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Is Mao Shan a Water or Fire Path?

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Hello Bums, with my most recent discoveries about the focus of Mao Shan energy practices, I have thought about the idea of any teaching or practice being either a water or a fire path. I know that some practices are labeled as a "water path" or a "fire path." I, myself have used the designation of my practice being a "water" path for years. And I still like the characterisation of it being a water path. It gives the feeling of cool, peaceful, natural, flowing, feminine, etc... My thoughts about this designation have changed lately based on my most recent discoveries about the path I practice. I read on this forum a comment that I agree with which is that the whole idea of "water vs fire path" is a modern distinction. I think this is probably true. I think the most relevant practice would be in regards to the direction of energy flow of the Microcosmic orbit meditation. Fire path- being up the back and down the front and water path- being up the front and down the back. But even with that difference, I think designating one path water and the other fire is just a way to explain the different flow of energy not really about the nature of the energy itself. 


I would say that, in my opinion, based on my experience and based on what I know now about the goal of Mao Shan energy practices, that Mao Shan practices are definitely FIRE. But that does not take away from its distinction from other, more traditional Taoist energy practices. As I recently posted in my latest thread, I discovered after 30 years of practice in a Mao Shan internal martial art, that the techniques of the Mao Shan martial arts as well as the meditations, qigong and neigong were specifically designed to stimulate the pericardium meridian. And it did so in ways that you do not find in other, more well known Taoist energy practices.


 The pericardium meridian is actually an energy center in its own right. It is referred to in TCM as "The Emperor's Bodyguard." In fact, the Emperors' Bodyguard is considered to be an entity in and of itself. It is designated as being FIRE element, Lightning energy and feminine. It would be accurate to classify the pericardium meridian energy as a goddess. She is the lightning power that encases the Shen ( soul) and protects it from the harshness of 3 dimensional reality. It is the pericardium meridian that acts as an energetic shield to protect the heart from emotional and spiritual attack. I read about a very accomplished TCM professional who could tell just by feeling the pulse if someone had gone through a divorce. He said he could feel it as a wound in the pericardium meridian's energy shield around the heart.


So, in that sense, the Mao Shan energy can be said to be different from other "traditional" Taoist energy as being more associated with the Feminine whereas more traditional Taoist energy could be referred to as Masculine. So I would say that since we are dealing with Qi energy, we are talking about Fire. But is the Fire Masculine or Feminine? Since we associate Water with feminine and Fire as masculine, it is understandable that anyone who is familiar with both Mao Shan and other Taoist traditions would feel inclined to associate one with Fire and the other with Water.


So, for me, I will no longer call the Mao Shan practices a Water path. I will call it a Feminine path. Similar to the Vedic idea of a "Shakti" path. Shakti is the feminine path of energy practice and worship in Yogic traditions. Shakti is another term for the Kundalini energy. Kundalini is an energy and she is also a goddess and she is also FIRE. I believe this way of describing Shakti energy is a more accurate way of describing the Mao Shan energy practices. But I feel the need to be clear and make the distinction between Kundalini and Mao Shan energy. The energy of the pericardium is NOT Kundalini even though they both are Feminine Fire energies... But the actual nature of Kundalini vs Qi is whole other kettle of fish better saved for another discussion.


If I may continue on the comparison of Kundalini Shakti and the Lightning Power of the Pericardium.... It is well known in Vedic/Hindu practices that if one wants real power, one should worship Mother Shakti. But one should also be very respectful of the power She holds. She can be very unpredictable and dangerous. The goddess Kali is a good example. She is the Mother, the complete embodiment of the Feminine. But she is also sometimes (inaccurately) referred to as the goddess of death. She is radical transformation.


In paintings of her, one can find Kali dancing on the corpse of Shiva. If one has the idea that masculine is active and the feminine is passive, the representations of Kali and Shiva are powerful reminders of the opposite being true. One might wonder how it is that I practice a martial art that is known for its speed and devastating power and yet it is also closely associated with the feminine. ( my teacher's teacher became known for his martial prowess as a result of worshipping Kwan Yin. He credited his power to her alone)..


The Mao Shan practices are also in alignment with the general description of Shakti by the Vedics. The Lightning Goddess, the Bodyguard of the Soul, in my experience, is powerful, quick, merciless and potentially dangerous, but also undoubtedly feminine and healing in nature.


If I may continue a bit further... I have discovered that what makes the Mao Shan distinct as a spiritual path is that it is strongly associated with shamanic channeling. Every practice that I have found that is associated with Mao Shan ( whether that is through the sect I learned from or other Mao Shan practices from other lineages), is strongly focused on having the practitioner channel powers and energies. This is what makes Mao Shan a path of magic. There is not so much emphasis on intellectual understanding of the techniques as an instinctual and intuitive connection to the powers associated with them.  The Mao Shan pracitioner is taught and encouraged to use shamanic channeling techniques to learn even more meditations and practices. The practitioner is encouraged to deepen their shamanic connections to the deities and spirits to teach them and further understand the practices. In my experience, every person who has learned the Mao Shan martial tradition who showed any promise started to create their own forms, practices and meditations. Every person with any natural inclination also started discovering their own "supernatural powers" such as healing, divination, magic, etc... I have never seen this to the same degree in any other art I have researched.


One day a Tai Chi master came to visit our Mao Shan martial arts class. My teacher was showing him the Water form. The visitor paused and closed his eyes and swayed back and forth and my teacher asked him, "What are you doing?" He replied, "I'm searching for the water so I can better understand what you are showing me." My teacher said, "Don't waste your time searching for the water, just BECOME water." And then he delivered a palm strike to his chest. "Feel that?" "Yes."... "That's water. I didn't have to summon it. I just became water... Now try again. This time, just become water and don't think about it."


The great grandmaster was a Mao Shan sorcerer who also was a well respected martial artist. And after my 30 years of practicing this art, I found the likely method of how he created these "Mao Shan Kung Fu Forms" that I had taken for granted. As a young man he, like many other young men from Southern China in the early 20th century learned Hakka Style Shao Lin Kung Fu. After learning Mao Shan magic, ritual and nei gong, he then learned how to channel energy from the ascended masters. The Kung Fu Forms he developed looked very similar to other Hakka style Shan Lin forms, but there was an extremely powerful energy to them that set his forms and martial arts apart from the rest of the Shao Lin Kung Fu of his time.... His forms LOOKED like other Shan Lin forms but the energy came from the Mao Shan focus on the pericardium meridian and had a very different feel and devastating effect.


The way it was described to me  by someone who knew the grandmaster, was that, "The Forms were Shao Lin, but the Magic was Mao Shan." After reverse engineering the Mao Shan Kung Fu forms for 30 years, I now see that what makes the Mao Shan Kung Fu different is that the techniques are solely focused on stimulating and releasing the energy in the pericardium meridian. But these techniques are hidden within what looks like traditional Hakka style Shao Lin Kung Fu forms. I believe that it is possible that the great grandmaster may not have had any intellectual understanding of the technique of the forms. But being the proficient Mao Shan sorcerer that he was, he simply channeled the ascended Kung Fu masters who taught him forms that stimulated the Lightning energy of the pericardium meridian and released the power of the Feminine. The powerful, devastating energy similar to the Shakti of Kali Ma... There are other things about the magic of the forms but I will keep those secret for the time being ;)


Thanks for letting me ramble. I think about this stuff a lot and it helps me to unpack this info somewhere where it might be understood and appreciated... Let me know what you guys think...




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