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  1. Life After Death? Life After Life?

    Hi Differently. It looks like if you click on the PayPal button for the PDF book, that the PayPal web site still allows you to enter in a credit card number to pay for the item without creating a PayPal account, so it looks like you can still buy the book if you have a credit card and don't have a PayPal account. If that still doesn't work for you, you can email 'dean at qi dot org' and probably arrange to send them a money order instead. All the best...
  2. Life After Death? Life After Life?

    Many people generalize about daoism and say things like, "daoists do this", and "daoists do not do that", etc. However, as I have pointed out here before, the term daoism covers many things, and IMO there is a wide variation in views and practices in daoism. Therefore for someone to say that daoists don't concern them self with what might happen after death is very misleading, if not completely false. Most definitely there are branches or schools or practices under the umbrella label of 'daoism' which do concern them self quite a bit with such things. If you want to read a book written by a daoist from Lao Shan who goes into a lot of detail of his experience with topics such as 'life after death', and the notion of karma, etc. then you can purchase the book in PDF format translated fully into English here: 'Dao and De: Life and Afterlife' by Wu Dao Zhenzi. Scroll down to the bottom of the web page for the PDF book 'Dao and De: Life and Afterlife' by Wu Dao Zhenzi. As the author of this book points out, what he is describing in the book is not a belief system, where a person is just told how things are supposed to be, and they can either then believe it or not, but he describes a system of practices which the author learned as a disciple at a daoist temple which allows a person to learn about such things for them self through direct personal experience, just as we learn about the physical world around us through direct observation and experimentation. Whether any given person accepts such a premise as being potentially valid or not is not really the point, but it is the approach that the author of the book said he followed in his daoist training in a temple on Lao Shan before the cultural revolution, if I remember correctly now.
  3. Semen retention = useless ?

    IMO, there is nothing wrong whatsoever with celibacy for men. Many monks and priests and yogis, etc. all over the world have been practicing celibacy for thousands of years. Generally monks and yogis and priests have various cultivation practices which they practice regularly however along with being celibate. Chanting, yoga or similar practices, service to others, meditation practices, prayer, and what have you, are some such cultivation practices. I think there is more to it than just celibacy itself in order to cultivate the conserved energy. IMO it is a good idea to take all info and advice related to this sort of thing you get on the internet or in books with a grain of salt, as it seems to me there is lots of bad or questionable advice and info out there, even if it is well intentioned. I think that finding a good accomplished and authentic teacher in this sort of area is not such an easy thing. BTW, IMO the energy we get from foods and herbs, or from the air and environment, is not the same as the original jing energy. I think If that were true men could have as much sex as they wanted and just replenish this energy fully through eating some food and herbs and doing some qigong or yoga exercises and all would balance out, but in my experience this is just not the case. Also, If it were the same, there would be no need for different internal cultivation traditions to put different types of restrictions or guidelines on sex for men. If it were the same type of energy, all they would need to do is prescribe a specific diet and internal arts practitioners would not need to take any special steps about sex at all. This just does not appear to be the case however when looking at the practices of different internal cultivation systems.
  4. Semen retention = useless ?

    vrihlea, there is a difference between retention and celibacy. I think some people may have alluded to this already. In celibacy one does not have sex and does not focus on sex, and in conjunction with certain other cultivation practices may experience no issues whatsoever. Men who have sex but don't go to the point of release (retention), as reported by some here over the years, may potentially run into issues such as developing qi blockages, or having sexual function issues, or having a problem with nocturnal emissions, or having some other health issues. Some people may have no problems however. If you search in this website for topics on Mantak Chia's sexual practices, you should find a number of threads where people discuss running into some different issues with these sort of practices.
  5. Semen retention = useless ?

    vrihlea: It all depends on what your goals are, as sillybearhappyhoneyeater has already alluded to. People who choose full ceilbacy and stick to it for the purpose of aiding deep and serious personal culitvation are relatively few in number compared to the whole population of the earth, so there is little danger of the human population dying out any time soon. For people who don't have a sole and strong purpose in life of achieving enlightenment or immortality and the like, they may take a different route. Some schools of thought within daoism and related allow (as you have already mentioned) that an ordinary person (in regards to men) can still make progress in the areas of practices like qigong/neigong if they limit the frequency of times they have sex according to a certain age guideline. The older you get, the less you should be having sex (meaning release), as outlined in the guideline. Some daoists would get married and have children when they were young, and then at some later point become celibate and begin to focus on higher level cultivation practices from that point forward. Also, from what I have encountered, in some practices the student is required to be celibate until they reach a certain stage in their cultivation (maybe two or three years or so, but it depends on various factors) and then they can have sex again once reaching that certain stage. In other schools they don't have restrictions against sex, but men must learn techniques to prevent or limit release when having sex. I think it is good to keep in mind however that just because there are different traditions/schools with different ideas and approaches, it doesn't mean that they are all necessarily good and fully correct in their approaches and views, or don't have risks and obstacles. As an example, a lot of people have reported here in this forum over the years of running into problems with some of Mantak Chia's methods that he has taught over the years, although that doesn't mean that everyone has necessarily run into problems who has practiced such things. Some people may have had better results. In various daoist traditions it is believed that we are born with a limited amount of original jing/qi (AKA prenatal jing/qi), and that a man depletes this store with each release in sex. Different schools within daosim may have some variations on those ideas, but I think that is a fairly common concept within some/many internal cultivation schools. A daoist priest from Hong Kong I knew once explained (in his view) that methods where men have sex but don't go to the point of release do not produce real useful results that are useful for higher level cultivation. Such methods may possibly be of use from the health point of view however. I think there are various points of view and schools of thought, so there may just not be any clear cut answers to such things. In my own personal experience, men do lose energy through sex, and it can potentially be fairly significant. One teacher explained to me once that for people who practice internal cultivation practices for some time where their meridians and channels are quite open, that they can potentially lose significantly more energy (jing/qi) through sex, but that may depend to some extent on the specific sort of cultivation practices a person has been practicing. I do know that some internal cultivation schools have a guideline of stopping all internal cultivation practice for a specific number of days before and after having sex, such as stopping practice 7 days before and 7 days after having sex or similar. So, in general, how much energy a man loses through sex may depend on some different factors, so it may not be as much of an issue for some men as it is for others, and there are some different approaches to addressing this in different schools/traditions. Summary: There may not be any clear cut answer, but in my own experience, men do lose jing/qi through sex whether they are aware of it or not. Depending on a person's make-up and what specific types of cultivation practices they are practicing, and maybe some other factors as well, this may be more or less of an issue for any given specific person. In general though, if a (male) person is serious about qigong/neigong and related practices, I think it is something that is worth looking into some. As for women, I don't know a whole about it, but it appears that things work somewhat differently for women. All the best...
  6. This is QiGong, right?

    I see a few people seem to be getting fairly bent out of shape and going on the attack against others simply because those others have expressed some skepticism about what is shown in these videos. Why would some people get upset and go on the attack against others just because some other people have a different opinion than they do? The answer is of course because of belief. When a person has certain beliefs which are at least fairly important within their world view, they will immediately start feeling very uncomfortable if they are presented with information or views which may oppose something they really want to believe. Some common reactions/responses when this occurs are: 1) Completely ignoring the opposing information or arguments. 2) Going on the attack (personal insults, strange rationalizations, make untrue accusations, introduce red herrings and straw man arguments, etc. etc.). Since we have definitely been seeing a fair bit of the above from a couple of persons here, it is a pretty sure bet that they are reacting from a belief/world view protection position. Unfortunately there is just little to no chance of reasoning with a person when they are acting/reacting in such a way, as I am sure everyone has experienced many, many times in their life. There are three positions that a person can take when encountering something that is a fair bit out of range of their common everyday experience: 1) Accept it and believe it at face value without any questioning. This can occur when this out of the ordinary thing or event or whatever fits in with some beliefs a person already holds. Since it helps support some beliefs a person already has, it can be embraced with little to no questioning. 2) Neither believe or not believe. Just simply reserve coming to any conclusions at all until you are able to get a lot more information and/or see or experience this in person for yourself, etc. 3) Reject it and believe it is definitely false, again just based on face value. Like 1) above, this would also be a matter of belief if a person doesn't have some decent evidence to back up their belief that it is definitely false. So, from the above three items we can see that 1 and 3 are matters of unconfirmed belief unless a person already has some significant direct personal experience with the matter in question, or otherwise has a lot of decent and reliable evidence which strongly supports their belief. In the case where there is just not sufficient evidence or related experience to come to a reasonable conclusion about something, then I think that taking the stance in item 2) above would be the most reasonable position. This is all that I have been saying. Lao Sun Tao: Jumping all over people just because they express a bit of healthy skepticism about something like this makes no sense. I suggest you read what I wrote above here and think it over. No reasonable person is going to want to discuss things with you much around here if you start jumping all over people and twisting their words, etc. simply because they express a different opinion than you. If you are behaving this way, it is a pretty good chance it is because you have beliefs on the line which you are very sensitive about. If you are so sensitive about such topics, it is probably better to avoid such topics rather than attacking people who might have a different point of view than yourself, no? Treating people with fairness and respect can go a long way in this world. All the best...
  7. This is QiGong, right?

    Apeiron&Peiron: You are seeing all sorts of things in my comments that simply aren't there. I just pointed out that you can't take videos at face value, and that videos that contain stuff like this often turn out to be false if looked into. I actually also went way out of my way to state several times that it all doesn't mean that this guy's videos are necessarily fake, but there is no way to tell just from the videos. You are arguing against something that has little to do with what I have actually said. Bless you my son.
  8. This is QiGong, right?

    Sorry, but what you said doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. All I have done is point out that you can't take what you see in videos of this type at face value. Of course the videos are questionable to me. The only way I could say that what is shown in those videos might be real is if I have personally experienced such stuff myself in person. Otherwise there is just no way to tell for sure. I think that really should go without saying however. If I were interested in possibly learning how to 'make gusts of winds', I would try to meet with that guy in person and see for myself what he could do in person. That would be the only way to tell if there might really be something to it. Whether there is another video or videos with someone 'teaching' students to wave their hands around a tree that is already blowing in the wind, is neither here nor there. If someone wants to blindly believe stuff in videos like this that is their prerogative, but belief or not you still don't know if what you are seeing in videos like this is real or not just based on videos alone. Lao Sun Tao was admonishing people for not blindly accepting what is shown in some videos, which also doesn't make any sense. If you want to know if something might be real or not, the best way is to go and experience it in person and then you will have some real personal experience to base your opinion on, rather than just questionable videos. Why do I get the feeling that I am wasting my time pointing out things that should already be obvious anyway? All the best...
  9. This is QiGong, right?

    Lao Sun Tao: There is a world of difference between someone being open minded and someone blindly accepting most anything just at face value without first looking into it further and using some critical thinking. There is all kinds of false information and fakers and scammers and deluded people out there in this world. That being the case, it is just not a good idea to blindly accept stuff like this at face value. There might be something to it, but there is a good chance that it is not real as well. Some of us have been around the block more than a few times and know that a lot of stuff out there like this is often not what it appears to be, if a person takes some time to look into it further. Rather than admonishing people for not blindly believing as you do, why not put in some effort and look into this further for yourself first? The fact is you just can't tell for certain if effects like are shown in these videos are real or not just by watching the videos, as I have already pointed out. If you want to blindly believe that what this guy is showing in his videos is real without any questioning on your part, that is up to you, but my suggestion for you, since you seem to be so certain it is real, would be to contact the guy and ask him if you can visit him in person to watch a demonstration of what he can do up close, in person. If he says no, or otherwise starts making excuses then that would seem to be kind of suspicious, right? If he lets you come to see a demo in person, arrange to go see him and then report back here on what you have seen. That way it won't just be blind belief any more on your part, but you will have made an effort to look into and see what is really going on. All the best...
  10. This is QiGong, right?

    I think it is probably a good idea to hold some healthy skepticism towards anything along these lines that is shown in videos, because videos can leave a fair bit of room for various types of tricks to be used. Everything from off camera tricks and video editing to video image editing and generation and manipulation effects can be used to fool people. This doesn't mean that any given video of this type is necessarily fake of course, but when you factor in other factors like the high degree that he can supposedly easily whip up the wind in a concentrated area and whatever else he demonstrates, it sure seems at least questionable. The guy also doesn't seem to give any info on his website about exactly where he supposedly learned these types of 'skills'. That may be another warning sign that things may not be quite right. People who are reasonably skilled at doing video graphics manipulation and CGI and that sort of thing can create some pretty convincing effects, and such software is readily available these days. Here is a video example that I think shows how CGI can sometimes be quite convincing if done pretty well. My point being that just because you may not see signs of obvious video tricks in a video, it doesn't mean that tricks of some sort or another were definitely not used. In the following video, some digital graphics students made a CGI video utilizing 3D graphics generation and manipulation techniques etc. which is completely fake, but their video went viral shortly after they posted it, and they had millions of people completely fooled or at least unsure if it was fake or not before the students later posted a comment on their video pointing out that the video was not real, and was done using CGI techniques as part of a graphics course they were taking. The eagle in the following video is a 3D graphics generated and manipulated image. It is not a real eagle, and no child was lifted off the ground by an eagle. All video graphics manipulation. Completely fake. Again, my point being that some healthy skepticism about what you see in any video these days that has something questionable in it is probably a good idea. When it comes to videos or still images, it is just hard to say for sure these days about whether something might be faked or not. Golden Eagle Snatches Kid If the guy who made those 'aerokinesis', etc., videos is the real deal, he should have no problem demonstrating to independent third parties in person. If he hasn't done so, and until he does so in front of some credible independent third parties, then there seems to be at least a few different reasons here to be skeptical of his videos. Another reason to be skeptical is that he is selling online courses to supposedly teach others how to do this. When someone is selling something and producing videos like that to help generate business for what they are selling, then I think that's even more reason to be skeptical. Again, this all doesn't mean it is necessarily fake, but I think there are at least some good reasons to have some healthy doubts here.
  11. The concept of karma doesn't necessarily have any connotation of punishment, or concepts of heaven and hell. That all depends on the exact school of thought as well as individual interpretations. In some schools of thought karma is described along the lines of actions evoke or 'attract' certain other following actions or conditions. In other cases I have heard the concept of karma being described along the lines of 'mental attachments' which continually lead one into certain circumstances which reflect those mental attachments or mental state. So karma could be thought of as actions invoking other actions and conditions, or as mental attachments leading one into certain specific conditions like iron being pulled towards a magnet. What a person accepts as possible in that area may depend on their background and particular school(s) of thought they hold to, and their own personal experience, etc. Many far Eastern schools of thought hold to some concept of karma or at least something along those lines. What any given person may accept or reject as possible or reasonable in these regards is another matter. There is likely no clear cut right or wrong there.
  12. What is reality?

    Silent Thunder, yes, I think it is human nature to assume that our assumptions and perceptions and interpretations about the world and universe around us are mostly pretty accurate and reliable, as after all our minds are constantly being fed back with information through our senses which continually 'confirms' those assumptions and perceptions and interpretations. The problem as I see it is it appears that the information that is constantly feeding into our minds through our senses is very much unconsciously filtered and massaged by our belief systems and associated belief protection mechanisms, etc. I would suggest that this may possibly be occurring at a much higher degree than any of us might realize and be able to easily accept. Are we all looking at the world around us as it really is, or as we collectively perceive it to be? The modern world views of today are no doubt quite different in various ways than they were one and more centuries ago, and I think there is no reason to assume that changes in world views and subsequent 'understandings' will not continue to evolve over the coming decades and centuries as well.
  13. Well we are all in the same boat just trying to make our way the best we can. Like most anyone else, I am far, far from perfect.
  14. What is reality?

    Hi Karl. I have not suggested anything in my comments here about consciousness altering 'reality'. I have suggested that whatever 'reality' may be, it seems beliefs can have a strong influence on how we perceive it. I have observed that this typically seems to happen at an unconscious level, but I think we can raise our awareness of how this process works and become more conscious of those mental constructs and processes which strongly influence our perception. Regarding consciousness having a part in possibly creating or influencing/altering 'reality', although I have not suggested anything about this, it seems to me that for all anyone knows for certain there could at least possibly be something to such a concept. I think It would be an unsupportable belief for someone to suggest that such a thing is definitely impossible, just as it is an unsupportable belief for someone to suggest that 'reality' definitely only consists of what we can currently observe and measure and interpret with our physical senses and current physical instruments and current scientific world view, and that our current scientific views of 'reality' are completely accurate and complete. I think current trends in modern physics give indications that whatever reality is, it seems it may well possibly be a fair bit stranger than such a simplistic Newtonian-like view of the world and universe. In other words, It would be very much a matter of faith for someone to suggest that consciousness definitely does not interact with 'reality' in some way or another. This would be a good example of how unconscious beliefs can be mistaken for demonstrable fact. I sincerely doubt that anyone could convincingly prove such an assertion in any reasonable way, no matter how much they may *believe* such to be true. You continue to talk about 'reality' as if it is something that is already fully understood in all aspects. I just don't think that is the case. In actuality I think modern physics is showing that the 'deeper' scientists look into such things, the more puzzling it seems to become. From what I understand, modern day physicists are throwing theories around which include concepts such as multiple dimensions and multiple parallel universes, etc. It sure doesn't seem to me like things are at all so straight forward and clear cut. It sounds like possibly despite all we currently know about the world and universe, that we may possibly have a long way to go yet, and some current accepted theories could possibly even be altered yet in the future for all anyone really knows for certain. I won't harp on such things any much further, as I know the pointlessness of doing so. If someone has very strong and fixed beliefs about what 'reality' is, no amount of discussion is likely going to change that, even when it can be pointed out that at least some very qualified modern day physicists them self have been and are considering very strange and abstruse ideas as serious possibilities about 'reality', ideas which may stress and stretch the very limits of our conceptual minds. I personally still maintain the possibility that whatever 'reality' might be, it may possibly be much more different and mysterious at its essence than anything we currently may conceive and assume. That is the essence of what I have been suggesting here. I realize that such a notion may well conflict with some or even many people's beliefs about such things, but that is how I personally currently see things anyway.
  15. What is reality?

    Hello silent thunder. Even though something may be quite natural and a fairly simple process, I guess that doesn't mean at all that it will necessarily be easy.