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internal cultivation through motion and presence

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of true seeking and true mastery- part 2 [May. 21st, 2007|09:48 pm]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

drunkenwanderer
though my approach spirituality, evolution, and internal cultivation is anything BUT conventional, i do have the utmost respect for all people, masters and seekers alike, who have devoted their lives to what i consider to be The Great Work. i know intrinsically that this life path calls to many of us at a very early age and we are compelled to follow it; all other pursuits seem pale and hollow in comparison. still, with all of the cultural influences in our environment, it takes a considerable amount of courage (or, as nietzsche would put it, immodesty) to abandon those predominating values and goals and to pursue the unknown wherein the only promise that we can count on is that one day we will die.

it's a fool's game, yet for many of us it's the only game in town worth playing.


then there are those who are compelled by the shiny glitter of the possibillity of supernatural powers and supremacy over those around them. people who have felt small their entire lives and who believe that cultivation will serve as a back door to the status and attention they had been denied for so long. these are the people who are prayed upon by the flood of so-called masters who sell themselves with lengthy credentials and promises of initiation into an authentic mystical lineage.

the meaning of the term "master" is today a far cry from what it once was.


these days the notion of mastery is merely a matter of the courses one has taken. personal ability is a marginal factor at best. the term has lost its orininal meaning.





more to come....
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of true seeking and true mastery- part 1 [May. 13th, 2007|10:53 am]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

drunkenwanderer
during the cultural revolution in china, many masters fled to taiwan, canada, and the united states to escape persecusion. we may never fully appreciate what was lost to the world during that tumultuous period in china's recent history.

a friend of mine who lives in los angeles grew up training under a master who endured the revolution. this was a master who chose not to flee his home, and he was punished for his practices. he was imprisoned for years for the crime of practicing and teaching the art of internal cultivation. he was repeatedly beaten until eventually he was paralyzed. he declared to his captors that they should kill him, even after his body had been broken and he could no longer move. he warned that if they allowed him to live he would repair his body and then take his vengence. he told them that he would remember each and every one of their faces and every single crime committed against him.

the years he spent in the dungeons afforded him the uninterrupted time necessary to focus, meditate, and slowly rebuild his body. and in the the process of restoring his body he developed a higher sense of virtue and ultimately lost his taste for revenge.

this is only one brief story of a master whose mastery was tested on all levels, and who passed with flying colors. we are fortunate to still have masters such as he present to provide for us a solid foundation for the internal arts.





most of the masters today who fill the bookshelves and internet pages are undoubtedly great scholars and seasoned practitioners. but few could demonstrate the type of mastery that i just described. and the students of these (so-called) masters attain various levels of cultivation. not unlike students of authentic, proven masters. not unlike sincere individuals who posess the talent to seek without a real-life teacher.


the most important factor in pursuing the internal arts is the quality that the individual brings to the practice. period.



particularly in this era, a master is not necessary for high achievement. moreover, if ones goal is to develop optimum health and vitality, the notion that a master is necessary borders on the absurd. it's not unlike when obese people (and i use to be one of those people not so long ago) believe that they have to find a scientically developed diet plan and a world-renowned body sculpting genius in order to lose weight. as i discovered, sometimes you just need to put the fork down and start moving!

;)


it is true that many people do not effectively learn exercises from books or videos, and they need direct guidance, but i don't believe that a master is required for this type of guidance, anymore than an olypmic champion is required to teach an effective P.E. class.



more to come on this subject.
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Sun and Moon [May. 11th, 2007|04:01 pm]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

stormcrowley
My morning exercises felt a bit different today - perhaps stronger, perhaps more clear.

I started with the breathing through the third eye and heart five times each, and compacting my breath into my Dan Tien fifteen times. From there, I performed the Bloodwashing exercise four times - alternating between touching the skin and not each time. Then, I went through the full Wu-Ji, trying ideas I'd had yesterday about the yin or yang breathing during certain ones.

It almost felt like flying, or more accurately, a dance to the twin rhythms of my heart and the universe. There were times when it felt cold and motionless, even in the strong sunshine. In others, it mirrored the sunshine I was feeling on my skin as I went from motion to motion, feeling almost as if I were radiating like the sun I was feeling. Perhaps I was - but I didn't think too deeply about it.

Right after I'd finished, the day began moving like clockwork again. I can see that the universe is beautiful again, and I'm grateful.
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Falling apart, together better than before [May. 10th, 2007|03:14 pm]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

stormcrowley
(mostly crossposted to my personal journal)

I began worrying last night, and again this morning about things I cannot change added to the things that I can. I caught myself this time before it went too far, however.

My morning victory exercises felt a little rushed, as my mind wasn't a proper clean stage for my self. Even so, an hour later, solace from within me found my consciousness.

I performed Bloodwashing in the sunshine afterward. It felt appropriate.

Mind, Posture, and Breathing. It isn't about finding solace - it's about creating solace and comfort for yourself from within yourself.

My worries about focusing only on light, or darkness; on furious movement, or perfect stillness are groundless. Both are necessary, and indeed, must balance one another.

Clouds are a joining of the sky above and the water below. When I perform my exercises with more yang intent and breathing, I feel the universe around me moving, swirling, and dancing. When I go through the exercises with more yin intent and breathing, the world seems to slow nearly to a stop, finding comfort in stillness and silence. Intermingling the two during different exercises makes me feel as if I am atop a cloud, resting in that equilibritive space between sky and ground; between light and dark; between movement and stillness.

The exercises are speaking more to me now that I've quit smoking cigarettes, just as I'd hoped. The Wu-Ji set I now can do all of, and each of the seventeen moves I've felt through, played with, and made my own. I'm not to the level of conscious competence, but I'm quite close. After that, I will become unconsciously competent - and at this point, they become even more fun.

The movements become guidelines then, since what they are designed to move through and stimulate can be felt without the movements.

Kaizen.
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Balancing [Apr. 20th, 2007|11:54 am]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

stormcrowley
I went through my morning meditations this morning with a different intent and mindset than before. I'd been going through the Wu-Ji set with the Wu-Don moves that felt appropriate for a while now, always with the intent on expanding, on growing, on accellerating; on yang.

Today, I kept the mindset in mind that I'm focusing more on yin now. As I breathed, I exhaled longer than I inhaled. The movements were slower, and even felt strangely different. My hands and feet quickly grew cold, just like what happened yesterday during class when my teacher began introducing me to Fun with Yin.

But, even with those overt things, I began to feel and sense certain things I hadn't before. I don't know what they are yet, but I certainly feel that energy was moving differently in within me. Just as importantly, I'm looking forward to tomorrow to learn a little more from the practice.

My morning victory (as I call my meditation) is becoming more profound. I'm at the point now where skipping practice for a day really isn't an option any longer, but I'm excited about that.

May the universe unfold as it should.

EDIT: It was brought to my attention that exhaling longer than oone is inhaling is technically yang breathing. Oops.
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Flowing [Apr. 10th, 2007|01:01 pm]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

stormcrowley
I still remember the first time I had realized I felt energy moving through me. I was standing in the Tree Stance for more than ten minutes, and I hadn't really felt anything. It almost felt as if as quickly as energy was being circulated, it was leaking like a sieve right back out; not flowing as it should.

The answer was simple, as most are - I'd had my left foot turned 45 degrees out from where it should be, and my feet weren't parallel.

Such simple things - to focus on breathing, to move or hold positions in certain ways, but they have such marvelously subtle effects. I felt blessed.
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Presentation [Apr. 7th, 2007|04:06 pm]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

nentara
[Current Location |Norway]
[mood |happyhappy]

I thought I should present myself a little bit.

I am a (soon to be) 27 year old female, I've been training qigong (or wuxigong to be more specific) for the last year. I find it very fascinating the way one learns to feel the energy, the way the system I train work, is that the primary focus is on the earth force to ensure proper grounding until one has reach a sufficient level of health, and energy work (cleansing the channels for sick qi).
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qigong in a nutshell. [Apr. 7th, 2007|12:20 am]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

drunkenwanderer
In ancient China, people came to believe that through certain body movements and mental concentration combined with various breathing techniques, they could balance and enhance physical, metabolic and mental functions. These movements were worked out over time by exploring the natural range of motion through the joints, as well as drawing on motions in imitation of various animals. This research was passed down and refined through the centuries to become the living art form that we see today.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, good health always accompanies a free flowing, well-balanced energy system. The practice of Qigong (the ancient Chinese practice blending movement, breathing methods, and mental focus into a spiritual healing art form) helps to cleanse the body of toxins, restore energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and help individuals maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. It has been said that Qigong is one of the most profound healing traditions ever developed in human history. It is quite literally a health wonder of the world.

The word Qigong is a combination of two ideas: “Qi” meaning air, breath of life, or (bioelectrical) vital energy of the body, and “gong” meaning the skill of working with or cultivating, self-discipline, and achievement. The art of Qigong consists primarily of meditation, relaxation, physical movement, stretching, mind-body integration, and breathing exercises. Practitioners of Qigong develop an awareness of qi sensations (energy) in their body and use their mind to guide the Qi to specific areas of their bodies for healing purposes or personal power building. When the practitioners achieve a sufficient skill level, they can then direct or emit external Qi for the purpose of healing others or enhancing martial arts ability. The Chinese believe that the primary mechanism that is triggered by the practice of Qigong is a spontaneous balancing and enhancing of the natural healing resources in the human system. Over thousands of years millions of people have benefited from these practices, believing that improving the function of the Qi maintains health and heals disease.

Qigong is one of the four pillars of traditional Chinese medicine: Acupuncture, Massage, Herbal Medicines and Qigong. Of these, Qigong is the one that can be most easily self-initiated. Both massage and herbal remedies can also be done as self care; however, Qigong is the mother of Chinese self-healing. Patients who use Qigong faithfully need less medication, less acupuncture, and they tend to heal much faster.


In the paradigm of mechanistic Western science, the practice of Qigong triggers a wide array of physiological mechanisms which have profound healing benefits. Here's a list of some of the most basic benefits of practicing Qigong:


-Increased energy

-Improved blood circulation & increased oxygenation of the blood and tissues

-Increased metabolism

-Strengthening of the immune system

-Improved balance and reflex

-Stimulation of the lymphatic system

-Increased focus, concentration, and mental acuity

-Significant reduction in stress level and a greater sense of overall well-being.



And these are just the basics of what Qigong can do. Truly dedicated practitioners have healed themselves from disorders ranging from migraines to terminal cancer.

While Qigong does have strong roots which extend into mystical and philosophical grounds (much like yoga), the practical healing and stress management applications are the most popular aspects of the tradition today. Both the health and spiritual applications are rapidly gaining in popularity here in the west as people realize that some of the most pernicious diseases can be relieved by deep breathing, relaxation, and peace of mind.


Qigong, especially when combined with a healthy diet, can create results that many believe to be impossible. But even at its most basic level, The art of Qigong is sure to enhance an individual's enjoyment and overall quality of life.
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A Need for East/West Synthesis in the Internal Arts [Mar. 29th, 2007|12:39 pm]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

drunkenwanderer
i shall start with a criticism: the westerner tends to be so quick to grab at power and status, or even the potential for power and status, that authentic spiritual consciousness has been unable to take root in the culture. the way of the west is spiritual consumption. spiritual materialism. the transcendental has been reduced to mere ideology.

ironically, the saving grace of the west is its propensity for ecclecticism and its lack of reverence for tradition. the very trait that is so detrimental to culture, is the key to spiritual elevation for the westerner.
Read more...Collapse )
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bathing in the essence. wandering the mist. [Mar. 28th, 2007|01:48 am]
internal cultivation through motion and presence

drunkenwanderer
tonight i found solace in weeds reaching through the asphalt to reclaim their lives in forbidden terrain.

the world today is not the world of the great sages of old.

in this world life flows differently.
wisdom, too, flows differently.

Buddha never contemplated the internet,
or the bomb, for that matter.

and the music which elevates our souls today is an evolutionary blessing we take for granted.


a familiar fog moved through the field tonight, and i spoke aloud my appreciation for our encounter. that this place has not been abandoned by the wind and fog is indeed another blessing.

naked vines stretched across a chain-link fence. this is the new place, where echoes of the past are drowned out by new whispers spilling forth in this wilderness with too few shamans.

prayers have become too superficial. silence is now calling for the divine.

and perhaps this is the one transformation that has not changed throughout the centuries.


we hear in contrast to silence,
just as we see in contrast to darkness.

and it was from silence and darkness that the universe what brought forth.


if light is God, if the Word is God,

then Silence and darkness are the Mother of God.
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