thank you all for the recs
danieLion wrote:Are you interested in active Qigong, visualization, or both?
whats the difference? I've practice Pranayama for some time, i'm interested in comparing it to the other Asian methods of energy work so I would like to know the real nitty gritty stuff of how, where, why etc.
Not an official authority, so don't take this as the Qigong gospel, but the difference basically boils down to movement (active) versus while still/without /(non-active). All Qigong, AKFAIK, involves at least breath visualization at the (lower) dantian. I practiced pranayama for several years when I was younger, but have not tried it with Qigong. The literature referenced above should help with the nitty gritty. If you're interested in details, I could tell you what I do specifically, but don't know of any other way to help you with the nit and grit. I think the good old fashioned trial and error method (or it's fancy version, the experimental method) are you're best bet in figuring out what's going to work for you.
In general I think Qigong is great for samatha, but I'm having trouble seeing if it as directly relevant to vipassana as, say, jhana practice is. I only mention this to allude to the fact that a lot of finding what works also depends on your purposes.
"You stop me, obviously with a demand for a personal explanation. 'How is it, you write, 'that you reject with such immitigable scorn the very foundation-stones of Buddhism, and yet refer disciples enthusiastically to the technique of some of its subtlest super-structures?'
-Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears
, Chapter XXVII: Structure of Mind Based on that of Body (Haeckel and Bertrand Russell)
"Questions of reality are too important to be left to the scientists."
-Paul Feyerbend, The Tyranny of Science
, p. 51 (Polity: 2012).