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About steve

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  1. Where are the Taoist Sages?

    The Daoist sages are in our heads - they are our expectations, our projections, and our interpretation of the classics. The sages are in our hearts - they are our own untapped potential, our direct connection to the Truth and the Way, they are the opportunity presented in every challenge we face. They are in our future to whatever degree we are able to manifest their qualities in our lives.
  2. What are you listening to?

    Jake Shumabukuro
  3. Samsara

    What can leave the Self? What can return?
  4. Samsara

    PS - When I refer to integration, it is integration of the meditative experience, the experience of non-duality if you will, beyond the cushion and into every possible waking, dreaming, sleeping, and dying moment. The self disintegrates and the Self is integrated into all experience. In that sense, there is no disintegration, there is total integration through the end of life (?and beyond?). Just wanted to clarify what I am referring to by integration. In my usage of the word, disintegration would be reverting to the relative experience of duality. PSS - Dwai, I am not at all alarmed by the concept of Atman. The distinction between Self and Empty of Self is, in my view, more theoretical than practical. We practice skillfully and hopefully are blessed with experience of the non-dual nature of existence. We then stabilize that experience over time and eventually integrate it into our lives as thoroughly as possible. Whether the nature of that experience is labeled a permanent, inherently existent Self or Space/Clarity/Bliss with no definable inherent and independent existence, has little impact on the experience IMO. It is more a matter of ontology which is a byproduct of the intellect. I am in the Madhyamaka camp philosophically but am comfortable equating Self and Emptiness/Clarity/Bliss for discussion purposes. What I was concerned with was not the nature of Self but rather the one who is doing the holding on to Self. Reinforcing that one perpetuates duality and using terms like hold on to Self tends to push me in that direction if I am the practitioner following the guru's direction. I hope I'm being clear, not sure that I was earlier.
  5. Samsara

    This is the basis of dream yoga practices.
  6. Samsara

    Agreed, than you for adding that. There's no other way really, tradition notwithstanding. That is precisely why the "holding on" reference is not as supportive for me personally. Not a big deal, just caught my attention.
  7. Samsara

    Thank you for clarifying. If he is referring to the Self holding on to the Self, I understand and can connect somewhat with that image. Too often the admonition to hold on to something results in the self doing the holding... That was my concern. Nevertheless, from my personal meditative experience and practice, it is far more an action of letting go than of holding on. There is no need for the Self to hold on to what it already is, and there is no value in the self trying to hold on to something it is not, for me it is more a process of remembering to let go. In that letting go, the Self arises spontaneously, effortlessly, and there is no need for it to hold on to anything.
  8. Samsara

    Just looking at this thread, I hope it's OK to comment on the OP. For me, that "ever holding on to Self" is really a letting go of self. The "holding on to" has too much connotation of attachment. The one who is holding on is precisely the obstacle so to hold on to Self is a bit of a misnomer from a practical point of view, at least in the way I approach meditation and integration. I don't say this to imply that Sri Muruganar is wrong but I think the use of language can be misleading. I understand what he is pointing to but have some discomfort with the choice of words.
  9. I agree with you. Spirituality is poetry, life is poetry. The Daodejing is many things to many people. Even though it was written 2000 years ago it is still very much alive and flexible. I think that is in part due to the Chinese language and in part due to the wisdom of the writings. Most importantly it is because we come to it with all of our conditioning, experience, questions, desires, fears, and we each derive our own unique interpretation and expression of the simple yet profound truths it offers.
  10. Daoist Altar

    My only comment is that the most important thing about a shrine is that it supports your practice. It's beautiful, thank you for sharing.
  11. He often teaches in Europe and other Bönpo masters are in Europe. It seems they sometimes teach similar topics in a timely fashion. If I see anything come up in Europe, I'll post here.
  12. Buddha and Shen

    I think "perfected" is a good word to use and I also think you are on the right track. Here is a discussion of shen that i think is worth reading: In the tradition I follow, Yungdrung Bön, the qualities of enlightenment are often referred to as "perfected" qualities. Those qualities are always already present but are obscured by internal and external factors. The practices we focus on are designed to remove all obstacles to spontaneous, effortless, and pure expression of those perfected qualities. Similarly, shen is related to the human experience and expression of the divine as mentioned above (from the Chinese perspective, not the Abrahamic one). Daoist practices that lead to the cultivation and expression of shen are practices that remove external and internal obstacles and allow shen to manifest without impediment = wu wei. From my perspective, the perspective of a practitioner only - not a scholar or philosopher, there is a profound similarity between the Dzogchen view and the Daoist view.
  13. Don't know where you're located but Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is offering a retreat in Virginia on Tummo this summer.
  14. Standing spontaneous qigong

    That's a 7 year old link... Zhan zhuang is very powerful but there are no short cuts. If you practice skillful standing, many things will arise including spontaneous movement. The key is to fully engage with the standing and connecting mind and body. If we get focused on waiting for things to happen, nothing will happen but disappointment. It may takes years of practice for deeper experiences to occur.
  15. Prostration Assistance

    Prostrations are generally considered to be working at the levels of body, speech, and mind simultaneously. The theory is that we prostrate in order to tame the ego, to put it in its proper place. Generally speaking, "ego" is the source of all of our problems because we over-identify with it - we take it to be who we are. That is fundamental ignorance, that is what we are looking to transcend, to see for what it really is. I think each tradition would say that its approach is preferable and efficacious. Don't overthink it, just find a method and start practicing. You may eventually want to connect with a live teacher or sangha, then you can easily adapt. There are 3 aspects - 1 Body - the physical action 2 Speech - the recitation, most traditions practice some sort of refuge prayer during prostration but any sort of supportive and pure expression of devotion, gratitude, requesting blessings, or mantra is fine. 3 Mind - it is easy for the mind to wander as we prostrate, even during a recitation or mantra. The mind must also be open, connected, alert, undistracted and fully engaged. Most traditions, I suspect, also incorporate a visualization during the practice that helps to engage the mind. Bottom line, if you can perform prostrations with no distraction, fully engaged, fully connected to the present moment, nothing else is really needed. If you are interested in a description of the visualization in the tradition I follow, let me know and I'll share but I don't have the time right now. Good luck in your practice! _/\_