Walker

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About Walker

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  1. I agree. The "omigod what should I do with the white stuff coming out of my penis" threads are never, ever, ever gonna stop. Given that they will continue coming (or not, as it were) for as long as this site exists, it doesn't bother me at all to see them in a non-gender specific part of the forum, and if their being visible in more trafficked areas of the site further reduces the chances of a few 22-year-old guys from developing neuroses or prostatitis or whatever, probably that's a good thing. Not that I'm trying to put shrinks and urologists out of a job or anything.
  2. Which ones? Please post names in Chinese if possible.
  3. How to avoid wet dreams ?

    學道之人不識真 People who study the Way do not cognize the real 只因從前認識神 Simply because they always identify with the thinking mind 無量劫來生死種 The seed of rebirth and redeath for innumerable kalpas 痴人喚作本來人 A fool summoned to act as the original self
  4. Thoughts on Energy Arts / B.K. Frantzis

    Honestly, given that we see institutionalized greed pop up everywhere in the post-agricultural revolution world, I think this gives the pre-Buddhist Chinese a bit too much credit and makes Buddhism into a bit of a scapegoat. By which I mean to say, I think that a bureaucracy and hierarchy probably existed in institutions that claimed to study Laozi before Buddhism arrived, and if somehow they didn't, would have come about sooner than later. My thinking on this is sorta like what you'd expect from somebody who nodded along while reading Ishmael and Against the Grain. The societies in China that produced Lao-Zhuang though were already heavily sedentary, agricultural, and metallurgical society. Patriarchy, slavery, Heavenly reward for obedience on earth, etc. all seem to spring from that recipe like mushrooms after rain. If anything, I feel that Lao-Zhuang, et al were a cry for sanity in a land that had already gone mad--after all Laozi left! The fact is that the Daoism that comes down the 2,500-year-old pipeline to us is a product of The Man as much as it is a product of those who think The Man has his head up his holy ass. I mean, case in point: the damn Yellow Emperor's Inner Classic, an indispensable, ancient Daoist classic, has the word "emperor" in the title and not only identifies castes/classes in its opening chapter, but also advocates that the castes/classes shouldn't complain. In any event, as for "involuntary competition," any Daoist who competes has already lost the plot a bit. Thankfully, this seems to have been understood by enough wise ones that those who faded into their backgrounds passed many things down the chain. Some good points there, though I don't fully believe that the Daoists solely did this because they had their backs up against the walls. There was plenty of vital, fun, free-wheeling, beauitful Daoist literature going back into the Six Dynasties and Tang Period that replicated the cultural milieu of the times in its depictions of heaven in the same way that people raised on Hollywood movies can barely imagine what God looks like without seeing Morgan Freeman (hey, at least they don't see John Wayne) surrounded by Doric columns. Humans seem to habitually recreate fantastical versions of their actual surroundings in their theatrical, literary, artistic, and poetic imaginings of the "beyond." I think it was possible that for plenty of ancients enthusiasts for Daoism it just seemed "natural" the the heavens had an emperor and a bunch of ministers and curved roofs (probably no Doric columns, though). I hope you find what you seek. But please know that there are many Buddhists who also seek "before Buddhism Buddhism." See Longchenpa, for one important and influential example. Daoists I know simultaneously teach diligent practice whilst not bothering. I think working with this paradox this is extremely important. My experience is that practice is of a much higher quality when one does not bother at all while one undertakes cultivation. I don't think you are forced to operate under that assumption, and I don't think all holy sages share it. Cultivation that makes sense to the logical mind might not be the best cultivation that is to be had. This is a dangerous trap of thinking that is warned about consistently... ... especially in commentaries on the Heart Sutra (which I suspect it will pain you to hear me say, but if it makes you feel any better, some pedants complain that the Heart Sutra is apocrypha created with Daoist influences, so...) If you butter both sides your hands get mad greasy... Fair enough. But we are typing to each other back and forth on the 21st century equivalent of a pyramid. I say this not to try and back you into a corner, but to point out that this seems to indicate that we both, as thoughtful people seeking some sort of "truth" and "liberation" have concluded that simply eschewing with all the trappings of a diseased way of living does not bring one to The Way. As we are sincere seekers, were we convinced that simply unplugging and going off grid would bring us to our destinations, we quite likely would. Yet we seem to have the hunch that remaining here--with our computers full of conflict coltan and conflict gold, built by terribly overworked poor people in factories with a lot of toxic air and very little humanity, running on the fires of coal, and leaching industrial chemicals into our skin as we type--is actually somehow right. This seems to indicate that on some level we believe that somehow the Dao is indeed immanent, even right here in the human world.
  5. Thoughts on Energy Arts / B.K. Frantzis

    Well, maybe you and BKF are correct in this observation, or at least correct from a certain angle. But... "rings true" is a tricky thing. The Buddhism I know is certainly not pyramidal, though some (edit: too many, but if you think that's the only way this tradition has been understood by its disciples, you ain't read angel Kyodo williams or listened to Joanna Macy speak) people certainly make Buddhist institutions that are. The Daoism I know is full of pyramids, including in institutions and the pantheon (both products of humanity), which was modeled on the Chinese imperial system. However, the Dao has rooms for pyramids and valleys and is not lessened or increased in the least the more or less pyramids or valleys there are in any houtian world. We all need to be a bit careful of the distortions the lenses we choose to wear create for us. After all, the Amazon is no closer to the Dao than Mt. Everest or the Marianas Trench. Unless your definition of Dao necessitates such distinctions, in which case I can only say, you and I wear different glasses.
  6. Thoughts on Energy Arts / B.K. Frantzis

    Well, I think you're wrong in your characterizations. Analysis may be part of Buddhism, but I think the statement "Buddhism is about consciousness and awareness (within the head)" in untenable. If you have studied with Buddhist teachers in person, perhaps your observations reflect what they displayed. But those observations are not representative of the Buddhism I have encountered. Secondly, if you think that the lower dantian is the source of enlightenment in Daoism... well... you're off to a start... but keep studying. Never met him or his students. Like I said, the demonstrators in his bagua mastery DVDs were enough to turn me away. Have heard two versions of a story similar (but set outdoors, in a parking lot in Arizona) to what Earl Grey mentioned from two people I believe can be taken quite seriously. Enough so that I wouldn't bother to take one of his courses even if it was held next door to me, but heck, could well be that'd I'd be missing a golden opportunity. At the very least, I'd get hands-on instructions on finger banging tofo, non? _______ Lol, what, pray tell, is a "worthy student?" So is "good mouthing" people you haven't met and whose arts you do not practice! I always think sharing rumors is fair enough, especially if they come from reasonably credible sources. We all bear a certain responsibility for our reputations, even if parts of our reputation are quite false. Hearing a warning about a teacher who might be problematic could spare a student from wasting much money, getting sucked into a cult, getting raped, and so forth (no, I am not suggesting BKF presents any of these risks except for possibly the first; yes, there are teachers in the Chinese cultivation world who are guilty of all of the above and worse, including murder). So, please wouldja ease up on the sanctimony just a tiddy-tad, @Gerard.
  7. Celibacy, and also MCO

    Hah! I was about to say... stagnated loin fire rising to the heart much? Gotcha, and I understand. Although I still want to add a comment: I am surprised to hear masturbation twice a week be recommended. Again, I do not think this is wrong, and it might well be a wise teaching passed down in your school for some time. In this sense, I think of it a bit like a herbal formula designed to treat a certain pattern. One family of doctors might have their own tried-and-true herbal formula for a certain pattern that has been used to treat generations of patients, while another family of doctors' formula may contain very different herbs and be based on a different understanding of the qi of that pattern. So, while your suggestion may well be totally legitimate, I think it bears pointing out that plenty of other teachers in Chinese medicine and cultivation would say that, for a young man, there is no need to masturbate according to any schedule whatsoever, because when he builds up too much jing it will either come out during sleep, or he'll simply "handle" things on his own. A non-cultivating young man, therefore, can very healthily have several ejaculations a week, or also go several weeks without an ejaculation. The body is in constant flux and it's not that easy to go insane because of blue balls. This is very tragic. It is wonderful that your teacher was able to help these people Sometimes with disastrous consequences, but there are also partnered householders who cultivate together and move towards less and less physical sex quite harmoniously. 男不解衣,女不鬆帶 is the term for their type of "love making," I believe. It means "the man does not strip his clothes, and the woman does not loosen her belt." As it's been explained to me by one teacher, this is less esoteric than it sounds. Simply, as truer and truer love is shared by two cultivators whose wisdom and proximity to the Dao is increasing, there is a natural, wuwei disinclination towards physical sex, because something else is being shared. For such people, a certain type of celibacy or near-celibacy comes quite naturally. But... it's probably a safe guess that not too many people experience this in a relationship, including cultivators. I think it's also worth remembering that, arguably, it was the renunciates in Daoism who adopted techniques from householders. Monastic Daoism, which in its widespread form is less than 1,000 years old, is a much later development than 火居 ("living near the hearth") Daoism.
  8. Thoughts on Energy Arts / B.K. Frantzis

    A few thoughts on BKF... 1. I am 99% sure he just made up the whole "Buddhism is fire, Daoism is water thing." If anybody can point to any source in classical Chinese for this distinction, please let me know. I will find the original text, read it, and try to translate it here. (I have never heard any such distinction be made, and as far as I am concerned it is silly--there are thousands of different techniques in Buddhism, and thousands of different techniques in Daoism. In both Buddhism and Daoism, some ways of practicing are a bit more "firey" and some are a bit more "watery." This whole water path thing just seems like half-baked marketing to me, from a nearly-bygone era when very few westerners could read any Chinese and very few had lineage holding teachers. I think it mischaracterizes both traditions. But, again, if anybody can point to a source other than BKF himself that discusses this fire-water dichotomy, please do so). 2. Nobody in the Beijing baguazhang world seems to have heard of BKF's Yin-style teacher. This doesn't mean he didn't exist or that he wasn't badass, but it's an eyebrow-raiser, as supposedly the guy was such a badass that if he bumped into a wall while circle walking, chunks of concrete would go flying. If that was the case... you'd think locals would have heard of the guy... 3. Have heard stories about BKF's fighting skills from sources I trust that make it seem like they're much exaggerated. I watched some of the videos of his students demonstrating circle walking form that "mastery program" a few years ago and they were super eff'ing meh. 4. In his Daoist sexuality book, IIRC (please correct me if I'm wrong), BKF claims to have slept with 3,000+ different women in Taiwan while he was training with his Daoist sex teacher. Yeahhhhhhhhhhh. Ok. I'm not saying this guy is not a mack, but I will go out on a limb and say he's definitely not a mack like that. So let's suppose he finished his homework by using prostitutes. Question 1: were there even 3,000 different whores in Taiwan at that time? 2: How did he find all of them? 3: Okay, so BKF had the time and money to go track down 3,000 different prostitutes, and he slept with them all. Let's say he did this six days of the week for years. How many years would he need? How much money? Somebody else can do the math. Do you still believe him? If you do, and you still want to be his student, can you please ask him how much ginseng he needed to rub on his 小鷄鷄 to cure his gonosyphaherpolaids? 5. P.S., ginseng will not actually cure gonosyphaherpolaids, that was a joke, don't get any big ideas, kids.
  9. The Chinese Communist Revolution

    Thanks for posting that @Taomeow. Most of what your friend said sounds pretty par for the course to me, especially regarding the technology theft (ah, the number of foreign companies who've been left out to dry in China due to government-sponsored technology theft... this is endless, and one of the few things that gives me a bit of common cause with Trump supporters, heh). The dam photo might well have been a quirk from satellite imaging. I have little faith in modern Chinese construction techniques except for when it comes for massive infrastructure projects. However, the resultant increase in earthquakes is likely a reality. I used to moonlight editing for a Chinese geology journal and they were writing about this problem 10 years ago after the big earthquake in Sichuan, quietly understood to have possibly been triggered by the huge increase in dams in that province. Don't know if the real estate bubble is really about to burst or not. It's always "about to burst," but then the government "pulls economic levers," and the economy keeps lurching forward. I don't know if anybody really understands how these things work (I certainly don't think economists do haha!). The best analogy I can think of is: just as some kids drink themselves to death in a single fraternity initiation while others manage to chuff along hard-binging alcoholics all the way till they're in their 70s, I think it's hard to predict when the Chinese economy will finally crumble under the weight of its truly insane reliance on building crappy, 60-story-tall apartment buildings in the middle of nowhere to "concretize" money. China will soon be able to house an extra 3 billion people who don't exist and never will, while the majority of their extant 1.4 billion people already cannot afford to buy an apartment and never will be able to. Talk about a perverse distortion of supply and demand. It is made all the more perverse when "buying" actually means signing a 70-year lease. Private home ownership in China reverts to government ownership after 70 years, so instead of becoming a source of intergenerational wealth, one essentially toils for a lifetime to throw one's wealth into a black (or red) hole. Then again, who needs to own an apartment for more than 70 years if the building was not even meant to last more than 50 years? The videos of the Costco crowd show people in Shanghai, far and away among the wealthiest and most "urbane" in China. They are acting quite mad, all to get some half-off detergent. The key point is that very few of the people who can make it to Costco in Shanghai are anywhere even near poverty, to say nothing of starvation. But madness still ensues even there (*please see below before anybody mentions America's Black Friday stupidity). The same thing happened when an IKEA opened in Shanghai in 2006. I was working at an IKEA in the US, and we were regularly reminded of the impending happy event that was to be the opening of the new Shanghai store. Then there was a stampede on the opening day with multiple deaths, and nobody spoke of it again. If wealthy, well-fed, highly educated Shanghainese people lose their minds for blue light specials, imagine what the mob actions of actually poor, hungry, dispossessed Chinese people is like. The case of a factory boss getting lynched is especially famous, but there are thousands of serious riots around China every year, such as this one that occurred when plans to build a train station in a destitute town were scrapped (I still remember how the photos and videos circulating on WeChat that day before they were scrubbed were far bloodier than what the news article shows, and included children lying bloody and motionless on the street). Whatever may be projected by its billion dollar international "look how happy we all are, future future happy happy rich socialism with Chinese characteristics and facial scanning" international propaganda machine, the CCP is quite terrified of the masses who are arguably much closer to explosion than the citizenry of other countries. Thus do we have widely documented reporting on the close cousin of "ghost cities": "zombie factories." Re: zombie factories, so terrified of mass unemployment is the government that it orders thousands of factories and steel mills kept open running skeleton crews, producing nothing or next-to-nothing, all over China. This is not just something appearing in the western media to slander the poor little CCP. I have seen this affect a company I work for, because they have been offered business way below cost by bosses of Chinese factories who are desperate to be doing anything. The funny/sad thing is that these Chinese bosses play along and keep their money-losing factories open because they can still milk the banks for more money as long as they can show that they are "in business," and for them--just like Trump--more loans is all they really want, because they've figured out that the banks will never recall those loans, because the banks themselves are afraid of reporting to their superiors that they have bad debt, could not get it back if they tried, and would destroy the economy if they started repossessing the assets of debtors. So this cycle continues, and all these industrialists keep getting rich by "gaming the system." As they milk money from China, they remain busy obtaining foreign citizenship for themselves and their children. I kid you not, each time I get to know a "proud Chinese" industrialist well enough to exchange personal details, I find out that the person is actually a French, Canadian, whatever national... or else he or she is asking me for advise on which country's passport they should get and where they should squirrel away their money! Now, of course the US of A has decimated industrial towns, highly oppressed portions of the population, crazy people in line at Walmart (Black Friday fisticuffs are obviously no better than the IKEA stampede), and a segment of the population we should all be afraid of if they ever rise up en masse. The difference is that, relatively speaking, we can have honest conversations about this all over our media, including right here on TDB. Whereas the PR of C just has this schlock and a hundred thousand newspaper editors repeating it under threat of jail, in order to put lipstick on this pig: It is an eerie thing to wander in a concrete canyon at night where only two or three apartments are lit, the storefronts are all empty, and a lone security guard sits in the dark, his face illuminated by the glow of his phone. Such scenes belie the story of the "Chinese dream" just as strongly as a stroll past the Robert Taylor homes in Chicago 20 years ago belied the story of the "American dream." Yet, as truly terrible as so many things indeed are in the US, millions of Americans can and do have their shoulder to the wheel, working together, doing their best to try use solidarity to try and fix this shit. Whereas, in the PRC, if you try and start an NGO or any other sort of organization (including an internet discussion forum) to tackle the problems of society, You will fucking go to jail. "掰掰"
  10. The Chinese Communist Revolution

    Habitually connecting every dot you see to confirm, confirm, and once again re-confirm to yourself that all evidence everywhere proves the story you are already convinced of is a disease of the mind. It is obsession. A paranoiac who believes Mickey Mouse is out to kill him, upon having an explosive shit, will turn his eyes upon the toilet bowl, see a matrix of brown dots, and instantly within them a clear image of Mickey Mouse will appear. That is you. You're a silly boy who plays all day on his Christian phone using Christian Google Image Search and Christian Twitter and Christian electricity to make points that are not points. For fuck's sake, this twit gets a little "I made a smart" mind-boner by telling me about "historical organic toilets from 100 years ago" that I shit in on a regular basis while I'm actually there. Get off your pasty, bepimpled ass and experience the world. Stop playing on the internet all day. Or I will be forced to conclude that, much like the homophobe who secretly craves to know the flavor of penis upon his lips and savor the aftertaste of cum in his throat, you secretly love this techno-Christian internet West where you evidently spend 100% of your time. Fucking lame. Grow up and live instead of peeing the same predictable stream of copy-paste everywhere.
  11. The Chinese Communist Revolution

    Please do!
  12. The Chinese Communist Revolution

    Ah, yes, this. I showed these photos to the logistics expert. Her grandmother--still alive--had bound feet. They are very different. When her grandmother was seven her mother finally decided to bind her feet. Seven. She remembers having her feet be broken and stuffed into the bindings. Incredible pain. The pain followed her for eight years, until she was in her teens, when she prevailed in having them removed. Although I guess the practice was probably officially illegal by then, they were in the countryside, so the practice remained widespread. Even so, social change was moving quickly then, and she managed to get her mother to relent. Now in her 90s, her feet have, of course, never healed. She walks unsteadily and painfully, and her toes are curled underneath the ball of her foot like a fist. If her nails grow too long, they grow into the flesh of her foot, causing agony and infection. Because she walks atop her nails, they are very thick, and cannot be cut by normal means. Even her family members lack the skills and tools to cut her nails, so she has to regularly visit nail cutting experts who specialize in cases like this. No joke. There is a surfeit of TV shows and movies showing "ancient China" right now. Have you ever seen even ONE that shows women hobbling around or unable even to stand, therefore crawling around? No. It is all fantasy, the Chinese equivalent of "tits and dragons." The illegality of facing these slightly-historical abuses in art in China contributes to the inability of the country to face the modern versions of these abuses. The position of women in China remains very low, despite what idealists will say about Mao elevating women's roles. Two examples: Some years ago in Beijing, a Beijingese woman was quite taken with me and kept asking me out. I could feel that we had no real affinity, but she was a nice person and eventually we went for coffee and a walk around the Temple of Heaven Park. She was recently back from graduate school in England and at first we were able to find quite a bit of common ground, each having experiences life in very different cultures. Eventually we began discussing her work, at a big white collar company of some sort in the capital. She told me how the young women who didn't possess Beijing residence permits (“戶口," a most coveted and important document that still determines where one can live, where one's kids can go to school, where one can receive medical care, and more) but wished to keep their jobs all faced a simple dilemma: 1, sleep with the management when told to. 2, lose their jobs, and likely their foothold in the Beijing economy. She explained that those from Beijingese families were pressured to sleep with the management, but would not lose their jobs if they refused to, because the managers could not hold losing the ability to work in Beijing over them, and also because the managers worried that the Beijingese women's families might have "connections" (關係) that could strike back at them. It was a very sad scenario, and I found myself feeling disgusted with the men at her work and the scenario in general. I really felt that she must be deeply indignant about the whole thing, and was surprised when she seemed perplexed by my vexation. I asked her, "don't you think all this needs to change? Aren't you revolted? Don't you wish you could stop them? This isn't far off from rape." She looked at me like I was a bit crazy and offered a monotone response: "Well, look, that's just the way it is, and we're all used to it. Nobody's going to change it, nobody can, so why bother worrying about it?" I lacked any ability to relate to her sentiments, although I now much better understand them. As I illustrated in the above post, choosing to protest anything in China--even things that are actually illegal--is almost a guaranteed way to ruin one's career and even bring ill effects raining down on one's family members. The plight of feminists who handed out stickers with anti-spousal abuse slogans on them is well documented. They continue to be persecuted half a decade after the event, but in fact they didn't commit a crime. Beating one's wife is illegal in China, after all, and they just wanted to remind more men. But their "crime" was showing too much agency, empowerment, and courage. For this, they have been forced to pay dearly, harassed and chased from city to city, their NGOs shuttered. The other example took place in TCM university. A professor, who regularly reminded us that he was the second-highest ranked CCP cadre in our school, one day inexplicably and pervertedly exposed the pubic hair and upper part of the vulva of a woman in our class. He simply pulled her undies down, rubbed her stomach salaciously, and mumbled about how beautiful the skin on her tummy is. As nonchalant as you please. In front of twenty people. We were fucking gobsmacked. In such a situation, you really don't know how to react. After class a number of us remained behind in fury. The victim is a US citizen, but she was born in China and grew up there till she was 14. She knows the society well. She eventually called an end to our impromptu meeting, saying: "Look, I'm furious and I know what I would do if I was in San Fran, but there's nothing I can do here. Who is going to listen to me? Who is here to protect us? He's a high ranking cadre, and it wouldn't even matter if he wasn't. If we want to graduate, there's nothing we can do. So we've just got to forget it." And that was that. Shit, I can go on with the stories. I once chilled with a driver at the company of a liquor magnate I know who had been lured into what amounted to a slave camp on the edges of Beijing. Young, hopeful men and women from all over the countryside answered ads saying this company would train them to act and then get them into the movies. Yeah, right, you say... but kids from the middle of nowhere don't realize what a scam that is. Till it's too late. They were locked in a compound and given menial jobs, their ID cards and phones taken away from them. At any time the women--girls, really--would be taken into back rooms and raped. They were all threatened that if they tried to escape or make contact with the outside world, their families would be harmed and so forth. Eventually the guy figured they didn't have the power to carry forth on their threats, and having once been trained for the Chinese special forces, he worked out a way to climb over the wall with relative ease. He eventually tried to help the others escape. Nobody came with him--they were too afraid. I'm almost reluctant to leave the final anecdote in this post, as it probably seems too far out. But then again, should it? In some prison camps some ICE officers are doing doing the same thing, no? There is widespread sexual slavery all over the US, no? Why not China? And at any rate, when I related that story to Chinese friends of mine in Beijing, none of them thought much of it. "Yep, lotta scams out there, very dangerous for migrant youths from the countryside, have to be careful, pass the ketchup wouldja?" We're a loooooooooonnnnnnnggggg way from utopia over here, chums.
  13. The Chinese Communist Revolution

    Yep. I get a lot wary. Yesterday I was attending a factory audit in China and during our copious downtime I showed this thread to a Chinese colleague who was sent down from Beijing. She works for a government-owned enterprise which is involved in international logistics (i.e., foreign company wants something built in Chinese factories; in exchange for a slice of the pie her company helps them find a reliable factory, manages logistics from the factory to the port in China, and does a bit of QC) but which primarily sells Chinese made military hardware around the world. Last time I visited their office in Beijing they gave me a model of a fighter jet which evidently I could buy if I had slightly more money than was in my bank account last time I checked. I offer her background, because she is no member of the local counterculture. She works for one of those state-owned companies where your boss keeps your passport in a drawer and you need special permission to go on vacation. So I showed her the stuff about wondrous Chinese agriculture and, well, one of her eyebrows went skyward, the other eye squinted, and she snorted. Her reply: "You know all those huge forest fires in Brazil right now? You know has China has imported huge amounts of soy beans and corn from the US for years now, right? Well, thanks to the trade war China has cut way down on its purchases of American agricultural products. Instead, we're turning to Brazil to pick up the slack. Brazil sees big money, so they're slashing and burning like crazy to make room to plant all that corn and soy for the Chinese market." Makes it kinda obvious why a paltry $20 million from Macron wasn't enough to sway Bolsonaro, eh? They see a much bigger payday. Any suggestion that China is self-supporting agriculturally is far from factual. They even import rice from the US. Also, any suggestion that this country is doing anything serious and large scale about pollution due to agriculture is also afactual. Beyond their borders, the modern Chinese thirst for milk has transformed New Zealand agriculture from sheep-based to cattle-based and as a result primarily of cow shit and piss the majority of rivers in NZ are now too toxic to swim in, whilst massive algeal blooms at the deltas of rivers kill off all of the endemic plant and marine animal life. This is not something that the Chinese government is trying to stop. I'm sure there are Chinese people who would like to stop it, but if they try and start NGOs or even personal blogs to complain about this issue, it is bye-bye time. No, seriously, it's bye-bye time. A few years ago there was a documentary about the sources of Chinese air pollution called Under The Dome, which was made with the approval and even encouragement of some people in the government. Nobody expected it to get 500 million views inside of a fortnight, and suddenly the creator--a well-known and beloved woman journalist--became persona non grata. Her career was derailed, all sorts of negative gossip about her personal life flooded over the internet, oh, and most important of all, her magnum opus disappeared from the internet. Well. Of course, people with a soft spot for modern China might still find themselves saying, "but those are isolated incidents," to which I have only to say: come hither. Live here. Learn the language. Spend time with the people. Walk the land. Breathe the air. Breathe the toxins. Make love here. Eat here. Fight here. Spend enough time here so that every cell in your body is Made In China and then, then, let us convene again to continue this conversation. Because there are many interesting conversations to be had about China when you're in China and you're speaking in Chinese with the Chinese. For instance, last night, after our day's work, we had an interesting conversation. I was tired and not in the mood for much back-and-forth, and thankfully everybody present has known me for years and I long ago went from being a curiosity to just "the guy for whom we need to order a few extra veggie dishes," so I spent most of the evening just listening and sipping at my tea, the proverbial fly on the wall, eh. So eventually the conversation--which involved the aforementioned logistics expert and the local factory management--turned to a local man-made island. A few years ago the local government began work on making an island of "reclaimed land" (a silly bit of newspeak, if you ask me) next to the city here so that they could build a massive chemical plant. Believe it or not, locals banded together to protest, and the project was put on hold (good on them!). This was a sleepy little village until recently, when a huge number of horse-horse-tiger-tiger skyscrapers near-ish to the ocean sprung up as a relatively inexpensive retirement and vacation home destination not terribly far from Beijing, Tianjin, and other northern concentrations of wealth. People didn't want their air and views ruined (the water long ago became unswimmable), and for awhile they prevailed. Until this year, when word came down from on-high that there will be a chemical plant, and that is that. Some of the old protesters evidently took to the streets once again, but then the new-fangled facial recognition technology was turned upon them. The police (or whatever you wanna call the people who do this snitchy shit) didn't both to deal with the protesters directly. Instead they contacted everybody's bosses and told them to tell their employees never to have anything to do with the protests ever again, or else face immediate termination. Needless to say, if you lost your job because the CCP told your boss you are not allowed to work, you don't get to find another job. Also needless to say, that chemical plant will be finished soon. Ahhhhhh, China, I once dreamed of you as a land of flowy silken Daoist robes, languid taiji performances atop Holy Mt. Wudang, and long afternoons spend tipping tea in Chengdu teahouses. Oh, what a surprise it has been to get to know you so well. Again I must emphasize, I was not sitting at a dinner with a bunch of curmudgeonly malcontents in the Beijing punk scene or Great Firewall-hopping college students sympathetic with the HK protests or intelligentsia struggling to readjust to totalitarianism after being overseas in free(r) countries for five years to get PhDs. I was sitting with a bunch of factory managers who've barely been out of their province, have zero kind words to say about the desire for freedom and democracy in HK, think that Taiwan should be invaded, and included this in the very same conversation: Manager: Are you a member of the Party? Logistics expert from BJ: Me? No. Manager: I'm getting ready to join. Got to join. Logistics: Oh yeah, why? Manager: Well, you know what they say, can't get ahead without joining the Party. Won't be easy for my kids if it's seen that their dad made it this far along in his career and didn't join the party. Logistics: Oh, I see. Manager: Even worse if you leave the Party. They say that if you leave the Party, your offspring can't get good jobs for three generations, government sees to it. Logistics: Huh? Really? People leave the Party? Manager: Oh, yeah. Me: Wait, who leaves the party? Manager: Oh, well, you know after Falun Gong a lot of people resigned from the Party. They're screwed now. Everybody's backgrounds are being closely checked these days. Really closely scrutinized. Best to be in the Party. Again, ain't no hippies at the dinners I'm having out here. As for some of those lovely photos and fascinating agricultural techniques in that Quora piece on "what's really going on in China," I don't doubt that some of that is real. But saying that it's what's "really going on" is about as realistic as lifting up a photo essay about permaculture farms in the US and acting as though that represents what's "really going on" with agriculture in the US. Sure, that stuff is there. No, it is not mainstream. No, WWOOFers are not a counterweight to monoculture, GMO, petrochemical US farming. Additionally, as my logistics expert colleague pointed out when I discussed the piece with her, not all of that stuff is eco-friendly whatsoever. For example, we have known for a long time here that all that seafood farming you see pictured is terrible for the environment. Those seafood farms are absolutely doused in antibiotics and chemical designed to promote fast growth, so much so that even produce grown near such farms ends up laden with these pharmaceutical products. This is a major, widespread concern--Chinese confidence in the safety of their own foods is extremely low. Everybody (I don't say that hyperbolically--I simply mean anybody who is not insane) takes it as a given that the oil you eat contains a high proportion of oil skimmed from the tops of sewerage flow; that the meat is chock-full of chemicals and medicines; that the produce is slathered in huge amounts of pesticides; and that genetic engineering is widespread and unregulated. Thus, this is the country that has already got scientists genetically engineering human babies. Thus, all of my Chinese friends who have the means to do so establish personal relationships with farmers who reserve a small plot of their land for growing foods without any chemicals, which they then sell on the grey market to people they know personally, whereas everything else that's sold on the open market is the same old chemical soup you probably have in every other industrialized nation. Finally, those amazing plastic greenhouses that allow seven harvests per year? First of all, I mean, let's not gush too much here, Quora guy. Those are just greenhouses, not exactly a new technology. Second of all, they are well known here and people constantly complain about how all of the off-season, artificially ripened, grown-extra-quickly-with-pharmaceuticals foods there are both tasteless and contaminated. The low level of faith that the PRC citizenry has in its nation's own products is a major part of the reason for the HK protests. Many Hong Kongers have taken to the streets in rage because PRC traders come into HK--which has actual rule of law instead of total corruption and a law that is wielded as a tool of oppression--come into town and buy up all the local, safe(r) food products and medicines and then ship it into Shenzhen, where it can be resold to wealthy Chinese people who do not trust local products at huge markup. This leaves local Hong Kongers with empty shelves, and a lot of anger. But you can't blame the PRC Chinese for not trusting the local drugs and foods. Remember the fake rabies and other vaccine scandal that rocked China this year? Or was it last year? I seriously don't remember. Just as you can't keep track of mass shootings in the US, you cannot keep track of tainted food/drug scandals in China. I want to finish this star-in-eye-removing post by copying and pasting something relevant that came into my inbox this morning. It is written by the wife of a human rights lawyer in China who has been detained for four years. To punish the lawyer, his son has been banned from attending first grade. Remember what I said above about protesters against the chemical plant being punished by having their bosses be told by the CCP to fire them? Remember what the factory manager said about about needing to join the Party for one's offspring's sake? Here you see it written firsthand, by a victim: The uber-narrative of the glorious Middle Kingdom is a beautiful one, all the more because there is some truth to bits and pieces of it, and one can gain much from those truths if one is lucky enough to pick the diamonds from the shards of glass. The CCP knows the power and allure of this illusion, and spends hundreds of millions of dollars to promotes, surf atop, and hide behind this narrative. It blows the smoke of this opiate into its own people's ears, and into the ears of people around the globe. This propagandizing serves them very well, and I expect the volume will be turned up yet again as the next Olympics draws nearer. Losing the China of one's misty-eyed dreams isn't fun--I say this because I've been through the process myself (seriously, ain't too many people who took deeper draughts of the Kool-Aid than I did), and I've seen many others, foreign and Chinese go through the unpleasant process of Middle Kingdom "I came to seek the Dao and all I got was brown lung and a useless education at a shitty TCM school and even more useless martial arts training on Holy Mount Dampbutt" disillusionment. It's tough, but it is an important process. So I'ma keep these reports from the ground coming. Because, imo, it's better off for seekers who might end up going to the PRC or studying with teachers from the PRC (where Dao-frauds are as abundant as they are in the US, but where they manifest a slightly different set of bamboozling techniques that all make heavy use of the uber-narrative) to read this first. The ones who are champing at the bit to go won't be stopped from buying plane tickets or signing up for overpriced seminars from fake Daoists, nor should they be. But if they remember that once, somewhere on some dusty corner of the internet warned them, they might--just might--pull out before they get in too deep with some bullshit. Who knows. Anyway, if anybody doesn't believe what I'm saying... ... you can always go live in China for five years and then holler at me. There are a million bunk beds at Shaolin just waiting for warm bodies. Enjoy your adventure.
  14. That laughter transmitted itself all of the way down the chain. That's not at all insignificant.
  15. Celibacy, and also MCO

    Hi Freeform, I am impressed with your knowledge, practice, and willingness to painstakingly explain things, but I cannot help but feel that you are offering a view of celibacy that does not reflect all of the things I observed and was taught while learning TCM (both in the universities and with doctors), the things many Daoists I highly respect have taught me (including but not limited to three teachers who are all on branches very distal to one another on the Longmen tree, and whose practices also differ greatly from one another), the things internal martial artists I respect have taught me, and my own personal experience. While I have never met a sensible Daoist, internal martial artist, or TCM doctor who denies reality (by which I mean to say, the reality that men--especially young men raging with hormones--sometimes simply need to ejaculate just to bloody be able to get to sleep, to say nothing of avoiding psychosis, qi deviation, or perversion), I have never heard any mention of what you are saying about the increase of energy followed by later damage to the kidney qi. I do not say this because I think you are wrong, but because I think there are other perspectives out there that may be valid to people engaged in different types of practices, people with different body types, people with different levels of sexual desire (it is worth remembering that some people assert that they feel little to no desire whatsoever and are quite healthy... the human body-mind is so variable that, for instance, there are women who never menstruate but can conceive healthy children, so I generally think it is very wise to avoid any "one-size-fits-all" teaching), people with different levels of 德, people whose meridians and organs are more or less 通, people whose diets are loaded with natural aphrodisiac foodstuffs versus those whose diets are extremely bland, sleep habits, season of the year, etc. Additionally, from what I gather you follow a very heavy, physical, youwei practice regimen, or at least a system where the foundation is laid in this way (forgive me if my interpretation is incorrect). Perhaps forcing celibacy upon oneself is especially dangerous for those using the practices you speak of. To be certain, I have heard that the lay Wudang Dragon Gate master 裴錫榮, for instance, taught his young male disciples a 精 generating physical method that could easily leave them highly aroused later in the day. Though I never met Master Pei, I know two of his disciples well, and neither would have a young man who cannot circulate the jing drive himself to the edge by attempting to avoid ejaculation at all costs if physical methods were causing too much sexual energy to build up. Nevertheless, there are also threads of Daoist practice which seem to be much more wuwei than what you often describe here, even at relatively early levels of practice, and it is common enough that as the body opens up energetically, the mind becomes increasingly tranquil, and the qi of the organs and meridians circulates of its own accord then sexual desire can drop markedly and the strong need to release, even in young males, may diminish notably. This can happen naturally and effortlessly. My observation is that, generally speaking, when changes occur in a wuwei manner, the chances of problems occurring are not very high (btw, I do not think that what the the OP describes has anything to do with such reactions to Daoist practice, and I think that generally speaking the cautions you've offered him are important to heed, most especially with regards Chia and his followers). I have also encountered methods of simple daoyin (you can find one on Google by searching for a video 瞬間强腎法) as well as more complex internal qi moving (運氣) which can be used to either boost kidney qi (strong kidney yang naturally holds jing in) or redistribute it in the body. Personally I have plenty of experience with both the wuwei and youwei sides of this coin, and while I do not seek to hold myself to any ironclad regime of ejaculation avoidance, I have gone many periods wayyyy past half a week without an orgasm since my mid-twenties without having to wear any bizarre Victorian anti-erection spike undies (aside: evidently that was a real thing), without destroying my reproductive organs, without turning into a pedophile, without developing any form of qigong psychosis, without ruining my energy levels, and so forth. Again, I wish to emphasize that I do not think that Freeform is wrong, nor do I think that my way is right--after all, I am no 仙人, so these are just notes that I hope will be taken with a goodly amount of salt and definitely not taken as gospel. That said, my study and experience is enough that I cannot read this thread without begging to differ. To the OP: you have offered a running critique of other people's posting styles in this thread. Are you yourself open to critique? If not, why not?