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  1. Buddhist Practices vs Taoist Practices

    Yup - it's a sad state of affairs. And several of the ones I'm talking about are monks and are looked up to as meditation masters.
  2. Buddhist Practices vs Taoist Practices

    Despite it being an extremely popular topic, the authentic Daoist teachings on sex and sexuality represent about 2.5% of the tradition. The main difference between Buddhist and Daoist practice as I see it - Daoism is more practical. The approach is to prepare the body and mind through working firstly on the physical, then energetic, then consciousness levels. It’s basically a way of making your body-mind extremely efficient, strong, resilient, naturally calm and centred, and full of energy before starting any meditative practice. When you begin meditative training, a lot of what you need to happen, just happens automatically with no effort. Your mind is automatically relatively still and quiet. You have enough energy to sit in perfect posture and concentrate fully for hours on end. You generally progress much faster as all the initial layers of crap are already cleared out. Saying all this, I’ve trained with several Buddhist teachers that approach their training in a similar way. However these are quite rare and unusual. I’ve also met dozens of meditators with many decades of experience - but when you check their meditation all you ‘hear’ is the sedated ‘noise’ of a mind that’s dull and mired in some pleasant trance state. The pitfalls of Daoist practice are many too, of course. Particularly if the base desires are not transformed - then you get people who stray off the spiritual path and blindly feed their base desires (hence all the sex stuff).
  3. Meditation sickness and related deviations

    This is very common with schools that have masters who’ve reached the intermediate levels of practice and stopped developing - they ofte exhibit some of the byproducts of this level of practice (general qi projection abilities - which seems almost magical to the uninitiated). Its basically a case of developing Ming but not Xing. It actually creates a glass ceiling in their training and often, with all that extra energy their ‘darker’ aspects start to take over. One often sees these brash dominant characters. Sexual obsessions. Obsession with status, wealth and power etc. But saying this, there are cases where a teacher might seem harsh, critical, demanding but it’s all in the interest of the students. But there is definitely a different “feel” to these sorts of schools. The ‘virtuous’ characteristics often present in paradoxical ways - eg what seems like obvious foolishness to an ‘untrained eye’, is actually the epitome of wisdom. But again there’s a certain feeling of opening and expanding possibilities (best I can describe it) with ‘traditional’ schools rooted in authentic spiritual teachings.
  4. The Complete System

    “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”
  5. The Complete System

    I think there’s a delicate balance to be struck. I’ve often experienced students leaving teachers and lineages at a certain stage. But it’s often hard to judge whether you’ve hit the limits of the system or your own limits. Personally I’ve been very fortunate to find teachers that I trust 100%. I know it’s quite rare, but if you find a teacher with impeccable character and skills - then it’s imperative that you trust them fully, because they’ll lead you past your own limitations. The reality is that the teachings in classical lineages are passed down in a very particular way. And it’s a way that’s not so popular in the modern age. It requires some trust and humility - and with so many charlatans around that’s a hard thing to do. It’s like falling in love after you’ve been hurt too many times Development in the arts tends to happen in jumps in skill and ability rather than growing linearly and steadily. And quite often just before the next ‘jump’ in skill level there’s a period of difficulty, doubt and often boredom. But if you have an authentic teacher in an authentic lineage, I think it’s best to trust in the process despite your personal feelings.
  6. Qigong deviation, how can I solve?

    Careful with attributing symptoms with general clearing. You're right that Qi Gong is often very uncomfortable during practice... but the discomfort, pain or any symptoms should generally end when your practice ends. In between practice you should generally feel really good (although there’s usually an emotional grumpy stage that comes on in the first couple of years). I'm no TCM expert. But from a Qi Gong perspective it sounds like your Qi is rising under pressure (causing all these yang heat issues). I would generally try to dissuade beginners from ZZ. There are certain changes that need to be made in the body and mind before ZZ is safe and productive. In particular one really needs to learn how to open and sink into the kwa, Song (release), Ting (listen inside) and Sink the Qi. You generally do this in Wuji standing posture (which is different in different lineages). Once you can sink Qi and your ‘qigong body’ starts to take shape, then you can add in extra pressure with ZZ.
  7. You write very well already! You’re learning where not to write! Gives one room to take a breath. Then more of what you say actually makes it through to us.
  8. 😄🙈 that’s not what I’m saying at all! And yes the solid block of text stuff is pretty impenetrable. I can see you're into stream of consciousness type writing - which is fine. But do remember that the best poetry is as much about the spaces - what is not said - as it is about the words that are.
  9. The virtues, the De, are said to be the fragmented aspects of Yuan Shen. The Shen - the spirit of the heart is responsible for a range of emotions from joy to love to excitement. Through cultivation these emotions and feelings are transformed into a Virtue (De) - a virtuous ‘state’ (rather than emotion). The De of the Shen is Contentment The Hun - emotion: anger - virtuous state: Patience The Yi - emotion: worry - virtuous state: Compassion The Po - emotion: sadness - virtuous state: Bravery / strength of conviction The Zhi - emotion: fear - virtuous state: Wisdom When the Dao (Yuan Shen) is lost, De arises, when De is lost, decency is required, when decency is lost, then justice is required. An awakened person (not enlightened) should emenate each of these virtues. And each of these De will have an objectively verifiable, physiological signs of its manifestation. At least in the Daoist lineages I’ve trained in. This last part is almost always left out of most schools because it often humbles both the students and the teachers. Particularly in schools where the virtues are cultivated by using your imagination. I also find it interesting that compassion is not the virtue of the Shen, but of the Yi...
  10. The Complete System

    Spot on. The most deplorable thing (IMO) is when you invent your own framework and after some time start to teach it as a true art!! That is how these jewels in human achievement are ground down into dust and disappear in the wind.
  11. Primordial in the Daoist context is the state before creation. Before heaven, early heaven, the congenital realm. This is the domain of your ‘original spirit’ Yuan Shen. Before physicality, before ‘reality’. When a spiritual aspirant can fully immerse herself into Yuan Shen and function from there, they are said to have attained the Daoist enlightenment - Shen Ming. One who’s achieved this is known as a Zhen Ren - a true person. A Zhen Ren is omnipresent and all knowing. They are said to demonstrate a range of ‘siddhi’, basically magical powers. Some of these siddhi are used as a way to confirm the Zhen Ren attainment. Basically a Divine living being in human form. What you and Dwai seem to be saying is that Yuan Shen is actually Divine Love. How do you know? Well either you’re enlightened, or it’s from some other source. In the case of Dwai, his source is formed of a large number of traditions - all ground up and homogenised into a lovely paste. Although - Dwai has hinted several times that his understanding actually comes from experience - so he might well be enlightened! Or maybe he’s had some other mystical experiences and liked them so much that now he’s shaping his homogenised paste into a form that reflects that. He’d certainly not be the first one! At least his preference is for Divine Love and not sex as with so many of the others.
  12. The Complete System

    The issue is further exasperated by having this newage hodgepodge of mental frameworks. There are ways of discerning a somewhat ‘objective’ understanding of a mystical experience. There are specific mental and physiological signs that can help you work out what you’ve just experienced. But when you mix the frameworks of half a dozen different systems, you end up just cherry picking the explanation that you like best.
  13. This fake ‘amusement’ - it’s a sign of contempt. It’s your armour. Just like the laughing icon you leave when people disagree with you directly. You endear yourself to no one with that attitude.
  14. The Complete System

    “The teacher replied with a smile: the essence of Dao is to have no heart, the application of Dao is to forget words. Or, the soft weakness is its root, the pure calm is its foundation. If a person wants to implement it, he must regulate his food and drink, cut off thinking, sitting calmly regulate his breath, sleeping peacefully nourish his qi. If the heart would not rush then Xing will be stable, if the body is not belabored then the semen will be whole. If the spirit is not bothered then the cinnabar will incept.” ”Have no heart”... “If the heart would not rush then Xing will be stable”... Interesting - considering the discussions about ‘love’ that we’re having on the other threads. I’m assuming that ‘have no heart’ doesn’t mean be ruthless and heartless... it means bring your emotions to stillness. Including love.