I've noticed that at least a handful of bullies on the forums here seem to be at least casually interested in steampunk stuff. I'm a bit of a steampunk lover myself. Some other tidbits that you may have noticed about me are:
1) I practice meditation pretty regularly and use meditation with patients with whom I work
2) I like to post a million times per day
3) I'm a bit of a fucking wierdo
Therefore, I thought I would share a meditation that I sometimes practice on my own that has a steampunk twist to it. I'm going to be a little vague so you can play around with it however you want.
It's not uncommon to train individuals who have migraine or tension headaches to imagine their hands heating up in various ways (e.g. imagining them close to a fire, imagining a hot liquid pumping through their arteries into the hands). The science behind that isn't that compelling but it is one way to help people relax and focus at least. It's also a little interesting to me that I read somewhere once that one translation for chi/qi is steam (citation needed). When I do my hand warming meditation myself, I combine these concepts into a steampunk thing where
1) I focus my attention on my hands
2) I imagine a boiler below my navel (in the dantien)
3) As I breath in I imagine my diaphragm is like a belows
4) As i exhale I imagine the bellows heating the boiler and warm steam circulating through my body into my hands
I came up with this meditation actually when I used to (attempt to) do distance running. I would also imagine the breath and the boiler sort of powering me along to keep running like a big ol' steam powered automaton.
In my experience, meditations, at least if you're meditating in a secular context, work best when you find an image or technique that sort of speaks to you or that seems vivid to you or that you enjoy and can relate to. So for all you gentleman martial artists out there in your spats and cravats and whatever (monocles, you need those) enjoy this meditation and please post if you like it.
I'm also ready for plenty of "you're fucked up, you wierdo" sorts of comments.
I turn into some kind of clockwork robot when I start running.
I bet that works pretty well too. In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I hate running, and am a **** runner, and averaged like a 10min mile when I ran for distance. Using my meditation tricks only helped me to be slightly less miserable.
I'll be honest, some days when I run, the only thing that keeps me going is hearing this in my head-
So yeah, pretty much just do what you gotta do to keep your ass moving.
Last edited by Neo Sigma; 6/20/2012 9:45pm at .
I'm partial to this combo. Before I started meditating during my runs I would play my little two-song playlist over and over.
Fucking cool concept. I do imagine lights when I meditate. Until it's Vegas everywhere.
Originally Posted by Goju - joe
How often do you meditate? I'd like to hear more about your practice.
Originally Posted by The Question
I found a reference for my notion that qi could be translated as 'steam'. In the Kindle edition of the second edition of The Web That Has No Weaver, second note of the second chapter. The author discusses the history of the concept of qi and States that the character could also refer partly to steam or the vapor arising from cooking food.
For all the steampunks out there who are into kung fu or TCM I would also recommend the FAR WEST fictional universe. Good Day to you all.
The actual character for chi is specifically the image of steam rising from rice and it predates every possible theory or explanation of chi we've ever heard. That author is misleading to suggest the steam from rice is some sort of "alternative" explanation.
To the ancient Chinese who were pretty smart but had no recognizable scientific systems beyond alchemy, this image of rising steam was a metaphor they created for life energy.
To really understand the origins of chi you have to put yourself in the mind of a Chinese person thousands of years ago, before anatomy and physics were commonplace, and who used pictures or combinations of pictures of everyday items to describe everything in the Universe.
When rice was heated with water, an ethereal yet very real form of energy became visible. The Chinese weren't stupid and realized the steam was indeed a form of energy that could do work (it was hot after all, you could stay warm standing over the rice pot, etc.).
What then would "human steam" look like, the energy heating and moving things throughout the body? They didn't over analyze it (at least not at first).
Hot, wet, steam....hot, wet breath....seemed about the same to them. They gave it a name, called it chi, which literally means "steam from rice" and nothing else.
Now add a few thousand years of bullshit, New Age hippie wisdom, and your imagination and you have "chi" as it is mistaught and misunderstood today.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 7/09/2012 9:05am at .
Something I learned just this morning was that even before the pictograph of cooking rice there was an even simpler pictograph representing chi or life energy...
At the top of this chi pictograph are three lines:
and those three lines were the original pictograph representing your visible breath (i.e. steam) on a cold day. The Chinese added the picture for rice to those three lines and created a pictograph that displays steam rising from a source of heat, and this became the "chi" character we know and love...and bastardize the meaning of.
It is amazing how much you can learn about an ancient concept like "chi" by analyzing the language as opposed to anecdotes, legends, myths, and George Dillman.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 7/09/2012 9:17am at .
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