Talk some shen into me

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby everything on Sun Mar 27, 2022 5:15 pm

Doc Stier wrote:An alternative perspective is to describe Shen in more modern terminology as Creative Spiritual Consciousness.

From this point of view, as part of the greater Cosmic Consciousness (Shen) of the Tao, personal consciousness (shen) is the source of focused intention (yi), which directs source energy (yuan chi), which in turn manifests physical shape, form and movement (tao-lu), which always reflects the original state of personal consciousness, thus completing a full cycle that emanates from and returns to Creative Spiritual Consciousness (Shen).

This process is constantly repeated throughout each day of every person's lifetime.


really like this description.

origami_itto wrote:So Doc sort of tying this in to the original question, and with a whole weekend of conversation in my head...

Does the... Quality? Of Shen produced from alchemical refinement produce a greater ability to manifest the will in physical, mental, and emotional reality?


sure hope that the answer is "yes"...
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Doc Stier on Sun Mar 27, 2022 7:12 pm

origami_itto wrote:So Doc sort of tying this in to the original question, and with a whole weekend of conversation in my head...

Does the... Quality? Of Shen produced from alchemical refinement produce a greater ability to manifest the will in physical, mental, and emotional reality?

Yes, of course it does, in my experience, but that's just my personal opinion.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby cloudz on Mon Mar 28, 2022 2:10 am

regards the alchemical/ cultivation process yi qi jing shen, in this context I think shen is better stated as "spiritual energy". it rises from the lower centre to the top. This is the same type of description as other traditions eg. kundalini energy. It does result in various kinds of 'awakenings' let's say as i can't think of a better term right now. But for sure the main point is spiritual awakening/ transformation.

If you have been practicing then no doubt you're experiencing some of these effects. I think you can also frame these feelings/ experiences as rising up through or from your unconciouss/ subconcious. This I believe would naturally include what is termed xin (heart-mind), though here is specific work out there for the emotions/ emotional centre. eg. Serge Aurier (Urban Taoist).
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Mon Mar 28, 2022 4:12 am

cloudz wrote:regards the alchemical/ cultivation process yi qi jing shen, in this context I think shen is better stated as "spiritual energy". it rises from the lower centre to the top. This is the same type of description as other traditions eg. kundalini energy. It does result in various kinds of 'awakenings' let's say as i can't think of a better term right now. But for sure the main point is spiritual awakening/ transformation.

If you have been practicing then no doubt you're experiencing some of these effects. I think you can also frame these feelings/ experiences as rising up through or from your unconciouss/ subconcious. This I believe would naturally include what is termed xin (heart-mind), though here is specific work out there for the emotions/ emotional centre. eg. Serge Aurier (Urban Taoist).


Well I'm reaching out to all of my teachers, or at least the ones worth talking to, to get some more clarity on the subject. The impression I get is that is y something powerful and potentially dangerous so I don't want to run off on my own willy nillly.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby cloudz on Mon Mar 28, 2022 6:20 am

Yea, that's a good call. It can be quite powerful, particularly at the culmination. your juice (energy levels) and technical skill will definitely feel enhanced and you'll feel like you've been making a lot of progress - as you already noted. But it will peak and fall away some, this goes for the totality of the experience. So also be prepared for a bit of a comedown afterwards. Everyone has slightly different experiences based on various factors, if it gets a bit wild do what you need to ground yourself. I've had both good and not so good experiences. These factors can rest on your general psychology, family history and personal events, things going on currently in your life and so on. For example if it coincides with a particularly stressful set of events in your life, definitely consider drawing a halt backing off etc. Although to be transparent the second big experience (end of 2019) I had which was problematic I was mainly following a different practice and spiritual tradition, though still doing my tcc. The first one after about 5 years or so of tcc and related practices was all good fwiw, that was around 2006.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Doc Stier on Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:23 am

cloudz wrote:regards the alchemical/ cultivation process yi qi jing shen, in this context I think shen is better stated as "spiritual energy". it rises from the lower centre to the top. This is the same type of description as other traditions eg. kundalini energy. It does result in various kinds of 'awakenings' let's say as i can't think of a better term right now. But for sure the main point is spiritual awakening/ transformation.

If you have been practicing then no doubt you're experiencing some of these effects. I think you can also frame these feelings/ experiences as rising up through or from your unconciouss/ subconcious. This I believe would naturally include what is termed xin (heart-mind), though here is specific work out there for the emotions/ emotional centre. eg. Serge Aurier (Urban Taoist).

These are good observations, but they describe affects, which represent one half of the equation, not causes. Thus, it is still necessary to identify what actually causes the awakened intrinsic energy of Yangsheng, Kundalini Shakti, Tibetan Yoga, and numerous other internal cultivation methods, to actively circulate and vibrationally ascend, both physically and spiritually.

That which rises upward must first be released and grounded downward. As such, the transformation of energy dynamics rising from jing to chi to shen must begin with the injection of creative spiritual consciousness downward through focused intention into physical form and function.

Spiritual Consciousness (Shen) clearly supercedes the activity of mind and body, imo. That's why these cycles begin or emanate from and end or come to completion in Creative Spiritual Consciousness (Shen). How can it be otherwise? What happens first? Conscious awareness or modifications of the mind? Mental activation or physical reaction and response? -shrug-
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby yeniseri on Mon Mar 28, 2022 11:01 am

origami_itto wrote:Does the... Quality? Of Shen produced from alchemical refinement produce a greater ability to manifest the will in physical, mental, and emotional reality?


Shen will always be present whether pre or post spiritual contentment / alchemical refinement but what is your heart? Where is your heart?
Bringing the concept of "Will" to physical, mental or emotional reality is a different concept altogether so you are adding "variables" which were not present or current with "alchemical refinement".

A will to do what? Will to power (Nietzschean concept!) to benefit those who are less capable or to destroy those who appear weak", to dominate just because one can..........
Personally the heart/mind (xin) continuum rings truer to me. I am sure my "shen" may be messed up by it is the heart/mind that will always determine shen. Whatever you train will manifest so that wll be one's shen.

There are "negative effects" associated with alchemical refinement so 'devil running fire" (adverse experiences) is an admonition to be careful of what one awakens and how one deals with it. That is why "heart" is important from my personal experience.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Mon Mar 28, 2022 11:23 am

yeniseri wrote:
origami_itto wrote:Does the... Quality? Of Shen produced from alchemical refinement produce a greater ability to manifest the will in physical, mental, and emotional reality?


Shen will always be present whether pre or post spiritual contentment / alchemical refinement but what is your heart? Where is your heart?
Bringing the concept of "Will" to physical, mental or emotional reality is a different concept altogether so you are adding "variables" which were not present or current with "alchemical refinement".

A will to do what? Will to power (Nietzschean concept!) to benefit those who are less capable or to destroy those who appear weak", to dominate just because one can..........
Personally the heart/mind (xin) continuum rings truer to me. I am sure my "shen" may be messed up by it is the heart/mind that will always determine shen. Whatever you train will manifest so that wll be one's shen.

There are "negative effects" associated with alchemical refinement so 'devil running fire" (adverse experiences) is an admonition to be careful of what one awakens and how one deals with it. That is why "heart" is important from my personal experience.

Yes yes and yes, all of this. I have a much more in depth exploration of this that I'm working on, but the will to power is exactly what I'm referring to.
Basically where my current understanding lies is that the spiritual energy aspect of shen is like the battery and it's pretty much undifferentiated, just stimulated and risen or depressed and sunken, then the awareness aspect of shen is more like a sort of scope of focus? I guess is a word for it. "like a cat about to catch a rat", the Yangs said that when somebody tried to attack them from behind and they were rebuffed that they were "always on their guard".

So then that battery powers the will, which is guided by the heart intent. So my original idea of a "spiritual posture" includes both spirit(shen) and heart(xin) which become aspects of will.

That will to power then, as you say, could be used to heal or harm.

The theory that I'm working with is that the spiritual posture maintained during alchemical practices, as a corollary effect, is strengthened.

So T. T. Liang would say, for example, that students should imagine they are great masters as they do their form and that would help them improve faster. There's a great book called "Mastery" that explores that sort of mental state as it applies to different performance sports.

So I'm not sure exactly where that aspect of self slots into these theories. The idea of training your opinion of yourself or your ability to access feelings of confidence and power on command.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby yeniseri on Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:02 pm

Rest in Simplicity!
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Quigga on Mon Mar 28, 2022 11:17 pm

Not having read others posts yet but
Yeniseri I agree

Another attempt at summing up

Connect to your self first, then nurture that relationship

Once you are connected, connecting to others will be easier and more natural
(Get the proper feeling of floating the bones in the gooey fascia on a 'global' level, liberating oneself from direction, weight, time, distance - body changing via cultivation)

Perfection can never be achieved, the *Work* will always stay unfinished and changing - clinging onto result will not work

Perfection is work in progress - so work in progress is perfection

What is asked to be done is already finished
There's no need, yet even that is satisfied and satisfactory

Tuning your car more than riding in it will do little good in taking you different places - note to self

But it could be an eyecatcher and distinguish me - note to self ;-)

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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Appledog on Tue Mar 29, 2022 5:21 am

Quigga wrote:Not having read others posts yet but
Yeniseri I agree

Another attempt at summing up

Connect to your self first, then nurture that relationship

Once you are connected, connecting to others will be easier and more natural
(Get the proper feeling of floating the bones in the gooey fascia on a 'global' level, liberating oneself from direction, weight, time, distance - body changing via cultivation)

Perfection can never be achieved, the *Work* will always stay unfinished and changing - clinging onto result will not work

Perfection is work in progress - so work in progress is perfection

What is asked to be done is already finished
There's no need, yet even that is satisfied and satisfactory

Tuning your car more than riding in it will do little good in taking you different places - note to self

But it could be an eyecatcher and distinguish me - note to self ;-)

Little Rocket Man


This must be why Tai Chi is so difficult to learn.
a
Who is speaking, Quigga, and who is listening? Who is the material intended for? If you do not know these things you are swimming in the dark.

Who is speaking? Is it the person who defined these terms? Is it a person who used them to succeed already? Or is it the one who read them in a book and is trying to use them? Is it someone who knows but didn't have time to get good yet? Is it someone who heard them and is seeking truth? Is it someone who is trying to cheat students by using terms they do not understand?

Who is the listener? And who is the material intended for? It is possible that things were written down for different reasons. Look at the great many books with pictures in them, which are totally useless -- to everyone who has not received personal and oral instruction! But to them, they can be a treasure trove because what is written down are common mistakes. Or what about a recipe book? This is useless to an old hat but a good investment for a beginner.

Yes, we must question these things, or perhaps we will miss the answer passing right in front of our nose. Or worse, not smell the shit and think it's real.

A picture of the human body is not the description of stages of martial advancement. We have a spirit, if you want to believe such things, but the spirit of a move; application -- the functional idea of it -- is usually called jing. So I guess shen will forever remain a mystery. I'm pretty sure at least two others posted a good explanation of it, from different angles. But how can we know the truth after all this time? What happens if we follow a teacher that is incorrect? What would you do if you thought your own teacher was incorrect about something?
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Quigga on Tue Mar 29, 2022 5:56 am

I am speaking, my name is Thomas, nice to meet you :-)

The material is intended for my own pleasure and whoever may want to bother to take the time out of their day to read my rants

Swimming in the dark - can be exercise description itself

I follow my self made way of practice, as does everybody else. I don't really care about names when it comes to training systems or whatever. However I believe there is something like a Yin Yang Dragon that pierces the void like a spear. A sort of meta approach to Xin Yi, Tai Chi, Bagua. Some other stuff I picked up here and there.

Why is it important to know who I am and who is called the listener? From where stems the desire to split that up?

I'm trying to think of a few reasons why you don't seem to like what I wrote, and come up with several, yet I can't exactly get the message from your post.

If I appear to be trolling or my posts aren't helpful to some - ok, I guess? I simply write what I want to write.

That being said - cool, you seem to have a different definition of Jing than I do. Perhaps we can combine our definitions? I don't think there are people who can claim they know the whole picture when it comes to these things - neither do I.

Recipy book - yes, I like cooking :-)

Spirit, Shen isn't a mystery... But we can argue about our progress in training and make a pissing contest, if you want to? Very productive online and virtual, with no way of physically touching. /s.

---

How can we know truth?
My opinion is
The Way is purposefully made in such a way that avoids it being precisely defined from all angles within all possible realms of meaning
There is always an exception or something that doesn't fit - yin / yang - something unfitting / all fits
So that nobdy can claim they found the "One True Way TM", bringing lots of confusion and trouble
At the core it's basic human business - be decent to each other

Following a teacher that is incorrect - happens
First wrong assumption is believing they know everything or aren't just regular persons
Like a ranger knows their territory pretty well, but surprises can still happen even after 10 or 20 years
But no need to put unneccessary blame on the teacher - happens to the best of us, literally and thankfully

If I thought my teacher was Incorrect about something
I would damn well make sure to 1)understand why I believe they're wrong in terms of underlying personal self motivations
2) know what it is I'm trying to critique, being vague isn't enough - but that's why a sort of proof for a thesis is a long undertaking
3) what I learned in hindsight - not make a teacher responsible for your suffering in practice. Depends on circumstances
4) not make myself subjugate to them, but maintain my own space and training, then see what I can add that is beneficial
-----> not saying listening is wrong. Just a matter of respect and reality of modern teacher-student relationship - expecatations.

I hope we're good :-)
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Quigga on Tue Mar 29, 2022 5:57 am

Yes, I'm part of a school and learned a lot - but making the methods your own and not just mere ideas is something a lot of people fail to do
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby wiesiek on Mon Apr 04, 2022 3:18 am

from "The Jade Emperor`s Mind Seal Classic" :

..."THE SHEN UNITES WITH THE CHI;
THE BREATH THEN UNITES WITH THE TRUE NATURE.
BEFORE YOU ATTAINED THIS TRUE NATURE,
THESE TERMS APPEAR TO BE FANCIFUL EXAGGERATIONS.

THE SHEN IS CAPABLE OF ENTERING STONE;
THE SHEN IS CAPABLE OF PHYSICAL FLIGHT.
ENTERING WATER IS NOT DROWNED;
ENTERING FIRE IS NOT BURNED. ..."

Everything is clear,then...
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Appledog on Mon Apr 04, 2022 3:50 am

wiesiek wrote:from "The Jade Emperor`s Mind Seal Classic" :

..."THE SHEN UNITES WITH THE CHI;
THE BREATH THEN UNITES WITH THE TRUE NATURE.
BEFORE YOU ATTAINED THIS TRUE NATURE,
THESE TERMS APPEAR TO BE FANCIFUL EXAGGERATIONS.

THE SHEN IS CAPABLE OF ENTERING STONE;
THE SHEN IS CAPABLE OF PHYSICAL FLIGHT.
ENTERING WATER IS NOT DROWNED;
ENTERING FIRE IS NOT BURNED. ..."

Everything is clear,then...


So obviously, if we say there is a shen - qi paradigm, it must mean something different from a qi - jing - shen paradigm. Shen in one formula is not necessarily the same shen as in another formula. Actually though in this case the confusion runs a step deeper because it both refers to a state of mind without primary consciousness. Still, different things.
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