Old Student

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  1. The Torus and the YIN/YANG

    Could I interest you in an embedding of a flat torus in 3 space? If you take a two-dimensional square and glue the opposite sides together, you get a torus theoretically, since each side thought of as a graph from zero to one is joined with its end. That torus is called a flat torus because it comes from the flat square and is therefore of intrinsic curvature zero (i.e. flat). It doesn't have a smooth donut shaped version in 3 space, until John Nash in the 1950s it was thought unembeddable, but it can be embedded as long as you go fractal. Shown below from the outside and inside. Vincent Borrelli created the embedding shown below, he has an article on it in PNAS -- https://www.pnas.org/content/109/19/7218
  2. Mair - 2:2

    I know this thread is very old and it much predates me here at TDB. I have been slowly going through the original text in my textbook (新譯莊子讀本, published by San Min Shuzhu Yinhang in the late 70s), and having trouble understanding how Mair got the above translation. The authors of my textbook very clearly make the "some there are" to mean some voices, not some people, and the part about "pleasure and anger;..." are voices/thoughts bubbling up inside a person that no one knows where they come from. After the, "Enough! Enough!" the next sentence is, 旦暮得此,其所由以生乎!Which seems like it is finished by the following sentence, which Mair puts in the next section, 非彼無我,非我無所取。 The first translates to, "Dawn to dusk these come, from wherever they are born." The second to, "Without the other there is no me, without me there is nothing accumulated." I see zero reason to translate the first sentence as, "The instant one grasps this, one understands whence they arise," and think that the two sentences I put together, instead, talk about the thoughts/voices arise and accumulate continuously unless there is no me. Which would tie everything together from the beginning of the chapter and say why Nanguozi (whom Mair calls Sir Motley of Southburb) launched into the whole thing about the pipes of man, earth, and heaven to explain his state of 吾喪我 (I ended me, which Mair translates I forgot me, either is fine) in the first place. My textbook's interpretation of the pronoun 其 as the words 言 instead of as "some people" seems to make more sense, and the chapter division is puzzling to me.
  3. Proposed simplification of forums

    Myelin's purpose is saltatory conduction. Ergo it performs as an electrolyte. I happen to think Penrose's theory fails Ockham's Razor. We disagree. There really isn't a need to resolve that.
  4. Proposed simplification of forums

    Yes, I've done so yet. Not sure how myelin has anything to do with gravity, frankly. It's "storage" function is as an electrolyte in a capacitor. "Physical fluids don't materialize" is something I have at this point extensive personal experience with. My point was that there are perverse doctrines in a lot of traditions, people seeking to practice them to accomplish something that is quite reliably done without hurting oneself shouldn't be spreading or learning dangerous practices on the internet. Ejaculatory reversal causes damage, that's why the milestones in the book Charles Luk translated are easily seen as blood in the urine, infectious emissions, etc. These things come from cultures where the essence of a teaching gets lost because of roundabout descriptions to avoid censure, and where people got paid to keep emperors alive at all costs. In a place like this where people can speak freely, there is no reason to perpetuate them. It's like perpetuating "feet the size of three lotus petals" because some ancient Chinese person wrote it. "Oh, I found a text on the ancient practice of Guojiao (裹脚)! It's passed down through the Stinking Cloth Dragon Sect and I heard it's the quickest way to the Dao!!!" (riffing on "老太太的裹脚布, 又長又臭!" for the lineage). But it always was and always will be foot binding, and foot binding is perverse.
  5. Proposed simplification of forums

    I would have to agree. When I started studying with Mr. Li, he called his method Hwayu T'ai Chi. In letters, he fully used the (Cantonese/Toisan) term Luk Hop Bat Fat (liuhebafa) for it, the handwritten Chinese on his copies of the Fiver Word Song that he handed out for his Friday lectures said right at the top, 華嶽太極拳 五字訣 (又名為心意功) (Huayue Taijiquan | five word song/mantra/text | (also named Xinyi Gong)). So there was no confusion from him as to what the art was, he had used the Taiji name because at the time nobody would understand what he was teaching by its real name, but at least some people had heard of T'ai Chi. It was also considered weird and kooky -- I had neighbors several times call the police when I was practicing in the yard at my parents' house, I took quite a bit of derision and laughter about doing oooh weird stuff if I practiced at work during lunch hour, and several times got cold cocked by people pretending to "just want to see if it works." The term New Age really came into use in modern form a little later with the publication of The New Age Journal. New age is just a part of the process by which Western cultures assimilate anything spiritual coming from outside the Middle Eastern focus it has had for 1500 years since the Christians took over the Roman Empire. What Earl Grey calls "white suburban yoga" is seen by my significant other (from India originally, now a U.S. citizen for 20 years) with a mixture of emotions. Some of them good -- yoga is accessible to people who don't want to or can't get up at 4 in the morning to cleanse themselves and walk to the ashram. And some of them bad -- why don't they just admit that it is a spiritual practice and it comes from a spiritual tradition in India? I do understand the urge to not have kookiness mixing with good advice. I don't care much about lineages, John Li's lineage came apart at the seams after he died and maybe that is a good thing. The person that most loyally kept the faith after he died, in Boston, was Robert, a.k.a. Chopsticks, not any of the people publishing books in silk uniforms. He, for instance, would never have repositioned his own name in English as Li Chung, he was an ordained Christian minister whose day job was such so I think he wanted the 'John" in his name it wasn't an Anglicizing convenience. And he never, ever, ever referred to himself as a "grandmaster". Also, in terms of simplifying the site specifically, the thing that would simplify the site in terms of use most for newcomers like me would be a button down at the bottom, instead of or in addition to the one at the top, that said "follow". I read stuff on various threads and always go through a period of confusion trying to figure out how to follow the thread if I am interested. As for weeding out kookiness, believe it or not, one of the ways a newcomer decides that a particular posting is "kooky" is that it is completely devoid of any real method for accomplishing what it talks about, whereas those by practitioners intended as practical, be they lineage holders or just people who know the technique in question well enough, is that they feel like something one can actually try. As for too much "Buddhism", forget it. The admixture of Buddhism into Daoism, and some vice versa, particularly along what is sometimes called the Silk Road starting more than a thousand years ago, makes that an impossibility and undesirable, and the religious traditions of the region starting to the West of Iran and continuing through to Southeast Asia in general do not neatly divide themselves, and people who adhere to them do not care if they believe in all of them at the same time. Finally, as to semen retention, I did write about my feelings as to what this is supposed to be on one of my threads (Dakinis, Moonlight, and Bubbling Stew), I am totally aware that my shaking explorations are totally beyond the pale of any lineage except perhaps someone somewhere that preserves some kind of shamanism that I don't know about. But I do think that having had to grapple with this so deeply does give me some insight, and I think semen retention, or for that matter the supposed female version which appears to be menstruation retention, are perverse goals the original version of which was to revert the orgasms and other rushes of feeling into internal dhyanas and samadhis, not the physical fluids into your body (it is a by product that the physical fluids don't materialize when you do this so maybe that's where some of the idea came from). Since I do view direct semen manipulation practices as not valid, I wouldn't mind if they were walled off with a big warning sign that if you actually do physically reverse an ejaculation, you will injure your prostate and your bladder and repeated such reversals may make you permanently incontinent if it doesn't first cause a pretty serious infection.
  6. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    若夫乘天地之正,而御六氣之辯;以逰無窮者 -- 彼且悪乎待哉? Regarding ascending the constancy of heaven and earth, or riding the changefulness of the six qi's; one who can roam without boundaries -- where can such a one be said to abide? (Zhuangzi, ch.1)
  7. I would recommend that at some point, you find someone who can do an in person evaluation of your standing posture, and make small corrections. I have been standing for 43 years, most of it on my own, but I did have someone correct my posture at times almost daily for close to a year. The reason for having someone actually move your body for you in very small corrections is that it teaches you how to do those corrections during your standing by yourself.
  8. The rainbow body is the body that people of high achievement attain at the time of their death, so the place to look for practices is from people who practice the Bardo meditations, I think (like everything else in Tibetan yoga/meditations there are six).
  9. App Developer looking foor Daoist Creatives

    DDJ chapter 28, for instance, ends, "...復歸於樸.“(..."reverts to the uncarved block.") It's a Laozi greatest hit.
  10. App Developer looking foor Daoist Creatives

    Somebody who sticks to laozhuang, and somebody who prefers to study later Daoism through neo-Confucianism. It doesn't involve lineages, Daojia (道家) is philosophical study, like, for instance, my Laozi course at the university, it is study of the various Daoist texts, debates over authenticity, study if the meanings of particular texts, including the DDJ, Zhuangzi, Liezi, etc., the way that, in the West, one might study Christianity in a divinity school. The term literally means those who are philosophical Daoists, the term Jia here being used for schools of thought. Daojiao (道教) literally means Daoist religion, the way Jidujiao ( 基督教 ) means the Christian religion. At least before Communism, and to much the same extent today, a person might go to a Buddhist priest for counsel, might celebrate Teacher's Day at the Confucian temple, and go to the Daoist temple for a funeral, or for geomancy, or a reading when their kid is born. Actual religion, with temples and lineages and stuff. In most of China and the diaspora, the various internal martial arts might very well be practiced just for health or mental well being, and picked up in the park in the morning, or at an institute of physical culture (mainland). Same with qigong for the average Joe. The more arcane stuff like neigong, neidan, waidan, is all traditionally the province of Daojiao, or of recluses and sages. That's not to say they don't honor their teachers in the park, or like them to have good credentials, they do, but they don't become full time adherents past 9am in the morning except when they grow more serious about it. In India, lots of people have gurus, not that many are, or consider themselves to be, full time yogis, it's kind of the same. You mentioned that you deal mostly with channels and qi than Laozi, that puts you either in Chinese medicine/fitness or in Daojiao which is why you don't spend much time with the DDJ. Is that clearer?
  11. App Developer looking foor Daoist Creatives

    I would ask you to do one thing, and that is include the Chinese text along with whatever translation(s) you are providing. The DDJ is very terse, and almost always there is more than one way to interpret a verse. Each translator chooses one per verse, so you need to look at several translators to understand. The DDJ is the most translated book in the world for that reason. There are tons of commentaries, especially in Chinese, and kind of more all the time since there are sites like Baidu that have discussions going about it. There are also quite a few versions that vary in age and completeness, because Qinshihuangdi burned the books, and people hid it and even in the past few decades, new copies have been unearthed. In China, when one studies this text in a class, that will be the title of the class, and the students are expected to memorize the text and be able to quote it from memory. That makes for an ability to think about verses at any time and any place and draw meaning from life's situations. There is also a fairly sharp distinction between Daojia and Daojiao -- Daoist philosophy and Daoist religion. DDJ is usually, but not always, considered Daojia. Daojiao is what priests do.
  12. App Developer looking foor Daoist Creatives

    Welcome lloydxie, When you get a screen shot could you put it up? I'm really hoping it will have the look & feel of an uncarved block.
  13. I felt some lustful thoughts. What should i do now.

    I only have my own experience to go on, but if you work with your pelvic floor muscles and scrotal muscles (the latter won't be under your control initially), you can find a combination that will draw the heat back and up and in at your perineum. You want to lift your pelvic floor from the perineum upward and backward, and you have to try a lot of mental instructions to your muscles to find just the right amount of pull and the just the right direction (it isn't necessarily the strongest pulling or the furthest back). The good part is that while you are figuring it out, your attention is also off of the heat which also helps. Once inside, each bit of heat should help you accomplish the 100 days.
  14. I had meant parallel language construction, not happening in parallel. Sorry for the bad sentence construction.
  15. The three changes all seem to parallel each other, and it would be hard to construct e.g. "身不動,精自固“ this way, as something already there that just manifested itself, no?