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About Sundragon

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  1. I think that the very idea that life is an "accident" or the byproduct of blind forces is nothing more than philosophical materialism. Ultimately we will likely never "know" in the way science seeks to know why life exists. We will all interpret the evidence in accordance with our own biases. My bias is toward the co-creative idea. I'm not averse to considering the possibility of interventionism but then we, in regards to the origins of life in general, have an infinite regress to the creators of the creators of the creators and so on and so on. No matter where life began, no matter on what world or galaxy I believe that it was the co-creative will of Spirit that life manifest as the Universe seeking to know Itself. The One gives birth to another so that it can see itself. It's an old principle.
  2. I'd prefer if killing were never necessary, but that's an ideal that simply does not exist so long as there are those that will only cease violence when violence is committed upon them. I am for killing only as a last resort. I'm all for punishment if punishment is an option. I believe the path of the honorable warrior, the warrior who defends the innocent, is a noble path. So long as there are those who would prey on their fellow man we will need those who are willing to do violence upon those who understand no other language but violence. To fail to do violence upon those who respond to nothing else is to condemn others to harm or death. Compassion demands we do as little harm as possible. If killing one murderer prevents the death of many it is certainly the right choice.
  3. I think that killing can be done without hatred. Sometimes the good and compassionate thing is to kill those who, for whatever reason, will not cease in their violence. To allow predatory humans to make prey of their fellows is to show a distinct lack of compassion for those whom these predators will victimize. I don't think nonviolence is an absolute moral standard that must be adhered to at all costs. Like all moral realities it must be contextualized so that it doesn't become simplistic and ultimately useless. Love is not weak. Even to forgive doesn't imply that one allows the forgiven to continue to commit harmful acts. Forgiveness simply removes the emotional charge from the past. One can forgive another and still find it necessary to kill if that other refuses to cease their violence. One can kill without hatred. The loving thing isn't always the warm and fuzzy thing. <--- Not a Buddhist by the way, so YMMV.
  4. The Nature of Self

    Here's what I have experiencially sensed and have intuited regarding the Self. The Self exists as a relative reality the way that our physical body does, and all of our other bodies (astral, causal, mental, spiritual, etc.) exist. I see the Self, sometimes called the Higher Self as an oversoul and as a personal deity. This Higher Self is, from our perspective, God(dess), Christ, Buddha, Atman, Krishna, etc. and both can and often does appear to individuals as figures of religious significance for those of a religious temperment. Bhakti yoga is effective because it allows one to personify the Self in a manner that allows one to feel deep devotion. Does that mean that the gods, buddhas, neteru, etc. aren't They're "real" from a certain perspective of consciousness and act as wayshowers to the Self that lies beyond all form. This Self is only relatively real and only exists from levels of consciousness and awareness equivalent to or "lower" than itself (though it is infinitely more "real" than the ego-consciousness of the personality) From a "higher" vantage point (the Self's Higher Self so to speak), it too is unreal (as we are from levels of awareness higher than our own) and so on and so on as Self-realization ever-increases within endless planes of Being. Ultimately this Self is all of this, is indivisable from All That Is and can be said not to exist, in the Buddhist fashion, because its more a process of ever-expanding awareness than it is a singular Being to be grasped and understood. This is my tentative understanding through study and experience. However I know that I have it wrong to one degree or another just as I am certain that everyone (including the great saints, sages, avatars, and gurus) else has it wrong insofar as their understanding of the Self or No-Self is based on their perspective. Sundragon
  5. I don't think it lacking in compassion to call BS on this argument. I think that to do otherwise is to enable the continuation of error. Relationships of all kinds whether romantic, familial, friendships, co-workers, etc. are the crucible by which we have the opportunity to see how far along we are. Relationships provide a mirror into who we truly are. Our actions and reactions to those close to us will show us how loving, compassionate, understanding, accepting and wise we really are. In other words these relationships will show us just how far our cultivation has actually progressed. It is easy to be "spiritual" and lofty in a monastary or a mountaintop. The rubber meets the road when you have to interact with people who don't do a total of 2-3hrs of inner work a day. That's the test. Usually we find out quickly just how much "cultivation" we have yet to do. Right now I am single, I have a son, but I have no romantic involvements. I choose not to because I have a limited amount of time and I dedicate much of that time to spiritual pursuits. I have had many minor romantic involvements and several long-term relationships but I find that now I prefer the autonomy of the single life. Outside of the ample time I give my son (happily I might add) I don't want to be bothered with the needs of someone else at this time. I am single because I know just how much energy is involved in maintaining a healthy romantic relationship. I learned more about myself within 2yrs of having a child than the prior 10yrs of inner work that came before. Being a good parent demands that you come to know both your strengths and your weaknesses of character in a way that I have yet to see manifest in any other arena of human endeavor...I would guess marriage would be similar. Of course there are toxic relationships and there is bad parenting and neither of these things is conducive to "cultivation" but I assume that most of us on this forum are self-aware enough to be able to cultivate our spirituality within the context of human relationships. If I might add...Your life is your spirituality. The Tao, God, Goddess, Being, It, The Absolute, Awareness, etc. is your entire reality. How you interact with aspects of your reality ie. those with whom you are in relationship, is how you are interacting with that the Big Unknown/Unknowable in the present moment. Your spiritual practice, your cultivation is how you is your eating, your drinking, your breathing, your bathing, your speaking, your sleeping, your EVERYTHING. If something, anything, is able to take this realization from you then you can use that as a marker to tell you where you are somehow separating your cultivation/spiritual life from everything else. If it isn't all cultivation/the spiritual life, then you're doing something wrong. Sundragon
  6. I begin by creating a sacred space through a movement called the Rending of Space taught to me by one of my teachers who leared it from a Yaqui Indian Shaman I believe. Then I offer incense and prayers to Isis and offer up the practice as an act of worship to the Great Mother as part of my bhakti practice. That sets the tone. When I am finished with the Neigong I settle in for meditation and begin the mantra which is one that came to me in meditation "Isis Soteira" (greek for Isis the Savior)and proceed from there. I realize that this isn't a traditional japa mantra but after 25yrs of spiritual practice I have learned to quite clearly receive the insights I need from within. That subtle shift in perspective, from taking qi that exists externally and using it to instead focus on the divine potential within, is IMO quite important. Sundragon
  7. Celestial Qigong/Neigong DVDs

    Only because 5ET mentioned it and I thought I new thread for a discussion of Celestial Neigong and specific comments and questions regarding the system could be useful. This thread has a bit of side discussion that IMO can lead to massive thread derailment. Sundragon
  8. Fiveelementtao: Fiveelementtao, thanks for the heads up about the use of mantra with Celestial Qigong. What I had noticed was that after doing the movements for a time I am much more able to settle into meditation as my mind is already focused, relaxed and clear. After my japa (1/2hr) I switch to centering prayer (1/2 hr) in which I sit in the presence of my Ishta Devata letting go of all attachments to my achievements, my desires, my aversions, my needs, and my ego-self, attuning to the One Life which is my Goddess, the Tao, the Self, and the Awareness beyond all categories and ideas. I like Celestial Neigong's perspective which is that all that seems to exist outside one's self is a reflection of one's inner reality. Very hermetic actually with the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm..."as above so below." This is very much in tune with my sense of spiritual reality. The fundamental unity of Being/Non-Being speaks to me. The acknowledgement of that may seem a small thing, but in truth it matters as the underlying philosophy of a system can strongly color the results obtained from that system. I attribute my current use of Celestial Neigong on my switch to japa yoga and bhakti type practice. I have greater enthusiasm, motivation, follow through and joy in my practice. I also find that I am getting "called" to practices that I may not have initially gravitated toward. I have learned over the years to listen closely, with discernment, to the call of my Inner Master, who speaks nut just through inner promptings ie. intuition but by synchronicities that draw what I need into my awareness. Celestial Neigong Lvl 1 is very easy to learn and, to my great joy, can be learned via the DVD. It's great. Also, there is a focus on one's natural posture and stance. The philosophy is that one's body, in its natural state, is an ideal vehicle for the energy of Heaven. This is a big help to me as it allows me to focus on the movements and less on my knees or how widely my feet are spaced. Sometimes the seemingly small considerations make quite a difference. Sundragon
  9. Celestial Qigong/Neigong DVDs

    Fiveelementtao, thanks for the heads up about the use of mantra with Celestial Qigong. ... I'm going to start a thread specific to Celestial Neigong and save my comments for that thread. Sundragon
  10. Celestial Qigong/Neigong DVDs

    I bought the Celestial Neigong Level 1 DVD and am very, very impressed. I am a Qigong/Neigong "newby" I have done some Qigong but didn't stick with it because I always got side tracked. It'll take me a little while to master the deceptively simple forms taught on this DVD but I have to say that even my clumsy initial attempts from the first day yielded powerful energetic results. I could feel the energy building as I did the exercises, the veins in my forearms and hands opened up like they do when I do weight training. The energy/heat coming from my hands was palpable. Even after grounding the energy my mood was elevated and I felt more aware and alert. This is after only about 15-20mins of practice. I have been looking for a form of energy work that focused on spiritual awakening and this seems to be what I have been looking for. This is a form of Qigong I will continue to practice. I'll just add it to my daily practice before daily practice of Japa meditation and Centering Prayer. Heck, I'll even dedicate the practice as a form of bhakti yoga to the goddess Isis who is my Ishta Devata (no I'm not Hindu, but the concept is the same no matter the faith/tradition). I know I'll be ordering DVD2 soon (likely next payday) even if I will be using DVD1's basic primary techniques for quite some time to come before expanding my practice. Sincerely, Sundragon aka Christopher
  11. Enlightened...merely seeking to realize it.

  12. Forgiveness

    With apologies to Marblehead with whom I must respectfully disagree. Forgiveness is always beneficial because forgiveness does in no way imply forgetfulness or weakness. Forgiveness takes more inner strength than holding onto the past. Just because one chooses to forgive, in order to heal themselves, that doesn't imply that they are again open to the same hurt. Forgiveness doesn't eradicate the learnings one gains from experience forgiveness simply removes the destructive emotional charge that accompanies the memory of a damaging event. If I am repeatedly punched in the face by an individual when walking on the left side of the road I can forgive the individual who tends to punch me when I walk on the left side of the road while still acting with wisdom by walking on the right side of the roadfrom now on. Forgiveness doesn't erase the wisdom of experience. Forgiveness allows wisdom to flower because it allows the individual to percieve events from a higher free of suffering.
  13. Forgiveness

    If I may add a thought. No, the Tao (or Brahman/Self/Atman) doesn't forgive in the sense of an external being granting pardon. The only forgiveness is from you to you or you to others/another. One can call upon Divine Grace in order to help one have the strength to forgive. One can even ask the Divine (by whatever name) for forgiveness but realize that this is a psychological tool to help one forgive one's self anyway. My understanding of God is that there is no decision to forgive because the Divine is Love and Love forgives out of its very nature. For the Divine to withold forgiveness would be akin to love hating or love desiring to do is a contradiction as great as a blazing inferno being bitter cold to the touch. The good Dr. is wrong. Forgiveness can and often must take place without any acts of restitution or repentance. The Dr.'s manner of thinking imprisons the victim of injustice creating a co-dependency whereby the victim cannot heal until the perpetrator makes amends. This is extremely destructive and can keep an individual victimized for the rest of his/her life. I have forgiven cruelties done against me by individuals I haven't seen in years and these individuals made no gestures of pennance toward me. I forgave them in order to free myself from the prison of anger, resentment and grief.
  14. Hello, I have been meditating off and on for years, more on than off, and have gotten good results by simply sitting at my computer chair, loveseat, couch, etc. with my back relatively straight. I am able to relax at will, concentrate for nice, long, extended periods of time and enter some pretty powerful altered states of consciousness. Having said that, I have for some time been practicing Spring Forest QiGong and am working with Glenn Morris' Meditation Mastery program and am trying to do things "by thr book" which admittedly is making me feel like a newby to the whole practice of meditation. I'm fine with having a beginners mind in regards to all this. However, one thing is rather troubling to me....traditional meditation postures. I use the sitting on the edge of a chair, gentitals hanging over the edge of the chair position because my physiolgy doesn't agree with lotus and half-lotus positions. I am somewhat comfortable at first in this position, but I find that just being able to relax and let go into the process of meditation is very difficult. My breathing becomes more shallow (not in the good meditation causes the body to utilize less oxygen kind of way, the my body is stressed kind of way), my diaphram tightens up, I find it difficult to concentrate on anything other than my discomfort which is rooted in a full-body stress reaction. This "stressed out" sensibility can last throughout the whole meditation and sometimes for a few hours afterward. How important is it to have one's back completely (as much as possible) straight during meditation? How important are these postures anyway? My meditations have become worse since I decided to get more traditional in my practice and it is very, very discouraging. I rather miss the qaulity of my old meditation style and wonder if I should continue to "go by the book" and work through my discomfort hoping for a breakthrough or should I go back to my old, more relaxed style. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sundragon
  15. Happy New Year!

    Amazing blessing! Right back at you. Love and Peace, Sundragon