I checked, and I know the guy in question, he's a really nice guy.
We became aquainted while studying under the same medical teachers, though his overall knowledge and experience in medicine far outweighs mine.
I can't vouch for what he is teaching ( only because I haven't learned from him), but it was obvious when we did the daoyin related work he knew a thing or too. His background his extensive, and unlike some others is legit and can be checked in China. He is also dedicated but humble and doesn't make a big deal of things.
You can't know for sure until you go see him, but I would say he is most definiately worth checking out.
That's fine. In many Neidan texts this stage is not described at all :-) And from teaching perspective I agree that it's better not to define anything, except some abstract and high level things (goals etc). But Daoist books were written not to teach, the purpose was to explain the methodology for those who are searching, wake up people who are similarly minded and give them a clear direction how to find practices.
My post wasn't in relation to anything you've written. In all fairness I have no idea what it is you guys do, and I am perfectly willing to accept that, and that what you do is not what I've been taught. I know that unless I come to Russia(?) and join the school I will never know for sure, and that is okay too. I feel the world is a big enough place, and in all paths there has, historically speaking been many differing ideas regarding the aim, point, strategies, and methods. Why would Daoism be any different?
My point in mentioning the yogo was simply that there are cultivation methods that have no concept of "dantian", that cultivate the same things as other schools that do describe the process using the concept of "dantian". To me this is evidence of the "work" taking precedence over the map or conceptual tools used to help an adept along in the process.
They have their language, a Daoist might see what they do using another language. What changes? Not the work, just the language.
Now whether or not the concept of dantian as used in the above mentioned schools fits, is the same, or is completely different to your school, is a very different question, and as mentioned certainly not one that I can answer (and certainly was not in my mind when I posted), since I don't know your schools methods or concepts. But in all fairness neither can you, for the very same reasons.
But to cover myself, and to potentially save a headache later on. I am NOT saying everything that the yogic line (I am referring to a specific one I have had dealings with, not yoga in general, and certainly not 'yoga' as is common in these days) does or practices is the same, or vice versa. Not at all.
I did check with my Qi Gong master and his tradition is that it exists at birth. He can also "see".
(6th Generation Shaolin Temple Grand Master Qi Gong and Kung Fu)
Whether is does or does not does not appear to matter much - whether developing it from scratch or enlivening a pre-existing LDT, practice makes a world of difference for all the centers of the body.
The Shaolin and Daoist systems often differ considerably, both in model and in method. Doesn't mean either aren't effective in their respective aims etc.
On a side, but related note, Himalayan Yogic methods (the ones I've been exposed to) often develop the dantian in an eerily similar way to the Daoist methods, and yet they conceptualise no such thing. Go figure
I'm experimenting with some of the practices in the book, Relaxing Into Your Being. I have a few questions that I hope some more experienced practitioners can answer:
With the dissolving practice do you always place the tongue on the roof of the mouth?
When Dissolving, do you combine the practice with the internal breathing exercises, or can you do the two separately?
Do you keep some attention on the LDT when dissolving, or just let your mind scan for blockages?
How much time do you spend dissolving a particular blockage before moving on, and how long do you take to do a full scan of the body before starting at the top of the head again?
Don't experiment, follow. Bruce lays out very specific and easy to follow exercises that build on each other.
Longevity Breathing (LB) is not Dissolving (D). Don't consider them as related, it'll be easier. So are you working on LB or on D? They are different neigong components, so make it clear what you want to do. Focus solely on one component for a period of time, or attempt to work with two concurrently. If you decide to try to work with both, fine, but do so in separate practice sessions and keep things clear for yourself.
LB has many aspects, in RIYB LB is being applied to laying a foundation for meditation work. In the neigong books LB is about developing whole-body breathing, and later subtle breath work. Don't confuse them. Stick with one progression from one program and work that.
Tongue is always on the roof, in neigong or meditation.
No you don't combine breathing with dissolving. Dissolving is neigong not qigong. Breath naturally. If you also/later practice LB then the 'natural' breath will have been improved.
When learning the dissolving process, just work on that. Read what Bruce has written, listen to what he says if you have the cd set. Follow those to the best of your ability and then appreciate things can take time to learn, to experience and to figure out.
You do not want to be trying to split your awareness to start with. Its too hard for the majority of people. So no, no dantian awareness, just the dissolving and releasing downward. Later things change. But take the step infront of you, not the one across the room okay.
Please note, the the stages of practice in Bruce's 1st edition of OEGB are simpler, but it seems people wanted more, and so the 2nd edition adds things, including a section on LB that wasn't in the original book.
Bruce address length of time in all his books. You dissolve until it clears or until you feel it isn't going to dissolve/release any further even if you stayed there for years.
A full head to toe scan can take a LONG time, or can be done quite quickly. My advice is simple, follow the plan in the book OEGB, Bruce lays out a detailed way to work with this stuff, more detailed than many teachers give. Sometimes the detail helps, sometimes not. But if you want to work with his method, follow his plan, it is that simple.
Good luck and happy practice
General note, Yes other systems talk about or state things differently to the above, but the above is how it is taught in Bruce's system, and that is what the questions are about.