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  1. 10 points
    Well said Song of the Dao. There seems to be a threshold of wisdom that allows me to realize how much ignorance my mind is comprised of and prone to fostering, and this realization softens my approach to life. As a result, no longer maintaining mindless certainty that any given notion entering my mind is based on absolute truth is a treasure worth pursuing and cultivating and when I speak, it's then from a desire to share and explore connection, instead of alter others' minds or convince them of the one correct way. One of the manifestations of this softening, is in what I call spherical listening. Hearing not just the words spoken, but with my whole being, in full presence. In youth, I sometimes listened closely, but not to understand so much as to be able to respond potently to share my position which I considered manifestly accurate. In surety and certainty, I'd listen to be able to refute what I considered wrong in others, or promote my 'rightness'. Lately, I listen to connect and understand. I listen to foster fluid presence, not reinforce a rigid position. And when I speak, it isn't to convince or influence, but to share and connect.
  2. 9 points
    The great con You see the internal arts work very differently. It’s a little complicated. The idea is to set up certain conditions in your body and mind, so that the Qi flows of its own accord in the necessary ways. This takes a lot of practice time and effort, but once it’s done you will sense the energy moving - it’s very physical and obvious - not subtle and semi imagined. The great con is that - since it’s complicated and hard work to create these conditions. Why not instead imagine the effect that arises as a result of these conditions being in place!? Great marketing idea. Brilliant shortcut. But completely misses (or bypasses) the point of the art form. And has little effect... and is often dangerous if done a lot. The other thing to look out for. Modern internal arts. Things like Clairevision, Wim Hoff method etc. They’ve tapped into something genuine, but separated parts out and manipulated them out of context to get some effect they desire. But they don’t understand the consequences of this manipulation - so the long term results will be useless at best and very dangerous at worst.
  3. 8 points
  4. 8 points
  5. 8 points
    If you do something in order to achieve a goal, you're "cultivating". Let's say if you practice breathing, and your goal is to increase your qi for self healing...then you're cultivating qi and health. The term could be used for anything...like if you're in school, and have the goal of entering a certain profession - you're cultivating your profession in that instance. Working toward a goal is cultivating the goal, just like planting a seed and tending to it is cultivating the plant. In another sense, cultivation is about your choices in each moment. For example - you can choose to look at porn, in which case you're cultivating the results of that. You can choose to say a kind word to someone who could use it, and in that case you're cultivating those results. You can enjoy a cup of tea, and get those results. You can go into the bad part of town, and get those results. Every choice we make, what we focus on, what we do which shapes who we are, is cultivating us. Buddhists say we have our body, speech, and mind; so our actions, our words, and our thoughts either improve or worsen things. Some choices feel good in the moment, and have good results. Some feel good in the moment and have bad results. Some feel bad in the moment and have good results. Some feel bad in the moment and have bad results. Generally, it's good to cultivate so that you avoid bad results and bring more good results. As we can see, sometimes that involves making choices which don't feel good at the time. For instance, if you're cultivating your profession, you might not want to study...but if you do, you'll pass the test. Or if you're trying to lose weight, you might not want to eat the healthier meal...but if you do, your weight will keep going down. It's also about avoiding things that feel good temporarily but are ultimately harmful. For instance, hanging out with friends is a lot more fun than studying...but failing the test and ruining your career is much worse. Or, eating donuts and ice cream is enjoyable, but it makes you fatter. So, the first definition involved working toward a goal. The second definition was our choices and what we pay attention to in every moment. Those are two different ways of thinking about this term, cultivation. A person on the spiritual (or related) path is commonly called a "cultivator", and what they practice is commonly called "cultivation", no matter what it is. It's just a general term that's in common usage. This sort of makes sense, because people on the spiritual path do have an end goal in mind: at the very least, they want to improve things or themselves somehow. Most want enlightenment of some sort. Also, they are conscious of doing the right things and avoiding wrong things, in some form or another. At the very least, they have something that they practice or do, which they think will increase what they want in their lives, or bring them closer to that end goal. It's helpful if their idea of cultivation expands to include what they're becoming with every choice in every moment. And to think about what makes a good life, and what a good person is. What's fulfilling? What makes us proud when thinking back on life? Cultivation doesn't start and stop; we're becoming who we are to be at all times. If we get trashed on Friday, and then sit on the meditation cushion on Sunday, we still have to answer for our choices on Friday in some form or another. If we have lofty goals (like true enlightenment), this is very important to think about...because we will need to rectify who we are if we want to reach those goals.
  6. 8 points
    One of the biggest frustrations I have about this forum and the anonymous nature of the Internet is that it also takes something very difficult to fundamentally measure fairly rather than objectively or equally, which is the esoteric path. I will actually be referencing a few groups here including our favorite WMP friends and am trying to speak as respectfully as possible with the full disclosure that I am making zero attacks on anyone mentioned here. To put it simply, none of us for the most part know each other's complexities as human beings, even divorced of our practices and our participation here. What we especially don't know about is the veracity or legitimacy of someone's practice, which can vary with topics outright decrying Mantak Chia and Michael Winn as frauds and weak or unhealthy practices versus people who are very happy with the results. What is more important is the sincerity of each practitioner, and even then, it's hard to verify, because besides generational, national cultural, political, and linguistic barriers such as many who don't speak English as their first language here, we also have the further limiting factor that is people's ability to communicate in writing their depth of understanding, let alone the difficulties even I as a writer and professional struggle with in conveying my points. By the logical positivist school of thinking, we are all failures in our ability to communicate effectively. By my own humanity, that failure is what makes us closer to one another. The administration here describes this as a café-like atmosphere where decorum and etiquette are determined by them, but when you mix spiritual and esoteric practices, it becomes more of a pub in that regard since these practices affect our perceptions and relationship with the veils of the myriad of realities we pass through, but more apparently, it stirs egos, both our own and others. And while in an actual physical establishment where people will gravitate towards others who share similar interests and can ignore the others who clash with them, the problem with the nature of an Internet forum is that these conversations, unless edited, hidden, or deleted, stay here forever and people are judged by those posts, which are also impacted by the above complexities I've mentioned with language, age, culture, and such. I'm not ashamed of my posts, but I am also not proud of a few of them over the years, and I went from being an idealistic and curious individual in 2015 to someone more settled into my path, suffice to say I am more of a journeyman and an adept in 2019 rather than a recently-elevated senior apprentice then. And as a human being, I of course have my moments and struggles. What I have found helpful was talking to people in private and even offline, especially when I gave free or voluntary donation-based Akashic readings here and got to know many individuals on video conference or phone calls, and even meeting up in person with some. It helps to hear the tone, to know someone as a person, an individual, and a human, and find out how they sound and look and their little tics and quirks are far different from their ability to express themselves in writing, and likewise, people don't see us, they assemble us through the filter of their own projections as we do to them. In short: we have both hands and feet tied to the chair, our mouths gagged, eyes blindfolded, ears plugged, and are judged by our ability to understand Shakespeare, Sartre, and Solzhenitsyn in Sanskrit and communicate it in a translation into Esperanto while using only morse code to others, and the consequences of this stay with us for a long time because they only know what we've said and do not how we look or feel, nor do they know anything about us. The metrics by which people measure their own practice and others is not a constant in this forum. Flowing Hands is someone that could be a fraud or a holy man and nobody knows without knowing him or being part of the same school. By the metrics of my own lineages, I give him my respect because I can sense it in him and in GSMaster, while those same metrics are the ones that make me grateful for Flowing Hands informing us of new developments from Tin Yat Dao and advising caution. By those same metrics I personally have, I may not agree with the deviations from traditional transmission of the WMP group, but I can empathize with them even if I can't agree with them since their metric is not mine and my metric is not theirs, and still be friendly with them so long as we understand that we aren't converting each other the same way a Jew and a Buddhist talking about their different views doesn't have to be about burning synagogues and temples but about understanding why they believe what they believe and don't necessarily agree with your views. (Briefly, I offer apologies to any of you members of that group reading this because I only say WMP since that's the common recognized title for you as they separate you from actual and current students of JC's lineage). As a result of the lack of consistent metrics to measure and verify practices or recognize authority in others and their practices, we can't really help but be agnostic about everything, even if the actual masters people revere were to post in this forum. It already happens as I know even Sifu Terry Dunn of the Flying Phoenix thread is so busy that I've been asked to help manage that thread as his student. The problem with the above as a representative of Terry Dunn is that when an incident occurs that his own students understand what is wrong (trolling our thread, insulting Sifu Terry, and defending a scammer), those on the outside and not in the know have indeed construed their own version of events and I have endured their insults, including the most amusing one when someone said "My flow is better than yours". It's an opinion and not the most endearing thing to hear (to say the least), but it's also an uninformed opinion because it has more to do with that individual looking through the lens of their practice, their values, and their ignorance of the internal situation in our own corner of the café (which will not be available to see as most of the offending posts have been edited out), as well as the emphasis on the overall forum's view of fairness, which again is not consistent even amongst mods as it is to their own discretion with again their own human fallibilities. This thread has gone from being a public service announcement to stern warning on civility and now the questioning of legitimacy and authority or qualifications of individuals like Flowing Hands and another exhausting chapter of the battle between the mods and the individuals over what is proper, and unfortunately, even if I agree with Flowing Hands, we're in their territory and it's a lost cause since their priority is to give everyone an equal opportunity to speak and have themselves protected within reason. It is one thing to be non-judging, but the problem here is people are also being non-discerning in an effort to appear non-judging. A political example here (and again, apologies to those who fall into the partisan divide, particularly Americans): in the vein of John Locke, I don't agree with someone's opinion, but I will fight for their right to speak it, so when someone in Berkeley says something in the vein of white nationalism and calling dark-skinned individuals like me part of the problem of the eroding identity of America, I consider why he says that even if I am biting my tongue already and know that he may not view me fairly because of his bias, but I win because I have heard and considered him and done my own investigation through both dialogue with him and research about his views. I lose if I am the Progressive idiot who punches him in the face because even if his views are alarmingly bigoted, I feed the bigotry by resorting to violence. (Disclaimer: I am a Progressive-leaning political Moderate, but find both parties disappointing). So in order to protect people's speaking privilege here, mods step in before they see someone potentially being punched in the face or what they see as a perceived threat of a punch, and I leave it to your imagination to figure out how that translates to online communication. Whether you are actually going to proceed to punch them in the face and if that is actually your intent are two entirely different things, again subject to debate and what they see. I apologize to everyone for this long-winded post and hope my view has offered some insights. I am uninterested in participating any further on this thread because Flowing Hands has already made his point, the mods have made theirs, the new direction of this thread is a repeat of something else I have already experienced, and I have spoken my piece on this as an individual member. In the words of Rodney King: "Can we just get along?"
  7. 8 points
    Hi flowing hands, Karen does not have any issues with you because you and I disagree about climate change. I had actually forgotten about the entire discussion until I had read this post. It is true I disagree with your view on politics, history, climate change and even your interruption of the deeper meaning of the TTC. Who cares? I assure you Karen doesn’t. Just so you know Karen has suspended me a few times Anytime where people were personally attacking me and she felt the need to defend me she has always recused herself as a mod. I can assure you our discussions in no way rise to that level and I am troubled to hear that they still bother you. My advice would be to use such discussions on the forum that upset you as a tool to work on letting go. As you know if you are caught up, attacking others, projecting motives onto others when you know nothing about them it is time to stop and work on ourselves. A Sage is detached from such things, not caught up in the emotional upset. I truly wish you the best and have no ill feelings towards you.
  8. 8 points
    release totally, unfolding in simple presence. true nature open... spotless. unmarkable. clear. open as the sky. sincerity of presence emanates. clarity and peace reveal. aware and present what else? Some time ago, all notions of external seeking and my previously nurtured rigidity of forms, expectations, assumptions and praxis began dissolving in presence and awareness and a turning inward. Simplicity. A growing awareness that what arises, arises naturally from tao. You are this. I struggled against this natural dissolving for some time, to no small upheaval and angst. Thankfully energy for such resistance proved fallible and eventually fell away in exhaustion and acceptance of what is. Lately I simply dissolve in presence and simple being. What bliss! What is there to seek without that does not abide within? The following quote, when first shared by fellow bum @rene flowed through me like silent thunder; I encountered it like recalling a deep-seeded memory from infancy, being held to the breast by Mother. The words settling in familiar awareness, catalyzing and reinforcing the clarifying simple truths that had already begun revealing naturally, bringing another layer of understanding. They ring with the familiarity of my own heartbeat. It is a quoted conversation between a taoist recluse, Tseng Lao-weng, and a buddhist seeker John Blofeld and is from the book The Secret and Sublime, which I highly recommend. I saturate and release into its wisdom, settling again in simplicity and smile like a child whenever I recall it: For me, it resonates through all of my being with the raw, unshakable truth of a candle in a dark room. you and i are as continuous with all life and the Tao as one wave is with the entire ocean. release into that which you are and know peace emanate your simple presence awareness what else is there?
  9. 8 points
    It sounds like your answer is hiding there in plain sight. Does being Daoist preclude you from discussing politics? No, of course not. But it does preclude you from being embroiled in the drama surrounding politics. The question is how can you engage in politics without getting embroiled in drama. Well you’ve mentioned humility, but the other great pillar of Daoism is humour. Just remember that we’re only slightly more sophisticated versions of those chimps in nature documentaries - with all their shit slinging, rivalries and vying for status. And it’s easy to find the humour in that. The Daoist approach is to slowly shed a little piece of acquired mind every day. Political beliefs and taking a stand may well be meaningful to most folks, but to a spiritual cultivator, they are just layers to be shed - not gripped on to!
  10. 7 points
    Glad to see mainstream science is finally catching up with the Dao! And this really needs to be discussed here... Today's Biggest Threat: the Polarized Mind
  11. 7 points
    Around age 10 my dad got me one of those little badass compound bow beginner kits. Of course, the first month I went around our land sticking arrows in anything that could get stuck by an arrow. Did you know that a 1955 40 horse Farmall tractor tire will take 6 rounds before it goes down? Tough sumbich. That got boring, so being the 10 yr. old Dukes of Hazard fan that I was, I quickly advanced to taking strips of cut up T-shirt doused in chainsaw gas tied around the end and was sending flaming arrows all over the place. One summer afternoon, I was shooting flaming arrows into a large rotten oak stump in our backyard. I looked over under the carport and see a shiny brand new can of starting fluid (Ether). The light bulb went off in my head. I grabbed the can and set it on the stump. I thought that it would probably just spray out in a disappointing manner. Lets face it, to a 10 yr old mouth-breather like myself, (Ether), really doesn't "sound" flammable. So, I went back into the house and got a 1 pound can of Pyrodex (black powder for muzzle loader rifles). At this point, I set the can of ether on the stump and opened up the can of black powder. My intentions were to sprinkle a little bit around the (Ether) can but it all sorta dumped out on me. No biggie, a 1 lb. Pyrodex and 16 oz (Ether) should make a loud pop, kinda like a firecracker you know? You know what? Screw that I'm going back in the house for the other can. Yes, I got a second can of pyrodex and dumped it too. Now we're cookin'. I stepped back about 15 ft and lit the 2 stroke arrow. I drew the nock to my cheek and took aim. As I released I heard a clunk as the arrow launched from my bow. In a slow motion time frame, I turned to see my dad getting out of the truck...OH SHIT! He just got home from work. So help me God it took 10 minutes for that arrow to go from my bow to the can. My dad was walking towards me in slow motion with a WTF look in his eyes. I turned back towards my target just in time to see the arrow pierce the starting fluid can right at the bottom. Right through the main pile of Pyrodex and into the can. Oh Shit. When the shock wave hit it knocked me off my feet. I don't know if it was the actual compression wave that threw me back or just reflex jerk back from 235 fricking decibels of sound. I caught a half a millisecond glimpse of the violence during the initial explosion and I will tell you there was dust, grass, and bugs all hovering 1 ft above the ground as far as I could see. It was like a little low to the ground layer of dust fog full of grasshoppers, spiders, and a worm or two. The daylight turned purple. Let me repeat this... THE FRICKING DAYLIGHT TURNED PURPLE There was a big sweetgum tree out by the gate going into the pasture. Notice I said "was". That son-of-a-bitch got up and ran off. So here I am, on the ground blown completely out of my shoes with my Thundercats T-Shirt shredded, my dad is on the other side of the carport having what I can only assume is a Vietnam flashback: ECHO BRAVO CHARLIE YOU'RE BRINGIN' EM IN TOO CLOSE!! CEASE FIRE. DAMNIT CEASE FIRE!!!!! His hat has blown off and is 30 ft. behind him in the driveway. All windows on the north side of the house are blown out and there is a slow rolling mushroom cloud about 2000 ft. over our backyard. There is a Honda 185 3 wheeler parked on the other side of the yard and the fenders are drooped down and are now touching the tires. I wish I knew what I said to my dad at this moment. I don't know – I know I said something. I couldn't hear. I couldn't hear inside my own head. I don't think he heard me either... not that it would really matter. I don't remember much from this point on. I said something, felt a sharp pain, and then woke up later. I felt a sharp pain, blacked out, woke later....repeat this process for an hour or so and you get the idea. I remember at one point my mom had to give me CPR. and Dad screaming "Bring Him back to life so I can kill him again". Thanks Mom. One thing is for sure... I never had to mow around that stump again, Mom had been bitching about that thing for years and dad never did anything about it. I stepped up to the plate and handled business. Dad sold his muzzle loader a week or so later. I still have some sort of bone growth abnormality, either from the blast or the beating, or both. I guess what I'm trying to say is, get your kids into archery. It's good discipline and will teach them skills they can use later on in life. from Dino Hebb
  12. 7 points
    I pursued Qi Gong initially for health. There was a time, for much of my 30's where I could not walk without a cane. There were times I could not walk at all. I longed to play with my young son. Unable to play the hard arts and Kung Fu I followed so passionately in youth, I returned to the soft aspects of the arts that before held no interest for me. On some level, I became aware that in this soft pursuit, was the potential for healing that Western Dr's could not offer with their carpentry mindset approach to the body and their pharmacological mindset. Curious that as my body healed (and it has now become whole again), my mind began to soften in manners I could never have anticipated. This led to a pull to sit in silence and abide in stillness. Ironic that when Qi Gong was originally pursued it was to be able to run and jump again, and it then led to finding a resounding joy in the stillness that before, was a prison to me. The stillness resonates now in all aspects of my life to much benefit. It resonates even in the midst of great motion, when my son and I run on the beach, play games or sit in comfortable silence with each other.
  13. 7 points
    The "me/us against them" mentality has been cultivated extensively in many parts of the world for thousands of years. It does wonders in social engineering. The presence of the internet only revealed them.
  14. 7 points
    There is nothing wrong with realising that one cannot be sure about anything. One can just as well find one's way in life without absolute certainty. And this can even be a joyful life, see the Chuang tzu. For more about this see modern philosophical and scholarly interpretations of the Chuang tzu.
  15. 7 points
    This is a reference to a relatively harmless small group that enjoys what excites you. They do not have intention to harm and have little to work with - they are very simple and automated. However they can cause great mischief through no fault or malign intent of their own - nor are they “negative beings” or stuck beings. They enjoy what excites you and act to foster that excitement. If one is mired in mind loops of hate or highly positioned politics or religion or lust or raging passions - they will help to facilitate all aspects in you that help to promote inducing the tipping points to the rising up of those often out of control aspects of dissipation in you. They can do this in helping you to eat or drink poorly, by resonating to vibrations that irritate or stimulate, by blocking pathways or rerouting as best they can. They do not do this diabolically but by acclimating to your addictions and simply coming to mechanically “understand” the trigger points of your automation and trance properties. Nearly all humans are asleep entirely and don’t take a great Consciousness to find the automated habituations. As these wider swings subside - these little “entities” subside.
  16. 7 points
    What thoughts do people here have about how to deal with political discussions at high school and at home? (asking as a quasi-Daoist) This is something I've struggled with recently. Sometimes I stay silent due to fear of judgement. Other times I speak up but later regret it (not because I said anything particularly bad but because I inherently am averse to disagreement and like to be on good terms with everyone at my high school). I very much enjoy legal writing and studying the law, which often necessarily becomes at least somewhat political. On the other hand, my Daoist intuitions strongly tell me that I probably shouldn't be very involved in politics. Already, my political views are fairly "fluid," and I constantly question them. Daoism, as I understand it, teaches epistemic humility, and it can often be hard for me to see holding political beliefs as anything other than the very authoritarian, moralistic crusading Zhuangzi argued against (of course, if being Daoist counts as a political belief, then I guess Zhuangzi had one too...). Of course, one possible option would be to stop actively engaging in politics entirely, and only maintain the very minimal level of fake political concern necessary to look "normal" among peers. This, of course, would not be very fun or satisfying, at least at first, and would require some fundamental changes in how I live my life -- particularly because, as mentioned, I'm very interested in law, particularly the contentious area of constitutional law, and I plan to go to law school eventually. Ultimately, one major issue is that I keep running into the fundamental problem that I find it very difficult to pursue a certain cause if I am not convinced that I'm doing the right thing! Thus, I begin to feel like political beliefs or "taking a stand" are crucial to living a meaningful life. Furthermore, the pull of Confucian sincerity (discussed eloquently in Moeller/D'Ambrosio's Genuine Pretending interpretation of the Zhuangzi) can be difficult to escape. I feel like "faking it" won't cut it in terms of political beliefs. I want to be sincere. I know no one here has all the answers, but does anyone have any thoughts? To be clear, this is not a thread to discuss specific political beliefs or doctrines. It is about the very concept in general and its effects.
  17. 7 points
    @Kar3n Am I replying to you as a moderator, or as a normal member of this forum? It creates difficulty when you come into a discussion wearing two hats. For instance, I have no problems with you describing Flowing Hands as “a self-proclaimed holy man” as a normal member, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for a moderator to do so, especially when warning said member about insulting others. The comments I post here are a reflection of where I'm at. I don't claim to be other than a person who's a mixture of both light and dark. I try to be constructive because I value this forum and regularly acknowledge the vital and often difficult role staff play. If Flowing Hands perceives my comment as an attack, that’s his business. When I write something I sincerely feel, I do so with the intent that others may find it helpful. And for me personally the responses I get, both written and in the invisible, help me gain insight into hidden aspects of my own psyche; especially insight into my own darkness. In that way my participation on this forum has helped me enormously in my personal cultivation.
  18. 7 points
    I just started watching this and i'll recommend it for anyone who is interested. I've interacted with him a few times on FB. This is deeper than what I've heard/seen from him before.
  19. 7 points
    Theres a certain etiquette when it comes to these things. I can’t name names for example... What I can say is that the only way to get into any high level teacher’s circle, you must be introduced. I spent a number of years and most of my savings travelling and meeting teachers. Having trained with Max, I had some degree of what you could call ‘inner seeing’ - coupled with a sensitivity to transmission. So I had a sense of discernment and could quickly leave schools and teachers that had no real skill. Eventually I got into circles of serious cultivators and began being introduced to skilled teachers in authentic lineages. I also had to pass lots of ‘tests’. I had to show that I was capable of creating the inner transformations they were looking for etc... often I had to do much more than my Asian counterparts
  20. 7 points
    I´ve no idea about the Tin Yat Dao Sect but I know Yoda from his postings way back when and was very fond of him. He came off as a genuine good guy. Yoda was (is?) that rare spiritual seeker type with a bold -- dare I say fun -- experimental streak. I enjoyed following his spiritual adventures.
  21. 6 points
    After talking about elementals and other beings... Ok, some of you see these invisible creatures; some of you see spirits, interact with them; some of you astral travel at will, talk to guides, visit other realms, etc. How can a 100% unsensitive-to-the-invisible person can become more sensitive to these other realities? That’s a genuine question, I’d like to change my perception of the world.
  22. 6 points
    Can we all focus on what a person actually is intending to communicate rather than rattling them for how they appear to be posting? It would save a lot of angst because some people just write differently from what we read and how we read and misread is what creates unnecessary conflict here. He already said he wasn’t trying to confront others or act like a know-it-all, and I’d like to believe someone’s good intentions trump the communication issues everyone is already dealing with as I’ve elaborated earlier.
  23. 6 points
    Even if you found the exactly correct information for you. Even if you found just the right enlightened teacher willing to teach you. Even if you had your life completely in order - with all the money and support you need to fully dedicate your entire life to this goal... I think it’s important to realise that enlightenment (let alone immortality) is the absolute peak of human achievement. Meaning it’s incredibly difficult and completely out of reach for the majority of people. People seem to think that spiritual cultivation fits some sort of humanist ideal - that it’s fair, easy and accessible for anyone. But that’s wishful thinking. In many ways it is no different than any other human endeavour. Think about the people at the very top of any field - the Mozarts, DaVincis, Einsteins of this world... They tend to share something in common - very high intelligence and an obsessive work ethic (and luck of course). The bar is a lot higher than we imagine. If you’re not a genius at anything you put your mind to you probably won’t get anywhere close to immortality. But... Its still fun to try and see how far you can get
  24. 6 points
    I always did it to feel better, and to get over my hangups. It was always done to feel better NOW. I tried other things like exercise and drugs... but nothing felt like it was actually working - was more a temporary fix. In an anxious situation? Connect with a deity and I feel peace. Can’t focus on what your doing? Meditate for a moment and it’s like a reset button. Rinse and repeat for years. I used it as a tool to help deal with myself and the world. It may not sound holy, but this type of motivation had me practicing all day everyday. Any kinds of “achievements” for lack of a better word happened almost like a side effect of trying to feel better in the moment. Eventually, hopefully... you notice you need the practices less and less. That the pain or anxiety or whatever isn’t there anymore. That you’re more balanced and feel good all the time. Your life becomes the practice. It integrates at some point.
  25. 6 points
    The internet magnified it, gave it a boost of AI steroids.
  26. 6 points
    A master once told me, “You don't avoid shit [fighting and conflict] because you are a coward. You avoid shit to avoid getting dirty.”
  27. 6 points
    “If you follow the present-day world, you will turn your back on the Way; if you would not turn your back on the Way, do not follow the world.” ― Takuan Soho, The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman. -VonKrankenhaus
  28. 6 points
    I'm going to have to research this more, because I use nonstick pots and pans. I previously read something about how certain versions of PFAs are harmful while others aren't. Briefly reading the research article about this little penis issue, it seems that when they speak of "PFAs" they're mostly speaking about PFOA. The Ozeri Stone Earth pans don't contain PFOA (and also don't contain PFOS), and other chemicals. They seem pretty safe. Still, it's important if using nonstick to keep the temp below a certain number, which the manufacturer says. And to never scratch them...use wooden and plastic utensils with them. They very easily scratch with metal (I did it, when mimicking Jacques Pepin). Stainless steel pots and pans are good (for the most part). I found out a trick...when you just finished cooking but it's still on the heat and has some stuff stuck to it, pour in some white vinegar. All the stuck stuff will come right up, and will be easy to clean. Acids have a reaction with the very surface layer of steel which makes it release stuck food. Also for stainless steel, things don't stick in the first place when heat is higher and there's oil. I knew someone who had a glass pot for the stovetop, which he used to cook his Chinese herbs in. It was pretty cool! I think glass must be considered the safest (except for when it explodes).
  29. 6 points
    My teacher, 99yrs of age this year, once remarked regarding what are called taiji classics. "Don't read them, they're often wrong they will make you crazy. The best way to reach understanding is through practice" https://journeytoemptiness.com/2017/01/13/master-zhang-yongliang/ Often a meaning will change as ones understanding deepens through experience.
  30. 6 points
    I find many threads on Dao Bums a rich source of insight into our human psychology. I read this one out of general interest. I have no knowledge of, and am not curious to find out about the sect in question. Whilst I’m personally not interested in bagging other people’s paths, the discussion here seemed to me to be well within the norms of this often lively and confrontational forum. Hence I was surprised at the moderator intervention. Especially as it did come across, in part, as a personal attack on Flowing Hands. Having said that, I do find it annoying that Flowing Hands claims the divine authority of Laozi for his views; views that come across as very human in their mixture of wisdom and folly. (In particular, his attacking behaviour on this forum is far removed from the sage of the Daodejing.) Like many of us here, he comes across as a flawed human, doing his best to follow an authentic spiritual calling. I personally think he has an inflated ego, but that is something that's common for people who have felt real contact with other dimensions. It's an insidious trap that everyone must work through in their own way. It's insidious because a person in ego inflation is totally unable to recognise it. (I speak from personal experience.) It can only be seen in retrospect.
  31. 6 points
    You think I am part of the problem only because you think you are part of the solution. Did not not even read past chapter 2 of the DDC? And Lao Tzu never heard of Democracy, so while he had advice for politicians, his view on voting are at best only able to be assumed. I do not want to live in a democratic republic, I would rather be wild and free, maybe Libertarian Socialist. I guess I could have voted for one of the two capitalist war mongers in the last election. And as far as "caring" what kind of society I live in? Lao Tzu has more to say: Maybe you should put me in prison for not voting!
  32. 6 points
    Political conversations are like conversations about sports. When a person is not an athlete they could still work in the sports industry. Anyone can be a politician that has been proven by the current US president.There are no requirements in politics to make the team or not. People love to be spectators because they have no responsibility. If someone does not vote there is nothing wrong with that. if voting could change the system the system would be changed. If someone votes there is nothing wrong with that they believe they make a difference and we get to keep the system because it appears to be working.
  33. 6 points
    I've infiltrated dozens. Here's my ingenious-foolproof method. 1) Lull the cult into a false sense of security by completely ignoring it in all aspects for a decade at least. (some for much longer) 2) Spend time and energy daily in the presence of people, places, animals and insects that I love and want to see thrive. 2a) Cease spending energy on things I despise. 3) Have a beer and laugh with a friend once in a while, while ignoring the cult in question. 4) Spend entire days taking no action whatsoever, aside from the nominal functions of biology and the unconscious. 5) Remember that every cult and cult member is as close to the Dao as I am. 6) Mind my own buggering business. 7) Make and share food with folks I dearly love. 8) Walk in nature. 9) Remember that the earth delights in the feel of my bare feet and the winds long to play with my hair 10) Remember that we unwittingly plough the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind and drink the universe in a glass of rain. Cheers!
  34. 6 points
    It’s very common to develop serious problems using Mantak Chia’s system. These sort of things are difficult to fix and take a long time. Firstly stop all cultivation practice (whether Chia’s or any other). Secondly focus on really perfecting the fundamentals of a healthy life: exercise, sleep and diet and stay away from unhealthy habits. Exercise: regular, not obsessive, but intense at times. Cardio, bodyweight based movements and mobility and stretching all good. Sleep: not too much, not too little (7 to 9 hrs). Wake up at a regular time every morning. Be asleep by 11pm. Diet: freshly cooked food. No processed food. Look up blood nourishing foods. Plenty of leafy greens, beans, buckwheat, nuts and seeds, seaweed etc. Healing with whole foods is a good book. Unhealthy habits: no smoking, no weed or other drugs. Minimal alcohol. Moderate sexual activity - not too much, not too little! Don’t try complete celibacy/non ejaculation. It will take some time to really dial these in. They sound obvious and basic, but few people really manage to do this properly. Once the above are stable you can start supplementing with nourishing herbs. Specifically: goji, gynostemma, spirulina and chlorella and medicinal mushrooms. It can take many years to recover fully - but you will - and you’ll probably be even better off than before you started the Chia stuff Good luck
  35. 6 points
    As light shines through glass. Occlusions in the glass may reflect, absorb, refract and react to the light in a myriad of manners. The light is still the light. If awareness is the light and the glass, our sense of self. Occlusions such as mental projections, beliefs/emotional constructs, desires, attractions and aversions and resistance to what is, are like occlusions in the glass of ourselves which may reflect, distort and occlude the flow of awareness through us, taking us out of presence. I find my main action, is no longer one of dogged imperial willful dominance of occlusions/resistance, but one of effortlessly unfolding in presence and fully accepting my experience of presence among the all in all. This does not imply that I am a limp rag doll, tossed about willy nilly by the conditions of life and decay. Rather that i, through non occluded, non grasping presence, can fully realease into my experience, accepting and releasing into any action, reaction or non action that arises authentically from presence. In this way, the center is maintained as all swirls about, around and through my perceived self. The Sage is in the world, but not of it. Light flows unresisted, through clear glass.
  36. 6 points
    Worked as an infantry field medic for some 10yrs in the military. People die in training for war, using the machines of war. happens... I remember my fist day in basic training. The drill sergeants were looking up in the air laughing. An airborne unit just started to jump out of their C130 over the drop zone.. Some of the chutes did not open completely, their secondary chutes tangled in the lines also did not deploy. Falling to the ground the chutes trailing behind them. The drill sergeants pointing the sky laughing I would later learn they were called streamers. Don't remember if they died or just got broken up hitting the ground. thinking back on it, they laughed because it wasn't them, but could have been.. many recently back from the vietnam war they had what might be called gallows humor. In the grunt units I served in many of the old timers also had the same type of humor. had once stenciled on my track M577 "tracked vech" "Born to die Trained to kill" reflecting my inner thoughts My plt sgt thought it was funny, as he told me to paint over it... Have worked on people already dead, couldn't stop working on them until a doctor pronounced them dead. Have worked on people who passed in and out of what might be called death Have worked on people who've been dead for awhile, and were later found by their units. When I say worked on I mean when they arrived in a body bag and some one had to unzip the bag so they could be photographed. Lucky me,,,,not I could never reconcile myself with the possibility of working on someone who due to their injuries would never be the same in life, and would not have a good life because of them. Feeling death is death maybe not so good for grunt medic After 10yrs I reconciled myself to death and left the medical corps for another MOS (job) Thinking back on things, had to have a way of separating myself from what was happening, some have told me I'm not to empathetic, maybe so... when I pass road kill I say a small prayer " Amituofo I am no more, nor no less then you. May we meet on the river of life" a little long in the tooth as they say, waiting my own time.... Amituofo I am no more, nor no less then you. May we meet on the river of life"
  37. 6 points
    I mostly agree with Taoist scepticism about politics, but not completely. If we value democracy (and I do) than we cannot do without some involvement with politics, political discussions, and elections. There are fanatics on all sides (right, left, religious) who would love to force their country or even the whole world to follow their ideals and to take down the "cumbersome" system of democracy as a perceived unnecessary obstacle to "doing the one right thing". So I see participating in some measure of political activity for us all as a necessary evil to avoid the much worse situation that some form of dictatorship would take over.
  38. 6 points
    I am sure, gods and immortals have nothing better to do in their life, than reincarnate and go internet trolling. How do you I know? Well. Experience.
  39. 5 points
    Haters are not seeking a conversation, they crave the expansion of their hate. Haters do not engage in communication, they vomit bile in the hopes of spreading misery and killing joy. Killing joy in others is of paramount importance. My response is usually to not merit such with any response Sometimes it seems prudent to listen, or read what they have to say and then respond without malice, without escalating in a way that then disengages and removes further connection. My usual response if one seems merited is a simple "ok." It's ok for you to think and feel this way. I acknowledge you, your thoughts and your feelings. I hear you and acknowledge such. This is the extent of it though. No need to defend against or engage further. Don't engage or acknowledge repeats or rephrasing of same. Disengage toxicity. Life is precious and short. When I realize I've wandered into a toxic bog, I don't stick around. I move on. I don't blame the bog, or my perspective of it. When I step in dog shit, I move on and wash. I don't step in it again and again to show it who's boss... And remember, it's not possible to have a conversation with someone seeking to create conflict and argument.
  40. 5 points
    I would suggest some are just touching different parts of the elephant.
  41. 5 points
  42. 5 points
    In conversations with workmates and my wife particularly... I have come to realize that being right is often counter productive to being content. besides, what I see isn't what they see, and no amount of my words and the forcefulness of them will alter their perception and interpretation. Insofar as none are doing harm... live and let live.
  43. 5 points
    It’s the latest craze in “retention.” Somebody mistranslated “cooking jing in the cauldron”
  44. 5 points
    Sunrise this morning was wonderful; beauty fog. The snow is all but gone up here at the chalet site, Mornings are spent, coffee in hand, peaceful, Birds with their morning song, woodpecker off in the distance busy, Big dogs at my feet - we greet the day. (-:
  45. 5 points
    The Dao of a Tree - is to flourish, or not; to grow, or not; to slump towards the ground, or not; to raise up in response to the sun/heavens, or not; and in its own time, and by its own nature (dao) to eventually wither and die. Such is the way.
  46. 5 points
    I was just there two weeks ago myself. Very cool stuff. And I would agree that the pyramids are a very different experience than the tombs in the valley of kings. The energy flow (and type) is very different at the great pyramid than various energetically powerful holy sites I have been to in the past.
  47. 5 points
    I'm finished here really, Its not a Dao forum. Many proper Daoist pop their heads in and disappear quite quickly, they don't have the stamina that the few here have to keep going. I go in the DDJ section and stimulate some thought I hope, but really the amount of people that post on this section is very little. There is no sections put specifically for Dao practices for people to post in like martial art, qigong, Daoist rituals and rites, Dao medicine and healing, Daoist magic, meduimship etc. Immortals their history, Daoist novels and characters.All very important aspects of being a Daoist and not just the western view of a dry old philosophy that is used by many here to enhance their own belief systems. Perhaps the person who owns this site could take notice. Really the site needs to rename itself and call itself just another spiritual forum, where Dao is given a small corner to be discussed. Probably a more honest realization. Dao practices are unique amongst belief systems, but they are being infiltrated by other systems and religions. I can't believe the amount of video's about Daoism on Youtube that are made by Christians, explaining how a single God and Jesus come into Daoism. Its all an insidious way to convert people and total lies.
  48. 5 points
    Great thread! My morning practice is a basic stretching routine, Baguazhang practice and sometimes play with my foam roller for posture and keeping the spine loose. For inner cultivation, its mainly connecting with a few deities, or playing with friends who are into that sort of thing. At night I do like to do some dedicated time... it could be listening to an album on headphones or just sitting quietly. It’s at this time I am able to feel what I’m holding onto from the day, and kind of clear the slate. It’s important for me to make time for that, especially when working and doing school/studies... it’s easy to get caught up.
  49. 5 points
    As for myself... There is some private instruction which is solely for spiritual development; I've stuck with it daily since 2012, because the results are obvious and the philosophy behind it makes sense. I could be a better student/practitioner, but I'm not the worst. Learned Kunlun back in the day (took the old facilitator course, prior to it being an apprentice course...and didn't attend the yearly continuing education to maintain my name on their site), and still sometimes do various practices from that, mostly the Kunlun Method. I find it fascinating and mysterious. One of the most powerful things out there. And I have nostalgia about the trainings I attended, as well as sharing it with a couple of other people. I'm very undisciplined with the Tara's Triple Excellence online program, but I apply some of the teachings from time to time. It has helped me turn enemies into dear friends. I only got to part way through the Second Excellence course...but it is super helpful for understanding Tibetan Buddhism, especially on an experiential level. When my life is slightly less busy, I plan on progressing further in the program, even though it's not my primary practice. An opportunity hasn't arisen for me to attend the lineage's Tara empowerments or teachings in person, but I think doing so would be important when getting to the Third Excellence, which has the vajrayana and dzogchen stuff. And finally, there are things that I incorporate into any path in order to make it work better. A couple of the best things in my experience: short periods (like five minutes) of calm abiding meditation using things in nature as the objects of meditation truly makes the mind function in a healthier way, and eating lighter/chewing food until liquified (because having bogged down digestion is a major problem when doing spiritual or energetic practices). Also, I think that simply exercising in a moderate way on most days is essential...an example of "moderate" would be doing a medium difficulty hike through forest trails for an hour or two. In terms of "semen retention", I have found through my experience that it's important to some extent...I think a simple rule of thumb is to divide our age by 10, and that gives us the number of days it would be best to wait in between. There are probably lots of other little tricks I add into my cultivation, but they're not coming to mind right now.
  50. 5 points
    Jesus fucking Christ!