2003 Newsletter

Breathe

The breath is the key to unlocking your emotions and to restore your peace and calm during turbulent times. When stress arises just breathe in, and breathe out. It's just that simple. The conscious inhalation of the breath stops the mind from allowing an emotion to run away with itself, and the conscious exhalation allows the mind to purify the negative energy associated with that emotion. The breath and emotions are as intertwined as the body and mind. By learning how to control your breath you can relieve yourself of stress, regenerate your health, heal disease, reach enlightenment and even reach liberation.

When we have a close one, a near accident we exhale, whew. When someone insults us we say, hay. When we get excited at a carnival we yell, yahoo. When we feel sad and cry we weep boo, hoo, hoo. When we are frightened we scream, ah. All of our emotions are followed by a breath and sound so therefore breath and sounds are very important when are consciously trying to balance our emotions. When stress arises our breathing pattern begins to speed up and our blood pressure begins to rise. If we don't relax our body becomes tight and leads to stagnation and disease. With your mind's intent simply take charge of your breath and breathe in very slowly and fully and exhale very slowly and fully. As you take control of your breath your breathing pattern will slow down, your blood pressure will come down and physical tightness, stagnation and disease will be released. This breathing technique will calm the mind and your reaction to the stress of any given situation. Breath control is the most holistic and natural way to counter stress.

According to the American Medical Association stress is the mother of all disease but in our modern society stress in only increasing and so are our diseases. Often we get nervous about getting sick and our breathing begins to speed up or become sporadic. The exhalations and the differing sounds mentioned above are expressions of natural self healing but sometimes they are not enough to fully treat a given disease, therefore you can use breath control to increase the healing abilities of the breath. Even if you don't know any formal healing mantras, mudras, or breathing patterns you can just take a big breath, think of the area of concern and reciting a slight hum vibrational sound exhale and drive all of the discomfort out of your body through the bottom of your feet. This technique can ease mental anguish and even the physical suffering of a disease.

In the Emei Sudden Enlightenment Tradition there is a system of heavy breathing exercises called the Buddha's Samadhi Diamond Palm Training. Many qigong translators or practitioner have mistakenly called qigong breathing exercises and the breath qi, but that is not true. There is qi in the breath but breath is not qi. When a practitioner has qi realization they will find that qi is a bio-magnetic electrical infrared energy that exists in varying densities in and around the body as well as throughout the universe. By practicing heavy breathing exercises qi can be generated and even transmitted from one person to another, or other animate or inanimate objects. Through the Buddha's Samadhi Diamond Palm Training practitioners develop their qi, generally in about a year, so that when they exhale they can transmit healing qi energy to a sick person through their a powerful exhalation of the breath to treat their disease. High lamas have cultivated the qi in their exhalation through years of mantra recitation and their exhalation can also bestow healings, blessings, and consecration by blowing on the sick person, their student or inanimate object they wish to bless. This same qi energy can be controled by the breath and transmitted through practitioner's palms, feet, elbows and even the rest of the body once the body has become completely opened through deep breathing.

Blown by the winds of karma people in samsara are swayed by their emotions and circumstances like a candle in the wind. By taking charge of your breath you can take charge of your emotions, your body and your life. Most people are totally unconscious of their breath. Sometimes when they have a strong emotional circumstance they will see their breathing is very sporadic but even then most people are still unaware of the ability to use their breath to control any given situation. The stronger the emotion the stronger the breath and the better chance for recognition and control. If you look at your breathing right now you might feel your chest expand and contract but your body, mind and life is much greater than just your chest. Use the power of your mind to expand your breathing down into your abdomen and perineum. Then expand your breath down to your feet and into the earth. Then expand your breath to your head and into the sky. Then expand your breath to your hands and into the mountains, trees and ocean. Then expand your breath to other sentient beings purifying them of what ever ails them. Breathing fully you can unify your body and mind with the entire universe and reach enlightenment.

All religions are based on the practice of Guru Yoga, that is, having faith in a God or savior that will enlighten them or bring them to a promised land when they die. When we all die we finish with one last breath that ends in an exhalation, Ah!!!!!!! If you can combine your exhalation with the thought of your savior or God your breath can help carry your consciousness to heaven when it finally leaves the body. The Largest sect of Buddhism is the Pureland school and the basis of their teachings are very simple, and in that simplicity is their profound power. Faith in the Buddha Amitabha and the recitation of his name is their main practice. The practice of recitation of mantras or the names of a savior, god or Buddha is totally dependent on the breath. Without the breath there is no recitation. When the karmic aggregates of the "self" begin to dissolve during the dying process the mind and even the body can be dissolved through the power of their last exhalation. There are many examples of great masters who have left this world through spontaneous combustion, dissolution into the rainbow body, and other miraculous means. All religions of the world have the general notion of hell being down bellow and heaven being up above. When you become proficient in deep breathing especially into the central channel of your body during the dying process and your last breath is guided up through the crown of your head a red dot of lymph and blood will appear on the Brahman Aperture or the fontanel of your head which are the trace marks of a successful transference of the consciousness to the Pureland. So even though you're breathing all the time if done with conscious intent the breath can be a source of profound healing and enlightenment.

Time your breathing with the breath of the universe and all things can be understood!!!



Going On A Spiritual Retreat

Lost in the material world of phenomenon like a ship without sails sentient beings have been tossed upon an ocean of suffering and blown by the winds of their karma since beginningless time without reprieve. Many people in today's society believe that by succeeding at a rewarding career they will eventually be happy. If only I could get a good SAT or GMAT score I would be happy. If only I could get into an Ivy League college I would be happy. If only I could get a good job I would be happy. If only I had a nice car I would be happy. If only I had a lot of money I would be happy. If only I could find someone who loved me I would be happy. If only I could get a nice house I would be happy. If only my kids would listen to me I would be happy. If only my spouse was a little more understanding I would be happy. If only I had good health I would be happy. If only I could live longer I would be happy. If only a had a master who could enlighten me before I die I would be happy. Because sentient beings are constantly seeking happiness in the world of material phenomenon we're never really satisfied and never obtain the state of absolute happiness which is without suffering, pari-nirvana. The Buddha Shakyamuni was born prince Siddhartha and accomplished as much as anyone could in the material world. He was great at everything he did and could have inherited an entire kingdom but when he saw that old age, sickness and death plagued everyone regardless of social status and that complete happiness didn't come from material wealth he was moved by the great compassion of the awakened mind of Bodhicitta to do something about it. He immediately renounced the world of illusions and went off on a spiritual retreat to find the answer to the riddle of life so that all sentient beings could have a way to obtain unconditional and absolute freedom and happiness.

Like Buddha Shakyamuni we might feel that all the wealth and fame we've generated in this life so far still hasn't brought us complete happiness. We're still lacking something. We might try to superficially pacify ourselves by feeling satisfied with our accomplishments, but because we still get stress, still get sick, have physical pain or sometimes get emotionally upset we realize that our happiness is not absolute. With this contemplation the aspiration to find an even greater sense of true happiness or maybe even enlightenment, a state of mind where suffering no longer exists, we decide to go on a meditation retreat. After all if we don't get some peace and quiet now and reach enlightenment in this lifetime, when will we? Enlightenment is a state of relaxation so deep that all of our mental distractions disappear and the true Buddha nature of our own radiant minds arise like the sun dispelling eons of darkness. Biguan is a common Chinese term for going on retreat which means closing off the senses to activate mind. By closing off the skandha of the mouth and ears silence is obtained. By closing off the skandha of the eyes distractions disappear. By closing off the skandha of the tongue cravings cease. By closing off the skandha of feeling attachments diminish. When the stormy clouds of mental fabrications begin to clear the vastness state of the mind's sky like natural radiance begins to appear and joyous luminosity is obtained.

Going on a spiritual retreat at a sacred mountain, at a sacred temple, with a sacred master where the spiritual energy is really strong, enlightenment becomes much easier to obtain. Upon arrival at the temple we are immediately amazed at the contrast with our otherwise very noisy lives. At home we forget how distracted we really are with work, the bills, quarterly taxes, traffic, sirens, police, garbage trucks, TV, politics, kids and all of our social activities. After attending a good meditation retreat some of its insights, peace and calm abiding will follow us back into the mundane world increasing the health and happiness of our home lives. For some it it will diminish and the our habitual tendencies will take back over. For others it might inspire us to continue our practice until we reach complete enlightenment whether we're practicing at home or on an even deeper retreat at the monastery.

There is a famous Chinese saying, "just because you've left home, doesn't mean you've left the state of affairs". A term for a monk or nun is, "one who has left the home". Becoming a monastic or a real lay practitioner should mean making a commitment to enter the great state of relaxation until perfect silence is obtained and the arising of all things are spontaneously liberated into the vast expanse of the mind's true nature unto its own accord. Once we've shed off the noise of home life or mundane living and enter the monastery it doesn't take too long before we realize just how noisy temple life can be too. At first the drum and bell is soothing and then it too becomes a source of vexation. The mind of dualistic fixation starts making judgments on the quality of life at the temple, the work we have to do, the type of dharma that is being practiced, the people in the sangha, the temple politics, and all of the mundane affairs that are required just to live in a community. If we begin to attach ourselves to the noise of temple life like this it can be just as distracting to our meditation as living at home so either we give up and go back to where we came from or go even deeper into retreat.

Leaving the temple we enter a forest dwelling where there's no gossip, no work, no nothing. Just you and nature. Quite, self sufficient, and uncomplicated. By contrast to living in the temple the forest dwelling seems just the right place to finally get some peace and quite. After getting settled into the forest retreat though it doesn't take us too long to realize that the noise of the wind, rain, thunder, lightening, birds, and animals are really loud and we still have to take care of our basic needs in an unforgiving land. Under these conditions even our forest dwelling becomes a noisy world of distractions. How can we ever see the origin of all things with so much noise in our lives? Though it is more quite than at home or at the temple and the depth of our meditation has increased tremendously it still seems way too noisy to get to the source of all things. In fact the intensity of the phenomena arising in our minds at this point have only increased as they become the main focus of our attention.

So, we decide to get really serious and increase our commitment to finding the ground primordial luminosity of all apparent phenomenon by going into a cave retreat. Ha, ha. Nothing in the cave can distract us from finding out who we really are now. Hum Ah, the cave. Finally it's so quite not even the weather or animals can disturb our meditation. Sustaining ourselves on almost nothing not even the microwaves of the atmosphere can be heard in the solitude of the cave. Just dead silence. Now without any external distractions what so ever we are finally confronted with the true source of all thing, our own mind. In the cave there is nothing that can be said to exist but very quickly we find our minds are just an explosions of sensory perceptions programmed by our earlier mundane lives and these sensations become even louder in the silent contrast of the cave. Our memory of home life, TV impressions, politics, temple life, and a battle field of sensations that arise like an army disturbing the great silence we've spent so much time looking for. Oh the madness!!! What to do, What to do?

At first we are confronted with the vast array of flotsam and jetsam floating around our minds but as the silence of the cave begins to still our minds we develop a sense of deep peace. This peace is the vastness state of our own mind, our own true nature. The world of ego, dualistic fixation, discursive thinking and all of its attachments however are extremely strong and the last thing they want us to do is abandon them by stilling our minds. Until meditative absorption is completely solidified sitting in the cave might become boring so we look at our thoughts to entertain ourselves with. Though it's as entertaining as watching TV if we don't apply the discipline of non-attachment we might as well go home. Fearing boredom or loneliness we look for an excuse to leave or at least some good thoughts to cling on to so that we don't fall into the abyss of the mind. We become afraid of loosing ourselves in the vastness of this mind of ours. All of our greatest fears come up. What if I get sick? What if I starve to death? What if I go crazy? What if something happens and no one finds me? What if I can't get a job when I go back home, what if, What if... Even though we're in the cave these mental projections feed off of each other making it even harder to relax, practice and become one with the creator of all things. Though the cave isn't moving, and our bodies aren't moving our minds race around like a dog chasing its tail. Once there were two lamas in Eastern Tibet who were best of friends. One was a mountain yogi and the other was a monastery administrator and they decided to do a cave retreat together. When they came out the yogi scolded the other monk and yelled at him for not going on retreat. The administrator said that he never left the cave and the yogi replied, "all you did the whole time was think about how to build up your monastery and you never entered the retreat of your mind's true nature for even one moment".

Now it becomes make it or break it time. Either we bail out of the retreat with our fears being the victor or we apply the perfections of practice to accomplish the goal of enlightenment and liberation. With joyful effort, discipline, mindfulness, and concentration the rat race of the mind will naturally slow down and the gaps between our thoughts will increase. Finding these gaps between our thoughts they begin to widen so that they occupy as much room as our thoughts and that's when the retreat really begins. With perseverance all of a sudden our boredom becomes our entertainment and loneliness becomes our best friend. Our fears becomes our strengths and the space between our thoughts becomes our home. When the space between our thoughts completely burst wide open the ground primordial luminosity, our natural radiance shines forth so that all thoughts that arise within this primordial light becomes spontaneously liberated and the manifestation of absolute nature. Samsara become inseparable with nirvana and recognizing the light for what it is, becomes enlightenment. Being able to maintain unity with the awareness of the light at all times becomes liberation.

When the mind has realized the source of all creation all things that arise from it become spontaneously liberated. A magical display of intrinsic awareness. Duality becomes harmonized, the three root poisons become the three root medicines, the four appearances becomes the four Kilaya Purbas, the five skhandas becomes the five wisdom lights and the 84,000 diseases become the 84,000 doors to liberation. Ah, the arhats, pretkyas and shravakas did not waste their time. Now realizing the fruition of the teachings of the enlightened ones we can bring this realization back to our forest dwelling, back to the temple, our homelands and the merit field of society where a Bodhisattva applies the wisdom light of the dharma to inspire others to go on retreat and discover their true nature.

Dharma Master Jingkong asks us how can we expect to achieve enlightenment and real happiness when we allow ourselves to be constantly distracted by TV, entertainment, education, and the material life. Garchen Rimpoche says that a peasant has a better chance of liberation because his mind is already in a state of simplicity and natural openness. Padmasambhava says don't look for happiness in the world of illusion, turn to the cave where the true source of happiness can be found. So if happiness is life's true goal what are we doing now, in this world, in this life time that'll give us ultimate freedom and happiness? The acquisitions of material things are never ending but if we can obtain the realization of our mind's true nature then the origin of all things can be obtained. What exists at the space between two thoughts? The unnamable, the ungraspable, the unattainable, the origin of all things. So why just settle for a few million dollars when you can obtain the entire universe? Like an empty piece of paper that we write our life story on, our mind is the container of all thoughts and things in creation. It has been with us since beginningless time but because we have yet to recognize it and stabilize it we keep spinning around lost in a sea of false perceptions. By going on retreat we can dive into the vast expanse of our own mind, into a sea of bliss where not even the name of suffering can be heard. With what time we have left in this life let's try to practice a little more meditation, breathing, exercise, charity and compassion to enter the great bliss light clarity of mind's delight and to pass it onto others as the inheritance of our own Buddha nature and that of all of the victorious ones.

Regardless of whether you are in a cave or in your living room a real retreat only begins when we rest our minds in the vast expanse between the light of the sun and moon!!!



9/11 A Call For World Peace

The Buddha Shakyamuni in his infinite wisdom taught us the infallible law of cause and effect called karma. All of our own happiness and suffering is self created. If we do good, then good things will happen to us. If we do bad, then bad things will happen to us. In this saha (time & space) world karma might come back swiftly and it might come back later or even in another life time, but it will definitely come back to us. Jesus said that you reap what you sow. Isaac Newton said that for every action there is a reaction. So what was 9/11 a reaction to? How did we "self create" 9/11? Where in the world have we created 9/11's that it comes back to us now? More importantly, what positive actions are we going to take now to prevent another 9/11 from happening in the future? If 9/11 is not a wake up call for us to assume responsibility for our own actions and their karmic consequences and purify them through the power of goodness we will be bound to repeat them again and again until we do so.

If we want peace we must give peace. If we want to stop terrorism we must stop being terrorists. This is the universal law of karma. Peace does not come from the end of a gun barrel. Only peace is the cause of peace. War is the cause of war. Peace is not the cause of war. War is not the cause of peace. Any peace gained through war might give a temporary sense of peace but it can only last until the karmic debt of war comes due. And when it does, it always comes with compounded interest. If we really want peace we must lead the world by example because only by transforming our enemies into our friends can we really develop lasting peace. As a young but powerful nation we should learn how to make friends with our neighbors so that we don't offend them and live in a constant state of fear and poverty. Spending trillions of dollars on security and war just squanders the wealth of a nation. It could be much better spent on infrastructure improvements, education, health care, and social security like our Northern European neighbors. After all these are the issues and services that all citizens can't live without. We can easily transform our war money into peace money by simply transforming our enemies into our friends through loving kindness. Enjoying these spoils of peace makes the world a much healthier, happier and prosporus place to be.

How do we make friends and develop international peace? Most people generally have an understanding of how to make friends and how to make enemies. We all know that when we treat people with arrogance, indignation, and aggression we create enemies, and when we treat people with dignity, respect and loving kindness we create friends. Everyone wants to be treated with dignity, respect and loving kindness. Even if we treated our current enemies with dignity, respect and loving kindness there is no way they can remain our enemies for long. All of today's terrorists were yesterday's freedom fighters. All of today's enemies were yesterday's friends and all of today's friends were yesterday's enemies. How did we create our enemies in the first place is the first question we should ask if we want to make them our friends. Then with humility and the sincere intention to create world peace apologize for all our misgivings and start anew. If we are sincere our enemies will know it and we can begin to transform them into our friends right away. And, by remaining Sincere future enemies will not arise.

In the Buddha Dharma and most religions there are really only two paths. The path of transformation and the path of renunciation. Some people start off with renunciation and then develop the ability to transform, and some begin with the path of transformation and develop renunciation. What is renunciation? renouncing negative actions is the path of renunciation. When monks renounce the world they are really only renouncing that which is harmful to their own peace and the peace of the world so that peace becomes a more prevalent experience in life. What is transformation? Transforming negative situations into positive ones and dissolving them into the great state of equanimity is the path of transformation. Everyone has the power of renunciation and transformation especially world leaders, terrorists, freedom fighters and friends. How we apply the power of renunciation and transformation is up to us.

America is currently the most powerful country in the world and we have the ability to transform the whole world into a healthy peaceful place to live in, or into a toxic wasteland. So far we've done both. How we conduct ourselves now will determine the quality of life we will live in in the future and give to our children when we're gone. The choice is up to us. Even though all things good and bad are a creation of the absolute nature or God's magic dance, just because one might have a view of this infinite wisdom, our conduct should be as refined as flour. Peace is living in harmony with our own mind's true nature and God's infinite grace. If we were really true Christians, Muslims, Jews, Daoists and Buddhists we would not kill, lie, steal and so on. If we really followed our own moral codes of conduct and commandments without wavering World Peace would already be a reality. When all becomes One there is no space for two and the dualistic fixation of friend and foe dissolve into the vast expanse without a trace only leaving peace and calm abiding to remain.

Buddhist don't believe in an external God that creates our world but that each individual person experiences the creation of their own karma. This idea of personal responsibility makes us personally responsible for our own actions and the world we create. There are no excuses. We can't blame God or anyone else for our own suffering. We have created it ourselves and if we truly want to rid ourselves and the rest of the world from pain and suffering we have to get back to the basics of morality, meditation and wisdom. So, whether we experience war or peace is really up to us.

For every effect there is a cause. Let's be the cause of Peace now!!!



The Four Noble Truths & Eight Fold Path

In our current human history, 500 years before the arrival of Jesus, the Buddha Shakyamuni sat underneath the Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya, India and reached enlightenment. After realizing the nature of his own mind, the mind of all sentient beings and the full expanse of creation he went to Deer Park near Banares and gave his first teaching called the Four Noble Truths. These Four Noble Truths should be the first mantra ever recited and memorized by all Buddhist practitioners. By understanding the Four Noble Truths and applying them to all of our life's situations and Buddhist studies our path remains grounded in the middle way and obsturations will not arise. Not allowing obscurations to arise the Dharma remains pure and can benefit all sentient beings. Without them however, even the sacred Buddha Dharma can become demonized at that is why the Buddha taught The Four Noble Truth and the Eight Fold Path first. The Four Noble truths are:
1. Mundane life is suffering.
2. Suffering is caused by our own actions called karma.
3. This karma can be eradicated.
4. By following the Eight Fold Path.

1. Life in the six realms of samsara is suffering. All manifested things and beings in life go through the process of birth, old age, sickness and death and each stage has it's own form of suffering. We might think to ourselves that we are perfectly happy in this life yet the pain of thirst, hunger, injury, disease and mental anguish is with us every day coming and going like the ocean's tide. No one is completely happy all the time and that is why the Buddha said that life is suffering. Not that he is a pessimist but that he is a realist.

2. Suffering is caused by our own karma and the karma of the collective environment in which we live. Karma is the law of cause and effect. If we are good, good things will happen to us. If we are bad, bad things will happen to us. Our happiness or suffering is totally self created.

3. The universal karmic law of cause and effect that binds us to the world of suffering can be eradicated by following the Eight Fold Path and reaching enlightenment. The Eight Fold Path can be divided into three parts called Sila - Moral Conduct, Samadhi - Meditation, Prajna - Wisdom. The realization of the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path bestows enlightenment which is a state of Mind where suffering does not exist. 4. Like the Four Noble Truths The Eight Fold Path can be translated and elaborated upon in many ways but here is just a simple example from a Mahayana Buddhist perspective:

1. Perfect View; the view free from ego, identity to self, dualistic fixation, grasping, ignorance, greed and hatred.
2. Perfect Intent; the intent to reach enlightenment and to lead others to the very same state.
3. Perfect Speech; the speech that is in accordance with the truth and saves being from samsara.
4. Perfect Action; the action that liberates self and others.
5. Perfect Livelihood; the livelihood that does no harm to sentient beings.
6. Perfect Discipline; the discipline of body, speech and mind and their karmic consequences.
7. Perfect Meditation; activatiing the mind that doesn't dwell on anything.
8. Perfect Wisdom; the unity of emptiness and compassion, nomenon and phenomenon.

After practitioners are firmly grounded in the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path the Mahayana aspiration to liberate all sentient beings can become a reality and the Vajrayana tantras can become a safe vehicle for liberation in one lifetime.

Only by building a strong foundation can the banner of the victorious ones be raised!!!



The Bodhisattva Prayer

Of all the prayers in the universe none is as powerful as the Bodhisattva Prayer. The Bodhisattva Prayer is the aspiration to lead all sentient to complete enlightenment and liberation from the six realms of suffering known as samsara.

The thought of I or self is the only obstacle to reaching enlightenment and liberation. If the I can be dissolved without enmity then you will become enlightened. Constantly remaining in that view is liberation. When the thought of self arises in your mind it is like a cloud gathering in the sky blocking the natural radiance of your true nature. Continually clinging on to the thought of self even more clouds gather creating a thunderstorm of discursive thoughts, emotions and actions that only serve to increase the delusion of self and its suffering. The best way to disperse the delusion of self is to become selfless by thinking of others more than yourself and develop love, compassion, and wisdom towards all sentient beings, from a single insect on a single blade of grass to the highest wisdom of Samantabhadra. With this aspiration the awakening of Bodhicitta will dawn in your mind stream dispersing the dark clouds of a thousand eons bringing the natural clear light awareness to the forefront of your being.

Some people say that practice makes perfect. But, we say that only perfect practice makes perfect. Imperfect practice only makes imperfect. What goes in is what comes out. A religion or spiritual practice that liberates their practitioners is Buddhism. A religion or spiritual practice that doesn't is a cult. You can practice one billion Buddha tantras for one billion years but if you still haven't developed the awakened mind of Bodhicitta you still won't be any closer to enlightenment. Chan Master Huihai once said, "if you keep searching for the Buddha you will spend an eternity in samsara and never see a single one. But, if you can see the nature of your own mind for just an instant then you will see all of the Buddhas in the entire universe". Our original nature is none other than the Buddha itself; compassionate wakefulness free from all attachments to the five skandhas of thoughts, feelings, conceptions, impulses and consciousness.

To dispel the demon of self and all the clouds that arises from the delusion of self the Lord Buddha in his infinite wisdom taught us the unexcelled method of increasing our own enlightenment and wisdom by wishing the same for others. If you pray for someone else's enlightenment without a thought of reward then the karma of that prayer comes right back to you bestowing all of the blessing of enlightenment upon you. If you pray for one hundred people to reach enlightenment then the karma comes back to you one hundred times. Now, if you wish for all of the sentient beings in the entire universe to become fully and completely enlightened then think of the results and immense blessings that will rain down upon such aspirations. This is the path of the Bodhisattva. Being selfless the self is dissolved, and if there is no self, there is no place for suffering to attach itself to.

As long as sentient being remain in samsara may I too remain so that I may inspire them to recognize their own true nature, free from both attachment and aversion,
hope and fear!!!



Food Prayer

Everyday we consume the life of others be it animal, vegetable or mineral so that we may have life. This is the most selfish thing we do on a regular basis and unless you're a complete breatharian like our Master Chen or totally empty like Chan Master Huineng then the process of eating can create a lot of karma.

When we eat we should try to purify that karma by invoking great compassion for what we are eating and rejoice in the fact that someday we will have an opportunity to repay their great kindness. Then add on the visualization that your food has been consecrated in the Buddha fields above your head and you invite everyone in the six realms of samsara starting with the god realms, devas, humans, animal, hungry ghost, and hell realms to partake of your offering. As soon as they taste the food they traverse the vortex from the offering to the Buddha fields where they are completely liberated into the vast expanse. As the last sentient being of the six realms of samsara begins to leave the table the hook of Buddha's great compassion snatches you up into the vortex as well. Never having to descend down into the lower realms of suffering again; recite.

May all sentient beings attain liberation by eating this consecrated food. Amituofo!!!



The Seven Line Prayer

The Seven Line Prayer is an invocation of the Nirmanakaya Buddha Padmasambhava. His blessings are extremely swift for he is the manifestation of all of the Buddhas of the ten thousand directions that have been transmitted through the heart center of Amitabha, the Buddha of limitless light. It is through the form of Padmasabhava, known dearly as Guru Rimpoche, that the Lord Buddha Shakyamuni has return to this world to keep the jet stream of blessings and teachings alive in this modern world. The Seven Line Prayer is as simple as it is profound. Other than the Seven Line Prayer no other practice is needed. It is the ground, path and fruition of all practices.

Guru Rimpoche is none other than our own intrinsic awareness free from all cognation, dualistic fixation and grasping. He is free from the concepts of good and bad for he is perfect. Perfect in the beginning, perfect in the middle and perfect in the end. Neutralized in the vast expanse of our mind he allows us to reflect on our own Buddha nature which is the same as his and all of the other Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, enlightened and samsaric beings in the universe. He is the timeless, boundless, and limitless three root medicines of complete love, compassion and wisdom that purifies the inner and outer three realm world systems. Written by the the daughter of the origin of all things Mother Prajnaparimita, the wisdom dakini Yeshe Tsogyal gave us The Seven Line prayer as an expedient to bring us back to our original nature, the home of supreme bliss, Sukavati. Though it may be called an invocational prayer one who recites this prayer is not praying to become a Buddha but is actually already a Buddha performing Buddha activity for the sake of all sentinent Buddha beings of this vast Dharma Realm.

The Seven Line Prayer

Orgyen yul jup nub jang sam
On the North West border in the country of Oddiyana,

Padme gesar dong pola
On the pistil of a Lotus,

Yat sen cho ge nub drub ne
You obtained all of the Siddhis,

Padme Jugne she su drag
You are renouned as the lotus born one.

Kordro kandro mang pu kor
Surrounded by all of your dakinis,

Che chi je su dag drub chi
On my path I will emulate you.

Jin je lop chir sheg su sol
I pray you will confer all of your blessings.

Guru Padme Siddhi Hung

Om Ah Hung Benza Guru Padme Siddhi Hung!!!



What is Qigong?

What is Qi?
Qi is everything and everything is qi. Since beginningless time qi has been the life and breath of the universe. The original Chinese idiom for Qi means that which manifests from emptiness. Qi energy is the creative force that drives the complete array of phenomenon from the most subtle to the most gross elements of our universe. But, today modern people use another Chinese idiogram for qi which means metabolic energy. It depicts rice in the belly of a person. When you eat you get energy. Then that energy is stored in the kidneys, marrow, brain and blood and distributed throughout all of the channels of the body and comingles with the energies of heaven and earth. Just like our bodies the Earth has its energy centers and channels that commingles with the energy systems of our bodies and minds. And like the Earth, Heaven also has its energy centers and channels that comingle with all the planets and their inhabitants in the universe. It is within the harmony of Heaven, Earth and Mankind that we co-exist in the primordial sphere of qi energy. Whether you receive empowerment into the mysteries of qi revealing its nature suddenly, or whether you discover it on your own through practicing the gradual systems of cultivation, you will find that Qi has a bio-rhythm and is a celestial-terrestrial, environmental, biological, light, infrared, thermal, electro- magnetic energy that pervades the entire universe, our bodies, and our minds.

What is Gong?
Gong means merit, an ability, a system, or iconographically means to work with a spiritual effort. Gong can mean the kind of karmic merit that is acquired when doing good deeds. Gong can also mean an ability to do something at a very high level of expertise. Gong can also mean a system of cultivation. Gong in the case of qigong can mean all of the above but in specific, to work qi energy with a spiritual effort. Qigong is often translated as breathing exercises but that's a very limited understanding. People don't practice qigong just to have a more powerful breath. They practice qigong to increase their energy, open their channels, empower their energy centers, harmonize their organ systems and emotions, develop youthful vitality, heal themselves of physical, mental and spiritual diseases, transmit qi to others and heal them of their diseases, harmonize with the environmental energies of heaven and earth, expand their minds, reach enlightenment and leave the world of suffering to enter the world of supreme bliss, sukavati.

Just like the cosmic winds of the universe everyone is born through the creative force of qi energy. It is through the mind's intent that we can guide this qi energy into different internally and external patterns to manipulate and manifest the material phenomenon of our world. The power of the mind's intent, qi energy, an li force, is the three most essential ingredients of creation. If qigong is breathing exercises, then we're doing it all of the time instinctively. If qi comes from rice in the belly, then we're getting it every time as we eat. If all manifestations arise from qi, then we're always in engaged in manipulating, controlling, and manifesting our world using qigong. No matter what we do from birth to death and back again, qi is the driving force that shapes all of our lives.

Brain marrow, bone marrow, blood, phlegm, and most importantly seminal fluid is the essence of the body that contains high levels of saturated qi. Seminal fluid, or essence as we like to call it is also know as a bindu, tigle, fadan, or even bodhicitta because of its power to generate, create, transform, enlighten and liberate. When a father's essence is replete and his juxtaposition of cosmological alignment and navel-kidney center energy saturation is stimulated by the bio-magnetic attraction of a female, he is ready to release this most precious of substances. When a mother's juxtaposition is also aligned, her navel energy center is fertile, and is bio-magnetically attracted to her partner, she is ready to receive this essence to create new life. When the sperm enters the Life's Gate Point of the egg, latter to be known as the Mingmen point located in the lower back, a karmically connected consciousness is drawn into the fetus. This consciousness has shared a relationship with their parents from a previous life and is coming back to fulfill their karmic obligation or take retribution of their parent's karmic obligation. If the mother experiences good health, or new sources of income enters the house then you know their are fulfilling their karmic obligation. If the mother falls ill or the child bears trouble to the house then they are taking retribution. Either way, in combination with the bio-energy field of the mother's womb and the mind's intent of the fetus's consciousness gestation occurs.

Where essence is the battery acid that stores the qi, the dantiens, channels, collaterals and meridians distribute the qi like the electric lines connected to a battery in a car. With every cell division during the gestation process a new channel is created. The first cell division establishes the central channel that will hold the consciousness of the fetus and will connect all of the dantiens in one line like wheels on a chariot. The second cell division creates the Belt Channel which connects the Life Gate Point in the back with the umbilical cord in the front connecting their past source of life with their future source of life. The next cell division creates the Governor and the Conception Vessels which is called the microcosmic orbit because it is completely connected while the fetus is still in the womb. These channels harmonize duality and regulates the creation of all of the internal organs. Then the vase channels and all of the other channels of the body are created establishing the generation, regulation and bio-rhythm of the fetus. If all goes well in nine months an old consciousness gets a new life.

Immediately after birth the tongue is released from the top of the mouth with the first cry breaking the upper part of the Microcosmic Orbit of the Conception and Governor Vessels and societal conditioning begins. Brought into this world all sentient beings are dependent on four conditions for growth; the energy of the environment, air, food, and exercise. They will all commingle to determine the quality of our lives as we traverse the four stages of birth, old age, sickness and death in the never ending cycle of samsara. To cultivate our total sphere of energy we move to a neighborhood we like with the best environment we can. We try to breath the cleanest air, eat the freshest foods, and drink the purist water to make us feel healthy. We exercise to make us feel better and wear jewelry and clothes that makes us look better. Intentionally or not we're always trying to manipulate the energies in and around us to create the healthiest and most prosperous environment possible. This is practicing qigong intuitively.

Sometimes our instinctive abilities to solve our problems through manipulating the energies in and around us are not enough. Mired by attachments to the illusions of this world we often make the wrong decisions on how to exist in harmony. Therefore we turn to the teachings of the enlightened ones who perceive phenomenon with pristine awareness and have transcended the world of pain and suffering to show us the way. The wisdom of these teaching that the masters show us are inherently existent within us already. They just peel away our obscurations by transmitting their wisdom energy to us and show us techniques to increase our own enlightened qualities until harmony of our body, speech, and minds have returned to their natural state. They treat our physical, mental, and spiritual diseases through prayer, energy transmissions, symbols, physical alignments, acupuncture, herbal medicines, and balancing the energy in our bodies, homes, and environment. Then they teach us to reach the state of great perfection through cultivating breathing exercises, forms, postures, mudras, mantras, visualizations, and meditations to reconnect us to our primordial nature which is a state of mind free from all forms of suffering and fear. Realizing the primordial fearless state of intrinsic awareness the true nature of mind and energy is understood and the benefits of practicing qigong are realized.



The Origin of Qigong

China is the oldest living civilization in the world. It has the oldest living writing system, divination system, oldest human fossil remains, the oldest pyramids, the oldest palaces, the oldest technologies, and along with India, the oldest living religions. China is really old. In China common antiques are at least a couple of hundreds of years old and are more often thousands of years old. China is responsible for many inventions and developments such as acupuncture, cupping, moxabustion, herbal medicine, tea, porcelain, silk, gunpowder, advanced metallurgy, paper, printing, money, banking, finance, irrigation, advanced farm tools, produce cultivation, arched bridges, compass, celestial navigation, schooner size sailing ships, astrology, numerology, internal alchemy, legalism, celestial legalism, Shamanism, Daoism and Chan Buddhism. While the west was still living in the dark ages of med-evil Europe China was a thriving high-tech yet enlightened society. These cultural and religious developments followed many waves of migration patterns throughout Asia and the Americas from Tibet to Argentina for over sixteen thousand years.

Of the three races of the world Caucasoid, Negroid and Mongoloid, the mongoloid race grew out of the Yellow River Valley of Northern China and spread out westward to Tibet-Jang and the Himalayan border with India, northwest to Russia, south to Indonesia and the South Pacific Islands, and east across the Bering Sea down through the Americas to the southern most point of Argentina. They have covered six times more land mass than either the Caucasoid or Negroid race up until the last two hundred years. The mongoloid people spread throughout Asia and the Americas and their indigenous religion of Shamanism went with them maintaining their harmony with Heaven and Earth where ever they went. Shaman is an ancient Chinese ideogram that means, the one who knows the door to the mystic secrets. It was the earliest known word used for a holy person or a monk and it is still used today. The Shaman was the medicine man who was either born realized, self realized, or trained into realization by the senior Shamans of the tribe. It was the Shaman's job to help his tribe heal disease, stop calamities, and maintain their connection with the heaven and earth so that they would have peace, prosperity and long life.

Daoism
More recently, two thousand and five hundred years ago during the sixth century Before Christ, Laozi reached enlightenment on Qingliang Mountain in the Zhongnan mountain range near Xian along the Silk Road of North West China. At the nearby Louguan Tai Temple he was asked to teach the way of enlightenment. He replied, " the Way that can be told is not the eternal Way". But, he did manage to say a few things about the Way and it was scribed as the Dao De Jing, the second most published book in the world. After he headed off to India riding on a bull Daoism became China's first organized religion, and though it did become the national religions of Japan and Korea it did not cross the Bering Sea to the Americas until much later. Under the teachings of Laozi innumerable beings have reached enlightenment. Besides the teachings of Laozi, Daoism incorporated all of the mystical knowledge of the shamans before him, and continued to develop into the future. It was these Daoist mystics that contributed the most to the Asian martial, medicinal, and enlightenment traditions we find today. Their are many schools of Daoism but the predominate schools are called the Complete Truth School and its sub sect, the Dragon Door School which has even more sub-sects. Though Daoism is an extremely profound and complete path, it is a much more introverted religion than Mahayana Buddhism, Christianity, or Islam and is therefore quite allusive. Since ancient times Daoism followed the same Shaman migration routes to India, Tibet, Japan, Korea and South East Asia and today can be found throughout the world but not in mass because they don't proselytize. They don't feel the need to convert followers and usually stay in secluded temples and mountain dwellings. Tai Chi Chuan however, is a main Daoist form of martial, medicinal, and wisdom cultivation and it is also the worlds most popular form of exercise. It can be found everywhere in the world in some form or another. Today's main centers of Daoism are the White Cloud Temple in Beijing, Wudang Mountain in Hubei, Hua Mountain near Xian, Yi Mountain in Fujian, Chingcheng Mountain in Sichuan, and ofcourse Qingliang Mountain and Louguan Tai in the Zhongnan Mountains.

Buddhism
A hundred years after Laozi left China for India during the sixth century Before Christ another exalted one appeared in the Nepalese city of Kapilavastu amongst the Shakya clan. He was called Shakyamuni, the fourth Buddha of this fortunate eon and his teachings spread throughout the Middle and the Far East. Buddhism came to China from India and Afghanistan as the Buddha was teaching the Dharma. Chinese and Indian monks traveled along the Silk Road and Buddhism became the national religion of China during by first century at the White Horse Temple in Luoyang. As Buddhism spread throughout Asia it mixed with the local Shaman and Daoist cultures before it and greatly increased the wisdom of the East. However, it was during the sixth century AD that the Twenty Eighth Patriarch Bodhidharma came to China and founded Chan or Zen Buddhism at the world's most famous Buddhist monastery, The Shaolin Temple. At the Shaolin Temple Bodhidharma taught a series of qigong exercises called the Muscle Changing, Organ Changing Classics and Bone Marrow Washing Classics which became the foundational qigong practice of Shaolin Kungfu. Shaolin Kungfu and Bodhidharma's Chan teachings became the dominate form of cultivation in China. As its teaching spread all around Asia it greatly contributed to the development of Tibetan and South East Asian Buddhism and became the national religion of Korea and Japan.



Martial Arts Qigong

The four most famous centers of martial arts in the world are Shaolin, Wudang, Emei and Kunlun yet every single mountain and village in the Far East has their own styles of martial arts qigong. Some traditions also originate from famous generals and other non-sectarian masters such a Guangong and Yuefei. Shaolin and Emei are Buddhist, Wudang is Daoist, Kunlun is Shaman and they all have a little of each in each other. Shaolin is by far the most famous school of martial arts qigong but yet it comes from only one single temple on Song Shan Mountain in Henan, Province called Shaolin. The great master Bodhidharma is accredited with being the founder of Shaolin martial arts qigong as well as the founder of Chan (Zen) Budhism. Before Shaolin was established the local martial arts were called Songshan Pai but as Shaolin became world famous all of the different martial arts in the area became known as Shaolin. Where Shaolin is often called external Kungfu, Wudang is called the internal style. Wudang is a famous mountain range in Hubei, Province that has many Daoist temples and different styles of martial arts qigong. Actually, both of these schools have internal and external forms of cultivation, but since Shaolin is famous for its fast action kungfu and Wudang is famous for its slow moving Tai Chi Chuan these distinctions have been made even though this is just a very superficial understanding. Shaolin also has slow moving practices such as the Muscle Changing Classics and the Wrathful Diamond Fist. Wudang Pai also has many fast moving styles such as the Eight Immortals Boxing, Cannon Fist and Thunder Fist. The same is true for the famous Emei Mountain in Sichuan, Province and Kunlun, in Xinjiang. They all have many different temples and villages with different styles of martial arts qigong. No traditional system of cultivation would be the same without having both methods.

Though Martial arts qigong is the cultivation of energy to increase martial power and prowess it actually has a much greater utility than that. Smashing bricks and breaking boards on a master's head, cutting a water melon on his chest, and laying down on a bed of nails while smashing slabs of cement on his body is a real crowd pleaser but anybody with a little understanding of physics and drama can perform these simple tricks. When mixed in with the physical feats of high flying kungfu it gives it some illusion of credibility. They do not really demonstrate the true skill of a martial arts qigong practitioner. First and foremost proper practice cures disease and strengthens the health. Even the greatest of martial arts practitioners are humbled when they are sick. Through the practice of martial arts qigong a practitioner's circulation of qi and blood increases throughout their body which eliminates stagnation in the channel systems and harmonizes their health. The greater the qi, the greater the health, which in turn generates more qi. The greater the qi, the greater the power, and the greater the power, the greater the awareness. It is through the engendering of power and awareness that martial qigong practitioners can accomplish the Way.

One of the central themes of martial arts qigong is the lower dantien. Within the six realms of samsaric existence the lower dantien in the navel center has the nature of the animal realm. Practitioners utilize the qi from this energy center in martial arts qigong to develop strong animal like ability. Being able to gather qi into the lower dantien practitioners develop protection from the environment, a much stronger body, and practitioners can take powerful blows to their mid-section. Their waist becomes more flexible and the torque of the waist is what drives the foot and fist. Another central theme of martial arts qigong is rooting. As the lower dantien fills up with qi energy the xing channels of the lower legs also fills up. When the legs fill up then a much stronger qi flow is generated through the yongchuan points in the bottom of the feet sprouting roots of electro-magnetic qi energy deep into the ground. It is this rooting that develop an extremely powerful stance, and all of a martial qigong practitioner's power originates from here and that's why ninety nine percent of all martial artists are fixated on the lower dantien, rooting and stance.

After a martial qigong practitioner develops the foundation of his dantien, his stance and his root, striking power and the ability to use it comes naturally. Striking power does not come from the fist but from the rooting of a strong stance. Just like a well rooted tree, no matter how hard you swing on the branches, the tree won't fall over. The strength of the branches are dependent on the strength of the roots. The strength of a strike is also dependent on the root of the stance. Once practitioners learn rooting from the lower dantiens they can raise their qi to the middle dantien in the chest and project the qi outward into the hands. When the qi reaches the arms practitioners can feel the energetic connection between both of their hands. Once connected a practitioner will understand how to apply proper body mechanics and they will develop alignment. As alignment is developed practitioners can begin to make all of their movements by pivoting on their central channel and greater qi flow is generated. Their awareness of an even greater connection between the Six Gatherings of the hands and feet, knees and elbows, hips and shoulders and even the dantiens and channels will begin to expand. Then when practitioners begin to raise their qi to the forehead they can begin to develop heightened awareness. Through the projection of qi from the forehead, the hands and the body in general, practitioners can sense intent and motion of people opposing them. Using martial arts qigong to increase a practitioner's level of physical ability and mental awareness greatly increases their enlightenment and chance for ultimate liberation.

Practicing fast or slow motion qigong forms takes different types of concentration to perform yet they all arrive at the same result of emptiness. The one pointed focus of a Shaolin monk while he is doing a split in mid-air over a sword as he tumbles into a hand spring and then jumps into a back flip takes a high level of physical achievement and mental concentration. This type of concentration is called chan, dhyana, vipassana, and one pointed focus, and becoming fully focused the door of enlightenment opens. When a Wudang priest slowly waves his hands across the sky when he is practicing Tai Chi Chuan he is harmonizing his mind with the environment and this type of concentration is called wu, kong, shamatha or emptiness. In the empty state where all things neither exist nor is not non-existent all practitioners arrive at the same conclusion, the enlightenment that leads to the vastness state of their own true nature, the highest kungfu.

Practicing martial arts qigong can cause blockages in the channel systems which might result in physical and mental diseases. Concentration on martial interactions with other sentient beings also generate negative karma which leads to blockages in the channel systems, physical and mental diseases and rebirth in the lower realms, most predominately the animal realm. If used to actually kill spiritual beings and other sentient beings with selfish intentions the intensity of the karma can lead them to rebirth in the hungry ghost or hell realms. Martial arts qigong is like a double edge sword. It can be used to increase health, or it can be the cause of disease. It can be used to increase wisdom, or it can be the cause of confusion. It can be used to protect people, or it can be used to hurt people. It can be used to reach enlightenment and liberation and it can be a cause for rebirth in hell. Whether a martial arts qigong practitioner is a success or not depends on whether they have the proper motivation, are grounded in the foundational principles, have the good fortune of meeting qualified teachers and the discipline to hang in there until the teachings are realized. If practitioners of martial arts qigong are not grounded in the four noble truths, eightfold path, six parimitas, the five precepts, and the thirty six vows of the Bodhisattva then even the Buddhas can turn into demons.

Like all forms of qigong you have to use it to unravel its power and realization. You can spend years in the classroom learning how to drive a car but unless you actually get in a car and drive it, you'll never really know. Martial arts qigong is no different. Warriors of old, or practitioners during the Cultural Revolution got a chance to use their knowledge in the ultimate classroom of life. If martial qigong practitioners use their knowledge to defend themselves and protect others then good karma will result making enlightenment and liberation even more possible. If they use it to hurt people then only bad karma will result making the possibility of enlightenment and liberation only more difficult. However, if they can keep their mind in emptiness while engaged in battle then they exist in the enlightened state where no karma can accrue. Once a Zen samurai was in battle and many lost their life at his sword's edge when a defiant peasant readied himself for death spit in the samurai's face. The Zen samurai stopped immediately and just walked away from the battle field. The other soldiers asked why he didn't kill the peasant and the Zen samurai replied, "I never kill in anger".

A martial artist's only enemy is his own ego and negative actions and the practice of qigong will only intensify them. Though qigong martial arts are commonly practiced by monastics the martial arts are not the goal of their practice, it is only a tool of their practice that helps lead them to enlightenment. Buddhist monks and Daoist priests take vows and precepts that remind them of the karmic consequences of their actions and they recite them until it becomes second nature. Unless your mind is completely empty make sure you practice with the righteous vows of a monk and only use it to help sentient beings in every way possible. A true qigong warrior purifies his own karma and conquers his own demons through the spiritual practice of wisdom and compassion so that enemies will never arise in his mind stream to begin with making all battlefields the pure land of Amitabha. This is the Way to liberation in which all inner, outer and secret obstacles can be conquered through the ultimate martial art. Martial qigong practitioners can achieve enlightenment by remaining in the state of wuwei, spontaneously arising action from the empty state. Action with attachment creates karma. Action without attachment doesn't. Action without action, is true action. Staying empty, neutral and unattached to all situations, a practitioner intends nothing and creates nothing, owns nothing and takes credit for nothing, remaining in boundless equanimity while compassion spontaneously manifests they maintain the Way and are liberated into the vast expanse of self existing wisdom.

Only a master who has conquered the ego can conquer the world!!!



Medical Qigong

There have been many famous masters of medical qigong since ancient times such as Feizi of Wudang and Baiyun of Emei. In fact, in every single mountain, temple, village and Chinese city there are local medical qigong practitioners of all kinds working day and night to help liberate the suffering of the sentient masses. The Shamans started it, the Daoists are the most prolific at it, and the Buddhists use it to generate Bodhicitta.

Medical qigong is basically divided into two categories; practicing qigong and receiving qigong therapy. There are many disease that can be pacified, improved or completely cured through the practice of qigong, and if qigong is practiced properly to the completion stage of enlightenment and liberation, then all diseases are completely liberated into the vast expanse and rebirth into the six realms of suffering are extinguished forever. Some people begin their practice of qigong by joining a class and learning generic qigong. Today's qigong classes in the West are very rarely authentic lineage transmitted systems of energy cultivation. They are either a group of exercises taken from the martial arts or pseudo-spiritual qigong systems that were just made up recently. Never-the-less even practicing these forms of qigong can have profound healing results. Though it is a slower method in treating specific diseases generic qigong can be practiced long after the disease has been pacified for general health tonification and maybe even reaching enlightenment. Others begin their qigong practice by having certain qigong exercises prescribed to them by a qigong master to treat a specific disease. there are eighty four thousand exercises to treat the eighty four thousand diseases. The Wudang Chuanzhen school alone had 14,700 exercises that combine the holding of specific postures and mudras at certain times of the day while reciting mantras, incantations or poems to pacify the disease and understand its origin and the origin of all things.

Some people practice qigong, some receive qigong therapy and some combine both at the same time to get the best results. Receiving medical qigong therapy includes the transmission of qi energy from a qigong practitioner to a patient and usually includes along with it, acupointing, massage, chiropractics, guasha, cupping, burning, blood letting, internal and external herbal medicine, acupuncture and moxibustion. In fact all forms of Chinese medicine is a form of medical qigong because qi is the primary tenant of their practice. Some practitioners specialize in only one form of medical qigong such as transmitting qi to patients. Though this method can treat many diseases it is still quite limited. If someone throws out their back and a vertebra in the spine not aligned properly you can transmit all the qi you want to for months and not much will happen, but one twist, push or pull can put it back in place immediately. You can align all the bones perfectly but it still won't take out dampness heat in the urine bladder. One needle placed in the right location can drain it quite quickly. You can needle someone with the flu for a week and it still might not take out the pathogen. One good dispersing the exterior herbal formula can knock it right out. You can take all the herbs you want but unless you let the blood of a high toxic fever it will probably only get worse. For each of the eighty four thousand diseases there are eighty four thousand types of treatments. Knowing what technique to use and when to use it is up to the training, experience and wisdom of the practitioner.

Tenth bumi Bodhisattvas are completely empty and can remove the suffering of the world without taking any of it on themselves. Like waves on the ocean diseases come and go. Arising from the depths of ocean mind its origin becomes clear. Coming from nowhere, existing nowhere and return to nowhere. All diseases are primordially pacified. As the great 6th Patriarch of Chan said, "originally the universe is completely empty, so where can suffering exist"? Diseases arise from not knowing your own true nature which is void of any notion of I. When some one says I have a disease of course they do. I is the root of all of their diseases. If you have an I then you can have a disease, but if this I is understood to be only the temporary illusion of a confused mind and that it has no substantial permanent existence then the disease can be liberated into the great sky like nature of your own mind. Clinging to I or self is the root of all suffering. Selfishness is the action of clinging to this illusion and when a subject-object relationships develop while treating patients then you are not treating from the empy state of a bodhisattva and the five skhandas of feeling, perceptions, conceptions, impulses and consciousness can absorb the suffering of your patients to your mind stream making you physically very sick. Only by treating patients without treating patients, can you really treat patients. A mortal believes that diseases exist. An Arhat believes that diseases do not exist. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas believe that diseases neither exist nor do they not exist. Remaining in boundless equanimity where not even the names of disease can be heard they are primordially free from all forms of suffering.

When a patients hears your name and thinks of coming to see you they are already sending you their bing qi, sick qi. Most medical qigong practitioners and especially new age energy workers are still connected to the perception of self and the world of skhandas and therefore take on their patient's suffering. Taking on the sickness of the suffering is a bodhisattva goal that can lead to the higher realms, but as different skhandas arise you might want to pay attention to the following three categories of energy transmission; using your own qi, channeling qi and reflecting external qi. Using your own qi is the most common form of energy transmission which is fine if you're living in a mountain temple, in a pristine environment, you only treat a few people on occasion and you practice qigong cultivation regularly. However, treating clinically in an urban environment can easily drain a practitioner's qi and make them sick as well as defenseless against absorbing others diseases. Channeling qi is a much stronger method and is fine if you're back at the mountain temple in a pristine environment, but again treating, many patients in an urban environment will easily make you sick. As a practitioner channel the qi of the environment through their body they pick up a lot of sick qi with it making them sick as well.

Reflecting external qi is harder method to perfect but it has many great qualities that a practitioner can use to protect themselves from patient's diseases while reflecting a tremendous amount of healing energy to them. Reflecting energy begins with developing the empty compassion of a bodhisattva through samadhi meditation, bliss generation and clarity. Entering emptiness the surrounding diseases of the environment has no place to attach itself to. After empowerment the recitation the six syllable mantra of Om Mani Padme Hum while staying in meditative absorption develops a protection shield of diamond like qi awareness which radiates from the six dantiens so that external diseases can't penetrate into the body. Meanwhile the healing energy of the six heavenly realms liberate the diseases of the patient into the vast expanse. After treatment it is vitally important to dedicate the merit to the liberation of all sentient beings and practice the clearing set immediately so that any remaining sick qi won't build up in your body.

How to interact, counter act and over act with qi energy is of vital importance for all medical qigong practitioners. When medical qigong practitioners are grounded in the fundamental principles of the Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, the Six Parimitas and treat their patients with the bodhicitta of love, compassion and wisdom then they are really bodhisattvas and the karmic value of practicing this way is immeasurable. Treating patients without bodhicitta or inspiring them to reach enlightenment won't help them very much anyway. You can cure their tennis elbow, dampness heat in the bladder and liver qi stagnation but unless they reach enlightenment themself they will never be free from the suffering of the six realms of samsara and will always be a patient. The patient must become the doctor, understand the nature of disease and their mind and liberate themselves from this otherwise endless cycle of suffering.

Liberating all and attaching to none is the path of the Bodhisattva!!!



Religious Qigong

True religious Qigong is the cultivation of qi energy and power in combination with the foundational principles to reach complete enlightenment and liberation. Qigong is the rocket fuel of meditation that quickly generates strength, bliss and clarity. However, it is the fundamental principles that guides practitioners into the supreme realization of Bodhicitta. Without the foundational principles of the Five Precepts, Four Noble Truth, Eightfold Path, Six Parimitas, and Bodhicitta qigong can become a cause for disease and can even turn the Buddha into a demon. If practiced properly qigong purifies and strengthens the body, speech and mind. It transforms the physical aggregates of the body into a sacred mandala, the speech into divine songs, and the mind into the palace of primordial awareness. Gathering energy into the channels harmonizes the physical and mental aggregates of the body and mind. Reconnecting the microcosmic orbit unites duality into the great sphere of equanimity. Gathering qi energy into the central channel transference through the Brahman Aperture into Amitabha's Sphere Of Great Bliss is achieved. Whether you gain access into the secret mysteries of qigong through Sudden Enlightenment or the gradual approach may the supreme happiness free from all forms of suffering be achieved.

Qigong grounded in the foundational principles is a cause for liberation!!!



Pseudo-Spiritual Qigong

Pseudo-spiritual qigong has many good health and meditation benefits but rarely does it lead to enlightenment or liberation. It can also be extremely dangerous and has led to many physical and mental illnesses, murder, and even mass suicide. Pseudo-spiritual qigong has been created by new age qigong charlatans that use the ancient knowledge of the Buddhists and Daoists, not for spiritually liberating themselves or their disciples, but to increase their own wealth and fame.

The Propaganda
All of the pseudo-spiritual qigong charlatans create their own systems of qigong they call a Gong. This way they don't represent any traditional lineage and can say what ever they want without any repercussions from the official qigong or religious community. Their biographies are full of self-aggrandizing propaganda and once they come to America they exaggerate even more because they know you can't verify a single word of it. One recent arrival called Master Fu for instance claims he's the father of qigong, a qigong wizard, a Buddhist and Daoist lineage holder and has been given the title of Medicine Buddha back in China. He says he has millions of disciples, his ancestors worked in the royal Qing Court, he's the personal doctor of Chinese dignitaries such as president Deng Xiaoping, he's a martial arts master, and that he has super natural powers. It all sounds extraordinary but none of it is true. Li Hong Zhi of Fa Lun Gong goes even further by claiming to be the supreme master in the world much higher than Jesus, Laozi or the Buddha. Qigong propaganda always sounds to good to be true and that's because it usually isn't. Even though they claim their knowledge comes from the Buddhists and Daoists how come you never see real monks making such claims? The second precept of Buddhism and Daoism is No Lying.

Their Demonstration of Spiritual Power
Pseudo-spiritual qigong masters love to demonstrate their super natural power for wealth and fame. "Masters" like Fu Wei Zhong demonstrate their spiritual power by burning coins or paper with their qi energy. Make participant's left hand longer than their right one, bend keys and silverware with their mental power. Read information from a cup of water and numbers in sealed envelopes, and diagnose diseases by looking into patient's bodies with their x-ray vision to demonstrate how open their third eye is. They love to create healing energy fields where the lame get out of wheelchairs and "walk again" to demonstrate their super spiritual healing powers. Others like to channel electricity through their bodies to show the power of their dantien. Some like to push people around with their qi transmission, and some can burn their patient's body using tin foil their qi is so hot.

Revealing The Tricks of Their Trade
What the "Master" didn't tell you when he was demonstrating his spiritual power is that he put phosphorous on the aluminum Chinese coins to make them burn. He ground up matches and sprinkled it on the paper before rubbing it together to set it on fire. He put red phosphorous on his hand to make them glow red. He has a special qigong disciple tell him the secret number in the envelop or who transmitted the qi energy into the cup of water by using hand signals like a baseball catcher. He uses face diagnosis and calls it x-ray vision. He pays people to get out of wheel chairs or to act like they've been healed or possessed to demonstrate his super natural healing powers. When pushing people around with their qi the master moves his hands in coordination with their movements to make it look like he's pushing them. Anybody can channel electricity through their body and it has nothing to do with the power of their dantien. When you put phosphorous on aluminum foil it gets very hot and patients feel the heat but it too has nothing to do with their qi, it's just a chemical reaction. The funny thing about all of these super duper qigong demonstrations is that anybody can learn how to perform these magic tricks in about an hour and none of them have anything to do with real qigong. The qigong charlatans always claim to have Buddhist and Daoist secret powers but isn't it funny how you never see real Buddhist and Daoist monks performing these mystical feats of spiritual power? Is it because they don't have the spiritual power to perform them or is it because they know that using a religious pretext to trick people out of their money only leads to rebirth in the deepest of Avichi hells?

Pseudo-Spiritual Hypnotism
Where the above tricks are the techniques of simple qigong charlatans, "hypnotism is the ultimate power of the pseudo-spiritual qigong master". They prefer mentally unstable people, the down and out, and single women in their early fifties because it's easier to get them emotionally excited especially during the healing energy field demonstrations and to control them once they become disciples. The very first thing that all pseudo-spiritual qigong charlatans do is use real qigong to get their audiences to experience qi and feel healthier, happier, and blissful. Once the real qigong is making them feel good the "master" adds on the hypnotism by using subtle suggestions, situations, images, sounds and movements to get them under their influence. Depending on the group things can get really crazy. Once the energy starts flowing they have their helpers excite the crowd by pretending to get emotional, crying, laughing, moving around like they're possessed, getting healed, or getting out of wheel chairs and "walk again". Sometimes unsuspecting people will feel the energy, and also get excited, emotional, and can have a real spontaneous healing experiences which is exactly what the master hopes for, yet he never has to transmit one ounce of his own qi the whole time. A few masters even do it from abroad when they're on vacation. They call up their studio and tell their disciple he's going to start transmitting the qi. Though the "master" just rolls over and goes back to sleep or out to dinner the people's expectations excited by his helpers and maybe a full moon and participants really think they're having a mystical experience.

The Death of Qigong
Qigong is a very real phenomenon but pseudo-spiritual qigong, the tricks, the hypnotism and the cult was a big fad in China during the late eighties - early nineties but have died out after many people began to go crazy, dismember themselves, and even commit suicide in mass. Pseudo-spiritual qigong masters are not grounded in the foundational principles themselves and several of them went crazy too. With their new found money and power they got caught in scandals and all the illicit activities you can imagine. Some of them even dared to get political and as we have seen recently in Waco, Texas any spiritual organization that thinks they can butt heads with a government already suffers from delusions of grandeur. That's why the Buddha said to work within the laws of society to harmonize your environment.

Of all the recent pseudo-spiritual qigong organizations Fa Lun Gong has become the most famous and the most embarrassing to the traditional qigong and religious community. In the beginning it was nice to see how dedicated their practice was sitting in meditation before practicing their morning qigong exercises. Then they started going around the parks pushing their propaganda, books and products on everyone trying to get you to join their organization. They became even more annoying than the Krishnas and Moonies that sold flowers in the airport during the sixties. Fa means the Buddha Dharma and proselytizing anything especially religion is against the Buddha Dharma law because you take something very sacred and make it bad when when you push it on other people. To offer is different than to push. In combination with the mass marketing they held mass demonstrations with lots of magic as we mentioned above and opened centers all over the place where people could become indoctrinated into Fa Lun Gong and accept Li Hong Zhi as their savior. As the money poured in Li Hong Zhi bought lots of luxury houses and cars and even put up giant billboard advertisements on the street of himself in the image of the Buddha, Laozi or Jesus. Qigong creates lots of energy and if grounded in the fundamental principles can destroy the ego which is the root cause of samsara and the suffering of sentient beings. If not grounded in the foundational principles the energy of qigong can inflate the ego and easily cause further problems. For what ever reason Li Hongzhi demanded equal religious status as Buddhism, Daoism and Christianity from the Chinese government and held a mass demonstration in front of China's capital building in Beijing. When the government looked into who this Li Hong Zhi and Fa Lun Gong really was they found out he was running a billion dollar multi-level marketing scheme and yet never paid any taxes.

People in China are free to believe in what ever they want to as long as their organization is not breaking the law but when Li Hong Zhi told his disciples not to take their doctor prescribed medicine over a thousand of them died even though he and his family still made regular hospital visits and took their doctor prescribed medicine. Then another thousand disciples plus have committed suicide to demonstrate their faith to Li Hongzhi and many have been committed to psychiatric hospitals as well. Last summer five Fa Lun Gong disciples entered Tian An Men square and set themselves on fire. They all died except one mother's baby girl who barely survived and will be physically and mentally disabled for the rest of her life. When any organization has people dieing in mass they loose the right to call themselves a real religion and become labled a cult. Though Li Hongzhi is wanted to stand trial in Beijing to address these issues he now lives in America protected by the US government as an example of China's lack of human rights and religious freedom. However, if you ever go to China you will see more qigong organizations, temples, monks and spiritual masters than anywhere else in the world. Just go and see for yourself. With tens of thousands of legitimate qigong, and religious organizations in China why is it that only the geo-political or pseudo-spiritual organizations like Fa Lun Gong that have a problem with the government? Is it really the government that has the problem, or is it the geo-political and pseudo-spiritual organizations that have the problems? China has just been recuperating from the Cultural Revolution and organizations like these only creates further set backs to the legitimate organizations that are doing really good work.

If qigong is not grounded in the foundational principles of Bodhicitta, the Four Noble Truths, the Eight Fold Path, The Ten Parimitas and so on then disasters can easily occur. The ancients have told us many times that only by following a teacher with true enlightened qualities can the results of enlightenment be obtained. Practicing Guru Yoga by following a qualified master with faith, love and devotion is the swiftest path to enlightenment. Yet, if the master is a charlatan then it can be the swiftest path to the lower realms. When you turn your mind over to someone else it is like getting on a bus. Where it ends up has more to do with the driver than the passenger once you get on board. So be careful and don't get on the wrong bus. There are however a few exceptions to the rule where students have followed a charlatan master and due to the power of their own virtue and cultivation have reached enlightenment while the charlatan master went to the hell realms. There is a famous story about the Buddha's tooth of Zhejiang. A Buddhist patron mother gave her son a majority of her wealth to go and get a relic of the Buddha. He squandered her wealth all over the Far East and on his way home empty handed he saw a dead dog on the side of the road and had an idea. He took out a tooth from the dog and brought it to his mother and said, "look mom I have a tooth of the Buddha," where upon she instantly reached enlightenment due to the power of her own faith.

Not every follower of a charlatan master has been so lucky so be open minded but skeptical, and look out for the smoke and mirrors. Just because a master has power doesn't means he has virtue. There is an old Chinese saying, "the one with the biggest sign usually has the smallest Kungfu". So, Caveat Emptor!!! If it sounds too good to be true then chances are isn't true. If they're demonstrating super natural powers like burning coins with the power of their qi then think twice before getting on their bus. Besides what is so good about having even real super natural powers if it can't really help sentient beings. Once the Buddha Shakyamuni was walking along the side of a lake when a yogi walking on the water yelled out, "hey look Shakyamuni I can walk on water". The Buddha shook his head and replied, "ah, too bad. If he only spent that much effort trying to reach enlightenment he would have definitely obtained it by now".

All sentient beings including charlatan masters have the Buddha nature. They've just taken a wrong turn in the road. If you have been duped by one don't be resentful but have pitty on him for he will be spending time in the lower realms. Don't feel sorry for yourself either because it was your own karma that brought you to him in the first place. By not having any bad feelings towards him or yourself the karma becomes purified into the vast expanse and the experience can become a catalyst for genuine enlightenment. By applying the diamond view that all circumstances both positive and negative are mere expressions of the One Absolute Nature, enlightenment becomes possible in every thought, action and circumstance.

Since the foundational principles have been well established since ancient times, whether qigong is a cause for rebirth in Heaven or Hell is soley up to you!!!















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