Bindi

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  1. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    If you are saying the Neiye only deals with natural energy related to health and longevity, it's hard to explain why it then claims that with this energy... 乃 能 窮 天 地 Then you can span the limits of heaven and earth, 被 四 海 And cover the four seas. I have yet to see anyone on this forum discussing qi as referred to in the Neiye and as shown in the Neijing Tu, as an endless flow of water developed in the lower dantian and brought upwards to the head area to pool there. But if managing this isn't discussed in complicated ways then it is just a lesser achievement related to health and longevity? The Neiye is simple, it says to "Expand your heart/mind and free it", and develop your qi to be 'magnanimous and vast', when this is accomplished the rest should just fall into place naturally anyway.
  2. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    The only point to emptiness for me is because it allows the subtle system to be filled with qi, and then seeing what develops from there. From the Neiye (403-221 BCE, and even considered by some scholars to pre-date the Tao te ching): 有 神 自 在 身 There exists a spirit naturally located in the self – 一 往 一 來 One moment it goes, one moment it arrives; 莫 之 能 思 There is no one who can contemplate it. 失 之 必 亂 Lose it and you will certainly be confused, 得 之 必 治 Attain it and you will certainly be regulated. 敬 除 其 舍 Respectfully empty its dwelling , 精 將 自 來 And essence will naturally arrive. 精 想 思 之 This essence – consider it and contemplate it, 寧 念 治 之 Rather than study ways to regulate it. 嚴 容 畏 敬 Keeping a serious appearance, and an attitude of awe and respect, 精 將 至 定 Essence will arrive and settle. 得 之 而 勿 捨 When you attain it and never let go of it, 耳 目 不 淫 Your ears and eyes will be restrained, 心 無 他 圖 Your heart/mind will have no other plans Your reference states that "attaining the state of emptiness requires closing the openings", but again there is this possibility of going beyond this, when full of qi "the nine bodily openings are then open [to the flow of Qi]." 精 存 自 生 Where essence exists, there is naturally life – 其 外 安 榮 Outside you, calmness flourishes; 內 藏 以 為 泉 原 It collects inside you, thus acting as a primal spring. 浩 然 和 平 Like a vast lake, it is harmonious and equable. 以 為 氣 淵 It thus becomes a fountainhead of Qi. 淵 之 不 涸 As long as the fountainhead does not dry up, 四 體 乃 固 The four limbs are then strong. 泉 之 不 竭 When the spring is not used up, 九 竅 遂 通 The nine bodily openings are then open [to the flow of Qi]. 乃 能 窮 天 地 Then you can span the limits of heaven and earth, 被 四 海 And cover the four seas.
  3. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    "Wu Shouyang taught that the underlying essence of Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism was exactly the same..." Not surprisingly then he concludes that the Embryo is formless and apparently equivalent to Buddhist attainment. Just to be perfectly clear, I believe the Embryo has a subtle form, not a physical matter form.
  4. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    In not finding truth in Buddha's conclusions I am discarding his words, which according to you is self-important and prideful, though in your very next sentence I am required to not believe anyone's words and find out for myself? Buddha himself advised people not to accept his words on blind faith, but to decide for themselves whether his teachings were right, do you think that this advice is so shallow that only agreement will be allowed after examining them? It so happens that what I have found out for myself doesn't align with Buddha, though it does align more or less with a few other paths. Not all 'masters' are saying the same thing, to accept them all as pointing to the truth would be nonsensical. Perhaps some are describing parts of the elephant, but I'd bet some aren't even doing that. The fourth kosha (vijnanamaya kosha) is the sheath of discernment. Vijnana means “the power of judgement or discernment.” Is it so offensive to you that I choose to develop this kosha in its turn, so as to find my way clearly to the truth? All koshas need to be developed. They are a much undervalued path here in the West, if we followed them we wouldn't be so afraid to think and feel and discern for ourselves.
  5. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    And yet... So many people have given so many interpretations of the Elixir. Some are more Buddhist influenced for sure, but there is this fundamental idea that Pregadio refers to (above), it's hard to square this up with emptiness beyond form and matter. Maybe you like to, because it suits your perspective, but it suits my perspective to see the elixir as having subtle form.
  6. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    I don't see how a term that encompasses the notion that "everything is without substance or soul" could also encompass the fundamental concepts of 'medicine' or 'elixir' or 'immortal embryo' as a vital subtle body necessity that needs to be actively cultivated.
  7. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    Flogging a dead horse maybe, but your answer of yab/yum as the union of emptiness and luminosity captures what bothers me about Buddhism, if only for my own understanding. I;m fine with 'luminosity', but what it joins with in neidan's terms would not be 'emptiness'. Basically, there is a subtle something as opposed to an emptiness that is produced in neidan. This vital subtle ingredient is produced in the lower dantian, and brought up to the middle, and then the upper dantian. Neidan without this subtle ingredient or 'medicine' or 'elixir' is a non-achievement, it's empty, a case of just spinning your wheels. Perhaps it could be said that I possess this elixir in one of its stages, and even if I don't possess it now I at least possess the energy system potential supported by my body that will allow the elixir to be produced.
  8. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    How are emotions transformed? I would propose that the yin/yang symbol is the clearest depiction of the nature of mind in its natural state, there is very little in Buddhism which accords with this, but then again I don’t know that neidan takes this position either I think being logical and having a position is vital because we don't aspire to being aimless idiots being blown about in the wind, but being able to let go of an opinion when further and better information comes to light is absolutely required. Maybe a qualified non-attachment?
  9. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    Didn't Buddha teach that emotions are illusion and need to be controlled, thoughts are illusion and need to be silenced, and inner balance is created through not attaching to anything or any outcome?
  10. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    I basically don't agree with his solution to the problem of unhappiness overall, it was a solution that might have worked for him and might resonate with others, but it requires discarding too much that is valuable and basically human in this life, and I don't think it is the 'ultimate' solution. To believe in so much not existing as he did is just a philosophy after all, I don't think it is a fundamental truth. Personally I prefer the idea of actualising the human potential within the body, which as I see it is developing the subtle body according to natural laws, and using what is human within us to do it, valuing what seems meaningful to us instead of dismissing it. I don't think the two approaches are compatible.
  11. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    It seems legitimate to ask whether a path that turns away from aspects of life as essential as sexuality and parenthood is truly spiritual. Does Buddhist enlightenment in any way suggest that life is a problem that can be solved, or that life is a cul-de-sac that can be, and should be, escaped? Examining and understanding (and regulating) yin and yang shouldn't require removing oneself from normal life, though Daoists might believe it is necessary because of Buddhist influence. Is balancing yin and yang equated with enlightenment?
  12. Is enlightenment or nibbana worth it?

    I suspect pseudo-enlightenments and attainments are satisfying enough for some if not many people, though their essence may not be truly satisfied perhaps the ego just speaks louder sometimes. Who knows how many lifetimes it might take to stay with the dissatisfied voice.
  13. I came across this book Daoist Magical Transformation Skills: Dream Magic, Shape-Shifting, Soul Travel, and Sex Magic written by Professor Jerry Alan Johnson, online, while searching for information on something else, the goldfish in neidan actually, and if anyone knows anything about these neidan goldfish that would be great (there’s nothing much online), but in the meantime I thought that a lot of people on this site might be interested in the information in JAJ’s book. It covers a lot of topics and gives the Daoist version of a lot of the topics discussed on this site, including 'three types of psychic ability', walking through walls (one of my favourite sections), healing, projecting, etc etc.
  14. Agreed, they are not the enemy. IME it is the interaction (copulation in alchemical terms)between yin and yang within myself at increasingly higher levels of consciousness that is ultimately satisfying.