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About Trunk

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    John Dao Productions

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  1. DGS's Dizzying DVD Collection

    a little clip
  2. Magnet hands

    @Hattaway this might be relevant welcome! 😎 🙏
  3. Yes. The process of painting the unseen-yet-partially-felt interior clarifies, excavates, expands what I already partially felt. And gives an external reference that is helpful in the moment and also for later reference, and for noticing changes, stages of progression, that one goes through with a practice. Like, for the same practice, different paintings of a. here's what I felt in early January b. here's several weeks later c. here's several months later I look back in the sketchbook and see, quickly easily vividly, what the practice is doing in my body, how the progression is working. Often surprisingly so. Where as, without doing that, it's all invisible and mostly lost to the cognitive process. I've found it very helpful. Helps me integrate. I didn't know. Nice to meet you. I've read some of Jung's works ("Memories, Dreams & Reflections") and some related works ... but I still can't say that I clearly understand what Jung's model of the unconscious is. So, I'd have to say, "I don't know".
  4. Art. Occasionally, after practice, when you feel inspired... Paint what you *feel* in your body. You'll find that the process of painting helps you clarify, uncover, excavate, what you feel. Meaning, you probably won't have an entire idea of what you are going to paint... The process of painting, itself, reveals the picture. You'll be surprised at what comes out. It provides an external feedback, you can look at it. Then do it again weeks or months later: you will see changes in the painting that very often correspond to the progression of the practice you are doing. Materials? I suggest: 1. A brush pen. You can get one for less than $10. 2. If you're into color, a Crayola Watercolor set, again, < $10. 3. A journal that has watercolor-quality pages, so that you can use it as both a written journal and a sketch~paint journal. 4. The Sumi-E Book teaches brush technique, and the brush (with just a little training) can allow a poor untalented schmuck of a not-at-all-an-artist to make rather beautiful strokes. Some of my own personal art is at . I do publish some (free) essays re: the internal arts at . I have an upcoming essay entitled (something like) "Art Therapy for Mystics". If you want to be notified when it gets posted either follow my wordpress site or follow my JDP thread here on TDBs. I was decades into my practices before I discovered how utilitarian painting could be. It is something that would have been useful from the very beginning. - Trunk
  5. Weapons training with PVC pipe

    To me they seem flexible, and your question made me re-examine that. Two things I found: 1. There is some actual flexibility in the PVC, varying with width n’ length. 2. The other part that makes is seem (feel) more flexible in my practice is keeping the integration of my fascia structure~movement in my body and extended to include the ‘weapon’. Meaning, that kind of rubbery feeling when my body is warmed up and moving in the more whole-body qigongy way. And no joint is cranked much further than any other joint. That long whole-body rubbery thing. (Maybe some of you other guys know the correct words for this. I don’t.). The ‘sword’ is included in that... so its’ movements kinda feel rubbery circular and angles about the same as my own joints~limbs. So it feels flexible. ... or maybe *I* do, and the way I am including the ‘sword’ is part of & contributing to that feeling in me. And that’s where it all gets so endlessly interesting and fun.
  6. Weapons training with PVC pipe

    p.s. These videos seem relevant. (The sword stuff I've already got covered from Sifu Matsuo's Dragon Gate Sanctuary.)
  7. Weapons training with PVC pipe

    Oh, hey. Thanks for the replies. I must've had my 'follow' settings wrong, didn't see notifications and thought nuthin' happening here. I like the idea of weapons for the internal work. Basically, before weapons, the arms are used to leverage into the torso and visa-versa: the torso internal powers come out through the arms. Adding a weapon (sword, staff) extends that with a little weight (and it doesn't take much) so that whole new levels of leveraging into the torso interior occurs. That's my interest. Personally, I'm not into weapons training with intent to combat. Just not my thing. And I really don't want weapons around my house or yard because some guest is gonna see it and say, "sword!" and grab it and start swinging around. And I can't leave a sword out in the yard, and for *sure* can't take it to the park. PVC solves all of this for me. I was playing with the heavier staff (1&1/4" PVC) the other day. Good for two-handed twisting and/or circling. It has a little flex in it and so VIBRATES back into the body. It felt *really* good.   Anyway, I'm having fun exploring and when I get more sorted out I'll probably be back to blab 'bout it some more.
  8. I'm starting to use PVC pipe for my weapons training (sword, light stick, heavy long staff). Less than $10 for a 10 foot length & end caps = short staff + sword. Easy to leave around the yard. Really enjoying it. A friend turned me onto these "dong stick" (light stick) exercises, but I'm also exploring sword (Dragon Gate Sanctuary) and staff (messin' around).
  9. Microcosmic Orbit Questions

    Agreed. A doctor of Chinese medicine acupuncturist might be of some assistance also
  10. Mark Griffin, 1954-2018

    Thank you for posting. Mark Griffin 28 August 1954 - 24 October 2018 (burial was 10/29)
  11. Favourite qigong system

    Dragon Gate Sanctuary
  12. Curious I was just journaling about something similar, maybe this is the territory that you’re referring to? I’m looking at it in terms of the “forward” path (manifesting: expressing yourself in life, being active, expression of will in the world) and the “reverse” path (unmanifesting: merging into the One medicine, emptiness, surrendering the self to the Self). Once you start merging into emptiness (at least on an occasional basis) and the little self goes *poof!*, what do you do? ... since there is no “you”? I don’t know that I have the answers to all of that, but here are some thoughts... 1. “Knowing the white, keep the black”, Taoist saying (from one of Cleary’s books, I forget which). 2. Just going back to basic humanity, basic tasks, survival, art. 3. Be of service. Be useful. As this gets worse you need something to anchor you into the world and being of use, being of service, is a classic way to keep yourself engaged while cultivating selflessness. 4. Anchor the emptiness states into the deep-centers of the chakras. Often aspirants access emptiness without anchoring it into their esoteric physiology and so there’s this disconnect. Pearl meditations, bindu meditations are relevant. 5. Respect your humanness. There are some things that are just built in. We tend to idealize the emptiness states as the permanent solution and the roadside is littered with tons of students (and teachers) who could access mystical states but neglected / ignored / dismissed their aspects of humanness. 6. “Build a life that works for you”. This was a repeated line from Mark Griffin (a meditation teacher). If you build an exterior life that suits your talents, etc, and engages you appropriately in life ... the whole esoteric process will go easier for you, less wear n’ tear, smoother. Any of that in the right territory? Hope this helps. Thanks for posting, interesting topic. - Keith
  13. Wow, what a delightful thread. Breath of fresh air. I’ve read only a few scattered posts, so pardon me if I repeat ground-already-covered. In one of Cleary’s Taoist translations, there is reference to the “human mind” and the “mind of Dao”. Seems to be (maybe?) in the ballpark, here. My interpretation is “human mind” = basically, thinking, cogitating and all the complexities and waves (feelings, psychology, all that sh##) that get caught up in that. Where as “mind of Dao” would be something like “wu qi” (in Daoism) or “luminous emptiness” (in Buddhism), “sky of mind”. Somewhere in that territory. Seems to me that “the quickest way” question has a couple of dubious premises: 1. That a certain path (method/s, school, tradition) is the quickest. There’s 10,000 paths, and much value in many of them - and often different paths are appropriate for different people. It seems to me that good orientation to *whatever* path REALLY helps a LOT. Often makes the difference of really making the most of a path vs getting really f###ed up by that same path. Here’s my attempt at a brief simplified generic overview. There’s nothing new in it, probably nothing you don’t already know, and *certainly* not of the detailed depth you’d find in any well developed authentic path. ... but I think it offers some utilitarian overview. 2. Second dubious premise: That you *want* the quickest path, lol. Yeah, there are times when you wanna hit the gas, and have a lightning bolt teacher who propels you ... but there are also times when you want to slow down, or prepare the ground, etc, not just speed. A friend of mine used the phrase the “school of harmony” and it denotes, *whatever* path you’re on, to value harmony as a sign of deep and skillful integration, and that produces a foundation for growth. Contrast that to finding the fastest car, then driving it as fast as you can as long as you can until the engine catches on fire, melts down, and you have to spend the next few decades in repair.
  14. What role does faith play in the taoist perspective?

    “ discernment “ is a good word to throw into the mix . also “ working theory based on experience so far “, like science always leaves room for uncertainty and evolving understanding not fixed beliefs. do the practice get the results , much like push-ups ... belief is secondary if not irrelevant . stilling the mind is much more fundamental, than what to think . my two cents