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Showing most thanked content since 08/23/2019 in Posts

  1. 11 points
    A few thoughts on BKF... 1. I am 99% sure he just made up the whole "Buddhism is fire, Daoism is water thing." If anybody can point to any source in classical Chinese for this distinction, please let me know. I will find the original text, read it, and try to translate it here. (I have never heard any such distinction be made, and as far as I am concerned it is silly--there are thousands of different techniques in Buddhism, and thousands of different techniques in Daoism. In both Buddhism and Daoism, some ways of practicing are a bit more "firey" and some are a bit more "watery." This whole water path thing just seems like half-baked marketing to me, from a nearly-bygone era when very few westerners could read any Chinese and very few had lineage holding teachers. I think it mischaracterizes both traditions. But, again, if anybody can point to a source other than BKF himself that discusses this fire-water dichotomy, please do so). 2. Nobody in the Beijing baguazhang world seems to have heard of BKF's Yin-style teacher. This doesn't mean he didn't exist or that he wasn't badass, but it's an eyebrow-raiser, as supposedly the guy was such a badass that if he bumped into a wall while circle walking, chunks of concrete would go flying. If that was the case... you'd think locals would have heard of the guy... 3. Have heard stories about BKF's fighting skills from sources I trust that make it seem like they're much exaggerated. I watched some of the videos of his students demonstrating circle walking form that "mastery program" a few years ago and they were super eff'ing meh. 4. In his Daoist sexuality book, IIRC (please correct me if I'm wrong), BKF claims to have slept with 3,000+ different women in Taiwan while he was training with his Daoist sex teacher. Yeahhhhhhhhhhh. Ok. I'm not saying this guy is not a mack, but I will go out on a limb and say he's definitely not a mack like that. So let's suppose he finished his homework by using prostitutes. Question 1: were there even 3,000 different whores in Taiwan at that time? 2: How did he find all of them? 3: Okay, so BKF had the time and money to go track down 3,000 different prostitutes, and he slept with them all. Let's say he did this six days of the week for years. How many years would he need? How much money? Somebody else can do the math. Do you still believe him? If you do, and you still want to be his student, can you please ask him how much ginseng he needed to rub on his 小鷄鷄 to cure his gonosyphaherpolaids? 5. P.S., ginseng will not actually cure gonosyphaherpolaids, that was a joke, don't get any big ideas, kids.
  2. 9 points
    I´d like to propose three practice principles for discussion that I believe are generally applicable across a wide spectrum of cultivation disciplines. These are ideas that I´m trying to integrate into my practice. (1) Savor the rest periods. Juan Li, an instructor with the Healing Tao, introduced me to the concept of "yin practice." After any period of yang practice -- actively doing something whether in movement or meditation -- he´d sit for a time and just let things settle. He instructed his students not to "do" anything during this yin practice period, just be. In Zapchen, a somatic practice developed by Julie Henderson, there´s the practice of napping. Who would think of napping as an actual practice?! Much like Juan Li´s yin practice, napping in Zapchen is the quiet counterpart to more active doings. First you do something, then you nap. It´s during the nap that the benefits of the earlier doing integrate in the body. I think there´s a tendency in our somewhat frenetic get-a-move-on culture to devalue these periods of rest. But continually going from one doing to another we miss out on a lot of benefit. It´s important to give our bodies and minds time to process without consious interference on our part. (2) Connect with the lineage. Whatever we´re doing, it´s likely that other people have done it beforehand. It´s great to be part of an actual flesh-and-bones sangha, to have a teacher and a practice community, but that´s not what I´m getting at here. I´m talking about connecting with lineage on a subtle meditative level, sort of like prayer. We could take a moment before or after practice to imagine all those who have gone before -- and those who are practicing with us now in spirit. We can ask for help and express gratitude. There´s a huge wellspring of unseen assistance available from our lineages that largely goes untapped if we fail to tune in. (3) Embrace boredom I´m not always the best judge of my own progress; my awareness of what´s going on in my body and mind is necessarily incomplete. Oftentimes I´ll be bored and think nothing is happening in a practice. The temptation at these times is to drop the practice and move on to something more likely to create somatic fireworks. Often what´s needed instead is more faith and more trust. The benefit of my practices outstrip my conscious awareness. Just because I feel bored doesn´t mean that nothing´s happening. Quite the contrary.
  3. 9 points
    Wonderful conversation. Thank you all involved. My approach is to use my body and positioning to work my musculature. I abstain from weight lifting, though did use it for a time in my teens and 20's. Though I do employ some external weights however, as I build scenery as my job, which is active and involves a fair amount of moving materials and large scenic elements; but when performed intelligently, is not loading the body with extremes of exertion and repetitive lifting of heavy loads. It is about position, leverage and using help when appropriate, so the body is engaged but never overloaded. My workouts when I am between projects are solely based on my own body-weight and not using external weights of any kind. Zhan Zhuang, Qi Gong, simple calisthenics (push ups, planks, etc, but mostly lots of simple stretching and breathing) and walking, walking walking. Morning and Night walking, usually in the hours before dawn and during dusk. For a couple decades my favorite workout was tree and rock climbing. It engages spherical awareness of mind and full extension of articulating motion while supporting, pulling up and lowering your own body weight, which is what your muscles were designed for and used to accomodating. This to me, combined with good martial forms, created and maintained a body whose internal joint/tendon connections were strong but also fully flexible. Iron wrapped in Silk. I am 50 now. A typical work day is 10 hours, at my pace, I keep up with the 20 somethings I'm training and rarely sweat while doing it. I've been playing Qi Gong and martial arts for 30 years, been in construction for 23 and wake each morning pain free with good mobility (can place my palms backwards on the floor between my feet without warm ups). My process is to use and work with my own body weight and positioning to develop and maintain good strength in the connections between muscle and bone, through the full range of motion. And to stretch, stretch, stretch and walk, walk, walk. Of course, this is only my take. Not selling anything, only sharing. Things that were appropriate in my 20's are not so now and vice versa. My Best to all of you on your Paths...
  4. 8 points
    Had an interesting tai chi dream lesson last night. A teacher (don’t recollect who, wasn’t my master) expounded on the principles of taijiquan. He told me, tai chi is bone, mind and field. By bone i interpreted two ways - the skeletal structure and the bone marrow where jin(g)is stored. Mind is intent - Yi Field is the energy/mind field which forms the surface of our “bubbles”, and it’s surface tension is how our power works. Does any of this resonate with anyone? Would love to read your thoughts on it
  5. 8 points
    The Barefoot Doctor Spells it Out.
  6. 8 points
    There's always a "next level" in taiji. Much of what @freeform says is what I would also say even a few months ago, but then my teacher got his advanced students to take up pole shaking. Started out as a form (beautiful and looking mighty intimidating :D ) based on what we already practice empty-handed -- an adaptation of Cannon Fist (the second, fast routine of Chen) plus some stuff from taiji weapons (spear, guandao, jian), and after a while got simplified a bit toward working on the individual moves more, the moves aimed at developing internal power to the max. What's "internal power?" No one answer answers this question both directly and correctly (take your pick -- you can give a direct wrong answer or a right answer that is quite like "beating about the bush" .) When you redirect it from the core, everything gets involved -- but "how" is crucial. Part of what internal power is has to do with a pattern of usage. E.g., your arms, which do not participate in generating that power but have to guide and transmit it precisely once it is generated, have to be reasonably strong enough, especially the tendons and the joints. Bulging muscles won't help one bit, and if whatever muscles you have are tempted to "add" to the strength of the move (typically covering up for either a lack of internal power or a lack of expertise in directing and using it), that's, at best, a prescription for tendonitis and pulled muscles. The pole is too damn long and heavy and the ricochet of the high amplitude and high frequency vibration will tear them to shreds in no time if you use your arm strength. But they have to be, like I said, reasonably strong or you will have trouble using them to do what they are supposed to do -- direct, guide and transmit, rapidly change angles and rotate, twist, coil in response to all the inner rotations, twists and coils. And of course the legs have to be strong enough -- well, that's proprietary taiji territory, goes without saying. But what is "internal power"? As usual, a good way taoists found to pinpoint what something is is by starting from what it is not. It is not external muscles, that has been established. But what about internal muscles? The psoas, the most powerful of them all? Aha... you need them for internal power generation, so it's not as simple as "internal power is not muscles," it's more like "part of internal power is internal muscles." What about the pelvic floor muscles, what about your muscular inner organs? Stomach, and in women, the muscle par excellence, the uterus? If someone thinks that "dantien" is something "spiritual and immaterial only," try rotating it in a way that will cause that 7 1/2 foot wooden thing in your hands to come alive and coil and shake like a rubber hose doesn't... like a cobra you've grabbed by the tail. If you think it's "fascia only," you might do it for a minute and then you'll be out of breath and out of steam. If you think it's "internal muscles only," you might think you feel them working but you won't be able to show it, the pole won't shake unless your external structure is cognizant of how to direct the inner strength outward. And so on. To scratch the surface of it...
  7. 8 points
    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with learning from ones mistakes - some of my best lessons have been learned this way. One of my teachers used to heal Qi Gong deviations at his practice - so I’ve met many people who’ve messed themselves up from sex (and retention) based systems in particular. This is what you can expect as you progress with this stuff. At first celibacy gives you extra energy. What happens is that by holding back from sexual activity, you create a sort of inner pressure. As you go about your normal life with all it’s stimulation, this ‘pressure’ grows in a certain direction. Think of your basic drives - survival, sex, power. You’ll feel yourself empowered in these areas - because your body isn’t getting its natural release, so it’ll create a stronger inner motivation to achieve these base desires. This is why people report feeling more confident, more attractive, more switched on in social situations. As you carry on with retention, you condition your body to run on this extra hormonal output. Your kidneys will need to work harder to keep up with the production. Add some hard work, late nights, drugs and alcohol and your kidneys will start to reach into their reserves to keep the energy going. You'll notice that when you do ejaculate, you’ll feel particularly depleted. It’s because this hormonal cycle is broken, and you’re basically having a withdrawal. Its important to understand that Chia got something fundamental wrong. Retention does not help to ‘retain your energy’. It just rewires your body to convert your essence to sexual fluid and related hormones - it makes your kidneys work much harder and over time depletes them (which you’ll only discover in your late 20’s and in your 30’s). When the kidney depletion catches up to you, you’ll find that your lower body becomes very weak. Your knees will ache. Your lower back will ache. You’ll find yourself developing a sort of brain fog and fatigue. Often other organ systems will be affected - particularly the heart. You’ll notice palpitations and an irregular heart rhythm. You’ll find that your emotions and moods will shift wildly. So if you start adding some of Chia’s sexual techniques, things suddenly get much more problematic. First thing he gets you to do is to mess with your ‘tubing’, so that you ejaculate into your bladder. Do this enough times and it messes with the valves in that area, and you’ll be releasing sperm into your urine whenever you feel aroused. It also creates a very hard to shift stagnation in that whole area. This takes decades to fix. Obviously losing sperm in your urine will further deplete you. If you carry on with his microcosmic orbit methods, his big draw etc - then this is what happens. Your sexualised energy moves to your heart and over time (few months if practicing regularly) you start to develop ‘deviant’ sexual urges - the innocence of your heart will be tainted by this, and you’ll find it hard to separate sexual thought from other base desires. You’ll begin to mix fear, violence, humiliation, power-play and depravity with sex. This is where it becomes an issue for other people too. Usually people are are a bit disturbed by this stuff starting - so they go back and forth - trying to be ‘pure’ with their intentions, but with this inner darkness that lies in the shadows. Even if you don’t act out your desires, this inner battle is extremely unhealthy and further drains your kidneys. Retention by itself, without Chia’s Qi Gong, also produces this - but much more gradually over a longer period of time. My teacher treated many cases of Poison Fire Tainting The Heart. For quite a few of his patients the end of treatment would have to include handing themselves over to the police and admitting their sexual crimes (paedophelia is quite common with this particular deviation). If you manage to get the energy to your head, that turns into ‘Entering the fire to invite demons’. It’s not really demons, it’s just aspects of yourself... but the result is similar to psychosis. You become paranoid, can feel invincible, have huge mood swings etc etc... Tough one to recover from! I know this all seems dramatic. It’s like telling someone the horrors of being a crackhead when all they’ve ever experienced is a line of cocaine. But just as some people do become crackheads - some people get very badly damaged by this stuff too. I’ve met many people that have been through this stuff. My teacher used to work on patients with these (and many other ) Qi Gong deviations. It’s not funny. The majority of people don’t take it that far of course. Usually they mess around with this stuff, then come to their senses and just have to deal with kidney depletion. That’s what happened with me anyway PS - what to do instead. Moderate sexual activity. In your 20’s that means having normal sexual release 2 times a week. Avoid porn. Get into physical exercise and learn some proper Qigong. It takes longer, and it’s much harder work than simple retention, but you’ll develop a huge amount of vitality that can improve all areas of your life - without making you into a weird pervert, or a crazed lunatic - and with strong healthy kidneys. Then use it to help others or direct it into spiritual cultivation. And enjoy life good luck
  8. 8 points
    Besides, for a whole lot of women it is simply not true that they are at the peak of their, um, libido circa the time of ovulation. In reality, for human females, there's a wide range of preferences. The informal polls I remember suggested that the majority are at the peak of their sexual appetite precisely right before menstruation, and lose it toward the middle of the cycle and around ovulation. Which is biologically sound for a female who, e.g. already has children and is not planning on having more -- or never wanted children to begin with -- and her whole system knows it, her body knows what her mind knows. Then again, there's many women whose libido goes up, not down, after the menopause and remains higher than it ever was in her reproductive years. In humans sex and reproduction are connected only loosely and sex is multifunctional rather than reproductive-only -- which is one reason for the complexity, out of many. More importantly for the purposes of the abominably ignorant term "in heat" used here, the whole dynamics in human females is a far and away departure from the animal estrous cycle in which the endometrius is completely reabsorbed at the end of the reproductive period, so zoologists do not regard this cycle as "true menstruation" in any animal species. Some refer to it, by analogy, as "covert menstruation" -- but those are observed in human males as well and also do not count as "true menstruation." "In heat" is a term from zoology, slang for "in the estrous period." I.e. the only period in the female animal's life when she is ready to accept a sexual mate. Nothing to do with female humans. Unless one considers our different physiology and its adaptation to being able to accept a sexual mate whenever we like and regardless of the stage of the reproductive cycle our "permanently in heat" designation -- but then, we used to be described by male scientists till a few short decades ago as not having any sexual drive at all... so...
  9. 7 points
    I think I might have joined this group years ago, but I might have just looked at it. Anyway, I saw someone mention it today and I thought I might look at it again. One of my practices is "cloudwalking". This is a practice where a Daoist initiate leaves his home temple and wanders around investigating and studying other Temples, teachers, and, traditions---both in and outside of Daoism. So I thought I'd cloudwalk over to the Dao bums again. I've been consciously practicing daoism for about 40 years. Before that, I got introduced into "spiritual stuff" by a guy without a label that I met in a bar and who gave me a rapid initiation into mystical practices. Later on, misters Moy and Moi at the Fung Loy Kok Temple in Toronto initiated me into their lineage before I really understood what I was getting into. I left that group a couple years later, but the initiation "stuck" and I've been hooked on the specifically Daoist tradition ever since---even though through cloudwalking I've studied with Unitarians, various flavours of Buddhism, Jesuits, a Catholic hermit, and, a Benedictine nun, and quite a few others. I've pursued lots of different practices besides cloudwalking. That included sitting and forgetting, ritual practice, chanting, etc. Right now most of my practice involves taijiquan (I do open hand, sword, sabre, and, spear forms---not very well) and "holding onto the One" . I also have a Masters in Philosophy from a Canadian comprehensive university and try to amalgamate Daoism with Western understanding---including science and rational analysis. I've also spent a lot of my life involved in environmental activism and Green politics. I currently write a news blog for my local community and have published a couple books. One is on Environmentalism informed by my spiritual worldview: Walking the Talk: Engaging the Public to Build a Sustainable World. The other is about how an ordinary person can live a life in the modern world informed by the teachings of Daoism: Digging Your Own Well: Daoism as a Practical Philosophy. I'm currently retired and live in a small city in Ontario, Canada.
  10. 7 points
    Hey Bums Recently I've been thinking about the power of spiritual affinity, and its real-life effects. Let me begin by showcasing what I mean by "effects". It is said that Saint Francis developed stigmata in his hands and feet because he was so connected to the image of Jesus on the cross that his physical body was imprinted with the information. It is also said that one famous counterfeit painter that had a deep affinity with DaVinci re-created his paintings and they were almost as good as the originals, at least to the untrained eye. When he was caught and asked how he could do work so exquisite and precise, he just said he imagined he was the Master Painter when he was drawing them. He was mostly uneducated and didn't have access to advanced tools, but he was sincere when he pretended to be DaVinci. And his sincerity somehow led to perfect forgeries. These two examples are for inspiration, so please don't take them at face value, although these stories have been passed down. But they illustrate the point I'm trying to make - namely, the power of "spiritual affinity" between two people. A less fantastical example would be someone I know that sincerely connected to her Master, and then found herself waking up at 3:30 am in the morning for no reason. She only knew later that this was the time that the Master used to rise. Anyways, I could go and on. But it might be more helpful for you to gain a feel for this. So let's do a small exercise. Think of all the Masters and people that are very close to you in your life. And then think about the times were you caught yourself speaking like them, imitating them, or behaving like them. You might be surprised. You might say you respect such and such, yet you never caught yourself acting like them. But every time you read a certain author, maybe a scholar or a columnist you enjoy, you might notice that their energy carries into your day-to-day and you might use the same words or style of writing as them later in the day. This is what I mean by spiritual resonance. In other words, effortless transmission of energy between two actors that are somehow closely linked, yet could be miles or times apart. I still can't pin-point what this is, maybe it's karma related I don't know. But it seems people have it or they don't. And what I know is that it opens a huge door for spiritual development if the person you have affinity with is achieved spiritually. Personally the person I resonate with most is someone I met around when I first joined DaoBums and who guided me briefly. It's not an intellectual conclusion, weighing all the qualities of that person and then making an informed decision. No nothing shallow like that. It's just an objective observation. I notice that when I connect to this person even briefly, I find I speak like him, I write like him, I think like him, I organize my day like him, even without knowing what his day looks like. Basically, these things are "taught" or revealed to me by the energy, which has a life of its own. I easily learn new things from it. Somehow the door for transmission is completely open, like for that fellow that was learning from DaVinci as he was counterfeiting the paintings. Anyways, sorry to get "new agey" with this observation, but I thought I would share as it may have some value for you. Think about all the people that you resonate with in your life, and see how much of them are in you, or "are you". This might be the path you need to focus on, even if your intellect is reluctant. And maybe the spiritual game is not only a matter of choosing the most powerful Master like Buddha or Jesus or Medicine Buddha, but finding the one you resonate with most. And being sincere to that Master like the DaVinci painter, who also evidently admired him. These things usually go hand in hand. Anyways, I'm rambling. Do any of you guys resonate with certain people or have any stories to share ? Thanks, Seb
  11. 7 points
    I was a very flexible piano player in my youth so to show off for visiting relatives I used to play the Maple Leaf Rag with my feet behind my head.
  12. 7 points
    I will not tolerate dissent!! Only joking Actually, I agree with much of what you said. What I believe is of importance to consider is context. My reply was to the OP - who is living a normal life, isn't a cultivator, has that initial fervour from having just discovered Mantak Chia. And that's what's important. As I say, I've lived with one of my teachers, who for a period of time, was offering Qi Gong healing (Wei Qi Liao Fa) - he was always sent the most difficult cases and the majority of them where serious qi gong deviation cases. So I've met many people that have had all the issues I describe (and worse!!). The pattern was always a case of either - not having a teacher and mixing up methods they read about - or having a teacher but not listening to them (and sometimes having an unscrupulous teacher that tends to damage his students). It is very different when you have a traditional, lineage teacher who knows what they're doing, has undeniable levels of skill and virtue and so do his or her senior students. Then simply listen to everything they say and do exactly what they tell you - don' listen to me (even if what I say contradicts them) - and certainly don't come looking for second opinions here on a public forum. If you're lucky enough to have such a teacher, and they're willing to teach you fully - then you must place 100% of your trust in them. (The tricky part is knowing when you have a genuine teacher with skill, virtue and right methods - it's very rare ) If you're able to still your jing by whatever method (whether it's alchemical, energetic, through transmissions/empowerments, herbal preparations or by going into solitary retreat - usually a combination of these) - then retention can be very useful. I've done many 3-month celibacy rounds myself - but then I have several high-level teachers and I know what I'm doing. That's not the case with 90% of visitors to this forum. And that's not the case with 99.9999% of Mantak Chia followers (my teacher treated several of those - one of whom, as I mentioned, had to hand himself to the authorities after treatment - that was the only way my teacher would agree to work with him). And just not to make this a male-only thread, there is also a lesson here for women. Again it's about context. There is a practice that is used to stop menstruation. It works. But - it's designed primarily for renunciate nuns. Meaning they live in a tightly controlled environment, with 100% of their life focused on cultivation. Problems occur when you use this practice to stop menstruation in 'normal' life (even as a dedicated practitioner!) Menstruation helps to clear xie qi (pathogenic qi) and impurities / pathogenic substances in the blood. It's actually a pretty useful mechanism, something that men are missing out on If you stop menstruation but carry on generating pathogens and impurities in your body and mind, then you're heading for disaster. And having heard stories from some of my teacher's patients - it really is a disaster. So I want to re-emphasise - it's all about context with this stuff. Context is of primary importance. So many practices that are designed for renunciates get adopted by 'householders' - with disastrous consequences.
  13. 6 points
    Of course, we live in the age of the global triumph of black magicians and occult forces, whose servants have been implanted on every earthly throne. Few shamans remain, after millennia of massacres, who are still trying to resist the diabolical tide against overwhelming odds. The occultists don't take them lightly though. It took road blocks and 40 armed members of the special forces to surround and kidnap the Siberian shaman Alexander Gabyshev who was walking from Buryatia, Siberia, toward Moscow, covering 1,7000 miles on foot so far, with the goal of performing a ritual to banish Putin from the Kremlin. Here's a bit in English on the event that took place on September 19th, as presented by The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/19/siberian-shaman-arrested-on-trek-to-exorcise-vladimir-putin
  14. 6 points
    I . One of my first public readings at the market ( I had done them before , but the first at this market , in the area where I still reside-) I did it for years and I stopped years back ) . The weird guy that had been camped in our orchid sees me and the cards ; ' Do read cards , I'll have a go . " Oh dear ! Okay, do you have a question ? < thinks ... then in serious confidence > 'When I see dogs , ya know, walking around and stuff , I want to have sex with them. Its kinda weird, I know, but I think, right then, I want to have sex with them . " " In public ? " " Yeah, right then, on the spot, there . " "Okey dokey < lays out some cards > " ... the cards are telling me you should urgently seek professional help. It seems a psychological problem, I'd say, see a psychologist, go to the general doctor and tell him what you told me and ask him for a referral ." II . 'Dan' , the dickhead ( and later revealed ' kiddy fiddler' ) is a super cool new age guy and peeps adore him (but not me, I can tell instinctively he is an arsehole ) . All of a sudden one Saturday at the markets I have got no readings, not even any regulars , whatever . I go for a stroll and here is Dan the Dickhead with a set up little tarot table doing readings , he has make up on, is touting himself as a 'magician', has a homemade cape on and a very tall pointed hat with moons and stars on it and a huge glitter plastic wand thingo that he is prancing around with. And there is a fucking line up of people waiting for a reading . After that I had virtually no clients for weeks , a regular returned and said they felt uneasy about tarot now. I asked why and , yep, they went to Dan for a reading and according to them 'Said the weirdest shit ' . I asked them what it was and effen hell, - psycho . But the thing is , he 'looked' good ( to them ) [ One of the most dangerous things for the normal on the path of magic is ( also relationships, and many things in life ) ; glamour ... glamour (countable and uncountable, plural glamours) (countable) An item, motif, person, image that by association improves appearance. Witchcraft; magic charm; a spell affecting the eye, making objects appear different from what they really are. quotations ▼ A kind of haze in the air, causing things to appear different from what they really are. (Can we add an example for this sense?) Any artificial interest in, or association with, an object, or person, through which it or they appear delusively magnified or glorified. (uncountable) Alluring beauty or charm (often with sex appeal). ] III . One time, its busy I look up and people are lined up . So I disperse them ( for privacy of current reading ) and tell them to come back later and allocate times . I tell the first couple to come back in an hour, but they look confused . They come back and I ask if they want a reading together or separate , they look confused again and go for separate. They have similar cards and dynamics in their readings but one asked 'Why would we want a reading together' " Some couples want that, some dont . " I responded . " But we aren't a couple ! I was just standing behind him on the line . " ' Oh ! Oooops . " - well, I dont know why but they did seem like a couple, then there was the similar readings, but I had not told them that, individual readings are private . Then later I saw them talking . A few days later having coffee. Hmmmm . The come back at a latter market ( apart ) and I asked " Are you sure you are not a couple ? " No, they where just talking about how I mistook them for a couple . Hmmm .... then they are both getting 'interesting readings' ... and I am seeing them more together . After a while, she is obviously pregnant ... now they have a baby together They had stopped coming for readings some time before that . Then as time goes on I see 'tarot baby' growing up . - big person now . Tarot baby is an adult now ...... cant help wondering ; if I had never made that 'mistake ' that day ...... ? - or maybe we have little choice in such matters ? and just for fun IV . many cards and positions indicate fertility and this one comes up for 'immediate future' and I am compelled to say " Dont get pregnant ." Well, I received a tirade back ; how stupid, what a thing to say, I would not be that stupid, I dont even have sex, etc etc . Then she gets pregnant and the the word is out (wait for it ) " Dont get a tarot reading off him, you'll get pregnant ! " - Now thats a rumour that could be interpreted in MORE THAN ONE WAY ! Outside ; Inside :
  15. 6 points
    There's a fellow that lives close by whose name is Kevin Millis. He and Glen Morris get together often, I believe Glen is Kevin's student, or was at one time. I met Kevin and his wife through walking the dogs. They invited me into the house, and at one point Kevin started showing me some Bujinkan Ninja movement. We had no discussion prior to that about the DDJ, Buddhism, Daoism, or anything. But when Kevin started moving, it was the DDJ personified! And I recognized it immediately. I asked Kevin "Are you familiar with the Daodejing?" And he replied, oh yes - it's the basis for martial arts movement. I didn't know that at the time. All I knew is that Kevin demonstrated an economy of movement that was incredible - and every single principle of the DDJ seemed to be exposed underneath. And sure enough, it was.
  16. 6 points
  17. 6 points
    I was reading his book 'Tibetan book of living and dying' not too long ago, and I found it actually quite helpful. So it was pretty shocking to read some of the stories from his former students. I felt pretty disgusted with him. Strangely enough, when he died, I kept having an image of him in my mind's eye. Part of me felt like he should suffer for undermining the dharma and harming students. Then I read somewhere that Garchen Rinpoche was advising students to recite a particular sutra on his behalf (I forget which one), so he might have a good rebirth. It occured to me that this was done precisely because whatever is waiting for him on the other side was terribly sad for a man who - for all of his flaws - strived toward Buddhahood throughout his life. One day, as I finished my recitation of the Mani I decided that instead of dedicating merits to all beings, I would dedicate the merits for this one day to him, so that he might have a more fortunate rebirth. I don't pretend to believe that it might have been enough to help him, but after I did so, his image in my mind's eye dissolved in light, and hasn't reappeared again. Think his passing is a lesson for all Buddhists to overcome the 'cancel culture' mentality, whereby a person becomes unforgiveable, and practice the true Buddhist teaching of well-wishing to all sentient beings.
  18. 6 points
    I think that there is no inherent problem with combining Qigong and meditation from another system, provided you know what each system and practice entails, their view of things, how it affects you, what the objectives are, and what your expectations are. In most cases, I suspect we engage in a practice for a bit, have expectations that are unmet, and jump to another. This goes on and on and then we conclude that the practices don't work when we simply have never done them justice. I would suggest you pick a practice to which you feel a connection and stick with it long enough to see what it's doing for you and whether there is truly a need for anything else in your own experience, not based on observing others. Your experience is not theirs, your experience will be unique to your proclivities and karma. For most people, seeing physical, emotional, and energetic changes takes time - months or years. Also best to receive the most credible and authoritative instruction and guidance in the practice possible. Whether qigong, neigong, meditation,... these are all practices that require precision and commitment to bear fruit. In general, energetic practices like Qigong are highly compatible with meditative practice. In my tradition, every meditation session is preceded by exercises that use the breath, attention, and body movement to clear obstacles to a deeper inner connection and stability. I can't specifically speak to Kriya Yoga as I've never practiced it. Regarding Qigong, I would suggest you look at practices that are designed to clear blockages and restore balance (eg Eight Brocades), as these will support the meditative experience. Qigong and Neigong that is designed to concentrate and build or focus energy (eg martial forms like Shiba Luohangong), are more likely to be disruptive of the meditative process and are probably more likely to have a negative interaction when mixing with other systems. That's my general impression. At the end of the day you need to be a responsible consumer. You need to do your research, find quality instruction, and be the best student you can be. Results are not guaranteed on this path. I would also advise a bit of caution when taking advice from a group of anonymous folks hanging out online. Some speak from solid experience and knowledge, others are a bit wacky and could steer you wrong. Best of luck to you!
  19. 6 points
    Four different teachers of mine, four different opinions on it based on their practice. My Tai Chi/Neigong under Hairston/Randolph lineage says celibacy and orgasms do not drain your energy if you practice properly--all you are doing is changing the vibrational aspect of your practice. Nothing is lost or created because all energy is transformed/transmuted, according to the law of thermodynamics, stating that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. My Flying Phoenix lineage under Dunn says we do not worry about the loss of energy because it is a unique energy, but when practicing TTP, we lose cultivation from excess sexual release. My Xin Yi lineage under Rodriguez says that you can break the rules from time to time, but upon age 60, you will need to limit ejaculating sperm to be once a week as it will tire you out or make your back hurt. My lineages (plural) under Dolic says that depending on age, how many orgasms you have can vary, but generally doing it in excess drains the well, whereas doing none at all without proper cultivation makes the well run stagnant. My answer: it all depends on the system you practice.
  20. 6 points
    I thought this topic was a safe space, free of lavender-aversion shaming?
  21. 6 points
    That to me is a red flag... This on the other hand...
  22. 6 points
    And nuns pay the price for the practice in the form of the highest incidence of breast cancer of all professional groups. (The lowest is in prostitutes. However the latter get the highest incidence of cervical cancer of all professional groups. Nature does not look kindly on either excess or deficiency.)
  23. 6 points
  24. 6 points
    Doesn't sound right, this is talking about lowering metabolism rather than efficiency. I think you need to take more iodine, most people have an iodine deficiency, which the standard test do not reveal. It's part of the great thyroid epidemic, coming soon to a theater near you. All grains are inflammatory, pseudo-grains are not inflammatory. Inflammation causes weight gain due to stored toxins in the body. In the book "Opening the Dragon Gate" all three of the teacher masters said, at different times, that eating grains causes sickness. Fasting and intermittent fasting are the best way to lose weight and rejuvenate at the same time. While fasting may be difficult for some, intermittent fasting is easy to get into, and it works nearly as well. I recommend you do the following, stop eating grains and get your starch from root vegetables. Drastically reduce carbs and lean towards a ketogenic diet, and use intermittent fasting. Take plenty of iodine, it is required for healing of any kind. Also, check out the info in Michael's Tabata thread.
  25. 6 points
    Internal skill is developing certain "mysterious" capabilities of the body. Primarily in the realm of Qi and Jin. For Qi and Jin to work, physical strength needs to be given up. It seems highly counter-intuitive to those who haven't experienced this - firstly as a recipient of such power, and then internally within their own body. There are two separate engines of power generation in the human body. One is the traditional muscle based on, the other is the internal way -- fascia (Jing Jin roughly), Qi, Jin. If we have to develop power in the internal way we have to give up the muscular way. The muscular way interferes with the development of the internal way. The primary qualities of internal way is by developing what is called "song" (relaxation) and peng (expansion), along with the ability to sense (ting). At more refined levels it goes beyond the fascia, into developing a fully integrated qi sphere which extends several feet/meters around the body. Then the power comes from the surface tension of this field.
  26. 6 points
    What makes your taiji effective is the engagement of your Jing Jin tissues. What you feel as silk sliding under your skin and between your muscles. It’s the tissue that ‘connects’ your body. Taiji uses these tissues as it’s ‘engine’ to develop power - rather than using muscle to develop power. If you focus on building the muscle ‘engine’, you will lose your internal Jing Jin engine. So it depends what’s more important to you. Even if you stretch after weight training, you will still lose your ‘internal’ engine. There is no way round it. Regarding what you can do in terms of exercise that does not counteract your internal (Jing Jin) connectivity... You can do bodyweight exercises. Preferably focusing on core strength (so all the different plank type exercises and variations). You can do push-ups (just not too many, and not weighted or one handed). You can do more complex bodyweight ‘flows’ - like the ‘animal walks’. It’s best to do all of these combined. When doing them you’ll need to use Sung and Ting, so that even though it’s muscular force that you’re using, you’re still connecting through your whole body. Doing the animal walks this way feels great and is still very much internally connected. You can build up to doing quite intense workouts - just not intense in a muscular, compressive way - but intense in a sweaty, out of breath sort of way I’d also suggest something aerobic - like jogging, or jumping rope or even rebounding on a trampoline. One other thing I keep seeing in taiji practitioners that are great at sinking - they actually start to develop issues with their spleen, and as a result create lots issues around storing fat. Adding Neigong into your routine would help if this is a problem for you (it might not be).
  27. 6 points
    I think we´re talking about two different things here. From my perspective as a hyper-connected city-dwelling dude, it´s illuminating to consider how the supposed advantages of technology may in fact be impoverishing my life. Do I get a warm feeling of social connection from, say, Facebook? How connected do I feel to the rhythms of nature buying processed foodstuffs at large megastores? What does it do to my brain to be constantly bombarded by advertising? What happens to my body when I get everywhere by car? I once traveled to the mountains above Oaxaca, Mexico where I met a woman with a powerful smile. She lived in a hut and had few of the advantages of modern life. I didn´t talk with her much; we´re not friends. So perhaps my assessment of her life is totally wrong but in the moment when we met she sure seemed happy. Was it wrong then for me to consider her life and come to the astonished realization that many of the modern trappings of my life may inhibit rather than facilitate wellbeing? I don´t think so. At the same time there´s no denying a different kind of poverty. The kind where people go hungry and don´t have access to medical care. Not every poor person lives in an idyllic mountain village like the Oaxacan woman I met. Some people live without clean water and nourishing food. It´s very difficult (perhaps impossible?) to be happy while chronically hungry and it´s important not to whitewash the very real suffering of people who lack modern amenities in a hipster dream of back-to-nature bliss.
  28. 6 points
  29. 6 points
  30. 5 points
    "Taoist" is something you become if you do what taoists do. If you are initiated and do what taoists do, you are a taoist. If you are initiated but don't do what taoists do, you are not a taoist. If you are not initiated and do what taoists do, you are maybe a taoist. If you are not initiated and don't do what taoists do, you are most definitely not a taoist. What do taoists do? There's a number of ways to go about it. E.g.: First, they do what their teacher tells them to do. Later, they do what they tell their disciples to do. Only much better. Or: First, they learn a procedure, an art, a practice, and do that. They don't compete but they shoot for perfection for its own sake in whatever they do -- how else can they embody tao? Next, they find they've been transformed by that practice so that now they embody tao and don't have to do shit. Or: You're born that way. Masters and teachers come to you in your sleep and transmit the tao directly. You wake up and hey presto, you are Neo and you announce, to everybody's surprise and your own, "I know kung fu." And project your chi right through the wall and then have to turn some lead into gold to pay for the repairs. Or... Bottom line is, taoists do stuff. Don't believe them when they tell you that they do nothing, want nothing, and are at peace with everything. They may or may not be all these things, but it matters little. What matters is, they do things. Weird things.
  31. 5 points
    Occultism is way older, not particularly Western in its origins, and, like shamanism (which is much older), almost universal -- but at a different stage of our history. Shamanism ends with the city-state phase of social innovation, as tribal and nomadic life gets gradually or abruptly, and in most cases thoroughly and irreversibly, replaced by the agricultural Sun-King empires. From there the sun of occultism rises, heralding the dawn of modern history. From there it unfolds its "tales of power." Shamanism is not concerned with power for the sake of power -- whether for an individual as occultism does with its king, priest, sorcerer, or a group whose interests coincide on the goal of a power grab explicitly toward, or else invariably leading to, its abuse. In fact, these are the two consecutive main currents through our history: the natural human collective, i.e. a tribe, versus an individual (or an individual heading a group of minions toward the same power-grabbing goals) climbing on top of the natural human collective and reshaping, intermixing or dissolving, demolishing or abolishing, converting by force or by cunning, this natural group into something else: slaves. Sheeple. With the shepherd on top. This is the core difference between shamanism and occultism -- despite a bunch of similarities between them and despite a bunch of widely dissimilar practices and methods within each. Siberian shamanism and African shamanism, on the surface, are quite different, and by the same token occult Voodoo sorcery and occult Jesuit secret societies may seem very dissimilar. Yet at the core of the first two is the shaman as the intermediary between the tribe and the spirit world, serving the tribe -- in the second two cases, the sorcerer, priest, General serving themselves and their own power-amassing goals. I have this in my notes, from an article I liked and lost: (to be continued when time allows )
  32. 5 points
    I'm similar in the sense that I don't use the ignore button when I can just skip over something when I want. Here is my perspective on the MP history here. It was amicable enough at the start with interesting conversations on the system, levels and western experiences of a few who studied directly under Chang. Its an intriguing system with surprising results (Chang is at some level around 40 out of 72?). The western students who could study directly under Chang seemed to have gotten as far as L3 (?), but seems not without some misunderstandings themselves despite the direct training. And some of those teachings 'leaked' to others in the west (aka: secret teachings were taught to outsiders). Some 'outsiders' to the secret lineage system were then practicing those levels and discussing them here. Along came Indonesian practitioners who joined the Bums to say that there is no such thing as "Western Mo Pai" (WMP) and it is an indigenous system that must be practiced directly with the lineage to claim to be Mo Pai. They asked if folks here couldn't refrain from claiming Mo Pai practice when they were already not following the tradition of direct participation with the lineage system to get proper training. This started about 8 years ago. WMP mentioning practices they claimed they were not allowed to share (not sure why because they were not under any secret oath to the official lineage nor any official master of the practice)... and the Indonesian students would come back over the years when the WMP commented, and would ask them to stop claiming to be a part of the lineage system. Over this course, several on the Bums felt there was a kind of spamming, elitist sense of WMP who claimed everyone else's practices were stupid (other colorful words used as well) and meaningless and only their's was a path of true demonstrated power... which over 8 years they would repeat and refuse any explanation, demonstration, or talk on their actual practice. They would repeat the attacks, victim sense, and inability to get the forum to ban all talk on MP... which mostly they were doing with a kind of hijacking way of posting. Here was the problem as I saw it, over the years. I've never been inclined to ban a particular discussion of a system. I just replace that system with another and would I ban it? No. Then I would not ban the first one. Folks come here and ask a question like, "What is this Mo Pai system I hear about on the internet"... Some discussion may start with folks here but the WMP suddenly show up singularly or in numbers and start to dismember any discussion on it. Its a weird vulture like stance that anyone is simply watching the board for a topic to then come swoop down and interject 8 years of the same repetitive, somewhat programmed, comments. It did very much become an 'us' (WMP) vs the rest of the world; but also an 'us' (Bums) vs the WMP. And it was dubbed, The MP Wars ... because of the similarities to the previous fights with the Buddhist elitist topics (Buddhist Wars). Maybe the Bums like a good war. There was the Lomax Wars too, let's not forget. And also, Jeff Light Wars if we wanted to be fair about how the 'us' vs 'others' seems to recycle itself here. I would hope this previous part would put in perspective there is something much bigger than MP Wars but if one were to look at each War, they would see a vast different in the 'fight method'. Those who had a very strong practice and ability to back it up were never on the attack (Lomax and Light), while those who couldn't were usually more aggressive (or passive aggressive, Buddhist and MP) in putting other systems down. It seems a funny choice to say: Should the topic be banned or the members be banned? I've followed the idea that any topic is allowed till it crosses the rules... very few topics have been banned but we're talking like serious and sick topics (child pornography or pizza-gate). To ban discussion on an energetic system and put it in the category of serious and sick topics always seemed odd to me. So I've let discussion occur and just view member participate as following the rules or not. I don't have a horse in this. If the rules changed on banning such topics, so be it. I'll not lose any sleep, not claim any relief, not need to worry the outcome. It would have no influence on me today or tomorrow. But I do see there are some where there is great anticipation for some outcome that will rescue their own anxiety over the issue. And I thought 'practice makes perfect' Peace.
  33. 5 points
    After a long hiatus, I have been considering taking up qigong again. As it turns out, B.K. Frantzis has moved into my area. His center is offering ongoing classes with senior instructors. Has anyone worked with B.K. Frantzis or one of his instructors long term? Thoughts? I am primarily looking for qigong work to supplement my meditation/dream yoga practices.
  34. 5 points
    My wife’s friend is a born again Christian. She is also all kinds of messed up. She likes to argue about the redeeming qualities of her faith, but lacks practical experience with anything remotely close to meditation or introspection. Logic is circular and always boils down to Jesus did this, did that. I asked her why doesn’t she keep her prayers personal - maybe meditate a bit instead of trying to convert us non-Christians. Her response was eye opening. She said that trying to convert people IS her way of praying. Strange thing is she is licentious, doesn’t do anything for her fellow human in terms of humanitarian support, complains and is envious etc, etc. She just believes that having accepted some guy as her lord and savior she has license to do all sorts of degenerate things. Contrast that with another friend from childhood, who is Christian too. When I met her and her husband after almost 30 years, I could literally see Jesus with her, at the causal level. Their presence was filled with compassion and love. Never tried to convert anyone. They serve people via charitable deeds and pro bono work (she’s a doctor and he’s a lawyer). Point I’m trying to make is, I’ll take a practitioner any day over arm chair experts You might be surprised to find how much Christian thought has influenced English educated folks in other parts the world - like India. The 200 years of British rule has resulted in decay of our traditional knowledge systems, especially in the urban society.
  35. 5 points
    He was one of the first authors I encountered, very early in the game, and it's true that it's from a "nearly-bygone era" of very limited availability of things taoist to a westerner. Those were the days of looking for "where do I go with this taoist spell I fell under" -- I never went with any of his practices or took any of his stories to heart -- yet the idea that western systems are, without a single exception, upward-bound (toward Light, Sun, Father in Heaven, Paradize, pyramids, the head trips, hierarchy, patriarchy, yang, massively consuming... all expressions of Fire) while taoism is downward-bound (the way Water flows, down to Mother Earth, Dark, the womb, LDT, soil under your feet, toward earthly Life rather than heavenly afterlife, path of least resistance, non-hierarchical values, matriarchy, yin, massively nourishing... all expressions of Water) did ring true. So true in fact that to this day this is the first thing I notice about any phenomenon on autopilot, a primary diagnostic tool of sorts -- upward-Fire or downward-Water, pyramid (scam) or evenly spreading out (the life-generating ocean... and Amazonia, incidentally, looks like an immense and very even green ocean when you look down at it from a plane -- and is very wet. Nothing sticking out. No pyramid shapes. Even and wavy like Water.) Of course this is just a very rough and raw take -- there's indeed thousands of techniques, but the goal, the vector, the where they are headed (there's that word again) and spearheaded (and again) -- that's quite noticeable from the get-go no matter what technique you're looking at. And of course if you go deeper into taoist practices, there's Fire within Water and Water within Fire, there's that. And if you go wider, there's also Wood, Metal and Earth, each of them containing all five. And wider still, there's Thunder and the amazing and terrifying techniques of Thunder magic, there's Lake which is a different kind of Water altogether, there's the dangerous Water abyss of the I Ching, and the rest of them ten thousand things. So, of course, the Water-Fire dichotomy is a pre-K distinction. Nevertheless, I believe it's still important to notice. I don't think BKF invented it. I think he interpreted and sort of grokked something he learned, and it's not any one method or source, anymore than the Catholic Jesus or Presbytarian or Greek Orthodox or Mormon are "the source of Jesus" -- but if it's about Jesus, it's Christianity, and if it's Water-like in its overall scope of values and vectors, it's taoism. So, cut the man some slack. I don't think he was wrong on this one at all. I think he was mighty insightful even if he's wrong (or worse) about everything else. Even a broken clock shows the right time twice a day.
  36. 5 points
    Hey Dao Buddies, So like anything... but only one thing per post. If you're super weird, you can multiple-post in my thread. I go first. I have a weird obsession with raccoons. Like In my Zhan Zhuang under the hood thread I started a while back. You might recall I was trying to illustrate correct posture with raccoon images. And then I also like to make raccoon related jokes. Like -> I listen to "raccoon roll" music. (Yeah I know, weak) But seriously ? They scare the heck out of me. That's what's weird. Like when I was walking home from the office in California they were fighting to the death in the streets during mating season, and I found myself skipping steps home. I hope we can all go from here, and spark an interesting discussion about other people's weirdness. Thanks,
  37. 5 points
    Hah! I was about to say... stagnated loin fire rising to the heart much? Gotcha, and I understand. Although I still want to add a comment: I am surprised to hear masturbation twice a week be recommended. Again, I do not think this is wrong, and it might well be a wise teaching passed down in your school for some time. In this sense, I think of it a bit like a herbal formula designed to treat a certain pattern. One family of doctors might have their own tried-and-true herbal formula for a certain pattern that has been used to treat generations of patients, while another family of doctors' formula may contain very different herbs and be based on a different understanding of the qi of that pattern. So, while your suggestion may well be totally legitimate, I think it bears pointing out that plenty of other teachers in Chinese medicine and cultivation would say that, for a young man, there is no need to masturbate according to any schedule whatsoever, because when he builds up too much jing it will either come out during sleep, or he'll simply "handle" things on his own. A non-cultivating young man, therefore, can very healthily have several ejaculations a week, or also go several weeks without an ejaculation. The body is in constant flux and it's not that easy to go insane because of blue balls. This is very tragic. It is wonderful that your teacher was able to help these people Sometimes with disastrous consequences, but there are also partnered householders who cultivate together and move towards less and less physical sex quite harmoniously. 男不解衣,女不鬆帶 is the term for their type of "love making," I believe. It means "the man does not strip his clothes, and the woman does not loosen her belt." As it's been explained to me by one teacher, this is less esoteric than it sounds. Simply, as truer and truer love is shared by two cultivators whose wisdom and proximity to the Dao is increasing, there is a natural, wuwei disinclination towards physical sex, because something else is being shared. For such people, a certain type of celibacy or near-celibacy comes quite naturally. But... it's probably a safe guess that not too many people experience this in a relationship, including cultivators. I think it's also worth remembering that, arguably, it was the renunciates in Daoism who adopted techniques from householders. Monastic Daoism, which in its widespread form is less than 1,000 years old, is a much later development than 火居 ("living near the hearth") Daoism.
  38. 5 points
  39. 5 points
    As it's been said before, madmen impose patterns on the world. Geniuses see the patterns. I don't remember where I read that.
  40. 5 points
    FWIW, I signed on with a personal trainer, with whom I shared my concerns about strength training. She is setting a training regimen for me that will ensure I don’t overdo the muscle training and focus on cardio and fascia workouts. First workout was havoc, but I’m excited to see where we go with it. I had to do prolonged standing to release energy that rose upward as a result, sinking into the LDT. Also ran through a set of fajin cleansing drills (some teachers call it “throwing”) to loosen up the joints & fascia, and workout the major fascial bands which are used for internal power transfer). The post workout taiji set helped bring things back to normal (in terms of how my insides feel).
  41. 5 points
    It's a great topic. So actually I believe there are 3 ways overall - not just the 2... (assuming we're focusing on spiritual cultivation) The way you haven't mentioned (but actually described to a certain extent) is the 'consciousness only' method - what most people think of as Buddhist or meditative practice. This is the idea that your body is not real, it's impermanent and it's a hindrance to your consciousness. The other approach is 'top-down' - the idea here is you transform your Shen through various tantric methods (by tantric, I mean working with the underlying energetic framework)... The changes on the Shen level then cascade down and transform your body in turn. This is, for example, Max's Kunlun method. The classical approach is the 'bottom-up' approach. It's as you described - you work from the densest aspects, layer by layer, eventually moving into the realms of cosnciousness. So here's my own experience. Baring in mind that I've had some experience in all three forms of practice and I've spent several years full-time, travelling and meeting teachers all around the world, and particularly all over Asia. I've had the great fortune to meet some extremely advanced teachers and have witnessed things that appear pretty miraculous. By this I'm saying that although I'm no 'master' myself, I have dedicated years to searching and decades to practicing these arts... in a very determined way. So my opnions aren't so much from books, but from personal experience and discussions and meetings with people. The first approach - consciousness only. This simply doesn't work for most people. As in 99.9999999% of people. It does work for some - but these people are usually ones who have achieved what's known as 'Path Knowledge' in a past life (or a similar attaniment in the Jhannas). Basically this means they are 80% of the way to full enlightenment and have managed to let go of the majority of their karma - and although they are still on the cycle of death and rebirth, they generally do not accumulate any more karma, and the karma they 'fruit' is generally of the most wholesome kind. They can effortlessly enter samadhi, they manifest all sorts of abilities etc. These are the 'spiritual geniuses' of the world. I've trained with one (western) Buddhist teacher that demonstrates this. He went to a meditation class in his early 20's and discovered that he could see into peoples bodies, pinpoint illnesses, and access information about their lives (this is the first time he sat)... Within a couple more attempts he entered smadhi and then through a range of coincidences met high level buddhist teachers, discovered he already knew by heart much of the Pali cannon etc. For him, practice is mostly on the level of consciousness - he sits, enters jhanna, and is able to make internal change on the causal level. The way he teaches his students, however is quite different. His focus is on body first... then moving onto meditative practice... then body-based vipassana. He takes a 'bottom up' approach - however his toolset is not quite as advanced as the Daoist set for this approach and I've not seen many of his students advance that far. The second approach - Top-down. This approach doesn't deny the body. But it starts with Shen (or Ling, technically) and moves down. I was also very much into this approach. I trained with Max for a several years. I lived at his house for a couple of weeks at a time, doing this work. However, I started to have doubts about the method. I saw lots of people damage themselves badly. I saw a lot of delusion in the school - and it seemed the only people that made good, safe progress did in fact start with a 'bottom-up' approach before coming to Kunlun. In fact Max himself had decades of 'bottom-up' training with quite traditional teachers. I began to lose trust in the method (I was quite sad about that as it was the first time I discovered that all this stuff is very real, tangible and very powerful). The bottom-up approach. When I started to get into the 'inner door' parts of a couple of schools in Asia, that's when I began meeting some extremely advanced people. Both in terms of the meditative aspects, skill with energy, alchemy, healing, siddhi etc. I have met one person who I'd consider 'fully enlightened' and they came from the 'bottom up' approach. When you start working on aspects of consciousness with advanced teachers (that expect results from you - or you're out), you begin to realise just how much internal strength, stamina, effort and energy is required to achieve something like Jhanna. I know a lot of people think they've achieved Jhanna... but let's just say that maybe they've been misled on what Jhanna really is... For example as you enter and stabilise the 1st Jhanna, you can discern the full cause and effect chain on any body or mind you choose to focus on... that sounds abstract... as an example the whole of Chinese Medicine and it's understandings of cause and effect came from insight at the level of 1st Jhanna... If you enter 1st Jhanna at the moments before death your body will not rot. After death in 1st Jhanna, you're able to choose when and as whom you are reborn... To even get a chance at entering 1st Jhanna you first must be able to enter and stay in samadhi for several days straight... That in itself is a superhuman ability... Imagine the most intense mental focus - like attempting to solve the hardest puzzle you've ever solved - and keeping that level of focus completely steady and unwavering for 72hrs - and not straining, pushing or using any effort to do so. To be able to do that you need to have a lot of energy. Your channels must be clear. Your Shen must be bright as the sun. Your body must be strong and resilient. and that's all achieved by the bottom-up method. I realise I've been using buddhist terminology - because actually at the higher stages it's easier to communicate, but this is certainly the case with the Daoist approach too - just substitute Jhanna with Shen Ming, and samadhi with Xin Zhai etc. In fact I believe that the Daoist approach overall in the preparatory stage is very much superior to the Buddhist appraoch. Once you get to the higher stages though, things are less differentiated. The Daoist understanding is that the body is the mind. So when you're working with the body, you're also working with the mind - it's just approaching change from the direction of the body is far less prone to delusion and error. Your Ren Mai is either open or not (there are specific physiological signs for it) - an open Ren Mai also has specific qualities of mind - but knowing whether you've achieved them is almost impossible (unless youre teacher is able and willing to enter into Jhanna to check ) There is much wisdom in the bottom-up approach. It's all understandable, discernable, testable and makes 'sense'. The Top down approach is the opposite - you must completely drop any attempt at making sense and surrender your whole self to your teacher and the method... The only teachers I met that I could fully trust in this way have been bottom up teachers... and they don't want all this dependency - they want you to figure stuff out by yourself - to understand what you're doing and why. Anyway - I hope this makes at least some sense. I know it's all a bit rambling, but I don't have the time to make it more coherent. Happy to answer any questions to clarify anything here though.
  42. 5 points
    Ah, the assuredness of 22, I remember you well... Anyway, I'm gonna make a guesstimate and say that thinking too much probably burns more jing in most people than ejaculation does. Brain = 髓海. Take it from there.
  43. 5 points
    Yup - that’s what I thought. Many of us are familiar with Chia. Unfortunately Chia is known to have got it wrong - badly wrong. Sadly what Chia teaches has caused many problems for people. Sometimes severe problems. He took practices completely out of context, misunderstood them and changed them and then marketed them to the west. It’s not your fault for believing him. He makes a pretty compelling case. And it’s true that initially you do get an increase in perceived energy when practicing celibacy - so of course it all seems legitimate. But unfortunately it’s not. And I know that it’s destroyed people’s lives. What you're feeling (getting severely depleted after ejaculation) is one early symptom of doing Chia based retention. Originally retention/celibacy was practiced for specific periods of time on retreat and along with specific practices and strict rules and in complete isolation. 18hrs a day you do your practices. Your meals are cooked for you and left at your door (you’re not meant to talk, listen to music or read anything apart from texts that are necessary for this cultivation). Usually this is for 3 months or so. The idea is to ‘still’ the essence. Meaning that as the essence builds through retention, it is brought to ‘stillness’ with full-time meditative and energetic practices along with being in complete isolation and adhering to a strict diet (very simple, unstimulating food). Normally when essence builds, it seeks stimulation, it seeks to express itself through your base desires (sex, power, survival, pleasure etc). But the Daoists aimed to have the essence build, and by being denied stimulation, and through full-time daily practice they bring it to stillness and refine it into another form of energy that can then be used for spiritual practices. If you allow essence to build without such practices, without a special diet, without isolation, it basically starts to strongly fuel your base desires - which at first feels good, but over time starts to deplete you and create other problems. The best case scenario is that you lose this now over-stimulated, sexualised essence through nocturnal emission. The worst case scenario is a range of serious deviations. One is known as Poison Fire Tainting The Heart - basically the now sexualised essence, which isn’t allowed to be expressed through sex, rises and ‘taints’ the heart. The result is a gradual increase in ‘deviant’ sexual urges. Another one is called Entering The Fire To Invite Demons. That’s when this out of control essence rises to the head and creates mental disturbances - psychosis, schizophrenia etc. Often the two go together. Obviously it’s rarely talked about in public. But it’s common. It’s common in Mantak Chia’s school, and it’s common in other traditions that misuse celibacy (catholic priests?). One of Chia’s senior teachers was arrested after threatening a bouncer of a strip club with a samurai sword - because the bouncer threw him out for trying to molest the strippers... And we only know about this one because it was reported in the papers. There are many other such cases that we never hear about. I’m not telling you this to scare you. You’ll figure out what’s good for you by yourself. It’s just that Chia has a lot of publicity around his methods, but then the true end results of these practices are not talked about in public. So I just want you to see the other side of the coin. It’s very much up to you what you decide to do with this information.
  44. 5 points
    I like to think internal power will eventually have the ladies flocking to me. I'm still waiting, but I'm a believer.
  45. 5 points
    I actually have a simple training program for both internal and strength training. Was going to post this week looking for anyone interested in checking out some of the strength training I do based off of old time circus strong men. It is comprised of stretching, Zhan Zhuang, Baduanjin, isometrics, calisthenics, muscle contraction and muscle control, and muscle compression from ZZ. The internal parts are a resting form of qigong, Zhan Zhuang as stated above with Baduanjin, and anything advanced is for students because the above was really designed for total beginners due to the fact a lot of people who want power focus too much on misinformation like reverse breathing or on neidan. Most people might actually find benefits from basic fitness already but the internal aspects help prepare them for bringing their base fitness higher. If the base is low, it won’t do much.
  46. 5 points
    Not quite. LHP and RHP are quite racists ideas propagated by european occultists ever since they became influenced by dualism. Good practioners of what would be called "LHP" practices (such as excesses and breaking mental and moral shackles) do not become lawless - they become aware. Indeed, Thelema is considered to be LHP in many RHP occult orders, such as the Martinists, Rose-Cross' and even some massonry adepts. That's the "Abyss Baby" stage. You have failed to cross the Abyss and is now dealing with a fractured ego. To solve that you'll have to achieve conversation with your Sacred Guardian Angel and find your own Kingship according to the Law. Not exactly. That's the destruction of the ego, not its death. Ego never really dies, it surrenders and dissolves into Will. You haven't found your own Will, and have been letting the Will of others possess you. That's being a slave under the kingship of others. You must find your own Kingship, your own Will - the one true Will which will make you King as Aiwas called. At this moment, you not only doesn't has an ego, but also has many of the social and mental vines of others trying to possess you. That's why it is said that, once you fall into the Abyss and becomes an Abyss Baby you've lost your chance in this life. Not exactly, you still have a chance if you find your own Will - but you must remain watchfull of these vines trying to possess you, as they don't have a mind of their own and would, indeed, turn you insane. Everyone has an Essence, a Will granted by "god" (Kether). This is your Tipheret, and your Sacred Guardian Angel is the universal force which guards and protects this Will of yours. This is why you NEED to achieve conversation with it in order to reach Adeptus Minor. If you don't, then you'll become passive and inactive. A pawn made of flesh, bones and empty space on your head. Devoid of Soul, Will, Spirit. Non-action would be the answer. You (ego) won't ever do anything again. Your Will will manifest through you, and act in the world. Achieving complete detachment is only half the equation - the other half is manifesting Will and identifying yourself (creating a "golden ego", a "philosopher's stone" with your Ego) with your Will and thus becoming perfect. Once you do that, there will be no desire, no quiet and no action. You'll be a living manifestation of Essence/Will, and therefore a King.
  47. 5 points
    I thought this was it. This-here section that is. I must have missed the women-only area, will go look for it. Thanks. Thanks for your interest -- but I didn't intend to discuss this with men to begin with, I was under the impression that this area is for women only. The diagram may or may not be correct -- I didn't have a chance to evaluate it yet -- and that's why I was interested in others' (female) input. There's so much more happening in menstruation (as well as in puberty and menopause) than a mechanical "this is yin, this is yang" -- there's a million "yin within yang" and "yang within yin" nuances that only a woman is qualified to discuss. E.g. there's a huge difference on many levels between a period a woman is happy to welcome because she feared she may have gotten pregnant when pregnancy would have been catastrophic, and a period a woman is devastated about because she hoped she might have gotten pregnant when to conceive a baby is what all her hopes and dreams are about. Huge difference. And also between a swift-sudden and slow-gradual onset. And between the first one and the last one, with an average of 34 years in between. And so on. So, I wanted the graph addressed from that perspective, by women whose view of it would be neither schematic nor in-the-head alone. I've no idea yet if it's right or wrong even schematically -- didn't have a chance to analyze it, wanted input first. But not the kind I got. Apologies all around.
  48. 5 points
  49. 5 points
    The issue with paths is that they need to be taken on their own. I think there is a fine line between finding a path that fits you, and trying to fit a path into one's preconceived concepts. Buddhist meditation practices, at least according to my teachers (inc ChNNR), developed within a Buddhist framework. That means a strong emphasis on emptiness and not self, which can be subtle and quite difficult. So difficult that the Buddha almost didn't even teach. ChNNR did have a lot of respect for Bon Dzogchen. He also had a lot of respect for Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, who has at least three sons who carry on his style. Arranged from most to least traditional, they are Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche. In addition to TWR, you may want to check these teachers out. Chokyi Nyima allegedly did a webcast pointing out last year, but I did not receive it. The other two require in person pointing out. I actually think if you are serious about this, it is better to get pointing out in person in a retreat setting. I also cannot explain it, but there does seem to be something transmitted by taking a formal empowerment in a Buddhist tradition. If you have an established Platonic outlook, I think there may be issues down the road if you try to reconcile Plato with Buddha. The closest thing you find in ancient Greece to a Buddhist outlook in Pyrrhonism. As far as I know, Pyrrhonism formed the basis for Skepticism, which pretty much overtook Plato's academy in its later years and forced neo-Platonism out. However, Buddhist and Hindu Tantra developed around the same time and area, and took off in separate directions. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of realized teachers who teach non-dual Shaiva Tantra, but there are some and they may be worth checking out. The most accessible non-dual tradition from the Indian matrix that is still alive, outside of Buddhism, is probably Advaita Vedanta. If you are at all interested in Advaita, you can start at home with the large body of videos by Swami Sarvapriyananda.
  50. 5 points
    TheTaoIsEasy..... I can't believe no one brought him up. He did so much for this forum, and influenced, even changed the lives of many members here. He had such a beautiful energy and I miss him dearly every time I use the forums. For a while the forums were really just a way for me to connect to his teachings. Of course that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the contributions of other members, but he was just so special and transformative. He definitely deserves his name on this list.