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Topics - Koujiryuu

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1
Hello and Goodbye / Yeah...
« on: February 02, 2016, 12:31:50 AM »
I might be posting a little bit for a while.

I don't know when I'll get sick of it, or get angry and leave again.

Lots of new faces here.  :eek:

Hope to at least help out a little bit and not get too flustered.

Good to be here.

~Kouji

 :cow:

2
Body Energy Arts / Ask any question about Qigong or Yoga.
« on: June 11, 2014, 02:03:24 AM »
I will do my best to answer it. I'm sure others will too.  :snowman:

I think I made a thread like this in the past, but it died. Feel free to ask anything at all about these subjects, and I'll see what I can come up with.

3
Here is a method of meditation geared specifically for reaching a deep trance state, specifically to attempt to have an OBE (out of body experience), astral projection, lucid dreaming, visions, and remote viewing.

This is taken from a private email with one of my personal students.

The method can actually be found in A Treatise on Self Hypnosis, but I'm posting it here since some people might not have seen that article.

Additionally, the other method found in that article (progressive muscle relaxation) can be used in conjunction with the countdown meditation, in order to reach a deeper state of relaxation.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"As promised, here is a meditation to help you attempt an OBE.

This is basically the "countdown meditation" from my self hypnosis article.

To begin, you will need a room where you can lay down in total darkness. Before starting, you should not be hungry, thirsty, tired, intoxicated, horny, or anything else that is a physical problem that will distract you from the operation. It would be a good idea to do anything you can to help relax. Stretch beforehand, burn incense or medicinal herbs (sage, sweetgrass, tobacco, etc). Make sure you are not too hot and not too cold. The key is to be comfortable. I do this in my basement on an old futon, I burn nag champa incense and I cover up with a blanket that is also a "yoga mat"- it's yellow with thunderbirds on it (my medicine...I'm Native American). It is a good idea to use nose spray or a neti pot to make sure the nose is unobstructed and can breathe well.

A good time to do this is right after lunch or right after dinner. Eat and drink, so you are not hungry and thirsty. The reason these are good times to practice this is because you will not be tired either, if it's a normal day. It is very easy to fall asleep doing this meditation if you are new to it. If you practice at 1pm or 7pm, right after lunch or dinner, you will not be so tired that you might fall asleep.

So, light some incense and lie down. Cover up with a blanket to keep the body warm. You can use your bed, or a couch. Make sure the room is dark if possible, or cover the eyes with a blanket, a hood, or something else, making sure the nose is not covered.

Lay with your legs straight, flat on your back. Put the hands on the chest or at your sides.

Begin to inhale deep, slow breaths through the nose, and out through the nose as well. In your mind, on inhale, say Ham (pronounced Hawm) and exhale say Sa (pronounced Saw). Repeat this and relax into it. When you are ready, begin to count backwards from 100 between breaths. Inhale, Ham, Exhale, Sa, 100. Inhale, Ham, Exhale, Sa, 99. Inhale, Ham, Exhale, Sa, 98. And so on. With each repetition and number, if you want you can imagine that you are climbing down a ladder. Each time you say a number, visualize yourself descending by one rung.

Keep counting down and ignore the feelings that happen to you. You will probably see flashing lights on the eyelids, this is normal, these are neural discharges. They are a result of the brain becoming relaxed and more oxygenated and this activates the optic nerves behind the eyes. You will probably have a buzzing or glowy feeling all over, tingling, or feelings of movement. This is all normal. Ignore it and continue. Also, it is pretty important to not move.

Eventually you will get to the point where you have almost no thoughts, and you will have difficulty remembering what number you're on. You might even forget entirely what number you're on. You might lose sense of awareness of the body. The neural discharges will stop. This is good, this means you are fully hypnotic and probably in a Theta brainwave pattern. At this point, you want to STOP CONTROLLING YOUR BREATH and body. You need to hand over control of the breath and body to the subconscious mind. To do this, simply open the mouth slightly. Instead of taking deep breaths through the nose, take very shallow breaths, and keep repeating "Hamsa", or "Aum" (Aum is the mantra of the third eye). Forget about breath control and your breathing and allow your body to do it for you. This can take some practice or getting used to since you've been controlling your breath already for some time. You'll know you're doing it properly when you are not conscious of your breathing anymore.

Continue to just lay there, and go deeper and and deeper, allowing your body to breath for you. You will eventually lose awareness of your body and enter a void of no thought. You will probably have intense vibrations in the body, that may even make you twitch physically.

At this point, you can attempt to leave the body, astral project, or have a vision. Here are some common OBE methods (none has worked for me, unfortunately).

1. Try to sit up with the energy body. You need to emulate a feeling of sitting up without actually doing it.

2. Try to "roll out" of the body. This happens the same way as the above. You want to try and roll side to side with your energy.

3. Imagine yourself moving. Form an expectation of moving forward very fast. Then, form an expectation of moving backward very fast. Alternate this feeling of movement in an attempt to leave the body.

4. Focus on generating strong vibrations in the chest, just above the heart. Then, try to separate the astral body from the physical body from this point.

5. Imagine yourself climbing a rope. The imaginary rope should be hanging in front of the face. Now, try and exert your energy body to climb the rope. You want to visualize that your hands are moving and you are climbing a rope, as well as emulate this feeling with your energy arms and hands.

6. Imagine yourself in a dark tunnel. At the end of the tunnel is a door. You walk up to the door, and take a key from your pocket and unlock the door. You turn the doorknob to open it. On the other side of the door is a blinding white light. You step through the door into the light. You close the door and lock it with your key, before putting the key back in your pocket.

7. You focus on the tailbone or lower back, and generate vibrations there. You focus your point of consciousness into the lower back, and leave through it.

8. You visualize yourself floating 6 feet above your body, and looking back at your body lying on the bed.

9. You focus all of your consciousness and energy into the head, and leave the body through the top of the head (crown chakra).

10. You focus and visualize walking into another room in your house, through a door.

11. You focus on the vibrations, and energy in your body, and attempt to intensify them and raise the vibrational quality of your energy.

For astral projection or lucid dreaming: Just visualize a place and scenario so intensely, it becomes real. It is the same for remote viewing. Focus on a place you want to see, and focus on nothing but that. Eventually, you may end up seeing a different place in a dream state. These methods are different, obviously because you are not trying to separate the soul from the body.

For having a vision: just listen, watch and be receptive while continuing to breathe. Let go and blank out, and just lay there. If you do this long enough you may receive various impressions from the soul. Sometimes, you may slip into a dream state where you see things. It is up to you to interpret these and find out their meaning. You may or may not be conscious while this happens, most often for me I am NOT conscious and I act out certain actions as if in a normal dream, but somewhat different. I am not lucid or aware that I'm in a dream. I'll just blank out for a few seconds and see something, and then be back laying down again in my body. Additionally, if you want to know something in particular, you can focus on that thing very intensely until you have some kind of vision of it."

If anyone wants to post their experience with this, feel free. Additionally, if you want to add your personal method of having some kind of visual experience, or leaving the body, that will be helpful. I tried to cover the most common methods I've seen for leaving the body, and some of these methods are supposed "hidden" methods taught by mystery orders. Sadly, they don't work for me at all. I hope this helps.

4
Body Energy Arts / Daoyin Yangshenggong
« on: June 08, 2014, 02:05:13 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59p4Ho2flhk

Might have to try this. What do you guys think?

Anyone have experience with these exercises?

6
Voting Forum / Vote: Trowa for moderator
« on: May 31, 2014, 02:00:19 PM »
Trowa has been a member of Veritas since the very beginning. He has shown himself to be an insightful poster, but more importantly, a level headed and rational person, which is the most important quality for a moderator to have.

Trowa was previously put to a moderator vote in 2009, and though he won the approval of the members and half the approval of the staff, the council abstained. Since roughly 5 years has passed since the last vote, we believe it is time to try again.

This vote is to determine whether or not Trowa should be a moderator. All discussion of this idea should take place in this topic. As per the constitution, a staff vote will take place concurrently.

This vote will be open for 7 days. You are allowed to change your vote.

7
Main Hall / Motivation. How to keep practicing.
« on: May 24, 2014, 11:46:19 PM »
Hello all.

What are some good methods or ways besides "just doing it" to keep motivated for meditation practice, and general fitness practice?

It seems like in the Spring and Summer, I always resume regular meditation, yoga, Qigong, and exercise. By fall I run out of steam and by Winter I give up entirely. Then, of course, all my gains I made during the nice seasons regress by the end of the Winter.

It also seems like a difficult lifestyle to live for me. My practices include at least 20 different forms of meditation, 2 different kinds of yoga, 3 standing Qigong sets, as well as weight training, cardio training, heavy bag (martial arts) training, as well as herbalism, taking numerous weight lifting supplements, and drinking numerous kinds of tea. It is a LOT to keep up with, to say the least. On top of this, I must balance it with family life- I live with my mom, sister, brother, and girlfriend, and we're always doing stuff together. Additionally, I have other hobbies that get neglected like video game collecting and building gaming computers.

On top of this, I find it very difficult to find the energy to do my practices because I have seasonal affective disorder, which is a recent diagnosis. I've been using a SAD light but it doesn't seem to help. Regular posters will know I have other problems that are more severe, and I take a regiment of medication daily which helps, but not much. I have pretty bad anxiety and the anxiety drugs I take leave me feeling loopy, lethargic and sedated. This makes it extremely difficult to have the energy (in general sense, not an esoteric sense) to practice.

Any suggestions?

8
Body Energy Arts / Zen Koans and philosophy
« on: May 24, 2014, 12:10:23 AM »
http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/zenindex.html

Mind_Bender wanted to see more philosophical goodies, well here's some for you if you haven't seen them before.

Ashida Kim might be a charlatan, but that webpage is pretty good.

http://www.ipagan.org/daozang/sijitzu.php

Is also good.

Go ahead and post your favorite passages from these sites in quotes, and perhaps we can discuss them.

I'll start.

Quote

The Dao on Paper
   
A man came to Siji Tzu one day and asked to be taught. Siji Tzu said, "I can not take on a student who is not worthy. Go home and write me the character that best describes the Dao."

Perplexed, the student left. He thought all night and came up with the single character of 'life'. He presented it to Siji Tzu.

Siji Tzu looked at the scroll and slammed his door.

The student came back after a month of study with the character of 'love' on the scroll. Again, Siji Tzu slammed the door.

After studying the texts of Lau Tzu and Chuang Tzu for 2 years, the student again returned with the character of 'simple' on the scroll. The door was slammed.

Five years later, Siji Tzu passed the student in the street. Siji Tzu said to him, "Where is my scroll?" and the student said nothing. He later thanked Siji Tzu for teaching him the Way.

I'll leave my observations on this one and let you guys try and figure out the meaning, and the secret. Enjoy.

9
Hello and Goodbye / Taking a long hiatus.
« on: January 03, 2014, 10:44:14 PM »
Note: This is absolutely, positively NOT a 2004-era "leaving" post, complete with ranting and curse words.

As time goes on, I find myself less and less interested in Veritas and metaphysics in general. I think that the level of fraudulence is overwhelming and finding any true information here is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It seems to me that 99% of the posts are either beginner level questions, outright fabrications and lies, or total bullshit. I walk on the safe side, the side of skepticism, and find great difficulty swallowing a lot of user's posts. Whether or not this is my fault or the fault of others, I am yet to determine. I just know that as time has gone on I agree with most posters less and less and wonder why I'm even reading this website.

I wanted to have a positive outlook on the community and it's growth, even as I see more and more oldbies and friends leave the site. I tried to resume regular learning and teaching on the site through classes. I ran my own Qigong Study Group and it was a tremendous effort and took hours of work on the computer daily, to very little reward. The last group had 7 graduates, I believe, out of nearly 30 signups. Hours daily for 7 people seems like too little reward for me and the effort involved does not justify the end result. Moreover, I cannot shake the feeling that even though my heart is in the right place and my intentions are good,  I don't have enough credibility to be running a group of this nature. I have minimal martial arts training and I've never taken a Qigong class. Some traditional practitioners here would scoff at this and say I have no experience, even if I've learned from books on my own. I cannot provide the credentials, even though I've done thousands of hours of research and practice of traditional Qigong. I lack confidence in teaching the things I do, because I know who I really am and I'm honest with myself. To make things worse, I'm overweight though I don't look it and I'm a smoker (I have tried to quit many times). I rarely practice anymore and when I do it's usually just simple meditation. Any serious Qigong stylist would look at my bad habits and say I'm a phony. I feel like being a Teacher here is a charade, and I have to pretend to be something I'm not. If anything, I am genuine to myself and I won't allow this.

As I said, I have tried to resume traditional learning through the site, as we had in 2004-2005 at The Veritas Academy. I led my study group but I also pushed for people on the staff to lead a Psi group and a Magick group. To my knowledge, from when I asked, the Psi study group fell through after only one week. People stopped posting their experiences after week 1 and nothing was accomplished for a month. I don't know if this is the fault of the facilitator or the group, and being as I don't have access to the hidden subforum I can't find out. Additionally, I tried to get a Magick study group formed and recruited two new Teachers, which took the greater part of two months to accomplish. One of them quit and the other one hasn't responded to my PMs or emails in two months.

Overall, the staff is so busy with real life stuff that none of them have time to organize the community. I tried to and failed. I earnestly wanted to see progress on this website and I worked toward it but it was like pulling teeth to get anything done. Don't even get me started on the consistently disruptive and abrasive users that should probably be banned under the new "disruptive user" rule. There is too little talk among the staff and almost no action and nobody really agrees on anything.

Ultimately, though I have many reasons for leaving, the biggest one is that the more time I invest in posting on this site, the less happy I am. I am truly happy when I'm doing my own thing, my hobbies, spending time with my girlfriend and family, and so on. I am consistently LESS happy overall when dealing with this website. This even carries over to my spirituality and meditations: the more I meditate, the less happy I am. The only reason I can think of for this is my bipolar disorder and the way my brain is wired. For some reason, spirituality tends to put me into a manic-paranoid state, and reduces my level of wellbeing. This is why I don't practice for hours a day like I used to anymore. Perhaps I need to see a "Master" or an acupuncturist or something. Maybe I'm doing it all wrong. Who knows.

I feel like I am unhappy when I deal with Veritas because no matter what I say, almost no one agrees with me. I am constantly argued with and debated at every turn. It didn't used to be this way; people used to respect me for what I did. I wonder how much my articles really mean and if they actually help anybody over the age of 15 or not. I look back and I earnestly wonder if it was all a big waste of my time.

So, for these reasons and others I am taking an extended hiatus. I don't know when I will be back. I may or may not run my Qigong group again in the future. I will, however, check my private messages every few days and answer any questions fielded to me. Additionally, if at some point I feel better about the state of the community and site, I will resume regular activity.

I will not step down as a Teacher and will retain my position in case I decide to come back in the future, when I feel better about the site overall.

I am just incredibly wary and tired of all the petty bickering, drama queens, and constant disagreement I have to deal with, and I don't see these things changing any time soon. If anything, they have only gotten progressively worse in the last year.

I apologize to anyone I may have offended while posting here. It's never my intention, it's just the way I come off. I've tried to change it and it doesn't seem possible for me.

With all due respect to the community and staff.

Koujiryuu

11
The 2013 Qigong Study Group has concluded.

I have compiled a list of people I consider to have graduated the group. This means you are free to move on to the more advanced practices in my other articles, and have a firm base in my approach to Qigong, which you can use to further your training using the resources provided in the continuing training lecture.

I have considered many things in compiling this list such as overall level of activity, dedication to the group, the amount of private contact I've had with you, success in progression with the material, keeping current with experience posts, interaction with peers, length of experience posts, and so forth. Some of you didn't participate for the majority of the group and posted a bunch of one sentence experiences near the end, these people have not met the standard I have set to graduate, for obvious reasons.

Out of 27 participants this year, 7 have done enough and participated well for the majority of the group to be considered graduates.

Graduate List
Shinichi
Rhetorices
icefire
Shadow_Dragon
Aprophis
jimdare
SMFForumID

Congratulations! I applaud you on your dedication and follow-through in completing the group.

If you wish, you may use the image posted HERE in your forum signature. Just copy the url and put img tags on either side of it.



12
Qigong Study Group (2013) / One last week to post experiences.
« on: July 13, 2013, 12:40:46 AM »
One last week for you to catch up and post your experiences with all the exercises in their numbered threads before the group ends. The group will end Friday, July 19th, 2013, and I will post the list of graduates then.

13
Qigong Study Group (2013) / Rate the Study Group Survey
« on: July 13, 2013, 12:37:05 AM »
In addition to kobok's anonymous aggregated feedback survey he sent out in pm's to some of you, I would like all of you to fill out this survey. Post your responses in this thread.

This is a small survey to rate the quality, leadership, and effectiveness of the Qigong Study Group.

I would appreciate it if everyone who was in the group would pitch in and let me know how I did.
Questions are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent. Just copy and paste, and rate each on the scale of 1 to 5. Comments are welcome.

    How would you rate the content of the study group for things like terminology, clarity and authenticity?
    How would you rate the exercises and their progression in the course?
    How would you rate the effectiveness of the exercises in teaching you to develop Qi?
    How would you rate the group leader's effectiveness in explaining things and answering questions?
    How would you rate the group leader's overall participation in the group?
    How would you rate the group overall, all things considered?

Thank you for your time.

14
Qigong Study Group (2013) / Qigong Study Group: Continuing Training
« on: July 13, 2013, 12:35:15 AM »
Qigong Study Group: Resources for Continuing Training

We are at the conclusion of the Qigong study group. By now you should be proficient in a variety of basic Qigong forms and meditations. You should be able to feel and perceive Qi in the body, and should be able to develop Jing through Baduanjin, and the Microcosmic Orbit meditation.

Here is a collection of resources for continuing training and education in Qigong and Chinese philosophy.

Outline:

a. Writing and Books

b. Internal Martial Arts and other Qigong forms

c. Tea and Herbalism

d. Alcohol

e. Care of the physical body and mental attitude

f. Bao Ding Balls


a. Writing and Books

My writing:

Beginning Daoist Qigong, namely the exercises that weren't taught as a part of the study group.

Intermediate Daoyin Qigong and Applications

Advanced Daoyin Qigong and Kundalini Yoga

The Secret of the Golden Flower with interpretations.

Scholar-Warrior: A Modern Daoist Lifestyle Approach

Other authors:

The Root of Chinese Qigong by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.

Qigong, The Secret of Youth by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming

Scholar-Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life by Ming-Dao Deng


Daoism and the Way:

Daodejing (Rosenthal translation) (Tao T'eh C'hing): http://www.mediafire.com/?j4wfzokkw3jq6lj

Daodejing (S. Mitchell translation): http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html  *Highly Recommended

Laozi's classic on the Dao

Zhuangzi (C'huang Tzu): http://www.mediafire.com/?dazr5c8udjnz4v1

The poetic parables of a Chinese mystic and voidwalker

Liezi (Lieh Tzu): http://www.mediafire.com/?sz2m98ljxpseata

The Dao as taught by Liezi

(The above three texts are the "Big Three" classics of Daoism and constitute the philosophical base of Daoism)

Yijing (I C'hing) part one: http://www.mediafire.com/?1kqti4abuh081ol

Yijing part two: http://www.mediafire.com/?p4z8ux5dq15xebf

The Book of Changes, a Daoist divination manual used in conjunction with throwing coins called Bagua

The Art of War: http://www.mediafire.com/?whpjhz7pu24u6ax

Sunzi's treatise on war, politics, deception, and commanding a military

Siji Tzu: Siji Tzu

Other Religions and Philosophies

Hinduism: Bhagavad-Gita, Rg Veda, Upanishads, Kundalini Yoga Upanishad

Confucianism (related to Daoism): Analects of Confucius, The Mencius, The Doctrine of the Mean, The Great Learning

Buddhism: Buddhist Sutras, Tripitakas

Zen: Zen Koans

Book of Five Rings: http://www.mediafire.com/?r24w6fml67gr5zf

Miyamoto Musashi's classic on swordsmanship and the void (Japanese)

U.G. Krishnamurti and Enlightenment: http://www.ugkrishnamurti.net/


b. Internal Martial Arts and other Qigong forms

So, we come to the section on Internal Martial Arts and other Qigong forms. This section is to be a repository of knowledge concerning martial arts that actively teach use of Qi, or Ki in fighting and self-defense.

1. Taijiquan (Tai C'hi C'huan)

Taijiquan is known as "Great Ultimate Fist". Legend has it, a Chinese Daoist monk named C'hang Sen Feng (Zhangsenfeng) created Taiji's original 13 movements after watching a fight between a Snake and a Crane on the mountain he was meditating on.
Modern Taiji has numerous forms, usually associated with the family that the art was passed down through. Yang family (or Yang style) Taiji is most common. Out of the original 13 movements, more were added on through the centuries to encompass 108 total movements. In modern times, those have been distilled to a shorter, 24 movement form. The 108 form method is called long style and the 24 movement form is called short style. Both have their benefits, but ultimately, the 24 form short style is more suited to health and is usually 'dumbed down' as a fighting art. Some "Taiji for health/old folks" even remove all teaching about Qi and Jing, and combat applications, and just use the form as a dumbed down light exercise. Thus, it is my opinion that in general, if you can find intense long style Taiji from a good instructor, to take that over anything else.

Taiji's basis is on neutralizing and redirecting the opponent's force. Many movements are circular in fashion. Taiji has a heavy emphasis on different forms of Jing, or power (such as listening Jing, upward moving Jing, neutralising Jing, and so on). The movements and breathwork as well as intent teach you how to manifest this energy to control and disable your opponent with the minimum amount of force necessary.
If you are interested in Taijiquan and do not have a teacher, it is possible to learn some of the basics of Long Style 108 Form Yang Taijiquan online at this website: Gilman Studio

2. Baguazhang (Pa Kua C'hang)

"8 Trigrams Boxing". This style takes a lot of inspiration from the Yi Jing (I' Ching). The practice consists of developing internal power and circle walking.
Quote
The creation of Baguazhang, as a formalised martial art, is attributed to Dong Haichuan (董海川), who is said to have learned from Taoist (and possibly Buddhist) masters in the mountains of rural China during the early 19th century.[2] There is evidence to suggest a synthesis of several pre-existing martial arts taught and practised in the region in which Dong Haichuan lived, combined with Taoist circle walking. Because of his work as a servant in the Imperial Palace he impressed the emperor with his graceful movements and fighting skill, and became an instructor and a bodyguard to the court.[3] Dong Haichuan taught for many years in Beijing, eventually earning patronage by the Imperial court.[4]

3. Xingyiquan (H'sing I C'huan)

Xingyiquan, or "Mind/Intention Boxing", is the third of the traditional "Wudang" style martial arts. It is the most linear and explosive of the three. A lot of the movements are similar to and patterned after Five Animal Gungfu. It is accredited to the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD) general Yue Fei.

Read more here: Wikipedia

4. Liu He Ba Fa Quan

Not much can be said about this art other than it is extremely rare in the Western world. It is derived from Xingyiquan, but distinct. If you want information about this art, you'll have to contact Faijer on Veritas about it, as he has taken it and can tell you far more about it than me.
It is said to be the rarest, 4th internal Chinese art.
Wikipedia

5. Aikido

"Way of the Harmonious Fist"

Ai = love, ki = breath, do= way

Aikido is a Japanese art that has similar concepts to Taijiquan- neutralising the opponent's force with a minimum of your own force. It is said to be derived from Aikijutsu, which in turn was  derived from Jiujutsu, a method of unarmed fighting and takedowns used against soldiers and cavalry.

The art was developed by Morihei Ueshiba, or "O Sensei" (Great Teacher), who lived from December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969. Many legendary feats are attributed to O Sensei, and he supposedly possessed the ability of no touch throws, or no touch knockdowns, similar to the Chinese Lin Kong Jing. It was even said he had a group of soldiers line up in a field with rifles to shoot at him from some distance away, and he dodged the bullets (he claimed a golden-white ball flew off the top of the rifle before the person pulled the trigger).
Wikipedia

6. Korean arts

There are numerous Korean arts that deal with Ki in fighting.

Some of them are Kuk Sool Won, Hapkido, Chung Do Kwan (Chung Do Moo Sool Won), and probably others I don't know of.

The Korean arts are powerful and are reknown for excellent mastery of pressure point striking, holds, joint locks, and takedowns. They employ Ki in fighting as well.
Wikipedia for Kuk Sool Won

7. Other Qigong forms

There are as many Qigong forms as there are stars in the sky. xD

The Baduanjin you've learned is a very ancient exercise, with diagrams of it dating back to 1300 a.d., writing dating to 1000 a.d., and by some Chinese accounts it's been around as long as 900 BC! However, there are just as many other forms for health, vitality, and martial strength. Here are links to a few of them.

Bodhidharma's Shaolin Eighteen Hands of Lohan

Five Animal Frolics Qigong

Six Healing Sounds

Muscle-Tendon Change Qigong and Brain-Marrow Washing Qigong

c. Tea and Herbalism

Quote
Training Supplements

Qigong, in itself, is an art of self-healing and rigorous training; what is usually talked about little is the concept that certain things can enhance your qigong practice considerably, outside of qigong itself. Just as a body builder crosstrains and drinks protein shakes, so can an internal stylist augment his qi through methods other than qigong.

Here, then, is a short section detailing a couple different qigong "supplements" that are widely used and highly praised for the effects they bring.

Tea

"Firstly, I'll talk about tea. Tea is a great drink for cleaning out the system and ensuring proper qi flow; certain types of qi work on different meridians, clearing out and cleaning the subtle bodies' inner workings."

"Green Tea contains a chemical called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that binds to the enzyme urokinase, preventing it from stimulating tumor growth. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has published articles on the cancer-preventive effects of green tea."

"Researchers believe that tea lowers cholesterol because EGCG combines with bile salts and cholesterol to form an insoluble precipitate."

"There are more chapters on tea in the Chinese Herbal Material Medica (Ben Cao) than on any other herb, including ginseng."

"A cup of drip coffee contains approximately 100 mg caffeine, black tea: 50 mg caffeine, green tea: 20 mg caffeine, bancha tea 0 mg caffeine. (Nevertheless, if you have cardiac arrhythmia, are taking MAO inhibitor drugs, or have any medical condition for which caffeine is forbidden, you must, sadly, avoid even green tea.)"

"Taoist and Buddhist Monks drink tea because it clears and refreshes the mind. If you are anxious or stressed, drink some tea and contemplate the beauty of nature, Drinking tea is meditation."

"Green tea, by far, is the most beneficial tea to drink. It has many, many health benefits, and works on the lung, spleen, and stomach meridians (Oriental Medicine - 12 meridian system). It can also be purchased just about anywhere quite cheaply. However, there are many more teas that are equally beneficial, some of which are available for purchase. A big part of becoming a tea drinker lies in drinking tea that you like- once you find one that you enjoy, stock up on it."
To quote wikipedia:
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Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), also known as epigallocatechin 3-gallate, is the ester of epigallocatechin and gallic acid, and is a type of catechin.

EGCG is the most abundant catechin in tea and is a potent antioxidant that may have therapeutic applications in the treatment of many disorders (e.g. cancer). It is found in green tea but not black tea; during black tea production, the catechins are converted to theaflavins and thearubigins[3]. In a high temperature environment, an epimerization change is more likely to occur; however as exposure to boiling water for 30 straight minutes only leads to a 12.4% reduction in the total amount of EGCG, the amount lost in a brief exposure is insignificant. In fact, even when special conditions were used to create temperatures well-above that of boiling water, the amount lost scaled up only slightly.[4]
EGCG can be found in many supplements.

Tea and herbalism

Various herbs have been used in teas and tonics around the world for millennia. In China, it is thought that certain herbs affect the holistic health by acting on meridians. So, a large part of Daoist alchemy was actual external preparations of herbs into tonics and teas, or crushing them with a pestel to be put into a pill. Around the time of the warring states period, these court magicians, "prescription masters" or Fangshi, were employed by the Imperial Court and were often tasked with creating an Immortality Elixir or Pill for the consumption of the Emperor himself. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fangshi

Their work became what is known as Chinese herbalism, and unlike then, many of the herbs and teas they used are readily available today if you know where to look.
Here is a brief section on traditional Chinese herbs and how they affect the Qi. These can all be purchased independently and added to teas or tonics to balance things like Yin or Yang imbalance and energy stagnation.

Courtesy this site.

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Astragalus root

 Astragalus is one of the most popular and important tonic herbs used in the Orient. It is said to strengthen the primary energy and to tonify the three burning spaces. It is famed as a specific energizer to the outside of the body and is therefore beneficial to younger adults, who tend to be physically active. Some people consider Astragalus to be a tonic superior to ginseng for younger people. Astragalus is believed to be strengthening to the legs and arms, and is traditionally used by people who work outdoors, especially in the cold, because of its strengthening and warming nature. As an energizer to the outside of the body, Astragalus is used to tonify the protective energy (Wei Qi) which circulates just under the skin. Wei Qi is the Yang counterpart of the more Yin nutritional energy (Ying Qi) which flows through the twelve meridians and supplies the organs with vital energy. Wei, like Ying, is generated in the Lungs and after the Lungs have extracted Qi from the air and the Stomach and Spleen extract Qi from food. The air and food energies are united in the Lung to generate the "essential energy." Ying and Wei are the two components of the essential energy. Wei Qi circulates in the subcutaneous tissues providing suppleness to the flesh and adaptive energy to the skin. It is the Wei Qi which provides the energy to perspire, produce goose flesh or shiver. If Wei Qi is deficient, exhausted or blocked, environmental forces such as heat, cold, humidity, wind, etc. (the so-called vicious energies") will penetrate through the flesh and injure the flesh, blood and inner organs. Astragalus, in tonifying the Lung, especially its Yang component, helps the body build an abundance of free flowing Wei Qi, thus fortifying the defense mechanism. Astragalus is also a blood tonic (Qi leads blood). It helps to regulate fluid metabolism, and those who consume it regularly are said to rarely suffer from fluid retention and bloating. It is also now considered an excellent regulatory tonic to the sugar metabolizing functions, especially when combined with licorice root.
White Atractylodes Rhizome

White Atractylodes is an important general body tonic which acts generally upon the digestive system and balances the appetite. It is widely used in Chinese herbalism as a potent energy tonic. White Atractylodes has warming properties and is a mild stimulant. As a tonic to the Spleen/Pancreas and Stomach, it is said to benefit digestion and to help regulate fluid metabolism. It is well known and widely used as a very safe, mild diuretic. Upon continued use, White Atractylodes will help regulate the appetite, so it is widely used as a weight control herb. White Atractylodes is also used to strengthen the muscles in general, and the legs in particular. By regulating the Spleen/Pancreas, it helps build energy which is distributed to the entire body. White Atractylodes is considered to be one of the best energy tonics by Chinese herbalists.

 Codonopsis Root

 Codonopsis is a great general tonic used to restore bodily vigor, just like ginseng. Codonopsis has a mild energy, but it is a very powerful Qi tonic. Codonopsis is very effective as a tonic to the "middle burning space" which includes the Stomach and Spleen's unified function. It is excellent as an energy tonic, providing energy to the Lung and Spleen/Pancreas, those organ systems that extract Qi from environmental sources, and thus helps to generate energy for the entire body. It is said that this herb tones up the energy of the Spleen/Pancreas without making it too dry, and nourishes the Yin of the Stomach without making it too wet. The ability to balance the primary metabolic functions is one of this herb's great qualities. It also lubricates the Lungs and its passages, but always appropriately and not in excess. Codonopsis stimulates the production of blood, and is considered an excellent nutrient. It clears the Lungs of excess mucous and detoxifies the blood so that the skin becomes elastic, smooth and radiant.

 Dioscorea Root

 Dioscorea root is widely used as a secondary tonic. Dioscorea, a type of yam, is an important Yin tonic that is said to benefit the spirit, promote flesh, and when taken habitually, to brighten the intellect and prolong life. Dioscorea serves as a Stomach-Spleen tonic, as well as nourishing the Lungs and supplementing the Kidney Qi. This white, brittle herb has cooling properties. Its energy is classified as neutral and it is sweet tasting.

White Ginseng Root  

The root is said to replace lost Qi to the meridians and organs. It is used to benefit all the Qi so that one may live a long and happy life. It tonifies Qi and is adaptogenic. It is an immune modulator, prolongs life, overcomes fatigue, increases blood volume, aids in recovery from illness or trauma, sharpens and calms the mind, stabilizes the emotions, counteracts stress and enhances wisdom. Ginseng is tonic to both the Lungs and the Spleen/Pancreas systems.

 Gynostemma Leaf
Adaptogenic, antioxidant, immune modulating, anti-inflammatory, respiratory tonic, platelet regulator, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-obesity, cardiovascular protectant, anti-aging agent

Licorice Root

Licorice root stands next to ginseng in importance in Chinese herbalism. It is the most widely used of all Chinese herbs. It is known as the "Grandfather of Chinese herbs," as the "Great Adjunct," and as the "Great Detoxifier." It is used as a harmonizing ingredient in a large number of Chinese herbal recipes and is itself an excellent tonic and longevity herb. Chinese licorice root is said to revitalize the “Center,” referring to the “middle burning space,” and in particular to the digestive and assimilative functions associated with the Spleen.  It supplements the energy and strikes a balance into the internal regions of the body.  It is believed to drive out all poisons and toxins from the system and to eliminate side-effects from other herbs used with it. The “Great Adjunct” is said to aid all other herbs in entering their respective meridians and is thus of tremendous importance in the Chinese tonic herbal system. It is also believed that licorice will clean the meridians and allow Qi to flow smoothly. It is also widely claimed that licorice root builds flesh (muscle) and beautifies the countenance. Licorice root is also used throughout the Orient simply because it builds energy. It is now known that this is at least partly due to its remarkable power to regulate blood sugar balance. It is also widely used to sharpen the power of concentration.

 Aged Citrus Peel

 Aged Citrus (Tangerine) Peel is a digestant. It falls into the classical category of “Qi regulating” herbs --- that is, herbs that help Qi to move smoothly and to prevent blockage, particularly in the digestive and respiratory systems. It is not a tonic herb, but is often used in tonic formulations to improve their function. Sometimes strong Qi formulas, such as those being used in Qi Drops, can result in minor stagnation in the digestive tract if a Qi regulating herb is not included in the formula. Aged Citrus (Tangerine) Peel is VERY effective at moving Qi and preventing digestive blockage. There is sufficient Aged Citrus (Tangerine) Peel in this formula to prevent any possibility of Qi blocking.

 Polygonatum Sibericum

 Polygonatum sibericum is used as a Qi and Yin tonic, and is said to have a specific benefit on the energy of the heart and brain. It is used in Shen and Jing tonics to nourish the brain and strengthen the mind. It is a Qi tonic to the brain. It can be combined with Panax Ginseng, Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero), Gynostemma, and various Qi tonics to add important mental Qi power.

Siberian Ginseng

Eleuthero is the equal of Ginseng in its adaptogenic capabilities.  Some authorities think it is stronger. Eleuthero contains saponins which balance the nervous system and endocrine system. Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) also has a huge reputation as a mental tonic and even as a mental stimulant.  It is considered to be faster acting than Ginseng.  Studies have proven that people are more alert after they consume Eleuthero.

Tibetan Rhodiola Root

Tibetan Rhodiola sacra strongly increases vitality. It is good for strengthening the body and mind, resisting fatigue, resisting a lack of oxygen and excessive radiation (including solar radiation), and for prolonging life. It is especially well known for increasing the intelligence of those who consume it regularly. Rhodiola sacra has the action of “supporting and strengthening the human body” and the immune potentiating effects of Rhodiola sacra are, according to some researchers, stronger than those Ginseng (a VERY potent immune potentiator). Rhodiola sacra has a notable restorative effect if one consumes a preparation while the tired body is recovering or is failing to recover from strong or excessive exertion. Tibetan Rhodiola sacra has double-direction adjusting effects on the nervous and endocrine systems. It is good for resisting mental fatigue, and it can improve a person’s memory, power of concentration and work-efficiency.

 Guilin Sweetfruit

 Guilin Sweetfruit (Luo Han Guo) is an excellent Qi tonic to the Lungs. It improves functioning of the lungs and clears mucous and heat from the Lungs. Since the Lungs are central to Qi production, the condition of the Lungs is of the utmost importance to our health and well being. Guilin Sweetfruit is being widely researched because it appears to be a potent immune potentiator.

Different kinds of tea


There are different kinds of tea with different benefits.

They are, in order from least processed to most processed:

White tea

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White tea (Chinese: 白茶; pinyin: báichá) is a lightly oxidized tea grown and harvested primarily in China, mostly in the Fujian province.[1] More recently it is grown in Taiwan, Northern Thailand and Eastern Nepal.

White tea comes from the buds and leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves and buds are allowed to wither in natural sunlight before they are lightly processed to prevent oxidation or further tea processing.

The name "white tea" derives from the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which gives the plant a whitish appearance.[2] The beverage itself is not white or colourless but pale yellow.
White tea is the least processed tea and contains the most ECGC. It is most beneficial to your health and has low levels of caffeine.
A truly great, whole leaf, organic white tea known as Bai Mu Dan (white peony) can be purchased in bulk at Costco World Market for a good price.

Green tea

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Green tea is made from the leaves from Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originates in China,[1] but it has become associated with many cultures throughout Asia. Green tea has recently become more widespread in the West, where black tea has been the traditionally consumed tea. Green tea has become the raw material for extracts which are used in various beverages, health foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetic items.[2] Many varieties of green tea have been created in the countries where it is grown. These varieties can differ substantially due to variable growing conditions, horticulture,[3] production processing, and harvesting time.

Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting that regular green tea drinkers may have a lower risk of developing heart disease[4] and certain types of cancer.[5] Although green tea does not raise the metabolic rate enough to produce immediate weight loss, a green tea extract containing polyphenols and caffeine has been shown to induce thermogenesis and stimulate fat oxidation, boosting the metabolic rate 4% without increasing the heart rate.[6]

The mean content of flavonoids in a cup of green tea is higher than that in the same volume of other food and drink items that are traditionally considered of health contributing nature, including fresh fruits, vegetable juices or wine.[7] Flavonoids are a group of phytochemicals present in most plant products that are responsible for health effects such as anti-oxidative and anticarcinogenic functions.[7] However, the content of flavonoids may vary dramatically amongst different tea products.
This stuff is great! It's Kouji's favorite tea. I really like Rishi Jade Cloud, Ancient Emerald Lily and Dragon Well.

Oolong tea

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Oolong (simplified Chinese: 乌龙; traditional Chinese: 烏龍; pinyin: wūlóng) is a traditional Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a unique process including withering under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting.[1] Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties.[2] The degree of oxidation can range from 8 to 85%,[3] depending on the variety and production style. Oolong is especially popular with tea connoisseurs of south China and Chinese expatriates in Southeast Asia,[4] as is the Fujian preparation process known as the Gongfu tea ceremony.

In Chinese tea culture, semi-oxidised oolong teas are collectively grouped as qīngchá (Chinese: 青茶; literally "teal tea").[5] The taste of oolong ranges hugely amongst various subvarieties.[2] It can be sweet and fruity with honey aromas,[6] or woody and thick with roasted aromas,[7][8] or green and fresh with bouquet aromas,[9] all depending on the horticulture and style of production.[1] Several subvarieties of oolong, including those produced in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian, such as Da Hong Pao, are among the most famous Chinese teas.
Oolong has less ECGC than white or green tea, but still has some, and it also has more caffeine than both of them. For this reason, it is good to use to wake up with, and good to drink before any moving meditation like Qigong.

Black tea

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Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, green and white teas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the species are used – the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis subsp. sinensis), used for most other types of teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis subsp. assamica), which was traditionally mainly used for black tea, although in recent years some green and white have been produced.

In Chinese languages and the languages of neighboring countries, black tea is known as "red tea" (紅茶, Mandarin Chinese hóngchá; Japanese kōcha; 홍차, Korean hongcha), a description of the colour of the liquid; the Western term "black tea" refers to the colour of the oxidized leaves. In Chinese, "black tea" is a commonly-used classification for post-fermented teas, such as Pu-erh tea; outside of China and its neighbouring countries, "red tea" more commonly refers to rooibos, a South African tisane.
Black tea contains no ECGC as it is removed during oxidation and processing. It also has higher levels of caffeine. However, it still has many antioxidents and catechins that are good for the health.
Protip: Putting milk in tea causes the catechins to chemically bond to lactose and makes them inert, removing all health benefits. So, please don't put milk in your tea, you'll ruin it. Thank kobok for this information.

Pu E'rh tea

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Pu-erh or Pu'er tea is a variety of fermented dark tea produced in Yunnan province, China.[1][2][3] Fermentation is a tea production style in which the tea leaves undergo microbial fermentation and oxidation after they are dried and rolled.[4] This process is a Chinese specialty and produces tea known as Hei Cha (黑茶), commonly translated as dark, or black tea (this type of tea is completely different from what in West is known as "black tea", which in China is called "red tea"). The most famous variety of this category of tea is Pu-erh from Yunnan Province, named after the trading post for dark tea during imperial China.[5]

Pu'er traditionally begins as a raw product known as "rough" Mao Cha (毛茶) and can be sold in this form or pressed into a number of shapes and sold as "raw" Sheng Cha (生茶). Both of these forms then undergo the complex process of gradual fermentation and maturation with time. The Wo Dui process (渥堆) developed in the mod-1970s by the Menghai [6] and Kunming Tea Factories [7] created a new type of pu-erh tea, whose legitimacy is disputed by some traditionalists. This process involves an accelerated fermentation into "ripe" Shou Cha (熟茶) which is then stored loose or pressed into various shapes. All types of pu-erh can be stored to mature before consumption, which is why it is commonly labelled with year and region of production.
Pu Erh tea contains no ECGC as it is removed during oxidation and processing. It also has higher levels of caffeine. However, it still has many antioxidents and catechins that are good for the health.
This is the strongest tea you can get, so if you like strong flavors it's for you. It also has the most caffeine out of any tea, so if you want to replace coffee with tea in the morning, choose Pu Erh. Though, I drink both because coffee is also good for you in ways that tea isn't.


Some teas you may enjoy:

Triple Leaf Decaf Green Tea with Chinese herbs

This one has ginseng and astralagus. It also has no caffeine. If you absolutely dislike tea, I would recommend you just stick with this and drink 1 cup daily to supplement your Qigong. The Ginseng in it is very good for Jing, and the Astralagus is good for Qi of the lungs, organs and Dantian. After a month of drinking a cup a day and doing Qigong every other day I have noticed a great overall increase in my energy body, a greater clarity of energy, less anxiety, and a stronger Yin Qi when doing the microcosmic orbit (I tend to be Yang imbalanced rather easily). The only downside: it pretty much tastes like green beans.

Rishi Tea Organic Jasmine Pearl

A very strong, fragrant green tea that is flavored with Jasmine buds. Very flowery and sweet. A premium green tea. Good for Qi of the lungs, as any green tea is.

Rishi Super Green Sencha

Haven't been able to try this yet, but I have some in the mail. This one is supposed to infuse very green (as opposed to more yellow for the above two), and the greener, the better. See, when tea infuses it also oxidizes, and when it oxidizes, it loses the beneficial antioxidants. So, if you really want to feel and benefit from the ECGC and other beneficial compounds in tea, drinking one like this is best.

Traditional Medicinals Chamomile with Lavender

This one is great! Chamomile has been cultivated as far back as Ancient Egypt (around 2000 BC) for it's healing properties and use as a sedative tonic. This one also contains lavender flowers, which have been used for an equally long time as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent.

I like to use this tea to help me sleep, but I also use to it prepare for any very heavy meditation (such as the macrocosmic orbit). It makes you somewhat sleepy and makes it much easier to reach deep mind states necessary for those exercises. It helps greatly with relaxation.
Chamomile should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, it has been shown to have induce uterine contractions that can lead to miscarriage.

If you add a few shakes of ground cinnamon and a bit of honey to your chamomile tea, it will not only taste great but also works as a potent aid to stomach problems and nausea.

Chaa Organic Mystic Darjeeling

This one is quite good. It is a dark, black tea, so it has no ECGC, although there are plenty of other antioxidants. The best way to describe this tea is "energizing". It has more caffiene than green teas do. I find this one best taken before a workout, yoga, martial arts practice, or anything very physical. It will give you energy, clear your mind and help you focus on your workout.
That concludes the section on herbalism.

d. Alcohol

Alcohol, if used sparingly, can be good for the health.

One drink a day is said to prevent heart disease and promote cardiovascular health.

For this reason, I keep a bottle of silver grade Japanese junmai sake in my fridge, and try and drink one small shot glass a day, usually before bed. This helps me sleep, as I have frequent insomnia.
You can do the same with a drink of your choosing as a preventative measure and longevity practice.

Again, overindulgance or reliance on anything like this is dangerous, so remember not to get addicted. You don't ever want to "need" a drink.
That is it for the section on alcohol.


e. Care of the physical body and mental attitude

For care of the physical body, including some basic Yoga regimens, I highly recommend my fellow Teacher Rawiri's article found here. http://forums.vsociety.net/index.php/topic,10274.0.html

Shower at a minimum 3 times a week, using good quality soap and a brush to scrub off dead skin.

Keep a good regimen of physical activity, whether that is the Qigong you've learned or Yoga. Take a martial art if you're interested in that.

Try to eat healthy. Avoid junk food.

In your mental attitude, try and be friendly and loving to everyone around you. An old quote I find appropriate in social interaction is "Stand tall and shake the heavens." Do not be overly aggressive, but be firm in your beliefs, and true to yourself. Be a servant to your fellow man.
A Daoist approach to this is the philosophical Three Treasures, as opposed to the metaphysical or alchemical Three Treasures San Bao (Jing, Qi, Shen):

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Chinese terminology

The first of the Three Treasures is ci (Chinese: 慈; pinyin: cí; Wade–Giles: tz'u; literally "compassion, tenderness, love, mercy, kindness, gentleness, benevolence"), which is also a Classical Chinese term for "mother" (with "tender love, nurturing " semantic associations). Tao Te Ching chapters 18 and 19 parallel ci ("parental love") with xiao (孝 "filial love; filial piety"). Wing-tsit Chan (1963:219) believes "the first is the most important" of the Three Treasures, and compares ci with Confucianist ren (仁 "humaneness; benevolence"), which the Tao Te Ching (e.g., chapters 5 and 38) mocks.

The second is jian (Chinese: 儉; pinyin: jiǎn; Wade–Giles: chien; literally "frugality, moderation, economy, restraint, be sparing"), a practice that the Tao Te Ching (e.g., chapter 59) praises. Ellen M. Chen (1989:209) believes jian is "organically connected" with the Taoist metaphor pu (樸 "uncarved wood; simplicity"), and "stands for the economy of nature that does not waste anything. When applied to the moral life it stands for the simplicity of desire."

The third treasure is a six-character phrase instead of a single word: Bugan wei tianxia xian 不敢為天下先 "not dare to be first/ahead in the world". Chen notes that

    The third treasure, daring not be at the world's front, is the Taoist way to avoid premature death. To be at the world's front is to expose oneself, to render oneself vulnerable to the world's destructive forces, while to remain behind and to be humble is to allow oneself time to fully ripen and bear fruit. This is a treasure whose secret spring is the fear of losing one's life before one's time. This fear of death, out of a love for life, is indeed the key to Taoist wisdom. (1989:209)

In the Mawangdui Silk Texts version of the Tao Te Ching, this traditional "Three Treasures" chapter 67 is chapter 32, following the traditional last chapter (81, 31). Based upon this early silk manuscript, Robert G. Henricks (1989:160) concludes that "Chapters 67, 68, and 69 should be read together as a unit." Besides some graphic variants and phonetic loan characters, like ci (兹 "mat, this") for ci (慈 "compassion, love", clarified with the "heart radical" 心), the most significant difference with the received text is the addition of heng (恆, "constantly, always") with "I constantly have three …" (我恆有三) instead of "I have three …" (我有三).


f. Bao Ding Balls
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Baoding are small, heavy metal balls that used to be made out of solid stone or iron. They are named after the village in China of the same name that they originated in. In modern times, they are usually made out of hollow steel with a small plate inside that makes a ringing noise when the balls are spun in the palm of the hand.

Similar to the theory behind Ki-Cho-Jaki exercises, baoding are said to be very beneficial to the qi flow because they stimulate all the meridian points on the hands. This in itself means that the accompanying meridians are cleared out and stimulated as well.

Training with the baoding is simple, yet difficult at once. If you haven't touched a videogame in your life and have little hand-eye coordination, it will be very hard. Start off by holding them both in your right hand, and attempt to spin them around each other clockwise. Start slowly, and try to make them "ring" as little as possible, as that means you are clanking them together. At no point during the spinning should the baoding stop touching each other. The point is not to go fast, but to spin them as quietly as possible. Once you can spin them at an even pace quietly, try adding speed into the equation.

Eventually, the above will be easy. At this point, start spinning them with the same hand counterclockwise, progressing in a similar manner until you can spin them quickly and silently whilst spontaneously changing directions smoothly, at will. It takes a lot of practice!

After the right hand has become proficient in spinning them, move on to the left hand, and train similarly.
Bao Ding Balls on Ebay

This concludes the Qigong study group and the resources for continuing your training.

I wish you well on your path.

Feel free to contact me any time if you need assistance in your training. Martial artists, I have prepared something special for you. If you are interested, let me know.

Good Health and Training,
~Koujiryuu

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