iradie

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  1. 张高澄道长 - Daoist Zhang Gaocheng

    Hello, I visited 桐柏宫 twice. In 2008 and in 2015. The first time I arrived there, the temple was very small and the few monks and other people living and visiting there, very friendly. Me and a friend were invited warmly and when Zhang Gaocheng came back from travel he spent time to speak twice with us. It was very nice from him as at that time I was not yet as involved in studying daoism as now. Still he was very friendly. He also spoke then about his dreams of developing the place and restoring it. When I came by 2 years ago I was amazed to see the work done and the many changes. Not only had the buildings extended a lot, but the place attracts a lot of people, not only from the region, but also from the cities around which come to study and do retreats, and seek good advice from Zhang Gao Cheng and from the other Daoshi living there. Zhang GaoCheng has a lot of pupils and when you speak with them you can feel the profound respect and appreciation they have for him. The place is busy with studying and developing initiatives in particular they have projects around Taoist music. It has become a dynamic center for research and study of daoism. Many people of all ages gather there, and also young people and pupils of Zhang Gao Cheng. You can see he takes good care of them. He transmits teachings to people who are truly invested in studying daoism. But of course it is a question of trust, and long time, and being steady during many years. I was thinking visiting this summer maybe. I am trying to start a study about daoist medicine. It would be so nice to meet your Awaken ! I have read this thread and I wonder... When I see some of the aggressive reactions and badmouthing about other pai/schools and masters, I think these people have got very bad habits. There are many of these reactions on the net today, and maybe for them it is very usual. I agree so much with Awaken that the first work we have to do if we want to develop ourselves on the way, is to have a clean, clear and humble heart. Or at least try to practice it.
  2. Importance of TCM's knowledge in our practice

    Hi, exorscist_1699 What do you think about using herbs to tonify the yang in the pratice of Neidan? I have heard and read some people do that. From what I have learnt the most important is to keep a yin/yang balance in the body. Tonifying the yang if there is yang deficiency is fine, but if there is not, you could create un unbalance and do more wrong than good. For Each person it should be different, but if you where using herbs for this purpose, which ones would you select, and in which situations ?
  3. Importance of TCM's knowledge in our practice

    I have been thinking about this topic since yesterday. If I have heard and understood it right, my teacher often says that the goal of our work as pratitioners of chinese medicine is not to treat, not to cure, but to help people have a good health, so they can live long and realise themselves during this life. In my work, I often think about that. What guided me on this way, was a dynamic between my attraction, excitement, curiosity for the spiritual dimension and the necessity to find an inner balance if I should realise and be able to walk this way. So I started to be interested in plants, different forms of alternative western medicin, until I arrived to chinese medicine in the search for a system which combined a rational and scientific aproach with a spiritual dimension and the work on the qi. And I found out, chinese medicine is a very good tool to improve the mental and physical health and to gain a physical, and mental and emotional balance. It must be said that chinese medicine is not daoism, but chinese medicine can be a way of the dao. Having a good health is valuable when we pratice. If I take the syndrome of fire in the heart it is easy to understand. If you have too much fire or yin deficiency in the heart, you cannot concentrate and the thoughts run as wild horses in your head. If you treat with chinese medicine, the thoughts will calm down, and it will be easier to start meditating and concentrating. But you could also say that if you start concentrating and calming the emotions, certainly your heart fire will also calm down. Then it is maybe only a question of time and how far the patology has reached. Sometimes I think the treatment should be less and the personal efforts more important. Anyway, the treatment is not enough and without inner work to calm the emotions, the treatment does not last. I have seen many people in the west (and been one of them), who pratice inner alchemy or just start to do meditation or the small circulation, who do not have good masters to guide them, and many have symtoms, somtimes illnesses because of erroneous pratice. Chinese medicine is then a way to regain the balance, because we understant the process of the illness. As we pratice in difficult conditions (often alone), chinese medicine can help us keep balance through our search. Sometimes I ask myself if pratice does not stir up latent illnesses. Chinese medicine and my spiritual research is intertwined because I have been searching how to earn my living in a way which did not prevent to search for the dao and which eventually could help to be on the way. Working with chinese medicine is the best way I found. Last but not least chinese medicine is based on the same cosmogony, cosmology and philosphy as daoism studying one of them helps understanding the other. But that is a hole other discussion.
  4. Importance of TCM's knowledge in our practice

    Thank you exorcist_1699, its very interesting and inspiring. As well what you say about the evil elements which can rise during the work with the qi, and the comparison with the plants that tonify. It immediatly became more clear to me. it gives me a clue. I also like a lot what you write about the "guide plants" and how to use them for balancing the energy in the body during meditation. I had never thought of using them that way !!! good idea. I will try. Yes, and don't you also think this body/mind dualism comes from the christian religion and way it developed in the middle age ? The body linked to the material world, the spirit linked to heaven and god and the opposition created between them as the evil and the good. As a teenager I felt releaved when I first came in contact with the Asian philosophies. It gave the opportunity to question the body/mind opposition we have been raised in in the west. Truly it is one of the main differences between the western and the asian cultures. Maybe we should say between the western culture and all the others.
  5. Should we start a new discussion: chinese medicine in the western countries and how can we make integrative medicine function in Europe, all that from a daoist perspective .....
  6. 宁 For a reason or another you seem to have a certain attachement to the thoughts of people who think in a xenophobic way (hostility to what is foreign) . Whatever the reason for your attachment to these thoughts, and whatever the reasons are for these thoughts, there are different good reasons for not cultivting them too much. The first reason I have from a mainland teacher, who is also a teacher at the Baiyun Guan in Beijing. One of the main rules in Quanzhen is not to criticise other practitioners, but always to criticise oneself. Never to speak evil about others or spread evil thoughts about anybody for any reason. From another of my teachers whose heritage comes from a lineage of doctors who relate to the San Jiao but whose spiritual transmission is the Yi Dao Huan Yuan from Lü Dong Bin, I am trying to learn the vertue of sagacity and compassion. What he transmits is very different from what I have read in the small posts you showed us. I try to imagine what he would say if he was confronted with them. I think he would start to find the reason why these people say that kind of things. Is it a unbalance due to fear? malevolence? a lack of sagacity? What can we learn from these people to develop our own vertues, and develop respect and discernement in our relation to all beings ? I can see many other reasons not to think like some of the people you quote, it could be another discussion. Very few people in the west are interested in Dao jiao, and even less follow the teachings. The highest risk is that it should be ill used. And then, the first victim will be the practitioner him/her self.
  7. In this conversation about learning through books versus learning through experience, I cannot see that there should be a contradiction. We have different tools to realise ourselves on our way. Writing, reading seems to me just another way to hear, and learn and think about the words of great masters. The advantage is that you do not only communicate with those alive, but also with those who are not longer in their human body, at least until they come and talk directly to you. We learn that when you are in the process of learning it is important not only to hear, but also to understand, to learn and then to put in practice, otherwise the bowl is empty or broken. that seems to me the same if you talk about the learning from a master who talks to you, or a master whose texts you read. In the taoist temples, the master is teaching his students by showing them through simple everyday life, sometimes they give them a book to read, or even read or translate for them, others do not even want to talk. there are so many ways. In my personal case, I just love texts because they have been a way out of a very narrow existence. Being able to hear some masters talk to us can be the first impulse to find new ways. I still love and need them for these impulses. But of course reading without learning or practicing is a nonsense, and reading without searching ourselves is being lazy.
  8. In this conversation about learning through books versus learning through experience, I cannot see that there should be a contradiction. We have different tools to realise ourselves on our way. Writing, reading seems to me just another way to hear, and learn and think about the words of great masters. The advantage is that you do not only communicate with those alive, but also with those who are not longer in their human body, at least until they come and talk directly to you. We learn that when you are in the process of learning it is important not only to hear, but also to understand, to learn and then to put in practice, otherwise the bowl is empty or broken. that seems to me the same if you talk about the learning from a master who talks to you, or a master whose texts you read. In the taoist temples, the master is teaching his students by showing them through simple everyday life, sometimes they give them a book to read, or even read or translate for them, others do not even want to talk. there are so many ways. In my personal case, I just love texts because they have been a way out of a very narrow existence. Being able to hear some masters talk to us can be the first impulse to find new ways. I still love and need them for these impulses. But of course reading without learning or practicing is a nonsense, and reading without searching ourselves is being lazy.
  9. I would like to know some more about what you mean, because I have the impression the chinese culture is so much the culture of the written word. I am not an expert, but after what I have learnt, the texts and written word has a great importance in the chinese culture. In my field, chinese medicine, the classics are the basis of research. It is a kind of direct link to the great doctors and teachers of history. And here I sit in the classroom with my teacher talking about Sun Si Miao and he invokes him as an immortel to be with us and inspire us. Yes, he is very serious and professionnal the link between the text, the presence of the immortels who have written or inspired these texts is very present. When I read them I feel I am in discussion with them. that is one of the reasons why I feel near the feelings of Chen Ying Ning on this question. But maybe in the daoist tradition, that I do not know so well, things are different.
  10. new to tao bums

    Catherine Despeux : "Pratiques de femmes taoistes" (Practice of daoist women) is a recently published book about womens practice in the region og Zhejiang (I think, has to be verified...) if you can read french. I have browsed through it but have not started work from it, so I cannot say anymore. Steven Yudelove who is a pupil of Mantak Chia has written some books about: taoist qi gong, nei gong, and some basic exercices of sexual qi gong for men and women. His exercices are clear basic and and well discribed, a good method, but you have to take care with some of his meditation exercices which are not adapted to beginners without a teacher and can be dangerous.
  11. Hi! What do I, what do we all want?

    Hi pathfinder The start is so exciting and so difficult ; everything is open, everything is possible. But as you say in our society too much is available. Some people are raised in a spiritual tradition and are happy to continue exploring and going further in that direction. For those who are not raised with a spiritual background or who's family tradition don't suit, we have to find our way in another way. Here are a few thoughts I have reached, maybe tomorow they will have changed a little. I am curious also about what other here mean about that question..... - Why should we choose to follow a tradition, when it comes to our spiritual path ? - Yes many here follow a tradition ... and why? . Every spiritual tradition leads to forms of inner peace and freedom. . There is no spiritual tradition which is devoid of humans who acts in abusive manners. . It is easier and quicker to follow a tradition, because of the experiences accumulated by generations before us, who can teach us. . It can be difficult to follow a tradition for many reasons, different for each person. - Have confidence, you can travel here and there and explore different paths, if you do it seriously and with respect. At a certain moment you will find what you look for, you will have to make choices. But then : stay and study hard and for a long long time. - Everything is there, you just have to open your eyes, listen and practice.
  12. Dao De Jing: chapter 70 吾言甚易知,甚易行。 天下莫能知,莫能行。 言有宗,事有君。 夫唯無知,是以不我知。 知我者希,則我者貴。 是以聖人被褐懷玉。 - My words are very easy to know, and very easy to practise; - but there is no one in the world who is able to know and able to practise them. - There is an originating and all-comprehending (principle) in my words, and an authoritative law for the things (which I enforce). - It is because they do not know these, that men do not know me. - They who know me are few, and I am on that account (the more) to be prized. - It is thus that the sage wears (a poor garb of) hair cloth, while he carries his (signet of) jade in his bosom. translation James Legge