Inner Alchemy

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About Inner Alchemy

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  1. I have taken two workshops live in person at Master Li Junfeng's qigong studio, one with Master Li himself. He's a really gifted teacher. This is the first part video of his Kwan Yin Standing Qigong. I am pretty sure it can be practiced without any kind of initiation. I have really enjoyed practicing this form. The part two video is also on youtube, you will see it if you go to the side of the page during the part one video.
  2. Many people have had direct visions of Amitabha and have also visited sukhavati. There's a lot of reliable evidence out there, from sources that are trustworthy.
  3. Mindful Chores

    My Buddhist teacher, a Tibetan lama who travels around the US and India lecturing, told me in a private meeting that the whole foundation of the Buddhist path can be simplified into two elements: mindfulness, and bodhicitta. If we do our chores with awareness/mindfulness, it can certainly be part of the path to enlightenment - perhaps even an integral part. Venerable Tan Jagaro, when he stayed at my house last month, told me that it's important to remember that mindfulness has two aspects: 1) awareness/attention to what we're doing, and 2) awareness of the mind: being able to reign in the mind so that we are better able to choose positive thoughts and limit destructive thoughts.
  4. Which books sit on your nightstand?

    Healing Power of Mind by Tulku Thondup, Tibetan Sound Healing by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, Healing Into Life and Death by Stephen Levine, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, Meditation for the Love of it by Sally Kempton, Nosso Lar by Chico Xavier, Teachings of Sri Sarada Devi The Holy Mother.
  5. Protection in dream state

    I've been doing a lot of devotional practice to Paramhansa Yogananda. A few nights ago I had a really rough dream with some spirits who were not exactly friendly toward me. I just kept reciting things like Jai Guru and Jai Sri Yogananda, imagining Yogananda; and the power of saying his name dispelled the danger and the spirits couldn't harm me. Yogananda showed up and was doing using some powerful spiritual tool to give me energy so that I wouldn't be affected by the spirits. He also gave me a brief teaching, but I'd rather keep what he told me private. I will say that it had to do with the middle path being the best path to liberation.
  6. Once after a meditation retreat, one of the TIbetan Buddhist deities that we had been supplicating visited me at my house after the retreat. She didn't appear to me in physical form, but rather she came in "mind- form". Here is the way it happened. Get home from the retreat, laying in bed. Body starts shaking rapidly for no reason, vibrating and moving around like crazy. Then my mind went into the deepest state of meditative bliss I've had - a combination of boundless love and samadhi. I realized that this wasn't my own doing because it seemed like someone had put my mind in that state. Sure enough, the deity began to speak to me telepathically - it was her who put my mind in samadhi. She said very clearly: "[I am] Yeshe Tsogyal." Then she said: "on the path to enlightenment, there will always be obstacles, but suffering is optional." As she spoke, she radiated the most loving joyful energy - it was truly a wondrous experience. Later, a few years later, a piece of paper with a note to me manifested on my desk out of thin air - I don't know if it was her. The note said: "Let's go out on a good note. Focus on wellness, health. If all else fails, recite the mantras." Then it had a little Buddha figure drawn on the bottom. It was all perfectly drawn in excellent handwriting in blue ink. I saved the note for about a year, then I thought you know if I show this to people no one's going to believe me - so I tossed it in the garbage. The way I know that the note had manifested there is: number one I was fully within my right mind at the time and I did not write the note, number two I was the only one in the house and no one else could have gotten in between the time I left my desk and the time it took for me to go back to the desk to find the note. Also, no one that had access to the house had similar handwriting to the note - and the handwriting was particularly excellent. To be honest, seeing the manifested note scared the crap out of me - I simply was not prepared for an object to manifest out of thin air. It reminds me of a story of Gehlek Rinpoche who had a supernatural event happen where his mala flew 20 feet out of his hand and land on the hands of a giant statue. He said he felt tremendous fear.
  7. No, it's a real illness. I am also an ME/CFS sufferer and it is a real, physical illness. Many recent advancements have been made to prove that the illness affects different systems of the body. The main problem is that modern medicine uses diagnostic criteria that are very limited in scope and so many of these chronic illnesses do not show up in their tests. However, when doctors use some of these newer diagnostic tests they can see how ME/CFS affects the body. It's a devastating illness. I haven't been able to work since I was in college because of ME/CFS. I went through about 16 months almost completely bedridden due to ME/CFS. I could barely swallow food, it hurt to eat, hurt to shower, couldn't tolerate light or sound. Severe ME/CFS is a miserable existence. Luckily I found Qigong and other energy practices that gave me a ray of hope.
  8. I have found by doing an experiment that certain things put out a light energy frequency that can be felt by other beings around. For instance there are certain things like holding crystals and shaking a rattle or playing a drum that actually put out a light frequency that can benefit all beings around. Certain things like chanting, etc. can evoke higher frequencies and even change the vibration of the surrounding world. Have you ever tried sitting in a particular place maybe once a day for several weeks and sending love and imagining healing? You may notice that the whole space becomes transformed by the energy of peace and good will. The last experiment I did was recently when I was very ill and my mom gave me some crystals and rocks to put on my body. Right away, when she handed me the stones, my energy shifted - they had a healing frequency that was intensified by the love with which she gave the crystals. I then practiced using a rattle and began to shake it with love - my whole vibration shifted while shaking the rattle - it was amazing how healing the rattle was. So, little things like that - little things done with love surely have an impact. We don't always notice it when we're going through our daily lives, but in times of extreme difficulty and suffering, we may see that prayers and loving thoughts do have a real impact. Also, I should say that I greatly relate to your story, because I also went through several years of thinking that I was saving the whole world and that my suffering was purifying all beings - it was basically a delusion brought on by a misunderstanding of the spiritual path on my part - I was playing the whole role of messianic rescuer, when the spiritual path actually require transcending the triangulation of the ego; which is playing the role of rescuer, persecuter, or victim.
  9. Yeah, I'm not trying to say that I believe that prayer is all-powerful or anything. But prayer has an impact; all those people who come back from the dead and visit their relatives seem to say that they heard their prayers in the spiritul world and they made a difference. There's a famous story of a woman who was in a car accident and she said that she left her body and when she left her body she could see that a woman in a car was praying for her - and this greatly uplifted the woman's spirit. Sure enough, the woman in the car stopped at the scene of the accident to pray for her. The woman could see this through her spiritual body after she left her body and she talked to the woman later who had been praying for her. All the books I've read that tell supposed real life stories of what happens after death talk about the power of prayer and also about how good actions never go to waste. Small actions of great courage, forebearance, or kindness can do wondrous things. It may not seem like a prayer or a good action is directly helping anyone, but the key is that the universal energy field (talked about in a lot of qigong schools) receives the positive energy from the good deed or prayer; and the universal energy field of the world or the energetic grid of the world becomes stronger as good deeds are performed - so even if the kind act seems to do nothing right away, it eventually helps the energy of the whole planet, which has a positive impact on every being. There are many, many examples of the power of prayer. One famous example is the prayer of Thangtong Gyalpo that stopped a terrible infectious illness in a monastery in the 1400's. The illness was taking the lives of many monks and so they turned to Thangtong Gyalpo, who was known to be a great master. He composed a now famous prayer and he recited it sincerely before all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; after he recited the prayer the infectious illness stopped and many monks were saved.
  10. Favorite Quotes from Buddha.

    "I teach only one thing: dukkha and the cessation of dukkha."
  11. There are many stories of people praying for others after death and being able to actually lead that person to a more fortunate rebirth due to their prayers. I can think of one example off the top of my head of a woman who knelt down to a dead cat on the side of the road and chanted for the cat for a long time. She got in backseat of the car, as her friend was driving and she went to sleep. When she slept, the cat visited her in her dream and the cat said that he'd been able to find relief and peace due to her chanting (I believe she was chanting Buddha Amitabha's name). I can also think of an example of a man who didn't believe in Buddhism who had a friend who was devout. The skeptical man died and the devout friend paid for a temple to do ceremonies for him. Within a few weeks, the skeptical man's spirit came to his daughter in dreams on two consecutive nights. In her dream, he told her that he had been reborn in the Pure Land and that it is wonderful; all he did there was cultivate his spiritual path. He was no longer a skeptic. Personally, while I believe in a Divine order and a higher power, I do not currently believe in an all-powerful God. Paradoxically, I pray to God frequently and have had many prayers answered in the past. However, I do not believe that God has ultimate power to change the world. I believe that human actions, such as humans growing spiritually and creating positive change as well as doing kind actions, can change the world. One act of kindness has ripple effects. Every good deed means something, especially if it is dedicated to enlightenment. In Buddhism, motivation is everything. If you begin an action with a virtuous and selfless motivation - such as a motivation of bringing beings to enlightenment - and then if you do the action with this motivation in mind, the action will not only help to purify one's own karma and incline one's mind to virtue, but it will also create a positive energy that will expand out to others. As you probably know, in many schools of Buddhism there is a common practice of dedicating the merit. When you do a positive action, you then pray to a Buddha or the Sangha as a whole, and pray that by this merit all beings may attain enlightenment. Supposedly, through this simple action of dedicating, the merit becomes inexhaustible and will never run out. Eventually these positive seeds manifest in this life and/or in future lives as strong positive imprints and energy patterns that can be catalysts for enlightenment.
  12. Why do so few qigong masters radiate vitality?

    The qigong masters that I've seen radiate a lot of good qi. I'm thinking teachers like Robert Peng, Mingtong Gu, Grandmaster Fu Wei Zhong, Chunyi Lin. I guess I haven't come across a lot of qigong masters that didn't radiate good chi; I suppose I've gotten lucky.
  13. I thought I would add that the power of prayer is amazing. If we pray, then we are doing something to alleviate the suffering of others. There is a well known book about a woman who died and came back to life and she said that she was shown the power of prayer and how every prayer made on behalf of others meant something and was acknowledged by the spiritual world. She did say, however, that the degree to which the prayer would have an impact had to do with that person's spiritual level. She said every prayer mattered, but that some people who had particularly good karma would get their prayers answered right away by the higher realms. My great grandmother attended church every day and prayed for others every day - she taught my mom to also pray for others every day. At the time of her death, she experienced great joy and had divine visions - on her death bed she couldn't stop rejoicing at how beautiful the experience she was having was. This confirms to me the power of sincere prayer.
  14. I just watched a talk by Sri M, and he said that it's important to keep a positive attitude on the spiritual path - to not be defeated by feelings of hopelessness. Even if it feels like you can't make a big difference in alleviating the suffering of others, maybe one day you will be able to - after full or partial awakening. They say after enlightenment a tremendous power of compassion arises; and the I Ching says that an awakened person who sets out to benefit others will truly benefit others a great deal - enlightened beings are able to bring genuine relief to the suffering of humanity - even if it's only indirectly. I went to a talk by a Tibetan Buddhist lama and he said that when Jesus would walk through a town, everyone in the town would experience healing - people would recover from illnesses, etc. I believe there are stories of great sinners making positive connections with enlightened beings and just through that positive connection they are able to eventually find liberation. I think Sri M has the right attitude. Actually he was responding to a woman who felt that she was never going to attain enlightenment. He said: just make an effort, if you meditate every day then you are making progress and then once you start making an effort you will forget how far you are away from the goal.
  15. Favorite translations

    I recently found two translations of the I Ching that I really like. One is "The Complete I Ching" by Alfred Huang. This one stays very faithful to the original Chinese I Ching. This version of the I Ching is available for free (pdf) here: The second version I found is called "The Tao of I Ching", by Jou, Tsang Hwa. I really like this version but I think I prefer Huang's version overall. However, the Tsang Hwa Jou text offers several elements that are not offered in the Huang text. I really like having both of these books to consult.