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  1. I don't think there is a point where we stop or reach an end goal post like enlightenment, nirvana or moksha, etc. The spiritual growth is like the expansion of this universe. It's been going on from the time of creation (or start of bigbang) and it will continue. The same is the case for jivas or individuals also. All of us are expanding to various levels each day and all the time. Even if we expand to become everything there is, that 'everything there' is ever growing and we grow with it. Perhaps until the time we dissolve into the Emptiness or Dao. Like the universe shrinking into what it was before bigbang. Then, another explosion and expansion, and so on....
  2. New User Old Seeker

    Hi Dao Bums I practice meditation, energy work, healing sounds, have studied Tai Chi, QiGong, chanting, and have attended many and various workshops/conferences/retreats. I have been actively involved in spiritual seeking since the age of 13 . I like neuroscience principles (coming from books like "The Craving Mind," "Mindsight," and "Aware") to articulate Daoist principles/the Tao. In kindness, NeuroscienceAndDao
  3. http://www.mukti.world/2018/04/dao-and-brahman-they-are-non-different.html
  4. I have been a student of the Daodejing for many years. My study has largely consisted of reading various translations and interpretations of DDJ and reflecting on its meanings. I think this is the way many of us have started with Daoism. As I read the various translations and interpretations of DDJ, I began to see the influences that the writers had on rendering the work; their point of view, as it were. As must be the case, these points of view are decidedly western, and quite often Christian. Even the more scholarly efforts, in spite of best intentions, often contain traces of western and Christian thinking. Being aware of this, you can recognize it and make what ever accommodations you feel inclined. Still, I began to suspect that some publications were actually more interpretations than translations, particularly the less scholarly ones. Researching the background of the writers, particularly their ability with written and spoken Chinese, and reviewing the bibliographies of their works, helps in sensing how much more a work is of interpretation than translation and the amount of value you can place on the work. This has led me to question how informed the translations are ... or rather, how the translations were informed? What, beyond ability with the Chinese language is necessary to translate a work like the DDJ. Knowledge of Chinese culture, as a matter of general understanding, certainly contributes to translation, as does understanding of Chinese history. Even so, as I read the various DDJs, I still struggled with the seemingly enigmatic language and symbolism of the translated text, despite having tried to select works of knowledgeable translators. Many translators don't provide much explanation. Simply relying on the truthful feel of the DDJ, however strong, was not developing my understanding. I just felt the need for a more appropriate and specific context in which to make sense of the DDJ. Something that might make the DDJ more actionable in terms of practice of the ideas put forward. To that end, I began to look at translations of other source texts. Certainly, there is no shortage of references to such texts, particularly in the more scholarly translations. I settled on two such works that have opened up for me a whole different level of understanding of the DDJ; The Seal of the Unity of the Three by Fabrizio Pregadio and The Thread of Dao by Dan G Reid. It is with this backdrop that I start this thread. I am not a scholar or academic but simply one on the journey, seeking to share my impressions. My hope is that others, familiar with these works or not, will share their ideas as well. So, initially, what do the Bums think of these two works in general and how have you used them? btw, this is my first attempt to initiate a thread. If I am violating and rules, customs or conventions, please let me know. ; )
  5. The Dao Bums

    Hello Glad to be here. Practice zen meditation, influenced by Taoism. Hence here.
  6. Has anyone heard of a Russell Barr teaching Wu long form style Tai Chi in the Olympia, Wa area? Lineage? Philosophy? Good works, etc.
  7. Hello from hamburg

    Hello senior students, I will start with myself, what most people see me as. My body was born 1995 in hamburg, germany. It is 22 years old by now and I started to wake up around one year ago. I always went straight against the system and I had a rather hard life for some german guy in germany. Authority from someone because his backing is too big for me to handle? Shutting up because others might talk bad about me? At first, I never cared about stuf like this. Not after the manipulation started for real. It was after getting into highschool. I had to fight everyday, after a while it was too exhausting. All of the other students started to let it be and to make the best for themselves. It was only me who stood up against her, when our homeroom-teacher started to insult our parents. It was me who stood up for the other students. It was only me who went against the authorities. Because some delusional people might laugh about me, I have to stop? Yeah todays society is not so much different from those wuxianovels. I will not stop doing the just and protect what makes us human because others might lock me up or kill me! So what, I would have to start anew from scratch. But I have total trust in my soul, that I would again went against the corrupt and evil system. What is the situation in germany like: Teachers which have no clue what they are doing. School and kindergarten being a tool of mass manipulation. Politicians which are being controlled by banksters, instead of shielding their people from them. People letting themselves getting manipulated and not doing a thing about it, but hitting on those which protect them and their rights. Governments speaking about peace and freedom, but making war and censorship. Humans killing the earth which gives them life, to create a monopole of food and water. Police being allowed to use violence, but people are not allowed to protect themselves. Society biased on laws and not on trust. Being PERSONAL instead of PERSONA. Not having a REAL document of proof that we are german. Globalism destroying culture and life in the nation. Only a strong nation can have strong relationships with other nations. A strong nation is held together by trust and not by fear! By manipulating the people they established a system in which the weak rule the weak and kill the strong. Strength is to PROTECT the people you love and in this time we need to get as strong as possible. Why? We need to fight a group of people which have been ruling us for thousands of years, practising satanism, stealing, raping and murdering our children. Running the money system and the big industry. Making us sick and selling us toxic cures to make us think that we are getting help. Talking is not enough to ensure our safety. Those people do not care about right or wrong, just or unjust. Those who seek wisdom and knowledge are getting denunciated or even killed. So if we want to spread the world and convince others of the way, we need to start walking the way. We also need to have the strength to protect ourselves. Do you think one of the real masters has to fear anything in the world? They know about chi and how powerful we are, but they chose a different path, full of blood, rape of children and ritual offerings to satan, instead of meditation and inner alchemy to gather chi. I asked myself: What can I do? When I first learned about mopai, i wanted to gain insight and strength to be different and to proof myself and others, that there is more. The deeper I got into neigong, and eastern arts and kept reading wuxia novels, i started to realise that our world is not too different from what I read in the novels. They are a few people, not strong as in the novels, but with dark and evil intentions they built up a system, in which the evil can do whatever they want to do. Not to fear anyone on this planet, except a few masters, which still don't see the need of spreading their wisdom or take in the ones which really want to become strong to protect as many beings from suffering. Reading the Dao De Jing, Breaking the Habit of being yourself, Spiritual materialism and other highly spiritual and philosophical books, I build a foundation of how the world works in my eyes. Now with the political situation being how it is now, we only have one chance. Waking up! The way is full of moments of awakening. So many moments to enjoy and to be. It has never been that easy to gather information. Stick with mopai. No need for the other levels because it all is in us and it will come to you when you are ready for it. But How? Right! We need to cultivate. Do not think about failure or success. Just do it and you will find the way. Imagine a reality, as real as possible. You have to react on physical level to it. What will you feel in a certain realm. This is possible thanks to empathy. I call it comprehension. If you are able to comprehend how it would feel to break trough the first level, you will break through in no time. What is my 'I' doing now: Today I am learning alternative medicine, after that I will go to asia and see wether I can be taught by a master or in a taoist monastery before studying traditional chinese medicine in a chinese university. To protect life, I would like to travel the world to spread the words to those, who can't hear them now. To help those, which can't be helped. To ease their worries and to illuminate the darkness surrounding them so they can see just like us. To do this, we first have to understand darkness. Understanding gives birth to love. Love is what we need to illuminate darkness. Illumination of darkness is to understand it and to understand it as part of you. By understanding darkness, you illuminate it. I want to cherish life. But to cherish life you have to know death. To cherish death, you need to know life. Ask your selves, why am i living. What is the meaning of death? And what is the meaning of living? Is death really something bad? What would happen without reincarnation? What does my ego hope to get by joining this forum? It hopes to find allies to protect what has to be protected. It hopes to find allies to walk the way together, hand in hand and each one for himself. It want to hear your wisdom and wants you to listen to mine. Let us go this way together, what do you think?
  8. Path to enlightenment

    Nearly four years ago, my best friend came across a Daoist master while backpacking across South America. He demonstrated his power by throwing him to the ground without even touching him and even saw a glowing green and blue energy substance emanating from his fingers during evening Tai Chi practice. His stories of this man ignited a flame that has consumed my entire life. After vigorous training and continuous research of the origins, roots and different sects of qigong I finally managed to fly out and train with the legend if a man that ignited my passion in the first place. My life is now completely entwined with the path of the Tao and training to achieve the highest level of power I can achieve in this lifetime. Humans were meant to be so much more than we are today, I hope to rediscover what we once were and be an example of what we can actually become if we dedicate the effort in training and meditation.
  9. In context of self-inquiry and self-realization, when one starts down this path, one is ignorant of their self-nature (this ignorance is called avidya). The ignorance is because one identifies as their "Self", the body and mind, and the various things that the body-mind allegedly possesses and does (profession, possessions, passions, talents, skills, so on and so forth). So one might say, they are blissfully unaware of the "reality" and live mired in drama of samsara. As one starts the journey of self-inquiry, eventually they will encounter the fact that all that they had previously thought of as being their "self" is not actually that at all. Not everyone gets there quickly. Some suffer and struggle as a result of the inherent lack of knowledge of the fact that, IT, that which observes the body, mind and the countless objects of the universe ebb and flow, is the Self. But this Self has no properties that can be really observed, as it is the very subject that is the source of all experience, and all objects. In the period between embarking on this path and realizing what one truly is, is a painful period (at least was for me). It is rife with suffering of a special kind (some call it the "dark night of the soul"). It really is a "trial by fire", a "rite of passage" and paying debts with "blood"...but I wouldn't have it any other way, in retrospect. However, what drives me to write about this, is the news of that poor kid who committed suicide after going to a vipasana retreat for a week. That was really tragic. But we know that karma has a role to play here. As I reflect upon my "suffering" during the period when I was clearly in witness state and yet did not know my real identity (or a lack thereof, in the common sense), it was a struggle. I was unable to stand crowded places, unable to look people in the eye as the contents of my mind would rise forth as I was having a conversation with them and "negative" thoughts involving them would fleet through my brain. I truly thought I was a bad person, as a result of the contents of my mind (and habits that were driven by the stuff I was living on - social, nutritional, etc). As a result of this (for almost 6 years), I struggled every day. I would still stubbornly do my taiji forms, my standing meditations, my yoga asanas, pranayama, etc. As much as I knew that if I stopped these things, I would probably over time go back to being blissfully more ignorant, or oblivious; still, I could not stop. Eventually, I entered a phase, where I grew numb and oblivious to the world around me. It didn't matter whether I had a job or not. Whether I was with my family or not. Even whether I did my practice or not. During this period, I would intermittently stop practice and then start again, when I felt like it. Maybe, I was comfortably numb. In retrospect, becoming numb actually helped me handle the energies and process the goings on. But then my first teacher moved (it was his guidance and twice a week of contact (for several years) that kept me sane during this period and kept me going), and introduced me to Master Jose. Even before meeting Master, I had met him in dreams and he worked on me (for stuff I had asked him to help me with). When I finally met him in person, and he transferred his consciousness to me with a touch of his index finger to my 3rd eye, he literally kicked my butt across the line and I spent about 15 days subsequent to that in a state of ecstasy/bliss. After that, for almost another year and a half, I stayed in a split state of being completely Self-aware and in the local-mind/ego state (Master calls it the Spiritual Mind and the local mind). During this period, for the most part, the Ego was unable to flex its muscles - it stayed a humble servant to the spiritual mind. And around 6 months after meeting master, my friend who had seemed like a died-in-wool materialist started practicing self-inquiry too, in the classical advaita vedanta mode. As he and I started discussing this, I started to try and articulate what was happening to me, to explain in words my "experiences". This started a process of categorization and rationalization, which resulted in my "dropping out of the split-state" eventually. There was a decay going on, as the old habits and grooves started to re-appear. I was rather depressed as I realized that, thinking "huh! I knew that it was too good to be true...". So I asked Master, to which he said "two things are happening. Your body is getting used to the energy and emptiness and old habits are re-appearing. But this is the opportunity for you to work through them and get back to the blissful state". And true to his word, the return to bliss is working, steadily and surely. The old "cold and indifferent" state (Stone Buddha?) has been replaced by awareness of the awareness of being, which is so completely ordinary, that I would have never even imagined that it is that way. We read so many glorified and idealized descriptions of this becoming "Self-aware" that it is almost anti-climactic when the realization occurs. And along with that realization the other thing that happens is the realization that there is no moment that one is not that (Self). Old habits and samskaras that used to bother me quite intensely, have become amusing. The "blissful" state is really a non-state. It is always there. It is just that before the mind-body identification had so total a hold on me, that it was constantly masked (except for those fleeting moments when the mind would stop). I won't even say that the mind stops completely. Just that, by being aware of the etherealness of the mind and not identifying with the body, the background looms large and it's ever-present nature is apparent. This too is a stage, I know now. The dive is going to keep getting deeper...
  10. Is the Dao a religion?

    Some people consider daoism a religion. Some people consider it a philosophy and not a religion. What do you think, and why? What qualifies it as such, or disqualifies it as such, for you?
  11. Simplicity

    Hello. I have been putting off making this thread since it's hard to put this stuff into words. As I said in my intro post, I have strong influence from schools of Chan, and an inclination towards Dao, even though my background on these is rather on the lacking side. I mentioned that I don't like to subscribe to a "religion" because of their coercive nature, but I do like to inmerse myself when something interests me. I don't know much about Dao besides having read the Daodejing a few times (actually, I usually stop where it stops making sense for me, near the middle of the book), even less about the religious aspect of this. I don't know much about buddhism either, so I try to stay in the point where both systems (Dao and Chan) overlap. I think at the core of my aspiration lies one single idea: Simplicity. Which is probably why I have a stronger inclination towards Dao. That is one reason that I don't go into the more exotic aspects of either school. As with any discipline, mastery of the fundamentals is where the substance lies, where the plethora of different techniques and variations are like the flowers that stem from the roots of a handful of "strokes", as I like to call these fundamentals. Back to the point: Simplicity. Once I saw a video of a chinese old man making a porcelain vase, and it caught me. The man was putting his whole mind into it, and after decades of doing that, he had developed a sort of perfection (or as close as it gets) in his practice. That's why works like the Ox Herding Pictures are so appealing: as they simply and succintly express the path (any path, really) with 10 pictures. Where the void picture is not the last, but "Return to the world" is the culmination of it. I don't know if I am making sense here, but for me, this last step for return to the world represtens the maximum point in simplicity: You're no longer a master of X, but one more among men. Dao represents what would be the pinnacle of simplicity, and it's immutable nature, present in every situation and in every living being, a manifestation of such simplicity. I like to think life is essentially simple, and that we overcomplicate ourselves. Contrary to the Western mindset, I think we ought to rediscover our animal nature. Well, that's kind of what I strive for, and I am way too far from that yet. I am an overcomplicated person with possible ADD who is very confused about his path in life (and a huge ego that keeps talking about itself ). I can't even put my thoughts succintly into words. What do you guys think of this? I mean about the whole "simplicity at the core of it all". I know this is a Daoist forum so perhaps everyone will agree, yet some feedback will be nice. What do you think about the multiple practices of "daoism" in relation to this? Thanks for taking the time to read.
  12. I've done some research but I've started to understand how this energy works. It has came to me mostly thru qigong, sexual kung fu and sexual yoga practices, the latter of which I've done with my current partner. I also should mention that I practice retention and cultivation and I have my own observations thru this, namely, when you don't emit semen often all of the energies seem reflected back into your body and everything gets more intense. I ejaculate once in awhile, i'm still young and my partner sometimes enjoys it, but when I'm older I plan to limit it even more; I've discussed this with her and she understands how we will ultimately move toward Karezza. Basically i believe that puberty / time naturally make a male more Yang and a woman more Yin, but because balance is quintessential in all things it's important to keep in touch with the other side. For some reason when I think of yang I think "upper" and yin I think "lower." Losing jing often seems to make the body more yang, and vice versa seems to help balance and dissipate. That's another thing, yin seems to disperse and yang to gather. Yin would be going for a walk or run, yang would be lifting weights. My experience has also been that one extreme causes a tendency toward the other in myself, I seem to have an internal sense when I am out of balance for my own health which is really what this is all about. Shooting in the dark a bit here, but any thoughts? Thanks
  13. Hello everybody. I'm a neurosurgeon from Italy running a spine surgery program in Milan. I am one of the teacher of the italian most important acupuncture school: so-wen (sorry for not being able to link their internet site). I'm about to start a project on a group of seminar concerning the study of oriental medicine physiology and I found great help in some of your posts while working on my power points. So thank you everybody and hope to start exchanging experiences on everything.
  14. Thank you ....

    Hello Everyone ... and greetings from Chicago, IL. First and foremost let me say, "Thank You" to each and every person who has made this website available. Up to this point I've only had the opportunity to peruse the website, but I sincerely appreciate the the opportunity to participate and to continue as a life-long learner. I'm truly excited to begin the exploration, to learn, offer what I can, and to be part of such a wonderful community. Geoffrey
  15. I have found the similarities between the Indian/Yogic/Vedic and the Daoist internal traditions extremely heartening. Here are two systems, both going back millennia in antiquity, having developed with some cross-pollination (via cultural exchanges in the early history/late pre-historic periods perhaps), but generally independent of each other during the formative periods (more than 5000 years ago). The one missing link was that the Indian system clearly categorizes Prana as having five constituent winds - Prana, Apana, Samana, Vyana and Udana Vayus. Each of these have specific roles to play in the human bio-energetic system (and the psycho-physiology as well). Then as I was reading Damo Mitchell's excellent book on Neigong (Heavenly Streams), I found a section that is pretty much articulated in this blog post as well -- http://www.scholarsage.com/five-elements-2/ light shen yi po zhi hun colour red yellow white blue green movement expansion division contraction sinking forwards element fire earth metal water wood The overlap (and biological functions of these) are stark with the Pancha Vayus. Good illustration is provided here -- http://sequencewiz.org/2014/09/03/5-vayus/ Would love more thoughts on this.
  16. Social Media

    Hey guys, just wanted to gather some opinions on the topic of social media. No one has a thread on it that I know of. I used to use social media like facebook, twitter, and instagram (and even myspace back in the day). In the past year or so I've got some distance from social media deleting my facebook and instagram and using my twitter maybe once a week on average and not having it downloaded to my phone. On the other hand, my girlfriend uses twitter, facebook, and instagram daily. I feel like using social media creates people to think about other people, most of which are not currently in their lives. Based on what I've read in books and on this forum it seems thinking about something is putting energy into it, not sure if that's right. It makes me uncomfprtable knowing my girlfriend finds enjoyment in looking at hundreds of different people daily that she doesn't know or barely knows. So what you guys think of social media?
  17. Hello

    Hello, I was intrigued by the post on wu wei and miracles so I signed up. I haven't wondered how close my concept of Creal was to the concept of Dao. http://www.blogs.hss.ed.ac.uk/crag/2015/02/07/life-is-creal-not-cruel/
  18. Motion in Stillness There’s motion in stillness The old master said As the student stood steadfast A million thoughts racing through his head As he stood steadfast holding the pose his mind churning frantically and his anxiety rose he stood for five minutes every nerve screaming in pain he said to himself No never! Never ever again But such is the the lot Of folks of his kind Once something enters It doesn’t exit his mind So he stood again the next and the day after that and everyday since that day in an unseemly half squat As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months what used to bring tears hardly even made him grunt Then one day he realized his mind had become still and his thoughts fell to the bottom like an ungainly swill what remained afloat was a crystal clear thing it was bereft of everything yet it wasn’t nothing Then the motion he noticed rose from its depth it was the movement of spirit it floated and leapt Then he remembered what the old master said there’s motion in stillness and it’s not the junk in your head
  19. A thought has been pounding on the doors of my intellect since many years, but I do think it's becoming more pronounced and emphatic off late. The cautionary advice from a little voice in my head is "What's the rush? Relax, Enjoy, move when you have to". The context being - cultivation and practice. Yes, we have to practice. For some of us it is an imperative that cannot be controlled. Not that I'm saying it should... But to practice with a set time window (I'm going to practice 90 minutes everyday) somehow dilutes the process of practice. Practice should last as long as we can flow, vibrate with the energy. My teacher cautioned me - He said "if you practice with a lot of things on your mind, about things that need to be done, chores that need to be tended to, your Qi will get "programmed" to be agitated in a similar manner. If you want the full benefit of your practice, just be patient, let it happen. If you have to stand in preparation form for 90 minutes, so be it. It can be the most powerful practice you'll have ever done..because you will find stillness and the motion that lies within" This I feel is a central concept of being Wei Wu Wei. To not be in a hurry, to be relaxed...enjoying the present moment. Then we will be in harmony within ourselves, and also the universe.
  20. As a cultivator and young man I've come to realize over time that it is highly desirable to adopt a physical practice, for reasons of energy movement dispersion, mental clarity, et cetera. There are many different practices available however, such as martial arts, bodybuilding, yoga. Are practices such as bodybuilding in which one acquires a certain material physique or skill, strength in accordance with the Dao? It seems to me that anything that focuses excessive energy on the self is anti-Dao, and physical strength, while an asset, is temporary, while spirit is eternal. I am seriously considering switching to yoga, as I feel that practices that develop a physique are excessively and inherently selfish. Thoughts?
  21. Sleep

    What happens when we sleep and dream, I wonder. Some how it start all over again. The peace and tranquillity I took with me to bed whirled away. As when I train tai chi chuan throughout the day, I am at the peak (of peace) in the afternoon, feeling the pressure/ present of dao, every thing is nice, chi flow and so on. Night comes with dreams and it starts all over again. Why? Any ideas? How to cultivate while dreaming.
  22. Taoism vs. Daoism

    From what I've gathered Taoism and Daoism are basically the same thing; just different translations of the Chinese word. I've heard a few people say they are a little bit different though. Are they?
  23. article about Dao

    Dao… Nowadays this term is quite widely used in the most diverse spheres of activities; and term “philosophy of Dao” is gaining in more and more popularity. However, unfortunately, very often we face distortion of its intrinsic meaning. To understand its meaning, one should, first of all, appeal to Daoist Tradition, as it is based on aspiration for comprehension of Dao and the true inwardness of reality. Dao connotes first cause and source of all things existent. Dao is an Original True Reality that exists beyond our reality, space, time and any categories and forms in total, which we usually use to describe the world around us. This is what, in particular, the first line of Dao De Jing makes a good point on: Dao is not a path, which can be passed (named, described with common categories) – for more details about this see below. Continue reading
  24. I have all of Stephen T. Chang's books about taoism and love them. I find it very intriguing that he often pays tribute to a man called The Yellow Emperor, a pioneer of taoist healing. However, further research into the origin of the man known as the yellow emperor points to a possibility that he was a being from somewhere else in the universe who landed on earth for the purpose of spreading taoist healing principles and practices, amongst other things.... Have any of you heard of The Yellow Emperor, and does anyone know where he came from?