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About Sunbeam

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  1. I've always understood virtue as being in alignment with one's Natural harmony, which is also to be in alignment with the harmony of nature. It's not moral, but not lacking in morality either. Natural harmony is beyond morality but has universal laws... So I think it is basically living in integrity with Universal law.
  2. Moving the body with chi

    I think you just need to find a teacher as stated. Dan tien rotation and mind directed energy are just the beginning... But a good start. A good teacher will have the form and methods to show you how to improve. Also note that there are something like 18? sensations of Qi... It will feel different at different times.
  3. Yes. I think if you find a teacher who can truly convey the depths, you should spend as much time with them as possible! This is how you learn to go there yourself. Of course your own work is what will ultimately get you there... The master simply shows the way to mastery if you are willing and able to undertake it.
  4. I feel receiving transmission is central to any kind of skill cultivation. Working in a group or with a teacher does not take away from solo training and should in fact greatly enhance it. There are many solo discoveries in this work, but guidance is essential. Believe me, my teachers have not been dependant on their students in the way you are insinuating. Rather what they have to teach is quite deep, and takes real invested time/focus and self discipline to learn.
  5. The Dao is Sacred?

    I think also it is just natural, but what is natural has sacredness because it is not cared for our acknowledged in the regular world at this juncture. Perhaps one day this will not be so.
  6. The Dao is Sacred?

    I see the Dao as sacred. It is the ultimate, the source, all light, all dark... Of course it is sacred
  7. I also concur with what spotless said. I feel group practice is very important. A true teacher transmits to the students energetically, and the consistent presence of instruction is what makes good practitioners in the end.
  8. I think closing the eyes helps inward looking. Sometimes it helps me to close my eyes during practice... Especially if I've been overly yang throughout the rest of the day. Practice can be used for different things at different times. It is what it is. Just let it be natural. You don't always need your eyes to see/feel a group, but you want to be in tune with the group if you're practicing with one.
  9. I would say the best thing to the op would be developing soft power and softness in general through a moving Qi gong practice. I think finding a good teacher will make a difference. I'm not one to rely on books for anything. I agree with others that it is best to choose something that works for you and persist in order to see results rather than scatter yourself. My 2c
  10. I graduated with a BFA in Writing & Publishing but also was in a music program for two years. Would I go back? Unlikely. But at the time it all felt supremely necessary, and the convoluted career track that I took lead me back to martial arts -- which was actually offered to me before I went to college but I refused at the time and regretted it, even though I know I would have regret it even more had I not gone away. I do feel I use my college education, even though my direct profession has nothing outwardly to do with it. I am self employed and use all of my different artistic/creative skills in different ways. I spent a lot of time in programs that involved a lot of peer scrutiny and have pursued my "informal" education as a martial artist/general all around artist which has all lead to me feeling fairly comfortable with having to work hard and be self sufficient in life. I tried to do regular career jobs and they just don't fit me. As much as I wish I didn't have my student loans -- I feel I chose tracks which I considered practical and skill building, even if on the outside they seem ludicrous to people who are more materially minded. When you're an artist, you're an artist, there's just no way around it. But man, I hated academia, and was glad when it was over. My college experience from beginning to end was extremely demanding. Doing a BFA in two years was like an olympic sport and music programs are no walk in the park (you are in class for like 12 hours a day and practicing the rest of the time!) Everyone asked me if I would go to grad school at my graduation and I was like... Are you crazy??? NO.
  11. What can you do without a teacher?

    Also, a comment on 'awakened individuals'... As someone who has herself gone through a very intense spiritual awakening process for the past several years, I would still say it is important to recognize the difference between someone who has innate wisdom but no practicality or true spiritual depth because they haven't yet had the years in to grapple with things /gain important experience /go through some of life's major passages. It is better to look towards awakened elders who can guide people from a place of greater wisdom. I am on the path of learning and teaching myself, but I know who I am and where I'm at. There are a lot of people out there, however, who have a bit of good info but don't have humility or real education...and this is problematic to me, awakened or not. It's still important to attain an education, imo.
  12. What can you do without a teacher?

    I am a big proponent of teachers when it comes to things as complex as IMA. I believe there are naturals in every field and plenty of situations in life where you can get foundational knowledge and then go from there, but from my years in martial arts I have met almost no one with the ability to do without extensive practice under guidance from a teacher,or multiple teachers. It could be my traditional upbringing, but I feel really strongly about that. The principles are important and you might miss something if just experimenting on your own with no guidance. So my thought is, if you really want to learn... Find a good teacher.
  13. Why do females progress faster on the way

    There was a thread similar to this but opposite just recently. I think it all just comes down to conditioning and whether or not one is truly in tune with their divine nature... I imagine at least some who embark on this path have some sense of it, which is why they are attracted to tao to begin with. I also do feel the divine feminine is expanding in the world. False patriarchal conditioning is no longer working... so it's being balanced out. And yes, there are a lot of women in a linear masculine consciousness, but there are also many in recognition of this and developing their true yin. Perhaps that's all a part of creating balance.... Just a thought!
  14. Let go of your negative emotions

    I will agree with what others have said here. Internal martial arts work, done correctly, will completely cleanse you of emotional dramas and stories... Gradually, one by one. It takes a long time because these stories have so many angles and manifestations and the ego will constantly try to cling on. The key is that the practitioner has to develop integrity and be willing to take responsibility for their stuff. Otherwise they will simply stagnate and get nowhere. But once something is rooted out of the body by way of basically dissolving or burning it away with Qi, it is gone forever! You'll no longer feel burdened by those particular stories.... And of course, others will arise. I think once things get to a point of discomfort is when we really start to deal with them. And we will intuitively search for and find methods that work for us. But for me, the central practice is definitely ima. The way I think of it is this in terms of mind/body/spirit -- in order to really achieve fluid and flowing movement all blockages within the body/mind/spirit need to be released. These can be worked with directly through the movement work -- though supplemental methods can be helpful, such as healing work, writing, contemplation, possibly even talk therapy (though I have never found this effective myself -- but to each their own) -- it all comes back to the movement work and freeing the self within the body. Perhaps the aspects of Taoism that are too technical mentioned here are not necessarily the essence of the work done. Simply doing the work directly is all that is needed, in my experience. The theory is helpful and can explain/pacify the mind but doesn't always hold the answers which are discovered mainly through practice.
  15. Daoist Diet - Meal Suggestions?

    Interesting topic. Diet is one of the things I struggle with the most because I've honestly never been shown a healthy balanced way of eating. I feel at this juncture I have a fairly healthy diet, but I'm far from ideal. I think as my life and practices become more and more stable I see my diet evolving with it. Right now I eat a lot of beans, and avoid refined sugars and flours as much as possible, a fair amount of white meat, and veggies often. My Achilles heel is pasta! But I'm trying some wheat free kinds at the moment. My Ba zi has a lot of water, though I'm year of the fire tiger. All other pillars are water unless you go by liuming's model making my hour the metal rooster. Though I am adept with Western planetary astrology, the bazi is still a giant mystery to me so I won't claim I understand it, but it is interesting to note the dominance of certain elements. Right now I live in a very yin home on a creek. It is so beautiful here but I feel the excess of water is not good for me! This house is damp much of the year and I feel it reflects in my health with lots of damp swampy feelings, emotionally and even physically! Though now it is winter and I burn fire for heat, which really feels nice to me. I'm going to have to investigate this more in terms of my diet!