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  • Asking for help/advice on what steps to take

    Hello everyone!

    I want to ask anyone willing to help me on ehat steps to take regarding courses/classes.

    I am Alonso from Switzerland. I am a student of Sifu Wong since September 2017. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia earlier this year.

    ​​​​​My first contact with Shaolin Wahnam was in August 2016 through Sifu Andrew who treated me with QEA. I used to rely on him and Sifu when it came to guidance and help. However, my situation is a little complicated.

    I had my first crisis in July 2017, two months before attending my first chi kung courses in Zurich. After that, symptoms of schizophrenia reappeared and I had a QEA session after which things degenerated.

    ​​​​I lost contact with Sifu Andrew after that (besides a few mails) and later with Sifu Wong. Besides a few mails from Sifu Andrew, I have had no help or advice from them since last year. So I decided to ask here.

    The reason this is tricky is that I did not know that I had schizophrenia due to psychiatrists never giving us a formal diagnosis until this year. They talked about anxiety, crisis, etc and to be honest my family and me had hope. So I've received some help from other instructors here and there (I can clarify this in future posts) but I always told them that my condition was due to spirits which I firmly believed.

    I contacted Sifu Andrew some time ago in order to attend the Secrets of Internal Force course but he told me that the cleansing would be too much. So I am careful in terms of what I could do to improve.

    I have had healing sessions (for spirits) and went to a few kung fu classes last year. I am open to any advice.

    Thank you in advance for your help. As I said, I have no trouble giving any information in relation to my condition, what healing I have received, etc.

    All the best,
    Alonso

  • #2
    Hi Alonso,

    I imagine all of that must be quite challenging. This is one of the imperfections of the Western medical system, in that conditions often go untreated for far too long simply because of the wrong diagnosis. This is one of the things I like about Chinese medicine. One needn't have a specific Western diagnosis to be able to have a positive therapeutic effect.

    As to your situation, I would honestly recommend consistent but low level practice for some time. Stick to the basics: Lifting the Sky, Carrying the Moon, and the like. This is the best way to help stabilize your symptoms so that you might eventually get rid of them. I have a dear friend diagnosed with Schizo-Affective Disorder. Qigong has been instrumental in stabilizing her symptoms, getting her off lithium, getting rid of her migraines, and helping her to become a nurse and fully functional member of society. However, at this point, higher level qigong is still too much for her and stirs up a lot of cleansing. Sometimes it's better to take the gentler slope up the mountain even if it takes longer.

    With my students that have a number of health issues, Sifu has repeatedly told me that they will do better with lower level qigong and I have seen this to be the case in my classes. Stick to the basics consistently, then see what else you might need.

    All the best,

    Molly
    有志著事竟成

    Shaolin Wahnam Twin Cities

    Genuine Shaolin Kungfu and Qigong in Minnesota
    https://www.shaolinwahnamtc.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Alonso,

      Originally posted by Jinkaku View Post
      I want to ask anyone willing to help me on what steps to take regarding courses/classes...

      I contacted Sifu Andrew some time ago in order to attend the Secrets of Internal Force course but he told me that the cleansing would be too much. So I am careful in terms of what I could do to improve.
      Results with chi kung come from consistent, daily practice, and not from taking the "next" course/class. My first advice would be to make sure you are following the instructions, and practicing every day. If you have been inconsistent with your practice, or feel you could use a refresher on the basics, Sihing Andrew is teaching a Chi Kung Foundations course the day before the Internal Force course. Perhaps he has suggested this already. This could be a good jump start back into a regular practice.

      If practicing chi kung and/or QEA treatments have helped, I would advise you continue to do what has helped. If that has not helped, then doing more of "that" will likely also not be helpful, and it may be time to explore other avenues.

      The reason this is tricky is that I did not know that I had schizophrenia due to psychiatrists never giving us a formal diagnosis until this year. They talked about anxiety, crisis, etc and to be honest my family and me had hope. So I've received some help from other instructors here and there (I can clarify this in future posts) but I always told them that my condition was due to spirits which I firmly believed.
      You say that you and your family had hope, before being diagnosed with schizophrenia, when your experience was being described in different terms. Rather than think and speak of schizophrenia as something you "have", think and speak of it as something you are "currently experiencing". It can be very difficult to change your experience once you have decided that it is permanent.

      Additionally, if you firmly believe that your experiences are due to spirits, then you should seek spiritual guidance/treatment/etc. Chi Kung and Kung fu classes, while occasionally providing "spiritual" experiences, are not spiritual practices. They are chi practices. If you're hungry, eat. If you're thirsty, drink. Eating when you are thirsty could make things worse.

      My gut feeling, when reading your post, is that there is more to the story than you have written. You mention having been given advice/teaching/healing/help from Sifu, Sihing Andrew, and "other instructors here and there". That seems like a lot of people. Are you actually putting their advice to use, as advised? Or do you think you may be trying to be "smarter than the master", and approaching their advice with your own thoughts on what is best? It's a common trap, and not meant to be a comment on you, personally, but maybe something that deserves a bit of introspection. I have found that to be useful with my own practice.

      -Matt


      Comment


      • #4
        Hi, and thanks for your replies! I do not know how to quote yet, I apologize. So I will do it like this:


        To Molly: Thank you for your kind reply! I was told by Sifu last year to practice only Lifting the Sky. This was back when I thought I was being attacked by spirits.
        ​​Regarding keeping it low level, I understand. I was wondering though, if kung fu for example would help. Or the intensive chi king course. These always seemed like safe options, but since that reply from Sifu Andrew I am more careful. Money is also an issue, but that might be irrelevant in this post.
        In any way, thanks a lot for your kind reply!

        To Matt: Your gut feeling is right, although it isn't as complicated. There are two phases. The first phase where I thought that I was being attacked by spirits and followed multiple advice, often abandonning one in favor of the other. The other phase is when I accepted it to be something else. Since then I mostly ask what I should practice or if it is okay to add more exercises than Lifting the Sky, things like that. I also ask about other issues not relevant to this post (these are issues known mainly to Sifu Wong and Sifu Andrew and I do not wish to make them known to everyone).

        The reason this is so "complicated" is that this illness (I do believe it to be schizophrenia now, even if there are weird "details" about it) started with a "crisis" where I was completely disconnected from reality and thought that I was talking to higher beings. I have had more of those over time. Not being explained what was going on by two psychiatrists didn't help.

        I'm sure that you can understand in what "state" I was last year and why I didn't understand why the advice given didn't seem to match my experience. It is different now. But as I said, I have no trouble giving more details.

        I should point out that I practice my chi kung twice a day. I do only Lifting the Sky, although I have added a few repetitions of Pushing Mountains on a few occasions including tonight. I used to practice Cosmic Shower too (with good results I feel) but now am not sure and let it aside.
        When I have those "crisis", though, I forget about chi kung and this can last for months. This is why attending regular kung fu classes for example was tricky in the past. But maybe I can find a solution.

        There might still be more that I could explain, but I try as in my first post to keep it relatively simple. So if there are any more details I don't "give", I have no trouble replying.
        I will contact Sifu Andrew about the first course. Maybe this could work.


        Thanks to both!

        All the best,
        Alonso

        Comment


        • #5
          Molly and Matt are both correct. The key advice is to follow instructions. We have been through this numerous times. Practice Lifting the Sky once a day at a low level. Be patient and stop trying to get new inputs from other instructors, systems, internet sources, etc. You have, in the past, ignored advice from Sifu and me. You have, despite our advice, taken courses with other instructors. You have, despite our advice, used internet resources for "spiritual" purposes. As you well know, this has been a repeating pattern. This may, of course, be in connection with the base issue, but this (following instructions) is your responsibility and not ours.

          By the way, keep your doctor in the loop. The doctor may not understand the Chi Kung perspective, but he/she will be able to offer you support within their paradigm.
          Sifu Andrew Barnett
          Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

          Flowing Health GmbH www.flowing-health.ch (Facebook: www.facebook.com/sifuandrew)
          Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
          Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

          Chi Kung Courses: May 2019 in Landquart CH
          QEA Discussion Forum: www.qea.ch/forum

          Comment


          • #6
            Dear Sifu Andrew,

            Thank you for your reply.
            I recognize this as a (big) problem. I used to play mantras and take reiki attunements knowing that you told me to stick to the Guan Yin mantra. I also used videos during a crisis for chasing demons. However, after that, I have not used the internet for such purposes and am "afraid" of New Age stuff. I certainly believe it to be dangerous.
            Regarding taking other courses, I am not trying to be smarter than you, but I do not recall having being adviaed against that, which is why I took a course with Sifu Roland. I believe it to have been of great help, especially since I had difficulty practicing. I will keep your advice in mind.

            Thank you also for your advice regarding my doctor. He seems to be excellent in his field.

            I will stick to Lifting the Sky once a day, but in case I feel it (and if my judgement is rational) to be not enough, is it okay to ask here? Besides a few periods, I feel like my chi kung does not make much of a difference. I attribute these improvements to chi kung, certainly, but they have not much of an influence in my proper functionning as a member of society. This is why I was interested in kung fu, for example.

            Thanks to Sifu Andrew, Molly and Matt.

            All the best,
            Alonso
            Last edited by Jinkaku; 12th September 2019, 11:38 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi everyone,

              Today has been a day of reflection and I can say that I am grateful that I posted on the forum amd received kind advice.

              In 2017 I had a chance to attended the Intensive chi kung course as Sifu Wong had insisted to me for a long time. But long story short, I couldn't attend and this was revelaed to me in a negative manner.

              ​​​​​​I had noticed before that a tendency and a "need" to be fed spiritually as Sifu Andrew mentionned. I went through phases of donations, daily prayers, sending blessings, etc to then resume more normal activities for another period and so on.

              I avoided reading scriptures as I was going through cleansing and I thought that the negativity I expelled would bring bad results (karma). So after I knew that I wouldn't attend the intensive course, I watched the mantra videos I mentionned above and later the reiki. When I noticed that it could be bad, I sent mails to Sifu Andrew. Curiously he did not receive mails from me during that phase. This is when I had my first crisis. I believe that what I did then caused it.

              After losing touch with Sifu Andrew, I contacted Sifu Roland for a course. By then I had developed a fear of such videos but lost fear of the scriptures, etc. Back then, I believed that I was prone to spirits.

              No advice seemed to help besides Sifu Roland's. His advice resonated with what I still remembered from Sifu Wong's advice, so I followed it in terms of what to practice. However, I still went through two healing sessions with Sifu Claude Scicluna (the second one being unsuccessful).

              I believe that I can be very impatient when it comes to long illnesses. This is something I have to correct by means of letting go of the need to be healed.
              Another thing I have noticed is that I go through phases where I forget about all the lessons I discuss now.

              I do in fact practice other things besides my chi kung since I came back from 2 very long "crisis"/"episodes" in June.
              I pray a lot and read, whenever possible and in a comfortable manner, buddhist scriptures and prayers mainly from the FPMT organization. I consider this to be safe, especially since I am in contact with them. In fact, I was told to contact Lama Zopa Rinpoche which I will do.
              I do this for my karma and so that I can transfer lots of merit, including to our school. Is this safe to do once in a while? I do not meditate or engage in any other practice.

              The other thing is that I was invited by a very loving neighbour to a healing mass right after I came back from a crisis in June. I admit I did not think about any advice then. The healing meant that my emotions were stabilized for me for a while, something I do not get from chi kung (yet).
              But the most important is that I go with them to "prayer groups" where we chant and pray out loud. This has gotten me the result of feeling closer to Christ and feeling that my prayers are answered. I do feel a relationship wih Him. It is not related to healing (although my friends pray for me), but has given me a new faith to continue through this alone and most importantly, to go through it without the need to consult healers, etc.

              I ask now, is this safe? It seems to go against Sifu Andrew's last advice, although it is not related to healing (but closely related to well-being). I do care about those practices which have helped me a lot (and saved me from danger), but given the discussion here I feel like they could be a problem.

              This is the kind of mindset that makes me ask other instructors. I apologize if this is a problem indeed (given my condition I see it as a reasonnable question, but could be wrong). I ask all this because I can see how my viewpoint seems to be very different from everyone. However, I ask about what I perceive to be true needs and not urges to not follow advice or anything like that.

              I apologize also if this is not the place. I am relatively new to the forum.

              Thanks in advance.

              All the best,
              Alonso

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Alonso,

                I heard something several years ago, that really struck true with me. It was that any and ALL practices, rituals, symbols, etc. serve as a permission slip, that you give to yourself, to allow you to experience more of your true self/being. The key that allows you to give yourself this permission, is belief and confidence in what you are doing.

                Initially, for me, this was disheartening, realizing that none of these practices was the "real truth" and none of it was truly "effective". But I came to realize that was a negative way to view it, and in fact the opposite was also true, ALL of the practices are effective. Rather than searching for a practice that proves to you its worth, be on the lookout for a practice that gives you a feeling of, "Hmm, that seems good to me. I really like that!" And then enjoy that practice and the benefits that come with it.

                That feeling may last forever, or it may fade with time. If it fades, let it go happily, and be excited about finding the next thing that gives you that great feeling. Don't fall into the trap of, "this works for other people, it isn't working for me. What is wrong with ME?" If you find yourself adding things and changing the practice from how you were instructed, it's a good sign that you do not truly believe in that practice. That's completely fine, and you should not judge yourself for feeling that way. Do not try to force that practice upon yourself.

                Seek your bliss. Find that thing that simply feels right and good, and then enjoy doing it. If you find yourself thinking, "well, I HAVE to do X, because something bad will happen if I don't do X", that's a sure sign that X is not your bliss.

                -Matt

                Comment


                • #9
                  Very nice Matt

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi everyone! And sorry for the late reply.

                    I am on somebody's phone so I apologize if my answers are badly written.

                    Thank you Matt for such an enlightening reply. It really resonated with me.

                    I decided to follow Sifu Andrew's advice as soon as I read it. I now practice only once a day. I dropped my buddhist practices also. This might prove more difficult with the Christian group as I have made good friends and there is a level of committment. But I am sure I can find a way.

                    As soon as I started with practicing at a lower level, I felt much lighter. Since yesterday, I have also felt and Seen noticeable improvements, including (momentary) disappearance of symptoms. So I will continue this way.

                    To answer you Matt. I come from Zen buddhism. I practiced it as a way to face and heal from a difficult situation. I dropped it as soon as I discovered chi kung (from other websites and layer from videos and the Shaolin.org website).
                    During the QEA phase before my first course, I felt more connected and drawn to something spiritual, even religious. Hence my experiments which I regret. This also disappeared after learning from Sifu. I had found my way.

                    The problem came when the illness really manifestes. I felt the urge and pressure to correct my previous faults and bad karma. Chi kung became an obligation and symptoms préventes me from enjoying it.

                    I believe I reached a safer place thanks to all of you. I am Indeed grateful each day.

                    To answer more in détail I should point out that I do not feel 100% responsable for many of m'y choices during this period, including with healing, etc.
                    For exemple, Reading the book Sukhavati quickly led to Buddhism, etc.
                    Also, I did not practiced for long periods of time, although I probably would have. I feel free of all that now. So thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nice work, Alonso! Keep up the good work!

                      -Matt

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