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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:
"At this point, you can't yet comprehend the import of all this, not only because you don't have sufficient energy but because you're not intending anything. If you were, your energy body would comprehend immediately that the only way to intend is by focusing your intent on whatever you want to intend. This time I focused it for you on reaching your energy body." "Is the goal of dreaming to intend the energy body?" I asked, suddenly empowered by some strange reasoning. "One can certainly put it that way," he said. "In this particular instance, since we're talking about the first gate of dreaming, the goal of dreaming is to intend that your energy body becomes aware that you are falling asleep. Don't try to force yourself to be aware of falling asleep. Let your energy body do it. To intend is to wish without wishing, to do without doing. "Accept the challenge of intending," he went on. "Put your silent determination, without a single thought, into convincing yourself that you have reached your energy body and that you are a dreamer. Doing this will automatically put you in the position to be aware that you are falling asleep." "How can I convince myself that I am a dreamer when I am not?" "When you hear that you have to convince yourself, you automatically become more rational. How can you convince yourself you are a dreamer when you know you are not? Intending is both: the act of convincing yourself you are indeed a dreamer, although you have never dreamt before, and the act of being convinced." "Do you mean I have to tell myself I am a dreamer and try my best to believe it? Is that it?" "No, it isn't. Intending is much simpler and, at the same time, infinitely more complex than that. It requires imagination, discipline, and purpose. In this case, to intend means that you get an unquestionable bodily knowledge that you are a dreamer. You feel you are a dreamer with all the cells of your body." http://www.federaljack.com/ebooks/Castenada/books/9. The Art Of Dreaming.pdf Pages 15-16
Greetings all, This post is a copy of a recent statement I made last week on another forum, one dedicated to Carlos Castaneda. However, it is thoroughly relevant here as well, as I'm sure many will agree. I offer it for the sake of discussion... My intent here, (as elsewhere) is to outline various benefits of certain principles of truth. Many years of experience demonstrate to the practitioner, revelations of extremely significant value, to say the least. Such knowledge has saved civilizations, even worlds... it is the very root of life and wise living. This knowledge has been called, “the science of sciences” and it is conveyed here so that others may gain such benefits that I and others have received. “Consciousness” is it's name, and its' expansion is fundamental to all true progress. The reason consciousness is fundamental to all true progress is because it is the basis of life, including every human life. In meditation and similar practices where a state of “no-thought” prevails, certain truths about the self may be readily Seen. Those who engage meditation soon realize that we do not, “lose ourselves” when the mind is no longer dominated by strings of words. This is because we are not thought...thoughts are things that we DO not things that we ARE. On the contrary, we consciously regain focus upon the true self which underlies them....consciousness itself. That consciousness has three fundamental components, which are; intent, awareness and energy, and in that order of importance. All three of these components of the true self, (aka “soul”) can be readily verified by any person who earnestly seeks to know themselves. Our energy, or “chi”, (aka “prana”, “ki”, “orgone”, “sub-atomic energy”, etc) is the animating essence for all our actions, just as it is for all living things. This chi is focused in accordance with our awareness. Awareness is like a magnetic field that coordinates iron filings, (chi) into a cohesive pattern. It clarifies and gives order to the fields of chi-energy which surround us. Intent gives awareness its' parameters of focus...it is the manifesting source of all our actions, the very essence of decision-making and change. So in answer to your question about how the self is defined; Intent, awareness and energy are the irreducible essence of the true self, not thought, emotion, memory, culture or any other learned behavior. These three are the essence of the consciousness that we are, and which all other life likewise IS. It is precisely because of this common essence, which we share with each other and all life, that we are capable of knowing other peoples' thoughts, feelings and intentions. This commonality of SOURCE stands behind the truth of the statement “we are all one”. From this truth springs our ability to intimately know nature, natural laws and all living creatures. It is from the consciousness that we are which allows us, “mystical”, gnostic and direct perception into truth, that which is called “God” and the core of the soul/true self. Einsteins' unified field is in fact consciousness. To expand consciousness is to elevate all aspects of the self and society in general. If we have any hope as a species to outlive our own uncontrolled folly, it will not be through political, social or religious measures, it will be through that expansion of the true self. You asked me how I know that, “the purpose of life is the expansion of consciousness”. “All of the above” is the brief answer to that question. In short, this truth can be “cognized”, or “Seen” by anyone who looks deeply into themselves and into the nature of reality. Life is based on consciousness. In fact, life also arises at the behest of consciousness, or in other words, “at the behest of the intent at large”. That which is called “God” is on-going in its' “creation”, and so too are the processes of evolution. As life evolves it's consciousness expands, which is to say, “becomes more sophisticated and capable of higher states and actions”. Likewise, when consciousness expands, it accelerates the further evolution of physical and energetic forms. Contrary to popular opinion, “creation” and “evolution” are therefore complimentary forces. It is interesting to note, however, that the majority of human beings DO NOT See, simply because they don't look. They don't look, because they don't want to know. They don't want to know because of the fear that what will be revealed is contrary to their cherished notions of self and reality. Such notions are usually little more than the product of cultural and historical folly.