Junior Bum
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About Bluesky

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    Dao Bum
  1. New and Grateful

    Hi all, Newbie practitioner here, but have been lurking for some months now and have really become a fan of this community. Want to say thank you to all; I have seen so much help and insight offered here, which has been a great help to me. Background: Throughout my life I have had some chance experiences where I 'stumbled' into states of awareness which made me realize that there is more to this world than what is commonly perceived. My family background includes a lineage of eastern mystics, but that practice is inaccessible to me. I grew up knowing that these practices exist, and deep down I had some longing for spiritual development, but I was not raised in a community that practiced and my life just blended into the normal American culture and routine. A few years ago, I had a job which demanded 100% of my focus. Extreme overwork, physical, emotional and spiritual sacrifice has led to health issues which are manifesting as autoimmunity. Chinese Medicine diagnosis is kidney yin deficient, liver qi stagnation and spleen deficiency. Huge toll on my health and mental state made me turn to Chinese Medicine for help (primarily herbs with some acupuncture). This was helping, but the effect was somewhat marginal. A gut feeling told me that perhaps I needed to address my mind and that my conditioning is what was making me sick, so I went to a 10 day Vipassana retreat which led to some profound results but ultimately a qi deviation which is now getting sorted out. All these experiences led me to the Daoist practices, for which I am very grateful. I have been learning about Qi Gong, Nei Gong, Nei Dan, as well as Taiji and trying to understand the various approaches / schools to figure out how to move forward. I really appreciate the Daoist approach of working with the body to effect energy then mind, rather than starting with the mind (to effect the body). No disrespect to proponents of the other camp - the former is just what resonates with me based on my experience. At this point, I am looking for ways to calm my system down and heal, as it has been in fight or flight / agitation for so many years. Then build up the physical / energy body to reach a healthy state. Longer term, I am looking forward to the higher level spiritual development that comes from Nei Dan. What is interesting to me is that I started down this path because I was unhealthy and was seeking healing, but the path is becoming much deeper and more meaningful to me the more I come to understand. I had some understanding of Chinese Medicine through the framework of TCM, but now that I am learning about Classical Chinese Medicine and the esoteric aspects of the Daoist internal arts, I am coming to appreciate how much more holistic the wellbeing of an individual is, including with respect to living in harmony with oneself and the environment. This journey for a health fix is becoming a whole life change, because now I know too much to go back to living ignorantly! I hope to change my life so that I can become healthy and ultimately be of help to others. It's funny how sometimes we need to veer off onto the completely wrong path to realize that we never knew what the right path was, to then find it and live it. One other thing that I am really grateful for is that the teachings are so complete and holistic, and have come to fill the gap I have felt for so long for not having access to my family's lineage in mysticism / Sufism. Unfortunately, much of the ancient Persian knowledge / literature of mysticism has been lost due to war, conquests, burning of most written works and oppression, and what survives today is a fraction, through assimilation with Islam and through some mystic poetry. As a hobby, I have an interest in learning about the pre-Islamic roots of Persian mysticism, and about interactions / developments with the Buddhists and Daoists, etc. further east. From my amateur research, I've come across some interesting information, which I would be happy to share if anyone is interested. But as a whole, the Daoist / Buddhist teachings have been very nourishing, as I have come to understand that ultimately it is about Union, no matter which mystical path takes you there. Thanks to all the Bums, I'm happy to be here. Bluesky