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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
    I am dead serious about this. Maybe some others will be at the same place I am. Or if you're not yet, you probably will be. My 92 year old mom has full blown Alzheimers, she's in a really good facility. She doesn't remember me or my brother, her grandkids, nothing. (Although she does remember all old music and lyrics from the '40s, which is how I bond with her now) I fear that I am developing the same problem. I have very little short term memory any more. I don't look much to the future any more. I'm in a strange hovering place that really requires that you focus on the Now. It's very much the same as being in Consciousness, in the place of I Am, but less blissful. When I remember to be In Consciousness, which I do to different degrees throughout the days, I feel great. But this seems to be a push-pull between the two: Consciousness vs. Dementia. The way I have learned to protect myself from making ridiculous mistakes, or missing appointments (which I do a lot) is to focus on the Now as much as I can. That way, I can still bring a little organization into my daily routine, but it's difficult. My mind is sort of blank now, much of the time. But the short-term memory loss is getting horrible, and this is getting serious. I woke up the other morning, couldn't find a particular bra, and found it in the refrigerator 20 minutes later. That's the sort of things I'm talking about. If you lived with someone like this, you'd worry too. But I am finding that staying In Consciousness (out of necessity, in this case!) brings an end to the confusion. Things do truly fall into place. But I step out of it for a few hours unintentionally? Everything turns to doo-doo. So I thought I'd just pass on the 'live in the now' information to anyone getting up there, or living with or caring for old folks.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 13 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.
  7. 12 points
    I was visiting my brother in Florida last week and went with him to take his son to a piano lesson. The teacher knows I'm a guitarist and asked if I'd look at some old guitars she had laying around that belong to her son-in-law. They were looking to get rid of them. One was an old Martin guitar... small body, decent shape, sounds amazing. I did a little research and learned that it was made in 1920! Excellent condition considering it will soon be 100. I made an offer and brought a 1920 Martin 0-18 home with me... By far it has the best tone of any guitar I've played or owned. It needs a little work (maybe more than a little) but considering what I paid it will be a bargain either way. Very excited to see where it takes my playing.
  8. 12 points
    For me, spirituality points to my inner essence, my state of mentality regardless of external conditions.
  9. 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.)
  10. 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.
  11. 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.”
  12. 11 points
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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 ...
  16. 11 points
    As per the title. Just needed to get that off my chest.
  17. 11 points
  18. 10 points
    The book has been well edited and polished, and has been republished on Amazon. A Lineage of Dragons A Lineage of Dragons A story of a life journey from the mundane to the supra normal. A true story of Masters and Students of the Mystical Life Force Martial arts and beyond. THE MAGUS OF SEATTLE This book is about the mysterious chi kung master in Seattle who was Bruce Lee’s uncle and main kung fu teacher. It tells of the kind of qigong that this master used to become one of the most powerful, and of the amazing things experienced by the author, who was his long time apprentice. In China a powerful chi kung master is sometimes called a wizard. In addition there are a couple of prehistoric systems of chi kung in which the body of the master is animated by the spirit of a dragon, a real one from the spirit realm. This then makes them a wizard and a dragon at the same time. This book describes one of these systems, a most rare and most powerful kind of physical, emotional, and spiritual cultivation system. May the force be with you, Steve Gray Contents 1 - The Andes Mountains 2 - The Art of Flying 3 - The Bruce Lee connection 4 - “We are Dragons” 5 - Early Adulthood 6 - Sai Baba 7 - Meeting the Master 8 - Practicing the Path of Power 9 - Enlightenment Experience 10 - My teaching 11 - The Star Wars Connection 12 - The Path of the Warrior Wizard 13 - The Taoist Path of the Immortal 14 - Chi Kung vs. Nei Kung 15 - Masters of the Way
  19. 10 points
  20. 10 points
    I'd like to tell you a story and I hope you take it to heart... On February 25, 2019 I received a phone call that changed me, my life and my entire family. My sister committed suicide. It has been the most devastating loss in my 48 years on this planet. You see, from her journal I found that she felt insignificant, invisible, and helpless. She was very ill for many years and these feelings built a wall around the person we, her family and friends, thought she was. She told no one and sought no help. Even though you may not realize it I hear you screaming for help. I hear you saying you really do not want to die, that you just want what you believe will make you happy. Please try to find one thing each day to live for and to love even if it is just to see the moon one more night. I am begging you to live because you matter and you are worthy! You matter and are worthy in ways to others that you can not fathom right now! The devastation of suicide reaches far outside the circle of family and friends around you. It touches the lives of strangers, their children, their animals, their world is rocked too. Suicide is like an earthquake, only the aftershocks are felt for years not mere days. The pain is far reaching and the suffering is intense. I wrote this shortly after my sister took her life. This is a glimpse of what happens after suicide. Please talk to someone. I will listen and talk with you. I will do everything I can to keep you on this earth so that you can find some happiness and a will to live because people do love you. Please, please, please!
  21. 10 points
    @joeblast Since you would prefer discussion of martial ethics/virtue to be kept separate from discussion of martial technique, and since I think Starjumper has to accept closer scrutiny than just your average TDB blowhard since he's now selling his books and videos here, I am splitting the threads. I write the following to anybody who cares, although it addresses your post directly. (Anybody who wishes to troll this thread, go on ahead. But at least read this first so you can say something genuinely witty and germane. And Starjumper, if you wish to continue mocking me here, you're welcome to. Go hard. Consult a thesaurus even. Why not get it out of your system once and for all, and then try and remember that you're never too old to grow up.) Thanks for your thoughts. If I come across as one who was sheltered and therefore does not understand street violence, thank you for that too. I say that without guile or irony. I take your comment as a compliment, as it was not easy to go from being a person regularly consumed by anger and involved with violence of many kinds to a person who rarely feels the need to even think about harming other people or vandalizing my environment. My most important martial arts teachers would also be satisfied if I told them that it appears I do not carry an aura of violence, even online. They (two from the Shaolin tradition, one from Wudang, neither famous) were exceedingly clear that gentleness and calm were the the most important things we would ever learn, even though to be certain in the Shaolin school there was often bruising and bloodshed as we trained in a way that reflected a real need for self-defense in that time and place. My recollections of the violent side of the world that I passed through are very relevant to my opinion that Steve Gray. It is because of those experiences that I say that if he is going to be selling spiritual books and videos online (and hawking them here), then he needs to assume more responsibility for his words than XYZ random forum member does. One who sells teaching materials related to spiritual practice (even if he denies that's what his books and videos are about) must exercise real discernment and be cautious about publicly disseminating violent fantasies or bigotry, even when in jest or when acting out an outrageous online persona. Those who decide to be teachers, especially when they're selling the types of books young people like (Power! Jedis! Dragons! CIA! Kill you with merely a thought! Bruce Lee! Aliens! Wizards! Harry Potter!), need to know that silly young fools may actually end up taking them as role models. Their words may manifest in their students' and fans' actions. These are things that virtuous teachers keep at the very front of their minds--for the sake of their students, society, and their very own karma I will explain why I feel strongly about these things, but first I will apologize, because I know it is all too easy for discussion of a "dark past" to turn into a sort of dick measuring contest (that keyword is a T-ball pitch for you if you need it, SJ). Nevertheless, here it is: sheltered though I may seem, in fact from mob brawls to 10-against-2 beatdowns (on both sides of that ratio) to bottles smashed over heads (more times than I can count, with a goodly scar on my forehead for when I got to taste it myself) to baseball bats and table legs to stabbings and all the way up to gun play (on both sides for that, also, though by grace of the Spaghetti Monster no altercation I was personally involved with resulted in a bullet hitting a body; yet I've been within fifty feet of a drive-by as well as dumb kids shooting a dude to death because he stopped his car to confront them when they threw rocks at it... cold world indeed), to multiple close friends and acquaintances losing people to murder, to friends falling apart in the crack game, to stick up kid friends who turned into the psychopaths who cut people after getting the money, to friends locked up... I have seen a fair bit, and the list goes on. That's just the violent crime, making no mention of the other crimes as well as my habitually foul behavior towards women, gay men, people weaker or stupider than me, etc. All that said, I came from a comfortable enough household and was not as hard as I aspired to be. I learned I was definitely not hard when my propensity for violence increasingly put me in contact with people who were in much deeper than me. Participating in beating up and apparently stabbing a BPSN one year meant having to keep a gun in the apartment and lay low on paranoid mode for quite some time. Less than a year later, I put a rifle in my friend's hand and he licked a shot at a group of BDs who damn sure knew who we were, so I had to leave my home and nearly everything I owned and permanently camp out on my friends' sofa. Having all that go on while becoming a little too well-known to police and also expelled from college in large part because I was involved in a brawl turned stabbing there, well, it ended up being enough to convince me that I needed to get my shit together. But... Getting one's shit together when one is a young, selfish, antisocial retard who didn't have a good male role model in the home is exceedingly difficult. One of the biggest blessings in my life was that I had encountered and trained with both the Shaolin and the Wudang teachers before I went feral. I was able to remember that while training Shaolin martial arts I had been healthy and in high spirits, and also easily avoided conflict. In my twenties, when I finally realized the need I had for discipline and guidance in my life, I knew that these things existed, and I was able to go back to them. Far more important than the physical practices was the availability of responsible, mature, sane men to teach me how to stop being a fucking fool. That was many years ago. I have not needed to fight with anybody since then. The two times people tried to jump me since then, I just ran away, which was easy, as few goons are in better shape than I am, and also because there was simply no compelling reason not to run away. This last fact I was able to see clearly because my teachers were men who offered their students very clear teachings about what kind of behavior reflects integrity, and what kind does not. The two Shaolin teachers were both cops in an area where violence was a part of life. One teacher's teenage son had died because he was shot in the face at point blank down the street in a convenience store for answering a question about his gang affiliation by saying he had none. You can imagine that we were reminded about this story on a regular basis, especially if anybody in the school got into conflicts in the neighborhood. So, we trained and became strong and punched and kicked each other but we also were fed a steady stream of moral instructions from men who were mature, upright, strong, confident, dangerous, very familiar with violence, and yet never ever ever ever prone to sitting there making light of it, or bragging about it, joking about killing people, name-calling those they did not like, etc. I am sure they behaved the way they did in part because they were aware of how volatile and impressionable all the hormonal, teenaged and early-twenty-something minds around them were. To be unclear about what constitutes virtuous behavior is to fail as a martial arts teacher, regardless of how skilled one may be at teaching people to punch, kick, grapple, etc. My own life example proves that even if you do teach properly, kids will still fail to get the message. Yet, despite the fact that I strayed far from what my teachers had taught me when I was a teenager, my great good fortune was that they planted seeds that remained fertile until I finally began to examine my life in my twenties. Had they not done so, I do not know how I would have found the power to change the direction my life was plummeting along in. Perhaps I would have have failed to extract myself. I can only remain grateful that they upheld the martial culture as excellent role models and mentors who helped me cease harming myself and others. What they demonstrated was 武德, "martial virtue." The character 武 simply depicts stopping (止) and a bladed weapon (戈). Partially this refers to self defense, which helps you stop others from harming you. But when viewed as the basis of moving from simple martial arts training into a spiritual existence it reveals a deeper meaning of learning to stop yourself from harming self and other. This is not easy to do, and yet it is core of all Chinese martial arts that can legitimately claim to have their roots in the teachings of the sages. Those of you who view this place as The Dao Bums and not simply "the bums," please be aware that the Daodejing makes no bones about this issue. If you can't remember where, it is time to read the book again. This brings me back to Steve Gray, who claims to have inherited one of the greatest Chinese martial arts ever--one that indeed comes from the spirit realm and turns people into sages. In choosing to use this shared forum as a platform from which to hawk his book full of purported spiritual teachings, his neigong videos (including those expressly meant to activate shen), and to attract students to his brick-and-mortar school, he has chosen to move from the role of simple forum member into a more public role. I do not suggest that anybody needs to force him to speak and write in one way or another. But given Steve's transition to public figure, I think there is no reason to treat him differently from any other author, video maker, or "master" plying his/her trade on the internet. Given that he is selling teachings, there is plenty of reason to take a serious look at just what kind of teacher this is. That is why I hold his fantasy about killing the BJJ practitioner in a different light than I would if it were posted by a random TDbum. That violent fantasy and all the name-calling that goes on and on and on and on... what kind of person does it reflect? What kind of teacher does it reflect? What kind of energetic, spiritual, and martial development does it reflect? Is it just little jokes, or is this man perhaps deranged and dangerous? If he is not deranged, why does he feel the need to play the role of a somewhat crazy, bullying person when he is posting on the internet? There is another issue which also demands some scrutiny: Starjumper is spreading videos online of shen practices which he admits that he himself cannot safely practice. Today, regarding the videos he recently posted he wrote: It is well known that improper shen practices can and often enough do lead to mental illness and spiritual disturbances. That Starjumper is using the Dao Bums as a platform to advertise and distribute video instructions for practices that he, as their teacher (creator even?), does not fully understand is eyebrow-raising to say the least. My opinion is that simply tacking warnings onto the beginning of videos (or covering your book with the word "spiritual" and then denying it is about spirituality) is a lame cop out, and demonstrative of a man who lacks the sense of responsibility required of a person in the role he is trying to occupy. Anyway, I feel I have made my point. Food for thought for some, hopefully. Maybe some will think I'm overreacting. I was taught by people who took this sort of shit very seriously and took pains to explain why. My hard-won life experience lends me to think they were right in doing so, and thus I take my time to express these things as clearly as I possibly can. People should be very careful when choosing teachers. That is all.
  22. 10 points
    This study and review of the Neiye will use five six translators and I will give the chinese in a spoiler. Linnell's and Dan Reid's version. Dan uses characters that differs at times based on there are five manuscripts and it is not easy to know which translator is following which one. 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 Reid: Invariably, the heart-mind’s decisions (based on text: 凡心之刑) Reid notes the use of 刑: “Xing 刑 punishment/decision” is often replaced here with “xing 形 forms” in accordance with line 103 of the Nei Ye, believing 刑 to be the typo. However, 刑 appears more consistently in related lines of the Nei Ye and Xin Shu Xia. See also, line 115-120 of the Xin Shu Xia. ~~~ Changes were made to the sections by now following Eno (18) instead of Roth (26). ~~~ 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. Reid: The Thread of Dao: Unraveling Early Daoist Oral Traditions explores the ancient medical and spiritual culture that blossomed into China’s most celebrated book of wisdom: "The Classic of Dao and Virtue (Dao De Jing, circa 500 BC)." Instructions in the “art of the heart-mind” are said to have been transcribed and taught long before the time of Confucius, Lao Zi, and the Buddha, with the "Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine," the mythical stories of Zhuang Zi, and indigenous Chinese mindfulness traditions all sprouting from China’s longstanding “heart-mind techniques.” Dan G. Reid translates all four “art of the heart-mind” texts traditionally attributed to the famous advisor, Guan Zi (720-645 BC), along with an early Daoist commentary, and accompanies these translations with his own commentary and textual contrasts based in various Daoist, Buddhist, Confucian, and ancient Chinese medical texts. Reid’s commentary serves to underline the links between early Chinese schools of thought, while highlighting their shared approaches to ”the art of the heart-mind,” nourishing internal energy, and restoring “spiritual intelligence.”
  23. 10 points
    This is of a personal nature, but my mind is blown today. My brother and his wife were giving away an old chest of drawers. As they were cleaning out the drawers, they came across one that had very old handmade valentine or birthday cards in it. They were all made by either me or my brother, given to mom or dad when we were real young. The drawer also had a letter written on a birthday card, from my father to me. For whatever reason, he never gave it to me. Quick background - my dad was an angry man who used a leather belt to disciple me. We had a horrible relationship, but had a nice communication at time of his death. He was one tough old LAPD cop. This was apparently written shortly after I joined the PD in 1969, about 50 years ago. But it was never sent. This is it - Barb: As I sit here in bed and review the past thinking of the times I've scolded you, spanked you and punished you, I now know that during those periods I was unable to express my love for you, for at that age you'd reject it. Many of times I've wanted to hold you in my arms and pour out my love. I have never in my life given up on you and I have never been so proud as of late. As we grow older in life, I feel that many things go unsaid, for sooner or later all of us must go. Therefore I want to be sure to let you know that I've never done an act that I didn't think would be for your benefit - that's not to say I'm always right but only to say I wouldn't hurt you for the world. No one will ever love you more than your mother or I. What a beautiful feeling of....I don't know....verification? I'm still astounded.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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
  29. 10 points
    Have the shortest best day ever
  30. 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.
  31. 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?
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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?
  38. 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
  39. 9 points
    This thread is for public offering of for sale Videos of some of the levels of Tien Shan Chi Kung, as well as some bits and pieces of Tien Shan, which I am calling Black Dragon Chi Kung. Tien Shan Nei Kung, a vanishingly rare prehistoric system of true nei kung for cultivating super health, longevity, chi power, and spiritual growth. This video shows the beginning level of a vast system which contains thousands of techniques, has interminable depth, and takes decades to learn. It can take you all the way to the mountain top. The beginning levels of Tien Shan are excellent for healing. getting rid of sick energy, cultivating healthy energy, and balancing your energy. It has a genius level of focus on being fast and efficient, no time is wasted on useless or low power methods. This is the type of chi kung described in the book "A Lineage of Dragons" and is the cultivation practice that Master Fook Yueng, who was Bruce Lee's uncle and main kung fu teacher, used for himself to become one of the more powerful and advanced chi kung masters in the world. This is the true beginning level of Tien Shan Chi Kung as taught to Steve Gray by Fook Yueng. It contains hundreds of techniques that the astute practitioner will be able to perceive and practice. The video has a voice over explaining how the movements should be done properly. To succeed in this type of cultivation the student must turn the sound off after one or two times and have it on very rarely if at all after that. You should strive to close your eyes more and more until you can do the whole thing without watching. Students who wish to come here to practice must first memorize this form so that they can do it with eyes closed. This type of chi kung is very different than most, which are bits of systems which some teachers have watered down to make easy to learn, this is a practice that has withstood the test of thousands of years and is specifically for producing super men and women, as described in the video at the end of this post. The DVD is thirty minutes long, I would like to see suggestions for a good price for this - thanks. This is the video which describes the goals and results of Real nei kung: I'll be continuing to edit this as I update the description.
  40. 9 points
    If you visit a lake when the sun is shining - perhaps at dawn - and you look at its surface you see a dazzling field of light, if you look into its depth you see a cool dark stillness - if you jump into the lake what is it then? Are there three different lakes? No. Which lake is real - the pool of light, the depths or the skinny dip? Sorry you'll have to excuse me I was having a Zen moment. In any case three different people can argue about the nature of the lake forever - and all can be right.
  41. 9 points
  42. 9 points
    Hi fellow Bums As a few of you may already know, I spent the last one year or so researching the history of some ancient cultures (such as the ones in Egypt, the Americas, Britain, the Pyrenees, amongst others), leading all the way back to the legendary civilization of Atlantis which I believe to be a historical fact. - Based on so many pieces of evidence. This topic is linked to a larger book project I have been pursuing for a couple of decades by now. In regards to its historical section, I am intending to share some of my source material as well as original work in a series of threads, in the hope of finding some resonance and, if possible, a fruitful discussion. Also, be free to ask any questions that may come to mind - I will answer them to the best of my ability. A good place to start our journey into the deep past seems to be the temporal demarcation line drawn by the end of the Last Glacial Period. However, before we depart, it seems to be a good idea to take a look at the topic of the ice ages in more general terms. Since very early geological times, our planet has been going through a series of ice ages, alternating with long warm periods in which our globe was entirely free of ice. The first ice age (called the Huronian) started about 2.4 billion years ago and lasted for 300 million years. It was later followed by the Cryogenian Ice Age lasting 165 million years from 800-635 mya, which was possibly the most severe of them all and might have produced a “Snowball Earth”, in which the Earth iced over completely. A minor series of glaciations then occurred from 450-420 mya, which was followed by more extensive glaciations again for 100 million years from 350-250 mya. More recently, an increase in glaciation on Earth started when ice began to build up over Antarctica about 36 mya during the so-called Eocene Epoch. It was probably related to the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, with a drift of the Antarctic continent toward the South Pole and the development of ocean passages around the Antarctica. Globally, temperatures markedly decreased then during the Middle Miocene (about 15 mya), probably as a result of the increased ice growth on Antarctica. The oceans cooled partly due to the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current when ocean currents circled the Antarctic continent without reaching warmer latitudes. At the opposite pole, the Greenland ice cap began to develop in the Middle Pliocene, about 3 mya. Before then, Arctic areas were comparatively warm, with trees and bushes growing far north of the present treeline. The Quaternary Ice Age is the most recent ice age. Ice sheets began to spread over North America and Eurasia around 2.5 mya. This initial glaciation was followed by a series of warmer interglacials (each lasting 10,000-30,000 years) and renewed glaciations (each lasting 70,000-90,000 years) in alternation. Within the Quaternary Ice Age, the most recent phase of glaciation is called the Weichselian/ Wisconsin Glacial Epoch. During its peak, ice sheets covered extensive areas above 40-50º North in both Eurasia and North America. It reached its maximum around 18,000 BC, whereafter the glaciers slowly started melting. That glaciation phase ended for good - and indeed rather abruptly - around 9,600 BC. Due to the slowly melting ice sheets, the global sea-level rose about 60 meters between 18.000 to 9,600 BC, and an additional 50-60 metres until 6000 BC, when it finally reached the level it has today. During those times of rising sea-levels, many islands were covered by water and sediments, and at the same time, much of what once used to be coastal land is now underwater and tens of kilometers out to sea. This explains why man-made structures have been found submerged in various locations off the coasts, with many more supposedly yet to be found. Stories of a deluge in numerous cultures all around the globe may well represent 'collective memories' of those prehistoric changes. For instance, the Bahama Archipelago (identified by the "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce as the location of the lost civilization of Atlantis) used to be a coherent dry land mass off the coast of Florida. The part remaining above sea-level today is just a small fraction of its prehistoric extent. Other locations for Atlantis suggested by various researchers include the Greater and Lesser Antilles (also located in the Carribean) as well as the Azores. If interest warrants it, we will be looking into those various theories in more detail later. So while there remain many questions yet to be answered, it strikes me as rather remarkable that a date around 9,600 BC (i.e., around the end of the Weichselian/ Wisconsin Glaciation) was indicated for the destruction of the island of Atlantis in the very source of the story, Plato's late dialogues Timiaios and Critias. Plato's information seems to have come down to him via the Greek statesman Solon, "the wisest of the seven sage", who in turn had received it from Egyptian priests while visiting the very ancient city Sais in the western Nile delta. Again, we should have an opportunity to talk about that in far more depth later. I wish to conclude this introductory post on the note that the Quaternary Ice Age isn't over yet - it continues to the present day. Although the Earth is at present luckily in an interglacial called the Holocene Era, the Quaternary Ice Age might continue for possibly millions of years into the future, as have several past ice ages. If previous glacial-interglacial cycles are any indication of future cycles, it is likely that the present warm interglacial period will end sometime between tomorrow and 20,000 years from now. Then, massive glaciers will advance from the north again, covering much of North America and Eurasia. That being said, we do not need to fret over that possibility right now, as glaciers and ice sheets have been melting and the global sea-level has been rising at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year since 1961, and 3.1 mm per year since 1993. If this trend continues and the ice caps should fully melt, it is estimated that the Antarctica Ice Sheet would contribute more than 60 metres of sea-level rise, and Greenland would contribute more than 7 metres. Go figure! However, it is not unusual for relatively short, somewhat warmer periods to occur both during glacial and interglacial phases. As for the current rise in temperature, its exact causes remain controversial (not least on this board) - however, that is not the theme of this thread! Please reserve THAT debate for one of the thread especially dedicated to it, such as this one: Here, I intend to be looking at the Atlantis legend as shared by Plato in connection with the end of the last Ice Age (to put it more simply) and then to move on to explore other aspects of that lost civilizations and the inheritance that may have been received from it by subsequent cultures that we have more factual knowledge about. An important source for what has been presented here was P.P. Flambas' book Plato's Carribean Atlantis - A Scientific Analysis, which I warmly recommend to anybody with a serious interest in the topic. Material from various other sources has been added, of course. Please try to stay more on less on topic as outlined and try to post comments of a more general nature in our previous TDB Atlantis thread. Thanks! And feel free to discuss.
  43. 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.
  44. 9 points
    They are bodily fluids not some super duper energy potions. Do your thing and don't worry about yin and yang fluids worry about getting the job done properly.
  45. 9 points
    Sometimes a very simple thing changes all the work. For me, this is a Chinese chef's knife. As soon as it appeared, Chinese cuisine became simpler and happier. With other knives, many processes take up a lot more time and effort.
  46. 9 points
    full, authentic presence complete release in the now... as it is playful bouyancy... blissful loss of self in action and raw connected presence a softening of the notion of a boundary between a self and an other a dissolving of certainties a sense of awakening after a long nap
  47. 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
  48. 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.
  49. 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
  50. 9 points