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Showing most thanked content since 07/01/2020 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    Classical texts are extremely tricky. Context is everything. And there are multiple layers of context... For example in a traditional lineage you'd be presented with texts and their various layers of meaning as you progress... a text designed for the later stages, for example, will often contradict a text designed for earlier stages (just as a physics textbook for doctoral studies will often contradict a physics textbook at highschool level)... Sometimes a text will have an outer layer of understanding - and once you've achieved the process described, further study will reveal a deeper layer... Similarly, some practices in the classics are designed for renunciates - monks or those on long term solitary retreat - and would cause a huge host of problems for practitioners with bosses to please, school runs to do and taxes to pay. Another problem is when translators/commentators think - 'oh this sounds a lot like xxxx from another tradition'... Also the texts generally don't describe practices - they usually describe the correct qualities that must be present ('calm unwavering focus' is just three words - but constitutes probably at least 5yrs worth of various practices to achieve) And they describe confirmatory sings (and often errors and pitfalls)... Usually, modern commentators confuse the confirmatory signs (eg seeing a bright light shining at you from in front of your forehead) and assume it is an instruction (imagine a light in front of your forehead). And so simply going by the classics, it's almost impossible to make any real progress.
  2. 6 points
    ‘Don’t exist’ and ‘do exist’ are not the only choices When you go to create a new field for your crops you first find a fertile spot - where the soils are naturally deep and rich - but not so deep to be wet and boggy... this is very much like the lower Dantien of an untrained person. The next step is to cultivate that land - clear the stones, pull the weeds get things flat and even. This is the ‘Tien’ part of Dantien - meaning field. This is the LDT of a trained person. The step after that is growing the plants - watering, weeding, managing the winds, rains and sunlight until the plant produces a seed - this seed is the ‘Dan’ part of the Dantien - the elixir. This is when you have the true Dantien. Although we usually refer to the area at all three stages of development as the Dantien.
  3. 6 points
    It sounds to me like your Qi is rising - meaning you haven’t managed to sink Qi yet. Unfortunately in these arts ‘feeling stuff’ is not necessarily a good sign - it’s a lot more complicated than that. I mean it’s good that you’ve managed to mobilise Qi - but you’ve jumped ahead before building the foundation. Learning to sink your Qi should be the foundation of your practice - after which you should be consolidating your Dantien - otherwise ‘you’re just heating the room’ as one of my old teachers would say... and you’re burning up essence to do that. Go back to the wuji posture of your particular style and learn to sink your Qi, otherwise you’re heading for more serious errors down the line.
  4. 6 points
    If we thought covid-19 dominated the first half of the year with its 20,000 new cases a day in the US, Consider that the second half of the year is starting off approaching 50,000 new cases a day. I went out and got me a good supply of vitamin d from Helios, And I'm noticing good effects from my steady consumption of aloe vera juice. I woke up this morning feeling like a new man.
  5. 5 points
    Obviously good and evil are very black and white and overly simplistic. But yes. It’s certainly possible for malevolent people to build great internal power. But that’s not the only issue... There’s this Nietzschean idea that most of our morality is based on fear. Most people think they’re good - but they’re only really ‘good’ because of social pressure - because they’ve never been in a position where their real internal moral compass is tested. We’re just afraid of doing ‘bad’ because we’ll be punished (by God, but ones parents, by the law/police)... And in that way you can’t know whether you’re a virtuous person. We only do ‘good’ because most of everything in our society nudges is in that direction. So in this way sometimes when a person gains some freedom and power through internal practice, they discover all these subtle very selfish (if not malevolent) aspects within themselves... and if your path doesn’t teach you how to transform your nature - or at least abide strictly by a moral code - then it’s possible to let these malevolent, selfish aspects run the show... And so in this way internal practice can actually produce a malevolent action...
  6. 5 points
  7. 5 points
    You know what, I need to cool down. I am acting like a jerk. I apologize to you moment.
  8. 4 points
  9. 4 points
    Again a complete dumbing down and oversimplification. Nei Dan requires both effort (setting of the conditions/causes) and no effort (the spontaneous arising of the effect/result). You won't get anywhere with no-effort - and you won't get far with only effort. Then there is the same thing on a sort of holographic micro-scale where even within effort there is no effort... as a very basic example, you bend the knees not by 'doing the action' of bending the knees but by letting go anything that keeps your knees straight... But this post isn't about the 'how'. This is 'the great work' - and obviously I'm going to hugely oversimplify things - and leave out a ton of processes and nuances. This is just to give an overview of alchemical practice from a traditional 'classical' perspective. This is how Nei Dan masters that have any real attainment do it. To understand Nei Dan, I personally found it important to understand the difference between alchemy and other approaches. Alchemy is an art of transformation. But people don't necessarily quite appreciate what transformation entails... or how literal it is... there's a world of difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly - they are fundamentally different (have a look at Silent Thunder's thread on the subject). That's the nature of transformation. Transformation is permanent. And it's a full transformation at every level of one's being - physical, energetic and spiritual. Many other approaches - or at least the approaches that are available to people are more to do with experience... for instance, one is to experience pure non-subject-object consciousness then try to experience it for longer and longer. This might work in a monastic setting... and might be quite helpful in many ways... but it's fundamentally different to how Nei Dan works. Alchemy works on the premise that everything - every physical 'thing' and every state of consciousness has an underlying energetic 'substance' to it. The alchemical method is gathering these substances and working with them in a specific way to achieve permanent transformation. It's a huge endeavour - just 'accessing' the primordial states of consciousness is beyond most people... let alone penetrating the state to touch on the substance behind it... and then having the capacity to bring this primordial substance back and condense it... It's not an easy task Jing, Qi and Shen are the first substances one works with... These are replenished, regulated, and refined to a high level. This is the work of 'laying the foundation'. This is the stage where one transforms the functioning of one's body and consciousness to a very high level... Yes - the various orbits will have opened... in fact all the channels will be fully open... Much of one's karmic seeds would have been 'burned away' through the foundational alchemical processes. One would have achieved and would be regularly swallowing the 'jade fluid' that floods the mouth from the upper dantien. This is the stage where health and vitality are developed and revitalised to the state of a child. Which doesn't mean acting goofy and childish... it's replenishing jing and qi to the extent that one's body becomes more like a child's... I always admire how my friend's 2yr old can sit completely relaxed, yet fully upright with perfect posture... how he can seem so delicate, yet demonstrate so much strength and resilience... How his body has this layer of puffiness which is the overabundance of qi filling all the spaces in the soft tissues of the body... How he's able to learn incredibly complex things with no effort etc... This is what is meant by returning to a child-like state. There's also specific training to develop correct mental qualities and levels of meditative absorption - like the various levels of samadhi and Jhanna in Buddhism. The various meditative practices (like Xin Zhai and Zuowang) would need to be at least close to mastery - so that one's heart-mind is completely still, and simply sitting and closing one's eyes you enter a samadhi state... even with eyes open one's mind should be largely quiet and still - no internal dialogue or unintended movement of mind. The difference between being asleep and awake is only very slight. This is all just preparation - setting up the conditions for the development of the alchemical agents. The Dan - the golden elixir pill is made of the condensed 'substances' of one's congenital, primordial nature... Often when people have an awakening, as their 'self' dissolves, they will see a very bright light... this is the light of the Yuan Shen... This experience in itself is quite transformational... Being able to stay in this light gives rise to various levels of direct insight... this is a similar state to the Jhanna absorption in Buddhist traditions... Some call this awakening... some call this enlightenment (it's not!). What the alchemist has to do is enter this state until they are able to touch on the underlying substance of it... It's like plucking the pure essence of this state from the primordial and then bring it back and compressing it into a pearl... This is one of the 'ingredients' of the elixir pill... At a birds-eye view, internal alchemy uses the underlying substances of Xing, Ming and the 'original breath' - which is that which gives 'life' to you before you're physically born. These substances are brought together and fused into the elixir pill... (then after the pill is formed one gestates it to form the golden embryo - but that's another story ) Each stage can be many years worth of full-time disciplined practice in retreat. Very few people have managed to achieve this process. And yet I keep seeing 'weekend alchemy retreats' where people simply imagine coloured balls
  10. 4 points
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. -Martin Luther King Jr
  11. 4 points
    In 2008 a group of historians from the UK were commissioned to unearth the oldest joke ever written down. The study was led by humor expert Dr Paul McDonald from the University of Wolverhampton. Ancient Greece, 300-400 AD. An ancient "your mom" joke, Ancient Rome, between 63 BC to 14 AD. "The Emperor Augustus was touring the Empire, when he noticed a man in the crowd who bore a striking resemblance to himself."Intrigued he asked: 'Was your mother at one time in service at the Palace?' "'No your Highness,' he replied, 'but my father was. This one from Sumeria in 1200 BC, is a brainteaser. --"Three ox drivers from Adab were thirsty: one owned the ox, the other owned the cow and the other owned the wagon's load. "The owner of the ox refused to get water because he feared his ox would be eaten by a lion; the owner of the cow refused because he thought his cow might wander off into the desert; the owner of the wagon refused because he feared his load would be stolen."So they all went."In their absence the ox made love to the cow which gave birth to a calf which ate the wagon's load."Problem: Who owns the calf?" Ancient Egypt, 1600 BC.This old joke was found in the Ancient Egyptian story book known as the Westcar Papyrus It goes: "How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? "You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish."
  12. 4 points
  13. 4 points
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  14. 4 points
    I haven't posted here in years but I was contacted via PM about something, so I thought I'd write a few things. While I was posting here years ago I was mostly interested in the whole enlightenment thing, although I admit my knowledge of such things were and still are quite naive. "Freedom". Such a word sounds great, but if misinterpreted.... well.... I was working in engineering, earning good money and living in a place that was both near the ocean and mountains. A rather nice situation overall apart from the fact that my job basically involved me spending years trying to make sure the things I designed weren't going to fail and send the company bankrupt (which it always was right on the precipice the whole time). Projects piled up and I started taking more and more time off, and when I was at work I would often either just stare blankly at the computer or try to get a minute or 2 of rest with my head on the desk. The very freedom that I so treasured was being used as a reason to keep going in a situation that was basically destroying my body and metality. "Throw yourself in the fire" was a term I liked to use, regarding refining the self in ordinary circumstances. What I was too naive to realise was that my "freedom" was actually more of a strong stoic resolve that did not take into account the physical limitations of the body and mind to handle the circumstances that were being pushed through. It was possibly not just work, but there may have been some sort of virus that triggered what would eventually be diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a term basically used after everything has been tested and the doctors have no idea. I had taken some prototype PCBs home to solder parts onto because it was easy enough, but after a week of it sitting in my car due to excessive anxiety of attempting any task at all I drove to work and quit on the spot. It was a relief, and a lot of weight was lifted, however it was just the start of about 6 months where I'd barely get out of bed. I'd wake up in the morning and it would take all day to gather enough energy to do something easy like grocery shopping (and even that I'd sometimes break out in a sweat). I didn't dare practice and wing chun for years afterwards because any time I intentionally rose energy up my spine I'd feel sick, so I kind of just quit energy practices apart from a bit of yoga one night a week which left me feeling great for the evening and back to square one the next day. A few years on and I'm not as bad. I have an easy job and bought a house, but subconsciously my brain avoids effort. Things like mathematics I can't really do anymore because it feels like my brain just says no and I struggle to see the numbers in my head anymore. Same with things like housework and other things that used to be no issue. It's like there's a defense mechanism that is trying to help me conserve energy in any way that it can. The reason I wrote this is that I feel it's really necessary to be critical of what you're actually doing, and not to put spiritual persuits over the requirements of the body and mind. After all, it is through this body and mind that spiritual persuits are persued. I have actually learnt a lot from this experience, but perhaps it wasn't entirely necessary. Finally, a note on freedom. Freedom is already here. Sometimes you just need to sit for a bit to realise it. It has nothing to do with what you do, how you do it, or how strong your resolve is. The latter is a lesser freedom pertaining to the body and mind, which does not exist in a pure form due to the obvious limitations of the body and mind. Although there is nothing wrong with improving the body and mind I feel that perhaps a spiritual seeker would be better off just taking care of themselves as best they can and jumping straight into the pure freedom that is already here, right now. Perhaps the term "throw yourself in the fire" would be better as "sit in the hot spring" or something a bit less deathly. Take it easy. Be free now. BD. Oh and if anyone is wondering, I'm in a good place so there's no need to worry.
  15. 4 points
  16. 4 points
    The Kundalini Support Network might be able to offer help and advice, their web address is https://www.kundalinisupportnetwork.org/.
  17. 4 points
    Hi All, Try it out. I would like to introduce SISSIWIT for a start ~ it is sung about a bird from the Ilocano provinces in The Philippines. Someone has said ~ I don't understand a word of it - but my heart knows. Beef up your positive energies to keep COVID-19 at bay. Keep safe and well. - Anand
  18. 4 points
    Bruce Frantzis has put out a series of Taoist meditations to help in these strange times. There's fifteen videos so far: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZGxERtakiPYPJxR-KLETDnz_ruOY7hAU
  19. 4 points
    Unfortunately the likelihood of getting somewhere with the Daoist arts through one’s own experimentation is virtually zero... It’s akin to managing to play a world-class sax solo - having never seen or heard a sax. But maybe having read a few descriptions from badly translated books that deliberately obfuscate the meaning and are completely misunderstood and misinterpreted by the vast majority of people. It’s hard enough when you know exactly what you’re doing and have a teacher that has done it and is guiding you along!
  20. 4 points
  21. 3 points
    Most of us here have a practical background, having spent many years in the practice of a meditative method or art (e.g., qigong, yoga, taijiquan, etc). It is true that having a practice is essential for growth and learning. And yet, many seem to gloss over the role of knowledge. There are two kinds of knowledge -- one that is taught to us by another (such as a teacher, friend or some other medium -- book, etc). Let us call this "external knowledge" or "indirect knowledge". The other is the knowledge that is directly known -- usually as a result of a regular and diligent practice of the method of our choice. Let us call this "internal knowledge" or "direct knowledge". I've seen many practitioners of spiritual arts scoff at the external knowledge because it is considered somehow inferior to the "directly" known, internal knowledge that is supposed to be the fruit of our (glorious/valiant/heroic/add your own adjective here) efforts. And yet, we would not have embarked upon the path of our choice if we didn't have an external source of knowledge to guide us throughout our journey. It is quite possible that some people, due to their karmic influence are easily able to enter into deep meditative states. But that may not result in full awakening, without proper initiation into the external knowledge. The reason being, when the deep meditative states (samādhi) are entered, there is no mind involved (or minimal mind is involved). While repeated immersion into these deep states can result in thinning of the modifications of the mind, the mind still remains functional once one exits from such states. In the vedantic tradition, the entry into samadhi is called "mano laya" (or pausing of the mind). This is considered an intermediate stage of spiritual evolution. Once the practitioner exits from the samadhi, the mind resumes its functioning (perhaps with not as much vim and vigor as it did prior, but it generally tends to gather steam and pick up from where it left off eventually). The only way to cause what in vedanta is called "mano nāsha" (mind cessation) is to deliberately and methodically work with the external knowledge (as taught by the teachers and texts) and go through a process of intellectual assimilation. The mind has four components, namely the ego, the thought field, the storehouse of memories and impression and the intellect. For knowledge to be integrated, it has to be worked on with the cooperation of the mind (ego-thought field-storehouse-intellect). Key among them is the intellect. Whatever the intellect identifies with, the ego will do its level best to protect/maintain that. If the intellect identifies with the body, the ego will strive to maintain that identification. If the intellect identifies with the mind, ego will strive to maintain that identification. Therefore, the intellect needs to come onboard with the process of spiritual development. Once the intellect is onboard, all the other components of the mind will follow its lead. So with the study and contemplation on the external knowledge using the intellect, the intellect needs to be convinced of its 'place' in the grand scheme of things. When the intellect understands completely that it is merely a function of the mind, and that the mind is nothing but a process arising in awareness, the intellect will gradually relinquish its need to identify with anything. It might initially start by giving up identification with the body and the mind. Typically the intellect latches onto the idea of being "The Non-dual Self/Awareness". And it is a far better proposition that being identified with the body/mind. Then the seeker wants to constantly abide in this "non-dual awareness". Of course, life usually has other plans, so the feeling of non-duality, and the feeling of duality keep coming and going, oscillating between the two phases at regular intervals. This leads to great frustration in the intellect of the practitioner. And then one day the realization occurs, that what we truly are, is aware of both the duality and non-duality that seems to arise in the mind. And on that day, the intellect gives up completely, and the ego disappears, as it has nothing to defend anymore. This results in a fully non-grasping mind, essentially a mind that has ceased to operate as it used to before spiritual practice started. And therein is the direct knowledge or internal knowledge, which is nothing but that which is aware of both the apparent duality and non-duality.
  22. 3 points
    I find this kind of reductionism amusing. And starry-eyed fan-people gobble this up with great gusto...and the outcome is anyone’s guess. For example, ‘Hinduism’ is not looking to ‘dissolve Dantien’ — while young damo might have meant something specific with it, on the face of it, it sounds childish. In fact there are Hindu yogic/tantric traditions which match the neidan stuff in great detail and then some.
  23. 3 points
    You are going to die, You are going to lose jing in your own good time. We have the opportunity to make the best of this moment and every other. The one who is afraid to let go needs compassion and kindness. It makes change easier and opens us up to new possibilities.
  24. 3 points
    You dont necessarily needs a detox, maybe theres no medication left in your body. What happens is that long term use of SSRIs will change tthe structure and quantity of your serotonin receptors to adapt to the medicine. When you stop, your brain need to readapt his receptors because you changed serotonin supply. You will feel these effects until your brain get totally adapted, it may be fast or it may take time.
  25. 3 points
    You are wherever your thoughts are, Make sure your Thoughts are where you want to be. -Nachman of Breslov
  26. 3 points
    Ok. Thank you for pointing this out. gnowledge... ok. It will take a little time and practice, but I think this sounds really nice. Thank you for saying it. ty. It took a while to find y'all. I'm glad I did.
  27. 3 points
    In Algonquin, “wendigo” translates roughly to “the evil spirit that devours mankind.” According to legend, these emaciated monsters with matted hair and decaying skin were made when a person cannibalized another. They became transformed into a wendigo with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. The Cree developed a dance to help them deal with the nightmare of these cannibalistic creatures. The Wihtikokansimoowin involves satirical portrayals of the man-eating monster and valiant portrayals of wendigo hunters. Legend holds that the Cree’s “Wendigo-like Dance” was performed during periods of famine to reinforce the gravity of their cannibalism taboo. Conceived in a dream, the dance was first performed by the Assiniboine tribe. The Cree eventually adopted it and incorporated it into their Sun Dance ritual. It is always performed on the last day of the celebration. The last known Wihtikokansimoowin in the United States occurred at Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota.
  28. 3 points
    Just be moderate in sexual activity. Avoid pornography. Remember that this stuff (alchemy, meditation, spiritual cultivation) is not an easy thing to achieve. It’s very much the pinnacle of human achievement. Despite what many modern teachers suggest. They have a profit motive You know how you see the discipline and sacrifice it takes to be an Olympian? It’s similar with these more advanced arts. Its normal to be inspired by Olympians and be motivated to exercise for a bit every week and have a moderate, healthy lifestyle... but don’t expect to win gold at the olympics. I get that this might sound disheartening or demotivating... but I personally think it’s better to hear the truth than to be sold a dream that just wastes your time - or worse. If you want to live a normal life, have late nights, drink, smoke weed, watch porn, see other humans as ‘boing-boing‘ etc... then just do that and enjoy yourself... maybe practice some simple qigong or martial arts, get strong, develop some self discipline etc. This is a great start. At some stage in your life maybe you’ll be ready to get into the more in-depth practices like alchemy, MCO, meditation etc. These things are simply not for everyone - just as being an olympic swimmer is not for everyone. Doing these things before you and your lifestyle are ready means that your lifestyle suffers and your practice is not only ineffective but potentially dangerous! We regularly get people coming to this forum that have developed really serious issues - mental and physical from doing Chia’s practices (and from other similar teachers).
  29. 3 points
    Been there, lived to regret it. Yuan Jing is useful in spiritual work, if that is what you mean. But some people does well operating with post heaven qi, so I don't know. Yes, but in the context of 100 days of celibacy, it is not what you are supposed to do. That comes from Nei Dan traditions, lets say that when it comes to that, Chia is accessible but (ah, you'll find out for yourself). You will have better result if you abstein from desire, stress and stimulants.
  30. 3 points
    Some traditions acknowledge the time of day just before sunrise, we are energetically very vulnerable/sensitive. I would advise keeping calm, taking the point of view of an observer and try to smile (both on the outside and also inner smile) if you can. Also keep in mind that your body has limits. When your body cannot take it any more, you will sleep, possibly making up for some of the lost hours you had in the past few days.
  31. 3 points
    me too... on all counts... Anyone who suffers from insomnia, you have my deepest sympathies; if you ever want to chat about it let me know.
  32. 3 points
    Walk, do some weights, get out into nature, exercise, fully inhabit your body. Establish the yin to support the yang. The deeper the roots, the bigger the tree can grow.
  33. 3 points
    The chi kung your practicing will dictate your pattern of growth. What channels it emphasizes will be reflected in your results. Energy follows intent. Learning to wield intent with extreme discipline is key for spiritual maturity. "My adepts stand upright; there head above the heavens, there feet below the hells." Aleister Crowley One of Crowley's better quotes.....what he's trying to say is that you need balance on the path. When your too high, too low or simply not sturdy enough to handle some of the tough turns....your gonna get your ass kicked. Developing this balance and sturdiness so that when the path throws a punch (which it will...and potentially be devastating) you can take a lick and not lose your shit. When your doing intense amounts of energy work, you need to make sure that your simultaneously maintaining internal harmony so that you can open doors to higher levels of awareness and not turn into burnt toast. The "traps" laid on the path are innumerable.....proper preparation of the system disables many of the road blocks. Grounding is a general term to refer to stabilizing or making the system dense.
  34. 3 points
    Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it Treason. --John Harington
  35. 3 points
    Tree Gong and other similar methods of working with the environment are a part of several traditions. Some traditions specifically forbid it. In most Dragon Gate lines it forms an important part of the early stages - and for good reason. But it won’t build Qi. This is important to understand because there’s a level of complexity that’s hard to get across. Working with trees and the environment tunes the quality of one’s Qi. For modern people in the early stages of their training (first 5 to 10 yrs) working with trees is very beneficial - it’s an effective way to purge pathogens, train Ting and Song (pine trees often directly transmit the quality of song). But it won’t ‘build Qi’ - maybe a tiny bit - but certainly not more than a good meal for example. To build Qi beyond the ‘normal’ healthy level (and from my teachers’ perspective very few people are actually at a normal healthy level) - but to build Qi beyond that requires you to transform the functioning of your body... in such a way that you effectively up-regulate the efficiency of the body and mind in a way that creates an internal Qi-building engine. This can be done with Neigong approaches or through Neidan approaches - but both methods effectively change the metabolic functioning of the body to create more Qi than is required for normal healthy function. No natural environment or machine can do that for you. At least not in a way that’s accessible for humans... ocean waves are powerful - but they can’t interact with the functioning of your body. A fire can destroy thousands of hectares of forest with its power - but it won’t fill your Dantien. Only through the use of your consciousness and your body can you generate useful Qi beyond a normal level.
  36. 3 points
    Your body and consciousness are far more powerful than any Qi machine. Far more. People worry about EMF fields - and yes they can be a problem - but once you start to generate enough Qi - it will be you affecting the EMFs rather than the other way round. External devises - even using ‘natural’ external sources for Qi (like trees, waterfalls or power points in the environment) can quickly become a crutch rather than assistance. There are no shortcuts. Well - only one - learning to love and enjoy the inherent sacrifices involved in training hard
  37. 3 points
    That reminds me. A couple people here are doing Damo's free MCO course. Info here-
  38. 3 points
    Last year I took a few West African dance lessons with this great teacher, Daunte Fyall
  39. 3 points
    Here is my friend Erin winning the USA tango stage championship in 2009
  40. 3 points
    This wouldn’t be on the level of the Dantiens - the centres above the head are less ‘dense’ and more on the consciousness body level - more like the chakra system. These aspects are usually inaccessible unless you’re stabilised in samadhi level of concentration.
  41. 3 points
    Perhaps calling them dantiens are wrong, that doesn't mean that they are not there. Can you sense both the string of pearls going up and the one going down?
  42. 3 points
    I heard that some people have a bowl made of hands. I have hands, but I don't know if I have a bowl. I will easily put my hands together into a bowl shape, like as if to scoop up some water. I now have a bowl. I can fill this bowl with dry tea leaves. I can dump the leaves onto my head. It feels neat, but something's missing. I will add water to the bowl. The water keeps leaking out, but through continued perseverance I develop some particular dexterity to close all the gaps and hold the bowl level. It will likely take an even longer time, to keep adding a little bit hotter and hotter of water, before I build up enough to where I can actually brew some decent tea in there. Only then will I have formed the true bowl.
  43. 3 points
    I used to be (many many years ago) the chairperson of a 'Baha'i Spiritual Assembly' - an elected council of 9 that helps run the affairs of a community , they replace the function of 'clergy' in other religions . Since they have to sometimes decide on affairs that effect peoples lives, it is very important to make a 'spiritual decision' and not a selfish one . very basically it works like this ; First you have to get in 'spiritual mode' - there is no point coming into it from some charged emotive state , so one must have the ability to leave that behind . They used the method of prayer for that , the meetings started with prayer or philosophical readings . The key thing is to release your attachments to any opinion offered , put it 'in the pot on the table ' (there isnt one, thats a metaphor ), then release it as your own idea / contribution, examine it as you do the other contributions, by keeping in mind the best solution to the problem . Easy to say that, some are able to this and others cant really, they mask it but underneath they are pushing for their own ideas. I suppose it takes 'spiritual people ' to make 'spiritual decisions ' ... remedy ? Get 'spiritual' . The test is - its fairly easy for the 'advanced' to decide on an issue that might effect others , but one may also have to decide on an issue that effects YOU as well , thats the real test of any spiritual decision making for community ! Get more 'spiritual' ( become selfless, develop understanding, cultivate wisdom and balance mercy and severity , but do not fear to act ) . The idea is (in Bahai ), if you stick together, even a wrong decision will become apparent and you can fine tune it or drop and change it later , the community learns together in experience . becoming attached to all different opinions and solutions, causes division, which is hard to resolve and the community may not learn adapt and evolve . Otherwise there are people undermining decisions that go against their personal wants . If the council/ors cant get it together or keep making unpopular decisions then the community is able to vote different members in . .
  44. 2 points
    I should include this here ( copied from 'what made me laugh') Me at training today This young woman turns up , watches a bit and asks us what we are doing . The she says she is looking for something new to do she did kung fu / wushu but moved away from that area to this one . So me and instructor start showing (off) her some stuff on each other , I go watch this and zoom in from long range to punch him , .... sliiiiiip .... skid .... splits ..... streeetch ... owww and land on my balls . ( my excuse ; I had new shoes and the grass was wet ) . ..... [ It didnt seem to put her off , she followed us back to town, had coffee with us, insisted she was coming next week, rings me later and asks if she can start tomorrow, turns up at my place for a 3 hour lesson ( read that again folks .... someone said they where coming for a lesson and actually turned up when they said they would ! ) and bought lunch . Goodness ! Whats the world coming to ! ]
  45. 2 points
    Hi E.S.A., I've been practicing and then teaching (and still practicing of course) Chen style taiji since 2004, under the same teacher plus some occasional studies with masters of the same lineage. I had a wide variety of exposures to other taiji styles and stayed with Chen as a personal preference. You are in a minefield with this conversation, I can tell you that much. But in terms of practical suggestions -- here's my two yuan: There's many factors that may influence one's choice, from sheer availability of a good teacher of a particular style in a particular location to one's idiosyncratic body type to temperament to even a particular stage in the same person's life. Many people experiment (given a chance) with various styles, some choose their "once and forever" allegiance, some clearly prefer a style but master another one (or several) -- e.g. when planning to teach and going with what the general public is more familiar with and more likely to get interested in. Some of my Chen classmates who used to swear off Yang, e.g., ultimately chose to study Yang too in order to be able to have more students. Yang is considerably easier to learn for beginners -- though high level Yang is on the same footing with Chen, by different means but not inferior. As for the rest of the five major ones (Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu-hao, Sun), your chances to find a very good teacher of the last two are low; you may have better luck with Wu; you will find overwhelmingly more Yang (this is changing but the Yang family started teaching the public decades earlier than the Chen family, so their style is still better known in the world). About all other styles out there I don't really have an experiential opinion. Good luck choosing wisely!
  46. 2 points
    By glimpse what do you mean my friend?
  47. 2 points
    Even at 117, Misao Okawa said life is short. When asked about her long life, Okawa, who passed her title down to Weaver when she died at age 117, said, “It seemed rather short." Perhaps that's why she made sure to eat lots of cake at her last birthday.
  48. 2 points
    "Genius sees patterns in the world. Madmen impose patterns on the world." Forgot where I read this, can't attribute, but it sure describes contemporary cultural divisions, at least in America, yes?
  49. 2 points
    Hello manitou, It's a pleasure to meet you. *Daniel bows deeply to manitou in honor of 39 years* ( it was 27 in 2008, that means it's 39 years now )
  50. 2 points
    I know sometimes you need to understand the reason behind a recommendation to get really motivated to follow it... So maybe this will help. Whatever is happening internally for you is fed by your attention... if your attention is on your sensations, hallucinations, or even if it's on trains of thought on how to understand or handle the situation, then that simply adds fuel to the fire. What we want is to get your attention away from the whole thing altogether. I get that this seems like sweeping things under the carpet - but it's not. We want to remove the fuel from whatever is happening for you. With less fuel, it will slowly subside - just as any fire without wood will self extinguish. Only then will you have a clear enough system to approach fixing the underlying issues. Going out into nature accomplishes this exceptionally well - particularly if you engage your senses - smell the smell of the forest floor, feel your footsteps on the soft grass, or the texture of tree bark on your hand... you can even engage your mind in this - see if you can recognise and name what tree species you see... That's one part of it. The other aspect is that nature - and particularly trees - have a sort of energetic resonance - and simply by spending time amongst them, your body will naturally start to attune to this resonance - like two tuning forks attuning to the same frequency. This frequency is a direct antidote to what's going on for you. This is why I'm suggesting you take several long walks in nature daily. It works on several levels and will be far more effective than anything else at the moment. Hope that helps