The Dao Bums
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


About Yueya

  • Rank
    月牙 yuèyá (Crescent Moon)

Recent Profile Visitors

4,540 profile views
  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. How to recognise a taoist master

    Yes he is. I’ve previously posted a couple of interesting accounts from John Blofeld which highlight the importance of the eyes: (Note for aspiring non-dualists, the second account may greatly interest you.)
  6. Compost Toilet

    And the box is only about half full. Like Natural said, it happens naturally. Or ‘self-so’ (ziran 自然), to use Daoist terminology. Yet it embraces natural processes which are almost infinitely complex. But that doesn't mean I want to immerse myself in that pile!
  7. Compost Toilet

    I was brought up without any connection with religion in a family who aspired to rational materialism. It has only been through my own experiences and, in particular, reading Carl Jung’s insights into the deeper meaning of Christian theology that I’ve gained a great respect for the inner core of that religion. Perhaps because I wasn’t immersed in it from childhood, Christian iconography stirs no strong emotions within me. Even so, I find that image of Christ powerful and even more so when I read on Wikipedia how it was created. I know from previous posts of yours that you have a strong Christian background. How do you feel about that image?
  8. Compost Toilet

    I understand where you’re coming from with your comment and I respect it. However, you don’t know me and how important connection with the sacred is in my life. I consider my whole house a temple and that includes the loo. To me it’s all sacred space including the surrounding forest. It’s a sacredness that embraces the mundane, is naturally occurring and felt inwardly when connecting with both the visible and invisible worlds. I built the structure that houses that compost toilet myself and am pleased with the warm feeling of qi that pervades the space inside. There’s a classic essay on traditional Japanese aesthetics by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki titled In Praise of Shadows. I highly recommend this excellent reading of it on YouTube. Of relevance here, starting around the 5 minute mark, he gives an enchanting description of the traditional Japanese toilet as a place of spiritual repose. Mine, especially at night, evokes some similar experiences. (As background information and to directly address your question, I’m not a Christian and feel no connection with their iconography. So the idea of putting a statue of Jesus in my loo or anywhere else is totally foreign to me. Whereas the Buddha statues, of which I have several, feel deeply meaningful for me. For a couple of years in the early days of my spiritual seeking I lived at various Buddhist meditation centres, including over a year at a forest monastery I particularly liked. I felt an inner resonance with those places. They felt familiar, like returning to a lost home. Part of my inner core felt like it had experienced a lifetime as a Buddhist monastic. Although I don’t consider myself a Buddhist now I have a great respect for that religion.)
  9. Compost Toilet

    See above reply. It's a fully enclosed unit that's dug into the ground a little. At the front there is about 300mm below the ground. It's base is level so it's much deeper buried at the back. And yes, that's a trap for small insects made out of a drink bottle. The local council here is very strict on it, made everyone in the district upgrade from pit toilets. They said it was a state-wide health department regulation but maybe that was misinformation. I resisted for a few years but eventually relented and built a new annex on the side of my house to accommodate it. Having done so, I'm pleased I did as it saves walking outside to the pit loo which was located about 10 metres from my house. A small comfort that I appreciate as I get older.
  10. Compost Toilet

    When it comes to Buddhas in my loo, It’s definitely a case of not-two. If you look more closely at the photo (maybe zoon in) you’ll see the item on the left is a pottery lantern which actually bears no resemblance to a Buddharupa. The one on right has been sitting there for years and is a fully awakened follower of the Way and hence knows there is no place the Way doesn’t exist, including in piss and shit. From Burton Watson’s translation of the Zhuangzi: Master Tung-kuo asked Chuang Tzu, "This thing called the Way - where does it exist?" Chuang Tzu said, "There's no place it doesn't exist." "Come," said Master Tung-kuo, "you must be more specific!" "It is in the ant." "As low a thing as that?" "It is in the panic grass." "But that's lower still!" "It is in the tiles and shards." "How can it be so low?" "It is in the piss and shit!" Master Tung-kuo made no reply.
  11. Compost Toilet

    How my compost toilet looks above: And below where the composting happens: This toilet holds compost comprising over 15 years of my shit mixed with wood shavings. It’s amazing how what would otherwise be a huge pile composts down to a relatively small amount of garden rich nutrient. I haven't had to empty it yet, but I do need to rake down every few months the pile that forms in the centre. (Before health regulations forced me to install it, I had a pit toilet which worked very well too and required no maintenance at all. It composted happily by itself with help from ongoing contact with the soil.) I think with the right attitude the same alchemical transmutation can happen here on Dao Bums; that the great piles of words we deposit here can go through a slow composting and transmutation process within our individual psyches so that the true essence of our words turns into rich cultivation nutrient. At least, that’s what I feel is happening with my engagement here.
  12. @awaken I am not a Chinese speaker so I have no idea what 鞏三孝 means outside of translation I get on Google. In the absence of information from other Chinese speakers, I am happy to accept the explanation he has given of what it means. However, I agree with him that your posts are almost useless for English speakers because the translations of key Daoist cultivation terms are so bad. You are doing your teachings and Daoism in general no favours by persevering. I have said it before and I'll say it again: If you want to reach an English speaking audience, you would do much better by putting your effort into correcting the Google translations on a smaller number of posts, rather than making a large number of essentially meaningless posts for English speakers.
  13. Worth repeating. I know from reading your input on this forum over many years that you’re just as messed up as the rest of us. But your insight into the essence of cultivation and, in particular, your ability to express it in words is excellent. Thank you. And thank you to everyone else whose thoughtful input makes this forum a meaningful place for me to develop and clarify my own insights. For this, opposition is equally as important, if not more important, than agreement. I just received a new William Blake book and on browsing it this line of his stood out: “Opposition is true Friendship”. As is my want I did a quick web search and the first article I found on it had this passage: In his Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1793), William Blake says that “Opposition is true Friendship” and insists that attempts to reconcile difference are likely to “destroy existence”. The diversity of life is diminished when one person tries to convert another to their truth. Whole ways of life disappear when one group imposes their system on others. What Blake sees is that difference is good. He’d have felt at home among the many Native Americans who insist that difference is an invitation rather than a barrier to relationship. René Descartes asserted: “I think therefore I am.” Animists insist: “We greet therefore we are.”
  14. Original Dao Bums

    I just read the relevant post on Original Dao that Steve referenced: https://www.originaldao.com/viewtopic.php?t=1888 Basically the site owner seems to be saying that people with strong political agendas destroyed the possibility of free political discussion. In other words, a great paradox: allowing free speech destroyed the possibility of free speech. I think Dao Bums through trial and error has come a workable compromise with the current setup of having Current Affairs as a closed sub-forum. Agreed. I think it's vital that this forum remains open and welcoming to anyone and everyone who respects the discussion protocols this forum has established. Hence there's no way would I welcome back those ex-members with strong opinions who didn’t discuss but rather always came across as trying to knock out anyone who opposed them....Unless they have radically changed, of course....Not just as an act, but from the core of their being.
  15. Katha Upanishad excerpt

    Thank you Steve. I certainly never expected a response as favourable as that. My reaction is likewise one of gratitude and humility. Significantly, your words suggest my post didn’t touch on any strongly held hidden dualities within your psyche. Part of my reason in posting was to let go of my feelings of adversity to the way prominent non-dualists on this forum are continually promoting their perspective. A non-oppositional reply such as yours makes it easier to do so. Another part of my reason for posting was to see if anyone says anything that provokes a strong emotional reaction in me; that is, one that triggers hidden aspects within my psyche. Experience has shown me, taking note of that is a valuable way to enrich my perspective, though not necessarily in ways in line with what is being said. But most of all, having written what I’ve written, I’d like to bow out of this conversation. I will of course continue to read comments with interest, as I do on all topics here that interest me. I appreciate the effort people put into these Dao Bum discussions. I very much need the input as a counterbalance to my mostly silent, semi-reclusive, forest dwelling lifestyle. Moreover, there’s a strand within my psyche making itself felt in stronger and stronger ways that is telling me it’s no longer appropriate for me to make posts like that one. I’m needing to keep what little energy I have in my older age for inner development; to shut the gates and close the doors. Yet experience has shown me I must continue the long process of shedding beliefs and opinions by engaging in dialogue with the outer world, elsewise it’s like trying to seal up a wound that still needs to shed foreign matter. Thankfully, because I’m feeling more at peace within myself and with the world at large than ever before, I feel I’m nearing the end of that process, at least sufficiently to continue productive inner cultivation with ever less outer engagement. Besides, my declining energy levels give me no choice.