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About Aetherous

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  1. A good article I just saw today: I don't necessarily agree with everything the author says. For instance, he points out that religious Daoism began in the 2nd century CE (long after the political-philosophical Daodejing was written)...but later tries to claim that one can't separate the Daodejing from Daoist religion.
  2. It's good to take hikes in nature. That's healthy meditation and exercise all rolled into one. The semen retention practices are all fake. Even people without problems don't gain anything from doing them.
  3. How Not To Be Negative

    The world is bad? Become the "lotus in the swamp". Be a spark of goodness in the world, and from that place, act...rather than be acted upon. For more understanding of this, read the prayer of St Francis. Practical steps...first, start with making sure your house is spotless...literally. Clean your house. Don't stop until it really does look clean, without any flaws. This is not a step for you to skip. Then take a bath in lukewarm water with Aveeno body wash (the kind made with oatmeal). When that's done, get into freshly washed clothes...then meditate on your breath, letting thoughts go as they arise, and go back to being aware of the breath. When these ideas arise about the world, people, negativity (even when you're not meditating)...look at them directly until they vanish. Don't get lost in thinking about those topics...look at the thoughts as thoughts, and realize that they're just thoughts that evaporate the more you look at them. Smile at the thoughts and they vaporize even quicker. After a meditation session, watch some comedy show or movie that actually makes you laugh. Or watch a movie where you get lost in the story. Or read a book that has the same effect. Or go to sleep. One of those things. Then treat yourself to something you really enjoy. Keep this up for a week. After 7 full days, then force yourself to go back to thinking like you are in the original post. Really try to make it happen, and be negative, for that day. After the 8th day of negativity, I think something will have happened. Just ideas I had for changing oneself away from negativity. I know it sounds weird.
  4. Anger as Power

    The opposite is true...your connection to the spiritual is shut down entirely when you choose anger. It might feel like power, but it's not. Observe what it does to your rationality and wisdom in the moment, and observe what it does to you over time...just bad effects. It certainly has its place in a well balanced life.
  5. I like McKenzie method for low back pain. There are cheap books on how to perform it yourself. Good to do multiple times per day: first upon waking, before meals, before work, after work, before bed. For hip flexors, others have mentioned good stretches. You definitely want to lengthen the tissue by stretching...but at the same time, you don't want the muscles to be too weak. Hip flexors need to be long and very functional in order to be healthy. So light strengthening of them is good (not trying to tear muscle fibers with intense strength training of them). For instance, having your hands interlaced behind your head, lifting your knee and touching it to the opposite elbow, and repeating, is one example of an exercise that activates the muscle. When stretching the hip flexors (or any muscle), it's good to hold a static stretch for at least 35 seconds, and repeat 3 times; that is one session. Have three sessions per day minimum in order to see results. It does seem like the long driving is what's causing it, but hopefully some self rehab will help. I would plan on continuing the rehab for as long as you have this job.
  6. What is wrong about being judgemental?

    Yes, I think I do. Let's say if you were an couldn't look down upon someone for drinking too much, thinking they're lower than you in regard to the subject of drinking. You're in the same boat and might even be worse off than they are. So an honest person would be humble in that situation rather than judgmental. But if you don't drink, or not that much, you're much more easily able to criticize others who do it too much. It's easy to point the finger. Sometimes judgment carries with it this form of "I wouldn't do that", as if the judge is holier than thou.
  7. Daoist Canon goldmine This site contains the Ming Daoist Canon / Zhengtong Daozang (as well as other collections of books like the Siku Quanshu), I think the entire thing in both woodblock photocopies as well as digitized text. Just do a search in Chinese characters for a text you want to see. Sorry if someone has shared this before.
  8. What is wrong about being judgemental?

    Nothing. We're talking about whether being judgmental is beneficial or harmful, in the context of spiritual cultivation.
  9. What is wrong about being judgemental?

    It's postmodernism to claim right and wrong are relative and basically meaningless opinions; it's also untrue. I'll quote what I said again, which is very clear, and is a genuine difference in meaning rather than a play on words: "Just think of the meanings of the two words: to discern means to understand the truth. To judge means that someone is on trial, and you (and the jury) make the decision of what happens to them in the form of a punishment. Understanding the truth, versus deciding someone deserves punishment, are miles apart." Sounds like you're saying penalizing others becomes important if a lot is at stake...I agree, and will respond to that later... We're on a site about cultivation, which definitely includes the cultivation of virtue/morality/character. Discussing these things is not empty "moralizing", but is a means of helping one another self-transform. We're talking about how to walk the spiritual path...not criticizing or condemning. Also, this idea, "leaving others free to do as they please" is similar to what Luke said...give others some breathing room. It's a fact of life that people don't like to be told they are wrong, and perhaps it's more beneficial to take it easy on oneself and others rather than impose exacting laws of morality. After all, as humans we can barely control our could we ever be perfect in how we behave? Still, "tiny drops of poison eventually fill the bucket". Justifying doing little wrongs is not the way to cultivate. Making mistakes is fine, but knowing something is slightly wrong and pretending it's not bad enough to warrant changing doesn't help our development of virtue. Yes, if a person in a society goes against its laws (such as becoming violent) it makes sense to contain them. That is basically a penalty (although if the legal system is just, it will be a fair one)...but it's done to defend others in the society. In regard to the forum...that would be similar to someone breaking forum rules.
  10. What is wrong about being judgemental?

    They have discernment, which is good. Unless it crosses the line into judgment. If that's the case, then they likely have hypocrisy, which is bad. Just think of the meanings of the two words: to discern means to understand the truth. To judge means that someone is on trial, and you (and the jury) make the decision of what happens to them in the form of a punishment. Understanding the truth, versus deciding someone deserves punishment, are miles apart. Yet in real life, it's sometimes a real challenge to understand which is which. It's a discernment, so no. It's okay to understand that certain things are right and other things are wrong; that being judgmental is wrong, and people who do it are in the wrong. Spirituality is not about pretending to not a have a problem with anything or anyone, and being incapable of understanding right from wrong. Quite the opposite. On the other hand, if the discernment carries a form of penalty with it, then it's a judgment rather than discernment. For instance, when I first said to you in the other thread that it's not good to be judgmental...that carried zero penalty (although you did take offense and felt slightly attacked). It was said in an illustrative spirit, to help you understand yourself, and the brief discussion you and I were having about spirituality. So, not having any real penalty, it was a mention of something discerned...a helpful tip, if you could take it as such. If I were to have condemned you somehow, it would've been a judgment. For instance, if I said it just in order to stick a thorn in your side; to influence others to turn against you; or to cause something to happen against your wishes.
  11. What is wrong about being judgemental?

    If there's some form of penalty for the others, yes. For instance, to be direct in regard to why this thread was started: if you think that people having political discussions are being too unspiritual, so you try numerous times to stifle their discussion against their stated wishes. That's a form of penalty, and so it was judgmental of you. And also in total agreement with how Lost in Translation responded to the question.
  12. What is wrong about being judgemental?

    I was addressing the type of judgment which condemns others silently. I think that does have the effect described.
  13. What is wrong about being judgemental?

    It's important to have rationality take precedence over feelings: if you can admit there's a factually correct aspect to it, then you should know it wasn't something to be upset over. The feeling of being pushed down, if you were constructively criticized where zero actual harm came to you, is just the false notion of isn't really you. That false notion of self is what Tibetan Buddhist practice seek to liberate people from.
  14. What is wrong about being judgemental?

    All negativity we have is our own responsibility when we're on the spiritual path. When we're feeling negativity, like when someone did something to piss us's not coming from others, but is coming from ourselves... ' "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred. "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred. ' - The Dhammapada, 1 There's the common saying, "When you point your finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you". With increasing wisdom, we naturally realize how true this is. With increasing hatred, we have no access to wisdom, and can never realize our own hypocrisy. What we were accusing others of were really the issues that were most dominant in our minds. They were our issues, not the accused's. Those issue were clouding our lens of perception, and they caused us to see others as having those faults. If we didn't have those issues, we wouldn't see others as having them. So a good rule of thumb is that when we're accusing someone of something, we should really stop and think of how we're guilty of that very thing. Even if someone doesn't believe in the truth of these ideas, this is still incredibly helpful to constantly think about for spiritual cultivation.
  15. What is wrong about being judgemental?

    That second form completely shuts us down from wisdom...from the spiritual path. A person can have the first form, of telling people how it is and not holding back in the truth...but not have the second form. Their heart can be open and their mind clear. In which case, that's just discernment being mistaken for judgment. One has to ask if they're feeling judged: have I actually been penalized in any way, or did they intend to show me something?