Pu-erh

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About Pu-erh

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  1. The Art of Memory

    I was doing a lot of crazy mnemonic stuff last year when I was trying to learn kanji (TextFugu is a good program). I had to quit studying Japanese (for the time being) since I am in graduate school, though, and already spending hours each day studying. I have been thinking about building a memory palace to help me pass my Oral Exams this spring--one of the final requirements for my M.A. in Counseling Psychology.
  2. Self Worth Of A Young Man

    You sound like a good guy, BlueMonk. I suggest you try psychotherapy. It helped me a lot when I was your age (I'm 28 now), and I was also (verbally) bullied in high school. See if you can find a good therapist in your area. You may be able to get free counseling through your university. The only other advice I can give you is to think about what you could do that would make you feel more self-confident. For example, maybe you would feel more self-confident if you started lifting weights or learned a martial arts. Being at university, you probably have classes available in your physical education department. At my school there was karate, aikido, tai chi, and yoga all available for free. If I were you I would take advantage of those resources. Also, just as an afterthought, you might find it liberating to open up to your housemates about the fact that you are a virgin. Lying (or concealing the truth) probably just makes you feel worse about it.
  3. Weight loss suggestions?

    Since you are likely to get a lot of conflicting suggestions regarding nutrition and exercise, I wanted to second (or third, or whatever) the notion of reducing carbohydrates, and especially sugar. If you really want to understand this issue, read Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. A couple of other points: --A few people have mentioned lean proteins. Your proteins don't have to be lean (low-fat), because eating fat won't make you fat. I realize you are a vegetarian, though, so you are not going to be eating meat anyway unless you decide to change your stripes. --Exercise. There are studies showing that exercise doesn't always help people lose weight. Why? Because exercise increases your appetite. That's why exercise alone might not be the best answer to your question; you need to change your diet, too, if you want to see results.
  4. Beautiful song

    Nice! Thank you.
  5. Hot Tea

    Well you can probably guess which kind of tea is my favorite This fall I have been drinking Imperial Pu-erh every morning while I study Japanese. It is a high grade of loose-leaf pu-erh with a silky mouth feel and rich, smooth flavor, but not as earthy, smoky, or fishy as many other pu-erhs. I used to work at a tea shop so I have some familiarity with different types of tea. Each one really is different in terms of the best tea ware to use, water temperature, brewing time, quantity of leaf per cup, etc. And there is a difference between gongfu cha and the way one would normally prepare the tea at home. Some of my favorite teas are: Black River Mountain (pu-erh), Imperial Pu-erh, Lu Shan Clouds & Mist (green), Bai Hao Yinzhen (Silver Needle, the highest grade of white tea), Baochong (a light, floral oolong), and Uji Gyokuro (highest grade of Japanese green). The benefits of tea really are profound. L-theanine reduces cortisol in the blood stream and even produces alpha waves in the brain, as well as being a powerful antiviral. And that amino acid is only one constituent in tea's amazing chemistry
  6. Wheat, small LDL particles and Heart disease

    Indeed, the paragraph I quoted from Ken Cohen is very hardcore... but then, later in the chapter, he totally handwaves the issue and says it's fine to eat grains (though he recommends limiting carbohydrates to something like 40% of the diet, which I have to give him some credit for. But the gist of the chapter is that he says, "all the old Taoist texts say don't eat grains at all, but I actually think it's okay in moderation." Personally, I don't have any particular agenda in sharing this information, although I have been reading up on the issue lately. Mark Sisson's work (The Primal Blueprint, marksdailyapple.com) is very interesting, and I have to give Gary Taubes (Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat) the big ups for saying what no one else seems to want to. Based on what I've read so far, I am experimenting with gradually reducing my sugar and grain intake. We'll see if it has any positive effects. I don't have any fat to lose but like most of us, I'm going for optimum health!
  7. That's me, alright I'm also an INFP and a 4 on the Enneagram.
  8. Wheat, small LDL particles and Heart disease

    This is from The Way of Qigong by Kenneth Cohen:
  9. What reincarnates?

    There is a pretty good Wikipedia article on this subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebirth_%28Buddhism%29 I think the main point is that the you that you think you are is not what reincarnates. That sense of self is an aggregate which is impermanent and falls apart at death. The skandhas dissolve and the mindstream becomes one of the causes for the arising of a new aggregate. One rather advanced (female) lama I knew put it this way: "I'm definitely not the same guy I was last time."
  10. Top 5 2011/2012

    Cool thread! In no particular order, these have been the greatest influences on me this year (counting only public figures). Sifu Jesse Tsao. My teacher. This year I became an Associate Instructor in his organization and he gave me a referral that led to my first class (I am now teaching Yang style to senior citizens!) Ken Cohen. I just met him the other day; he gave a talk on the Yi Jing here in San Diego. His knowledge of all things Chinese is very impressive, and he is a good storyteller. I especially enjoyed his introduction to Plum Blossom Numerology and his stories about training with various indigenous and Taoist teachers. Lama Lena Yeshe Kaytup. Long-time disciple and translator of Wangdor Rinpoche. I received pointing-out instructions from her this year. She is amazing and if she lived locally, I would take refuge in a heartbeat. Currently I have an open invitation to visit the caves at Tso Pema and I hope to make it there someday. Adyashanti. I like his YouTube videos and I have his book/cd combo True Meditation. I have been sitting zazen every day, that's pretty much my main practice, but I have noticed more ease and peace since absorbing some of his teachings on meditation. Leo Babauta. His work on habit change has actually been extremely helpful to me in establishing a consistent practice. If you have trouble creating or maintaining a regular practice schedule, I recommend checking out his blog, Zen Habits. However, the one thing I really disagree with him about is his stance on diet (he advocates veganism).
  11. Legitimate Zen Lineages?

    Lineage is important. In Buddhism, legitimacy in this sense comes from being given permission to teach by one's own teacher, in a *theoretically* unbroken line from the historical Buddha to the present. I don't know as much about Korean Zen (Son), but this looks legit. The only thing I would add is... as you probably know... just because someone has a legitimate lineage doesn't mean that they're enlightened or that they're a good teacher (separate things) or that you'll personally resonate with the teacher or the sangha.
  12. the earliest religion?

    Well, you could just as easily ask if there is any proof that Julius Caesar or Genghis Khan really existed and said and did the things they are supposed to have done. All we have are oral histories, written histories, various textual and archaeological evidence... in short, there is a ton of historical evidence that Caesar, Buddha, and Genghis Khan existed and generally did what they did, and I don't think anyone is really disputing that in the fields of history or religious studies. 500 BC isn't all that long ago, really. It's when you get into pre-history that things get murkier. Whatever the "earliest religion" is, it would have originated so far back in time that no, there would by definition be no historical evidence about it. Once you get past 2600 BC there are no texts, so we have to rely on interpreting artifacts and old carvings on buildings and things like that. I agree with all of the above except for "None of the belief systems woudl be classified as 'Religion' as that term is used to understand the institutions usually referred to with that term." That is implying a fairly narrow definition of religion. Religion doesn't necessarily refer to institutions. See, for example, Clifford Geertz's definition of religion as a "cultural system" Maybe a better question to ask than "what was the earliest religion" would be "What were the earliest religions like?" And that's where you start looking at things like animism.
  13. the earliest religion?

    Without going into details or citing sources, shamanism, but only if you count it as a religion. When I was a Religious Studies major we had a long argument in our shamanism course about whether it was in fact a religion, owing to the fact that even RS scholars can't agree on a definition of religion. If not shamanism, then probably Hinduism. The Vedas are pretty old, and there seem to be elements of Hinduism that predate the Vedas, so...
  14. To rule in hell, or serve in heaven?

    As I remember it from the biography, Crowley and his group *tried* to get a goat to have sex with Crowley's mistress of the time, but the goat wasn't really into it. No one died as a result. People repeat too much stuff about Aleister Crowley without citing sources and it all gets blown out of proportion. Don't lump him in with those Church of Satan and Temple of Set guys. His philosophy is much more interesting.