, will get it, and then you'll be tasked with more.  An offer of "more" always comes with an implicit requirement of "more self-sacrifice," in whatever shape or form -- more work, more patience, sometimes more money, sometimes more luck.  If you're not lucky, they may not want to invest too much into teaching you.  Some have sympathy for the underdog who had to climb out of an abyss filled with the dark night of the soul, some will steer clear of its edge.  Make an effort to climb out yourself, then we'll talk. 

 

Teachers also have personal likes and dislikes.  I've seen the best, most talented students ostracized because the teacher just flat out didn't like them.  (And I could see why, but was surprised the teacher could see it too, without knowing what I knew about them.  But then, I shouldn't have been surprised.  Information is in everything, a really good teacher usually knows what someone is about without having to know the details.)   

 

And sometimes teachers not so much demand as implicitly expect you to denounce something you hold dear and embrace something you don't like.   For the simplest example, and far from the heaviest, they may practice an internal MA that is the competitor of the one you practice.  You have loyalty to a different lineage, and they are the teacher's sworn enemy.  (True story. :D )  What are you going to do about it?

 

The level of maturity required of a student of a serious teacher is seldom observed today -- regardless of biological age.  

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4 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

 

Not necessarily demand, it may be a kind of internal transformation that a student either undergoes or not, some teachers have a very hands-off approach.  If it was meant to be, you, the student, will get it, and then you'll be tasked with more.  An offer of "more" always comes with an implicit requirement of "more self-sacrifice," in whatever shape or form -- more work, more patience, sometimes more money, sometimes more luck.  If you're not lucky, they may not want to invest too much into teaching you.  Some have sympathy for the underdog who had to climb out of an abyss filled with the dark night of the soul, some will steer clear of its edge.  Make an effort to climb out yourself, then we'll talk. 

 

Teachers also have personal likes and dislikes.  I've seen the best, most talented students ostracized because the teacher just flat out didn't like them.  (And I could see why, but was surprised the teacher could see it too, without knowing what I knew about them.  But then, I shouldn't have been surprised.  Information is in everything, a really good teacher usually knows what someone is about without having to know the details.)   

 

And sometimes teachers not so much demand as implicitly expect you to denounce something you hold dear and embrace something you don't like.   For the simplest example, and far from the heaviest, they may practice an internal MA that is the competitor of the one you practice.  You have loyalty to a different lineage, and they are the teacher's sworn enemy.  (True story. :D )  What are you going to do about it?

 

The level of maturity required of a student of a serious teacher is seldom observed today -- regardless of biological age.  

 

True story of two different lineages:

 

In one lineage, the master wouldn't even teach my teacher Zhan Zhuang or seated meditation or anything else--he only gave hints sporadically and waited to see who would find out. It took one of my teachers a while to figure out the puzzle and only after experimenting did his teacher say, "Good! Now let me show you how it's actually done..."

 

In another, a rival school of my other lineage, the master chose one student and told everyone that they were the chosen successor. They are forbidden from telling one another they were chosen, but there was one who was the successor who inherited the remaining techniques while others just got the same thing. They were to figure it out on their own who was the successor purely by skill with each other. We didn't like him because those mind games were not conducive to learning, they instead played favorites and ripped off the other students...but at least those students ended up joining our school!

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1 minute ago, GSmaster said:

 

That means you are not a student.

 

Not sure I understand.  Yes, it may mean "you are not a student."  It may also mean a phase in the relationship.  It may mean you need to prove yourself.  That "internal transformation" I mentioned that either happens or not.  I've seen it in real life.   The teacher won't invest in you, you work like crazy, the teacher changes her mind.  Becomes generous with you as some taoist Santa Claus and your life is perennial Christmas from then on.  I've seen it, not making it up.      

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4 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

 

Not sure I understand.  Yes, it may mean "you are not a student."  It may also mean a phase in the relationship.  It may mean you need to prove yourself.  That "internal transformation" I mentioned that either happens or not.  I've seen it in real life.   The teacher won't invest in you, you work like crazy, the teacher changes her mind.  Becomes generous with you as some taoist Santa Claus and your life is perennial Christmas from then on.  I've seen it, not making it up.      

 

Exactly what happened in first example I gave above!

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16 minutes ago, GSmaster said:

 

That means you are not a student.


Yes - inner door - outer door.

 

By accepting an inner door student you’re implying that you will take care of that person through a really difficult process - this means years and years of personal care, attention and much of your own ‘juice’ that you expend to help the student along.
 

It’s a huge responsibility in both a normal personal sort of way - but also in a karmic/Ming entangled way... allow a student to fall down one of the many pitfalls that could turn them into a monster or a deviant and you have to deal with the consequences... 

 

Although there are special circumstances where some teachers don’t have to deal with karma in this way - but that is very rare.

 

In Asia there is a certain ‘numbers game’ element...
 

There are always more students than a teacher can handle. So this inner-outer door method is used. 
 

In outer door training you’re given the most basic instructions and are left to practice... most people quit... some people follow the instructions without getting anywhere - others, whether by luck or talent begin to develop along the right lines - and these ones are often eventually invited to ‘join the family’.


Even then there are several sides to this - an honorary member might not be given the real techniques but asked to join just because they worked hard, or paid a lot or stayed for many years...

 

There are very few that get the real inner door techniques - and these techniques are almost always quite simple little additions to an outer door technique that actually make it ‘work’.

 

Nowadays in China, the government sports bodies are put in charge of standardising, simplifying and culturally realigning these arts to follow an accepted communist approach. Sadly this is slowly changing the internal arts landscape into a sort of cultural circus of feats and acrobatics for show and the promotion of ‘traditional Chinese culture’... The real arts are very much in decline, if not yet completely dead in China :(

 

 

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3 hours ago, freeform said:

The real arts are very much in decline, if not yet completely dead in China :(

 

 

China is a very old culture with a very adventurous political history.  The real arts had to go into hiding many times before.  Some, indeed, did not survive.  Yet more survived than elsewhere.  I suspect way more than survived witch hunts and wars and revolutions and genocides elsewhere.  Practice makes perfect...   and practicing going underground, "disappearing from the world" as taoists put it, is something they had plenty of throughout history.  There were thousand-year-long stretches when, e.g., women couldn't practice any arts in the open.  None whatsoever.  And yet...  ;) 

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23 minutes ago, Taomeow said:

The real arts had to go into hiding many times before. 


Yes most certainly - the arts won’t be lost. In fact they’re thriving outside of China...

 

But sadly the situation is that the ‘appearance’ of what these arts are will be coopted into a media publicity drive.

 

The ‘appearance’ stays and is pushed into the public consciousness but the real value leaks away underground... In my experience the real masters don’t wear robes and topknots, perform acrobatics and have cigarette and phone breaks in between their ‘performances’.

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Posted (edited)
On 12/16/2019 at 11:59 AM, Earl Grey said:

 

No, no, I do Xin Yi 心意 , not Xing Yi  形意!

Can you tell me what is the difference between the two, apart from the spelling? I couldn't really find any concrete info about it.

Edited by Ekstasis

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5 minutes ago, Ekstasis said:

Can you tell me what is the difference between the two, apart from the spelling? I couldn't really find any concrete info about it.

 

Xin Yi is tied to Yi Quan and Liuhebafa primarily and is focused on power, like fajin. 

 

Xingyi is focused on Santi posture and five elemental fists, and often the 12 animals. 

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3 hours ago, Ekstasis said:

Can you tell me what is the difference between the two, apart from the spelling? I couldn't really find any concrete info about it.

 

Now that I am on my computer, here is a little more:

 

Our particular Xin Yi encompasses a mixture of Bagua, Taiji, and Xingyi for skills, especially in tuishousong, circle walking, and then Liuhebafa harmonies. Then we have all the power from Yi Quan, the bullet. The form comes out in Liuhebafa, the gun. Together, we have the skill to play with people like a dog and her pups, but we also have the power of restraint because we only need contact once to fajin. It takes years to learn it, the shortest being 5 (if you're lucky and the teacher is available, and you do all the assignments, and your body adapts without needing to take breaks; more often, people take closer to 10 years to complete it and be competent and even then that assumes they've rewired the body completely to build power). 

 

Xingyi was often learned fast because it could be done competently very quickly with just the five elemental fists and linking form, with their power coming from Santi posture (or "Trinity"). Some have claimed they could learn power and form in six months, some say 3 years, which is still not terribly long compared to Taiji. 

 

Bagua, for example, could be learned completely in 2 years for Liang style, but even then, the mastery of it is a lot longer since just memorizing the forms and drills isn't going to give you power or skill. 

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On 06/01/2020 at 11:48 AM, Earl Grey said:

 

Now that I am on my computer, here is a little more:

 

Our particular Xin Yi encompasses a mixture of Bagua, Taiji, and Xingyi for skills, especially in tuishousong, circle walking, and then Liuhebafa harmonies. Then we have all the power from Yi Quan, the bullet. The form comes out in Liuhebafa, the gun. Together, we have the skill to play with people like a dog and her pups, but we also have the power of restraint because we only need contact once to fajin. It takes years to learn it, the shortest being 5 (if you're lucky and the teacher is available, and you do all the assignments, and your body adapts without needing to take breaks; more often, people take closer to 10 years to complete it and be competent and even then that assumes they've rewired the body completely to build power). 

 

Xingyi was often learned fast because it could be done competently very quickly with just the five elemental fists and linking form, with their power coming from Santi posture (or "Trinity"). Some have claimed they could learn power and form in six months, some say 3 years, which is still not terribly long compared to Taiji. 

 

Bagua, for example, could be learned completely in 2 years for Liang style, but even then, the mastery of it is a lot longer since just memorizing the forms and drills isn't going to give you power or skill. 

 

Hi Earl !

Any video showing your mixture ?

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1 minute ago, CloudHands said:

 

Hi Earl !

Any video showing your mixture ?

 

The Liuhebafa and the fajin of both late Master David Chen and current master JR Rodriguez are here:

 

I personally have not made any videos yet and am at least a few years away because I haven't been awarded the Master title yet by JR, although he says this year or next he already wants me to take over, even if I personally do not feel qualified. 

 

A lot of these videos are over 5 years old, which was just around the time he was finishing up and receiving the master title, so his fajin is still a work in progress, but now, he can throw me across the room with a shrug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I apologize for my unfounded slander of member Freeform, it has come to my attention that I was acting in poor judgement and that he did genuinely try to help me.

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On 21/12/2019 at 10:18 PM, Taomeow said:

 

China is a very old culture with a very adventurous political history.  The real arts had to go into hiding many times before.  Some, indeed, did not survive.  Yet more survived than elsewhere.  I suspect way more than survived witch hunts and wars and revolutions and genocides elsewhere.  Practice makes perfect...   and practicing going underground, "disappearing from the world" as taoists put it, is something they had plenty of throughout history.  There were thousand-year-long stretches when, e.g., women couldn't practice any arts in the open.  None whatsoever.  And yet...  ;) 

 

Shifu in Wudang had to train in the dark back in the day.

 

I believe that the inner doors students are getting some quality training and knowledge there, but it is very noticable that they have to also have to adhere a lot to government regulations which may restrict their Daosit approach.

 

For what is quite a carefree philosophy, Daoism is easier achieved in the west than it is in the east, imo.

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On 12/21/2019 at 3:18 AM, Chainer said:

I don't teach but I help people when they ask and they have some aptitude for it and therefore know how unbelievably difficult it is to get across these complex concepts to otherwise normal people. WMOTMP is the book of his I recommend to them, and it never fails, provides a great starting place and reference for their journey, should they choose to venture down the left hand path. Some months ago a very well read and naturally gifted french lady told me she did not need the 'training wheels' and asked to borrow what I read, so she took Tibetan Yoga by WY Evans-Wentz and Understanding Reality by Chang Po-tuan, only to politely hand them back a week later and take WMOTMP with a wry smile. 

 

Everyone needs training wheels at the beginning and his are some of the best.   

 

Lastly, does anyone here think a thread on confirmatory signs would be interesting to people here?

 

Just noticed that a couple of posters on this forum use profilers with a white dot on a black ground which made me smile, and thought it maybe interesting just to hear what people experience. My interest would be particularity visual, less interested in heat and movement. Just a thought anyway... attitudes to sharing 'secrets' used to be much harsher than they appear to be now.     

    

 

I'd be interested in confirmatory signs, since Damo's books are the first time I  actually believed that the author meant what he wrote and was not just speaking metaphorically or making it up.  I'd also be interested in a "top 5 books list" that clearly explain practice and not just theoretical or full of stories about accomplishments of advanced yogis and immortals.

Edited by Charris34

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13 hours ago, Charris34 said:

 

I'd be interested in confirmatory signs, since Damo's books are the first time I  actually believed that the author meant what he wrote and was not just speaking metaphorically or making it up.  I'd also be interested in a "top 5 books list" that clearly explain practice and not just theoretical or full of stories about accomplishments of advanced yogis and immortals.

 

Thanks for that, do agree with your view on Damo's writings and do intend to start that thread sooner rather than later as think its an interesting topic, maybe w/e or next week. 

 

In the meantime I'd note that confirmatory signs is a very personal topic, full of different layers and evolving interpretations, driven by cultural stereotypes, seeding of signs through koans/analogies/mantras and the huge issue of confirmation bias, particularly at the beginning, when they are so important to the individual seekers confidence and enthusiasm for practise. However it's comforting, if a little strange that at a certain level of attainment everyone starts to experience exactly the same thing.  

 

Crucially signs seem to breakdown into 2 specific sets that go with your dominant 'type' of practise, specifically driven by either energy body work or spiritual practise/meditation. Energy body stuff is most often characterised by heat, light and movement in the body, whilst meditation tends to drive actual images and sounds in your mind, usually with an almost painful level of clarity and resolution. Coming from Zen its the visual stuff that interests me but some experience with energy work now also, and after a while you tend to catch up with the other side of your dominant practise anyway.

 

Lastly, one the big dividers in how you experience signs is the contentious topic of whether you can actually see your Qi or you can't. It's such a fundamental (if harsh) test in zen training, to be able to watch and valorise your breath with your eyes closed, that failure to do this in the early stages, 'calm abiding' for example, makes later stages totally unobtainable, hence the focus on doing it at the beginning. From my experience Daoists who don't focus on this can take a very long time before they develop this skill, to the point that many will tell you it does not exist.    

 

In terms of the books, for energy body stuff I'd stick to Damo's until you have made some very strong progress with circulation/sexual alchemy, he uses certain terms in a very specific way. For meditation my recommendation is the Daoist version of 'Zen with benefits' that is the Secret of the Golden Flower, an actual translation rather the new age 'interpretations' or Wilhelm book. Several online, with a very accesible one being -  http://www.thesecretofthegoldenflower.com/index.html   

 

Lastly have a couple of other threads on the list that might interest folks also: 

- The necessary evil of elitism in the internal arts - why are some people more gifted than others? 

- What is the best 'real world' one line piece of practise advice you have ever received? 

 

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12 minutes ago, Chainer said:

In the meantime I'd note that confirmatory signs is a very personal topic, full of different layers and evolving interpretations, driven by cultural stereotypes, seeding of signs through koans/analogies/mantras and the huge issue of confirmation bias

 

Actually - an interesting thing within Daoism is that most confirmatory signs are physically verifiable... And most could be agreed upon by 12 impartial jurors that know nothing about Daoism...

 

It follows the law of 'as above so below'... Changes in Qi or Shen are reflected by changes in the physical body - or the physiological processes. If there has been no change on the physical level then whatever change you experienced in the 'energetic' or 'spiritual' level isn't complete, or stabilised or is just an experience... or a delusion.

 

The idea being that if you think you've opened the Du meridian fully, then theres a specific sign for that. And there are thousands of these for all manner of 'achievements'.

 

Confirmation bias and delusion are the big things that most Daoist lineages try to guard against... and these tests are part of that.

 

The problem is that many of the tests are lineage trade secrets... I guess so that students aren't tempted to find a way of 'cheating' or manually trying to create the change.

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18 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

Actually - an interesting thing within Daoism is that most confirmatory signs are physically verifiable... And most could be agreed upon by 12 impartial jurors that know nothing about Daoism...

 

It follows the law of 'as above so below'... Changes in Qi or Shen are reflected by changes in the physical body - or the physiological processes. If there has been no change on the physical level then whatever change you experienced in the 'energetic' or 'spiritual' level isn't complete, or stabilised or is just an experience... or a delusion.

 

The idea being that if you think you've opened the Du meridian fully, then theres a specific sign for that. And there are thousands of these for all manner of 'achievements'.

 

Confirmation bias and delusion are the big things that most Daoist lineages try to guard against... and these tests are part of that.

 

The problem is that many of the tests are lineage trade secrets... I guess so that students aren't tempted to find a way of 'cheating' or manually trying to create the change.


Gold from you, yet again, and hopefully more reasons to show why creating your own qigong like the OP wants to do is a bad idea, just like most self-initiates!

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