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  1. The ultimate truth, if that's what you want to call it, is simple, but it may appear complex, and it can be experienced which is what is central to the teachings of Daoism The I-Ching directs us to the flow of energy, the Dao de Jing directs us to the stillness of what this energy belongs to.
  2. Sons of Reflected Light - where they Druids?

    I can recommend OBOD - https://www.druidry.org/
  3. I would argue that the Asians have no more authority on enlightenment than anyone else. I studied Druidry for a while and that also has tales of cauldrons, inner alchemy, the flow (Awen), 3 drops of elixir, immortality and the adder stone (read jade egg). Before Silent Thunder wrote what he did I was going to suggest a flower. People have awoken without a teacher. They just noticed it with their two eyes, not a third. What you are trying to see is always in front of you wherever you look. If it looks exactly the same whether awakened or not then perhaps you should meditate on the question of what is not seeing what? I also imagine that many of the Dao Bums folk are genuinely interested in Daoism as a philosophy to being less uptight, to improve their energy, and get back to being more natural, and not simply here to realise enlightenment. Good luck any way
  4. Where are these texts if they are publically available? You could also find translators on Fiverr that would do it for less but I would like to see the docs anyway
  5. How to become less blind

    I agree with most of what you have said here. In Daoism is not called awakening or enlightenment but "attaining the Dao" which I suspect the word "attaining" is a wrong translation. So, I feel that what I experienced was awakening to the Dao and what then happens (in my experience) is that a life of conditioning begins to unravel, and although from memory there isn't anything new added to the wisdom gained in the "moment" it can be that it has to be lived to be "known" and when this is done and a condition is dropped, I realise that I knew this in the "moment" and I have returned to it again. Hard to explain really. Still, I think there is only one wisdom that we are talking about whether it be Daoist, Hindu or Christian. They are like boats on the same water and people argue as to which is best to take you to the ocean. And despite what I have said I'm no nearer that wisdom than anyone else. Go steady people. I enjoyed the chat but now I must crack on with things.
  6. How to become less blind

    Realistically, if a person who experiences enlightenment says that they are enlightened then there is a contradiction because the experience of enlightenment is to realise that the self is also everything that they are looking at. This is not exactly the same as saying there is no "self" - this is what I meant by the double-darkness. As the One is all things then it what I consider to be me is IT and what I think of as not-me is also IT. But to say that one is enlightened is okay. For a person to have fear of saying that is also okay. It just happens one way or the other and we observe it. So, I can say that Buddha nature is inside me and it is neither right nor wrong. It can be experienced in this way, and equally it can be experienced "outside" of the self. If we think one way is right and another is wrong then we are stuck in a view. So, what does it mean to not be in a view? To know that everything is an expression of it. Oh so new age huh? So, sage-like huh? Ha ha! If I sound like some old sage, it is only because I am explaining the same thing that they are experiencing. As it happens, I had the experience first and then returned to Daoism after 15 years or so of not looking at it. At the time, I had been practising with a Buddhist group (Thich Nhat Hanh's tradition) and anyone who has practised with this tradition will know that there isn't a lot of talk about enlightenment, it is mostly a group chat about mindfulness and overcoming suffering. I did experience enlightenment. I can "choose" to be in that state or be normal. People get uncomfortable quickly if I am being in that state around them. My girlfriend was once belittling me about my spiritual practice, so I thought, okay, I will live one day without thought, without comment and just be. She then got angry "where are you?" "why aren't you bothered by anything?" "what has become of you, it's like you are not here." etc If I lived in an ashram then I could be in this state all day. But with a full-time job, busy family life, the needs of kids... you simply have to deal with life. You have to pay the bills. You have to feed and clothe people and pay school fees and car bills etc. I have helped one other person to experience the same, and this is why after several years of discussion we have decided to begin a new Daoist school, in the same sense that Wang Chongyang created Quanzhen; to help people "become less blind" which is what caught my attention with this particular forum thread. It's not possible to prove awakening. I don't have the need to either because it is really unimportant. In many ways my life was better before the experience of it. For several years I lost interest in everything. I ended my marriage, I ended my job, I stopped doing the things I had once loved. One single moment turned my life on its head. Yet, it is beautiful. My god is it beautiful. Doesn't mean I'm a saint. Now, if we look to modern people who are "enlightened" we do mostly turn to neo-advaita - Mooji, Eckhart Tolle, I can't think of others because right now I have three kids laughing at a very loud "Gravity Falls" episode and my girlfriend playing some loud rap music. Even so, I feel the stillness, the silence, it is within me, it is how we "guard the yin" in Daoism, it is being aware of the Root. If I look to the curtains, the chairs, the children I see the same presence, I feel it and I know that while there is "me" there is "Me" - but normally I'm not thinking about it. There came a point where this sank somehow, where it dropped away and there was simply looking. Almost like a daydream. Seeing without thinking feels like being cleaned from the inside, and the more I do it the easier it becomes. It fills my day with a calmness. It keeps me settled when in times I would have panicked. But what is it good for, nothing. Now, whether a reader likes this or not and accepts it or not, it is the Truth as I see it. So, I may have sounded like Jesus or Lao Tzu but I was using their quotes and writings to explain these points. Now I am not. There is something in life that is untouched, untroubled, not-thinking, and the more I experience it the more settled and at ease, I feel. I also sense the energy of IT coming in and out of my day. I have realised how it affects what "I" do, how it works to balance things. Well, in essence there can be no balance in something that is one. I see it like this... there is this thing that I saw. I felt it within me and looked within it and saw that there isn't a within, it is endless, it is still yet vibrant. Still, I didn't know. Then one day I happened to glance up at the sky and I saw, felt the same presence in the sky and in that very second I realised it. Everything is actually One thing. There is no gap, there is not connection, we are not all part of something or interconnected, we are IT ITself and that's it. And it is Beautiful. If it were not here I could not be discussing this with you right now. And this is the play of it. What we see around us is how its vibrant energy (qi) has expressed itself. No reason for it, but it is just unfolding, in apparent harmony and with apparent opposites. And we are that already. The peace we seek is within us already and is beyond us already. It is just being missed. And the only point I have been trying to make just as a simple response to the original post is this - you CAN study and make effort, you CAN follow precepts and read the classics, you CAN do all of these things BUT you don't need to. It is already present within and around you and the potential to realise it is always available to you, whether that is in the silence present between a crow's call, or the still presence in flower, or the vibrant presence burning in a bush, or in flowers, in still water, in venus, in the sky - all of these things have been known to cause awakening. It is already there. It appears to be covered. And what covers it the most is our thinking, and our little "me" that is telling itself stories about how things should be, how enlightened beings are somehow different than normal beings, how the higher self is better than the lower self and the confusion over duality and non-duality. Nothing can be said truthfully because everything is true. Nothing can be explained from an awakened self because even lies, threats, anger, ignorance come from the same THING, nothing is outside of it. So, now I am leaving this conversation. No doubt some will say I am ducking out of it, or I am trying to appear in one way or another. Why do I bother writing? Why do I bother trying to help others when I know they are the same One and nothing makes a difference? Simply because I can. Rest easy folks and good luck!
  7. How to become less blind

    Using your logic you should not be listened to. Lao Tzu explained that the Way cannot be spoken of, yet he/they wrote 81 verses about just that. Buddha realised there was no-self but spent 41 years before other people teaching. Jesus was nailed to a cross for his views. I'm not trying to convince. I was writing it for others who might wish to see an alternative view than yours. Now I have said that, it is up to them to decide which sounds closest to the Truth? Your way that entails many years of practice and struggle, or my way, that directs people as best as I can to the Truth that is right before them. It doesn't mean it is successful, but it has been. So, thanks for your point of view, you can let go of it now as I will mine
  8. How to become less blind

    It could be the talk of new ageism, I don't know that kind of stuff, I practise Daoism. It is the talk of Buddha, of Lao Tzu, of Cold Mountain, of Ikkyu and so on. Verse one of the Dao de Jing ends by stating that the "Mystery" is darkness within darkness. This is quite an important line if you wish to understand the DDJ and awakening. The Dao is present whether people know it or not. It is Presence. It is the same thing that Moses saw alight in the bush, that Kashyapa could see in the flower that Buddha held, it was in the sky as Jesus was being baptised, it was what Siddhartha Gautama noticed in Venus as he sat beneath the tree. It is everywhere and in everyone only we tend not to notice it. That does not mean it is not here. The Dao is the inside of us and the outside of us, therefore the boundary that we see as our "self" is not a boundary. We cannot step closer to it or further away from it, we cannot take from it or add to it. Yes there are classical books that have method upon method of helping people to realise their truth. There are also classic examples of people committing human sacrifice in Mayan cultures but we don't do it today. We once prayed to the sun for good harvests but most people don't do that either. When new wisdom comes to light the old ways often die out. Some people cling to those ways, and that's their choice. When the disciples asked Jesus where they must go to enter the Kingdom of the Father, he pointed to the ground and said "here". Zen monks asked Joshu where they must go to enter the Pure Land, he drew a line in the soil with his staff and said "right here". You can choose a practice of simplicity or complexity. The Truth, being true to all things must be recognisable in all things, for that's where it is found. It is in you and all the things you consider to not be you. This is not new ageism. It is centuries old. In Chan Buddhism it is said that the subject and the object is the same. In the Gospel of St Thomas, Jesus said "At first you were one, then you became two. Now you are two what can be done?" In the Bible, in Exodus, God is quoted as saying "No man can see me and live." This does not mean that the appearance of God is so terrible that a person will die should they witness it. It means that in seeing it their idea of a self ends for they come to realise in that moment that what they view (object) and what they thought of as themselves (subject) are One. It is quite arrogant to describe the Classics but when you approach matters you do not understand about them, you deem them worthless and ridicule them. They are central to what you are studying. Now, the teacher who described awakening as seeing a light is not describing awakening. He or she is describing a spiritual epiphany as many people do with near-death experiences. If you are turning to the light, then you are turning away from the darkness. Then you have two where there was one. But the Truth that is sought through religion has no concept of being split. To see things separately, to think you must make lots of effort to come to what you already Are is the sickness of Mankind and the source of much of our problems. It is to misunderstand Nature. The idea of transcending the regular self to a Higher Self, or to end karma is mentally reaching away from your Self. How can you then arrive at the Self? If you don't understand these points then nothing of Daoism will make sense. Wu Wei is centered on these very aspects. Pu is right in the middle of it. The stillness that is spoken of throughout nearly all of Daoist scriptures refers to it. It is about dropping concepts and methods and "sitting until the mud clears". If you don't understand this yet have a teacher, and the teacher is telling you that you must do many things and it will take forever to get there - get another teacher. If this annoys you, look and find that annoyance for there is the key to greater understanding. No one needs a book, a scripture or a practice. Things simply is already. To return to my first point - "Darkness within Darkness" refers to the realisation of experiencing no-self. This is a mystery and this is darkness for the mind cannot look into it and find anything it understands, it must experience the loss of self. In the DDJ, Chuang Tzu and the Huainantzu it plainly states that "sages find their being in nonbeing." Further darkness relates to the fact we must forget the Self, the Dao. When this is so, we are returned to our nature, like that of a deer seeing life before it without a concept of one thing or another but just living, just being. Here is the stillness of the mind referred to in V16 of the DDJ, the stillness Buddha said was all the Bodhisattvas needed, and in the Bible "Be Still and Know that I am God". This is not going around in circles. This is direct. Do you understand it? No. You cannot understand it, you cannot rationalise it. It is the opposite of our experiences until we experience IT. There could be a light, there could be darkness, there could be figures, their could simply be a new understanding BUT if it is awakening it will be an experience where there is no self to be found. What follows is the undoing of years, if not decades of conditioning centered around a self that is now known to not exist. The self is Existance. The not-self is also Existence. When there is no concept of one or the other - Dao. Thanks for reading.
  9. After Enlightenment - Sainthood, Personality,

    You cannot explain the difference because there is none. But if you think there is a long road to what is before your very eyes then that is how it will appear. It's your choice of course.
  10. After Enlightenment - Sainthood, Personality,

    The texts don't say enlightened because that is a Buddhist / Indian word, they talk about non-being. Yes, you have missed it, it is the central point to Daoism. In the space of no-thought there is neither enlightenment nor ignorance. You are talking in concepts, it is these very things that you need to drop because no amount of methods or techniques can help. Ikkyu realised "enlightenment" between the sounds of a crow cawing. What I think you are confusing is after awakening, it can take a while for the conditioned emotional responses to life to begin to drop away. But if you think something special is going to happen and that there is a difference between an awakened person and an enlightened one you are fooling yourself. There is no difference between a person who is ignorant and one who is enlightened for they are both the same One.
  11. After Enlightenment - Sainthood, Personality,

    It is in Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu and the Huainantzu. It was the centre of debate between the 5th and 11th centuries by Chong Xuan daoists verses Buddhists. It is also in Buddhist classics like the Heart Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, the Sutra to the 8 Bodhisattvas. And many others. Bodhidharma, Huang Po, Stonehouse, Ikkyu - the lists goes on. You are telling yourself (or have been told) a nice story. All classic religious books are full of "other stuff" because people can't get it when they are told the answer. Jesus spoke in parables for that reason, parts of Zen are based on koans for that reason etc. If you are a Buddhist, then you should consider Kashyapa's awakening.
  12. How to become less blind

    I know what you mean but it is not a linear process. I am a man, and if I came to you and you could see I was a man but I couldn't (lol) then if I were practising lots of exercises, singing chants, meditating, and who knows what, you would probably think I were quite foolish. So, I say, well you know, it's a linear process to becoming a man, I need to develop into it, and simply telling me I'm a man isn't cutting it. Whether you agree or not doesn't change what you are. I'm not saying that you are enlightened already. Enlightenment does not exist, neither does ignorance, and yet both enlightenment and ignorance appear to exist. The Dao is all opposites. It is simultaneously ignorance and awakening - these concepts don't occur outside of it. I am saying that you are THAT which when you experience it is enlightenment. You are THAT whether you do anything or nothing at all. That's what I meant It is not a modern invention. I have experienced it for myself. I know how I am. I don't know what that is. And whatever that is, looks from within and through my eyes at all that is Itself. And that's it. A method, a linear process never made that happen.