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  1. 9 points
    My initial experience of awakening was completely unexpected, completely unlike anything I'd ever read or could have anticipated, and yet I somehow knew precisely what had transpired. I felt it deep in my bones, no room whatsoever for questions or doubt. On the other hand it was also disorienting, particularly in trying to carry on with my family and professional life. The lack of conceptual context created sort of a cognitive dissonance between the discursive "me" and the abiding nature. Reconciling and integrating the self-awareness with mundane responsibility and obligations became challenging at times. Priorities changed but I wasn't ready or willing to give up my family and professional obligations. I knew there was room and validity for both the relative and absolute. Years later I encountered a teacher who was able to help me with that integration. The beauty is that it happened almost completely non-verbally and non-conceptually. I came to him looking for help contextualizing and integrating my experience. He told me almost nothing in words but his manner, his openness, his warmth and genuine caring caused something in me to click in a very profound way, bridging the relative and absolute through openness of the heart.
  2. 8 points
    In mental terms, water is reception or being receptive to things, accepting things. Fire is transmission or the desire to do things, to strive or act. The TTC describes it well in many chapters, but the basic point is here... EIGHT The highest good is like water. Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. It flows in places people reject and so is like the Tao. In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart. In dealing with others, be gentle and kind. In speech, be true. In ruling, be just. In business, be competent. In action, watch the timing. No fight: No blame.
  3. 8 points
    Welcome new Bum, It's good that you're questioning yourself, always a good practice, especially when it comes to beliefs and assumptions in the spiritual realm. We should question all of our assumptions, especially the most basic - hence Zen Pig's fundamental questions. Meditation on such questions is every bit as valuable as working with mental constructs like chakras. FYI - I'm coming from a Tibetan Bön paradigm in terms of my chakra practices and understanding. My experience and understanding differ from your statement that "They don't actually exist but are mental 4th dimensional structures that allow us to build a consciousness somewhere." I hope you forgive me as I pick it apart. What we are practicing towards does not need to be built, it is always already right here awaiting discovery and connection. No need to build consciousness somewhere, it is always present, closer to me than I am to myself. Yes, chakras are mental structures but that doesn't mean they do not exist. Do your thoughts exist? They certainly make an impression on both the inner and outer worlds. Not sure what you mean by 4th dimensional structures, if you are relating to the dimension of time and implying that chakras are transient, aren't we all? I look at a chakra as a conceptual construct that helps us to focus on the things that are preventing us from making the discovery of the purity of our essence, our essential being which is a limitless resource, that is always with us. Chakras are convergence points where the mind and body intersect - areas where we can access, experience, and store energy. That energy is related to our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences, memories, hopes, fears, etc... and how all of that affects and is held in our body. The chakra system is a tool to help us categorize, localize, and work with this very complex amalgam in order to free our selves from all of those blockages and obscurations, the very things that prevent us from discovering what Zen Pig is pointing to - we are already there, we are just distracted. Without a conceptual framework like the chakra system, we can still work on all of that but the system gives us a useful and well-organized tool that assists in the process. In the Daoist system, it is similar, as is the Tantric system. You first build all of the energetic structure (analogous to tantric practices) and then realize you need to let all of that go to experience what has been there all along, primordial purity (I had about 12 years of experience with Daoist meditation practices before coming to Bön). In my practice, from the Bön Dzogchen tradition, we work with the ideas of channels, chakras, and subtle winds (Tibetan word for prana). We have a series of exercises that combine breathing, visualization, and body movement to clear each channel and chakra in order to connect with the stillness, silence, and spaciousness that are always already there. After a series of such exercises, we then simply abide in our natural state. Over time we learn to bring this off the cushion and into every aspect of waking, dreaming, sleeping, and ultimately dying. I hope my perspective is of some value to you.
  4. 8 points
    good morning world ! you are SO beautiful today! outside my window soft sweet snow cushions and covers your cold hard still body but you are not really cold nor terribly hard nor is your motion frozen your heart is filled with swirling fire and our father sun will awaken that thin crisp life you show us where our mortal eyes touch you well, both you and we are simply gross physical manifestations of something both deeper and higher, aren't we" tho few of US know it and the few of us who do, usually forget it i'll wager you are always aware good morning world you are so beautiful every day
  5. 7 points
    Ephesians 2:14-15 NIV "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,"
  6. 7 points
    Joe sounds like a real peach! Thanks for the recommendation. I've been on this site for a while and have gone through quite a few ups and downs regarding engagement and disengagement. At this point, I delete the majority of my posts before ever publishing them and ignore most of the misinformation I come across. I got involved with this thread for the same reason as you and soon realized I'd said enough. I have little interest in theory and intellectual understanding so debate doesn't turn me on. It's not my place to try and convince anyone of anything, just my option to make an offering if conditions seem favorable. If someone finds something of value in what I say, wonderful! If someone finds what I say to be utter horse-shit, wonderful! It's just words and concepts and, at the end of the day, I'd be better off spending more time on the cushion and with my family. It's really nice to connect with you and I hope you stick around. With warmth and blessings on this beautiful Losar!
  7. 7 points
    Hello ! Few things about me, I currently reside in LV, Nevada, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Background is Brazilian/Argentine.. nor sure what else to write here so I thought I would go ahead and share an experience with you all. Excited to hear what everyone else here has experienced! A few years ago and a few months then into my spiritual/meditational journey, I had an encounter that changed existence itself for me. Only a few people know, and recently I decided that I would share it with anyone out there so that they may see what the depths of your Self holds at all times, and anyone who has had a transformational experience themselves. If you read it, thank you for the time Here it is: At the time of my transformation a few years ago I was doing my regular meditation at around 2 A.M. The living room was virtually pitch black. 20 minutes into the meditation I decide to simply let go of my 'internal clock' that determines when I have meditated for the usual 30-40 minutes and I curiously go into seeing how long I can stay in that thoughtless meditative state. I would have to say about 45 minutes into it that I start hearing a very loud high pitched ringing/noise in both my ears.. as it got louder and louder so this bright light in my mind's eye would become brighter and brighter. This was a pure white light that looked as if someone had turned on their headlights to my face at point-blank range; my eyes are still closed this entire time and never open. This goes on for about 15-30 seconds and then the sounds and light are now accompanied by what seemed to be hundreds and thousands of voices giving me praise, so many voices that it was hard to figure them all out at once but I did not need or try to because I was receiving the core of the message intuitionally, I knew, I felt. It was like being in the middle of a fully filled coliseum, with everyone there cheering for you and loving you unconditionally with Love that reached deep into the past, present, and future all at once. These were immense feelings of achievement and how proud they are of me to come this far into myself, and that they have always been here and always will be here for us all. That they have loved me and all of us since the beginning of it all and continue to do so indefinitely. I was filled with incredible emotions of pure agape, pure love, and interconnectedness that took over my entire being. I smile with Love and Gratefulness and all I can struggle to say is " Thank you " as my eyes begin to form tears. As the loud ringing noise dies down and things begin to get darker, so do the voices dissipate. But it didn't feel as if I was going back down in consciousness, I went higher. Higher into a dark expanse that felt infinite, eternal, empty, vast and yet also containing the entirety of existence itself, all that has been, all that is, and all that will be. Which is plainly also, just all that is. There I could not identify with the part of myself that says 'I' or 'me' anymore. I could not understand it, it was so abnormal and really, non-existent to me. Not only was I in that Void, but I knew and felt my Self AS that Void itself. I was Everything and Nothing all at the same time. It was quieter than quiet.. no sound beyond the sound. Empty. Yet also filled with ALL of existence itself. Pure Oneness. What came, later on, was light, it looked like stars in the distance and stardust but also water, a different type of water/fluid. It filled my view with hues of purple, blue, indigo and a whole array of lights among this void. I stay in observe in a balanced awe. I open my eyes and break down in an utter joy that is beyond any comprehension. About 10 minutes later I comfy myself on the couch in which I usually would sleep on. As I close my eyes, I am in awe of that same sight of stars in this Void still there even after my meditation. It was pure bliss to shut my eyes and head off into sleep, gazing out into the star-filled space in front of me. I was whole, and one with All That Is. This feeling later went on to stay with me for months after, I was born again. Glad to be here with you all, and I'm looking forward to bouncing off of each other with anything that can help us grow -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Later on, I plan to host dark room meditations/retreats for periods of 12 - 21 days. Thanks for reading and Love to you all :)🙏✨❤️ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Words can never convey the beauty of a tree; to understand it, you must see it with your own eyes. Language cannot capture the melody of a song; to understand it, you must hear it with your own ears. So it is with the Tao: the only way to understand it is to directly experience it. The subtle truth of the universe is unsayable and unthinkable. Therefore the highest teachings are wordless. My own words are not the medicine, but a prescription; not the destination, but a map to help you reach it. When you get there, quiet your mind and close your mouth. Don’t analyze the Tao. Strive instead to live it: silently, undividedly, with your whole harmonious being." - Lao Tzu (Hua Hu Ching, chapter 31)
  8. 7 points
    Rhetorical question to all the folks who drone on and on and on............ and on, about the theory of spiritual practice, argue about topics or metaphors quoted by dead guru's......... Those who preach there beliefs as if they are the finial truth, or written in stone.......... How's that working for you so far? Looking back on all the time spent discussing spiritual topics to debate, argued over, offer invaluable opinions on......... Have you ever had a deep ground shaking opening to life? One that was impossible to put into words"? Have you ever had the experience, (or experiences) of seeing this universe, life, god in the most simple and profound manner? As I said, kind of a rhetorical question, but an interesting one for me. Not suggesting that I know something special, (because I don't know anything special at all), or not that I don't comment on post, because I am human and love being human with all its amazing wonder, just something I am reflecting on this cold morning.
  9. 7 points
    Satori, enlightenment is a pretty high bar. If one gets a sense of peace and a smile.. lowers the blood pressure a bit.. learns to let things go.. that's good enough for me. I'm not chasing enlightenment anymore, at this point, it'll have to come to me.
  10. 7 points
    I do not think it works well for anyone. If a person is open and truly practicing or cultivating their perspective shifts and I would venture to say many, many times. To me there is no end to understanding and knowing. Just when I think I've got it all figured out, bam! a new path to deeper clarity and understanding emerges from the mist.
  11. 7 points
    This may be a bit of a detour but I'd like to share about yogas of dream and sleep. In the Tibetan Bön tradition, they are part of the tantric teachings and are considered precious. There are two distinct stages - lucid dreaming and the clear light of sleep. Dreaming is practiced first. The benefits of lucid dreaming are multiple. As a tantric practice, it is a great opportunity to work with personal transformation. We are aware that we are dreaming and, with a little practice, able to act intentionally in the dream and change it at will. But we are dreaming - sights, sounds, trains of discursive thought... that is dream yoga. Cultivating the ability to transform the dreams leads to greater flexibility and freedom in waking life. It also helps understand illusory nature of all experience, asleep and awake. Sleep yoga bypasses dream or uses dream as a springboard. Reaching the clear light is a bit like samadhi - total clarity, openness... No visions, no images or arisings. A feeling of pure awareness floating in boundless space. Effortless and very stable, feels like there is an inertia of stability. The teachings say that reaching the clear light even a few times in life helps at the moment of death to recognize the Nature of Mind and self-liberate. Peace
  12. 7 points
    Thanks for this thread - very interesting read. It made me think of this: So even Jesus who was not exactly the most popular with the priesthood - fulfilled the law - which I take to mean he fulfilled the lineage. In other words he correctly understood and embodied what the lineage teachings were talking about - while the priests had fallen into ritual observance (they may of course understood some of it but not all of it or indeed the central purpose). I would also add that although it is true that realisation or awakening can be understood as living in the present moment in awareness of the true nature of reality - here and now - it is also true to say that we each carry a long history. A personal lineage if you like in our bodies or perhaps in our beings. So there is a sense of fulfilment of an ancient purpose in our work.
  13. 6 points
    thought some might find this clip interesting "english subtitles" out lines why, what and how for many questions often asked when looking at high level taiji demos.
  14. 6 points
    Looks like Sean got the banner up just in time Chinese New Year 2019 is observed Feb. 4-10th. Yesterday, my wife asked me, why are you cleaning the house... I said, no reason. She said this is common to do before Chinese New Years starts. I wanted to ask if that means I only have to clean once a year Any words for what we can expect this year ?
  15. 6 points
    Art. Occasionally, after practice, when you feel inspired... Paint what you *feel* in your body. You'll find that the process of painting helps you clarify, uncover, excavate, what you feel. Meaning, you probably won't have an entire idea of what you are going to paint... The process of painting, itself, reveals the picture. You'll be surprised at what comes out. It provides an external feedback, you can look at it. Then do it again weeks or months later: you will see changes in the painting that very often correspond to the progression of the practice you are doing. Materials? I suggest: 1. A brush pen. You can get one for less than $10. 2. If you're into color, a Crayola Watercolor set, again, < $10. 3. A journal that has watercolor-quality pages, so that you can use it as both a written journal and a sketch~paint journal. 4. The Sumi-E Book teaches brush technique, and the brush (with just a little training) can allow a poor untalented schmuck of a not-at-all-an-artist to make rather beautiful strokes. Some of my own personal art is at https://invisiblewell.wordpress.com/ . I do publish some (free) essays re: the internal arts at https://johndaoproductions.wordpress.com/ . I have an upcoming essay entitled (something like) "Art Therapy for Mystics". If you want to be notified when it gets posted either follow my wordpress site or follow my JDP thread here on TDBs. I was decades into my practices before I discovered how utilitarian painting could be. It is something that would have been useful from the very beginning. - Trunk
  16. 6 points
    Hmmmmmm. sounds interesting, but if offered to me, I would say, "No Thanks". It's not that I don't find this sort of thing intriguing, But like the old saying goes, "Man's got to know his limitations" And I do not do well with to much power. Like life of just hiking in the hills and spending time with family.
  17. 6 points
    I recently came across this brief teaching from the Dalai Lama. I thought it might be of some value to share here. "In order to train in the path that would allow us to transform death, the intermediate state, and rebirth, we have to practice on three occasions: during the waking state, during the sleeping state, and during the death process. This entails integrating the self with spiritual training. Now we have three sets of three: Death, intermediate state, and rebirth Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya Sleeping, dreaming, and waking In order to achieve the ultimate states of Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya, one must become acquainted with the three stages of death, intermediate state, and rebirth. In order to become acquainted with these three, one must gain acquaintance with the states of dreamless sleep, dreaming, and waking. “To gain the proper experience during sleep and the waking state, I think it is crucial to become familiar, by means of imagination, with the eightfold process of dying, beginning with the waking conscious state and culminating in the clear light of death. This entails a dissolution process, a withdrawal. At each stage of the actual dying process there are internal signs, and to familiarize yourself with these, you imagine them during meditation in your daytime practice. Then in your imagination, abiding at the clear light level of consciousness, you visualize your subtle body departing from your gross body, and you imagine going to different places; then finally you return and the subtle body becomes reabsorbed in your normal form. Once you are experienced at visualizing this during daytime practice, then when you fall asleep an analogous eightfold process occurs naturally and quickly. That’s the best method for enabling you to recognize the dreamless sleep state as the dreamless sleep state. But without deeper meditative experience of this in the daytime, it’s very difficult to realize this dissolution as you fall asleep. “In the Highest Yoga Tantra practice there are two stages for any sadhana or visualization practice: the stage of generation and the stage of completion. In the stage of generation, the more basic of these two, this whole eightfold process of dissolution is experienced only by the power of imagination; you just visualize it. But in the second stage of practice, the stage of completion, by means of prana yoga, including the vase meditation, you bring the vital energies into the central channel, and you actually bring about such a dissolution, not just with imagination, but in terms of reality. You bring about such a dissolution, and at a certain level of this practice the clear light will manifest. “If you’ve arrived at that point in your experience and practice, then it’s very easy for you to recognize the clear light of sleep when that naturally occurs. And if you have arrived at the point where you can recognize dreamless sleep as dreamless sleep, then it’s very easy for you to recognize the dream as the dream. “This discussion concerns the means of ascertaining sleep as sleep and dream as dream by the power of vital energy. That’s one avenue leading to that result. Now, going back to daytime practice, if one has not reached that level of insight or experience through the vital energy practice, then during the daytime you accomplish this by the power of intent, rather than power of vital energy. Intent means you have to strive very diligently, with a lot of determination. In such practice, recognizing dreamless sleep is harder than recognizing the dream as dream. “Different factors are involved in the ability to recognize the dream as dream. One is diet. Specifically, your diet should be compatible with your own metabolism. For example, in Tibetan medicine, one speaks of the three elements: wind, bile, and phlegm. One or more of these elements are predominant in some people. You should have a diet that helps to maintain balance among these various humors within the body. Moreover, if your sleep is too deep, your dreams will not be very clear. In order to bring about clearer dreams and lighter sleep, you should eat somewhat less. In addition, as you’re falling asleep, you direct your awareness up to the forehead. On the other hand, if your sleep is too light, this will also act as an obstacle for gaining success in this practice. In order to deepen your sleep, you should take heavier, oilier food; and as you’re falling asleep, you should direct your attention down to the vital energy center at the level of navel or the genitals. If your dreams are not clear, as you’re falling asleep you should direct your awareness to the throat center. In this practice, just as in using the device sent by LaBerge (see p. 106), when you begin dreaming it’s helpful to have someone say quietly, ‘You are dreaming now. Try to recognize the dream as the dream.’ “Once you are able to recognize the clear light of sleep as the clear light of sleep, that recognition can enable you to sustain that state for a longer period. The main purpose of dream yoga in the context of tantric practice is to first recognize the dream state as dream state. Then, in the next stage of the practice you focus your attention on the heart center of your dream body and try to withdraw the vital energy into that center. That leads to an experience of the clear light of sleep, which arises when the dream state ceases. “The experience of clear light that you have during sleep is not very subtle. As you progress in your practice of dream yoga, the first experience of the clear light occurs as a result of focusing your attention at the heart center of the dream body. Although the clear light state during sleep at the beginning is not very subtle, through practice you’ll be able to make it subtler and also prolong its duration. Also, a secondary benefit of this dream body is that you can be a perfect spy.” He laughed in his usual style. Realizing how much time the teaching had taken, and how late it was, he got up, bowed to all present, and left. We slowly gathered our notes and pads, resting in the aura of a knowledge that was both vast and difficult to grasp."
  18. 6 points
    "Light and darkness, life and death, and right and left are siblings of one another, and inseparable. For this reason the good are not good, the bad are not bad, life is not life, death is not death. Each will dissolve into its original nature, but what is superior to the world cannot be dissolved, for it is eternal." -Gospel of Philip
  19. 6 points
    Correction ~ 5th to 19th 2019. Same same - yuk! A cross between a prehistoric boar and a rat? =================================================== A HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR TO ALL! - Anand
  20. 6 points
    wow. you kids now days! not picking on anyone in particular, but holy cow! For one thing the original question about "spiritual people" is a bit odd. I don't know what a "spiritual person" is, but I can tell young folks that it is not difficult to meet other people , and have relationships. Just be yourself. don't try to project an image of who you think you want to be. relax. go to a gym work out, smile at folks say hello. find a club or organization where you meet folks who have the same interest you do. Don't take yourself to seriously, learn to laugh at yourself. (I know I am) . Oh, and don't blame "spirituality or your advance state of evolution" for not being able to get laid........ and lastly, for god's sake, stop over thinking everything, (gentle smack up side the head) . good luck all
  21. 6 points
    In my experience, living for extended periods of time in an environment where nature in still strong is hugely beneficial for physical, emotional and spiritual health. For those of us fortunate to live in countries where wilderness still exists I highly recommend it. Connection with nature is at the heart of Daoism. Here’s a lucid account of an awakening experience brought about simply by living in the wilderness from someone who had no spiritual intent and no knowledge of energy cultivation praxis.... “One good sunny day we decided to walk to a big waterfall a long way up the valley. We followed a trail through the forest and came across a huge landslide. We sat down and lit a fire with the abundance of firewood. While Peter was toasting his bread on a stick, I told him that I had felt a huge build-up of energy in the last few days. So much so, I said, that I felt like jumping up and down like a Masai warrior from Kenya. Peter laughed and gestured to show that I should certainly take no notice of him and feel free to jump about if I felt like it. “We continued our way up the valley. Slowly we walked out of the forest and into a giant basin, where the steep mountains were virtually cliffs, and little streams and waterfalls cascaded down the rock walls. Eventually we came to a point where a river had carved a smooth channel through the massive rock. The power and beauty was astounding. Peter climbed the rocks, while I stood still. “I was looking at the turquoise colours in the silky water. I was not doing anything special, but suddenly it felt as if a lightning bolt entered my head, as if the right part of my brain suddenly opened, and with it came an extraordinary clarity. I sat down in wonder, and saw that the whole of reality was in fact moving like a kaleidoscope. I saw that everything, including my own mind, was constantly transforming; I was not really fixed in one place. I saw that this changing reality was an eternal movement in a timeless world. “Eventually I climbed up to where Peter sat. He looked at me and understood at once that something had happened, for he had experienced similar things himself in the past. We sat down, and we were so in sync that with only a few words he intuitively understood what I was trying to say. While looking at the world, my mind seemed so clear. It was as if I had been driving a car with the handbrake on and suddenly it had been released. “We spoke about humanity, and good and evil. We discussed how children are taught right from wrong, and how these words affect our way of seeing the world. While talking to Peter, I saw myself thinking according to these culturally conditioned values. I could see how I interpreted, judged and analysed my own thoughts, thereby restricting my own mind. I realised that these social rules were made in the past, and had nothing to do with the ever-changing present. “We climbed to the roaring waterfall round the corner. A white river was thundering down to earth, and an eternal, drifting spray covered the fall like a jacket. The wind shaped the mist into different patterns. The spectacular 100-metre cascade had carved a shaft through the solid cliff, before it rushed over smooth slides down the mountain. The power of the waterfall engulfed me. I felt part of its pulsating movements, which glided through the hard rocks to find the lowest levels of the land and reach the sea. “After that remarkable day I didn’t suddenly walk around with a smile all the time. I didn’t feel an eternal bliss. Quite the contrary, in fact: it felt as if someone had removed my rose-tinted glasses. The world had become crystal clear, and I was forced to look at everything—the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly—in a direct and unconditioned way. It was immensely sobering, but also profoundly connecting. “In the following weeks, we went for long walks. We came across flowers that I had seen a hundred times, but it felt as if I saw them for the first time. I spotted a big plant with yellow flowers and when I touched its soft green leaves I felt, intuitively, that these could have a medicinal property for the lungs. When I saw another plant, which Peter recognised as ragwort, I felt that it should not be eaten, but could perhaps have a use for skin treatments. We walked from plant to plant, and each one told us something of interest. I realised that in the past people would have had a sense for the medicinal values of plants, and that this insight was now rendered obsolete by modern science and technology. “Not only was I fascinated by the world of plants; birds and insects also captivated me. When we saw a giant dragonfly on the ground, I lay down next to it. It looked like an alien, with its long black-and-yellow tail. Its enormous eyes on its swivelling head looked at me, and I wondered what it saw. When we returned to the forest, I was in awe of the big, tall plants that we call trees. They suddenly felt like friendly giants. I sat on the roots of an old tree and felt my own heartbeat resonating with its pulse. I was connected. The whole world was magical, and everything in it had such a beautiful design. My mind was empty; the world was complete, full. There was nothing to miss or desire. “The nights were equally as intriguing as the days. When I dreamed, I knew I was in a dream and I could look around without waking up. It was interesting to observe how real the dream world seemed. I touched people’s faces to test if I could feel their skin. I could jump high or fly at will. I listened to orchestras and was at the same time astounded that my brain could make up and play all the instruments. If I didn’t like the course of my dream, I was able to change it. “This state of mind—this extraordinary sensitivity and connectedness—only lasted for a few weeks. After a month, I felt mostly ‘normal’ again, although some aspects of my understanding had changed forever. My dreams, especially, are still very enjoyable.” (From Miriam Lancewood’s book, Woman in the Wilderness: A story of survival, love & self-discovery in New Zealand......Miriam is a Dutch woman living in the heart of the mountains with her New Zealand husband. She lives simply in a tent or hut, and survives by hunting wild animals and foraging edible plants, relying on only minimal supplies. For the last six years she has lived this way, through all seasons, often cold, hungry and isolated in the bush. She loves her life and feels free, connected to the land, and happy.)
  22. 6 points
  23. 6 points
    I started to write a post related to the OP in a different thread yesterday but deleted it. Lately, I tend to delete most of my posts after seeing them in print. Silence seems preferable to most of my words. I'd imagine some of you would agree! It had to do with our tendency to attach ourselves to a conceptual framework or paradigm. While we feel that aligning ourselves perfectly with a particular tradition is bringing us closer to a deeper understanding (and there is truth to this), at the same time it may well have the effect of restricting our growth. We tend to reject the things that conflict with that paradigm and glom on to things that support it. We are only wiling to see things in a way that allows them to fit into our framework. This leads to limiting our perspective, something I feel is antithetical to spirituality. For me, the single most important quality needed for growth is openness.. While there is some value to the paradigm as a support, we need to be careful it doesn't become a fetish or a belief system. When we start denying and rejecting others' opinions and experiences to maintain our confidence in the paradigm, it has become an obstacle. When we endlessly debate and argue with others, trying to be right or get in the last word, who are we trying to convince? Ourselves Our tendency to try and align our experience with that framework can be quite subtle and pervasive. Even in what we may think is direct experience, the narrator is often there directing our interpretation and processing of the experience, and selecting what we include and what we exclude. I watch this in my meditation practice and in my day to day. When faced with something that doesn't fit into my framework, there are a few possibilities. 1) I can reject the opinion or experience, considering it to be an error, a misunderstanding, a falsehood 2) I can reject my framework, finding it faulty, and go in search of another 3) I can recognize that I may have an imperfect understanding of the framework and recognize that no framework perfectly captures what is real, it is always an approximation. For me, the 3rd option is the most conducive to personal growth in the spiritual arena. Any framework can be a support and none is correct to the exclusion of others.
  24. 6 points
    Hi everyone, thank you for this space. I have been looking for a community to read and share experiences for a while, and you guys give me a good feeling, so here I am. I have been trying to find my way into inner exploration for some time now, but I am still all over the place. I have been reading and listening a lot in the hope that certain ideas would eventually "click", but sometimes I have the impression that I am just adding to the confusion. I have tried to meditate to reduce the noise, but I am having a hard time finding a practice that suits me and doesn't throw me into mental or emotional states that I cannot manage. So far it feels like I have just been stirring dirt instead of clearing the water. I hope we can have some good discussions while I figure things out
  25. 6 points
    Hello to All, What started a few years ago as a quest for health (95% solved) has evolved into a quest for energy. To this end, my primary interests right now are qigong and consciousness. I've been practicing zhan zhuang every day for a year now, eight brocades for ~5 months, and inner smile meditation for ~4 months. I reached a comfortable 90 minutes in chenbao, and recently I've returned my focus to wuji. I am seeking the highest state I can achieve, spiritual, mental and physical; with no particular limit to this goal. At the moment I am cross-referencing Yang Jwing-Ming and Mantak Chia, with the aim to develop embryonic breathing and small circulation, with the further aim to master semen retention and large circulation; so I may begin to conserve and refine my energy, and see for myself what a human bodymind can really accomplish. I look forward to learning here and hope that my thoughts may be of help to someone, someday.
  26. 6 points
    Devotion and Worship may be something you secretly dispise or are attracted to. It can be for some a sign of giving up on autonomy and or willful self journeying and isolation from mass hysteria and lazy followership. But it has nothing to do with these things - though all elements of human frailty may be found as is true everywhere. In abiding wakefulness grace is ever present - gratitude pours forth to nothing - it is not in devotion - it is the light But Devotion simply dawns - it dawns as one sheds the ebbing rude coarseness that stood solid on so many willful grounds of insanity and ignorance. In the beautiful stillness - the boundless Presence - the magnificence and majesty - Devotion is camaraderie with the highest light. It is attending a dance with Angels. IN NOTHING great transcendence radiates within - one cannot but be in devotion. It is not a choice or a falling or failing - it is the twilight of all holding - the touch of one finger to the hand of Divine Essence in Living Light. Love unbounded - unbinding
  27. 6 points
    I also think there is a lot of ego/media driven "grade inflation". Very common for someone to have some energetic opening, read a book, and then declare it as awakening/realization/done. Like a spiritual ego trap where you get stuck.
  28. 6 points
    Well what a happy post.
  29. 5 points
    First heal yourself of the beliefs "I am a healer" "I am a savior" "I want to help people" etc. and then see if you still want to heal people.
  30. 5 points
    Full review Now that possibly the most important year in terms of full healing the energetic body (the role of the Spleen is that of balancing, creating a pivot for all the internal organs) is coming to an end; the new year starts on Feb. 5, let's reflect on what we are up against. A double Earth configuration made this year extremely auspicious to strengthen the Earth but also at the cost of Water teaching a nearly zero movement. Earth controls Water in the 5E (controlling cycle) New Year = new Energy; another Qi cycle and it's endless rotation across the internal system. Have fun fun and good luck! *Note: Is the Dao Bums forum banner going to be like this?
  31. 5 points
    I think you raise a good point. Any active dreaming (whether lucid or not), is not Turiya. But, I would also agree that it is possible to maintain awareness during sleep, and it is very much like Spotless described earlier... laying in bed, fully aware at various layers of consciousness... and then your wife hits you and tells you stop snoring...
  32. 5 points
    Nothin ‘spiritual’ about this equation. He’s judging women over 30 to be less good looking and unworthy. And they’re judging him to be less eligible for a lasting relationship (no surprise there). Both are shallow people stuck in shallow preferences.
  33. 5 points
    In my opinion, these emotions are natural and necessary expressions. First, it is important to be aware of them. Repression allows them to gain strength and often express as physical or psychological illness. Next, it is important to allow them to arise and express without suppression and without augmentation. Only if allowed to express, will they be able to liberate. These feelings are present to teach us something. Sooner or later they will have their say, like it or not. The method I practice comes from the Dzogchen teachings of Bön Buddhism. Once I become aware of the negative feeling, I allow it to remain in my awareness. This does not mean to engage with it, follow it, add to it, or analyze it; it simply means to acknowledge its presence and host it in awareness. Next, I notice the identity that is experiencing this reactivity. There is a tendency to think that "I" am reacting to something but when we look deeply at the "I" we can't really find anything solid. The "I" that is reacting is an aspect of me that identifies with a role, a set of expectations (father, daughter, teacher, seeker, lover, boss, addict, victim, etc...); often it is a complex amalgam of identities. When I recognize that reactive identity, I invite it to rest in stillness (of body), silence (of inner and outer speech), and spaciousness (of heart and mind). This resting is referred to as trekchöd, or cutting through the illusion. In that openness and resting, it becomes clear that "I" am so much more than the limited identity that is feeling hurt and angry. If I'm able to truly allow that reactive identity to open and rest deeply, it will loosen and dissolve. As this happens, I rest deeply in my fundamental essence which can be described as having the characteristics of openness, clarity, and warmth. The way I go on in this world filled with perceived injustice is to do what I can to liberate my own aversion, attachments, and ignorance so that I'm able to see as clearly as possible and, from that place of clarity, openness, and warmth, do what I can to help.
  34. 5 points
    Several of us did the same thing with our teacher. We wanted to give teacher something to honor his birthday. We often found him drinking tea when we arrived to train. So, we all chipped in, went to a tea shop and bought a tea that cost $125 per pound. Next class, we presented it to teacher. Teacher accepted the gift with some humility. At the end of class, he made the tea and offered everyone a cup. That became a trradition for our group. At the end of each class we all gathered around and drank tea and hd really great discussions about the history and philospohy of taiji. Now, perhaps we did not have the purest intent. But I mention this because earlier I wrote ... somewhat critically, as I am often wont to do ... about gifting and the intent behind the gift. But there is another side to the gifting ... it's in the receiving. In our case teacher turned the gift into something that had meaning for everyone and furthered our understanding of taiji. In a sense, in receiving our gift, he gifted us in return with his knowledge and understanding. Such a response was a great lesson in Dao.The bonding that took place as a result was something I will never forget. Just thought I should share this. Kind regards.
  35. 5 points
    So every now and then we feel we have insight and an enlightened view of life and the world. But! What if all our assumptions are wrong! What if we have to agree that, as all things are relative, we are simply biased from our vantage point? So any mystic worth his salt is forever testing his beliefs, insights and knowing. But are we not all humbled by the infinite unfathomable nature of all? I wrote this many years ago and have yet to improve upon it: The seed of thought, the sum of mind, And through it's memories became entwined. And then it dawned upon it's reason, To tread the path of different seasons And then at dusk our memories cease, And ask no more and rest in peace.
  36. 5 points
    I see that correct 99% of the time. But there are times that call for righteous anger and outrage, but if one makes a steady diet of it, feels it most of the time and they're not in a (kinda) war zone, then its them, not the world. Thing is angry outrage is addictive. We'll go out of our way to watch things of dubious nature that will trigger it in ourselves. It's warming with a heap of "we're superior to them" sprinkled on top. We've grown up watching macho fantasies where explosive anger works out perfectly and the hero's tied everything up in an hour. Real life is littered with nasty unanticipated consequences and villains are as likely or more likely to be fueled by the same righteous anger. So.. be real careful feeding anger. Better to use it as a sign to work out, or do some charity work.
  37. 5 points
    This is a tricky one. Most people that actively tuck the tailbone create major errors down the line. What works best is to hang the pelvis. Your Ding (not crown) pulls up and your pelvis just hangs off. Over time the lower back will open naturally and the pelvis will tuck slightly on its own. The other part of this is having your feet facing forward like you’re standing on rails. Trace an imaginary line from your middle toe to the centre of your heel on both feet and place them shoulder width apart with these lines runnng parallel to one another - middle toes facing forward. This will also help to open your Ming Men area. (It feels strange at first) The most important part of standing initially is sinking into your Kwa. This is the first thing I check when I check out teachers - whether they’re sunk in the kwa. Most aren’t. One also needs to stretch thoroughly and open up their body prior to standing. Paying particular attention to hips and kwa areas. Some strengthening of the core and the legs may also be needed. It’s also worth mentioning that the idea is not to put yourself into the ‘perfect posture’, but to build in these principles. At first your posture will not look correct (eg bum sticks out) but over time your tissues will reshape and the ‘perfect posture’ will happen effortlessly by itself.
  38. 5 points
    +1 to everything @steve posted. One thing I found was very critical in standing, was to "release the muscles in the upper chest region". By release, I mean relaxing that region (pectoralis major). It takes a little bit of conscious effort, but then it should be instantaneous. This allows the Qi to drop to the LDT region more effectively. Many people mistake the "sink the chest" and "pluck up the back" to mean rounding the back (make more convex) so the chest becomes more concave. However, the "sink the chest" I found is really a relaxation of the upper chest region. It should feel like the chest is sliding down the front of the body (a few millimeters only) towards the ground. That will make a huge difference in sinking the qi. Sinking the chest will result in the back being "plucked up".
  39. 5 points
    It’s good to remain in reality. To be fully present in the here and now... no matter what other worlds you see. To get lost lost in fantasy land and beliefs (without the experience of such things) doesn’t accomplish much except perhaps escapism. Good to have an open mind, not so good to lose it completely.
  40. 5 points
    One cannot rule that out. The first of my truly awesome teachers was an outwardly uneducated "homeless black man" on the streets of New York City whom I knew for 9 years many many years ago. For the first two years, however, before he revealed himself, we had numerous "coincidental" meetings on the streets of NYC during which I would always take him out to lunch or dinner depending on the time of day. There was nothing particularly impressive about his words in general as he usually just listened to me talk about myself. Nonetheless, whenever we parted, there was invariably a seemingly bizarre statement or question he had raised that lingered with me and became a catalyst for meditation. After two years, he finally revealed himself in an extraordinary manner and I was stunned by his wisdom and understanding of the Reality. I immediately questioned him: "We've known each other for two years. Why haven't you ever spoken to me like this before." His response to me, who FOOLISHLY considered myself somewhat enlightened at that time based on my intellectual understanding of scriptures, was: "You weren't even at a level where we could discuss basics". However, his overall demeanor was sensitive and appropriate so I wasn't in the least bit offended. For the next seven years, we continued to meet "coincidentally" on the streets of NYC whenever I needed him most (whether I liked it at the time or not as I was sometimes engaged in less than noble activities when he appeared ). With one exception, he refused my offer to stay at my house or accept my phone number so that he could call collect whenever he wanted to meet so our meetings were unscheduled for obvious reasons but uncannily timely. Our parting was unforgettable. At our last meeting, he abruptly told me that I would not be seeing him again. Having grown very attached to this unusual relationship, I was understandably upset and asked if I had offended him in any way. He simply indicated that "My work with you is done" and that "Another teacher will come to take my place". He hugged me and started to walk away. I could not bear losing him so I followed him and was only a couple of steps behind him as he turned the corner. I turned the corner only a few seconds after he did, and no one was there. I never saw him again, but I will never forget those incredible 9 years with him. As for your statement, "At this point I think Spotless is just pretending to sleep in order to fit in with us mortal humans", you may be right. One never knows. However, be assured that I will be watching more and more of his posts in the future. LOL
  41. 5 points
    In the Bön teachings, conscious and subconscious mind are all considered mind. In waking we practice mostly with the conscious mind. As meditation deepens, more of the subconscious content and workings are illuminated by consciousness. In dream yoga, we become conscious in dream and have the opportunity to practice with content that is normally subconscious. In sleep yoga, we become conscious in deep sleep, in the absence of dreams. It is a practice of recognition and stability of the Nature of Mind. The mind and body contain many layers obscuring the pure awareness that knows itself, whatever you prefer to call it. It is said that in the Bardo after Death (the Clear Light Bardo), when we no longer have a body to limit our clarity and experience of spaciousness, they are far greater than anything we can experience in life. Cultivating awareness in deep sleep is said to be the closest we come to this experience in life, as we are temporarily “free” of the body and workings of mind.
  42. 5 points
    In Aikido there was a saying, Don't leave your Aikido on the mat. It meant this stuff is to be used in real life. Not the martial techniques, but lessons in awareness, movement, mind body stuff. Lately I'm going over Adyashanti's stuff. He seems pretty down to earth. What I'm pondering is his saying that if we keep meditation special and as a separate consciousness, then its not affecting our every day life, ie its either not going to get us to enlightenment, or its a slow rout, as long as meditation is separate 'special' activity. I think Musashi said your warrior walk should be your everyday walk. Adyanshanti seems to want our meditation to be our every day mind. Not even quieting mind, nothing special, just watching it. Thus it'll settle down by itself, but keep watching it, for its tricks, its moods. Anyhow.. I suppose we need to do things mindfully.. yet beyond that.. how do we stay in meditation.. what mindset do we need.. ? Its kind of Pollyannish, but the mindset It's All Good, seems to be a good one. And when the shits hits the fan heavily, it can be naturally dropped. Or is no mindset the best. thoughts..
  43. 5 points
    A lot of mythology and assumptions get passed off as authoritative guidelines. The OP actually starts off very well. However, turiya is not something one reaches or attains. It is always there and everyone already has access to it. Only the mind focuses on this and that, so it seems to be obscured. That IS the Awareness without objects, consciousness without any modifications.
  44. 5 points
    Hey Every One, It has been ages since I stuck my head into the Dao Bums realm. I don't even remember my old email and password it has been so long. I hope you are all doing well, and perhaps I can rejoin the main discussions. Peace and Blessings, Lin
  45. 5 points
    I miss you too, everyday.
  46. 5 points
    Agreed. The first big energetic opening can shift your perspective big time. And while it’s a major turning point, I also feel it’s where the “real work” begins. Like up to that point, your just trying to “get there”. And once your “there”, then you realize it’s about being here. And “here” has its own stuff you were never aware of before. 😄 Always new stuff that’s unfolding - it is never done.
  47. 5 points
    ??? Practice with effort and in solitude (it makes a huge difference), and you'll soon see what the Mind really is. All these endless Internet discussions lead to nowhere. I'll do the WALK before I do the TALK. Very cool saying.
  48. 5 points
    Buddhism and Daoism come from different traditions but they have historically mixed symbiotically especially in China - so there exist what you might call hybrid systems - although I don't really buy that term I'll use it anyway - like Ch'an/Zen for instance which is Daoist influenced Buddhism. Obviously Buddhism originated in ancient India from the sramana tradition - sramanas being wandering mystics for whom the sage-king was the ideal - other traditions emerged from here also such as Jainism (which has some similarities to Buddhism). The Buddha's main stress and indeed starting point was the individual's experience of life and how the cyclical world (samasara) was a projection arising through ignorance and desire. So the remedy lay in taming the mind by removing ignorance and cutting through our grasping at things. Mind here is usually 'citta' as in 'bodhicitta' = awakened mind and does not mean our thoughts as such but the basis of awareness - or indeed the 'substance' in which awareness/perception arises. Closer perhaps to the word consciousness as mentioned above - although there are technical difficulties with this also I think. It is hard to say exactly when Daoism arose - as although Lao Tzu's Daodejing was written about 500 BC it is not necessarily a foundational text and older classics such as the Yijing contain at least proto-Daoist ideas. What most people in the West focus on is the Daoist techniques of energy working such as qigong and inner alchemy (neidan). These arose out of Chinese medicine and martial arts. As Daoism is in a sense realist as the dao itself, heaven and earth, yin/yang and so forth as considered 'real' and not mental projections it does not have the same basis as Buddhism. However as I said above there has been so much cross cultural influence historically that some schools a can sound almost indistinguishable. It is also more or less certain that Neidan influenced the development of Buddhist tantra - even though tantra itself is an Indian approach developed from secret clan and kaula tantras in both 'Hindu' and Buddhist sects. The goal of Buddhism is to become a Buddha (or Arhat) and thus awakened in the sense that Buddha meant it. The goal of Daoist neidan is immortality (which may be understood as physical or spiritual) - and unlike Buddhism there is always a sense of harmony with something beyond ourselves, rather than mind awakening. You should follow whatever system you have a strong connection to - which is what you have to decide I guess
  49. 5 points
    This is how you take care of the so-called "Lord of Death"!
  50. 5 points
    Even in your words here, you are somehow defining Unity consciousness as a thing, and then that it is somehow different than some other thing that you are calling awakening. None of these are defined terms, also I know of no tradition where two such things both exist and are separate things. Maybe it would be helpful if you could use some tradition framework and their terms. But to me, as ilumarien pointed out above, words no matter how pretty are simply words. True realization is “radiated” and can be easily felt.