Scottk

The Dao Bums
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About Scottk

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  1. Any movie about daoism ?

    I would highly recommend watching "The Shift" with Dr. Wayne Dyer. The film portrays wu-wei and other Taoist themes very well.
  2. The Taoist's Herb Garden

    This is all very interesting to read about; I had no idea that there was such a vast amount to be learned about herbs! For someone who may not have time to garden and harvest their own herbs, what is the best alternative to doing it all yourself? Do any of you know of reliable suppliers in the United States? Or local retailers that can supply certain beneficial herbs over the counter? And what might some of those simple, yet effective herbs be? I apologize for filling this reply with so many questions, but I am incredibly curious about this topic. Thank you all, Scott
  3. A few months ago I had the privilege of visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art and viewing many fascinating exhibits! After the museum, I also hit China Town and saw some neat sights there too! I had to cut out the vast majority of pictures I took because TTB has a maximum upload size of 6.35MB. Enjoy!
  4. I couldn't agree more! Once more, thank you for the help so far. Another member of TTB sent me a link to which seems like a pretty good video to begin with in some basic techniques. What is your opinion?
  5. Thanks for giving me some clarification on any fallacies or misunderstandings that the link provided. I am sure, on a shallow and basic level, the link offers some interesting drawings and simple advice to get me started. Troubleshooting my way past improperly learned procedures is half the fun though, isn't it? I see where you are coming from with this advice for myself. Being a beginner, it is critical that I take slow steps and ease my way into the simple things like breathing deeply and experiencing the world around me. I appreciate the thought, but I must say that the second part of your advice seems a little contradictory to the first. If you consider yourself an expert on this sort of thing--you seem very knowledgeable about 道--then wouldn't I have to disregard your teachings if given this same advice from another person? Regardless, your help is always appreciated. 光明磊落。谢谢您。 "Azure Dragon Breath Flames" is a very flashy name indeed! Being a fan of dragons myself, the name is spectacular and I must admit I like it a lot too! As for the steps about the palm and air coming out of my nose, it seems like a good start to gauging where my breathing strength is currently. I appreciate you teaching me this technique! I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
  6. Thank you for the exquisite definition of the subtle existence. It is almost analogous to something like wu-wei the way I see it. What you wrote reminds me the times I have spent laying in a tree on the edge of my yard... but yet, I have also had times where in the very vivid and bustling societal world, I have found these subtleties you speak of. Either way, your advice and wisdom is much appreciated! I appreciate the wisdom of 光明磊落. I will do my best to figure out the proper translation of the characters, or what you intended me to find. Other than a good place to start, where would I go next? In terms of more practical exercises I can perform in my spare time to raise my awareness of my energy? 谢谢您!
  7. Hello everyone! I have been a quiet member of The Tao Bums for a little while now--you may have read my essay on Yin and Yang and the Authentic Life--, but I would like to ask for some advice on something I am extremely interested in. A short background about myself. I am a 19 year old college student studying Economics, Philosophy, and Chinese among other things. I have always harbored a special appreciation for nature and feeling the world around me. Until recently, I was completely unaware of what Taoism was; however, once I began the chapter of my life in college, a lot has changed. Chinese culture and philosophy interests me so much, in fact, that I am studying in China for a semester abroad next year! Every passing day I maintain a feeling of peace with myself and the world around me but I am eager to learn the steps to a more serious understanding The Way--opening of channels, and cultivation of energy specifically. There you have it, I am a student willing to learn and if one of you would be so kind as to give me good places to start I would be very grateful. I am in fine physical and mental shape... but I would now like to learn of methods to introduce a deeper energy and the "vibrations" or "electric currents" that I have read so much about on this very forum. I have a joke of a grip on proper breathing (the extent of my knowledge is using my belly more, and breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth); In terms of mediation, I merely sit in quiet and breath deeply while releasing my thoughts (which is hard to do, so I normally focus on counting in Chinese and drawing the characters in my head). Thank you all very much for reading my note. Any help is appreciated. If you have any other questions don't be afraid to ask! - Scott , 我的中文名字是斯明磊。
  8. How do Taoists feel about having pets?

    Okay! Thank you for the clarification. I was only curious if removing animals from their natural habitats was considered interfering in a Taoist perspective.
  9. Does obtaining a pet (dog, cat, bird, fish, etc.) go against the natural way? If we think in terms of non-interference, then should anyone purchase a pet? I am interested in your thoughts. I am sure their are many great ideas on this subject. I for one am unsure of what I believe right now... I think that if an animal is already sitting in a pet shop locked in a cage all day then perhaps it is best to help that creature by bringing it to your home with love and peace. I would imagine that in a perfect Taoist world animals would all be in their natural habitats living freely as they flourished on their own paths. We do not live in this world though, and one can not simply buy pets and release them into the wilderness in today's society. Alas, it seems we must make due with the time we live in and never wish to be elsewhere. Only to make this world a better, more natural place the right ways. So I propose another question as follow-up. What would be some "right ways" to help bring animals closer to their original habitats, or to combat the somehow acceptable methods of capturing animals to be sold as pets for humans. Is this right or wrong in your opinion? - Scott
  10. Hello and a philosophical question

    I read this thread so far and I am happy to see that you are questioning things the same way I do. When I first came to this forum I was searching around and came across the semen retention for the first time in my life. My first thought was, "That is not natural." However, I must ask that if something feels like the right thing to do, then isn't that the natural state? It is an interesting concept to wrap around-- Wu Wei, quietness and inaction-- being content with the self and not relying on the ego is nearly impossible for many people in the world today. With our consumerist society and our pressure for sex all around us (just watch a movie at the theaters and 9/10 times I will bet there is an attractive woman exposing herself in some way for man to goggle at and drool over). Most recently I have decided that this is not right. Seeking one's self pleasure is something that I intend not to do but sometimes animal instincts take over. No one is perfect. Lao Tzu wrote, "Do nothing by self-will, but rather conform to the Infinite Will, and everything will be done for you." If you haven' already read my essay in the post I made introducing myself I urge you to do so because it explains a few different views about living an authentic life through Taoist ideals. Deep breathing exercises, semen retention, and meditation can all be classified as "unnatural" can they not? So, I believe it is up to the individual to live their life the way they see fit. I think that alone time to let go of things and be with yourself (such as meditation) is an excellent-- for many spiritual-- way to become closer to your true self. With that said, I cannot tell you that deep breathing or semen retention is a necessarily bad thing either. To close this response up, because I am sure you don't want to read me jabbering on for longer. I would tell you that it comes down to your intentions. Are you participating in an "unnatural" activity because you want to fuel the ego self? Or, are you doing this activity because you feel you must do it? These are the questions to ask. -Scottk
  11. Introducing myself

    The "Tragedy of the Commons" is a term I first learned about in my Environmental Studies class senior year of high school. I understand it to mean that a human uses more of a resource than is necessary to survive. With this, I will give you an example. Let's say you are on an island with only a few coconut trees to eat from. Day after day you live within your means but then begin to experiment and overindulge with the coconuts. The trees do not have the necessary time to regrow the coconuts that you have already taken for yourself, and you are left to starve because you used up the resource more quickly than it could replenish itself. This is one way that I understand it, although I am sure that there are better examples.