sillybearhappyhoneyeater

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  1. Need help with Cultivation (semen) and energy

    There is somewhat of a dogma among people who practice Nei Dan in the secular world that semen retention is of no value, but if you look at older texts in Daoism, there is considerable emphasis placed on controlling bodily fluids. Retaining semen certainly does produce a sense of more complete energy than if you ejaculate often. The problem is that it also creates considerable frustration in young men and is very difficult to do for long stretches if you have a normally functioning libido. People who really want to control ejaculation in a substantive way will do so because every waking hour is dedicated to meditation, and they don't want to leak any of the energy they have accumulated. Not ejaculating is only part of a broader set of self imposed restrictions such as not eating strong tasting food, eating less, sleeping less, meditating all day, and other forms of purification that simply aren't possible for most modern people. There is an overemphasis on not ejaculating in the western Daoist discourse, and it is extremely unhealthy because firstly, it is overemphasized in comparison to other more important aspects of practice, and second, it takes on a funny moralist post catholic character which is repressive and guilt ridden. I think generally the people who are the most nuts about semen retention are usually also people who haven't managed to create a healthy sex life, which is a big psychological problem and should be solved by learning to come to terms with oneself. If you want to cultivate vitality, you should eat right, exercise right, and live a healthy lifestyle. Meditation is good, but you should find someone to teach you and don't just do it by yourself.
  2. Why shouldn't we meditate after eating?

    It actually makes a difference what kind of meditation you are doing. If you are going to be sitting for a long period of time, eating first is a poor idea because it is better to move around a bit and not be sedentary after eating, this helps you digest the food better. Wang Chongyang said that if you sit for too long, blood will accumulate in the lower abdomen and cause your circulation to become sluggish, and I expect that eating exasperates that a bit too. If you are doing some sort of moving meditation like qi gong or taijiquan, doing it after you eat is not a problem. If you take meditation very seriously, you can meditate while you go for a walk after eating, that way you can digest the food and move around while still focusing on calming and quieting your mind. It is always a good idea to calm your mind at all times, not just when you are seated, especially if your practice internal elixir, because you can lose the Qi you accumulate if you let your mind leave the meditative state for long periods of time.
  3. Yin and yang, balance and cultivation

    Daoists believe that boys reach sexual and energetic maturity at sixteen years old and girls reach it around thirteen (I can't remember the exact number, but there is a very good article about it in Shui Jingzi's commentary on the clarity and quiet classic). This puts both of them in the Qian/heaven trigram in terms of their energetic potential. This means that boys should start self cultivation practices around sixteen years of age because their Qi is the most healthy at that time, including all twenty four pre heaven energies and forty post heaven energies making up the sixty four trigrams. Abstaining from ejaculation is similar to fasting, you can choose to do it if you want, but it is less important than leading a healthy life every day. If you want to improve your yang energy, exercise more. If you want to improve your yin energy, do silent meditation more often (Not nei dan,but more like sitting and forgetting for instance). My own teacher has started to formulate some theories about how to practice quiet sitting and martial arts in tandem so that before doing martial arts you get some benefit from quiet and then after martial arts you have a baseline to go back to in order to contain the masculine energy you have developed during practice time. The best thing to do regardless is to focus on vitality and raising your vitality through lifestyle practices. you can do a lot to improve your energy just by paying attention to how you live.
  4. what is dan dao?

    Dan Dao is the study of Elixir in Daoism. It is separated into three big practices: 1: Di Yuan: the earth origin aspect of elixir practices. It is concerned with making medicines which are meant to strengthen the health of the body in order to make people more able to practice meditation successfully. This type of practice became unpopular in the Tang dynasty, but in the 20th century some teachers reformulated it in order to include things like Chinese medicine (Chen Yingning, Hu Haiya et al.) 2: Tian yuan: heaven origin of elixir practices. It is specifically based on meditation and the internal elixir system of meditation, which as awaken pointed out uses emptiness to refine the essence, energy, and spirit and return to the Dao. 3: Ren Yuan: human origin of elixir practices. It is a combination of heaven and earth, yin and yang, and is manifested in the form of physical health preservation techniques such as Qi Gong, Daoist yoga, and in modern times, the internal martial arts. The most important of these three methods from a Daoist perspective is Tian Yuan, but the most popular is Ren Yuan because so many people practice Daoist related health preservation exercises. It doesn't matter which one you practice, or if you practice all of them,the first goal is longevity, the next goal is spiritual achievement and liberation through immortality.
  5. Breathing into LDT

    Breathing to the lower Dantian and focusing on non action is even better!
  6. Question about stages in Neidan

    I thought about this thread a bit and want to address some of the claims/problems here. 1: the heat goes to the head and the head feels like it has a dent: the heat going to the head is completely normal, but it is important how it feels, because when you meditate, it should always be comfortable. If you feel too excited during meditation, the medicine will not be born. One of the earliest major treatises on Nei Dan by Chen Tuan (Yin Zhen Ren Huan Dan Ge Zhu) says that you should focus first on the "Northern Sea" (lower dantian) which is the ultimate darkness (non action, non intention) and then the "Zheng Qi" (upright energy) will move to the head by the river cart (moving up the ren mai meridian). When the energy arrives at the head, you shouldn't force it, just let it be until it is ready to move on its own. The best thing to do is "bao yi" (contain as one. Your whole body seems to be one unbroken original qi). Trying to open the du mai, third eye, or any energy centre is the lower method of neidan, it is not as good as non intention. 2: the Dantian is not something you should use the intention to focus on: the majority of Neidan documents suggest to focus on the Qi Xue point, which is just under the dantian. The problem is that people don't know how to focus and they think they need to place too much attention. You don't need to put much attention at all, just breathe to that area through the nose, soften the breath so you can't hear it, and allow your mind to settle in the lower abdomen until it seems like the mind disappears. The best way is that there is no you, no surroundings, and if you are successful, even no nothingness. That is how the real pre heaven three treasures are joined. If you focus on the breath, the intention, and the lower abdomen, that is post heaven and it is called "wai yao" or outer medicine. outer medicine is good for your health, but not good for spiritual purposes. It is better to direct the mind to genuine non action, in which the attention and breath are only used as an anchor, not as antagonist. 3: you should find a real teacher to learn in person: I agree with this claim. The best thing to do is find a real teacher who can teach you face to face. This can be very hard to do though and many teachers who claim to teach neidan are actually teaching visualization or qi gong. Both visualization and qi gong can be good though and certainly you can get benefit from them, so don't discount them out of hand. Studying from people online is possible and certainly I have personally taught a number of people, but out of the thirty or so people I've taught, only about three have been able to manifest what I would consider to be the basic level of Nei Dan practice (able to enter into non action and the pre heaven state). Most people would be better suited by studying Zen, or just counting their breaths, since those are much easier to learn and also have many good benefits. After a long time, I've come around to the conclusion that Nei Dan isn't for everyone and that anyone who is going to study it seriously must be very intelligent and very meticulous about practice and research. Studying on your own is an even bigger risk and there are very few resources out there to tell you if what you are doing is right or wrong. If you want to meditate on your lower Dantian, you should just focus on that area, don't worry about the rest of your body. The most important thing is to maintain calm and stability. Don't mess around with the third eye or heart gate until you actually have a teacher to tell you what to do, because those practices can be very dangerous if you make mistakes. I personally believe that meditating on the whole body as one piece is actually safer for most people than the lower dantian and it is much harder to make mistakes that way. If you are going to practice by yourself, then you need to research twice as seriously as someone who already has a teacher, so think carefully because the potential for bad results is very real and you probably don't want to go down that road. I would also suggest that you check out other traditions which might have schools in your area. Neidan is one school of meditation among many and there are many other schools which can produce equal results, so be open minded and look around for a master level teacher. The best situation is you find a master level teacher in an art that works for you, the worst situation is that you find a bad teacher in the art you want to study. Hopefully this has been somewhat useful.
  7. Question about stages in Neidan

    Trying to do neidan without a teacher is a bad idea because it is common to cause energy to move in bad directions and cause blockages. I believe that the person who posts under the name Awaken is teaching Nei Dan to dedicated students here, maybe you should ask her to be your teacher and she can give you advice about how to practice to get the best results.
  8. Trans and Taosim

    Daoism at a very basic level is just about being natural. No need to overly complicate things.
  9. The daoist school in 桐柏宮 start to accept students

    Hahaha, its not very far from my house.... Thanks for sharing
  10. What is Yi?

    do you mean, 易yi: change 仪 yi: rite 意 yi: intention or 义 yi: order? I'm guessing you mean 意 yi: intention. Can you use intention to read the hexagrams? Yes, this is why the hexagrams are so important in meditation. The hexegrams can be translated into functions of the body and mind and when we meditate, it is useful to understand how hexagram theory explains our meditation practice. For instance, the yin in Li reverting the the centre of kan makes the yang of kan move to the centre of li, thus turning kan and li into heaven and earth. Thus revealing the true nature (xing) as the heaven trigram and the body as the earth trigram. This is related to how we use our intention to create 真意 zhen yi: real intention.
  11. Shi Shen and Yuan Shen

    Awaken, Xuan Guan (I will call it mystery gate from now one, since we are using an English language forum, mystery gate is its proper name) is, as you know, something which can occur in many different places. Huang Yuanji said 玄关一窍是修道之根本,学者之先务。 "the one opening of the mystery gate is the root or cultivating the Dao, the first work of the student." So we can say that this experience has many levels, and I am confident many people can enter the first level very early in practice, so I think everyone should practice high level skills, since the high level skill is just to return to non action. he also said: 玄关一窍是混元一气之玄关。了无声臭可钔,色相可见。 "the one opening of the mystery gate is the hunyuan one energy mystery gate. Attaining 'no sound or smell to encounter, no sights to see." So again, this should always be the goal and priority of our practice, I have no argument with you about this at all. I argue that there are different ways to enter into the mystery gate in the early stage of practice, and each has its own benefits and problems. If we go by Huang Yuanji's practice, he says 心之下肾之上仿佛在他的虚无窟子 "below the heart and above the kidneys, Place Buddha in his quiet, empty cavern" (for people who are wondering, he means the Qi Hai area under the navel). So we know that he uses this method as the way to 定意 stablise the mind. 定 stabilise only means we 止 stop, not any action. If we want to achieve non action, we have to stop the mind. The Northern school will focus on the breath to stop the mind, most other schools will focus on breath and the Qi Xue point, at least in the early stages of practice. We can argue our own opinion about what is better until the cows come home, but it doesn't change the history of the literature. From what i have heard from you, your ideas are more similar to Wang Chongyang. I respect that, but please also respect that Neidan is a very big school with many ideas, even ones that are different from our own preferred practices. I'm going to stop there and I think I will ignore the thread now, since it has been time consuming and tiring for me. Hopefully in the future we will be more clear about each other's stances and not have to suffer more than we need to. Best wishes, Rob
  12. Shi Shen and Yuan Shen

    Awaken, 抱歉您,我不要和您找碴了。当然我十分同意您讲的“玄关妙窍”的内容。收入先天丹法的理论对学生来说是特别重要。不过我们也要注意内丹的经文是怎么写的,而且它从什么道术原来发生的了。比如看张紫阳的悟真篇,应该清楚他的丹法从和合先后天的气结合在一起。南宗本来是一个“收黑知百”和“将心为无为”的理论方法。但这个方法是从“先有为后无为”的基础开始。我很相信萧廷之言的“上品丹法,以神为炉,以性为药,以定为火,以慧为火。中品丹法,以神为炉,以气为药,以日为火,以月为水。下品丹法,以身为炉,以气为药,以心为火,以肾为水。又有偃月炉、玉炉。” 不过,每个人的能力不一样了。基本上我还是相信内丹的方法是一层一层学习的,所以原来要主动一些基本功以后要更注意收先天性。如果是玄关一窍,或清净无为,或伏藏气学,这些入门都可。我们不要辨哪种最好,因为每个人身体的状况不一样。不同方法适合不同的人。 这个是我到底怎么想的。等您回答。 谢谢。您的关心。
  13. Shi Shen and Yuan Shen

    btw. there was a mistake in my above post: Chen ye wei = Chen Ye Fu. Sorry for the confusion.
  14. So what's the deal between qigongs and dreams?

    My personal impression is that it is probably related to hormonal shifts during practice. My own teacher has been researching nervous system and hormonal related subjects in his own studies and feels that there is a correlation between experiences of Qi and both the nervous system and endocrine systems, although if I understand it correctly, there is only a very small body of work available in English on the subject. Certainly we do have a few papers that suggest long term meditation triggers production of certain types of endorphin, similar to the runners high.
  15. Shi Shen and Yuan Shen

    The point is, every major Nei Dan school except the Northern school says that you must use emptying the mind and filling the belly to 虛其心以養性,實其腹以立命;知先天一氣 (huang yuan ji, dao de jing chan wei). Here are a list of quotes to support my thesis (please note I am translating on the fly, so don't expect it to be perfect). 1: Li Xiyue, Three Carts Secret Method: 凝神調息,是下手功夫。 Collecting the spirit and adjusting the breath is how to begin practice. 凝神者,是收已清之心而入其內也。 Collecting the spirit is in containing clarity in one's mind and entering into its inside. 心未清時,眼勿內閉。 Before the mind is clear, don't close the eyes inward. 先要自勸自勉,收他回來,清涼恬淡,始行收入氣穴,乃曰凝神。 First you should fortify yourself and discipline yourself, collect outward apparatus inward, quietly and clearly placid without personal aspirations. Beginning its movement, collect it into the cavity of Qi (qi xue point). This is collecting the spirit. 坐虛無中,不 偏不倚,即是凝神於虛。 Sitting in emptiness and nothingness, don't lean and don't rise, this is how collecting the spirit meets emptiness. 2: Da Cheng Jie Yao: 外无所着,内无所思,空空 洞洞,虚虚灵灵,心不得随缘而放驰也。 The outside affects nothing, the inside contains no thoughts, most empty, and wide open, utterly void, and completely illuminated, the mind does not follow its destiny and must stop from galloping away. 昔日逢师传口诀,只教凝神入气穴,正谓此也。 In ancient times, the teachers passed on these poems, and taught how to collect the spirit in the “Qi cave.” This is the correct way: 气穴即命门,正在脊骨第七节之下,脐后肾前,前七分,后三分,两肾中 间,左属水,右属火。 The “Cave of qi” is also the “life gate.” It is under the seventh vertebrae of the spine, behind the navel and in front of the kidneys. In front by seven measures and behind by three measures, in the centre between the two kidneys. Left represents water, right represents fire. 沈亚夫shen ye wei: 性有巧拙,可以伏藏。 夫人巧拙之性,坎离之象,巧则既济,拙则未济,故伏藏於丹田。丹田者,精炁之元也。 He who has a clever and dull mind has water and fire's image. Clever means he will cross the river. Dull means he has not yet crossed. Place it in the dan tian. The dantian is the source of jing and qi. There are so many documents which say exactly the same thing, at least 100 if not more. This is a non controversial subject in Nei Dan and is the standard interpretation. The early interpretation of the Quanzhen school is the non standard one, and it even got replaced after the fourth generation. Focusing on emptiness and oneness, while hiding the mind in the lower dantian is the correct way of entering into Nei Dan practice from the gate of "first cultivate ming and then cultivate xing." If people want to first cultivate Xing and then cultivate ming, they should focus on northern school methods, which is basically what Awaken is talking about. They are two different methods of beginning practice. In the end, either way, both of them must arrive at 收一 otherwise 丹不成 This is how my teacher was taught by Cao Zhenyang, this is how Chen Yingning taught his disciples, this is how Jiang Weiqiao taught his disciples and so on. This is how Nei Dan works.