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About JustBHappy

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  1. What does it mean to be a 'Child of Illusion?'

    It's a lojong slogan from the great Atisha. The slogan refers to post-mediation practice and continuing the awareness gained in meditation onto daily life. The idea is to not solidify and make our perceptions so concrete and "real" but rather to be a child of illusion. It's so easy to get caught in the currents of daily challenges that we forget time and again the empty illusory nature of reality. It's a positive slogan, pointing to things being changable, workable and not as solid as we make them out to be.
  2. Sleeping surface

    Hard tile floor with a thin hard bamboo mat on top. The bamboo doesn't make it any softer, it just keeps me off the floor tiles. Been sleeping this way for many years and wouldn't change a thing. I love it.
  3. Avoiding takedowns & then ... other videos.

    BJJ style takedowns are not as much of an issue as watching mma would have you believe. Remember, in mma there are gloves and rules while in the street/home you fight for your life with no rules. All the bjj style takedowns put the attackers head right there for you. They cannot do this type of takedown and not expose their head, it's impossible. Practice a few simple techniques and forget about the arms. The opponent is throwing his head right at you, it's like christmas if you are ready. Either striking or simple twisting techniques work fine. Striking is harder since the targets are moving so it's much easier to train and drill into muscle memory a simple grab and unscrew. Be extremely careful with your training partner, it doesn't take much to really hurt someones neck/spine, do it slowly and only twist a small amount.
  4. Why on earth would one practice more than one system?

    It all depends on the individual but for me, I have no issue with training multiple systems. It actually helps the cultivation in my experience, but we do need an advanced understanding, or teachers with this wisdom to recognize which practices complement each other and which ones don't. You don't get very far if you're jumping on two horses that are galloping in opposite directions. They may both be going up the same mountain but you will just get shredded in the process. One example is "active" versus "passive" qi gong systems, I feel a person should not mix this type of practice. Some practices are more effective in the morning while others are best done in the evening. Some jazz you up, some mellow you out, etc... For those who pursue martial arts training there are some wonderful qi gong systems/methods that complement them beautifully. For me, it's all about balance and sticking to complementary systems and methods. There is no generic black and white answer. You have to look and more importantly experience which methods work best for you and your particular goals. We are extremely lucky to have so many great systems publicly taught and we can absolutely improve on one by also practicing another but we cannot do this blindly.
  5. Sleeping With a Sand Bag = Qi/Tan Tien

    I do this, but I use a cat, or rather the cat uses me. Not sure which one.
  6. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

    Yeah, I attended his six lokas training 10-12 years ago and was pleasantly surprised. I was a bit skeptical as he doesn't have a lineage with one of the main sects but rather the less verifiable and generic Bon. He also seems to share some higher level stuff with just about anyone and a few other questionable things. The teaching was solid though. His presence and energy were great, and the practice that he taught was also phenomenal. Folks from the more solid established sects often don't like him but I was happy with what I learned from him. I never received any of the higher yogas from him so I can't compare those. I would wager that they are similar enough but infused with the Bon flavor. I haven't checked out any of his free vids/books online and haven't even thought of him in last decade or so. I would say if they resonate with you and make sense than follow through and pursue more of his teachings.
  7. It reminds me of the helping the butterfly story. Many versions, here is one: There’s a story attributed to Henry Miller, the writer, about a little boy in India who went up to a guru who was sitting and looking at something in his hand. The little boy went up and looked at it. He didn’t quite understand what it was, so he asked the guru, "What is that?" "It’s a cocoon," answered the guru, "Inside the cocoon is a butterfly. Soon the cocoon is going to split, and the butterfly will come out." "Could I have it?" asked the little boy. "Yes," said the guru, "but you must promise me that when the cocoon splits and the butterfly starts to come out and is beating it’s wings to get out of the cocoon, you won’t help it. It is important not to help the butterfly by breaking the cocoon apart. It must do it on it’s own." The little boy promised, took the cocoon, and went home with it. He then sat and watched it. He saw it begin to vibrate and move and quiver, and finally the cocoon split in half. Inside was a beautiful damp butterfly, frantically beating its wings against the cocoon, trying to get out and not seeming to be able to do it. The little boy desperately wanted to help. Finally, he gave in, and pushed the two halves of the cocoon apart. The butterfly sprang out, but as soon as it got out, it fell to the ground and was dead. The little boy picked up the dead butterfly and in tears went back to the guru and showed it to him. "Little boy," said the guru, "You pushed open the cocoon, didn’t you?" "Yes," said the little boy, "I did." The guru spoke to him gravely, "You don’t understand. You didn’t understand what you were doing. When the butterfly comes out of the cocoon, the only way he can strengthen it’s wings is by beating them against the cocoon. It beats against the cocoon so it’s muscles will grow strong. When you helped it, you prevented it from developing the muscles it would need to survive." There are clearly times when "helping" is not helping and I am well aware the concept of "idiot compassion", but I also know that many animals and people who want help will not, or cannot ask for help. I don't think the asking is anything magical that removes these issues. It's very likely that the butterfly would have asked for help while it was hopelessly struggling. (it obviously can't) The fact that someone asks us for help does nothing to remove the possibility that not helping is the best option. An alcoholic will ask the codependant enabler for help again and again. Many will say it's in the alcoholic's best interest that he doesn't get this "help" and that he hits rock bottom. A prime example of how the mere asking for help does nothing to remove the issue. Once again they are two seperate issues, the asking does nothing to make giving help "right" or more ethical.
  8. Happy DongZhi!

    There's a nice little message from ChunYi Lin on his website regarding the Yin/Yang of this day and the importance of meditating and resting while avoiding strenuous work/exercise and sex. http://www.springforestqigong.com/energy-of-food/seasons/winter/special-date-december-22nd/
  9. If someone is in need and I am able to help, then I should help. If I come across an accident and I can do CPR to save a life, then by all means I will. Same goes for the small things like smiling to strangers and sending then nice open accepting and loving energy or helping an old lady across the street. People already hesitate way to much to help their fellow humans and animals. It should be a natural response with no intellectual BS to cloud the decision. There should be no decision, we should just lend a helping hand. We are not alone, we exist through the work and kindness of others. It's only natural that we should repay it whenever given the opportunity. Our practice should open up our hearts, and rewire the connection between our heads and our hearts not give us some higher than thou arrogance that thinks we know what's best for all people. I know that I have been in some bad situations in my life and wouldn't be here now if not for the kindness of others. People, animals and situations in life will not always ask for our help, in fact they sometimes outwardly fight against it. Doing the right thing is rarely the feel good lovefest that we would like it to be. The world needs more people who have the courage to step up to the plate and help the people in need, not more excuses for sitting on the sideline and feeling holy. For me the meaning of life is to pursue our passions and once we gain some mastery to share those gifts with the world. This can be martial arts, defending the woman who is being raped/assaulted, or healing the sick, or any number of things. But to sit back and say the woman created the rape situation and that she needs to learn something from it is a sad way to live in my opinion. We create ALL our situations from sickness to happiness, but that is not to say we don't need a little help now and again. Do we really think we can see everyone's Karma and mind so clearly that we know if someone has learned the lesson or not? "Oh she didn't learn the lesson, so I won't help her!" Often the people that most need help will never ask for it. Pride can be a powerful force. We should help our animal friends who also cannot ask for it. Sure if someone doesn't know what they are doing, and there is potential to do more harm than good, then obviously they shouldn't do it. This has nothing to do with being asked though. If someone asks them to help, then they still have no business meddling and possibly doing more damage. The fact that they were asked to help doesn't matter one bit, they still shouldn't mess things up. Two completely different topics. Which brings me back to the first line of this post: If someone is in need and I am able to help, then I should help.
  10. Happy DongZhi!

    The yin has just about reached it's maximum and has no choice but to make way for the growing Yang. I personally love winter solstice, much more than Christmas. Remember to take it easy. Sleep, rest, then sleep some more before you rest. It's also a wonderful time for meditation and poor time for strenuous exercise. Magical time of change. Happy DongZhi festival ya bums.
  11. Why so much emphasis on dukkha?

    Profoundly wise, that is why. Only the few who really get it will make it to the next steps. This is the reason why long painful bouts of suffering often act as a catalyst to great spiritual growth. We brush off suffering and distract our minds with all the toys and thoughts and people ann and and..... Very few people actually rest in the suffering for long periods and start to truly understand it. They are then ready for the next step: Understanding its causes. All Buddhist paths start with renunciation. If one doesn't truly get dukkha and suffering then there can be no renunciation. The sad fact is that we are truly addicted to suffering. We don't see it in it's many disguises. Everything we do or think is a form of suffering or a seed for future suffering until we start to truly understand the process through direct experience without running or distracting our minds away from it.
  12. I don't personally feel that you have to always have to get permission. I send love, good energy and sometimes healing energy all the time to people. I think it's my job. Our job is to find our gifts and passions, cultivate them, and selflessly share them. I don't do any full on cancer treatments or similar things, but I don't feel there is morally or otherwise anything wrong with helping out the others on this planet if we are able. I help animals without a moment of hesitation and they certainly don't give me any formal written request. The whole idea is kind of silly. I absolutely understand the points given. Suffering can be a great catalyst for positive change. I also understand that until we can see Karma directly that we will never know how to truly help someone including ourselves. Which brings me to my next point, the people who explicitly request healing, may be better off without your help. You may be harming their development in the same way. Until we can see Karma, we won't know. So for me, when I see someone who needs assistance, then if I am able, I assist. Simple as that. The most common ones I find myself doing are small things like sore throats, coughing, hiccups, anxiety/distraction and such that my students have in class. I quietly and secretly do what I can do. It often works quite well and I feel there is nothing morally wrong with it.
  13. Recent Stillness-Movement Seminar @ Hilton Head, SC

    Great stuff. Nice to hear about the good energy and good times. I still plan on attending a seminar if at all possible. I absolutely love the stillness-movement meditation and it plays nicely along with my other qi gong and movement arts.
  14. You guys are absolutely on to something, most people ignorantly desire to have more awareness on jump on concepts such as opening the third eye without having a clue what this means. I was taught to see it as the two wings of a bird, both are needed in order to fly. One is equanimity and the other is awareness. For strong, stable, spiritual growth to take place, both need to be cultivated. Increases of awareness without the balance of equanimity is a guaranteed path to trouble. The opposite is also quite true. Once again, the middle way is best.

    Don't forget the ultimate slowness = stillness. Take a posture and hold it. Only small external movements to adjust to the proper structure so the the muscles can relax into it. Slowness is one of the great open secrets to the internal arts. Few people have the patience and fortitude to take a 10 minute set and do it in 60-90 minutes. Doing this, along with holding static postures will do wonders for the health, spiritual, and martial qualities. One of best methods for developing proper structure and relaxation. There will also come a point where one realizes how many unnoticed variables exist in even a simple posture such as the opening rising/falling of the hands. One could spend many lifetimes and still not master this art.