ZEN+ : Helping you Stay Young and Age Well

Possibly the most important article I’ve ever written

By Marcus Santer

I was made aware yesterday of some very disturbing news.

The ripples of which I will watch closely.

I’m still waiting for the dust to settle after hearing this news and will wait to see what, if anything I do next.

So, I’m not going to go into details here, but it did make me realise just how important it is that you protect yourself against the dangerous characters out there, especially in the Religious, Yoga, Tai Chi, Martial arts, Energy arts world.

Basically any group using the word Spiritual in their marketing.

Groups like this tend to attract the kind of nuts that wouldn’t be tolerated anywhere else.

And inside the walls of those places, you follow a different set of rules to the ‘outsiders’ – i.e. the normal, more sane world.

I experienced a few of these groups over the years.

If you’ve been on this path for a few years, you’ve probably got your own scars to show.

I’ve noticed the kind of behaviour that goes on in these types of group doesn’t seem to occur in the exercise world. Perhaps because it’s not shrouded in a mist of ancient Guru-woo-woo unicorn crap.

And I haven’t heard of many cults associated with getting good sleep and eating real food.

Anyway, please read this article and take it into your heart. I wrote it specifically about Qigong, but it applies equally to all groups where the leader is venerated.

Share it freely with your friends – and above all else: Stay safe.

The Dark Side of Qigong

As your practice of Qigong deepens, you are likely to come into contact with other Qigong teachers, masters, practitioners. 99% of them will be some of the kindest, warmest, most generous people you could hope to meet.

After all they practice Qigong and when practiced correctly it promotes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

But, the truth is that there are some very odd characters (to put it nicely) out there in the Qigong ‘universe’. Here are 7 rules to keep in mind as you journey deeper into this universe:

  1. Maintain a healthy skepticism – just because someone says they can do something, doesn’t make it true. A good question to keep in mind when someone tells you anything is: ‘according to whom?‘
  2. Beware of Narcissists – be wary of anyone who requires a stage or a platform because it is a blatant form of narcissism. If you don’t see humility in a teacher be careful. The more someone has to talk about how great they are, the less likely they are to be it. My experience is that arrogance is based on insecurity and it’s a clue.
  3. Don’t give your power away – the psychologist Stanley Milgram coined the phrase ‘Obedience to authority’. It means we tend to believe *without question* the words spoken by an authority figure we respect. You might want to look up the results of his experiments and decide to keep your ‘mental guard’ up.
  4. Observe their conduct – do they sleep with their students? That is an abuse of authority. There is a tendency to associate ‘grace’ with enlightenment. But a person can be very graceful with their Qigong and still be an idiot. It’s not hard to appear really cool and spiritual for an hour long class.
  5. Are there clear boundaries? – Just because a person is in a position to teach you Qigong, doesn’t mean they can teach you about investing money, your diet, your relationships etc. But that might not stop them trying!
  6. Trust your own instincts – if your ‘spider senses’ start tingling, listen to them. Are you attending a class or are you signing up for a cult?
  7. Never be afraid to walk away – there are hundreds of other instructors, schools and classes out there. Don’t feel obliged to stick with one if it doesn’t feel right for you.

Useful Link: if you’ve been part of a school for a while and are having doubts about its orientation or the ethics of its ‘leader’ then check out this useful questionnaire.

Bye for now


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