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About stovepipe

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    Dao Bum
  1. I had my first important spiritual awakening a year ago when I discovered taoism. I am now learning reiki, shamanism, and diverse systems with the help of my teacher. It's been a very beautiful thing for me, I am feeling lighter and lighter days after days. A close friend is wondering how my new practices can be compatible with wu wei. It seems to him that one who studies these arts is likely to be driven by egoist forces. I'm not sure what to tell him.
  2. Explain "flow" to laymans

    I didn't understand "flow" until my first profound spiritual experience. How would you explain flow to someone who's never experienced it consciously?
  3. I sometimes struggle with decision making. I understand that dilemmas are illusions, if there is a dilemma, it's because there isn't enough faith in the way. What are some ways to differentiate protective options (the ones you're considering because of fear) from the one true way for you (the Truth)? I was thinking about saying out loud a sentence like “If I were to die today, I would know without any doubt that the right decision is XYZ.” Is there any other technique you may know of (visualization? self hypnosis? etc)
  4. Spiritual loneliness

    Thanks for your replies, I do not feel like my Internet usage is problematic tho. I did post this on a forum, but that doesn't mean that I spend my life online. I am actually seeing quite many people. I feel a little bit like Bruce Willis in Surrogates: everybody is living through avatars (robots), and he seems to be the only one who's trying to live for real. He feels isolated because of that. Now I am not depressed, as I am writing this right now, I can feel the divinity within me, within all beings, and I can see how people are just where they are meant to be (and so am I!). I just wonder how I could get over this "being different" feeling...
  5. Spiritual loneliness

    Hard to say how I met him, probably because I live in San Fran and these things can be pretty common here. I no longer feel scared tho, a lot of things happened in the past month. Maybe loneliness wasn't the right word. Maybe isolation is a better word. I do not feel lonely, I feel very connected, but I do feel isolated. I think you guys are right when you say that this has maybe less to do with the spiritual path, and more with my overall life and psychology. I've been criticized as a kid for being different, doing and wanting different things from people my age, I probably isolate myself as the result of fearing criticism. This is becoming more precise in my mind, and less of a big deal already.
  6. Spiritual loneliness

    I see love in the world, and that fills me with joy. But a part of me suffers from rarely meeting a gaze that says "I understand you." I am very grateful for what this path has brought me, but the burden of the altered perception (as in "different from what most people likely experience"), has been heavy on me for a while. My whole life, I've been feeling like an alien. I understand that this is just a twisted belief, and I want to graduate from it. I'm not sure what the direction is.
  7. These past few days, snakes have been everywhere. I'm walking on the street, there is a stick on the ground, for a second I think it's a snake. I notice people around me randomly talking about snakes. And last night, I dreamt of a dozen very long thin purple snakes (yes, purple). I was terrified, but they didn't seem dangerous, they had this "mystical" presence. Not sure what all of this means. Any ideas? Thank you.
  8. Hi from San Francisco

    Thanks, this has been very helpful. Thanks to steve also for the reassuring words. I'm posting back here in case someone stumbles upon this post experiencing similar issues. What helped the most was @Jeff's advice: that I should focus on giving more, and clearing my throat chakra. I've been doing just that, I've been drinking teas for 5th chakra, I've been thinking blue, I've been humming now and then, listening to throat chakra cleansing frequencies on Youtube, I've practiced loving-kindness meditation and had fun giving love at a distance to people on the street. All of this combined, I have regained a "lightness" I had not felt since before the awakening of this new energy, I've been feeling my perspective expanding day after day. More precisely, what used to be vague feelings I could barely grasp, are turning into acquired understanding that I can use. I've also noticed some important changes in the way I am interacting with the world/the world interacts with me. It's almost unreal to me how quickly this has happened/is happening. I am very grateful for your help here in assisting me breaking free from these tensions.
  9. Connecting with Deities

    Once while meditating, I felt the strong presence of a woman, briefly saw her face, she was warm and had this "ancient vibe." I asked who she was and she said "Gertrude." She pushed me to let go, I started crying loudly, her compassion was filling my body, I was both in so much pain and so happy to cry. Then I felt like a rockstar for weeks and I can still see how this experience helped me months later. Now I have a question for you guys who are more advanced at these things than I am. I have Googled her name "Gertrude" and she appears to be a Saint in Christianity. There is only so many deities, can they meet multiple people at the same time?
  10. What kind of life do you have?

    Interesting. I admit that my question was vague. Some people use spiritual practices in their job, for example professional healers. But also: artists, scientists or entrepreneurs, really any field that requires creativity, who can use spiritual practices as a way to improve their work. As an example, I have a friend here in Palo Alto, a scientist, who uses different practices *at work* to enter altered states of consciousness and get inspired on his research.
  11. I'm new and curious to learn about your lives. - What kind of job do you have/what do you do most of the day? - How does Taoism affect your job? - Do you channel what you're experiencing into your job in any way?
  12. Hi from San Francisco

    Thank you, I really appreciate all of your replies. The "energy stuck" thing is right on point, I feel like I receive 2x more energy than I can output. The overflow creates chronic tensions in the shoulders area and congestion in my sinuses. My practice is about 40 min/day of vipassana meditation, 20 min of vinyasa yoga, and I am starting Tai Chi classes. I'd be happy to hear your recommendations.
  13. Hi from San Francisco

    Hi, Thank you all for being part of this community! I have discovered Taoism over a year ago and it changed my life. I am so grateful for what this path has brought me. While I am feeling pretty much alright, I am experiencing some turbulences and a kind of plateau in my practice recently, I come here for advice. A few months ago, I met a very deluded man, suffering from paranoia and anxiety, who clearly had a history of psychedelic substance abuse. The man was telling me about how he got hurt by entities etc. His eyes were scary, you wouldn't need mind reading powers to tell that he was seriously disturbed. There was no talking him out of his delusions so I just left the discussion. A few weeks later, I think that my 3rd eye started opening, I started seeing things while meditating. But then I remembered this deluded man, and now I regularly fear what I may see, and because I fear, I see things that scare me enough to instantly open my eyes and stop meditating. This guy freaked me out, and as much as I try to not self realize my fear, to show compassion, to understand, I don't feel completely safe when I meditate anymore, and I'm not sure what to do about it. Thank you for your help!