#Feldenkrais's four principles of development described in this TED talk were also involved in how I developed my book and I think may provide some insight into how the Triratna Community can be more successful in it's own development. How to learn in a healthy way rather than a forced way! Also applies to #Quantum Physicists!
"But what about the sixth limb of the Noble Eightfold Path; the four right efforts? That doesn’t sound so like relaxation we may think! However, here may be another case where a translation can be a bit misleading. I think that ‘perfect effort’ or ‘right effort’ may not be the best translation of Samma-vayama, it is rather too crude. Really it is something more like gymnastics – that we can use our mind like a gymnast uses their body. So there is a bit more to it than ‘effort’; it’s not just about making constant mental exertion.
‘Right effort’ may not be the effortful activity which we may have imagined. It is more about using our mind like a gymnast. Just as a gymnast can do anything with their body so we can do anything with our mind. They are healthy, flexible, and can move anywhere - they can’t be pinned down. They are not stuck in one position; they dodge out of the way of any attack. So if we get this translation wrong and we think of it as just lots of effort – like weight training – we may end up being a gymnast who can’t flip out of the way because they have developed such huge muscles (they are no longer much of a gymnast). As beginners we may easily approach meditation with a sledgehammer; i.e. with far too much effort! Sometimes a beginner to meditation may even be handed a sledgehammer! As we progress we leave behind this sledgehammer. We are no longer trying to smash down the wall in front of us – we discover instead that there is a door we can just open and walk through.
However, it is understandable if we do start off our spiritual life using a sledgehammer; we may not yet have a mind like a gymnast. The more out of balance we are the more force will need to be applied to create re-balance. Sometimes it's just hard work preventing and eradicating unskilful mental events and developing and maintaining skilful ones, and gymnasts need training too; perhaps they might resort to a sledgehammer if they were a bit out of shape. So this is necessary effort, but approach this more like a gymnast rather than as a sentence of hard labour."
It isn't hard to find videos on youtube which stretch one's credulity. We may not be able to tell what is fake and what is real. Here's one which I can confidently tell you is real. This is 87 year old Shaolin Master Hai Teng. He has a very tough index finger! His training from a young age has given him some remarkable abilities; one of these is the one finger hand-stand. It seems no one else in the world has been able to do this. This is called hard qigong.
Patrick Baigent (Vimokshadaka) has twenty years experience of Buddhism and Qigong. He was ordained into the Triratna Order in 2009. Since 2007 he has studied with several Zhineng Qigong Masters from China. He teaches Mindfulness and Mindfulness Qigong.
From 2011 he specialized in the study of relaxation and what relaxation means for Buddhism and meditation. This turned into a book; The Mindfulness Process, which offers a new Buddhism and Qigong informed model of relaxation and mindfulness.