Hmmm. This person is saying that he or she is at a threshold point. The pain created by practicing the way he or she is is becoming unbearable.
Hearing that its going to get worse may make this person quit altogether.
Everyone has their level of tolerance of raw physical pain, and I think it is probably wise to offer this person, as frances has, means by which unnecessary pain can be alleviated.
Perhaps some sort of qigong practice that gives almost everyone some immediate result, some relief, is in order here? If someone's confidence is down, build it up.
Tjapukai, perhaps you should simply do some sitting meditations for a while? Try doing some chi generation exercises with your hands until you can really generate and feel it well. Then put your hands on your lower back and send the chi to the afflicted area while in a posture that is comfortable (even lying down on your belly).
I have been told that there isn't just chi, but that it comes in a variety of flavors. There is angry chi, happy chi, etc. Maybe you can try building up relief chi in your hands and then sending it to your back and circulating it around in the small universe or big universe of whatever it is.
I am not a spring forest chi gung practitioner, so maybe I should zip it.
I wish you the best of luck. You sound like you've got a good head on your shoulders. Stick with what works best for you. Adapt to the situation, but please keep going with the energy work, I know from a different system that it does work. Different system, but all the same human friendly energy.
You'll make your breakthrough. Vary your approach.
babayada, Master Lin's advice would have probably been short and to the point. Something along the lines of "Stay with the meditation as long as you can. The more resistance you feel that is when you have the opportunity for the greatest healing.". He would also say something like, "Trust in the universal energy.".
If Tjapuki could just step aside from the experience like you've described in your recent post he would probably see great results.
However, he has said little about his condition or his practice. Without more knowledge ones advice should be cautious. In life people can injure themselves. One shouldn't juggle knives until one can juggle clubs. With common sense that should never happen in SFQ. I have my own physical concerns about proceeding towards the full lotus position too quickly.
Much of the advice given in this thread was directed towards building Tjapukai's confidence in the practice of SFQ.
But you hit the nail on the head again. Confidence in the SFQ is what Tjapukai needs the most.
You are perfection. Iam2
[This message has been edited by Iam2 (edited October 27, 2004).]
Dear one, I can't help but think that you should listen to your body and yourself. If you dread SFQ, maybe you should take a little break. Maybe it's not for you. If your pain is worse when doing the exercises, perhaps you should try doing only the ones that don't cause pain, or the one you can do lying down, if that's comfortable for you. There might be another form of energy work that suits you perfectly, or perhaps something that is not so much about energy. I feel you should be proud of yourself for persisting as long as you have and maintaining enough faith and discipline to practice the exercises and meditations while experiencing no improvement. Mayber it's time to let others do some of the work for you through their prayers or by having someone else work on you. My heart goes out to you.
I certainly won't argue with what a Master of the art would say.
My assumption about his practice was that his movements were aggravating his condition. When I do something like this (playing around with forms of exercise/meditation) and I get crampage or what not, I examine the pain and think about it. What hurt when? What hurts now? What was I doing? Did I feel strain at any point that was significantly greater than another during the exercise?
I'll shift, for a while, to a more passive approach (like very subtle movements or even simply imagining I am doing the movements), and wait for the pain to pass, then more gradually and consciously make the movements in the future.
I totally see your point about not knowing *how* this person is practicing. Less information = less accurate diagnosis.
It was just my fear that the talk about pain might have been the wrong information at the wrong time.
Did you have the back pain before you start learning the SFQ? If you had it before you start and it has become unbearable, I would stop. Do check with your doctor.
If you have the pain after you start, I would stop doing the active exercise standing until the pain is gone. In addition, check to see if your posture is correct. I have stop doing part of the exercise from time to time when my body is telling me it is not acceptable. You ARE your own best judge to that, listen to your own body.
The sitting mediation is best when you just want to slow down. Do sit comfortably and DON'T do all those advance yoga technique, crossing your legs. There is nothing wrong by just sitting in a chair to do the meditation for beginners.
For some advance practitioners, the sitting meditation actually is more advance qigong practice than slowing down. That is another topic.
When you have physical pain that brings enough concern, don't force it. Many SFQ practitioners stated in this forum that we do experience discomfort before getting better for some conditions. However, again YOU are your own best judge to what/when to stop/continue.
I experienced back pain when I first started. I am glad that I had posted the question and get some insights. I did the active exercise sitting until the back pain is gone. Then I follow the posture test and slowly ease back to the full active exercise.
I had no back pain prior to doing SFQ. I try to keep my weight balanced on my feet, knees slightly bent, pelvis tucked forward, shoulders relaxed. I experience lower and upper back pain. The back pain is a relatively minor issue compared to my perceived lack of any benefits, and my inability to go into the emptiness. Monkey mind never ceases, which makes an hour-long session almost unbearable. Thanks to all for your replies.
I have had back pain as you describe when beginning SFQ as well as other forms of Qigong. I've found that it has to do with the way I am holding my body - somewhere I'm holding tension rather than being relaxed while in the posture you describe - it's my "idea" of what the posture should be rather than relaxing into it.
For me, I feel the energy blockage (pain, tension - however I am experiencing it) and then can adjust my body to a more relaxed position. Usually I find that I need to straighten my spine a little more, or I have tension in my shoulders by holding them up rather than allowing them to relax - resulting in a burning pain around my shoulder blades.
I'm not suggesting that the exact same thing will be true for you, but if you are gentle with yourself and listen to your body, you will find the truth of your pain.