Moon Knight

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About Moon Knight

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  1. I am currently finishing up an associate's degree at my local community college. My plans after I graduate are a bit uncertain as yet, and one option is to attend a school specializing in Traditional Chinese Medicine (preferably with a Taoist leaning to it) either before, after, or in lieu of pursuing a bachelor's degree of some kind at a traditional western university. I am keeping my options open. I have personal reasons for strongly considering the Illinois area (including any states that border on it), but do not live nearby (currently located in South Carolina), so I was hoping that someone here could tell me of any TCM schools in that area, especially those with Taoist leanings, which I might want to check out. I appreciate any recommendations you guys and gals can toss at me. Thank you.
  2. Do any Bums stare at Goats?

    I think witch brings up a very good point that one person's Tao is not another person's Tao, yet it is all Tao. There is all of this talk of living the Tao, yet there seems to be a lot of struggle against nature involved in "fighting" for enlightenment or an open MCO or whatever. It's rather paradoxical isn't it? I attended a Michael Winn workshop recently. We did a lot of inner smiling. I rather liked his approach, which reminded me a great deal of the kind of meditation I did when I was more into Christian mysticism. It was more about accepting lovingly the state of things as they are, and being open to ANY change that may come along as we naturally fall into the path of our destiny (which is not to say it is predetermined, something he stressed several times that weekend). Being an expression of the Tao is about being an expression of the universe, and the universe isn't trying to be anything but the universe. If it is getting somewhere, it is getting where the universe goes when the universe happens to move.
  3. Advices for evening meditation

    I like to do the six healing sounds, and/or the five animal frolics in the evening, followed by practicing the microcosmic orbit. You could at least do the healing sounds and/or frolics. I am thinking about incorporating some tai ji in my evening practice soon too. If you have an opportunity to learn, that could be a good way to wind down too. Later, once you are in bed, you can try laying on your back with your left ankle over your right ankle, and left hand under (or fingers intertwined with) the right. From there relax and just watch your breathing/qi flow attentively. That is something I learned recently from The Secret Teachings of the Tao Te Ching. It helps bring on a deep, refreshing sleep.
  4. Cold hands during practice

    Not really that silly. The body can absorb and release things through the skin, especially certain areas like the soles of the feet. They make dextoxifying foot pads with certain herbs that supposedly draw toxins out of the body through the feet. I have heard of putting herbs in one's socks for absorption before, and of course people are commonly known to rub tinctures, distillations, and even whole herbs on the skin all over the body.
  5. Cold hands during practice

    The experience of qi is different for everyone. Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming suggests in one of his books that much of the warmth felt is actually due to resistance in the body to qi current flow. The light energy is being converted to heat. Thus as channels open more, the warmth subsides. Some people do feel cold or tingling sensations as qi moves too. I believe that you will eventually find a balance point between the cold and warm as fire and water mix producing a mildly warm steam.
  6. John Painter

    A few things for you and others to consider.... -You are talking about strength training as a crutch to keep from having to perfect your Tai Ji forms. So long as you master walking with that crutch, you will never learn to walk. Strength training should be a walking stick, used on occasion to support and enhance one's legs, but generally kept swinging at one's side. -The type of bodybuilding you are talking about is different from the strength training most anyone else posting on this thread has been emphasizing. Bodybuilding does not emphasize using your body as one unit which is very important for IMA and for Taoist cultivation. Nor does bodybuilding cultivate muscle strength or efficiency. Any muscle strength gained is a side effect to the hypertrophy that bodybuilders aim to give their muscle. The result are persons that are fairly weak for their size. As I noted before, there are different weight lifting strategies, and bodybuilding is only one of them. Also I would question you on calling it a healthy practice. Because it encourages isolation exercises more than other strength training strategies, because of the rather high protein intake, because of the unnaturally lean levels some bodybuilders get to for competition (when they can hardly stand up), and because of the lengths they will go to get to that point (diuretics, fat burners, extreme diets, electrolyte manipulation), I'd say the sport is rather unhealthy. Perhaps you are using bodybuilding in an extremely loose context to mean just sculpting your body. Yet still, that suffers from the first few practices I cited. -Bodybuilding tends to promote in oneself a body-image obsession, whereby one's happiness and pride is derived from one's appearance. You give off that vibe rather clearly in your post. Yet the Tao is in being satisfied and happy no matter one's state, open to any change. Feeling that attachment to a certain body-image, and creating the good-bad dichotomy between states moves one away from Tao rather than towards it. -I have to note, "bodybuild" is not a verb.
  7. John Painter

    I've read some assertions (and it seems reasonable) that some people are better able to relax their muscles if they weight (or resistance) train, because of a stronger mind-muscle connection. I think it all comes down to how one chooses to train; most importantly how much mental focus you give to your body when lifting, not just mindless repetition. Also exercise selection and time under tension versus rest may play a role too. This isn't meant to be directed at you, Dainin, just what you said about muscle tension made me think of something more to add
  8. John Painter

    No matter how internal/esoteric one gets with one's martial arts practice, or qigong in general, one still needs some muscle power and the stronger your muscles are, the more power they can offer in the most efficient way. Even though internal martial arts rely heavily on tendons for their power, there is still some percentage of muscle strength used as well. Plus, strength training is good for keeping overall fitness where it should be. Another important thing to note, there is a difference between weight lifting and bodybuilding. Weightlifting can certainly build muscle, or at least make it more defined (muscle won't be packed on if you are not eating the necessary calories to gain weight) but it doesn't have to translate into growing huge muscles. A bodybuilder's goal is muscle size and shape, not strength or fitness. One can lift weights with health and strength in mind; gaining some muscle is a side effect. Just choose your training program carefully to focus on building strength and power. Make sure you stretch after working out and if possible do some relaxing qigong, and I believe you won't have problems. If you are still wary you could limit yourself to bodyweight exercises. It would still involve some resistance, but some say this builds more supple muscles. I'm not sure about that claim, but you can consider it if you like.
  9. I've noticed this ever since I began dabbling with meditating, but lately as I've gone deeper I've become more sensitive to it, and started to wonder if it's a sign of something more than some weird eye/brain perception thing. When I meditate, especially if I close my eyes, I see/feel my body as if I am looking at a 45 degree angle to the right of wherever I am facing. It could also be described as feeling like the right side is more expansive and the left more condensed. Has anyone ever felt anything like this before? It makes circulating the orbit feel especially strange, although on occasion I have felt a feeling a balance between the two sides. I guess on those days I had somehow or other balanced my organs and meridians more thoroughly before circulating. I am right handed. My right side has always been much more dominant, and is thus somewhat stronger and significantly more coordinated. In martial arts if I am using both hands in a move, and the left is doing something considerably different than the right I have to be very conscious about including my left hand. I'm starting to think it could be a qi imbalance between my left and right side due to the frequent stimulation both mental and physical of my right side. Thoughts?
  10. Simple Practices

    Eight Pieces of Brocade That's how I got into qigong seriously after dabbling for years without any consistent practice. For me at least, doing something with at least some motion to it, and gradually becoming accustomed to focusing and moving qi internally was what I needed. I had tried standing before, but having no teacher at the time and only one book, I didn't quite know what I was feeling for. The other thing is, I think that Eight Pieces of Brocade saves some time. It is stretching and meditation all in one, especially the sitting set, whereas with other practices I feel like there is more need to stretch and warm up.
  11. Reflections on Masturbating This Morning

    First, thanks for everyones' thoughts so far. I tend to agree that porn is a fairly unhealthy thing to indulge in. It can lead to an excessive attachment to the shape of others and the pleasure one may seek. On the other hand I disagree that masturbation is necessarily a fault. If it is not done too frequently, and better yet if it can be done with no loss or at least minimal loss of jing, it can have health benefits for those not fortunate enough to have found a suitable significant other, as well as provide a means of training one's qi control for those same persons. Whether I lost jing today, or how much, I feel like I have learned some new things about myself, and gained a greater feel for the flow of qi inside of me. Plus I think the experience helped me relax. Isn't Tao all about the middle path between two extremes? Following the natural course in each situation as the uncarved block? That is how I view the occasional, thoughtful enjoyment of one's own equipment. Anyway, just now I meditated again, and circulated the orbit once more. After a fairly typical (for me) maneuver around the orbit I seemed to relax into posture and state of mind where I could circulate my qi in fairly rapid movements, while maintaining a consistent breathing pattern with my lower tan tian. The qi seemed to grow stronger with each pass. I stopped circulating after developing an extremely hard erection from the circulation. That is something that has never happened to me before during circulation practice. My testicles were again cold, though my penis obviously was not. Between the events of the morning and this event they had gone back to a normal warm however.
  12. So I woke up this morning and was feeling a bit lustful, and inclined to peruse some porn. However, unlike many times in the past (which is NOT to say that I do this frequently at all) I felt fairly collected and calm today, and thus felt like doing something more than jerking it. I've dabbled with introductory sexual kung fu exercises in the past (pc exercises, sharpening the spear, heating the cauldron, pressing the perineum point to stop ejaculation) but had decided to set that aside until I had a firmer grasp of microcosmic orbit and some other basic Taoist meditative techniques. However, today, on the back of recent success circulating the microcosmic orbit and performing what I believe is embryonic breathing (or pretty damn close), I decided to experiment with some perineum/anal breathing. So while taking my time enjoying myself I tried to relax and direct my energy down and back, breathing with the perineum/anus (though not contracting or otherwise tensing that area). Whenever I felt like I was becoming overstimulated I stopped touching myself and just breathed. After five or six ups and downs like this I decided to let it go and see what would happen. I admittedly lost some mental control as I climaxed but I think considering this was my first experiment with this I kept my attention fairly well, and where my attention was lost was more upwards than down. Anyway, I did ejaculate but not as much, nor with as much force, as usual, especially given the amount of times I stopped and started. I did feel a rush through my nervous system, though not as powerful and repetitive as on some occasions when I've been highly aroused and/or focused on the third eye when climaxing. Most notably, while breathing from my perineum I felt a growing warmth in my back and rising energy in my head. Following my climax I felt a surge of hot energy up my back, over my head and down my chest, presumably through the microcosmic orbit. Afterwards I laid down on my back and tried to focus on my lower tan tien because my heart was racing (too much heat, especially in the upper levels I guess?). I ended up circulating the orbit a bit, but then decided to get up, sit in a chair and circulate it properly. Circulating the orbit seemed fairly standard, but with a few noticeable differences. My navel point became much hotter than it has in any of my recent practice sessions. The tingling/pressure sensation I usually get when navigating between the jade pillow point, over my head, to the throat was considerably less pronounced. The Qi overall seemed warmer, but slower to pass from point to point. After circulating I noticed my testicles, and to a lesser degree my penis, were fairly cool despite the rest of my torso, including the sperm palace and perineum regions above and below my genitals, being fairly warm. I don't feel tired and depleted, yet I'm not 100% sure I'd be ready for another round yet either (this was only about 20-30 minutes ago). Maybe though. However I definitely got soft after the experience which sexual kung fu masters apparently don't? Does that mean I lost jing? Did I lose less jing than I might have otherwise? What about circulating right after? It seemed to be what my body wanted/needed, though supposedly you're supposed to wait several hours, if not several days before practice again after sex. Was the heat just blood rushing out of my penis after being trapped in there for a long spell, or was that qi? Or was it both in this case? Thoughts on anything? I'll post again later after I meditate/practice circulating at my usual time. I feel like I should at least try and see what it feels like.
  13. Cold Water Therapy (Fascinating!)

    The occultist/magician Franz Bardon mentions cold baths as one of the first practices to take up in his, Initiation Into Hermetics. Cold water is also used for a couple other magical processes in the early stages too. It's been awhile since I read the book, but I believe cold was supposed to conduct more energy (in general, or possibly specifically electrical energy) and be more impregnable with intentions and emotions (during showers one was supposed to let go of the failures and sins of the day and let them be washed away, leaving a more purified being behind).
  14. Microcosmic Orbit

    There are several different fairly common routes for circulation of the MCO. The fire route is the typical way most start... navel down, up the back, over the head, down to navel. The water route is the reverse which you are describing in your post. I'm sure others could comment further, but it has something to do with raising the cool/water qi of the lower depths up to cool the fire of the higher regions. There is also a wind route which is very similar to the fire route, except instead of going up the back, it goes specifically up the inside of the spine.
  15. Absorb jing from sperm after ejaculation?

    Interesting. Would you agree or disagree that food needs to be consumed as a whole if it has an intention placed in it? And if you agree, what do you ascribe the difference between the two situations to? The live nature of sperm perhaps, or its special creative energy?