Qigong; the secret of youth - when to advance training?

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Qigong; the secret of youth - when to advance training?

Postby UnderTheIceberg » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:07 am

Hello,

I have been doing the training in the book Qigong, the secret of youth, for 96 days now. I knew from the start that I couldn't put down the time demanded, but wanted still to do it, so I resolved to train twice a day and keep the training going for a longer stretch of time.

However, I feel now that I am very "full" with qi. I meditate 30 minutes after each session and take some herbs to balance the qi and promote production of jing, but nothing to make too much. If I stop meditating I get a rash over my heart and easily agitated, and usually start feeling the qi creeping out into my limbs. I also have "overflowing" up the spine regularly.

So, that was some background info on what I really want to say, which is; must the described time be met or can one move forward with the training if the body is ready? I feel like if I don't start working the qi into more areas it will start doing naughty things to my body...

I'd greatly appreciate a comment from someone who has done the practice and can say how they progressed in the training. It seems like there is a lot of talk about this training, but very few people carry on to do it... which makes it difficult to find someone with experience to talk to.
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Postby joeblast » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:50 am

How much meditation are you doing? Heh, how's ya dantien? Do any embryonic breathing or small circulation?

Everyone progresses at different rates, so 'when to move forward' is usually either determined by the master, or...when certain criteria are met, depending on the training.

How far have you gotten with all of it?
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Postby yeniseri » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:13 am

Yangshenggong practices are life long endeavours and it encompasses proper nutrition and mental evenness.
You appear to be doing too many, too much, AND not enought nourishing qi at qihai/mingmen/shenshu and not staying long enough doing shougong.

If qigong is being done properly, there should be no 'negative' after effects!
Just a thought.
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Postby UnderTheIceberg » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:03 am

Thank you for the answers!

To answer joeblast first;

I do thirty minutes of emptiness meditation after each session of yijinjing massage, and I practice small circulation and bone-marrow breathing 4-5 times a week.

Not sure about the dantien. I can feel it very well, it's like a ball inside my lower abdomen. That's the thing, though, I have no idea how it's meant to "feel". What I got is a warm, tingly feeling. In meditation, when I reach stillness, it becomes less subtle, more electric.

Yeniseri;

I started this training because I wanted a lifelong endeavour. Under the course of the past 4 months I have stopped eating wheat, saturated fats, sugar, and salt. I have also been a vegetarian the past 5 years (with pauses to eat meat 2-3 days a year). I'm gradually moving towards a raw-food diet, which I've understood is the best for cultivation.

You use a lot of unfamiliar terms at once :) qihai/mingmen/shenshu are the passes at the back, I think I recall, so do you mean I should spend part of my practice with massage/focus on those areas? Is shougong meditation? I have never heard that term before.

I have not felt any negative effects except the rash and fluctuant emotions, which only appears when my practice is imbalanced, but I know what you mean... I had understood it as such that overflowing from the dantian is a sign that it is close to full, especially when the MCO starts flowing, am I mistaken?

When I follow my practice perfectly the only after-effects are a calm mind, lots of energy, and tranquility that follows me through the day :)

yeniseri and joeblast, have you done the yijinjing practice described in the book? if so, what were your experiences around day 100, and how did you train?
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Postby joeblast » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:15 pm

Since I'm partial to the practice...how much embryonic breathing have you done? Since its a prerequisite to small circulation I'm guessing some amount, but honestly I've found such a depth and wealth of stuff at that level that I havent ever even seriously pursued "contriving the mco." There are different angles from which to approach the situation - some teach that building and building and building at the dantien will eventually lead to a 'spilling over' and spontaneously activate the mco (afaik small circulation and microcosmic orbit are interchangeable terms.) Some teach leading qi along the mco as soon as feelings of qi are present.

Personally I've been partial to the former approach since I combined the eb concepts with longevity breathing and found that there's a hell of a lot more "room" in the dantien than you might think...and I just kept going with embryonic & longevity.

However since you're doing YJJ...my opinion would be that it would be more beneficial to switch the meditations - instead of emptiness after YJJ, do the small circulation, since the point of yjj is to raise fascia and enhance and encourage qi flow. Might even be a good idea to do x amount of small circulation, do marrow washing, back into small circulation....So after raising qi like that, circulate it and then when done circulating, go back to embryonic to concentrate what you've cultivated in the dantien. Have you had any dantien vibration?

The 'emptiness' I'd suggest as a nightly meditation as opposed to after yjj - emptiness is not moving, and after generating more abundant qi with yjj, you wouldnt want to simply leave it sit right where it is. Actually embryonic breathing fits in quite well within the emptiness paradigm when combined with longevity breathing - when that's done right and you are able to calm your bodily processes you'll reach a point where you dont even feel like you're breathing anymore, and that suits emptiness quite well ;)

Shougong is simply closedown and massage. Use it extensively and thoroughly, that is a grounding process that is imperative, it will also help in containing emotions since energies arent just left around to dissipate as they will.

I've done small amounts of the YJJ described in the book but I honestly dont think I will ever reach the full depths of it since the significant weight of my practices is of another approach. But, I've studied it and there are some corresponding prerequisites, so my conclusions are simply of logical progression...as in, I'm no 'expert' :D
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Postby dmattwads » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:18 pm

yea thats a good question, something I have pondered as well mainly because Qigong seems to work on the meridian system, while yoga works on the chakra system.
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Postby UnderTheIceberg » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:42 am

Joeblast, thanks for the great reply!

I think I'm basing my meditation on emptiness, since that's where I feel I generate the most qi. I worked a lot with yoga and western mysticism a few years back, before I decided to stop the psychonautering and just practice for health, and I haven't had any issues with circulating qi through the MCO, not really much trouble anywhere through the body that my mind has set sight of. I also practiced a lot of embryonic breathing/marrow breathing/five gates breathing as a part of the branch of mysticism I was practicing. Some things correlate well across the globe (in this case probably because the ideas migrated to europe from asia).

Also, I find that for me all the stuff happens in emptiness rather than in stages of making something happen, which is strange I guess, but it becomes a natural progression. Forlessness, stillness, emptiness, from there huiyin opens and the body becomes warm. There comes a strong "pull" and electric feeling like a ball in the dantien, but no shaking. What does the shaking signify? After I get that feeling of the ball the MCO starts up automatically in tune with the breath, and the feeling in the dantien grows.

I will look up the closing and massage practices, I think that would benefit me greatly. Until now I have been satisfied massaging up the spine, over importans points on the head and face, and a last focused massage around the stomach, but I could definately try to make more certain that I settle the energy in where it's needed, so it doesn't "fly off" and become emotion or li.

Still though, when do I progress to the next stages of YJJ? What should I look for, it time isn't what gives it away? My instincts are that I should continue, but I have a habit of getting ahead of myself when I should settle in what I'm doing (as yeniseri deduced :) )
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Postby joeblast » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:50 am

hehe always good advice to not get distracted by the phenomena ;) in regards to where "all the stuff happens" - its similar for me too. my point in meditations was to smooth out, circulate, concentrate what you've generated before going for the stillness, just a logical progression. since yjj simulates channels and meridians, doing mco afterwards is a way to facilitate balancing of the energies since all of the meridians connect to the mco. I think you can pretty much consider it (mco afterward) just another section of active processes before beginning passive ones. much of dr yang's text and translations focus on building abundant qi, and it should always be stored in the dantien when complete.

shaking signifies fullness...

I dont think you've stated where you actually are in your training yet, other than a day amount which isnt all that precise unless you're following the schedule...the beginning of the training is abdomen and then chest & conception vessel, then on to the governing before doing the other channels and meridians...and how deep, i.e. slapping, beating, striking? so without certain info on your progress its tough to say when to move on. so by the book, ~100 days should be when you start the nei dan yjj...and its not recommended to start the xi sui jing before a year of yjj...
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Postby UnderTheIceberg » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:01 pm

When you say it like that it sounds very reasonable :) I'm gonna stuff it in between massage and emptiness and see if it works for me.

I'm working after the book, so right now I'm finishing up the abdomen, doing equal ammounts of beating and massaging, making the beating gradually heavier.

I guess I'll know what shaking is when it comes then :) I have a feeling I have a bit left to go before getting there, perhaps the shougong will help me with that.
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Postby joeblast » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:38 pm

shougong will definitely help, although I'm uncertain as to the exact technical definition of the term. take your time doing closedown, copious amounts are absolutely recommended. the better you are able to store the qi (embryonic breathing) the more abundant it should become!

perhaps dvivid might be able to add something to this ;)
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Postby UnderTheIceberg » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:54 am

I remade my schedule a bit, feels really good. I now do;

opening meditation and "prayer" after some stretching, 5 minutes
emptiness meditation 108 breaths 20 minutes
YJJ massage 30 minutes
MCO meditation 7 minutes
closing 10 minutes.

Also, I changed so that I am doing everything except closing in full lotus, I find I am more in the emptiness then, and have a better feel of the dantien.

After going through the practice today I felt a greater presence in the dantien, and also a shaking/trembling/vibrating starting in the hips and going into the dantien. It's possible that I amm overly sensitive to vibrating reactions now since joeblast talked about it, but I saw it as a motivating factor to adapt this new way of doing it :)

I'm also glad that I now achieved a goal I set for myself more than a year ago; being able to sit in full lotus for more than an hour without feeling excessive discomfort. Yay me!

Now to keep keeping up the twice-a-day as previously. Not really a challenge, but the obstacle sloth/fatigue/uneasiness always shows itself.
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Postby joeblast » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:55 pm

When winding down from small circulation, to concentrate at the ltt, visualize a ball of energy at the ltt 2 inches below and behind the navel. Grow & shrink w/ the breath, about quarter to golf ball size and back, when you are done let it fade gently right where it is, keep your awareness on it while you're doing it, its almost a logical progression from embryonic breathing. That will help you build energy at the dantien, esp if you're still in lotus. keep that up over many sessions and your whole body will feel like its glowing ;)

Amount of time isnt quite so important as reachable depth of practice, I usually let mine ebb and flow, though you need to be careful in doing that because it can easily lead to "geez, I havent practiced in a couple weeks" :lol: I dont know if you have a timer (I'm assuming you're generalizing on the times,) but say for instance if your mco meditation is going well, deeper than usual, it would be a little silly to stop because the 7 minute mark was reached!

Good job on the lotus - I do that as well, I love the psoas stretch it gives! Since I have a bad back it ebbs and flows though, sometimes I can sit longer than others.
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Postby UnderTheIceberg » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:26 am

Yeah, it's real dangerous to let the form f the day decide the practice for me, then I eventually end up not practicing anymore. I set my schedule so I always could do more, but if it's a bad day I can still (barely) manage to get through it. I have bad knees and am pretty horrible at emptiness and retaining my calm (get restless in 5 seconds), but I try to continuously raise the lower bar. Also, since YJJ should be like slowly kindling and nurturing a fire, having a fluctant training schedule would be countereffective. Better to make sure that it's never backed down, never missed, and only grows when the growth can be maintained.

I do that meditation as a starting opening meditation actually, I take "light" down from the upper dantian to the middle, and let it expand there, until the whole body gets light and expands. Then I settle into the dantian. It makes the mind so much more calm and ready for the uneasy constant pain :wink:

Thanks for all the help, joeblast! I felt, today also, that by adding MCO and shougong and restructuring the practice, I really get a lot more out of it! The results are a lot more steadfast now, can really feel that I keep more of what I've grown! I'm gonna reread Dr.Yang's books on MCO, EB and YJJ as well, to get more inspiration. Good to keep the goal in mind.
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Postby joeblast » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:18 am

np man, keep up the good work in your training! I'm no expert and my words are not gospel - verify these things for yourself, ponder, practice, ponder some more - that's the way to know yourself well enough, environment is always changing, be it internal or external :D
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