Lataif

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  1. Sufi cultivation

    Subtle Substances (The Lataif) According to Naqshbandi Sufi author Idries Shah [13], the Lataif (plural of Latifa) are five special "Organs of Perception" -- subtle human capacities for experience and action: Qalb (color yellow, location left side of the body) Ruh (color red, location right side of the body) Sirr (color white, location below the navel) Khafi (color black, location forehead) Ikhfa (color green, location center of chest) Their equivalents on a conventional level of experience are interpreted by Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas)[14] as follows: Qalb (Joy) Ruh (Strength) Sirr (Will) Khafi (Peace) Ikhfa (Compassion) The underlying Arabic word "latifa" means "subtlety" and the five Lataif together are understood to make up the human "subtle body" (Jism Latif). This subtle body is only explicitly active, however, in human beings who have undergone a spiritual evolution. Activating (or awakening or "illuminating") the individual Lataif (and thereby the Jism Latif as a whole) is considered to be the central part of the comprehensive spiritual development that is Sufi spiritual practice. The activation/awakening/illumination process consists of various methods and exercises. One such method, for example, includes having the student concentrate awareness on the part of the body that is related to each Latifa. Another method is direct activation of the Latifa by a special interchange, called "tajalli" ("luminizing"), between Sufi teacher and student. A person in whom the Jism Latif is explicitly realized and functioning is understood to have achieved the first, preliminary, level of becoming the Sufi ideal of a Perfect Man (Al-Insān al-Kāmil.).
  2. Net content of this comment: zero. Thanks for nothing.
  3. Favourite qigong system

    Yes. It's my primary practice. My username is the key concept in that tradition . . .
  4. Please: (1) For some reason . . . I seem not to have already come across any discussion of this obvious topic. (2) And when I experiment with it even a little bit . . . it gets very intense very quick. (3) In fact, it's the most intense energetic experience that I can generate intentionally. (4) So what do people here say about it (?) (5) Is there some known practice for directing Chi into the 3rd eye . . . and what does it propose to do (?) Thanks again . . .
  5. I posted before about this book. It's the best "direct method" text I've seen from the Daoist tradition . . .
  6. Please; (1) Does anyone know whether Paul Crompton, British teacher of Tai Chi, is still living (?) (2) He started learning Tia Chi in 1968 . . . so today he'd be in his 70s at least . . . Thanks . . .
  7. Please: (1) I keep having these intense moments of immense wonder and gratitude lately. (2) The amount of authentic spirituality available to us with the internet today is truly staggering. (3) I'm old enough to remember the mid 1960s . . . when there was just Krishnamurti . . . Yogananda . . . Gurdjieff . . . and that was about it. (4) No Daoists. No Tibetans. No Sufis. No Advaitists. No Zenists. (5) You had to travel (time and money) to meet people and get a chance to compare and contrast methods for your specific needs. (6) What then took a year to figure out . . . follow up on . . . and check out . . . you can now do in a week. (7) Do the corresponding numbers: it's like living 52 lives in this one. (8) It's like living . . . 52 incarnations. (9) We're getting it done better and faster than any generation in the history of this planet. (10) It's overwhelming to consider . . .
  8. (1) A quote only (?) (2) (LOL) This is a slam dunk. (3) From "The Secret of the Golden Flower" (Cleary translation): "If you can look back again and again into the source of mind, whatever you are doing, not sticking to any image of person or self at all, then this is 'turning the light around wherever you are.' This is the finest practice." (4) There you go . . . and good luck.
  9. (1) Thanks for recommendations. (2) I'm definitely going to read more by Cleary -- he makes the difference. (3) Half of the value of this "Golden Flower" edition is in his explanatory notes. (4) The text is also interesting for a reason that I don't recall Cleary mentioning. (5) It's obvious (to me . . .) that the text was like the notes of some student taken during teaching sessions. (6) The topics range far and wide . . . from one tradition to another . . . as if someone were answering questions from students with all kinds of backgrounds (or all kinds of curiosity). (7) It's a valuable insight into a teaching situation -- but can be a little confusing to someone who doesn't already have some idea of what that situation might be like. (8) My understanding is that the Christian gospels are similar in that way. (9) They're originally notes of students working with a teacher in a school . . . and never intended for publication. (10) They make 100% sense only in the context of that teaching situation -- which we don't know anything about . . .
  10. I'm familiar with direct "pointing" from both Advaita Vedanta . . . and Dzogchen Buddhism. Zen (with which I'm also familiar) doesn't actually use it often (despite Mahakasyapa and his flower . . .). This is the first time I've seen it in Daoism. Thanks . . .
  11. Please: (1) Doesn't Life really make you wonder sometimes (?) (2) It's alternatingly awesome (for what you find) . . . and disconcerting (for what you might have missed). (3) I came across a reference to "The Secret of the Golden Flower" (translation by Cleary) a few weeks ago in some author that I trusted. So I ordered it from the library and then it sat around beneath a pile of other books that I was making my way through. (4) The book eventually came due for return and I still had half a dozen of the other books unread . . . so I considered giving it a pass after all. (6) But then it had happened that a day came free for me and for some reason I chose it next for my full attention . . . *** (7) Wow,. (8) Although I've studied QiGong for some time . . . I haven't read any classic Daoist literature at all. (9) "The Secret of the Golden Flower" has been a great experience. (10) I'm particularly struck by: the multiple shocks of recognition, across space and time (so to speak), of what was being talked about the memorable figurative language in which the experiences were expressed (11) The best example of the latter is probably "turning the light around" . . . as a concise summary of spiritual practice. *** (12) So some additional help with this from members here, please: How many are familiar with this text (?) How do you rate/place it among other classics of Daoist literature (?) Thanks very much (!)
  12. Are Secrets Really Necessary . . . (?)

    (1) That's a great contribution to this topic. Really great. (2) Reminds me of the story about a Tibetan master who was introduced to swimming and a swimming pool for the first time. (3) He just walked over . . . and jumped in. (4) I tried to google it -- but this is the closest I could find: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/tibetan-immigrants-learn-swim-australia/2718832.html
  13. (1) A follow up to my previous post about Sufism's interpretation of : Masculine as Unity (and its corresponding dynamic of Unification) Feminine as Multiplicity (and its corresponding dynamic of differentiation) (2) Two experiential examples follow. (3) Are these recognizable to readers here (?) How might Daoism interpret them (?):
  14. Need Help Clarifying a Question . . .

    (1) Well . . . this is where the conversation gets tricky, and why there's no general agreement. (2) I'm not arguing that EVERY person reacts the SAME way to a piece of Music ALL of the time. (3) I don't think it's necessary for that to be the case for Music to have objective qualities. (4) Instead, the fact that a LOT of people react the SAME way to a piece of Music SOME of the time . . . seems to me like a compelling enough argument. (5) But is it (?) (6) I'm more interested here in the QUALITY of the argument . . . than I am in the actual facts. Thanks . . .