Geof Nanto

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About Geof Nanto

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    Nanto koan

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  1. I like your profile picture, :) reminds me of the oracle bone character for ‘tree’


  2. Richard Wilhelm

    In Wilhelm’s preface to his Yi Jing translation he writes: “When Tsingtau [Qingdao] became the residence of a number of the most eminent scholars of the old school, I met among them my honored teacher, Lao Nai Hsuan. I am indebted to him not only for a deeper understanding. . . but also because he first opened my mind to the wonders of the Book of Changes. Under his experienced guidance I wandered entranced through this strange and yet familiar world. The translation of the text was made after detailed discussion. Then the German version was translated into Chinese and it was only after the meaning of the text had been fully brought out that we considered our version to be truly a translation.” Adding to the image of instruction from a gifted teacher and countless hours of meticulous work, what I particularly like about this documentary is that it gives insight into why the circumstances that gave rise to his Yi Jing translation were no mere chance happenings. Quietly woven into the fabric of the documentary is the image of him being guided towards the task from his late adolescence onwards. In the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt during his Grammar school days his psyche was opened to the divine. He wrote at the time: An “indescribable feeling of being protected filled me.” From then on his life felt full of purpose, whereas previously it felt meaningless. That purpose was revealed to him in glimpses at key times during his life.
  3. What exactly is neidan/internal alchemy?

    This song could well be about the obscurities and pitfalls of neidan teachings and practice: And a little about aspects of this discussion: Oh we were gone Kings of oblivion we were so turned on in the mind-warp pavillion This is no easy path that we try to walk to the best of our abilities. Time and time again I see aspects of myself reflected in the behaviour of others. My own folly and the suffering it has brought has taught me a measure of compassion for us all.
  4. How my body decided to kill itself

    I’m well aware of standardised chakra theory. It’s the first thing I encountered when I started yoga practice at a Satyananda yoga ashram about forty years ago. Their focus was kundalini yoga. I still have Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s comprehensive book on the subject, titled Kundalini Tantra. It presents the whole modern version of kundalini yoga theory and practice in concise form. I was immensely impressed with it at the time. Here was a systemised way to transcend my mundane reality which relied solely on my own effort. The practice felt real and its ‘truth’ was upheld by many hundreds of people dedicating their lives to following this path. I still have good memories of those early days of my experiences with those people. It was a new world for me with an entirely new worldview derived from the Vedas. The Satyananda trained swamis gave what I still consider to be good guidance and practicing their gentle traditional hatha yoga style helped me enormously. Yet as to any sort of deeper awakening, that yogic path did not call me. After much exploration both within myself and in the external world, I now know that at the heart of any true spiritual path, we enter into the realm of vague and elusive mystery traditions. Such paths can never be systemised. They are individually shaped and reveal themselves in their own way over long periods of time. But we all need a tangible way in and these systemised approaches work well for us westerners, at least in the preparatory stages which may last for decades. However holding to them for too long becomes a barrier to deeper attainment.
  5. How my body decided to kill itself

    I edited my post and added to it well before you replied:
  6. How my body decided to kill itself

    Are you speaking from your own experience? I ask this because you seem to be falling into the error of trying to make reality fit theory. Are there really seven chakras? How did this standardised system arise? I’ve only done basic research on the subject but have read enough to know this theory is a relatively modern invention. See for instance:
  7. How my body decided to kill itself

    On the question of spontaneous kundalini awakenings, I consider this account to be indicative of how a real awakening can play out:
  8. What are you listening to?

    A farewell song from a great artist to commemorate the sixth anniversary his death…
  9. Richard Wilhelm

    This is an excellent documentary. It’s made by Richard Wilhelm’s granddaughter.
  10. Blocking a user?

    I wrote something about ChiDragon a couple of days ago here. That’s all I want to say, other than to make it clear that in no way was that comment meant as a criticism of Trunks’s action at the time. Indeed, I thoroughly appreciate how he took on the role of administrator despite some initial reluctance to take on that burden, and acted decisively to end the reign of chaos into which this forum had descended. In that situation I can well understand why he included ChiDragon on his ban list. However, the forum is no longer in that state of chaos and I think ChiDragon should be judged on his behaviour in his current incarnation. Afterall, we all do cultivation practices in the hope of becoming better people (or, at least, many of us do). And, speaking generally, this forum can be an excellent place to work through power and ego issues.
  11. Nathan Brine Revised Material

    ReturnDragon (aka ChiDragon) was included in the mass banning purge which Trunk implemented on becoming administrator in April 2020. I never had much interaction with him, but to my understanding he was not banned because of any obnoxious manner. Rather, he was banned because a number of members considered he was posting excessive amounts of misinformation. While I react negatively to anyone posting what I consider to be false information, and appreciate to effort members put in to counter it, the moderators made it clear in relation to Covid 19 discussions that their job is to ensure discussion is respectful and abides by the forum rules, not to decide what is false information and what is not. If that’s the case, looked at objectively, did ChiDragon violate any forum rules? In retrospect, was he wrongly banned?
  12. Of great relevance here is the fact that Sean, the site owner, has made it very clear that he wants Dao Bums to be a forum underpinned by kindness and compassion. To my observation, the upholding of these qualities by staff is the fundamental reason Dao Bums has survived as a vibrant place. Sure, robust discussion is welcome here because allowing respectful disagreement gives this forum its vitality. But the key word here is respectful. If Taoist Texts or anyone else wants to promote a form of Daoism or any other philosophy which goes against these values, or engage in the type of discussion characterised by trying to demean and belittle anyone who disagrees with them, then the site owner has made it clear that they are not welcome here. You've tagged @zerostao and @steve. I'll add @Trunk, @ilumairen and @dwai
  13. I have no trouble accepting the reality of what the label ‘non-dual’ attempts to convey. It’s something I intuitively feel and have done so for a long time, well before I heard the label non-dual. That sense has continued to deepen ‘self-so’ with my ongoing cultivation practice. Yet, although it’s becoming increasingly palpable as a felt sense, it also reveals itself as a deeper and deeper mystery. I can well understand why a person who intuitively senses this would remain silent. Hence the saying from the Daodejing: “Those who speak do not know, those who know do not speak.” My trouble with this discussion is the way I see ‘non-dual’ is being presented as a monism (by Dwai and Stirling in particular). And monism implies hidden dualism. Hence this discussion reveals plenty of dualism (duel-ism). In fact, it’s being energised by dualism. For me the message that’s being shouted here by the most outspoken of those who label themselves as non-dualists, namely that the poor ignorant masses suffer terribly because they don’t know this amazing numinous truth of nondualism, is more to banish their own hidden doubts; doubts that they themselves are, in fact, far removed from this deep ineffable mystery. What I’ve written so far enters me into the fray of duel-ism. I’m very much aware of that and it’s not a place I want to dwell. However, I am irritated by some of the ignorant assumptions that are being propagated here. (Yet I’m also impressed by some of the deep thinking on the subject by most people and Apech in particular, not to mention Bindi’s ability to take on multiple opponents with seemingly undiminished energy). To my mind this discussion has now gone on long enough for each of us to express (or at least acknowledge privately to ourselves) our motives for participating. An obvious one for me is my need for connection. Another is to assert myself as a separate individual. Yet I also feel how we are all part of a whole. Even though I’m expressing disagreement with attitudes of some members, I like them as people, especially when they reveal something of their personal stories. That is a truth and so is the truth of separation. Connection and separation; a yin-yang pair, both of which need to be honoured as vital constituents of the non-dual. I rest my case. And conclude by acknowledging the importance of this forum to me as a place where I can express my thoughts on experiences central to my life and likewise read (and sometimes feel) those of other people. This is a great gift.
  14. I’ll stick with a laugh emoticon for that reply because it made me smile. But I’d add a ‘Thanks’ as well if I could. And also the non-existent emoticon which says, ‘Yes, but there is another side to this’... I made that comment to make it clear that I have severe reservations about the contemporary nondual school as described by a couple of prominent nondualists on this forum (not Steve). But, along with that, I’d also like to make clear that I have no doubts about the sincerity of these nondualists and their genuine commitment to a spiritual path. I like them as people and value them as members of this forum. It’s just the path they espouse that I don’t like. To me it feels like spiritual opium; a seductive and addictive trap that ultimately prevents deeper realisation.
  15. Not so difficult to understand as concepts. Extremely difficult to attain as lived reality. “… those who study Taoism may be as numerous as hairs on a cow, but those who accomplish the Way are as rare as unicorn horns.” ~ Liu Yiming (Of course, the exception to this is the contemporary so-called ‘Non-dualist’ school where those who have found enlightenment are as numerous as hairs on a cow.)