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About refugeindharma

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  1. Are males being emasculated

    What haha? Elimination of garlic and pungent roots are to help quell sexual desires and arousal, as does separation of living quarters and practice between men and women. This may not be as important or necessary later on in the path but starting out this helps a lot with consolidation of the jing and in calming the mind
  2. Internal alchemy in Zen

    Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism and other relevant historical Chinese culture and arts intermixed and resulted in "Chan Buddhism", which then became Zen in Japan From modern/contemporary teachers, Venerable Master Hsuan Hua and Master Nan Huai Chin both have taught an internal/alchemical/esoteric type of Zen, at least in the notion that the path requires some sense of transformation of the body and of course, ultimately the mind.
  3. Mahayana vs Theravada

    Majority don't. There was a period in time where the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) was alternating their morning ceremony with their normal Chinese morning ceremony and that of the Pali tradition / Ajahn Chah's Thai Forest tradition. Master Hua (founder of CTTB) attempted to bridge the divide that was created between the Mahayana and Theravada over the years and donated what was to be the initial plot of land for Abhayagiri monastery to Ajahn Sumedho. Ajahn Sumedho and Master Hua were reportedly fellow monks and Dharma Brothers in a previous life(s). Even today there is still a strong connection and bond between the two traditions, at least between the two aforementioned monasteries. It's just not emphasized - plus the Tripitika is already big enough hahah. Everything is a chain of cause and effect, and the "causes" or practices and methods found in the Pali Canon lead to the fruits of Arhatship. Most Mahayana practitioners are focused on Bodhisattvahood and Buddhahood, so they try to focus on the practice of the 6 paramitas that is supposed to be the cause that leads to the effect of Bodhisattvahood. When you want to become a doctor you study what doctors do, if you want to become a lawyer, you do the same as lawyers do. Although personally I think these are merely all distinctions as is standard for humans to do in creating a "us" and "them" scenario... Theravada serves as the basis and foundation for Mahayana... For people to attempt to skip the foundation and jump to the higher level teachings almost comes off as slightly arrogant to me.. but of course there are those who have cultivated very well in previous lives and are capable of doing so, but it is generally quite obvious when those people incarnate again as to their capabilities and affinities to the Dharma. The common trope is that the Arhats are 'selfish' and 'self-serving', and the Mahayanas are too attached to the world and form and money (Mahayana temples on average tend to be much flashier and bigger and grandiose than their counterparts aha). Pali Canon teaches one to see through the false sense of self, Mahayana teaches one to see through all dharmas, even the Dharma and notion of "nirvana" itself. The 'true' Middle Way is to go beyond both self and dharmas to that which is non-dual.
  4. Teaching authentic neigong

    Interested mate
  5. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    Agreed, he definitely holds a strong stance and opinion on cultivation matters, and I think that's quite good instead of being wishy washy. You just have to take him and it for what it is, I've never gotten the feeling that he's preached "everything else is wrong", he definitely has certain practices or traditions that he does not necessarily agree or align with but I've not gotten the impression that it is his way or the highway.
  6. Daoism 101

    I'd recommend Damo Mitchell's Comprehensive Guide to Daoist Nei Gong to get a complete picture of those aspects. He is coming at it from an Alchemical perspective though. As to the end goal of Daoism... it depends on what type of Daoism you're talking about... There is no clear cut answer to this. Some would say it's transcending the endless cycle of birth and death, others would say it is physical immortality, or spiritual immortality. Theravada has the end goal of 4th stage Arhatship, Mahayana has the end goal of Buddhahood. So what is the end goal of Buddhism? That's like asking what the end goal of Daoism is. What type of Daoism are you talking about? Then you get the corresponding answer. IMO the highest or ultimate aim of Daoism would be to return to the source, where everything once came from. Or perhaps phrased another way connecting back with the Buddha nature that is inherent in all of us.
  7. Daoism 101

    That's my belief too, and also one of my suspicions/theories as to why the 'Proper' Dharma went to China following the decline of India, the "conditions" were correct and set in place for Chinese Buddhism to take off as Confucianism (ethics) and Daoism (spirituality/energetics) were present as a foundation, similar to as it was when Shakyamuni Buddha decided to incarnate into Nepal/India with Brahmanism and Hinduism already in full effect. I have read that Lao Tzu was the reincarnation of Venerable MahaKashyapa, "In fact, Lao Tzu of Taoism is an incarnation of Venerable Mahakasyapa of Buddhism and Confucius is a transformed incarnation of the Youth of Water and Moon according to Buddhism." - Venerable Master Hsuan Hua In the context of the Mahayana this could make sense as you would consider say with a group or team of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who incarnate in certain times and places in order to keep the Dharma alive (or to set the conditions up so the Dharma may take hold and flourish in a different place). Just like any organization that has their own teams and objectives, they assign roles to people to play out and achieve their respective aims and goals. As to the MCO, Damo Mitchell has a free MCO course out there and you can probably find your answer in the intro video or thereabouts. One of it in Daoism is definitely about safety lol.
  8. Who thinks Bill Bodri is right?

    Not at all, just look at the website haha, it got transported from the 90's / 2000's. Some links on the toolbar and what not don't even work properly. This was my take after reading some of his latest books as well, he either has broken through or potentially gone bat shit crazy. I think it's the former but there is of course still caution thrown in the wind as there's no real public 'certification' or stamp of approval for his attainments. Also begs the question, why is he now revealing this for all? Isn't one not meant to reveal the secrets of Heaven? The things he covers is definitely out of left field with the things that he discusses not being found (if at all) in other works. "DJ, spin that shit" - Bill Bodri, probably Yeah Theravada Buddhism doesn't speak much about energetics and the like, if only in metaphors or symbolic gestures. There is mention of the "deva/subtle body" and the yin-shen referred to by Bodri though, in the Pali canon they talk about the mind-made body that comes out like a sheath uncovering a sword - I take that to be the astral body. They also do meditations on the 4 elements or corpse/skeleton/body meditations that I believe is done to help with the energetics of the body, even if not explicitly stated in the suttas. The precepts themselves, especially the monk/nun precepts are to regulate things on the bodily level, so it then effects things on the energetic, and then hopefully the mental - the purification of Yin/Yang Qi Bodri mentioned above. From my understanding - and this has also been discussed in recent posts in other threads of TDB - is the distinction between an initial level of realization or awakening and then the 'actual' path of cultivation. Realization or awakening can occur at just the mental level, I take this generally to be seeing through the false sense of self, whether this is breaking the skandha of form, or breaking through the entire notion of what is "I" or "me", I'm not entirely sure - this may also equate to stream entry. But after this point in time, this is generally where the body and energetic work comes into play. As Bodri alludes to, after the initial breakthrough is experienced, either you receive further instructions from higher beings or deities, or you eventually stumble upon a master in real life who teaches you further from there. Venerable Master Bodhidharma sat facing a wall for 9 years, what was he doing all that time? The Sixth Patriarch had an awakening then hid amongst hunters in the wild cultivating for 16+ years after he was transmitted the robe and bowl, what was he doing then? Shakyamuni Buddha practiced extreme ascetism for at least 6 years before having his major enlightenment, what was he doing then? He talks in the suttas about this period and how at some points it was like wind (Qi) within his body was cutting him up from the inside and how huge pains would occur in his head and so forth, it all seems to line up with experiences that have been shared by Daoist practitioners in terms of bodily transformation. If I'm not mistaken, the Yin shen subtle body is a stepping stone towards the generation of the Yang Shen? Yin Shen being more equivalent to an astral body that can travel outside and go around places, but is unable to interact with physical objects, whereas the Yang Shen is able to do that, and is the reason for Masters/practitioners being able to be seen or interacted with at multiple locations at seemingly the same time.
  9. Who thinks Bill Bodri is right?

    Also his own teacher/Master has written and talked about the MCO and the role that it plays when it comes to cultivation. "Tao and Longevity" by Master Nan Huai Chin
  10. Who thinks Bill Bodri is right?

    Bodri seems to have shifted opinions and ideas over the years throughout his writing career.. most likely due to his own practice and path development. He recently released Arhat Yoga and has a draft available online for his next work to be published "Bodhisattva Yoga"... that currently sits at over 1000 pages: He shares some good stuff and interesting insights and viewpoints in his writings... But at the same time, it's quite difficult (at least for me) to ascertain where he is coming from with the stuff he shares. Has he fallen into delusion? Or is he actually awakened/enlightened to some degree and is just taking off the curtains and covers for all to bear witness by writing about what he's experienced? I'm not sure where I stand on the above. They say that even when the truth is told, people tend to simply mistake it as being false, and that when false things are said, many love gobbling it up as if it were cake and candy.
  11. Daoism 101

    Today, in a highly generalized way you could say that there are three major forms or types of Daoism: 1) Philosophical 2) Ritual / Religion 3) Alchemical #1 could be likened to scholars who find the philosophy of Daoism fascinating and try to analyze Daoist works/texts through an intellectual framework. Things like the Dao de Jing by Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu's works. Another comparison could be the study and analysis of Ancient Greek Philosophy. This path does not necessarily equate to actual application or practice however #2 is more like your religious Buddhist temple-goers, say in the Thai tradition you have a decent majority that are faithful and devoted who show up on special days and participate in the monastery's activities. (People who aren't as faithful or dedicated also fall under this by simply going through the motions and rituals of the religion). In Daoism, this would be revering and paying respects to higher beings/deities within their Daoist tradition, doing chanting, bowing, lighting incenses, making offerings etc. #3 is working with the inner energetics of the body Jing, Qi, Shen. This could be more akin to doing actual practice, in Buddhist terms, say a lay Buddhist who actually upholds the 5 precepts, meditates regularly etc etc. This is where you will see Qi Gong, Tai Ji, Bagua, Xingyi and other related arts practiced. Also take note a lot of Qi Gong these days are somewhat of a washed or watered down version of the stuff that "works" because of the cultural revolution that took place in China destroying a lot of the knowledge and lineages, as well as the subsequent creation of "Traditional Chinese Medicine". It's a lot of external form (physical movement and hand waving) but no major substance to the form in terms of actual inner change and working with the different energies of the body Alchemical Daoism is more closely linked to the goal of "immortality" however within each of these 3 "forms" or types of Daoism, you would also find many differences or emphasis on what they deem to be philosophical, ritual, or alchemical Daoism. (For instance in Buddhism you have the divides or different lineages of Mahayana and Theravada. The former has Chinese Buddhism (Chan, Pure Land, etc), Tibetan Buddhism (4 main schools), Korean Buddhism etc. In Theravada there is the Thai Forest tradition, Burmese Vipassana traditions, and also the "scholarly" (or philosophical) lineages that focus on studying the suttas. There have also been strong ties and a long history between Chan Buddhism and Alchemical Daoism. To simplify things further on the path of cultivation, one could say that some lineages of alchemical Daoism focus first on working on the most dense layers of form and existence and work there way up from there towards accessing higher spiritual levels. Buddhism in general could be said to try and work more and focus on things at the mental level of cultivation as a means to attain awakening, without great focus or care on the physical body or energetics (Western Buddhism imo is especially prone to this because of the conditioning and context of modern society). It's kind of like get the body to a decent enough level so that you can just comfortably engage in mental work. (say for example just sitting in chairs and never trying to work towards sitting on the floor comfortably cross-legged)
  12. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    I agree, perhaps we should get back on to discussing the MCO course found here: in this thread titled "Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course"
  13. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    It's the QuanZhen lineage I believe, otherwise the Longmen, I don't recall which exactly or if they're the same. Ji Ben (基本) means basic or fundamental. From my distorted perception it seems that you hold on to a lot of assumptions and beliefs when it comes to these arts (either that or you have a bit of a soft-on for Damo). Perhaps you could try turning the light around and illuminating within. Thanks for sharing your opinion
  14. Damo Mitchell Free MCO Course

    That's just the Nei Gong Course, there's also the Bagua and Tai Ji courses that unlock new videos/lessons each week if one wishes to practice either of them - granted one has the time and energy. Besides that, depending on whether you pay monthly or annually, there are also other recorded classes/events that he has done in the past that one can look into... Including free Zoom sessions he has held on various topics since opening the academy. And for a beginner, the "Fundamentals of Qi Gong" video series (I think about 30 hours?) that is available immediately is already enough to work on for 2 to 3 years just learning the Wuji standing technique and the Ji Ben Qi Gong set properly. Also Damo replies very often and quite quickly through the FB group for any direct questions, some of his senior students also help out and share their insights as well. What Damo teaches is something that requires high repetition and countless hours to make progress in... just like with any art or skill. It's reps upon reps upon reps and putting countless hours to attain skill to any advanced or high degree. It's not about getting bombarded with new fancy teachings and things that provide novelty and stimulus each week to entice one to chase after the next shiny gold object (although tbh it can feel like this because of how much gets taught and how much there is to learn). I think the course is well beyond worth it for what he charges for it. Especially when you compare it to other offerings that are out there. Or to what lengths people before the internet age had to go through in order to access such teachings. Or if you just compare it to what a local Qi Gong class might charge, or what most other hobbies in today's age might cost you. Many students actually mention that they can't actually keep up with the weekly video releases either whether due to lack of time or because there is simply too much material/practices to maintain and continue incorporating so it gets somewhat difficult to juggle. I don't think the course is designed to be a money sink. It's been designed rather deliberately, Damo has talked about this in previous videos of his and shared his thoughts on why it is as it is with the weekly unlocks and all. Just my 2c as a counterpoint
  15. Yes anatta is often translated as "no self", where a better and potentially more apt translation could be "not self". If you look into the Mahayana sutras (Mahaparinirvana and Lotus Sutra) that is where the Buddha reveals that there is a "true self" and all of the other factors commonly emphasized in Theravada Buddhism such as not-self, impermanence, and suffering are flipped around as self, eternity, and bliss. Seeing through both sides is the true "Middle Way", neither attached to the idea of emptiness and Nibanna, nor to existence and form. Also, not all Western Theravada monks fully negate the body, I know a few who practice TaiJi, Yoga, or Qi Gong and the such, very much physical based practices. But yes, in general they tend to place a low emphasis and regard for the physical body as it isn't explicitly spoken about that much by the Buddha apart from contemplation of impurity, skeleton meditation, taking food as a medicine (which arguably many monks do not follow), breaking through the form skandha and seeing it as "not self" etc