Junior Bum
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About Arisol

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    Dao Bum
  1. I have questions!

    Ohh dear, a group of men discussing 'menses'. Very interesting to read your thoughts about it. As a lady who regularly experiences periods I'll chip in my two cents here. I think that it is a very misunderstood phenomenon, I am aware that many sacred texts deem it as 'dirty', 'unclean', and 'unholy', among many other things. We have reached an age where we are free to question where beliefs come from and why they originated. We are free to compare traditions, different readings and practices, and form our own ideas. I was wondering whether to say this or not, but here it goes, in old shamanic traditions blood magic was still practiced. Women have access to their own blood given by nature at the expense of our life force; more than blood it is the vessel that can harbor life. It is at the same time the possibility for life and a cycle of death. It is the cycle of life-death-life lived every month. When cycles were still honored and women remembered their power, women could practice 'blood magic' during their periods. What is 'blood magic'? my understanding is that they are rituals for manipulating energy and intention, sealed with the strength of the internal metal element (blood). A woman who can do this can be called powerful. Most women now do not honor their cycle, which is why it brings bad mood and discomfort. Most people in general don't know how to channel intention either. Intention can be good and intention can be bad, it depends on who wields it. So it is my opinion that the sages of old knew of the power of a woman in her period, and counseled men to stay away. It is more out of fear than out of real danger. But, are women really dangerous for men when on their period? I would say no. But any time you touch someone's blood I think an 'energy link' is formed, similar to what happens during sex anyway. So if you don't want to be energy linked to a particular lady don't have sex with her (at all), and specially avoid the period days. If you have a loving partner and want to get closer to her, then by all means go ahead. There is a lot to say about the interchange of energy between a couple who practices sex, regular sex causes a loss of energy (especially for the man). Tantric practices can lead to an increase of energy for both far beyond what they could do alone. So, is it dangerous for a man on the energy path to talk to a woman in her period? talking, no; casual touching, no. Sex, maybe, you need to be clear about your intention, and you need to know what you are doing and do it fully. Then again, most men are more than willing to waste their energy (sperm) in the shower or give it to a bag of tissues. I think women on their period is not something most men should worry about. How do I know these things? I've searched books, internet and libraries for all lost practices of women; but most were never written, have been banned or are lost. I have found some obscure references here and there. But, more than that, I have done my own explorations, in waking life, and in dreams. I am also part of communities of ladies who are rediscovering our truth.
  2. Day 144 golden flower

    Hi thelerner, I'm glad I asked why you avoid the trance state. I've been wondering the same thing myself, whether going into the trance that swallows up time is just another escape or not. Thomas cleary speaks of avoiding both 'oblivion and distraction' ; perhaps the type of trance that you are talking about is the 'oblivion' state? I also recognize the value of letting go of technique and 'just sitting' as you propose. I do it sometimes, during other moments, not during my dedicated 20 minutes for the GFM; the yawning reflex starts just the same now in both the structured and unstructured meditations. At this point though, I really appreciate the structure that the method brings, I am a largely spontaneous and chaotic person. I usually opt for the purely intuitive method, but I've fallen into some patterns that I want to avoid. Which is why now I'm glad I found this method, and I gain peace from practicing it. What is the downward flow you mention? is it like the microcosmic orbit?
  3. Day 144 golden flower

    Hi rideforever, Thanks for your reply. Like I said, I do what I understand, and slowly discover other doings, or non doings. With regard to the eyes, I aim to keep them fixed on the direction of my nose, but after a while I stop seeing the nose even though the eyes are looking at it. It's not something I do, it just happens sometimes for moments, sometimes more sustained. Do you have any suggestions for 'work with the eyes, heavenly heart, or light' ? what exactly is the work with it? I don't understand the reference... also, clearly I've read the text more than a few times, like I said before, I practice what I understand. I don't appreciate your tone here, though I do appreciate suggestions, which is why I am sharing my experiences in a forum. Nevertheless, I'm respectfully pointing out that there are ways to communicate a point without being a condescending twat. That being said, if you have a deeper understanding of the techniques, please do share. As for the breath, I do control it, the box breathing pattern has been a fantastic tool to slowly relax my diaphragm and open up my lungs slowly but surely. Lately, sometimes, a different feeling of breathing just appears on its own. It's like one yawn after the other, it's very pleasant, when that happens I let go of the box pattern in breathing and just follow the yawns, but I maintain the mantra. My eyes water, a lot, when this happens; a lot of tears fall out. I don't call it crying because it's not like usual crying that would be related to an emotional state, it's literally a release. I also feel that my eyes water both towards the outside (my face, usual tears); and also towards the inside behind the back of my nose. The yawning, also involves the ears, the text references the ears but I didn't understand what it meant until I felt it with the yawns. From wikipedia: ' A yawn is a reflex consisting of the simultaneous inhalation of air and the stretching of the eardrums, followed by an exhalation of breath'
  4. Day 144 golden flower

    Hi Silent Thunder, Thanks for your reply. I'll check out the references that you mention. I think all paths are valuable, from a simple yet structured approach like the golden flower to a method of no method as you say, it's about what resonates with you at a given moment. The golden flower method is not very easy to grasp at first reading, the writing is obtuse and filled with imagery belonging to another culture. I've been involved in eastern practices for quite a few years now, and I learned much from a japanese sensei on the art of feeling energy, specifically applied to shiatsu. From his style of teaching I learned that the approach of teaching is completely different to what I have known all my life. We spent one year doing only touching massage without any theory of meridians or tsubos, we learned to feel first before thinking. I read this example somewhere and I think it illustrates my point. In the western world if you want to teach someone to build a boat you'd point out materials, blueprints, cutting methods, binding methods, etc..... In the eastern approach if you want to teach someone to build a boat you'd inspire in them a deep longing for the sea, and they will find their own way to build a boat. The written eastern traditions are more about inspiration and feeling than literal instruction. Which is why they are written in images and metaphors. So my idea is that whatever *your* interpretation of a method at a given point is, that is exactly what is right for you. Now, don't get me wrong, eastern traditions have very specific ways of building boats, honed and refined; but these would mostly be taught in person to apprentices. They would not be recorded in written teachings (historically with a few exceptions). I think the golden flower method is indeed an exception, and they did their best to record instructions that would transmit feeling. I'm now in day 161 of this method. I keep re-reading the translations and every time I go back to a passage I understand it in a different way as I gain practice. My experience has been mostly very sutble, but I feel that is is also very deep, I start to feel deeper into my body, and to see my monkey mind more clearly. Still a way to go, so for now I will continue and see what happens.
  5. Day 144 golden flower

    Hi Thelerner, Thanks for your reply. May I ask, why do you want to stay away from the trance state? Is there a particular reason?
  6. Day 144 golden flower

    Now that I've written it I thought more consciously about it, I have something to add about the breathing and the ' om mani padme hum' . I see a certain pattern started on it's own, like the words guide or 'open' spaces where the breath can go. With each word the breath goes a little bit higher into other places of my body. I still feel spots that do not 'open' and are in fact quite tight and in a spasm since a long time ago. Inhaling: ''Om' diaphragm drops and belly expands 'ma ni' ribs expand and breath 'goes up' ' pad me' lungs expand towards my back (spine) ' hum' breath reaches head. Exhaling: the same but in reverse 'Om' air goes out of my head, ' ' mani' upper lungs relax and release air ' pad me' ribs relax 'hum' belly draws slightly in toward spine. I had thought that I wouldn't keep a log of my experience, but suddenly I feel the need to write about it. Thanks for reading, and curious to know if others have had similar experiences.
  7. Day 144 golden flower

    Dear thelerner, Thanks!!! Sure, indeed the books are poetic and open to interpretation. I see you're familiar with the sources, I would like to read what you put together, but the link in the thread (the one to the summary) didn't work. I've spent an amount of time reading different translations of the text. The most useful one for me has been the one by thomas cleary. And also, JJ Semple's explanations about it, as you say they are ' westernized'. But either way, the texts have so much imagery that you can philosophize forever on it. I also adapted it a bit to what feels ok for me. So what I do in practical terms: 1. Sit comfortably 2. Box breathing pattern of 6 times. 3. I don't count, I say ' Om mani pad me hum' in my head each time. 4. Stare at my nose with eyes open just enough. 5. Keep lights on, usually. 6. Set timer, About sitting: I had started sitting in lotus with my back unsupported...but quickly realized that I'm not fit enough to keep that very long, and it was causing knee pain. Now I sit in easy cross legged position in my bed and support my lower back in a pillow while I try to balance my neck into alignment with my spine. If I'm uncomfortable on some occasions I have done it with stretched legs, and one week when I had fever I did it lying down. About box breathing: start with exhaling, hold empty for a count of 'om mani padme hum' (6 syllables, a count of 6); inhale for a count of 6, retain full for a count of six, exhale for a count of 6. Start over. I try to make the breathing as quiet as possible, so that I can't hear it, but sometimes I can't and I do the softest possible. Just to clarify, I start with empty lungs and do not aim to fill them to full capacity with each breath, just a very soft breath for 6 counts. I try to start breathing in my belly (let diaphragm fall), then expand ribs (as singers do), then upper lungs. Sometimes I slightly move my spine/ neck to allow the breath to pass. About a count of 6 with Om mani padme hum: this part I added myself, not mentioned in the books, though Om mani padme hum can be interpreted as 'golden or jeweled flower'; I just like the cadence of it, and I like the idea of it more than repeating numbers. It gives me a nice rhythm to breathe to. About timing: usually 20 minutes. My intention was to do at least 8 minutes per day, every day no matter what, but it quickly went up to 20. Sometimes more sometimes less. That's it. I've had trouble maintaining any kind of discipline throughout my whole life. So this time I said, ' I will sit at least 8 minutes for at least 100 days' no matter what. Unlike other times when I gave up quickly, this time around I only set this one discipline, everything else could remain as it was. The 'no matter what' turned out to be my other lacks of discipline, like eating badly and having indigestion, and sometimes meditating after drinking alcohol. I've never gotten drunk on purpose before meditating; it just happened, and I thought the result was interesting. I also have struggled for many years with chronic pain and muscle spasms (fibromyalgia they say....but I don't accept the label); and that does get in the way of relaxing and going deeper into the meditation. Anyway, thanks for asking. Have you consistently tried this mediation for a period of time? what has been your experience with it? Cheers!! Ari
  8. Day 144 golden flower

    Dear Dao Bums, This is my first post. I write because I feel the need to share my experiences with the golden flower method, as described in the secret of the golden flower and then explained by JJ Semple. Today marks 144 days since I started the daily meditation. Unlike other accounts, I haven't had a dramatic experience, but I do notice a definite gradual change. I'll try to keep this post short, so I'll only talk about a few things I've observed in my body: 1. At around day 90 I was napping in the afternoon and felt a very strong, VERY STRONG, electric current in all of my spine. I had the presence of mind to align my head and it also went into my head. It felt like when you accidentally get shocked at a power outlet and you can't let go. But it was not unpleasant nor painful, just intense. I'm not sure how long it lasted. Afterwards I felt like my usual self. 2. A few times now I've woken up at night because of intense heat in my body, followed by a lot of sweating, and a feeling that my insides are 'spinning' or ' vibrating' . When this happened, I had eaten red meat and had drunk alcohol (gin and tonic). 3. Twice now in those moments I 'wake up' and float out of my body, it's like I have enough energy to sustain myself outside my body; but I quickly lose awareness and fall into dream mode. I found the alcohol thing very interesting, usually for years now I've not been able to tolerate liquor; though I never stopped drinking beer and wine. I only drink socially on weekends, and don't usually get drunk, but it happens from time to time. Lately I had been drinking less and less because even one beer can give me a hang over and a headache the next day. Since, I've been meditating, (and also with some other practices I did in the past); when I drink liquor it's like adding fuel to the fire. It's like a reaction that has been wanting to take place, like a little engine inside me starts up and vibrates, moves around different parts of my body, and then generates heat, and finally sweat. Again, it's intense but not unpleasant. When I'm actually sitting at meditation, it's only a mild pleasant king of heat some of the time (sometimes nothing). Things seem to happen during sleep, but I think they are definitely linked to the sitting practice. The rest of the time life goes on as usual, no big changes, just maybe a bit more awareness about my inner emotional states. Naturally I turned to the internet for research. Most advice says not to drink alcohol while meditating, and to stick to a mostly vegetarian diet. I feel that meat and alcohol help the process in my case, they give me more energy. I found mentions of obscure tibetan traditions involving alcohol, and I read a book about Aghoris (an indian sect that eats meat, consumes intoxicants and allegedly does rituals with corpses...). My theory is that most recommendations have teenage boys in mind, who probably have excess fire (chinese medicine term), and need a cooling diet to be able to raise energy in meditation without loosing control. Also, recommendations probably stem from trying to manage teenage boys in a monastery that need to be kept in order and convinced to be celibate. In my case, I would say I have excess water and some wind (again chinese medicine terms), when I tried a vegetarian diet (for moral principles) I've felt quite weak and dispirited. Anyway, my question here is, has anyone had any experiences with meditation/ alcohol/ meat?