Michael Sternbach

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  1. Gospel of Thomas

    Another way of saying that we are living in an awesome, magnificent Universe (if only we were aware of it).
  2. simplify

  3. simplify

  4. simplify

  5. I have heard plenty of rants about external styles by practitioners of internal ones, not least by Erle Montaigue whom I respect greatly in most regards, however, the more deeply I look into these matters, the more moot I find the criticism. The technical differences between the two camps are not as great as they may seem at first glance. They share pretty much a common base, and even some of the more subtle aspects of the internal arts can be found in the external ones as well, although only at advanced levels. I have no regrets having started out with Shotokan Karate myself so many years ago. Even though I have moved on from there, I feel it gave me a solid foundation to build upon, now that I started exploring Taiji, making me a well rounded martial artist. But your mileage may differ.
  6. Traditions and masters that have preserved the 'inner teachings' are rare and far between, IME. What generally happens is that people get interested in martial arts and start practising at 'Bob's Dojo' just down the street. Then, some exceptional ones later seek to transform their art by going back to its roots and reintroducing stuff that has been lost in the past, drawing from extant information, that sometimes indeed has been preserved better in other styles than their 'mother art'. Eventually, they introduce their fellow practitioners to those more sophisticated concepts, such as Rick Hotton exemplifies. I think that's laudable.
  7. Your comments are fair enough, and I agree that the internal arts' methods of power generation are more sophisticated, yet it is rare to see a practitioner of the latter with techniques as powerful as Rick Hotton's. And if you indeed come across a very powerful one, he may well have started out in a 'hard' style, like Erle Montaigue who had a background in Karate.
  8. simplify

  9. simplify

  10. I meant that there can be no real liberation without facing and working through your issues. In contrast to using Buddhism and Buddhist meditation as a form of escapism, as some are prone to do. Maybe I should have phrased it differently though.
  11. simplify

  12. Tao that can be spoken?

    My view on what Laotzu meant is that the path can't be defined once and for all, because it is the path to yourself, which you must travel in your own way. There is no way to map it out in advance; it may take awkward turns and be full of surprises (you know, dragons and unicorns showing up, etc. ). Because what you are heading to is the realization of your own unique individuality (a.k.a. your natural, spontaneous self, liberated from sociocultural conditioning that is inhibiting it), the path that leads there is of necessity a unique and individual one as well. However, there are certain general principles and approaches that will be applicable in this or that situation, and those can indeed be spoken about. But you are quite right, above all, Laotzu is guiding us to seek our answers within rather than unduly relying on external sources of information, such as so-called authorities.
  13. simplify

    ACT (Action Counters Terror) https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ACT
  14. Tao that can be spoken?

    Good question! But then, why did Laotzu, after saying that, go on writing a whole book about the Dao? You mean the path to realizing the path can be spoken of?
  15. Hello internet sages

    Welcome to TDB!