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  1. I used to meditate with binaural music to get myself into faster and deeper states. I have tracks for alpha, theta, delta, gamma and epsilon brainwave induction. I also have a device that modulate electric to pulse at certain frequency for the same effect. All of it works well. Recently i need to use these tech assistance again because my environment is not conducive for meditation. I'm wondering what's the opinion of tech-assisted meditation or if anyone else is using it. Would it be considered cheating?
  2. I've never lasted more than 25 minutes on my half lotus sitting meditation because around 20 minutes mark, my legs will start to feel numb and sometimes lead to cramps. It's also because of this problem that i can't go into deep state, it's also usually around that time my mind starts to reach alpha state. Any of you guys have tips on how to last longer in sitting meditation? stretching tips perhaps?
  3. Dear Dao Bums, This is the post I always searched for. A no-nonsense, no bullshit, personal experience and description of sexual qigong and daoist lovemaking. For over 7 years I've been meditating daily. For over 5 years, I've been involved in learning, reading, studying and practicing genital weight lifting, sexual qigong and daoist lovemaking. I'll keep this concise and precise, 4 headers: genital weight lifting, sexual qigong, daoist lovemaking, chinese medicine. 1) Genital Weight Lifting Lifting and swinging weights tied around both scrotum and penis is the primary exercise. Tying a weight just under the head of the penis and swinging it is the second exercise. These two types of swinging, combined with breathing and genital muscle contraction, will enlarge your testicles and penis. You must be VERY careful, and only do this under the supervision of an authorized and trained teacher. If done incorrectly, you'll damage your most prized organs. Even when done correctly, you WILL have slightly longer testicles than before. This can be annoying. So think about it, before you start. Now I'll shortly list my experiences: The positives: The primary swinging exercise, with the weight tied around both testicles and penis, will increase qi and blood circulation. Due to the cloth tied around your organs, the blood you pump into them via muscle contractions will stay there during the exercise. Over time, this will increase the number of capillaries (blood vessels) as well as the size of your blood vessels. This increases qi and blood circulation, as well as enlarging your testicles and penis over time. When your testicles become bigger and stronger, you get MUCH more sexual energy. When your penis increases in size (this takes time), you'll get more confidence. For me personally, the penis swinging exercise was incredible. After just two sessions, I started noticing results. It also enlarges your penis head. Longer, fuller and stronger erections. You can last longer. The negatives: If you do any of these exercises from books or videos, or from a withholding teacher, you can greatly damage yourself. In the typical chinese style of teaching, you'll get only very little theoretical information. You'll be shown what to do, and then only after lenghty testing, observation and consideration, will the teacher give you the small theoretical and practical tricks, which will greatly increase the efficiency of the exercise. You'll get longer, hanging testicles. This can be annoying both cosmetically and functionally (i.e. they hang lower in your pants and are more exposed). The "load" experienced by your sexual organs taxes your system. If you don't have proper recovery and life style, herbs etc, this can drain you energetically. This is in contrast to most kinds of qigong, and more similar to normal bodybuilding/fitness training. Normal qigong increases your energy. Bodybuilding/fitness and genital weight lifting taxes your system and drains you. HOWEVER, with proper recovery you grow stronger after the recovery phase. So, be very mindful of this aspect. Normal qigong will help you recover faster, if you practice while sick, weak or drained. Doing an iron man while you're sick, will tax your system, and make you even weaker and potentially more sick. Genital weight lifting is the same: never practice when sick, or if otherwise weakened or drained. It will drain you further. 2) Sexual Qigong If a man and a woman both practice qigong and meditation, as well as have a healthy lifestyle, they can be of great assistance to each other. Through retaining semen, the man will build his energy stronger and more harmonious with each sex session. For the woman, the more orgasms she has, the more balanced and harmonious she will be. 3) Daoist lovemaking Sexual Qigong and Daoist lovemaking go hand in hand. Sexual qigong is more concerned with building, circulating and harmonizing the qi. Daoist lovemaking is more focused on making the sex act as pleasureable and satisfying as possible. Hence, it is more of an art form. The most important point is foreplay. Through kissing, licking, hugging, touching, biting and gazing, the man starts with the woman's face, arms, back, legs and feet. After only certain signs of arousal are observed (reddening of the neck, her body becomes warm, nippels harden, her breathing changes and the vagina is BOTH warm and moist), the foreplay will go to the breasts, and lastly the vagina. The sex act itself employs many different positions and techniques, as well as a lot of talking to stimulate the woman psychologically and emotionally. The second most important point (other than foreplay) is the afterplay. After the sex act is finished, the man should hold, hug, caress and sweet talk the woman and consolidate what they achieved during the lovemaking. Usually the man is more focused on the sex act, whereas the woman truly enjoys both the foreplay and afterplay equally as the sex. The sex is physical, the foreplay and afterplay is emotional. Ejaculation is very healthy and important for the man's health, and extremely arousing for the woman. However, it should be regulated according to his health, age, cultivation and lovemaking frequency. 4) Chinese medicine Each of us have a certain bodily and energetic configuration. When we're healthy, still, some of our organs, meridians or jing/qi/shen will be a little weak or imbalanced. This is something we're born with. Some people will naturally have a weakness in the heart, kidneys etc. It's very, very important to know one's weaknesses in Chinese Medicine when undertaking genital weight lifting. This is so you can supplement your training with herbs. The testicles (as well as the brain and bone marrow) is connected to the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine. So, when you're swinging weights, you're taxing your whole Kidney system. With proper recovery, this will make your whole Kidney system stronger. HOWEVER! If you're a person whose natural weakness is Kidneys, you're in for a world of trouble if you don't supplement Genital Weight Lifting with herbs. This was the case for me personally. I was told that Genital Weight Lifting is the strongest qigong in the world, and everyone will benefit from it and become a superhuman. When I was gradually weakened by it, and asked my teacher for guidance, he couldn't understand it. He told me to practice more and harder, but the more I practiced, the weaker I got. When I finally quit genital weight lifting, after having been severely weakened, it took me 2 years of herbs and a new style of qigong to recover. When I asked my new qigong teacher about how everyone had seemed to become superhuman from the training, but that it completely killed me, he wasn't flabbergasted at all. He simply said "different people need different things". After having finally recovered, I restarted the genital weight lifting 6 months ago. Firstly the penis swing (which was always my personal favorite), and just under a month ago, I added the normal swing (both scrotum and penis). With all of my prior experience, new qigong training and knowledge, as well as herbs, I can now appreciate the sexual function boost this style of training gives. It CAN really help you with health, energy and your sex life, but you need to be very mindful of balancing with herbs, life style, recovery and normal qigong. This is how it works according to qigong theory and chinese medicine: Your physical body is considered the jing layer of your existence. The brain, bone marrow, kidneys and testicles are especially related to your jing. Through increasing your testicle size and strength, you'll strengthen your Kidney system and thereby the foundation for your physical strength and health. Your energetic body has your qi. Just like a teenage boy can grow like crazy in height and increase his muscle mass very quickly due to the power of hormones, similarly, by training your testicles and increasing your hormones, you'll increase your qi levels immensely. By strengthening the Kidney system, you also strengthen your brain. When your physical body is strong, your qi is powerful and your physical brain is healthy, it will be easier for you to meditate better, and work with your shen or spirit. Conclusion: these were the most important points of my experience, as well as what I wish I had known when undertaking genital weight lifting 5 years ago. If I had known then, what I know now, I could have avoided getting too long testicles (by being more conservative with the weight lifted), I could have avoided a 2 year weakness period (by supplementing with the correct herbs as well as more normal qigong and less swinging). This would have helped avoid unecessesary suffering, and instead increased my health, happiness and cultivation further. Therefore I decided to write this post: in order to help others avoid unecesseary suffering, and in order to benefit as many as possible by giving realistic and practical advice about the pros and cons of genital weight lifting. Be blessed!
  4. The Art of Song 鬆

    After reading through Nathan Brine's wonderful book (The Taoist Alchemy of Wang Liping, vol. 1) depicting the practices and overall line of development within the Dragon Gate sect, Nathan puts out a wonderful reminder. To truly build the foundation for neidan, one needs to learn how to relax and in particular learn the art of Song 鬆 . In WLP's lineage the art of Song is explored through methods such as pore breathing, body squeeze and the nine basic foundational techniques. From Nathan, I can understand there is a big difference between Song and flexibility. One can be completely flexible, yet not be Song 鬆. This is important to remember, I feel. I personally have been exploring Song through the practice of "anchoring the breath" as described by Damo Mitchell in his online Microcosmic Orbit course along with some of the practical teachings (pore breathing, from Wang Liping (viz. Nathan Brine). I also try to incorporate the principles into my standing work, though this is proving more difficult than I thought as it usually ends up with me spiralling into sponteanous postures rather than sinking the Qi and rooting and anchoring more deeply. I thought this would be a nice topic to explore together. I am sure it has been mentioned before, but it could be nice to have a thread directly dedicated to this aspect of internal training. So, what methods or ways have or are you working on Song or sinking in your practice? What does it feel like when it's working for you -- how about when it's not? What is important to keep in mind when learning this process?
  5. Since the Covid-19 lockdowns began, Master Stephen Co has been doing live meditations every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, twice a day at 10:00am PST and 6:00pm PST on his website, Facebook, Instagram and other social media. I normally wouldn't have been interested but my gf is really into it so I gave it a try and it is actually really cool. I feel really blissful afterwards, with a strong flowing of energy through me, and widened energy pathways. It's so simple you just go to his Facebook. I'd just follow him on Facebook, that's easiest. He guides Meditation on Twin Hearts which is the foundation of what he practices, as well as The Great Invocation, and even little bits here and there of higher level practices of Arhatic Yoga. He's been being quite generous about opening up bits and pieces of the practices not usually taught openly. Fridays are deep emotional cleansing day. Follow him on Facebook, his meditations he leads for his followers are powerful, and he has his own "special sauce", or a powerful energy technique he uses to add more spiritual energy to the energy you are developing and make it a lot stronger. https://www.facebook.com/MasterStephenCo/ Tuesday Oct.13th at 6:00pm PDT he is giving a free class on Pranic Feng Shui and Pranic Healing called "Aligning Your Inner and Outer Worlds" https://pranichealing.mykajabi.com/align-pfs-psh-registration
  6. Key pointers for meditation extracted from this series of Q&A's. https://realization.org/p/annamalai-swami/annamalai.talks.html The simplicity of how the Swami expresses the nature of this practice is gold. And for my brethren of a more Buddhist persuasion, that particular YouTube channel is a veritable gold mine. Jewels upon jewels, diamonds in the rough.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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 😊
  10. 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!
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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 :-)
  24. 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)
  25. 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