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  • Neikung Methodologies

    I originally posted this as a response to the "Big Bellies" Thread, but would like to start a new thread in the hopes that more participants will take an interest. I hope that's okay with the forum moderators (feel free to delete my post in the other thread if you feel it's redundant).


    To all,

    First of all, I’m a student of Kostas Danaos, the author of a book called The Magus of Java. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the book, it’s basically the story of a kungfu master named John Chang living in Indonesia. In the book the author describes the methodology of this master’s particular brand of niekung. What’s really interesting is the fact that this master is able to perform a multitude of astounding abilities as a result of his training. There’s a thread about the book on this forum under “book reviews” if you want to know more about the book.

    Some time ago I emailed Sifu Wong regarding a rather interesting phenomenon that’s written about in the above book (solid ball of chi in the dantien). Sifu Wong recommended I check out this thread, but I don’t think I explained what I was talking about clearly enough to evoke a thorough response; basically Sifu Wong told me that developing a solid ball of chi in the dantien is like having an energy reservoir in the body that can be used for many different things, but moving it is unnecessary. This wasn’t what I was after, but, in all fairness, I didn’t really go into the details of the methodology of the system I was referring to. I will elaborate on my understanding of this phenomenon in the hopes that if anyone has experience (personal or otherwise) of this or something similar they would be willing to share their experience. I would certainly be interested to hear Darryl’s personal experience, but I hope others will join in as well.

    The following is taken from the description in the book, but is not a direct quote:

    This methodology has been referred to as the “thunder path.” In the book the author describes how the practitioner of “Mo Pai neikung” (name of John Chang’s lineage) works to cultivate a solid ball of chi in his dantien. The different stages of the practice are divided into levels. At level one he works to fill the dantien with yang chi. At level two he condenses the chi in his dantien, allowing more chi to be stored there. At level 3 the practitioner begins to cut the “cords” that hold the dantien in place. The successful student is than able to free his dantien from its immobile state and move it at will. This phenomenon can be felt by the casual observer who places their hand over the practitioner’s abdomen. From what I’m told it feels like a hard ball inside the abdominal region that moves independently. Once the practitioner has done this (level four) he moves the now mobile dantien down to the energy center located at the perineum (the yin center below the dantien located next to the genitals), thus beginning the process of permanently fusing yin and yang (level five). The force generated by this coupling is explosive and can result in instant death to the unprepared practitioner, from what I understand. I guess about half of the people who have attempted this died trying. The power generated is on a par with actual lightning, thus the phrasing “thunder path.” Does this description fit with the methodology of your (anybody’s) system? If so are you or any of your teachers at a level where you can move your dantien at will?

    Here are a few more interesting points that my help clarify the above description and my line of questioning:

    According Kostas, John Chang says the Dantien is the first cell formed during the conception of the human fetus. This is the actual, original cell that was formed when the sperm penetrated the egg of every one of us. According to Sifu Chang, this cell remains intact throughout our life time and is located at the end of the umbilical cord where it terminates inside the abdominal cavity. Apparently, this cell, because of its unique, nature can hold vast amounts of energy, as most qi gong practitioners will tell you. This cell or dantien is held in place by six “cords” (what those cords are I don’t know) which the neikung aspirant must sever in order to progress along the thunder path. According to Kostas Danoas, Sifu Chang revealed this information for the first time in modern history in an interview in a Greek martial arts magazine. I’m certainly not making any claim, but I thought it was interesting.

    Interestingly, some time ago, John Chang and his senior students agreed to allow a group of researchers to x-ray their abdominal regions. Sifu Chang’s student’s x-rays showed a small mass of circular, irregularly shaped energy below the navel and toward the center line of the body. Sifu Chang’s x-ray (Sifu is well passed level five- not sure how far) showed a perfectly circular, flat disk.

    Both of these points suggest that the dantien is a physical part of the body that can be observed and quantified. They also seem to suggest that the dantien functions like a container deep within the abdominal cavity. This goes against the claim of some systems that the dantien and the various chakras or energy centers are part of the “human energy body” and not physical flesh and blood phenomena.

    In any case, I hope you all (forum members) feel comfortable sharing on this subject. If there’s any clarification needed, let me know. In addition to the above questions, I’d be particularly interested in any niekung methodology that folks are willing to share. I know that, in all likelihood, some of you practice what are commonly referred to as “closed door” or secret practices, but I would still invite you share what you can about your system and what it is intended to accomplish. I’m curious about yoga, neikung, Qi gong, meditation in general, or any other system regardless of the tradition or culture that it comes from.

    All my best, Sean Denty

  • #2
    Here’s some really interesting info on Tibetan Buddhist internal practice that relates to your neikung.

    Some of the lineages of Tibetan Buddhism practice something called “tummo.” Herbert Benson, the eminent meditation researcher of Harvard University, has done some ground breaking research on these very monks. You may have heard of Herbert Benson. He has authored numerous books, all based on peer reviewed scientific research, about the affects of meditation on the human body and brain. His most famous book is probably “The Relaxation Reponse.”

    After years of research, intended to prove the efficacy of meditation as a form of medical therapy, on various forms of meditation from different spiritual traditions, Dr. Benson met the Dalai Lama in 1979. This eventually led to some intensive research in 2001 with three Tibetan monks after years of trekking through the Himalayas. What they found stunned the main-steam scientific community and proved once and for all that chi or bio-energy is real a phenomenon.

    Here’s the article that was posted in the Harvard review (2002): http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/.../09-tummo.html

    Here comes the interesting part. When Kostas Danaos first published the book, The Magus of Java, several Tibetan practitioners contacted him saying that the niekung described in the book was identical to certain end stage practices in their system of internal cultivation, with one exception; at the end of level three, when the dantien is severed from the cords of karma holding it in place, the practitioner moves the dantien up to the heart instead of down to the yin energy center.

    My response to this whole thing is, "that makes a lot of sense." We, after all, all are basically made up of the same components biologically speaking. Why wouldn’t the various meditative traditions have similar practices? And as for the differences, well that is a very interesting question; isn’t it?

    Here are some related thoughts:

    1. Buddhism is all about compassion. Maybe fusing your yang chi at the heart center makes you more compassionate. I think the Shaolin Wahnam students out there reading this post would agree that becoming a Bodhisattva is a biological, as well as a spiritual transformation. The Buddhist tradition is full of accounts of the seemingly miraculous abilities of its followers. I think it makes sense that something is changing on a biological level when spiritual transformation occurs.

    2. One proponent of the belief that enlightenment is nothing more than a biological phenomenon (by the way I disagree with this point of view) is the little known “anti-guru” U.G. Krishnamurti. Not to be confused with his massively more famous counterpart and colleague J. Krishnamurti, U.G. Krishnamurti was a reclusive, enigmatic figure who traveled around the world in a vain attempt to elude an ever-growing mob of followers who claimed that he was an enlightened guru despite the fact that he insisted that all guru’s and “so called God-men” are con men and fakes. He often referred to his enlightened state as “the calamity” and dismissed it as a rather inconvenient nuisance that was on a par with a genetic mishap and not something to be desired by anyone. Both before and during the course of his spiritual transformation (he wouldn’t have called it that), U.G. developed various siddhas or spiritual powers, such as telepathy and premonitions of the future; he dismissed these also as useless byproducts of an unwanted state. You can check out the website that his students put together in the link I’ve provide below. On it you’ll find hours of video and audio talks that are absolutely spellbinding. You’ll also find this amusing disclaimer by U.G.: “My teaching, if that is the word you want to use, has no copyright. You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort, garble, do what you like, even claim authorship, without my consent or the permission of anybody.”
    http://www.ugkrishnamurti.org/

    3. According to the John Chang, once a student has severed the cords that hold the dantien in place (after he completes level three) he is free from the influence of karma. In addition, those who complete level three often develop siddhas or superhuman abilities such as, knowledge of future events, healing powers, and many others.

    I’ve heard that Sifu Wong has some pretty extraordinary abilities. I think I’ve read that he can influence the weather with his chi! I wonder if any students of Sifu Wong would be willing to talk about his special abilities in more detail? I’d also be very curious to know if their internal practices have anything in common with what’s been described in the above posts?

    It would seem that folks are a little reticent in wanting to add to this thread or respond to the questions posed. I’m sorry if that’s the case. I’d really like to hear from Shaolin Wahnam instructors and students and instructors of other systems as well. For those who haven’t read the books, The Magus of Java and Nei Kung: the Secret Teachings of the Warrior Sages, I would highly recommend them. They are a detailed account of the life of a man who is considered to be a Living Hsien or immortal being. Sifu Chang is real and his abilities include pyrogenesis, telekinesis, levitation, telepathy, not mention the ability to talk to the dead and other immortal beings not bound by the constraints of the human body. Of course, most people who read this won’t be able to accept the above statement, but some of you will; especially those of you who have studied with Sifu Wong, I implore you to join this dialog.

    I’ve often hoped that remarkable people like Sifu Wong and Sifu John Chang will one day have the opportunity to meet, collaborate and share their discoveries with the world. Who knows, perhaps that connection can start here. And what I would give to be in the room with those two people.

    More to come…

    Best, Sean

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Sean,

      Wonderful posts here. Don't be discouraged by a lack of reply. Sometimes it's the best posts that get no reply because people don't know what to say.

      As for the dantien being biologically rooted in the body, I don't know exactly what to make of this, but I can't say that it is very surprising. If I have learned anything in my 8 years with Sifu Wong, it's that matter and energy are fluid. Everything I have learned (and seen) so far about Chinese medicine also confirms this.

      I'm curious about the nitty gritty of how you actually learn and practice this art. I think all of us here are similar in that we all learn on a long-distance basis from a master. How does this work for you? How often do you see your sifu? Have you run into any roadblocks?

      Best regards,
      Sifu Anthony Korahais
      www.FlowingZen.com
      (Click here to learn more about me.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello Sean,

        Thanks for the PM inviting me to read this thread. You may be interested to know that I have read “The Magus of Java” and that I enjoyed it very much. I’d need to re-read it to be able to give you any valid feedback. I have to admit that right now I have my Chinese medicine and Human Biology exams coming up in a couple of weeks so my reading time is pretty much reserved.

        I find your descriptions of the dantian interesting. To be honest I don’t really think about it all that much. I would say that my dantian exists as much as any other part of my body and I can certainly feel an exchange of qi between my dantian and the cosmos when I train.

        As for detaching and moving the dantian all over the body, that’s new to me. I can easily send qi pretty much wherever I want in (and perhaps a little beyond) my body. One exercise that I do enjoy is allowing my dantian (using the third eye) to expand and radiate through my whole body. Sifu teaches this at some courses and it can be a wonderful spiritual experience offering a glimpse of what it is like to merge with the cosmos. The feeling of internal force generated in this and other exercises is powerful and real.

        Compared to others I know, my internal force is really nothing special. I’m happy enough that some of the Shaolinquan brothers notice it when they spar with me. I’m also starting to find that I can sense or see blockages in people. Again, I would classify my skill level in this as very low compared to some people I know.

        I’m happy to be able to open points for students when necessary. I’m grateful that I can help people open their Hearts and that thanks to Sifu’s generosity; I can transmit the art of Shaolin Cosmos Qigong to my students. I’m sure that all my fellow instructors would agree that it is something quite special when your students enjoy their first qi flow.

        I can’t imagine Sifu teaching any of his students a technique or skill that had a mortal risk attached to its learning. I don’t mean to demean anybody by saying this but one of the hallmarks of our training is that it is very safe as long as the student remembers to follow these three golden rules:

        1. Do what the master says
        2. Don’t do what the master doesn’t say
        3. Always do your best to treat the master (and the art you are learning) with genuine respect

        I’m not sure whether this post is what you were looking for. I am a little reticent to discuss some things on a public forum or even in private with people I don’t know. In fact, I don’t usually talk about my training all that much at all. Hopefully, you won't feel that I’m trying to keep any secrets from you. I’m glad Sifu wrote you that email about the Monkey God and the Immortal Li. It shows that he has a high regard for you indeed.

        I’d like to echo the words of Anthony Sihing and thank you for your posts. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your art and its methodology.

        From the Heart,
        Jeffrey Segal

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello Sean,

          Late to the party as usual, that's me

          To add to what has gone before, if you check out Sifu's old Q & A series (Answer9, Feb 2000 part 3) there's quite a lot of information there regarding the Shaolin Wahnam Institutes approach to the Dan Tian.

          I remember a recent discussion with Sifu about highly advanced "energy art" practioners and asking if, on cremation the tangible "pearl" of energy was left in the ashes. Sifu remarked that in the past these "relics" or crystals from the ashes of past Masters were held in high esteem and in some cases worshipped.

          From my own experience, I have read the Magus of Java and loved it (it's one of the very few books I have read more than once). I'm a little like Jeff, in that I don't really think too much about what the Dan tian is. Though I do gently focus my attention on this spot many times a day. Especially during and after practice and when I need to c-a-l-m things down.

          Sorry for the short reply, but it's time to curl up on the Sofa with Clare (my wife) and enjoy a movie.

          Kind regards

          Marcus



          Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha

          Comment


          • #6
            I think every students in mopai will be told for such a risk to practice nei kung (in order to advance to the further level, level 4).And it is dependant to the practitioner to make his decision regarding that.But if he feels enough and only wants the safer method.So he doesnt need to advance from level 3.
            As simple as that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Crystal of energy

              Regarding Marcus' mentioning the crystal of energy remaining after cremation, I recently visited the Po Lin Temple and the Big Buddha on the hill top. According to the brochure, it is the "world's largest, seated, outdoor, bronze Buddha" at 26.4 meters in height.

              Literally inside the Buddha, there are two relics remaining from his cremation. A sign states that 84,000 crystals of energy were found after Sakyamuni Buddha was cremated and that many of them have been lost, but that two of these rice-grain-sized crystals are on display. The method of display of the crystals was exceptionally inconvenient to anyone shorter than me (6' 3" or 190.5 cm), which would be something like 99.9% of the viewing public. I could see the crystals if I stood on tip toe, but no one else could. We were kept just far enough away so that I could faintly make out the shape and color of the crystals, which the sign said was seen differently by different people. Indeed, I visited the Buddha twice with different friends, and one visit revealed a dark red, and the next a more lavender shade, all of which could simply be the result of ambient lighting conditions.

              The Big Buddha is found on Lantau Island, Hong Kong, which is where the airport is now located. A one and a half hour bus ride to Ngong Ping will take you to the base of the hill where the Po Lin temple is located.

              Michael

              Take kindness and benevolence as basis.
              Take frankness and friendliness to heart.

              Comment


              • #8
                Seandenty,

                Thank you for your PM inviting me to read this thread.

                Oregon is a beautiful part of the country. I travel there frequently and enjoy it each time.

                I’ve read the books by your teacher some time ago and found them interesting.

                As you are probably aware a basic practice or methodology for developing and storing energy in the dantien is practicing Zhan Zhaung. This is not exclusive to Shaolin Wahnam or Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan. I seem to remember that your teacher recommended practicing the 3 Circle Stance in his book. This is one the first practices that a Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan student learns. It is that fundamental and important. In this respect we would have something in common.

                For some the results are immediate and for others it may take a few months or more to see results. One of the phenomena that practitioners of this form of Zhan Zhuang experience is a vibration at the dantien that can vary in its intensity from a gentle sensation to lifting the practitioner off of the ground causing him or her to bounce up and down. Over time as blockages in the different parts of the body are cleared the emphasis of the practice shifts back to building chi in the dantien. In our methodology this shift in emphasis is allowed to occur on its own. It’s true that a Zhan Zhang practitioner can use the mind to direct the emphasis, however we know that one of the remarkable aspects of practicing Chi Kung is that the Chi will naturally find its way to where it is needed most so we allow this to occur. It has proven to be a safe and effective method of practice that has been passed down as one of the countless treasured legacies of Shaolin practice. A Shaolin axiom is “Safety First” For those who may read this and are not aware they should be cautioned to learn and practice Zhan Zhaung under the guidance of a competent instructor. It is safe with proper guidance.

                The phenomena in practicing the 3 Circle Stance is not necessarily the results that we aim for. The results of diligent 3 Circle Stance practice include the development of energy not only in the dantien but throughout the body, a calmer and clearer mind (Zhan Zhaung is a form of meditation), deep relaxation, overcoming Chi blockages (often manifested as noticeable or unnoticeable illnesses) besides improved Tai Chi Chuan practice and application and much more.

                Has your teacher instructed you to practice 3 Circle Stance? If so, how long have you practiced? Do you marvel at the results? I have to say that for most people the results of 3 Circle Stance practice would seem to be fantastic and sufficient, not to imply that you would disagree with this.







                .
                Anthony S

                Western USA

                http://elitechikung.com/

                Visit Anthony Spinicchia’s web site with information on qigong healing.

                His book, The Wonders of Chi Kung:Unlocking Glowing Health and Vitality, 3rd Edition, can be found by clicking here

                The e-book edition can be found at www.amazon.com kindle store

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rush to !

                  Hello Everyone!

                  Well.....not surprisingly.....my perspective on this topic is a bit different than that expressed in other posts.

                  There is a real good reason why so little is generally known about these types of Chi-Kung practices. Internal Exercises of this kind are potent mediums of energetic transformation and powerful agents of dynamic intrinsic energy expression. So powerful in fact.....that the training is capable of manifesting sudden and profound influences on a person's core vitality at both ends of the spectrum......either to permanently cure or kill the practitioner.

                  As a result.....Masters of virtually every Style which include such practices have maintained an unspoken secrecy. It has always been considered irresponsible to casually speak about such things publicly.....and dangerous to approach such training lightly. The potential for serious injuries....and death.....has always accompanied these methods. Thus....information regarding these methods was never put into books for sale to the general public.....never revealed in martial art magazines.....never recorded on audio or videao tapes....and so forth.

                  In recent years....a few teachers have carelessly broken the traditional public silence for the sake of personal financial gain.....while amassing lots of bad karma resulting from the injuries and deaths which inevitably followed. There are always a few people who have no qualms about casting caution to the wind as they rush to anticipated greatness.....completely self-directed in their practice.....and ultimately totally failing to reach their goals. This sort of dash to disaster is not at all uncommon.
                  Last edited by Sifu Stier; 23 May 2005, 05:27 AM.
                  http://www.shenmentao.com/forum/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is a real good reason why so little is generally known about these types of Chi-Kung practices. Internal Exercises of this kind are potent mediums of energetic transformation and powerful agents of dynamic intrinsic energy expression. So powerful in fact.....that the training is capable of manifesting sudden and profound influences on a person's core vitality at both ends of the spectrum......either to permanently cure or kill the practitioner.
                    I have to agree with you here Sifu Stier. Kostas' second book was originally intended to reveal level one of the Mo Pai system of Niekung, but Sifu Chang's master (no longer in his physical body) warned him that allowing the general public access would be too dangerous and could potentially lead a catastrophe of Frankensteinian proportions.

                    In the book, Sifu Chang uses the story of Atlantis to illustrate why humanity is not ready to know the secrets of life.

                    As a result.....Masters of virtually every Style which include such practices have maintained an unspoken secrecy. It has always been considered irresponsible to casually speak about such things publicly.....and dangerous to approach such training lightly. The potential for serious injuries....and death.....has always accompanied these methods. Thus....information regarding these methods was never put into books for sale to the general public.....never revealed in martial art magazines.....never recorded on audio or videao tapes....and so forth.

                    In recent years....a few teachers have carelessly broken the traditional public silence for the sake of personal financial gain.....while amassing lots of bad karma resulting from the injuries and deaths which inevitably followed. There are always a few people who have no qualms about casting caution to the wind as they rush to anticipated greatness.....completely self-directed in their practice.....and ultimately totally failing to reach their goals. This sort of dash to disaster is not at all uncommon.
                    I don’t think Sifu Stier’s comments were directed toward my earlier posts on this thread, but I feel obliged to let the readers of this forum know that none of the actual training methods of the Mo Pai have been made available to the general public, either in the books written by Kostas Danaos or my writings here; nor will they likely ever be. In addition to the above, the readers here should know that, to the best of my knowledge, not one penny of profit was made off the books or the teachings there in. In fact, Mo Pai is a strictly closed door school and all students take an oath of secrecy and agree never to use the practice to make money or any unscrupulous action before they receive training.

                    The original intention of the book was to share a vision of the positive impact neikung and other related sciences could potentially have on society if used wisely and treated with respect and caution. In many ways Kostas was writing his books for the scientific community in the hopes that it would spark an interest and inspire more research on this vital topic. I don’t think this came to fruition in the way that Kostas and Sifu Chang had hoped, but I do feel that a lot of good came out of the books. They certainly have changed my life for the better.

                    Sifu Stier is correct in saying that these potentially dangerous practices should not be taken lightly. Those interested in pursuing this line of training, also known as san bao in some schools, should do so only under the direct guidance of a qualified master. Attempting to practice on your own or from a book is a sure way to seriously damage your nervous system or kill yourself.
                    Last edited by seandenty; 23 May 2005, 06:27 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Anthony S
                      Has your teacher instructed you to practice 3 Circle Stance? If so, how long have you practiced? Do you marvel at the results?
                      Anthony,

                      Thanks for you response. By “3 Circle” I am Assuming you mean what we call standing pole. If this is the case, yes I agree with you that this exercise alone can garner tremendous benefit. I've been standing for around eight years- five consistently. I’ve found this compliments my sitting practice.

                      Best, Sean

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Antonius
                        I'm curious about the nitty gritty of how you actually learn and practice this art. I think all of us here are similar in that we all learn on a long-distance basis from a master. How does this work for you? How often do you see your sifu? Have you run into any roadblocks?
                        Thanks for your reply. Yes it’s difficult to train long distance. Fortunately there are a few students living in the states- we’ve all run into road blocks, but I feel this is inevitable given the nature of the Mo Pai and other such systems- some sort of cosmic test probably. I started training after a trip to Athens Greece in June of 2002. After reading The Magus of Java I felt I had found a genuine master. Eventually, after corresponding with the author over the course of several months, I flew to Greece to ask to be accepted as a student; as have probably hundreds of other hopeful seekers. This was quite an undertaking as I was also accompanied by my six month old son and his mother. Not to mention the fact that I’m a school teacher and don’t make a great deal of money. For now I train mostly through a brother student who travels frequently and has been very generous in sharing his time with me. I also consult Sifu Kostas via phone periodically when questions come up.

                        The other, much bigger road block, is the fact that, unfortunately, most students are not permitted to go beyond a certain level. In fact, only a certain number of John Chang's original students were ever allowed to go beyond level two and he is now effectively retired from teaching. Although level two represents a significant accomplishment (most systems go up to level two, but no further), it is no were near the level that Sifu Chang has accomplished. This has left me and other western students in a rather tough spot. Although I've not yet completed my current training, I'm searching for a suitable master to guide me when the time comes.

                        Some of the teachers who make their teachings available to the public seem to be possible candidates while others, although they may be accomplished to a degree, are probably not teaching authentic practices that lead to immortality and genuine enlightenment. For example, I have studied the well known Healing Tao system, founded by Mantak Chia, extensively and am a Healing Tao instructor, although I do not currently teach. The problem with this system, and many others like it, is that they lack authenticity and high level teachers. While both Mantak Chia and Michael Winn, his American counter part, are knowledgeable and ethical teachers, they are still actively searching for authentic teachings themselves because they know that their current knowledge is incomplete (Chia’s primary teacher died before Chia could complete his training). The Healing Tao System is very much a potpourri of several separate systems. While practicing the various meditations and formulas of Chia’s system on a consistent basis will definitely produce positive results, such as spiritual development, a healthy body and more energy, they simply cannot prove the veracity of their claims that their system leads to genuine enlightenment or immortality in the way that the Mo Pai have.

                        I think many systems of neigung, martial arts and Daoism in the west suffer from the same issues. Today’s “masters” simply don’t have the knowledge or abilities that they once did. Many systems are partly or wholly invented and taught by unqualified or unscrupulous teachers. This is both unfortunate and dangerous and I can personally attest to three instances where students of such teachers, practicing in good faith, were seriously injured. In all of these cases the teacher was unable to correct the problem and placed all of the responsibility on the student. This is huge transgression from the traditional systems where the master was highly qualified healer as well as practitioner.
                        I will also say that my primary motivation in posting on the Shaolin Wahnam forum is to find a suitable system to transition into when I have completed my current training. This is several years away, but I feel it is wise to start looking now as schools of this nature are rare indeed. I’ve been greatly impressed Sifu Wong’s school and Buddhist teachings in general. I’ve also been impressed with this forum and its members. If any of you ever visited the Mo Pai forum (Wenwukuan) when it was still active, you can appreciate the professional nature of this forum. During the websites brief life Kostas and the forum moderators received an almost endless deluge of lunatic attacks, practical jokes and attempts to hack into student emails to get private information. Some people even sent death threats and begin harassing the school. Unfortunately the site was terminated.

                        To everyone who reads this post, regarding schools, systems or teachers whom they have heard of or know and hold in high regard, any information you can share is helpful and if I can return the favor, I’d be more than happy to. If the Buddhists are right and we really are all in this together then the intelligent thing to do is help each other get there. Where ever there is. In any case, I hope you will consider sharing what you know.

                        Respectfully, Sean Denty

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Specifications: horsepower, torque, mileage, curb weight?

                          Sean,

                          Can you please be more specific about what kind of meditation and/or martial art system you're looking for and the features it should have? It's like you're shopping for the "best" car in the world, but when someone shows you a few good ones, you do not give enough feedback about why you didn't wish to purchase it. I read that one of your requirements is an "authentic" system. I think any authentic system would also be complete, meaning you don't need anything from another system to achieve your aims.

                          I appreciated your candor regarding the Healing Tao. My impression of the Healing Tao was based on reading The Multi-Orgasmic Man and part of Iron Shirt Chi-Kung. Besides the obvious that publishing books is how to earn money, perhaps the books are just meant as a reference for people who have received face-to-face instruction. The impression they gave me was that you could learn the Small Universe in 6 months just from reading the books. Maybe I should have realized that no one would make such a claim and therefore I was misinterpreting? However, at the time I read it, it struck me that Master Chia was being irresponsible, although it should be noted I read the books before I learned qigong, and my attitudes have changed as my experiences have grown. I asked a friend who also had first hand experience with Healing Tao, and he said it was valid, but that it took a lot of time and dedication to get good results, which were definitely available, but the casual practice the books tend to indicate was not how to utilize the system.

                          Thanks,
                          Michael
                          Take kindness and benevolence as basis.
                          Take frankness and friendliness to heart.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael Udel
                            Sean,

                            Can you please be more specific about what kind of meditation and/or martial art system you're looking for and the features it should have? It's like you're shopping for the "best" car in the world, but when someone shows you a few good ones, you do not give enough feedback about why you didn't wish to purchase it. I read that one of your requirements is an "authentic" system. I think any authentic system would also be complete, meaning you don't need anything from another system to achieve your aims.
                            Michael,

                            Thanks for the reply. I must admit that searching for a teacher in this way, on a public forum via the internet, is, in all likelihood, a search in vain. However, I think that a sincere search can and should include a thorough exploration of as many avenues as possible; after all, many of my current teacher’s students came to know him through the internet.

                            I haven’t dismissed any information that the members of this forum, including you, have been so generous to share. In fact, I intend to follow up on several of the leads I’ve been given. One student was even kind enough to share the address of a very high level chi kung master whom they met. To answer your question I’m interested in hearing about any teachers whom you have met or heard about and hold in high regard. I hope I haven’t come off as ungrateful or dismissive of any information others have shared. On the contrary, I’m very grateful- thank you. I’d be more than happy to return the favor, in as much as I am capable.

                            Sifu Kostas would say that meeting a teacher or master is a matter of karma and something called Jodo. Jodo means “the will of heaven.” According to Jodo, as I understand it, “a thing” will ether happen or it will not; if it is the will of heaven, then it will happen- end of story. This belief, of course, is not exclusive to the Mo Pai. Many great masters have echoed this teaching. And, of course, this brings up all kinds of questions about free will and predetermination. It’s easy to be confused by this because it would seem that we have free will and we do; our will however, has its limits. The will of heaven on the other hand, does not- at least on this planet. The more I practice meditation and the more I learn about “man’s life,” the more I believe that anything we achieve in this life is through the grace of God.

                            This being said, the search continues; does it not? And rightly so. Even self realized masters continue on and evolve and grow to ever higher levels. My first experience with the martial arts was with a Shoalin Grandmaster, (Tai Chi Praying Mantis- Northern Shaolin) Sifu Ly from Vietnam. He is considered one of the greatest martial artists in the States by his peers in the Asian community. His nick name is “Steele Hands” because he has trained to a very high level in iron shirt and iron palm training. In his youth he was challenged by many skilled fighters and never defeated. Sifu Ly (pronounced Lee) used to say of his ability as a martial artist, “there is always a higher mountain.” I think he wanted his students to be humble no matter how good they were. The story comes from the good old days in China when there really was always a higher level teacher over the next mountain.

                            The following story was told to me by Kostas’ senior student in Greece. I think it will help illustrate my point and it’s a really good story:

                            One day at Sifu John Chang’s clinic in Java, three acupuncture needles mysteriously appeared in the wall. Sifu and his students were at a loss as to how this could have occurred. The following day the same thing happened. This continued for several days; each day Sifu would return from lunch to find three more needles in the wall.

                            At some point he sensed a presence in the room as three needles rose out of their cabinet, turned toward the wall, and shot across the room, imbedding deeply into the wall. John called out to this mysterious presence, “show yourself coward.” Presently a ball of condensed golden light floated into the room. Recognizing a challenge for what it was, he shot an energy blast from his palm directly at the sphere. The sphere in response deftly evaded the strike and remained floating nonchalantly in the air. What followed was an intense but largely one sided dual. The students who where present said that at one point Sifu Chang’s body literally became a blur as he moved faster and faster in his attempts to strike the sphere. After a while he gave up and the ball left as mysteriously as it had arrived.

                            A couple days later, while Sifu was away on business, a man came calling at his home. His wife answered the door and man asked her to deliver the following message to Sifu: “don’t be too proud.” Neither Sifu, nor his students knew this man and he never returned.

                            Best, Sean

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                            • #15
                              Now I get it. Took me a while.

                              Sean,

                              Very perceptive. The excellent story about Sifu Chang's mysterious challenger, and your efforts to find a teacher with whom you can continue your studies, remind me of the part of The Magus of Java where some of Sifu Chang's students visited China and other places to see if they could find other high-level teachers. In the book, John Chang says he himself made such searches and believed there were at least eight other people whom he could sense that were similar to him in abilities, but he did not know their identities or exact locations. It's interesting that someone eventually paid Sifu Chang a visit to demonstrate he wasn't the fastest gun in town after all, in a manner of speaking

                              I also believe in "the will of heaven." In the Karma vs. Fate thread I said that, according to my PGSG teacher's book, people have about 10% control during an individual lifetime, but they do not really exercise this control over anything important or life-changing, but always do the predictable thing according to the situation.

                              To elaborate, the amount of yuan qi (pre-natal qi discussed in this thread) bequeathed to a person by their parents and the cosmos, combined with the balance of their overall energy, which can be described in terms of yin/yang, is determined by the exact time of a person's birth. [There are likely other factors and deeper explanations I am not aware of as my study on this topic is neither deep nor wide.] This combination of amount of energy and its balance establishes the foundation for the personality, which is the sum of a person's attitudes. In any given situation, a person's attitude or pre-existing physical/emotional/mental disposition makes their behavior completely predictable. In spite of the existence and potential of free will, many people, perhaps most people, will live out thousands of incarnations on this planet without ever doing anything except what is predictable according to their personality and the situation into which they are placed by fate. Although some amount of free will exists, we are none of us free, but in the hands of God, bound to our fate and working collectively towards a specific purpose so we may eventually enjoy true freedom by overcoming the limitations of our origin.

                              The most interesting and unusual ability I have witnessed is my PGSG teacher's ability to do more than one thing simultaneously. It's a little more advanced than walking and chewing gum at the same time. He can do several completely different tasks with his mind at once, such as carry on a conversation with someonw while quieting his mind and remotely diagnosing, and then healing, another person far away, all while working in his garden or cooking without pause. Recently, when I first arrived in China, there was a rare opportunity to ask him about this ability with an interpreter present, and I said that I thought only a few people in history could ever do such a thing. He said yes, it's true, citing Sakyamuni Buddha, Jesus, and Paul II as examples of people who could "separate their minds" in such a way. He continued to explain the point further, but the interpreter was unable to continue translating, and by her facial expressions seemed to be stretched well past her limits. I think the topic was just too difficult for her, which I have experienced time and time again with other interpreters, hence my coming to China to learn Cantonese so I may communicate with Ou Wen Wei directly. Due to the language barrier, I don't know if other PGSG students have the ability to "separate their mind". I also do not know if this ability is an attainable goal through PGSG practice, but I'd like to find out.

                              Sean, best wishes in your search! I think it will prove fruitful. It's a good time.

                              Yours,
                              Michael
                              Last edited by Michael Udel; 27 May 2005, 01:59 AM.
                              Take kindness and benevolence as basis.
                              Take frankness and friendliness to heart.

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