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About Bluesky

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    Dao Bum

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  1. Hi all, It would be great to get other peoples' perspectives on the topic of romantic compatibility and how that fits in with one's devotion to practice/cultivation, and perhaps even to one's broader devotion to the divine. As I'm sure many of you can understand, being a seeker or being devoted to a spiritual path can, at times, make it harder to completely relate to people who aren't on a path/share those values. Earlier on it was a bit harder for me, but things got better as I learned more and integrated this dimension into my life (living in this world, but not of this world). And fortunately, I've found that there are many people out there who do understand. But when it comes to compatibility with a partner, I am wondering how important it is that my partner is on a similar path as me. It would be nice to be able to share this whole other world with a life partner as opposed to having this other dimension of your life that they can't fully understand and appreciate. And in the case where they do understand your beliefs but don't share in your beliefs, it can lead to the two of you operating from different frameworks - for example, when one understands that their existence is part of a much bigger whole, certain daily life matters become more trivial.. being kind in the face of ignorance becomes a bit easier.. which can be incompatible with someone who is operating from a self-centered framework. Also, I would imagine that it would allow for a smoother partnership over the long run, since one's path may include hours of daily practice, retreats, particular social circles, devoting time for others (kindness and servitude).. so a partner should at the very least be understanding of your commitments, so as to not cause issues with expectations, but ideally they could be a part of that lifestyle and build synergistically. And lastly, I imagine that as we progress on the path, we change for the better, and that change can effect our values, perspectives, character, priorities.. which could lead to a growing apart from one's partner in some ways. Or perhaps, one's positive change may be hindered by their partner's lack of change in that direction. I've found that earlier on in relationships/marriages, couples discount certain incompatibilities because they want to make the relationship work. Ignorance is bliss. But eventually the incompatibilities are unavoidable, so ideally there can be wisdom and honesty earlier on. I know its subjective, and different combinations work for different people! But this is my thinking thus far, but I would love to hear what others think and have experienced. Thanks
  2. I had this philosophical debate with my brother, who doesn't believe in anything esoteric. He thinks it's all a sham money making industry, and pointed to teachers making money through teaching as proof. "If they really care about serving people and making the world a better place, then why are they charging money???" One possible reason - because they have bills to pay too! I don't go to my acupuncturist expecting free service. She is giving me her time and full attention, and she lives in this world like I do so she has car payments, a mortgage, etc. But then my brother pointed out that there are free services that exist for spiritual growth - for example, the Goenka 10 day Vipassana retreats. Well, I went on one such retreat and ended up with a qi deviation that took months to fix with the help of a skilled acupuncturist/Qigong practitioner. The teachers at the Vipassana retreat had no clue what I was experiencing, so I turned to someone I had to pay to fix it. The acupuncturist spent many hours working on it.. so why would I expect that for free? And if a total n00b like me could get a qi deviation at the outset of building a meaningful practice, I can't imagine how dangerous these practices get at the higher levels working with real energy. So much of these arts are about subtle differences that must be felt and discussed.. I could not imagine learning this through books alone. So if someone is going to spend their time to teach me, check my progress, oversee my growth.. I'm not going to question them for requiring compensation for their time and effort. It's totally fair. Why not? Seems like a silly thing to get hung up on. As to why so much of this is held in secrecy / gate kept.. because the powerful stuff is dangerous if done incorrectly. I wouldn't wish my qi deviation on anyone, and that's just from working with a tiny sliver of yang qi. There are plenty of free meditation / Qi gong available on the internet today. And many retreats that offer free (donation based) services. And for the average householders who doesn't want to commit 4+ hours a day to cultivation, those are more than sufficient. So what's the problem?
  3. 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