Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In search of esoteric practice

Recently a friend of mine sent me a video to watch. It is called Yogis of Tibet. Among many interesting themes (that I most likely will discuss further in some future posts), there was a short footage of a Tibetan yogis doing stunning yoga/meditative practice in folded leg position. Truly esoteric practice. A practice not to be imitated even by advanced practitioner if without guidance of a qualified teacher. It is just the outside form of the practice. The more inner practice, or areas to focus or manage, were not explained in the video, with good reasons.

Nowadays there are people who just love esoteric practices. Some of these people probably think that by learning some “secret practice” they can take the shorter, and much easier, route to achieve a higher level of perfection. This video footage convinced me that speedy practices are always with hidden danger. Try them at your own risk.

The Tibetan yogis also convinced me that Tibetan monks are highly devoted religious people who would take any risk to achieve their objective of spiritual enlightenment. No wonder many lamas who have fled from Tibet via Dharamsala to the West enjoyed much honors and followers. Truly impressive people of high spirituality.

Chinese practice of spirituality on the other hand has most of its followers seeking a better health. A different contribution to human culture. There are also traditions of esoteric practice developed along certain Taoist or Buddhist tradition.  Such traditions had not been openly discussed in classic texts. Many classical Taoist Neidan texts also condemned some specific esoteric practices. The reason is that there was a parallel tradition of esoteric practice called sexual chi kung (Chamber techniques 房中朮) passed along for the benefits of wealthy royalties or merchants who could afford to have a number of concubines. It is also a historical fact that some of these teachers were (condemned) lamas and Taoist masters (beginning in South Song and becoming more popular in the Mongal Yuen and Han Ming Dynasties). This is also a main reason why some Western folks are keen to “unveil the hidden secret of esoteric Taoist practice"!

Certain mainstream esoteric practices have been passed along the path of martial art. One passed along Taoist-related internal martial art and one passed along Shaolin monks. Recently I read a Chinese book by a lineage master of one lineage of Shaolin kung fu. The master mentioned some esoteric practice of increasing a practitioner’s internal chi energy.  It includes massaging one’s perineum, massaging and pressing one’s scrotum to stimulate chi, and with one easy trick – hold your breath while peeing (I am not joking and the master was serious about that)! It was so written, and it was so reported by your author. I don’t want to mention the name of this book because I am not an advocate of esoteric practice. There are ample easier and safer ways to achieve the same results for most practice objectives.

There is one now more well-known mainstream esoteric practice passed the martial art path. It is sometimes called Golden Shield 金鈡罩. The purpose is to shield a fighter's scrotum from being hit. In deep meditation, a practitioner learns how to control his internal muscles around his Dantian - between diaphragm and pelvic floor. One is cremaster muscle which, when trained, can be used to pull up one's scrotum. In Taoist yoga it is poetically called Hiding the horse's genital 馬陰藏相. Interested readers can search Youtube and watch some practitioners demonstrating such skills of shielding one's scrotum from being hit. A Japanese author Yasuo Yoshifuku in his book Science of martial arts "mystery" - the essence of the technique (in Japanese) mentioned this as an esoteric defense method against groin kick (in addition to the traditional methods of leg block and San-Zhan 三戰 stance shield). The author claimed he has tested its effectiveness. Needless to say, practitioner does it at his own risk if he has decided to use it in real combat.

The search of esoteric practice doesn't end here, nor it will ever end....

Tibetan Yogis demonstrating his art - "not to be imitated" as he warned us!

2 comments:

  1. Very informative and unique tips dear. Thanks for sharing :)
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  2. Thanks for contributing your ideas....

    ReplyDelete

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