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Found 6 results

  1. Dragon Sickness

    This is a very good video series explaining some basic errors that can be met while trying to engage in practical Daoist meditations. The first video is a great summary even for experts. The best benefit however is for self-initiates and newbies who are often clueless where to begin and whether they can safely practice on their own. The answer to that is: it depends on many conditions chiefly involving health and the purity of mind, but being too sure of oneself is more evidence of Dunning-Kruger effect than real skill. Deviations are not fun and can take a long time to heal, yet very often we can witness on this forum also how someone's pride and arrogance reveal unwise disregard for their own continued well-being. As if they were completely immune to any shortcomings and mistakes, and as if mastery was attained with the snap of fingers! It's good to be informed that these deviation conditions exist and why it's especially important to have contact with a knowledgeable teacher who can observe and help you correct yourself before unwitting mistakes and errors escalate into sickness. As a related note, it would be wonderful to poll the Dao Bums about how many of us have completely managed to avoid any deviations. I for sure haven't been such an outstanding student, but then my entry to the world of internal training was in order to get healed from imbalances caused by traumas, which is far from optimal. Video 1: Video 2: Video 3: Video 4: Video 5:
  2. The Paradox of Feeling

    It occurred to me last year that you cannot heal pain without first feeling pain, cannot heal suffering without first suffering yourself. With this understanding I have let myself feel, richly and deeply, for perhaps the first time since I was a young child. I flung open the gates, unlocked the portcullis, and let what was outside come in. At first it was liberating, exciting even. Then, as the months carried on, it grew increasingly painful, ultimately terrifying. I began to experience panic attacks. This was completely new to me! This week, perhaps exacerbated by the extreme heat that blanketed my region, I felt something in me break. Perhaps break is not the correct word. I felt something inside me give way, and in giving way I learned something about myself that I never realized. I cannot do it alone. I need others. This may sound obvious, but it was not to me, far from it. I've always been stoic, a real stiff upper lip kind of guy. I've always felt that I could reason my way through life, through all challenges before me. And I always looked down upon the emotional and saw them as weak. I was wrong on both counts. Reason and stoicism do not make you strong. Emotion and feeling do not make you weak. It is the balance that brings strength. It is the balance that heals. The road is long and the trek is hard. I still feel pain and the pain still carries suffering, but I feel I have finally crested the hill and I can see the blessed water in the distance.
  3. Learning Balance in Life

    Hello everyone, so glad to finally have joined this site after reading so much on the forums. It's been a rough road for me the past several years, and reading the Daodejing and beginning to meditate seriously and attempt to be present in the moment has been an experience I never thought possible. I used to be very heavily into drugs, mainly benzo medication. I was a Roman Catholic who always thought of spirituality in large concepts, rather than in an experiential way. Everything during this period of my life was intellectual, moral, with very little understanding of myself, or the world around me. It was like being a prisoner trapped in my own mind, unable to unhinge myself from the concept of myself. When I first went on a meditation retreat, I chose to start with what I knew. It landed me at a Benedictine Monastery in New Jersey. The most important thing I began to learn there, was something that I never knew truly existed, compassion. It was not a concept that I was familiar with, giving it, and also receiving it. That began my spiritual journey which I am ever so grateful for. The Order of St. Benedict led me to begin reading about the teachings of Jesus, rather than just the Church's conceptualization of them. Once I began understanding that Christ wanted people to live like him, and to be loving and kind, compassionate, simply for the sake of being so, my eyes began to open. It was only then I began to look to the East, where I found the Daodejing. This led me to a serious practice of meditation, which I still try to incorporate into my day as often as I can. I began to feel lighter, in some ways, where my mind began to clear, and I was less and less affected by the concepts that I once identified with. It was painful, and it was filled with anxiety. There was a storm brewing in my mind, in my body, and in my essence, a storm that eventually quelled. I went from being a lone man on a boat, drifting on the ocean without an idea of where I was going or what I was doing, to realizing that I was the ocean, and that we are all the ocean. A little about myself personally. I am 24 years old and I study history, I am starting school again in September and I'm hoping to finish my undergraduate degree before moving on to my graduate degree. I live in New Jersey and I enjoy fishing, hiking, and anything to do with the outdoors. I enjoy going out with friends, and going out to restaurants and bars to experience new things, and new people. I'm so glad to be able to discuss things with a group of people who enjoy and try to live a life in balance with nature and those around us. I hope to become more open, and engage in discussions on the forums. I hope that I can be a good contributing member to Dao Bums. Thanks for having me everyone and I hope to speak to some of you soon!
  4. I'm still trying to figure out if weightlifting will help open chi channels. I already know how to do weightlifting so that's why I'm asking about it. I read in Bill Bodri's Little Book of Meditation that exercises to open the legs, shoulders, and butt are beneficial because these areas are hard to open chi wise. So wouldn't that make weightlifting a good thing to practice along with yoga, chi gong, or whatever exercise style best fits the user? I soon wish to get into Yogani's advanced yoga practices and take yoga classes at college. The AYP system seems to help people and it seems pretty simple so I figued why not give it a shot. I like structure to some degree. Almost everyone in college goes to the gym (mostly males) and I know there has been forums about it, but I just wanted to throw in my thoughts and current stage of discovery. One reason I'm considering getting into lifting again is because my left glute is always tight. I was thinking about sticking to basic movements like the pull up, push up, goblet squat, and deadlift for the most part just to help with overall flexibility and circulation. Maybe lifting again will help me with the tightness in my left glute? I also find myself attracted to stimulants such as marijuana (although I have not been smoking) and reading books a lot lately and figured this may help me get more grounded into my body. I also think maybe I should be meditating into my dan tien or concentrating on a mantra during meditation as following my breath through my nose is not that beneficial to me at this stage. Sorry for my constant thread posting guys and thanks for the help
  5. We've all heard the term "Compulsive lier", "Compulsive drinker", and "Compulsive Eater". Any habit that we develop which becomes so engrained in us that we are no longer free and thus our past karma or programming is allowed to repeat itself over and over again without conscious thought on our part. I was thinking about this recently and its relations to the spiritual path, specifically relating to ascension. Specifically for men, the most powerful form of compulsive behavior that we have is our desire for procreation. From an energetic standpoint this is the sinking of vital force into the loins, a sensation most our readily familiar with. This is plain knowledge amongst most male practitioners and its a form of compulsiveness that we strive to bring awareness too in order to harness that energy for cultivation. However, something that i have noticed within myself and other male cultivators is that there is an equally powerful compulsive behavior that can take hold of our lives and that can blind us from the true joy of living: Mysticism By Mysticism i am referring internally to the opposite of compulsive procreation. I am referring to the opposite of the sinking of energy into the loins, but the shooting of chi up to the crown and beyond. Generally this is considered very beneficial as it is a very powerful and primal drive which pushes us to surmount all obstacles to our dissolution into nothingness. The desire for sex is fundamentally a drive to "Create" and the desire for ascension is fundamentally for "Dissolution". My purpose in writing this post is to make the subtle point that both of these energetic pathways within the body are potentially compulsive and limiting behavior. They both can potentially take you away from experiencing life as fully and as joyfully as possible. Any compulsive or unconscious behavior whether its for creation or dissolution is IME antithetical to what i feel is spiritual maturity. Each pathway has its time and place and it is best to understand both, yet remain centered in the heart. These are my thoughts as of late. Would like to hear your thoughts and feelings on this as well. Hope this post is useful to many. Blessings
  6. Hello all, I posted a few months ago in regard to Zazen practice and slightly open eyes that somewhat cross. I thank all that participated as now I feel that I have benefited greatly from the experience I have recently been practicing a chi/soul finding exercise that I found on Youtube from the Wudang guys. I was happy to see that the Zazen practice prepared me well for this...now I am to use visualisation...something that I find difficult if my eyes are slightly open and I can see that I am still in my front room! But this isn't my problem...I know I will overcome this with practice. The real issue arose last week. I am prone to anxiety and almost bi-polar type behaviour but I have had this fairly under control in the last year or so. But recently, panic attacks have been regular, and I often find myself waking in the night. I have had some family issues in the past and they have resurfaced recently so I'm certain this has rocked the boat along with some added financial stress as of late. But last week I found myself in a very bad way. I spent a week with one of my old school friends. He stayed with me for a couple of days then I stayed at his for a few days in preparation for a big barbeque party. All started fine but as the days went by, I noticed that each chi meditation I did in the morning became more and more disrupted to the point where on Monday, the day I was set to travel home, I sat there freaking out for the whole 30 minutes! I was agitated, my lower back felt stiff, and there were negative voices everywhere. I felt too week to watch and control my breath and I just couldn't focus at all...I was just submitting to all the horrible words and scenarios that were in my head. Ok, so the week leading up to this did include a lot of weed, tobacco, energy drinks and alcohol. Sleep deprivation and some junk food (I tried my best to be good here! For the best part my diet was ok) ... so I guess I really do know the culprits (along with my family situation for me to nicely dwell on) BUT at the same time, what can I do? My old friend knows me too well...and I feel I would be alienating myself if I didn't keep up with the partying. A different (and wise) friend of mine told me that tobacco, alcohol and energy drinks would mess with my chi (not weed though, he likes the odd smoke) but I never really thought about it until this happened. All I know is that after last week, it has made me pissed at myself. I have been really moody since and I've upset my girlfriend only because I couldn't find a way to smile or be happy. I've literally been wallowing in some state depression for a week now and gradually I'm getting out but shit - I feel like I've destroyed myself just by hanging out with old school mates for a week and being "me". Sorry for the long post, I just need some advice on where I should go from here. I have a gut instinct, but I would like to see what y'all say first... Many thanks in advance for those that have read this and want to reply.