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  1. Good point. I agree with the general message I'm getting here: balance and moderation are key.
  2. Thanks for the reply Clarity. You make a bit of a different point than the what's said in the quotes I've presented, but it sounds like a valid point to me. I hope you are right that the computer is not the source of the problem - this would be a great relief for me! I think I'm still a little suspicious that the computer (or a television for that matter.. although I don't own one) could have some ill effect. I hope I'm wrong. I wish I had more detail with regards to what Chunyi and Bruce were saying. In Bruce's article he mentions the excess of visual and mental stimulation being too unbalanced for the nervous system, but also seems to imply that having no physical outlet is part of the problem (which agrees with what your saying about needing to take breaks, do Taiji, etc.). Based on my own experience - there is a certain kind of dizzy, heavy-headed, zombie-type feeling that I get after staring at a computer screen for a while (or after walking out of a movie theater). It's a little different than if I sat and read a book for a similar time period and so I wonder... perhaps it's just eye strain. I try to give my eyes a rest as much as possible but sometimes forget to. Either way, I like the idea of just breaking it up with some sort of activity. This was my intuition. If that is the answer then I am happy.
  3. I found some more info here: It sounds like a computer-heavy job could be ok as long as you try to balance it out? I already try to do this (probably more than anyone else around the office). I take breaks from staring at the screen and look off at something distant to preserve my eyes. I also try to go for a 5 min walk outside (maybe just around the parking lot) from time to time to get sunshine and fresh air. I suppose if I was ever in a position where I could work from home, I would break it up even more and take breaks to go outside or do something physical more frequently...
  4. I'm currently working a job in which I spend a lot of time sitting at a computer. In general I like the job and the company, and if I continued on here I'd likely get a position that would be low stress and offer a lot of flexibility, which I think would be great. However, I've become a little concerned that excessive computer-time could effect my health negatively and become an obstacle for Taoist practice or qigong practice. This topic was posed as a side topic in this post: ...but it was kind of brushed aside as not really being a problem - maybe related to bad posture or some sort of mental thing. I think this deserves a little more discussion and hope anyone that has knowledge about the potential negative effects associated with computer use would offer some insight. I've been tempted to make this post for a while, but only recently felt compelled to now that I have heard not one but two acknowledged Taoist/qigong experts say bad things about prolonged computer use: The first comment I read was from Chunyi Lin. This is copied directly from his facebook: And then last night, I was watching this interview with Bruce Frantzis: Watch 20:40 - 21:40. He says that sitting at a computer all day is basically "shredding our nervous system." He makes the point that Taoist practice coming to the West is therefore a good thing to combat this problem. Chunyi Lin also says that qigong (in particular, his Breathing the Universe exercise if I remember correctly) is good to combat this problem. I think he also mentioned having plants in the office and wearing jade. So I'm wondering, is this really a big problem that would be a major issue for someone trying to learn Taoist cultivaiton? I want to spend my time and energy progressing not combating a problem. Thoughts?
  5. Jing conservation / sexual balance

    Well, I'm also a beginner around here, and the whole question of Taoist sexual practice has been something I've been very curious about as well... and am still in the process of learning. I've had trouble finding the details of sexual practice with regards to any specific Taoist lineage, but for starters I did find some descent general info in the book The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity by Daniel Reid (others on this forum had mentioned it). Having said that, the basic notion that I've got from reading posts on this forum so far is that at a beginner's level you want to just start out with a more moderate approach. Don't worry too much about trying to retain semen for long periods of time until you are older and more advanced in a spiritual/energetic practice (and under the guidance of a qualified teacher). It sounds like you kinda went extreme in one direction and then bounced back to the opposite extreme. That's ok, sometimes you need to take it to one limit and then the other. We're all susceptible to addictions and stuff like that so don't let any feeling of guilt arise. Just start setting goals for yourself that aim at moderation. Try to only ejaculate when you really feel like you need to (not from any sort of addictive urge), but don't force yourself too hard and strain yourself trying to hold back from it for too long. The fact that you're only 19 and looking into Taoism is great. Just think how well you'll do for yourself if you start disciplining yourself and training now. Beginning a meditation practice can really help to balance you out and let old addictions start to fall away. Slowly but surely start committing yourself to moderation, healthy diet, meditation. You need to find inspiration. Read some good books on Taoism or other practices that interest you. Search for a good teacher, get inspired and start training under proper guidance. You can take some initial steps, but if you're interested in this Taoist stuff you really should find a teacher.. that's kind of the step I'm at currently. Just remember - there really is no problem - we create all these addictions and dilemmas for ourselves. Sometimes it takes time to ease out of them, but with persistence you will prevail. Wishing you the best....
  6. I've been reading Daniel Reid's The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity because others had mentioned it on TTB with regards to this topic. I just started the section of the book dealing with sex, but I looked ahead a little to provide some info for this thread. The book says that Sun Ssu-mo was a Tang Dynasty adept who outlived three emperors by practicing what he preached: A Tang Dynasty physician Lee Tung-hsuan based it on frequency of intercourse in Mysterious Master of the Cave: Then there was the Han Dynasty adept Master Liu Ching who was said to live over 300 years and regulated it based on the cosmic cycles of seasonal change: It should be noted that this book seems to focus mainly on health and longevity (as apparent in the title). So it may not be useful with regards to actual alchemical practices and spiritual paths. I think I read somewhere that in the earlier levels of Mo Pai, Kostas Danaos said he was allowed to ejaculate once or twice monthly. I'd be very curious to hear more about the guidelines specific to the different lineages - I have trouble finding sexual info on some of the lineages I've read about. I've certainly read that complete abstinence is practiced in some of the Indian yogic traditions. I'm curious about the 100% retention Seth Ananda talks about, but I read about the apparent dangers (in this post, mentioned by Twinner) and it makes me a little scared to try this. I wonder what the best guideline is for a beginner who would like to get into Taoist alchemy but has not yet trained with a teacher? Perhaps something like in the quotes I posted above? Oh and one more thing - in Daniel Reid's book (in the part I have read) he says that if one does ejaculate during intercourse with a woman, "the loss of semen must then be compensated by absorbing the woman's essence." Does anyone know anything about this? That quote is said to be taken from the Taoist sage Peng-Tze's Secrets of the Jade Bedroom.
  7. The Conspiracy of Cancer

    I haven't had a chance to watch the video yet, but my view is that we should just avoid getting cancer in the first place. If we took responsibility and disciplined ourselves to eat a healthy, wholesome diet - that would likely take care of the majority of cancer right there. Our highly diseased society is a result of all the modern, man-made toxins we constantly put in and on our body along with just poor nutritional practice in general. There are indigenous communities in the world that exist without much connection to the modern world (especially modern Westernized world) -- these communities don't even know what cancer is. Due to our current situation a "cure" may be in order and perhaps there is something important in Dr. Burzynski's work. However, I think the deeper issue is our entire approach. Here in the US it seems our approach is to go along doing what everyone else does until we somehow get sick. Then we go to doctors to try and "fix" ourselves after we are already sick. Western doctors then try to treat our symptoms with drugs, avoiding the root cause and probably creating new problems in the process. With the way our medical community is set up, many doctors depend on an ever increasing percentage of the population to be sick. If we changed our ways and became healthy, tons of doctors would be out of jobs. I was recently reading that in ancient China, the medical system was structured in a more preventative style. Families would have a family doctor who would continually check up on the family members and get to know each member and their health traits well. The doctor would receive a monthly fee. As soon as someone got sick the doctor's pay was immediately taken away until the doctor brought them back to health (and through his own resources). This way the doctors counted on peoples health to get their pay, not their sickness. Just some food for thought.
  8. Amazing. I would also love to hear more about your experiences if you ever felt like sharing. I didn't know that 2 death-experiences was a low number (not that I regularly hear about them, but in my readings...). This is interesting... young children thinking of death right before bed? I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to fall asleep! Perhaps, if they're accustomed to the idea at such a young age they get used to it and view death without fear?
  9. I've definitely had my fair share psychedelic experiences Including one very notable occasion in which I went further than I ever dreamed possible. I had absolutely no concept of myself as a human being for around 8 hours. It was a very eye-opening experience to say the least and may have had some beneficial effect of breaking up my ego a little. I've never tried DMT... I hear it may be interesting, but I think those days are pretty much over.. I'm not sure that my experience(s) cured me of any fear of death or fear in general, however. In fact, in that one most notable experience I would become very fearful if anyone one of my "caretakers" at the time would walk more than 5-10 ft away from me, for their body would, part-by-part disappear into a thick background of a dense, computer-graphic Monet painting (for lack of a better description) and I would feel as if I'd be lost forever. I experienced some sort of un-explainable discomfort at times, making nonsense requests of those around me. I could not designate the direction of "up," if that even makes any sense. Despite it being a very eye-opening experience, really loosening up my dependence on the ordinary reality we are used to through the senses, and showing me an experience I never thought possible, as you say it was only temporary. I'm not sure if I'm currently much closer to the realization experienced by the great adepts. It is my understanding that they had reached a state of detachment from the body that was permanent and existed in a way in which they simultaneously could function as normal human beings. I am very much interested in the path of internal alchemy. I think (and hope) that the experiences like the ones I've read about would do much more towards a better understanding of how life and death fit into reality, and ultimately take me to a level where the fear of death is completely non-existent. Thanks for the reply Owledge, you definitely got me reminiscing on some crazy old times.
  10. On Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: Who is never born can never die. Taoism: The Tao has no beginning, no end, no past, no future. If at the highest level of Taoist cultivation we become one with the Tao, I would assume then we would also associate with no real birth or death other than the birth and death of our assumed body. The best way to realize this state? I wish I had the answers...
  11. Buddha boy grew up

    I've also found this to be an intriguing story. In this documentary (if I remember correctly) they seem to film him for 4 days straight without moving much or drinking water, and then they show it in time-lapse: (part 1) Based on how things were from the original story (in the documentary-when he was younger), it seemed like his family and devotees were mainly the one handling the money aspect and collecting donations. Perhaps they also run the website? The story about him slapping people around is interesting. It certainly seems suspicious for someone who preaches non-violence, but it seems hard to confirm the details of what exactly went down and how. I guess we'd have to have been there... In this transcription of a teaching he gave, he talks about how violence is bad but seems to express frustration that people reduce his life's practice to "mere entertainment." He seems pretty serious about his requests for people to not disturb him in meditation-- as he repeats it a few times. My impression is that he may be at some advanced level and may be on his way to something great, but has not yet achieved full buddhahood, but I'm neither an expert on this guy nor on Buddhism. Could this be an example of why those who have achieved extraordinary abilities do not want to talk about it or display them to the public? This guy has received a ton of publicity due to his alleged several month meditation/fasting... maybe the attention has just created a huge hassle for him and for his training? Just speculation...
  12. Raising energy into the brain

    I'm getting over a minor cold/sore throat right now and am suspicious of it having to do with my recent starting of a meditation practice, but honestly I have no idea whether that is the case. I'm a beginner and have just been doing simple meditation with reverse breathing every evening for about a month. Initially, I started doing SFQ small universe but switched to a more basic reverse breathing, clearing the mind, whole body breathing approach that I think I will more or less stick with until I am able to attend a seminar/retreat with guidance from a teacher. One of my main goals is just to get comfortable sitting for extended periods. So I haven't been trying anything too extreme as far as energy practices go. I had a meditation session that seemed particularly nice last week in which I felt very much at peace, comfortable, and more flexible than usual and the next day I came down with a sore throat. The cold almost entirely disappeared the day after but has been just barely lingering since then, noticeable mainly at night. I rarely ever get sick anymore and usually can pinpoint the cause to a pretty good certainty (got sick after eating like crap for a while, got sick after not getting enough rest and getting really run down, got sick after drinking and partying, etc.). However, this time I wasn't sure exactly why it happened. My diet is better than it has ever been (whole foods, fruits, veggies, water, almost no indulgence on snacks, no alcohol) and I haven't been really that sleep deprived or tired. So I questioned whether it had to do with my recently started meditation practice, but really I have no clue. I guess I was kinda hoping to see the topic come up on here because I'm curious what others' experiences are.
  13. Thank you all very much for the detailed replies. I have found all the information here very helpful and informative.
  14. I'm very much a beginner to taoist practice and (not surprisingly) am confused again. Perhaps a bit of background will help to put my question in context... My intention is definitely to learn from a good teacher, but since that may not be possible for some time I've been trying to figure out what initial steps I can take to best prepare myself for something like a retreat with a highly skilled instructor, should I ever have a chance at that. There are so many different paths and practices out there that my head starts to spin. I wish I could practice them all but since the word is that it's best to pick one and not to mix them I was very inspired by what I've heard about Longmen Pai and Wang Liping so I read Opening the Dragon Gate and ordered the Ling Bao Tong Zhi Neng Nei Gong Shu book. It seemed in the post on here regarding Ling Bao Tong... that some others expressed concern that it was a little hard to grasp for beginners (like me). Someone suggested that a good place to start for introductory practice was Spring Forest Qigong and I thought, "great, I've also taken an interest in SFQ and Chunyi Lin, and they offer a home study course that really breaks things down for beginners." Although, it's not the same path ultimately as Longmen Pai I thought maybe I could at least learn an introductory meditation practice... afterall, some things I had read about both these different practices kind of seemed similar (at least at first). So I've been studying SFQ for a few weeks now and have been doing qigong active exercises and the small universe meditation. So now to my concern (sorry it took so long I tried to get here quickly) - I've been reading various things on Tao Bums concerning microcosmic orbit/small heavenly orbit/small universe and I'm trying to sort things out. Recently there was some discussion about this on DreamLight Fugitive's thread, but I wanted to address this more specifically here. In Spring Forest Qigong level 1 the small universe meditation very much involves visualization of the energy moving around the orbit. I've read on here that this type of thing is what makes it a qigong practice and by contrast in inner alchemy training the orbit is (eventually) spontaneous. I've also read that Doing the MCO/SHO with intention and visualization is useless or actually harmful. So I'm now questioning whether doing SFQ is really a good preparatory practice for someone who aspires to train with Wang Liping or one of his students? The general opinion seems to be a good one towards SFQ, but I keep reading how what sound like the same practices as small universe meditation could be useless or harmful... or is it just a different objective? And finally, the straw that really broke the camels back and motivated me to make this post: I was reading the blog of Shen Laoshi - a long-time student of Wang Liping. On a post discussing SHO he wrote: So for those familiar with Spring Forest Qigong's small universe meditation - would it be considered the intention SHO that he speaks of (and says is harmful)??
  15. Everything is in the MIND

    Awesome content here! I'm going to have to finish watching that Alan Watts video later on sometime. I recommend this documentary as well: There's some great stuff in there on the power of the mind regarding a variety of different topics and settings.