Michael Sternbach

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About Michael Sternbach

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  1. simplify

  2. Sumer: the "black-headed" vs. the "red-faced"

    Depends on who you ask.
  3. simplify

  4. Sumer: the "black-headed" vs. the "red-faced"

    Another possibility is that the builders of Gobekli Tepe - or their instructors - were the representatives of an advanced civilisation yet unidentified by archaeologists but the subject of so many legends from all over the world. It then makes sense to assume that it was that mother culture/civilization that also introduced the concepts of agriculture and city dwelling to the natives of Anatolia.
  5. That's an interesting change of perspective. Reminiscent of the notion held by some Christians that it is never God who turns away from us, but it is us who may turn away from God. Gotta reflect on this some more, though...
  6. internal anger

    I totally agree. However, there's but a narrow line between anger and determination. And it is this line that separates the true warrior from a raging maniac.
  7. The Torus and the YIN/YANG

    You can actually see this as a progression: Two raised to the first, second, third, and sixth power.
  8. The Torus and the YIN/YANG

    That depends on how far you wish to break things down. But just looking at the Taiji symbol, I would say four: Greater Yang Lesser Yang Greater Yin Lesser Yin These four poles are also what the Yijing is based on.
  9. simplify

  10. Daoist way to leave porn addiction?

    And you inquired specifically about a Daoist way to handle this. So I will try to reply from a Daoist perspective. That's fine. The way is the goal! It seems to be mostly a Western idea that you always need to have a goal in life. Instead of simply living in the here and now. This is not to say that it is always wrong to have goals. But I suggest that you don't try to set one for yourself. It will find you - when you are ready. According to Chuangtzu, the Daoist sage has plenty og of money to spend, yet doesn't even know where it comes from. What you are describing actually seems to approach that ideal. If you do that alot, then it might indeed be considered a waste of kidney qi. Now the Daoist approach of dealing with any kind of undesired behaviour is not to resist it, but to observe it. Be with your addiction, study it, find out at what moments it most likely befalls you? What increases it?What diminishes it? What do you get from it? What does it take from you? Don't fight it... It will fight back and most likely get the better of you. Rather, use it as a springboard for introspection and self-exploration. According to Laotzu, the sage travels everywhere without even stepping out of his house. Do you have a girlfriend? It will be hard to leave this addiction if you don't have another way of satisfying your natural sexual desire.
  11. Mixing systems

    Like several of the previous posters, I have once been an ardent believer in well defined, traditional systems. As such, I made an effort to submit to the boundaries set by their masters - while my ever inquiring mind kept peeking over the edge. I could not help seeing what the others were doing better. And I could not keep myself from integrating what I saw into my own practice, if it fit like a glove. I also learned that that was actually the way new systems had been created all along, and that few of them (including the most 'traditional' ones) had remained unchanged over a time period as short as the last one-hundred years or so. So here is my advice to the OP: Notwithstanding the warnings of those jealous lineage holders that you will inevitably be going off on a tangent and get lost in space, be free to supplement your current practice with whatever YOU need to truly make it work for you. Although it is true that as a beginner, generally you should "empty your cup" and be in more of a receptive mode - once you got the basics down, there is no valid reason not to look at the bigger picture and let it inspire you. Systems are there for the people, it is not the other way around.
  12. What are you listening to?

    Suffering from a cold and a headache, today I felt strangely compelled to listen to some old Madonna songs, including her popular "Miss American Pie." As I wasn't quite sure what the lyrics meant, I decided to do some searches and learned not only that I was not the only one with that issue, but also something I am sure most of you American bums are already well aware of: This song was first presented by Don McLean in 1971 and reached the first place in the charts of the US and of other countries, despite its considerable lenght of eight-and-a-half minutes. More importantly, it reflected the changes in mentality from the beautiful, unspoilt world of the 50's to the growing dissatisfaction and social criticism of the 60's, climaxing in the revolutionary spirit and invocation of Anarchism at the end of that decade. Moreover the song made me wonder, what are we (in Western society) at now? Did the music really die - and that's that? Or are we writing yet another song? Thoughts?
  13. Should I or shouldn't I ?

    You should!
  14. Is this the so called Cinnabar Field

    This brings to mind one of my early 'energy experiences'. I had started doing zazen not long before. One night, I was meditating at the beach side. Soon after, back at my holiday house and sitting on the front porch reading a book on Zen, I had a powerful sensation of energy in my lower dantian and radiating through my body. It was exhilarating. I adjusted my posture, hoping to prolong the feeling. I also went to a nearby place in order to practice Karate forms. The sensation lasted well into the morning. It had taken me by surprise as it was not mentioned in the books I had read so far and I too had questions. Alas, there were no forum boards yet at the time... In retrospect, I consider it an opening of energy channels in the LDT. And I assume your experience is of a similar nature. Best of luck! Michael
  15. New member - long introduction (sorry)

    Nice example of British understatement, you slick cat! 😺