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Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time Audible – Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a memoir...no secrets were deciphered at any time...granted it is a fast and easy reading the title is completely misleading. Only when you reach the epilogue that you find a hasty 6 point list, which ultimately recommends you "For reference, buy a copy of The Secret of the Golden Flower". Mr. JJ we read that book and were hoping for you to DECIPHERE...
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Format: Paperback
I'm not familiar with The Secret of the Golden Flower, which is the book that initiates Semple into meditation, but I did read one of Gopi Krishna's books some years ago. It was either Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man originally published in 1971 or Kundalini: The Secret of Yoga published in 1972.

Gopi Krishna wrote about the awakening of Kundalini as a powerful force that almost killed him. Semple's experience is in some ways similar. Indeed in some ways it seems patterned after Gopi Krishna's experience, especially in how powerful and scary the awakening was and how long it went on.

I have practiced yoga for 34 years and have spent many hours in kundalini meditation. I have never had anything but agreeable experiences during that time. But that is not surprising. Gopi Krishna's and Semple's experiences are highly unusual. I would not give up kundalini meditation for fear that something untoward might happened to me.

But putting kundalini aside, and some of the other things that Semple concerns himself with in this narrative, such as Intelligent Design versus biological evolution or the nature of prana or the distinction he makes between what he calls material science and empirical science, let me say that this is a superbly written memoir. Semple's narrative command might invoke the envy of a best-selling novelist. And his facility with the language, his ability to effortlessly (or so it seems, without effort) to find just the right word or expression to make his story vivid and engaging for the reader is highly admirable. Furthermore the prose is polished and very nicely edited. The book is pleasure to read and it reads fast.
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Format: Paperback
As I read the book, I told myself - okay, the experiences the author described are all interesting, and believable; but this book is after all about his PROCESS of realization, and ultimately consummation of an esoteric, largely secret method of meditation. The question is - can his achievement be replicated? I told myself, I will write a fair review once this happens. And the other day, it did.

The Golden Flower meditation is another name for the Microcosmic Orbit meditation. It is where you run energies along the meridian that circumnavigate the front and back of your body. As you do this, blockages at various points along the ren mai and du mai open up, allowing even more qi to flow into and around your body. This starts a process of restoring the physical and energetic bodies back to a pristine state, and thereby initiating an actual, internal, alchemical process of healing and cultivation of the self. Injuries are healed, the mind becomes clear, optimum health is realized.

The reverse breathing method was a well kept secret of Taoist masters for thousands of years, and one needs only to troll the internet to read countless stories of miracles and superhuman feat that such practitioners have achieved in their lifetimes.

With these aims in mind, I try, as best I could, to squeeze in some serious meditation time into my daily life. I am fairly sensitive to energies, having studied Qigong and Reiki for a number of years, BUT the one thing I had never been able to feel is the fabled rise of energy up the spine. That is, until a few days ago.

Picture a long balloon, and imagine air being suddenly blown into it. That was how it felt like. At last!
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Format: Paperback
JJ Semple captures his life as a jazz musician in Paris and his experiences with the powerful life force, kundalini. Semple interpretes an accident as a child that distorted his growth as the catalytic event that brought him to the life changing occurrence as one with an aroused kundalini. I like the very honest way in which Semple retells his life with such openness and candor.

His time with the spiritual/physical altering force of kundalini is well documented and gives much food for those looking for more detail on this esoteric but increasingly revealed phenomenon. Semple writes in an informal and highly readable manner, so the book is an enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback
First, I've read both "Deciphering the Golden Flower" and "The Backward Flowing Method". While I think that the best thing would have been a second edition rather than a second book, I think the first book is the better of the two. You can read my review of the second book here at Amazon.

From reading the gloss I thought I would skim through the tale of his life to get to the meditation techniques, but it was such an interesting tale and well told that I read it all. The description of the changes he went through is described very viscerally. Its a short book and an easy read, I didn't read it all at one sitting but I read it as fast as my 50 hour work week allows, and then jump right into the second book.

Why not five stars?

If you want to use the book as a practical guide - which you can - it begs the question - has anyone else done this and succeeded? Neither the first nor the second book answers this question. Second, the transformation that both he and Gopi Krishna describe is quite unpleasant, though ultimately rewarding, and the notion of a one way trip through "that" is not a decision to be taken lightly.

As someone who has studied a lot of Taoist meditations, I'm left with the belief that there are a lot of other techniques in the Golden Flower method (which I've only examined briefly online). FYI, only a few lines of the the text of the Golden Flower method are in this book.

I've read enough medieval Chinese texts in translation to know they can be completely opaque and confusing. However, I think that there are intermediate steps - and that what the author has done is 'skipped forward' to the end, which is why he had such a rough ride. There is no doubt that he has found a very important piece of the puzzle, but I'm left doubting that the whole puzzle is solved even if the last step is known.
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