"The Honoured Founders said that small pleasures were permissible, so long as they did not lead to excess."
This is about obedience. Subservience, really.
What is "excess" when it's at home? Clearly, it's whatever you're told excess is. It's about serving someone else's interests instead of your own. Defection, not cooperation.
Know what you're doing and why you're doing it, then do the accounting. How much does this pleasure obstruct your goal? If it's not at all, it's not in excess. Further, maybe you find a small obstruction is worthwhile. This is clearly the autistic phrasing; however, the allist clearly has no interest in following a rational creed, and thus giving them a proper phrasing would be waking someone pretending to be asleep.
If you know what your goal is, this practice is super easy. It will frequently happen by accident.
If you're not sure, try asking someone older than you who has the same hobby. In extremis, set up an experiment. Get hypothesis, try to falsify hypothesis.
Contra puritans, something isn't a vice just because it's fun. Worse, just because it's a vice doesn't mean you shouldn't indulge. Do the accounting and don't plan to be perfect.
If you can't do the accounting, attach yourself to someone who can do it for you. It's easy to be a pain in the neck about this, so take steps to be less of a pain in the neck. You're not a baby and can't get away with being a whiny bitch. Not around anyone whose company is worth keeping.
"It was intensely uncomfortable to have such a tight grip on his Qi, and yet, discomfort was to be endured, and then mastered."
The fact you are tempted to use the word "intensely" demonstrates that, contra the puritan fantasies of the writer, you're harming yourself, not helping. Even Christians say flagellants are heretics, Einstein.
Discomfort is a cost. Pay it when you buy something worthwhile with it. If not, then don't.
Does paying your bill at the grocery store count as "discomfort"? Does it have to be "mastered"? Paying value for value feels so different it would never occur to anyone to describe it with the above words, even when it's far more intense than spending money.
If you're repelled by a fair trade, you have psychological trauma. The solution isn't to "endure" it and then "master" it, that's just traumatizing yourself a second time. Traumatizing yourself makes you sicker and weaker. More vulnerable to being traumatized again. (Gee I wonder who gives the above quoted advice.)
The solution is Stoicism. Convert the feeling to a rational statement, then sit it down for an interview. Hear it out thoroughly. If the impulse is part of you, then, once you've heard it out completely, it will be willing to listen in turn. You can tell when it's external brainwashing because it's like an earless zombie. Unresponsive. That you can kill, because it's already dead.