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 origami_itto on Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:40 am

Well yes, Shen in one formula may be serving a different function and may even be a different thing or another aspect of the thing.

Jing -> qi -> Shen describes the process of cultivating the three jewels by turning the wheel and pulling the plow. It refers to Shen as spiritual energy and is mainly about the intensity of the energy and the practitioner being more aware of and able to control the state of it.

The three internal harmonies are described differently by different teachers, but I've only seen two variants of the main idea.
Xin - yi - qi - jin
Or
Shen - yi - qi - jin

Personally I think the three is just an example of Chinese superstition and the flow is really
Shen - xin - yi - qi - jin

This is what I call how an impulse becomes an action.
Shen must be simulated and aroused and focused - the raw energy itself must be present and awareness directed in some way. There is an intensity achieved through alchemy, but then a disposition is given "the Shen is like a cat about to catch a rat".
Xin steers the nature of the action, to heal, kill, protect, maim, etc
Yi produces the map of the movement
Qi follows the map to energize the body
Jin is produced when the body moves

I understand it as somewhat analogous to four worlds of Qabbalah. Pieces of the process exist in each of the worlds and can be interacted with.

At a certain level the interaction gets a bit strange though...

You have to consider that we're working with a human body here. Most of the Shen related stuff, to my way of thinking, is directly related to the endocrine system and conditioned responses.

For example the teacher demonstrating attacking Shen with Shen.

So let's say you train with a skilled master for a period of time.

In this time, he displays a depth of understanding of physical movement far beyond your comprehension and the ability to deliver as much pain as he likes whenever he likes with no warning or visible effort.

Now let's say he asks you to demonstrate a technique in front of a crowded auditorium. He shows you the attack and you practice and have it down.

So you demo a couple things, it's going well, you get pushed way back, okay no big deal, let's go in for another shitty rush...

Then all of a sudden teacher gets a look on his face like he's going to rip your soul out and feed it to your dog and changes his posture into an attack stance aimed at you.

Are you going to
1. Continue with the demo attack as planned, YOLO
2. Lose all will to fight
3. Collapse into a fetal ball and shit yourself

Military training tries to strengthen it, you learn how to deal with intense aggression directly while keeping your calm and your wits about you.

But in all of this, it's conditioned physical responses for better or worse. Outside information causing different emotion regulating hormones to be released.

To prepare you to face conflict and prevail, or to train you to react dramatically to make the teacher look good.

In either case, you can definitely cultivate your Shen into whatever condition you like. It's good to be careful with who you trust with it.
Last edited by origami_itto on Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Quigga on Mon Apr 04, 2022 8:31 am

Wiesiek thank you, good post
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Quigga on Mon Apr 04, 2022 8:32 am

You too origami_itto

What's itto btw?
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Mon Apr 04, 2022 8:46 am

Quigga wrote:You too origami_itto

What's itto btw?


Thanks!

This sort of explains my name
https://www.writeups.org/ogami-itto-lon ... cub-manga/
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby Tom on Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:19 am

origami_itto wrote:
This sort of explains my name
https://www.writeups.org/ogami-itto-lon ... cub-manga/


Except …. the link refers to Ogami Itto, not Origami. I assume there is some unstated ironic play on the folding of paper … ;)
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby everything on Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:21 am

Yes we want more explanations…

.

Maybe it’s a different thread, but for the shen and yi topic, neuroscience is finding what areas of the brain are more active or more suppressed during and after meditation.

For example having more control over emotions.

Main point is probably we have different “minds”.

We are controlled by different portions of our brains and CNS.

This is bigger/more important than for a hypothetical true emergency scenario.

For example every day (say in traffic, just boarding a plane, just some silly office situation), people go through fight/flight but have bad self-regulation.

Maybe that escalated to the self defense emergency or maybe it’s just very harmful stress (which needs “self defense”).

This is one reason meditation, qigong, etc is more important than “MA”. If you don’t work on your health what do you defend
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby windwalker on Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:51 am

This is one reason meditation, qigong, etc is more important than “MA”. If you don’t work on your health what do you defend


Don't know about "more" important...many approaches to the gate less, gate


汪永泉授楊式太極拳語錄及拳照
Wang Yongquan Writings on Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan
Translated by Richard Man,
http://facebook.com/groups/IMA.LiteraryTradition


(十一)練拳主要是煉神、意、氣
(Eleven) Practicing Martial Art Is About Refining Shen, Yi and Qi
內功是神、意、氣的化合。神、意、氣是結合在一起的,神到、意到、氣到。
練拳主要是煉神、意、氣。
盤架子是神、意、氣的運行。明了這點,才知道應該如何盤架子。
神、意、氣運行走虛。
Neijin (internal gong) is harmonizing Shen, Yi, and Qi (神、意、氣, ‘spirit’, mind intent and Qi). When the Shen, Yi and Qi are harmonized together, when Shen is expressed, so would Yi and Qi.
The main point of practicing martial art is to refine Shen, Yi and Qi.
The form is about moving Shen, Yi, and Qi. You have to understand this point, before you can learn how to do the form.
Shen, Yi and Qi move where it is empty and insubstantial.


養生和技擊的練法,對眼神的要求不同。養生練法要求神內含,蓄而不露;技擊練法要求眼神看 得平遠,有放、有收。不能只放不收。否則要傷均氣。

Practicing for health and fighting are different, and have different requirements for raising your Shen to your eyes.

For health you want to keep the Shen inside, focus inwardly and not showing it; for fighting, your eyes should focus far.

Sometimes focusing, sometimes more reserved. It cannot be only focusing and not bring the focus back. Otherwise, it will harm your Qi.


My teacher talked about this...able to demonstrate directly
the differences between using "Qi, and Shen" to affect a person...

He taught how to develop the aspects, to a certain point...which until one reached that point anything else he mentioned wouldn't make any sense.
He would say "there things I can explain, for what I can't explain I can make you feel it"

Also interesting in reading the posting here on demos showing this.

What he did was not something that people volunteered to be demoed on.
As it had a tendency to make people physically sick, and could damage their systems...

Asking him about this he said. " I can make your Qi run back wards"

He said "for some people, they may not feel anything until its too late....
for others he had to use his own "Qi" using his qi to supplement the persons qi...

Their Qi is what's affected....for most teachers, this is very tiring, most won't do it....

Some people, and students, might have well developed "Qi" systems ,
making them the best ones used for demos, as it allows the teacher to use the "students" "Qi"
directly...


This happened a while back with a visiting friend who taught taiji and his student "Bill" a big Hawaiian guy retired policeman from Hawaii.
They had come to visit...Bill was a little skeptical of what he was seeing.. :)

This account written by one his local students translated from Chinese.

He let Bill stand beside the pine tree next to the iron fence , about 5 meters awar from him. I was next to Bill, Master Zhang, asked me to put my left hand on bills right chest.

He drew a circle on BILL's chest with one hand, and my left hand felt like it was circled by hot electric current, but I was fine. BILL frowned on the chest. Later, the old man rubbed it for him and said that he would sleep all night. I asked him the next day, and he said it didn't hurt anymore. This is Mr. Zhang's famous emptiness, passing energy from the air.


Bill, almost passed out during the demo, I guess he was trying to resist what he felt happening.

His method was one of what might be called direct transmission, allowing one to feel the effects of it expressed through his eyes...

We would joke about with him about getting
some sun glasses to cover his eyes... 8-)
Last edited by windwalker on Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:14 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby everything on Mon Apr 04, 2022 10:54 am

This is really interesting, thanks for explaining. Most of the "shen" topic is above my pay grade. Enjoying reading the thread.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Mon Apr 04, 2022 11:24 am

Tom wrote:
origami_itto wrote:
This sort of explains my name
https://www.writeups.org/ogami-itto-lon ... cub-manga/


Except …. the link refers to Ogami Itto, not Origami. I assume there is some unstated ironic play on the folding of paper … ;)


Exactly, I'm like a paper tiger, except a paper ogami itto, the "oragami" was supposed to suggest talking, too, but I saw too many people just didn't get it.

I.e. I talk on paper like I'm a real badass, but like I REALLY don't expect anybody to arrive there without one hell of a roadmap.

everything wrote:Yes we want more explanations…

.

Maybe it’s a different thread, but for the shen and yi topic, neuroscience is finding what areas of the brain are more active or more suppressed during and after meditation.

For example having more control over emotions.

Main point is probably we have different “minds”.

We are controlled by different portions of our brains and CNS.

This is bigger/more important than for a hypothetical true emergency scenario.

For example every day (say in traffic, just boarding a plane, just some silly office situation), people go through fight/flight but have bad self-regulation.

Maybe that escalated to the self defense emergency or maybe it’s just very harmful stress (which needs “self defense”).

This is one reason meditation, qigong, etc is more important than “MA”. If you don’t work on your health what do you defend


So there have been studies that show meditation (and certain types of focused prayer) stimulate the frontal lobe: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articl ... ontal-lobe

The stimulation and increased blood flow leads to thickening and better overall functioning.
Incidentally this is the same part of the brain that is developed last, fully forming around 25 years old
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby everything on Mon Apr 04, 2022 11:41 am

haha that is an awesome nickname

i'll have to do more reading on the meditation / brain stuff - feeling super forgetful today.

the brain is too complicated for our brains to try to understand. and when we dream, one part of our brain tricks the other part of our brain to believe that this weird shit is really happening - does that mean we're really stupid, or really smart? - paraphrasing some comedian or scientist.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Mon Apr 04, 2022 12:06 pm

everything wrote:haha that is an awesome nickname

Tue, I'm a misunderstood and underappreciated genius.
Image
i'll have to do more reading on the meditation / brain stuff - feeling super forgetful today.

the brain is too complicated for our brains to try to understand. and when we dream, one part of our brain tricks the other part of our brain to believe that this weird shit is really happening - does that mean we're really stupid, or really smart? - paraphrasing some comedian or scientist.


So if you start to design robots you start to appreciate your own hardware a little better.

Everything we think we know is basically assembled based on input from our senses. Like we were talking about color blindness, a defective organ changes everything about your primary means of making sense of the world. Or think about situations where you think there's one more or one less step on the staircase, or think an empty pitcher of water is full and go to pick it up.

So basically your understanding of the world, your entire experience of the world, is reconstructed in your brain and played on a time-delay.

Your body responds to the content of that movie whether it represents current reality, is a memory of past reality, or an imagining of a future possible reality. This is part of why performance athletes recommend visualization exercises. IIRC he talks about this in this book: https://www.amazon.com/Mastery-Keys-Suc ... 890&sr=8-3

Humans are particularly buggy because not only is our hardware somewhat questionable, we are also compelled to have FEELINGS about it, and everything else.
Last edited by origami_itto on Mon Apr 04, 2022 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby everything on Tue Apr 05, 2022 10:27 am

it's too complicated for me at the moment to comment on.

if we play real-time sports with an object such as a tennis ball that travels fast (faster than human bodies), sometimes we just "react" without having time to think. i'm sure it's the same in, say, striking sports, but these objects travel much faster. it's kind of startling to me (as a mediocre athlete) when my hand or foot seems to "just respond" appropriately under that level of split-second speed. I often say here I'm a bad gk (football/soccer) but if I sort of hold "zhan zhuang" trying to be relaxed/ready, sometimes my hand does the right thing. If I have time for "conscious yi", it'll be too slow. I guess my point is this scenario is not the (easily perceivable) time-delay scenario or the "time slowed down so much" scenario that sometimes happens with these sports. I don't know what it means for shen/yi/qi/jin/li/xing.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:11 am

So basically your practice should be taking care of that.

As you do anything, you form neural connections. The first time, it takes a lot of effort and concentration, as you repeat it, the amount of effort and concentration need to do the same thing, but even better, decreases. Then you can start adding other things into the mix and getting more complex things done.

Do you remember learning to drive? Could you imagine operating at that level of skill and pulling off steering with your knee while you put ketchup on a hot dog and balance a drink in the other hand like you do on a daily basis now?

If you have to consciously think about what to do in a fight then your training has failed you completely, I don't care if you're studying Taijiquan or Tang Soo Do.

Not that if you are able to leisurely consider actions and responses in a particular situation that's a bad thing or anything, the more you train the more time and space for contemplation you can find at the edge of the blade and some situations do demand it.

I mean that training those harmonies greases the skids for impulses to become actions. Yi will always be involved because of what Yi is, the neural connections that map an action onto the parts of the body that make the action actually happen. Yi doesn't mean you have to consciously consider and plan a thing before it can be done.

They talk about shortening the OODA loop. I think the physical and psychological and energetic conditioning of Taijiquan (in particular but I'm sure many other arts to a greater or lesser extent) can, after the initial decision to enter into a conflict state, turn it into a detect-react feedback loop, and that some of the "thinking" of the Yi actually occurs in the Enteric Nervous System/Dantian.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby everything on Fri Apr 08, 2022 6:58 am

Great post. Driving analogy makes perfect sense. I think you're saying xin/yi/qi/jin/li/xing should "be as one". I think you're right. Normally here I think we're talking about some really specific aspect of training. In the "Venn diagram" of aspects of IMA, I'm not doing many aspects. I'm mainly doing some qigong as for me, mostly for health, but also since that's a big missing piece relative to everything else - I've done relatively a lot of the other things. Not particularly worried about integrating the pieces for now. If I make progress, I'll get back to the rest. No steering with knee while eating a hot dog for now.
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Re: Talk some shen into me

Postby origami_itto on Fri Apr 08, 2022 7:06 am

everything wrote:Great post. Driving analogy makes perfect sense. I think you're saying xin/yi/qi/jin/li/xing should "be as one". I think you're right. Normally here I think we're talking about some really specific aspect of training. In the "Venn diagram" of aspects of IMA, I'm not doing many aspects. I'm mainly doing some qigong as for me, mostly for health, but also since that's a big missing piece relative to everything else - I've done relatively a lot of the other things. Not particularly worried about integrating the pieces for now. If I make progress, I'll get back to the rest. No steering with knee while eating a hot dog for now.


Thank you.

In general what I've found to be the approach in Taijiquan is to take a thing apart and work on it a piece at a time and then put it back together.

Pretty much every teacher I've worked with has taken this approach.

So, exactly, as you said, we consider the things as separate for trianing, then put them together for using.

Like in fighting, taijiquan neutralizes, controls, then attacks. We train these as three separate phases or movements, first neutralize, then control, then attack, in order to understand and refine them, make the jin of each phase clear and distinct. Then we combine them into a single movement so we neutralize, control, and attack on first contact.

I believe it's sort of the idea behind the Wu style "square form" but I don't really know anything about that.
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