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  1. I will be trekking in Nepal for a few months so I will have a lot of down time to read. My list in no specific order for now is: The Bhagavad Gita Tao Te Ching Romance of the Three Kingdoms Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal The Man Without Qualities The Reenchantment of the World The Story of My Experiments With Truth Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai The Analects Shen Gong and Nei Dan in Da Xuan https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/45663958-spencer-currie This is my full list of my books as well on goodreads if anyone else uses the site and wants to share their profile. I probably will not be able to read all these, but it's a good start. I have looked through the recommended reading section and there is just too many books. Does anyone have any specific recommendations based upon this list? EDIT: Accidentally didn't post this in the Recommended reading section.
  2. I started this book based upon a recommendation from Craig. It only took me two days to finish so that might mean something. It feels like a book that will need to be looked back upon as I progress in my Shen Gong and Nei Dan, but as it states practice is the most important part. I wanted to give it an initial review of my thought while reading it to see what else everyone found while reading the book. For me while reading I was doing a bit of reflection on my past training and trying to analyze the training based upon the principles in the book. I found it very interesting to look back at when I was training Olympic Weightlifting very heavily. Usually about 20-30 hours a week for over a year with no breaks. I was able to do this because at the time I had a lot of Excess Jing. Or at least it felt that way, because I was never really tired during that period. This was without any conscious Jing accumulation. Maybe I have a lot of Jing from my parents or I feel as though I was getting enough from other areas of my life. During that time I was sleeping very well and almost never has a night with less then 8 hours and I was eating a Paleo diet which is very close to the Daoist diet mentioned in the book. On top of that without ever thinking about it after a lift I would sit and focus on my breath between lifts so maybe I was accumulating some Jing there as well. This as a bit of speculation and I have started the specific exercises in the book so it will be interesting to see if the feeling is the same. Along with the energy for me weightlifting was my meditation. I am not a get psyched lifter. I find that style very wasteful and the results I believe speak for themselves. In the world of Olympic Weightlifting the people who are the most calm before the lift tend to be the strongest. They are wasting less of their Jing and allowing themselves to give it all to the lift. This is speculation and maybe a greater understanding of the principles might change that, but it's something I emulated while training. This can be related to Nei Gong and doing the motion without thought. I wish I could find the actual story, but it goes like this. There was a female Russian weigtlifter who was one of the best in the world. In practice she would be able to lift weights that were the highest in the world, but as soon as she got into competition came she would miss all her lifts and weightlifters call it bomb out. The coach was trying all he could to fix this but it kept happening. Because of her lack of success in competition the Russians were thinking about sending another lifter to what may have been the world championship. They decided because she was still making huge lifts in practice to send her. She goes out for the snatch Session and misses her first lift. The coach is trying to tell her to think about practice and to do it like practice. She is getting frustrated with herself and her next attempt and she misses it again. At this point she is really upset and cannot figure out what is going wrong. Her coach is again trying to give her ques to think about but she's just getting more upset. I believe at this point they have to make an increase in weight to give her more time and so she still has a chance in the competition. She's trying to think about the lift and how to do it and is really mad at not getting the other attempts. She then gets called to lift and goes up and makes the lift. The coach is amazed and is trying to figure out how she was able to. She made it looks easy. As she comes off the platform her coach asks her. How did you make the lift? What were you thinking? She replies... Nothing. I think the anxiety and other factors forced her into Nei Gong and she was able to go to that subconscious from her countless other hours of Wei Gong training the leads to this subconscious. Within my weightlifting training you do practice Wei Gong and Nei Gong with different sessions. In weightlifting Nei Gong the focus is less on the breath but more on the senses and sensations. You're trying to feel where the bar is in space, where the weight distribution is, where your body position is. This may not be the true Nei Gong because it seems to be more breath focused, but because of the lack of breath in the movement you must focus on other aspects of the lift. Along with that I found that looking back I would use a form of Nei Dan in between lifts. It was by no means as perfect and would be very clouded with though, but remembering the best days I had after a lift I would sit and ficus on calming my breath and keeping that my focus after making a lift. With this I would be back to lifting much quicker. While compared to a really bad day of lifting there would be too much commenting during this time and the recovery time would be much longer. Focusing on the breath was near impossible on these days. Using the book as a reflection has shown where the biggest holes in my training are. Like most people it is within the mind in practicing Shen Gong and to a little lesser extent Nei Dan. Today I started 30 minutes of Shen Gong and 30 minutes of Nei Dan so I hope to update this and give a review after practicing for some time. I won't be weighlifting for at least a few months so it will be interesting to see what differences I may notice in my training once I go back. Along with that as I reread sections as needed to evolve my practice I may have different interpretations or maybe my initial interpretations are wrong and if so let me know.
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