November 20, 2004 at 3:52 pm #2003
Sundo is a taoist system from Korea. Being a cross between yoga and tai chi, it is in fact a martial art!
You can try it out here:
[video src="http://opencenterusa.com/sundo/eng_hongbo.wmv" /]
What do yall think? They offer scholarships to universitiesin Korea to go learn this stuff, I might just do it! Have you seen the S. Korean flag? They got the fire water yin yang symbol and 4 i ching hexagrams. Thats whats up, no?November 21, 2004 at 8:05 am #2004
Have you looked into this in more detail? Sounds interesting… But what does it take to get a scholarship? And how long to get a degree?
// vidiamiNovember 21, 2004 at 3:45 pm #2006
I don’t know anything, really, about the studies that are offered in Korea re: Sun Do, but I do know that practice is emphasized in Sun Do, and their practice is very intriguing.
Sun Do’s approach is to promote a very sound foundation of the lower tan tien (they spell it “tan cheon”). Sun Do’s breath technique, in a single cycle of breath, both massages the physical and concentrates into the deep-center – a KEY combination that, if sustained, gradually results in sound foundation, profound development, of the lower tan cheon (tan tien).
There are warm-up exercises, then a series of postures that go on for about ~20 minutes – through which the tan cheon breathing is sustained, then calisthetics, cool down, and meditation. Its all put together very strategically to work the kinks out, cultivate the lower tan cheon, and a finishing to even things out any residues of tension. Its not that complex, and the breathing is not that complex, but it goes right to the right stuff.
Its no coincidence that my website is down to just two pages:
1. A little bit about the deep-center, with a reference to the classic text that explains it the best. (Basically, a heads up that the deep-center is ultimately where its at, and prompt to learn about that.)
2. Sun Do, which developes the whole lower tan tien, particularly the deep-center. (A system that, very straight-forwardly, dedicatedly, very effectively deals with the lower tan tien dilemma vis-a-vis physical < -> deep-center.)
After 20+ years of doing this stuff, if offering advice to the younger me: those are the pointers that i’d give (to myself). If Sun Do is accessible to you, it’d save decades of running around. The key to it is the practice.
The video that i dl’d from the link you provided only played the first 6 minutes,… I found that several versions of the video are at this page (i’m hopin’ one of ’em’ll play clean all the way through).
TrunkNovember 21, 2004 at 5:13 pm #2008
Im a little confused as to the real difference between lower dan tien breathing methods.I mean, relaxing, and allowing the breath to expand down effortlessly, what else could you possibly do?I understand you could force but I am not talking about that, effortless breathing from the belly is effortless breathing from the belly right, how different can various breathing methods really be?Isn’t there just forced and not forced?Why wouldn’t effortless belly breathing automatically take you to the deep center eventually, like the breathing you suggested for my previous problem?The only other thing I could possibly come up with is allowing your mind to drop down to the belly as you breath but aside from this what difference can there really be?This Sun Do may have different postures to practice the breathing in, or like the I chuan I practice which has various postures but the breathing method is essentially the same right or am I missing something here?November 21, 2004 at 8:20 pm #2010
All good ?’s. Really good questions. Every one of them.
There is more to it.
The details in the answers to the ?’s that you posed are really rich with really good stuff.
It actually took me a lot to write what i’d written in my previous post this thread. Plus the comments, references at my (very sparse) website. Right now i’m a little tuckered.
So, I just invite you to put all those questions on a sort-of mental post-it.. peruse what i’ve said so far, and review what breathing practices you know about, or have in materials that you already own. There’s good material to be discovered around all of this, that’ll take some chewing and tinkering to get to – all worth it.
i’m gonna snooze for a while.
TrunkNovember 22, 2004 at 11:13 am #2012
A new day, some rest, a more moderate response.
> Isn’t there just forced and not forced?, ..only other thing – allowing your mind to drop down >
Very basically, yes, you are right.
Its that there is so much more to it in terms of emphasis, spectrum of technique, and details. And that those finer distinctions make so much difference. And I realize that you were writing a quick paragraph-in-a-post, not a book. 😉
Piece by piece.
> forced and not forced? >
For me, “forced” is such a hard term as to be nearly entirely off the scale and into wrong practice. I think that the terms “Iron Shirt” and “packing breathing” both have a tone that has very unfortunate consequences toward how people view, and practice, the breathing practices. That, plus most of us have some prior background in weight lifting and hard physical exertion – and the sensations of proper exercise in those areas will get you hurt if you apply it to qi gong.
I’m gonna translate
– “forced and not forced”
– “massaging the physical and promoting alchemy”.
Where “promoting alchemy” could refer to a number of things, like activating the major acupoints, illuminating parts of subtle anatomy, deep-center stuff, like that.
> only other thing – allowing your mind to drop down >
Good!, “consciousness”. Which includes mainly what you said, as well as clear focus, etc.
So, in short:
The thing is that these aren’t really three separate things, but really more of a spectrum. Each one has a spectrum of degrees, and they blend into each other.
Breathing techniques are the same way. There are a spectrum of techniques that work with these things, in order to get them to blend well. And what should be best applied varies from person to person, and varies with the same person at different times (over months, years, even within a single practice session). If you go at it too physical, it’ll jam up. If too consciousness-y, it’ll go space-cadet. Finding that middle ground of what blend is working best for you for where you’re at, moving forward in the step that you’re currently in… effectively, without injury.
So, yeah there are lots of lower tan tien breathing methods.. and they do have details. There’s some good finesse stuff in various ones that provide goodies that you might get with a much simpler approach but actually, for most us, we’re very unlikely to get, ever, with just a very simple approach. ..or at the very least progress ‘d be much much slower (like months, years, decades slower).
And yes, most of us will get deep insights along the way, and that is something – and that happens fairly commonly. But to stabalize those insights, and to stabalize them profoundly is much more difficult, and requires more clarity of what you are doing, why, and when. Its worth it to look at, and sort out, the details about this stuff.
TrunkNovember 22, 2004 at 12:09 pm #2014
adding on to my own post..
We all have the potential to become titans. I think that we all feel that somewhere as we are moving into our teens. And, in our youth, our bodies have a lot more tolerance for wrong practice (including not-entirely-wrong, but just kinda-sorta). There’s more resiliance to being able to recover and compensate for this or that from sorta-off practice. And there’s a feeling of power and joy almost no matter what you do. The details of getting clear on all of this are hard to come by, so…
Bad habits get developed, or at least sort of middlin’ progress. Probably you get some interesting experience, maybe some profound initiations… but the opportunity for strong stabily-profound brilliant coherence generally isn’t realized.
More often that people founder in middle-level of progression (which does have some interesting stuff) and the mistaken practices culminate in some major repair work that needs to be done in their 40’s and later. And, like i said, the details of how to get that done are very hard to come by. And the really bold opportunity of youthful power is largely out of the picture.
(And, yes, I’m speaking partly autobiographically here, but also from the observance of others.)
There is the opportunity, at least the potential, to get clear on a lot of this early. To go to the right thing early, and make some very impressive unification of power and virtue.
So, back to earlier in the thread:
> Sun Do’s approach is to promote a very sound foundation of the lower tan tien (they spell it “tan cheon”). Sun Do’s breath technique, in a single cycle of breath, both massages the physical and concentrates into the deep-center – a KEY combination that, if sustained, gradually results in sound foundation, profound development, of the lower tan cheon (tan tien). >
Sun Do goes to the right thing, in a very direct way. I’m not saying that its the only system. Just that, if its accessible to you, its definately worth checking out with some depth (and sensitivity to whether its right for you).
that’s all.November 22, 2004 at 1:59 pm #2016
I like your “translation” of the word packing. The expanding of the word into physical correlates reminds me of some of the strange phrasings used in some translations of alchemical texts. Only, yours is clear while theres is obscure.
It also gets at why it is so important to receive teachings in person – so much is communicated by the energy of the teacher, while their words are just a place to focus our monkey mind and, also, to convey the energy as sound vibrations.
There are many ways for a a teacher to say, and display, “pack your breath”. But likely only one way that any individual would interpret them when reading.
Live teaching is so important when learning forms and can inspire regular practice. In more advanced stages, regular meetings can become a crutch and a limitation because we have to become more and more directly conversant with the shen and chi fields and not reliant on a non-personal intermediary.
ChrisNovember 22, 2004 at 4:43 pm #2018
Man its like I always said, you ARE a tao genious 🙂 I would be honored to be able to train with and learn from you in person, do you teach or have a school (if not you REALLY should 🙂 ) By the way, I am only twenty so I am quite familiar with that teenage titanism you mention, I think its because all the substance hasn’t been robbed from the dan tien through life yet.By the way, who is your Hsing Yi sifu? I train Southern Mantis under Sifu Norman Chin but have been deeply considering training hsing yi and bagua under Li Tai Liang.Im located in Jersey by the way.Thanks again for that awesome post. SeanNovember 22, 2004 at 5:29 pm #2020
I beleive itis a 4 year program. You do the practice ever morning for several hours. I am finding out more about the undergrad…they already have info about the masters on that website.November 22, 2004 at 9:26 pm #2022
I don’t know how to adequately respond. Thank you for your compliments.
I don’t teach, for many reasons. One of which is that i’m working on the repair of my own vehicle. Several difficult situations set me sorely in need of major repair, which is part of why i have such a detailed knowledge of this stuff. There are a number of other reasons why i consider myself fairly far off from teaching… teaching is a heavy number. Any way, we all get to help each other here as brothers, and sisters (if any women ever hang out here again).
I don’t think that my shing-yi teacher would appreciate me posting his name here, so i’m not going to. And, btw, i’m careful not to ever post any of the shing-yi information – out of respect for how its actually taught. Not a chance in the world of learning that system by text or video, absolutely has to be taught in person.
TrunkNovember 23, 2004 at 1:47 am #2024
WTF is shing-yi?
Trunk could youp lease post links to the info on your website such as fusion and kan and li?
1November 23, 2004 at 9:58 am #2026
> shing-yi? >
There are traditionally three Taoist internal martial arts (and there’s various ways to spell each):
tai chi (tai ji)
hsing i (xing yi, shing-yi)
Search ’em on the web for more info, various sites.
> post links to the info on your website >
> kan and li? >
I would suggest that Tsongkhapa’s Six Yogas of Naropa (particularly pgs 141-164) has a very profound version of K&L.
TrunkNovember 23, 2004 at 3:38 pm #2028
You Share well. Calmly giving informed opinions, staying above the petty bickering, your answers are complete with no agenda. Like the tao you are both importantly here but sometimes hard to notice.
MichaelNovember 23, 2004 at 4:25 pm #2030
> I like your “translation” >
Good comments about the importance of relationship with live teacher.
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