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Everything posted by steve

  1. Dark chocolate question?
  2. Dark chocolate question?

    "Specially enriched" most likely refers to flavanol-rich. The cardiovascular benefits of chocolate seem to be related to flavanol which is more concentrated in chocolate with 70% or more cocoa. Multiple studies have shown a variety of health benefits of consuming dark chocolate and cocoa. Hopkins published a study in 2006 showing a heart-protective effect due to anticoagulation. Google scholar is a good way to search for studies from peer-reviewed journals on the topic. Here is an interesting study on the effects of flavanols or brain function -
  3. Or perhaps we could say it’s all and nothing. No paradox exists other than in us. George got that!
  4. Daoist Staff Work...?

    Taijiquan, xingyiquan, and baguazhang all include training in staff or spear. Here is an example of xingyiquan -
  5. Haiku Chain

    perfect seasoning. Baltimore’s famous Old Bay, lots of paprika!
  6. Tien Shan Pai in the US is a northern long fist style, not from Hong Kong and not related to Master Yeung Fook. It includes both external and internal martial training as well as qigong and Daoist meditation.
  7. Moderator note - Please return to discussing the subject matter at hand. The mod team would like to keep this thread open if people want to discuss qigong, neigong, and related matters. We appreciate your cooperation.
  8. You weren’t supposed to reveal the true reason! 🤫
  9. Moderator message - Steve Gray's post via Cleansox has been hidden. He was banned for threats of violence and a pattern of verbal abuse, that includes posting by proxy. I've asked once that we not revisit this old conflict as most of us have moved on. If you all want to discuss his qigong, feel free. Otherwise, please let it go. Posting messages from banned members is not a great idea, particularly when the relayed message includes threats of violence. Please refrain from this. Thanks
  10. The last Jalus in a Bönpo was Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen in 1934. It’s exceedingly rare, even among the great yogis of the Himalayas. It is better to consider it a myth for most Westerners, I would say. I certainly don’t miss the DaoBums rainbow wars! 😴
  11. “The logic is simple. The problem is doing it. The amazing thing is that often there is such a lack of trust in openness.” ~ TWR
  12. Circle walking

    Bagua is a profound and challenging practice. It can certainly be a valuable physical practice to complement meditation. It can be a meditation in and of itself. It can be an effective martial art. It can be many things. Bagua has fewer movements to learn but in some ways is more challenging to develop skill and mastery. Like taijiquan, it is an art that requires years of practice and study. Unlike taijiquan, there is a less material to cover (depending on the specific tradition of course) although the basic practices tend to be more physically and energetically challenging, at least for me. Circle walking is fairly straightforward but difficult to do properly. While there are many potential health benefits, there are also some risks. Improper practice can be damaging, especially to the knees and low back. I've practiced bagua for about 15 years. Benefits include core strength, flexibility, balance, agility, speed, rooting while standing and moving, both focus and expansion of awareness, and power generation; along with cultivation of coiling, spiraling, and flowing energies that are a bit different from those cultivated in other internal arts. In the beginning, it felt to me like a very awkward and difficult form of core strengthening and conditioning. With time and patience the stances, footwork, circle walking, and palm changes become far more fluid. Mind and body become more integrated and in sync. At this stage it is more like a vigorous qigong practice and even a moving meditation. Nevertheless, I find the continuous movement and active muscular engagement, particularly in the legs and core, to be considerably more physical than most qigong exercises. The benefits run the gamut of physical, emotional, energetic, and mental. The first benefits I noticed were clearly physical - improved aerobic conditioning, core strength, flexibility, stamina, and balance. Next I began to feel the martial benefits, in particular learning to generate power from the waist, stance, and stepping. Over time I noticed definite improvement in focus and mental clarity and a freedom and creativity of movement that are invigorating. The physical benefits like strength, balance, and flexibility eventually begin to pervade the energetic and mental realms which contribute to the improved response to adversity. One caveat is that I never practiced bagua exclusively, it was always a part of a larger training program which included taijiquan, xingyiquan, qigong, and meditation. That said, I could clearly see how specific elements of the bagua methods expressed themselves over time. While baguazhang is a complete martial art in and of itself, combing bagua training with taiji and xingyi is very complimentary and the whole seems greater than the sum of its parts to me. I'll echo Gerard's comments about foundational training. I spent many hours practicing standing meditation in unique baguazhang postures and practicing footwork drills before I was taught to walk the circle. The stepping and posture must be precise and comfortable or it is likely you'll injure yourself walking the circle. Once you do start walking the circle, start small. It took me months to get to the point where I could walk for an hour continuously. There is no benefit in rushing, only increased likelihood of injury. Like in meditation, a few minutes of clear and precise practice is far better than an hour of distraction and frustration. If you do choose to practice baguazhang, I'd highly recommend trying to find some personal instruction. Very important for someone to observe and correct your form from time to time. Good luck to you!
  13. For people interested in or having a heart connection to Bön, this is another wonderful video. It follows Khenpo Gelek Jinpa, currently Khenpo at Shenten Dargye Ling Bön center in France, as he explores the roots of Bön and the Zhangzhung kingdom in the Mustang district of Nepal. Khenpo-la gives regular teachings at Shenten Dargye Ling, often accessible online since the onset of the Covid pandemic.
  14. Don't know why, permissions same as other members, no active restrictions. Maybe @Trunk can help.
  15. Yijing Hexagrams section

    @Bhathen It appears that nothing is hidden. You can see 12 topics/threads. Within those 12 threads are a grand total of 79 posts. Does that clear it up?
  16. Haiku Chain

    flap, learning to fly get back up and try again Jesus, this is hard!
  17. I respectfully request that we not begin dredging up old conflict. I can verify Nungali's claim is true, if that's what you're looking for. Thanks
  18. And those are precisely what the internal work associated with the 3 poisons target. In fact, my teacher refers to it as pain - short for karmic, conceptual pain bodies. When we encounter methods and teachings that work for us they are indeed precious.
  19. Nothing you describe is an indication of a disagreement between the two. The teachings on the 3 root poisons are a practical method for cultivating health and realization, not a statement of universal ontology. These teachings do not negate the benefits and reality of natural processes at all. They describe the source of negative (and positive) emotions and patterns we may observe in our minds and lives, and offer ways to understand, transform, or liberate them, should that be of interest to a practitioner. In this case, ignorance has a precise meaning. The lack of recognition of the non-dual essence of reality. That is considered the fundamental poison at the root of all illness and suffering in the Bön paradigm. The awakening of non-dual wisdom (the opposite of this specific ignorance), is considered the source of all healing. Nothing more unhealthy than isolation, at any age. I don't think the causes of sickness are limited only to repressed (and suppressed) emotions. Expressed emotions can also be harmful, especially when that expression serves to reinforce and reify the negative emotions rather than relieve. Expressing of emotions can be violent and harmful to self and others. It can also be self-reinforcing. I have a friend that always complains about life. He claims it is a way to blow off steam but, in fact, the pressure is never relieved, it just continues to build. We're seeing the communal and individual harm of expressed emotion in social media. A vicious cycle of expressed negative emotion, retaliation, and escalation, like a digital forest fire, burning up relationships of all kinds. Profoundly unhealthy for individuals and the collective, IMO.
  20. Aversion, attachment, and ignorance are the 3 root poisons in Bön. I’m not one to mix paradigms so much, not do I find much value in categorizing things as yin or yang in a static way so I’ll pass on addressing the second question.
  21. In the Bön tradition, negative emotions are considered a major cause of illness and the 3 root poisons are the cause of negative emotions.
  22. Teachers and political opinions

    I have a bit more optimism about integration. I am encouraged by so many university programs opening their minds and curricula to alternatives to a formerly sole and rigid allopathic focus. A good friend runs a very popular program of meditation and energy practices in a major national cancer center. Most hospitals in my area now offer mindfulness programs for self care of staff and providers.I see more and more people asking about alternatives to pharmacology and surgery. I see the Dharma taking root in the US, Central, and South America, Europe, and the former Soviet nations, among others. Teachings that were once too secret and completely out of reach for 99.999% of people are now available at the touch of a button to at least 60% of the world’s population - truly miraculous. Many of these teachers and Dharma centers have the goods and are healthy and growing. No doubt the world of avarice and opportunism is adopting what it can to forward its agenda in both East and West but that is to be expected. I think when we look at the big picture, especially through the filter of media and hearsay, it can be frustrating and unpleasant. And certainly I am surrounded by frustration and ignorance daily. On the other hand, when I look at my personal connections and experience in the Dharma community and the expansion of open mindedness in my personal experience in the medical community, I feel lots of hope and enthusiasm. What’s important to me is more what I can personally do to improve the situation for myself and to those with whom I’m connected. Nothing more I can do. The more I focus on that, the less discouraged I feel about what seems to be impossible goals and frustrated expectations on a larger, more abstract scale.
  23. Teachers and political opinions

    At least traditional approaches emphasize and support personal responsibility and cultivation of health. Allopathic diagnosis and treatment is traditionally far too focused on the illness and the body, as you say, although that is changing (at a glacial pace).Too little support for the mind and energy. Too little support for healthy lifestyle and personal power and responsibility. Both have their roles in the modern world for me. Sadly it is challenging to make the most of either, albeit for different reasons.
  24. Teachers and political opinions

    That’s an interesting observation. The majority of Chinese nationals and Chinese Americans I come into contact with have far more confidence in allopathic medicine than TCM and qigong. I say allopathic because it’s certainly not limited to the west. Allopathic health care is very sophisticated in much of Asia.