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  1. Question on the dantians

    Nimitta What I was describing is a Daoist alchemical method not Buddhist. All that’s similar is the level of absorption/concentration... In Buddhist traditions that use Jhanna, the aim is to reside in this state for long periods. In Daoist alchemy the aim is to enter the state then capture the essence that sits behind the experience and use as an alchemical agent for transformation.
  2. Are there evil master?

    Good and evil are emotionally charged. We ‘love’ good and ‘hate’ evil... From a sort of societal or political perspective this sounds reasonable. But from a spiritual cultivation perspective this is problematic. When instead you approach it through a calm, equanimous mind you can start to see the underlying causal relationships in the full spectrum of what ‘greed’ really means. You can start to see the utility underlying greed... if you didn’t have this greed impulse you simply wouldn’t survive in a world of very limited resources... But in the context of spiritual cultivation, you can also see how it creates a division in self and means it’s impossible to get very far... and that as your internal power grows how this impulse can become inflamed and subvert your actions and cause harm to self and others... etc Things are always more complex and nuanced than our thinking, categorising mind likes to make...
  3. Question on the dantians

    There are several lineages in different traditions that have very similar approaches to Daoist internal alchemy. This includes some Hindu traditions, some esoteric Buddhist lines within Chan, Thai, Burmese and Tibetan traditions as well as others. Rather than working directly within states of consciousness - they all work with the essence or ‘substances’ underlying these states of consciousness to produce transformation. This is the ‘tantric’ approach to spiritual cultivation. The mental models they all use to explain the process are very different and of course there are different aims, approaches and outcomes.
  4. Going into other peoples bodies, and feeling them

    @Takingcharge I’m glad things are lightening up. Acupuncture takes time and regular visits. Ask the acupuncturist if they recommend to press certain points yourself. It was a good idea to stay with someone - as you say it helps you get out of your own head. Maybe look for a group or some volunteering for when you go back. And keep up with the walks Well done for taking action and getting yourself to a better place!
  5. Question on the dantians

    You’ve already said that I don’t disagree. But we’re not trying to find some ultimate truth. That’s not the point of Daoist alchemy - the point is utility - pragmatism... With ice you can cool your glass of water - which you can sip to quench your thirst aboard a steamboat which traverses a river... each form has its utility - and the utility varies drastically. That’s one way of looking at it... and shows your bias for a certain range of temperature (or a certain view of things )
  6. Question on the dantians

    is steam different to ice?
  7. Question on the dantians

    @anshino23 - unless he mentioned this comment in a public form, it’s best not to share it publicly.
  8. Question on the dantians

    According to alchemical Daoism, everything has many layers of existence - including states of consciousness, including emptiness etc. So it’s wrong to use “is” - as in ‘primordial nature is material’... it’s like saying water is steam... But you’re closer with ‘light’
  9. Question on the dantians

    That’s interesting. No - I’m afraid in this regard I only know about the Daoist part
  10. Question on the dantians

    Again a complete dumbing down and oversimplification. Nei Dan requires both effort (setting of the conditions/causes) and no effort (the spontaneous arising of the effect/result). You won't get anywhere with no-effort - and you won't get far with only effort. Then there is the same thing on a sort of holographic micro-scale where even within effort there is no effort... as a very basic example, you bend the knees not by 'doing the action' of bending the knees but by letting go anything that keeps your knees straight... But this post isn't about the 'how'. This is 'the great work' - and obviously I'm going to hugely oversimplify things - and leave out a ton of processes and nuances. This is just to give an overview of alchemical practice from a traditional 'classical' perspective. This is how Nei Dan masters that have any real attainment do it. To understand Nei Dan, I personally found it important to understand the difference between alchemy and other approaches. Alchemy is an art of transformation. But people don't necessarily quite appreciate what transformation entails... or how literal it is... there's a world of difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly - they are fundamentally different (have a look at Silent Thunder's thread on the subject). That's the nature of transformation. Transformation is permanent. And it's a full transformation at every level of one's being - physical, energetic and spiritual. Many other approaches - or at least the approaches that are available to people are more to do with experience... for instance, one is to experience pure non-subject-object consciousness then try to experience it for longer and longer. This might work in a monastic setting... and might be quite helpful in many ways... but it's fundamentally different to how Nei Dan works. Alchemy works on the premise that everything - every physical 'thing' and every state of consciousness has an underlying energetic 'substance' to it. The alchemical method is gathering these substances and working with them in a specific way to achieve permanent transformation. It's a huge endeavour - just 'accessing' the primordial states of consciousness is beyond most people... let alone penetrating the state to touch on the substance behind it... and then having the capacity to bring this primordial substance back and condense it... It's not an easy task Jing, Qi and Shen are the first substances one works with... These are replenished, regulated, and refined to a high level. This is the work of 'laying the foundation'. This is the stage where one transforms the functioning of one's body and consciousness to a very high level... Yes - the various orbits will have opened... in fact all the channels will be fully open... Much of one's karmic seeds would have been 'burned away' through the foundational alchemical processes. One would have achieved and would be regularly swallowing the 'jade fluid' that floods the mouth from the upper dantien. This is the stage where health and vitality are developed and revitalised to the state of a child. Which doesn't mean acting goofy and childish... it's replenishing jing and qi to the extent that one's body becomes more like a child's... I always admire how my friend's 2yr old can sit completely relaxed, yet fully upright with perfect posture... how he can seem so delicate, yet demonstrate so much strength and resilience... How his body has this layer of puffiness which is the overabundance of qi filling all the spaces in the soft tissues of the body... How he's able to learn incredibly complex things with no effort etc... This is what is meant by returning to a child-like state. There's also specific training to develop correct mental qualities and levels of meditative absorption - like the various levels of samadhi and Jhanna in Buddhism. The various meditative practices (like Xin Zhai and Zuowang) would need to be at least close to mastery - so that one's heart-mind is completely still, and simply sitting and closing one's eyes you enter a samadhi state... even with eyes open one's mind should be largely quiet and still - no internal dialogue or unintended movement of mind. The difference between being asleep and awake is only very slight. This is all just preparation - setting up the conditions for the development of the alchemical agents. The Dan - the golden elixir pill is made of the condensed 'substances' of one's congenital, primordial nature... Often when people have an awakening, as their 'self' dissolves, they will see a very bright light... this is the light of the Yuan Shen... This experience in itself is quite transformational... Being able to stay in this light gives rise to various levels of direct insight... this is a similar state to the Jhanna absorption in Buddhist traditions... Some call this awakening... some call this enlightenment (it's not!). What the alchemist has to do is enter this state until they are able to touch on the underlying substance of it... It's like plucking the pure essence of this state from the primordial and then bring it back and compressing it into a pearl... This is one of the 'ingredients' of the elixir pill... At a birds-eye view, internal alchemy uses the underlying substances of Xing, Ming and the 'original breath' - which is that which gives 'life' to you before you're physically born. These substances are brought together and fused into the elixir pill... (then after the pill is formed one gestates it to form the golden embryo - but that's another story ) Each stage can be many years worth of full-time disciplined practice in retreat. Very few people have managed to achieve this process. And yet I keep seeing 'weekend alchemy retreats' where people simply imagine coloured balls
  11. Are there evil master?

    Obviously good and evil are very black and white and overly simplistic. But yes. It’s certainly possible for malevolent people to build great internal power. But that’s not the only issue... There’s this Nietzschean idea that most of our morality is based on fear. Most people think they’re good - but they’re only really ‘good’ because of social pressure - because they’ve never been in a position where their real internal moral compass is tested. We’re just afraid of doing ‘bad’ because we’ll be punished (by God, but ones parents, by the law/police)... And in that way you can’t know whether you’re a virtuous person. We only do ‘good’ because most of everything in our society nudges is in that direction. So in this way sometimes when a person gains some freedom and power through internal practice, they discover all these subtle very selfish (if not malevolent) aspects within themselves... and if your path doesn’t teach you how to transform your nature - or at least abide strictly by a moral code - then it’s possible to let these malevolent, selfish aspects run the show... And so in this way internal practice can actually produce a malevolent action...
  12. I think the specific style is less important than finding a good teacher who 1. Has skill, 2. Has virtue and 3. Is willing to teach you the real skill. That's of primary concern - the style, imo is very much secondary.
  13. Is turning 40 all downhill?

    Well that’s actually a pretty optimistic view! Classically your Jing actually starts declining right after puberty So there’s nothing to worry about! Jing is there to be used for life purposes. Just be moderate and stick to the natural rhythms and you’ll age gracefully
  14. Question on the dantians

    The elixir - the pill of immortality, the Dan is not Jing/Qi/Shen - not even close Dwai. If you have an interest in Daoism, I think you’d be pleasantly surprised if took a deep dive into it. I’m finally starting to understand why you’re always thinking of Daoism in such simplistic ways - like Ming as fuel for ‘consciousness work’ or Xing - this is all based on fundamental misunderstanding of what the later levels of Daoist practice really entail.