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About forestofemptiness

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  1. Qi/Energy Practice Over Years

    I think that's a key point --- most of us don't want to spend years (or even 20-30 minutes a day) waving arms and imagining things. But I would bet that 99.99% of energy practices are exactly that. I suppose the same can be said for mind-based practices. With Buddhist meditation, you may end up spending many hours practicing with no noticeable result. Then one day, some large chunk breaks off and things are different. I couldn't stick with it in the absence of the class. I have only met one other teacher in the same vein--- you could feel the heat radiating from his lower dan tien. But he was very demanding and wanted people to spend all their free time on Tai Chi. And he lived pretty far away. I took Hsing-I recently for a couple of years--- but those guys wanted to fight and I kept getting hurt. I could not abide by the violent mentality. I had a meditation teacher who once said it doesn't matter if you meditate perfectly for an hour if you spend the other 23 training in distraction. So in this case, you would have to choose between mind-practice and energy-practice in daily life? Nice!
  2. Qi/Energy Practice Over Years

    I signed up for this forum over a decade ago. At the time, I was studying both Buddhist and Daoist systems of practice. Over the years, my Daoist, energy, qi etc. based practices have changed, come and gone. My Buddhist practice has evolved quite a bit, but remains a steady core part of my life. I am wondering: for those who have engaged in energy-based practices long-term, what have you seen over the last decade or so? If you could beam back a transmission to your younger self, what would you say? What has worked and what hasn't? Have you discovered a simple, easy daily practice set?
  3. Vipassana and Theravada

    Vipassana is a fairly broad term--- it is found in many Buddhist traditions. What it means can vary, but it is typically paired with the term shamatha. Roughly speaking, shamatha is concentration meditation and vipassana is insight meditation. In many Theravadan lineages, you start with shamatha, say focusing on the breath. Once your mind settles, you then switch to vipassana, which can involve looking at all parts of the body to see if they are impermanent or not. Or it may involve analyzing the body into smaller parts, elements, or even atoms. Or it may involve noting whatever arises. Or it may involve sweeping the body. Most schools Theravadan schools that I am familiar with will say that shamatha only calms the mind, but it is vipassana that leads to wisdom and can actually liberate you. It is often described as two wings of a bird.
  4. Meditating on the Meditator

    from Be As You Are, The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
  5. Taijijuan Advice

    I would check both of them out and choose the teacher you like better.
  6. What happens when we die

    I think the Tibetan perspective is interesting, although I think some of the language used in this video is disempowering--- there is definitely a "commoner vs. yogi/lama" dynamic going on there. Some one asked a lama why Westerners who have near death experiences don't experience the same experiences Tibetans report. The lama said the experiences only arise for practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. Looking at NDEs through different cultures, they do happen differently to different people. Some might take this to mean that they are subjective experiences, but this need not be the only explanation. From a Buddhist POV, worlds arise according to our karmic habits. Which makes me wonder--- are people experiencing/creating the world that they expect? I mean, if you spend the day watching zombie movies, you are more likely to have a dream about zombies. Perhaps it is the same thing with death--- if we conditions ourselves throughout life to expect one thing or another, perhaps that is what manifests at the moment of death.
  7. Why Daoism over Buddhism

    The question is whether one can separate Xing and Ming. I don't think so--- cultivating one inevitably has an impact on the other. I might argue that the mind --- and everything else--- is really energy, so really all practice is energetics. There is also Buddhist forms of qigong--- they often focus on opening and letting go rather than gathering and transforming, at least in my limited experience.
  8. may we call this Rigpa?

    Personally, I think the only ones who can confirm or deny whether something is rigpa are Dzogchen masters. If we want to know, we have to go to the source.
  9. Understanding Energy Leaks

    The point is to inform one's practice.
  10. Understanding Energy Leaks

    If the above is right, then there are a few conclusions that are likely to ruffle some feathers: 1. Physical/energetic practices can, at best, be secondary practices. Without a primary spiritual practice aimed at bringing about non-attachment, these practices won't work and may actually be harmful. 2. Primary spiritual practices should automatically have physical or energetic side-effects, and if they don't, they probably aren't being done properly. I think that's right.
  11. Understanding Energy Leaks

    Here is an interesting article on energy leaks from Christopher Wallis. I've been listening to his audio on Kashmir Shaivism (which is fantastic). What do the "experts" think? My line of thinking has been that all spiritual practice has an energetic component, even when that component is not emphasized. Understanding energy leaks; or, Seven Ways to keep your Mojo Summary for the Lazy: 1. Exhaustion due to overdoing/multi-tasking 2. Dis-ease of the physical body 3. Excess emotional reactivity 4. Losing contact with natural Presence through thought/fantasy/reverie 5. Strongly held beliefs or opinions 6. Unclear relationships / unclear boundaries 7. Unconscious speech / excessive speech / gossip Full link:
  12. one percent-er

    And that's where ongoing spiritual practice comes in.
  13. one percent-er

    When I feel like I have problems, I like to watch documentaries about other parts of the world. I was watching about this Tibetan guy who was happy to come to the US and work 12 hour days in a restaurant to escape his hardscrabble life. Or look at North Korea. They'll never have the opportunity to practice any spirituality other than worshipping their leader.
  14. "May all beings be happy" ?

    If you think about it, all the positive virtues tend to arise naturally in a state of happiness. When you're really, truly happy, you are so nice to everyone you meet. You feel connected with everyone and everything. No obstacle seems insurmountable. Similarly, when one isn't happy, this is when problems arise. I mean, even non-spiritual practitioners get this:
  15. "May all beings be happy" ?

    What's the alternative? May all beings choke on suffering? Eat pain, suckers!