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About Flynn

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    Dao Bum
  1. Yong Chun Gong Fu

    Hello all, After a fairly long hiatus from meditation and my studies of taoism, I've recently decided to resume a schedule of exercising and meditating daily. So far I've been at it for about three weeks, and things seem to be finding their way back into balance again. I'm very interested, however, in learning a martial art to help improve my physical, mental, and spiritual self. I've been searching around a bit, and it seems that the only schools near me (I live in a fairly rural area) teach either Aikido or Wing Chun (I prefer the pinyin "yong chun," but that's just me being a snob) gong fu. I have taken a few courses in Aikido, and I really enjoyed its philosophy of nonviolence, but I have always been primarily interested in Chinese schools of gong fu. Have any of you practiced yong chun gong fu, particularly in the US? I'd love some advice about what I should do, and what other schools may be better if it is not ideal. Thanks! Flynn
  2. Migraines

    Ni men hao, Do any of you guys get chronic migraines? I'm coming down with one right now, and I was wondering if any of you guys had some preferred methods of dealing with them. I don't get them too frequently (once every month or two, sometimes more when I have lots of work-related stress), but I still don't like popping large quantities of painkillers when I do. Are there any natural remedies or meditative practices I could try, or am I kind of stuck with ibuprofin and sleep? Flynn
  3. Sufism

    Hi everyone, I'm interested to hear what you know/think about sufi mysticism. I've only studied it a bit, and that's all been in the context of middle eastern history classes. I'd like to know to what extent and in what form it exists today, as it seems like a very intriguing type of practice. Have any of you ever been personally involved in sufism to any extent? Flynn
  4. Yes, exactly. I'm sorry, I should have clarified. My question was regarding the existence of a physical reality that exists independent of our awareness of it. Does the ball only exist in the form of our perceptions? Or, I suppose more to the original intent of the philosophers, is there any way for us to ever know whether or not it exists in a physical form?
  5. Rene Descartes (I know, boo Cartesian dualism) and David Hume both wrote about the philosophical problem of whether or not we can ever know, logically, if there is a physical reality beyond our sensations and perceptions. Hume used an interesting scenario to test the commonsensical assumption that our sensations are linked to actual, physical objects. Say you are looking at a red ball (or any other object) on a table. You see the ball because your retinal nerve cells are firing in a certain manner, and the electrical signal is carried through your optic nerve to your brain, which produces the mental image that you see. Now, say that God decides to maintain the exact neuron firing that makes you think there is a ball on the table, and then he destroys the ball. To you, there has been absolutely no change in the ball. One could include other senses, like touching the ball or smelling it, but the argument maintains that no matter how you try to detect it, God keeps your sensory neurons firing as if the ball was there. Hume's point is that, to you, there is absolutely no difference between the situation in which the ball exists and the one in which God destroyed it. Our knowledge of the physical world is relegated entirely to our sensory input and perception. My question is, does Taoism assume absolute reality? That is, is the Tao the basis of a real, physical world that we perceive? Some passages in the Tao Te Ching lead me to think that it might be, at least to a certain extent.
  6. New Member (sort of...)

    Hello everyone, I used to post on this site and check it religiously when I was in high school, but I trailed off and eventually stopped reading it altogether. I'm now a few years older, a few years less zealous about my beliefs, and I would simply like to apologize for the times when I acted like a bit of an ass due to the fact that I was absolutely convinced that I was right about everything. A lot of things have forced me to get over that. So, if you don't mind, older-me would love to join y'all again in some nice, refreshing, tao bum philosophy. Cheers, Flynn
  7. Tea and spirituality

    Thanks guys! I've got a copy of Lam Kam Chuen's book on the way, it seems very interesting.
  8. Tea and spirituality

    Hello all, I am currently researching tea and its influences on spirituality and culture in China. Do any of you know any of its history, or have any knowledge of its significance in relation to Buddhism or Taoism? If you do, I'd love to hear it. Flynn
  9. Study: Meditation Alters DNA

    Here's the direct link to the Discover article for those who would like to read it
  10. Phobias and Cultivation

    I have had the same experience with claustrophobia, and I cannot bring myself to ignore or overcome my fear. I am interested in any of your ideas regarding this.
  11. Wool

    Great for camping too!
  12. I hate small talk

    Come on everyone, keep it civil. On the internet we deal with philosophical and hypothetical much better than personal.
  13. I hate small talk

    I think that originally, this topic was referring to "deep" as philosophical conversation. Certainly you can learn lots about people and have meaningful relationships with them without discussing the meaning of life. There is, however, a distinct lack of thoughtful, philosophical conversation in our society. People may use small talk as an outlet for their emotions and "deep" feelings, though I think that many of us prefer straightforward, intellectual discussion. Think about it, if you didn't desire this type of interaction you wouldn't be here, intellectually and philosophically discussing the meaning of small talk.
  14. Guns/Weapons etc

    Just for the sake of argument, why would they deserve to die any more than you would? You can't possibly claim to be aware of everyone's role in the world, or if you do, can you really justify the idea that you are more deserving of life than they are? In all honesty, what is there to fear in death but the unknown? Killing people doesn't solve the problem, or "help society". Think of that person's family. Would you really feel justified in taking someone's child, parent, or sibling just because they posed an immediate threat to your personal security? In terms of "survival", I think that the argument of survival lost its validity long ago in our evolution. The fact that we possess the ability to reasonably assess a situation means that we have the ability to come up with an alternative to our natural inclination of violence. I don't know, maybe my views are dated and inapplicable to today's world, but I would hope that there is the possibility of peaceful resolutions becoming the normal way of solving conflicts. By the way, are you really "all for peace" if you are so willing to kill somebody for your own protection?
  15. I hate small talk

    My sincerest thanks for that post, it is very helpful.