The practice of the knowledge of the mind, the most yang part of training is often seen as an insurmountable obstacle.
The physical work is a long process, but you only have to repeat gestures with a firm attention and everything falls into place.
With fierce obstinacy, blockages of the body can not resist a daily practice, neither can weakness nor fatigue
The energetic training, based on breath and posture, attention and body work, rests on a kinesthetic part that supports attention and sensation.
In Shen Gong, only the mind and its movements are observed, there is no edge to hang on to.Without leverage, without the ability to force, deprived of our usual cheating methods, the mind is not an easy subject for experimentation.
In addition, in our “passive-aggressive” resistance, our mind reveals all our tensions, our inconsistencies and our lies: the more we push it, the more we try to escape its control, the more it will show us our personal inconsistencies.
Thus, the more our lives are paved with egotistical characters, the more we live contrary to our values, the more we try to escape what we know is important, the more our mind will persecute us.
We will in turn be stuck in a salutary torpor, a headache or a redemptive nausea… Everything is good to not perceive the inconsistencies we implemented for many years.Shen Gong gives direct access to a deep happiness, a meeting with oneself, which will open the “Door of Wonders.”
Let’s see some broad guidelines to spend our Shen Gong time doing more r than counting sheep on the carpet or reviewing the groceries list: the Eight Rules of the essence of Bitterness.
Do not expect anything: This is for fun!
Accepting that we always begin practice for the wrong reason, we must understand that expectation has a special place on the Way (see the text on Expectation).
It is necessary for the beginning of a sustained practice but it is also the source of our most treacherous blockages .
It is not possible to drive expectation out of our minds, but it is possible to reposition our attention during the practice of Shen Gong to somewhat escape our expectations.
Each day, sit for your mind practice with a contract with yourself: “Today I practice for nothing, just for fun … Tomorrow, I resume the search for a fulfillment that will make me the strongest in the world.”
A little more seriously, sit in a total wantonness, in search of a moment for yourself, only for the pleasure of getting to know yourself better… Without expecting anything.
It is also interesting to know that nothing will happen if you start with having in mind any success, or the firm will to see lights or shining deities.
Sit in the appreciation of a luxury that you can afford, to take some time to watch one’s mind without purpose, but with a direction (the daily Shen Gong exercise).
Do not force or want to do well: this is not a competition
Watching one’s spirit, feeling one’s emotions or focusing one’s attention is not raising a dead donkey, it’s just an observation of our inner workings.
Unlike body work, a sustained and tense effort will do nothing good.
The mind requires a firm attention, relaxed and enthusiastic, that must bring a desire to smile in a relaxed manner, not grimace of pain.
You will not be judged on your performance or your efforts, there is nothing to gain by forcing … except maybe a headache.
Do not try to do well or to stay longer than your school brother, instead try to find the pleasure of getting to know yourself.
Some days it will be difficult to do certain Shen Gong practices, do not resist, but look for other ways to work your mind: there is always a more pleasant to look at one self’s thought process.
Do not bind yourself: a “trick” is not Mental Peace
Each Shen Gong practice should be a single event that repeats every day: none of your practices should be similar, none should be compared or planned.
It is important to sit in a total openness to the possible experiences, without searching or waiting for an accurate result.
If a moment is very pleasant, it will pass, if it is very painful, it too shall pass.
You should not seek to duplicate the experiences or to avoid certain sensations: let go, let go of all expectations and enjoy this unique moment … daily.
When you find “tricks”, tips to rush your mind work, do not get attached to them, agree to leave as new, without tools.
Look at your practice as unique and without technique, a moment where nothing else exists other than this great chance to spend some time with yourself.
The focus should be on the absence of technique, and on the goal of the day (which differs depending on the day).
Releasing: Motionless Body and Fixed Thoughts
To find a state of mind conducive to the practice of Shen Gong, there is only to set oneself in a held stillness, proper alignment and relaxation due to the comfort of the meditation position.
On a high chair, a sofa, sometimes laying down (not nap, eh!), the comfort of the body must be the source of its relaxation.
If the body suffers, in writhing or tension, it is not possible to keep a calm mind.
Align yourself, push your attention in this immobility and turn your attention to your mental productions: look now, without judging, what happens, then go to your practice of the day.
This letting go is the base of Shen Gong, the foundation of your temple, the white screen where you project the Manifestation: in this consciousness of Consciousness, still and aligned, you can do anything.
Accept: Acknowledge your expectations, valorize your Gaps
If you could meet Buddha or Lao Zi, you would not accept being told “you’re lucky, today it is in a good mood.” No, you expect from the masters to be open and available.
You have your ideals (whether they are Gandhi, Winne the Pooh, William Munny or Jonas Blane ) of the desired qualities and a minimum fulfillment dream.
You would not accept a so-called teacher to be moody or biased.
It is not acceptable for one’s hero to be stupid or malleable, weak or whiny.
You must therefore accept these ideal qualities for yourself.
You must accept to look for these qualities for yourself, your practice and your life: there is no reason for your ideals to only be fantasies, they are also values.
You must have an ideal of quality. “It is better to fail in trying to reach too high ideals than to manage to reach too low ideals” (Ali).
Now that you realize what you really want to aim at, accept to see where you are right now … Look at the reality of what you need to do, of what needs to change.
Look your pain in the eyes, the time of behaving like an ostrich is gone: it’s time to accept.
Be indulgent with yourself: you do not need to suffer
We do not recognize the need to feel pain, to suffer for progress. No “no pain, no gain” for us.
This does not mean that we will not be faced with difficult times in our practice, but only what is necessary for our evolution.
If you practice every day, you are already in an introspective effort to understand tourself , which is laudable: recognize your values in the same way as you became aware of your faults.
Do not judge yourself, practice.
Question: Ask for clarification on your Way
You need a teacher to practice Shen Gong, those who practiced in “free style” will only do an active nap active.
The mind work is an exploration of the mind where a map (clear concepts) and a guide (competent teacher) are required.
Missing one or the other, it is not possible to go very far … really!
Phenomena: Close Encounters of the Third Kind!
In the sitting practices, the Shen Gong, a myriad of phenomena will manifest. Some are signs of a profound change in the Way, others are silly fabrications of the mind to distract you from the goal.
Some are more present than others, you know which ones. Do not be fooled, do not look for anything, ask and go in each sitting as the first time.
Phenomena are real and important, since you perceive them, but their usefulness or their messages may be worthless.
Take time to enjoy the vision of your mind, to know yourself, and live in an increased relaxation.
Have a good Shen Gong.