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Hello All!

 

Im a 40 year old from India. Im interested in neidan practices but I dont know anyone teaching this in India.

 

Im thinking of following online courses.

 

What are some good courses by which I can cultivate Jing, Qi and Shen ?

 

Another question, does neidan have any parallels with Kriya Yoga ? Do they complement each other ?

 

Regards,

 

Anand

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On 5/17/2021 at 8:43 PM, forestofemptiness said:

A few to check out to get you started: 

 

https://www.immortalarts.org/

 

https://damomitchell.com/

 

https://nathanbrine.com/

 

I haven't checked them all out personally, but that is where I would start based on reputation. 

Thanks! From what ive read, one of the first things is to be able to feel the Qi. Is there any exercise sets for that ?

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14 minutes ago, A2345B said:

Thanks! From what ive read, one of the first things is to be able to feel the Qi. Is there any exercise sets for that ?

More or less any qigong set. 

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8 hours ago, A2345B said:

Thanks! From what ive read, one of the first things is to be able to feel the Qi. Is there any exercise sets for that ?

 

I would not recommend a set, I would recommend a program. 

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20 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

I would not recommend a set, I would recommend a program. 

What programs would you recommend ?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/17/2021 at 6:48 AM, A2345B said:

What are some good courses by which I can cultivate Jing, Qi and Shen ?

 

 

My personal opinion is avoid any website/teacher that is selling neidan like it is a commodity. 

Real neidan practice is something like kriya yoga, or raja yoga. It takes a serious and lifetime commitment, and one really should be guided by an accomplished teacher. In my view, legit teachers will not sell such practices like a commodity, and real teachers do not seek publicity and money. They will only teach you if they feel you have strong ethics and show that you are truly committed to learning and putting in the daily effort required. There are no shortcuts which money can buy.  

 

However, for starting on the path of developing your jing, qi, shen, IMO, the following simple practice is one of the most effective and safe practices. 

This single meditation practice called 'wu ji zhan zhuang' can potentially take you a long way if practiced daily. 

Wu Chi the first position - Internal Strength - Energy Gates Qigong

 

The knees only need to be bent a little bit. 

You should keep the body relaxed as much as you can manage. 

Shoulders are down and fully relaxed. 

Your back is naturally straight and relaxed. Not forced straight. 

Eyes can be open or closed. 

Breathing should be relaxed, natural and deep. 

The elbows should be held a little bit away from the body so that your armpits are open a bit. 

You don't focus on anything in particular with your mind. Just relax. 

Be aware of your body and try to relax any areas of tension. 

Check from time to time that your breathing is relaxed and natural and deep. 

 

The most important points are to relax as much as you can and keep everything natural.

Do not force anything, including the stance.

Standing in this way may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but if you focus on keeping it as

natural and relaxed as you can, and don't continue standing when it starts to feel like a strain, 

you should be on the right track, and the stance will start to feel more relaxed and natural as you progress. 

 

You can start with just 5 or 10 minutes in one session, and slowly over time increase your standing meditation time. 

Best is to practice in the morning when getting up, and in the evening before sleeping. Once a day is fine though. 

If you are really serious about such a practice, you should ideally be celibate, or at least not have sex very often. 

 

 

69_7_12-zhan-zhuang.jpg

Edited by Iskote
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On 2021-05-21 at 1:35 PM, A2345B said:

What programs would you recommend ?

@forestofemptiness is right, if your goal is Nei Dan then starting from within an organisation that claim to teach it will be time efficient.

 

Unfortunately, @Iskotehas a point as well. A long history of Nei Dan has left us with a wide array of practices, leading to different places.

I hope you find a practice that leads you to where you want to go! 

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On 5/22/2021 at 11:47 PM, Cleansox said:

@forestofemptiness is right, if your goal is Nei Dan then starting from within an organisation that claim to teach it will be time efficient.

 

Unfortunately, @Iskotehas a point as well. A long history of Nei Dan has left us with a wide array of practices, leading to different places.

I hope you find a practice that leads you to where you want to go! 

Thanks @Iskote  @Cleansox @forestofemptiness

 

Im mainly looking for a system that allows me to feel chi - because I really dont have a frame of reference and I have heard conflicting terms defining it - and start cultivating chi.

 

Is cultivating Jing a necessity for cultivating chi ? or is that only in Neidan ?

 

I agree with @Iskote that neidan is a lifestyle and not a program than can be picked up - thats the general idea ive got so far from this forum and reviews and books i have read on neidan. All the cultivators I have heard about have a minimum of a decade of cultivation behind them.

 

Will Zhan Zhuang open my channels ? Mainly the channels on the feet and hands ? Ive also heard a lot of good things about zhineng qigong but Ive read people saying there isnt much neidan cultivation in it, or it requires substantial work (more than others) to be put in before it shows results.

 

Any ideas ?

 

Im 40 years old. Im diabetic and I can start to feel my body slowing down - Im going to commit to whatever practice I pick up.

 

Another question that I have is - Does the Qi get stored in the ren and du channels or in a dantien ? or is the dantien a transformer that transforms Jing to Qi to Shen ? OR have I read too many books and should stop now ? :huh:

 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, A2345B said:

Will Zhan Zhuang open my channels ? 

 

 

Yes, it certainly can, but please read my comment above carefully, line by line, on how to properly practice.  

I have distilled the practice down to the key essentials and requirements. 

It doesn't get much more simple than that, but don't confuse simplicity with inferior. 

It's all contained in that one practice. :) If people would only just relax their monkey minds and practice daily. 

Edited by Iskote

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Iskote said:

 

Yes, it certainly can, but please read my comment above carefully, line by line, on how to properly practice.  

I have distilled the practice down to the key essentials and requirements. 

It doesn't get much more simple than that, but don't confuse simplicity with inferior. 

It's all contained in that one practice. :) If people would only just relax their monkey minds and practice daily. 

"If people would only relax their monkey minds and practice daily" - Thats a pretty BIG if. :lol:

Ive heard that one hour of true meditation equals days of energy work.

Someday Ill get there.

 

I think ill start with 5 minutes of ZZ and then slowly expand.

Edited by A2345B

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40 minutes ago, A2345B said:

Thanks @Iskote  @Cleansox @forestofemptiness

 

Is cultivating Jing a necessity for cultivating chi ? or is that only in Neidan ?

It helps even if one is just practicing basic qigong. 

40 minutes ago, A2345B said:

 

 @Iskote All the cultivators I have heard about have a minimum of a decade of cultivation behind them.

Usually one lay the foundation before doing Nei Dan proper. 

40 minutes ago, A2345B said:

 

Will Zhan Zhuang open my channels ? Mainly the channels on the feet and hands ?

Depends on the position, the teaching, and the student. But yes, long time standing will open and activate a lot of things. 

And you can focus on just one position, or have a smorgasbord of them, again depending on teacher and student. 

40 minutes ago, A2345B said:

 but Ive read people saying there isnt much neidan cultivation in it, 

This is a hard one. 

To some, "nei dan" is a generic term for any transformative method. 

For others, Nei Dan is considered a more specific method of practice. 

There has been some argument about this in the past. 

40 minutes ago, A2345B said:

 Does the Qi get stored in the ren and du channels or in a dantien ? 

That depends. Again. 

Some claim that in order to store qi in the LDT, it has do be developed properly. 

Some say that one circulates qi in the Du + Ren, but if one don’t do that but let them develop naturally, they will accumulate and the difference between them will create an arc discharge, as seen on the Nei Jing Tu. 

40 minutes ago, A2345B said:

OR have I read too many books and should stop now ? :huh:

Reading is good. 

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3 hours ago, A2345B said:

Thanks @Iskote  @Cleansox @forestofemptiness

 

Im mainly looking for a system that allows me to feel chi - because I really dont have a frame of reference and I have heard conflicting terms defining it - and start cultivating chi.

 

 

If you want to feel Chi, just doing something super slowly, then you can feel something.  e.g. wave your hand up may take half a second normally, extending it to 30 seconds and see the difference.   But feeling it has no use. 

 

Anyway you probably have a problem finding a program so follow @Iskote's method is a good start and even useful long term.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, A2345B said:

Thanks @Iskote  @Cleansox @forestofemptiness

 

Im mainly looking for a system that allows me to feel chi - because I really dont have a frame of reference and I have heard conflicting terms defining it - and start cultivating chi.

 

I would work on connecting with a teacher. Without a teacher, one of two things is likely to happen:

 

1. Nothing happens, in which case you've wasted your time. 

 

2. Something happens, in which case you will certainly need guidance. 

 

I wouldn't recommend working on your own, because you'll end up installing habits that you'll have to undo later. 

 

Just some thoughts. Good luck either way.

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On 5/17/2021 at 7:48 AM, A2345B said:

Another question, does neidan have any parallels with Kriya Yoga ? Do they complement each other ?

 

On 5/20/2021 at 1:50 AM, A2345B said:

Thanks! From what ive read, one of the first things is to be able to feel the Qi. Is there any exercise sets for that ?

 

On 5/24/2021 at 4:35 AM, A2345B said:

Im mainly looking for a system that allows me to feel chi - because I really dont have a frame of reference and I have heard conflicting terms defining it - and start cultivating chi...Is cultivating Jing a necessity for cultivating chi ? or is that only in Neidan ?...6

Will Zhan Zhuang open my channels ? Mainly the channels on the feet and hands ? Ive also heard a lot of good things about zhineng qigong but Ive read people saying there isnt much neidan cultivation in it, or it requires substantial work (more than others) to be put in before it shows results.

...

Another question that I have is - Does the Qi get stored in the ren and du channels or in a dantien ? or is the dantien a transformer that transforms Jing to Qi to Shen ? OR have I read too many books and should stop now ?

Hi Anand,

 

Lots of good questions here, reasonable questions for a thoughtful beginner trying to get his bearings to ask.  Intellectual knowledge is no substitute for practice, but a questioning and research can help you discern what is a good use of your time vs what isn't. 

 

There are similarities between neidan and Kriya, but they are somewhat broad, the actual orientation of the practices is rather different.  For instance, they both want to fully open all the energy centers of the body and in particular all the centers in the spine and brain, but how they go about doing this and in what order is quite different. 

 

Yes there are sets geared toward "feeling the qi", but to some extent one should distinguish between feeling effects of qi (feelings of warmth and tingles, etc) from feeling qi directly, which is fairly advanced.  Medically oriented sets will tend to create more sensations of qi on the surface of the skin, but neidan isn't working with this surface level qi so it doesn't actually consider such surface sensations important to cultivate.  So, your idea of "step 1" isn't quite right.  And as you say, work with jing is only a prerequisite for neidan, not for medical qigong sets.  Opening the channels also has different meanings in neidan vs medical qigong, again, it's the difference between working at the surface or deep inside.  Qi can be stored many places in the body, including the ren and du, but there is a sense in which the lower dantian can store the most and is the safest, and forms a foundation for storing it elsewhere. 

 

I second forestofemptiness' list, those teachers are knowledgeable, authentic, and available to answer questions of online students.  If you are really interested in neidan, really do look into Damo Mitchell's stuff, even if you don't do his program, the material in his books is incredibly high quality, useful to have been exposed to.  If you want to start on standing, you might find that it becomes much more efficient if done according to Damo's rather detailed instructions. 

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Posted (edited)
On 2021/5/21 at 11:17 PM, Iskote said:

 

My personal opinion is avoid any website/teacher that is selling neidan like it is a commodity. 

.............

 

Quite agree . Teaching medical qigong , Taiqi ..etc as a  commodity is  okay , nothing wrong  .  Just like someone who teaches you how to play some kind of sports  that makes you healthier and happier,  and  he charges you some money for it  .

 

Neidan is totally something  different .  If any guy who really knows the key , or  any crucial  skills  about it ,  not those mostly  are  just medical qigong stuff , the first thing he  does  is not to  set up a website boast of how capable he is , but  how to hide among  the crowd  .. ; the Taoist saint walks on path totally different  from common people's  , if someday you  meet him , it is because he deliberately   changes his path to  enter yours , not because of your chase after him .

Edited by exorcist_1699
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7 hours ago, Creation said:

 

 

Hi Anand,

 

Lots of good questions here, reasonable questions for a thoughtful beginner trying to get his bearings to ask.  Intellectual knowledge is no substitute for practice, but a questioning and research can help you discern what is a good use of your time vs what isn't. 

 

There are similarities between neidan and Kriya, but they are somewhat broad, the actual orientation of the practices is rather different.  For instance, they both want to fully open all the energy centers of the body and in particular all the centers in the spine and brain, but how they go about doing this and in what order is quite different. 

 

Yes there are sets geared toward "feeling the qi", but to some extent one should distinguish between feeling effects of qi (feelings of warmth and tingles, etc) from feeling qi directly, which is fairly advanced.  Medically oriented sets will tend to create more sensations of qi on the surface of the skin, but neidan isn't working with this surface level qi so it doesn't actually consider such surface sensations important to cultivate.  So, your idea of "step 1" isn't quite right.  And as you say, work with jing is only a prerequisite for neidan, not for medical qigong sets.  Opening the channels also has different meanings in neidan vs medical qigong, again, it's the difference between working at the surface or deep inside.  Qi can be stored many places in the body, including the ren and du, but there is a sense in which the lower dantian can store the most and is the safest, and forms a foundation for storing it elsewhere. 

 

I second forestofemptiness' list, those teachers are knowledgeable, authentic, and available to answer questions of online students.  If you are really interested in neidan, really do look into Damo Mitchell's stuff, even if you don't do his program, the material in his books is incredibly high quality, useful to have been exposed to.  If you want to start on standing, you might find that it becomes much more efficient if done according to Damo's rather detailed instructions. 

Ive recently bought the "Comprehensive Guide to Daoist Neigong" - Im going through it. His Neidan training costs USD 40 per month which is something I can afford for the time being.

 

Thank you all for your kind comments! Time to begin!

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, A2345B said:

His Neidan training costs USD 40 per month which is something I can afford for the time being.

 

 

Wow, very expensive!  It must be really good. 

Just kidding. :lol:

Full time teachers want steady income coming in to pay all their bills so they can do their own full time personal practice and travelling to China, etc., without having to work for a living.  Is that ethical? :) 

 

You don't need to learn a more 'complex' system like neidan to work on jing - qi - shen development. 

In my view, you do need to be celibate to seriously start working on jing - qi - shen development. 

If you are not celibate, you can still get benefits from qigong, tai chi, etc., but you will be limited in what can be achieved. 

Wu ji zhan zhuang is a good simple practice which anyone can do at home to get started on this road. 

You can potentially go a long way on your own if you practice diligently and correctly (relaxed and natural). 

That's why I recommend it. It doesn't drain your bank account as well. :) 

 

Here is something to consider. If you are celibate, and If you are able to continue a practice such as wu ji zhan zhuang every day without fail, and slowly over time build your daily standing time to at least an hour continuous per day without straining, say over six months or a year, by then you should already be quite aware of your qi developing and probably see some improvements to your health. However, many people will drop out of such a regular daily practice in just a few weeks or months, just not having the self discipline, or they get in a sexual relationship, or they find it too 'time consuming', although they have time to do other recreational activities. :lol:  

 

Now compare to serious neidan practice where one should probably be doing practices for a minimum of three hours a day, every day, and probably longer than that every day as one progresses. Ask yourself if you have the self discipline and are able to make the daily time commitment to such a practice, and also remain celibate? 

 

My suggestion to people interested in such practices is to start out with something like tai chi (definitely requires a good teacher to learn properly) or zhan zhuang, and see if you have the time and self discipline to practice every day, even for just a half hour or an hour every day over a year or two. If you can stick to that, then you can start to consider if you really can commit to even much more practice time each day. IMO, then, and only then, should you consider something like neidan which takes a much bigger commitment. If you are not celibate, I would suggest a person not even waste any time at all on considering neidan. Neidan is not for you.

Qigong or tai chi can still give good health benefits for 'ordinary' people, so that would still be something to consider for your average person. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Iskote

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On 5/26/2021 at 9:17 PM, Iskote said:

 

Wow, very expensive!  It must be really good. 

Just kidding. :lol:

Full time teachers want steady income coming in to pay all their bills so they can do their own full time personal practice and travelling to China, etc., without having to work for a living.  Is that ethical? :) 

 

You don't need to learn a more 'complex' system like neidan to work on jing - qi - shen development. 

In my view, you do need to be celibate to seriously start working on jing - qi - shen development. 

If you are not celibate, you can still get benefits from qigong, tai chi, etc., but you will be limited in what can be achieved. 

Wu ji zhan zhuang is a good simple practice which anyone can do at home to get started on this road. 

You can potentially go a long way on your own if you practice diligently and correctly (relaxed and natural). 

That's why I recommend it. It doesn't drain your bank account as well. :) 

 

Here is something to consider. If you are celibate, and If you are able to continue a practice such as wu ji zhan zhuang every day without fail, and slowly over time build your daily standing time to at least an hour continuous per day without straining, say over six months or a year, by then you should already be quite aware of your qi developing and probably see some improvements to your health. However, many people will drop out of such a regular daily practice in just a few weeks or months, just not having the self discipline, or they get in a sexual relationship, or they find it too 'time consuming', although they have time to do other recreational activities. :lol:  

 

Now compare to serious neidan practice where one should probably be doing practices for a minimum of three hours a day, every day, and probably longer than that every day as one progresses. Ask yourself if you have the self discipline and are able to make the daily time commitment to such a practice, and also remain celibate? 

 

My suggestion to people interested in such practices is to start out with something like tai chi (definitely requires a good teacher to learn properly) or zhan zhuang, and see if you have the time and self discipline to practice every day, even for just a half hour or an hour every day over a year or two. If you can stick to that, then you can start to consider if you really can commit to even much more practice time each day. IMO, then, and only then, should you consider something like neidan which takes a much bigger commitment. If you are not celibate, I would suggest a person not even waste any time at all on considering neidan. Neidan is not for you.

Qigong or tai chi can still give good health benefits for 'ordinary' people, so that would still be something to consider for your average person. 

 

 

 

 

 

thanks @Iskote

 

Ive started Wu ji zhan zhuang however it will take a little while before I get the posture correct. It looks easy but I guess my body tends to slouch over time. There are also areas of tension that refuse to relax as they help keep my body in that position.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2021 at 5:17 AM, A2345B said:

thanks @Iskote

Ive started Wu ji zhan zhuang however it will take a little while before I get the posture correct. It looks easy but I guess my body tends to slouch over time. There are also areas of tension that refuse to relax as they help keep my body in that position.

 

Hi A2345B. Don't worry about areas of tension too much. Over time you will start to feel more comfortable and relaxed and natural while standing. Relaxing doesn't mean becoming completely limp like a rag doll so that you start to collapse. Just relax as much as you can while standing naturally straight, with your knees bent a little bit and your toes facing forward. Feet are about shoulder width apart. As long as you are  in that general posture, you should be fine. Make sure the armpits are open a bit so as not to restrict circulation through the armpit area. The exact posture is not super critical. You will adjust your posture to be more comfortable over time as you get more used to standing that way. Don't over-do the standing time either. Just a few minutes for one session for the first while is good enough. All the best. 

 

Edit: 

In my view, wuji zhan zhuang embodies the principles outlined in the dao de jing without adding anything. 

Edited by Iskote

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On 5/31/2021 at 10:45 PM, Iskote said:

 

Hi A2345B. Don't worry about areas of tension too much. Over time you will start to feel more comfortable and relaxed and natural while standing. Relaxing doesn't mean becoming completely limp like a rag doll so that you start to collapse. Just relax as much as you can while standing naturally straight, with your knees bent a little bit and your toes facing forward. Feet are about shoulder width apart. As long as you are  in that general posture, you should be fine. Make sure the armpits are open a bit so as not to restrict circulation through the armpit area. The exact posture is not super critical. You will adjust your posture to be more comfortable over time as you get more used to standing that way. Don't over-do the standing time either. Just a few minutes for one session for the first while is good enough. All the best. 

 

Edit: 

In my view, wuji zhan zhuang embodies the principles outlined in the dao de jing without adding anything. 

Thanks @iskote. Currently my standing time is 2 minutes. My body goes off balance once or twice. Ive noticed that if I tense any leg muscles willingly - my knees take a hit. I havent yet managed to "relax" into the posture but ill get there.

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1 hour ago, A2345B said:

Thanks @iskote. Currently my standing time is 2 minutes. My body goes off balance once or twice. Ive noticed that if I tense any leg muscles willingly - my knees take a hit. I havent yet managed to "relax" into the posture but ill get there.

 

After standing for a few years I recently came across some mental techniques from Yi Quan to help relax into the stand.

 

1 - don't try to relax but instead imagine you already are

2 -  picture yourself standing in a very relaxing environment such as in a nice garden or by the beach

3 -  imagine that the top half of your body is light and the bottom half of your body is heavy

 

And although I do have some  success with each of these techniques at times, my best stands are when I don't apply any visualisation whatsoever.

 

This also applies to whether I should drop my shoulders more while standing. Sometimes I worry there is too much tension in my shoulders and that my arms are held too high.  But again my best stands are when I just don't worry about how high or low my shoulders are.

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21 hours ago, A2345B said:

Thanks @iskote. Currently my standing time is 2 minutes. My body goes off balance once or twice. Ive noticed that if I tense any leg muscles willingly - my knees take a hit. I havent yet managed to "relax" into the posture but ill get there.

Main thing about standing is to learn the correct alignments and learning to suspend from the martial crown. 
 

Once you learn how to suspend the crown, and get into correct alignment, just breathe and release the muscles in the upper chest downward. 
 

The weight should not crash down on your joints (hips, knees, ankles), the weight should go to the ground — correct alignment will ensure that.  
 

  1. suspend the crown 
  2. Tuck the chin slightly so your eyes end up looking a bit below the horizon line.
  3. tuck your tailbone as if you’re sitting on a barstool or a large beach ball
  4. bend your knees slightly so they are not locked 
  5. lean your upper body slightly forward at the hips, just enough so that that you’re not falling forward 
  6. keep your toes straight and parallel to each other 
  7. release the muscles in your upper chest (like your pectoral muscles are sliding off the chest down towards your belly)
  8. Relax and breath softly, gently into your lower abdomen 
  9. Be patient — like you have nothing else to do, no checking time, etc. just wait and observe.
  10. rest your finger tips lightly on your upper thighs, shoulders down, elbows and slightly out to the sides and sinking downward 

 

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