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  1. 10 points
    This study and review of the Neiye will use five translators and I will give the chinese in a spoiler. One issue to be aware of is there are five manuscripts and it is not easy to know which translator is following which one in their translation but you will have at least one version. One main observation will be how translators treat 'Xin', as either "heart" or "mind" or "heart-mind", or something else in context. Here is an example for the first use of Xin in an exceedingly challenging brief line: 凡 心 之 形 - Always XIN of Form Section 2: Linnell: Always : the form of the heart/mind is Eno: The form of the heart is Section 3: Roth: All the forms of the mind Shazi Daoren: All forms of the Heart Yueya: All the forms of the heart-mind It should be noted that the following translations break at two different parts. Only Linnell and Eno follow the character pattern where 'Always' is the first word, and then again at the line above: for them, this would make Section 2, but for all the others, this is Section 3. For the purposes of this study and review, I will follow this according to Section 3 pattern. Why? That seems the majority rule and my personal preference would not change the ability to understand the sections particularly I will give the chinese as well. As a further reading, first read Kirkland's VARIETIES OF TAOISM IN ANCIENT CHINA: A PRELIMINARY COMPARISON OF THEMES IN THE NEI YEH AND OTHER TAOIST CLASSICS1 https://faculty.franklin.uga.edu/kirkland/sites/faculty.franklin.uga.edu.kirkland/files/VARIETIES.pdf Here are my excerpts of their introductions: Linnell: While available for millennia, the Nei Ye has just started to receive serious scholarly attention in the last few decades. It describes how to build up and store various spiritual forces such as Qi and “essence” (there is no indication that “essence” refers to reproductive fluids, which appeared later in Chinese thought), and how to control one‟s heart/mind. It shows no influence of any school of Chinese religious or philosophical thought, other than using a few basic Confucian terms. It does have a few concepts in common with the work by Mencius, but as they were probably both written about the same time it is impossible to tell who influenced who (or if they were both influenced by something else). While the Nei Ye has many similarities, including writing style, with the Dao De Jing, it also differs significantly in its perspective. For instance, there is no social commentary, no political or military advice, nor any explanation of how the universe was created or how it works. There is no mention of yin and yang, “non-action” or “non-being”, nor does it advocate a feminine/receptive attitude. It does not criticize Confucianism, nor does it present the sage as a person with some kind of better understanding of reality. Even the terms Dao and De apparently don‟t mean the same thing in the Nei Ye as they do in the Dao De Jing – for example, both Dao and De are described in some passages as being able to “arrive” and “settle” in a person. Eno: It is particularly interesting in that it attempts to rationalize general practices of self-cultivation, meditational techniques, dietary rules, and so forth, by linking them to a portrait of nature and of metaphysical forces. Looking at the practical aspects of the text, if the author was a devotee of texts such as the Dao de jing then “The Inner Enterprise” may give us some insight into Daoist-style practices which lay behind murky texts such as Laozi’s. On the other hand, given the discussions of Nature and the forces of the universe, the chapter could also be read as a Naturalist text composed by someone devoted to certain traditional meditative and dietary practices assignable to no one school (we will be discussing Naturalism later on). The typographical arrangement of the text has been made in an effort to make the meaning easier to grasp – the text is not a poem. Still “The Inner Enterprise” is also a text dominated by rhymed sequences, and so a verse-like structure is especially fitting. Bear in mind that the term repeatedly translated as “heart” actually combines the functions that we generally separate into the heart (affective powers) and mind (cognitive powers). In one particularly clear instance where the cognitive aspect is stressed, the term is translated as “mind.” When you read the chapter, see whether you can arrive at a theory as to which parts of the texts a) indicate the concrete practices which Daoists undertook, suggest the types of rewards which people undertaking those practices may actually have discovered, and c) serve primarily as legitimizing theory to rationalize these practices. See also whether you can spot on your own some passages which resemble Confucian ideas (one particular passage will leap out at you, but look for others, too). Roth: (Kirkland, Introduction): The Neiye seems to be the earliest extant text that explains and encourages self-cultivation through daily, practiced regulation of the forces of life. Those forces include *qi ("life-energy" — the universal force that gives life to all things); and *jing ("vital essence" — one's innate reservoir of qi). (There is no trace here of the much later Chinese concept that jing referred to reproductive fluids.) Like Mencius, the Neiye suggests that the xin was originally as it should be, but now needs rectification (zheng). The xin becomes agitated by excessive activity, which leads to dissipation of one's jing, resulting in confusion, sickness, and death. To preserve one's health and vitality, one must quieten (jing) one's xin. Then one can then attract and retain qi, and other vaguely interrelated forces, such as shen ("spirit" or "spiritual consciousness"), and tao (a vague term, apparently interchangeable with shen and ch'i). (Such concepts are explained more intelligibly in passages of the Huainanzi: see Roth 1991). In the Neiye, shen and tao are external realities, which one must learn to draw into oneself by purifying the body/mind/heart. Since such forces come and go, one must work daily to keep the body well-regulated (e.g., by dietary moderation and proper breathing). But, again like Mencius (and Daode jing 55), the Neiye warns against forceful efforts to control the qi: one cannot make it arrive or stay by an act of will, but only by purifying and realigning oneself. One's ability to achieve those ends is a matter of one's te, "inner power" (cognate with homonym te, "get/getting"). If one's te is sufficient,one will attract and retain qi/shen/tao. Here, te retains its general archaic sense of "a proper disposition toward the unseen forces of life," so it also carries moral overtones. (Mencius, for his part, taught building up one's qi by acts of "correctness," yi.) A person who does these things well is called a "sage" (shengren) — the term for the human ideal shared by the Daode jing and by Neo-Confucians like Zhu Xi. One finds nothing gender-specific about any of the Neiye's concepts, and it is quite conceivable that women as well as men may have engaged in such practices. Shazi Daoren: A long-overlooked text of classical times, the Neiye ("Inner Cultivation" or "Inner Development") is a text of some 1600 characters, written in rhymed prose, a form close to that of the Daode jing. It sometimes echoes that text and the Zhuangzi, but it lacks many of the concerns found in those works. Generally dated to 350-300 BCE, it is preserved in the Guanzi (ch. 49), along with two later, apparently derivative texts, Xinshu, shang and xia (ch. 36-37). The Neiye had extremely profound effects on Taoism and Chinese culture. It seems to have influenced (1) the form, and certain contents, of the Daode jing; (2) the self-cultivation beliefs and practices of many later Taoists (from the Huainanzi and Taiping jing to the 20th-century); and (3) certain fundamental concepts of traditional Chinese medicine. It may also have influenced Neo-Confucian ideals of self-cultivation, by way of Mencius' teachings on cultivating the heart/mind (xin) and building up qi (Mengzi 2A.2). The Neiye seems to be the earliest extant text that explains and encourages self-cultivation through daily, practiced regulation of the forces of life. Those forces include *qi ("life-energy" — the universal force that gives life to all things); and *jing ("vital essence" — one's innate reservoir of qi). (There is no trace here of the much later Chinese concept that jing referred to reproductive fluids.) Like Mencius, the Neiye suggests that the xin was originally as it should be, but now needs rectification (zheng). The xin becomes agitated by excessive activity, which leads to dissipation of one's jing, resulting in confusion, sickness, and death. To preserve one's health and vitality, one must quieten (jing) one's xin. Then one can then attract and retain qi, and other vaguely interrelated forces, such as shen ("spirit" or "spiritual consciousness"), and tao (a vague term, apparently interchangeable with shen and ch'i). (Such concepts are explained more intelligibly in passages of the Huainanzi: see Roth 1991)." Yueya: The Neiye 內業 (Inward Training) is a lesser known elder cousin of the Daodejing. It is part of a set of texts on techniques of the heart-mind (xinshu 心術) in the Book of Master Guan (Guanzi 管子) from the period of classical Daoism (480 B.C.E. to 9 C.E.), and provides detailed principles and instruction for inner cultivation. A.C. Graham, a renowned scholar of Chinese intellectual history, has commented, “'Inward Training'...is important as possibly the oldest ‘mystical’ text in China. And in reference to verse two, “This may well be the earliest Chinese interpretation of the experience of mystical oneness.” Moreover, Harold Roth believes that “Inward Training assumes a significance that has not hereto been appreciated: It is the oldest extant expression of the distinctive mystical practice and philosophy that is the basis of the entire Daoist tradition from its obscure origins to the time of the Huai-nan Tzu [Huainanzi] in the mid-second century B.C.” Inward Training represents one of the key “foundations of Daoist mysticism.” It very possibly links the methods of early Chinese Shamanism with what later emerged as a distinctive Daoist approach.
  2. 9 points
    I've attended some of WLP's retreats. Daoist walking, tree qigong, and sleeping practice are usually taught at the retreat very close to how they are described in the book. It does not mean that a verbal description is complete because there is always a lot more to them then you can put in any description. When you are on the retreat, you absorb the teaching not only verbally but with all you body and spirit and everything integrates inside you body. It is like you would play a violin on its own and then you would play it as a part of the symphony orchestra - as you can imagine the difference is huge even though the violin is absolutely the same and the tune is absolutely the same.
  3. 9 points
    I don’t want to be a downer but here’s another vote to use a great deal of caution teaching meditation to folks with mental health challenges. While it may be calming to the active mind, meditation eventually exposes suppressed and repressed content. It can be disorienting and lead to feelings of depersonalization for some. The folks you’ll working with may be very raw and sensitive and may go too deep too fast. I would agree with focusing on practices that help integrate mind and body as mental illness breaks down that connection. Anything that is grounding is advisable. Standing, walking, simple qigong, easy taiji, and calisthenics would all be safe and healing, IMO. I’m happy to hear you have an opportunity to help these folks who are so vulnerable and often neglected. Don’t forget to all take care of yourself.
  4. 8 points
    I try to approach this like silent thunder. When I encounter someone I find to be stuck, opinionated, fixed, unwilling to see an alternative perspective, I do my best to see how I may seem just like that to others, given any particular context or set of circumstances. Whatever view I hold, no matter how convinced I am of its veracity, is limited and relative. When I can see this directly, my irritation, frustration, or impatience towards the other person dissolves and some degree of understanding and compassion remain. Trying to see the other’s point of view, no matter how ridiculous or far-fetched, teaches me far more than simply dismissing them as fools and idiots. The US political landscape has helped me enormously in this regard. That said, it has also taught me to take the approach of not engaging, debating, or arguing, unless I am willing to pay the price. And to be clear, this is my intention, not something I have yet mastered.
  5. 8 points
    Going with the flow is a really tricky subject, IMO. Not-going with the flow requires judgments. Going with the flow is to assume that Life knows what it's doing. In my own particular set of events, realizing that I was an alcoholic was, for a time, the worst day of my life. And then, years later, I realized that it was actually the best day of my life. Conditions appearing as they are in this day and time is confounding, truly. So many seemingly bad actors in major roles. But they too are part of the Whole. But I think it's like the internet. We hear so many awful things that can happen through social media. And yet, look at us. We are a groundswell of like-minded people who are doing their best to uplift humanity - maybe not intentionally, but I think it works that way - and nobody ever hears of forums like this one. We just don't make the news because kindness and enlightened thought are apparently not newsworthy enough to sell papers. But that doesn't mean we're not there. And growing. I run into enlightened thinkers more and more often - granted, our perspective is at a level to recognize them. But even the crazy world events of today are just the top of the iceberg. What's happening below the water line are what's really going on, and who knows how all that's going to fall into place?
  6. 8 points
    "Going with the flow" is a good recommendation, but it has a built in error. It's not like floating down a river subject to the whims of the currents, it's more like a sailboat captain, where you pay attention to the flow, but you have sails and a rudder, so you can work with it to get to your destination. Paying attention to not just the flow of the water but also of the air and keeping an eye on the destination.
  7. 8 points
    All dharmic spiritual traditions are based on this. Take Buddhism for example. The Buddha didn’t set out to seek immortality or a rainbow body. His immediate concern was an explanation of why people suffer, and what the purpose of life was. And to find out how we can end the suffering. Hindu traditions consider the very cycle of birth and rebirth the greatest suffering. The nondual traditions seek to transcend this by ending the cycle (freedom), the dualistic traditions seek to transcend this by surrendering the little self to God. Wrt suffering itself, there can be multiple levels in which it can be looked at. For some, suffering entails some physiological disorder. For others it is grinding poverty. For yet others it is mental disorders. I’ll venture to say the greatest source of suffering in the modern world today is rampant materialism. I’m sure there tomes written on the nature of the modern society and it’s ills. So I’ll point only this one out. Materialism presupposes that happiness can be obtained by acquiring objects. Get the fancy car/house/partner/job etc etc (fill in the blanks here) and you will be happy. But it never ends. The acquiring becomes compulsive and we jump from momentary pleasure to momentary pleasure. Along with it comes the fear of loss and the aversion to it. Pleasure begets pain. Resistance to pain causes suffering. Really the materialistic outlook is a misplaced understanding of what happiness is, and therefore seeks it outside, in things. What is happening is that there is a primordial programming within us, which is supposed to get us to look inward, instead of being engrossed in the “world” and it’s objects. Suffering leads us towards this “inward looking”. More later....(if there’s interest).
  8. 8 points
    I heartily and happily announce and wholly, fully and unconditionally endorse this free event happening now. It's utterly free, (though you may be inclined to drop a few things at the door to gain full admittance, this however, will be entirely self determined). No requirements, cajoling, cowtowing or pressure will be applied. Event: Present Location: Omnipresent Cost: Free (though some conditions may apply) The invitation is only available now, but paradoxically it is also subsequently always available now as is the event. So won't you join us in the present moment? It's free, endlessly accessible and always open. We here in the present, look forward to your presence!
  9. 7 points
    I am still in the process of trusting my cynicism as accurate and accepting the speed with which I can often detect a hopeless case, a fool, someone who has a strong resistance to new insights and learning, who may not think what he says. I like to look at people's motivations, so that is what I usually see very early on, sometimes after one comment, sometimes after one sentence, sometimes after a couple of words. I came upon this picture and it expressed exactly that lesson in its most refined form - instant recognition, maximum avoidance of energy leeching: One of my teachers conveyed a lesson I still have trouble with due to its extremism, or maybe it was because he had so much energy that it was OK, or maybe he had it because he followed the rule: Send 10% energy out, keep 90% in. I guess the key understanding that helps to follow that rule is that the energy you keep in does not (have to) / should not just sit idly there.
  10. 7 points
    No one is an absolute fool really. Everyone is at varying levels of knowing. So “foolishness” or “intelligence” is a relative thing. It also varies from day to day. For example, on some days I feel really smart and others I feel really foolish. The feeling foolish bit usually goes hand in hand with whether I ended up succumbing to the propensity to do something compulsive. We can be compassionate towards someone who knows less. My teachers always did/do that with me.
  11. 7 points
    I use humor playfulness and absurdity to get a feel for the level of absolute certainty exhibited. Absolute certainty for me is a barometer for foolishness. They seem to have a direct proportional relationship... as one rises, so does the other. Then I remember that all of this is my own interpretations about them made by my mind, out of the partial information received from my senses, which reminds me that this renders almost all input utterly self projected assumptions based on subconscious behavioral conditioning models... then I throw the entire thing out and go about my day.
  12. 7 points
    It's because we were talking about the tardigrades. I think we got their attention. Little buggers!
  13. 7 points
    My perspective on meditation differs front freeform. Hard to know about Spotless as he hasn’t defined it clearly. With respect for others’ opinions, I’d like to offer my own. Meditation as I use the word is not the “absence of thought or any movement of mind.” Thoughts and movement of mind are a normal characteristic of the human condition and will be with us until death. Meditation is when thoughts and movement of the mind do not disturb the ability to rest in open presence, that very resting in fully open presence is meditation. Thoughts come and go and there is no one there to engage, follow, suppress, or elaborate. There are stages one can observe. At the stage of “meditation” as I suspect Spotless is using the label, thoughts and activity of mind are compared to snowflakes falling on the ocean. As soon as they arise, they dissolve with no effort whatsoever and the stability of the meditation is untouched. The stage before that is likened to sunshine melting frost, activity arises and the practitioner is aware and then rests in open awareness, permitting the activity to liberate. There is a very subtle doing there, I refer to it as effort. At earlier stages a variety of methods are used to liberate the activity but more effort is needed and until the effort is no longer needed, it is appropriate. All of this is meditation in my usage of the label. I respect others’ preferences to restrict the meaning of the word but I personally find it more supportive for beginning and intermediate practitioners to be more inclusive with the terminology. In the beginning it is useful to exert effort to quiet the mind in order to realize the mind’s nature, as opposed to what we usually experience which is its contents and activity. To have the expectation that all thought and movement of mind cease completely is an error in the view, in my opinion.
  14. 7 points
    In Temple style tai chi, we emphasize the Tai chi ball as a key component to the inner transformation and applications (martial, healing, inner-transformation). This is an excellent video by Sifu Mark Rasmus, whose system I find is the closest to Temple style that I've seen.
  15. 7 points
    Allow for your own experience to unfold naturally. Comparing experiences and having expections based on others can be a huge pitfall and can hold you back from natural progression.
  16. 7 points
    @Jeff once told me a very valuable thing. Don’t just connect to the light, be the light
  17. 7 points
    These texts said 'you're enlightened, you just don't realise it'? Must've missed that bit. Quite right - practice is about creating the correct conditions for things to arise of their own accord. This is a most important point and is at the root of all genuine internal arts. And creating the conditions is a long laborious process. Without practice, you're not going to get enlightened. 'Awakened' is a different matter - you can get self-awakening and it can happen spontaneously. Enlightenment, however, takes quite specific causes to be in place.
  18. 6 points
    Walker, a member of this forum , once posted a post about this important poetry left behind by Immortal Lu of the Tang Dynasty , but it was in Chinese, without any translation, so I try to make a translation of it here : 養氣忘言守,降心為不為。 動靜知宗祖,無事更尋誰。 真常須應物,應物要不迷。 不迷性自住,性住氣自回。 氣回丹自結,壺中配坎離。 陰陽生返复,普化一聲雷。 白雲朝頂上,甘露灑須彌。 自飲長生酒,逍遙誰得知。 坐聽無弦曲,明通造化機。 都來二十句,端的上天梯 ( My translation ) Nourish your qi by paying attention to nowhere, empty your mind through not expecting anything more * . No matter you are in action or stay at rest, you let the real-Self, consolidated by the primordial qi, take charge ; free and at ease , you find no necessity to search anything or anyone who claims greater # . The free and real Self needs to trains itself in daily challenges ; it is through cultivating itself in the world that it becomes free of worries and doubts . Once not lost and not entangled by fakes in this world , the Spiritual Nature of us will return ; once it returned and stayed, the primordial qi also comes. With the primordial qi returned, the gold dan starts to form, making Kan and Li ** mixed together . In such a mixture, a higher level of intercourse between yin and yang arises and reverses , producing something like a thunder thudded. With clouds rising up to the sky, turned into holy rains and fell back to the mountains, Taoist dan is consolidated ^ . It is like drinking some wine of immortality, a feeling of coziness hardly others ever tasted . It is like sitting there listening to a string-less musical instrument played by the nature, you know you have got the secret of it . With these phases , you are led climbing up the ladder towards the Heaven with faith . Notes: * You can't attain an emptied Mind through an intention to empty it for what you do is adding an extra mind to it. The more you want to empty your mind, the more you add minds to it, so never can you succeed. # No search is the real search ; there is no need to cultivate Tao, no cultivation is the real cultivation (" 道不用修, 可修者非道也" ) ** Kan is said to be something yang enveloped by yin, located somewhere in between our kidneys; Li is said to be something yin enveloped by yang , located somewhere inside our skull. The return of the primordial qi ( pre-heavenly qi ) makes their intercourse possible, and the jump from post-heavenly level to pre-heavenly level realized. ^ Dan , in fact, is something a result of the intercourse between the sky and the land ;
  19. 6 points
    Practice with trees is a big part of many northern Daoist lineages including Longmen. It’s a good practice. You don’t want to give much direction to the Qi with the mind. Obviously things will move much more powerfully once you’ve built the foundation. But the idea is to connect with the tree and then let it lead... sometimes it will give you ‘energy’ (particularly at night) and a lot of the time it will take your pathogenic Qi and transform it... But there’s not much for you to do other than engage your ‘insides’ and then create the connection - the tree will do the rest... Once the foundations are mostly built, this is not a subtle experience in the least!
  20. 6 points
    Sure ok. I won’t lecture you about needing to find teachers. I also began my journey adamant that I don’t need or want a teacher - and I did manage to make some progress without. So yes it’s possible. (But then I found lots of teachers 😄) If your aim in the internal arts is beyond the basic de-stress and relax thing, then you need to start with reasonably good health - both physical and mental... If these are not generally fine, then you need to fix them - the internal arts at this level won’t heal you in that way... Once your health is reasonably fine, the main premise is don’t trust your mind As you probably know, we need to work with your Qi and the channels of the body. But the way we get to them is through focus on the body first - you don't start out trying to feel your your Qi or direct it with your mind. This mental control of Qi creates all the dangers - Qi reversals, heat in the head, poison fire tainting heart, steaming bones etc etc... One of my teachers in Malaysia specialised in treating people with Qigong sickness - it’s quite common when not following a proper method. The first step is to prepare your body... this means 1) loosen tension, 2) increase flexibility, 3) build strength... This involves stretching and mobility exercises and a lot of bodyweight strength training - focusing particularly on legs and core - nothing extreme like muscle ups or heavy weights though, as this will slow your progress in Qigong. The second step (and this is generally done concurrently) is to start to get into your ‘inner body’... This is basically accessing the various tissues that we’re not used to using - the little stabilising muscles, the deep core muscles, the sinews and tendons and the fascia matrix. You do this by standing (a lot) and repeating the foundational Qi Gong movements of your system (a lot)... And developing Sung (active release) and Ting (inner listening). At first you’ll get hints that there’s something more than the basic muscles we all know about - you’ll feel aches and pains in places you’ve never felt before, you’ll feel weird stretchy connections between parts of your body that you’ve never felt before etc. It takes a long time (3 to 5 years), but eventually your entire body will feel connected. It feels like your insides are all rubbery and connected in stretched way - a slight change in pressure of your foot will send your arms up... a slight stretch in your palm will be felt throughout your body. It feels like wearing one of those wetsuits... but interweaved through your muscles under your skin. When you have this sort of body, you’ll get into your standing posture and it will feel like sitting into a nice stretchy hammock or trampoline - quite comfortable... When you do your moving forms, it’s not the ordinary muscles that move you, but these stretchy connections. Often it feels as if the movements are happening by themselves. Ever do this thing as a kid - where you stand with your arms by your sides and your friend holds them there as you try to push out... then your friend suddenly lets go, and your arms just lift and float up by themselves... all your Qigong movements will start to feel like that. (This is just a stage, you actually need to relax and drop more weight into this floating - then things start getting painful - but that’s some way off!) This is ‘the Qigong body’... this is the foundation you need to move on to anything else. But why? Your standing and moving practices will have connected your body in a very particular way. The Qi of your body run through these tissues. It means that you’ve built the physical riverbed of your channels for the Qi to move through in a particular way. Now you don’t need to direct Qi with your mind - because its path and direction is already physically built into your body... it will naturally flow where it needs to without any mental effort. Remember - we can’t trust the mind Another aspect... if you think of an old style lightbulb, the light is created by running electricity through a metal filament... when you build this body, you’re actually building thicker, denser filaments through your body - meaning you can transmit a far greater current. If the filament is too thin or the current too strong - what happens? The filament pops and the light goes out As well as this you’ll need to build your Dantien (this starts concurrently to building the body)... this creates the vessel or container for generating, holding and moving very strong currents of Qi. And that’s basically the foundation - although obviously there’s a lot more - like harmonising your organs, clearing out blockages, sinking Qi etc etc. To summarise - 1) open and strengthen your body physically 2) find your ‘internal body’ 3) build a fully connected, elastic Qigong body 4) build a Dantien. So bearing in mind that this is missing a ton of stuff, and written very crudely... but I hope it helps to explain what authentic Qigong does to set up the foundations for further development like actually going through the Jing-Qi-Shen conversion process and so on. Happy to answer questions.
  21. 6 points
    couldn't see this mentioned so thought id give a heads up if anyone's interested http://www.lulu.com/shop/liping-wang-and-mark-bartosh/daoist-internal-mastery/paperback/product-24072579.html
  22. 6 points
    Previously I said I would put the chinese in a spoiler but seems too difficult when it is attached to linnell's text.. so will show him first. See ctext.org for alternate chinese text (https://ctext.org/guanzi/nei-ye) Notes: 凡 - Always. See Ctext as this is used throughout the text but many don't translate it 精 - Jing. Later explained as above Qi 物 - Wu. things. matter. If one knows Wan Wu, is the ten thousand things. 為 - Wei. Do. Some may know this in compound with Wu Wei. 下 - Xia. Below reference to earth 生 - Sheng. Born, beget, product. Look at LZ 25. 上 - Xia. Above, reference to heaven 天 地 之 間 - Gate/passage of heaven and earth 鬼 神 - ghosts & spirits 中 - Center, inner, central, inside, innermost 聖 人 -Sages Section 1 Linnell: 凡 物 之 精 Always : the essence of creatures – 此 則 為 生 This then makes them live. 下 生 五 穀 Below, it gives birth to the five grains; 上 為 列 星 Above, it acts to arrange the stars. 流 於 天 地 之 間 When it flows in the space between heaven and earth 謂 之 鬼 神 We call them ghosts and spirits. 藏 於 胸 中 When it collects in the center of the breast of people, 謂 之 聖 人 We call them sages. Eno: It is the essence of things that gives life to them. Below, it gives birth to the five grains; above, it is the ranks of stars. Flowing between heaven and earth: we call these ghosts and spirits. Stored within the breast: we call these sages. Roth: 1. The vital essence of all things: 2. It is this that brings them to life. 3. It generates the five grains below 4. And becomes the constellated stars above. 5. When flowing amid the heavens and the earth 6. We call it ghostly and numinous. 7. When stored within the chests of human beings, 8. We call them sages. Shazi Daoren: The Essence of all things, thru transformation creates life. Below, it brings to life the five grains, above, it aligns the stars. When flowing among the heaven and earth, we call this the 'spiritual being'. When stored up in the center of the bosom, we call this the Sage. Yueya: The vital essence of all things, It is this that brings them to life. It generates the five grains below; It becomes the arrayed stars above. When flowing amid the heavens and earth, We call it ghostly and numinous. When stored within the chests of humans, We call such beings sages.
  23. 6 points
    I am sorry, but no on such rites. Most of such connections are subconscious and things like cord cutting are not really cutting a connection, but more like trying to build a mental wall around it. Such things usually become very unstable and breakdown. It is always hard, but the most powerful technique is simply forgiving yourself and the other person. Give it time and let it go.
  24. 6 points
    The Buddha was part of the shramana tradition in the Eastern Gangetic region of North India (along with Jains and Ajivekas etc). It seems he achieved awakening after trying the various extant schools of the time including Samkhya and so on - but he rejected these approaches and achieved his enlightenment alone under the bodhi tree on the basis of his own insight into the nature of reality. At first he thought his realisation impossible to communicate in words but on being exhorted to teach began with the Four Noble Truths - which I guess could be considered to be the beginning of Buddhism - but of course they wouldn't have called it Buddhism but Dharma a term held in common with the Sanskrit based cultures of Northern India. No he didn't write anything. He lived in pre-literate times in India. His teachings were first written down in the 1st Century BC as the Pali Canon (as well as other collections) based on oral transmission to that date. So this is 200 - 300 years after his paranirvana. They are considered by many to be authentic and extensive - but I would say they are inevitably selective towards the prevailing form of Buddhism at that time which was scholastic monasticism. It depends on your point of view. There is a significant difference between the Pali Canon and Mahayana sutras - not just in content and emphasis but also in the way they were supposed to be used. Sravaka sutras are meant for listeners - while mahayana sutras are more participatory and were transmitted from the 'holder' to the audience. They are not necessarily deeper but perhaps more aimed at a different mind-set - one motivated by faith and energy rather than rational analysis. The earliest mahayana sutras were written down more or less at the same time as the other sutras - and originally there were both mahayana and hinayana practioners side by side in the same monasteries - so the historical development of one from the other is a myth. I think the Buddha was making the point that as a teacher of non-dualism that quite a lot of what he said is provisional - or skillfull means - but has been taken as absolute truth by some who followed him. He taught in 84,000 ways (a number which can be taken to mean infinite) because he addressed the needs of his audiences - as these varied - also the Truth = Dharma is not directly expressible in words - so spontaneously in the moment what can 'work' in one case is not always appropriate.
  25. 6 points
    There are several chinese editions with the texts that summarise WLP's teaching over the years, a so called 'Blue Book'. "Ling Bao Tong Zhi Neng Nei Gong Shu" as translated by Richard Liao is a translation of the first edition of that Chinese book. The 'Daoist Internal Mastery' is a translation of the second edition of the Blue Book which has a lot more chinese characters inside so to speak. You might have noticed that the 'Daoist Internal Mastery' was edited by Livia Kohn which adds to the better translation to English. There is quite a number of practices in the book that outlined in a way that readers can start practising them from the book, for instance daoist walking, sleeping practice, some more. But to practice the core teaching students will need to attend WLP's retreats to understand how the practices are built.
  26. 6 points
    It seems a fundamental aspect of our consciousness, to perceive the universe as at its core, inherently friendly and cooperative, or hostile and predatory. Some say it's our fundamental choice for how we relate to life. Einstein was one of them. "The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe." he's quoted as saying. If you've spent time around infants and very young babies/pre-toddlers. It seems to be deeper than choice to me. There are babies in two basic camps, those that innately lean in and reach out to the new and strange and those who flinch, pull back and withdraw from the unfamiliar. This seems to be the impetus to me for our deepest notions of the nature of the universe, or our place in the dance of maya. Choice or not aside, it's intriguing to observe my self reactions to life in light of this question and gain a glimpse into some aspects of my deep-seeded behavior patterns and approaches to life.
  27. 6 points
    Do others here see the "door of the mind" as the heart? And what do you (anyone who cares to reply) believe this would indicate in regards to us soo often looking to thoughts when considering the word "mind" as set forth in a spiritual context?
  28. 6 points
    Nice to read different perspectives from everyone. Thank you.
  29. 6 points
    Clearly they return so you can rest easy...
  30. 6 points
    Exploring Fisher Basin in the North Cascades Wilderness.
  31. 6 points
    Once this reeeeally old Taoist, who must have been way over 100, and who I deem to have been an immortal, told me: The universe is kind to those who truly wish the best for others.
  32. 6 points
    I have spoken to cats in perfect English. Cats and horses are among the easiest to communicate with. Most communication is quite simple and direct. Dogs are easy and birds are fast and fun - squirrels are often very open. Everything is alive - absolutely everything. This attitude will help to understand this awareness. Awareness in a 20 million year old rock May be different than a cars or a rug or a bug - but each has awareness. Humans tend to be loud and in want of something - our energy is often oppressive and bossy. We are extremely well exercised in willfulness and me-ness. And we approach communicating with Other as though they are lower - or Angels and Higher Beings. Very few exercise neutrality - Very Few even comprehend the idea of neutrality.
  33. 6 points
    There is an Inherent void within us that makes us seek fulfillment. That is the way out of duality and into liberation. But the nature of the mind is such that it is constantly seeking outward. In order to know, it separates into self and other, subject and it’s objects. Why this happens is a mystery and cannot be answered to everyone’s satisfaction. If you can agree with me that this phenomenon occurs, then the next step works as follows. The mind seeks fulfillment in things. In a materialistic world, the primary outcome is to seek it in objects. Hence the chain reaction of wants, desires, acquisition of objects, eventual disenchantment from what already is ours, and the attraction for what is not. That void in us, is really amnesia of our true nature. Most people don’t even know that. They spend lifetimes chasing after figments of their minds. Yet, the permanent fulfillment is always with our reach. Why? Because the solution to that void is our Self knowledge. For some, the process of remaining dissatisfied becomes so overwhelmingly painful, that an escape is sought after. That is the beginning of seeking. To start looking within again, to try and find something that will last. Then they start meditating, mind-body exercises etc. Only to find that nothing lasts forever. Even peak/mystical experiences! More later...
  34. 6 points
    What a wonderful discussion. If we have reached a place of "enlightenment', for want of a better term, then our self has been infused with love. If we have aligned with the eternal and stay in the consciousness, then the unifying thread of all phenomena is love, even if it appears to be opposite. To go with the flow is to merely enable the love to manifest, without getting in the way. Because The Intelligence will always win out, sooner or later we learn that doing it our way will often just impede our growth. With love as the guiding light, one can't go wrong. We will be given Understanding.
  35. 6 points
    I don't believe it in the way it has been laid out. We'll start with this: No. A man does not have to be provider. If this dynamic is chosen in a relationship (working provider male/stay at home housekeeping, perhaps child rearing female) it is a mutual agreement. If this is not amenable to you, then don't enter into such an agreement or relationship. Regarding this arrangement some women thrive in such conditions, and some women slowly die inside. And what plays out from this is exceptionally personal in regard to both the relationship and individuals involved.
  36. 6 points
    my wife asked me once if I ever had sex behind her back so I said to her who did you think it was? If reading some slanted view of psychologist makes you sick to your stomach one should realize that what is being said is poison The true master is oneself do not seek truth from outside of yourself. Then one can heal from the poison administered from social mental illness. My challenge is to debunk all that information and have great relationships with women for the rest of your life. This includes all non sexual relationships as well. I have found that women are the greatest gift in life. As far as respect goes if we do not respect ourselves the good and the bad then respecting others is impossible and leads to bad relationships with all things
  37. 6 points
    That diagram doesn't really do anything for me, possibly it would help if all the words were in English. I think sincerity is an essential necessary ingredient for a person to have in order to experience enlightenment. I call it ruthless self honesty (or ruthless honesty applied to all, but the other guys don't want to hear about it.) Sincerity, ruthless self honesty, a pure heart, all required. For me enlightenment is the initial experience and the wisdom is only a possible by product of this sincerity and honesty. I'm not so sure about avoiding reincarnation. The spirit realm where you have no body may be boring as hell, just blissed out like a heroin high. Not that I've taken heroin, but I've done a codeine high and I can imagine what heroin is like. Maybe it's better to maintain your 'self' awareness in the spirit realm and then chose how to reincarnate. There's much to do here to try to save the environment from being destroyed by human overpopulation, so the big question is, what's the best way to do it? (Note: answer is hidden in question)
  38. 6 points
    Whew! So glad the damage is material and you were not harmed.
  39. 6 points
    Sheng Ren A Sheng Ren is a ‘sage’ said to be awakened (Wu). What this means is that they’ve fully experienced the Devine light of her Yuan Shen. Yuan Shen is the congenital ‘light’ of your true being. The experience is often a bright white light that feels almost too bright and dissolves everything that is not the true you. The experience is very transformative - life is never the same again because you have a deep realisation of your true nature beyond your Acquired Mind. This is awakening to the true nature of Self. Zhen Ren A Zhen Ren is a ‘true person’. They have not only experienced the light of Yuan Shen, but over time, through practice, allowed it to completely dissolve their Acquired Mind. The light of Yuan Shen is constantly present in every moment. As a result a Zhen Ren lives and acts purely from the perspective of Yuan Shen continually. They become a pure physical manifestation of Yuan Shen. A Zhen Ren has fully transformed their emotions into fully benevolent virtues - they have no attachments, ‘reactions’ or even a personality (unless they decide to take one on). They are beyond saints, closer to being a devine deity on earth. Their awareness is omnipresent and they have access to all knowledge (literally). Xian A Xian in an immortal (there are many different ‘sub-types’). I won’t go into this too much (not something I know much about). Basically they are able to not die if they wish. They can also dissolve their physical body into pure light and exist in the spiritual realm if they choose.
  40. 6 points
    A friend just sent this to me - he's a bit of a master on the string bass, and a Daoist. My friend didn't like this performance much, I think it's brilliant. Whatever, it's certainly worthy of comment. Country Music joins up with Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Qigong. A yin-yang cowboy and his crew create a new East West fusion: Singing and guitars to help Part The Wild Horse's Mane. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csSqgqzv1Zw&fbclid=IwAR2Qn0B1YBc7DTWsIF2LV6Y8JjVUeiSgVs00jDIGey5geKLn5A37bwybQsA Any opinions?
  41. 6 points
    The Dao of Dad While any fertile man can potentially father a child... not everyone is capable of being a Dad. A thread to share about your Father, or your Dad. A place to honor, or vent... and not be shamed. Share or not, it's up to you. Here are my two experiences with Fathers... as antipodal as they come. I really won the lottery when it came to my Father... my Dad. Out of 6 billion people (when I was born), I got Spencer Brian for a Father. Invaluable beyond imagining the gift of having this man as my Dad. His intelligence and fiercely keen intellect were only outmatched by his humor and his love of nature. He nurtured exploration. He cultivated critical thinking in the way he phrased open questions that prodded one to explore and come to one's own conclusions and was reticent to ever offer outright answers. He encouraged participation in life full throttle. Really live, right or wrong, be there. Participate! He was a fierce materialist and often gave me skads of shit for my energetic perceptions and woo woo ways. God how I miss that! But in all my time with him... no matter how fundamentally we disagreed on something, even when he was picking me up at the police station... not only did my Dad never hit me, he never spoke unkindly to me. Never once did he put me down, assault me with his assumptions, or chastise me. He had no need to. He was comfortable with who he was and he accepted I was not him. So we could meet and overlap or not overlap as was authentic to our nature. He had no compunctions about calling out dangerous or dumbass behavior. But never once in the midst of said chastising did I for a moment feel that he rejected me, or didn't love me, or nurture me that I might thrive. When he passed... and every. single. day. since. I am overwhelmed by gratitude that out of this 14 billion year spinning universe, I had the chance and unbelievable fortune to meet and spend time with that man, let alone have him for a Father. Truly, what greater gift is there? Did I earn this? no. It's just how things were for me. That's my experience with fatherhood. My other intimate experience of a father is the antipodal extreme of my own and is my experience with the man who fathered (and tortured) my wife throughout her childhood. My wife had the opposite experience of fatherhood. The man who fathered her, is a tyrant and a bully. He manipulated oversaw ever miuntea (including how many pieces of tp she could wipe her ass with) her entire life to the age of 19 when she escaped his influence of violence, threat and terror and moved in with me. Her father operates from an assumption of absolute Naive Realism wherein, he assumes he sees the world the way it really is and if you don't agree with his take on things, you are wrong. end of story. He operates with the entire world on the three levels of truth. He respects force and obedience above all other attributes. Loving, nurturing, compassion, understanding, empathy, sympathy are all weaknesses to be driven relentlessly from their host as if a disease. He operates on the three levels of truth. he knows the truth and he explains the truth to you fairly, calmly and openly, because he knows the truth and you must as well. if you don't agree can't understand the truth after he has calmly shown you what it is, he then begins shouting and yells the truth at you, in an effort to intimidate you into following the truth even if you don't 'get it'. finally, if these two don't work, he then feels obligated to beat the truth into you, for your own good. To not do this by his own admission, is a dereliction of his duty as one who knows the truth. repeat 2 and 3 as needed. Did she earn this? No. It's just how things were for her. I'm reminded of the impact the following exchange had on me when I heard it and when I recall it now. Having come from a home with such a father as I had, realizing how different it was for others is traumatizing in itself, particularly when it's someone we admire, love and respect. It's from the 1989 movie Parenthood and is a very brief exchange between Diane Weist who plays Helen and Keanu Reeves who plays Todd Higgins. The writing is keen and insightful in the extreme for me. It goes like this: In the kitchen Helen addressing a concern over her son. Helen: I guess a boy Gary's age really needs a man around. Todd: Yea, well... mmm... depends on the man. I had a man around. He used to wake me up in the morning by flicking lit cigarettes at my head. "hey asshole, get up and make me breakfast!". You know, Mrs. buckman, you need a license to buy a dog. You need a license to drive a car. Hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father. here's the scene itself Then there's the Father that I am now, my son is 13. That book is being written...
  42. 6 points
    Everyday, I notice I become more like my dad... It's annoying
  43. 6 points
    After my dad killed himself, I hugged my mom tight and told her that we were free. He would never again yell at us. My emotions during those few days leading up to his funeral are a jumble, but one of them was definitely relief. I think dad suspected that we would be better off without him and shot himself as a kind of twisted kindness. Since his death, I´ve been able to be my authentic self in ways I´m not sure I could have if he was alive. It´s not enough, however, to end the story of our relationship on a resoundingly sour note. I believe one of the developmental tasks of adulthood is to see our parents in a nuanced way, not merely as good or bad people but as complicated mixed bags. My dad wanted great things for his family. He moved us out of LA to rural northern California so we could live the idyllic farm life he thought we´d want. He signed us up for 4-H and helped us raise cows and pigs to auction off at the county fair. We had chickens and ducks and geese. We were living the dream, and it was a good dream, just not one I shared. Some father´s get outgoing sons who date girls and play football. If I´d of been that kid, maybe my dad and I would of been friends.
  44. 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
  45. 5 points
    Socrates said something along the lines of wisdom being knowing that you don't know many things. So I think it follows that as we become more and more wise, we can end up feeling more and more foolish about ourselves. Regarding others - the more foolish, the more dangerous they can be. So, it's wise to know who they are and not be destroyed by them. Some quick insights into a fool versus a wise person, in light of the tarot, for fun...not all there is to be said about it, and it may contradict some other interpretations of it... The fool turns away from the light. His head is high, assured of what he thinks is his wisdom (which is in fact just cleverness and stupidity), unaware of the truth. He isn't careful to support himself with his staff, so his footing on the ground of reality is unstable due to his own lack of precaution. His focus is on the external appearances of things, rather than the true reality of things, given his clothing. The dangerous nature of his foolishness is represented by the fact that he's about to walk off of the cliff. Not only is he about to become dangerous to himself, but the most loyal "man's best friend", who looks up to him, is about to go off the cliff as well - showing what happens to someone that's a good friend to others, who underestimates the dangerous nature of the fool. The white rose has a fragrance, which the fool has just smelled, representing "the finer things in life"...the fool thinks it's better to appease themselves with delights, than to truly be wise which is often the opposite of delightful. The hermit, or wise person, holds fast to the light. They have become aware of the darkness in the world, so in a sense, life isn't as bright and cheerful as it once when they were an ignorant fool. They have an aged appearance compared to the youthful fool, which means they've lived through things and learned. Their clothing isn't indicative of being focused on false appearances. With their staff, they support their footing in life, and instead of being about to walk off of a cliff, they have mastered the earth (become aware of reality) and stand safely upon the ground...which might even be the peak of a mountain, further indicating their mastery of reality, through being aware of truth. His head is low, knowing the cold and dark truth, as well as recognizing his own inadequacies fully, as opposed to being overconfident...in addition, the head bowed in prayer represents the inner light of wisdom and compassion, which he shines out into the world.
  46. 5 points
    Such an important question for practitioners! In my experience, the heart is more the door to the mind’s essence whereas the head and brain are more related to its activity and contents, if that makes any sense. Thoughts are indeed mind, as opposed openness, presence, and warmth, which is its essence. My relationship to heart and mind continues to evolve and refine. I have found the best way forward in this arena is simply trusting and engaging in practice, knowing that it will work and ultimate bring us to clear understanding. If comfortable, prayer is also very valuable. Engaging the conceptual mind obstructs openness and clarity.
  47. 5 points
    I have great passion for this thread silent thunder by trade I am a chef and own a natural organic food market and restaurant. this is a plate of mine that could be considered food porn.
  48. 5 points
    I believe in time. Why else would I collect wrist watches? every now and then a watch stops. and I've captures time, itself, forever. .
  49. 5 points
    I find it amusing how we have the preconception that a Master must be a “saint”. Even after enlightenment, certain personality traits will remain. Otherwise, the personality would become extremely boring
  50. 5 points
    Yes and no. He modified the practices for the people and the times. Paramahamsa Hariharananda modified them also. Each teacher does does based on their realization. The 1920’s are close to 100 years ago now I am certain things were different when the master was present. Still SRF serves a purpose there are many worldwide who need that particular approach to spirituality. Those that do not go elsewhere and learn Kriya. Lesson here: Even bad advertisement is better than no advertisement. Let seekers find and go to what calls to them a few missteps along the way are good for people too. I think people have the wrong idea of what purification is. Purification can be exceedingly painful emotionally, mentally and as you change from it so too changes your world view. Kriya also accelerates your Karma and that of those around you by it’s purifying effects. This is why there are controlled environments like ashrams. This is also why as a householder practice swift advancement can be made but you have to keep your act together also. Shibendu is Shibendu he is not a phony wearing white robes and sporting a Moses look like some frauds do. The best way to describe him are with the following words: Mercurial Boisterous Joyfull Spontaneous Sincere in one to one teachings. Different teachers have different personalities and what you get in a crowd is different than 1 on 1. Please don’t think I did not know what I asked had the potential to piss him off, I knew it might and did so anyway. We had some big egos in that room even bigger than mine. It was a nice shake up. Shibendu was a very good teacher to me in private but most who go to him are not ready so they get a version of him that is worn out with people. If you ever find a perfect teacher RUN!!!!don’t walk run. They all have their own distinct personality, they all are communicating through their unique ego tool so others can get what they have to give. Make no Mistake Shibendu does know but rarely do people get the opportunity to be with him in private. For some reason he liked me and we hit it off from the start so I am happy to have learned from him and enjoyed our time in private but do not recommend him without warning. He is too rough for many and he no longer visits the United States.. Part If the problem with Kriya advertisement is people believe by the practices you get overnight change from asshole to saint. This is not the case you will change inside more swiftly and the outer habitations of speech and behavior take longer to catch up. Despite tall words Kriya is not a cure for being an asshole you have to change that yourself but it does help😁