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neidan for dummies?


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#1 Feuerbach

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 02:08 PM

I'm sure this has been asked before, so please excuse this philosophical Daoist. What is/are the best books on beginning neidan. Or as I titled the thread, is there a neidan for dummies? I've read the Golden Flower, but did so more as a Jungian than a Daoist and got the impression that may not be the best place to start.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

#2 Taoist Texts

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 08:04 PM

these two are the best for beginners

 

The Way of the Golden Elixir An Introduction to Taoist Alchemy

Fabrizio Pregadio

 

"Occasional Papers" Series, No. 3 
Second edition, revised and expanded

72 pp. 
Golden Elixir Press, 2014

PDF, free download

 

 

and

Foundations of Internal Alchemy The Taoist Practice of Neidan

Wang Mu

Edited and translated by Fabrizio Pregadio

 

Originally written for Chinese readers, this renowned book provides a clear description of the Taoist practice of Internal Alchemy, or Neidan. The author outlines the stages of the practice and clarifies several relevant terms and notions, including Essence, Breath, and Spirit; the Cinnabar Fields; the "Fire Phases"; and the Embryo. The book is based on the system of theWuzhen pian (Awakening to Reality), one of the main sources of Internal Alchemy, and contains about two hundred quotations from original Taoist texts.


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世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#3 celibacyandsexualenergy

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 07:39 AM

Taoist yoga alchemy and immortality

#4 Feuerbach

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 10:38 AM

Thank you both for your suggestions. I'll look into them.

#5 YiYinYiYang

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 10:50 AM

道无经不传,经无师不明

 

"Dao can't be transmitted without the scriptures, scriptures can't be understood without a teacher."

 

  :ph34r:


Edited by YiYinYiYang, 11 August 2015 - 10:51 AM.

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#6 Feuerbach

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:03 AM

道无经不传,经无师不明

 

"Dao can't be transmitted without the scriptures, scriptures can't be understood without a teacher."

 

  :ph34r:

 

I totally understand what you're getting at, but I have not had the privilege of being able to find a teacher.



#7 Taoist Texts

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:21 AM

道无经不传,经无师不明

 

 scriptures can't be understood without a teacher."

really? says who?


世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#8 YiYinYiYang

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:39 AM

It was not personnal. :ph34r:

 

Reading scriptures is far from being a waste of time, it can help to get familiar with the symbolism and give the impulse to go out to find a teacher.

 

The Wang Mu book is a good introduction, and IMO it is better to stay away from the scholars interpretations.

 

Peace.


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#9 YiYinYiYang

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:40 AM

really? says who?

Classic sentence on which every Daoist agree whatever the school they belong to.


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#10 opendao

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:47 AM

really? says who?

 

really. All teachers, who became masters by studying scriptures under the guidance of their teachers, say that and don't make stupid mistakes in translations, as some self proclaimed "alive teachers" do here: http://thedaobums.co...e-6#entry640502


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子之汤兮宛丘之上兮

#11 Taoist Texts

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 12:28 PM

Classic sentence on which every Daoist agree whatever the school they belong to.

Hmm it seems you dont know where it comes from and from what historical context. Thats all right not many people know these things;)

 

 

And no, its not a classic sentence. It dates from Tang dynasty long after the origination of Taoism as we know it. It first occured in the text 《道教义枢》  written in the rule of Empress Wu (Wuhou) 武后 proclaiming Zhou Dynasty 周 in 690 (regent 684-690, ruler 690-704) n by a certain 孟安排.

 

Do you know what kind of scriptures he specifically alluded to? Or may be it does not matter? ;)


世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。

#12 YiYinYiYang

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 12:32 PM

文艺修美



#13 Daeluin

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 06:24 AM

道无经不传,经无师不明

 

"Dao can't be transmitted without the scriptures, scriptures can't be understood without a teacher."

 

  :ph34r:

 

I've seen a lot of contention arise over this concept, but haven't seen the principle explained well enough to get the point across to those for whom this is a completely foreign concept.

 

When it comes down to it, the taoist cosmology adheres to set principles. These principles can unfold in infinite ways (different scriptures for different traditions), but if one follows the principles back to the root, the truth emerges.

 

The trouble is, well, that we're all different, and we see things in different ways. There is a mountain, and we're all around it. When we look up at it, the mountain is there, but from countless different perspectives. For some of us the mountain is clearly distinguishable and when we set out to find it we discover a trail that is clearly marked and easy to follow. For others they set out to find the mountain and the trail is faint and difficult to follow. For some of us the mountain is hidden behind a hill and we can only be told of it. This doesn't mean the mountain is out of reach, it just means the direction is unclear, and greater work, greater sincerity must be cultivated in order to pave one's own unique trail through the woods behind the hill, sometimes traveling far and coming upon a hilltop clearing where the mountain appears, only further away than it did the last time.

 

All this talk of teachers who only teach students with destiny is related to this. A teacher can easily share words of clarity, but here it gets tricky. The teachers words become a trail to follow, but often the student can't hear the truth in the words, misses what they are supposed to do, and attaches only to what makes sense to their level of understanding. The student thinks they have a trail to follow, without realizing it is an illusion, and they are content to follow this trail without doing the necessary work to really change inside enough for clarity to emerge. Some teachers will see this, and will do more work in an attempt to help the student find clarity - but the change that happens is then mostly due to the teacher's sincerity, not the student's. If the teacher is not committed to holding the students hand from beginning to end, then at some point the teacher will not be there right when the student takes a wrong turn and walks off a cliff because they don't know how to tell where the sure footing is.

 

Thus I feel that more caring teachers will avoid making promises, and be careful to ensure their students are taking more care to carefully listen and be responsible for doing the work on their own, asking fewer questions of the teacher and focusing inwardly and letting the answer emerge from inside. The teacher may still guide, but does not force clarity to emerge, and is careful to balance the amount of sincerity and discipline provided with the amount of sincerity and discipline brought by the student.

 

Some teachers will simply refuse to teach those who listen to the wrong things, not wishing to lead the student down the wrong path. Thus it is said it is hard to find a good teacher, but even harder to find a good student.

 

I totally understand what you're getting at, but I have not had the privilege of being able to find a teacher.

 

When it comes to destiny, there are many factors, usually related to our pattern and role within the celestial mechanism, which is usually related to our past actions in previous existences. When I grew up I had the blessing to be taught how the ever moving momentum of the planets influences us in subtle ways. When two planets are on opposite sides of the earth, we feel the subtle tug of their spiritual and physical gravities. They are ever changing, and different configurations pull us in subtly different ways. Nothing more than subtle influences, but subtle influences add up over time. Aside from the planets, there are many other subtle changing influences, including our friends and the places where we live. These influences add up to something incredibly specific over time, something that we feel very uniquely, and is as much a part of who we are as our personality is. And different timings, different configurations of subtle influences, yield a more or less clear path to the mountain top.

 

So it is not that only those with "destiny" - those with a clear view of the mountain top - who have the blessings to find a teacher and return to the mountain top. It is simply that those without a clear view will need that much more sincerity to find their way. But those who are able to truly do the work, able to listen to the messages, able to hear the karmic pattern, accept the responsibility for all that happens to them with humility, able to unwaveringly walk toward their goal even as they are able to surrender their ego enough to be able to listen to where their goal actually is with any clarity - these people will become that much stronger, and that much more likely to eventually find their way.

 

There is an old Chinese saying I've read about - Where there is sincerity, the Way is open. When one places their sincerity on the dao, and when it is enough, the way will begin to open, teachers will appear, and one will accomplish their goals.

 

Too, I think it is important to emphasize that the "dao" is the main teacher. When one learns to listen to the dao, and act with the dao, the dao opens. One's dao may lead one to a physical teacher, through whom one can listen to the dao, and learn to come closer to the dao. But also one's dao may lead on to other types of teachers - we should not underestimate the lessons that can be learned from the spiritual world, be they past masters, other highly evolved spirits, and from the whole example set by the celestial mechanism.

 

Blessings to your way.


Edited by Daeluin, 12 August 2015 - 06:46 AM.

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#14 vonkrankenhaus

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 09:20 AM

"Neidan for Dummies"?

 

It may be that ALL books on the subject are essentially that.

 

Even the whole practice, in the modern era, could likely be called that.

 

After over 45 years studying and practicing qigong & neigong, I have just only this year begun reading all of these books that have been published, and looking at all the various retreats and workshops people that have sprung up in that time.

 

And even a forum like this one - I never saw something like this, and now I am having fun seeing all of these posts and peoples interested in the subject.

 

Seems good to just read everything and see as much as possible.

 

 

-VonKrankenhaus


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#15 YiYinYiYang

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 01:29 AM

I've seen a lot of contention arise over this concept, but haven't seen the principle explained well enough to get the point across to those for whom this is a completely foreign concept.


If the scriptures are considered to contain in a cryptic language the accumulated experience by the past Masters through their practice of Dao, it maybe becomes more easy to understand the reason why it is said that:  "Dao can't be transmitted without the scriptures, scriptures can't be understood without a teacher.



#16 Taoist Texts

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 04:56 AM

YiYinYiYang, on 11 Aug 2015 - 22:50, said:snapback.png

道无经不传,经无师不明

 

"Dao can't be transmitted without the scriptures, scriptures can't be understood without a teacher."

 

 

I've seen a lot of contention arise over this concept,

 

The contention arises because the the modern western taoists who use this phrase with gusto do not understand which scriptures are meant here and who exactly are the teachers in this phrase.

 

Which is ironic, given  that the scriptures here are the religious ritual manuals and not the neidan texts, and the teachers here are not the modern qigongers posing as taoists but rather the religious taoist priests.

 

In other words this phrase is about the taoist religion something that the western taoists shun quite vehemently yet they use this religious phrase. The irony is quite rich here. ;)

 

 

Here is how the real Taoists explain this phrase:

 

 

Thus it is important for all Taoists to learn under a master about the scriptures and to experience the Dao

(道无经不传,经无师不明). One may not conduct any Taoist ritual unless taught by a master, because there are many key components of the rituals which are not included inall the scriptures, and these must be taught and imparted by the master. It is a sin for attempting to conduct a Taoist ritual without proper guidance by a Taoist master. The Taoist Federation (Singapore)


世人个个学长年,不悟年年在目前,我得宛丘平易法,只将食粥致神仙。




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