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What Went Wrong?

Personal and witnessed accounts of internal training gone wrong, and recovery from training injuries. Also, warnings about spiritually packaged scams and analysis of abusive and cult-ish behavior.
Caution Against Fragmented Teachings and Incomplete Training All the proper spiritual traditions originating with realized masters have been given out as complete paths of their respective philosophies and aims, and the fruits of practice are validated through successive generations of disciples in the lineage. The human condition makes obstacles to this because people may instead want to experiment and self-initiate, and be crafty and clever by only picking out their favorite bits for comfort and self-indulgence. All these sidepaths result in corruption. Times of persecution and social upheavals are another variable that may lead to loss in transmission when there is no proper time to teach everything necessary and drill the necessary...
Dragon Sickness Below is a very good video series explaining some basic errors that can be met while trying to engage in practical Daoist and even Buddhist meditations. The first video is a great summary even for experts. The best benefit however is for self-initiates and newbies who are often clueless where to begin seeking teachings and questioning whether they can safely practice on their own. The answer to that is: Learning from a good teacher is an invaluable asset, and sticking to safe exercises practiced by many people for good benefits can rarely go wrong. Proper foundation in internal training is based many conditions chiefly involving overall health, humility, and the peacefulness of heart, but being too sure of oneself is...
Misuse and Appropriation of Spiritual Labels to Encourage Greed Every so often we can see how spiritual labels are turned against their original aspirations: The search of true reality and its unconditional happiness becomes subverted for earthly ideals that lead away from these. In particular, we recognize the trends such as (1) marketing wisdom strategies for competitive advantage and (2) the suggestion to train meditative clarity as a dodgy "practical" application to enrich mundane goals or even plain lust. Very business oriented people may try openly to teach spiritual principles as something to monetize in good faith which the like-minded people might find endearing. Unfortunately, such open greed cannot account for naive ignorance...
Simple answer: don’t do it. Qigong usually is the big problem here because unstable and overstimulated qi easily rises to the head. If you allow qi to rise to the head and don’t know how to ground it, it can lead to later mental health issues such as delusions and anxiety, depression, anger, and suicide. It also allows the influence of entities when qi is circulating there and no defenses are created. Magic is the next big problem, especially chaos magick, because playing with spirits is dangerous, a result of using one’s own energy and poor understanding of it no matter how cool someone seems on a discussion thread or YouTube video. When we discuss energy work, it is also important to point out even basic breathe work can cause...
One of the most common misconceptions for internal practices is that people believe if something is simple, then it must be easy. A simple practice often means that the methodology is not complicated, but developing a deeper understanding comes from proper practice and guidance rather than conjecture. In this edition, I would like to focus on Zhan Zhuang, which, based on what YouTube, reddit, and other forum comments reveal, many have the misconception that it's "just standing". This can not be any more wrong than pineapple on pizza (except when asking Canadians and Hawaiians). Some people might talk about instructors who barely speak English or whatever language they communicate in and they tell them to "just stand." This is...
Real Healer Saints and Communication with Angels? Hah! In the past years there has been a somewhat universal Western trend that some people seek personal connection with what they imagine as divine and come up with practical approaches which could accurately be described as a genre of self-initiated New Age Pentecostal shamanism. We have faith healers who produce apparent miracles (I can give the benefit of doubt that sometimes these healings are factual and involve some undisclosed spiritual work) and unstable people looking up to heavenly guidance and receiving advice from what they think as angels. While the trend's guises may differ, there is an underlying principle that reason defers to feelings and that everything is not as it...
External Conditioning and Hardening Skills in Chinese Kungfu The hardening skills in kungfu are about conditioning the physical body and its external qi field to respond in a specific manner. The end result is variably called either iron body, iron shirt, or golden bell. The key part of successful and healthy conditioning is keeping the subtle internal energy flowing while keeping the heart still which are the shared basic principles in all Chinese internal arts. Accidentally blocking energy means injury and sickness at the very least, but the accumulated damage can show insidiously when it's too late to fix mistakes. Don't expect to find any complete set of safe instructions without a master's help, and don't expect to succeed...
The following is modified from an e-mail I had sent a friend whom I had not spoken with for two years due to the titular scammer of this thread. The irony is not lost that I met this fraudulent teacher through the friend I have written this long e-mail to detailing the nature of Eric Randolph. Further details will be added with time, but the gist of who Eric Randolph is and how he operates is listed here.
As you can see, the title plays with the name of this section. This one is inspired by almost a decade on forums. Why is it so, that some beginners, when starting to feel stuff, start to mix systems and fill in the blanks much like the gene sequencing described in Jurassic Park (1)? The motivation is often I feel things =It's powerful = it's the secret method =Why not preach this method to others? Maybe I should list all the stupid mistakes I have done since 1994, I'm sure there is enough in there to create an interesting method. Holding my stalk qong ✅ DVD gong ✅ Weekend courses in different methods (popular in the 90-ties) ✅ Thinking that a detail used in one method is useful in a completely different method ✅ Yes, this...
Following on from the "Tai Chi Scammer" thread, this post inspired me to open this one: This sort of thing has got under my skin way too often, so I think I need to vent it here. The thing that I'm starting to open my eyes to is this trend of "everyone's a guru". Or if they're not a "guru", they are a sincere follower of a trend. Even if they mean well, don't get me wrong, but they often end up with some sort of dictation on how to live one's life. That's just a human germ, though...people do this all over the internet, so it's no surprise that someone feels this urge if they follow any kind of doctrine. What gets me, though, is that in yoga or taiji circles, you are likely to encounter ego at its finest - yet all the while training...
For some people, meditation is a way to relieve stress. But meditation can do so much more, for example one can have a change in the sense of ones self. This might be a welcome chainge, leading to insight and liberation. But it can also become a problem, leading to impairment. I’m not going to write so much about it, but rather just introduce three articles that goes into the subject. Meditative methods and the sense of self A change in sense of self is an outcome commonly associated with Buddhist meditation. However, the sense of self is construed in multiple ways, and which changes in self-related processing are expected, intended, or possible through meditation is not well understood. In a qualitative study of meditation-related...
This relates to what I said over in the sensations are not progress thread. John Dolic told me that this is how you define what is trusting the gut versus looking at sensations and feelings. If there is discomfort, such as when he experimented with doing Relaxation qigong on the same day as Spontaneous Five Animals Play, he felt heat and discomfort in the latter and very sickly. This is not sensations in the way people think they're getting progress--this is actual harm, which most people fortunately do not have to have suffered unless they are unaware it is bad for them. Something can feel "good" but your gut intelligence can tell you it's bad, just like some discomfort may not necessarily be "bad".
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