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  • Untying Knots

    From the Q&A on Stages of Cleansing, Building and Nourishing:

    Question 16

    My understanding is that in the case of karmic or other long term blockages, (and perhaps all blockages), the root cause of continued persistence of the condition is the mind's subconscious attachment by habit to the disharmonious state. This is why following the instruction to 'let go' during chi flow is of the utmost importance.

    From my experience, I have found it generally quite easy to be aware of long term blockages, but often very difficult to really let go of them, even in very strong chi flow. Often, in chi flow, the blockage can even be more apparent to the mind than under normal everyday conditions. Sometimes there is even a temptation to become frustrated, which I know is completely counterproductive!

    So my question is, firstly, is it the skill of chi flow, or the actual skill of letting go that is main to clear the blockage and, secondly, what can we do to get better at letting go and, if we did, would this potentially reduce the time required to clear long term blockages?

    Omar


    Answer

    Thank you for this profound question which not only has much philosophical value but also many practical benefits.

    I am not sure whether it is true that a person’s blockage, karmic or otherwise, continues for a long time because subconsciously he has attached himself by habit to a disharmonious state, or because of other reasons.

    I am an optimist, hence I believe that it is more likely consciously or subconsciously he would prefer a harmonious state instead of a disharmonious one. But despite his preference he still has a blockage due to some other factors.

    One possible factor is that the event that brought about this blockage, which happened in a past life, was so dramatic that the blockage has remained in his unconsciousness though he might have lived many other lives after that, and though he may not consciously realize it in this present life. This blockage is therefore karmic.

    Letting go is of course very important, but there are different levels of letting go. In normal chi kung practice, when one lets go, it is at the conscious level of the present life. If the cause of a blockage was a dramatic event in a past life, letting go in the present life may not be powerful enough to clear the blockage in the subconscious caused in a past life. Often the person may not know the blockage or its cause, he only knows the symptoms.

    I have helped a few people with these deep problems. A managing director of a successful company was always sad. He knew he should not be sad. There were no obvious reasons why he should not be happy. He was healthy, had a good family life and his business was successful. Still he was sad, often very sad.

    He knew he had a blockage but he did not know what it was and what caused it. He wanted to clear the blockage but he did not know what to do. He wanted very much to let go of his sadness, in fact to let go of anything that blocked his smooth flow of life.

    I led him back to one of his past lives. He was a general in a battlefield holding a sword. There were countless dead bodies around him. He was the only survival. He told me he led his army to suicide. He cried. This experience cleared the blockage in his sub consciousness.. After this he could lead a normal happy life.

    In another case a housewife always felt cold even in the midst of hot summer. She had seen a lot of doctors, taken a lot of medical tests and undergone a lot of treatments, but she still felt very cold.

    I led her back to one of her past lives. She described that it was very dark and she was very cold. She was in a box, and some people were carrying the box. She described her own physical death in a coffin.

    That reliving her past life cleared the blockage. After the experience she no longer felt cold, and could lead a normal happy life.

    Incidentally these two real-life experiences are excellent illustrations that we never die. We may change our physical bodies, but our soul or consciousness lives on.

    It is also a reminder that what a person’s life will be depends on his karma. The three factors that shape karma according to the order of importance are thoughts, speech and deeds. Hence, you can ensure a good life in future by having good thoughts, good speech and good deeds. ...
    In your experience, aside from what Sigung mentions in his answer, what helps/facilitates the process of clearing the mind/spirit of deep rooted impressions?
    Love, and do what you will.

    - St. Augustine

  • #2
    A view based on my experience with Time Line Therapy

    In my experience, deep rooted and significantly emotional experiences/impressions like this which give rise to energy blockages may be "installed" and carry through this life, be "installed" and handed down through generations, carry through genetic code or be carried across past lives. I'll illustrate with my own experiences.

    It is my understanding that every experience has a lesson for us which, when learned, allows us to understand, reframe and rationalise the experience. When we are able to do that, and learn what we needed to learn about the experience, it is then possible to let go of the negative emotions and feelings and thoughts about the experience and move on, which may be done in therapy or with energy work such as qigong healing. I believe this is what Sifu was able to do by taking the student back to the battlefield experience.

    I am not yet a qigong healer, and I don't offer any explanation on an energetic level, but I have trained in Time Line Therapy. In this paradigm we have a concept of significant emotional events (SEE) which create negative emotions and limiting beliefs, and which can also create splits/boundary conditions in the nervous system which, though they occurred in the past, affect us in the present. In this paradigm the unconscious mind stores emotions in a gestalt or "folder" of similar things, eg. a gestalt of sadness, a gestalt of "friends", a gestalt of "family members". These SEEs I feel sure are manifested as an energetic blockage in the TCM paradigm.

    In Time Line Therapy, we ask the client's unconscious mind "What is the root cause, the first event, which when disconnected, will allow you to let go of the (eg.) sadness forever and for you to be aware of it consciously?" The client's unconscious mind identifies the root cause, whether it is in the early years of the current life, at birth, in the womb, passed down genealogically or carried across past lives. We then have the client back go back to that event and learn what they need to learn in order to be able to let go of the emotion/belief. We ask the unconscious mind, "What do you need to learn from this event, the learning of which will allow you to let go of the emotion easily and effortlessly?" The client then learns what they need to learn from the event, reframes the event, and in so doing is able to release the emotion not only on the first event but on all events. I have personally experienced this and energetically it feels to me similar to clearing blockages during qigong.

    In this paradigm, it is believed the unconscious mind stores these uncomfortable experiences and represents them at appropriate points for resolution, normally keeping them from our consciousness. If it didn't we would be overloaded with stuff we can't handle all at once. However, it is not healthy to hold on to such things, and can cause dis-ease and so the unconscious presents it for resolution when it knows the person can handle it. That's not to say they will process it at that time. They might think "Oh no, not that again!" and bury it, or they may simply not understand what is coming up for them (like the sadness in Sifu's example). Through processes like this, it is possible to resolve the impression/experience and move on, having learned from the experience. Hypnotherapy and techniques such as past life regression can do similar things I believe.

    Whether the ROOT CAUSE is treated as compared to A CAUSE is down to the skill of the practitioner. For example, there may have been a SEE causing sadness at age 2, or in the womb, and that can be cleared, but if there is a pre-existing SEE from a genealogical line or past life, addressing the event at age 2 will not completely clear the issue and perhaps only give partial respite, though clearly there can be many dependencies and individual subjectivity is at play. Clearly a client is not able to consciously recall SEE's from birth, womb, past live or genealogical sources, or even early years in most cases, but the unconscious mind can, because it was there.

    I offer this viewpoint in answer to the question based on my own experience.

    In summary, I believe every experience we have has some kind of lesson in it, and to progress in our spiritual development these are lessons we need to learn, assimilate and integrate. As I have described, modalities such as hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy may address these deep rooted impressions/events, as can qigong and qigong healing, in which case the client may not necessarily even be aware of what the underlying cause is. Whatever modality is used, some form of addressing the deep rooted impressions is necessary, because they are by definition deep rooted and not consciously known.
    With love and Shaolin salute /o

    "Your purpose in life is to find your purpose & give your whole heart and soul to it." - Buddha

    Gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.

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    • #3
      throw dart.jpgdart in bullseye.jpg


      The best explanation I have heard to someone who was having a problem understanding letting go was "oh it's easy, you just stop holding on".

      It is surprising how the images, sounds and experiences present themselves when there is either not holding on or being let go.

      With metta,

      Barry
      Profile at Capio Nightingale Hospital London Click here
      Chi Kung & Tai Chi Chuan in the UK Fully Alive
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      • #4
        Hi Andrew,

        Thanks for starting this thread. The issue of karma is, of course, very important, and not always easy to comprehend (especially past-life karma), so it is worth discussing.

        For starters, I wonder if the metaphor you employ, "Untying Knots" is the best? I submit that the metaphor of cutting the rope, or simply dropping it, is better. Comments? Am I missing something?


        Yrs.

        Chas.
        Charles David Chalmers
        Brunei Darussalam

        Comment


        • #5
          For me, no matter how powerful our Chi Kung is, clearing deep rooted karmic patterns can be very difficult. Ever try to kick a habit? It always finds some way to reassert itself into existence. I am optimistic that over time and with enough chi flow on the bone marrow level that my old karmic energy will be neutralized for the better.

          Sometimes, divine grace and gratitude is another solution.

          I posted a story on another thread which I will reproduce here:

          "One day in a village, a Holy Man was holding satsang—giving a spiritual talk and answering questions—in the town center near a well. At the conclusion of the talk, a wealthy merchant who gave liberally to worthy causes asked the Holy Man how long it would take him, the merchant, to exhaust all his karma and reach the divine abode. After a moment of contemplation, the Holy Man said that because the merchant had been a very good man for many lifetimes, it would only be twelve lifetimes before he had a sacred vision of the divine beloved and achieved freedom from all his karma. The merchant was overjoyed and thanked the Holy Man profusely.

          Then a wandering mendicant who lived only on alms and the kindness of strangers asked the same question. The Holy Man again went within and answered that only three more lifetimes would be required. The mendicant could not believe his ears. “Three more!” he thought. “That’s ridiculous.” Out loud he said, “You mean that even after all of the deprivation and suffering I have undergone in this life, I still have to live three more lifetimes?” The Holy Man nodded yes. “Then I’m going to enjoy what time I have left in this one.” And he threw down his mendicant’s donation basket and began a life devoted to satisfying all his sensual desires.

          Finally, a thief timorously approached the Holy Man and asked the same question. After a brief inner contemplation, the Holy Man pointed to a nearby tall tree and spoke: “You see that tree? Well, as many leaves as there are on that tree, so many lives it will take for you to work out your karma,” he said. The thief began to dance in ecstasy and shouted out in joy, “How compassionate is God! After all the bad things I’ve done, God still gives me a chance to reach Him, and it will only take that many lifetimes? Oh, how fortunate I am!” At that moment, the Grace of the Supreme manifested and the thief achieved moksha, or spiritual liberation, on the spot. The intense and pure devotion of the thief in that moment had invoked the Grace of God, and his mountain of karma was instantly burned to ashes."

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for that story. It reminds me of a similar experience I had, and have already related here on our forum.
            Charles David Chalmers
            Brunei Darussalam

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Matthew
              In my experience, deep rooted and significantly emotional experiences/impressions like this which give rise to energy blockages may be "installed" and carry through this life, be "installed" and handed down through generations, carry through genetic code or be carried across past lives...In summary, I believe every experience we have has some kind of lesson in it, and to progress in our spiritual development these are lessons we need to learn, assimilate and integrate.
              I've had the same experience. I wasn't surprised when I read an article about holocaust survivors passing the pain of the trauma through their genes to their children.

              Originally posted by Charles David
              I wonder if the metaphor you employ, "Untying Knots" is the best?
              For me it's just a matter of what words resonate best with a person. In this case I "borrowed" the term from Thich Nhat Hanh, though he generally uses it in reference to mindfulness. Some strong impressions on the spirit or mind really can feel like a knot that take time to unravel. I think the approach of just letting it go is still the same, so the knot really is unravelling itself as we just observe it.

              Originally posted by DarkCosmoz
              Sometimes, divine grace and gratitude is another solution.
              I do like divine grace! Do you (or anyone else) have any notable experiences of some old dust being wiped away by a divine gust of wind?

              A well-to-do lady told Ramana Maharshi, ‘I am blessed with everything that a human being would like to have’. Her voice choked. Controlling herself she continued slowly, ‘I have all that I want, a human being may want… but… but… I do not have peace of mind. Something prevents it. Probably my destiny’. There was silence for a while. Then he spoke in his usual sweet manner: ‘All right, you have said what you wished to say. Well, what is destiny? There is no destiny. Surrender, and all will be well. Throw all responsibility on God and do not bear the burden yourself. What can destiny do to you then?’
              D: Surrender is impossible.
              M: Yes, complete surrender is impossible. Partial surrender is certainly possible for all. In course of time that will lead to complete surrender. Well, if surrender is impossible what can be done? There is no peace of mind. You are helpless to bring it about. It can be done only by surrender.
              D: Partial surrender – well, can it undo destiny?
              M: Oh yes, it can.
              D: Is not destiny due to past karma?
              B: If one is surrendered to God, God will look to it.
              D: That being God’s dispensation, how does God undo it?
              B: All are in Him only.

              http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/teachings/gems/
              Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart - a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water - I accept with joy. Whatever you do, make it an offering to me - the food you eat, the sacrifices you make, the help you give, even your suffering. In this way you will be freed from the bondage of karma, and from its results both pleasant and painful. Then, firm in renunciation and yoga, with your heart free, you will come to me.

              Even sinners become holy when they take their refuge in me alone. Quickly their souls conform to dharma and they attain to boundless peace. Never forget this, Arjuna: no one who is devoted to me will ever come to harm.

              -Bhagavad Gita
              Last edited by Andrew R; 20 January 2016, 09:01 AM.
              Love, and do what you will.

              - St. Augustine

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Andrew R View Post
                I've had the same experience. I wasn't surprised when I read an article about holocaust survivors passing the pain of the trauma through their genes to their children.
                not only genes (better say: traumas) via generations.
                What is with all those people murdered or killed by illnesses, hunger, brutality - many of them probably are re-born. And people today, suffering from anxieties, traumas, hate, but also physical problems (breathing, stomach ...)?
                ... alles, alles, alles ist doch auf Liebe aufgebaut ..." (Ellen Auerbach, 1997)

                Comment


                • #9
                  “In your experience, aside from what Sigung mentions in his answer, what helps/facilitates the process of clearing the mind/spirit of deep rooted impressions? “

                  I recently asked Sifu a question about past bad deeds and I thought of sharing Sifu’s answer here, as it gave me a really wonderful perspective on karma. Considering karma, the greatest influence we have in changing it is in the here and now. And as we practice the Shaolin arts, we are greatly blessed in having the chance to erase also our past lives karma, with our daily practice.

                  ‘If a person has commited a bad deed, if he (or she) sincerely repents, he can erase much of the bad karma of the bad deed, and may even generate good karma.

                  Karma, which means cause and effect, is not rigid; it is fluid, and is determined by thought, speech and deed in that order of importance. If the person continues to think of his bad deed, he continues his bad thought and creates bad karma. If he changes his thought to a good one by repenting, his good thought creates good karma.

                  We cannot change what was done in the past, but we can affect the present and the future, and the most powerful factor is our thought. We must always have good thoughts.’


                  How ridiculously lucky are we?
                  So, as I understand, the best approach is to just enjoy our daily practice, and not unduly worry about on what level we cleanse. But trust that the practice we have is powerful enough to work on all levels. And focus on thinking good thoughts about ourselves (even in our past lives) and everyone else, and in doing good deeds.
                  We all must have done something right, to be here now.


                  Best wishes,

                  Nessa
                  Nessa Kahila
                  Shaolin Nordic Finland
                  Instructor
                  nessa@shaolin-nordic.com

                  www.shaolin-nordic.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you for sharing, Sifu Nessa.

                    Here's another timely share by Sigung
                    :

                    Heaven and hell, as well as the world we now live in, are in the phenomenal realm. How we experience our living in it depends on our karma. Its reality is relative to how our mind perceives Cosmic Reality, and is conditioned by karma. If we can break down these conditions and go beyond karma, we go beyond the phenomenal and realize transcendental Cosmic Reality. This is the most supreme and noble of all spiritual cultivation, described differently by different peoples as returning to God, attaining the Tao and seeing the Original Face.

                    Although our spirit, not our body, is our real self, while our spirit is housed in our body it is important to keep our body healthy and strong. When a person’s body is sick or weak, he may overcome his sickness or weakness by cultivating his spirit, but it is faster and more effective by working on his body directly. An effective way is through the practice of chi kung, spelt as “qigong” in Romanized Chinese. Chi kung is the cultivation of energy, or life force, which links the body and the spirit. In our school, Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan is also chi kung, as they also cultivate energy besides the body and spirit.

                    When a person’s body is healthy and strong, he is more efficient in cultivating his spirit. There are many different methods of spiritual cultivation. The following are some of the methods we use in our school, Shaolin Wahnam, and they have been proven to be very effective.

                    To be happy, we smile from our heart, which is a skill we practice every time we start an exercise. To be peaceful we stand in meditation and enjoy the stillness and experience inner peace. To be free we expand our spirit using techniques like Separating Water and Flicking Fingers.

                    A sure way to go to heaven is to avoid evil and do good. We aspire to this high moral living by following our Ten Shaolin Laws, which is an essential requirement for anyone who wants to learn from us. .

                    We are not in a hurry to return to our Source yet. We know the world we now live in is phenomenal, and we ensure our time here is well spent – for ourselves as well as for other people. We often have a glimpse of our Source while in deep meditation in such advanced arts like Cosmic Breathing and Expanding into the Cosmos. When we are ready, we can cultivate to return to our Source, using methods like Zen and Taoist meditation.

                    In all the arts practiced in our school, chi kung, Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan, we are keenly aware of triple cultivation, namely cultivating jing, qi and shen, which means body, energy and spirit. We do not merely talk about spiritual cultivation, not even just practice spiritual cultivation, but ensure we have spiritual fulfillment, i.e. enjoying the benefits of spiritual cultivation in our daily life.
                    Love, and do what you will.

                    - St. Augustine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wonder if the metaphor you employ, "Untying Knots" is the best?
                      In Hinduism, "Granthi" is the Sanskrit term for knots that block the ascension of Kundalini energy from the base of the spine. These knots represent doubts and psychological barriers that roots the individual in ignorance.

                      Per the Yogic tradition, there are 3 knots that are strategically placed along the spine to prevent untimely access to spiritual power:

                      Brahma Granthi - blockage between the first and second chakra
                      Vishnu Granthi - blockage between the third and fifth chakra
                      Rudra Granthi - blockage between the sixth (third eye) and seventh chakra

                      As one progresses spiritually, whether through Yoga, Chi Kung or meditation, these knots will slowly unravel and allow the spiritual energy to ascend, burning off karma, until it hits the seventh chakra to merge with God.

                      Best wishes,
                      Stephen
                      Last edited by DarkCosmoz; 24 January 2016, 04:41 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        To me the word "knot" is perfect. Knots are binding. Untying a knot (solving a problem, healing an illness, letting go a bad habit ...) means to get free of this. Every knot untied is a bit more freedom.
                        Also knots of the past, or of a past life, are binding. Being able to untye it, is an overwhelming feeling of being free from mostly unkown, straining, weakening life experiences.

                        Kind regards,
                        Dorit
                        ... alles, alles, alles ist doch auf Liebe aufgebaut ..." (Ellen Auerbach, 1997)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Very interesting info, thanks for sharing, Stephen.
                          Love, and do what you will.

                          - St. Augustine

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            From "Wilhelm Reich in Hell" by Robert Anton Wilson

                            Work on the breathing and the muscle tensions. And tell people frankly that there is no metaphysical Good and Evil in the human world any more than there is in the animal world or the chemical world or the physical world of gravity and mass. ...Not permissiveness. Sanity. If a child is a nuisance, tell him so. Tell him his behavior is annoying. But never, never make a metaphysical moral issue out of it. Never, never say anything is sinful or wrong in a cosmic sense. Never pass on the lunacey, the Emotional Plague, that has come down to us from ages of superstition and barbarism.
                            With metta,

                            Barry
                            Profile at Capio Nightingale Hospital London Click here
                            Chi Kung & Tai Chi Chuan in the UK Fully Alive
                            Fully Alive on Facebook Fully Alive
                            UK Summer Camp 2017 Click here for details
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                            • #15
                              Thank you for that quote, Uncle Barry. It reminds me of the quote by J. Krishnamurti that gave me a good kick in the rear:

                              You are the story of humanity.
                              Just drop the story.
                              Love, and do what you will.

                              - St. Augustine

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