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  1. 27 points
    This is going to be a difficult thread to write, because something of the most profound nature happened to me last night. I can offer no proofs other than a re-telling of my experience. As DB's, we can inadvertently get a little competitive, as evidenced by the occasional spats on the threads - but I ask you to set ego aside as I relate this. I offer this as a glimpse into what we all want here - enlightenment. About 7 months ago I moved to the Palm Springs, CA area after my husband died. The grief I experienced for over a year seems to have honed me in some way; like going through a fire and having the extraneous burned off. In the complex that I live in, there is a place I go daily to walk the dogs. I met the people who live right there because they have a dog that looks exactly like mine. We struck up a friendship. Unknown to me, the man in the duo is a Bujinkan master. He goes to Japan regularly to hone his incredible skills under Masaaki Hatsumi. He is a well known teacher of this incredible ninja martial art in the U.S.. and other parts of the world. I asked if he had videos online, and he indicated that there were several on youtube. I starting watching his videos and those of Masaaki Hatsumi. What I saw in them amazed me. It is the Dao brought into the physical. I recognized it immediately and confirmed it with him. Captivated for some reason, I watched them over and over - couldn't get enough. He gave me a study manual (much spiritual and psychological as well) and I've been reading it carefully. For some reason, this tying together of the Dao as a philosophy and the Dao in form (Bujinkan) was what I needed to see. I've talked about self-realization on this forum for a long time. Apparently I didn't know what it really was. I've walked the path of AA for 38 years and in working the steps, one removes layer after layer of shadow within - both through acknowledgment of the flaw and making amends for things done in the past. I knew I was on the path to self-realization (I used to go to Manley Hall lectures in Hollywood and the seed was planted early in me, in the 1970's). My association with TDB's has been just about the most instrumental vehicle for furtherance of this path because we come from so many points of view, and yet there are truths that lie at the bottom of these points of views, or paths, that are universal. After a while, rough edges and firm opinions within us are eliminated here. In addition to the study of multiple religions to the point of transcendence of any particular path. So, last night. I was walking the dogs before going to bed and I stopped and looked at the stars for a few moments. I was hit by a jolt of energy, seemingly coming from the stars, that I've never experienced in my life. I immediately thought about Saul on the road to Damascus, how he was hit by a jolt, from my old Christian days. I felt a little snap in my heart or brain, like someone snapping a small twig. Something unblocked. Immediately after being hit by this jolt which felt like an inner gulp of realization - not anything of the brain - I heard a voice in my head that said 'I AM an enlightened being'. I immediately felt energy rushing out of me, going in all directions. I started to tremble. I have been a proponent of the I AM consciousness for 20 years, ever since studying The Impersonal Life by Anonymous. Within this consciousness we realize who we really Are. But I know today that I had never taken the actual inner gulp of self-realization that I took last night, where I actually experienced it. At once, my whole essence had no fear, no discomfort, radiating warmth, and an overall feeling of love for everything. The realizations continued when I got home. I jotted them down so I could tell you about them today. First realization: There is a responsibility with enlightenment. It is our purpose as enlightened beings to act like an enlightened being, in speech and deeds. It doesn't matter what we do with it, on how big or little a scale. We are the torch bearers, the frequency holders. - We are all enlightened beings. Every single one of us. But it's not until we get that gulp of realization that we really are that we truly feel the truth of the matter. No doubt remains. No questions, no measurement of yourself vs. some master or fellow poster on the Bums. You know in your entire persona. Today I woke up with the thought 'I am an enlightened being' on my mind, first thing on waking up. The glow remains with me. I offer this experience to hear from others who may have gone through this, or as a little roadmap for what is no doubt coming for you too.
  2. 20 points
    Hard Light guru Mark Griffin took mahasamadhi October 24th, 2018. i don't know who hangs out around here these days, but i didn't see that anyone had posted the news, so i thought i might do so. Mark was a Godsend to me. here's a copy of something i shared on Facebook a week and a half ago: the first time i ever experienced true, deep spiritual intoxication was with this man. it was my first meditation intensive with him. i was late because of all the road blocks in San Francisco, and that made me frustrated. that wasn't the energy i wanted to walk in with, but i was already late. Lee Schwing was the lady sitting at the registration table (bless her!), and she just gave me a smile, checked my registration, and welcomed me in. my mind was scrambled. i HATED being one of the only black people there and having to be the late guy. i also hated feeling so agitated; it made me feel as if i had failed before i even arrived. so i walked into the room and the first meditation session had already begun. as i quietly made my way to where i was going to sit, Mark looked up at me, made brief eye-contact with me, smiled, then went right back into meditation. that was it. that was all he did. i had never met this man before, but with that small gesture, all of the tension left my body. all the agitated chatter in my mind just stopped. my shoulders relaxed and dropped, and feelings of love gently poured into me until i genuinely felt as if i was falling in love with this man. and the thing is, i was! it wasn't some romantic or sexual thing, but my experience of Mark was literally love at first sight. that day i reached a meditative depth i had never experienced before. a day or two later i was still processing what had occurred at the day-long intensive. confusion and doubt came flooding back in, wondering if some hypnotic trick had been played on me, trying to dispute that what had occurred that day was even possible. i was already familiar with subtle energy and healing transmission through the hands and whatnot, but the magnitude of what i had experienced, and the context (with it all beginning with a brief smile) was just on another level. so i just kept looking for reasons to doubt & dismiss it. that's when it happened. suddenly, like an eruption, i was overcome with with this incredible, intoxicating, energizing love-bliss. it was better than any mushrooms i had experimented with in my 20's. it was pure, no distortion or nausea, just heat radiating through my back, and electricity buzzing through my teeth. this lasted for about 3 days, rising and falling in waves, but present the entire time. the truly mystical events that occurred during all of this i will save for myself and my students. FB is not an appropriate place for my complete truth. i became a sincere student of Mark. i grew so quickly. so many spiritual teachings and beliefs that i thought were nonsense proved themselves to be legit. and that has been my approach: to believe only what i can experience or discern for myself to be true, reading through scriptures more for confirmation rather than information. checking my direct experiences with the writings of those who came before me. it has been an amazing journey! and it all really began with this man. thank you SO MUCH, Mark Griffin. i'll see you soon, Big Brother. Om Namah Shivaya.
  3. 14 points
    Qi Gong practiced properly is everything Indian Yoga is (as opposed to Western "Yoga"). The quality of the teacher and the practice is not nearly as important as the approach to it. If it is for personal power and health - the quality of the teacher and the practice are minor items - personal power and health are relatively easy things to come forward with in even the most mundane of these practices. If you think reading and studying will take you far - they will - they will at some point take you to the understanding that you need to put the books on the shelf and begin practice. In practice you will find that you misunderstood everything you read - but you will begin to see a glint of the real teaching. Hopefully you will not forget that you misunderstood a great deal initially - and begin to see that holding on to ones "understanding" is not helpful - it is willfulness. Initially it is difficult to fathom "years of practice" and hard to see an extra 2-4 hours to be found in ones day. Yet when you have tasted the way - time will lose its way with you. "years" are a projection There is no miraculous recounting of what is possible that is remotely capable of transmitting what IS - all the books on earth are simply a door mat that says Welcome.
  4. 13 points
    Jung’s observation puts me in mind of an insightful quote from Dag Hammarskjöld: “God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.” Spirituality for me means discovering who I am and allowing myself to manifest in the most spontaneous and authentic way possible.
  5. 13 points
    It's been about a month since my mother passed away. It was surreal. I almost got killed the day after by an angry semi truck driver that tried to drive me off the road as I drove up to get her belongings from the nursing home. I had grown distant from my mother over the last few years, but a couple months ago I found out she was dying from cancer and reached out to her to make my own amends. I was able to do all of that, which made it that much easier when she finally did pass. So this is the thing, I don't believe in heaven or an "after life", nor do I believe we can without a doubt prove that reincarnation exists. I'm agnostic at best, maybe I lean a bit more towards the atheist side, however, I don't grieve for her. The reason being that I know, regardless, she's not suffering and she was suffering. People can argue the "sanctity of human life" but until you see someone suffering immensely you don't realize how much of a blessing death can be. My greatest and only regret, was not being there at the end. I didn't want her to be alone in that moment, not because I wanted to spend those last minutes with her, but because I didn't want her to die suffering and alone, I wanted her to know she had people that loved her at that time. Again that's my only regret, and If I could've been there I would've, however I had surgery the week before she passed and was still suffering from complications. The night I found out she had passed there was an odd peace. It's hard to explain, a bit of sadness, but more of an emotional silence. I loved my mother, but my time as a Taoist/Buddhist/hindi/etc. has taught me that even though I think she's gone, she's not really gone. She may very well never have been here in the first place, so putting the time and energy into grieving for her does nothing to bring her back and does nothing to ease my own suffering, nor does it somehow quantify how much I cared for her, so if I am truly being compassionate towards her and myself, then learning to let her go and let myself move on should be my goal. So, how was this different from my father's passing? Well he passed when I was much younger (twenty-one) and I had only just begun to read about Taoism. Attachment was the norm and compassion, especially towards myself, wasn't something I really understood. I was devastated when he passed. I had been living with him at that time and had actually argued with him the night before. My greatest regret at that time was that I thought he had died thinking I was angry or hated him. In retrospect I realize that he knew better. However the memory of those emotions, of that feeling of loss, comes back even now, which is strange, because he was also dying from cancer, he just never told anyone, and you would think I would feel relieved for his passing. So the difference, I guess, is that knowing my place in this world and my relationship to other people has allowed me to accept this as not a loss, but a blessing for my mother. Whereas my still undeveloped mind was unable to accept the death of my father, due to my inability to understand the nature of death at that time. Both deaths were blessings, and if anyone suffered from those deaths, it was not my parents, but their loved ones, and of course, me. Oh that's the other thing, both my parents passed away from lung cancer. You can guess what habit I gave up. I just thought I'd share, because this is one of those universal experiences and I thought maybe these observations might help someone else.
  6. 12 points
    For me, spirituality points to my inner essence, my state of mentality regardless of external conditions.
  7. 12 points
    Maybe spiritual cultivation is a little like investing in the stock market. Everyone is trying to find the perfect system when most would be better off forgetting systems altogether and focusing instead on simple principles. Take virtue, for instance. While ethics can get unbelievably complicated, simply considering what the right thing to do is and doing it puts us way ahead of the curve. If we add a little kindness to basic decency, the foundation is set for spiritual development. Everything works better in a body that is relaxed and healthy so that`s something to work on too. Exercise, diet, some sort of strategy for dealing with stress. Positive relationships with friends and family. These kinds of things aren`t what`s usually meant when people talk about spiritual systems but the underpinnings of a good life are the underpinnings of good spiritual development. The best system in the world won`t take you very far if you`re a chain smoking criminal enmeshed in a hostile custody battle for your alienated kids. First things first. To me, the idea of a system implies component parts. First you do this, and then, when condition XYZ is reached, you do this other thing. Trying to follow instructions in a book like Taoist Yoga is harder than putting together modular furniture from IKEA. And that`s saying something. If the goal is enlightenment or immortality perhaps such complication is necessary. But most people would benefit greatly from taking one simple thing and exploring it in depth over a few decades. Take a basic standing practice like "standing like a tree." A practice like that deepens and develops over time. Who among us has taken standing like a tree all the way? Have any of us gotten all there is to get from simple standing? I doubt it. So many things are like that. The inner smile. Watching the breath. I suspect that getting to enlightenment or awakening doesn`t take great cognitive skill. What it may take is great endurance in the face of boredom. Many of us already know a system that could potentially take us to enlightenment. Some of us know many such systems. And yet we`re still looking because looking is fun. Spiritual development, as ultimately rewarding as it may be, is often physically and emotionally uncomfortable. Not fun. (Note: These are just my opinions as someone who claims no particular enlightenment or awakening. Fact is, I could do with a good deal more spiritual discipline myself. I do however like to share my thoughts and often do so instead of practicing. Take with salt.)
  8. 11 points
    NeiDan specifically means inner alchemy and has the specific goal of creating the 'pill' or elixir within the body to achieve immortality. It comes out of a tradition within largely Daoism (though also some other systems) and focusses on certain key ideas which were first elaborated in text called the Cantong Qi (sometimes Zhouyi Cantong Qi). Dan means pill/elixir and NeiDan is distinguished from Waidan which is external alchemy i.e. the use of substances/herbs and so on to achieve immortality eg. lead, sulphur, mercury etc. The Cantong Qi quotes from the LaoTzu and even more from the YiJing (as a way of validating its claims) - but neither of these is actually a Neidan text - more they supply a world view in which Neidan functions, a context if you like, and it also refers the substances of external alchemy but used symbolically for the energy systems of the subtle body - so the text will talk about lead but mean a quality or state of internal energy and so on. The processes of alchemy like purification, sublimation, distilling and so on are also used to signify internal processes. Nei dan specifically departs from using deity practice. Whereas previous traditions might rely on spiritual entities interacting with organs say, the Cang Qi refutes this practice. However what is retained is the idea of harmony and synchronicity of internal processes and cosmic cycles such as the sun, moon and Big Dipper etc. So the qi system regulates to the hours, days of month and so on. This is important, so you can discount any practice based on possession and so on. Qi is a universal term in Chinese philosophy as are yin/yang - and are used in different ways in different systems. So just the inclusion of qi or qi breathing and so on is not enough to make it a Neidan approach. It has to specifically deal with how to create the pill and then to achieve immortality. There are many schools within this tradition which use different symbolism - some is the same but just with different terms - but there are variations - so this may also until you unlock the key to how those terms are used be a source of confusion.
  9. 11 points
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality has the whole topic covered. Here's the opening paragraphs....... For me, spirituality is the inner essence of true religion. It's unfortunate that this central aspect has been virtually lost from the contemporary meaning of religion because of the disconnection of the mainstream religions from underlying spiritual reality. Hence the very notion of religion has become toxic for many people. This is unfortunate as this observation from Carl Jung makes clear.... “Of all my patients past middle life, that is, past thirty-five, there is not one whose ultimate problem is not one of religious attitude. Indeed, in the end every one suffered from having lost that which living religions of every age have given to their believers, and none is really cured who has not regained a religious attitude, which naturally has nothing to do with creeds or belonging to a church.”
  10. 11 points
    Words are difficult in this discussion as they are both inadequate and very much emotionally charged as well as misleading. Love is a tough word to use within a general conversation. Mind is so diminutive that using it in these expansive dialogs is almost childish. And then there is that fact that experience varies from the "thinking" that this is mostly rainbows to those thinking they understand something at a high level and yet they are far below the mark. We can also see conceptualizing taken out of context and translations from those that were quite well intended and did a great job but used words that are based on only a mild understanding. Channels and meridians are very specific until they are not - the channels specifically can be somewhat whispy to vibrant and well defined - but these are only in the bodies that have not transformed a great deal - though they may have been in many many years of practice. At some point the channels become quite large and tubular - very full and bright. This is an interim stage and does not last too long. Then they will fuse and become one energy field - this field still has within it the Channels but they are far different. This includes the former "Micro Cosmic Orbit" which rose to great prominence and then also becomes one with this greater field. While great structures may already have been both above the head and below - before this happened and after - a great deal of energetic growth is still to come forth. The head region must undergo a great deal of unfolding after the fusing of the fields - this supercedes any notion or experience of the "opening of the 3rd eye" and other previous openings in the head. The head will feel the unfolding taking place and the great powers of the unified field work with and upon this. As the head area - (and considerably beyond its physical "boundaries") is prepared for what is to come - considerable work/practice is required as residuals of willfulness and other held qualities must fall away. Then in the "final" progressions the Great Column of the back opens - and connects to the head - this is not a "massive" kundalini arising - it is far beyond that - it is the establishment of the full Kundalini energetic column - some 8-12" in circumference (though it does not have a clear boundary and is considerably larger in field than 12") and it is now "ON" all the time. This then expands "bifurcates" into the heart field filling it in a uniquely specific event. Not long after this the field drops down the front of the head and bodies. The new field is extraordinarily papable and sustained - it is very strong and calm and though it becomes a "common" element in one's overall energetics - this is now the sustained base awareness of the subtle bodies. The Great Center Pole is more vibrant than ever - it though is more of a center of energies surrounding it - it is gut, heart and head - seated in the astounding base, the magnificent base from which the others in chorus join above and below - the power of which is unimaginable and beyond time and space - yet fully in touch with every toe and hair. The Heart center's are many - they unfold so many times that a false acceptance of them is premature to the point of certainty. The word love is so far from the mark - it is so much more closely aligned with never-ending compassion and objectless gratitude and boundless spontaneous creativity. And this is not centered in the Heart - it is centered within the whole and its center is boundless. - As the Heart Center is filled - it is impregnated as though with blood - it actually feels like it is being inflated with blood that is only slightly warmer than the surroundings - it is large - fully from side of chest to side of chest and the size of a large family sized pizza. This is far different from earlier sensations of a warm heart center or the heart center to the slight right of center. It is entirely different from the full opening of the Heart Chakra and also the Opening of the heart center to the right of it. It is massive by comparison. The Center is only clarified as One with the base "supporting" like a great tree - the Head and Heart are not higher and they are lost without the base. Becoming lost in the Head or Heart is losing ones self to the delights they have in store. A circle cannot have a top without a bottom - our highest nature cannot be known without the bedrock of Being - concentration on head or heart is an interim step but it may become a dungeon - perhaps a saintly one or a sages courtyard - but a dungeon none the less. In full prominence it is hard to walk - it is difficult to "do" much more that BE in Presence. It is a disabling Grace grounded in a boundless vastness - extraordinarily physical and unlimited.
  11. 11 points
  12. 11 points
    Hello all, I used to post here regularly, back in 2010-11. I'm happy to see so many familiar cool bums still around, and wanted to say hello. I left here in order to make time to create a science-of-consciousness documentary, collaborating with my neuropsych prof dad. I've interviewed nearly 50 top philosophers and neuroscientists in the field, and I've even published my own peer-reviewed cognitive science paper, an anatomical theory of consciousness. All of that is wonderful, but I'm far from done with my doc. I'm turning 50 in a few weeks, and am happy to report that I'm still break-dancing weekly, as well as my all my other dance events. My life-long bad back is pretty much completely healed, and I'm in my best physical health of my adult life. Those are the headline good news. But it's been more complex, as well. I've had my most satisfying romance during this time, but also my most heart-breaking loneliness, when it didn't work out. I'm happy with how much I've learned about brain function, but I still haven't learned how to get most people in the consciousness field (or the press) to read my theory paper. I think I've embraced all of my life, including the painful feelings, more than ever before, but that doesn't mean it's delivered me to some utopian place, where I'm always joyful, no matter the circumstances. My job and life are good, but I also struggle with the dissatisfaction of not yet accomplishing my dream (the doc). In other words, I'm still on my path, not quite the path that I imagined back in my Bum days, but still searching, still exploring. There's a lot more I can say about the last 7 years, and my theory of consciousness, but I wanted to keep this OP short, say hello, and say more only if people are curious. To those I knew, like Steve F., Marblehead, thelerner, Manitou/Barb, Kate/Birch, Scott/Blasto, Stigweard, Dawei, Apech, 3bob, Everything, et al, I'd love to hear what you've been up to. Much love.
  13. 11 points
    Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche is in poor physical health and likely to soon transition. He has been one of the most important sources of authentic Dzogchen teachings in the West and has directly or indirectly touched many of our lives. I'd like to share this Long Life Prayer for him, recently written by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche ཆོས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་པོའི་ཞབས་བརྟན་གསོལ་འདེབས་སྨོན་ལམ། Long Life Prayer for Dharmaraja. འགྱུར་མེད་དབྱིངས་ལས་གཡོས་མེད་ཆོས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ། ། དགོངས་རྟོགས་མཐའ་དང་བྲལ་བ་ནམ་མཁའི་ཀློང་། ། འཕྲིན་ལས་ཐོགས་པ་མེད་པའི་ནོར་བུའི་འོད། ། དུས་མཐའི་མུན་པ་སེལ་བའི་རིན་པོ་ཆེ། ། Unwavering Dharma King, from the unchanging space of your knowledge and realizations beyond limit in the expanse of the sky ( Namkhai ), Your enlightened activities are the constant shining Jewel ( Norbu ) Banishing darkness for all times, O Precious One (Rinpoche) འཁོར་བའི་ནད་གདོན་འཇོམས་པའི་བདུད་རྩི་སྨན། ། ཐར་པའི་ལམ་གྱི་བར་ཆོད་ཟློག་པའི་གྲོགས། ། མ་རིག་སྨག་རུམ་གཞིལ་བའི་ཡེ་ཤེས་འོད། ། ཞབས་པད་བརྟན་ཅིང་མཛད་འཕྲིན་མཐར་ཕྱིན་ཤོག ། You are the medicine which eliminates disease and obstructions, You are the friend who clears away obstacles to freedom. You are wisdom’s light, removing the darkness of ignorance. May you live long, and completely accomplish your enlightened activities. མི་མཐུན་རྐྱེན་ལས་སྒྲོལ་བའི་སྟོབས་ལྡན་ཕ། ། ལུས་སྲོག་ནུས་པ་གསོ་བའི་བྱམས་ལྡན་མ། ། ཉམས་རྟོགས་བོགས་འདོན་བསྐྱེད་པའི་དགེ་བའི་སྤུན། ། ཞབས་པད་བརྟན་ཅིང་མཛད་འཕྲིན་མཐར་ཕྱིན་ཤོག ། You are the powerful father who frees us from negative circumstances You are the kind mother who nourishes our body and life force. You are the Dharma brother who supports and increases our insights and realizations May you live long and completely manifest your enlightened activities. རྟག་ཏུ་ཉམས་མེད་སྙིང་གི་ལྡུམ་རའི་དབུས། ། བཅོས་མིན་དད་པའི་མེ་ཏོག་དཀར་པོ་འདི། ། བརྩེ་ཆེན་ཆུ་ཡིས་གསོས་ཏེ་ཁྱེད་ལ་འབུལ། ། ཞབས་པད་བརྟན་ཅིང་མཛད་འཕྲིན་མཐར་ཕྱིན་ཤོག ། In the unblemished garden of our heart center, This white flower of genuine devotion, Is sustained by the water of great love; this I offer to you, May you live long and completely manifest your enlightened activities. ཀ་དག་གཡོ་བ་མེད་པའི་ཀློང་དབྱིངས་ན། ། ལྷུན་གྲུབ་འགག་པ་མེད་པའི་ཡེ་ཤེས་རྒྱས། ། འོད་གསལ་རྫོགས་པ་ཆེན་པོའི་གདམས་པ་སྤེལ། ། ཞབས་པད་བརྟན་ཅིང་མཛད་འཕྲིན་མཐར་ཕྱིན་ཤོག ། In the space and expanse of unwavering primal purity The spontaneous presence of continuous wisdom increases And there you spread the message of clear light Dzogpa Chenpo, May you live long and completely manifest your enlightened activities ཅེས་དུས་མཐའི་རྫོགས་ཆེན་རྣལ་འབྱོར་པ་ཆོས་རྒྱལ་ནམ་མཁའི་ནོར་བུ་རིན་པོ་ཆེའི་སྐུ་ཚེའི་ཞབས་བརྟན་གསོལ་ཞིང་མཛད་འཕྲིན་མཐའ་རུ་ཕྱིན་པའི་དྲི་མེད་སྨོན་ལམ་འདི་ཉིད་གང་གི་ཞབས་འོག་པ་བསྟན་འཛིན་དབང་རྒྱལ་གྱིས་ལྷོ་ཀོ་རི་ཡའི་རྒྱལ་ས་སོལ་ལ་འགྲུལ་བཞུད་སྐབས་(༢༠༡༨།༩།༡༧) གསོལ་བ་ཕུར་ཚུགས་སུ་བཏབ་པའོ།། །། This is our sincere prayer. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche Composed in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, on the occasion of my journey there, on September 17, 2018. Translated September 21, 2018 by Steven Goodman
  14. 11 points
    Nice photo essay with notes (pdf download): http://www.parallelozero.com/images/stock/download/32d35042e03172bb476a2d62880af5d72111dd95.pdf One featured hermit combines Taoism with Christianity and likes speaking to animals. Uncoincidentaly enough he’s a Franciscan ...
  15. 11 points
    As per the title. Just needed to get that off my chest.
  16. 11 points
  17. 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.
  18. 10 points
    Well said Song of the Dao. There seems to be a threshold of wisdom that allows me to realize how much ignorance my mind is comprised of and prone to fostering, and this realization softens my approach to life. As a result, no longer maintaining mindless certainty that any given notion entering my mind is based on absolute truth is a treasure worth pursuing and cultivating and when I speak, it's then from a desire to share and explore connection, instead of alter others' minds or convince them of the one correct way. One of the manifestations of this softening, is in what I call spherical listening. Hearing not just the words spoken, but with my whole being, in full presence. In youth, I sometimes listened closely, but not to understand so much as to be able to respond potently to share my position which I considered manifestly accurate. In surety and certainty, I'd listen to be able to refute what I considered wrong in others, or promote my 'rightness'. Lately, I listen to connect and understand. I listen to foster fluid presence, not reinforce a rigid position. And when I speak, it isn't to convince or influence, but to share and connect.
  19. 10 points
    Dark Night of the Soul An agonizing and liberating experience when one has come to the absolute limit of wilfulness with regard to a situation or situations. When no part of the tools one has used in the past is applicable. It is where the bag of tricks are at a dead end and one is confronted with non-doing. One is presented with a debasing of all positions, past views and exercised contrivances. A feeling of *nowhere to go* at a depth that depletes all grasping to mere folly but without complete release from the trappings of axiety about ones perceived predicament - though even the perception of that predicament is in question. A poisition from which one does not seek help from others for answers - where *answers* are not sought. A state where from one comes to put one foot in front of another and one walks in grace with wilfulness suspended - one step at a time in the present as a child.
  20. 10 points
    When I first joined this forum I tried to be perfect in my execution of the various forms I was taught, and thought that by doing them very well I could "max out" their benefits so to speak. Later I painfully learned that how you practice (your mindset) is much more important than how well you execute the various meditations and forms. For example, if you are not relaxed and rush into it, if you do it with a perfectionist mindset, or a confused mind or body. Look honestly at yourself before even starting your form, ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to sedate yourself, to run away from responsibilities, to gain a feeling of safety, to gain power, is it an ego thing ? When you get the "How" part down, when you are sincere and reconnect to your deepest consciousness, then the form won't add that much to your experience. I found. It's just an icing on the cake. Then later on I also painstakingly realized that the time you spend not-practicing is more important than doing a 30 form in the morning and a meditation in the evening. Because there's 23 other hours in the day. If you live an unbalanced lifestyle, no magical form is ever going to compensate for that. And for spiritual matters, I found cultivation is real life. So I found that true cultivation is rough, it's an every day, moment to moment adjustment of your energies. For example, for lower dantian development I don't think it's wise to meditate 10 minutes in the morning and then let your energy float the rest of the day. So at first I was trying to do a lot and fill myself of all kinds of energies. I tried to fill up my container actively. Now I see the reverse. I am already full and take a bottom-up approach. I avoid leaks to the container by appropriate lifestyle changes, you could say correct energetic hygiene. Of course I still practice, but when I do, it's not with the mindset of being a performer. If you are aggressive in the way you view your practices or attach tightly to them, then this energy will also reflect in your form. So you need to work on yourself, as a human being first and as a practitioner. How you move will reflect who you are. That's what I learned.
  21. 10 points
    Because I don't see it as a static practice. It started off very mechanical and was slow going. Over time, I started to link the movement, breath and mind into a changing, fluid form which initiated healing, strength, flexibility and elasticity of body, mind and spirit. It has changed me in ways I never thought possible when I started. Once ingrained into muscle memory, it became automatic. It wasn't me doing the practice, the practice was doing me. This, I believe, is possible for anyone, whatever practice it is they do, provided they practice diligently, day after day, over a long period. Take a method, do it consistently and it becomes part of who you are.
  22. 10 points
    I am posting the following portion of a PM from Limahong at his request and with his permission: Hi All, Thank you very much for your very kind words. I 'left' TDB in the sense that I had deactivated myself and I had sounded out my last TDB post. I am doing it again ~ differently now... I am still a TDB member but on a silent wu-wei mode. I am definitely going to enjoy myself as a silent spectator at TDB. For instance I am now seeing Daemon in a different delightful light. I am still with TDB in spirit ~ humming this... [Legend : True Love = Love for Taoism, Loch Lomond = TDB] I am taking the low road in search of my "wu-wei 101" - through death and rebirth. Take good care - One + All. - Anand
  23. 10 points
    Have the shortest best day ever
  24. 10 points
    I think modern qigong (taiji included under that) isn't a workout. People who exercise tend to look better, so qigong practitioners should simply add real exercise into their routines. They should do a balanced routine of non-intense cardio and resistance training. With qigong, there's not mind training and the cultivation of goodness like Buddhism has. So if a qigong practitioner were to add Buddhist training to their practices, they'd end up radiating that personable warmth. Or any other kind of cultivation of love, kindness, compassion, etc, would do basically the same thing. If you practice being warm toward others, you will end up being warm toward others...you are what you practice. It's actually important to cultivate such things intentionally when you open up energetically, because your field and energy is increased compared to others. A normal person thinking the typical negative thoughts that we all have from time to time has less negativity than a practitioner who is thinking those exact same thoughts. So, there's an imperative to elevate ourselves as we advance...or else we get negative results. Speaking of being open energetically...I think there's too much focus on feeling sensations and having experiences, rather than genuinely cultivating healthfulness. I prefer more physical types of qigong, and think ones which cause strong qi sensations (aberrations of the nervous system) and/or cause a disconnection of qi or spirit from the body can be damaging...my view is that health is when the spirit is embodied, and the person feels perfectly normal. Some practitioners might think that feeling abnormal from practices is a sign that things are working, but I think it can potentially be a sign of the cultivation of abnormality. Imagine, on the other hand, if you were feeling a little bit off and then you did practices that made you feel good again and restored you...at least personally, that's more of what I'm interested in.
  25. 10 points
    The more I cultivate the more I lose interest in reading. The first to go was fiction, which I had been a voracious consumer of since a child. However, now its also non fiction and writings on religion, philosophy, and meditation. Now I have firmly found a path and am no longer searching for a “way” any longer, but wondering if anyone else experienced this phenomenon as well. Being a life long reader it disturbs me a bit, but what can u do?
  26. 10 points
    If we are sitting at a table enjoying a beer and a gathering and suddenly someone presents in front of you your favorite desert done to perfection - must you wait until you desire it in order to immediately take it in - the beauty, the smell, the wonderful immediacy of it being suddenly presented? Nothing in Awakening and an ever Enlightening Presence disallows for experiencing - in fact - the experiences are far deeper and more subtle. And with far less critique. Genuine experience unfettered by fear and obstruction and willfulness. Do not put the cart before the horse with concepts far from the mark - concepts are always in past and time. What you can know is that meditation will help every aspect of your life. And as you move from trying to meditate to meditation - it is a synchronicity with Divine Essence. Sex is fine before and after Awakening- and there is nothing wrong with it - but if by chance it falls away from your mind and craving it will not be a feeling of loss - you will have simply moved on. Trying to comprehend the incredible saturation of gratitude and extraordinary aliveness and unimaginable grace and vast energies from concept is to diminish the cosmos to a brittle grain of sand. In essence the Buddhist and the Daoist and all truth does not disagree - it points the way in many shimmering patina’s that catch the eye of each beholder uniquely. The idea of imparting with words the higher nature of the Awakened presence is always a futile but courageous endeavor. When you open the door to a striking sunrise - do you need to have desired it to be in the present with it? If your wife gives you a quick hug and spontaneously it finds you in bed - was it not possible that this was simply a beautiful coupling and nothing contorted or subjugated? A monks way and a householders way have often very different dogmas - but the pointings in essence are the same - even if they appear polar opposites. Often polar opposites are simply the same thing from a different side. Some of your concepts have come from those that have newly awoken. Words that have been put to paper long before abiding has taken place and even in some cases descriptions from “experiences” but not actual abiding Awakening Presence. Their is a reason ever enlightening Enlightened Masters do not go about Awakening students and followers - for nearly all are still too entranced to walk the thin bridge to abiding if suddenly awoken. Even those that reached abidance from such premature action would often lose themselves to residual habituation but now have far more access to harm themselves and others. You ask: “Isn’t equanimity the most you can enjoy in an Enlightened state of mind?” Possibly - but the Awakened and unfolding Enlightenment of a so called Enlightened Master is not a state of mind - it is abidance in Presence - Divine Essence. Equanimity is IN the cessation of inertia’s - it is the stillness of the ungrasp beingness - unbound Presence. Equanimity is not a final throttling of all feeling - it is not a leadened caging of desire - it is not the destruction of spontaneous creation. Abidance in the ever unfolding Presence of Awakening Enlightenment is not achieving some flatline brainwave - the brain is not the seat of Being - though the physical brain of one unfolding in Presence is a well lit and colorful organ to behold.
  27. 10 points
    I can't "Like" your post because I disagree with your observation but I do understand where you are coming from. There is a side (restricted) conversation going on right now concerning what you have presented. Yin and Yang will alternate over time; sometimes more Yin, other times more Yang. The concept is "good will". When we make a post are we trying to be helpful or hurtful? I would immediately respond that we should try to be helpful. But from who's perspective are we going to judge "helpful"? And if only helpful comments can be made then this would be a form of censorship, wouldn't it? Dao follows a natural flow, We too should follow our natural flow. Sometimes something someone else says will irritate us. But maybe that person was really trying to help but because of the baggage we carry around with us we see what they said as being harmful. True, members will come and go. Well, except for Marblehead. That doesn't say anything directly about DaoBums. All it indicates is that one member has decided to move on. American society has become more confrontational lately. We will see that from the Americans who post here. But I think we are still holding very well to t large and diverse membership here and as I mentioned a few days ago, I find it inspiring to look at the "online user" list and see that there is more than one page of members on line at the time.
  28. 10 points
    It is happening because you are trying to bypass rather than clear the underlying desire. The energy will just spill out in other emotional forms.
  29. 10 points
    Can't think of a book off hand, but lately, observing water run down the gutters of our street to the drain, brings a simple, potent lesson on the experience of dao. Just sit and observe. Be present. Just be. Water flows downhill and can generate great force without mind, without effort, skill, training or intent. It carries along whatever it encounters... leaves, litter, dog turds, jewelry, live insects and dead bodies of birds, without revulsion or covetousness. in this, a palpable experience of dao... for me.
  30. 10 points
    My experience is that it's a paradox. It is "both and" - not "either or." There's no need to exclude duality, or anything for that matter. Duality is part of it, too.
  31. 10 points
    @ Lightseeker The problem might be that you are essentially asking the same thing over and over again. You want power or control over other people, and preferably in a magical and cost free manner. Now even apart from ethical questions most spiritual paths involve a diminishing of egocentric concerns and behaviour. So from a spiritual perspective you want to move in a completely wrong direction. Should we help you get into that kind of trouble?
  32. 10 points
    Thank you my friends... i am sorry I stoped posting. honestly, I was tired of the arguing. i simply have focused my life on the way of Taoist Practice - and now for the past 9 years actively teaching in Japan. I feel the main point overlooked by those exploring Taoist Methods is the process of refining and purifying the Heart. Too much focus is put on the fascination of Qi Powers, Technique, and also Political Ranking. Purify and Simplify the Heart -- uncover your original state of sincerity. this is an important foundation for making Internal Progress... all my best, dao zhen
  33. 10 points
    The humming birds above was painted by Martin Johnson Heade. This is by Frederick Edwin Church. Both were painters of the Hudson River School.
  34. 10 points
    imagine a movie of the sun, with its rays shining outward imagine that movie played backwards, with the rays returning to the sun now place that movie at the niwan, and run it on loop inhale, light returns exhale, light returns do not flex the niwan, keep this light and shiny
  35. 10 points
    Hi ~ I was gone for a while, now I'm back. Hope life is well for everyone! Warmest regards, rene
  36. 10 points
    It occurred to me last year that you cannot heal pain without first feeling pain, cannot heal suffering without first suffering yourself. With this understanding I have let myself feel, richly and deeply, for perhaps the first time since I was a young child. I flung open the gates, unlocked the portcullis, and let what was outside come in. At first it was liberating, exciting even. Then, as the months carried on, it grew increasingly painful, ultimately terrifying. I began to experience panic attacks. This was completely new to me! This week, perhaps exacerbated by the extreme heat that blanketed my region, I felt something in me break. Perhaps break is not the correct word. I felt something inside me give way, and in giving way I learned something about myself that I never realized. I cannot do it alone. I need others. This may sound obvious, but it was not to me, far from it. I've always been stoic, a real stiff upper lip kind of guy. I've always felt that I could reason my way through life, through all challenges before me. And I always looked down upon the emotional and saw them as weak. I was wrong on both counts. Reason and stoicism do not make you strong. Emotion and feeling do not make you weak. It is the balance that brings strength. It is the balance that heals. The road is long and the trek is hard. I still feel pain and the pain still carries suffering, but I feel I have finally crested the hill and I can see the blessed water in the distance.
  37. 10 points
    People are mystified with or annoyed at people who have woken up making statements like “all you need is to be silent/still” or “nothing needs to be done”. For those who have spent years trying to “get something” - energy, grace, etc, is an assumption that they are somehow incomplete and will be fulfilled when they “get some thing”. Years of toiling, practice, austerities, thinking pile on. But mostly there are moments of experiences of “bliss”, a glimpse here, a taste there, and the elusive “awakeness” keeps playing hide and seek! But there really is nothing to “get”. There is a lot to give up though. The reason is simply because there is nothing one gets from the “outside” that wakes you up. In a sense no one really was asleep, so no one wakes up. What goes away is the mistaken identification and sense of bondage. All that is needed is simply that — give up the mistaken notions of bondage and simply trace the culprit back to its source. The culprit is the mind, and the 10,000 things it creates. It seems so hard because it calls for a type of undoing that is counterintuitive. The mind likes to do this and that. It’s job is to solve problems and subdivide one into many. So simply letting it be seems like the hardest thing to do. But all is needed is, to not get swayed by its fluctuations. Just keep watching it and trace it back to its root. Feel free to discuss the points raised here. Happy awakening
  38. 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.
  39. 9 points
    The great con You see the internal arts work very differently. It’s a little complicated. The idea is to set up certain conditions in your body and mind, so that the Qi flows of its own accord in the necessary ways. This takes a lot of practice time and effort, but once it’s done you will sense the energy moving - it’s very physical and obvious - not subtle and semi imagined. The great con is that - since it’s complicated and hard work to create these conditions. Why not instead imagine the effect that arises as a result of these conditions being in place!? Great marketing idea. Brilliant shortcut. But completely misses (or bypasses) the point of the art form. And has little effect... and is often dangerous if done a lot. The other thing to look out for. Modern internal arts. Things like Clairevision, Wim Hoff method etc. They’ve tapped into something genuine, but separated parts out and manipulated them out of context to get some effect they desire. But they don’t understand the consequences of this manipulation - so the long term results will be useless at best and very dangerous at worst.
  40. 9 points
    *** The last chapter of this series is dedicated to Marblehead... he often said certain passages were still a struggle and yet, he was very clear as to his thought. To be clear and yet also murky is the Way of water. MB often appealed to the anarchist way... yet he stated it with typical aplomb that gave an air of knowing exactly who he was, where he was, and what he was doing in the moment. Being in the moment was his hallmark and a lesson we will cherish about him. *** To Marblehead, Peace to our friend: David Hinton 2002 81 Sincere words are never beautiful and beautiful words never sincere. The noble are never eloquent and the eloquent never noble. The knowing are never learned and the learned never knowing. A sage never hoards: the more you do for others the more plenty is yours, and the more you give to others the more abundance is yours. The Way of heaven is to profit without causing harm, and the Way of a sage to act without contending. Dwight Goddard 1919 81 Faithful words are often not pleasant; pleasant words are often not faithful. Good men do not dispute; the ones who dispute are not good. The learned men are often not the wise men, nor the wise men, the learned. The wise man does not hoard, but ever working for others, he will the more exceedingly acquire. Having given to others freely, he himself will have in plenty. Tao of heaven benefits but does not injure. The wise man's Tao leads him to act but not to quarrel. Bradford Hatcher 2005 81 True words are not embellished Embellished words are not truthful To be right is not to be argumentative To be argumentative is not to be right To be knowing is not to be sophisticated To be sophisticated is not to be knowing Wise ones do not accumulate Though intending to act on behalf of another The more they themselves have gained Though intending to give to another The more they themselves are increased Heaven’s way is to benefit, but without doing harm The wise ones’ way is to work, but without competition Wing-Tsit Chan 1963 81 True words are not beautiful; Beautiful words are not true. A good man does not argue; He who argues is not a good man. A wise man has no extensive knowledge; He who has extensive knowledge is not a wise man. The sage does not accumulate for himself. The more he uses for others, the more he possesses of his own. The Way of Heaven is to benefit others and not to injure. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete. Gu Zhengku 1993 81 True words are not embellished, The embellished words are not true. A good man does not quibble; He who quibbles is not good. A man of true learning does not show off his learning; He who shows off his learning does not have true learning. The sage does not store up. Helping others as best as he can, He is helped even more. Giving others as much as he can, He becomes richer and richer still. The Tao of heaven benefits rather than harms all things; The Tao of the sage is to give rather than rob the people. Ch'u Ta-Kao 1904 81 He who knows does not speak; He who speaks does not know. He who is truthful is not showy; He who is showy is not truthful. He who is virtuous does not dispute. He who disputes is not virtuous. He who is learned is not wise. He who is wise is not learned. Therefore the Sage does not display his own merits. Flowing Hands 1987 81 Truthful words are not necessarily beautiful. And very often, beautiful words are not truthful. Those who are enlightened do not argue. Those who do, are not aware of the nature of all things. People always think they know; but the Sage looks and talks like an idiot to men, but he is enlightened. That’s why clever men never understand the nature of all things. The Sage never stores things up, he remains open and yielding to all. The more he gives and does for others, the greater his abundance. The Dao of Heaven is sharp and pointed, but it does not harm. For it remains with all good creatures. The Dao of the Sage is work without interference.
  41. 9 points
    The Dao Bums has been a wonderful place in all the years I've been here. The stuff that I've learned through the sharing of knowledge and wisdom is incomparable. Lately though, the energy of this place seems to have changed. Or maybe I have changed, but I see a lot of aggressive posts, people not being courteous and polite, and downright abusive. The need to be right, instead of valuing a different perspective, is rearing it's ugly head. A lot of members have left, or have been banned. Members that were the spine of the place. Sad really.
  42. 9 points
    This quote seems apropos: All the various types of teachings and spiritual paths are related to the different capacities of understanding that different individuals have. There does not exist, from an absolute point of view, any teaching which is more perfect or effective than another. A teaching’s value lies solely in the inner awakening which an individual can arrive at through it. If a person benefits from a given teaching, for that person that teaching is the supreme path, because it is suited to his or her nature and capacities. There’s no sense in trying to judge it as more or less elevated in relation to other paths to realization. ~ Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
  43. 9 points
    In your meditation have your attention in the center of the head - not forward at the brow. Breath into the abdomen - not into the base of the spine. The Manta is not held in the mind - it is not held at all - the mantra resonates through all subtle bodies. Move to a simple “Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Skip retention - premature and generally of no value - drop concepts of it for now. Take very deep slow breaths as you fall into meditation. Abide in meditation - one does not “do” meditation. Your kundalini is very active and if you are new to this then a teacher is very very much advised. There are all sorts of things that you may be doing that are counter productive and large kundalini arising that are premature can create years of suffering and recovery. Do not practice contraction of the anus and in general drop attention in this whole region - be in the center of the head and breath. Focus on non-focused Beingness at rest with the subtle bodies in simple awareness. Meditation is not a Doing. If you are sitting and wish to do - then do - and then move back and Be meditation. The energies are arising and pushing out through the nadis, sheaths and passageways - exercise and stretching is helpful - breath and constant mantra - long, deep and ever widening is a useful naturally calibrating transformative water to all the subtle bodies and integrative across all bounding forces. Do not get stuck in petty engineering - the energies naturally find their best potentials organically and without concepts at the helm. Every concept is a constriction in the past. You may wish to decrease you sitting time for a bit to 20 minutes and several times a day. As you stabilize then move up as it feels right. I am used to very long meditation but variation should always be spontaneous in accord with the present. Meditation is a communing with the subtle bodies - it is a trust - not an over-riding willfulness. The subtle bodies await growth in the presence of beingness - abide within and all will unfold - no effort required. No effort - IS required.
  44. 9 points
    I've been consistently visiting this site since 2005. Every once in a while a longer term member will make this same observation - that the place has changed in a bad way. I just say: look to see the good here. Is there anything new to learn? Are you still interested in the various subjects discussed here? Could a new subject be added into the mix, which no one has discussed yet, but which you're enthusiastic about? Are there new members who could use your help? Longer term members are potentially a resource of information, usually due to having more experience in the subject matter here. Can you learn something from the fresh perspective that new members bring? Is there some subject you might have previously ignored, but which is now becoming more apparent? I've always viewed this forum as a jumping off point for learning, where we can find tidbits of information about something...let's say we see someone talking about Sufism, and it strikes us as seeming interesting...then we can go do our own research, find a lineage, get some real experience for a number of years. And our discussions can benefit from it...as a result, more accurate ideas can be shared with the bums, so that we all help each other out. Our learning becomes more efficient and effective. We get on better spiritual paths. We learn how to be healthier. We improve our lives, and the world around us. If there are people who are negative, perhaps their behavior will improve simply from being here and seeing how the long term bums operate. Or they will get on a path that transforms them, so they no longer feel the need to be rude. For the record...there was never a time when the forum was civil. If we're thinking the forum has changed into a really unpleasant place, perhaps that's just because we've personally become a more pleasant person and are suddenly more aware of the world we were already living in, and how different from it we've become.
  45. 9 points
    isn't it against the Daobums rules to agree with each other?????
  46. 9 points
    After a very long hiatus, my brother convinced me to get back into running. In doing so I read a book called Born to Run by Chris McDougall. Amazing book whether you like to run or not. Among other things, the book discusses the principles of 'barefoot' running. Some take this quite literally and run barefoot in nearly all conditions. Others apply this more as minimalist running and wear running sandals or minimalist shoes (no heel rise or arch support). I've taken this to heart not only in my running but my day to day life. I've always been one to remain barefoot whenever at home and whenever possible out and about. I'm expanding that, going for long walks barefoot, running barefoot. I've now found some minimalist shoes to wear at work. I'm astonished at how good I feel. The foot was meant to feel the ground and experience physical stress to remain strong and healthy. We have been conditioned to lock our feet in cushioned boxes that cause them to weaken profoundly and take away all tactile relationship to the earth. I think there are many physical ailments that are related to our use of shoes (plantar fascitis, Achilles tendonitis, neuromas, flat feet, back pain, knee pain). Anyone else embrace this? I'm interested in your thoughts and experiences. Peace
  47. 9 points
  48. 9 points
  49. 9 points
    The light is awareness and attention which is nearly always turned outward towards the "outside" world. Turning that light around means to focus our awareness and attention inward.
  50. 9 points
    I had glimpses of waking throughout my decades of seeking. Briefly opened windows onto the raw potent, simple beauty of it. That which is... then gone... back to searching... where did that come from? Who has it? Can they give it to me? Every time the bellows shifted, the glimpse would pass and I'd be back to 'seeking it'... seeking everywhere but here... seeking with desperation... with all my power, all my strength, all my mind. Seeking in others, from teachers, from books, from places in nature, seeking it from the right dietary restrictions, from the right soaps. But always somehow sure that I needed something outside of me to show me, to unlock in me the truth. Seeking always to achieve something external, to grasp something that I always assumed was 'out there'. I perceive so clearly now how that very seeking was what impeded the simple realization. Rather than seek elsewhere for that which already abides... within. Release. Be. Strip away, release and let go of every notion, intention, thought and seeking impulse. What remains is... it. The very act, impulse and desire of seeking occludes the realization of what is... When utter spiritual and physical exhaustion led me to completely surrender and give up, in suicidal despair. While lying in complete quiet and solitude, in the midst of one of the greatest cities of the modern world. When I had released all notions I previously held... all desires, all concepts of should and shouldn't... When I had release everything... one thing remained. I am aware. This is it!