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Everything posted by taijistudent

  1. Qigong Basics: Gathering Chi?

    Lots of great ideas on this thread already. For me, I practice taiji. The more you repeat, the deeper the relaxation, the more readily the the energy flows. I would describe it as movement without effort. It is basically moving Qigong where you feel the energy from the outside moving your body. It cannot be willed with intention. It just comes when it comes.
  2. Intensity

    I have noticed that in my years of study and teaching that there are those who seek Intensity. This is the path and journey that some of us have chosen. Intensity provides a certain experience that Non-Intensity does not. However, Intensity can be very harmful in any practice whether it be running a marathon, zhan zhuang, fasting, meditation, dieting, studying, etc.. Intensity can potentially harm the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical aspects - sometimes to a point of great rupture. Each person is different as to how they will respond to the intensity of any practice. The safest approach is to move ahead in the direction that one has chosen but always listen to the signals that one is receiving from the body. If one is not use to listening to signals then the signals will intensify and at times become so intense as to immobilize any further action. This of course is something to be avoided if possible because of the harm one does to one's own body. If one is content with moderation then there will be less potential for harm but then again Intensity will never be experienced. Such are the choices we each make during our journeys.
  3. What principles do all Taoists hold in common?

    I think it is almost impossible to find common beliefs in Daoism. Fluidity and change are so much part of the nature of Daoism that to find anything fixed is quite difficult. Daoism is also very much favors individualistic paths which means each person is carving out their own belief system which in itself is constantly changing. With this said, I would hazard to suggest that two common ideas that one finds in Daoism are: 1) Change 2) Opposites
  4. Unorthodox translations of the TTC

    Thanks for sharing. I think it is great that people lend their own understanding and translations. Sometimes a translation that is a little off the beaten track will resonate with someone and start a whole new train of thoughts.
  5. Top 1% of the world owns 81% of the world's wealth.

    Yes, the concentration of wealth around the world continues to lead to economic pain. I have no idea how this will end as people get poorer and poorer. So much wealth has not been so concentrated in so few people in modern times since the years just prior to the Great Depression. Central banks (which are basically bankers) have figured out how to transfer wealth to the ultra-rich, fair and legally and there is no way to stop it. So we have a very difficult situation which is getting worse. Europe is in terrible shape and no end is in sight. One can only guess what will happen as this trend continues.
  6. I think the answer lies in that there is a bit of everything in all of us. The problems of all people exist everywhere. There is no escape. It is a matter of learning how to live with all that humans are and are capable of.
  7. Punishment for not doing the right thing..

    There is probably no right or wrong thing. Actions and affects. We try to use our experiences as best we can, and we try to be skilled in our behavior, but there is no way to predict the affects of anything we do.
  8. Tao v. Wade

    We are all part of the Dao. All actions affect in some manner. In which manner? It cannot be predicted, only observed.
  9. solipsism?

    My understanding is that Daoism is a feeling that life is ever changing and we are all part of this change. It is indivisible and ever flowing. Thus, we feel what we feel as we flow through duration of time. If someone feels that they can only know himself/herself then that is where that person is as part of her/his journey. If I feel that I am experiencing something with someone else (e.g. a forum discussion) and this is what we can know about each other, via this exchange) then this is my journey. It is just different journeys. Solipsism is just an aspect of the universe that is evolving.
  10. Okay. I'd really like to start living again. :(

    Why don't you share some of your poems and writings on this forum? You may find some clues within your own writings.
  11. Hi everyone, I am putting together a new Club Directory and was thinking that there are probably lots of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Buddhist, etc. groups that might wish to be listed. I just started the effort yesterday. If anyone has a group that they would like to list you can just go over to Links.com Club Directory, register and list your group. It is a good idea to include tags but I'll edit if necessary. If you have any issues, let me know because I just began the effort yesterday and there still may be some bugs. Hope it works out well for everyone.
  12. Creativity

    Creativity would be the act of impressing a patterns upon patterns and developing new patterns. If the new pattern evokes some intense reaction, reveals something new, or resolves some paradox, then it may be considered a unique thought, idea, or piece of art.
  13. The Difference a Guru Makes...

    We all have many teachers in our lives and we thank them for what they have taught us. My most beloved teacher is myself who has taught me much through the years with much thanks to all of my other teachers who have been many beyond count. Each has offered me something to learn and I hope I have done well in my learning.
  14. Qigong forms, lineages and history

    I have some of the original depictions of Qigong exercises from the Mawangdui Medical Scripts. From my studies, my best guess is that Qigong began as simple stretching exercises, especially for monks who might be sitting around a lot meditating. So they stand up and do some basic stretches. From there, it just branches out all over the place. There are thousands of different variations all having some basic qualities in common: Relaxed, slow, rhythmic breathing coordinated with repetitive movements and imagery (Yi). If one adds leg movements then one is developing moving Qigong which begins to approximate Taiji (which I distinguish from Taijiquan). Movements are sometimes large circles, spirals, waves,etc., all designed to move and stretch the physical body while stimulating the internal qi energy movement. Some qigong is more specialized for specific purposes, such as standing or sitting qigong which are designed to increase balance, enhance meditation, or develop stronger and more grounded presence. I don't think any one qigong is more authentic than another. Results are similar with some differences and different with some similarities. I think one can get a good flavor of the different movements from Youtube videos. If you enjoy doing them in a class then one can look for a class that is practicing with the qualities you are looking for. Here is a brief description that may interest you: How To Practice Qigong
  15. The Nature of the Dao De Jing

    Recently I read a translation of Chapter 50 which was quite different from many other interpretations that I have read. In this particular translation, Chapter 50 was seen as a commentary on the nature of the cycle of life and death. When one enters one they begin their journey into the other. This is very much in accordance with the nature of the Yi Jing. On this forum, I have read several threads which discussed the possible origins. It seems to me that it is quite plausible that the Dao De Jing can be interpreted as a group of songs or chants from ancient times as opposed to a doctrine of instructions. As a book of chants, it would explain the repetition of themes, just as one would find in a modern books of chants. The songs themselves would make sense as experiences as well as hopes are chanted together as a group. Most of the translations I have looked at seem to be wanting, but I do find the one by McDonald as one that seems to echo the theme of knowledge, wisdom, as well as group hope. It also meshes well with what I have learned in my other studies. http://www.thenazareneway.com/tao_te_ching.htm I welcome comments.
  16. The Nature of the Dao De Jing

    I would consider this all ancient poetry or chants that people might be singing together. They might be saying as a group that 3 in 10 do this, and another 3 and 10 do that, and yet another 3 in 10 do this, BUT there is the one within us all that can do this - that is, to live life, to not to fear the unknown, but to move on and to believe and know of the circle of life. The Yi Jing also speaks to the circularity of life.
  17. The Nature of the Dao De Jing

    It is impossible to say. One can only speculate based upon their own experiences and understanding. Every translation will necessarily have such biases. What I look for in translations is new ideas and possibilities. It is impossible to say what they were thinking, just as a good Shakespeare play will have many layers of meaning, but whatever they may have been thinking, our own interpretations are worth discussing.
  18. The Nature of the Dao De Jing

    Lol. | Maybe back then they were more optimistic.
  19. The Nature of the Dao De Jing

    Very interesting translation. Thanks.
  20. The Nature of the Dao De Jing

    Yes, I agree. The translation that I just added discusses how to cycle continues life -> death -> life. Not too dissimilar to the awake -> sleep -> awake cycle.
  21. The Nature of the Dao De Jing

    Thanks for your comments. This is and interesting translation which explicitly discusses the cycle of life. Again, it reads like a group hymn or chant: Death arises from life itself. For every three out of ten born Three out of ten die. But why in the face of death Should any three out of ten go breeding, When all they produce is more death? Because of the wild obsession to multiply. But there is only one of ten, so they say, so sure of life That the wild bull cannot find a place in him to pitch its horn, The tiger cannot find a place in which to dig its claws, The weapon's point can find no place in him to pierce. And why? Because when he dies he does not die.
  22. [TTC Study] Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching

    Keep up the great work you are doing! I think we need more of these kind of ideas and insights.
  23. Ultimate Goal

    One may think of the Dao as The Way. But what Way? This is the discussion. Whatever you decide, what ever path you choose to follow, is Your Way. We choose our own paths in life. But how do I choose? I follow the path of health and good sleep. This path speaks to me. It allows me to flourish. I dance, I sing, I play music, I meditate, I exercise, I write, I read, I play sports. And when I feel unhealthy, I stop and reconsider. Maybe slightly alter my path? How many Ways are there? As many as there are. You may choose this Way or that Way. The Dao is the flow of time within you, the creative impetus, the memory of the experiences, and the goals we seek. How to choose? This above all: To thine own self be true.
  24. A Common Experience, but is it a Good Thing?

    I always tell my students to listen carefully to the signals of their own body (spirit, mind, emotional, physical). If it feels healthy then it is healthy. If it feels unhealthy, then it is unhealthy. Unhealthy use of will power will lead to unhealthy conditions.
  25. [TTC Study] Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching

    Yes, I think this version maintains the concepts and the poetry. Building on your ideas: The Dao we speak of Is not the Great Dao The Great Dao is more than the words we utter Words are not what we seek to glorify.