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  1. Daozang for non-chinese speakers?

    I'm sorry, got to strongly disagree with you here. I think you would be lucky to get 10% correct by plugging Buddhist or Daoist canonical works into Google translate, and there's no way for anybody who doesn't smoke as much meth as the Google translate bot evidently does could make decisions on the basis of this stuff. Let's use the Heart Sutra as an example. Here's what Google gives you: View the self-Buddhist. It’s as long as a lot of time. See the five elements are empty. All the bitterness. Relics. Color is empty. It’s not empty. The color is empty. Empty is the color. I am thinking about it. It is also true. Relics. It is the empty space of the laws. Not born or not. Not dirty. No increase or decrease. It is colorless in the air. Nothing to think about. No eyes and ears. Colorless sound and fragrance touch. No vision. Even the unconscious world. No ignorance. There is no clearness. Even no death. There is no old death. No bitterness. No wisdom or no. No income. Bodhi. According to Prajna Paramita. Innocent. Nothing. No horror. Stay away from reversing your dreams. Nirvana. The Three Buddhas. According to Prajna Paramita. Aunt Doro, Sancha, and Bodhi. I know that Prajna Paramita is more. It is a great curse. It is a big mantra. It is a curse. There is no curse. Able to eliminate all pain. Really worthwhile. Therefore, it is said that Prajna Paramita is a curse. That is to say cursing. Uncovering and revealing, Balo’s discovery, Boluo’s discovery, Bodhisattva "Therefore, it is said that Prajna Paramita is a curse. That is to say cursing." Yeah, um, ok. Now here're the last few lines from an important neidan poem called 《金丹詩訣》 by Chen Nan: Once the work is done with sincerity, the spirit is so solid and solid, Yan Rongru is not hungry and thirsty, and Fang Xian Jin Dan is a success. Cui Wei's independent crystal palace, the body is very intentional, in the middle of the night, Huang Po came to the door, as a medium to marry and Jin Gong. Taiyi Xuanzhu Jin Liquid Dan, also returned to the local children's face. If you want to hear a new teacher's language, you can teach him to see a class. In the night, a Büfu 蕖, there are red pills dropping beads, dripping Huachi is Shenshui, Dantian gathers for Danshu. It is called the water and fire essence, this is the two dragons and scorpions, but take the sacred point away from the hole, pure dry can take the flight. There's a point at which 10% correct is actually just 100% incorrect, because all you can do with stuff like this is waste precious, precious time that could be better spent reading books written or translated by people who actually care about helping you "awaken to reality," instead of a computer program. That is, of course, unless "this is the two dragons and scorpions, but take the sacred point away from the hole, pure dry can take the flight" makes sense to you! So solid and solid! Unfortunately what I looked at is so deeply riddled with mistakes as to be close to useless. ~80% of the content in the Daoist Canon is about ritual, btw.
  2. There have been quite a few people who can read classical Chinese in and out of here over the years, with a range of specialties and skill levels. I started with Language of the Dragon, which was recommended to me by a guy who'd studied with the author, I think at Oberlin. It's not a pretty book but I think it was an excellent place to start. A few months later I started pouring over the Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic for an hour or two a night, dictionary in hand, and attending classes on this text over the weekend (I was living in China). I used paper copies of the Kangxi Dictionary, the Shuowenjiezi, and Pleco. One person had recommended that I always write dictionary definitions by hand in the margins of books in order to strengthen my impression of the words; another suggested I always write the full Chinese definition, not the English synonym. I combined both people's advice and the pages of my books became very full of words (for a few years, at least), but I learned a lot and now I sit and read things that are a thousand years old at my leisure. Later I attended a few university level intro classes taught in Chinese in China, which were helpful. The key was really just keeping at it on my own, though. Also, early on I had a bilingual copy of the 《太上老君說常清靜經》, translated by Brenda Hood, who's now at the National University of Natural Medicine in Oregon. This was very helpful to have, because she did a great job and it had the original text right before her English version. If you're trying to learn to read Daoist cultivation texts this would be a good thing to track down. It really depends on the topic, the author, the era, the style, the genre, the intended audience, etc... and of course your own knowledge of the relevant vocabulary and similar texts or predecessor texts (because lots of ancient Chinese authors love using allusions or partial quotes which are easily recognized by those "in the know," but bewildering if you don't know what you're looking at). Nowadays I can read some ancient Daoist writings as though they were as transparent as a pane of glass--some of these books even respected, native speaker professors who research Daoism cannot read, but that is simply because I've spent a lot of time learning the terms related to the minuscule sliver of classical Chinese writings that I'm interested in. Conversely, the things that they're into are often just as opaque to me as blocks of wood... and just as boring, too, to be honest! In any event, no matter which fields interest you, building the relevant vocabulary will take you quite a few years, in part because no single dictionary is up to the task of shedding light on a specialized field. Most definitely. This is a major issue in Daoism. For one, alchemical imagery can be very complicated and requires you to be able to figure out what's being alluded to, sometimes by allusions to symbols that represent the ineffable... sometimes, even, symbols that mean one thing in one arcane field (such as Chinese medicine) might mean a whole different thing in a different arcane field (such as when certain Chinese medicine terms show up in inner alchemy writings). In short, a lot of "decrypting" is required to make heads and tails of these things. On top of that seldom if ever did old texts spill the beans with really clear, straightforward instructions like you'd hope for in a well-written cookbook (and even if they did, without having a teacher who's been taught orally to pass the practical explanation to you in person, could you be sure you had the right interpretation?). Then, on top of that, in some fields of the Daoism--especially ritual, but I've seen the same in one instance with "Daoist medicine"--some things are intentionally written out of order, incorrectly, or with omissions to prevent outsiders from being able to use the instructions unless they also got the relevant oral teachings. And then, on top even of that, there is human error from mistranscribing, misprinting, misinterpretation etc. If you get so involved that you're working with 300-year-old handwritten manuscripts, then you're also dealing with rot and bug eaten pages. Ah, there's no end to the fun you can have if your obsession is deep enough... None of this makes achieving your goals an insurmountable task. If this is really you're path, then the 苦 will naturally taste 甜 and things will fall into place and one day you'll find yourself having what a professor I know who researches Zhengyi Daoist ritual calls the "third eye." He doesn't mean what most people mean by third eye--he means that you're so familiar with Daoist texts in a certain field that you're able to correctly anticipate and guess meanings that no dictionary exists to confirm or disconfirm for you, but then months or years later you find some missing piece and realize, ah-ha!, you had indeed been right in your guess. (For the record, whatever "third eye" I have is totally useless in his field of research... Daoism is so huge and old and mixed up with other traditions like Tang Dynasty tantric Buddhism and 法教--which is so little-known in English that I don't even know what to call it--that it's impossible to know it all. Not that the knowitalls would agree with me...) Yes, tons, although the Yijin Jing text is quite a late development (Ming or even Qing, iirc), so it is not especially representative of what's out there. My impression is that writings attempting to describe physical postures and movements in great detail are not especially common in older Daoist texts. 乾杯!
  3. Daoist Canon goldmine

    It's great. When it comes to Daoist canon texts, I find it has a far lower rate of mistaken characters than Ctext. However, there are some Daoist canon texts lacking photos of the original pages on Kanripo but which Ctext does have photos of. If you combine your searching of these two sites with Scripta Sinica and Wikisource then there is not much that you can't find, at least in terms of old Daoist books that were printed as opposed to copied by hand and passed down in temples and families. And if you can't find anything on those four sites, then there's always Home in Mists... A piece of advise for Kanripo is that sometimes I have had trouble with the search function if I search for long sentences. I think this is because of the way they use the carriage return in their layout. The way around this problem I've used is to just search for a unique-looking combination of ~5 characters instead of long sentences.
  4. Hi Lightbody, I cannot answer you from personal experience, but one answer to your question coming from Daoist alchemy lies in the teachings on cultivation of xing and ming and the 陽神/yangshen/yang spirit. This teaching, boiled down and oversimplified, is that the peace, happiness, and satisfaction you describe will not actually be permanent unless ming training is complete, because you are still bound to a physical body that will die even if your mind is free. Once the life you have (ming) comes to an end, your mind will not remain free unless you have cultivated yangshen, in which case you have some sort of substantial basis from which to maintain your freedom for eternity. Regarding the yangshen, there are at least two main schools of thought. In one school of thought, the human body of a practitioner somehow "births" the yangshen, which is like a copy of the physical body, endlessly capable of transformation and regeneration, capable of manifesting as a solid form or disappearing into nonexistence at will, capable of replication, etc. If it is fully developed, then this yangshen discards the body when the physical body dies, leaving behind a corpse which, according to lore, may not rot as normal. But it's still a corpse, in any event. Another school of thought is that once the yangshen has been produced, it should be kept in the physical body so that the spontaneous processes that created it continue until the whole physical body is utterly transformed; when this has occurred, then while still alive the practitioner can turn his/her body into immateriality and back at will. When finally leaving the world, the practitioner leaves nothing behind, akin to Padmasambhava in Tibetan Buddhism and some Hindu sages I have heard read about, including one (perhaps in Yogananda's book?) who supposedly had his disciples seal him up in a room where he turned into a blaze of purple light that shone from under the crack in the door, and then totally disappeared. In the case of either teaching, the yangshen is not something that can occur without there also being enlightenment of the mind, because a mind that remains occluded by delusion will prevent these natural processes from unfolding. Therefore, an immortal who has achieved the yangshen is not like a typical "individual" who happens to have a magic, undying energy body. Such a being is, so say the teachings, utterly free from all of the fetters of duality and distinctions. Has any human ever really accomplished such marvels, or is this all legend? I have no idea, but I can say for certain that plenty of students of Daoism take these teachings quite seriously, and view enlightenment of mind nature as just one half of the work that needs to be done in order for alchemy to be complete. The ones who are serious about this teaching like to offer warnings not to sit on your laurels after realizing the mind's nature, as that alone is not enough to prevent being dragged down by karma and yin qi once the yang qi of your ming is fully exhausted.
  5. Or discuss, on the discussion forum. Well, all that writing, mon frere, was for reading. Agreed on both counts. Thank you for your thoughts. I agree that I have seen Steve show kindness here plenty of times. In all instances, it is laudable. I do take that into account, but regarding "having an off day," it is like this: So we have man who isn't in a great mood one day, so he gets on Facebook to gay bash and (possibly) try to start a real-life fight, or at least ruin somebody else's day by trolling him online. Off day #1. Then he comes here days later to brag about what he did that day. So this is off day #2? Then, when the questionable nature of his behavior is brought to his attention here, he responds with "fool fool moron moron jealous." Either we have now witnessed off day #3, or we are seeing a man who just acts like that. Honestly, I wouldn't have bothered him in the first place if he wasn't selling books with the word "spiritual" all over the back cover and selling videos of shen practices. I decided to offer my perspective for those early-stage seekers on this forum who might not have had the opportunity to meet the many teachers I have studied with around the world who would explain how Steve Gray's behavior raises serious red flags. To such newcomers I wish to point out that in it would probably be wise to think carefully about what is reflected in the above sort of behavior before putting stock in the author's book chapter about enlightenment or experimenting with neigong practices meant to affect the shen. I do not wish to "lynch" Steve Gray by ending his career. Invariably some people will think I'm being very hypocritical, but I will say that I wish him all the best. They key is I believe it is unlikely that "all the best" will come to a man who is making some of the mistakes he appears to be making. My opinion is rooted in the teachings on what the English speaking Daoist master Ni Huaching calls the "laws of universal energy response," from "感應." These teachings are related to Buddhist teachings on karma, but not 100% the same. As we are all more or less equals here, I offer my opinion to Starjumper that he may face consequences later on if the poor example he sets and the shengong he is sharing here causes problems. His protests like "but I never said I was a master" or "I didn't say I am teaching spirituality" may (sort of) work as a dodge on a message board, but will it be enough to dodge 感應? I wouldn't bet on it. But one is always free to learn the painful way if one wishes. I certainly chose that route many times, and all others are free to walk it. Anyway, Master Ni writes extensively about this stuff in his books, which can be found used on Amazon for low prices. Although they can be a bit disorganized and rarely offer specific practices, I think they are very worthwhile reading for those who wish to learn more about Daoism. Especially when it comes to learning about 德. Thank you for your opinions. You're right that there are excellent aspects to what he has shared with us here. I disagree, however, about not pointing out the things that we think people who have chosen to step into the role of teacher are doing which we feel could be damaging to students. You are right when you say "objecting to Starjumper won't stop other people from studying with him," which is why I did not write with the plan to try and stop other people from studying with him. I agree with you 100% when you say, "we just don't have that power and I'm not convinced it would be a good thing if we did." My goal is very simply to provide a counterpoint to his flamboyant, flippant, sophomoric attitude towards the responsibilities of spiritual teacher that he half wants, half doesn't want. I might be wrong, too! I can do no more than add my thoughts to the pot here and let others react as they please. Finally, more generally, while I appreciate the sentiment of "rather than pointing out the bad, I find it´s much more useful to champion the good," I do not think it is a sufficient strategy for dealing with the complexities of life. There's a whollllle lot of shit in human society that needs to be pointed at so that it can be discussed, understood, and transformed. For instance, I used to spout waaaaaaayyy more homophobic language than anything I've ever seen on this board, and was taught that that was normal (in fact, necessary) at such a young age that I didn't even question thinking and speaking this way by the time I was an adult. I did not even change my behavior even after I had gay friends; even after a friend trusted me enough that I was the first person he came out to. In fact, I probably told myself something along the lines of, "see, this proves I'm not homophobic, therefore what does it matter if I say these things when I'm having an off day?" I'm glad that eventually friends pulled my card and pointed very directly at this major flaw in my personality. Had they simply emphasized my positive traits and ignored that problem, where would the impetus to meditate upon that deep-rooted habit have come from?
  6. @joeblast Since you would prefer discussion of martial ethics/virtue to be kept separate from discussion of martial technique, and since I think Starjumper has to accept closer scrutiny than just your average TDB blowhard since he's now selling his books and videos here, I am splitting the threads. I write the following to anybody who cares, although it addresses your post directly. (Anybody who wishes to troll this thread, go on ahead. But at least read this first so you can say something genuinely witty and germane. And Starjumper, if you wish to continue mocking me here, you're welcome to. Go hard. Consult a thesaurus even. Why not get it out of your system once and for all, and then try and remember that you're never too old to grow up.) Thanks for your thoughts. If I come across as one who was sheltered and therefore does not understand street violence, thank you for that too. I say that without guile or irony. I take your comment as a compliment, as it was not easy to go from being a person regularly consumed by anger and involved with violence of many kinds to a person who rarely feels the need to even think about harming other people or vandalizing my environment. My most important martial arts teachers would also be satisfied if I told them that it appears I do not carry an aura of violence, even online. They (two from the Shaolin tradition, one from Wudang, neither famous) were exceedingly clear that gentleness and calm were the the most important things we would ever learn, even though to be certain in the Shaolin school there was often bruising and bloodshed as we trained in a way that reflected a real need for self-defense in that time and place. My recollections of the violent side of the world that I passed through are very relevant to my opinion that Steve Gray. It is because of those experiences that I say that if he is going to be selling spiritual books and videos online (and hawking them here), then he needs to assume more responsibility for his words than XYZ random forum member does. One who sells teaching materials related to spiritual practice (even if he denies that's what his books and videos are about) must exercise real discernment and be cautious about publicly disseminating violent fantasies or bigotry, even when in jest or when acting out an outrageous online persona. Those who decide to be teachers, especially when they're selling the types of books young people like (Power! Jedis! Dragons! CIA! Kill you with merely a thought! Bruce Lee! Aliens! Wizards! Harry Potter!), need to know that silly young fools may actually end up taking them as role models. Their words may manifest in their students' and fans' actions. These are things that virtuous teachers keep at the very front of their minds--for the sake of their students, society, and their very own karma I will explain why I feel strongly about these things, but first I will apologize, because I know it is all too easy for discussion of a "dark past" to turn into a sort of dick measuring contest (that keyword is a T-ball pitch for you if you need it, SJ). Nevertheless, here it is: sheltered though I may seem, in fact from mob brawls to 10-against-2 beatdowns (on both sides of that ratio) to bottles smashed over heads (more times than I can count, with a goodly scar on my forehead for when I got to taste it myself) to baseball bats and table legs to stabbings and all the way up to gun play (on both sides for that, also, though by grace of the Spaghetti Monster no altercation I was personally involved with resulted in a bullet hitting a body; yet I've been within fifty feet of a drive-by as well as dumb kids shooting a dude to death because he stopped his car to confront them when they threw rocks at it... cold world indeed), to multiple close friends and acquaintances losing people to murder, to friends falling apart in the crack game, to stick up kid friends who turned into the psychopaths who cut people after getting the money, to friends locked up... I have seen a fair bit, and the list goes on. That's just the violent crime, making no mention of the other crimes as well as my habitually foul behavior towards women, gay men, people weaker or stupider than me, etc. All that said, I came from a comfortable enough household and was not as hard as I aspired to be. I learned I was definitely not hard when my propensity for violence increasingly put me in contact with people who were in much deeper than me. Participating in beating up and apparently stabbing a BPSN one year meant having to keep a gun in the apartment and lay low on paranoid mode for quite some time. Less than a year later, I put a rifle in my friend's hand and he licked a shot at a group of BDs who damn sure knew who we were, so I had to leave my home and nearly everything I owned and permanently camp out on my friends' sofa. Having all that go on while becoming a little too well-known to police and also expelled from college in large part because I was involved in a brawl turned stabbing there, well, it ended up being enough to convince me that I needed to get my shit together. But... Getting one's shit together when one is a young, selfish, antisocial retard who didn't have a good male role model in the home is exceedingly difficult. One of the biggest blessings in my life was that I had encountered and trained with both the Shaolin and the Wudang teachers before I went feral. I was able to remember that while training Shaolin martial arts I had been healthy and in high spirits, and also easily avoided conflict. In my twenties, when I finally realized the need I had for discipline and guidance in my life, I knew that these things existed, and I was able to go back to them. Far more important than the physical practices was the availability of responsible, mature, sane men to teach me how to stop being a fucking fool. That was many years ago. I have not needed to fight with anybody since then. The two times people tried to jump me since then, I just ran away, which was easy, as few goons are in better shape than I am, and also because there was simply no compelling reason not to run away. This last fact I was able to see clearly because my teachers were men who offered their students very clear teachings about what kind of behavior reflects integrity, and what kind does not. The two Shaolin teachers were both cops in an area where violence was a part of life. One teacher's teenage son had died because he was shot in the face at point blank down the street in a convenience store for answering a question about his gang affiliation by saying he had none. You can imagine that we were reminded about this story on a regular basis, especially if anybody in the school got into conflicts in the neighborhood. So, we trained and became strong and punched and kicked each other but we also were fed a steady stream of moral instructions from men who were mature, upright, strong, confident, dangerous, very familiar with violence, and yet never ever ever ever prone to sitting there making light of it, or bragging about it, joking about killing people, name-calling those they did not like, etc. I am sure they behaved the way they did in part because they were aware of how volatile and impressionable all the hormonal, teenaged and early-twenty-something minds around them were. To be unclear about what constitutes virtuous behavior is to fail as a martial arts teacher, regardless of how skilled one may be at teaching people to punch, kick, grapple, etc. My own life example proves that even if you do teach properly, kids will still fail to get the message. Yet, despite the fact that I strayed far from what my teachers had taught me when I was a teenager, my great good fortune was that they planted seeds that remained fertile until I finally began to examine my life in my twenties. Had they not done so, I do not know how I would have found the power to change the direction my life was plummeting along in. Perhaps I would have have failed to extract myself. I can only remain grateful that they upheld the martial culture as excellent role models and mentors who helped me cease harming myself and others. What they demonstrated was 武德, "martial virtue." The character 武 simply depicts stopping (止) and a bladed weapon (戈). Partially this refers to self defense, which helps you stop others from harming you. But when viewed as the basis of moving from simple martial arts training into a spiritual existence it reveals a deeper meaning of learning to stop yourself from harming self and other. This is not easy to do, and yet it is core of all Chinese martial arts that can legitimately claim to have their roots in the teachings of the sages. Those of you who view this place as The Dao Bums and not simply "the bums," please be aware that the Daodejing makes no bones about this issue. If you can't remember where, it is time to read the book again. This brings me back to Steve Gray, who claims to have inherited one of the greatest Chinese martial arts ever--one that indeed comes from the spirit realm and turns people into sages. In choosing to use this shared forum as a platform from which to hawk his book full of purported spiritual teachings, his neigong videos (including those expressly meant to activate shen), and to attract students to his brick-and-mortar school, he has chosen to move from the role of simple forum member into a more public role. I do not suggest that anybody needs to force him to speak and write in one way or another. But given Steve's transition to public figure, I think there is no reason to treat him differently from any other author, video maker, or "master" plying his/her trade on the internet. Given that he is selling teachings, there is plenty of reason to take a serious look at just what kind of teacher this is. That is why I hold his fantasy about killing the BJJ practitioner in a different light than I would if it were posted by a random TDbum. That violent fantasy and all the name-calling that goes on and on and on and on... what kind of person does it reflect? What kind of teacher does it reflect? What kind of energetic, spiritual, and martial development does it reflect? Is it just little jokes, or is this man perhaps deranged and dangerous? If he is not deranged, why does he feel the need to play the role of a somewhat crazy, bullying person when he is posting on the internet? There is another issue which also demands some scrutiny: Starjumper is spreading videos online of shen practices which he admits that he himself cannot safely practice. Today, regarding the videos he recently posted he wrote: It is well known that improper shen practices can and often enough do lead to mental illness and spiritual disturbances. That Starjumper is using the Dao Bums as a platform to advertise and distribute video instructions for practices that he, as their teacher (creator even?), does not fully understand is eyebrow-raising to say the least. My opinion is that simply tacking warnings onto the beginning of videos (or covering your book with the word "spiritual" and then denying it is about spirituality) is a lame cop out, and demonstrative of a man who lacks the sense of responsibility required of a person in the role he is trying to occupy. Anyway, I feel I have made my point. Food for thought for some, hopefully. Maybe some will think I'm overreacting. I was taught by people who took this sort of shit very seriously and took pains to explain why. My hard-won life experience lends me to think they were right in doing so, and thus I take my time to express these things as clearly as I possibly can. People should be very careful when choosing teachers. That is all.
  7. Taoist meditation techniques

    There are a million and one schools and sub-schools of Daoism, so what I am about to say is a generalization, nothing more: Daoists tend not to teach things designed to promote vivid dreaming, and rather to teach things that harmonize the jing, qi, and shen in ways that make dreams less vivid and less frequent. Underlying this is the common understanding that most dreams reflect the qi of the body being in some way out of balance. Dream-heavy sleep is not seen as being particularly nourishing sleep, and the "information" one might believe one gleans from dreams is not usually given much value, because Daoism generally does not believe that an undeveloped practitioner is likely to be receiving messages from the celestial realms while snoozing. Another common understanding lying at a yet deeper level is that a true adept does not fall into unconsciousness nor experience any types of delusions, which most dreams are. Such adepts may receive direct transmissions in sleep, but will recognize the qi of the transmission for what it is, and have no questions about its source and the true nature of the "dream." As for the practice, some thoughts: exercising the eyes in this way will direct plenty of qi to the areas of the body associated with shen, thereby stimulating the shen. If the qi has not redistributed by the time you go to sleep, this alone may be enough to trigger dreams, hypnagogic hallucinations, or lights in your head. Add to this that the eyes are the opening of the liver, and the liver should "contain the blood" (a metaphor, not an anatomical occurrence) during sleep, then if you stimulate the eyes you may agitate the liver qi in such a way that blood does not "rest" as it should at night. Since "blood is the physical basis of the shen," overly active blood at night will only contribute to shen's activity, which can manifest as vivid dreams. Also, since the liver is associated with the hun spirits, if you have stimulated your liver qi via the eyes, this too can create conditions that lead to sleep with vivid dreams. All of this might sound like TCM woo-woo (and it is), but think about it this way: if you stare at a TV or phone or computer late at night you're basically doing the same thing, and will affect your sleep. People who get into the habit of dimming lights at home in the evening and partaking of simple, slow hobbies at night instead of placing their eyes on glowing screens full of activity and detail and placing their shen upon exciting movies or games or news articles, will find themselves having having deeper, more placid sleep. TCM explains the mechanism underlying this change via many of the same mechanisms that affect the practice you described. Finally, breathing out through the mouth can help to remove turbid qi from the body, but any practice that has this effect can also quickly begin to make a dent in one's "right qi." If you were instructed to continue the mouth breathing for a long time you might have done so, which will only contribute to the body's qi being in an unbalanced state, which is one of the bases for having dreams. A Daoist would probably say that it might have been a nightmare, but might also have been a ghost or demon. Since this has only happened once, no need to worry about it too much. The Daoists I know would say you've made a wise decision. It is generally advised that one should not leap into shen-stimulating practices early on, and if/when one does so, it should be under the guidance of a trusted and experienced teacher. Never heard of this technique. There are countless techniques that can be fit under the broad umbrella of Daoism, many of which bear little resemblance to one another and in fact take practitioners in quite difference directions. Daoism definitely contains many simple and powerful practices--in fact, it is often true that the simpler they are, the more powerful they are. Because they can trigger strong reactions, as a rule of thumb Daoist techniques are meant to be taught face-to-face. Certainly many meditation instructions have made their way into publicly-available writing over the centuries, but not in their entirety. It is impossible for Daoist teachings to be transmitted in their entirety through writing, in part because students need to be able to ask teachers questions which will invariably arise, because each practitioner is different in countless ways.
  8. Experienced views on Wim Hof method

    Environment might be a factor, too. I had two friends get into this in Beijing during a year with several "airpocalypses" (pm2.5>800 sorta days, where you can't see clearly past three meters indoors) and they both ended up sick as hell and stayed that way a surprisingly long time. All the intense breathing practice when your air is toxic, your food is cooked in reused oil or sewer oil, and daily life contains a steady stream of stressful extremes might work against this method pretty badly, at least for beginners. Note where Wim takes his classes in documentaries (e.g. beautiful mountains in rural Poland, not a tract of factory yards and coal fire power plants in Warsaw) and look at forest bathing research into what simply sitting in the woods without even practicing anything does for your body. Being in nature provides a significant, measurable boost to your physiology that may mitigate the challenges beginners without a good foundation face when playing with this stuff. Conversely, lots of environments tax your immune system, drain your adrenals like SJ said, fill you with cortisol, etc, unless you're already pretty fucking sagely already. Another thing my friends in Beijing considered was simply heating. They lived in poorly heated old buildings, so after their cold showers in the winter it was hard to ever fully warm back up. My strong guess having lived in western Europe is that Wim is teaching mostly people whose indoor heating keeps their homes pretty toasty in the winter. That way you once you're done with your cold shower you're back into a 25-30 degree C environment, instead of a 15-20 degree environment, which is a big difference if you've just intentionally frozen your balls off (or in, as it were) and your body is trying to return to normal.
  9. The ego and the heart in Chinese medicine

    You would naturally become a 仙 without any effort whatsoever. It is the endless efforting of the malfunctioning ego that prevents this process from unfolding. Daoism has many equivalent terms even if no direct translations. An important one is expressed in the term "人心死則道心生" (when the human mind/heart dies then the Dao mind/heart is born), which harkens to the 《尚書》 but is widely embraced by Daoists and used quite frequently in alchemy treatises and in conversation. The closest term is probably 無我 (no I/me), which arguably comes from Buddhism, but in any case has been a major part of Daoist since long before your grandma's grandma's grandma's grandma was born. From Li Daochun's Book of Balance and Harmony: 識破無人無我, 何須求佛求仙。 隨時隨處總安禪, 一切幻塵不染。 [If you] thoroughly understand there is no them, no I (or "no other, no self")/ [Then] what need [have you] to seek immortality or seek buddhahood?/ At any time, in any place, [you're] always resting in [dhyana/meditative equipoise]/ All the [types of] illusory [gunas/dust], none of them can stick [to you]. Praises to 李道純 for taking the time to pen his wisdom for later generations!
  10. Travels in the False World

    Might be time to establish a wild-eyed new subforum, "Today in between 9-hour zhanzhuang sessions I went to Starbucks (only because their bathroom is more spacious than the indie joint, otherwise I'd totally go to the indie joint, like fuck corporate, yknow?), and anyway, as I was exerting my LDT induction force to slurp the chunky-yet-delish dregs of my second caramel-mint-double-choc venti frappe with extra cream on top and two extra espresso shots through a woefully thin straw, I suddenly looked around and realized all the other patrons were fucking retarded ZOMBIES man!" Kinda a long name, could just be called Ventibums or something...
  11. Certified Organ Harvesting

    Speaking about the surface symptoms (specific instances of oppression, genocide, mass internment) does not necessitate unawareness of deeper symptoms. Nor should deeper symptoms (law, currency) be confused with root causes, which they are not. A well-trained physician considers both shallow and deep symptoms at once, because they ultimately reflect the status of the very same immune system and are woven together. (Then, if s/he has learned anything from experience, quickly reminds self that even the most obvious-seeming diagnosis is at best an educated guess)
  12. Certified Organ Harvesting

    I'm willing to accept that the history book numbers for any of the things I mentioned above are exaggerated, perhaps even massively so. I have no way to prove one set of numbers over another, and humans are humans... if I can accept the notion that people traffic organs, I can certainly accept the notion that people also juke statistics. That said, even if I was convinced that some of these statistics are off by a factor of 10, it would be very difficult for me to come to the conclusion that we modern humans, in general, have not proven ourselves plenty capable of taking part in organized, large scale butchery. Like, ok, let's say Hitler "only" killed 100,000 civilians in the Holocaust. This is still a phenomenal number of murders. Still a holocaust. Speaking more specifically of the CCP, I never saw anything over there that made me think they should be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to brutality. I know a lot of people hate anecdotes, but here're two anyway: when I lived in Chicago, lots of people I knew had stories about family members or friends being killed by guns, or witnessed gun violence themselves (me included). And whaddayaknow, look at statistics, Chicago has a heck of a lot of gun violence. Conversely, where I lived in China nobody ever mentioned murders of people they knew, but lots of people spoke to me about they themselves or people they knew getting sent up to gulags, and other things, like "generally if the state wants to tear down your house unless you live in Beijing or Shanghai eventually you just have to stop protesting even if they don't compensate you, 'cause they might just send local goons to kill your whole family and send a message to the rest of the village." But hey, China's official stats for murders are exceedingly low, and certainly that was not a crime on anybody's mind out there. I know, I know, neither statistics nor anecdotes nor even one's own eyes and ears can be believed. But as for Falun Gong organ harvesting, from everything I've seen, my money is on there being some truth to this one.