StillWater

Well I have a few questions ranging from Wuji to Tai Chi and some general confusion here

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Many pardons up front for my ignorance.  I submit myself to the knowledge of those who have gone before me and humbly ask for any guidance that might be available.

 

Let me start with this.  I'm pretty darn new to a lot of this, and the information I have gathered thus far is really from books.  I've read this forum here and there but it is so vast and extensive it is like walking into a library of scrolls and hoping you pick the right one.  Disarray seems to follow the original organization of any room... this forum is much more organized than most yet there is always a "well darn man, where do I start?" feel to everything.  For me, start with book, generate questions, look them up the best I can.

 

I have gathered that personal instruction is best.   The only teachers I can find in my area (Raleigh, NC) are the following and I'd greatly value opinions on them since I've no flippin clue.  I am interested in health, spirituality.  Not so much martial, but that wouldn't be avoided if it is a good idea.

 

1.  Qigong Wellness is owned and operated by Jeff Simonton, a Certified Medical Qigong Instructor who was taught by the world famous Healer and Medical Qigong Master, Binhui He.  Jeff also teaches Tai Chi and various methods of meditation.

 

2.  Erin Tracy who states, "Pangu Mystical Qi Gong has a strong soul connection that many Qi Gongs practiced today have lost.  It is taught only by Master Ou himself or certified instructors who teach and transmit the foundational energy during instruction.  In order to fully and deeply learn the practice you must be taught in one fo these two ways so that you may understand the philosophy behind this practice.   I am certified by Pangu Shengong International Research Institute to teach Pangu Moving Form Qi Gong and Pangu Non-Moving Form Qi Gong - also known respectively as PGSG Foundational Qi Cultivation and PGSG Cognitive and Sensory Perception Development.  (www.pangu.org for more info).

 

3.  Jason Quin, certified Energy Arts Instructor (this dude is expensive).  "A follower of Lao Tse's Water-Method of Taoist Meditation... I am a practitioner and student of Qigong and several internal and external martial arts including Ba guaZhang, Hsing I Chuan, and Tai Chi Chuan.  Energy arts, Inc and teh Taoist lineage master B.K. Frantzis cerified me as an instructor of the Taoist breathing techniques of "Longevity Breathing" and the qigong sets "opening the Energy Gates of the Body" and "The Marriage of Heaven and Earth."

 

4. Nine Dragon Bagau (You kinda just have to look at their website Certified Instructors – Nine Dragon Baguazhang of Raleigh-Durham (ninedragonraleighdurham.com).

 

5.  Lastly, Kathleen Cusick (Kathleen Cusick (peacefulwolftaichi.com)) who teaches 5 animal qigong and Tai Chi.

 

Now currently, I'm trying to do the first standing meditation of Wuji from Warriors of Stillness Volume 1.  40 minutes, every single morning.

 

I'm really enjoying the practice but I'd love to do something in the evening too.  As such I'm following a 24 Yang Short Form dvd by Amin Wu (Amazon.com: Yang-Style Tai Chi 24 Form : Amin Wu, Amin Wu: Movies & TV).   

 

My worry is that I read here that you shouldn't mix any systems.   Is any of this going to be a problem?  I don't want to do something bad for me.

 

I have an interest in Lam Kam Chuen's book The Way of Energy, also the practices (books again) from Damo Mitchell and Zhongxian Wu.  Again... not sure if mixing that and my morning standing practice would be a bad idea.

 

Ultimately, I'd like to choose a live instructor and follow that alone.  I'm wary of such things as zoom lessons because I don't see how an instructor can transfer energy through a computer screen.  I'd drop the other stuff once I find a good instructor.  Regarding books for the time being if anyone would like to recommend something I've not mentioned, I'd be grateful for that as well.


My sincere apologies for the wall of text.  Just wanted to provide firm information on the nature of my questions.


Thanks so much,


Stillwater.

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59 minutes ago, StillWater said:

I submit myself to the knowledge of those who have gone before me and humbly ask for any guidance that might be available.

 

I'm not much of an expert, but I'll page two senior Bums for you. @freeform @Taomeow They are good and experienced people who are known for giving all-around wise advice.

 

What I usually do when having a choice of practices is that I use I Ching to divine what are the most important consequences of the different training tracks. If you want, I can cast a series of divinations for your options and chief concerns that you brought up, plus give brief interpretations of the results. Please note that I'm not a professional diviner, so you should take my interpretations with prudent caution even more than with professionals.

 

 

59 minutes ago, StillWater said:

I have gathered that personal instruction is best.

 

Not necessarily. It is so if both the style and the teacher are of superior quality or the teaching requires supervision for correct learning.

 

Flying Phoenix is a very good Qigong style that can be learned through DVD, which is Perfect for self-paced learning, IMO.

 

Learning genuine Neigong with Damo Mitchell is a great opportunity even if he teaches online.

 

 

1 hour ago, StillWater said:

My worry is that I read here that you shouldn't mix any systems.   Is any of this going to be a problem?  I don't want to do something bad for me.

 

It's good to be aware of potential problems, but it's not likely you would face problems unless you had some type of specialist or esoteric practices. In general, practicing many styles in a daily routine would be another occasion I would consult the I Ching in advance just to be sure that there are no conflicts.

 

The most important concern as a beginner is that you should focus on mastering the peacefulness of your heart-mind first of all. It's the priority skill that determines the trajectory of your training. For this purpose it's often better to keep practice simple and remember that the formal practices are means towards this end.

 

Taijiquan is an example of something that can be practiced along with pretty much everything.

 

 

1 hour ago, StillWater said:

I'm wary of such things as zoom lessons because I don't see how an instructor can transfer energy through a computer screen.

 

Why are you expecting the instructor to transfer energy to you? To be honest, this sounds like a complete misconception.

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Hi Virtue!

 

Thank you for your kind replies.  Thank you for paging the members you mentioned!

 

An iChing divination would be wonderful but please don't go out of your way.  If you could use the practice, it would be welcomed and respected with all due salt grains as you suggested.

 

I do have a collection of the flying phoenix dvd's and have given them a cursory look.  The actual forms are intriguing but I couldn't figure out how to put a routine together, even with Terry's quick start guide.  Do you do the whole seated set and standing set at one time every day?  When do you transition from one to the next?  All the little niggly bits.  At that point I decided I needed a bit more experience.

 

I'm assuming by the peacefulness of your heart-mind you mean the inner smile and working on a loving feeling for everything during meditation?

 

Also, yes.  I'm absolutely sure I have misconceptions.  I have read that during live instruction the energy of the teacher is an irreplaceable component, but whether I have a clue what that alludes toward is another issue altogether.


Thank you again.  Super kind of you and appreciated Virtue.

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1 minute ago, StillWater said:

I do have a collection of the flying phoenix dvd's and have given them a cursory look.  The actual forms are intriguing but I couldn't figure out how to put a routine together, even with Terry's quick start guide.  Do you do the whole seated set and standing set at one time every day?  When do you transition from one to the next?  All the little niggly bits.  At that point I decided I needed a bit more experience.

 

@Earl Grey Is training to become a coach teaching the series, so he should be able to give some useful pointers.

 

I would suggest to start simple, try something, and just keep on doing what you enjoy. If you like it, then you will confidence to progress with more structure.

 

 

2 minutes ago, StillWater said:

I'm assuming by the peacefulness of your heart-mind you mean the inner smile and working on a loving feeling for everything during meditation?

 

Not exactly. It's more that you have a restful and relaxed quality in your mind, so that you stay grounded and rooted whether energetically, emotionally, or physically.

 

.

4 minutes ago, StillWater said:

I have read that during live instruction the energy of the teacher is an irreplaceable component, but whether I have a clue what that alludes toward is another issue altogether.

 

Teachers have an energetic presence (or field), but this comes from their still minds instead of any active measure. You will connect to teacher's presence even through video chat.

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3 hours ago, StillWater said:

Not so much martial, but that wouldn't be avoided if it is a good idea.

 

What should StillWater learn about internal martial arts for his progress (health and spirituality) in long term?

 

(777798) 43 Resoluteness: moving line 5 => 34 Great Power


Each martial art has its own philosophy, and you would need to find the resolve and dedication to adapt to its framework. Perhaps it could be taken as suggestion that your gentle Taijiquan is already serving you well enough?

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

1.  Qigong Wellness is owned and operated by Jeff Simonton

 

What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

 

(689879) 53 Gradual Progress: ml 1,3,6 => 3 Difficulty at the Beginning

 

A mixed bag. There is something in the training that would feel difficult or off-putting at the beginning, but it would eventually turn good under assistance.

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

2.  Erin Tracy


What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

(788767) 21 Discernment: ml 5 => 25 Innocence

 

Sometimes life or training offers uneasy choices. It's important to stay true to oneself and persist in what accords with the highest standards of training and ethics.

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

3.  Jason Quin


What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

(879879) 57 Penetration: ml 3,6 => 29 Danger

 

You would struggle and find no success.

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

4. Nine Dragon Bagau

 

What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

(888888) 2 The Receptive

 

Ego subdued and one's true heart uncovered.


 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

5.  Lastly, Kathleen Cusick


What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

(887967) 56 Transition: ml 4,5, => 53 Gradual Progress

 

Initially you might feel impatient or dissatisfied with the training, but enduring it would bring you gradual results.

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

the first standing meditation of Wuji from Warriors of Stillness Volume 1.  40 minutes, every single morning.


What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

 

(788897) 42 Increase: ml 5 => 27 Nourishment

 

It's what you really want to do and the practice is good for you.

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

24 Yang Short Form dvd by Amin Wu

 

What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

(799787) 14 Wealth: ml 2,3 => 21 Discernment

 

A truly excellent indication overall, but there seems to be a question in the air: How long can you continue learning and progressing from a simple DVD? (Note that there are online Taijiquan classes with masters such as Grandmaster William C.C. Chen and Sifu Terry Dunn.)

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

Lam Kam Chuen's book The Way of Energy


What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

(798798) 58 Joy: ml 2,5 => 51 Shock

 

You would enjoy the book, but your self-confidence might not endure nor lead to as good results as you would like.

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

Damo Mitchell


What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

(989777)13 Fellowship with Men: ml 1,3 => 12 Standstill

 

Everything is set to go, but you might find something problematic or unmotivating.

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

Zhongxian Wu

 

What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

(967878) 63 Completion: ml 1,2 => 48 The Well

 

Your expectations could be challenged and this might lead you to introspection about why you train.

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

I'd like to choose a live instructor and follow that alone.


What should StillWater learn about his desire to follow a teacher who is accessible face-to-face?

 

(986777) 25 Innocence: ml 1,3 => 33 Retreat

 

There's nothing wrong with wanting close contact with a teacher, but if a great opportunity comes by for other ways of learning, then you shouldn't let yourself be bound by a limiting attitude.

 

 

3 hours ago, StillWater said:

My worry is that I read here that you shouldn't mix any systems.   Is any of this going to be a problem?

 

What should StillWater learn about his concerns about mixing systems?

 

(778877) 61 Inner Truth

 

Examine and study all information well before you commit to a teaching or teacher. Are you really feeling into this opportunity?

 

 

1 hour ago, StillWater said:

I do have a collection of the flying phoenix dvd's

 

What should StillWater learn about his long-term progress (health and spirituality) if he studied under this teacher/school?

 

(989797) 13 Fellowship with Men: ml 1,3,5 => 35 Progress

 

If you persist in the Flying Phoenix training, then you will realize your set goals. Don't expect immediate or easy gains though.

Edited by virtue
clarity
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5 hours ago, virtue said:

 

I'm not much of an expert, but I'll page two senior Bums for you. @freeform @Taomeow They are good and experienced people who are known for giving all-around wise advice.

 

Thank you for the endorsement, Virtue :), but I'm getting progressively useless at giving "general" advice to beginners.  Something more specific is more up my alley -- i.e. a beginner in one of  my arts can get a more useful answer from me than anyone with a "how to start on the path" question. (Frankly, I don't think it matters -- it happens if it was meant to happen, is all.)  As for advanced folks, I'm not that good at giving (or taking) advice there either because they're the ones who tend to run into the most serious roadblocks here and there...  the farther one goes, the greater the obstacles in the way become -- I'm beginning to think tao is a freakin' videogame with "levels" to pass after all :D .

 

So, maybe just a two yuan's worth of response from me:

 

7 hours ago, StillWater said:

My worry is that I read here that you shouldn't mix any systems.   Is any of this going to be a problem?  I don't want to do something bad for me.

  

There's "systems" and there's "styles" within systems.  At a glance, everything you mentioned in your post belongs to one system, different styles. (Unless they fracked it up by mixing and matching with other systems that are incompatible.)

 

Can mixing different styles be a problem for a beginner?  From what I've seen, the main danger here is to remain a perennial beginner.  I like the saying attributed to a Shaolin monk: "I don't fear the ten thousand different kicks you've practiced.  I fear the one kick you've practiced ten thousand times."   Pretty much applicable to anything.

 

I don't know any of the teachers in your area you mentioned, but following a couple of links I didn't find any demo videos that could tell me how good they are -- verbal descriptions they give tell me only that none of them seem to be lineage practitioners of anything.  I'm of the "lineage teacher is the first prerequisite" mindset.  This is one pointer in the right direction for you.  Forget what they're certified in -- find out what their lineage is.  I.e. who they learned from and who their teacher learned from and who their teacher's teacher learned from, etc..  The best of the arts available to the public are lineage arts (to say nothing of the ones not offered to the public), not do-it-yourself commercial enterprises assembled by ambitious self-promoters who may have learned "something or other" from books or DVDs or from someone who learned from books or DVDs.  All real taoist arts are a product of lineage transmission -- and that has nothing to do with "energy transmission," at least for a beginner.  (Virtue has mentioned that too -- correctly.)  

 

 

Edited by Taomeow
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I have to admit Virtue, that is rather staggering in perception.  Thanks so much for doing that.

 

I'm going to have to seriously think about everything you just listed.  Very positive on Wuji and Flying Phoenix.

 

Seems like Bagua might be interesting too, although I'm not sure what subduing my ego and uncovering my true heart would entail.  Damo sounds really good too.  I mean, overall for now, seems like I'm doing fine with my book and video.

 

I have to admit that the Bagua reading has me really curious.


Thanks again Virtue!

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Thank you Taomeow,

 

Love the name by the way, being a former owner of 3 cats and two dogs who all went to the great beyond... and now 3 dogs who are too smart for their own good (pretty sure I caught one reading a book the other day).

 

Your advice is also very penetrating.  I had some feelings about a few of the schools that really made me not feel quite right.  Not bad, just not quite right.   Your explanation of lineage and certification absolutely hit home.

Thank you again.


 

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16 minutes ago, StillWater said:

Seems like Bagua might be interesting too, although I'm not sure what subduing my ego and uncovering my true heart would entail.  Damo sounds really good too.  I mean, overall for now, seems like I'm doing fine with my book and video.

 

I have to admit that the Bagua reading has me really curious.

 

There rarely are any free meals in gaining wisdom and spiritual maturity. The confronting and bringing into light of our unwelcome aspects is what nourishes and grows us the most.

 

You have already professed a type of prejudice against martial training, which is one particular thing holding you back regardless of the reason. Martial training often is a quick door to showing the truth about ourselves, in particular our core vulnerabilities and the lack or want of power.

 

It's good to remember that the oracle always gives a limited perspective with its answer, and there might be a lot of room for free will and further discovery if you choose to explore what else is included in the prospect you had inquired about.

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Saw my name tagged here, and I can’t really say much about Flying Phoenix for someone who is exploring besides the fact it is accessible and has verifiable, consistent effects on students. In lieu of a teacher, it does things most people think they won’t find without traveling to China. 
 

For more details, there is an abridged section on the AG forum linked in my signature that condenses the 200-page plus thread here into just a few without any repetitions. 
 

At the moment, I think you’re still in exploration mode and it’s best if you stick to Flying Phoenix for a few weeks before I can really say much, as I’m not a salesman—the system and its benefits already sells itself for the laymen and those just looking for a simple, accessible approach to health and bliss.

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4 hours ago, StillWater said:

I have gathered that personal instruction is best.   The only teachers I can find in my area (Raleigh, NC) are the following and I'd greatly value opinions on them since I've no flippin clue.  I am interested in health, spirituality.  Not so much martial, but that wouldn't be avoided if it is a good idea.

 

1.  Qigong Wellness is owned and operated by Jeff Simonton, a Certified Medical Qigong Instructor who was taught by the world famous Healer and Medical Qigong Master, Binhui He.  Jeff also teaches Tai Chi and various methods of meditation.

 

2.  Erin Tracy who states, "Pangu Mystical Qi Gong has a strong soul connection that many Qi Gongs practiced today have lost.  It is taught only by Master Ou himself or certified instructors who teach and transmit the foundational energy during instruction.  In order to fully and deeply learn the practice you must be taught in one fo these two ways so that you may understand the philosophy behind this practice.   I am certified by Pangu Shengong International Research Institute to teach Pangu Moving Form Qi Gong and Pangu Non-Moving Form Qi Gong - also known respectively as PGSG Foundational Qi Cultivation and PGSG Cognitive and Sensory Perception Development.  (www.pangu.org for more info).

 

3.  Jason Quin, certified Energy Arts Instructor (this dude is expensive).  "A follower of Lao Tse's Water-Method of Taoist Meditation... I am a practitioner and student of Qigong and several internal and external martial arts including Ba guaZhang, Hsing I Chuan, and Tai Chi Chuan.  Energy arts, Inc and teh Taoist lineage master B.K. Frantzis cerified me as an instructor of the Taoist breathing techniques of "Longevity Breathing" and the qigong sets "opening the Energy Gates of the Body" and "The Marriage of Heaven and Earth."

 

4. Nine Dragon Bagau (You kinda just have to look at their website Certified Instructors – Nine Dragon Baguazhang of Raleigh-Durham (ninedragonraleighdurham.com).

 

5.  Lastly, Kathleen Cusick (Kathleen Cusick (peacefulwolftaichi.com)) who teaches 5 animal qigong and Tai Chi.

 

Now currently, I'm trying to do the first standing meditation of Wuji from Warriors of Stillness Volume 1.  40 minutes, every single morning. 

 

I'm really enjoying the practice but I'd love to do something in the evening too.  As such I'm following a 24 Yang Short Form dvd by Amin Wu (Amazon.com: Yang-Style Tai Chi 24 Form : Amin Wu, Amin Wu: Movies & TV).   

 

My worry is that I read here that you shouldn't mix any systems.   Is any of this going to be a problem?  I don't want to do something bad for me.

 

I have an interest in Lam Kam Chuen's book The Way of Energy, also the practices (books again) from Damo Mitchell and Zhongxian Wu.  Again... not sure if mixing that and my morning standing practice would be a bad idea.

 

 

On a very brief googling, which obviously is not accurate at all, I have a better impression on the Nine Dragon Bagua more https://jiulongbaguazhang.com/.  They seem to have more depth, or at least depth in building website.

 

But your profile picture (if it is your real one) shows that you may not be that young.  While Nine Dragon seems to have some hectic movements which could hurt you.    You mentioned dogs and cats.  Unless you can lock them away and totally not disturbed by them, it is not wise to do sitting meditation.  Movement is better, or at least standing.   All of them have more than 1 system to teach.

 

Lastly I don't believe in remote healing. 

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3 hours ago, virtue said:

Not necessarily. It is so if both the style and the teacher are of superior quality or the teaching requires supervision for correct learning.

 

This is a great point... bad in-person teaching is far worse than distance teaching of a good quality.

 

1 hour ago, StillWater said:

Damo sounds really good too.

 

I might be biased because his primary lineage is similar to mine, but I think Damo is one of the best publicly accessible teachers of Daoist internal arts. He's also a fun, down to earth bloke whilst having a pretty high level of attainment (I've heard his name quite a few times among the pretty insular 'closed door' internal arts community in Asia.) I've never trained with him extensively but met him and a couple of his seniors.

 

He does teach in person - and he has teachers from his school around the world... so I'm sure in-person instruction can happen at some point.

Edited by freeform
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9 minutes ago, Master Logray said:

On a very brief googling, which obviously is not accurate at all, I have a better impression on the Nine Dragon Bagua more https://jiulongbaguazhang.com/.  They seem to have more depth, or at least depth in building website.

 

I'll just leave this here :ph34r::
 

 

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1 minute ago, virtue said:

It seems that the oracle was making a humorous insight this time.

 

I also really want to emphasize to everyone that the oracle should be cross-examined with more questions especially if something feels out of place or puzzling. Now you understand why I had the caveat earlier!

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Sorry about the delay.. had to drive home.

 

Master Logray, that is my picture.  I'm 53.  I'm in good shape however and have a long history of physical discipline.  I should be ok, although I'm not immersed in this discipline and could be way off base.  Until Freeform dropped that video on the thread, I thought the school looked ok too...  Anyway thank you very much for your input.

 

Freeform, thanks for the insight on Damo.  Considering that and the iChing reading, I really need to consider approaching his teaching when the time is right.  I'm not informed enough to make an opinion on the video you put up there, but my initial impression and gut are telling me it is laughably bad.

 

Virtue, thank you on that.  Much clarity.  I'm going to get a copy of the iChing (downloadable book) and learn to use it.  Any recommendations on a specific version or translation?  Or anything regarding learning that specific oracle?

 

OK, so everyone, this is what I'm leaning toward.  I'm sticking with the Wuji standing for 40 minutes every morning (time on that ranges from 2am to 5am... sometimes if I just wake up and can't get back to sleep in the early morning I'll just tackle it then and there.  Otherwise, usually  around 5am).    In the thread on filling your Dan Tien, I asked about just what focusing means and got a great response (thank you again Freeform) which I'm going to use to "focus" on my center-point (center between navel and mingmen).   Since it takes time to learn the 24 Yang form I'm taking one lesson per week from the DVD.  In the meantime I'm going to start tackling the Flying Phoenix each evening.  I typically stretch out for a couple of hours, depending on motivation, each evening.  I can easily dedicate a good part of that time to Flying Phoenix instead and go for maintenance stretching.  It sounds like a lot, but really isn't.  The learning of a lesson for the 24 short form is all of about 20 minutes a week and practicing here and there to learn the steps through the week (usually at work, I'm typically the only one on my floor due to the pandemic).  If any of this sounds idiotic or off, please alert me!

 

Earl Grey, if you are still present on this thread, as soon as I'm done writing this I'm heading over to read the other forum, so this might be something answered there but I figured I'd put it down in case you had some input.  If you have answered this on the other forum, my apologies.  I'll try to dig it up there.  Anyway the question was this... Do you have a sort of program to follow initially with Flying Phoenix?  I have the first four DVD's.   I mean, is it "start with the seated and just do all of them at one session for a few months, then add DVD 2 standing... work all that as well for the first year or until you discover you notice xyz?"   

 

Thank you so much everyone, you've all been so very generous with your time, insight and knowledge.  It is greatly appreciated.

 

Oh and incidentally, I practice in closed rooms with no dog or wife interference.  :)  I have plenty of opportunities morning, day and night.

 

Stillwater

Edited by StillWater

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7 minutes ago, StillWater said:

I'm going to get a copy of the iChing (downloadable book) and learn to use it.  Any recommendations on a specific version or translation?  Or anything regarding learning that specific oracle?

 

I have written two guides on my forum:

Divination 101: Consulting Oracles, Asking Wise Questions, and Interpreting Meaningful Answers

Divination 102: Beginner Divination with I Ching or the Classic of Changes

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Oh wonderful!  Thank you!

 

I'm editing this post to add the following, in case it is a helpful bit of information on who I am and what has partially put me on this path.

 

The story is a bit involved, but suffice to say that in 1986/87 I first had an experience that I now look back on and can say fit the description of a spontaneous energy rise up the spine into my head resulting in what I can only describe as blissful contact with the divine.  I was just sitting alone in my college dorm room and I purposely asked the universe whether or not there REALLY was God, or not and I insisted on a real answer.  I got it although I was left with more questions.   This has happened on 8 or 9 other occasions since then from various attempts, both purposefully and not., the most recent being last year (around March 2020).   While the contact always results in a blissful and indescribably unified perspective of the universe as one/love, the problem too is that I've felt also the wrath of the divine and a terrifying (understatement of the year) eternal condemnation for transgressions.  Well, better described as .. everything you ever wanted or crushed on or loved is actually a reflection of this one pristine consciousness.  Its really all any of us ever have wanted when we want something.  I was kind of informed that it would really suck if you were fully aware of it, and utterly denied it eternally.  That would really suck.  Anyway I'm not entirely clear if it can happen or was given as an example to guide me with more than a gentle nudge.  After addressing to the best of my ability.. those things, I also felt the anger of this particular "spirit guide?" (perhaps??) turn from negative to blissful upon realization that this life (at least for me) is about serving others.. not self focus.  I have spent years untying these knots completely on my own.  I've had no teachers, no human guidance, no anything really other than books, research, dvd's and conversations to explore and try to make sense.   Often the experience is both incredibly enlightening (for a while, living aware of and experiencing a singular point of consciousness that is quite literally all there is... which is ... well, there are no words... but there is everything that words are meant to describe) and utterly terrifying... or at least it can be.

 

Through all of this there has been an absolutely clear "push" toward energy development.  No idea why.  I finally got to a point about two years ago where I began to cave into it.  Now I am at a point where I am feeling committed to the idea.  In any event, that is why I'm here and asking these questions.  It is also why I so greatly appreciate the guidance from you all.

Edited by StillWater
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I believe this is the practice of Flying Phoenix I should follow initially (thank you again Earl Grey, I just registered for membership and told you my spiritual background) and found this on the Alchemical Garden site:

 

"PRACTICE RECOMMENDATION FOR ALL FP QIGONG PRACTITIONERS--BEGINNERS AND VETERANS ALIKE"

 

Since it is posted there I don't want to clip it to here but that is the method I am intending to use for a while, in addition to the Wuji standing and learning the Yang Short form.

 

Quick edit... after next year and hopefully when this pandemic lightens a bit, I'm going to look into Damo Mitchell's training, Kathleen Cusick's training or (depending on that video above) the Bagua.  I might look at Zhongxian Wu as well because having my expectations challenged and questioning why could be a very good thing.  I'll continue to ponder that.


If not, I might add online with Damo or if money becomes and issue and pandemic is still delaying I might look at a Bagua video... perhaps Park Bok Nam or Bagua for Beginners tape 1 by Chenhan Yang.

 

I hope this all passes approval from you awesome and so generous people!

 

Thank you again,


Stillwater

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On 17/09/2021 at 10:36 PM, StillWater said:

I'm pretty darn new to a lot of this, and the information I have gathered thus far is really from books.  I've read this forum here and there but it is so vast and extensive it is like walking into a library of scrolls and hoping you pick the right one

 

Welcome to our MODERN WORLD:

 

1. Information 

2. Technology

 

Both try to control our lives in EXCESS.

 

My advice:

 

1. Do not read books unless is for historical knowledge.

2. Find a real life teacher who is only focused on passing on a tested method via oral instructions; eg. Chinese Internal Martial Arts, Buddhist Vipassana (that includes walking meditation). 

3. You'll need to do heaps of grounding work; search for Youtube videos about the Asian Squat. This you'll be doing on a daily basis for the rest of your life.

 

When I attended Vipassana retreat in northern Thailand I was asked to stay away from the Internet, books a and discussing with others (except for my assigned teacher) the fruits of my practice. 

 

Good luck :)

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Hi Gerard, 

 

Sorry about not getting back on this sooner.  Thank you very much for chiming in.

 

I don't think I'm comfortable at all with limiting or giving up reading for any purpose.  My mind is something I've worked hard to develop and while I understand the "signal to noise" problem with information overload, I also have worked to develop a certain degree of discernment.  I hope it will benefit me in that regard.

 

Addressing your second point, the entire purpose of my post was to gain some opinions about some real life teachers.  I'm not sure what the purpose of telling me to do what I'm doing is but, yes, that's what I'm attempting, so thank you for emphasizing that issue.

 

Anyway, yes, quite familiar with squats.  Much appreciated and thank you for taking the time.

 

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