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Qigong Deviation In A Multicultural World.


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#1 wren

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 09:38 PM

I am curious how you guys think about "qigong deviation" in today's world where there are many competing "energy body maps."

I recently dissolved an imaginary dantien by realizing that it was imaginary. Now I can be aware of my actual diaphragm and abdomen. This event sort of sparked my interest in Body Energy Arts.

#2 SilentSeeker

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:48 PM

Hola,

From what I understand, not all energy systems deal with the same level of energetic density. For example, the concept of chakras are dealt with in some Daoist and Buddhist systems at a stage distinct from chi, when the aspirant starts working with Shen/spirit directly.

Nevertheless, even within paradigms of the same density, there are variations. Like with chakras again, we're all probably aware here that the classical/Avalon 7 chakra to endocrine system is but one of many. One explanation I've encountered for that is that chakras are merely meridian nexus points and can be augmented and calibrated at will for different functions. Not so much always that they're fake/imaginary but subject to the influence of the imagination/imaginary.

Then there's plain old disinfo by different groups at different points in history to muddy the waters. Dr. Johnson alluded to that in one of his interview answers while both Andrieh Vitimus and Zac Lui confirmed having encountered that in their researches. There's also when things get watered down, like when the Chinese gov't made TCM, the competition forms of Tai Chi and qigong. All these things are alleged by some of those knowledgeable in lineaged traditions to have watered the potency of the energy work the system had possessed in earlier times. But that knowing humans, there's likely to be some hype mixed in with that.

And all that is merely China, bringing in other cultures which may have interacted with each other in previous points in history, or may have cultivated for different goals and so possibly may have altered their energetic anatomy as a result, it gets really really complex wading through all the possibilities and reason for all these differences.

It's tricky because on one hand these things don't seem set in stone--like with the varying chakra maps or Dan tian maps--and yet in other ways they seem objective, like how drawing Earth chi seems to differ from pulling it from the air or merely working with one's own. The latter are not merely my own personal observation, but something observed by some other practitioners whom I've talked to/read from as well. Doesn't make it true, but it's worth a mention.

Lastly, there's chi sickness, which happens allegedly even when the person doesn't know that it's a thing. So it's all unclear.

All that blathering aside, I'm curious what you mean by 'dissolved' a Dan tian? From what I understand it's been known that it's able to be dissolved. Apparently, in the event that happens though, the practitioner loses their ability to practice high level martial art/neigong: so it's typically avoided. Not to scare you or anything (though I doubt you would be) but it's the first time I've heard it casually done. Closest thing to that is in Magus of Java, where it's reported the LDT is able to be moved around the body in a certain school of alchemy's higher stages, but haven't encountered that anywhere else.

Also, and please don't take this the wrong way, but apparently it's very common for the Dan tian to be mislocated a bit to far front: I know I have. Doesn't mean you have, but just felt it was worth mentioning because the Dan tian is something that though should be straight forward, actually becomes more nuanced with more study. Like to be super technical and this is really just a fun fact, it's not technically a Dan tian apparently until a certain stage of the alchemical process when the 'Dan' or elixer fills the area. That doesn't really pertain to what you're talking about, demonstrates there's more to it than meets the eye.

At the end of the day though, in my opinion, results from the practice should be the metric and not uniformity.

Cheers and Be Well

P.S: Another interesting tidbit is that apparently when the Japanese were terrorizing the Chinese during WW2 they did a variety of experiments based on body energetics. Have heard that from a qigong master but haven't encountered academic corroboration.

But then again, just to keep it balanced, there are so many different contradictions in feng shui and acupuncture, it's a turkey shoot.

Edited by SilentSeeker, 17 February 2017 - 12:22 AM.

“The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you've gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you've gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?”
―Zhuangzi


The Tao gives rise to all forms, yet it has no form of its own.

If you attempt to fix a picture to it in your mind, you will lose it.

This is like pinning a butterfly: the husk is captured, but the flying is lost.

Why not be content with simply experiencing it?

--Attributed to Lao-tzu


#3 wren

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:32 AM

Thanks for sharing. To be frank, almost all I know about qigong is from a little bit of xianxia/wuxia I read for fun. So, when I say "dantien" it definitely isn't the actual dantien.

The dissolution happened as a result of a revelatory insight, so I can tell you what had happened to form the "fake" dantien. It came from some old breath regulation instruction that I had fully integrated into my regular way of breathing deeply. It was to breathe "from the belly" and to feel "air" spreading down into the bottom of the abdominal cavity with each breath. This became a bit of hypnotic suggestion, so everytime I took a deep breath, I felt it going down into "the dantien."

It was by focusing on my diaphragm that I felt the bottom of my lungs and the sensation in the "dantien" stopped when breathing deeply. This ruined my "undifferentiated" internal self image, since when I turn inwards it isn't empty anymore, but there is a vague awareness of the sensation of "organs."

I think you can guess from that explanation how little internal work I have done.

#4 SilentSeeker

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 05:00 AM

Ahoy

View Postwren, on 17 February 2017 - 02:32 AM, said:

Thanks for sharing. To be frank, almost all I know about qigong is from a little bit of xianxia/wuxia I read for fun. So, when I say "dantien" it definitely isn't the actual dantien.

Mmm well, don't be so quick to dismiss that stuff. Some of it actually, depending on what it is, can be accurate. Being a manga buff myself, can say there are some techniques that can be lifted straight up and used--not in a 90's chaos magick 'pop magick' sense, but in the "we're putting this thinly veiled exercise in this work" sense. Also, that dan tien thing really is trivia, a lot of people use it in the casual sense--just wanted to convey a sense of the subtlety involved in these things.

Quote

The dissolution happened as a result of a revelatory insight, so I can tell you what had happened to form the "fake" dantien. It came from some old breath regulation instruction that I had fully integrated into my regular way of breathing deeply. It was to breathe "from the belly" and to feel "air" spreading down into the bottom of the abdominal cavity with each breath. This became a bit of hypnotic suggestion, so everytime I took a deep breath, I felt it going down into "the dantien."

It was by focusing on my diaphragm that I felt the bottom of my lungs and the sensation in the "dantien" stopped when breathing deeply. This ruined my "undifferentiated" internal self image, since when I turn inwards it isn't empty anymore, but there is a vague awareness of the sensation of "organs."

I think you can guess from that explanation how little internal work I have done.

Honestly, that sounds pretty solid as a basic exercise-better than radki stuff. Regarding the dissolving thing, could be misunderstanding, but from what you've described, doesn't seem like you dissolved the dan tein. It reads as if, rather, that you diffused your awareness over a wider area in the thoracic & abdominal cavities. The common axiom in this paradigm is 'intent leads spirit which leads the energy.' So, If you change you awareness, especially at these beginning stages when you haven't accumulated a lot of energy in the LDT, mindfulness of the latter just fazes out when you;re not paying attention. At later stages, there is heat which becomes pervasive and a sort of 'bubbling' that occurs and so it can remain present in periphery awareness, but even that dies down if focus fades--though I believe with very high practitioners, the heat remains ever-present. Have read that is the basis of tummo, though my description is incomplete, as is my understanding of the actual TIbetan process.

Another thing that speaks toward that, in my mind, is your sense of being aware of internal organs. According to some reports & legends, that internal awareness is how the meridians and some of the WuXing(Five phases) correspondences to the different body organs were discovered. At higher levels of practice, energy gets circulated in the different pathways and organs for physical, energetic, mental and spiritual effects. Apparently though, it takes guidance or death can occur if one plays too much with it recklessly. A lot of people are said to have sacrificed their lives experimenting with their internal system in order to lead to the kind of codified tradition there exists today.

Back to you though, I will state the caveat that the preceding is all merely a (slightly biased) opinion: I wasn't there, I'm not a master and I'm not you. YMMV. As an experiment, try returning focus back to the dantian and see what happens. Just remember to relax and not 'look' for sensation. Just observe.

Interestingly enough, it sounds as if you're intuitively doing alchemy, as the period of active attention alternating with passive attention is a part of the later stages of the process. Would be interested to see how quickly you progress if you took up the practice in earnest. I've got pdfs if you ever wanna give it a go, my good man.

Hope you find this helpful and not preachy or anything. Good luck my good sir.

Cheers and Be Well

Edited by SilentSeeker, 17 February 2017 - 05:27 AM.

“The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you've gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you've gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?”
―Zhuangzi


The Tao gives rise to all forms, yet it has no form of its own.

If you attempt to fix a picture to it in your mind, you will lose it.

This is like pinning a butterfly: the husk is captured, but the flying is lost.

Why not be content with simply experiencing it?

--Attributed to Lao-tzu


#5 wren

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 05:22 AM

View PostSilentSeeker, on 17 February 2017 - 05:00 AM, said:

Another thing that speaks toward that, in my mind, is your sense of being aware of internal organs. According to some reports & legends, that internal awareness is how the meridians and some of the WuXing(Five phases) correspondences to the different body organs were discovered. At higher levels of practice, energy gets circulated in the different pathways and organs for physical, energetic, mental and spiritual effects. Apparently though, it takes guidance or death can occur if one plays too much with it recklessly. A lot of people are said to have sacrificed their lives experimenting with their internal system in order to lead to the kind of codified tradition there exists today.

That's the sort of qigong deviation I had in mind when I started this thread. Do you think that's an issue for someone who hasn't learned all the meridians and whatnot? I could see it being pure nocebo, "real" trouble ( because nocebo effect is a real effect too), or somewhere inbetween.

#6 SilentSeeker

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 06:20 AM

Hey,

View Postwren, on 18 February 2017 - 05:22 AM, said:



That's the sort of qigong deviation I had in mind when I started this thread. Do you think that's an issue for someone who hasn't learned all the meridians and whatnot? I could see it being pure nocebo, "real" trouble ( because nocebo effect is a real effect too), or somewhere inbetween.

In my opinion, that's a personal call. Since it's not clear to me exactly what you're aiming to do and since I'm generally not in the business of telling people how to live, can't find a satisfactory answer to give you. It's your body and worldview and it feels wrong to tell you how to use it/potentially force you to believe something you're not prepared to*;that said, would point out that you lose absolutely nothing by playing it safe and doing some research before you do anything.

How much research you do may depend on what you're aiming for, however. Meridians and stuff like that may be too advanced to be necessary; my practice hasn't required much more than the major pre-natal ones thus far--though mine's by no means the standard to hold another's against.

If there was one recommendation to give it would be learning to truly relax. Caveats to that would be, ditching over-intellectualization in the early stages, getting basics down and cultivating patience.

Whatever you do, please do it wisely, my friend. Remember, there's no rush in this.

Cheers and Be Well

*It's not that I don't care about your safety, I do, it's just that trying to make you believe certain things about energy work in order to inform your decision seems like a waste of not only your time, but mine as well--for a whole host of reasons, one of which being that I don't feel qualified to do that. Even if I were, still wouldn't as there's really no point in it. Without the proof of experience it would merely be the preaching of dogma and rhetoric--a very theatrical and intellectually stimulating way for two people to waste their time.

If you truly wanna know the risks of going rogue are, look at what different systems purport to be the truth/what their aims are, try some exercises and come to your own informed conclusion (for all the differences there are overlaps and knowing them might yield some insight).

Hope you understand the point here, it's neither to eviscerate/prosthelytize you. Just wanna avoid giving you the green light to do something I feel iffy about while also steering clear of your own personal beliefs in regard to energy.

Edited by SilentSeeker, 18 February 2017 - 07:02 AM.

“The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you've gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you've gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?”
―Zhuangzi


The Tao gives rise to all forms, yet it has no form of its own.

If you attempt to fix a picture to it in your mind, you will lose it.

This is like pinning a butterfly: the husk is captured, but the flying is lost.

Why not be content with simply experiencing it?

--Attributed to Lao-tzu






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