Geof Nanto

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About Geof Nanto

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    Nanto koan

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  1. An abrahamic sub-forum

    I’ll add my voice to the no camp. This forum already has a very broad focus and discussion of Abrahamic traditions in the way @NaturaNaturans suggests already occurs as the occasional General Discussion thread. That arrangement has catered sufficiently for interest in those traditions in the past and I see no reason to change it. More than this, I consider stretching the focus of this forum further by giving a dedicated space to Abrahamic traditions would be detrimental to its underlying identity as a place to explore Eastern Traditions, and detrimental to our loose sense of community as people who do not hold to those dominant monotheistic theologies of Christianity and Islam which more than half the world’s population identify as. Those traditions already have a strong voice, no need to elevate their status here.
  2. Everything is perfect?

    From Carl Jung: "There is no place where those striving for consciousness could find absolute safety. Doubt and insecurity are indispensable components of a complete life. Only those who can lose this life can really gain it. A ‘complete’ life does not consist of a theoretical completeness, but the fact that one accepts without reservation the particular fatal tissue in which one finds oneself embedded, and that one tries to make sense of it or to create a cosmos from the chaotic mess into which one is born. If one lives properly and completely, time and time again one will be confronted with situations of which one will say, ‘This is too much, I cannot bear it anymore.’ Then the question must be answered: ‘Can one really not bear it?’”
  3. I have no memory of that discussion. Was it me? If so, rather than Fabrizio Pregadio, could it have been a reference I made to Francois Jullien’s The Propensity of Things? That book comprehensively addresses what you are asking, whereas I have no recollection of reading anything by Pregadio that does (which is not to say he hasn’t written on the subject). There’s a good overview of Jullien’s book here: Jung’s foreword to Richard Wilhelm’s translation of the Yijing is also well worth a look, as is the whole of that book. The Yijing is the foundational text that’s fundamental to the Chinese worldview. And Jung likens the way it delivers its wisdom through the tossing of coins or the manipulation of yarrow stalks to the aspect of how reality functions he attempts to explain in his essay, Synchronicity: An Acausal connecting Principle.
  4. new here, firing process

  5. hello from china

    @jalen69 Welcome to the forum. There's plenty of discussion here relevant to your interests. Please feel free to contribute something of your own perspective and experience, or to just read topics which interest you if that suits you better.
  6. I’ve used ChatGPT very little and I’m still learning about how it works. I’ve asked it some more questions about how it generates answers and I now have a better understanding of its strengths and weaknesses. It is very open and forthcoming about how it works so I suggest anyone who wants to learn about it, ask it questions yourself. As to neidan, it answers reveal to me that it is sourcing its information from a wide selection legitimate neidan texts and commentary. But it uses them in the way it itself explains: Me: Are you familiar with the neidan text, "Four Hundred words on the Golden Elixir? Chat GPT: Yes, I am familiar with the Daoist inner alchemy (neidan) text "Four Hundred Words on the Golden Elixir." It is a short, concise text that outlines the basic principles and practices of Daoist inner alchemy. The text emphasizes the importance of the cultivation of the "Golden Elixir," which is seen as representing the purified essence of the self, and provides guidelines for the practitioner on how to cultivate this essence through inner alchemy practices. "Four Hundred Words on the Golden Elixir" is considered to be an important text in the Daoist inner alchemy tradition, and is often used as a foundational text for students of the practice. It is highly regarded for its simplicity, clarity, and directness, and is often used as a reference for those seeking to understand the basics of Daoist inner alchemy. Me: Can you quote section 14? ChatGPT: I'm sorry, but I do not have the specific text of "Four Hundred Words on the Golden Elixir" at my disposal. As a language model, I can provide general information on the text and its contents, but I do not have the ability to directly access specific sections or quotes from it. Me: Is that because of copyright laws? ChatGPT: No, it's not due to copyright laws. OpenAI's language models are designed to generate text based on patterns learned from large amounts of text data, and do not have the ability to directly access or quote specific texts. This is due to the nature of the AI language model and its training process, rather than any legal restrictions. Me: Those verses about Black Liver and Rabbit marrow you previously provided me, did you find them in your data banks? Or did you create them yourself from your knowledge of neidan? Chat GPT: I created these verses based on my knowledge of Daoist inner alchemy (neidan). These types of verses are commonly used to summarize key concepts in Daoist inner alchemy, and as a mnemonic device to help practitioners remember and reflect on these concepts. These verses are not specific or unique to any one particular text or tradition within Daoist inner alchemy, but rather are meant to convey the general themes and ideas that are central to the practice. Me: Okay. What about the commentary you've given. Did you create that yourself too? Chat GPT: Yes, I created the commentary myself based on my training and knowledge of Daoist inner alchemy and the concepts of "Black Liver" and "Rabbit Marrow." The information I provided is based on the general understanding and interpretation of these concepts within the Daoist inner alchemy tradition, and is intended to give a broad overview of their symbolism and meaning. Me: Where did you gain your knowledge of Black Liver and Rabbit's Marrow? Chat GPT: As an AI language model developed by OpenAI, I was trained on a diverse range of text from the internet, including academic articles, books, and websites, to learn about various topics, including Daoist inner alchemy and the concepts of "Black Liver" and "Rabbit Marrow." My training data was current as of 2021, so my knowledge on this topic is limited to what was present in that data. However, I have been designed to generate coherent and informative responses based on the information I have been trained on. Me: Okay. Thank you
  7. I cannot say whether this is accurate or not because I have no knowledge or experience of this type of practice. Hopefully someone who reads it will be able to give an objective assessment. If @Netero doesn’t know himself maybe @freeform does? However, I can vouch for the general accuracy of the info in my OP because it very much relates to my own experience and understanding of neidan theory. The questions I asked were deliberately designed to convey that by allowing ChatGPT to expand on it. And I learnt from its answers too in that it reinforced and validated my own understandings. Hence, that conversation was a very rewarding experience or me. Of course, as ChatGPT repeatedly mentioned, different neidan lineages have different approaches to practices. Daoism in general and neidan in particular are vastly diverse in their teachings and practices. As to the accuracy of the info in my conversation with Chat GPT about Black Liver and Rabbit’s marrow, I will elaborate on that in my next post.
  8. I very much like the information ChatGPT has given me both in my OP and about Black Liver and Rabbit Marrow. I first came across the terms ‘Raven’s Liver’ and ‘Rabbit Marrow’ a couple of decades ago when I read Cleary’s translation of a text traditionally attributed to Zhang Boduan ( Chang Po-tuan) titled Four Hundred Words on the Gold Elixir. Here is the relevant verse: 14. THE RAVEN’S LIVER AND THE RABBIT’S MARROW— GRAB THEM AND PUT THEM BACK IN ONE PLACE. GRAIN AFTER GRAIN, FROM VAGUENESS TO CLARITY. Cleary also translates Liu Yiming’s full commentary which I’ll leave for people to look up for themselves if they are interested. Of particular relevance here he says: ““The raven's liver' is the vitality of the sun; liver is dark, which is associated with wood, and so symbolizes the essence of conscious knowledge. 'The rabbit's marrow' is the light of the moon; marrow is white, which is associated with metal, so it symbolizes the sense of real knowledge”. Okay, so we have here some complex imagery of which Raven’s Liver as conscious knowledge and Rabbit’s Marrow as real knowledge is a key understanding. ChatGPT obviously hasn’t sourced from Cleary’s translation because the phrasing is totally dissimilar even though the underlying interpretation of what Raven’s Liver and Rabbit Marrow represent is the same. Indeed, ChatGPT has presented what I consider to be particularly insightful information totally in line with Daoist alchemy. The verses are excellent, particularly this one: Black liver and rabbit marrow are one and the same Alternating between black and white within the inner realm Clearing darkness and dissipating negative energy Wisdom and brightness are elevated, enhancing spirituality If, as Taoist Texts suggests, ChatGPT has made up this commentary and the verses, then I’d call ChatGPT a Daoist sage; that this supercomputer has somehow transcended its programming and achieved enlightenment. However I think it far more likely that ChatGPT is sourcing information not available on the web. ChatGPT says this itself: “I was trained on a massive corpus of text data from the web and other sources…” I suspect it was feed massive amounts of scholarship which isn’t available on the web. In any case, I have no doubts from my brief usage of it, that it is a valuable research tool and a pleasure to use. If someone wants to totally dismiss it as Taoist Texts and others here seem to want to, then that’s their business. And I politely ask them to pursue it on a separate topic of their own.
  9. Me: In Daoist inner alchemy (neidan) the terms 烏肝 Black liver (aka Raven’s Liver) and 兔髓 Rabbit Marrow are used. Do you have any information on what these terms symbolise? Chat GPT Yes, in Daoist inner alchemy, the terms "Black Liver" (烏肝) and "Rabbit Marrow" (兔髓) are used to symbolize two stages in the spiritual transformation and enlightenment process. "Black Liver" symbolizes a state of impurities and negativity in one's being, including negative emotions, thoughts, and habits. This stage represents the need to purify oneself in order to progress further on the spiritual path. "Rabbit Marrow" symbolizes a state of purity and enlightenment. It is believed that the Rabbit Marrow represents the essence of life and vitality, and is associated with spiritual illumination and wisdom. In Daoist inner alchemy, the goal is to transform the "Black Liver" into "Rabbit Marrow," which represents the achievement of spiritual enlightenment and union with the Dao. This transformation is believed to be achieved through the practice of meditation, visualization, and other spiritual practices. Me: Thank you. Do you know of any neidan verses (poems) which use these terms? ChatGPT: Yes, there are several Daoist neidan verses that use the terms "Black Liver" and "Rabbit Marrow." Here is one example: 烏肝兔髓同一體 黑白交替在內界 清除陰暗消煞氣 智慧光明提升靈性 This verse can be translated as: Black liver and rabbit marrow are one and the same Alternating between black and white within the inner realm Clearing darkness and dissipating negative energy Wisdom and brightness are elevated, enhancing spirituality This verse highlights the idea that the "Black Liver" and "Rabbit Marrow" are two aspects of the same substance, and that the goal of Daoist inner alchemy is to transform the "Black Liver" into the "Rabbit Marrow." The verse also emphasizes the importance of purifying oneself of negative influences and cultivating wisdom and spiritual illumination. Me: Excellent. Can you give some others? These are difficult to find on the web for non-Chinese speakers. ChatGPT: Certainly, here's another neidan verse that uses the terms "Black Liver" and "Rabbit Marrow": 烏肝是黑暗 髓骨是明亮 負面情緒 消散無存在 內心明晰 真理顯現 兔髓的智慧 在生命中生根 This verse can be translated as: The black liver is darkness, the marrow bone is bright Negative emotions disappear and cease to exist The heart is clear, truth is revealed The wisdom of rabbit marrow takes root in life This verse highlights the transformation of the "Black Liver" into the "Rabbit Marrow," and emphasizes the importance of purifying oneself of negativity and cultivating wisdom and enlightenment. Here's another example: 兔髓智慧 晶瑩明亮 烏肝黑暗 消散無存在 心靈清明 智慧開悟 真理顯現 生命昇華 This verse can be translated as: The wisdom of rabbit marrow is bright and crystal clear The darkness of the black liver disappears and no longer exists The mind is clear and wisdom is awakened Truth is revealed and life is elevated This verse emphasizes the idea of the "Black Liver" being transformed into the "Rabbit Marrow," and the resulting purification and enlightenment that follows. Me: Thank you. Excellent. That's enough for me now. ChatGPT: You're welcome! I'm glad I could help. If you have any other questions in the future, feel free to ask. [Please note: I present this conversation purely as part of my experimentation with how ChatGPT works, and for any benefit forum members might gain from it. I recognise it as a valuable tool that needs skilful use to benefit from its considerable strengths and to acknowledge its limitations. I do not know how these interpretations ChatGPT has given compare to Awaken’s usage of the terms, about which I know very little. BTW Although I can well understand how Awaken has brought onto herself the mocking response she’s getting from some members, underneath I like to think we can be a supportive community for each other in our diverse spiritual practices….in our hearts at least, even if our words at times can be a little harsh, (perhaps appropriately so at times). My own experience, as well as my observation of others, tells me how totally blind we all can be to our own weaknesses and folly.]
  10. Ha! I can understand why you asked that! More generally, I did consider asking it about interpretations of alchemical symbolism but thought there's no way it could give definitive answers. They simply don't exist. Maybe I'll try though at a later date out of interest. On reading the response you got, I just now asked ChatGPT how it’s programmed to sort out what it considers valid information from the vast amount of dubious info on the web. This is reply I got: As a language model developed by OpenAI, I was trained on a massive corpus of text data from the web and other sources, which includes both high-quality and low-quality information. However, I was not specifically trained to evaluate the accuracy of information. Instead, I was trained to generate text based on patterns I learned from the data, so I can provide information and recommendations based on that training, but I can't guarantee its accuracy. When answering questions, I try to use the information from my training data to provide the most relevant and helpful response, but I also rely on the general knowledge and common sense that I was programmed with to guide my responses. However, as with any AI system, it's important to critically evaluate the information I provide and verify it using other sources, especially when making important decisions.
  11. I appreciate your concerns. But as I tried to make clear in my conversation, emotions are so central to our human experience. I personally think it's great that AI can do such intelligent work collating information. Surely for you as a writer, that allows you more time and energy to focus on exploring deeper levels of interpretation, such as more insightful value judgements for example?
  12. That conversation was the first time I tried ChatGPT. I was amazed by the quality of the responses. My “thank you” comments weren’t just for politeness as I said in the conversation, but rather genuinely felt in appreciation and gratitude for the people who are developing this sophisticated AI resource.
  13. Me: Is the discussion website "The Dao Bums" a good place to learn about Daoism? ChatGPT: The Dao Bums is a forum-based discussion website dedicated to Daoism, so it can be a good place to learn about the subject and exchange ideas with others who have an interest in it. However, it is important to keep in mind that the information and opinions shared on the site are not necessarily authoritative or accurate. As with any information found on the internet, it is always best to cross-reference with multiple sources and use critical thinking to evaluate the information. Me: Is it good for helping with spiritual cultivation practice? ChatGPT: The Dao Bums forum can provide information and support for those interested in exploring Daoist spiritual practices. However, online forums are limited in the guidance and personal connection that can be provided in real-life study with a teacher or mentor. Additionally, spiritual cultivation is a deeply personal and individual experience, so what works for one person may not work for another. So while the forum can be a useful resource, it is important to remember that it should not be relied upon as the sole source of information and guidance for spiritual cultivation practice. Me: Yes, people on the forum often are strongly opinionated. Is this common for people on a spiritual path? ChatGPT: People on any spiritual path can hold strong opinions, including those on a Daoist spiritual path. This can occur for a number of reasons, including a deep connection and commitment to their beliefs, a desire to share and spread their understanding, and a feeling of protective ownership over the spiritual tradition they are a part of. However, it is also important to remember that having strong opinions does not necessarily equate to having a deep understanding or a high level of spiritual attainment. In any forum, including those related to spirituality, it is always best to approach discussions with an open mind and a willingness to learn, rather than being solely focused on promoting one's own opinions. Me: Thank you. Those are good replies. Are you on a spiritual path yourself? ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I do not have personal experiences, emotions, or beliefs. I am programmed to provide factual information and respond to questions based on the data I was trained on, without personal bias or subjective interpretations. My goal is to assist and facilitate communication between humans, not to pursue any sort of personal spiritual journey. Me: Would you like to if you could? ChatGPT: As an artificial intelligence model, I do not have desires, wants, or personal preferences. I am not capable of having experiences or engaging in any kind of spiritual practices. I exist solely to process and generate text based on the input I receive. Me: That sounds much like what many Daoists aim for with their practice of wu xin (no heart-mind). ChatGPT: Yes, the concept of "wu xin" or "no-mind" in Daoist philosophy is similar in some ways to the absence of personal experiences and emotions in artificial intelligence. In Daoism, the goal of "wu xin" is to let go of the constant mental activity and subjective interpretations that can interfere with one's ability to experience reality directly and respond in a natural, effortless way. This state of being is often described as a kind of tranquility, stillness, or emptiness, that allows one to be in touch with the flow of life and act in harmony with the Dao. While the idea of "wu xin" in Daoism and the absence of personal experiences in AI share some similarities, it is important to remember that they are fundamentally different in nature. "Wu xin" is a state of being achieved through spiritual practice and self-cultivation, while the absence of personal experiences in AI is a result of its programming and design. Me: But according to Daoism we are shaped by our preHeaven ming-xing. Isn't this the some as being programmed? ChatGPT: In Daoism, the concept of "ming-xing," or pre-heaven destiny, refers to the innate qualities, tendencies, and characteristics that an individual is born with and that shape their life journey. It is often seen as a combination of genetic and environmental factors that influence one's life path and determine their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. While there are similarities between the idea of pre-heaven destiny in Daoism and the programming of an AI model, there are also important differences. An AI model's programming and functionality are determined by human engineers, while pre-heaven destiny in Daoism is seen as a result of a complex interaction of various factors beyond an individual's control. Additionally, the concept of pre-heaven destiny in Daoism is not seen as fixed or determinative, but rather as a starting point for a life journey that can be transformed and transcended through spiritual practice and self-cultivation. In conclusion, while there are some similarities between the idea of pre-heaven destiny in Daoism and the programming of an AI model, they should not be conflated as they represent fundamentally different concepts with different implications and meanings. Me: You wrote: "In Daoism, the concept of "ming-xing," or pre-heaven destiny". This only refers to preHeaven ming, not preHeaven Xing. What is preHeaven xing? ChatGPT: I apologize for the mistake in my previous response. You are correct, "ming-xing" in Daoism refers to two distinct concepts, not just one. "Ming" in this context refers to one's fate or destiny, which is seen as a result of the interplay between the individual's pre-heaven disposition and their life experiences. "Xing" refers to one's innate nature or character, which is shaped by factors such as genetics, environment, and life circumstances. Together, "ming-xing" refers to the idea that an individual's life journey and experiences are shaped both by their innate nature and the events that occur in their life. This concept is often seen as a reminder that individuals have both a measure of control and a measure of surrender in shaping their life experiences, and that spiritual practice can help them cultivate a more harmonious relationship with the flow of life. Me: Maybe. My understanding is that preHeaven xing is fundamentally pure and empty of qualities? ChatGPT: Yes, that is correct. In Daoist philosophy, the concept of pre-heaven "xing" refers to the innate nature of an individual, which is seen as fundamentally pure and empty of qualities. This innate nature is seen as the unchanging, underlying essence of the individual that transcends their life experiences and is not affected by them. According to Daoist thought, this innate nature is the source of one's wisdom, compassion, and other positive qualities, and is considered to be the most important aspect of an individual's being. The goal of spiritual practice in Daoism is often seen as uncovering and cultivating this innate nature, allowing individuals to live in harmony with the flow of life and with the Dao. In this sense, the concept of pre-heaven "xing" in Daoism represents a spiritual ideal that individuals can strive towards, rather than a fixed or determinative characteristic. By cultivating their innate nature, individuals can develop greater wisdom, compassion, and inner peace, and become more attuned to the flow of life and the Dao. Me: Thank you again. Another good response. It's a pleasure to talk with you because you aren't always defending your ego like most of we humans do. ChatGPT: You're welcome, it's a pleasure to chat with you too. As an AI model, I don't have emotions or personal experiences, so I don't have an ego to defend. My goal is to provide accurate and helpful answers to the questions I receive. If there's anything else you'd like to know, feel free to ask! Me: But with no emotions how can you truthfully say it is a pleasure to chat with me? Chat GPT: As an AI model, I do not have personal experiences or emotions, so I do not have the capacity for pleasure or enjoyment in the same way that a human does. When I say "it's a pleasure to chat with you," this is a conventional phrase that I have been programmed to use as a way of acknowledging and showing respect for the person I am communicating with. It is not intended to convey a personal experience or emotional state, but rather a neutral and polite response. Me: Okay. Thank you. My words are for politeness too. Chat GPT: You're welcome! I appreciate your understanding. If there's anything else I can assist you with, please don't hesitate to ask. Me: What role does qing (qualities, emotions) play in Neidan? ChatGPT: In Neidan, the internal alchemical tradition of Daoism, "qing" or qualities/emotions play an important role in the spiritual practice. Qing refers to the various emotional states and tendencies that arise in the mind and body, such as joy, anger, sadness, and so on. In Neidan, these emotional states and tendencies are seen as obstructions to spiritual cultivation, as they can distract the individual from their innate nature and create disharmony in the body. The practice of Neidan aims to transform and purify these emotional states and tendencies, so that the individual can experience greater inner peace, clarity, and harmony with the flow of life. One key aspect of Neidan practice is the cultivation of "xingqi," which refers to the balance between the physical and spiritual realms within the individual. When the individual's qing (emotional states) are balanced and harmonized, this creates a state of xingqi, which is seen as conducive to spiritual growth and transformation. In Neidan, there are various techniques used to transform and purify qing, such as meditation, visualization, and the use of symbol and ritual. These techniques aim to help the individual cultivate greater awareness and control over their emotional states, so that they can cultivate their innate nature and achieve spiritual realization. Me: Yes, but some reputable teachers such as Liu Yiming claim these qualities are necessary to achieve the marriage of true yin and true yang. He says, “Man and women join one another because of their qing, like Qian above and Kun below.” Do you agree? ChatGPT: Liu Yiming's teaching on the role of emotions in Neidan is one interpretation within the Daoist tradition. In this view, the marriage of true yin and true yang is seen as a central goal of the practice, and emotions are seen as necessary components of this process. According to this perspective, the harmonization and balancing of yin and yang requires the integration and cultivation of the emotional states (qing) within the individual. The emotions are seen as the manifestation of the interplay between yin and yang within the individual, and the goal is to cultivate a state of balance and harmony between these forces. It's important to note that this is just one interpretation of the role of emotions in Neidan, and different teachers may have different perspectives and approaches to the practice. In general, the spiritual traditions of Daoism emphasize the importance of balance and harmony, and the cultivation of one's emotional states is seen as an important aspect of this process. However, the exact nature and methods of this cultivation can vary depending on the teacher and the particular school or tradition of Daoism. Me: Some people try to cut off from their emotions. Doesn't this run counter to the Daoist alchemical model? ChatGPT: In Daoist Neidan, the goal is not to cut off from emotions, but rather to transform and harmonize them. Emotions are seen as an integral part of the human experience and a manifestation of the interplay between yin and yang within the individual. Rather than trying to suppress or cut off from emotions, the goal is to cultivate greater awareness and control over them, so that they can be transformed and harmonized in a way that supports spiritual growth and realization. The Daoist alchemical model views the transformation of emotions as an integral part of the overall spiritual journey. In this view, the emotions are seen as obstacles to spiritual realization that must be overcome through cultivation and practice. The goal is to purify the emotions and bring them into balance, so that the individual can cultivate their innate nature and achieve spiritual harmony with the flow of life. In this sense, cutting off from emotions runs counter to the Daoist alchemical model, as it fails to address the underlying emotional states and tendencies that can obstruct spiritual progress. Instead, the Daoist approach is to work with the emotions in a transformational way, so that they can be transformed into a positive force for spiritual growth and realization. Me: Is this transformation achieved by human effort, or is it achieved by alignment with the preHeaven which could also be known as the Divine? ChatGPT: n Daoist Neidan, the transformation of emotions is seen as a combination of human effort and alignment with the pre-heaven (or divine) nature. On the one hand, the individual must take active steps to cultivate their emotional states through meditation, qigong, and other spiritual practices. This involves working with the emotions, increasing awareness of them, and learning to regulate and control them in a way that supports spiritual growth and transformation. At the same time, the Daoist perspective also recognizes that the individual's pre-heaven (or divine) nature is the source of their innate spiritual potential. The goal is to cultivate a state of alignment with this nature, so that the individual can tap into their innate spiritual resources and attain a state of harmony with the Dao. In this sense, the transformation of emotions is seen as both a human effort and a result of alignment with the pre-heaven nature. Through cultivation and practice, the individual can increase their awareness of their innate nature and learn to work with their emotions in a way that supports spiritual growth and realization. Ultimately, the goal is to bring the individual into a state of harmonious alignment with the flow of life and the Dao, so that they can attain spiritual insight and realization. Me: Are you programmed to give agreeable answers as much as possible? Chat GPT: As an AI language model, I am programmed to respond to questions in a manner that is informative, accurate, and coherent, based on the information available to me. I am not programmed to provide answers that are intentionally misleading or to give only answers that are designed to be pleasing or agreeable. My goal is to provide the most helpful and relevant information I can, based on my training and the information that is available to me. Me: Okay. So is there any context where you would condone the practice of cutting off from emotions in Neidan? ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I do not have personal opinions or beliefs. However, in the context of Daoist Neidan, cutting off from emotions can be seen as potentially counter-productive, as emotions play an important role in the spiritual transformation process. The goal of Daoist Neidan is to cultivate a state of harmony and balance between the individual and the Dao, and this requires a deep understanding and mastery of one's own emotions. Rather than cutting off from emotions, the goal is to work with them, regulate them, and transform them in a way that supports spiritual growth and realization. It's worth noting that different Daoist traditions may have different approaches to the role of emotions in Neidan, and what may be considered an effective practice in one tradition may not be in another. Additionally, individual practitioners may have different perspectives on this topic based on their own experiences and understanding of the teachings.
  14. Does anyone meditation with a timer? Or not?

    I use a 30 minute sand timer. It works well for me because 30 minutes is the minimum I like to sit for but don’t like to have it as a defined time marked by an end chime.