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The Art of Chi Kung (After years of partial reads, finally cover-to-cover completion)

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  • The Art of Chi Kung (After years of partial reads, finally cover-to-cover completion)

    At LONG (LOOOOOOOOONG LONG) LAST!!!!!!! Today (after almost TENNNNNNN YEARS!!!) I have completed a cover-to-cover read through of Sifu's unparalleled and truly LEGENDARY The Art of Chi Kung!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I want to begin this review with a deep THANK YOU to Sifu for this book and for it being the original catalyst of my journey into genuine chi kung and the highest realizations, wisdom, intellectual awakenings, and benefits on every level of my life that I have EVER had (next to being born human and actually attending courses with Sifu, that is)!

    There are a few people who know the story of how it is this book made its way into my life, and it has been a thing which often puzzled, frequently disturbed, and sometimes soothed me. This book and what it contains and my need to have been united with it was NOT (1,000% NOT) my choice to have in my life. It chose ME. It's a long story and hopefully anyone who cares and who asks in person somewhere in this wide world can get to hear the odd tale, but, suffice it to say: I first read tons of the valuable pieces of priceless content in this book (again, flipping around randomly or one chapter or other at a time, out of sequence, for years and years) at the tender age of twelve (just a few months shy of thirteen). I happened to one day have my mind intruded upon by a voice, vision, and scene that commanded my direction, actions, and choice and purpose to lead me to pick up the book from a place it had no business being and, when later investigating how it was that I was able to come across it there, finding that it was not at all on any record or order or in anyone's field of knowledge. After beginning to delve into the book's majesty, my life profoundly changed and my world has never been the same since! I have a TON of stories I could relate about intense and amazing experiences (from ignoring warnings and practicing all manner of exercises, to fully completing the Cosmos Palm protocol in the book and even increasing its parameters and time frame for further effect which resulted in some WILD abilities and experiences, even stuff I could perform for and to other people, to even a horrifying litany of deviation experiences, etc.) ALLLLLL of which I am not proud of and feel the shame and embarrassment for being stupid enough to try from a book with CLEAR warnings to this day! haha Long story long, during my very first course with Sifu in New Hampshire in April 2015, I brought up this weird happenstance and my experience with the book, and he told me it seemed very much like divine guidance. I myself am not sure and have no way of telling what the exact purpose or reason behind my finding this book, and this school, and this wonderful teacher, but I do indeed know without any doubt that it has been the thing which has benefited my being most of any and all others in this life, and the thing which I have no doubt is, as far as I am aware at this stage in my life, what I am here to pursue, should no further purpose, mission, directions, orders, etc. be presented before me. My thanks for this alone will never suffice for the gift these have all been. I weep at my failure to be worthy and present appropriate appreciation; not enough lifetimes in Samsara to do so sufficiently either...

    Annnnnnnnyway; ONWARD, TO THE REVIEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I had recently finished the Complete Book of Zen and graduated from my university and now, being between academia and the "real world" of job hunting, I decided to at last make an honorable peace with this treasure and accept the gift of its knowledge and transmissions that it has asked me to. And so began my read-through.

    I had mentioned in my review of Chi Kung for Health and Vitality, that this book, unlike the other, is (comparatively) a 'philosopher's dream,' as it explores the complete breadth and depth of chi kung from the conceptual, theoretical, scientific, Eastern/Western philosophical, metaphysical, historical, practical, medical, martial, religious, cultural, spiritual, and even mundane levels/aspects (whereas the other book is more centered on the practical and practicable aspects of specific styles and focuses of the art, as well as thematic and holistic, exercise-specific elements). I will say now that it not only delivers on all of these aspects, to unfathomable degrees of intensity, depth, clarity, and readability, but it also outpaces even its own goals and aims, intimating FAR grander experiences and truths than what, perhaps, the casual reader might expect to be in for, and, of course, ever be truly ready for without proper initiation or, at least, philosophical preparation and exposure.

    From the arcane and ancient origins of this cosmically-birth art and its profound truths, to the echos of its function in prehistory, utilization throughout early civilizations all over the world, unique developments and influences on culture, psychology, the arts, military history, martial endeavors, the sciences, and global consciousness as a whole and in its various manifestations of practices and belief structures, the reader is taken down an incredibly well-researched and brilliantly presented documentation, explication, explanation, synthesis, translation, guide, and motivating tool-transmission, in order to understand and even have access to this almost undefinable and mysteriously profound art and its infinite reaches.

    Littered with practical exercises, intellectual commentary, citations and references t invaluable resources, a treasure-house of useful and profound quotations, scientific data and research, wonderful accounts of marvelous feats, truths, and pieces of key information from history and the modern day, beautifully written and exciting stories and personal experiences, metaphysical marvels made accessible and comprehensible, precious discourses and revelations on fundamental aspects of Chinese medicine and martial arts principles, explorations of the great works of the art and its off-shoots from the masters who presented them, a unique and truly cosmically-awakened presentation of the major spiritual aims of all religious and personal practices of people across time and space, and an ultimate and comprehensive message for all those seeking what the art can offer at all levels and especially through its highest aims, the book is, alone, MORE than enough of a resource for many lifetimes of either intellectual fascination, reading pleasure, scientific study, practical exploration, and even spiritual realization and awareness-building.

    It also closes on one of the most profound messages I have ever (re-)read in my life. I had mentioned in my review of The Complete Book of Zen that the book felt more like a practical transmission of skill than the run-of-the-mill information "download" that most books provide a reader's mind (speaking here of ALL of the book's sections, not specifically those with exercises presented, but even the most intellectually-oriented material... profound beyond words it truly was!). This book has similarly done the same in many places throughout, but, most profoundly so, for myself, at the very end; with its very final section, and sentence. I had a similar experience when I had read Sifu's autobiography last summer, cover-to-cover, and found myself in joyous and CRIPPLINGLY-HUMBLED tears at its final sentence and message.

    Sifu has left me and, I believe, any reader who is aware, with a GRAND transmission at the end of this book that, I believe, topples even that of the entire Complete Book of Zen. It is the transmission of a blessing of the means by which, through persistence and SIMPLE (though profound) commitment and dedicated practice in just embarking upon (with the smallllllllest ounce of desire) the path to the ultimate realization, one is able to fully realize the highest and most supreme aim of this, or any, art, and use that realization to benefit and exist for "the welfare and happiness of all humanity."

    My ecstatic happiness and empowerment has been and remains somber, deep, core-impacting, and complete.

    If this review did not hint at this statement, allow me to state in no uncertain terms: FIND THIS BOOK AND READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As close to a perfect book as I can imagine and one which all peoples of all times in all places can benefit from.

    Thank you to anyone who has made it this far; I hope this review has been helpful in some way and I wish you all the best and ONLY the best in all things! Thank you to Sifu and to all masters, practitioners, researchers, contributors, beneficiaries, and interested individuals of and in this most priceless and most precious of priceless and precious arts!

    Now to go contemplate my life, my future, how to increase and improve my feeble effort in making Sifu proud, and to start upon my next book for review: The Complete Book of Shaolin (which I have similarly had for some time, though nowhere near as long as this book, and have only read very few sections of in sporadic fashion)!

    Let me know if there is any other information you would like or if you have any questions at all!

    Take care, all, and stay in great chi!

    Infinite thanks, blessings, and smiles, forever,

    Kristian

  • #2
    Following the reception of some generous and most precious advice, and the realization that a good review should be both pleasant to read and informative, demonstrating the positive benefits of mental clarity and focus that our arts are meant to give, I have re-formatted and re-written the major sections of literary toxicity and smaller, comprehension hindering sentence-level portions of my above review and removed the 'chat-style' text of emotive extremity of which I am so improperly fond! I have also expanded or shortened certain sections and have tried to make clarity a focus, as a lack of brevity still subverts my attempts at saying more with less...

    Please find the revision below (as I was not able to figure out a way to edit my above post) and I hope that it is clear, enjoyable and helpful in steering any who have not read the book to pick it up and explore its marvels for themselves!:

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

    Review: Sifu's Legendary book, The Art of Chi Kung

    I preface my review with a deep thank you to Sifu for this book and for it being the original catalyst of my journey into genuine chi kung and the highest realizations, wisdom, intellectual awakenings, and benefits on every level of my life that I have ever had (next to being born human and actually attending courses in-person with Sifu, that is)!

    There are a few people who know the story of how it is that this book made its way into my life, and it has been a thing which often puzzled, frequently disturbed, and sometimes soothed me. This book, what it contains and my need to have been united with it was not at all my choice to have in my life. Rather, I know believe, it chose me. It came to me in a most unexpected and bizarre manner, which appeared even stranger the more I investigated my own experience and its appearance and presence in the situation. It also came to me at a time when my understanding, direction, and desires were not at all in line with the high level and perspective from which even the subject matter derives, let alone the high place within even that distinction that this book on the art holds.

    The story is a long one and hopefully anyone who cares and who asks in person somewhere in this wide world can get to hear the odd tale. It has been quite a journey, but, suffice it to say: I first began to pour through the valuable pieces of priceless content in this book (again, flipping around randomly or one chapter or other at a time, out of sequence, for years and years) at the tender age of twelve (just a few months shy of thirteen).

    I happened to one day have my mind intruded upon by a voice, vision, and scene that commanded my direction, actions, choice and purpose to lead me to pick up the book from a place it had no business being and, when later investigating how it was that I was able to come across it there, finding that it was not at all on any record or order or in anyone's field of knowledge. It simply did not belong and did not exist in any database, but, rather mysteriously or impossibly, had a label and code on it which had allowed me to procure and read it in the first place.

    After beginning to delve into the book's majesty, my life profoundly changed and my world has never been the same since! I have accrued a plethora of unusual stories I could relate about intense and amazing experiences, to extremely sad and scary ones as well; from ignoring warnings and practicing all manner of exercises within the book from meditations and advanced skills, to mixing whatever exercises I thought I would like, to even fully completing the Pushing Mountains aspect of the Cosmos Palm as described in the book, and even increasing its parameters and time frame for further effect (starting at 20 after 6 months of 36 breaths of what I thought was proper Abdominal Breathing, and increasing by one each day until I was at over 100, and continuing for roughly 9 months and then lowering to between 20 and 50 repetitions for maintenance for a few months after). What a misguided use of a great text!

    This resulted in some wild abilities and experiences, even stuff I could perform for, upon and to other people, including performing chi kung in my sleep in a lucid state and awakening mid-mountain-push for many nights, solid "balls" of energy in my palms that others could feel as well, extreme heat 24/7 emanating from their center which I could 'put-into' others or surprise them with a sudden and intense 'burn' through a hand placement, being able to pull and move energy in the arms of others that they could sense, 'pour' it through their hands, and other insane happenings, to even (what was bound to happen from such ridiculous and genuinely idiotic experimentation) a horrifying litany of deviation experiences, paralyzed sleep 'attack' experiences/hallucinations, physical and psychological health conditions, etc.

    ALL of which I am not proud of and feel the shame and embarrassment for being stupid enough to try, from a book with CLEAR warnings and explanations regarding them, to this day! What a profoundly extreme amount of time to have misspent when just ONE right step in the direction of seeking qualified instruction would have spared my health, years of problems/life degradation, and put me on the path to real success much earlier than my starting again as a fresh beginner over one year ago!

    The experiences and subsequent harms and deviations I had even turned me away from genuine Chi Kung and had me labeling it something dangerous, outlandish, psychedelic/mind-hacking and illusory, and even demonic. Little did I realize it was merely my own misguided and darkened, crooked misuse of a practice more pure and beneficial than breathing air that was the real evil and corruption. Many things have I had to pay for since, due to that ignorance and willful abuse...

    Long story long, during my very first course with Sifu in New Hampshire in April 2015, I brought up the weird happenstance of discovering the book and how I wasn't sure what to make of it, and he told me the events and their circumstances seemed very much like divine guidance. I myself am not sure and have no way of telling for what exact purpose or reason I've come across this book, and this school, and this wonderful teacher, but I do indeed know without any doubt that it has been the thing which has benefited my being most of any and all others in this life, and the thing which I have no doubt is, as far as I am aware at this stage in my life, what I am here to pursue, should no further purpose, mission, directions, orders, etc. be made clear to me, or any desires outweigh the inestimable benefits of this practice (not likely!). My thanks for this alone will never suffice for the gift these have all been. I weep at my failure to be worthy and present appropriate appreciation; there are not enough lifetimes in Samsara to sufficiently do so either...

    And now, onto the review proper!

    I had recently finished the Complete Book of Zen and graduated from my university this past May and now, being between academia and the "real world" of job hunting, I decided to at last make an honorable peace with this treasure and accept the gift of the knowledge and transmissions that it has asked me to by exploring it start to finish. And so began my read-through.

    I had mentioned in my review of Chi Kung for Health and Vitality, that this book, unlike the other, is (comparatively) a 'philosopher's dream,' as it explores the complete breadth and depth of chi kung from the conceptual, theoretical, scientific, Eastern/Western philosophical, metaphysical, historical, practical, medical, martial, religious, cultural, spiritual, and even mundane levels/aspects (whereas the other book is more centered on the practical and practicable aspects of specific styles and focuses of the art, as well as thematic and holistic, exercise-specific elements). I will say now that it not only delivers on all of these aspects, to unfathomable degrees of intensity, depth, clarity, and readability, but it also outpaces even its own goals and aims, intimating far grander experiences and truths than what, perhaps, the casual reader might expect to be in or truly ready for, without proper initiation or at least philosophical preparation and exposure.

    From the arcane and ancient origins of this cosmically-birthed art and its profound truths, to the echos of its function in prehistory, utilization throughout early civilizations all over the world, unique developments and influences on culture, psychology, the arts, military history, martial endeavors, the sciences, global consciousness as a whole, and in its various manifestations of practices and belief structures, the reader is taken down an incredibly well-researched and brilliantly presented documentation, explication, explanation, synthesis, translation, guide, and motivational tool-transmission, in order to understand and even have glimpses of and access to this almost undefinable, mysteriously profound art and its infinite reaches.

    Littered with practical exercises, intellectual commentary, citations and references to invaluable resources, a treasure-house of useful and profound quotations, scientific data and research, wonderful accounts of marvelous feats, truths, and pieces of key information from history and the modern day, beautifully written and exciting stories and personal experiences, metaphysical marvels made accessible and comprehensible, precious discourses and revelations on fundamental aspects of Chinese medicine and martial arts principles, it is truly a complete book. But it does not stop there!

    It adds to these many elements meticulous explorations of the great works of the art and its off-shoots from the masters who presented them, a unique and truly cosmically-awakened presentation of the major spiritual aims of all religious and personal practices of people across time and space, and an ultimate and comprehensive message for all those seeking what the art can offer at any levels of need or interest and especially through its highest aims and possibilities. The book is, alone, MORE than enough of a resource for many lifetimes of either intellectual fascination, reading pleasure, scientific study, practical exploration, and even spiritual realization and awareness-building.

    What has impacted me most in this read-through is the book's conclusion. It ends on one of the most profound messages I have ever (re-)read in my life. I had mentioned in my review of The Complete Book of Zen (speaking here of all of the book's sections, not specifically those with exercises presented, but even the most intellectually-oriented material) that the book felt more like a practical transmission of skill than the run-of-the-mill information "download" that most books provide a reader's mind. This book has similarly done this and to high degrees of profundity in many places throughout, but, most significantly so, for myself, at the very end; with its very final section, and sentence. I had a similar experience when I had read Sifu's autobiography last summer, cover-to-cover, and found myself in joyous and CRIPPLINGLY-HUMBLED tears at its final sentence and heartfelt message.

    Sifu has left me and, I believe, any reader who is aware, with a GRAND transmission at the end of this book that, I believe, topples even that of the entire Complete Book of Zen. It is the transmission of a blessing of the means by which, through persistence and SIMPLE (though profound) commitment and dedicated practice toward the ultimate realization, one is able to fully realize the highest and most supreme aim of this, or any, art, and use that realization to benefit and exist for "the welfare and happiness of all humanity."

    My ecstatic happiness and empowerment has been and remains somber, deep, core-impacting, and complete. Sifu has in this and, I believe, all of his books, given us and all mankind so much that we could never repay the effort, openness, generosity, and blessings therein.

    If this review did not hint at this statement, allow me to state in no uncertain terms: FIND THIS BOOK AND READ IT!

    As close to a perfect book as I can imagine and one which all peoples of all times in all places can benefit from.

    Thank you to anyone who has made it this far in my (still) rambling and only somewhat-clearer writing; I hope this review has been helpful in some way and I wish you all the best and ONLY the best in all things!

    Thank you again and forever to Sifu and to all masters, practitioners, researchers, contributors, beneficiaries, and interested individuals of and in this most priceless and most precious of priceless and precious arts!

    Once more, let me know if there is any other information you would like or if you have any questions, comments, or advice at all!

    Take care, all, and stay in greater and greater chi, always!

    Infinite thanks, blessings, and smiles, all day every day for all of you,

    Kristian

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