Small Fur

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  1. Money

    When the chakra of the crown opens it connects to the heavenly dimensions of the universe, including to the Immortals and celestial energetic bodies of star systems. These are the stars that comprise the Big Dipper and are part of a reunification process with the original template of ourselves, or the soul. The connection to the celestial realms are then transmitted back into the humanly vessel and that energy is sent into a sacred dimension known as the Crystal Palace located behind the third eye, where there are then further refractions and distributions of the energy through our organ and meridian systems. Even though a measure of energy from the heavens is always moving through our field, this level of opening and connection does not happen until after the golden seed is formed and the fragrance of heavenly peach flowers have been snowing for some time during meditation. This might sound like a recognition of the third eye to you and there is relationship to it, but the third eye only allows us to see subtle phenomena, not necessarily to understand or work with it rightly. Because of this, people who have the third eye open are only able to access a certain strata of realms, the nature of which has a lot to do with the health of their subtle systems and karma, and is also why many more people who have psychic experience disassociate, become delusional, sick or are menaced by negative entities... one needs to cultivate the maturity of health, clarity and capacity more completely within themselves in order to really be of and receive benefit from these dimensions of existence. But in general when we are cultivating deeply and sincerely, the arising of any phenomena becomes part of a depth of understanding of self as an ontological process and is not a distraction. So when one is able to move from such place with humility and awareness, then presence leads to wisdom that actually allows for the most fulfilling of mystical knowledge. Thus, the Consciousness of Immortals is not revealed until one has cultivated enough depth in self-Consciousness and character (de- virtue) as to be given such access and connection to divinity or the xian (the immortals). This is partly why if you read through posts of mine I talk about the importance of spiritual connection to golden seed which comes through the cultivation of shen (Consciousness). Form allows us to facilitate non-forms, until it itself can be dissolved into non-form, hence we must cultivate the yuan (original) within ourselves. And although all of this is indeed very deep and mystical, it must begin here: right within our capacity to be in and resolve our own hearts with the way we live and breath everyday.
  2. Money

    One of the Three Clarities: The Embodiment of Lu Xing 祿星 Your question surmises that the spiritual nexus of well-being within a person's life has its basis in money; this is a common perspective around topics of power, because many expressions of life so often seem to coalesce in forms of power and this in turn can provoke both fear and desire in people. This perspective creates a multiplicity of contentions through material and conceptual dichotomies (and more) as you try to fit the infinity of spiritual manifestation into the mundane currency of a single form: money! (but you could replace this word for sex, politics or any other mundane condition where power tends to consolidate and wield itself). If instead, your mundane life springs from the living awareness of spiritual connection to the Source that births all manifestations, then what is necessary to you will appear as is necessary for who you are, at the right time, naturally and in abundance. What you talk about... safety, security, sanctity and health to live a full and deep life, rests more foundationally in prosperity (or foremost a deeper form of essential wealth)- the monetary economics of which are only one means, but for most in this variant of time and place, a very important and often vital one nonetheless. First, if you recognize and understand that the energy (qi- which actually has many forms) of prosperity has inifinite potential in flow, then this will begin to change your concept of how wellness manifests and this will allow you to be more receptive and grateful to its many guises as you discover the abundance of miracle through mundanity. Prosperity is actually one of the three clarities of The Three Taoist Immortals correlated with the celestial bodies and elixir fields of our system, and who are themselves together the embodiment of unified purity when they congregate in the inner heavens (of the universe and your system): Lu Xing- God of Prosperity (including all forms of wealth) Fu Xing- God of Good Fate (including all forms of fortune), Shou Xing-God of Longevity (including all forms of health), (A small aside. I notice in the West that The Three Wise Ones are either not talked about or are seen as caricatures of some kind, but in Southeast Asian cultures they are very much revered: many wines, foods and alters are set up in honor of them. When I was growing up, their names and their values were always mentioned; especially to give blessing on special occasions, to mark the potential greatness in new beginnings, and at Lunar New Year. One of the Chinese herbal shops I often visit has a shrine in honor of Shou Xing to give blessings of health to their patrons). These three deities have had numinous manifestations across life times, achieving immortality with a unique focus of teaching from Emptiness as it leads from formlessness to become form and back again. Clarity in any of these three areas helps with the luminosity of transformation within us. Prosperity is what occurs when the heavens in the (jade and purple) palace of the Three Treasures in our body are Consciously nurtured. Longevity is what happens when the roots of the Three Treasures are Consciously nurtured. And Good Fate/Happiness/Fortune is what happens when the Earth and the Heavens unite at the center (through the heart) of all that we are as ren (human). Notice that in unification they are interdependent, ultimately inter-changeable and together create the potential for the treasures of wellness in our life from our bodies and through our bodies. Remember that that which is Immortal is without desire, hence it is eternal and this applies to all formations of Treasure internal and external ( don't objectify money and 'things'- lest xi shen, xi shen [acquired consciousness, acquired consciousness]). So prosperity or the wealth of our lives are part of an energetic Consciousness that moves through the universe and into our subtle body systems. Abundance of the Treasures comes from our clarity of access to these energies and (wise) understandings from (the levels of) Emptiness within the universe. Hence, when we become afraid, jealous, resentful, greedy or desireful of these powers, it creates obscurity and distortion, leading to imbalances in health and lifestyle and ultimately, our spirit. So do not struggle with the idea of 'have and have not' and then harmfully fight about it with yourself or with others; this is not clear. Worry less about specific attainments (or loss/lack) of any kind and focus more on what really needs doing within yourself so that prosperity, fate and health can naturally manifest of their own accord from your virtue and as is necessary for your living spirit path. To make this easier to understand and to begin with, consider living each day of your life like this: Make the kinds of life choices that are true and gracious to each step of the process without fear of the potential outcome- the kind where you could honestly and humbly always say from within your heart from start to finish that it is, will be and was always worth it! This is true conscious commitment. If you can do this with metta (deep self and universal loving-kindness) each day of your life in all things, then sense right here and now how much more empowering, transformational and liberating life becomes! This is a good first step and first breath to be practiced so that it may become literally EVERY step and EVERY breath of your living! So the root of your cultivation in this life needs to be one of a deep honesty in integrity of what is essential, committing to fulfill what is necessary- not what is the idea of something spiritual nor something societal, nor because you think you are a ___put a self-affirmed label here___. One must be deep and humble in their commitment to do what needs doing, and this requires a commitment in fearlessness and with vulnerability (this is often part of a larger, more complex topic so I won't get into it here, but it does mean you need the courage to live with an open heart in the face of all things- without passion, blindness nor foolishness and with lots of Love* Learning to do so is part of the human cultivation that allows us to step Consciously through the Mysterious Passage and go through what are known as the Spiritual Deaths- because at the least, who can know such Mystery without clarity and truthfulness, who can confront Death graciously without fearlessness and humility?). Also, one cannot be selfish in this endeavor if one is to be holistic and whole. Before I close this post, a word of reminder: Prosperity like any other clarity realized in Consciousness, must arise from your De (virtue). So do not confuse the attainments of yourself or others made through strife to be those arising from wisdom- whether these appear to be 'attainments' in cultivation or material life. Rightful living, including the rightfulness of resource and abundance that is True prosperity manifests uniquely to each soul's path from wei wu wei (effortless action) ; do not try to justify or rationalize- to yourself or for others, the things which do not come from the virtue of benevolent light. *Love is understandably, another big topic for people, and I won't get into it here, but by this I do not necessarily mean human emotionality, nor sociopathic ideation from lack of emotions, nor the science of bio-chemistry or instinct or drive; but I do mean what is great and that which can be experienced as the bliss of enlightenment)
  3. Buddha and Shen

    Question: Would a Buddha have a "perfected" Shen? Answer: Yes, one who has attained Buddhahood has a "perfected" shen or has total Consciousness. The state of eternal void allows for unceasing peace manifesting from the pure clarity of emptiness. It is this state of wisdom and being that is essential to the total liberation of self and others. Question: How does it work if someone suddenly attains Enlightenment, how are the three treasures affected? Answer: There can be many stages, phases or progressions to enlightened being. But in general, once you come into enlightenment, a sacred connection is created between you and a purity that is transcendent of dimensions. From this connection a sacred substance is divined from which one can begin the process of healing the entire system (via the transmuted perfection of the Three Treasures) and this in turn potentiates the path for total liberation. At some point then (whether immediate through enlightenment- shen; or gradual through body energetics- jing and qi), the full depth of cultivation can only be attained through Consciousness. This is why most humans who cultivate do not obtain the great longevity (because they are fixated on form and do not realize the Consciousness necessary to exist fully) of Earthly Immortals, and why most Earthly Immortals do not progress to the Spiritual and Celestial levels (because they are focused on energetics but have not entirely realized inherent True Nature)- because of (the lack of) Consciousness (shen). In essence, the Lesser, Middle and Great Paths are really differentiated foundationaly only by the quality, perspective and depth of Consciousness from which the capacity for transmutations are actually created and fulfilled. Thus the Lesser Path (ie. those whose interests are in the health and the wellness of their own bodies, both general physical and energetic) is for those whose minds are concerned with mortality and form (and therefore still have much issue of desire, attachment and illusion to overcome); the Middle Path (ie. those whose interest are in longevity and therefore also the more subtle and distinct conditions of energy across manifestations of diverse forms) is for those whose sense is in spirit (and therefore still need to refine mental and emotional energies to clear their subtle systems); and the Great Path (ie. those whose innate sense rests in liberation) is for those whose spiritual essence is rooted in Emptiness (ie. those who are prepared and able to cleanse all karmic conditions to full absolution). Though attainment on the Lesser Path could lead to progressions of more advanced paths but certainly may not; the Great Path inherently fulfills all other paths, however it requires greater integrity, discipline, humility, and virtue beyond self-interest to fulfill. (Note then that self-interest remains a source of motivation in both the Lesser and Middle Paths, whereas in the Great Path one is able to traverse free of desire and self-interest and hence can see the Mysterious Gates and Passages and root in Nothingness.) The nature of cultivating or refining the (gross and subtle) system is cyclical: personally (ie. continuous life patterns), existentially (ie. the perpetuation and progressions of collective consciousness across time), spiritually (ie. reincarnation and existence across dimension), metaphysically (ie. formless states and energies), and systemically through the koshas (sheaths of the system) via zhong mai (the Central Channel where the transmutations of the Three Treasures are facilitated at each level of the triple burner in the dan tiens). Just as cultivating a clear and healthy body allows for more radiant Consciousness, a profound Consciousness can lead to the cultivation of a more radiant form. Each person needs to begin this process according to the level or place at which they are ready for and understand in themselves- for some this is with body or forms, for others this is with mind and emotions or the spirit. For most it is somewhere in between and involves clarifying in stillness and movement, the energies of the system through a diversity of areas in their life. And in general, all of the internal work is made easier by also maintaining the external- meaning a safe, steady, clean and healthy lifestyle; this is as true at early stages as it is at later stages and why most sages live in relative seclusion free of distraction and waste. When you wonder what the most imperative areas for you are to focus, it is generally the areas where you struggle the most (note that this may or may not be the area you are most interested in working on; and while it may not be the easiest or most immediate area you come to, it is still nonetheless, the most imperative). These could be practical things as minuscule or seemingly trite as addressing areas of tensions or stagnations in the body by regularly stretching and doing yoga, or even keeping a clean space and releasing long buried items by maintaining a consistently clean space and completely purging ‘skeletons’; to confronting and healing overwhelming things in your life such as fears, addictions, intimacy issues and chronic illness to the very best of your personal ability and in a fullest sense of self-responsibility. Take heart that in your greatest area of struggle also lie the potential to unlock your greatest strengths- this is something you learn when you both study and observe the existential ontology of constitutional predisposition, especially as they relate to your spiritual path. When self-observing that most critical aspect of challenge in yourself, do your best to see past it's form (be this a belief/concept, a strong emotion, a bodily illness, etc.,.) and relax (sung) into the insight and understanding of its root (and by root, I mean what is beyond the existential); doing so will help initiate a path through Awakening. [I want to note again here (as I have in previous other posts) that seeing the Unnameable is not the same as enlightenment. This is an area where I feel many people who have not cultivated their consciousness deeply enough misunderstand (and is a reason why there are stories of Taoists who witness the Unnameable and simply choose to walk away, or people will cultivate to high levels and then stop, stray or become delusional- the latter being stories of gurus who fall prey to desires, for instance). Enlightenment is- as I mentioned above, a sacred connection: not simply an understanding, the foundation of an awakening or series of awakenings, or necessarily even the product of profound realizations. Enlightenment is therefore, as much something which is bestowed as it is a process of becoming, and one needs to come into a very deep place within and without of essential and profound virtue and integrity in rightful being for this to occur. Though it may seem astonishing to some that certain individuals come into what appears as sudden or even gradual enlightenment through a variety of forms or unusual impasses, each individual who has and will, have within the depths of their heart and spirit a great measure of purity and capacity to be in integrity of the sacred even if it is not readily apparent or understood by others, because to most it will not be readily apparent since most are living in projection, illusion and from distraction. So if you are one of these people, keep looking inward and follow that inner light in profound faith without the doubt and fear of a lesser consciousness and even through conditions that may seem to appear as failure and hurt. Live from this unified faith in full presence- faith does NOT mean having belief, having wishful emotions, or living blindly and thus unconsciously.] Question: Does jing, chi, shen only apply to a human body? Do devas have jing, chi and shen? Or is it only when in a human body that these things can be cultivated and nourished? Answer: I will not get into the details of distinctions here, but each of the Three Treasures have pre- and post- natal conditions, and each of these are as different from and integral to each other as they are to vital essence(s)... this is a subtle distinction since in many writings the terms are used inter-changeably, especially in modern writings. Each of the Three Treasures can be cultivated into its individual yuan (original form), and then into vital essence (singular). Deities are made of the pure light of Yuan Shen from which they can generate or affect the vital essences within the universe, including in the human body. (Note: as your question included the mention of "nourishment", I want to point out that when we are cultivating for a very healthy life, the emphasis is on nourishment- ie. tonification, conservation, strengthening... these things are for the benefit of mortality; whereas when we are cultivating with enlightenment as the foundation in our hearts, the emphasis and core is on refinement- ie. purifying, releasing, simplifying... these qualities are related to the nature of immortality.)
  4. Was Lao Zi A Real Historic Human Being?

    In Honor of the Xian Lao Tzu Was Lao Tzu one or many? Was Lao Tzu a legend of myth or a mere mortal? Was Lao Tzu a noble man or a Blue Ox? (...Who rode who home?) These kinds of questions come about because people tend to think that the human is Real and that having been a human that most others could perceive, this acknowledgement then justifies and legitimizes the existence of a self: if we can see it, taste it, smell it, and even document it (!)... many, many times over; then we can justify it, and then it must be so. Thus, to an ordinary person what is human and of humanity is more "real" than an Immortal. It is easy for the mind to mis-perceive existence and to confound the ideas of self. From the perspective of one who has come to full enlightenment- that is one who is also an Immortal, the understanding of what comprises a 'self 'and thus, what makes something real has no bearing on its temporal forms. When you too are present in Yuan Shen, then you too will know the answer to this and thus also understand the confounded perspective of this question. You too will know what it means to all at once be and never have been. You will recognize what is to be Real and therefore, what is True: you will recognize the Immortal nature within Being. Many sources guide the spiritual progress of existence- real and unreal, here and not here, all at once singular and yet many. But those sources which are True, are the most Real, and in that knowledge and wisdom is the Immortal Being transcendent within experience and without justification. Therefore it is beneficial to live purely so as to become clear in Consciousness, and therefore not confuse the imagination of self from Original Being.
  5. Is life long celibacy even possible ???

    The question isn't whether others can and have, because in these thousands of years of practice and history, of course, though many could not and did not, many also have and many do. It can be done: healthy and easily. And it can also be done pre-maturely, forced and incompentently. True inner peace cannot arise from any form of desire- even if that desire is for peace itself. True peace does not become so without a deep understanding and wisdom of the essential; and that only begins to become so when we are unafraid to look deeply within ourselves and resolve ourselves in all the conditions of worldly truths without fear, aversion, desire or suffering. So, what matters isn't if it is possible out there in the world. What matters is if it is in you to do so: readily, naturally, and now. To answer that you must look inward, you must ask yourself honestly and you must know yourself truly in this moment. The fact that you ask suggests an internal conflict in need of more self-awareness to resolve and a desire in need of a more profound understanding so it can be adequately relinquished. Take the time to meditate and look inward. Be honest with yourself about not only your readiness and capacities, but also about your own true willingness and what is really in your heart to do. As many spiritual teachers who have gone well beyond awakenings will tell you, the spiritual path is not for the faint of heart. It takes a great maturity to journey through existence in the light of full awareness with steadiness, deep integrity and a humble heart. So do not be afraid of the answer. The answer matters less than the courage that allows for clear insight and the potential for rightful action that can come forth when one is deeply honest within themselves. This foundation in integrious clarity is one of a few simple, yet deeply necessary virtues for all forms of cultivation to bear fruit no matter your path, monastic order, lineage or non-affiliation. There are many paths to transcendence. No matter what guise that takes in the world, the only path will have ever only been within you and through you. And each step of that way is only made apparent and profound when you take the time in the barren honesty of silence and stillness to discover what is true from within to know whether or not you are truly ready to be without.
  6. Taoist Immortal vs Buddha

    Beyond Form and Formless in the Myriad of Dreams In the spiritual traditions, we sometimes speak of the formed and the formless. For many this is the idea of the things they can touch and the things they can’t touch, the things we can see and the things we can’t see- this may be the corporeal body vs. the aether of mind-emotion, for others they are the layers of human structure vs. energy (qi), while for some it may be this world vs. other (metaphysical) worlds, or the mundane condition vs. the existential condition. Whatever your (conscious and unconscious) choice of perspective, as your awareness becomes more subtle, what was once perceived as formless- through increased clarity and awareness, will become formed; and formlessness will take on new dimensions of nuance becoming even more fine… until at last we work on things which are very very fine, things that are very very pure- things which are a part of Nothing. This is the process of refinement to Consciousness- physiologically, psychologically and spiritually, and it happens many times over and over until one comes to completion. So, what you once considered as ‘this’ or ‘that’ will transmute as your experience and perception deepens in nuance and subtly, no matter where your point of reference in understanding began, no matter who you thought you were and what this is. Students, scholars and even some certain spiritual sages may argue with one another because their attachment to experience continues to be rooted in a fixed form- the idea of what is spiritual- be these concepts, rules or structures applied to thoughts, spirits, methods or processes. As this complexity of spiritual knowledge becomes clarified through experiential sense in Consciousness and resolves back in its origin of purity, we discover that the myriad of forms is actually rooted in an incredible simplicity- one that can begin to be directly recognized and understood through samadhi and the passage into non-being: It is not possible to understand the condition of form if we do not know the formless; and it is hard to know formlessness if we cannot recognize the nature of Emptiness. This evolution in Conscious being is an important aspect integral to what it is to experience spiritual transmutation. It is easy to think or imagine the process of transmutation of the Three Treasures in the tradition of Taoism to be different from the process of evolution of psycho-spiritual virtue in enlightened consciousness of the Buddhist tradition because few have fully recognized its essential source within themselves. These inseparable aspects of our ontological process are one and the same even if spoken of in different directions, pointing to seemingly different trajectories: they actually direct to one (non-)thing. It is from this origin that you can come to understand that all those myriads of ways were ever really just one way. It appears as many answers because you are made of the many and think of much, but the truth known by the Enlightened is much more simple, and it is pure. This is why the Buddha “points” and Lao Tzu says “nothing” without desire nor attachment to ‘this or that’, yet both answers arise from a single Consciousness residing in the Empty State. So the Enlightened teaching is actually just one teaching- and ultimately there is only one lesson. From experience and to use the Taoist perspective of terms, I would put this metaphysical spiritual process to Consciousness like this: “A thousand transmutations leads to a single essence whose truth lies in Emptiness” So as you say above, you hear Buddha’s words as a lot of ‘somethings’ and you hear Lao Tzu’s word as one mysterious ‘nothing’, but the reality is a single inspiration of unified light that has no words, for those who are enlightened share One True Consciousness. This is why these teachings are not the practice themselves, yet they are found in and through the practices- and this is also why the deeper key to any form is unlocked through Consciousness (ie. shen, Buddha-nature, the heart) within the formless and not willing formlessness through the formed by mentally and physically practicing entrenched ideas. And this is also why working on your nature and character are every bit if not more important than working on the body. The body becomes what is it in large part because of what you think it is and true transmutation lies beyond cognition to create, dissolve and resolve. This is why you must unlearn yourself to realize, and this is why practice and cultivation are so much more important than debating traditions, teachers and methods. When you approach the potential of a true teaching with fear and doubt, practicing half-heartedly, scattered and full of conflicting desire, then the truth of what that is, who you are and what you do easily becomes obscured. Instead, when your heart and actions are diligent, honest and move deeply in (self)awareness, it becomes easier to sense and know what is true (and therefore also what is untrue) about yourself, about life, and all that appears to be; from this perspective of such honest practice, living and cultivation are the same path to the same origin no matter what form it took. When you come to this in yourself then all the invaluable insights and precious teachings of the Enlightened will no longer be a method or a mystery but a revelation in transcendent experience beyond all manifestations, both ‘formed’ and ‘unformed’ and it will become you.
  7. Taoist Immortal vs Buddha

    Enlightenment is the surpassed threshold into transcendent awareness from which the consciousness begins a process of merging with Source itself. When you experience this, then the terminology used in different traditions dissolves because they never really were. The terms are simply a vessel for delivery, an anchor and a pointer; but its truth is not in its form. So if you want to understand the essential, cultivate yourself from this essential place within yourself: not from the idea of becoming this or that thing out there. Crossing this threshold enters one into the complete spectrum of Consciousness for dissolving impurities- this is experienced by all who have progressed in enlightened wisdom. Each may use their own descriptive term, or select different properties to arbitrarily define qualities of progression, or suggest different methods to practice, but it does not change the essence of the process. Whereas those prior to enlightened being (such as those who have awakened, or those who are leading healthy lives, or even those who are struggling) are trying to rectify and purify themselves from within mundane or more profound understanding, those who cross this threshold are purifying themselves from within the origin of a transcendent awareness. So the entire path, was always and is always one of purification so that what is pure and original may become us unobstructed through all fields of our manifestation. The differences between the enlightened and unenlightened lies in the origin of connection. Purification and consciousness are the two keys- the body is only one of many ephemeral substrates or fields whereby result may manifest and/or be redistributed through energy into material and then back again into energy. Therefore, working on these two keys are the most important and will determine the quality of progression in both method and process. And so to address finite terminology… The thing humans witness as Immortal and the thing humans witness as Buddha are ultimately the same manifestation of One Enlightened Consciousness. From the witness of Xing Dao (the consciousness of the Unnamed Ultimate) there are no longer forms; it is the essence of essence that purifies Being- and the degree to which this refined awareness exists in us depends on our level of completion across this threshold. This means, that Buddhahood and Immortality exist in the same phase of enlightened progression and completion. Here the origin of experience is the same even if some methods of practice through form appear as disparate pathways or processes. The reason for this is because at this phase there is only one Consciousness permeating Being and it is only the residuals of form and/or person in their cleaved multiplicity that appear to have facets which require resolve. Did you think Immortals became so without the wisdom of Buddhahood? Did you not realize that Buddhas are also Immortal? Enlightenment in its wholeness is a completely unified state encompassing and yet transcending all name, so do not let your mind distract you into ideas… But let me this point out: What practical, actual and applied value is this question to the one who has *not come* to this point of experience? What practical, actual and applied value is this question to the one who has *actually come* to this point of experience? The answer to both of these is the same: it is *nothing*. The reason for this may come from two completely different places, yet the origin of why is exactly the same. Therefore, people who sincerely want to cultivate, need not worry about the answer to this. The value of this path is inherent and has little to do with how the world defines it, nor even how you define ‘yourself’. It is not sophistication in intellectual discernment that makes one wise, but discernment of sense beyond sense: this means that the ‘proof’ is not necessarily (exclusively) in the body, nor is it (necessarily only) in the mind; and this is why it is important to continue meditation and cultivation until you can have deep awareness in silence and stillness (from within samadhi) in order to truly understand this. People who are concerned with names, stages, titles and verification processes will take the long path (of hardship) to each (supposedly) arriving stage while (potentially) undermining the very essence of purity within the path. People who struggle to progress along this path and use mind to move energies and orbits are moving through time while attempting to force the nature of phenomena. The more you move through time*, the longer you dwell in karma. Ultimately there is no time in the enlightened state- it is beyond immediacy and in us it is found through the most profound Presence. We are all capable of accessing this timelessness. Do not thwart your own progress by falling prey to the ego’s desire for achievement and go picking at Buddhas over Immortals, this light body or over that light body: care more for your own heart (the seat of wisdom and shen from which the light of Consciousness emerges through form), for goodness and for honesty (the Virtues necessary for Immortality and Buddhahood), for self-understanding (the deep self-reflection that becomes the turning of the light): then you will know light beyond all body while in this very body. You will best afford yourself every opportunity to taste the great fruit through the diligence of humble practice. Therefore, ‘for every one line you read, do ten practices’. This is all that truly matters. And a final note, for some of the people on this forum who say they are not concerned with enlightenment: The essence of why this forum is possible is because those who came to enlightenment shared their wisdoms of the path in all its many forms and methods, and because they continue to hold this light so that all other beings may flourish. That you are drawn to this, that you live at all- this makes you integral to the spiritual progression that is this existence, even in all its mundane guises of form. The light of Buddha is in all of our hearts, in all of our bodies, in all of this universe. You may not think you wish for nor have care to strive for this omnipresent recognition, but do allow yourself this opportunity for such true peace, for such pure love and for this liberation; for this wisdom and grace is beyond any form of thought, body or practice you will ever do- yet it may become all that you do if you open your heart and awareness towards it. In every Being is the Immortal Buddha and so may you know it as yourself. *Note that metaphysical travel to other dimensions may appear timeless or even be timeless but those places are not the form of non-eternality I am pointing to
  8. OP Question: Is internal kungfu knowledge deliberately hidden? My answer given above directly answers your question in a totality of breath and depth. But in case a more specific answer would benefit some, it is this: People who dwell in secrets think things can be hidden. People who dwell in the sacred understand what can be seen.
  9. How do we know who is a true teacher? What makes someone a true student? Every human is field of energy that originates from Nothing. Any student at any moment can see through a teacher and realize truth. A student whose mind is mundane observes falsity and cannot discern whether a teacher is true. A student that sees deeply can see through the falsity within a teacher. A student who is obscured will sit before a true teacher and will create an infinite number of illusions. A student who sees truly will sit before a true teacher and see through them to realize the Tao. A true student who is a true teacher sits before all people and sees the Tao through all being.
  10. Preface This is a basic post meant as a simple (yet also deep) guide and reminder to living with particular emphasis from the perspective of (jing) conservation. This piece does not talk about methods of jing tonification or replenishment1 which are different though inter-related issues. Rather, this provides foundational philosophy and perspectives with a few guiding lifestyle suggestions to consider in practicing conservation. I will note that many of the suggestions appear basic and they are. Yet most people fail to take care of the roots and the foundations: if you don't take care of the foundation at its roots, any accomplishment you come to at a more advanced level will be built on unstable ground and therefore eventually and likely come to some kind of fail. This includes people who experience aspects of the Void and become fearful of the existential, people who witness Tao and walk away in carelessness or disappointment, people who see some aspect of metaphysical light but cannot access them again or more profoundly, people who find bliss but become drunken, or people who have years and decades of cultivation that just one day simply get up and walk away in disillusionment, disheartened even given all their progress and effort. So, practitioners who come to resolve and completion on this path are people who care for and attend to the most basic until each succession of what is basic becomes what is fantastical to the novice. This is what makes the understanding deep, rich and profound; this is what allows it to become complete and enduring; this how existence transcends itself to become immortal. So, it is encouraged that after you read this, you take the time to assess what additional and specific changes you could make in your life to commit to improving your vitality- not only physiologically but also psychologically (which has more implication upon shen- the spiritual aspect of consciousness that resides with each yin organ (including zhi shen). Then as you regularly apply and assimilate these commitments into your life, consciously reflect upon how you can both broaden and deepen your understanding so as to refine your methods over time. Do this for the rest of your life. Every one who goes deep starts from a beginning over and over again, but what is the beginning becomes something completely anew with each successive cleansing and resolve, and what is basic in time becomes deep and profound if you are astute, diligent and sincere. As per usual and with few exceptions, I rarely post to a thread more than once. For those who continue this thread, please be mindful- post with generosity and take care that you words and ideas are posted with intention for benevolence. Share thoughtfully what you feel you know in yourself to be of value and benefit. Be as truthful as you understand while being kind. When we cultivate in ourselves strong yi (yi- spirit of the spleen organ whose virtue is intention), we can create greater shen for all beings (shen- spirit of the heart whose virtue is awareness and consciousness). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reference Notes for the following reading: Jing- is the primordial essence of existential potential and the root of vital energy. It also is one of the Three Treasues integral to the transmutation processes of internal alchemy. [Note that jing itself is not a tangible substance- though it becomes most notably the substance of semen and ovum; but as iterated above, it is an essence first and foremost before it transmutes into additional forms of (post-natal) qi.] Jing's associations are as follows, primarily because it manifests through the Water phase of the Kidneys: (thus these are direct notes about the Water element and Kidney organ as they relate to jing, but not necessarily directly about jing itself. Understanding the elemental phase from which jing arises and/or is associated is helpful to guiding health and living principles) Wu Xing Phase is: Water Housed in the Yin organ: Kidney Spiritual Axis and Stage: Heart (shao yin) Mother of: Wood Child of: Metal Seasonal phase: Winter Associated Gland: Adrenals Tissue governance: Bone Orifice opening: Ears Flavor quality: Salty Color of light: Blue Emotion: Fear Virtue: Faith Shen Spirit: Zhi Other terms Chong mai- the central channel deep within the core of the body running from perineum to crown that passes through the Triple Burners where primary subtle transmutations occur Shen- spirit, and for the purposes of this post refers to any one of five spirits that govern the yin organs of the body Principles of Conservation in Action and Non-Action The principle of conservation is a simple one, yet can be exceptionally sophisticated and deep. Pertaining to Jing, it is to prevent leakage and loss in each moment on a daily basis so that one can: -have vital essence from which to live a healthy, vibrant life -manifest the infinite potential in the ming of xing from jing (must be done in concert with Yuan Shen in wei wu wei from the Unnamable) -prolong existence so as to continue cultivation towards greater Consciousness (also known as part of the transmutation process of the The Three Treasures) [Notice that if you read these three points about why we conserve jing it is not so we can have egoic power to live forever, have more fun and attain more magical states- this isn't a celebrity contest to be novel and have a forever good time. Which isn't to say it isn't mystical and unimaginably beautiful- but it is also a sacred process and I encourage that those who have these kinds of feelings continue to work on their minds and hearts, to deepen their 'spiritual maturity'. It takes a combination of great fortitude, humility and wisdom to come to recognize this path for all that it is, let alone fulfill it through yourself. This in turn requires a depth of essence inherent to what manifests as the virtues of diligence, integrity and heartfelt courage. So every time you feel these stirrings of superiority, grandiosity, passionate zeal and desire, or conversely feel deep doubt, have reservation or fear your capacity- let it all go and just keep moving inherently, deeply, sincerely and unceasingly from the most essential place you know in yourself.] Just as jing can be conserved with awareness, diligence and care, it can also be lost through unconsciousness, wastefulness and careless expenditure, especially those that go above and beyond our most basic and foundational energy. In modern life, the propensity towards excess in living automatically leads to imbalance that can cause deficiency at a deeper physical and energetic level in the body, leading to disease manifested as aging and ultimately death. Three most basic, daily and common ways you can immediately begin working to conserve jing from the perspectives of: LIFESTYLE WELLNESS AND BALANCE: Be balanced and moderate in actions; do not over exert. For instance, do not work long hours, over-think, over exercise, stay up late, allow your emotions to be become stressed or upset. Do not consume caffeinated or high sugar drinks or foods to push your body to function beyond their basic healthful limit- this pulls energy from your reserves and taxes the adrenal system- the adrenals which are the glands of the kidneys and thus this will cause jing to be extracted. Do not indulge regularly in addictive substances- in most cases, the condition of 'getting high' draws from the jing and pushes out our reserves so that people can experience sensational phenomena through uncontrolled (and therefore not fully conscious) altered states (if you want to know bliss, god, and unceasing beauty, learn to find it from within naturally through your own heart and Consciousness. Through transcendent wisdom in meditation one comes to understand this beyond all measure and through all moments in ways that no drug, medicine or supplement can compare). Eat on time, and eat moderately so that you do not have to draw from the reserves from your body and so that the process of qi creation through the chong mai are not depleted progressively as it transmutes through each of the three burners. Drink a plentiful amount of clean fresh, vibrant water through out the day.2 Note: -as said in Taoism, "the highest good is like water" (implications which are both literal but also progressively energetically subtle, nuanced and deep) -the body is made almost entirely of water -all the jin ye (heavy and light) fluids of the body require fresh water to function -the kidney itself is the water organ in the wu xing phase To the degree that you think your life is 'too busy' or that 'you must' do certain things or that you feel your situation demands your extra energy to succeed, achieve or survive re-assess your perspective, remember that everything you do in life is a choice- even if some choices are difficult to make. Consider more deeply or profoundly what is essential- essence being not of the body or ideation of the mind, but of the yuan (original) in the universe. If you are a woman, until you learn the secrets to healthily cease menstruation (this is NOT the same as going into menopause- contrary) take care of your health so that your hormones are balanced during the moon phase and that your bleeding is fresh, bright and minimal. Menstruation and blood are in many ways for women analogous to the treasure of what jing is in men, so you must learn to conserve blood loss and smooth emotions/ hormones while purifying the menstrual blood. Menstrual blood that is dark, thick, heavy or excessive are signs of serious health issues in Chinese medicine and need to be addressed through lifestyle and dietary changes as well as with a trained practitioner. If you are perimenopausal, know there are ways- however rare but entirely possible, to restart your period. If you are late into menopause, then all the same lifestyle suggestions here apply but in particular you will be benefited by healthful methods of tonification because as noted later below, within most degrees generally and practically, it takes energy to make energy- so more tonification in this case will help with conservation, particularly if you can nourish the blood and focus on qi gong for the liver and breasts. SEXUAL INTIMACY AND HEALTH: When sexually engaging do so consciously, from a place of generosity and in mutual reciprocity where there is a foundation of clear, healthy trust and intimacy. Abstain from sexual behavior that is objectified, sexualized in action, thought and/or emotion whether it is with another person, a projection or image of another. The act of sexualization and/or objectification leads to perpetuation of leakage out the kidneys, eyes and penis- not only during masturbation or ejaculation, but upon mental and emotional provocation as well. Do not engage in random, casual or ungenerous and selfish sexual behaviors alone, with a partner or through 'fantasy' this reduces the opportunity for natural dual-circulation that can help heal and replenish the body, heart and subtle energy systems at the least and at the worse can increase the potential for deep hurt and harm to yourself and others, individually, inter-personally and collectively. To the degree that you suffer from forms of sexual addiction or unconscious habituation (ie. wanting sex out loneliness or emptiness; for vanity, control or power; viscerally unconscious base desires, etc), remove all forms of sexual stimulus from your life until you come to understand what is actually 'sexuality' free from socialized or unconscious base impulse. Instead, focus your attention on healthful life things. When you feel a strong urge or have a strong reaction to something- stop and bring great awareness to yourself. If you are in a healthy and secure relationship, make sure sharing intimacy is done in conscious presence with a mutually open heart and in generosity to each other. This alone if done with enough genuine care, will allow for a certain potential or opportunity for dual-circulation and/or at least mutual health even if neither persons entirely can recognize, sense or understand its technical processes. If you are abstaining from sexual engagement all together make sure that you are resolved. Without true resolve around the matter, conditions of stagnation and turbidity are likely to accumulate whether this is through suppression, repression, or other unconscious desire and fear. For health, flow, and to prevent negative accumulation, continue some measure of circulation until the system is fully purified; meaning in most cases that ejaculating (or some other more subtle clarified form if you are more advanced in your practice) on a rare occasion- will prevent imbalances to various layers of the system, including negative build-up and injury from excess, or conversely depression and increasing weakness in the body. Until the layers of the system are replete with shen to naturally circulate and refine the jing unaided, some measure of continued physical flow through the genital from a sacred inner place can be beneficial. The point in any case is to not simply abstain or not abstain from unconsciousness- be this a mindless procedure of discipline, fear or desire, listlessness or lust. MENTAL-EMOTIONAL and SPIRITUAL WISDOM: Find peace and faith; learn to release fear and do not engage doubt. (Note that not engaging doubt does not mean to relinquish discernment nor does it mean to have either blind faith nor harbor distrust) Fear is the emotion of the kidney that drains the organ's energy and source of jing. Doubt or the lack of faith (not meant from so much from a Western perspective but from the Taoist perspective of lacking trust in the mundane and existential mysterious) are opposing forces to the virtue of zhi- the spirit of the kidneys. People who live in perpetual fear and (particularly existential) distrust have a propensity to exert there will inappropriately (either forcing situations or giving up. As a side note, I also often observe greater levels of procrastination in those who have a constitutional predisposition to water) and cause harm to jing and more importantly, the zhi shen itself. Symptoms of these imbalances include feeling 'frozen' by fears, lacking faith about the course of things in your or other people's lives, doubting the potential of the existential, in yourself and in others; these are highly dangerous and harmful perspectives that come from a lack of clarity in the (organ) spirits. In fact, for so many the unfulfilled life, the unfilled dream, the doubt in whether this (spiritual) path is possible or true, is so integral to these emotions and perspectives. So when we look at jing from a more essential perspective of essence and spirit rather than purely as (post-natal) qi, we come to recognize that how we orient our mind, heart and spirit- and thus our perspective to existence can deeply impact our essence, and thus our actions and the outcomes of our life- including existence and non-existence, life and death. Among other practices, two of the most powerful to target the nature of the kidney and zhi is to dutifully practice 1) deep self-reflection in all moments- particularly when you experience fear or feel deep doubts and 2) to learn meditation that develops the capacity to listen into the silence of Nothing. Remember that the ears are the orifice of the kidneys and that deep self-reflection is the movement between the spiritual poles of kidney and heart. In time, once you have arrived at a certain successive mastery of these very basic life actions, go back to the foundation of the applied philosophy and move deeper. That is: Be still internally (in the spiritual and at the utmost, true stillness requires internal silence, the state of sung, and arrives through wisdom found through meditation), while in vibrant circulation (circulation which was once discrete circuits of the mundane body of qi as well as physical actions and behaviors in living; now becomes the movement of essences and treasures- including jing, and then eventually what is beyond essence and is radiant). When you can make living the same as conservation, the issue of either conditions will resolve and be no longer. Thus, refine your understanding of what it means to not-strive, be moderate, and to be free of desire and fear until your recognition is no longer mundane, until the energetic system and its spirits (the shens) do not move from unconscious impulse and until you are free of all notions that lead to such impulses- not only now in this life time and this moment, but across all planes and dimensions that are the field of time, space and dimension that become the thing you experience to be body and spirit. This is how we cleanse the 'karmic' to prepare the 'body' for the utmost forms of profundity. ------------- Footnotes and Miscellaneous Note: Note to cultivators who are middle-aged or later in life and/or those who are sincere and exceptionally serious in progressing along this path: If you are starting this process now, I suggest that in addition to the above, spend as much leisure time focusing on cleansing and/or purification as the means to actually conserve. Without a properly pure and bright system at all levels, jing can only be cultivated so far- so in order to go deep, you must make sure the system is very clear. The later one starts this process and/or the more accumulation a person has to work through (whether this is mental, emotional, physical or karmic) the more complex it is to minimize the loss of jing over time and thus hinder decline. This is because, if nothing else, as people age they have a phsyiological propensity toward less and less resources within themselves to achieve daily functions and balance, therefore all living increasingly must draw on the foundation of vital jing (rather than post-natal stomach and spleen) qi to act and survive, and eventually even down to the Sea of Marrow (these are bone and blood systems in Taoist medicine). Because the deeper process of systemic purification requires an intense energy of focus and application- particularly if it involves the density of physicality, in order to cultivate a more ascendant form and to refine and transmute more subtle energies, it actually requires a lot of energy. So it takes energy to make energy- energy which you may have less of depending on your constitution and/or level of health if you are deficient or burdened. (Note that once the system reaches are certain level of purity, the system will circulate in a more optimal manner and then this principal changes in certain deep and nuanced regards) Therefore, it is best to spend all time devoting energy to caring for your energy: spend your jing wisely! 1 True jing replenishment and tonification- that is what is deep and substantial enough to make an impact that is profound and lasting enough for transmutation, exceptional longevity or immortality; only truly begins after one has sufficient mastery of conservation in their living and adequately purified the system to the degree where shen and aspects of shen can begin to guide the process. Notice here that people who talk of subtle orbital circulation as a mental-physiological procedural process of qi have not realized True Nature (xing) and that spiritual maturity, greater depth and more profound realization is required to fulfill this process clearly and truly. 2 Regarding Water: those who have cultivated to a very advanced level will note that the start and end phases of all existential processes in the system begin and end with water, breath, and light- so water, like breath and shen, are core to cultivation. Students of mine who in early phases are dismissive when asked to take inventory of how much water they drink through out a day, trivialize a core aspect of the foundational root and thus foolishly jeopardize their potential towards more profound cultivation- not so much exactly because of this one thing, but because of the totality of their perspective in depth and breadth that leads to continually misguided perception born from unconsciously entrenched notions. There is a lot of Western conception that objectifies water into a mere mundane scientifically discrete particle and so much emptily spoken rhetoric around 'drink X ounces of water a day' that others hear the mere suggestion and automatically dismiss it as trite at some level while superficially nodding in agreement at its importance to one another at another level. Deep listening means the potential for deep recognition. Deep recognition leads eventually to profound understanding. And in time, that leads to wisdom; if you can do this in all moments, through all things, your understanding of what is existence and its manifestations will change beyond all conception. Take that to heart. And recognize that what is wise, is often simple. Be so humble so as to be sincere when being basic. Strive less to achieve all Taoist advancements yet be utterly profound in your sincerity and inherent in your diligence and you will surpass any need for stages and levels.
  11. What does tension in the upper jaw mean, what sort of emotional blockage does this area relate to? [I want to note that there are many ways to consider correspondences and interpret conditions in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which depend on the unique presenting conditions of the patient as well as the perspective of the practitioner, so we can't go off of just generic theory or uncontextualized patient questions (even as I am listing some general points here); understanding this is an important aspect of how TCM defers from Western allopathy; it is not a 'one size fits all' type of diagnostic system, so please read this just as a general reference guide.] The area you reference suggests that this is the masseter muscle which sit between the joint of the mandible below the temporal bone of the skull. It is a delicate area of the face as the lower mandible can easily be dislocated through the misapplication of pressure (meaning one should exercise great caution when working on this area) as it is held together by only four muscles: the masseter, the temporalis, and the medial and lateral pterygoid . Generalized stress is a common cause of tension for this area but with repeated or ongoing issue, it can develop into Tempro-manidular Jaw Disorders (TMJD). Common symptoms of TMJ/TMI/TMJD are: popping or clicking of the jaw, sporadic headaches, and pressure changes and pain in the ear leading to tinnitus. Long-term issues can include such conditions as: chronic head pain, difficulties operating the jaw due to 'locked' jaw affecting a person's ability to eat or speak, facial tenderness and pain radiating downwards along the neck and shoulder area (which in turn can cascade and lead to other muscular, bone and joint alignment issues though out the body). In TCM this is classically a problem related to an imbalance in the liver. San Jiao (gallbladder and small intestine meridian) directly passes through this area. A common needle insertion point for this condition is Gallbladder 2 as this a local treatment point that sits in the depression of joints near the ear. Generally speaking we could say that Liver/Gallbaldder, Stomach/Spleen and an element of digestive fire as it relates to sorting (including emotional sorting) are inter-related correspondences to this condition.The emotions I predominantly see in TMJD are a repressed anger of wood hun and feelings of worry, hurt or anxiety related to the earth functions of the stomach and spleen (but also any or all other emotions associated with the elements, as hun shen cares for all spirits of emotions). In my clinical experience, people who harbor resentment toward others, people who are fiercely angry or jealous underneath, as well as people with dual-diagnosis (meaning they have a mental health condition combined with a substance abuse disorder) or patients with PTSD (Post- Traumatic Distress Disorder) often express this as a secondary factor. You mention here that drinking causes the jaw tension to become worse. Again, similar to the milder symptomology involved in dual-diagnosis and the way alcohol poisons the liver, this would suggest a direct correlation between the disharmony of hun spirit to the 'grain spirit' that you are consuming. Many people here are very concerned with complex transmutation processes (ie. jing into qi, into shen) that they do not understand and have yet to consciously experience out of rampant mentality and egoic motivation and therefore fail to take care of the very foundational things that lead to the ability to do such subtle transmutation. If one poisons their body through food and drink, through media, through thought and behavior, then they are immediately and directly harming their shen spirits- thus the corresponding organ and all its associated control functions; this in turn will course through the meridians and in the longer term effect essences (eg. The Three Treasures). Therefore, those who are sincere about tonifying vital energy (jing), circulating energy (qi and blood), and want to refine their consciousness (shen) had best start with doing the very, very basic things of taking care of their health at all levels- be this eatting and drinking cleanly, managing weight, abstaining from exploitive media, managing emotions, working on character/ inner nature, etc.,. It may not sound as glamorous as nei gong, but that is only because people don't understand the spectrum of energy and existence in which life manifests and so are otherwise consumed by distractions of the heart and mind and are led astray by the externalities of illusion. Your example here of drinking, jaw tension and how it relates to liver damage and thus hun (the shen or consciousness of the liver) are a very good and basic example of how important foundational health is to Taoist living; it is a reminder and hopefully a recognition to others that all levels of extremely refined transmutation must grounded in the very simple, basic tangible ways of living a pure embodied life. For additional support, I will add that there are many forms of holistic health therapies you could look in to for this. In specific, some of the ones I would consider for this condition are: myofascial trigger release therapy with an LMT to deal with muscular tension, articulatory readjustment and retraining with a D.C or chiropractor to deal with any physical dislocation and muscular habituation patterns, relaxation practices to address the underlying emotional conditions from a mental or spiritual health practitioner, and acupuncture with an LAc to transform the energetic patterns.
  12. First of all, I have not viewed the link you supplied so I am not addressing the content in there, just your question about the substances themselves and their processes. The "goal" is what you make of it. It's easy to dismiss this, in fact many students when I say something so simple do dismiss this while acting in theoretical courteous agreement - "Of course, right right" they nod their head vigorously, while lazily internally waiting for a seemingly more tangible answer that they really want to hear to be handed to them. The world is full of answers- but what could be better than realizing that all the resource you have to Become already lies within you? This is not a PC statement or a clever statement, it's the transcendent recognition of self beyond illusion and it needs to be taken seriously. This chosen path cannot be resolved in understanding to transcendence by those who need mental answers and desire social satisfaction, this is the path for those who are able to find true resolve and harmony in being without in every moment- and I mean that in many deep, deep ways. It is not to say that one may not experience forms of measurable change through practice and cultivation, but if you believe these moments of flux to be the arrival of the 'goal' or 'the ultimate' then you will have already seeded misunderstanding in the experience that you just 'grasped'. A profoundly truthful recognition at any level or layer of form is always beyond measure because it transcends the human device even if it can be witnessed in and through us. So students who tell me they want a teacher who will make them feel something specific and tangible, who are thus driven by the experience of phenomena- these are the people who enjoy the perpetuation of phenomena, who ultimately, are afraid to be without. And these are the same people who easily fall prey to strong intellectual minds and are seduced by imagery (ie. academics, powerful and persuasive egos, the look of monastic robes, fancy romantic tai chi moves, amazing displays of qi projection, etc.,.), who get caught up in their own emotionality of fantastical occurrences (ie. psychotropic drugs, mystical occurrences, impactful collective experiences, etc.,.), and who continue to crave affirmation to espouse validation (ie. credentialing, titles, audience recognition, etc.,) and thus are easily led astray and seduced by persons, groups and experiences seemingly more prestigious and enlivened than they actually perceive themselves to be. This is the weakness of insecurity and highlights the importance of doing the internal work necessary for a deep self-knowing... after all, from what source do you think immortality and enlightenment arises- somewhere outside of yourself? is it just floating somewhere in the universe of dimension? do you think a school will grant you a title and in that moment it becomes so? will society thinking you are a guru make it true? do you mistake the heavens for the Unnamble Source? So no matter what your lineage, who your teacher is, in order to walk this path truly, it must come from a guidance deeper and even more profound than the thing you think to be yourself. There are levels of exploration that can be done in the comaraderie of peers, or for the joys of health, etc.,. and in some of those exploratory or beginning stages, the simple practice of tai chi, qi gong, or basic knowledge of Taoist esoterics can provide an excellent foundation. For those who are are committed, there is incredible benefit to be had through selecting an area of study with great depth beyond a general workshop or class- at this stage learning must be continuous and your lifestyle reflective of each piece of knowledge; thus diligence and discipline are required. At later stages (and by late, I do not mean external progression, but internal: who you are, not what you have yet appeared to do or not do- this is about a maturity of sincerity), a private mentorship with a true teacher and the appropriate application of meditation can be profound. Thus the level, school, teacher or lineage you select may affirm to yourself the level with which you are ready to understand- assuming that instruction meets the substance of your willingness. Those who walk the true path deeply have already seeded in themselves a profound honesty- an honesty that will help them select or discover a true teacher, they will be sincere in their willingness and because of this they will arrive and know in concert with the Tao in their own time, not even because of their true teacher or a great lineage, but because of who they are. So the answer to this question is not for someone to tell you, not for the thing called "Taoism' to decide, or even your teacher. You come to the teaching because you are ready. And what you select- in consciousness and in ignorance, will continue your chosen path. Ultimately, the true substance is not found in any matter of phenomena- you will discover once you arrive there that even the substances of these Treasures in their most pure essence are so subtle, that they too nearly surpass anything which could give it name, including their own given names. When you are transmuting, in some ways, the pathway doesn't matter. I say this in part because you will notice that each school or scholar talks about the order slightly differently and yet each is still possible. The orders are different simply because of the starting point that is chosen. Since the substances and mechanisms are entirely inter-related and inter-dependent, one will not go without having at least some affect upon the other- the degree and quality of effect dependent on the quality of teaching and practice. The most basic understanding is to know that the energetic physiology of the physical system begins at the root- so this is jing and moves through the triple burner converting pre- and post- natal essences into qi through the middle dan tien before it arrives in the upper dan tien to nurture shen. This is the foundation of formations from the energetics of the mundane, especially when we are looking at how post-natal processes enable human life. However, even our systems exist in layers and dimensions, so again, the understanding of point of origin needs to be guided by a greater sense than just human dictates and esoteric sciences. If you arrive in Original Consciousness, this will make sense (if you follow my posts, you will notice that they are focused on shen and not jing. There are many reasons for this but an essential one being that you can worry about the form all day, but the form really only becomes whatever it is because of our quality of Consciousness- form is ephemeral and transient, its only purpose or value is as a vessel to enable Consciousness in its many manifestations, hence this is why immortality is possible. So even if the root of the energetic body is in jing medically speaking, the root of both form and formless of any manifestation and its capacity for transformation is ultimately found in (yuan) shen. Hence, immortality only has the potential to begin after passing through the threshold of enlightened strata). Thus, though the wealth of the post-natal substance can be arrived at through intense focus in still fortification and drive in conservation, as well as substantive knowledge of the medicines to enable longevity- to the degree that you are moved beyond having a substantively healthy form, you will begin to explore what is 'original'- the yuan. Here, at this point, there can be no "goal", as you spoke of. If you put the goal before you, you will obscure the very thing you seek. To be able to transmute and recognize what is so pure, requires that you have come to a peace of mind, heart and form. Desire must be arrested and greatly diminished if not entirely extinguished. What is pure is not tainted by semblances. Thus the pre-natal essence becomes through not only the principles of health that guide the bounty of rightful mortal living but also the processes of purification and release- here is where one starts the process of truly being without. Being without may be reflected in form, but more importantly is the source of your understanding and orientation to form, so that form in its infinite manifestations is immaterial from within the perspective of those who reside in Nothing. Caring for the Three Treasures exclusively in the post- or pre- natal state does not automatically guarantee that each will affect the other condition entirely. There are many, many factors that influence what is longevity and immortality and how it manifests in an individual including the stage of life in which they begin their cultivation, the overall path of their soul across time and space, their existing quality of health and clarity at the time the cultivations begin; and at later stages- the choice of manifestation they select, the depth of embodiment, the core of their focus, their ability to influence time and space including that of their own soul or 'karma' , as well as how strong deep and pure their spirit is in connection to Yuan Shen and Tao. In general, those that have mastered nothing, need to just focus on good quality health and greater self-awareness, in short, being a good human being and becoming a more self-aware person; they can further their being through substantive theory and disciplined practice. Those that are able to cultivate longevity will not only have attained requisite knowledge, but live in an applied understanding and thus will set the later stage to begin the purification process. While those who began this lifetime in a state of purity, will likely have automatically attained a measure of longevity and can begin the process of the Golden Seed. Most people are in some complex mixture in between and all people will benefit from the understanding of the care of form more foundationally, while self-reflecting upon their spirit through forms of meditation no matter the semblance of their stage. I want to offer that those who are later in life and/or have not been regular in their practices, who feel that they may be behind or think they would fail to complete milestones in cultivation (ie. perhaps because of health issues, trauma, past transgressions, or simply because they feel so exceptionally 'ordinary', etc.,.) and thus are resigned to lesser 'achievements'- do not doubt and do give up: live every moment as deeply and completely as you know how in health, awareness and self-cultivation- for this is the way of every Being who has ever come into immortality- they realize the eternality of the moment and they live accordingly, for there is only this moment to be and become. Remember too, that from a much greater existential perspective the path of your spirit is non-linear, so all that you give to this moment transcends this exact place and time. This is one of the understandings you can come to realize and (yes, palpably- lol) experience when you reside deeply in presence. So do not look to a later time to become, do not assume impossibilities from fear and doubt. Carry a light heart, be present, live honestly: always. ----- And so as for speaking, the next time you post a question to the forum ask yourself why you ask at all. Ask yourself what is worth knowing and why. Ask yourself to the utmost of the self you know, what is the answer. Then stop. Be still. Listen as infinitely long as it takes to understand- that is meditate and live in meditation- not dream, not human ideas of peace, but deep still inner awareness penetrating the silence. Be willing to move in both the knowledge and mystery that becomes each moment of what you are. Be content not to understand, instead be an honest person- discover whether your own questions are sincere, because the honesty of your understanding in reply depends on the quality of your sincerity in asking. Students and practitioners who do not recognize answers through the very simplicity of nature and being in the everyday, will limit their own understanding even when presented with the most profound of direct teachings. The answers are everywhere; existence in itself is an answer if you can recognize it and even more so, if you can penetrate it: there is only you who has yet to discover your own capacity to truly realize and become.
  13. How does suffering come to be

    Question: How does suffering come to be? There is a world of people born into the most dire circumstances. Take the millions that live in slums. What is that? ---------Answer--------- How does suffering come to be? There is circumstantial suffering- the external conditions of life that appear unfavorable in their hardships and challenges. And there is personal suffering- the internal perspectives and perceptions that feel like hardships and challenges. The two experiences intertwine in perpetuation of a condition that we can more singularly and basically call “suffering”. Suffering arises when we lose connection to Consciousness. Another way to say this is that when we are not present or when we are not in alignment with Consciousness itself, we suffer. From within that perspective of personal suffering we create more circumstantial suffering and in that generally created suffering, more suffering is created for the individual… again and again. This perpetual reverberation can happen in a moment, for years, over decades… across lifetimes. Thus, suffering is as much a perspective, as it is a state or experience: its myriad of manifestations is one continuous perpetuated movement born of unconsciousness through the lack of awareness in presence. What is presence? True Presence engenders a certain self-mastery in non-reactivity and peaceful resolve: this basic capacity for ‘arresting the spirit’ creates the opportunity for stillness and emptiness that allows for a pure awareness to move through our system. When we are consciously non-reactive, we are not motivated by fears or desires. When we are truly resolved there is no perpetuation because we have transcended the conditions we thought to be discordant in their diverse facets, and so we recognize the simple harmony in peacefulness. Ultimately, presence is the depth of integrity in alignment to Conscious through each moment of our being and that allows for effortless action. Thus, when one is able to be truly present, life is no longer a smorgasbord of emotional reactions to experiences. Instead, one becomes a grounded, embodied, engaged and present witness from within the simplicity of Beingness itself. When you recognize existence from a place of essence, the myriad of fictions resolve themselves in a simplicity from which the experience of suffering is extinguished from within. What can I do to stop suffering? Therefore, concern yourself less with the unconsciousness that is suffering, as the questions are as endless as their diverse manifestations. That attention to suffering can itself be an unconsciousness in motion and it is the way of the 10,000 creations, not the resolve of the One or the Nothing. Instead, choose to engage the light of Consciousness continuously; learn to perceive its unconditional omnipresence through all things, including: all conditions, all people and in yourself. The practice of cultivating this awareness is integral to how we ‘turn the light’ in ourselves and in unison with existence through reflective consciousness- not only deeply and formlessly from within the specifics of profound meditation, but also generally in living and in connection to all of life through ourselves. This practice of being in the light is the process of applying awareness through presence. As a starting point, come to recognize and sense the light in yourself, in experience and in others: hold this light (shen) through all things as you move through the world. This initially can take the form of ‘clearing and cleansing the path’ (the refinement of yin so that the yang shen can emerge) through releasing old resentments and the harbor of unnecessary forms of discrimination, the healing of old wounds, transforming patterns of stress and illness in the body, ceasing harmful consumption like violent or exploitive ‘entertainment’; to increasing or ‘tonifying’ your health and awareness through things like deep and honest self-reflection, eating cleanly and living healthfully, maintaining soft and kind eye contact, allowing for more heart-to-heart connection in daily interaction, realizing more specific gratitudes, expressing greater feelings of love and appreciation, moving from an inner softness quietness and stillness even when moving fast in the external world, sharing more generosity in compassion, or allowing for more freedom in joy as we move ourselves away from the unconscious habituation to misery.* [Take the time to read these guiding points less from the conceptual idea of specific blunt mechanical actions to take, but rather make time to experience each potential as a sense in yourself; then as you become more conscious of each movement and expression, continue to refine how it is you are. As we turn the light, we refine ourselves. So too can we do this from within the subtle essences of qi, but also can we do so from the coarse condensation of qi as form and form in motion. This is how we become subtle- in mind, in breath, in movement and in sense. So re-read these pointers and self-reflect upon them as a sense in yourself- what do they feel like in your heart, in your body, in your spirit? Learn from the undiscriminating mind of sense by becoming more self-aware of how you live in stillness and in action, internally and externally.] Then eventually as we relinquish even the desire for pleasure and beauty and move into a greater awareness, we can experience the true undifferentiated essence of nature in being: we can experience our own soul; we can experience Consciousness itself. ------ *Note: conversely, do not to use pleasures or beauties as a way to escape, assuage, project or otherwise delude yourself away from truthfulness or you will be using pleasure for unconsciousness instead of misery for unconsciousness. The transcendence of these two unconscious ways is found in the willingness for truthfulness that comes from presence.
  14. Cultivating the Golden Seed

    Prefacing Note On behalf of those who may benefit from this question as part of a distinct thread, and in the case that the original poster of the question would like to further their thoughts, I am moving this question here to its own thread. Though I am the originator of this post, I do not intend on hosting the thread since I seldom respond to a thread repeatedly. So this is a welcome open space for reading and sharing by those who have deep accurate intellectual knowledge or clear experiential understanding in Consciousness on the matter and are moved to share from its essence. If you are newly with seed and posting about the matter at any time, remember that what you say contains the sacred. Therefore, the post does not need (and could be harmed by) explicit vital detail, rather it needs your transmission. Therefore, speak from the place of what is essential. And If you are someone who has been in process for a while, welcome to you… welcome all. —————— How We Must Live and Become To Develop the Immortal Fetus Prior to the development of the Immortal Fetus, cultivation is usually necessarily multi-faceted and must take place on a variety of planes and dimensions within and through the individual- this can involve not only various internal and external alchemical practices, meditation, regular and deeply integrated lifestyle wellness practices and habits, but more importantly, the development of one’s consciousness and connection to such Consciousness itself. What is often overlooked during this process are the fundamentals of character and perspective, and the importance of how Being is refined through the very ordinary and unglamorous mundane of the seeming day-to-day. In this way, many of the precepts of virtues and methods extolled in Buddhism (though also spoken of in Taoism but are less accessible) can be readily practiced as a way of guiding the process to new birth. The recognition of Essence and Nothing through the baseness in living is the cultivation of form and formless, and its reconnection in purity to Original Essence and Spirit will ensure the natural development of the Golden Seed when: -an individual’s mundane process is sufficiently fulfilled (this contains within it an aspect of Ming which is not often understood correctly or completely) -the whole of the system is adequately refined (this refers to more than only the corporeal body) -and there is continuous proper spiritual alignment in integrity to both your own soul and the Tao itself Fundamentally Spiritual Consciousness Inspires Creation, and Proper Form Allows for it In my personal experience, the physiological processes of alchemy are secondary to one’s Nature: the importance of this is profound. In fact the capacity of our physiology for subtle energetic refinement is part of an inter-dependent process originating firstly from our own spirit which is then expressed often through mind and emotion. Therefore, our own spirit, character and consciousness refines the body, and in doing so, the energies of the body in return continue to refine the understandings of spirit, mind and emotions. Remember that mind, emotions and spirits are also just energies, so at its foundation, this is a cyclical process of energy refining energy, and the source inside yourself making this possible to the level of profundity required for the Golden Seed has to come from direct connection to your own Spirit. (If you are looking at this process through the lense of Taoism, recognize that things like ‘energy’, ‘connection’, ‘alchemy’ and ‘spirit’, are not ephemeral metaphysical concepts- that is, they may be conceptually abstract, but these are technical substances and therefore to willfully manage the process you must have an in-depth knowledge of its mechanisms, it cannot be lay knowledge- whether it comes about organically through awareness and Consciousness, or you came to know it through academic study, or guided mentorship, it doesn’t matter: your experiential understanding must be substantive enough to allow for clear, honest and refined distinction. So therefore and for instance, for those who experience and think Qi is just one thing, and that the Tai Ji are simply two different things- you need more foundational intellectual and experiential insight to progress as deeply as is required for the development of the Golden Seed). Ultimately, it is less about the perfection (of the maya/illusion) of ‘form’ and more about the purity of spirit and its connection to origin that allows for the transcendental changes and formations such as this. The body then is a vehicle for deliverance, so to speak, and the reason so many people begin with cultivation of the body is because the body is for many an obstacle. But when form is no longer an obstacle (meaning that without identifying with the body that you can still be firmly rooted in it and know the methods to care for it very well. If you can do this free of anxiety and fear, and do not consider such existence a misery or burden regardless of circumstance, then you will have transcended the fear that is death and living, and have found peace through the simplicity in being. This will allow for more subtle sensitivities to develop in your awareness.)- not even because of its supposed materiality but more because of your quality of awareness through perspective and experiential understanding of what form actually is, then this allows the energies to flow in greater harmony and resonance with not only your life, but with the universe and eventually the Unnamable itself. Ultimately the incubation of the immortal fetus and its development cannot be conceived nor its process complete without the necessary depth of clarity and connection to spirit and what is prior to essence: this can only be understood by one whose nature is not only truly clear but also has become consciously and truthfully simplified. In addition to the processes of deep and essential inner transformation that allow for the conception, one must already have consciously connected to the Unnamable, so this witness cannot be a happenstance glimpse. Thus, this connection has to be deeper than just an Awakening or even a series of Awakenings, and it is more subtle than the metaphysical- so for those who have had fantastic experiences of light, of emotional feelings of beauty and gratitude, of angels and heavenly beings, or time and space, or energy and kundalini- viewed from the Utmost, these are just other facets of the 10,000 things in its myriad of display. As this is a co-creative process between you and Consciousness itself, you must already be not only in witness but in relationship. Caring For the Golden Seed in the Early Stages without a Teacher Once you are seeded, the development process is not as complex as the various specific instructions may sometimes feel or appear (though they are very sophisticated in their simplicity). If you have come to this point of bearing the seed, then you will have already recognized the simplicity in essential nature and its condition of movements unobscured. In many ways, it is then simply a continuation of this wisdom through yourself from the depth of the Void. The self is a simply a container, and in right connection, there will be natural right movement and thus right development. If at this stage if you are without a teacher, then you will recognize that the two most important guiding points here are actually one and the same: 1) In your living, be in Source unobscured and unceasingly. Always be in alignment with Consciousness through all states, all conditions and at all times. There is no other way to live and it is the only true ‘living’ to be done. To support this, there is also one essential meditation and one essential process in living that I would recommend specifically. 2) In your living be wise- this is not cognitive intelligence, but deeply held wisdom from Source itself. Within this wisdom, practice safety: do not do anything to obscure or harm the natural process of gestation and birthing- see the first point again. (People who are wise are not reckless and have no concern for forms of indulgence. They live plainly, simply and are safe- not from fear, intertia or inhibition; but because they recognize what is truly needed: "Freedom to do what one wants is suffering, freedom to do what one needs is true freedom") Note that if you are without a teacher and/or in any way uncertain about the firing and steaming process, this lack of doing from within Presence is vitally important. Also, the seed in early stages is very fragile and real improper firing is not only a failure of method, but it is actually the (very subtle and insidious) exercise of desire- therefore this would actually be the application of unconsciousness even if you know the technicalities of ‘how’; so do not do it voluntarily without clear transmission. The firing and steaming schedule is not merely a mechanism of physics- at the transcendent level, these are actually methods of Consciousness you are applying. Therefore, they are powerful and must be done with an extremely refined precision from a depth of origin greater than the methods themselves. Either way, during this period, it is best to be in relative or complete peaceful retreat from society, even if you think you are and appear to literally be ‘doing nothing’ at this stage. As with what allowed for its conception inside of you, remember it is not the result that matters, but process, and in right process is contained result. So be at peace regardless of the progress of the fetus, just as you would all things; there is a Consciousness at work of which the fetus is one manifestation; your reverence to any eventuality must transcend even the precious embryo itself… In Source there is never impatience because there never was time; there is never agenda or possession because there was never something to be had. Remember that creation comes from Nothing as wei wu wei. [As an aside to those two main points (and I will not get into the details of why), I would offer that in your humility, give and share in benevolence as the Buddha spoke, if you can and if it is rightly for your path. One of the Three Treasures - sanbao 三寶 in Taoism can also be translated as compassion or love. Know that the spirit residing in each organ is illuminated from the spirits of virtue (known as the Five Virtues- de 德, they are: righteousness, trust, integrity, wisdom and benevolence and they are united in the consciousness that is shen 神)- these are important processes in culmination to the journey of the Ethereal Soul beyond this life time, and they are regardless of all things, worthy of our efforts. Give and share these teachings if it is rightly and you are able to do so from a place of transmission from Source… the world needs perhaps less teachers who know the materials academically and intellectually, and more who can hold true space in deep Nothing through experience.] So as with previous understanding that would have allowed for the seed, your lack of desire in radiant equanimity, your unceasing and sincere diligence, and your ability to remain in Source unobscured (this is actual True Presence) is what will allow for the support, knowledge and wisdom of its completion; the techniques are an intellectual recognition of natural process. While your understanding of its technicalities can help its advance and guidance, whether you are receiving precise information or not, at this level the instruction cannot supercede wisdom itself (known in Taoism as True Knowledge) or you will have prevented the very thing you are seeking to fulfill through improper force rooted in improper intent. Thus True Wisdom must be sustained and foundational through any attempt at practice of the firing and steaming schedule. True Wisdom becomes you when your Original Nature has come to a depth of merging with Source- on the mortal plane, this may take a little time, hence again, practice point number one. Be in that wisdom so what is right may blossom. And from this place of Nothing, you will recognize then that at its utmost, how Consciousness radiating through the illusion of forms is the creation of immortality.
  15. Hun & Po as they relate to Natural Meditation

    In order to understand the following in context, it is first important to have a foundation in Taoist medical knowledge. In order to understand it deeply, then it is important to have meditated enough to have developed the insight necessary to witness and discern the (meta) physics of the subtle anatomy of the human system. Without these two things, it is easy when reading about any Taoist alchemy (as well as the following below), to consider it as some kind of disembodied and entirely ethereal manifestation, and thus believe it to be something nearing mythic proportions or ascribe to it an obscuring amount of romanticism. In reality and fact, when seen clearly at a subtle level, energy systems are concretely discernible forms relative to the seeming emptiness of the universe and they can be organized into sophisticated structures and applied systems. This is why acupuncture works. This is why tai chi, qi gong, nei gong, and all the other manifestations spoken of in Taoism are much more profound than merely a theoretical or philosophical posit. That said, realizing distinction in the ascertainable nature of the seemingly subtle and profound in no way makes it less sacred or majestic when experienced in a sincere and deeply benevolent individual. The short answer is that the meridian networks of the body are derived from the primordial essence prior to the heavens and also the celestial systems of the (post) heavens, from which they then manifest on the physiological level- initially through the spirit of the yin organs of the body. The points themselves are actually both formed and shifting portal systems that can be seen, and they traverse time, space and dimension. In this way they are very similar to chakras, though smaller in dimension and their control functions- though not entirely dissimilar, are also quiet different. Thus, the various locale of the points on the body give access to certain geographic dimensions of the universe. In Chinese medicine, many of these points are classed in to categories. In the case of Source Points, they are distributed across the channels of the body on to either the wrists or the ankles, and all connect back the Yuan Jing (Original Essence) of the universe. However by the time these portals open onto the animal body (ie. humans, cats, dogs, horses, etc), they form small pools distinct to the spirit and organ of their associated stream. Each meridian has one Source Point- hence there are twelve, and each of those points contain access to the original, pure state of energetic essence. However, the potential to access these pools deeply cannot be apart from the quality of Consciousness in the practitioner as well as the level of health and Consciousness in the receiving patient. There are many ways to access these points that are equally or more greatly profound than needling, but this depends on the level of skill and Consciousness of the individual and methods involved; that said, even without much awareness or understanding by the individuals involved, needles themselves can still act substantively as a conduit for transmission- the effectiveness of it done at this level being best facilitated through integrity and intent, since there would be a lack of insight and wisdom to ground and infuse the treatment. In general, Source Points can be powerful connections to one’s principal health and I find their simplicity very powerful to restoring the system, especially to clarify the treatment of complex conditions; they are also very beneficial in cases of chronic diseases. Remember too, that disease occurs in more than just the gross body, so one can treat many layers of dimensions of a person and through a person using these and other access points. While one learns many categories of points as a modern practitioner in Chinese medicine, some of the information contained herein is not taught in part because of the historical and political progression of the medicine from ancient times to modern scientific Westernization, and even more deeply so because the knowledge is largely lost except to a rare few who have meditated deeply enough to develop such witness; it is from both of these understandings that I personally share this with you. I will mention that I think even more importantly than knowing the acupuncture points as portals, is the understanding of how they relate to treatment, health and ultimately Consciousness… the latter an issue which is often not recognized and also deeply misunderstood in modern practitioners. I rarely add a second response to any thread on the forum, so I hope that in this case the little bit of insight is useful.