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This is a very good video series explaining some basic errors that can be met while trying to engage in practical Daoist meditations.

 

The first video is a great summary even for experts. The best benefit however is for self-initiates and newbies who are often clueless where to begin and whether they can safely practice on their own. The answer to that is: it depends on many conditions chiefly involving health and the purity of mind, but being too sure of oneself is more evidence of Dunning-Kruger effect than real skill.

 

Deviations are not fun and can take a long time to heal, yet very often we can witness on this forum also how someone's pride and arrogance reveal unwise disregard for their own continued well-being. As if they were completely immune to any shortcomings and mistakes, and as if mastery was attained with the snap of fingers!

 

It's good to be informed that these deviation conditions exist and why it's especially important to have contact with a knowledgeable teacher who can observe and help you correct yourself before unwitting mistakes and errors escalate into sickness.

 

As a related note, it would be wonderful to poll the Dao Bums about how many of us have completely managed to avoid any deviations. I for sure haven't been such an outstanding student, but then my entry to the world of internal training was in order to get healed from imbalances caused by traumas, which is far from optimal.

 

Video 1:

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Video 2:

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Video 3:

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Video 4:

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Video 5:

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by virtue
Better video formatting.
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Great thread and thank you for posting these videos and reminding us of our need for vigilance.

How many have been able to avoid all pitfalls and deviations?

Not possible in my opinion and experience...

 

Anyone who feels they've completely avoided all errors has not trained long enough or looked deep enough into themselves.

We learn and grow through our errors and imperfection is an integral part of the human experience.

Even the greatest teacher will not prevent us from making mistakes from time to time but they are invaluable in helping us to recognize our deviations and to help us right our course.

 

One perspective is that we do not create, generate, or cultivate the ultimate objective of our training, no matter how we label it.

The entire path is nothing more than dropping those things that obstruct the inherent perfection of our fundamental essence.

 

As the taijiquan adage says, invest in loss!

Or as one of my favorite spiritual teachers said...

Pleasant experiences make life delightful while painful experiences are opportunities for growth.

~ Father Anthony Demello

 

 

 

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Well said virtue.

 

There are times when it's nigh on impossible to accurately assess my own process from within it.

Teachers act as mirrors reflecting back to me, those aspects of self, deviations, distortions, etc, that I cannot perceive from within the lensing distortions of my own process.

 

And by teacher, I don't imply only human, but any aspect of life that can reflect what is not readily perceivable from within my own fishbowl... so to speak.

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Jeffrey is a good dude, from my expeience. Thanks for sharing the vids, I hope more Bums see this thread :)

Edited by Rara
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23 hours ago, steve said:

Anyone who feels they've completely avoided all errors has not trained long enough or looked deep enough into themselves.

 

Yes.  Many, like me, learn well from mistakes, hopefully they get a feeling, either subconscious, or via a message from 'upstairs', about the mistake so they can nip it in the bud before it causes too much damage.  The rest, I think Lao Tzu says 99%, love to get lost in their favorite detours, for their entire lives.

 

...  or looked deep enough into themselves.

 

Requires ruthless self honesty, which immature people (99%?) do not have.

Edited by Starjumper
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1 hour ago, Starjumper said:

The rest, I think Lao Tzu says 99%, love to get lost in their favorite detours, for their entire lives.

 

Correction, he said only one in ten follows the straight path, but that was a few years ago.  Things have changed, due to the "Great Stupidification and Infantilization" resulting from rather intense social engineering in all it's facets, we may assume that now the number is actually more like 1% or less.  One percent or less of people who have an actual teacher.

Edited by Starjumper
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imo the dangers of qigong sickness are much reduced if you do sitting meditation that cultivates consciousness ... that way your Consciousness is strong no matter the state of your energy or health.  However if you do not do that ... then your relative consciousness can be highly disturbed as the qi is modified leading to 'sickness'.  The cultivation of Consciousness through sitting meditation gives you an abode that is distinct from the state of your qi.

 

I like this teacher in the videos (Jeffrey something), he has some fantastic forms.  I also know (he talks about this on his channel) that he is a Christian and sees that salvation comes from Jesus Christ and that internal arts are a lower category of work.

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15 minutes ago, rideforever said:

imo the dangers of qigong sickness are much reduced if you do sitting meditation


There is just as much potential for harm with meditative practice. Possibly more so. Especially if not combined with other inner practice.


The up side is that hardly anyone has the patience to do ‘enough’ sitting practice to cause harm.

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On 02/02/2020 at 1:37 AM, steve said:

Anyone who feels they've completely avoided all errors has not trained long enough or looked deep enough into themselves.

We learn and grow through our errors and imperfection is an integral part of the human experience.

Even the greatest teacher will not prevent us from making mistakes from time to time but they are invaluable in helping us to recognize our deviations and to help us right our course.

 

Agreed. Learning through trial and error, vitally important for me. It's how I come to appreciate first-hand why I need the wisdom of teachings, and to learn from correcting my own errors exactly when a teaching is appropriate to apply.  That's how I gain insight into how to apply teachings in a way that's personally applicable.  That's the way I slowly learn to feel out the shape of my own unique path.  I like this saying:

 

Anything can be a path, even a demon.

Anything can be a demon, even a path.

 

And people who have grown through their own experience of trial and error can be the best teachers. Years ago a friend of mine who was learning pottery recounted this conversation with his teacher…. He said he once complimented his teacher on his excellent teaching skills and his teacher replied that’s because he was a terrible potter. He had no natural ability. Consequently he made error after error in his clumsy efforts to improve. But he persevered so that now, whilst he considers himself only a mediocre potter, he is an excellent teacher because he’s made, and knows his way through, virtually every mistake a student can make.   

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3 hours ago, Yueya said:

I like this saying:

 

Anything can be a path, even a demon.

Anything can be a demon, even a path.

 

 

I do as well!

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15 hours ago, rideforever said:

I like this teacher in the videos (Jeffrey something), he has some fantastic forms.  I also know (he talks about this on his channel) that he is a Christian and sees that salvation comes from Jesus Christ and that internal arts are a lower category of work.

 

Hehe, I don't think you can drill that out of some cultures. He's done well to not dismiss this all as voodoo.

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50 minutes ago, Rara said:

Hehe, I don't think you can drill that out of some cultures. He's done well to not dismiss this all as voodoo.

 

Sure, most people just do what the culture tells them to do.  If it tells them to hate Christianity then they will do so.  If it tells them to jump in the lake they will do so.  If it tells them to be atheists they will do so.  Same people in all cases.  These people who are automatons of the culture are maybe 85% of people and they will swear on their life that they are acting as individuals.

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It's been a while since I watched the entire series, but I believe one crucially important warning was omitted:

 

Do not mix or combine practices!

 

With mixing you are going against the instructions of two teachings at the same time.

 

Only masters can safely figure what is compatible and what not.

 

Some of the qigong or meditation practices are powerful, but also very sensitive in that they conflict with a lot of other ways to train.

 

For example, Fragrant Qigong will cause sickness if you practice any abnormal breathing methods within a few days before or after it. That's just how it is.

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On 2/5/2020 at 3:18 AM, virtue said:

It's been a while since I watched the entire series, but I believe one crucially important warning was omitted:

 

Do not mix or combine practices!

 

With mixing you are going against the instructions of two teachings at the same time.

 

Only masters can safely figure what is compatible and what not.

 

Some of the qigong or meditation practices are powerful, but also very sensitive in that they conflict with a lot of other ways to train.

 

For example, Fragrant Qigong will cause sickness if you practice any abnormal breathing methods within a few days before or after it. That's just how it is.

 

Or meditate using heavy mental focus or visualization techniques--completely incompatible with Fragrant Qigong as part of the do's and don't's of the practice. 

 

I've met people who said they felt just fine doing that, but it was the short term self-assuredness. The long-term showed health issues and mental health problems...long-term being a couple months later...which were not apparent to them but to outsiders who didn't even have any interest in work with qi...

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