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Everything posted by thelerner

  1. For people more knowledgeable then me. Any religious Daoist practices that would benefit other cultivators? I don't see others creating things like altars. A major part of religious Daoism. I should probably re-read Brock Silvers book "Manual of..Daism' (I forget the actual tittle).. which broke down many parts of the religion. Including the practices done, before the practices inorder to get you into the proper state of mind/body/worthiness.
  2. Spring cleaning

    What's a good spring practice? Spiritually- meditative.. Lifewise? How should honor the new season in our life? Particularly this one of growth and renewal? Probably spring cleaning is a good start. Clean and simplify aspects of our physical dwelling. Might be a good time to do a fast too.
  3. How does your Garden Grow

    I was very disappointed to learn that the Whole Foods which was my source for coffee grounds has stopped giving them away. Awful since they were organic and had filters in them which were good for the soil and holding in water. Hopefully I'll find another source. Covering my gardens in coffee grounds and dried leaves over winter has been my secret. This year I want to trellis 'tall'. I'm thinking of 6 foot poles, maybe pvc pipe for my tomatoes which are mostly grape type. So instead of the usual 3 or 4 foot 'cage' I'll train them to grow tall. Two other things, once plants are established, I want to put good mulch down, and I want to remove the sprinkle end from my watering hose and water plants low and at their base. Not sprinkled from above. I'm thinking this will use less water and create less weeds. I'll do my usual gaspacho garden of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Maybe try Brussel sprouts this year. Maybe do a small garbage can full of potatoes. I had a video which showed an easy way to grow'em and continually harvest them. Its in my PPD, I should try it this year. Nothing like fresh taters. You guys, any gardening plans?
  4. Financial tips for the bums

    Owning a good dividend stock can be amazing, especially if you can re-invest the dividends. It takes awhile to get going but when it does there's a double compounding affect when dividends grow. Like any other kind of investment, perhaps more so its important to try to keep dividend portfolios diversified. Which can be hard, often a REIT, Oil or pipeline dividends shine and its easy to purchase many of the same sector and when the shine is off they'll move down in unison. So, diversify, its the free lunch of investing. The biggest disaster in dividend investing is going for a high dividend and seeing it chopped and the price sunk. Keep an eye on the firm. The movement of quarterly profits and liabilities. The realities of its business and sector. In a good firm, you can ignore a bad quarter or two, and a down price means you'll get more shares when dividends roll around, but consistently bad quarters, fundamental changes to the business.. then don't be afraid to walk away. You can sell 1/4 of the shares, just to be safe, buy'em back later if the business is doing better. Having cash on the side is not a dirty word. Investing isn't a binary game of all in or all out. You can build positions and trim them. You want to be able to sleep at night. Some of the best dividend stocks are the stealth ones. They don't seem like it, because of low payout, but they're brilliant because they've been raising the dividend rapidly, but its hidden because the price has gone up. Looking at a stock in say the Yahoo finance, I'll put on the screen, switch to 5 year length, then under {events} hit dividends, which will show each dividend payment. Scroll along the bottom and see how the dividend has grown. In five years is up 25, 50% or doubled? Take for example Home Depot. Not a big dividend (forward 2.95% not bad) but on 3/11/14 it paid 47 cents for the quarter by 3/13/19 it was up to $1.36, 3 1/2 times more. A comforting metric for dividend investors is Return on original money. With a stock like HD you're earning over 7% on your original money 5 years later, but wait, its much more then that because you have many more shares if you've been able to reinvest, you're earning over 10%. Fantastic and that's not mentioning that the stock has over doubled in price. Even if it hadn't that 10+% is fantastic. If the stock price and dividend never change in 7 years you'll be earning 20% on your original investment. Money coming in every quarter. The danger is we fall in love with a stock and when the situations change we keep it too long, against logic. Dividend stocks I have, which may or may not be great today because I chose them years ago are- HD, OKE, GLOP, DNP, MPW, O, ABBV, OHI.. Index funds are a smart part of any portfolio, or should be considered a separate portfolio.. things like DIA, SPY, QQQ.. nice thing about them is A, they tend to beat the market most of the time, B you can write covered calls against them but these days when I play that game, its only go against a 1/3 of them.. just for pocket change and no worries if they get called away. addon> Dividend Sensei is a a solid writer imo. Best overall financial writer for explaining the market, its movement and behavioral forces is Michael Batnick
  5. Long men pai nei gong and mo pai

    It's presented a bit bizarrely, and is one mans creation but from my limited reading, watching and correspondence I'd put LMP into an area like KAP, a very talented person creating a synthesis, a distilling of many energetic systems and traditions into something that draws from tradition, but without the trappings. SoG may look like he comes from a Mad Max movie, but the man has the mind of a scholar. He knows his stuff. I haven't been in contact with him for years, but he seemed to be a person of integrity who walked the walk. If you're looking for power, high energy route, this kind of 'Jeet Kun Do' of the energetics world could be worth a try (not my cup of tea). For that matter so could KAP, but I get the feeling that KAP is a less manic style of training.

    Strange stuff. I've read similar stories about transplants, but none that dramatic. I wonder if the mechanism involved goes into the psychic, ethereal realm? If so, could it be involved in the phenomena of when young children remember past lives. No physical organ transplant, yet memories are relayed..
  7. Polyvagal theory and tao

    I've wondered how you keep your cool
  8. anyone else gets this?

    Breath happens unawares, until we think about it. Which breaks the rhythm a bit, but not biggie. Bidden or not, breath happens. Nothing to worry about, I've found the benefit of practicing long breath cycles, 30, 45, 60 seconds, is one, it calms the mind nicely. Two it tends to make your normal breath cycle a bit longer. In Ki-Aikido we'd practice a long 60 second breath cycle; clap breath in slowly, clap breath out.. These days I like yogic patterns that are 1-4-2, like breath in 8 seconds, hold for 32, breath out (I humm out) for 16, repeat.
  9. Polyvagal theory and tao

    I don't know who created it, but many of Robert Monroe's beginning hemi-sync audio's he starts off saying 'listen to the right ear, a solid tone. Now listen to your left ear another slightly different solid tone. Now when we play them together, you'll hear (I forget his word) a rhythm, a staccato beat' as your brain creates a dissonance. A few hypnotists use a similar sonic device these days.
  10. This is what drinking is for. Not to get drunk, or get into anyones pants, rather to share a few drinks inorder to lower inhibitions and talk about feelings, attractions, hopes and the future. Hopefully in a less guarded and positive way that is harder to do when totally sober, ie a social lubricant that has been used to cut through social posturing since forever.
  11. taoist books on working with the mind ?

    I agree with this in the middle stages, but early on books inspire, give insight into what you don't know, you don't know. We can learn which path to follow but a book don't do the walking. Gerard is also right that we only get better from practice, lots of it. We Westerners tend to get way too head heavy, I know I did. Too much reading and theory and too little practice. Its an easy trap to fall into.
  12. Polyvagal theory and tao

    I don't know anything about polyvagal theory, but I did go through both Wim Hof programs. As far as I recall, no visualizations in it. Wim Hof had a very physical philosophy ie not much talk of chi, prana or channels. The vitality and progress came from the doing.. breathing, cold showers, cold conditioning, yogic exercises, horse stance.. FWIW we have a couple of good threads on Wim Hof here on the bums. I did a write up of my experience with it:-
  13. Yeah, singing can be uniquely uplifting. When I'm blue, I'll sing tunes from Godspell; Day by Day, Light of the World, Bless the Lord. Or from Rocky Horror Picture Show. We all have to find our own songs. Hopefully like a guitar or any instrument, you listen, you sing, you get back in tune.
  14. The internet is littered with self help advice. At the risk of adding more dreck to it, I'd say concentrate on one thing at a time. Sleep is important and sleep preparation starts in the evening. Stopping the news and internet. Doing something boring, maybe some sips of an night time herbal tea or pill like ZMA.. look into it, spend time, and get sleep right. Then healthy breakfast. Then a To-do list with 2 or 3 musts, relatively easy ones that you should accomplish. I'd also say, let go the past. Unless you've got a time machine, stop blaming and thinking about it. Every month, every day is a chance to begin fresh. Go forward. We all fall somewhere between best and worst. It doesn't matter. What matters is (cliche alert) doing your best (addon eh screw that, what matters is showing up and putting in honest effort). Start easy, measure, make progress.. continue.. get back up when you fall down..thats how we do better in life. Not a hard formula.
  15. Basic questions

    Definitely worth $5, probably 3 or 4 times that, but $56 seems steep. Hopefully they'll have another printing and the price will go down. The internet knows all, if you ask the right questions.
  16. Law

    What I got from the article is that the author is against the proposal, ie saying the provisions have nothing to do with gigong. Seems like a wise position to me. As windwalker points out, double edged sword, but hopefully in time, the charlatans lose out and the good stuff is acknowledged and rises to the top. Maybe government really needs is to warn people against bad practices. My business like all others was required to have posters stating employees rights. I could see a compromise of having to have a poster onsite with warnings, ones made up by good practitioners that might warn people against the dangerous or abusive practices, or at least having a link to internet site that discussed good practices from dangerous ones. Made by practitioners and not government people. maybe..
  17. Lately I'm digging going in the other direction. ie following a very experienced teacher's instructions, and they're very minimalist. No philosophy, history or explanations; pretty much sit and do. Is it yang this, or yan that.. inconsequential (for this practice) if its real, and I practice diligently results will follow. What they are, I don't know and that's okay. No schedule, nothing complicated, sitting and doing, working with awareness on the 3 dantiens and a downward flow. Which is good for me, cause I'm a KISS kind of guy.
  18. good sleep journal

    Sometimes we look for the exotic and spiritual when the answer is seasonal, ie allergies. I like to check the newspapers or some weather sites and see what allergens pollen, mold, particulates etc., are running high. For me, mold, which can hit just as hard in the winter, due to tramping snow in, can be a troublesome.
  19. What do you sleep on?

    nope, just finding 6 books and putting them stacked in 3's under the head of the bed. Couldn't be simpler. I did it to relieve nose congestion and help with any acid reflux problems. Not a powerful solution, but its so easy to implement that it seems like a no brainer. Except for my wife who doesn't like the look, thus for our new bed I need to find a commercial solution, which I'm sure is out there. Pilgrim> Recently I decided to do something about all my lucid dreaming and started learning about The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep from TWR I purchased the Kindle version and the audiobook for when I am driving. They are perfect companion pieces as we already have the paperback book. me> I think I have that book. I have a bunch of books on Lucid Dreaming with limited success. When I work on it, which is for a few months every other year, it tends to make my insomnia worse. An interesting project I had here was group Lucid Dreaming using Lillian Edens guided meditation on Shared Dreaming. Again not great results, but I think the weakest link in the small group was me. There's write up thread on it in my PPD.
  20. Basic questions

    Author is Brock Silvers. Who was a neighbor of mine growing up. I think he became the real thing. Learned Chinese, headed to the monasteries to learn and fix them up, protect them. Along the way I think he became a true Daoist, I believe. The book has more then its share of scorn for philosophical Taoists and wannabees (which I am). The physical book is expensive, but the kindle version for $5. The Kindle app is free on iphone and androids. You can adjust font size, and I find its nice to have books on my phone. One never gets bored. Also I've learned that I can set up my Amazon Echo smart speaker to read Kindle books for free, if you don't mind them being read in the Alexa voice, ie not professionally.
  21. Working on Archetypes in 2019

    I failed big time trying to embody the Warrior. Maybe the mind was willing and the body.. actually I guess the mind wasn't willing. I didn't do well with it. At one point my younger self would have done okay, but these days, its not in my cards. Still, if I got in shape, that'd be a leap forward. Speaking of which. Today I bravely took a Kettlebell class at my health club. Instead of strength it was mostly aerobics. Warm ups were 120 squats, with a light kettlebell, then it got harder. Doing reps of 8 or 12 did not prepare me for such. I was the only man, and only 50 year old in the class. I finished, but not gracefully but without quitting or throwing up, a victory of sorts. Not only was my shirt soaked, so were my socks. I should probably pick out another archetype to fail at. Hmnn, maybe the Lover..
  22. Archetypes are powerful. I was reading an article on them and thought consciously working on one and it's corresponding shadows. Maybe each month taking time daily to meditate on the archetype and how it affect my persona and actions. Perhaps specific exercises to flesh it out. Anyway here's a piece of the article: by Harry J. Stead "... Moore named the archetypes of the masculine the Warrior, the Magician, the Lover and the King. These archetypes surface in mythology, folklore and, in modern times, film productions. Most people nowadays will be able to recognize these characters in their favourite novels and movies. It is the instinct of the film industry to appeal to modern audiences by resonating with their primordial nature. These archetypes exist within each man, but some of them will resonate more than others according to the expression of the soul. Now, the purpose of the Warrior is to create and support stability. The Warrior uses his energy to face threats of violence from outside and threats of chaos from within. He must calm his own internal kingdom before he can face the predators that prowl outside. And with a calm mind, he is able to act without hesitation or fear and maintain composure even as he stands under a barrage of missiles. It is his aggressiveness, his will to action, his mental alertness and strong stature that allows him to become the protector of his community. The Magician within drives us to understand hidden knowledge and truth. The Magician is grounded and present; he draws energy from his body rather than the commotion of his mind, allowing his senses to enjoy the natural flow of the world. He is deeply in tune with his intuition and is sensitive to his surroundings. He notices the vibrations of people’s thoughts and feels the change in their emotions. The Magician was known in ancient times as the mystic, sage or alchemist — people who could channel special knowledge or talent for the good of the people. The Lover is the archetype of emotion, feeling, idealism, and sensuality. His heart is open to the spirit of the world and he seeks to experience as many dimensions of life as possible, as often as possible. The Lover attunes himself to the mysterious forces underlying our everyday existence. This is the archetype that fuels a man’s spirituality, and the one in which the energy of love resides. Those flashes of inspiration or sparks of creativity we feel within ourselves, this is the Lover’s energy displaying itself in our lives. It is the Lover that encourages men to relax into their emotions, to feel the spontaneous eruptions that are happening in their body. A man in tune with his Lover will allow himself to feel happiness and pain, to fall in love and pursue boundless freedom without limitations or fear. This is, according to Moore, the most repressed archetype in the West. A man who accesses the King archetype in its fullness will also have access to the Warrior, Magician, and Lover archetypes. The King is a balance of the other archetypes; he directs and orders these images so that he can become a divine channel of goodness to those around him. He is grounded and decisive, he lives with integrity, he provides order, he protects his realm, he inspires creativity in others, as the feminine does also, and he blesses the lives of all who have known him. The seat of the King is the heart. He is a servant to his people, but he does not serve the people’s selfish and foolish needs or their will, rather he serves a higher purpose. It is God who places the King onto the throne. And so, the King serves as the divine messenger and the earthly commander of God’s true spoken words. The purpose of Kingship, then, is to elevate the other archetypes to maturity and fullness. It is this divine purpose that allows him to master and intertwine the four corners of masculinity. But without the energy of the King, the other three columns become weak and brittle: “In the absence of The King, the Warrior becomes a mercenary, the Magician becomes a sophist (able to argue any position and believing in none), and the Lover becomes an addict.” ― Robert Moore, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine Notice also that there is a significant element of femininity within the King energy. Look at any depiction of Kingship, most notably Jesus Christ and Buddha, and see how they seem ambiguous in relation to their gender. Why do these men look like women? The most consistent ideal within the mythologies is the balance of the masculine and the feminine, of the mind and the body, of consciousness and emotion — the wholeness of the universe itself. And this ideal demonstrates itself in the image of the ancient King. For the King is he who maintains an aggressive tenderness, a humble intelligence, and a calm passion — he is the middle way between the excesses. This image of the King is remarkably similar across most cultures, both past and present. The kings of the Anglo-Saxons, the Persians, and the Indians were all presented as battle-hardened soldiers and creative masters with the destructive might of nature, but they were also viewed as high priests with divine ancestry and nurturers of their people. These are the characteristics of a king in his fullness, one who has danced with the four poles of masculine essence. Unfortunately, men today are indulging in the shadows of these archetypes. And so, the word ‘toxic’ has been attributed to masculinity. But if the world is poisoned, it is no surprise that men have become poisoned also. It is not masculinity that is toxic. Rather, it is the shadow expression of masculinity that is toxic. Brutalized children, born from cruel or absent parents, who are not taught how to deal with the conflict between their unconscious and their emerging conscious will become, in one way or another, brutal adults. These ill-treated children will grow to be, as Moore writes, fundamentally insecure. They will not be able to maturely express their masculinity and will never outgrow the self-centered and egoistic impulses of the child, remaining a prey for the shadows of the soul— for they are merely boys pretending to be men. One who identifies himself excessively with the Lover will become an addicted Lover. He will be a clingy, co-dependent partner who constantly seeks validation or attention — his body may even roll forward slightly, almost as if he is reaching out for his mother. This man has not integrated the fullness of the Warrior, the strength to pursue his purpose, into his character. Alternatively, a man who is out of touch with the Lover will be an impotent Lover, one who is never able to enjoy the dance with the feminine. He is without the ability to feel emotions of any kind. This man is too restricted and tense, his face may show signs of strain — the constant heavy pursuit of his occupation has worn him down. The shadow excess of the Magician is the detached manipulator. They will use their intuition and intellect for evil, rather than for the general good of inspiration and education. This shadow type is particularly destructive when involved in romantic relationships since the man or woman, usually a man, will try to control the other using all kinds of schemes and tricks. But it also shows up in high-pressure jobs such as bankers or politicians where competition is tough. On the other hand, people who deny the Magician within them are either those who think they know everything or those who pretend not to understand anything at all. The first is suppressing the Magician because of insecurity. Whereas the second betrays the Magician so that he can fit in with the culture around him. A man too involved with his Warrior closes himself from the warmth of beauty and love. He thinks only with logic and theory, starving himself of the experience of nature. Here, the Lover has been repressed. Alternatively, without the Warrior, man is powerless. He becomes too attached to his vulnerability and refuses to assert himself into the world. This man has lost himself in the expectations and wishes of others. He does not know how to stand firm for what he truly wants. And lastly, one who indulges in the King becomes a tyrant. For a tyrant is he who seeks to impose his will against everything that confronts him. The world may appear to him as an eternal threat and so, he will constantly be on guard against oncoming chaos, even if there is no cause or reason. If a man stifles the King within him, he will refuse to take control of his life, he will never ground himself to the present moment, nor will he embrace his true gifts and knowledge. Other people will be able to see his insincerity; they see his immense potential, they see his power, but they also see how he cowers behind others and never accepts responsibility for his purpose. Moore believed that both shadows, excess and denial, coordinate with each other. It is rare that a man is ruled by one and not the other. One who identifies too strongly with the archetype is always overcompensating for a weakness in himself that he has repressed. However, those who deny the energy usually have immense quantities of it within them that they refuse to admit. Underneath every blustering tyrant is a scared Weakling. And underneath every trembling weakling is a tyrant waiting to erupt in violence.
  23. What do you sleep on?

    I like Pine Pollen tincture from The Rural Apothecary, Its a nice mens tonic. For free shipping I ordered it and there California Poppy tincture. It has no opioids, but is said to be muscle relaxant, good for sleep and general mood improvement. Took a dropper and half last night. Can't report anything out of the ordinary. I did sleep well, but that does happen on its own, at least occasionally. I worked out hard yesterday and I'm not sore, maybe it helped there?
  24. Juggling, even the simple 3 ball pattern, tends to put me into a trance state, ie the concentration and repetition keeps extraneous thoughts away. There are some weapon katas, staff and bokken, that can be looped. Done for 20, 30 minutes + they also tend to put you into a trance state.
  25. Basic questions

    So many questions. For good deeper answers I'd recommend this book. It does a good job answering questions on Taoism in terms of a religion, getting much deeper then so many 'pop' books that are on philosophy or techniques, which are by necessity watered down. This book has solid information and the kindle version is just $5