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  1. Culture Unplugged has all sorts of documentary videos available for online viewing, including this one - Embrace- that's about yogic practices related to sacred mountains. It's available for viewing for a little while... in Tibetan with English and Chinese subtitles (that sometimes go a little fast, but…)
  2. Okay. I'd really like to start living again. :(

    Dear WillingToListen, can I ask you about your creative practice*? Obviously in the past it was a life-line for you, which is good because it shows that even if you're currently in a lull, you've got the experience of having it as a life-line. There's a LOT of information available online showing that creativity and depression (and other mental issues) often go hand in hand. In fact just today I came across this: Channeling Depression into a Powerful Tool for Creativity. I've had major writing/creativity dry-spells - most recently about 3 months long (and maybe still going, I'm just taking it day by day). It is the hardest thing in the world to not worry in the face of that because of how existentially I relate to creativity and when I read what you've said here (and hear the anguish), I relate completely. It might be helpful to think of the "assurance" you're feeling that writing is gone, and there's never going to be anything else, as the voice of your inner critic. This character neither represents the totality of reality nor has your best interests in mind. Funny enough, this character sometimes speaks depression's words verbatim. They might be one and the same a**hole, in fact. You might want to take my next idea with a grain of salt as I wouldn't know a kundalini from kabeljau if one bit me in the butt, but I wonder if maybe your strong reaction to notions of "the path" should be seriously considered (without snide remarks from anyone) and from a position of some gentleness. How would it feel to you to not worry at this point about awakening or spiritual "levels" or schematics and praises of "The Path" (Heaven help me for posting that here on TTB), but what if you did the simplest possible practice without any aim other than taking a moment of non-judgmental calmness? Even if you can't get calm during a 10 minute session of meditating, only part of you will be experiencing the un-calmness and another part will be observing you experiencing it. Thus the observer will be calm (sly fellow). Obviously this doesn't help you with the basics of livelihood, but when you're in panic mode, the brain is incapable of accessing its other functions. Panic mode overrides lots of other options and the only thing to do is figure out what practices work for you for disengaging the alarms. You're overwhelmed and you sound depleted. Be patient. Even depleted ground eventually will allow something to sprout. Silly humans call them weeds but truly nature is so brilliant to have created plants that can *only* do well in barren places. ----- *I know I started this with a question about creative practice and then never really went in that direction. I'd like to go there but this post is already so long. Would you like to have that conversation?
  3. Okay. I'd really like to start living again. :(

    I'd respectfully like to add to Sinansencer's observation that at this point, urging a person who wonders where his zest for life has gone (his desire to live, no less) to give up desires, might be ill advised...
  4. Okay. I'd really like to start living again. :(

    the good news is that EVERYTHING changes - there's no way this is a "forever" thing. sometimes that's all that's gotten me through. "I can be patient and wait the damn thing out"
  5. Okay. I'd really like to start living again. :(

    Dear WillingToListen, I don't really have any advice, but would it help if you knew that someone was thinking of you and wishing you well? I am and I do. It must be a very difficult time. I hope that you find something helpful here. In my experience, depression tries to be very believable (it wants to sound like your best most trusted friend, like it has your back, like it KNOWS everything). Strangely enough, it's a lying SOB. Ok, a little semi-advice - recognize that the depression and despair are there but don't let them call the shots. Obviously somewhere inside you desire to live, to flourish - depression may tell you that it's unreachable, that every option is too far away, too big. But ANY small step will affect change. It might be small change, but change nonetheless. Let's work on finding the small step you can manage for now. (and seriously consider Songtsan's reply too)
  6. oh my goodness, this topic took off when I wasn't looking! I'm phenomenally behind in reading but wanted to chime in with a "hang on, I'll catch up!" note and thank everyone for the lively discussion. Yay!
  7. Chi Dragon, that was VERY nice of you to pull some links out of TTB vastness. I shall peruse and appreciate the advance notice of what comes with the terrain... hydrogen - well as they say, "fools rush in."
  8. I laughed because my Chinese is really poor (I call it kitchen-Chinese because of my only-daily-life vocab) and I can't read worth a damn so I google-translated yiquan and got: Italian boxing!! Anyway, thanks for your comment and recognition of the sometime-need to bypass the mind's tendency to fixate on pain before it's been trained to move past it... These all sound like intuitively good suggestions, thank you! I'm waiting for the snow to melt and the temp to rise a little before going back out to do zhan zhuang. Outdoors will be a periodic thing, as my main allotted time is before the kids are up. I definitely haven't watched tv or videos - THAT seems way too distracting. Music "seemed" fine to me but then so too did the language lessons... ? This really affirms the attitude I've had so far - I'm in no hurry. Just wanting to feel what there is. I'm not sure I'm really "reinforcing principles" per say, but I do keep bringing attention back to what there is (or noticing how I try to "flee" when things get uncomfortable... ah, silly humans!!). One of the most surprising things so far is how it's possible for my feet to feel rooted, grounded...and good in that. Thanks for the "stick with it" - periodic bouts of doubt have plagued me. ("What the heck AM I doing!?!")
  9. Thanks for the stimulating replies, everybody! I did a brief search but perhaps the often-vague subject titles didn't lead me in the right direction and I don't have enough online time to wade through really long, diffuse, threads - many of which are really beyond my level anyway. So, sorry, I had to ask my newbie question up front. It's interesting to hear such diverse suggestions - everything from: 1 minute of quality time is primo vs. undistracted, purposeful cultivation is better vs. don't complicate it, just stand. I guess then I have spinoff questions and comments: unfortunate reality is that I have a timeframe in which to do this before the day runs rampant. How likely am I, a total beginner with no foundation, to get that 1 minute of building anything? Maybe this is a misguided idea, but the fact that I am currently oblivious to energy flow gives me this image: a kid making mud pies versus a master potter having put in thousands of hours of attentiveness in order to throw clay on the wheel and "magically" make it a beautiful vessel. I'm wary of delusions of grandeur (mine or anybody else's) and figure I should probably work my way through some basics first. Honestly, I'm just Average Joe - nothing miraculous happening (yet?). "Don't you have enough to focus on?" is a valid question and my answer is "I don't know." I don't find balance difficult. I could keep my eyes closed through the whole thing though I'm not sure it's recommended. In spite of what I'm listening to I still pay attention to the rest of the experience - though admittedly my attention comes and goes and travels through the whole experience - from my breathing to locating tension, to noticing relaxation, to experiences of warmth or "buzzing." I've been alternating between listening or not listening to something and the only major difference I've noticed is that if, after a day or two practicing in silence (when all I could hear was that ridiculous critic chattering away about how much discomfort I'm in and how stupid I am) upon listening to either music or the StandStillBeFit audio or my German lesson, I just stand. The idiot shuts up. I have the vague sense that the session is very slightly "diluted" but I'm still likely to get similar warming/tingling/trembling - just minus the mental pain-maker. I don't have a problem with being "tricksy" at all - if that dear internal/infernal voice gets bypassed and meanwhile I teach my arms that they're not going to die because I held them in front of me for 6 or 10 minutes I'm not sure that's bad. Like getting a kid to ride a bike by reassuring them that you're still holding on! meanwhile they're off and around the corner! Really? Maybe it's the cause of my having "accomplished" very little, but I'm very process oriented. So I don't know if I have a goal here at all that cultivation can "count toward." Why exactly then am I doing this? Ok, there is a goal - I think it's good to pay attention to my body, to figure out what's going in/with/around/because of it. I'm curious to see if these very basics like attention, breath, stance are so fundamental that everything else is fluff and frosting. (that sounds cockier than I mean, please take no offense). I'm aware that I've had 42 years of non-training (interspersed with bits and bobs) and maybe it's good to just take a moment and look at basics and my honest experience. !! not sure I understand that but it sounds nice - I kind of think of the "boundary" as porous anyway and the traffic as two directional... I may look into that, thanks!
  10. I've been doing the very beginnings of zhan zhuang (according to Stand Still be Fit on youtube and The Way of Energy) for about 6 weeks. According to Lam Kam Chuen, it's ok to listen to music or a tv or radio program while practicing. I'm wondering what those of you who've practiced this (or even another relevant qigong method) have to say about this. Is it a distraction? A useful tool to get the time-keeper mind to shut up and just let the whole thing unfold? I think it's helping me get past some really early hurdles like "4 minutes in and I hate this" when I'm plugging along on my audio German lesson or listening to music that I know will end at the right time. I don't have to fight anything it seems. But I wonder if it short-circuits my ability to also pay attention to what's going on in the body. Any drawbacks to this? Thanks!
  11. Do I need glasses?

    oh, I wasn't really trying to debate. My reply was to the OP - and not knowing his/her actual experience, just thought I'd throw my uninformed personal experience out there in case it was just, you know, a normal thing. No offense intended, and not trying to deny that amazing stuff actually CAN be seen.
  12. Do I need glasses?

    It is possible to "see" one's pulse in the eye (appears as a rhythmic expansion/contraction or a kind of throbbing - but may be perceived more weakly), and as mundane as it sounds, we all have "floaters" though we're aware of them to varying degrees. Are you sure you should be ascribing mystical visions to things that might likely be easily explained by physical phenomena?
  13. ...

    Flolfolil, I wanted to echo what others have said just for the support value it can offer: hang in there, recognize that it's temporary. I don't have experience, really, in energy practices, so can't speak to whether it's good to continue or take a break, but as one who's gotten waylaid by perceptions, I understand how difficult it is to know "who" to listen to. Depression is a liar fundamentally - just hold tight. Good wishes to you.
  14. signing out

    No, actually! I didn't realize there'd been an upgrade, but for the past few days it's been fine. Thanks!