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  1. Bruce Frantzis has put out a series of Taoist meditations to help in these strange times. There's fifteen videos so far: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZGxERtakiPYPJxR-KLETDnz_ruOY7hAU
  2. Dancing

    Dancing is a form of love and self care. Dance brings joy. Joy is an act of resistance. Joy builds resilience. Joy gives rise to hope. Please take some time for yourself, to do a little dance, any kind you like, any way that feels good.
  3. Hello everyone, I am abhi, and here I want to know more about cultivation, actually I recently started cultivating with meditation as base and im addition I practice taekwondo, but I don't know if I am doing it right or not, some say that they feel it in their body some kind of energy or something but I think I feel it it's just normal for me, during recent surfing I came across this site and thought to head some advice from others who do practice cultivation. If anyone can help me to know how do I start it or how do I know if I am doing it right then it would be much appreciated. Thank You 😊
  4. I have had the following daily Kriya routine for a few months: - Navi Kriya (9 cycles) - Yoni Mudra (1 time) - Kriya Pranayama (48 reps) - Mental Pranayama (maybe 10-20 minutes) Every time I do it I feel a quite strong inwards pull in my 3rd eye, sometimes strong energy activity in the area of my throat, mouth, jaw area. But couple of days a ago something very different happened for the very first time. The sensations during mental Pranayama were so strong that I thought I was really going to die, but I thought I was about to achieve some important break-through, so I surrendered and was ready to die if it happened and kept going. I felt very strong energy everywhere in my head, especially in the area of 3rd eye, face, mouth and jaw, and throat. I was really struggling to breathe. The problem with breathing was similar to if you stick your head our of the window facing the wind while driving 200 miles an hour. My heart was beating at very high rate, the reason for this might be also the enormous excitement I had at that moment. After a few minutes I moved focus from 6th and 5th chakra to 4th and then further down, and then the sensations became quickly much more bearable. Any advice on what might have happened and what should I have done in that situation? Might I have a blockage that causes dispersion of energy in my throat and facial area? Any advice would be highly appreciated, Thank You!
  5. Hello my name is maske and I'm a young man who is interested in cultivation i have always loved the feeling of meditation and just finding your own spiritual self. And I really love the idea that a human having the ability to use QI wich excites me because I always had a feeling that the human race has more potential and now that I have found out about this feels like the best thing that has happened in my life. But I don't really know how to start what do I do? Or am I doing it right sometimes I feel warmth in my hands and I once listened to monk music once and and closed my eyes while listening very closely to every single sound and I felt my soul being outside my body I felt it over my left shoulder but the second I noticed I went back into my body those were the only things that gave me hope to keep going but know I want to really know i want to do this. It's my dream to become good at cultivation and I want to learn more about daoism. And so I want to ask you all as my seniors if they could share or even show me how to cultivate. Thanks
  6. In meditation, we have the use of the term "staying centered" or "balanced" or "maintaining equilibrium". In taijiquan too we have the use of similar terms, or if we want to be more technical, "maintaining Zhong ding" or "being in Taiji". What does that really entail? Is it a mental state? Or is it a state of energetic balance? Or is it a combination of both? The best definition of "no-mind" I've come across is "The no-mind state is when the mind neither clings to anything, nor runs away from anything". This is where the key to remaining centered exists. The nature of the mind is to process information, to think. So even when there is no need for thinking to occur, the mind tends to preoccupy itself with thinking. Processing events that have passed, and extrapolating and projecting into possibilities in the future. The resulting effect is one of distress, even though there might not be the recognition as such, of the effect, under "normal" circumstances. This is true for all serious meditation (imho). If your mind is constantly vacillating between past and future, there is no point of rest any longer. So then how do we stop vacillating between the past and future? That is, in essence, the root of meditation. In order for that to be possible, first there must be total and complete recognition of our true nature and an understanding of what we are not. There are many ways to get there -- but the end result is a direct knowing of what we are not. What we truly are, cannot easily be grasped directly. Usually we have to go through the path of "neti neti" (or not this, not this), progressively and logically eliminating layers of not-self, until only the bare essence remains. Once we have spent time with the realization of our true nature as being that bare essence, then we can in earnest begin the process of 'letting go'. It takes a bit of effort initially, but to simply sit, without doing anything, is a good way to 'let go'. How do we let go of sand that we have held in our fist for a while? Just open the fist...and the sand falls out. Some grains still remain, just dust them off by rubbing the hands against each other.
  7. Hi there, I would like to invite you to join in on the greatest global mass meditation humanity has ever done. With one coherent positive intention we will propel humanity towards the most positive timeline which will usher in the golden age prophesized ever so often before and which will end the current corona virus situation. The meditation will be at 7.45pm PDT tonight. Please look at the below timetable for your timezone: The meditation will be going 20 minutes and you can either make a most positive intention for the future of earth and humanity or even better follow the below instructions: 1. Use your own technique to bring you to a relaxed state of consciousness. 2. State your intent to use this meditation as a tool to shift the planet into the most optimal timeline and as a tool to completely remove the coronavirus. 3. Visualize a pillar of brilliant white Light emanating from the Cosmic Central Sun, then being distributed to Central Suns of all galaxies in this universe. Then visualize this light entering through the Galactic Central Sun, then going through our Galaxy, then entering our Solar System and going through all beings of Light inside our Solar System and then through all beings on planet Earth and also through your body to the center of the Earth. 4. Visualize this Light transmuting all remaining coronavirus on Earth, disinfecting all infected areas on the planet, healing all patients, removing all fear associated with this epidemic and restoring stability. 5. Visualize the course of events on planet Earth shifting into the most positive timeline possible, shifting away from all epidemics, away from all wars, away from all global domination. Visualize white, pink, blue and golden Light healing all inequalities, erasing all poverty and bringing abundance to all humanity. Visualize a new grand cosmic cycle of the Age of Aquarius beginning, bringing pure Light, Love and Happiness to all beings on Earth. There are many many spiritual groups joining in, please share it! I don't think I need to tell you that such a meditation has indeed an impact on everything. Further links: https://2012portal.blogspot.com/2020/03/make-this-viral-ascension-timeline-end.html https://2012portal.blogspot.com/2020/04/ascension-timeline-end-of-coronavirus.html Promotional videos: https://2012portal.blogspot.com/2020/03/ascension-timeline-end-of-coronavirus.html I sincerely hope we can make it one million people, so please join if you are feeling guided to _/\_ See you later, Best, Julian
  8. What are internal practices suitable for self-study? It's an interesting question with two complementary answers. There is the perspective of complete formal practice that allows the practitioner to advance from complete naivety to mastery within its self-contained systemic framework. The other view is that of wisdom and insight into what the this thing "self" that we consider as defining, or confining, us really is. This wisdom aspect is the vitally important element which enables the formal routines to provide benefit and success. Wisdom The general benefit of wisdom deals with karma, both positive and negative, which is our desiring and rejecting habitual view of relating ourselves to our experiences. This is practical observation and not intellectual deduction merely. When a baby is born all pretty much all she does is to shit, cry, and smile. The baby doesn't have any functioning conception of self-worth for herself or for others. This doesn't prevent her from experiencing life and reality naturally like a human baby does. Only later in the childhood would she learn that people assign worthiness to their experiences and infectiously project these out of their persons. A labeled world of good and bad phenomena is traded around like collectible card games, and the only way out of this is to realize that it is a game that can be suspended or quit. The path of wisdom is returning to that earlier puerile innocence that didn't see the world through permanent divisive categories or absolute judgements: we call this nonduality. It asks for genuine inquiry, curiosity, and taking into account the context of experiences. The world and its people reveal themselves as they are: sometimes sweet, sometimes annoying, often helpful, and rarely committed to wisdom. None of these observations are anything but transitory insights into human condition, which makes no impact to our innate worth how we are free to evaluate and judge our worthiness or just leave it as undefined like it naturally is. It's about opening up instead of closing in. Please do not see what I described as any sort of nihilism or radical equalization of all experiences. Defaulting views to nothingness or indifference are marks of not having much understanding nor insight. The high point of wisdom is to train and live through a natural relaxed and flexible view that easily defaults to undefined. The real you is spontaneous and true to your own innate goodness underneath those impulsive habits that cloud it. There are many ways to approach purifying karma, but all have the same fundamental flavors of becoming fully aware of your own suffering and that this limited view is not the entire picture or permanent at all. Yogis can train their familiarity with the open awareness all living beings have in common or they can offer their selfless service to the world in the face of abuse and scorn, up to the point of martyrdom. Make no mistake: The real challenge of wisdom is in facing all your fears and disdain. All the things you would rather avoid and not confront are the very same poisons that when taken in correct doses with good skill become antidotes and medicine that sets you free from these compulsions. Suddenly you feel liberated: much lighter and healthier. What a bliss, what a silly way it was to trap yourself in such a meaningless bubble! In the Western world we have relatively little active culture into the study and preservation of universal wisdom. This problem can be solved through studying some living wisdom tradition and looking into the process of inquiring into one's limited conceptions of self. For this purpose I have looked into some good and short videos that give insight into how people's perceptions of stress and themselves can give rise to real life changing skills and realizations. The core wisdom here is that if you want to change yourself and your sense of self, then you should first have a healthy and strong sense of self. Assorted Videos about Self-Compassion and Emotional Welfare Getting a Clue about Wisdom and Virtue (De) For a good introduction to a wisdom tradition that can take you all the way to complete enlightenment I recommend Shanrendao. It's inspired by the Confucian tradition where the central teachings is that the person should seek to perfect his role and function in the society and within his family, gracefully and gratefully accept all "polishing" others may unkindly serve him, and still remain true to himself and not suppress his emotions and desires. The formula is simple, but difficult to master because people might be unable to express their emotions in a true or meaningful ways. More about this later. I personally have a strong liking towards Confucian view of De because it is all-encompassing and emphasizes that cultivation truly isn't about this or that formal technique, but becoming wise and genuine person with a crystal clear conscience. This lesson is especially important in our age. With Confucian healing and wisdom in mind, I highly recommend the books Let the Radiant Yang Shine Forth: Lectures on Virtue by Liu Yousheng and Twelve Characters: A Transmission of Wang Fengyi's Teachings. Below is a diagram that shows Wang Fengyi's Shanrendao tradition's insights into the classic Five Elemental Processes and how they connect to different human frameworks. These can also be useful in diagnosis which is clearly presented in the clinical healing cases of Liu Yousheng's magnificent book. There currently is another English translation of Wang Fengyi's teachings available: Discourse on Transforming Inner Nature. Both this and the Twelve Characters book are among the clearest expositions of spiritual cultivation that I have found anywhere. Wang Fengyi masterfully illuminates the similarities and differences in Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. Teachings about Open Awareness, Meditation and Nondual Wisdom C T's excellent topic is a treasure trove of both Buddhist and universal wisdom: Click here to see what Steve suggested on this thread. Click here to see what dwai suggested on this thread. Formal Practices The problem with formal self-study is two-fold: it typically hinders cultivating the peace of heart and body correctly. Without confessing these as the primary way there is no true cultivation or satisfaction happening, but the genesis of agitation. Emotions Must Be Addressed First Your heart is the window to your entire being. If you have a lot of wild emotions that are easily stirred, then it's guaranteed that your mind will not know peace, but always search for channels for that restlessness. The most critical foundation for internal training and safe energetics is that the emotions must be healed through what could be called a process of acceptance, balance, and integration. If emotions flare, then the body's vital energies are diverted into excessive tantrums that weaken the whole bodymind complex. This weakens and counteracts any healing that is supposed to happen naturally, and strong emotions are a contraindication for energetic practice because they may cause deviations. Therefore it's an incontestable premise that calmness of heart is the way to vitality and energy, but it must happen naturally through wisdom and not by forcing. Suppressing emotions is unhealthy. It shuns the wisdom and awareness of experiences as they are, so it sets the stage for growing psychological and ethical issues if not addressed early enough. These are deviations from proper practice which, if perpetuated, will almost certainly lead to unwholesome trance states. Bliss and pleasure seeking are often convenient masks for not wanting to deal with uncomfortable emotions or traumas. There is nothing wrong in either as such, but forceful desires and "positive attitude" will not genuinely calm the heart. Please this topic I wrote about psychic trance states that flawed practice and emergence of psychic shadows can cause: For instant karmic cleansing and emotional balancing, the most rudimentary things you could do relate to your emotions. You could offer sincere and deeply heartfelt personal apologies for every tantrum you have projected onto others; you could try acting out difficult emotions, maybe in a social setting like improvisation theater hobby; and you could do exercises like Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) that are designed to unwind traumatic emotions that the human body might suppress and keep inside (see the works of David Bercelli and Peter Levine). Please consult your health care provider before trying the following exercise on your own and decide together whether it suits you. A Simple TRE Flavored Practice Please note that this exercise is not supposed to be Spontaneous Qigong or any other type of energetic exercise. It's just supposed get emotions out and help you relax. Another thing to consider that if you have a lot of stress and tension within your muscles and fascia, this probably is a sign that you have kept emotions inside in a very corporeal sense. In this case very spiritual practices can be unsuitable because they might provoke excess irritation, unstable mind, and general disconnect and floating attitude towards mundane activities. TRE is one way to help improve the situation because it removes tension, but so also is the traditional Chinese standing exercise Zhan Zhuang (ZZ). You would have to be mindful that not all ZZ teachings and standing poses are equal, and that those starting with energy body activation may be unsuitable for beginners with bad health. Static standing exercises like Zhan Zhuang in internal martial arts offer simplicity and stability, but finding the correct beneficial physical alignment on your own can be very difficult, and especially so if starting when in ill health and a tense body. If your Zhan Zhuang doesn't make your cry or challenge your comfort zone while standing extended periods, then you probably should look into finding better instructions because getting that deep seated tension off your body really requires facing discomfort. It's a painful process for a while, but when done carefully and correctly, you will be much relieved. Getting into Energetics There are following main factors that make the formal internal practice good for self-study: 1. Safety (It's difficult to fumble with the practice. Mostly safe even for pregnant women and the fetus.) 2. Effectiveness (Brings good and clear results every time.) 3. Ease (Allows good practice from beginner level to complete mastery.) 4. Completeness (Not a sprawling system, but a clear sense of defined practices and progression with them.) All of these together lead to the summit that the practice is really self-correcting and can be well traveled without any teacher's supervision, continual corrections, or amending with advanced instructions. It's an evergreen fare on this forum that people come looking for practices as a means to satisfy some fixed personal desire. Often this fixity is then channeled as meeting some whimsical aim and urge to take forceful control that deviates from the laid back wisdom of true contemplative and peaceful heart. Therefore there's a lot of room for creating errors. Not only are many people dissatisfied with simple and efficient exercises, but they want also to modify what they have previously seen or create their own brand new fad methods in order to evoke a sense of external mastery. Some are more modest and publicly only claim high mastery in kungfu or meditation without making alterations to established standards. All these are signs of self-initiation, which is in contrast to an open minded and respectful self-study. Yes, it's entirely possible to train energy in a multitude of different ways, but not all of them are beneficial in the long term or fostering fair character development. Safety is another factor that can't be neglected especially when learning on your own. Please see the following topic I wrote about Qi deviations: There are simple moving exercises in many Qigong styles, but even in these people may err while learning on their own or forget to foster adequate physical relaxation. Also, this forum has witnessed many occasions where a disgruntled practitioner lashes out against his teacher because the physical movement apparently invites overtly critical examination and experimentation. Therefore I have a bias against recommending very physical practices for people wishing to study on their own. Visualization practices are an endless mire because they don't easily offer the mind to really relax and diffuse the baseline agitation nor shed the desire to imagine new ways to cut the practice short. How could it then result in correct outcomes? The most difficult part really is that no instruction is foolproof for teaching how to not stir the heart, but gracefully accept even difficult emotions and thoughts that may surface and witness them with laid back awareness. If this obstacle is overcome, then the self-study has a chance to bear fruit. Some practices are more forgiving with them such that Flying Phoenix doesn't require mental stillness for effectiveness and Fragrant Qigong encourages an idle mind so strongly that it's okay to watch TV while practicing. I really am recommending you to think how you would like to practice, what are your lifestyle restrictions, and what you are after. There are upsides and downsides to every practice. Some styles don't mix well with others and some require adhering to specific precautions unless you wish to get sick. Video instructions only rarely feature complete exercises without withholding the internal development and lineage skills as closed secrets. These that I have found and presented below have in-built safety mechanisms that also reinforce good results, unless deliberately acted against that design. However, the characteristic feature always is simplicity and effectiveness. These written instruction often are the best of complete arts that were detailed in popular booklets during the China's booming Qigong craze. These are simple enough instruction that they could be printed out and distributed. You will have to seek my suggested formal practices from authoritative sources. I have linked the best I could find. Video Instructions Flying Phoenix - Features breath sequencing that quickly activates spinal energy, which makes its static standing exercises uncharacteristically very safe and powerful for self-learning. It also features moving and sitting meditations. Fragnant Qigong (Xiang Gong) - Very simple movements and powerful effects, but the practice has a lot of prohibitions. There apparently are flawed public demonstrations circulating in the Internet, so it must be learned from an authentic source. Wu Wei Qigong by George Xu - Supposedly activates an esoteric wheel in the belly to cultivate energy throughtout the day, which is similar to Falun Gong's Qigong but without its limitations. Written Instructions Relaxation Qigong (Fang Song Gong) - Relaxation as a way to deep meditation, therefore dismisses forms and takes it the easy way. For advanced practitioners it provides a cool way to do meta-acupuncture for oneself. Longevity Self-Massage (Bedside Baduajin) - A quick and simple set of external massages, but supplements with an internal aspect that is a great way to get into Buddhist flavored Anapanasati meditation. Final Words Did you enjoy it? I sincerely hope so! I will keep updating this Internal Arts primer article if I receive convincing arguments why some certain viewpoints or practices should be included. Please bear in mind that I am keeping the bar very high and I will not include anything without careful examination. Examples of what will not qualify for self-study: Taiji Qigong Shibashi, all spontaneous Qigong styles without any exception. If you don't understand why, then read my article again and contemplate what might be missing. My thanks go to @C T, @dwai, @steve, and @freeform for their helpful suggestions and inspiration they have kindly provided.
  9. I found this group while searching for possible sources of a tapping sound I sometimes hear during meditation. It is light and regular and occurs when I do not concentrate on it. It tends to go away if I focus on it. I found a discussion of similar experiences but no definitive answers. That's ok though. If it matters I assume I'll find out. Currently living and teaching in China. Bless this community.
  10. Hey Spiritual cultivators I like to hear any advice on what happened next after three dantians are FILLED and flowing? recently couple days of ago, this happened to him while cultivating my lower dantian then it flow up fill my middle dantian for couples of weeks then fill my upper as well. Now when I cultivating my lower dantian (sitting meditation upon it) the qi flow from lower to middle to upper and now it return back to lower dantian. I like to know more about this process and what WILL happen next?
  11. Shared Meditation Journal

    Shared Meditation Journal- for encouragement and fellowship. Write about your meditation. What you did, how it felt, preparation.. cool down, time spent or However you'd like to journal it. Not looking for much discussion or critiquing on the thread, certainly no critical comments. Just people sharing there experience.
  12. Are you not able to let go off Helplessness?Does Helplessness make you feel like a Victim?The feeling of Helplessness makes us feel negatively about us and everything around Then, listen to this Guided Meditation for Letting go off Helplessness and be a witness to miracles in Life Transformation
  13. Hi, first off I'm pretty new to practicing 7 months or so. My question is about how do you tell when the Lower Dantian is full and then what to do about it? I'm also going to include the sensation I had, as well as part of a extremely vivid dream where I also had the same sensation. Sadly this was months ago so perhaps my progress has gone backwards since then. I don't know why I didn't just come straight here.. So the feeling was of a pulsing/shaking sensation in my lower dantian area, kinda like a muscle spasm feeling. The dream I had was really cool and memorable. I had also read the Magus of Java twice so there was a John Chang like figure. Basically I was at some temple on a very small island surrounded by water somewhere in South East Asia and was sitting in a circle with several other students and they were doing a test to see if we were ready to advance. After awhile the master looked directly at me and put his palm up to his mouth and blew in my direction and all of a sudden that intense pulsing feeling happened in my Lower Dantian region. Afterward he walked over to me and said some joke to the rest of the guys about surfer's bodies and patted me in the stomach . Then I woke up. The guy who I had learned my basic movements from told me he wasn''t sure and that it probably just meant i actually had a LDT. Recently I opened up this thing from Dr. Yang and it described the exact feeling I had in regards to it being full but this was months after the feelings happened. And i haven't felt it since. https://ymaa.com/articles/2014/1/nei-dan-sitting-meditation Here's the quote from the end of the arcticle, "After you have practiced the abdominal exercises for about three to five weeks, you may feel your abdomen get warmer every time you practice. After continued practice, the abdomen will start to tremble and shake each time you start the fire. This means qi has accumulated at the lower dan tian and is about to overflow. At this time you should start to coordinate your breathing and abdominal movement with the movement of your huiyin (Co-1) (literally "meet the yin") cavity and perineum to lead the qi to the tailbone (weilu cavity)." Thanks so much for any advice!
  14. Seeking some feedback on the following. Please feel free to post your thoughts/comments (please be concise and to the point if possible. If you write a 1000+ word essay, it makes my eyes glaze over and avoid reading it. ) -- Xing is "Original nature or True Nature", and lies in the domain of consciousness. Its root is the spiritual heart/MDT. Ming is the" Life force or Qi", and lies in the domain of energy, and its root is the Lower Dan tien. Practices like Qigong work on Ming. Xing needs more intricate (and simpler) forms of meditation wherein emphasis is not on cultivation and "adding to" (jing, qi and Shen) and/or "transformation" (Jing to Qi, Qi to Shen), but rather of letting go and reduction/elimination (of artificial mental concepts, preconceptions and even subject-object interactions, aka Shen to Emptiness). Ming requires/implies "you wei" or doing, while Xing requires "wu wei" or not-doing. But the two are not mutually exclusive, but rather parts of a continuum. Without proper cultivation of Ming, Xing cannot be realized(?). We have to go from doing to not-doing, effort to effortlessness. All it takes is patience, sincerity and clarity of mind.
  15. Spinal Issues

    I hope you dont mind guys that I am frequently posting threads on inqueries. I hope it doesn't bother you. So awhile ago, I meditated after drinking tea. While I was doing the usual meditation, tension gathered on my lower spine. Then everytime I slowly invest air on my dantian, the tension transfers upward like its travelling through my spine. The tension leaves from one section and transfers to the other. Whenever I do reverse breathing though, the tension goes downwards. Sweat is induced from the tensed area too. BTW it does not hurt, its just tensed. Note: please notify me if I posted on the wrong topic.
  16. After several years of daily meditation and breathing practices, I have reached what feels like a very uncomfortable mid-point, where I can feel partially opened channels in my body, but am suffering all kinds of discomfort because they feel seriously twisted and contain some major blockages. Before anything opened up, my body consisted of many different abnormalities such as warped and twisted bones which no Western doctor has been able to explain. I can now see that all of these physical anomalies are situated in the places along the channels where I can feel blockages, so it seems that my irregular physique was like a living fossil of energetic problems. Firstly, I was wondering how common this kind of thing is. After baffling a sufficient number of doctors, I’ve now been asked to allow them to map my genome as they consider me such a curiosity. Clearly this isn’t something they encounter very often, but surely I’m not that unique as there’s an endless number of people complaining about blockages, twists and deviations on forums such as this. Am I just an extreme case? The second question I’m hoping those with more experience and wisdom than me can answer is whether the daily practices I do (mainly meditation, alternate nostril breathing, nine bottle breath, MCO visualisation) are helping or hindering me. I’m particularly worried it may be the latter because, as I say, I’ve reached a point where I’ve partially opened the channels and dissolved blockages, but it means I feel the existing twists and obstructions more keenly than ever before. Every time I succeed in “getting out of my own way” during meditation, so that energy starts moving on its own, I run up against these extreme physical barriers. It seems I have only two options: to push ahead with what I am doing, or stop altogether. Obviously stopping is the most sensible option, but I can feel the half-dissolved obstructions and half-straightened channels constantly in my daily life whether I’m trying to or not, so it’s very hard not to try to do something to deal with it. I’m suffering a great deal of discomfort all over my body, as well as frequent headaches and fatigue, so is this a sign of things opening up or of things going horribly wrong? Thanks for your help.
  17. Intro

    Hello Friends, This is my first post. I wanted to join thedaobums in the hope of possibly making some new friends and contacts, as well as engage in some good discussions about the site's many interesting topics. I've been a "lurker" for a while, and I have found this forum to be the most dynamic, eclectic and diverse of the several that I have belonged to which deal with related topics (dharmawheel and some esoteric forums). Anyway, my background is itself eclectic, and I'm increasingly having a difficult time fitting myself into a label, without, at the same time, being able or desirous of "rejecting" anything that I may have identified with in the past. On the whole, I think this is a good thing, as I see a major goal of the spiritual path as being able to transcend labels and "identities." At the same time, I'm finding it quite uncomfortable. It's like a man having 3 or 4 families which don't know or acknowledge each other, each of whom he loves deeply as "part of himself"; he is unable to live with any of them all the time, but unable to part with any of them in an absolute sense; at the same time, he has a sense that what he is truly seeking lies outside the very category of "family" (if this metaphor makes sense). With this in mind, I'm reluctant to call myself a "Buddhist," or "not a Buddhist," a "Christian," or "not a Christian," a "Taoist," or "not a Taoist," etc. Over the past five years, I've been deeply immersed in the Western Esoteric Tradition, particularly centred around the ideas of Renaissance magi such as Agrippa, Dee, Bruno, the Rosicrucians, as well as Swedenborg, Boehme and the (non-Blavatskian) Western Theosophical tradition, while also finding many limitations in their points of view and needing to supplement this with study of the more metaphysical traditions of the East--Buddhism, Taoism and Trika Shaivism. But then increasingly I can't find what I'm seeking in any one of these traditions to the exclusion of others. I see them all, perhaps, as "upayas": skillful means to lead deluded beings to liberation. Despite all the arguments I have read and participated in over the philosophical subtleties of what precisely this "liberation" entails, I still naturally incline to this general universalistic view. I'm fond of Crowley (again while acknowledging his limitations), and I think that he was on to something (inspired) by his realization that one needed to break through externally imposed labels, restrictions, and identities and discover one's own "Holy Guardian Angel" in order to truly move forward. I think he was mistaken on many levels, but this idea that one needs to, as it were, make one's own tradition (in his case, Thelema) rings true for me, personally. If one doesn't, one is more or less the victim of centuries/millennia of historical and scholastic traditions which may have nothing to do with one's real quest. I know how much he suffered (and made others to suffer) in pursuing this ideal, however. Still, in a sense I consider myself a "independent Thelemite"--"independent" because I do not consider AC's personal revelations, mythos or ideas regarding the different Aeons (interesting as they may be) as binding on anyone other than himself. I think it could be argued that there is a "thelema," properly understood, hidden within each if the world's great religious/spiritual traditions, including Christianity and Islam (vide Corbin). I also disagree with Crowley regarding the importance of compassion and even pity; the Bodhisattva ideal is one of the most noble and glorious conceptions that I am aware of. Practically, I have more and more withdrawn from outward religious rites and turned towards silent, objectless meditation. The other, more active side of my spiritual practice involves Bardonian Hermetics, and a sort of streamlined angelic theurgy. Still, I feel like I've been stagnating for some time and I feel a strong need to break new ground. This is why I have increasingly turned towards the possibilities of astral projection (or "journeying") as a means of contacting higher Wisdom beings to help me move forward. My abilities are still weak at best. In this connection, the recent discovery of Qigong and energy work in general has been a great help. I never talk about this stuff to anyone. The anonymity of this site encourages me to share in the hope of finding like minded fellow-travelers. This is the reason I have written this long and regrettably egotistical post. I am what we might call "esoterically isolated," outwardly living a workaday life with a family, and without any associates beyond two or three distant contacts. I got "burned out" long ago on spiritual organazations and groups, and prefer the way of the hermit, at least until circumstances shift and other possibilities arise (I can't rule it out). Still, I am looking forward to hopefully learning and sharing whatever I can with friends here. Thanks :-)
  18. Daoist Meditation

    I gather from the work of H. Ross (Nei-yeh; 1999) that there was a type of early Daoist meditation practiced that was distinct from the kind we later find in Buddhism (e.g., Vipassana). But L. Kohn, in her book “Sitting in Oblivion” (2010) appears to think that Taoist meditation is essentially a version of Buddhism type of meditation, not unlike what is nowadays called “mindfulness.” So a question arises: If there was an early form of Taoist meditation, distinct from Vipassana-like types, what were the steps? A preliminary sketch of two early Taoist mediational systems that appear to have been in place, without apparent Buddhist influence, is as follows (but how they were reconciled is unknown): 1- Neiguan內觀 (inner observation; passive meditation) involves a general openness to all sorts of sensory stimuli and encourages a sense of free-flowing awareness with detached observation. It encourages the appreciation of life as a flow [=rhythm of the Dao]. In noticing this series of exhalation and inhalation patterns, one becomes directly aware of the "dynamisms of Heaven and Earth" through ascending and descending breath. 2- Jing靜 (tranquility) and qing 清 (clarity) produced by the practice of neiguan after dingxin 定心 (stabilizing the mind) has been achieved. Is associated with acute hearing and clear vision, and generating jing 精 "vital essence". 3- Ming 明(radiance/brightness): produced after neiguan has been established. 4- Xu 虛 (emptiness; fasting of the mind): making the mind empty like air (qi 氣) so that the Dao can gather in it and one can “apprehend things more accurately and respond more effectively than when it relies on rational thinking or ordinary sense perception.” II. 1- Zhiguan 止觀: is an active concentrative exercise that uses one-pointedness that applies insight to the subject of meditation after neiguan has been established (=access concentration; where hindrances are encountered) and Insights were applied, e.g.: Rhythm vs irregularity Balance vs imbalance Unity vs opposition Correspondence [eg, heaven and earth] Coherence vs incoherence 2- Zhi止 (full concentration) [=dhyana] where meditational hindrances have been overcome 3- Shouyi 守一 (Guarding the one): maintaining oneness" involving concentrative meditation on a single point (=ding). 3- Ding 定: samadhi [samapatti] the union of subject and object (non-dual awareness)
  19. Tantric Buddhism and Archetypes

    Hello Guys, I've only read about Tantric buddhism and find it quite intriguing. Has any of you practiced this archetypal form of medidation? If yes how do you start to get into it and what is the purpose? I'm really looking for any form of opinion you have formed throughout your practice. Thank you
  20. I thought some Bums might like this article. I have seen an explosion in promoting mindfulness and meditation apps. It is ironic that the same companies that are always vying for our attention are now telling us to meditate to be more calm so we can be more productive workers. https://www.thenation.com/article/ron-parser-mcmindfulness-mindfulness-meditation-book-interview/
  21. The I of the storm

    This is an article I wrote many years ago (11) during my early days of meditation. https://www.medhajournal.com/the-i-of-the-storm/ I strongly recommend for anyone who is struggling currently to persevere and do more studying of nondual texts, along with their regular meditation practice. It might help you resolve these sort of “issues” sooner.
  22. I have a question regarding candle-gazing meditation, specifically that of Tratak. I have practiced this meditation in the past, at times with diligence and at others inconsistently, overall the discipline yielded very tangible results. The times of inconsistency and general faltering in the required self-conduct are what caused me to distance myself from the practice, yet in all the time that I have left it alone I've felt a strange compulsion to begin again anew. While I do not recommend this form of meditation, it has been deemed to be easy, direct and powerful by many internet users and I personally agree with the sentiment. This meditation is seen by a number of people as a sort of straight-shot to self-actualization, a path with "less fluff" if you will. My question is, is the end of this particular path indeed self-realization, "enlightenment", or something maybe more nebulous and ineffable? There isn't much writing on the internet to be found in regards to this particular form of meditation, and the information available tends to be copy-and-pasted from site-to-site ad infinitum, with little in the ways of variance beyond the occasional vague, brief and largely positive testimonials of experience. However, this particular passage kept coming up and really caught my eye: "The human body is made of five elements: ether, earth, air, water and fire. The Fire Tratak removes from it two constituent elements. Viz. earth and water. By virtue of the Fire Tratak the practitioner brings about a blending of the remaining elements and enters the universe of the three elements. All gods are made of only three elements. One has to leave behind the to elements named above. It is only then can one reach supreme godhead. The principal use of the Fire Tratak is that one gets endowed with power to enter such realms which are generally obscure and forbidden. The human being who is made of five elements will not be able to reach the universe made of only three elements. He may be the greatest yogi belonging to the highest order. Dropping two elements is central to the job of acquiring power to enter all realms of the universe. Until the process of elimination is consummated, one has to remain confined to the mundane framework. One can achieve this only through the Fire Tratak." If someone has had any prior experience with tratak or is able to translate the above into more accessible terms it would be greatly appreciated, because as of now what I've interpreted from the above passage has instilled fear in me much more than curiosity. Anyways. I also recently happened into Zoroastrianism where fire is largely revered as a symbol of god and purity. While there are other things/ideals I find to be of interest in that particular religion, the whole fire worship thing is very synchronistic. For me personally, it just raises a question of what space is it that tratak will eventually grant me access to? Also, what exactly is the force or entity that I'm aligning myself with by continuing to entertain and engage with the practice of tratak? After all, if one truly does dedicate themselves to this discipline for the long run they would essentially spend a number of days, months, possibly even years, staring into the depths of a flame.
  23. Hoi

    Just signed up again. (had to)! After about 20 years of practicing traditional forms of Tai Chi. I've started doing the 24-Form Yang Style. The idea is to start teaching again. I followed a link to the forum and read some interesting posts. So, Thanks Faz
  24. Just a comment: Very few make a clear distinction between sitting practices and meditation. Doing vs Non-doing This is not to demean sitting practices or standing practices - simply to clarify that various energetic “Doing” is not meditation.
  25. Do you think your own thoughts? Or those offered by others? Between any two thoughts there is a magical place. A pregnant pause. The next thought could be any thought. There is no limit here. Predispositions perhaps, but no limit. The next thought could be any thought... even none. Awareness returns to this lately, so I chew it and share it here in case it intrigues. These are open questions, requiring and perhaps having no firm answers. Do you think your own thoughts? How many of your thoughts arise from within? How many arrive from without? From where do thoughts come? Does it matter? How many of them are repeats? Do you choose what you eat? Do you know from where you eat comes? How much of your food do you grow? And how much is brought to you by others? Awareness returning repeatedly to the parallels between what I eat to maintain health and vitality and what I allow my mind to eat and its effect on my inner world and experience of reality. If what I experience is my effective reality. Then thoughts are a major portion of this reality. Buddha speaks to it. What will I allow my mind to ruminate on... what will I feed it? Where will I go for and what will I do with, the thoughts that arise today?