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Everything posted by Piyadasi

  1. Forum member "spotless". Missing messages.

    Cool, thanks, makes things a little clearer. Based on my reading of the conversation, it seemed to me that no-one was saying "Indian Gurus are bad" - more like "Unfortunately quite a few Indian (and otherwise) Gurus are bad (more than is comfortable to believe)". How does that sound to both parties?
  2. Forum member "spotless". Missing messages.

    To be honest, I haven't followed this conversation too closely. For my sake would you mind telling us what point are you even defending? I feel like you guys might not even be disagreeing, could be good to re-iterate what one is on about exactly this deep into the conversation. Just that you need a teacher to progress? Or what? Guru = good? If yes, do you honestly think all guru also = good?
  3. Forum member "spotless". Missing messages.

    I'm reminded of the prototypical Asuras of Buddhist cosmology, and how they often 'do good' or were reborn 'there' as a result of 'doing good' (ie. merit) but they do it with the wrong motivation, for example giving large donations to gain wealth from it or power in the future or supporting spiritual practitioners in the hope of gaining their supra-normal power for protection or to help impose their wills; or just simply mixing a lot of bad with whatever good they do... They could be associated with what we'd consider 'demonic' quality. It also seems that this 'demonic' quality (or similar terminology) is often associated with all sorts of errors in spiritual practice as described in Daoism (other Indian traditions?) as well. It's also worth noting that even though they have greater power and majesty than humans, they are often ranked below the 'human quality' / realm, because of this tainting/mixing, they are thought, overall, to be in a more miserable state. These 'Asuras in the flesh' would then have little trouble with dazzling others, be it with their power or some genuine goodness they might have, but looking at the larger picture, they might be headed in a worse direction than even the basic human state (although what the ancient texts mean by the human state doesn't exactly match how 99% of humanity is nowadays)...
  4. How to find the lower dan tian ?

    It is genuinely unfathomable to me why people have any respect for him or pay him any attention (other than to see the dangers and what not to do). I imagine it's people who scoff at virtue themselves and are looking forward to experiencing the very same pitfalls as well...
  5. Finding a master or school

    Check out Damo Mitchell and Lotus Nei Gong. Lots of senior instructors and branches all over the place, might be a good fit for you (or might not!). A Comprehensive Guide to Daoist Nei Gong might be an interesting read for you too.
  6. Calling All Metal Rats

    I wonder.. do I count as a Rat just because my Year sign is a Rat? Is 'befriending the Ox' actually just wearing an ox pendant and that's it? Are there any more specifics around the pendant? Where can one get appropriate pendants or is there nothing specific one has to look for beyond 'it should be an ox'? I'm interested in Chinese Astrology somewhat, but so far I haven't really found a book that had a decent amount of *practical* advice for someone who doesn't want to dive into it too deeply. Could you perhaps direct me to one or some other alternative? Or maybe I'm being too picky and I'll have to dive in if I want something I can apply in life. Thank you.
  7. Purpose of QiGong

    Why don't you enlighten us a bit more? Or point us in the right direction for further information? So far you've only said how unbelievably wrong and misinformed freeform is, but not the why or the how or what the alternative perspective is. What is "Spiritual Qi Kung"?
  8. Purpose of QiGong

    How about Baguazhang? I've heard it's supposed to be 'even more spiritual' than Taiji. I've heard the opposite about Xin(g?) Yi. Is there any validity to that? Or are they just different?
  9. Recently there was much discussion about Damo, his school and his teaching. I was wondering is anyone from here going to his new program? Is anyone here an actual member of his school?
  10. Some more advice needed on practice

    Your analogy would be true if the body was an inert object. Except it's not and is held up in all sorts of ways by muscular or whatever tension. I can tell you for sure that it was a big discovery for me to find how I held my shoulders up, as in unconsciously all the time, not very natural or 'rigid body' -like at all. Because people tense themselves up and don't stand or walk from the kwa they have their center of gravity too high. That at least is my very basic, I'm-not-a-master-at-all understanding.
  11. Is there an "easy path" in Daoism?

    Amitabha (alternate name Amitayus, meaning infinite life) is a word to refer to a specific Buddha. Supposedly. Many believe this practice is not actually Buddhist in origin, that's true. Mindfulness of a/the Buddha is not sun worship though. Also the word ābhā(Sanskrit)/obhā(Pali) means radiance or splendor in general and is used to refer to the appearance and aura of any type of lesser or greater deva(deity/spirit), who does have that type of splendor, at least in the Pali Canon, multiple times, I assume the Sanskrit Agamas are the same way. Not just the appearance of the Sun deva. That said I'm not exactly a fan of Amitabha practice.
  12. How about the Shang and Zhou dynasties? Or the Mongols, Khitans, Xiongnu? Or the Vikings/Norsemen? Or Japan (Shinto)? Or the Jurchen Jin (and Later Jin/Qing), where the word apparently originates from? I also recall the Turkic/Iranian/Other peoples coming into Europe in waves and waves being quite oppressive to the 'natives'. See: Bulgars, Magyars, Huns, Beceneks, Avars.. Or was that occultism? Where does occultism begin and shamanism end? Please share what you think is important to read! Interesting topic, I also have my suspicions..
  13. To some extent it's 1. yes, I think, metaphors, images enrich understanding very much at times. To another extent it is 2., but not how you think, in fact it's the reverse. It's associated with these things that are powerful in people's minds (one's parents, kings, tigers, a whole kingdom), all especially alive in people's minds in ancient India (tigers were potentially an everyday encounter at some places) because you want these, maybe abstract sounding ideas, to have real meaning and weight since they are an even more powerful and fundamental aspect of your experience. So you take the outside world/experience you live in your everyday life and translate the structure of that to your inner world and fundamental activities. You use the outer as a reference guide to the inner, I suppose. Parents are also extremely important in Buddhism, for lay people (and even monastics), they are to be revered and respected, in fact respect towards one's parents and the desire to pay back the kindness they did to one is one of the fundamental basic recommended attitudes/outlooks. Killing of one's parents if like one of the worst acts with the most grievous outcomes. So I don't think it's manipulation. Also back in that day I feel like this sort of manipulation would have been much more ineffective, since people weren't as much 'in their brains' dancing around with concepts and abstract ideas as we are today so I feel like this would have hardly had that effect on them. Also for any sort of manipulation like this to have a noticeable effect on the community you'd have to have many more of these style of teachings, mainly in the Suttas and Commentaries, and while there may be other 'shock value' verses in the Dhammapada, I can't recall any other teaching of this sort that's not just a short verse. That's just my guess. Another factor is pure shock value. This shock would then be put to use when the meanings are explained in the context of a live tradition. That's just my take on it.
  14. An explanation by an Ajahn (https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/KN/Dhp/endnotes.html#dhp-note294): "294: This verse and the one following it use terms with ambiguous meanings to shock the listener. According to DhpA, mother = craving; father = conceit; two warrior kings = views of eternalism (that one has an identity remaining constant through all time) and of annihilationism (that one is totally annihilated at death); kingdom = the twelve sense spheres (the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, feeling, and ideation, together with their respective objects); dependency = passions for the sense spheres. 295: DhpA: two learned kings = views of eternalism and annihilationism; a tiger = the path where the tiger goes for food, i.e., the hindrance of uncertainty, or else all five hindrances (sensual desire, ill will, torpor & lethargy, restlessness & anxiety, and uncertainty). However, in Sanskrit literature, “tiger” is a term for a powerful and eminent man; if that is what is meant here, the term may stand for anger." Not quite literal
  15. I myself fortunately was turned away from Chia quite early on, but I'm very interested, what would you recommend someone who has developed the connection and the exact problem you described?
  16. Hello everyone! I'm new here and also relatively new to the Daoist arts, although I have read quite a bit already. I would like your opinions on the Xingyi and Bagua abilities of a teacher (pretty much the only teacher nearby) I found. Here are a couple of videos: I'm mainly interested in learning Bagua, but I'm not sure if it is worth the time and money investment to learn from him (or alternatively just focus on Xingyi and/or learn from vidoes). He seems to teach Xingyi and Taiji mainly and those seem pretty legit. But I'd be grateful for any input from those more experienced in these arts! Thanks!