Talk some shen into me

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Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Fri Mar 25, 2022 4:58 am

So I've been playing lately with Shen.

The details are a bit beyond the scope of a forum post, but basically by changing the spiritual attitude I'm maintaining I experience qualitative differences in the feeling and feedback I'm getting from the form. It's really cool stuff that is just sort of developing, or I'm just now becoming aware of.

So tell me, please, learned fistians...

How do you understand, talk about, cultivate, and use Shen in your practice?
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Bao on Fri Mar 25, 2022 5:34 am

Have no idea what you are talking about.

The arts have very specific ways to practice Shen. Relaxing, sinking, emptiness, awareness. Etc. If you have gone through all of the stages and understand them, then there is room for experimentation. if you don't you will probably find that you are heading in the wrong path, away from what is important.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Fri Mar 25, 2022 6:01 am

That may well be the case. What I'm calling Shen here could be something else entirely. It just seems to line up with the ideas I've seen about Shen and my current understanding based on the last 20 years or so of multidisciplinary study, contemplation, practice, and application.

What you're describing seems to me to be the prerequisites for being aware of and working with what I'm talking about. The foundation steps. The standard curriculum. Taoist alchemical cultivation.

I haven't run into any direct instruction concerning the actual use of Shen, though. Once you are aware of this thing and start being able to use it and see effects in the real world it's pretty hard to deny.

About the only thing approaching practical instruction is the story of the tea master who was challenged to a duel by a sword master over the affections of a beautiful young woman.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Bao on Fri Mar 25, 2022 6:14 am

Ok, thank you for explaining.

origami_itto wrote:I haven't run into any direct instruction concerning the actual use of Shen, though.


The only practical instruction directly on Shen that I've received is more what people call Yanshen or "eye spirit". I've been told to have a relaxed, gentle "stare" when I practice tai chi. This should also help the focus of the overall Shen. Whatever that is...
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby cloudz on Fri Mar 25, 2022 7:48 am

I guess, just keep heading towards emptiness..
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Fri Mar 25, 2022 7:55 am

Bao wrote:Ok, thank you for explaining.

origami_itto wrote:I haven't run into any direct instruction concerning the actual use of Shen, though.


The only practical instruction directly on Shen that I've received is more what people call Yanshen or "eye spirit". I've been told to have a relaxed, gentle "stare" when I practice tai chi. This should also help the focus of the overall Shen. Whatever that is...


I have seen some instruction on that as well, keeping a fighting spirit, for example.

The stories about the yang family sometimes mention the various looks in their eyes as well, and also spontaneous joy and elation on their face as they practiced.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul.

To be more clear about what I am discovering...

The specific "spiritual posture" maintained while engaging in alchemical practices influences the nature of the natural, comfortable, at rest spirit. It also increases the... Strength? Of the spirit overall but of that specific posture specifically as well.

Additionally it seems to increase the efficacy of the physical manifestation of spiritual impulses generated in that state.

All you need to do is know how to "tune in" to a particular frequency, so to speak, work the iron in that headspace, refine, and strengthen it.

So, like, is any of this tracking for anybody?
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Appledog on Fri Mar 25, 2022 8:13 am

origami_itto wrote:That may well be the case. What I'm calling Shen here could be something else entirely. [...]

About the only thing approaching practical instruction is the story of the tea master who was challenged to a duel by a sword master over the affections of a beautiful young woman.


What?

origami_itto wrote:The specific "spiritual posture" maintained while engaging in alchemical practices influences the nature of the natural, comfortable, at rest spirit. It also increases the... Strength? Of the spirit overall but of that specific posture specifically as well.

Additionally it seems to increase the efficacy of the physical manifestation of spiritual impulses generated in that state.

All you need to do is know how to "tune in" to a particular frequency, so to speak, work the iron in that headspace, refine, and strengthen it.

So, like, is any of this tracking for anybody?


I don't think any of this has anything to do with shen. I've actually just received some info on shen, by chance, a couple of days before this post. That being said, I sincerely believe it's way beyond the scope of this forum. Hold that thought.

I've multiple times introduced and explained the six character formula 形勢意氣勁神 -- xing, shi, yi, qi, jing, shen. In general it seems people weren't ready to discuss that formula yet. Hold that thought. Here's a different formula-- from the taoists -- 精氣神虚道. Now we see that jing (精) refers to the physical level, which is 形勢意 xing shi yi. Xu then in the jing (勁) stage, and after comes shen (called 虚). 道 dao means enlightenment.

SO what is shen? If you are familiar with the process, then you have one line (one poem) and anorther line (another poem) which intersect and thus create a single point, the meaning of shen. If you are unfamiliar with the process you have several options. One, ask your teacher (or find a teacher who can explain it to you). Two, don't worry about it, because you are climing a ladder and as you make progress you will eventually figure it out.

So basically having a definition of shen is not important, because you wil reach that stage out of regular practice whether or not you know what it is. Now, if you want to know what it is because you want to teach people, that's another story, but again that is something your teacher will likely have to pass on to you. It's a difficult topic to address in writing, because you have to be 'on board' with the standard classical definitions of everything else to then understand shen as it is normally used. It's a lot of information to work out. Do you understand those formulas I posted?
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Fri Mar 25, 2022 8:15 am

Appledog wrote:
origami_itto wrote:That may well be the case. What I'm calling Shen here could be something else entirely. [...]

About the only thing approaching practical instruction is the story of the tea master who was challenged to a duel by a sword master over the affections of a beautiful young woman.


What?

origami_itto wrote:The specific "spiritual posture" maintained while engaging in alchemical practices influences the nature of the natural, comfortable, at rest spirit. It also increases the... Strength? Of the spirit overall but of that specific posture specifically as well.

Additionally it seems to increase the efficacy of the physical manifestation of spiritual impulses generated in that state.

All you need to do is know how to "tune in" to a particular frequency, so to speak, work the iron in that headspace, refine, and strengthen it.

So, like, is any of this tracking for anybody?


I don't think any of this has anything to do with shen. I've actually just received some info on shen, by chance, a couple of days before this post. That being said, I sincerely believe it's way beyond the scope of this forum. Hold that thought.

I've multiple times introduced and explained the six character formula 形勢意氣勁神 -- xing, shi, yi, qi, jing, shen. In general it seems people weren't ready to discuss that formula yet. Hold that thought. Here's a different formula-- from the taoists -- 精氣神虚道. Now we see that jing (精) refers to the physical level, which is 形勢意 xing shi yi. Xu then in the jing (勁) stage, and after comes shen (called 虚). 道 dao means enlightenment.

SO what is shen? If you are familiar with the process, then you have one line (one poem) and anorther line (another poem) which intersect and thus create a single point, the meaning of shen. If you are unfamiliar with the process you have several options. One, ask your teacher (or find a teacher who can explain it to you). Two, don't worry about it, because you are climing a ladder and as you make progress you will eventually figure it out.

So basically having a definition of shen is not important, because you wil reach that stage out of regular practice whether or not you know what it is. Now, if you want to know what it is because you want to teach people, that's another story, but again that is something your teacher will likely have to pass on to you. It's a difficult topic to address in writing, because you have to be 'on board' with the standard classical definitions of everything else to then understand shen as it is normally used. It's a lot of information to work out. Do you understand those formulas I posted?


I'm not familiar with that formula. What can you tell me about it?
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Appledog on Fri Mar 25, 2022 8:21 am

origami_itto wrote:I'm not familiar with that formula. What can you tell me about it?


It's a long discussion. I'd start by approaching it this way; are you familiar with the three flowers? https://medium.com/a-beginners-guide-to ... 3bca0e6308

Questions would be; one, which jing is being talked about here; 'jing, qi, shen' or 'yi qi jing (jin) shen'?

Two, do you understand what qi is and how it is used in tai chi? The article is quoted as saying:

So, what exactly is qi? Biomedicine does not recognize qi as a substance of the body, and yet it is key to Chinese medicine. Qi is the vital energy of the body.

In the classics of Chinese medicine, it is said that “human life depends upon qi” and that “when qi gathers, the physical body is formed; when it disperses, the body dies.” In other words, qi is what makes the difference between a cow and a raw steak behind the glass at the butcher’s counter.

As with any other substance in the body, qi has specific functions. It is the source of all movement in the body, it warms the body to maintain a normal temperature, it defends the body against pathogens, it transforms food into useful substances in the body, and it helps to hold things in their proper places (for example, it keeps organs from prolapsing and contains blood in the vessels).

The category of “Qi” in the Three Treasures also includes two other vital substances: blood and body fluids. Blood and body fluids are included in the category of qi because they cannot form without the transformative actions of qi. Blood is seen as a major yin substance in the body, and its main function is nourishing the body. Body fluids encompass all fluids in the human body from sweat to tears to lymphatic and synovial fluid.


This understanding is clearly written by someone who does not know what Qi is or how it is used in Tai Chi. "In the classics..." I don't want to know about what is written in the classics, I want to know if you can feel it in your body. "Qi is what makes the difference between a cow and a raw steak behind the glass at the butcher’s counter." What! This is a generalization and a simplification which while true, belies a non-understanding of the subject. It's like saying the difference between a car with gas and a car without gas is that the car without gas is so rusty it cannot be driven. Can you see that from how they write the description? Can we say this Qi is the same Qi as xing shi yi qi jing shen or not?

Finally, can we say that shen in jing qi shen is the same or different than yi qi jing (jin) shen? If you think it is the same or different I am just curious to know why. Also if you have heard of any exercises that train shen (you don't have to say which ones I'm just curious if you know). So I can know where to try and begin.
Last edited by Appledog on Fri Mar 25, 2022 8:31 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Fri Mar 25, 2022 8:45 am

Appledog wrote:Finally, can we say that shen in jing qi shen is the same or different than yi qi jing (jin) shen? If you think it is the same or different I am just curious to know why. Also if you have heard of any exercises that train shen (you don't have to say which ones I'm just curious if you know). So I can know where to try and begin.


Yes, to my understanding the shen of the alchemical process expressed by jing->qi->shen and the shen sometimes referred to in shen->yi->qi->jin, but which I like to consider as shen->xin->yi->qi->jin for specific reasons are the same shen.

I think they are same because I am ignorant, by all means correct my understanding, that is what I am here for.

It's a bit ridiculous of you to ask me about exercises to train it, though. Did you not just categorically state that I was not speaking of Shen?

To answer that illogical question, there is a system of cultivation and refinement you may be familiar with known as Taijiquan. Look into it, it's a fascinating art.

Get that oxen pulling the plow.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Appledog on Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:22 am

origami_itto wrote:Yes, to my understanding the shen of the alchemical process expressed by jing->qi->shen and the shen sometimes referred to in shen->yi->qi->jin, but which I like to consider as shen->xin->yi->qi->jin for specific reasons are the same shen.

I think they are same because I am ignorant, by all means correct my understanding, that is what I am here for.


I'll be honest I have no idea what you are talking about, I can't understand anything you are saying :) WRT shen->yi though, there is no process by which shen goes to yi -- through xin or not. It's like in the formulas, but the three flowers are different from the formulas, they don't mention the same thing per-se but a diferent kind of process. Related but different. I think if I had more time right now I would discuss where yi fits in with the three flowers, that would be an interesting discussion that might help set the background here -- but alas I have a class. I think if you have any more specific questions that might help get me started, otherwise I will just keep this all in mind and try to comment on it by-the-way in other posts when it comes to me. Honestly I just don't even know where to begin. Do you have any videos of yourself doing tai chi online? Do you teach others?
Last edited by Appledog on Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:35 am

I don't currently teach or share video, so by all means take it all as the speculation and observation of an eager student. Disregard it, disqualify it, whatever you like.

Look into the formulas I mentioned, maybe there's some clarity in my intent to be found. They are by no means secret or hard to find information about.

I'm describing a repeatable process with observable results and attempting to understand it through the lens of Taijiquan.

The main idea here, call it what you like, is that what I call the "spiritual posture" you assume when engaging in alchemical practices cultivates the abundance and strength of that posture.

What is a spiritual posture? It is the organization of the spirit when approaching a task. I misspoke earlier, the story is of a tea ceremony master and a samurai and there was no woman involved.

The various postures have various uses when approaching tasks and life in general. Scolding a child, reprimanding a subordinate professionally, speaking to a superior, conquering an adversary, seducing a lover.

But can you be aware of your posture and influence it? Once you've gotten that, then what I'm speaking of is a method to train it.

So, you don't think that is Shen. What do you think it is?
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby everything on Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:41 am

changing the spiritual attitude I'm maintaining I experience qualitative differences in the feeling and feedback I'm getting from the form.

I think it's more the opposite for me, usually. Having qualitative difference in form or standing or even just posture (not a fan of Amy Cuddy's ted talk as we have all that and more in IMA already, but it popularizes a tiny aspect of these things) affects my "shen".

but it sounds very cool what you're finding.
Last edited by everything on Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Quigga on Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:51 am

Attitude, state of 'mind' (not strictly proficiency in use of sense gates, but later will become part of it), equanamity, balance, outlook on life, stance in life, ...

What you believe in, believe to be true. What those beliefs are based on. Your motivations and where they originate. Belief is Heart, Motivations are Kidneys, Action is Liver, Result is Lungs, Digestion is Orchestrator - Balancer - Playing Field (Earth)

"shen->xin->yi->qi->jin"

"Shen" is actually Hun or Wood in this formula. That's what's meant by it IMO. Meaning, in short: 1) fascia work, 2) purifying / gaining of clarity 3) acting in that clarity or out of that state of clarity 4) using those skills to further nourish, enhance etc 5) learning to express the cultivated energy or Qi in various ways or forms in applied forms
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Quigga on Fri Mar 25, 2022 9:56 am

I'm slowly learning and accepting - that what is beyond Shen Qi Jing is much more important than the transmutation process itself. What allows one to transform in the first place etc
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