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Everything posted by Pablo

  1. Choosing Between Daoism and Buddhism

    Rather than choosing between labels, I would focus on methodology. The clearest Taoist path I have found is given by Bruce Frantzis Kumar in his book "Relaxing into your Being". I have written a brief summary here. Theravada Buddhist progress map is probably the best in many ways for westerners, check this. See that most of energetic descriptions here in Taobums match with Theravadas's Arising & Passing stage. I highly recommend Daniel Ingram's MCTB book which you can read for free in the previous link. Next year he'll print an expanded edition. Having said that, I'm 100% on Taoist/Zen's Return to the Source/Note Vanishings, as described by Shinzen Young (pages 95-103). It's a truly (no bullshit) Taoist path boosted by an Buddhist analytic frame. The progression map is described here (pages 40-45). Best wishes!
  2. Hi, you may be interested in reading the progress of insight as described by the Buddhist Theravada tradition. Cannot say much, but most of unenlightened taoists like me experience over and over again the symptoms described in "Mind & Body", "Cause & Effect" and "The Three Characteristics". Have a look at: Best wishes, Pablo
  3. Yeah, I love that clip. At first foreign people tend to see Tango as Hot, but once you get into the music and dance, you'll feel a whole range of emotions in a single song: desire, passion, sorrow, nostalgia, protection, anxiety, calmness, euphoria, hapiness, etc. Hear with eyes closed all the sections you have in a single song:
  4. When the teacher tells you to open your chest, try doing it as stated above. It's a relaxed way of openning it. Of course, you're not floating LOL so you need your legs pushing up from the ground. Like Taiji, you sink your chest, let the energy drop down to the ground and rebound through your legs and push/pull outwards from your tantien. Weight distribution is 100/0 mostly, even in "open step" (though it may feel like 80/20 while leading "voleos". You always push from the base leg (full), and not falling into the next (empty) step. Not at all! Just Bagua. You will eventually find some spirals going up and down your base leg, but what I'm talking about is thinking the human body as an X, a sand watch, an inverted cone on top of a cone, with the tops touching at tantien level. A circle at shoulder level triggers a circle at feet level (through a descending spiral), and the opposite too. Also, both circles can go in same direction or the opposite! Best
  5. Hi Taomeow, Good to see you liked the video! Unfortunately I didn't save the last post. A quick summary of it would be: 1. stance-embrace: roll your shoulders back vertically, not horizontaly, that will allow you to sink your chest. You lead with the shoulder-blades, not with your chest. 2. older tango style use an inverted V embrace, while "nuevo tango" (mid 90's onwards) uses a II opening & closing embrace (and leaves inverted V for a special dramatic effect or for "volcadas"). 3. In Nuevo Tango, thrust (push & pulling) comes 70% from lower tantien and 30% middle tantien in males, in females the opposite. 4. Though Taiji and Nuevo Tango share some similarities like subtle manipulation of the "opponent" (push & pull by elastics), pushing from the ground vs falling into the step, sitting in the kua-femur heads before "sacadas" and other common moves, Tango is much more similar to Bagua because of the heavy use of upwards and downwards spirals. Below a typical example of Nuevo Tango, dancing a zamba (native folk music) in a tango way. The film taken from the roof let you see clearly the spirals. Other Tango Nuevo clip: Older Tango Style: And why not some Milonga too?
  6. Eliminated due to the lack of replies.
  7. What would YOU ask Bruce Frantzis?

    My questions are: - Even though Liu Hung Chieh was already recognized as "enlightened" in the Mahayana Tien Tai school of Chinese Buddhism, he later on focused in taoist meditation practices. So, what aspects of the spiritual road he considered not covered well enough by the buddhist practices? Also, did Liu Hung Chieh mentioned what insights of the Buddhist tradition are harder to get in Taoism? - Does the Water Method "flattens" the peak and pit stages in the Buddhist path, named "Arising & Passing" and "The Dark Night of the Soul" ? Thanks for your help. Pablo
  8. DVD Recommendations?

    Yep, I practiced the standing meds for a couple of months and then started to add the seated ones. Daily practice, really slow motion and awareness on your body reactions would bring you tangible results. Best,
  9. DVD Recommendations?

    IME the best DVD collection available is Flying Phoenix Celestial Qi Gong. There's a +26 pages thread of practitioners comments and Sifu Terry Dunn answers here in TaoBums!
  10. Zhan Zhuang

    If your goal is Taijiquan, then horse stance (20'), front stance and back stance (10' each, both sides) postures of the long-form is what you may need. Once your confortable with them, you can try really slow-slow motion within the postures, and so learn to recruit every square inch of your body to move. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to feel all your body and the connections within. Also, you need to supplement this workout with some Yang and Wu neigung exercises you like (check Youtube).
  11. Dissolving inner/outer difference?

    Hi! Could you please chime in the "taoist practice and cycles of insight" thread? It's about vipassana and taoist practices. I think your opinion will be appreciated.
  12. taoist practice and cycles of insight

    Thanks! In my opinion, there are two steps in qigong, first triggering qi flow through external and/or internal movements, and then observing the system reactions. BKF dissolve method spots body sensations (in particular blockages) from head to toes. Some versions of Vipassana do exactly the same. I'm talking about the method, not the byproduct, which IMO is deeper in Buddhism. In higher stages, taoist meditation methods focus on emotions and memories (thoughts) in order to dissolve them. In Buddhism there is a mix of vipassana and samatha practices to deal with these kinds of mental things too. I found by trial and error that some qigong before sitted meditation boost my practice. The convergence I mentioned was about Taoist and Buddhist meditation practices, not inside Taoism. That said at 30.000 feet high, because there are many differences between what Kenneth Folk calls something like the vertical movement (towards enlightment) and the horizontal one (exploring layers of the mind and developing all kind of habilities). You may have a look at: as well as the Process of Insight: As usual, please include in all I said: AFAIK, IMHO, IMHE, etc. Like the old saying "today's insight is tomorrow's half truth". Best,
  13. taoist practice and cycles of insight

    Hi Andy, interesting question! My understanding is that taoist practices are a Physio-energetic path, much like vipassana expert Kenneth Folk describes here: The diversity of paths inside Taoism is probably bigger than in Buddhism (because of its physiological nature)mostly in the beginner stages, but converges at higher ones. This is an excellent wiki of the taoist practices created by older members of the forum: As far as I understand, we are doing vipassana too, not intentionally but as an outcome of the practice. Though there are some specific practices that are intentional indeed as Bruce Kuzmar Frantzis "The Dissolving Process of the Taoist Water Method" Check also: An Informal Discussion on Taoist Meditation - Part 1 An Informal Discussion on Taoist Meditation - Part 2 Best wishes,
  14. OBE

    Hi Mel, yes I had plenty of sleep paralysis, at the beginning quite scary. Then I could observe that the unpleasant experiences were triggered by chi, and that not stopping it those experiences simply disappear. Nowadays is just a physical chi experience that I observe (amazed I confess), and it's not a strict sleep paralysis as I can move. Whenever fear appears I watch how the process unfolds as Kenneth Folk describes in his blog: Fear-Misery-Disgust-Desire for Deliverance-Re-observation-Equanimity. It happens quite fast...maybe just 3 seconds!
  15. OBE

  16. The correct healthy Diet

    Back then, my diet was pretty narrow. Try this for a week an see if it helps: roast chicken tuna cheese carrot pumpkin rice banana apple
  17. Zhang zhuang

    IME the easier is: horse stance, knees lightly bent, rigth palm over left palm at tantien. The variation I practiced most is same stance with hands like in a prayer but palms facing your chest, as if opening a small book. Check that your elbows are at navel level. Also that your chest goes inward. For the "holding the ball" stance, keep your arms just below the nipples level. Thanks! I've heard before of this kind of practice but never knew who developed it. There are a lot of stuff available on google. I'll give them a try. The way I dissolve tensions is finding a stance where you have the floating feeling and investigate at lower abdomen and kwa where I'm actually collapsing instead of relaxing, or compensating by tightening other areas. I always find new things to observe and investigate. I kind of relate it to a pre-vipassana practice. Then, more at a superficial level I let hot and cold currents go down my legs. I complement them with another practice I like very much: dissolving tensions from the sole of the foot, upwards. Feels like a pull down, a controled demolition. Best,
  18. Zhang zhuang

    Ramon25, I would suggest you to fix your legs and learn to dissolve body tensions through them. IMO your stance is not good enough, your knee problem escalates tension all the way up to your chest, hence your temper changes. And if your arms are held higher than the "nipples line" and you make a circle with your arms as wider as you can, that would only add fire to your emotions. There's a mistaken understanding regarding ZZ, that a static posture is in fact "static", instead of endless corrections of alignments. The special gift of ZZ is not to pack you full of chi but to learn to read your body.
  19. IBS (irrateble bowel syndrome)

    I had UC for 14 years, which is far worse than IBS, and after making big changes in my life I finally regain health almost 7 years ago. There are many good advice in the posts above. But having been there before, I would highly encourage you to first start any group activity that make you laugh, give you fun, joy, etc, as to give your brain a brake from dwelling on your malady. I highly recomend you jumping into a social dance like lambada, salsa or rock... You'll have a nice shot of sex hormones , connect with your body and others, regain trust on your social abilities, have fun like when you were a child, etc. Once I got a happier attitude towards life I could gave the next step: be my own boss, depelop a job on my own. Only then I could fully engage with qigong & taiji. Can't say chinese medicine & qigong won't help you in your state, in my case it did not. Have a try at them. But real changes involve walking through three doors: body, emotions and mind. Feel free to PM me, I'm not fluent enough in english to give you a detailed account on my journey, but would be glad to help you.
  20. Zhang zhuang

    It could be one or many things even if your posture is good: Do you do any low (edit: slow) warm up before ZZ? Are you going too deep into the posture? Are you staring at the front very intensively? Are you breathing from the tantien, and let it really drop? Are you too focused on chi sensations? Does your ZZ practice have a martial goal? Any noice bothering you while ZZ? Best,
  21. Zhan zhuang

    Holding the ball works on the whole energy system. Most of us have problems passing qi through the middle dantien. I'm not qualified to give you a proper answer to your request on the subject. There is an interesting article related to MD and MCO written by skilled taobum posters at:
  22. Zhan zhuang

    Glad it worked. You may try also to round your back, that is making concave (hollow) your chest. Notice that your elbows will move a little both to the sides and forward. And if any day you're having big trouble with emotions, you could try holding the ball at navel level. Let your arms expand and contract by the belly breathing. It has helped me quite a lot. IME it won't solve the blockeage at the middle tantien, but may put it on hold while developing a better foundation at the lower tantien. Best,
  23. Zhan zhuang

    Check if your thoraxic diaphragm isn't tight, if your breath can't go down to your tantien. Try breathing with your belly and floating ribs. Also don't held your elbows above nipples level (but at the diaphragm)and try a narrower ball with your arms. Hope this helps!
  24. My first post

    Hello! I've been visiting TaoBums for over a year and now decided to join in, partly because of Flying Phoenix Celestial Qigong thread. I'm from Buenos Aires (Argentina) and have been in touch with Taoism for almost 25 years, first through I Ching, then 10 years ago started with Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung, and last year began to try seated meditation methods. TaoBums is an astounding library of skilled practioners, so my posts would mostly be questions. Pablo