statusquovadis

Finding a master or school

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Hi guys, I've been reading and digesting stuff for about a month now, and thought this may be good time to ask the question on where to go from here. It's either this or casting yarrow stalks :)

 

A bit of background, which may be relevant, else just skip to the next paragraph. I did a fair bit of external and internal martial arts from early teens to early twenties, with no specific emphasis on qi. In fact my mind back then was rejecting it for various reasons, despite some evidence of something beyond what is strictly physical. In the early 20s, I activated the microcosmic orbit through a description in Dr Glenn Morris book. Still didn't know what I was doing, asked my taichi teacher but he couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me more, other than that being an indication of spiritual powers. I left it alone, started working and forgot all about it. A few years later I did KAP1 online, and that made me more comfortable with the idea of working safely with spiritual powers. But it was the beginning of many years of struggle with depression and working through "stuff", so again I left it behind. Several years later, I had a serious accident and that brought about some change. It sounds clichèd, all that stuff about searching inside and finding meaning, borne out of the realization that youth and this body I took for granted wouldn't last forever. I started meditating and going to silent retreats. I'm now in a comfortable place for about two years, with a sense of effortlessness of life unfolding on its own accord. I still practice meditation, but in that tradition it is widely believed that eventually one would need to be a monastic in order to work towards full enlightenment, which I feel is not my path in this life. Or rather, taking the path of least resistance, this is not where my life is going. 

 

At this juncture Daoism seems to lay out a path of integration as a non-religious lay practitioner. I'm interested in the philosophical aspects of it, reading DDJ and got Dan Reid and Pregadio lined up, but another part is still curious about energy works, just wanting to see where this leads to. 

 

Looking at the bigger picture, it seems like I worked on jing (thus affecting ming) up to mid-twenties. Then started working on xing in late thirties, through intensive meditation practice. Now I'm returning to work on ming, to fix physical issues that came by aging, accidents, and the strain of sedentary life. Self diagnosis, could be totally off: the three fields are fairly balanced presently. MCO and side branches of the thrusting meridians are open, as well as some meridians down the limbs and back. Some imbalances between the left and right, attributed to old injuries, and between the yin and yang vessels (yin vessels need some work). Thrusting vessel and baihui opening only partial, though fortunately not causing any serious issues.

 

The question is, what does one do from here? I have read some books, but feel it can only get so far. Some options would be:

- Join a big name teacher's retreat (e.g. Wang Li Ping, Damo Mitchell, Mantak Chia, etc.), but this would probably be a one-off without any follow up, and requires coordinating leave from work.

- Join one of the teaching institutions in China, thinking of the Five Immortals temple, or Wudang Daoist Kungfu Academy, they are open year round, easier to schedule and the teachers seem more accessible. Will need to learn some Mandarin.

- Find a local teacher. I have a couple of names of teachers with a lineage but the class is very much health qigong. How does one get through the door, should I wait until we know each other better, or get a private lesson? Will it be necessary to become a formal disciple?

 

Any answers, comments or suggestions much appreciated 🙏😺

 

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15 minutes ago, statusquovadis said:

Hi guys, I've been reading and digesting stuff for about a month now, and thought this may be good time to ask the question on where to go from here. It's either this or casting yarrow stalks :)

 

A bit of background, which may be relevant, else just skip to the next paragraph. I did a fair bit of external and internal martial arts from early teens to early twenties, with no specific emphasis on qi. In fact my mind back then was rejecting it for various reasons, despite some evidence of something beyond what is strictly physical. In the early 20s, I activated the microcosmic orbit through a description in Dr Glenn Morris book. Still didn't know what I was doing, asked my taichi teacher but he couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me more, other than that being an indication of spiritual powers. I left it alone, started working and forgot all about it. A few years later I did KAP1 online, and that made me more comfortable with the idea of working safely with spiritual powers. But it was the beginning of many years of struggle with depression and working through "stuff", so again I left it behind. Several years later, I had a serious accident and that brought about some change. It sounds clichèd, all that stuff about searching inside and finding meaning, borne out of the realization that youth and this body I took for granted wouldn't last forever. I started meditating and going to silent retreats. I'm now in a comfortable place for about two years, with a sense of effortlessness of life unfolding on its own accord. I still practice meditation, but in that tradition it is widely believed that eventually one would need to be a monastic in order to work towards full enlightenment, which I feel is not my path in this life. Or rather, taking the path of least resistance, this is not where my life is going. 

 

At this juncture Daoism seems to lay out a path of integration as a non-religious lay practitioner. I'm interested in the philosophical aspects of it, reading DDJ and got Dan Reid and Pregadio lined up, but another part is still curious about energy works, just wanting to see where this leads to. 

 

Looking at the bigger picture, it seems like I worked on jing (thus affecting ming) up to mid-twenties. Then started working on xing in late thirties, through intensive meditation practice. Now I'm returning to work on ming, to fix physical issues that came by aging, accidents, and the strain of sedentary life. Self diagnosis, could be totally off: the three fields are fairly balanced presently. MCO and side branches of the thrusting meridians are open, as well as some meridians down the limbs and back. Some imbalances between the left and right, attributed to old injuries, and between the yin and yang vessels (yin vessels need some work). Thrusting vessel and baihui opening only partial, though fortunately not causing any serious issues.

 

The question is, what does one do from here? I have read some books, but feel it can only get so far. Some options would be:

- Join a big name teacher's retreat (e.g. Wang Li Ping, Damo Mitchell, Mantak Chia, etc.), but this would probably be a one-off without any follow up, and requires coordinating leave from work.

- Join one of the teaching institutions in China, thinking of the Five Immortals temple, or Wudang Daoist Kungfu Academy, they are open year round, easier to schedule and the teachers seem more accessible. Will need to learn some Mandarin.

- Find a local teacher. I have a couple of names of teachers with a lineage but the class is very much health qigong. How does one get through the door, should I wait until we know each other better, or get a private lesson? Will it be necessary to become a formal disciple?

 

Any answers, comments or suggestions much appreciated 🙏😺

 


Why not find your own path that suits you? Are you not able to think for yourself, but have a notion that someone here is better able to fix your path ahead for you? No one knows you better than yourself. 

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3 minutes ago, ralis said:


Why not find your own path that suits you? Are you not able to think for yourself, but have a notion that someone here is better able to fix your path ahead for you? No one knows you better than yourself. 

 

Thank you for your response. To clarify, I feel ultimately there is no such thing as "my" or "someone else's" path. It's just convention to make sentences not sound too awkward 😄

 

In a sense what I'm doing here is gathering inputs from the universe, hence the Yijing reference. As someone with no formal training in neigong or neidan, I'd also want to have inputs or reality check if all this sounds workable or if I need to visit a mental health professional soon.

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KAP has solid techniques. Secret Smile, MCO, Chi Sweeps....etc. Those can take you quite far. I don't really teach or anything like that but can give you a push in the right direction if interested. Send me a PM.  

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27 minutes ago, ralis said:


Why not find your own path that suits you? Are you not able to think for yourself, but have a notion that someone here is better able to fix your path ahead for you? No one knows you better than yourself. 

 

Sorry, a follow up question. From my reading in this forum, the (?vocal) majority seem to think it is important to find a teacher and receive correct teachings, etc. Am I reading too much into it? You seem to lean towards the finding your own path camp, which is how I lean as well, under normal circumstances. Is it not supposed to be dangerous in energy works beyond the basics?

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16 minutes ago, RiverSnake said:

KAP has solid techniques. Secret Smile, MCO, Chi Sweeps....etc. Those can take you quite far. I don't really teach or anything like that but can give you a push in the right direction if interested. Send me a PM.  

 

Thank you, will drop a PM.

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25 minutes ago, statusquovadis said:

 

Sorry, a follow up question. From my reading in this forum, the (?vocal) majority seem to think it is important to find a teacher and receive correct teachings, etc. Am I reading too much into it? You seem to lean towards the finding your own path camp, which is how I lean as well, under normal circumstances. Is it not supposed to be dangerous in energy works beyond the basics?


That doesn’t mean you just make up something on your own, but if a practice feels right, then go for it. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, statusquovadis said:

The question is, what does one do from here? I have read some books, but feel it can only get so far. Some options would be:

- Join a big name teacher's retreat (e.g. Wang Li Ping, Damo Mitchell, Mantak Chia, etc.), but this would probably be a one-off without any follow up, and requires coordinating leave from work.

- Join one of the teaching institutions in China, thinking of the Five Immortals temple, or Wudang Daoist Kungfu Academy, they are open year round, easier to schedule and the teachers seem more accessible. Will need to learn some Mandarin.

- Find a local teacher. I have a couple of names of teachers with a lineage but the class is very much health qigong. How does one get through the door, should I wait until we know each other better, or get a private lesson? Will it be necessary to become a formal disciple?

 

Paging @Earl Grey. He has given terrific advice to people on what and where to seek.

 

Don't go to China searching for genuine skills and real masters. Both are rare there nowadays because of Communist suppression.

 

Avoid Mantak Chia. His stuff is notorious for injuring people and he has even disavowed his older books for this reason. There are many people teaching who are masters in the name only, so you need to exercise caution and discernment.

 

Hopefully you find answers and healing!

Edited by virtue
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15 minutes ago, virtue said:

 

Paging @Earl Grey. He has given terrific advice to people on what and where to seek.

 

Don't go to China searching for genuine skills and real masters. Both are rare there nowadays because of Communist suppression.

 

Avoid Mantak Chia. His stuff is notorious for injuring people and he has even disavowed his older books for this reason. There are many people teaching who are masters in the name only, so you need to exercise caution and discernment.

 

Hopefully you find answers and healing!

 

Seeing this now--will respond later. 

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1 hour ago, statusquovadis said:

 

Sorry, a follow up question. From my reading in this forum, the (?vocal) majority seem to think it is important to find a teacher and receive correct teachings, etc. Am I reading too much into it? You seem to lean towards the finding your own path camp, which is how I lean as well, under normal circumstances. Is it not supposed to be dangerous in energy works beyond the basics?

 

Here are some of the dangers of forging your own path: 

 

 

 

 

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Now, if time and money bother you, start building a foundation with the Flying Phoenix DVD series. Sifu Terry even answers questions and teaches advanced forms on his thread here.

 

Next, consult Eric Isen for what is good for you and see what systems you are interested in him to scan for you. www.ayurvedicintuitive.com

 

Lastly, if you really need a push, schedule a free or donation-based Akashic reading with me.

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@Earl Grey thank you for your replies and the kind offer. I started with another person already, so will have to take a rain check on it. The qi sickness links are super interesting, will need hours of reading later, but I believe I have had multiple minor forms of it, thankfully transient. I thought they were just a normal occurrence of the learning process (especially if self taught... lol!). Talk about self-fulfiling prophecy.

 

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2 hours ago, statusquovadis said:

The qi sickness links are super interesting, will need hours of reading later, but I believe I have had multiple minor forms of it, thankfully transient. I thought they were just a normal occurrence of the learning process (especially if self taught... lol!). Talk about self-fulfiling prophecy.

 

Relative beginner having already experienced deviations and starting from a poor health is a red flag. For this reason I would recommend special caution when selecting a suitable practice. Starting with a knowledgeable teacher will save you a lot of time and money. Check and double check if everything claimed matches to your own intuition, discernment, and gut sense.

 

Keep your mind open for opportunities and ask yourself why you would want to practice something particular. What are the downsides?

 

It may take a lot time before the really comfortable life path shows up to you. In the meanwhile stay true to yourself. The process of personal development is a matter of becoming a true person in every level.

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6 hours ago, statusquovadis said:

digesting

 

Just make sure they have what you want.  Check, and check again.  Don't take any excuses.  Then, work hard.

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Check out Damo Mitchell and Lotus Nei Gong. Lots of senior instructors and branches all over the place, might be a good fit for you (or might not!). A Comprehensive Guide to Daoist Nei Gong might be an interesting read for you too.

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1 hour ago, virtue said:

 

Relative beginner having already experienced deviations and starting from a poor health is a red flag. For this reason I would recommend special caution when selecting a suitable practice. Starting with a knowledgeable teacher will save you a lot of time and money. Check and double check if everything claimed matches to your own intuition, discernment, and gut sense.

 

Keep your mind open for opportunities and ask yourself why you would want to practice something particular. What are the downsides?

 

It may take a lot time before the really comfortable life path shows up to you. In the meanwhile stay true to yourself. The process of personal development is a matter of becoming a true person in every level.

 

Yeah, it is not uncommon among people who meditate a lot and can be more pronounced during retreats, due to the high mileage (like meditating 10-12 hours a day). Visions and emotional upheaval are not uncommon. I think as long as the meditator is aware that these symptoms come from meditation, don't attach to them and don't act out of them. Some meditation techniques are more prone to this issue.

 

I'm curious though if qualitatively there is a difference between qi deviation and side effects of meditation. I'm not too sure yet. So as mentioned I had a few side effects from meditation over the years, the most pronounced were during retreats, though I had some at home. They are known entities under the meditation paradigm and I was relatively unfazed. But the one that I was pretty sure was qi-related was around 2 months ago, when I started experimenting with a few neigong and qigong techniques in the span of a few days, including MCO, wind path (reverse orbit), qi deployment in martial arts practice, plus a couple of other things... lol. Plus it coincided with a new moon and jing depletion through blood loss. Next morning I woke up as if almost all spiritual powers (yuan shen) were gone, could barely sense my own qi movement, couldn't concentrate or string a sentence together, and needed to sleep a lot for a few days. After a couple of weeks things gradually returned to balance, and only a bit later and through some digging around I figured out how it could be explained through understanding jing, qi and shen and the rest of it. Must be basic stuff for resident bums here, but it was quite mindblowing for me.

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1 hour ago, Piyadasi said:

Check out Damo Mitchell and Lotus Nei Gong. Lots of senior instructors and branches all over the place, might be a good fit for you (or might not!). A Comprehensive Guide to Daoist Nei Gong might be an interesting read for you too.

 

I'm reading that, also got a couple of his other books! Great stuff. Would love to train with his school but there isn't any where I live. Will try to join a retreat some time in the next few years.

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2 minutes ago, statusquovadis said:

I started experimenting with a few neigong and qigong techniques in the span of a few days

 

Never a too bright thing do toy around and risk mixing energies, but it's important that you make it a learning experience like a child who puts its hand on the hot stove for the first time.

 

4 minutes ago, statusquovadis said:

including MCO, wind path (reverse orbit)

 

Highly not recommended! True MCO is a natural consequence of correct practice and the practices that claim to stimulate it are mostly a scam that is bad for health.

 

Generally, visualizations in qigong are not the correct way to develop your mind nor cleansing karma that obstructs the meridians.

 

3 minutes ago, statusquovadis said:

spiritual powers (yuan shen)

 

Where do you get this naming convention? I'm quite sure yuan shen means something entirely different.

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Eh, I gave him the warnings too and the MTLs have their own opinions about this. More receptive than other people asking advice here lately, but still needs a guiding hand that knows what they are doing. Sadly, a number of people here are unqualified to be guiding hands and make false claims to have that authority to push in the right direction or tell the OP what he can do.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, virtue said:

 

Never a too bright thing do toy around and risk mixing energies, but it's important that you make it a learning experience like a child who puts its hand on the hot stove for the first time.

 

Lol, yes, shiny toys indeed! 🤩

 

Quote

 

Highly not recommended! True MCO is a natural consequence of correct practice and the practices that claim to stimulate it are mostly a scam that is bad for health.

 

Generally, visualizations in qigong are not the correct way to develop your mind nor cleansing karma that obstructs the meridians.

 

I have seen some discussions on MCO around here. I'm not much qualified to comment, but my own personal experience is this: the first description I had of MCO was from Glenn Morris book, Path Notes of an American Ninja Master or maybe the sequel. It was just a short innocuous paragraph, this was in the early 2000s, and there was hardly any information. That stuff really worked, I was sensing warm pressure along the prescribed path, and when it rounded the top of the head I started seeing golden lights and having parasympathetic activation (salivation, tearing). Also since then and for many years after I started experiencing rocking movements from the waist as I meditated. As mentioned in the first post, i couldn't find any guidance and just chalked it down to "interesting stuff that happened" and left it.

 

Skip forward to the present day, not as dramatic for sure (got other ways to make things shiny, lol). After the events 2 months ago, the MCO path often lights up on its own, especially the conception channel. My theory is that twenty years ago it wasn't fully opened, the yang governing channel opening more than the yin conception channel, producing some imbalance that actually kinda helped with meditation but also made the system prone to side effects. Just theorizing.

 

 

Quote

 

Where do you get this naming convention? I'm quite sure yuan shen means something entirely different.

 

https://www.tinyatdragon.com/blogs/spiritual/yuan-shen-yuen-sun-taoism-knowledge-101

 

I'm not sure if it is yuan shen, yuan qi or yang qi/ shen. What would you call it?

 

 

Edit:

 

From Damo Mitchell's White Moon book: "Yuan Shen is the undifferentiated light of illumination that exists before the five spirits of Hun, Shen, Yi, Zhi or Po refract into being. This is the true spirit of pure consciousness, the aspect of our nature that Buddhists may refer to as our innate ‘Buddha nature’."

 

I feel this is a close description to the thing I was referring to. Given I don't know for sure, I should have just described it. It is a non-dual field of awareness that extends beyond the physical body, encompass everything perceived, internal and external, with everything appearing to have equal density and inner light, and made of the same 'stuff' out of this undifferentiated mass.

Edited by statusquovadis

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27 minutes ago, statusquovadis said:

https://www.tinyatdragon.com/blogs/spiritual/yuan-shen-yuen-sun-taoism-knowledge-101

 

I'm not sure if it is yuan shen, yuan qi or yang qi/ shen. What would you call it?

 

FYI, you are quoting a known fraud and scammer whose knowledge of Taoism and neigong is abysmal. He has demonstrated that his skill is so bad that he once said Buddhists are demonic and had a demon that Buddhists worshipped who was haunting him--and the image he posted of the alleged demon was a character from Street Fighter, Akuma (Gouki in Japan), in a blog post. He has also had many fake accounts here and other sites praising him. 

 

Stay away from Tin Yat and Mak Tin Si/Mak Jo Si. 

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31 minutes ago, statusquovadis said:

I have seen some discussions on MCO around here. I'm not much qualified to comment, but my own personal experience is this: the first description I had of MCO was from Glenn Morris book, Path Notes of an American Ninja Master or maybe the sequel. It was just a short innocuous paragraph, this was in the early 2000s, and there was hardly any information. That stuff really worked, I was sensing warm pressure along the prescribed path, and when it rounded the top of the head I started seeing golden lights and having parasympathetic activation (salivation, tearing). Also since then and for many years after I started experiencing rocking movements from the waist as I meditated. As mentioned in the first post, i couldn't find any guidance and just chalked it down to "interesting stuff that happened" and left it.

 

Rocking movements can occur as a means of channels for qi flow opening, at least in golden flower meditation and in Zhan Zhuang from our school. 

 

In general, the Glenn Morris book is questionable because people who have used it focus on third eye development and upper channel openings, which can easily lead to psychoses. Working from the bottom up is safer, but takes longer. 

 

Caveat emptor

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1 minute ago, Earl Grey said:

 

FYI, you are quoting a known fraud and scammer whose knowledge of Taoism and neigong is abysmal. He has demonstrated that his skill is so bad that he once said Buddhists are demonic and had a demon that Buddhists worshipped who was haunting him--and the image he posted of the alleged demon was a character from Street Fighter, Akuma (Gouki in Japan), in a blog post. He has also had many fake accounts here and other sites praising him. 

 

Stay away from Tin Yat and Mak Tin Si/Mak Jo Si. 

 

This is why I find Daoist internal arts scary. At the end of the day, how does one know who to trust? There is still some amount of self discernment and intuition needed. Fortunately I'm not following this person's teaching, just a site that popped up when I searched yuan shen. I saw the term elsewhere a few days ago but was too lazy to try to find it again 😂

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2 minutes ago, statusquovadis said:

 

This is why I find Daoist internal arts scary. At the end of the day, how does one know who to trust? There is still some amount of self discernment and intuition needed. Fortunately I'm not following this person's teaching, just a site that popped up when I searched yuan shen. I saw the term elsewhere a few days ago but was too lazy to try to find it again 😂

 

You know how to trust them based off of their integrity, sincerity, and skill.

 

I have posted many times that a good practice requires the following:

 

These first four criteria are a must: good lineage, good system, good teacher, good community,

 

and the fifth criteria is most important: being a good student. Without this fifth criteria, you can have all four of the above but get nothing if you are lazy or entitled. If you are a good student, then all four criteria will find you--assuming you are paying attention and ready. 

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7 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

 

Rocking movements can occur as a means of channels for qi flow opening, at least in golden flower meditation and in Zhan Zhuang from our school. 

 

In general, the Glenn Morris book is questionable because people who have used it focus on third eye development and upper channel openings, which can easily lead to psychoses. Working from the bottom up is safer, but takes longer. 

 

Caveat emptor

 

By working from the bottom you mean strengthening jing, LDT work, and letting qi rise on its own? I can see how it can be much safer. As someone with no formal training, I observe accidental qi deviation is quite common with meditators, even when they are not practicing it on purpose. Wouldn't MCO be useful to help ground the rampant energy? I know theoretically it can be grounded automatically through the vessels that run to the heels, but won't an open network of meridians help?

 

Still laughing about the Akuma thing, it made my day 😂

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