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About Rara

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  1. This. I got my first credit card when I had a few grand in the bank. Play the game!
  2. Glad I stumbled upon this. Saved me from posting anything...like the OP It's a bit of a bandwagon now, but my friend is doing it and I thought I'd give it a try after I woke up one day with horrible indigestion. I think I had been eating too many noodles and steamed buns - damn they are tasty things. It did me good for a week, then I noticed my energy levels dropping below par in the mornings. Concentration and motivation became quite low. Being self-employed, I don't have much of a routine, but I've found that I can use this tool loosely, even if I am having a particularly physical morning. As they say...listen to the body, but I am an advocate of fasting when I've over done it. I just can't get too obsessed with this eight hour eating window. It can drive me crazy meeting these kinds of pedantic demands.
  3. @Taomeow Sure, I get all this. I couldn't agree more, and I'm not about rushing anything. But unless there is evidence of taiji being effective, one does go on faith. Do you have any links to any sparring vids of any of this application?
  4. Heya. What I mean is that when training thai boxing or BJJ, you always have a partner or an opponent to work with. Lots of reflex training is done in and outside of the gym, cardio and form are all worked on as well. Generally, there is more high intensity sparring. My experience of tai chi is a lot of emphasis on form and sensitivity drills (push hands) but less of the actual "fight simulation" that hard martial arts offer. My point is that it surely takes a lot of faith to roll with the idea that you can become better than a decent mma fighter if you spend a long time mastering a legit tai chi system. If there are very few that do master their system, doesn't it make sense to do a martial art that guarantees you'll get at least something out of it fairly quickly? Even if that is just being able to defend your head and throw a few punches...
  5. @Taomeow Good way of putting it. Of course, I've never seen any legit taiji sparring, so I only go by what you (and others who are sold by taiji) say. Let's not forget that taiji "master" who got mashed up by that mma guy. I guess you still have to be good! That said, I would imagine the aim is to not fight anyway, which buys a good number of years to train without destroying your own body. I just find it difficult to understand how you can still read opponents easier with little contact training, and little experience with different sorts of opponents with different styles.
  6. This is what I say to the tai chi guys - I'm the youngest guy in the room so I always mention how my goal by starting now is to feel ok when I'm their age hehe. The transition is tough. I still enjoy sparring hard style with my friends once or twice a week and with that, comes 2x a week of body/strength conditioning. I practice my tai chi almost every day but some days, I'm just too tired. After all, I have to get up and work most days too.
  7. I hope I can be no.4 I'll agree on muscular imbalances. I went for a sports massage the other week and I have wonderful lats but basically no rear delts and left hip area is underdeveloped. Just when I thought my squat form was perfect. How about from a self-defence / instant results angle? Isn't it best to at least get some of the basics of a boxing system down to enhance the skill and confidence? If it really takes so long to become a tai chi master, I would think it best to have some hard training in the meantime...
  8. No way! Nice find Yes, it's a good read. My main issue with the guy is that his solutions are a little freaky for my liking. If he had the power, I hate to think what lab experiments he would sign off for humans to have morality engineered into them. No problem, yes the Daoist way is an everlong journey. I've been practicing for around 10 years now and it's taken that long for me to get to this understanding on this topic. I am engaged with this thread because these are things I were writing about on this forum a few years ago and I struggled for years. But I'm sure there is much more that I'm missing as well. Keep me posted on things. Feel free to DM me if you get stuck with anything in particular or fancy debating some ideas.
  9. Sure, hence what I said about animals eating animals, survival etc. "Nature" has its way and we cannot control that. All things present within the Dao. What you're talking about with social justice (and those who you labelled) are those who I say "stray from the Dao". They're within it, but they simply aren't practicing its principles. You might like a book called The Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris. You may be familiar with him, a neuroscientist/philosopher. Not Daoist but very familiar with its principles and I relate a lot of his blunt observations to some Daoist ones. To paraphrase, he says that if we put religous traditions to one side, the human race generally agree that suffering is not good, and therefore we should try to avoid inflicting it. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Sometimes it cannot be helped, but it's not our way to go out and seek to cause damage. The question is, does fighting it serve a purpose? How is the war on drugs going? Or would good education and abstaining from bad influences be a more fitting strategy? And that's what it comes down to. The daoist has a strategy...choosing the path of least resistence. The same way that nature does, without effort, the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening...
  10. I can answer this quickly as I just realised that I've covered most of this above. Why do you think that Daoists are where wealth prevails? Unless I've misunderstood your question, to the best of my knowledge, Lao Tzu's message was to strip the wealth. Chuang Tzu seems to me to have been an anarchist living in an appartment (metaphorically speaking) and Leih Tzu may even have been a peasant. Not to mention the social situation of China's people vs authorities back in the day. But if you're talking modern-day, yes, I see how there is an easy way to be a Daoist in our more liberal cultures, especially here in England where you can pretty much be anything. Even when you have no money, you still have more than a lot of people do overseas!
  11. Hi Mig, Sorry, I see you've been giving this some thought over the last day. Been a bit busy but I'll begin with this and move on to your next question when I can Examples of imitiating the Dao, ok. Not directly related, but bear with me as I think that is a separate question that makes up more of a bigger picture in your OP. My example is kind of in my 2nd paragraph but I'll try an explain it a bit more pragmatically... If we observe nature, we see everything for what it is. The sun rises in the morning, it sets in the evening etc; Based on circumstance, water can sit still as a lake, or it will come crashing down with gravity as a waterfall. Animals will eat other animals. One day, death will take us naturally at a specific time, unless we choose to harm ourselves to the point of getting a terminal disease etc etc. Can you tell me which out of any of these are the preferred things in life? That's not a trick question. Of course, the lake is lovely with its peacefulness. A state of harmony, if you will. Yet is the water to be pitied if it falls over the rocks and creates high impact and as it falls down? Is the water aggressive or angry? The water is merely acting from its circumstance, with no fear of who it may harm with its ferociousness. Is it bothered by its call to action to experience something a little "rougher"? Animals eat other animals. Are we bad if we eat animals? If we were dying of hunger and needed to survive by eating bugs in the forest for ptotein, would a vegan activist have a "moral" ground to argue against your natural need? Some might say it's an injustice to animals to eat meat. But who defines injustice here? My aunty passed away just before Christmas, aged 90, in her sleep. A few weeks later, a friend's wife was rushed into A&E with a burst abscess that caused an infection. She was obese and the surgeons struggled to operate. She passed away two days later, age 35. Subjectively, when my friend said she was a good soul and didn't deserve to go, fair enough. Did Dao see it this way? Did Dao save? Did it judge? Is "deserve" even a factor here...suddenly, it seems like a made up word. I love my friend, but if the surgeon did all that he could, we have to look at this case objectively and understand why this unfortunate situation happened. I'm sure the surgeon understands more than we do! Notice how my aunty needed very little to be said in this section? The above scenarios may not directly relate to your own circumstances or injustices that you have witnessed, but I hope you can understand how the underlying attitude (or lack of) of the Dao doesn't actually engage with the concept of injustice. Now, more directly to the point, I did say how those that stray from the Dao cause these injustices. To put things bluntly, if you are a dictator and choose to bully countries with nukes, there will be a backlash. People might be oppressed in these states, but a decision to NOT intervene, knowing their own limitations, could save their lives. Their cultivation through meditation and living a Daoist life cannot bring any more heat to an already heated situation. So, the calm lake will still move but with slow-motions. Think Tai Chi long forms. But it doesn't deny that there will be moments of chaos. Think Tai Chi fast forms - still as skilled and calm as the other, but recognises there will SOMETIMES be a time when we have to fight and up the intensity. I capitalise the word "SOMETIMES", because 9 times out of 10, I learn that situations never really escalate to the point where I need to. Don't waste energy - conserve it for when you really need to take that battle. A daoist will live, balancing wall that separates chaos and order. This way, they don't buy into the hype and hysteria that the world tries to throw at them.
  12. Yes, I posted this in another thread a couple of years ago. The Bee Taoist sets a lovely example. Perhaps too much of an idealist, but the messages are wonderful either way.
  13. I would say we should be differentiating between "Dao" and "Daoist". Where is the "Dao" when injustices happen? Everywhere. But the Dao doesn't stop them, how can it? That would be dictating nature, as opposed to letting it be. Alas, this means that injustices are present. But we learn that those who stray from the Dao, cause and suffer the injustices. Now, the Daoist recognises this and therefore works on him or herself so that there is not need to be involved with something as petty as, say, causing direct and uneccesary (those two words are very important) harm. By imitating the Dao as closely as possible, the Daoist may be able to avoid conflict for the best part, not all, of their lives. Wouldn't it be nice for others to follow the perfect Daoist's lead? Sure, but the person has to want to. The person has to want to be peaceful and live in harmony. But people don't want to. They want to fight and wear themselves out and others into the grave. That's up to them...
  14. @DaoKeeper Yes. In fact, I think I need to get the guitar out and get creative now that you said this!
  15. I'd also like to add, it isn't the business of someone to intervene necessarily IF they don't know the true nature of the conflict. If they get to the party late, it cannot be virtuous to get involved with something when blind. The objectivity of the situation will be broken, thus making the judgement of the Taoist void. You can also be manipulated by media and campaigns to make you believe that something is wrong and should be dealt with. By the time you sit and observe and get all the facts, most of the time you'll find that you've wasted energy even delving so much. That, or the issue has gone away of its own accord. Finally, it is said, that when you need to take action, you will know. There will be no other choice.